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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  OCTOBER 2016
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Elsa Peters
October 19, 2016, 5:22pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 19th October

So it would have been my dad's birthday today and if I was drinking I would have raised a glass....instead it's a cup of hot coffee to keep the cold out.  

So lovely start to the day and the photos are mainly of the morning with one of last night's moon.  I actually caught the first sight of the Hunter Moon but unfortunately it's started to disappear already.  No chance of seeing much of it to night.  I was out on the balcony but soon came in ...it was cold out there but so far so good...no rain so the men at least would be OK for them to work but as the day wore on ....the weather closed in and the rain came down but not enough to stop them.  They were ready to be picked up this morning bang on time and Bekir accepted a coffee from the new coffee bar and I asked the lady if they had a toilet I could use but told no they didn't....She did mention that the other cafe had one but I was advised not to use it.  She offered me a coffee and I decided not to take her up on it...I had to drive home.  My treat for breakfast, three banichkas for breakfast and I warmed them up and then they set to.  I went up to the computer and did a couple of sudoku and looked up and noticed it was raining so I was out for a second cup of coffee for them.

A bit of a surprise this morning...I took the new shoes that I'd bought up to the bedroom and on a close inspection I noticed that despite the box declaring that they were a size forty...the one was, the second one was a forty one so I decided to go to Kardjali to change them for the correct size before they sold them to someone else who didn't notice.  I stopped off at Lidl and bought a second bag of yellow daffodils at half price and made my way home.

The afternoon was spent working in the garden and taking the fence down and digging up any stone that might be used to continue with the wall.  The men were making the columns for the wall having finished the breeze block wall to the correct height but there's one section that might just have to have another row on to make it look right from the inside.  Men home on time and I sent them off with a bag of daffodils each, I stopped off at Mrs D of S's for a little baby worshipping and to see how she was getting on and if she needed anything...all's good.  My fire was still going strong, chicken wings in for supper, and the house is cosy and warm.  All's good in my little world too.  LN.....Kitchen calls....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 20, 2016, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 20th October

Slept well last night despite eating the chicken wings pretty late on but maybe I needed the nourishment.  It had been a slow day for food.  Six thirty start and it was black as you like or don't like out there and dawn was a long time coming and I was on my way to fetch the men when I caught the sunrise in the next village.  The men were waiting and it was a speedy journey home...their day has been digging the next section of the trench and mine has been demolishing the fence to get a true impression of how high the wall really is.  The other part of my day was made up of keeping the home fires burning....first garden fire at nine thirty and it's still going now.

Now I know that some of you would say that it's a complete waste to burn the wood in the garden but I have so much of old wood from previous years and I seem inundated.  The other reason is that it smells if you bring it in to the house and it seems to linger.  We all broke for lunch at one and I made myself a couple of ham sandwiches and sat out on the terrace with a sour cherry drink and enjoyed the sun.  Sally finished his lunch in record time and went for his rest on the bench on the workshop terrace....while Bekir went to the top room in the little house and got his head down for half an hour.  So after lunch I was back to my demolition and I was having lots of problems with some old wire fencing that had been intertwined with the hedge so...the hedge came out but it was a b*ugger to shift but eventually I manage to get it out and over the wall to join the rest of the rubbish on the hillside but it will get moved at close of play after the inaugural address at the official opening of the wall.

So men home after a hard day.  Tomorrow is concrete and stone wall building so I might be on stone patrol tomorrow ....such an exciting life I lead.  Fire going, chicken and jacket potato in the oven, boiler on for a bath and a little Film on while I wait for things to hot up and cook.  I'm absolutely knacked but at least I can see where the effort has gone today....LN...Pointless and Eggheads, bath and supper...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 21, 2016, 6:24pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 21st October

Another week gone....last night's bath did it's trick and no aches and pains to show for yesterday's mega gardening day.  I felt so good that it was same again please.  Normal morning but I do wonder at the mornings here....they are so beautiful...if there's sun, it's normally dramatic and this morning didn't disappoint.  There was just a hint of it as I lay in bed which then forced me to go down stairs and get the camera and I was out on the balcony and taking the shots.  I was so busy this that the first cup of coffee got put into the travelling insulated cup and I took it with me and this time...no incidents.  The last time I went over a bump with the cup perched between my lower thighs and it ended in a reddening of the skin.

I stopped at the bread van on the way to pick up the men and got breakfast for us all so first job when I got back was to warm the banichkas up again and make the coffee.  I delivered the men's to the bottom of the garden where they were working and I sat on the terrace in the sun and had mine.  I cleared the washing up and then set to on the garden, the fire was still going from last night so I stuck some old wood on and it sprung into life and I kept it going all day.  I dug over the middle big bed, planted up a Japonica Kerria and replanted some of the bulbs that I'd dug up.  There was a lot of pushing and shoving of soil to level the bed.  It's looking good.

Men home by six and I stopped off at Mrs D of S's to check that she was OK since her car needs minor repairs.  I'd park partially on the road outside her house and true to form, there was a toot and an even more impatient toot so I said fond farewells and came home.  I apologised to the driver of the other vehicle but he wasn't having any of it....and I closely followed it with a TS.

Home and lit the fire, cold chicken with mayo and I shall probably be going into Kardjali for another attempt to get the boots that I want not the ones I was given and if the weather holds....back to the garden.  I just love creative gardening.  So on that note...LN...Fingers crossed for good weather...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 22, 2016, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 22nd October

So I drew my curtains last night and wanted to sleep in since there were no men today....wrong....six thirty start.  I read for a while but couldn't get into the book.  I seem to have been reading it for ages and I'm still only on thirty five percent....I might give it up as a bad job.  So I went down for coffee and took it back to bed.  I saw the first notion of dawn breaking but the sun never seemed to come up.  First sightings were late and the clouds seemed to hide it from view despite there being the red sky.  Washed, dressed, no breakfast since I'd munched on salted peanuts last night before going to bed and they hadn't seemed to have moved.  I walked the garden and there was a chill in the air.  I left for Kardjali taking the back lane and there were a few spots on the Greek road down by the river but it had all gone by the time I got to my destination.

My task for today was to make a final attempt to get the boots that I wanted in the size that I wanted but even this wasn't achieved.  I ended up with thirty nine not forty which means that I won't be able to wear any socks with them but they are fleece lined so it shouldn't be a problem.  Over to the cheapy shop but it was heaving so I didn't stay long, Kaufland, Billa and Lidl and picked up everything that I wanted and was home by twelve thirty.  

The rest of the day has been spent relaxing apart from the fact that the Daily Mail Sudoku had lots of variances and I got a little frustrated by it.  Four attempts and I gave up which is unlike me but I'm feeling a little tired and toyed with the idea of going out and doing something in the garden but the idea drifted away on the wind.  I lit the fire at four, got sufficient logs in and I've just lobbed on a huge one which should do me for the rest of the evening.  Supper tonight is a steak that was reduced in Lidl and I picked up mushrooms so it's a typical steak and the trimmings.  

I caught the end of the sunset...and it was very much like the sun coming up this morning so no...I haven't made a mistake on the timings.  I'm off to the kitchen...I want to have my supper done and done with before Strictly tonight...who's time is it to go?  LN..Kitchen calls....I can hear the steak demanding my attention....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 23, 2016, 4:12pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 23rd October

So I had a five thirty start but decided to snuggle back down and it was eight before I came to.  There are no photos of the sunrise...there wasn't one this morning for me.....and not for a lot of people in Bulgaria.  Lots of mist which hung on the mountains and it took until ten before it lifted enough to give me a view of anything.  Last night was a bit of a let down with food....I intended to  cook the steak with mushroom and all the trimmings but too many peanuts meant that I wasn't in the mood to cook it or eat it so I had it this morning for breakfast with fried eggs.  The final decision which you may well appreciate was deciding what the last mouthful should be.  It's that last lingering taste.  So another coffee, a load of washing in the machine, pegged out and brought in at four thirty.

As for the rest of the day. I potted up some daffodil bulbs, took some cuttings from the Buddleia, and spent a couple of hours digging out the base of the cherry.  The men want the strong black stone so I barrowed a lot of it down to the bottom of the garden, used some of the white softer stone to replace the dark stone that they'd stolen from the workshop flower bed and generally amused myself humping stone and being creative in the garden.  On my last visit to the bottom of the garden, I was amazed how colourful the new flower bed is.  The petunias are still flowering along with the marigolds and the nicotina and I noticed that there are lots of marigold seeds on the ground.  I should have lots of self-sets next year and should be pulling them up like crazy.  As I sat on the bottom wall looking at the hills it struck me that I'm lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world and as I looked at the house, it's also come together very well.  

So fire going, tools away, cold supper for me...I've cooked once today, that's enough. Not a bad life!!  LN...Now what to have for supper....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 24, 2016, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 24th October

Quick bath and hair wash last night and wrapped up in a couple of bath towels to watch the results of the Strictly voting.  Why do the public vote some of them in...don't they know it's a dance competition.  Rant over....but at least previous ones noted for their lack of skills have had the decency to retire before they were shoved.  

Sleep of the just last night and woke up at six thirty and it was pitch black out there.  Roll on next week when the clocks go back but then it will be dark taking the men home and their day shortens by half an hour which means that their rate goes up....I was early picking them up but they were ready and waiting.  I hadn't intended to be early but the Beast is much easier to drive and much faster than Beauty and much safer if it comes to that.  So I was out there with my wheelbarrow again and shifted another few loads of stone.  While appraising the work today and to keep Sally company while he was trying to dig through to Australia with exceptionally deep footings, I checked out the amount of stone that's scattered on the hillside and I think I've found my task for tomorrow should I choose to accept it.  

Into town, over to the cheapy shop and managed to find a new sweater and scarf and two little garments for the baby for the princely sum of one lev forty stotinki and then I found myself on Kaufland carpark at lunchtime and it would have been rude not to top up on a hot dog and chippies.  Home for one thirty more or less with very little to unload but my work was done, coffee for the boys, loaded up the log carrier and pushed it into the house, fire lit and could have easily fallen asleep but didn't.  Hacebar came round with a packet of Pishmania which translates as 'cotton candy' and the secret is to only put a little in at a time...otherwise you could suffocate...

Bekir's work today has been making the metal cages for the trenches while Sally has been on the wrong end of a shovel all day.  The man has such stamina.... Home safe and sound and forgot to pay them again.  I'd put the money in my jacket, the jacket had been deposited on the back seat since Bekir has taken to riding in the front and it slipped my mind.  I'll do it tomorrow..

So nothing on my agenda for tomorrow so I'll see how the day pans out.  As I said...stone gathering until I get bored with it and then I've got four kilograms of daffodil bulbs to bury so that should keep me busy,  I'm on the peanuts again so can't see me doing anything in the kitchen tonight....it won't hurt for one night....LN...Filmon and cotton candy...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 25, 2016, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 25th October

Lovely sleep last night and woke up at six forty this morning so there was no rush to get ready, came round very gradually and managed a chapter of my book.  Very civilised.  I had my first coffee at seven twenty but was in the Beast and on time to set off for the men.  I arrived early but they were ready, willing and able and have been ready, willing and able all day. I settled for poached eggs on toast for breakfast...I needed the calories...I knew what sort of day I was expecting.

I suggested that I could collect stone for them but Bekir suggested that I got the daffodil bulbs in before the weather changes.  I managed to get about forty of them in but decided to change tack and get the outside furniture in...again before the weather changes.  Sun bed in and swinging lounger in...the cushions from the chairs were almost in until I saw that there were a few little insect nestling in them so they're still outside.  My next project was to dig up one of the old tree trunks and the men really didn't hold out much hope of me achieving a successful outcome.  Each time they walked down the outside of the wall they looked over and shook their heads but I persevered and eventually it was over.  I did get called 'Hercules' by Sally....I think he was impressed by my fortitude.  Tomorrow though Bekir is bringing his chainsaw....there are three more to down and potentially four if I change my mind.

The rest of my day was digging out the rubbish piles left by the previous owners and the polythene mine that was left over from their tobacco growing.  I found lots of old bottles and a few not broken, some broken toys, jam pot lids a plenty and the inevitable shoe. Cold wind today but when it dropped, the temperature scooted up and the jacket came off.

Men home, lit the fire and it was reluctant at first but now blazing away.  I got the fire going outside and most of the debris is cleared....LN.......More of the same tomorrow I fear..  LN

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Elsa Peters
October 26, 2016, 5:20pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 26th October

Five thirty start this morning and I don't know why but it was a leisurely start to the day.  Read my book, enjoyed my coffee, it was dark when I woke up but the line broke on the mountains and tinged them red.  Washed, dressed and in the car on time to pick up the men.  I noticed that bread wagon was stopped half way to the main road and I bought two cheesy breads and a banichka for Bekir.  They were waiting and Bekir was clutching his chainsaw so I knew that the old stumps from the hedge line would be down in the blink of an eye.  The lady from the cafe asked me if her son could come and work for me for the day without pay and I declined her offer.  I think she just wanted him out of her hair. On the way back Bekir mentioned that he was out of the thin metal for making the foundations for the wall so we were straight into Djebel and to the hardware shop.  I popped in to see my student's mum since I'd not been in the shop for a while and asked her how she was....she was absolutely full of flu so I said goodbye quickly....I don't want to be ill.  

Home, cheesy bread for me and more coffee and I left the men to their own devices on the drinks front...Bekir had bought iran or yogurt drink for them.  They went about their business with the wall, I grabbed my instruments and I was straight out to the garden and worked quite hard on it all day.  I've already mentioned ...it's all about getting the levels right and to make it easier I've decided that I'm doing away with two of the eight sections of the veg garden.....I have trouble filling eight anyway.

Took the men home at five thirty...stopped off for a little baby worshipping on the way and home by seven.  I lit the fire and couldn't understand why the house wasn't warming up...then it hit me....I'd left my balcony bedroom door open and both bathroom windows and so I was trying to warm up the hillside.  It didn't take long though...and now we're toasty.  

Cold chicken for supper with mayonnaise followed by ice cream so not a lot of effort required.  LN...I shall do better tomorrow. LN

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Elsa Peters
October 27, 2016, 4:37pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 27th October

What a stupid night.  I woke up thinking that it was well on it's way to wake up time and it was only two fifteen and not an ounce of sleep in me.  It was out with the Kindle, a little Candy Crush, a couple of Sudoku, emails and FM and then on to the little one for a read of my current slog.  I should give up on it really but I hate doing that so I'll persevere for a few more chapters and then I'll let you know who the author is.  Eventually I started yawning and it was four when I put the light out and seven thirty when I woke up for the second time.  All systems go and I was out and in the Beast ten minutes later and I did wash, cleaned teeth and got dressed but missed out on the coffee,

The men were waiting and Bekir went to their bread van and came back with three somethings for breakfast.  It was raining a little on the way back but as we got nearer to my village it stopped but not much of a morning weather wise.  I made coffee as soon as we got back and I selected what was supposed to be a soft bun filled with jam but when I cut it open it was a soft bun filled with about three grains of local white cheese.  We had a laugh about it, read the label which said nothing about the contents at all so I filled it with butter and marmalade and I was one satisfied customer.  

Bekir worked on the remaining metal work for the wall while Sally mixed his first load of cement.  I made chicken and mushroom soup...it was too cold for me and I waited for it to warm up a little.  I delivered their coffee at ten and decided it was time I risked it and ended up on the stone collection trail for the next two hours.  I'd changed my body warmer though for a 'new to me' leather coat that I'd paid five leva for on Saturday since that wind had an edge to it.  I did stop for a while, I was wearing a pair of boots that I'd knackered the soles by pressing down on the metal spade and as I kicked at a stone to release it from the hillside, the upper came away from the sole.  They've now got to that boot heaven via the garden petchka.  

The men stopped for lunch and I had my soup which I really wouldn't write home about...I've made better.  I got settled in front of the fire that I'd lit earlier and managed to get my head down for forty minutes or so and woke at three in time for the afternoon coffee run.  This afternoon was spent chopping kindling from the old wood stored in the little house and I collected the logs that Bekir had cut up yesterday and now they're stored in the little house and will be first to be used.  I good day on the whole.  I've enough kindling to last for a couple of months and I've arranged for Bekir and Sally to spend a day spitting logs before they finish for this year so that I'm fully prepared for winter.

A surprise visit tonight from Semile and his boys delivering something 'sheeplike' for Bekir.  Now sure what it was but there was a smell of 'meat' about it so the carriers went in a big green bucket before it was put in the Beast....I didn't want blood and guts smelling it out.  Men home and I was back for six twenty and the bucket is spending the night at Bekir's home.  No pickies today...I've been too busy to be out there with the camera....it was definitely a work day but I'll catch up for you tomorrow.  LN...Time to relax...LN
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Elsa Peters
October 28, 2016, 4:48pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 28th October

Well it was a little better last night but I was awake at five thirty so decided to put the light on. make a coffee and watch morning television but as per normal, it put me back to sleep and it was a rush to the finishing post...seven thirty start and out by seven forty...and I made it.  I didn't bother with another coffee...there just wasn't time.  I managed to take a couple of the morning sunrise and wondering how long it would last and it was mainly to keep my promise from yesterday...I must do better on the photo front...   I had to thaw the car out...I had frost on the windscreen...first one of the year.

Men were ready and waiting.  Bekir appeared from one cafe carrying the spade that he'd welded last night while Sally was in the other cafe shop so I joined him to buy another spade and stale. It's taken them seven years to wear out the other that's been welded...that must be Sally's then.  We set off and I couldn't find my camera....Bekir was sitting on it so I switched it on and he was the camera man this morning as we drove back through the forests....It's a very pretty journey.  Coffee as soon as they arrived...that wind was bleak this morning and Sally soon made a fire where he was mixing cement.  I spent the morning sorting out my wardrobe and shelving putting the summer and autumn things in the chest storage and digging out my sweaters and over jumpers....I am prepared...bring on winter.  I only managed to find two Bulgarian vests though...I have the feeling that I took them to England last winter and left them there so now they're top of my shopping list.

The last time I went into Djebel my student's mum was full of some ailment so I decided to make her a 'Get well soon' card and deliver it today with a box of chocolates, not a thing they do here but she really appreciated them.  I also went to the cash point so I don't have to go out at the weekend and filled up with fuel for the same reason.  I fancy a weekend doing nothing but having a good fire going and chilling...bit of a cross statement but you get the picture.  When I got back I noticed that Bekir had been busy with his chainsaw cutting up the debris from the wall building and was proud to show me his achievements.  It would have been better though it he'd got the wheelbarrow and dumped them in the yard....that then fell to me so I moved most, put a pile near Sally's fire by the cement preparation area and those that are still on the hillside I covered over with polythene.  It's a job for another day.  

Men home, beautiful sunset on the way back and I stopped at various points to take some shots.  By the time I got home there was very little to see and I remembered that the internet has predicted a minus three for tonight so I had a bit of a rush on to get some of the tender plants inside.  I'm hoping that the geraniums and the petunias will stand it and tomorrow I'll get them sorted and take some cuttings of the geraniums and cut back the existing.  So supper was late going in...roasted veg and lamb joint so it might be a midnight feast for me.  Alternatively I might be having cold lamb for breakfast with a roast vegetable omelette...I'll have to wait and see.  LN....Must check on my supper / breakfast....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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