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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 1, 2016, 7:51pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st October

Seven start and nowhere to go....no men to collect so took photos of the morning from the balcony.  Fantastic skies and the little grey clouds changed with the dawn and went from pink to white and then disappeared.  It's been a beautiful day.

Down to the bread van for an unsliced and a cheesy bread and that was breakfast sorted.  Bacon and eggs on cheesy bread and let's face it...it is Saturday.  I caught up on several Daily Mail Sudoku that I'd not managed to do and then my attention was drawn to the clearing of some of the rubbish that the digging out of the new wall has uncovered and starting a pile of stone so that the men can use it in the wall.  I was doing quite well until I hit something that was rubber coated, bit and deep and after a while I gave up with it and moved on to something else.  There's lots of old wire mesh fencing that was covered when the digger machine first cleared the front of the house so that's something else to be tackled.  Unfortunately, it's been a very hot day and not really conducive for digging up lumps of stone but I stuck with it for about a couple of hours.

I came in at about two, downed lots of water, picked up the kindle and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.  A little more digging and tidying and tools away by six, shower and hair wash, off to a really nice restaurant in Kardjali...almost the last supper for my guest.  Got to the place by eight, seated straight away despite it being very busy and very good food was served.  Home by ten and came up the back lane just to settle the food.....beautiful stars tonight, it's really clear...I'm lucky...there's very little light pollution where I am.

So tomorrow it's our village fete.  Semile will be roasting sheep and a goat or two, there'll be a small market and other food stalls, barebacked wrestling in the old school grounds so there will be camera at the ready.  The Librarian is coming over with her neighbour at about eleven and we'll hike up the road and join in the fun.  Time for bed now....I'm late tonight with the update...LN..October.....the month for preparing for winter  LN

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Elsa Peters
October 2, 2016, 6:06pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd October

Could have been a lazy one but instead I was awake at six, reading for an hour or so, down for coffee and out sitting in the sun for seven thirty.  The bread van was early this morning...today in my village fete and there was lots of bread to be delivered to the stall holders.  I had toast for breakfast but we'd had so much food last night that I'd beaten my guest on the food stakes.  He settled for an extra cup of tea and it's as well.

I'd arranged with the Librarian that it was eleven at mine but instead they arrived at nine fifteen.  Her local neighbour was excited at the prospect of coming into my village and so she'd taken the long way round but was still early.  We sat in the garden and had tea and coffee and the morning was gorgeous.  He commented on my flowers and said how good the garden looked....I thanked him and said that it was all down to the fact that they get watered twice some days.  So I left them outside while I got washed and dressed which took me all of five minutes and we were ready to walk down to the festivities by ten.  The mosque was carrying out a Mevlit and they were cooking rice and meat and that's what the Librarian's guest was waiting for.  We did the usual walk of the high street which took all of ten minutes but he was determined to get rice and meat so we headed for the mosque but the queue was horrendous so we went back into the village proper and had a chicken and bread instead.  Early lunch for some and late breakfast for others.

Lots of neighbours and handshaking going on....I'm accepted now after six years of living here and believe me...it's taken that long.  I am after all the only non-Muslim living here but I've made it known that my Gospot is the same as their Allah and we both say Amen while we pray.  Not much in it really.

So the children were warming up for the dancing in the old school playground and the wrestlers were doing the same thing at the back of the school.  No bets seemed to be taking place this year...I believe they were running quite a book a few years back...times must be hard.  Lots of bouts between the reds and the blues and they were all hard fought.  The main local hero was refereeing the first few bouts until it was his turn but I believe his opponent didn't turn up so they put up a ram as a prize for anyone who felt that they could tackle the champ and win and they didn't.

Strolled home, watered the garden and created barbecue sweet and sour to go on the spare rib pork chops and stuck in a couple of jacket potatoes.  Nine my time and about to see if there's anything good on Filmon.  Alarm clocks set for four thirty...the bus for Sofia leaves Kardjali at six in the morning so it's an early start.  LN....Back to normal tomorrow....wall building....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 2, 2016, 6:11pm Report to Moderator

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And a few more

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Elsa Peters
October 3, 2016, 5:48pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd October

So last night I set two phone alarms and spent a sleepless night waiting for them to go off.  My guest has set his as well ...there was no danger of oversleeping.  I managed to silence the one at four fifteen, the other insisted on carrying on despite my best efforts and all it took in the end was to unlock the thing and it cancelled.   Doh....

Quick coffee and into the Beast ...my guest was leaving this morning on the six o'clock bus from Kardjali and I made sure that the driver knew to drop him off before the Bus Station so that he could grab a taxi to terminal one otherwise it's a little tight on the flight.  I drove home intending to use the back lane but an ambulance was parked up by the junction and I missed the turning, carried on to the next and turned round but coming backwards it's more difficult to find.  And I missed it again....Turned round at the Djebel turn off and this time went straight to it and was home for six fifteen more or less.There wasn't time to get my head down so I fired up the computer, did the weekend's Sudoku and set off to get the men at seven thirty.  Boots blacked and back by eight fifteen and they were straight to it.

I got three loads of washing done, beds stripped and towels out on the line by ten, made myself a couple of eggs and mayo sandwiches and sat out in the sun with a cup of coffee.  It was a lazy morning for me after that....I made coffee for the men but didn't do much in the way of physical work...I was jaded through lack of sleep.  The men broke for lunch, they had their afternoon coffee and then I got my head down for an hour or so so did a little catch up and I needed it.

Men home at five thirty, I called in and did a little baby worshipping and picked up my external drive that had been loaded with goodies from Mrs D of S's.  I carried on to Djebel and got fuel so that it's not going to be such a rush in the morning.  The downside is that I wasn't back in time to get any photos of the wall building from today but the men have chugged on nicely....that's going to be one sturdy wall.  So no pickies tonight but there's a note on my mantra to do better tomorrow.  Beautiful starry night again...the thunderstorm didn't happen.  LN....Filmon calls...LN
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Elsa Peters
October 4, 2016, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th October

Lovely long sleep with no interruptions at all and woke just before seven in plenty of time to get washed, dressed and get over for the men by eight.  Quick coffee before I went and sat out on the terrace with it and watched the morning.  I think it was going to be a day of hide and seek with the sun which bodes well with the men.  It's been pretty hot for the last couple of days and they have to wait until after lunch time for the shade.

They set to very quickly...Bekir was making the metal reinforcing cages for the wall and Sally was barrowing concrete to cover them up...what a team.  I decided that I was tired of the lavender lying around in the little house without anything under it to catch the seeds so I hung a sheet in the little house workshop and crushed the bunches over the sheet to remove the seeds.  This worked well until it came time to transfer the seeds from the sheet to a container and a kingsize sheet is not conducive to manipulating....anyway I have half a bucket of seeds ready for my lavender bag factory.  I also fished out last years and crushed those but I've not added them to the same bucket...they're in a polythene bag and in waiting.  Sally and Bekir want some for their gardens....I think I might just throw some on the bottom of the garden to see if they take or not.  

Had visitors before lunch so we sat out in the sun with coffee.  They're looking for builders for their house Bekir might find them some but I've made it clear that mine aren't available ....I made that mistake once before trying to be helpful.   Off they went after lunch and we agreed that we would go down to their house when my work was done for the day to see if their timescales were feasible....lot of work to be done....probably better next year.

So this afternoon I played around and found the two plastic legs from the rubbish that the men had dug out and I have to make a pair of trousers to cover them up.  You know that I have one from last year that's become a garden ornament and I now have two others from this year's wood so the plastic ones will join them.  Could this become a fetish?

Over to the other house for five, plans discussed and I dropped the men off at their village on time,  Bekir has the dentist tonight so not sure what state he'll be in tomorrow...I'll wait and see.  Six thirty and home....I took a few photos of the sunset and not as dramatic as usual but still beautiful.  More concreting tomorrow and wall building...the men are doing well.  

I'm about to see what's in the fridge or freezer....the hunger grubs are biting.  LN....another good day....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 5, 2016, 6:04pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th October

What a miraculous start to the morning.  I was wide awake at four and was reading for an hour, thought I might have another hour or so which stretched out into seven thirty five and I was up and out in five.  The men were waiting and I excused myself for being minutes late but blamed it on the half bucket of lavender that’s sitting in the hall and smelling the house out.  Tonight it’s going into the guest room with the door closed.

So the men arrived and I was waiting for the bread wagon to catch him on his backward run.  I was out of coffee and managed to get some from him.  I need to get the troops fed….they’ll not manage without it.  I brought back a loaf since all my old stuff went to Bekir’s dogs yesterday and I settled for toast and marmalade for breakfast.

Downstairs bedroom made up, kitchen and bathroom cleaned, hall swept and all floors washed over, stairs cleaned and wiped over, wood got in and that was my morning.  I read for a while and intended going out and helping the men collect the stone from the garden but it didn’t happen.  Another load of ballast this afternoon…the men have demolished the pile from the drive and have now started to take it from the yard…so we needed more.  

Men home and I think they were ready for it.  It’s been a hard slog today, the weather has been very intermittent, a little rain this afternoon but we’ve lost about ten degrees today….I actually lit the fire this afternoon and it’s still going now.  Visitors tomorrow….Mrs D of S, her guest plus the new baby will be visiting….Coming back though I needed the camera but it was dark and wouldn’t have caught the moments anyway.  There was a family of deer on the road, two cows asleep on the white line and about twenty sheep ambling up the middle of the lane…Who needs traffic police here?  Enough ….sorry no photos…lots tomorrow to make up for it.  LN….Time to throw a log on…LN
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Elsa Peters
October 6, 2016, 4:23pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th October

So that extra log that I threw on last night was still going this morning so I thought...why not ....and threw another on and it's still going now.  The proposed visit didn't happen.  Apparently the little one was so tired of being poked and prodded by the locals when they went shopping that she was a little fractious....Home is the best place when that's the case.

As for me...six thirty start and out well in time for the men.  It was very dark this morning with just a hint of red and I tried to take it from my bed but the flash kept going off so I got up and went outside instead.  As the morning broke it got better and better but I lost the automatic focus button on the camera and for the life of me couldn't find it so out with the book and it's easy when you know how.  On the drive over I took a couple of pickies including the donkey as I drove through Mrs D of S's village and some of the mountains but I should really clean the Beast's windows.  In they got and they started work straight away on the wall.  It's a slow old process and it's likely to take another three weeks we reckon.  They're about two fifths with the foundations and the main problem is collecting together enough stone for the base of the wall to make it stronger.  I was out there today digging up the stuff that was dropped about six years ago and grassed over....it will take a while to sort out the shrubs along the new wall.....but I'll get there.   As we say...One day....

So Sally's last job was to get the breeze blocks from the pallets and deliver them for building tomorrow.  The cement columns will be the last to go in...they're getting the hard part done first and the metal railings on the top will go in later.  Bekir's was to prepare the metal for the next section for the foundation.  Dropped them home before six and I had an uneventful drive back.  No cows jumped out at me, no sheep or no deer which made a nice change.  Kitchen calls for supper and I reckon it's going to be egg and chips tonight...something simple to prepare and eat...dippy eggs...why not.  LN...the kitchen calls.....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 7, 2016, 4:36pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th October

My man in the next village was really going for it this morning at silly o'clock with his disk of the call to prayer.  I really should get Elton John out at full volume.  Later today it was actually likened to Tom Jones attempting something really sacred.  Shouldn't be allowed.  End of rant.

Six thirty real start and read for a while to break gently into the day.  I'm into my second week and back to the routine, men in, men out and home again.  The morning was promising and the predawn was good but when it came time for Phoebe to show her little face she was obliterated by rising clouds and then it was hide and seek for most of the day.  I had a couple of goodies from Bekir this morning...a pot of his honey to ten my infected foot and a canvas bag that I'd given them a couple of Christmases ago that I'd completely forgotten about.  I think the bag was also a gift but held the other so probably thought it wasn't.  

I was down to the bread van...it was late this morning but no cheesy bread or banichkas available so we all went without.  I had a little hug with my Zelinger and then whistled my way home clutching my sliced loaf and it was straight into the toaster with a couple of the slices.  Breakfast was called for this morning before I tended my foot and applied the honey.  I've been using Sudocreme on it but it really needs to dry up and seal itself hence the honey and fresh air today and I've stayed away from the dust or at least tried to.  It's at that throbbing stage...antibiotics could be called for...I'll give it the weekend.

The men have been chugging on with the wall and we've decided that the stone that's been put to one side for the little house terrace can be used and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  There's lots lying around in the village...Bekir needs to negotiate a price and I'm sure it will be for sale.  Guests came round about lunchtime and we sat in the sun enjoying the brief interlude and coffee and off they went to do some work in Kardjali.  I headed for the kitchen and made myself a couple of white cheese sandwiches and head down in the Kindle for an hour or so.

I messed around in the garden after lunch.  I've taken cuttings of the bottle brush, the abelia and the hypericum.....they'll go into the base of the new wall but far enough inside so that the blasted cows can't reach them....hence the metal fencing over the top half so that the hedges provide a screen.

Men home at five thirty...it's Djebel fair day tomorrow but I shan't be gracing them with my presence although Bekir will with his mates.  I lit a fire when I got in....there's a chill in the air but it's not cold but it looks and feels homely.  No supper....my sandwiches are still lingering....the boiler is going on and I'm heading for the bath.  LN....Another building week completed...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 8, 2016, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th October

So last night I was on the computer and I couldn’t understand the noise…it was horrendous.  It was rain and it was throwing it down.  There was also wind gusts and various ‘bits’ made their way to other parts of the garden so this mornings work was to restore normality.

Seven start this morning and I didn’t have to go anywhere so it was a lazy leisurely coffee, I used up the last of the butter for toast and marmalade signifying that I had a trip to Lidl to make.  I only use their butter…the local stuff they make tastes as if it’s gone off already and in most cases it has.  It was Kindle and coffee for quite some time ….I had nothing that was pressing after a bonfire and the tidy up.  I came in and washed my hair which was crying out for it.  I’d had my bath last night but if I wash it in the bath, I just don’t seem to get all the shampoo out.  After drying it, getting dressed for the day, I sat down with another coffee and made my shopping list.

I headed into town at one and believe it or not, I was on my way home by two fifteen having got all that was on the list and sticking to it completely and that’s a first for a while.  I went down the rough road but came back the main road….the rain had started again, it was belting down and there were signs that Djebel day was a bit of a wash out….what a shame.

Unpacked the shopping, lit the fire, got in more wood, settled down with the Kindle and promptly went to sleep for a couple of hours and feel much better for it.  First time for synthetic turkey nuggets and will probably be the last…..I had them with mayo and it was a waste of mayo.  Little bit of tele tonight….’Strictly’ on later and it’s beginning to hot up but I haven’t got any favourites as yet.  

So not many shots taken today.  …Morning and evening efforts and one inside for a change.  LN…I’m going to enjoy my fire…LN

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Elsa Peters
October 9, 2016, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th October

The day of rest and it has been.  It was a fairly early start at six but after a good night’s sleep that was no problem.  The sky was just coming to life and there were clouds up there but the rain must have cleared the rubbish from the air….the sky was only faintly painted pink and the sun was up without further ado.  I read but then put down my Kindle and did a little meditation or tried to.  I couldn’t quiet my brain down enough to empty it…so I went back to the Kindle eventually getting washed and dressed by nine.

I put a load of washing in, hung it out since the sun had some heat in it once it was up and it’s been a beautiful day.  I walked the garden and at last we appear to have a green swathe over it…not too quickly I hope…my lawnmower might have a new blade on it but I’m not too keen to be trying it out for a week or two.  I went out and dug up a few more lumps of stone from the new garden but my heart wasn’t completely in it and the hunger bugs were biting so I made a bacon and egg sandwich…it is Sunday… so why not.

I generally pottered for the rest of the afternoon and the work starts again tomorrow.  I’m amazed how many different colours of snapdragons in my garden.  I’m sure I only bought white, pink and a lovely red and yellow but now I have several mixtures as well as lots of babies.  I’ve never grown them before but I think they’re going to be a feature of the garden for next year and I’ve already collected seeds.

Strictly last night and tonight it’s out the door for one of the couples.   The bacon sandwich is sitting heavy so no supper for me tonight.  Almost seven my time…quick wash and into pj’s, the fire is lit although it’s not really necessary.  LN….I’m in for the night….LN

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Elsa Peters
October 10, 2016, 4:32pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th October

So I feel that Strictly is going to disappoint already....Wrong two in the dance off but that's show business for you and the general public...nuff said.

Long lovely sleep again but awake for six thirty and so a nice leisurely count down to into the car to collect my two workers.  The sky was full of promise this morning but it was OK until lunchtime and then it was down hill after that.  The wind was cold and a few spots of rain but it was perfect for the men.  Into the car and straight into Djebel...I needed to top up the car and get three bags of lime mix for the brick building.  I left Bekir to pay for the materials and I went over to the banitchka shop, breakfast for the boys and for me and that set us up nicely for the day.  If you buy them from the mobile shop they're cold...from Djebel hot out of the oven.

The men set to and so did I with the garden clearing but guests arrived so it was down tools and kettle on.  About half an hour later Mrs D of S arrived with the little one so we were all baby worshipping as is the norm.  I was privileged and was handed the little one and a bottle of milk and it's been a long time since children and grandchildren for me but I managed it.  Off they went and so did the others so it was back to work for me after two slices of toast to keep me going.  I've moved the metal burning bucket but need to rebuild the bricks round it and need to put a bigger hole in the bottom so that the ashes drop through to keep the air circulating...always something to be done.

Dropped the men home taking the back lane and it's certainly quicker but came back the old road.  Tomorrow we have to go down to the materials yard...we're running short of metal for the foundations and the pillars.  We should manage two meter lengths in the Beast or we can freeze and have it sticking out of the top.  Birthday cards to post tomorrow in Kardjali and a visit to the cheapy shop....I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.  LN....Tele time and a bath to ease out the aches....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 11, 2016, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 11th October

Silly evening...I fell asleep in front of the pc watching Filmon, woke up and had my bath and promptly fell asleep in there.  Nothing new for me...I remember my mother banging on the bathroom door when I lived at home, waking me up by asking me if I was asleep in there...and of course the  response was no...she'd already woken me up.  Strange things you remember as you get older.  Into bed by twelve, slept through until five and then it was all systems go.  Not an ounce of sleep left in me and why should there be, the sand had gone from the timer.

So out to fetch the men...another day, another dollar.  Bekir arrived from the lane with sawdust on him and said that he'd done twenty minutes with his chainsaw on his winter wood and Sally appeared from the restaurant.  I'd stopped at their food wagon and got breakfast for all of us and we headed down to the yard to get the metal for the foundations for the wall.  There seemed to be a bit of an issue going on so we waited around until it subsided...I think he was late opening and trying to get the show on the road.  Anyway...Sally was relegated to the spare seat in the boot, the metal was cut and loaded into the Beast, home for nine, breakfast buns warmed on the stove and coffee made and we were finished by nine thirty.  Back to the kitchen and washed up, prepared the kettle and coffee for the men....I was off to Kardjali.

Mrs D of S arrived early and we set off in the Beast.  She had paperwork that needed to be sorted, I had the urge to visit the cheapy shop and the only things we could find were really cute baby clothes, a waistcoat for my student and for me...nothing.  Pizza for lunch and a bottle for the baby, paid my phone bill, home via the back lane for just after two and off they set.  Bekir was working on the metal framework for the trench and Sally was still digging in until the rain came at three and stopped play.  Indoor activities were continued and they both worked on the metal work, I got my head down for about twenty minutes, I lit the fire and got them home for six.  As for tomorrow...not sure what the weather holds but I'm sure we can find something for them to do between the showers.

Time to throw another log on....it seems the topic of conversation as to whether people are succumbing to lighting their fires.  It's a little early but the temperature has dropped considerably especially at night.  I might even have to dig out some thicker PJ's.  LN...Kitchen calls....'Feed me Seymour'....LN


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October 11, 2016, 10:01pm Report to Moderator
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Lovely o see the starlings on the wire. We get big flocks in the winter and they swirl around in a cloud and then come down onto the wires behind our house, so neat and perfectly spaced - I would guess just a wingspan apart. It is a lovely manoeuvre to watch!
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Elsa Peters
October 12, 2016, 4:47pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 12th October

Thanks Jean...I can hear them first thing in the mornings chattering but they're out of sight but later in the day after the morning feed they seem to gravitate to the wires to let it digest.  As I came back tonight they were further up the road, the ground was covered and as I drove towards them they rose up and disturbed the ones that were on the electricity cables and pylons.  I love watching them...they seem to hitch each other along...one comes, one goes, a brief flutter and all back to normal.  And yes....when they take to the air it's pretty magical.

So last night I was hungry at about nine and decided that beans on toast would do the job fine.  I'd only got sunflower seed bread and thought nothing of it, wolfed them down but at three I woke up with violent pains in the central regions and I think I made a groove in the tiles from the bedroom to the bathroom.  It was described by my builder when we were laughing about it as being 'in a war zone'.  I did settle back again eventually and woke just before seven to get the show on the road by seven thirtyish.  Back to the village by eight twenty and I waited for the bread van to stock up on one that the stomach is used to and the rest of the other has gone to Bekir's dogs with a proviso that I not responsible for any upset tummies.  On his head be it.  Normal morning with the men getting on with it and I was messing around with the lavender removing more of the seeds from the stalks until I got bored with that so I went into Djebel to post a letter, called in to see my student but no one home, stopped off at my student's mothers shop and we put the world to rights.  Came home and made tuna mayo sandwiches for lunch on white bread and then out to the garden and took up my role as chief stone gatherer for the base of the wall.  I did about ten wheelbarrow's full and that was the height of my endeavours for today.

Men home...the rain stopped play for a couple of brief interludes, I got very wet and ended up changing my jumper....no chance of that drying on me.  I lit the fire before I took the men so came back to a lovely warm house.  There's no real need for it but it gives the place a cosy feel.  In for an early night tonight.  I'm going to watch my early programmes and then head for bed with the Kindle.  LN  No midnight feasts for me tonight....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 13, 2016, 5:10pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 13th October

I was really disciplined last night....Film-on film off at ten thirty, didn't get to look at the Kindle at all and slept like a babe until six thirty this morning....and woke up with a spring in my step.  Not much of a view....couldn't see the mountains at all, wall to wall ground fog.  I did venture out on the balcony to grab what there was of the sunrise but soon came in...it was cold out there.  The house was warm enough...I'd had a pretty good fire going last night and it had done its stuff.

Coffee and out to fetch the men and I went the back road and was there ten minutes early.  I started to clean the bits of rubbish that I seem to collect and found that I should have had an oil change a hundred kilometres ago so I mentally booked it in for today.  I cooked the rest of the can of beans and had them on toast for breakfast but then was presented with a nut and chocolate croissant that I firstly said I didn't need because I cooked breakfast but then the temptation was too great and it was devoured after making the men coffee.  Bekir's first job was to order more ballast and by the time that I'd had my croissant the wagon was here and so I headed to Djebel to get the Beast winter ready.  Down to the garage, oil and oil filter changed, air filter changed, antifreeze checked and I'm good for minus sixty degrees but hopefully it won't get that low.  Just a little shopping....chicken wings and they're cooking as we speak and will be served with only mayo.  I might just have to give them a honey dressing to complete the transformation...I'm salivating already.

So the rest of the day was spent digging up stone for the base of the wall.  My surround has gone from the ash pit garden, the pile that used to be by the old bus shelter is no more and I've dug over the top garden against the new wall to see what was hidden.  My heap by the right hand new wall is going down rapidly and we did have a mosey on down to Haciber's tumbled down house and tomorrow we'll try to negotiate a price per cubic meter and if I can convince my local farmer that I'm really a good friend....he might bring his tractor into play...fingers crossed.

Men home and I stopped off to baby worship for a time, managed to acquire some green beans, liver from the freezer and killed a mosquito before it did any damage.  That was my work done for the day.  Rogue cows on the way home wending their was home and one was very lucky.  Black cows on a tarmac road at night without lights on either the road or the cow are not conducive to night time safety....bastard bovine...it should have been tucked up by the time I was travelling.  

So Eggheads is on and I'm missing it so it's time to wrap up.  Looks like a busy weekend ahead.  Only three pickies...too early and too late for good ones and as for the flying somethings....I'd got the wrong lens on to make it interesting.  I'll try to do better tomorrow....LN   I smell chicken wings...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 14, 2016, 5:06pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 14th October

Well the sleep of the just last night again…at least until five thirty and then it was cat nap until seven thirty and then the gears kicked in and I managed to get out to collect the men by seven forty.  No coffee, only wash, teeth, yesterday’s clothes and that was it.  I went the dirt road for quickness and they were there but not too speedy into the Beast.  I had to drive to Djebel…I’d forgotten to get fuel yesterday and I didn’t want to dig up the dregs and fortunately I’d got fifty leva on me.

The men were straight to it and I started on the stone collection to make their lives easier and kept it up until twelve so they went to lunch and I checked my emails and then sat in the sun with the paper version of yesterday’s Sudoku and eventually managed to solve it.  I’d tried several times on line to no avail and it’s a similar situation with today’s offering.  I’ll tackle it later.

Back to it after lunch, I was taking down one of the fences that I put up five years ago to keep the cows out and now the wall’s going to do it for me.  Hard day for the men…they were on the stone trail too, poor Sally has been on the wrong end of a wheelbarrow all day and the wall is all set for wall building on Monday.  This has been a difficult week for the men….the foundation trench was deep but guaranteed to withstand any earthquake and will be standing long after I’ve popped my clogs.

All tools away by five thirty for all of us….straight into the car and again I took the rough road.  I stopped off at their shop in the village to get a loaf of fresh bread and I was home by six and clicked into gear immediately.  Out with the camera and captured the very pale moon, lit the fire and got fish fingers on to cook.  Fish finger sandwiches slathered with mayo so what could be tastier.  The temperature is dropping tonight after an absolutely stunningly warm day for October.  So I should sleep well tonight,…off to the Librarian’s tomorrow and hopefully a more gentle day.  LN…Log time….LN

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Elsa Peters
October 15, 2016, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 15th October

So I drew the curtains in the bedroom last night knowing that I didn't have to be anywhere until ten thirty this morning.  It was just before eight before I raised my weary head from the pillow, down for coffee, out on to the terrace to take in the morning and back into the warmth of the house again because it was cold.  The pale sun was up but there was no warmth in it.  Washed dressed and struggled with clothes to wear knowing that it would get warmer as the day wore on and having been booked for a day of gardening, I put my gardening shoes and gloves in my bag and boots on with denims, tee-shirt and leather waistcoat with a very jazzy scarf round my neck.

I managed a couple of slices of toast for breakfast and was in the car for ten ten and over at the Librarians for round about ten thirty.  We sat out for a while with coffee, discussed the garden, went into the house and she produced a brand new straight out of the box laptop so that was my mission should I choose to accept it.  It already had Windows 10 installed so it took me a while to find my way round it but then managed to get it on to her WiFi, install Google Chrome which she was used to already and got her set up with Facebook, Hotmail and Filmon and now she's one happy bunny.  By this time I think we both had hunger pains and she prepared a sort of Ploughman's lunch and then it was back out into the sun for a warm and to chew over more fat.  The next topic of conversation was the internal staircase that she intends having put in so it was back into the house armed with a tape measure to work out the dimensions of the opening, the layout of the ceiling rafters, the length of the wall that she has to put it against and the pitch of the stairs.  It's all committed to paper and final 'nod' from my builders with a quick yea or nay.

Back out into the sun despite the fact that the heat had gone out of it by now and back into garden planning.  That was done in quicksticks and if the weather holds, we shall do it next week and it shouldn't take too long.  A fence down, flower bed surrounds moved to the outside edge of the new area to create borders, all levelled and raked and jobsagudun...well on paper anyway.

Home for seven and enjoyed the drive home.  The sun was going down as I left and the trees were still showing the hint of the dying sun.  First job for me was to light the fire, I'd already got the wood in this morning and that went like a dream first time.  No supper required, lunch was adequate and it's settle in for 'Strictly' time tonight...LN.....Let's see who on the way out.....  LN

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Elsa Peters
October 16, 2016, 4:53pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 16th October

Well I've been a complete let down with photos today.  The morning was cool despite the sun but by eight thirty I had two loads of washing out blowing in the wind.  I'd stripped my bed down and to date...it's still stripped...that's my next job.  I made breakfast of bacon, egg and fried bread, washed up and tidied the kitchen and decided that a few minutes on the computer with Sudoku would settle my breakfast before I went out chopping down the bush that was just in the wrong place.  I hadn't even had a wash and got dressed despite having boots on with my pj's for hanging out the washing so when guests arrived, I made it down the stairs and remained in the same state of dress.....Tough...it's Sunday.

So we sat out on the terrace and they updated me on their progress with their house and renovations.  They were flying back this evening from Sofia and had called in to say their goodbyes and to top up with coffee before they left.  It was really strange weather....there were no clouds in the sky to speak of yet there were a few drops of rain falling.  It must have been coming in on the wind but the washing stayed out....not enough to have to bring it in.  It was more or less twelve before they left, I got the tools out and headed for the burning quince to see if I could dig it up and the answer was no.  The trouble is it's a very old bush with lots of old suckers and numerous rambling roots so it was knowing where to start with it. I've cut out the old and diseased branches and I'm still considering keeping some of it but I think it might be on the toss of a coin.

Washing in, bonfire lit, more stone collected, bit more of the quince trimmed but at five I'd had enough so it was tools away and I watched the World Cycling Championship and our guy, Mark Cavendish was just edged into silver medal position banging his handlebars with frustration.  It didn't do any good, he was still second.

So turkey somethings into the oven and I peeled a couple of potatoes for chippies.  Not so bad, slathered with mayo and hot spicy tomato sauce.  The boiler is on for a bath tonight to ease out the aches ready to watch the roundup of last night's Strictly to see who is out this week.  I know who it should be but the fickle audience...and now I'm pre-empting, I should wait and see.  

So tomorrow is workday and it's out for the men at just after seven thirty.  Their work tomorrow is to build the wall now that the foundations are in place and that leaves only one third left to do apart from the columns and wall topping to match the others. We're getting there.  Materials yard in the morning and I need to get into Djebel for money from the cashpoint.  I really couldn't be bothered today. So water up to temperature, I'm going to float for half an hour or so.  LN...Note to self...must stay awake...LN
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Elsa Peters
October 17, 2016, 7:57pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 17th October

Woke up at seven thirty this morning and it was a rush to the finishing post.  Washed, dressed, no coffee and out in the car and didn't take the lane since it had rained all night and was still raining when I left.  I was taking a chance on it...maybe I should have phoned Bekir earlier but they were there and we were straight down to the yard to order supplies.  There was a little bit of banter going on and I can't say that I was amused by some of it but we were in the car, delivery was confirmed for this morning and as promised it arrived.  Not such good news though...the weather had eased off and the men were able to make a start on getting some of the breeze blocks down to where they were working but then the lorry turned up and the heavens opened.  Bekir wasn't a happy bunny...the cement was supposed to be packaged in plastic and it wasn't and one of the bags split...and he threatened to change suppliers....and I'm with him on that one.

Anyway it was twelve by the time the lorry had left so they had their lunch break but the rain held off for the rest of the day but it was a cold wind from Germany so I'm reliably informed by my workers.  Bekir takes his weather report from his Thursday newspaper and we begged to differ on tomorrow's....the internet says that it's going to be sunny with cloud while his is supposed to be rain showers so he's decided that tomorrow he will do his documents in Kardjali giving me the day off.

They've chugged on well with the breeze block wall today and we've got about another eight sections before we get to join up with the lower wall.  I'm not sure on the heights...I might even go down there with string and a level to see how it's looking while they're not around.  Home before six and I headed down their rough road on to the Greek road and it was a bit hairy.  There was lots of mud around and when I hit the main road it was flying everywhere.  Straight round to my student's and it was good to see the family again.  We had a lovely supper and the entertainment for this evening was to watch the daughter administer the Chinese heat cups to her mother's back to ward of a cold.  They all seemed to swear by them....I need to do more research...the raised bumps look painful to me.  Fond farewells and back home for ten thirty after an uneventful drive through the forest....I'm going to have a lazy morning and then head into Kardjali to go to the bank for money for the men and the delivery...can't be bothered with the cash point.  LN...Chocolate and bed...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 18, 2016, 4:23pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 18th October

So it wasn't a normal start for a workday but no work.  I made coffee, took pictures of the morning and went back to bed to watch the rest of the dawn.  I think it was more dramatic arriving than when it arrived but at least it had warmed up from yesterday.  The house was warm and I soon came in from the balcony after the pickies.

I didn't bother with breakfast but got ready for Kardjali.  I had to move money around and after contacting my bank and eventually getting through security I got on to someone to be informed that they don't send Bulgarian Lev anywhere any more and it has to be in euro.  Now this was good, the transfer fee was brilliant but then it occured to me that I have a sterling account so now my bank change it it euro and they failed to tell me the exchange rate they use soon the face of it it looked good but then I went back to them and it's rubbish...so back to square one.  It's not really pressing but I wanted to check out the process so it's gone on the back burner after driving to Kardjali and talking to the bank about the receiving rate.  It should be so simple...it's not as if anyone is having to push a wheelbarrow of gold over rough terrain.....

So into my cheapy shop and picked up three feather cushions and a little dress for the new baby and then on to the bank for the procedure.  From there into the Saturday cheapy shop and I found three things that went back to the shelves after they'd been weighed.  From there to Kaufland for a few items and settled for a hot dog and chippies from the car park vendor for lunch and finally to Lidl convinced that I was wearing half the tomato sauce on my face despite the best efforts.  Just a few items from Lidl and I saw Bekir with another man that I know from his village so we stopped for a chat and apparently the queue for the completion of his documents was horrendous this morning.  I think they are paying out the euro subsidies to the people who keep animals but I didn't ask too many questions.  My list was butter, washing up liquid, bacon which they didn't have, and they had the two kilogram bags of daffodils reduced to half price and it would have been rude not to.  More work for me tomorrow....

As I parked up Haciber was heading in my direction and gave me a huge bowl of rice and meat obviously from somebodies mevlit and it's in the fridge awaiting attention.  I settled down on the sofa with a coffee and promptly went off for a couple of hours and woke up with cramp in my leg like I've never known before...it just felt dead so but really painful at the same time.  I hobbled around swearing and taking pictures of the sunset and eventually it lifted....dreadful.  

So tomorrow back to normal.  I won the bet today...there was no rain and I'm hoping it stays fine for tomorrow for wall building.  The hot dog is sitting heavy so no food required yet, Film-on is calling me for an hour or so of relaxation and then an early night.  LN...I've a fire to attend to...LN

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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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Elsa Peters
October 29, 2016, 3:50pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 29th October

So last night's supper was last night's supper and not this morning's breakfast.  The carrots, potatoes and onions had roast to perfection.  The lamb was a little tough but the taste was exquisite...Haciber's holy meat from the last celebrations.  Brilliant night's sleep and woke up at six thirty which for me is fine.  I made coffee, went back to bed and generally lazed the early morning away.  The cows were eyeing the new wall and they stayed their side and didn't interfere with mine even though it's only half finished.  The reinforcement put in by the men before they left managed to keep the cows out from the bottom of the garden. At about nine I had the urge to tidy the kitchen and make toast and marmalade.  I did toy with the idea of bacon and eggs but it was such a good day that I wanted to get out there and enjoy it.  It was cold but not as cold as had been predicted and I didn't go out until the hillside was aired.

So what did I do today?  First off was a bonfire to get rid of the household rubbish and the few remaining branches that were littering the grass.  I also lobbed on some old rubber sheeting that I'd dug up and that went well and fortunately the smoke was blowing away from the house.  I moved on to the garden and have reduced the size of the vegetable patch...it seems to make the area round the wild damson tree look much better.  The fruit is marvellous for making jam and should do better now that it's been cleaned up and I've renewed some of the soil at the base.  I renewed the wood that's surrounding the garden and moved the greenhouse thingy to the top bed and will be putting some broad beans in there.  It was protecting the parsnips but they really didn't come to much...it's been too dry this year for anything to grow.  I dug over the veg garden and the soil really does seem to have improved due to all the cow droppings that I dug in in September and the proof of the pudding will be next year.  I also dug up a couple or roots of day lilies and they're now planted in front of the wall.  Probably the wrong time but as with most things ...they have two choices...either they will or they won't and managed to get about forty daffodil bulb planted so that should please the boys on Monday.  Tools packed away at five...I've had a good day and achieved quite a lot.  A day in the garden gives you a sense of well being and it's good to have days on my own.  Workmen are fine but ....

So fire lit , sun has gone down, clear sky tonight so it could be colder than last night.  I didn't manage to take cuttings and cut back the petunias...they sort of slipped the list.  Supper tonight is cold lamb and bubble and squeak with the roasted veg....tasty...or should be and it's Strictly tonight so I want to be showered and fed before that starts.  Same weather again tomorrow...pretty please...LN....I'm kitchen bound...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 30, 2016, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 30th October

True to form....I woke at the normal time and realised that I hadn't changed the timer on the boiler so that was the first job.  The beauty of it is that I get my hot water at cheap overnight rate...saves quite a bit of money.  So coffee at five thirty and then had the luxury of watching the morning come to life without having to think about getting in the car and fetching the men and now that the clocks have changed...I can enjoy the unfolding dawn.  I was out onto the balcony first off but realised that it was nippy out there so was soon back in and back into bed with my coffee and took the rest of the photos tucked up and toasty.  Unfortunately the flash insisted on coming on so I have a few flying dustpan lids and I'll share only one with you...reallhy don't know how it happened.  I'm sure my dust mites aren't that big and if it's an orb...it's a big one.

Washed, dressed and down to face the world by eight and decided to empty the rubbish from the log basket and shake the rug from under it, I swept round a bit, emptied out the ash can and laid the fire but no need to light it, the central heating had come up over the hillside and it was well into the mid twenties in the house.  I suddenly realised that I was hungry so I breakfasted on bacon, fried bread and fried egg by nine.  I cleared the kitchen and played around with pot plants for a while but it was such a lovely morning that I took to the bench on the terrace and enjoyed the sun.  I also pottered in the garden and dug over the ground under the mulberry tree and planted some of the old daffodil bulbs that were originally from the other side of it flowering on the hillside.  

Came in at twelve and settled down with the Kindle on the sofa in the sun and yes, the eyelids went south and I was out for an hour or so.  Made another coffee and went back to my book but in the meantime, the clouds had come over and with the door open the temperature had dropped rapidly.  Now I had choices...light the fire or put on a sweater and find something to do and I chose the latter.  Out on to the hillside I went and collected up the wood that Bekir had cut up on Friday wielding his chainsaw at any old wood he spotted and I got four barrow loads which is now stacked in the porch of the little house.  I few of the bigger logs are on the bench outside the door of the main house and will be burnt this evening.  I went back to tidying the terrace and put the sheet of heavy duty plastic in the door screen and cleaned it since it had been used to protect the bags of cement from the rain...any port in a storm so to speak.  Had one visitor today...my painter stopped off for a chat...he's working on a property at the top of the village but he looked absolutely knacked.  He did promise to come and chop my wood for me though when he's finished his current project....

So in at five, thought it was much later and the body clock has yet to adjust....it's early days.  I lit the fire and used some of the old wood from outside and it's burning well.  Six thirty my time and I've got the Strictly results to look forward to tonight and let's see what surprises are in store.  Supper will be what I can find to do quickly......not in the mood for a gastronomic marathon....Men tomorrow and looking at the long term weather...it should be wall to wall sunshine for the rest of the week.  Great for wall building.  LN...I'm kitchen bound...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 31, 2016, 9:11pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 31st October

Beautiful start to the morning again although this hour has just brought everything an hour early.  I'm still waiting for my body clock to catch up with the actually time.  Cloudy blue and pink morning and eventually the sun raised her little head and it was the rays that I was trying to catch before it really got over the hillside....and I think I managed it.

Out and in the car by seven thirty and I took the dirt road down to the Greek road for a change....I love to see the meandering river and stopped along the second dirt track up to the men's village to take a few more.  One funny thought that struck me was that the toilet to the new drinking hole that's been built on the top of the mountain along the dirt track has the most superb views from the bar....and the toilet if they'd put a window in it.  So the men appeared on the dot so to speak and I ran into the shop for a new loaf of bread.  I wish they did them in half sizes, I don't think I'd waste as much although most of the leftovers go to Bekir and the dogs.  Despite the sun, there was a chill wind and at one point if appeared to be blowing a gale.  Sally cracked on with the cement work, I went out to help by collecting stones but then I decided to take to the gardening and move a few shrubs around.  I also seemed to shift lots of soil about to try to bring down the levels in some places and raise it in others.  More daffodil bulbs went in and I also found some baby snapdragons which I put in and fingers crossed, they'll take.

Managed to book my flights today and I think the prices have actually come down from when I first looked.  Not bad at all.  It took me a while to sort out the new look and feel website but at least I remembered my password to get into my account so that saved some time and it's a first for me.  Back to the gardening....I was going to have a bonfire but the wind was still going strong so it can wait for tomorrow.  I think the men have finished the foundations...I didn't go and check...I'm not responsible for the weather but it's amazing how you can feel that it's your fault that they're working in the cold.  

They were ready for five fifteen and I think they'd used up all the cement and it was too late to mix another load.  I managed to get them home by five thirty more or less and I legged it back down the dirt road and into Djebel the back was and I was off for supper at my students tonight.  Lovely night with the family but father is not feeling well...the elder sister has bought a little car and is having top up lessons to give her a bit more confidence.  My student is enjoying her new job and the mother presses on regardless...it's what we do.  Quick drive back through the forest and the only sign of life was a small hare running for it's life in the headlights.  Where's that camera when you really need it.  

So stuffed as you like....no fire going but the house has maintained its heat from the sun...a swift blackcurrant squash and then it's good night from me...LN....It's snuggle time....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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