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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  DECEMBER 2016
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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2016, 2:49pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st December

Full of beans when I woke up at five thirty this morning so managed to get two loads of washing done at cheap rate electricity...and why not...why pay full price.  White over and probably lot of white bottoms on white rabbits bobbing over the hillside but no chance of spotting them.  I went back to bed with a coffee and read for an hour or so, made sure that the fire was still ticking over and got the washing on to the airer in the bathroom...no chance of it dying out there...it would all be stiff as a bored.  Took some photos of the early morning pink sky and the sunrise and almost missed my own stalagmite in the sink on the terrace.  I'd left it dripping overnight so that it wouldn't freeze but instead it had partly filled the sink and it was growing every skywards towards the tap.....very picturesque.

Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and beans on toast for lunch, it's been a food and television day.  I did venture out for a photo shoot opportunity, fill up the kindling dustbin that's kept in the kitchen and the log basket to keep me going for the rest of the day.  I've checked out the weather for tomorrow and it looks like the men are having another day off.  It will be two in the afternoon before we reach ten degrees plus and overnight it's going to be minus six again.

Fire top up time....I don't think I shall be eating tonight...I only hope that I'm burning it off as quickly as I'm stoking up.  LN...I'm about to shut up shop for the night...LN  
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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2016, 3:07pm Report to Moderator

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Photos from today

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Elsa Peters
December 2, 2016, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd December

Seven start this morning and slept like a log but hotter than the one that was sitting in the wood burner.  That needed more than a poke to get it going so a fire lighter with a couple of pieces of kindling were applied and we were all systems go.  The wasn't a phone call from the men so the weather is still putting them off and so it should.  My stalagmite was still in evidence and it took until four this afternoon before I was able to lift the whole of the edifice from the sink with the underlying ice and slam it on to the garden...spectacular...   

Breakfast of toast this morning and for some reason I decided that I wanted to listen to some music so I was on to YouTube and found the anniversary performance of Les Mis and had it at full volume.  I was still in PJ's and had no real intention of getting out of them for a while until the Librarian came on to Messenger and asked what I was doing for the day.  I replied that I'd not intended doing anything but I said if she wanted to come over she was welcome so by ten thirty she was here.  I had managed to get dressed, load the fire up, put yesterday's washing away, swept up the 'bits' from round the wood burner so was ready for guests.  I'd not bothered her before...she had to have Buddy put down a few days ago but she had a request if I could manage to get a photo from her FB for her from the time that we went over to the lake near to my house.  I did more than that...I found it, cropped it, printed it and framed it and she was a happy bunny.  Once more I am a photographic studio but don't tell too many people.

We discussed going to Kardjali but since neither of us had much to go for we settled for Djebel instead.  I found out my favourite down jacket that I bought it from Next in Brighton on a Boxing day shopping day with my son. It must be well on its way for twenty years old...happy memories.  So to the leva shop and I found a stainless steel mini milk churn and it came to me that I could punch some holes in it, put a candle inside it and make an outside lamp.  These things just shoot into my brain sometimes...my creative streak bursts forth.  She found a printed coated Christmas table cloth with Santa and Snowmen and she wants it to brighten up the table over the holiday....  Over to the cheapy restaurant where I settled for the chicken soup with chunks of bread and she went for the chicken with rice.  Both of us ate for just over six leva...under three pounds of our old money.  Stopped off at the supermarket and topped up with unhealthy evening pickies, one kilo of healthy apples until I spice them up with honey, butter, mixed fruit, cook them and add cream and a box of eclairs...   

Off she went after dropping me off....I topped the fire up, got in a load of logs and got my head down for an hour or so...and I'm blaming it on the weather and a full tummy.  Took some pickies of the sunset and the new moon and now I'm battened down for the evening with all curtains closed.  It's not supposed to be so cold tonight but there's a distinct chill in the wind.

Nothing on the cards for tomorrow....well Saturday is the day of rest as are most of the others here unless you want to be active.  LN...Pickies, posting and positioning in front of the PC and back to Les Mis. I think....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 3, 2016, 3:22pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd December

A silly night's sleep again...I was awake at two fifteen with not an ounce of sleep in me so I was reading until four and only managed until seven before the world burst in and yet again.  It was a really cold cloudless night with mega stars and crescent moon and there is so little light pollution out here.  I only wish I knew more about galaxies....I shall have to start studying them/  Even as a child when the Plough was pointed out...I could never make it out.  I'd thrown a log on the fire at half two so it was still burning hot and sending hot water round the system so didn't need much bringing to life.

It's been a day of inactivity.  I watched the sun come up and it was so leisurely this morning...no drama...just the sun popping over the mountain and lighting up the hillside.  I strolled the garden and am amazed how many plants are still green despite the frost and snow.  Those by the wall are obviously sheltered but hopefully this year, the escallonia will not die back and have to spend most of next year putting up new shoots.  I did get the magnification out on the lake over the hillside and it has a layer of ice on it but no one out with skates yes.  It's the day of the Carp on the 6th December and most of the supermarkets have offers on.  I shan't be taking them up on it.  I put a small shoulder of lamb in the slow cooker this morning and I reckon it's going to be turned into a curry for tonight.  I fancy something flavoursome.  

Lovely evening and it's going to be another cold one...there's not a cloud in the sky.  Strictly this evening so that's the tele booked not that there's anyone fighting over the remote and I might have visitors in the morning...my student and her sister might pop in on their way to one of the other local villages.  I better get the hoover at the ready.  Kitchen bound to start getting creative....LN....I feel that curry on the way...LN

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Elsa Peters
December 4, 2016, 4:04pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th December

So last night I had confirmation that my student and her sister would be stopping off this morning for a coffee and chat so I was out with the hoover, washing the floor over, load of washing done and everything ready for nine.  As for the sunrise...that gentle sky yesterday was surpassed by beautiful colours this morning and I even went back to bed upstairs to take a shot from the bedroom.  I don't want to be known for only sunrises and sunsets but I couldn't miss the opportunity.  Last night's lamb curry was hot and spicy and I'd used Arboreal rice for a change...and it certainly had a different flavour.

So back to my student's visit.  She's given me strict instructions that when she gets married and sets up home....I'm to help her with her choice of furnishings and 'finishings' etc.  I suppose I take it for granted that I've accumulated 'things' and they all seem to go.  She also came up with the plan that I was to look after the baby part of the time that's when she gets married and when she has a baby.  I mentioned that I felt that she had to marry someone with money....she would find life much easier.  The older sister takes after her mother....never seems to stop.

Going back on last night....I watched Strictly but it wasn't as good as usual...and I'm not sure why.  The rest of my evening was spent watching Ronnie your actual.  He's one of the bad boys of snooker that I love to watch and I've been watching the final this afternoon.  It's a hard game and he's not having it all his own way.  I might see the end but the internet has dropped a couple of times this afternoon hence the early and short posting.  

Fire going strong...another cold one I think and it's down to the men if they want to work or not tomorrow....I'll phone Bekir if he doesn't phone first.  So now back to the snooker....LN...Come on Ronnie...LN

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Elsa Peters
December 5, 2016, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th December

No men today and no phone calls.  It was just before seven when I woke up but I'd put the phone by the bed in case I missed a call.  White over again and I suppose it wasn't the day to think about digging our foundations and mixing concrete so we all had that extra hour in bed except that I was out in my PJ's on the terrace and taking photos of the morning.  So again we go back to the red sky at day break after yesterday's gentle dawn.  Looks like it was very winter up there the way the clouds were swished against the blue.  As normally happens though...as soon as the sun is post horizon, the rest of the sky fades and the clouds that you can't see because of the mass colouring start blocking out the sun.  As for temperature...cold as you like or don't like.

Mrs D of S had left a message on Saturday to say that she was off to Kardjali today so she picked me up.  She was facing immigration with a passport for mini M of S, I needed the post office and then it was a meander round the second hand shops, Kaufland and Lidl but unfortunately she has to head off there again tomorrow to finish her documents....I shall be heading to Djebel fora few things that I didn't manage to get today or I forgot.

Back for two, shopping away and lunch was half a French stick with ham, cup of coffee, fire brought to life again and then head down again for a couple of hours.  The excitement of a morning in Kardjali knocked me out.  One think I did manage to buy today was a rechargeable toothbrush for thirty nine leva which I thought was a real bargain and enough gift bags so I can finish the pressies off tomorrow.  Looks like another cold night and minus figures for the morning so I might be without the men again tomorrow.  Now time to catch Eggheads...just a few postings of the sunrise...will try to do better with more variations for tomorrow.  LN...I'm turning over now...LN

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Elsa Peters
December 6, 2016, 4:10pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th December

Happy St Nicholas day to those that want to celebrate it and to the other ...followers of other faiths...enjoy your fish day.  I shall be having steak tonight courtesy of Kaufland in French stick stick with onions and chippies.....

Four o'clock start, I think the light from the wood burner woke me up so it was time to throw another log on it and keep it burning brightly until the morning.  It was minus seven out there again and white over when I eventually put my nose out at sevenish after my second sleep of the night.  Gentle dawn again...no clouds or pollution to turn the sky raging yellows and pinks but it was still worth photographing.  On mornings like this all you see is the rising smoke from the wood burners as the village comes to life.

So this morning I decided to go into Kardjali to get the outstanding items on my list....the main one being the snow shovel.  It's a useful piece of kit...quick to use and by removing the snow the terraces dry off in the sun and so no pockets of ice to negotiate....lethal stuff.  So stopped off at my student's mums shop and was surprised to see my student working away.  Apparently she was now on the dentist run again with the little one...good to start early.  So went to the shop that sells the ribbon for tarting up the pressies and he had reels of it for three lev each so I bought three....that should be enough.  Previous years they've sold it by the meter....much better this way and cheaper.  So drove into Kardjali and followed a car full of learners for about five kilometres on the bendy road....with five students in the car...what do they teach them?  Beats me...Basmar had my snow shovel so that was the second thing off the list and then I was determined to find a pair of boots that were warm and comfortable in a bigger size to pack them out with socks.  My last pair 'went' when I was digging up a chunk of stone from the garden and the sole was removed from the upper.  I was undone...limped up the garden but I've found it hard to find a replacement pair.  Did the cheapy shops and found yet another sweater and yes...a pair of boots but I think I need to borrow a felt tip to finish them.....Mrs D of S will understand that one.  Carried on to the next and found a towelling dressing gown for our little love with Poo Bear and Tigger on the pocket and it's washed and ready for delivery / collection.

Kaufland, leva shop, Lidl, topped up the car in Djebel and stopped to buy bread and home for three thirty.  Put the car away, saw Beyser and she confirmed that Haciber has indeed gone to visit her daughter in Turkey but should be coming back later this week.  I thought it had been quiet and the cows have had the run of the village...she's the one that chases them back to where they should be.

I'm about to head to the kitchen and start supper.  The fire is going well and it's just as well....minus eight forecast for tonight so the men will probably stay away again.  LN....Steak,onions, chippies and mayo...has to be done....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 7, 2016, 4:24pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th December

Oh what a lovely night in the land of nod.  Straight through until just before seven and I only just made the sunrise.  The fire was still in so with a little kindling it was up to strength, I opened the curtains on the world and again it was white over so I settled down on the sofa and contemplated the world in the flames of the wood burner nursing a cup of coffee.  There wasn't a lot of activity.  The sun came up and I was aware of it from the sunlight in the kitchen and shining on the door to the bathroom but by this time I's picked up the Kindle and gone back to a book I'd started a while back.  I heard the bread van but had remembered to pick up a loaf yesterday so there was no need to get dressed and face the elements.

Nine of the clock I'd made my mind up that it was boiled eggs for breakfast.  After last night's monumental steak and chippies I wasn't sure that there was room for anything but I forced it down.  I washed up after breakfast and had the urge to clean the jars in the spice rack and the rack itself, really clean down the worktop nearest the cooker and generally spruce the area up.  It must be something to do with my imminent departure....I've got the fridge and freezer to sort out ....and see where I can deposit the contents of the freezer.....if the electricity goes off I don't want to come back to 'goo' everywhere.

Washed, dressed and went out to fill the log carrier.  I looked at the amount of wood that's outside the store and felt that I needed to do something about it before I go away.  I've had nothing go before but it's much better that temptation is put out of the way and I was toying with the idea of phoning my painter to see if he wanted some work.  I moved Beauty back so that I could get to the smaller stuff and ended up calculating how much I would use over the next ten days or so but then thought I could get chopping to see what I could shift....and shift some I did.  I moved some of the old wood nearer the door and the newly chopped I put in the second row furthest away from the door.  It wasn't easy...the method of attack was to have a heave ho with the axe and if it bit home, I used the lump hammer to drive it through...not pretty but effective.....and then I stacked them.  I came in at one thirty after putting the lawn mower away, fortified myself with coffee and ham on the remains of the French stick and generally relaxed this afternoon.  Telephone goes, Bekir wants to work tomorrow so pick up is at eight and I think they want to work over the weekend to get the concrete laid since the weather seems to be warming up.  He did mention about chopping wood...may be my prayers have just been answered.   I've just checked it out though...it's supposed to be minus ten tonight so it will be lots of coffee for them tomorrow and maybe a petchka going outside.

So the boiler is on for a bath tonight to soak away anything that might be developing in the muscles that I've not used in a long time.  No supper required...I'm as full as a little tick as my mother would have said and I'm reckoning that she didn't even know what a tick was....not in the true sense of the word.  Six twenty my time....Pointless, Eggheads and Strictly round-up and that's all the viewing I get to see without it's University Challenge and the quiz programme that follows it.  LN....I'm about to dive in the deep end....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 8, 2016, 5:25pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 8th December

So it was a four thirty start and I know not why.  Threw a log on and put in a load of washing on cheap rate and read until it had finished and straight on to the airer in the bathroom.  Organisation at it's peak.  I supped coffee and read for a little longer and decided that to get my head down for half an hour or so wouldn't go amiss but I was still washed and dressed and out to pick the men up by seven thirty.  It didn't take long to thaw the car out but I took it slowly.  Gritting the road here is now quite like the UK....it's men with shovels on the back of an open lorry so it's more by luck than judgement if you get a steady stream of the stuff.  There are the inevitable gaps.  I stopped on the road and caught the sun through the trees and on the rocks at the side of the road.  There are normally covered by ice but since it's been so dry...nothing to see...move along there.

I pulled up early in the village and watched three dogs playing.  The little old black one was obviously pleased to see the others and standing proud on one of my other shots which I chose not to post...didn't want to shock....It was good to see the men...they've been away for a couple of weeks more or less and I was unsure what they would be getting up to but they obviously had a plan.  Bekir estimated what we needed from Djebel so we headed in and picked up supplies.  Ten twenty five kilogram bags of cement, drainage pipe guttering for the top terrace of the little house and a few bends so that should keep them busy for today.  I provided coffee and went out to chop some more logs for the house to save using the cut ones and Bekir was itching to get at the axe but I wouldn't let him...it was my work...find your own.  I managed two containers full and then moved on to the smaller stuff, legged it over the wall and collected  the old wood from the wall capping and generally tidied up the hillside.  More work to be done but at least I've made a start.  Bringing it over was one thing, chopping it to kindling size was another and that took me the best part of two hours but not all at one go.

So the retaining wall is finished, the drainage pipe is in and the bottom is concreted.  You can see by the greenhouse effect round the said work area....that the temperature is supposed to drop again tonight.  We even resorted to the internet to see the best days to do things and they have decided that they will be working Saturday (-2) overnight, Sunday on zero and again on Monday at zero while on Tuesday it goes down to minus fourteen.  I want them off site by then....I need a few days for sorting out the house and packing.

Took them them home at five and stopped off at Samodiva to deliver the dressing gown that I'd managed to find for the baby.  Stopped for a coffee and home by six thirty more or less.  I had to breathe some life into my fire...it's not cold in the house and I don't want it to be.

So men tomorrow and they're putting in the woodwork for the little house terrace and I might even let Bekir play with the axe if he's a mind to.  LN....Kitchen bound....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 9, 2016, 6:46pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 9th December

Yet again a silly night...two o'clock wide awake so out with the book for an hour or so and then back to sleep.  Woke again just before seven but felt really well rested.  Maybe I don't need so much as I'm getting ancient.  So over for the men as the radio struck eight and they were ready to climb aboard.  We unwrapped and inspected yesterday's efforts and all appears to be well despite an overnight of minus seven and it was minus five when we got back here.  To continue we needed more cement and sheets of insulation to wrap as we go or as they go and so we headed into Djebel.  I left Bekir in the materials shop while I went and bought cheesy bread for all of us for breakfast and yogurt and when I got back to the car...it appeared we were trying to get a quart into a pint pot and as per normal...there is always one on the pavement shaking his head and saying...'you don't  want to do it like that'...eventually all was safely gathered in and he left scratching his head.  All I had to do was to take the headrests  off the fold away seats...problem solved.

Breakfast and they set to.  We'd also filled up the gas bottle that I use for cooking but I seem to thing that there's a problem with the connecting valve.  I asked Bekir to put it into the little house overnight and I'll settle for a sandwich later.  The wall is almost finished and the drainage pipework is in place so that I don't get water slathering on to the terrace and into the new underneath storage room now that we've uncovered it.  The wall will be finished tomorrow and then the terrace will be laid on Sunday and hopefully the men will be leaving on Tuesday or Wednesday to give me a little grace before I go.  Everything wrapped up but it looks like it's not going to be so cold tonight and it topped ten degrees plus this afternoon...gypsy weather as we call it.  

So men home by five twenty and I drove back into Djebel to make sure that I have enough money for the ballast wagon in the morning who will also deliver the metal work to support the concrete.  Put my decorations up this evening...enough for me anyway and having brought the big table in and this year it's at the base of the stairs...it looks like Santa's grotto and I really need to start wrapping.  LN...I feel the selotape calling...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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