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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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Elsa Peters
December 10, 2016, 8:42pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 10th December

I know I'm late.  It's been one heck of a day with so much being achieved.

I started off at silly o'clock and didn't manage to get off again and have felt jaded all day despite the beautiful weather and the work done.  I was out to pick up the men and they were waiting and it was only minus three when I set off.  It wasn't so white over and the journey felt much safer than it had for the last few days.  

So no breakfast for the men but I went down to the bread van and had a few words with my ladies who were out in force.  Back for boiled ham on fresh crusty bread and then it was out to see the steps go in.  They almost put a small step up on to the top step of the downward run but I put my foot down and said that it had to be level with the ground.  I've met small steps before and your vision is on the end point not on the start and I got my way.  We've also increased the wall height at the side of the steps so that the rain will get diverted and not put too much pressure on the siphon exits at the bottom.  I left them to it most of the day but did provide them with a couple of spicy sausages from the freezer so they could have a cooked lunch...none of us is used to working on a Saturday and more bad news...I have them back tomorrow.  A little bit of a set back...the ballast man will not deliver on a Saturday or Sunday but we should be able to fill in the day tomorrow.  There is a door to be made and the rain guttering to be put in under the upper terrace.  

Fully wrapped up tonight but it's only going down to minus two according to the internet.  I dropped them off early and was home for five thirty, fish finger sandwiches for supper...I couldn't be bothered cooking anything else and confirmation...the gas bottle is back in situ and there is no smell of gas.  I reckon the bottle was just too full yesterday so Bekir let some of it out.  

I've just watched Strictly and I'm not sure how the voting will go...they were all brilliant tonight...so tune in tomorrow folks.  LN...I'm early to bed...I have work tomorrow...LN  



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Elsa Peters
December 11, 2016, 5:18pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 11th December

So I was straight to bed at the end of Strictly and sleep the sleep of the just...just until five thirty but then I went back and woke up the second time at seven twenty so it was a rush to the finishing post.  Washed and dressed in record time but putting on everything I'd taken off last night and with thermal cup in hand I was out to the Beast by seven forty.  I little slow to thaw it out and made it to the men's village by three minutes past eight so not bad going.  They were full of beans and raring to go.  Bekir works much better with a deadline and with the break in the weather giving us twelve degrees plus when it warms up...we all seem to respond to it well.  

The unveiling was done and the insulation stacked for tonight and Sally's job was to get the cement mixed and the rest of the terrace wall was completed with a little wall bonding it against the little workshop terrace and they'll be a step down with stone in between to keep the theme going.  The next job was to clean up and get the terrace ready for the hard work tomorrow.  The old grape vines were removed and the soil dug over for a little mini bed against the wall for a rose was established and it's all been tamped down.  We did have a mini-sojourne into Djebel for a lock for the door to the underneath, a guttering corner so the down-pipe can go in, more bags of cement and a box of mini eclairs...it had to be done.  Bekir has taken the wood surround for the door frame home with him...he has the kit to rebate it and it's much too big to bring here for such a small job.  So the boy has homework...

Today's efforts gift wrapped for the overnight drop in temperature and then I took them home early.  Interesting photo shoot of two moons tonight but before anyone challenges it....it was reflected in the little house window.  A man and his tractor was very lucky when I was driving back tonight...not a light to be seen until he put a spotlight on facing in my direction as if to say...'I'm here'.  I followed him until it was safe to overtake and he only had one light pointing forward so I'm thinking that he manually turned it round as I approached his rear.  This is Bulgaria .

My supper of barbecue spare rib chops with sliced potatoes cooked in butter is almost ready and it's the Strictly update later tonight so I want to be fed and in my PJ's for that and then an early night.  My Princess has just phoned ...and what a lovely surprise that was and my calendar for the UK is starting to fill up already...And so for supper...LN....it looks delicious...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 12, 2016, 5:01pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 12th December

So Strictly results and disappointing for me.  I just got the impression that it was a stitch up...the best against one of the ones that were from the bottom of the results board.  It's time that they shared the people's votes...it would make it more realistic.  I'm a fan on the nineteen year old.  They tackled lots that the others didn't and youth and exuberance should have got them there....they were brilliant.

So as for me.  I went of into a beautiful sleep only to be awakened at one thirty this morning with excruciating cramp in my top left thigh.  I've never had it there before and I was hopping around like a goodun and swearing to boot.  It took about ten minutes to clear and then straight back to sleep until six thirty.  I slumbered and eventually came out of it by seven twenty and then it was a rush to the finishing post and with coffee in hand I took the photo of the birds in the poplars, opened the gate and took the second...

Straight back to mine....I went down to the bread van and Haciber is back...my local news lady so I gave her a big hug...I've missed her.  She called me in as I walked back and she gave me some mixed nuts and raisins from Turkey...she's been away for a month.  She'll be the next one exiting the village....I'll be on my own soon for winter...   The terrace was unwrapped, the third worker arrived, the sand and gravel and metal was delivered and they were straight to it.  It's a big day today and fortunately the weather has held, it's going to be zero degrees tonight and we have a cloud covering which is supposed to bring snow for tomorrow morning....We'll wait and see.

I finished wrapping the presents and Santa's workshop is closed for this season.  I think I mentioned that I had go a large deep splinter in my little finger so it was wrapped overnight in a bandage with Sudocreme covering it.  I'd poked it with a needle and fiddled with tweezers but I eventually showed it to Bekir who poked and prodded and managed to get it out.  It must have been a quarter of an inch long and going downwards and now he has acquired the title 'Dr' and well as 'Maester'...the head just gets bigger.  

Eventually the terrace was finished...we hummed and arghed about the wall at the side of the terrace to stop the water going down the steps and  it is done.  The boards of the white stuff were applied along with the polythene covering and everything wrapped up and secured for the night.  Bekir's off to the hot springs in Greece tonight with his mates from the village and I had great fun trying to describe that with the water at fifty five degrees, he would probably be like the proverbial lobster.

Home by six and got the fire going again so that the boiler is kicking in.  It's really toasty in though and with the temperature out at zero there's no real panic to keep the home fires burning.  So supper is in the oven, sweet and sour pork with a hint of chili and then down time with Filmon.....LN...Another good day...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 13, 2016, 6:08pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 13th December

Five thirty start this morning with my little head buzzing.  There was so much work to get through today.  I didn't go back to bed until I'd cleaned and cleared the kitchen.  On with the kettle and coffee and another attempt at a book my a new author.  I was up to eight five percent this morning, went through to ninety three percent and asked myself the question....why am I reading this so I switched it off and it was time to get my backside into gear and get out for the men.  It was on zero but a little bit skitty under tyres as I went through the forest so I took it easy.  Just the other side of the second village that I go through on the main road there was a car parked the wrong way behind the crash barrier with another one parked in front of it.  I flashed a few cars coming the other way to get them to slow down since it was on a bend and carried on to pick up the men.  On the way back, both vehicles were still there but had been joined by others and four men were trying to lift the car over the crash barrier.  I kept going even though I felt a twitch from Bekir wanting to save the day.  There was a big day in front of us that he had to save first.

They unwrapped and removed the insulation from the terrace but kept it stacked near the cherry tree.  I'd read that there were going to be snow flurries this morning and that the temperature is gradually dropping overnight to minus ten plus by tomorrow morning so I wanted the  insulation to go back down despite the fact that Sally poo-pooed the idea but I've got my way.  So the door is made and hung, the wood is all cleaned and stacked along with the metal, I've cleared away the flower pots, my chimneys are cleaned out, the cement is all packed away and the terrace insulated for tonight.  The snow started at about ten thirty so it's been coffee after coffee for the men and along with the snow came a really cold wind that went through to the bone.  In my mother's words...it was raw today.  

Emula came round at lunchtime and we were having to make a special trip into Djebel to get new hinges for the door and he asked if he could come along.  Bekir teased him somewhat but we took him in, I had to go to the cashpoint to pay the men, enquired about another mini milk churn and she thinks she has one at the warehouse so I should be in luck.  Back home and back to it and my parting shot was to mention that they hadn't tidied the hillside and there'd been complaints from the sheep farmer so I suggested that it they didn't want their names dragged through the mud...it needed to be done.  Two bonfires later and at close to five, everything was packed away, keys sorted for the holiday, wages paid and presents for their families delivered we were on our way.  I dropped them off headed into Djebel to put some diesel in the Beast so that it won't freeze overnight, emptied three buckets of old stuff and bottles from the hillside into one of the rubbish containers as part of the clear-up and now I'm home, waiting for the boiler to warm up and then I'm diving in the deep end.

So the men have finished for this year and I'd set three tasks and all are completed even though as per normal....we have a rush to the finishing post.  The wall is done, the corner of the house has a new concrete pillar and the terrace is complete and I have more than I originally asked for.  I have my new storeroom opened up and with a new door and key to keep things out.  There's nothing in there yet but it means that next year, the little house can be emptied and work can begin.  Tomorrow is a down day for me to get my head round what I need to do before I set sail and I'm now going to soak to think about it.  LN...I'm heading for the deep end...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 14, 2016, 8:58pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 14th December

Well my first day of freedom not having to pick up the men but I was still awake and up and at it by five thirty.  I don't quite know where the morning went though...it was eight by the time I'd managed to get two poached eggs on toast done but at least I was ready to finish the tidying by nine.

Garden furniture in, remainder of the pots in, bonfire and house rubbish burnt, new door to the underneath room painted with old engine oil for protection finishing off with a good log chopping session and a general tidy up of the things the men had missed.  I also removed the insulation that was left on the terrace overnight and had the clever idea of putting it in the little house in the old tool store but through the window instead of walking round.  It's all neatly stacked away for the next time.

I eventually came in at three thirty and made myself a coffee realising that I hadn't stopped all morning and well into the afternoon.  Out with the Kindle and on to Candy Crush until I nodded off eventually waking up at five this afternoon.  Supper this evening with my student's family and I do feel at home there.  The father sells lottery as part of his job as a postman come bill deliverer and was trying to tempt me into buying one.  At this the mother insisted that he put them away and no one would let me buy one even though my horoscope said that I should be lucky if I did.  Oh well, we'll never know...I came home two leva better off and can only dream of the million lev that never came my way.  

Lunch date tomorrow with the girls that's if the weather holds.  It's supposed to be snow showers so we'll see how it goes.  Lovely moon tonight and I spotted it driving into my students and was cursing myself for not taking the camera with me.  I'll have to look out for it tomorrow.  LN...Achieved a lot and should sleep well...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 15, 2016, 6:24pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 15th December

Five thirty start despite the fact that I was up late watching 'The Wives of Henry 8th'...fascinating insight into the man.  Back to sleep though until seven thirty and then got my brain into gear.  I got the hoover at the ready, washed the floor over and generally sorted out the house, put last night's washing away and finished wrapping the presents.  Christmas preparation is over.

Shower and hair wash and ready for eleven waiting for my luncheon guests...two biggies and one little lovely lady of three months old.  We settled in for coffee and then headed into Kardjali, Kaufland for cash points and I headed to the bus station to pick up my ticket for Saturday which is where I really came unstuck.  Normally there is a bus at one thirty but I misjudged it...not on a Saturday so I'll have to take the ten thirty which is much earlier than I needed to go for a nine at night flight.  Ah well....

So we set off for 'Ctenata'...'The Wall' ...restaurant which is a favourite of ours.  We have our specials and the food just came...thick and fast and nobody had to share chips...we all had our own and were completely stuffed at the end of the meal.  Quick stop off at Lidl on the way back and we all seemed to fill up with chocolate and we're blaming it on the festive season...Back to mine as the weather closed in and presents were exchanged....we had a snow flurry which amounted to nothing so it looks like we've missed it again.  Let's hope it stays that way until Saturday.  

Packing tomorrow and delivering pressies to my ladies....and getting ready for what will now be an early start on Saturday.  LN..I've my list to work through tomorrow....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 16, 2016, 7:12pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 16th December

So I've been up ladders, down ladders removing cables that were put outside for easy access and storing them away safely.  I've had nothing taken from here but why put temptation in anyone's way.  All is safely gathered in and I thought the snow was going to come down in buckets but it's been those flurries again.  I managed a bonfire this morning to get rid of the last few bags of house rubbish and the ever hungry cats are still trying to get at the last mouthfuls of anything....They have their routines and they appear to walk for miles.

Remse came round this after lunch today and I handed her her gift bag.  She seemed so surprised but I've done it for the last five years so I'm not sure why she looked surprised.  She was having a problem with her internet and wanted to know if mine was working.  Off she went with her grandson and that's another lot of presents that are probably open already.

So I've packed, unpacked and am just about to finally throw a few things in the small suitcase and lock it up.  I've just come back from my student's house and finished playing Santa but I have the distinct impression that the packages will be open well before Christmas....after all it's not their celebration but mine.  Tomorrow I have the last few to deliver in the village, the Beast to leave at the garage and then either bus it or get a taxi into Kardjali for the ten thirty bus.  A nice surprise though...my daughter phoned this evening and they want to pick me up from the airport tomorrow night....very kind gesture and with the rail strike on at the moment...I could have had a difficult onward.  

Gas bottle switched off, fridge emptied, freezer contents stored into large polythene sacks, it's still running and I'm going to risk it.  Boiler to be unplugged and enough wood in to be extra dry for when I get back.  The steps we have to take when we rely on wood fires.  There might be an update from the airport tomorrow....or there may not.  I shall be missing Strictly final....fourteen weeks of watching it and on the last day....the timing is all wrong with such a late flight.  LN...The case for the prosecution calls....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 18, 2016, 7:29pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 18th December

Nothing yesterday....such a lightweight.  It was an early morning start, presents delivered to my ladies and the Beast into Djebel for its holiday home over the festive period.  I was on the nine o'clock but to Kardjali, the ten thirty to Sofia and shared a taxi to terminal one with a friend of one of my students.  We'd sat next to each other on the Sofia but not realised that we had mutual friends until the drive into the airport.  So the flight was showing that there were no delays and everything seemed tickety boo until I went through to airside.  I checked the Easyjet website for details of the incoming and that's where the fun began.  Eventually it was confirmed that the flight would be delayed and so we sat around waiting, free sandwiches appeared with bottles of water and by this time it was well on it's way to midnight.  Eventually we boarded, more free coffee and chocolate bars and I  slept for the next couple of hours and we landed at approximately one fifteen and it was lovely to see my daughter's little face when I walked through the arrivals gate.  Home for two and bed for two thirty....the end of a very long day.

Woke up at eight thirty to a very mild day.  After the many minus temperatures of the previous week it was positively balmy.  Off to church this morning to catch up on the news of the rest of the congregation,  Some old friends have departed to a higher realm and it was good to see the smiling faces of some of the others.  Stopped off at Lidl on the way back home....strange to think that I do the same thing in two entirely different locations...some things just get everywhere.  Over to the lunch restaurant with Princess, her husband, my number one grandson, husband's son from his first marriage and son's girlfriend....went 'big' on the carvery and we all came out thoroughly stuffed to the gills.  Strictly final this afternoon even though I'd caught up with the result earlier in the day and managed to fall asleep but at the end of the dances.  

Seven thirty my time more or less....I'm still settling in and despite the fact that I'm surrounded by lots of 'things', it's strange being in what was my previous home.  There is nothing much planned for the rest of the holiday except for spending Christmas day with my daughter and family...the rest of the time I want to play it by ear.  I have cards to buy, write and post tomorrow...and some photos to take.  I haven't today...I'm just feeling jaded after yesterday's marathon.  LN...Promise to do better tomorrow...LN
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Elsa Peters
December 19, 2016, 7:57pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 19th December

So I was awake this morning at five which would have been seven in my currency and I decided to get my head down again and eventually came to at seven for real.  Down for coffee and I think it must be the water in that it tastes different....not unpleasant just different but I'll be getting Gold Blend tomorrow.  Boiled ham sandwich for breakfast well before my host had stopped snoring and I was washed and dressed ready to face the day in good time.  Not a lot seemed to be happening here and at ten thirty I made the decision to walk over the Downs and down to the sea.  It was a pretty damp morning and light fog but off I set taking the long haul up to the ridge so was huffing and puffing at the top but then it was a slow meander down to the sea.  The Rottingdean Preservation Society were erecting the electric fences which signifies that the sheep are about to be reinstated and I noticed that there were more nature signs erected.  One of the benches on the way had been adorned by a flowered cross but I couldn't see any other information as to rhyme or reason for it.  The windmill was still standing....I was in my second home again...I love the Downs and this walk in particular.  Unfortunately....not much chance of seeing the sea....as I said it was a pretty grey morning so I went down to the beach and noticed that there were several improvements.  An enterprising lady has opened a cafe which definitely wasn't there before and there is a new children's soft ball court dedicated to someone and paid for by local donations.  If it was left to the local council, I doubt it would have happened.  

So I went to the post office and bought a pack of cards, stood in the queue for the stamps and spoke to one of the local artists who also managed to sell me a pack of cards that he'd had printed up from his paintings, bought the stamps and that was goodbye to almost thirty pounds....so I swallowed hard and paid up.  I'm going to have to get used to Britain slowly.  Walked back along the High Street and saw more of my old compatriots and even got invited for a lunchtime drink that I managed to refuse.  Point one is that I've not had a drink for the last twelve months and point two is that I'm not sure the effect it would have after such a long time and point three, it was lunchtime and I had cards to write to get them in the post.

Cards done this afternoon and posted, made a phone call and arrangements have been made for Friday afternoon and evening with good friends of ours and it looks like an evening of television although my Sudoku will be close at hand.  Brighton or Lewes shopping tomorrow to get my head round presents for a select few...it's only family ones to do here.  One birthday present to source...and I think I might be in the Lego shop for that.  Supper calls....it's nice to have someone to cook it for me but I suppose I'll assume the mantle as the holiday wears on...LN...Down for food...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 19, 2016, 8:03pm Report to Moderator

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And a few more



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Elsa Peters
December 20, 2016, 8:17pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 20th December

Back to BG time ....a five o'clock start so I read for a while and eventually went back off until seven thirty.  There was still the gentle rasping of the steam engine coming from the other room so I was up, dressed, breakfasted before there was much sign of life.  Eventually we made it on to the bus and into town...him with his bus pass and me with my day saver which meant that I could go on as many buses as I wanted all for a fiver.  So into lit up Brighton, everywhere looks extremely seasonal and the queues were horrendous.  'In the shops, tills are ringing, great big bills will be winging, the sounds of today will be heartaches this way....Shopping in this winter wonderland'....I have bought some things for me though...why should everyone else have the pleasure.  My only headache is getting them back.  One of my stop-offs today was in the Bear Factory and I enquired whether George my Christmas gift from my grandson eleven years ago could have a new voice box fitted,  Now for the full story...George actually has a recording made by my grandson and says...'Happy Christmas Nanny...I love you' but unfortunately this was wearing down and you could hardly hear it.  In the shop I asked whether it was possible to salvage it and put it back to it's normal strength and the fabulous assistant advised me to take George in and she would see what she could do....and so I did later that day...still on my five pound ticket....as many trips as I wanted...

Home we went with the purchases and at four I set off to catch the bus again but this time with George in my bag and straight to the shop.  They were amazed....apparently George was an 'original' from the Bear Factory and now they trade under a different name.  His jumper was removed, he was cut open and his two little hearts sealed inside were removed from the stuffing along with his voice box.  Maria took it off leaving him looking dejected on the table face down and five minutes later she reappeared, the voice box is back to full volume, she added a little more stuffing, put the two hearts back in and stitched him back up.  George is whole again.  I put his jumper back on...gave her a hug of thanks and asked how much and the reply was that it was free of charge as a good will gesture.  What a fabulous shop.  He was put back in the bag, I stopped off and bought some chocolate on offer from Smiths and then back on the bus for the journey home.  

The television is on but there are none of the usual programs that I watch...we are into Christmas week so it all goes to pot.  Only two more cards to get into the post...everything else made the five o'clock collection.  Gammon and chippies for supper with chip butties...it would have been rude not to.  LN...I'm down where it's warm....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 21, 2016, 7:24pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 21st December

So it was still half five this morning and I was playing on the kindle and reading and I didn't get my head down again.  I slept really well and have kept going for most of the day without any relapse.  Breakfast of poached egg and the rest of my morning was investigating a new camera.  My Sony has a shadow on the inside of the lens which is exaggerated when you use the zoom so it's time it went.  I've had it for about three years now and I'm looking for something better.  The Canon has lots of capabilities but is large to carry around and to get the full zoom you have to change the lens so even more baggage.  I thinl I've settled on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90 18.2 MP Compact Digital.  It seems to have all I want and I do love my Sony with the Zeis lens.  I really wanted it for Christmas...a present to myself ....but I might wait to see if there are any offers going around in the sales.

So what else did I get up to?  The final cards in the post, I restructured my host's excel spreadsheet of contact addresses and added a few to the list.  I helped out with the repair of the outside security light being a go-for for the things out of the garage.  I did make the suggestion after the repair that it got tested and on testing it didn't so it was back up the ladder.  Eventually it was ascertained that the bulb had been inserted incorrectly....a quick repositioning and all is now lit up if we have intruders like foxes or badgers that get captured on camera.

I wrapped the few presents that I've bought and stupidly bought a very glittery paper that sheds glitter everywhere.  It's on my tights, jumper and I think I even managed to eat some on my chocolate that is now no more.  In town yesterday I was tempted by a huge bar of Cadbury dairy milk and I've been nibbling it yesterday on the bus home and finally it's finished.  Only a giant bar of Toblertone to go but I'm not opening it yet.....it would be fatal.  Not sure about supper tonight....I've got a fancy for Marmite on toast...I must be in need of salt.  Princess phoned this afternoon and we're off to Lewes tomorrow for a meander and lunch.  I don't have much to buy but there is my favourite jewellery shop there so who knows.  No photos today....it's been dark, dank and miserable ....outside at least.  Shower, shampoo ready for my Princess.  LN...Shop until we drop tomorrow...LN
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MikeyB
December 21, 2016, 8:01pm Report to Moderator

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Excellent choice of camera Elsa! They get excellent reviews and if any of the pictures I've seen taken with one are anything to go by, you'll love it! It seems to be about £250 everywhere with a couple of retailers offering a free mini tripod at best... Hopefully it'll be in the Jan sales with any luck!
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Elsa Peters
December 22, 2016, 6:02pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 22nd December

Will it never get here.....Christmas seems to be ages arriving....   As for you Mikey B....I'm pleased you agree with my choice.  I've had Sony with Carl Zeiss for ever and rate them highly.....now just need to save the pennies....

Early start for England...late for Bulgaria so I was reading. drinking coffee until it was a decent time to start to disturb the rest of the house.  I ran the bath and got cleaned up with my sojourn into Lewes with Princess.  First stop was Matalan where we had to take apart three displays of jeans apart to find the correct size and correct shape and correct colour with the right coloured thread....and when we did they were the wrong shape.  That's jeans for you.  I was going to look out for a pair but had lost the will half an hour later.  We carried on to Lewes parked up eventually and hit the charity shops where my Princess managed to find three pairs that fit perfectly each with the Next manufacturer's mark for the princely sum of just under eleven pounds.  Bargain and I only managed to find a children's book and a reversible little coat for a little girl who shall remain nameless.  A nice little gift.  I love the shops in Lewes....they still seem like family shops but there was one incident where we had just crossed the road on the lights and the traffic had started to flow.  Two little boys were running towards the road so I reached out and grabbed the smaller one and couldn't see anyone looking for a child or children come to that.  Two seconds later a woman appeared and told me to take my hands off her child and I tried to explain that he was about to run on the road and all we got was a mouthful of abuse.  I didn't see this but apparently she was on her phone and not even looking in the direction of the children but she made it perfectly clear that she considered we were in the wrong,  There was a bit of a glaring match but what was the point.  She was obviously guilty as hell that she wasn't really paying attention but I would do the same again....she's lucky to have two children tonight not just one.  

We were going to a restaurant for lunch but changed our minds and ended up in Sainsbury and bought pork pie which I haven't had for years, boiled ham and french stick and headed home.  We made up the rolls and stuck Jeremy Lyle on and wondered why we were watching it.  Home for five thirty and we'll not see each other now until Christmas morning, tomorrow we are out with Angela and John some good friends of ours for a late lunch, early evening meal which will either be fish and chips or an Indian takeaway, it depends on what the general concencus is tomorrow night.  No supper for me I'm stuffed after an epic ham thingy....LN...I'm going down to the fire....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 23, 2016, 9:30pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 23rd December

Silly, silly night.  That incident with the woman in Lewes yesterday was playing on my mind and I was reading from four until six, eventually going off again but in a semi-conscious state and finally rose from the apparently dead at nine thirty this morning.  I had the remainder of the pork pie from yesterday for breakfast and headed out into the garden looking at the wild life.  My host was digging out the bottom of the compost heap with the intention of potting up some pot bounds but it didn't seem to happen.  Fortunately the robin found lots to occupy him in and around that area and I must have spent an hour taking shots and you have the best to follow.  We walked the garden and I've got several self-sets of hypericum and other shrubs to dig up and pack....different varieties of those I've established in Bulgaria.  I also have to find Fuchsia and Jasmine...they are frost hardy varieties that I don't have.

Set off along the street and paid a visit to a couple of friends and had coffee with them.  It's amazing how conversations these days always seem to end up with immigration and the EU despite best efforts to avoid the topic.  I'd done a load of washing before we'd left and I remembered to hang it on the airer so that it would be dry by the time we came from our next outing....and we've just got back.

Angela and John have been friends for a long time but unfortunately he has been diagnosed with dementia and boy after a year away do you notice the change.  I just have nothing but praise for the one left behind....the caring and at the time that the couple should be enjoying each other, you have to put on another hat and adopt another role. Anyway...we had fish and chips and mushy peas from the takeaway which went down a treat and a desert of Lemon-isu which was a take-off of tiramasu with ice-cream.  Finally the packaging was retrieved from the rubbish and we identified that it was one unhealthy desert...too much fat, sugar and salt but it finished the meal off extremely well.

So back home for nine and not much on the agenda tomorrow.  I'm supposed to be having my hair trimmed in the morning which I'm always worried about....Edward Scissor hands might be lurking and I like my locks.  Now for a long glass of water....that desert must have had loads of additives.  LN....Down for the TV...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 23, 2016, 9:32pm Report to Moderator

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One that didn't make it



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Elsa Peters
December 24, 2016, 8:06pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 24th December

Stopped up and watched the tv last night after my host had gone to bed and Mrs Brown's Boys was on.  I was almost sobbing with laughter....so sacrilegious but you just can't hold it against him.....very funny.  There again...you have to like him to enjoy it and I do.  There is so much natural humour in the man and you have to wait for the bits in the script that he changes as he goes along...very off the wall humour.

Six start this morning  and not even a hint of a sun up there until well on into the morning.  It wasn't so damp but there was nothing crisp about it.  There were some interesting photos on FB from the lads from my village so I made a comment and got a response in English....that's my boys for you...I'll get them speaking it one of these days.  Had my hair appointment for eleven and it's one of the group that my host goes around with that had the shop at the top of the road.  I'd only mentioned that I could do with having it done but without any real sincerity but no sooner the word than the blow.  We got there an time, he damped me down so to speak, got out his scissors and it was that bit that I was dreading,  I told him that I usually did it myself and he said that he hadn't got a lot to do to level it up and that I was doing a pretty good job myself...Who needs hairdressers!!   So he showed me the back which looked very much the same as it did before I went and we agreed that it probably needed about ten centimeters off it to get the split ends and really knock it into shape.  I'm not that brave at the moment....enough for this time.  Out came the mince pies and champagne cocktails and I apologised and abstained for not imbibing.  I've really got this thing bad.....

So this afternoon I undated my lottery details and got tickets for tonight and Wednesday.  I'm unable to play it when I'm not in the country which I think is a bit of a swizz but there you go.  I also spent the gift that I got last year from Mr D of S and I now have five new books on my Kindle from the Harry Bosche series by Mr Connelly.  Something to keep me occupied for the next ten days or so before I catch the great eagle homeward.  I'm not getting stuck into sorting out my 'stuff' this year like I did last year....I'm just accumulating a box worth of goodies that will make their way across Europe on their own without me having to lift a finger in the process.

So my only task towards Christmas lunch tomorrow is to make the bread sauce.  Princess has updated me on the progress and her husband is very good and enjoys the performance and is a brilliant cook.  Nothing for me to do except be there.  So down for the television...to try to find something interesting to get stuck in to.  I might be watching the old lady that lives in the rusty old van on Mr Bennet's frontage...looks like it good be a good choice.  

So I'm here for another year and another Christmas....May I wish you all a special day and all good wishes for 2017.  I found the verse in one of my church hymnals and adapted it.  It talked of God the father and I'd just like to add that whatever you call the great power that keeps you ticking along...may you get the support you need for the coming year.  LN ...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 25, 2016, 8:54pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 25th December

Another Christmas day over and now heading for the new year....

A bit of a restless night...I looked out to see if Santa was around but couldn't see any signs of him.  I was reading for a couple of hours in the middle of the night but came to around seven thirty, down for coffee and there were three presents wrapped and waiting for me.  I made my coffee and headed back upstairs...I don't like opening them unless the giver is present.  Thirty minutes later I was down for more coffee and decided that I would make the breadcrumbs for the bread sauce and found my old machine in the bottom of the cupboard and it still worked.  On with the milk. in with the onion bodged with cloves, peppercorns added, butter and on to the gas to warm it through but without boiling the milk.  Into the saucepan went the breadcrumbs, back on the gas for a while and then off with the gas and I left it to steep until it was time to leave.  Quick bath and hair wash and we were on starting blocks at eleven twenty and on time at Princess' home.  Hugs all round, my son in law was busy in the kitchen since he'd been nominated from a shortlist of one to be on duty, grandson was hugging a huge bar of Dairy Milk that we discovered had five thousand calories to his chest, presents were swapped and opened and we were all happy bunnies.  I had a lovely present from my son and his family, a bracelet that appears to be made out of several shades of plaited metal ribbon....very unusual and in a telephone conversation with him, I discovered that it came from the Maritime Museum.....good choice Timbo.

Lunch was served around one and we were all pretty stuffed after it and it was a flop down in front of the television and we watched a DVD that I hadn't seen before....very funny.  The chocolates were out for most of the afternoon and it was a dip in as you will time so the Christmas cake that was made never did get knifed.  The snow on it remains virginal and left for another day.  So home now by eight.....it was at the stage where they were talking about getting into PJ's so we made out exit.  A little teletime for me and I shan't be late tonight.  Arrangements have been aired to meet up with number one son and family next week sometime to catch up with the grandchildren.  LN...Now it's chill time...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 26, 2016, 5:45pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 26th December

Been and gone....I had a picture this morning of the desired breakfast for the morning after....turkey jelly and it has to be slapped on toast.  Unfortunately that's the nearest I got to it.  Looks like I'll be cooking my own next year and Bekir has already offered me one of the ones that he grows on for the year.  This year I asked him if he was going to sell them....I think he had ten...and his response was that that was only ten weeks.  Happy new year Bekir.  I'm also waiting to see if I win anything in the New Year Day tombola....they were both given ten leva to buy tickets but if it was edible they were to enjoy it and if not...I'll have it when I next see them.

So as for today.  It was a brighter start and I managed to get some washing on the line but not much.  The rest of it went in the downstairs boiler cupboard....it's almost as good as my bathroom.  Breakfast was toast and Marmite...nothing to linger for...five minutes with the toaster and that's it over and done with.  It was a bit of a frustrating session with the Kindle.  I downloaded four paid for books yesterday and when I came to look for them on the device...one had none and the other only had two of them.  I'm not much with this cloud and understanding where 'stuff' gets stored so I'm trying to delete books from my Kindle and find out where the others had gone and not a snowballs.  I managed to delete some of them but I couldn't find the new ones on the device and eventually I went to the Amazon website, found my cloud and managed to get the new books on to the device.  Unfortunately I now have a million and one copies...slight exaggeration maybe....but more than I actually need or wanted.  I'll see how it pans out.  The other issue was that when I used the USB cable in the USP device and not the computer port....I couldn't see the books on my old Kindle reader.  I kept loosing the settings and I discovered by putting it straight into the computer....success on a plate. I now have the four new books on both devises...and I also updated my host's Kindle and printed out the reading order so that should keep him quiet until he next comes out to BG.

So this afternoon's viewings were Dancing with Wolves and the Gruffalo...not at the same time might I add....that could have been one heck of a story.  Tonight's viewing is lined up...Dr Brian Cox...the musical at nine thirty and then it will be early to bed for me.  The intention was to get out this afternoon to a garden centre to see what they were giving away.  It didn't happen but I bet we didn't miss much.  Kitchen calls...I think it's my turn to knock something up so to speak.  LN...I'm off to hunt...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 27, 2016, 6:45pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 27th December

Last night I watched the Big Bank musical and I really must report on it.  Dr Brian Cox really tried hard to keep it under control but with Eric Idle and the theme of the song castigating that the earth is spinning at a ridiculous speed and that there is really no sensible life on earth...it was very funny.  It caused a ripple of enjoyment.  A box of Allsorts was attempted and the general consensus was that they weren't as we remembered them.  Mr Bertie Bassett had failed to delight.

Slept well last night and didn't raise my little head until eight of the clock.  I looked out of the window and was aware of the house over the road and the outside light that's been on continuously for the last three days.  It's almost tempting to go knock and tell them but maybe they're away.  Poached eggs and boiled ham on toast for breakfast and that's the stuff to feel the troops on.  By the time the kitchen was tidied we managed to catch the bus into Brighton, just missing one and waiting in the shelter for the next.  Unfortunately they were running a Sunday schedule which we weren't aware of but we didn't have to wait long.  We got off at the top of town and the Poundshop was the first port of call.  I wanted some of the bags that you put 'stuff' in then insert the vacuum and suck the air out of it.  I'm getting ready for my box to go to BG so the more I can get into it the better.  I checked out a parcel of about forty kilos and it equates to just under the forty pounds sterling so jobsa guddun in my neck of the woods.  So over to the Sony shop to try to see the camera that I wanted but they didn't have it in stock....one similar but not one with GPS which is the later version.  Down to Currys and they didn't have one either so the assistant suggested Jessops but none in stock or in the warehouse.  Elusive...typical of me.....I shall have to do more investigation.  Back on the bus but instead of getting the straightforward one we picked up one that would take us along the coast road and where's that camera when you need it...still in the shop...well one of the shops somewhere....The bus headed down to Brighton Marina, did a circular tour, back on to the main road and dropped us off in our village.  I headed for the cashpoint at Tesco and that was out of service so thought the post office might oblige and that wasn't even open.  Fortunately the bus to take us to the end of the road was in so it was hop on to the next and drop off with one hundred yards to walk.  Having said that that only means that I can have ten After Eight tonight....   Just watch a program about a man catching a giant anaconda and better him than me....it was a real biggie but he was with three local buddies who were used to it.

Supper tonight is going to be a sandwich....a gammon joint was baked yesterday.  I've lined up University Challenge for tonight....it's the first of the semi-finals tonight and I've been following it in BG.  Makes me realise how much I don't know though but it's never too late to learn.  Tomorrow I'm out for lunch with my special buddy Angela .....not sure where yet...she's found another newby for me.  She did come out to visit me in BG and I'd love to see her there again....maybe one day.  Right I have a sandwich to make before I get stuck in front of the goggle box.  LN....I can smell the honey roast from here....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 28, 2016, 7:02pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 28th December

Unfortunately the University Challenge was not the one that I've been following but the teams were made up of the past graduates of the universities.  Still good though and I managed to get a couple that the teams didn't....maybe not so dumb as I thought.  The finale of last night was the George Michael's concert from the old Opera House in Paris...such a talented individual....such a loss....

Pretty sleepless night last night.  At two this morning I was reading, playing games and waiting for the sand man to arrive which he did eventually.  Eight when my eyes opened this morning, bath and down for breakfast....I was out to lunch in Burgess Hill.  The restaurant wasn't booked but there were lots of tables apparently so we should have no bother getting seated.  We went down Ditchling Beacon on the way over and I'm amazed how many cyclists there are attempting the climb and it's not for the faint hearted.  It's a funny old road, they have climbs and flat bits so that the coach and horses could rest at any point on the journey....unfortunately there is so much traffic on the road that there is no way that you could rest....the stop off is at the top on the car park.  Through Ditchling village into Burgess Hill which is a pretty run and a stop at the cash point to reimburse the coffers and then down to Angela's and she was still getting ready.  My host was staying with her husband...this was definitely a girls only luncheon so it was pile into her car and over to the Oaks golf club and despite the frost on the ground, the car park was heaving.

It's a beautiful restaurant with log fire, oak beams and minstrel's gallery and a fantastic menu.  I did confuse the lady behind the bar..I asked for orange juice and water which is my staple in BG but they didn't have still water in bottles nor orange juice so it was half a glass of tap water and topped up with orange from a container.  It made it easier the second time...I just asked for one of those orange thingies that the lady over there had before...simple.  Angela settled for fizzy water.....she was driving.  Two home made beef burgers with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in with chippies, pots of mayo and ketchup followed by lemon torte with cherries/blackcurrants and ice-cream.  Everything was well prepared and tasty and the waitresses were very pretty student types with humour thrown in.  Well worth tipping at the end of the meal.

Coffee back at the den and home for about six coming back over the Beacon and stopping to take photos of the strange cloud formation over the sea.  No supper for me...I'm stuffed to the gills but I've just opened a box of After Eight....rude not to since they are a Christmas present.  They might find their way downstairs to share...I'll see what's left when I've updated the blog.  So nothing picked out for this evening so far.....I'm getting a bit bored by this guy called Gordon Buchanan who's doing the stuff that should be left to David Attenborough.  That's the trouble with BBC...you get overkill, saturation and then turned off by it.  So clutching my chocolates I'm about to head to the warmth of the lounge....the heating hasn't come on upstairs yet and not much seems to be permeating through the ceiling and up through the floor.  It's going to be another cold one tonight...it was three degrees on the way down and dipping quickly.  LN...I'm down to the fire...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 29, 2016, 7:18pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 29th December

What a silly night.  I went to sleep eventually but was wide awake at four and reading until five thirty and then back off until seven.  I felt OK though and only had about an hour on the sofa this afternoon.

Marmite on toast for breakfast and phoned my old friend Mikey B to arrange a get-together.  He's staying in the area and it's been six years since I've seen him and his family.  We arranged ten fifteen but as I set off I received a text to say that the sat nav advised that they wouldn't be with me until ten thirty so I had a leisurely walk across the Downs to the meeting point and talked to one or two dog walkers along the way.  One friendly little terrier was trying hard to get his dirty paws on my new jeans so I had to make it plain that I really don't like dogs that much.  The owner was profusely apologetic...advising me that the dog loves everyone and thinks that everyone should love him.  Now it's not the dog I object to....it's the fact that he wanted to jump up.  So I carried on down...I took a photo of a helicopter that was like an insect over the sea so that one isn't getting published...you'd have trouble spotting it.

So there they were on the car park.  It was hugs all round and I pointed out to his five year old that she was the size of a bean when I was first introduced to her and in her mummy's tummy.  That was the year that they came out to stay and the reason that I had stairs built.  I'd been using a ladder until then.  We headed for the Undercliff and walked for about half an hour catching up with the past.  As he says...he reads my blog every night so feels that he knows everything that's going on in BG and it's become routine for him.  Seven years of following the ramblings of a senile old woman....We worked for the same company and now have both moved on to pastures new.  We stopped when the little one got tired, turned round and stopped off for coffee on the Undercliff.  Katie's job was to count the stones on the beach which kept her busy for a while but unfortunately she stuffed her pockets full she had to be reasoned with and was told that she could only take two of her favourites home with her.  I salvaged one and intend to put it in my pot in BG.  If they ever come out again it will be waiting for her.  Off they went after more hugs, I phone my host and we headed into Lidl to get in a few provisions and I found my favourite chocolate and peanut sweets for less than I pay for them in BG.  Four packets purchased and I'm saving one for the journey back...the rest will probably go....very tasty.

My new camera has arrived so look forward to better shots without the faint splodge in the middle of the sky when I had the old one at full zoom.  It's on charge at the moment so I've not had the opportunity to play with it but tomorrow I shall be out and about.  The game was halted...
ham in french stick for lunch, two mince pies and a full tummy required rest and as I said I was out for about an hour catching up on my lack of night time sleep. Nothing required for supper tonight.....tomorrow I'm going to be concentrating on getting another couple of batteries and a charger for the new phone so that they arrive before I go back and starting to get things into a box for going back.  Only one week to go.....LN...I'm on countdown....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 30, 2016, 8:50pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 30th December

Lovely night's sleep...seven thirty start this morning and no to-ing and fro-ing all night.  There was a bird in the garden that was singing its little heart out...or big heart out by the volume of its call....and listening to the calls on the RSPB website I identified it as a song thrush.  One to listen out for in the morning.

My son phoned this morning and said that he would be down around one thirty this afternoon so I decided to go through all the things that had been his in his day to see what he wanted and what I could shift on to the 'charity shop' pile.  His wife had an appointment at the hospital so wouldn't be coming down with him and the children so my waiting time was spent on sorting and sifting.  I had a pair of snow boots that had been my grandson's and decided to take them for the grandchildren for next door and spent forty minutes out in the cold on their drive.  I just caught them as they were coming back from shopping...they were worried about frozen food defrosting...I was more worried about freezing my socks off.  The earth was draped in freezing fog so I mentioned to my son to take it steady.  

They arrived at two and I think hunger was at the forefront of his and the children's brains so we set off for the village and managed to park by the Plough that is situated in the centre of the village near the pond.  We arrived about two fifteen, managed to find a table for five and the children and myself had scampi, one thumping great burger for my son with all the trimmings including blue cheese and a pie of sorts for my host.  We almost had world war three declared over a shared sticky toffee pudding and custard with the children...sibling rivalry over scraping the chocolate sauce off the plate and a line was drawn in the chocolate sauce with the proviso that if spoons went over the line, that spoon would be confiscated and the de-spooned would be deemed to take no further part in the demolishment of the said pudding.  It stopped the fun and games and it became a fairly well contained fight to the death.  Coffees arrived along with the bill and the children were itching to get down to the sea but with rain starting to fall, the sea mist rolling in and the temperature dropping, we were back in the car to go through the loot to see what was being taken.

Two large chunks of stone from Wells on Sea were put to one side along with and original ET that had been put in a plastic jar by my son years ago reminding me of a laboratory sample.  The children were fascinated by it....and it went home with them.  My son's baby money box was taken, two inserts from an old commode that I'd acquired and used as flower pots went, several books and some old cars that belonged to my ex husband.  So tomorrow I'm sorting out the stuff for the charity shop and throwing out old cars that no longer function....nice way to spend New Year's Eve.  Off they went at four thirty....the fog was really coming in and I was pleased they were on their way...they had to travel back to London.  A lovely day since I don't see my grandchildren very often living such a long way away...they really need to come out to BG....I think they would be surprised at the nature where I live.

So just caught the Roald Dahl's Esio Trot with Judy Dench on the TV.  What a beautiful story and really light and well played.  One to recommend and then I realised that not only had I forgotten about my blog but I had no photos to publish either....big sorry.  One more day of this year left....so I better make the most of tomorrow.  More sorting and sifting.  LN...the charity shop is calling...LN

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Elsa Peters
December 31, 2016, 6:37pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 31st December

The sleep of the just again last night and a seven thirty start yet again....my body clock has cut in when I'm on my last week.  I went down and had crumpets for breakfast and then at eleven was informed that my kippers were almost ready.  Meanwhile back in the bat cave I'd carried on sorting and had been into corners that hadn't been investigated for a while.  I tried on clothes that I'd had in my thirties and I could still get in to them and some of them never went out of fashion.  I've got shoes that I'll never manage to walk in and a pair of leather boots that need a little love and attention from a cobbler but considering I bought them in Rhodes back in 1987 I don't think they've done too bad at all.  Everything thing I want to take back is sitting in my bedroom and the box from the loft will come down tomorrow afternoon and let the packing commence.  I was trying to weigh up whether it would be cheaper to take it as hold luggage but then I have to buy the bag since there are about four sitting in BG and it has to be carried where the courier would deliver it to my door.  A much better proposition.

So the kippers were eaten and I've been tasting them all day.  I did have a brief respite from sorting out the 'stuff' and watched Darcy Bussell's programme on the beeb about Margot Fonteyn....a very interesting character that didn't get a real deal out of life. Supper's being cooked and the last day of the year is not going to be any different that the rest of my time here.  No partying tonight...I might even go to bed before Big Ben announces it to the rest of the world....I'll see how I feel.  It does seem less important than it used to.

I suppose I should summarise 2016.  On the whole it's been a good year, I've done a whole year without alcohol and for me...that's some going.  I never said that I wanted to give it up completely and haven't...it's the smell of it that turns me off at the moment.  I've also lost a stone in weight and feel in better shape than I've felt for years and really very energised so my regime for the New Year is going to be pretty much the same as this year and fingers crossed that my health remains as good as it is now...mustn't grumble so to speak.

Can I just wish you all a Happy New Year....health, wealth and the ability to cope with all that life throws at you and fingers crossed that it's good.  I read that if you think you deserve anything enough then you get it so I've done the lottery today and I really think I deserve it....I'll let you know tomorrow....   LN...Forward into 2017....LN



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tcinbg
December 31, 2016, 9:58pm Report to Moderator

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And a Very Happy New Year to you as well
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