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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  JANUARY 2017
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Elsa Peters
January 8, 2017, 5:20pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 8th January

Off to bed last night at ten thirty and up at four throwing logs on the two wood burners to keep the home fires burning.  I read for a while and went back off again but was up at seven thirty....I was washed and dressed in quicksticks although the bathroom is toasty...warmest room in the house.  Boot blacked by eight fifteen and I was out by the gate listening out for the bread van.  I had a sliced loaf but it was from Thursday's bake off so fancied an fresh uncut and a sliced for the freezer.  The van was more or less on time but there wasn't anybody out...I haven't seen any of the normal crew since I got back but I hear from the driver that everybody is OK.

The sun was slow to come up and then when it got over the mountains it was still behind cloud and disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared.  I have two thermometers out on the terrace...the one was showing minus five and the other plus ten so they can both be binned.  I took the inside one out and it quickly fell to minus ten...now that was more like it so I came in again and had two very thick slices of the fresh bread with lashings of butter and nothing else on it.  The old loaf I fried in some old fat that I keep in a jar by the cooker....this went out in two dishes to the birds, one on the terrace and the other on Beauty since the robin seems to have adopted the garage.  Out again, drive smoothed out and path to the woodshed cleared and yet again and by this time the sun was breaking though and despite the cold it was a lovely day.  It made more of an attempt this afternoon and really made a name for itself.  Free central heating.

Staked out claim on the sofa with the Kindle this afternoon until sleep overtook me.  At four thirty I headed for the kitchen, fried off a couple of onions and some spicy sausage and had it with mayo, chilli sauce and yet more bread.  Seven my time and I'm heading down to the fire...the temperature dropped rapidly once the sun went down and it's forecast for minus fourteen tonight and more snow.  So back to the Kindle and the next Harry Bosch book....this one has some excitement in it and fifty percent to go. I might find a sewing project for tomorrow...I;ve got four storage boxes that need a makeover....LN..I'll see what the morning brings....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 9, 2017, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 9th January

The sleep of the just last night...seven thirty start, the huge log that I'd put on the fire last night hadn't done its stuff and had gone out but it didn't take long to get everything back into action.  Ash cans first, kettle on, big fire, little fire and everything moving by seven forty. No hanging around here...things happen.  I did glance the thermometer and it was at minus thirteen but it didn't feel that cold but there again I was out and in in quicksticks.  

It was a glum old morning and it's been like that all day.  The weather forecasters call it 'frigid' and I always thought it mean something else.  I made breakfast of spicy sausage, fried bread and egg and sat with a coffee looking at the garden and realised that the food for the birds had gone and there were some thumping big footprints round it and the bowl on the floor.  It could have been an albatross but reckon more likely to be one of the stray dogs....but if they were hungry...you're welcome.  Put the rest of the spicy sausages in with the remains of last nights, chilli powder, kidney beans, tomatoes and tomato paste and into the slow cooker with it to be ready when I am later.  I read for a while, I had plenty of logs in so didn't bust a gut going out to top up and left that until this afternoon but if really caught me out when I did.  I got my trusty log carrier ready, realised that the snow had covered up my path to the wood store so cleared the path with the snow shovel.  I'd gone out without gloves and suddenly I realised that it was really cold out there at three this afternoon.  Quickly into the store, filled up the carrier, into the house with the second one that was already filled and waiting but went back, topped up the second one and that's in the kitchen.  Found my gloves and went out again and cleared the terrace but it's till snowing now so that was probably a waste of time...lightweight exercise though.

As for the rest of the day...got a couple of letters ready to go, finished my filing and got new folders started for this year but what I really want is a shredder...come on Lidl.  I know I burn stuff but it would be more complete...   Listened to my music stored on the pc and there is a distinct lack of pickies tonight but the girl done good yesterday...it's just been a grey snowy day.

Supper was a little heavy on the chilli and plenty left for tomorrow.  Six squares of chocolate and it's rationed...only two bars left and one box that I've just remembered in the lounge....maybe not so rationed.  Princess has just phoned with an update...I do enjoy her phone calls and now it's time for Filmon, Pointless and Eggheads and down to the fire and my book.  Looks like the storage box project is shelved for another day.  LN...Time for tele...LN
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Elsa Peters
January 10, 2017, 4:15pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 10th January

Five thirty start this morning and I went to the window to check if there was more snow....and there was and it was chucking it down.  I put the outside floodlight on to take the photos, threw another log on the fire to keep it ticking over gently and was surprised that the little one was still in so that got topped up as well.  Kettle on, coffee and then back to bed with the Kindle.  I felt very well rested but I've hardly pushed the boat out with anything likely to consume energy but not a lot you can do.  I read until seven then got my head down again waking at eight thirty and now to really start the day.

More wood on the fire and I didn't have to rush out for more...I'd plenty in store and would do it later.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and the next job was to top up the slow cooker and turn in on and it's ready for when I want it.  It's been a reading day.  I've almost knocked off the last of the Bosch books that I bought and I'll have to be looking for something else to keep me out of mischief.  An update on my parcel from the UK...it's been registered as being received in Sofia from Hungary but I think the onward will be slower.  I'm guessing it won't leave until it can have a clear run and there's not much danger of that.

So topped up the log carrier at about quarter after three and had to clear the path yet again.  The wind had got up and there was lots of snow blowing around as well as coming down and there are one or two drifts around the place.  I only cleared the path to the woodshed and round the entrance door....no point in doing the rest...it's still coming down and still blowing around.

I still haven't got started on my project.  I visualise the process but that's as far as it gets...maybe tomorrow.  I'm going to have an early supper after I've been round and closed the curtains putting a layer of insulation between the glass and me.  LN....Food calls....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 11, 2017, 4:12pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 11th January

Seven start and the huge log that I'd put on last night was still glowing but not burning so it was out with the firelighters, on with the tinder and go for it with the matches.  It didn't take long and soon the hot water was pumping round the system.  The little fire was still hanging in there as well so by eight it was all systems go.  I got washed and dressed early...I was down to a two day old loaf so thought I would have that for the birds and get fresh for the house.  I went out...it had stopped snowing so the path to the woodstore was cleared while I was waiting for my man with a van, I cleared to the road but at nine thirty I realised that my man with the van had got lost and wouldn't be making it so I settled for two day old bread with a fried egg for breakfast.

I got in another lot of little starting wood, old wood for the little kitchen petchka and another container of logs for the main burner.  It's all go here.    I had a bonfire to clear the rubbish and started it in the half barrel even though there was snow at the bottom of it but it seemed to get rid of it...let's see what the cats make of it although there haven't been many of them around.  I put some cornflakes out for the robin on top of Beauty and managed to get a shot of him but I don't think he likes cornflakes and is content picking the grubs and insects off the wood in the garage which suits me fine.  I also notice the blackbird making a quick escape from there carrying something fairly large in its beak as it headed over the opposite field.

I finished my book and am now looking for another series or perhaps I'll go back over one of the old ones.  It's been a while since I read the Outlander books.  I went on the internet and checked for my parcel half expecting it to arrive today after it left Sofia last night but it appears to have again landed in Sofia.  He must have turned back when he looked at the weather forecast for the area and it really started to snow heavily around lunchtime again and it's still snowing now.  Winter egh....and we've got another week or so of it.

Internet is up and down hence the early update....curtain ceremony due any minute and I'll get locked up for the night.  It's supposed to have that little ball of warmth in the sky shining tomorrow for part of the day...we might be able to add a little colour to the pickies.  Supper is last night's remains with another can of beans added...this could go on for days.  LN...Posted before it goes down again...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 12, 2017, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 12th January

Seven start and by seven thirty both fires were going, coffee was on the go and I'd washed up from the last two days so what next but to go back to bed with the Kindle.  I was on there for about ten minutes, I remembered that I had wanted fresh bread so dressed, out there with the trusty implements clear the snow while I waited for his horn to sound.  So at nine I was still clearing snow and heard something going up the main road and it was the bread van and obviously I'd missed it on its way to the other villages.  I flagged him down, he had bread so I took two from him.  I was a bit unsure when I stopped him...it's a slight incline and I wondered if he'd be able to pull away but he did without any wheel-spin.  He obviously knows his vehicle and is used to stopping and starting in these conditions.

Fresh bread with spread cheese...I'm saving the butter and eking it out until I can get to Kardjali for more,  Emurla came along the road while I was clearing the drive and said that he had been in the house for too long and was off for a walk.  He left and I noticed that Haciber's son was clearing his car by the side of the road so I asked him if he wanted any help clearing the road since he'd only got a small spade.  He refused help and I'd just got back to the drive and Haciber came up to the house, it's the first time that I've seen her since I've been back.  We had a hug and she said that the village had all been ill with flu but were getting over it.  She handed me a present...a pair of purple spotted socks but she took them from under her cardigan....you don't let the others know.

I went indoors and the next thing there is a whistle outside and the only one that does that is Emurla and he asked if he could borrow my snow scoop to go and help the guy that had just refused help from me.  With instruction not to break it, he trotted off and half an hour later he returned it to its resting place.  Apparently the son had to go and get winter tyres on the car...he lives in Sweden and had come back to visit and got caught out with the weather.

I got two lots of wood in....I don't think it's going to be as cold as it has been but it's best to be prepared.  My parcel is still in Sofia and they're probably waiting for the snow to clear before they attempt it again.  It was quite pleasant when the sun showed its face and we had the makings of a thaw.  Snow was falling off the roof and the balconies but there's still lots to go.  

New set of books books and I'm trying to get into the first one.  Twelve in the set so keeping my fingers crossed.  Now back to my book and the fire...LN...Fires to load...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 13, 2017, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 13th January

Four a.m.start, coffee back to bed and didn't managed to get back to sleep.  Kept the home fire burning...the little one I didn't bother with...the kitchen was warm enough.  Eventually got out and about but it was pretty lazy after that.  I phoned the Librarian to say happy birthday and catch up from my trip to the UK.  She's also snowed in and not likely to be going anywhere for the next few days.  Toast for breakfast and gave the birds some more of the old loaf....blackies and tits abound in this garden.  

Daily Mail sudoku, FB and emails and I decided to get dressed at ten thirty....lazy being.  First job was to set to on the Beast and remove the foot of snow from the roof and the ice from the bonnet so that I can think about putting the battery charger on it tomorrow.  It was lovely out...almost tropical but with two pairs of gloves on, my hands became really cold as the gloves got soggier.  I used the snow shovel so that I could reach the parts that other couldn't and snapped off the ice scrapper for the windows.  That ice was thick.  I came in after an hour or so...cold tingling hands dictated that I should be in.  The fire was ticking over all day and only really brought it to life at about four this afternoon.  Once I'd thawed out I was out there again.  The terraces were looking soggy so my snow shovel came into its own again and I cleared the snow and dumped it over the edge.  There was a layer of ice that I tried to remove but no go....if the weather is good tomorrow it should dry up but with the snow melting on the roof...it's going to take some time.

Road report from Mrs D of S....she had to go into Djebel today and stated that there were icy patches and the hardest part was getting out of her village.  I think I'm going to have the same problem especially through the forest.  I've ear marked Sunday for my trip to Kardjali....more snow forecast for Monday and Tuesday but I shan't be taking the rough road down the mountain....

Lovely full moon last night but not much chance tonight now that the clouds have rolled in and it's the warmest it's been since I got back.  Not much in the line of food prepared....I've got to go and be adventurous in the kitchen...I think it might be cheese, onion and potato pie.  Enough for now...kitchen then teletime.  LN...It's been a good day....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 14, 2017, 5:28pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 14th January

Seven start again and it's getting to be a habit that I hope stays around for a while.  The big fire hadn't survived but with a firelighter and a little kindling the wood from last night was going big time.  It was really dried out.  I toyed with the idea of having and early bath but there were things that I wanted to do outside so I left that for this afternoon and really lingered over it.

So as to this morning.  I found a packet of bacon in the freezer, fried it off with an egg and slapped it between two slices of bread.  Grabbed another coffee and headed to the PC and logged on to check the overnight postings.  No emails that needed anything urgent but that parcel that is supposedly on it's way now carries the message since I chased them yesterday....delivery as agreed....but I'm not sure who they agreed it with and it certainly wasn't me.  They advertise three to four days....it was picked up on the fourth and still hasn't got here.  I can forgive them the last couple of days but hopefully it should be here on Monday.  I've almost forgotten what is in it....

Out came the battery charger and I connected it up to the Beast and it now fires so Kardjali tomorrow.  I saw Remsier this morning and when she saw me by the Beast she asked if I was on my way to Djebel and I had to say no and I explained that the battery needed charging.  I think she was about to give me a list and I might have to take a trip round my neighbours tomorrow to see if they have any requirements.  Logs in, leg of lamb out of the freezer, terraces and garage entrance cleared of the ice and into the bath and lingered for a couple of hours with the Kindle.  It was just after three when I emerged, lamb into the oven with roast potatoes, fires banked up and Daily Mail sudoku that is yet to be solved.  Battery charger removed and cable and charger returned to the woodstore after I'd checked that it was working and I'm a happy bunny.  First load of washing in since I've been back and I've just heard it ping to say that it's finished and curtains drawn, keys in, washing up done and I'm settled for the night.  Pretty drab weather today...not raining but warm and damp and everything dripping.  I bar of chocolate should finish the day off.  LN...I think I spotted one earlier...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 15, 2017, 5:50pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 15th January

I've had an exceptionally good morning.  Last Thursday morning I looked in the morrow and noticed one of my earrings was missing.  It was one of a pair I bought with money that my mother left me and they;ve always signified my 'mother' to me.  I was devastated.  I searched the bed, stripped the sheets off it, looked in all the clothes I taken off to see if it had caught on anything and zilch.  There was a foot of snow outside, I'd moved loads of it about clearing paths, couldn't exactly say when I'd lost it and since there are screw butterflies on the back, couldn't work out how.  The only thing that came to my head was 'seek and thou shalt find'.  On Friday I was feel that they were earrings, that I could send one off to my jeweller in Lewes who would make a replacement and yet I wouldn't consider them lost until all the snow had melted and then I would take that step.  I went out every morning as the snow receded and checked the new ground and this morning outside the gate I was rewarded....I found it and considering how much ground there was to cover....someone up there was helping me out and a big thank you.

And for the rest of the day.  The car started so I headed into Kardjali and I'd already phoned the Librarian and we agreed to meet on Kaufland car park at eleven.  We did our shopping, left out cars on the park and walked to find a restaurant for lunch so it was pizzas for us, came back to another coffee and cake shop and it was two big cakes and cappuccinos for the pair of us and did I feel stuffed.  Back in the cars and over to Lidl and earlier in the day my student's mum had told me that Lidl had a bargain offer on oranges so I bought four kilo for me and another four for my neighbours to share...they all need their vitamin C the way they're couching and hacking.  Back home for three, unpacked and put away the shopping and delivered the oranges to Haciber first who wasn't at home so I opened the door and slipped them inside, on to Beyser's and again there was nobody at home so left hers on the doorstep and thirdly on to Zelinger's and they were all there.  Zelinger took her oranges and put them into the kitchen so that the others wouldn't see them but I explained that I'd already dropped them at the other's houses so it was OK to talk about them.  I stayed for a while but it's obvious that they're all getting over something and at that Haciber shot up and we all headed home.  I made a joke that she wanted to see if I'd really left oranges at her house and we all giggled at that.  I hadn't been home five minutes and Haciber is round with a return gift of tinned tomato paste and it's labelled with a basic label that I reckon comes in a food parcel to the pensioners.  I'm going to tell her that if she keeps giving me presents for everyone that I give her I'm going to stop....

At last we had a reasonable sunset and the temperature has really dropped.  Fire is going but I think I'm going to light the little one in the kitchen...it keeps the other part of the house warm.  I don't want any supper...I'm still stuffed from lunch.  It's supposed to start snowing around ten tonight but no sign of it so far.  As for my feeling of well being....I keep checking and my earring is still there.  I've yet to find the back for it but I'll keep looking as the snow further recedes unless there are shed loads tomorrow and I'll give up for a while.  LN...Keep smiling on me...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 16, 2017, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 16th January

Silly night...I was wide awake at two thirty, read for a while, topped up the fire and eventually got off at about four until seven thirty.  The snow was falling gently and it got up steam and it came down for the rest of the day.  I washed and dressed and headed out to clear the terrace so that I would hear the bread vans horn and didn't so I reckon that I'm on stale bread until tomorrow.  The birds got the rest of the unsliced while I kept the slice for me.

Just before nine I had a phone call in English from DHL asking me for more details of my address.  I explained that there are no more details, I do not have a street name and so I explained exactly where the house was in the village.  Before it was easy but now that the old bus shelter has gone I have to guess the distance from the main square.  She asked me if I spoke Bulgarian since the courier didn't and I said that I think I had enough to accept a delivery.  I spent the morning doing sudoku, reading, got another load of wood in and was trying to do something with the remains of the lamb which was proving to be difficult.  As I was stripping the bone the courier arrived, he dropped the parcel on the bench outside, I asked him if he needed a signature and he said that it wasn't necessary and off he went onto the snow covered road...no plough today so far.  I carried it into the house, unpacked it and was surprised by some of the contents and I'm not sure how the Brighton bus timetable found its way into the box.  All good but unfortunately I'm not able to move them on to their final destination...no way I'm venturing out in this.

I've had a lazy afternoon watching the snooker on Filmon but I did go out and clear the terrace, yard and my exit to the main road...just in case.  It looks like this weather is with us until the end of the week...enough now and the temperature is set to drop again...it's been OK today.  Tomorrow I'm doing something...though not sure what it is yet.  I need to be creative.  LN...I want an undisturbed sleep tonight...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 17, 2017, 5:11pm Report to Moderator

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Location: Mobile!
Tuesday 17th January

I'd woke up fairly early and put on the outside light to see if it had kept its promise and snowed and it had and it still was.  I threw a log on and went back to bed but didn't linger long....I really needed bread this morning.  To fill in the time so that I didn't miss the van I cleared the terraces and up to the wood store, had a bonfire and heard the snow tractor coming down the road and yes...he dumped a lot of the big stuff in front of the drive.  I soon went out there and cleared the remainer from the grarden and up to the road...I like to be clear just in case there is an emergency and it might not be of my making.  I saw the van outside Remsie's gate so made my way down to the bottom of the village to wait for him to arrive.  I saw Haciber as I was walking down and I just beat her to it.  I had two sliced and one unslice so that I don't have to watch out tomorrow and so that I have enough for the birds that seem to be relying on my donations.  As I walked back I noticed that Haciber's drive was really deep in snow so I went back with my trusty snow shovel and cleared from her door to the road and down to her wood shed.  For my trouble she handed me a bag of potatoes and onions and I stopped off on my way back and moved some of the snow from Beyser's drive and she was insistent at looking in my bag from Haciber and as I was walking back home, they both shouted me and she handed me four eggs.  So my efforts were rewarded.

I filled up my two log carriers and I have plenty in warming for the next few days.  I always like to burn the logs that have been in overnight.  Bit of a lazy day apart from this morning's efforts and it's been spent reading, sleeping as my eyes headed south for a while this afternoon and very little else.  The garden has been full of birds since I've been putting stuff out and at one point I counted six blackbirds at the feeding station and four tits.  The rest of the afternoon was spent cooking.  I'd got a chunk of pork out of the freezer last night so I took two sliced off it for tonight and the rest I cubed and there's a curry in the slow cooker for the next couple of days.  I made a sweet and sour sauce for the slices, peeled three potatoes and made Haselbacks, the pork went into the over until it was time to turn it over, the sauce was added and peas done to finish the meal off.  Really tasty and lychees and cream for afters.  It brought some colour into the day.

Seven my time and time for a little tele....More snow is expected overnight and tomorrow so I might be round the village again in the morning.  LN...Better get an early night...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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