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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 18, 2017, 7:01pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 18th January

Three thirty first wake up call, coffee and threw a log on the fire, read for a while and then got my head down until seven thirty.  There seems to be a pattern forming here and not sure if it's to keep the home fires burning.  I did look out and it was chucking it down again and all my work from yesterday clearing everything in sight was undone.  Ah well.

I didn't rush out this morning ....I stripped my bed and got my nest in the washing machine so tonight I have a beautiful clean bed to get in to and I really ought to get the boiler on for a bath so that I'm in a fit state to greet it.  While it was undone I turned the mattress, shook the mattress protector and put a fitted sheet on top of it to save the bottom sheet rucking up so I'll see if that works.  Breakfast of baked beans on toast but that was after I sorted out the feeding station for the birds.  They had apples and bread this morning and some chicken wings that I found lingering at the bottom of the fridge.  The blackies were back as were the tits and that seems to be the only variety I'm attracting at the moment.  

At one I went out to clear the yard, terraces and drive thinking that the plough had been through once and not anticipating that it would come through again.  I came in at three more or less and I'd even gotten down to clear the steps to the new underneath storage room that we've created.  It had more or less stopped snowing, I managed to get one container full of logs in and the I heard it rumbling down the road.  The snow plough was making a second trip and yes, it had blocked the drive again so out with the scoop and again I managed to clear it.  If you leave it and it's a hard frost, it's very difficult to shift that's why I make a point of keeping on top of it.

Made the bed up, finished one and started a new book, put one portion of the curry into the freezer and served up curry and rice at six thirty.  Almost nine my time and I'm heading for the bath tub...and a book at bedtime but making sure that I stay awake I don't want any more floating Kindles.  The terraces are covered again and it's again chucking it down so my work is cut out for tomorrow......LN...Fingers crossed for a restful night....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 19, 2017, 4:02pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 19th January

Well I had my bath, the Kindle survived but I fell asleep in there and woke up at twelve thirty and it was time for bed.  I dried off and got into my layers, threw a final log on the fire and slept through until six thirty this morning.  I did managed to take a photo at that time and was it wild out there.  Chucking it down and the wind was blowing it every which way.

I was still heaving at opening time, I heard the snow plough which heralds the arrival of the bread wagon but I still have provisions so didn't need to venture out.  I did look out of the upstairs guest room at the road though...no traffic and my drive was once again blocked by the fall out from the snow tractor.  I put it on my 'to do' list bur realised that there was not a lot I could or would do about it until it stops snowing.  I'm going no where.

I scrambled three eggs for breakfast and had them on toast finishing off with another slice of toast with apricot jam and it's seen me through for the rest of the day.  I did venture out about twelve to fill up the log container working on the principle of better safe than without dry wood, cleared the path to the wood shed first and through to the door but the wind was blowing straight for the door so I came up with a solution.  I've got some waterproof material that's used for sun blinds and I think I bought it to make something like a ship's sail to cover one of the terraces for shade.  Anyway....it's now folded double and suspended on one of my expandable shower curtain rails about a meter from the door to stop the snow blowing in the porch.  Another brainwave that I'll have to patent or build a proper porch and push the door to the other end of the terrace.  It would make a great place for storing wood when it's like this.

As for the rest of the day....I've kept both fires going, intended to make leak and potato soup but haven't got round to it yet but not really hungry since I've expended very little energy today.  It's not snowing so heavily just now but the forecast is not good for overnight but we're supposed to have sun tomorrow so I better get clearing before it starts thawing.  Guess we'll be testing out the drain holes in the wall.

And now for a little television..and no bath tonight.   LN....I'll do for a few more days....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 20, 2017, 6:15pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 20th January

Silly night again...I went to bed at ten and woke up at twelve and the sleep bug had gone.  I read until two thirty and then managed to get rid of the night until six thirty and then it was in to the day.  I juiced a couple of oranges, one lemon, into a glass with hot water, salt and honey, topped up with hot water and back to bed with the Kindle.  Seven thirty saw me getting washed and dressed, I wanted fresh bread so that I could give the old to the birds and I was out clearing the route to the wood store, a new position for the bird feeding station and the burning of the kitchen rubbish.  I heard the snow tractor heading down the road so I stood by the gate and challenged him to drop his load on my exit to the road.  He saw me, manoeuvred his scoop into the drive, stopped, angled it inot the pile on the right of my drive and scooped it further down the road.  He reversed up, had another shot at it and took even more out for me.....I love him...

Back to the personal clearing...I cleared the terrace, opened up the little house and the wood store and got in the wood for the day for both fires and more tinder.  Out went the curry and rice from the night before last and the stale bread into the feeding bowl and one eager blackie was out already.  The bread wagon didn't come today but the Djebel bus did even though it was late.  I'm not short of bread....I still have one in the freezer so there was no panic.  As for birds, I've acquired a jay who dropped in, took the biggest piece of bread and shot off again.  A very shy bird.

An afternoon of sofa surfing with the Kindle and snoozing, it was on with Filmon and the snooker.  I've just made supper of cheese and potato pie topped with bacon and I've made two so one for another day.  It should be ready in around ten minutes and the Trump monster has really shook up the schedules for today.  Everything seems to have moved channels.  So down for supper I can smell it, it's ready.  LN....I'll let you know how tasty it was...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 21, 2017, 3:46pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 21st January

Another silly night and I was awake at four thirty so it was log on, check on the snowfall and there was no new stuff, a glass of water and then back to bed.  I read for a while and went off again until seven thirty, washed, dressed and out clearing the lounge terrace letting the weather do the rest.  I checked for the bread van and missed it apparently.  I mentioned to Remsier that it hadn't turned up and she said that it had at twenty to nine so not sure where I was when that happened.  

It's been a very lazy day.  I used the rest of the bacon from last night and had it with a fried egg and fried bread.  I topped up the feeding station but they weren't too keep on cornflakes and they're still in the dish.  The jay was hanging around in the tree but I didn't managed to catch it at the trough so to speak...it was far too quick for that.  I finished my book and realise that I've got the books out of sequence so I was on the internet to see where I'd gone wrong so that I get them back in order.  My eyes did head southwards for an hour or so but hopefully not enough to spoil another night.  

It's been a beautiful day...lots of sun but very cold so I walked the estate this afternoon and was amazed by the different animal tracks that there are.  Some are so light on the surface and it would be good to know what they are.  My wellie boot tracks were easy to follow....they went down two feet more or less and to prove it my trousers were wet when i came in.  It's going to be another cold one tonight....there is very little movement on the snow on the road and very little traffic.  I think it might be Monday before I manage to get out but the Beast started first time today.

So now I've settled in to watch the snooker....my favourite Ronnie is battling it out as we speak.  Supper will be what I find and want to cook....the second cheese and onion pie that was going to be put into the freezer never made it...I finished it last night.  Another restful day tomorrow....apart from clearing the remaining terraces in the morning.  LN...Back to the snooker...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 22, 2017, 5:06pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 22nd January

Well this was the first morning that I woke up and the air in the bedroom was cold.  The fire hadn't been going all that well last night and it must have gone out around one so the first job was to clear out the soot from the top of the wood burner and then get the fire lighter into action.  It didn't take long and it was many minuses out last night so I wasn't surprised that there was a chill in the air.  I looked out and the mountains had disappeared...there was freezing fog and I could't see the bottom of the garden.  Coffee, cosied down once the fire was going, washed and dressed for eight and gave up on the bread wagon....it was too cold standing around in anticipation.

I found some mushrooms in the fridge that had in fact frozen so I made a point of adjusting the temperature setting.  I thawed them out, peeled them, fried them off in butter and had them on toast.  I put a couple of slices of bread out with some of the sauce from the sweet and sour pork that I found in the fridge for the birds and added some onions and leeks and made the rest into soup for lunch.  My next job was to separate out some chicken legs that I'd bought on my last trip into Kardjali.  Stupidly I'd left them all in one bag so it was boiling the kettle and angling the hot water to the best position and now I have two lots of two in individual bags and three waiting for some action on my part.  

Two lots of wood in and then the sun came out and the temperature shot up to twenty eight in the house...who needs fires. I grabbed the snow shovel, cleared part of the garden, the little house terrace and the steps down to the under storage and I've a mystery with the water drains.  Both grills were not where they should be but they were iced t the concrete and I left them for another day.

Snooker this afternoon and I'll be ready for the evening session.  I had some of the soup for lunch so no really in the mood for any top-ups...LN...Bath, snooker, top up fire and bed...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 23, 2017, 4:46pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 23rd January

So Ronnie did it last night and I'm not sure which charm school he's attending but he seems to have changed from the bad boy that I first admired from afar.  Not a clean cut game towards the end but he still on cue so to speak.  I banked the fire up overnight...I didn't want to wake up with cold air brushing my face again despite the fact that it was heading into well below last night...no excuse for it to creep inside.  Six thirty and it was just about it so topped it up, back to bed with coffee and was then humming and arhing as to whether I would catch the nine o'clock bus and spend an hour waiting for Mrs D of S in Djebel or get out the Beast and risk it.  If I was going in then I had cards I had to make and get in the post so it was washed dressed, I jumped into several layers since it was a damp, cold and grey day out there, put a load of washing in, had a bonfire and it was still only eight thirty.  Made the cards, red winter boots on, put the snow shovel in the Beast and left at about ten.

I drove really slowly and I realised that I hadn't taken my camera should I have any mishaps but I had remembered my phone.  I set off OK and one of the guys from the village who works in the petrol station started off after me and followed me most of the way to the main road.  It wasn't an easy journey up to that point but it was wacky races on the main road...idiots driving too fast for the conditions, overtaking where they shouldn't and I'd almost forgotten...I'm in BG and that's what they do.  Djebel was heaving and had trouble finding a parking place on the main street so I headed towards the post office with the intention of phoning Mrs D of S from there.  I parked on a side road, went into the post office and she was in there already...she'd managed to get a lift into town.  Happy New Years were said and a general catch-up, I related the saga of the ear-ring while we waited, and waited, and waited for the man who usually takes in the mail to put in an appearance but it was the one lady who appeared to be doing everything.  She called us over to join the main queue and we waited another half hour until our turn came up.  That done I paid my house phone bill, I went to my lev magazine and my lady had managed to find me another stainless steel milk churn which I was overjoyed about.  I told her I wanted to make an outside candle holder out of it and she thought that I was very creative....it's not done yet...tell me that when it's finished.  We walked through the market and towards the supermarket,  We didn't stop for coffee as she'd left the little one with a neighbour and didn't want to be out long.  I went back to the car and back to the post office to get my annual road permit but despite the queue inside, the door was locked and no more were getting in....either that or it was a hostage situation that nobody was taking much notice of.  I drove back to town and over the one of the local garages and managed to get the permit from there.  The guy was determine to speak to me in English and I managed to fill in the gaps in Bulgaria and we got along just fine.  I stopped off at the supermarket and then gingerly started for home.  You don't realise how many hills and valleys there are until you come to drive it in the snow.  The roads in Djebel were disgusting.  The pavements were very icy and the locals were really complaining.  There was no salted grit down and apparently there were lots of complaints.  

So I met one of the really long steady hills coming out of Djebel and was doing fine until I hit some rutted ice...the Beast skittered a little but then it was slow and steady and my next issue was getting back in the drive.  I've cleared most of it as you know so I parked a little below my drive, got out and opened the gates, back into the Beast and tried reversing onto the drive and with all wheels not liking the upward gradient.....I slithered about.  I tried again and decided to carry on to the next village, turn around where the bus turns and approach the drive from the hill down and it worked.  Straight in, parked up, emptied car, fire relit, chicken legs into the oven, early chicken and chippies for supper, book out and head down for an hour or so.  It's supposed to be minus ten tonight so I shall be keeping the home fires burning.  Now that the snooker has finished I shall have to find something else to occupy me....you can only read so many books.  It might be out with the crotchet hook and use up some of the wool I have.

So it looks like the Beast is back in the drive and won't be going out for a while even though it's now legal for the coming year.  I little Filmon....I forgot my camera so no shots today but at least I conquered my fear and managed to drive to Djebel and stock up with sweet nibbles...LN...Logs on and what is there nice to eat....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 24, 2017, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 24th January

Another silly night...woke up at one thirty and read until five, slept until seven thirty and have had a rotten day.  It's been cold, dull, I've felt cold and there really wasn't any need.  The fire was going though not well.  I think it's something to do with the lack of wind or the weather...no draught up the chimney.

Breakfast was toast with a new marmalade that I'd got sometime in summer and it had added cinnamon.  All I can say is I wouldn't buy it again.  It's been a mixture or reading, game playing and sleeping.  I didn't get the wood in until two thirty today but once out there I got out the metal spade and chipped the ice from the little house terrace and steps.  I checked out the steps down to the under house storage room and replaced the covers on the drainage pipes.  I was unsure why they'd become displaced so I've put them back to see if they stay where they should be.

Haciber came round this afternoon with a bowl of rice and meat so it must be someone's mevlit.  Her sister was with her and I invited them in but the sister said that she had lots of work to do and I reckon they were round the village delivering their rice.  I handed them the dish back..I'd rinsed it but not thoroughly and mentioned this when I handed it back but it didn't seem to worry either of them.

The camera never came out today...it was dull and I felt the same way.  There is supposed to be snow again overnight and there were a few flakes falling earlier.   LN...Pretty please..a better night tonight...LN
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Elsa Peters
January 25, 2017, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 25th January

Much better night...seven thirty start this morning and only one put stop of ten minutes or so.  Perhaps the recipe is two bad night and one good one...I must start keeping a chart.  Fire was still going so I rescued it but didn't bother with the little one...it was cold but not that cold.  I put the thermometer that I'd been using inside, outside and reset it.  It gives minimum, maximum and current and having just checked it out...it apparently reached three degrees and I reckon that must have been when I left the door open this afternoon and it's not dropped lower than the zero but that wind was bleak.

I spent a lot of the morning in bed reading until I was ready for breakfast.  I cooked spicy sausage with a fried egg and it was lashing of coffee all day today and not done a lot.  I designed and printed some new business cards, not that I have a business but whenever I'm asked for my telephone number I can never remember it.  Ask me what numbers I've had in the past and I'm OK with that...I have a mental block of my own...hence the cards.  It's also useful if you have to complain and take things back...leave them a card and there's no excuse.  I've had music going all day today.  I had this urge to play the 'Fiddler on the Roof' CD which was a present from Princess and it normally brings a tear to my eye....but only the one.  I think it goes back to a romance when I was much younger and never played itself out because of religious differences.  'Nuf said'...

No wood to get in today....I seem to have stocked up well yesterday and I've not had the fire roaring away.  Once the house gets warm it sort of stays that way...until it's minus fifteen outside...then it struggles a bit.  I've also got a couple of external drives that I've looked through today.  There are lots of old photos on them of various holidays around the world and I was amazed at some of the pickies of Petra and Ephesus....sometimes we just forget.  I've lit the little wood burner and it soon warms the place up and I've just been to check it out.  There was lots of crackling coming from the kitchen but everything is fine...the house isn't on fire but there's a surge of heat coming up the stairs.  

So nothing on the cards for tomorrow.  I was invited out for supper tonight to my students since I haven't seen them since I've been  back but I said no because of the roads.  It's one thing risking it in the daytime when there's traffic...another at night when there's not much about.  We'll save it for another time.  The third of the chicken legs will go tonight...cold with mayo and it should be enough to see me through.  I do prefer a good breakfast and pick for the rest of the day.  Not much activity these days and don't want to go back to being a chunky waller.  The snow that was predicted never arrived and according to the forecast...we have sun tomorrow...let's wait and see.  LN...Photos, post, supper, bed and book....LN

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Elsa Peters
January 26, 2017, 3:25pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 26th January

It was a good night and a five o'clock start but I had a good book to finish so not a problem with that.  Fire rescued, coffee made and back to bed.  Out by seven thirty, more coffee and since it was cold and cold and more cold, I decided to cook my breakfast early to give my body something to work on.  One spicy sausage sliced and fried and two fried eggs and it did the trick.  I lit the little fire in the kitchen to give the house an extra boost and sat on the sofa reading and I could hear this ping, ping and it was coming from the metal pipes from the wood burner to the chimney and it had just started to snow.  Now the fire was going well and obviously everything was getting a little warm so I fully closed up the wood burner, the pump was going hell for leather and I was getting a little concerned.  Eventually everything calmed down, it was the rubbish on the insides of the pipes pinging off as the pipes expanded so I now had a job to do.  I waited until everything had cooled down, removed the pipes, cleaned them outside, cleaned the burner, put them back and lit the fire again,  Start to finish...twenty minutes but it's a job that you put off...it had been on my mind to do and now it's done.  There wasn't an awful lot of soot but obviously the heat had instigated the outcome.

The snow didn't come to much, I did top up the feeding station for the birds but not had many visitors.  I think they're able to forage so that must be what they've been doing.  The sun eventually came out around two this afternoon but it hasn't melted much.  The outside thermometer has come in again...it felt much colder than the minus three it had recorded and I don't think I've put it in the correct position to give an accurate reading.  It need to be in the shade but if I do that with it I can't see it without going outside to look closely at it....back to the drawing board Cecil....

Early update today, I'm getting a little bit bored now and I'm tired of sudoku and reading even though I've got a good book on the go.  I suppose I could always start making lavender bags...I've got a bucket of seeds from last year....now to drum up the enthusiasm.  I need to attend to the fires...it supposed to be down to minus seventeen overnight...and that's cold.  LN...I have work to do...LN

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Elsa Peters
January 27, 2017, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 27th January

So today I am saying happy birthday to my eighteen year old CJ and I've put some money in the 'Bank of Mum' so that he can get what he wants or what he needs.  I messaged him on FB...I've posted his card but it was late getting to the post office because there was no getting out.  They might surprise me though...it could be there...well live in hope as they say.

Five start this morning and despite how hard I tried I couldn't get off again.  It was a cold one and no fire had survived so it was emergency fire lighting but it didn't take too long before the water started galloping through the radiators.  It couldn't have been out long.  Coffee and back to bed but I really couldn't get into the book that is written by the blockbuster I've just finished reading.  The characters had changed and maybe it was one of his earlier ones...not the same bite to it.  It was half past eight when I made my beans on toast, put the food out for the birds and cleaned up the kitchen.  The sky was clear at first light, then a hell of a front came over from Turkey that eventually ran its course and the sun broke through.  It was very slow at first but despite the sun, it didn't warm up very much..the snow is still very crisp and not so even after I made my way down to the bottom of the garden following the animal snow prints.  I think the hare is visiting and something big that puts one foot in front of the other....I should get me a web cam.  Wood in and found a few big ones in the outside heap in the garage that have been brought in to keep the home fires burning.  They'll sit for a couple of days to warm up...they're not damp only cold.

Lay in the sun and had another attempt at the book but managed to find another by the same author with the same characters so settled for than one instead.  Head down by twelve but Haciber was round with a Mevlit chocolate croissant and some chocolate milk drink so that was lunch and it's been pickerty witch for the rest of the day.  Checked the thermometer and the temperature went up to twenty eight in the house today with the sun being on the windows so the fire was allowed to go out but they're both going now....it's going to be another gold one.  

I checked out the road surface and nothing has moved and it's a skating rink out there.  Yes I have got a four wheel drive and I could go out but I'm not really short of anything...just would like a little company and see a few more faces.  I could visit my neighbours but they mainly speak Turkish and that's really hard work...I could manage the Bulgarian but they can't.  So in for a few more days...I didn't get round to the lavender bags and didn't really get round to much at all.  I must try harder tomorrow.  LN...I'll talk to myself later to night...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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