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Elsa Peters
February 8, 2017, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 8th February

Such a silly night last night or rather this morning.  Two thirty...not an ounce of sleep in me so I was reading until five thirty, dog dozed for an hour or so and was still up and at it at eight.  There's really no rhyme or reason for it....but it's probably through lack of activity.  It's so damp and miserable out there and has been all day...bring on spring.

Two lots of wood in today and I've got plenty of dry stuff to last me the day but with the temperature dropping over the weekend, it's good to get enough of the other in so that it will dry out.  I did put the orangeria back together again as well as I could...the wind had bent the hinges and it needs a little love and attention and it was raining too much to do anything about it.  I'll save it for another day.

I managed to knock off the second book in the series of five today and it was a very comfortable place to be on the sofa. I didn't have a sleep today so hopefully I should do OK tonight but I still have three books to go so I shouldn't get bored if the sleepy dust doesn't last me out the night.  I did play around with the curtain rails and I just couldn't get them to stay up.  The plaster is so soft that if you put pressure on it crumbles....back to the drawing board Cecil...

Sweet and sour spare rib chops topped off with pineapple and a large jacket potato.  I'm not happy with the last lot of potatoes I bought from Kaufland.  They seem to go really soggy when they are baked and have no body to them.  I've only got another eight kilos to go before I lob them over the wall for the animals.  Lots of starlings in the garden pecking at the ground so there must be something there to interest them.  I did do another search for the back of my ear-ring but nothing to report.  Now heading to the kitchen to do something with the rest of the pineapple....something sweet to finish on.  LN...Off to be creative....LN




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

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Thursday 9th February

Five start this morning but I ignored my Kindle on the bedside table and got my head down again.  Have you ever had such a long dream or so it seems and then you wake up one hour later...six thirty for me but was that a dream and a half.  Got the fire going since it was a little chilly this morning and there was going to be little help from the sun...I was not going to see it all day.  I checked out the thermometer and it's hovered at the zero all day and the wind has been really cold.

So washed and dressed ready for the  bread van and since his horn still doesn't work I stood looking out of the window towards the road and then decided to go out and look for my ear-ring back again and the van was coming down the road.  He signalled that he would stop for me outside the house but I flagged him on so that I could maybe see some of my neighbours but no one else appeared.  I mimicked the horn hoping that it would get a few of them out of their houses but still no one emerged.  Apparently he's getting his horn fixed tomorrow...that should make life a little easier for him and he should start making money again.

Made chicken, mushroom and sweetcorn soup this afternoon ...had it for lunch and wasn't it a let down.  I have a whole pan of it but I think the animals might get it over the wall tomorrow unless I put some curry in it and spice it up a little...I'll give it a try.  I was out this afternoon taking a photo of my water meter clock so that I can challenge my bills.  I don't get a bill and only get demands through a text message and have noticed that my bills have rocketed.  I'm thinking that they're not even reading it so hence the photo.  The office is in Djebel so I'm off there tomorrow....wish me luck.  Beyser came round this afternoon and gave me five presents and I'm not sure why.  She's one of the neighbours that hasn't really much command of Bulgarian and insists on speaking Turkish to me.  I smile, nod and we get there eventually.

It's supposed to be snowing by seven tonight...it's late.  As I used to say to my daughter...it's too cold for snow and it's what my mother used to say to me....and my daughter now comes out with it....how history repeats itself.  So no supper for me...that soup is still lingering.  LN...Wish me luck with the Waterboard...LN



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Elsa Peters
February 10, 2017, 5:52pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 10th February

The sleep of the just and it was the magic seven twenty again this morning...it must be something in the water.  I did wake up briefly at five and there wasn't any snowfall but at seven twenty there was.  Not much just a covering but boy was it cold.  Lit the fire and got that roaring away and went out to give the birds some bread since they were hopping about on the wall looking for something to peck at but I didn't stay there long.  Boiled eggs for breakfast but I left them a little long in the water so no dippy eggs for me.  The upside was the pirates didn't get me for leaving egg yolk on the plate.  

My next activity was to concentrate on my water meter and try and work out if I needed a new one.  I phoned my painter since he knows these things and he was on his way to my house to deliver a letter...result.  I was lighting the bonfire when he arrived so we headed for the water meter and with camera in hand I took another photo.  We packed it away again and applied the polystyrene insulation as a frost protector and armed with the printed photo we headed for Djebel.  Fortunately he hadn't got any work today with it being so cold.  We took it steady...there was only a light covering of snow but it wasn't good out there and managed to park outside.  In we went and I know the lady in there quite well and she looked at my account.  I don't get monthly bills since I pay electronically but we've agreed that in future I shall get one.  Now apparently they don't read the meter every month so hence my thirty leva bill.  It was to make up for the underpayment over the summer.  Now that's OK for me, but for those on a limited local pension it's a bummer....that's a lot of money for one month.  So she told me that the last guessed reading from the computer was seven hundred and seventeen cubic meters and she explained to me that you don't read the clocks....the number that you need is the one that we weren't able to read so she arranged for a meter maid to attend to get an accurate read,  We drove home and checked the reading and it is less and reads seven hundred and eleven so to date I've overpaid and it's going to take another couple of months before it's adjusted.  Great if you can afford it...rubbish if you can't.

So I topped up the fire again and lay on the sofa with my book....I couldn't seem to get warm today so I lit the little wood burner in the kitchen to give it a boost.  It was a raw wind today and then the freezing fog came down but no more snow so far...I think it's too cold for snow today.

As for supper...I've picked the chicken out of the soup and tonight it will be a curry.  That ad the rice is sitting on the big wood burner finishing off....the birds can have the rest of the soup tomorrow.  It was an experiment went wrong but there again...you can't get it right every time.  So nearly time for Eggheads and that jackpot is huge at the moment, my curry should be ready so I'm kitchen bound.  LN...I hope the birds like it for breakfast....LN  



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Elsa Peters
February 11, 2017, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 11th February

Seven fifteen this morning...my clock is fast.  Coffee, fires, both of them and then took the morning to come to.  It was cold, cold, cold out there so I chose my attire carefully.  Fleece pyjamas covered by padded trousers, two layers of socks, an extra fleece jumper covered by a wool cardigan.  I think this is the coldest daytime spell for a while brought on my an extra cold wind.  I went out and put the remains of a loaf out for the birds and the rest of the soup got sloshed onto the garden.  I'm not sure whether it was a scraggy new cat that found it or the birds but it's all gone now.

It's Saturday and full of possibilities but none were acted upon.  It was cold, cold, cold out there.  I did do the garden saunter but soon came in again but got the camera out and took photos of the rooks that were hanging around the trees and the hillside.  They are such nervous specimens....the slightest hint of movement and they are off but en mass they did harass a magpie after the lobbed goodies. Beauty went on life support in the form of the battery charger so that I could move her over in the garage to get at the logs at the back.  I've just remembered to disconnect and it's worked, started first time and I've nudged her over.  I't amazing how you forget about gears and things...I'm so used to driving the Beast.  I loaded up the two log carriers and a basket of the really old wood to kick start if the wood burners go low, got them all into the house, went to lock up and that new scraggy cat shot out of the little house...lucky escape and perhaps it's found its new name.

Settled in and watched the temperature rise in the house to comfortable, read for a while, had a sleep and started to watch the rugby, got bored and found that Shrek was on so settled in for that. They're supposed to be for children but the hidden jokes make it all worth watching.  Class acts.  About to settle in for the England Wales match once I post this...supper is the remains of last night's curry which was superb and then back to my fire.  As I said I've just disconnected the charger and it's going to be lots of minuses tonight with high chill factor.  Not a night to be out and about.  Might have a visit tomorrow so it will be hoover out at the crack of just in case...have to keep up appearances you know...   LN...Rugby and supper....LN  



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Elsa Peters
February 12, 2017, 5:50pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 12th February

Silly four thirty start this morning so I topped up the fire and kept the house warm...I was having a little person as a visitor later in the day and can't have little people getting cold.  I made a coffee and went back to bed and eventually got out by seven thirty thinking I needed a visit to the bread man but I'd still got enough to last until tomorrow.  I wasn't up for breakfast this morning...you get days like this and I was tossing up between a shower or bath, running the hoover round or going back to my book...and well...it is Sunday.  I settled for the hoover, top to bottom, I washed the stair down and the visible floor tiles, thought I'd picked up my earring back in the hoover so when the house was finished, I removed the said bag and headed out for 'outside duties'.  I tidies up the bonfire area where the animals had scattered the rubbish far and wide, relit the bonfire, went through the contents of the hoover bag and found a self tapping screw that obviously was what I thought was my elusive back to my earring.  I got in a basket of the really dry rubbish wood from the little house to burn in the kitchen wood burner and then settled back into my book with only twenty percent left to read.      

My Kindle pinged and Mrs D of S asked if she could head over to pick up my trolley dolly suitcase since she couldn't manage a rucksack and a baby when she goes on her travels with the little one.  I did offer to take in the little one until she comes back...I think daddy would be a tad upset...so she let me down gently.

Cheese sandwich for lunch and an early supper for me.  Diced up a load of vegetables and put them in the oven to roast along with about seven chicken wings.  I thought I did enough veg for two sittings but no such luck...I demolished the lot with mayo while watching the rugby.  Another good match and the French just seemed a little smarter.  I answered the door to Remsier's grandson and he handed me an official looking document in Bulgarian.  It's something to do with the village and Djebel and he kept pointing out the three letters in the header but I haven't a clue what it's about so I'll head into Djebel tomorrow and my student's mum can do a quick transl;ate for me.

Boiler on...it's going to be a nice leisurely soak tonight...off with one set of pyjamas and on with another.  This weather does make you lazy...padded trousers on top of pyjama bottoms...it's the way to stay warm.  Just a little Filmon while the boiler warms up to 'piping'.  LN...This could take some time...LN
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Elsa Peters
February 13, 2017, 4:16pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 13th February

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago...I gave birth to my first born at three ten in the morning on the thirteenth of this month.  Have a happy birthday son and lots more of them hopefully.  Only one question ...where did all those years go?  When we come to look back on the years there are bits that come back in buckets and other years that have just gone by but when we really start to think about it, each year is significant for some special event.

Lovely moon last night and apparently it's called the snow moon....bit late for me...most of the snow has disappeared but as for that cold icy air and wind that it's left behind...it's raw out there.  So usual routines starting at seven fifteen...my clock is running fast.  I didn't make it to the bread van....I'd had my bath last night, went to bed with dampish hair which is not ideal so was drying it off this morning before I went out just in case it set solid in the icy wind.  One load of washing completed and again I was tossing up whether to give it a blow or not and I decided not.  On to the clothes airer in the bathroom and now it's ready to put away.

Into Djebel in the Beast complete with my letter that I needed translating...just in case it was giving me notice to quit Bulgaria.  I parked up on the main town centre park and it's unusual to find spaces on market day.  My student's mum said that she too had a letter, it's from the local authority informing that the village has a policeman allocated to it and giving me a specific number to call should I have any problems.  This might be a time to get the documentation for Beauty sorted out.....my own policeman.....I wonder if he speaks English.   So went to the card shop, over to the leva shop, walked the market, into the supermarket and home for one.  The fire was still going so topped it up, huge cheese and onion sandwich made with the fresh loaf that I'd got in Djebel and had a couple of hours sleep this afternoon.  At this point the fire needed rescuing, chicken in the oven for tonight and the rest will be curried.  It's only Monday and those ducks appear to be lining up.

I phoned the Librarian and tomorrow we are meeting up and heading down to Zlatograd.  I get most of my minced beef from there...I pick out the lump of beef, it gets minced before my eyes so I know what goes into it.  Some of the stuff that you buy from the supermarkets should contain a government health warning.  I'll be popping in to see Mrs D of S either on the way over or on the way back...have a little something to leave for the little one.  Time for Filmon now...I've just checked the chicken and it's cooked to perfection...LN....Let the evening begin....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 14, 2017, 4:46pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 14th February

Just before seven start and lit the fire despite the fact that I was out for an early start.  It's a feel good thing.  Coffee, put the washing away checked the thermometers in the house and there were three different readings.  I ignored the one at minus fifty and guess that one's not working, the other wasn't showing the same as the one that I brought over from the UK so I reckon it must be showing China degrees and global warming couldn't have reached the factory yet.  They only cost one leva so I'll have add the error factor each time...that's when I work out which one is correct....

Out of the house for half eight and the Beast was a little reluctant to start.  I checked the thermometer in the car and it was showing minus eight so now I knew why.  If I'd been out all night in that temperature...I'd have felt the same way.  So I delivered the hat and scarf present for the little one and got to the motel to meet the Librarian for nine thirty as agreed.  We had a coffee in the motel since we both needed the loo...it was just so cold...and then into Zlatograd for some shopping.  I stopped on the way to get some diesel and twice now I've been asked if I'm Russian when speaking Bulgarian.  It means one of two things...either I'm speaking it to technically correct for a Bulgarian or the extra clothes that I'm wearing made him think I could be a shot putter...   Dinky do shops are a must and picked up a present for Princess that I think she'll like, butchers for the mince meat that they mince in front of your eyes so that you know what's going in, one whole kidney, lunch of half a chicken each eaten al fresco despite the chill but in a sheltered spot with the sun on us and then back to Benkovski to finish at the supermarket.  What a lovely gentle day.  In the one shop I spotted a frog hat suitable for the little one and so I dropped it off on the way back and stayed for an hour or so playing with the baby until she got bored and fell asleep.  So much for my baby skills.

I got the camera out on the way back and it's good to have some colour in the pickies....Lit the fire, unpacked the car and the mince is waiting for me to put it into individual bags in usable chunks, I did managed to eat a big fat chocolate cake with my coffee and put the rest of the shopping away.  I think I might be having a guest for the next couple of days...better start sorting beds out.....LN  Not used to this entertaining lark...LN



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Elsa Peters
February 14, 2017, 5:00pm Report to Moderator

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Just a few more pickies



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Elsa Peters
February 15, 2017, 5:55pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 15th February

Happy Birthday to big Bob...hope you have many more.

As for last night ...my rib was giving me a hard time and I was toying with a visit to the doctors this morning but instead I stripped beds, got that washing done and got ready for my guest.  I also fiddled around with the latch on the under house room.  Somehow the catch doesn't want to undo so I was using my intelligence to try to fix it but...to no avail.  So I was playing around in the garden with my pyjamas on and snow boots and I heard a whistle from the yard and there is only Emular that does that when he can't see me.  Apparently the mayor had received a telephone call from the post office to say that there was a parcel and letters down in the next village for me and could I go down and fetch them.  I said to Emular that I would take a few minutes to throw some clothes on and he decided to come with me.  It's a good job that he did.  The post office is undergoing a refit and they've moved it down the road and I never would have found it.  So one parcel and three cards...all warming up for my birthday.

Beds remade and the Librarian arrived after lunch and we sat down to a bit of a ploughman's lunch and sat in the sun enjoying the beautiful day.   I got the fires going around three and I heard some activity out in the street and there was one of my neighbours with his wife on top of the haycart and two other neighbours taking photographs.  I rushed inside for camera and managed to record the happy scene.  More wood in and I was tasked with taking off the Voice Navigator from the Librarian's laptop when there was a rustle at the door and Gouldjan's mother was there.  She insisted on giving me two lots of meat from her fatted calf and a huge container of her home-made yogurt.  I offered coffee but instead opened a bottle of red...it was cold out there and one for the Librarian and one for her and I'm still on the wagon after fourteen months...now who'd have thought it.  Off she toddled complete with another bottle of red and three large apples...I'm such a bad influence on my neighbours.

So we sat down to a chicken curry supper and fresh yogurt and apricot jam, everything washed away and I've just downloaded the instructions for removing said Voice Navigator.  Wish me luck ...I'm off see if I can manage it.  LN....Down to the fire and my Kindle...LN



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Elsa Peters
February 16, 2017, 6:11pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 16th February

Not a particularly good night...my poor rib was aching but today I managed to get some tablets that should do the trick....They're the ones that were prescribed when I did in the last lot. Seven start and the Librarian came to about the same time so we coffeed, the house was warm so there were no fires to sort out and the sun was up over the hills already.  We sat around until breakfast was calling so it was a couple of poached eggs on toast for the pair of us, washed dressed and we were out in the car for eleven.

We set off up into the hills through a village called Mishevo heading for Ardino.  There was still lots of snow left on the high roads and we met a bunch of loggers who insisted in having their photo taken and we were suitably impressed by the toilet roll hanging from one of the branches.  Civilisation in the back of beyond.  We managed to get round the wagon and as it happened we turned right on the main road and went up to visit a hotel that I knew before it became a hotel.  Some of you will know that I intended buying a school when I first came over which didn't come to pass and I was messed around rather badly by a Bulgarian Estate Agent.  Anyway that's water under the bridge and unfortunately we weren't able to have lunch there...it looked like the hotel had closed down for the season.

Backinto Kardjali and we headed for our restaurant by Kardjali Dam.  The food is always and it's not crowded at lunchtime so the service is excellent.  Back into Kardjali and a little bit of shopping and I managed to pick up a cheapy sweater and dark red pigskin jacket for approximately six English pounds...and now I must find a cruise that I can take it on.  Home for five, fire going and my student family arrived at six thirty complete with cake and presents.  They are so lovely and I've arranged to take the two daughters swimming in a couple of weeks time at an indoor swimming pool.  

So nothing for me for supper...I'm far too stuffed from lunch.  Tomorrow I have presents and card to open and thanks Princess...it's been a temptation to get my sticky paws on it.  Two cakes bought from the shop and I shall be delivering it round the village tomorrow to my ladies....LN...Get the serviettes ready.....LN



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