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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  NOVEMBER 2017
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Elsa Peters
November 20, 2017, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 20th November

So six thirty start for me and it was chucking it down.  I lingered with my book and a coffee until seven fifteen and set about getting ready for fetching the men.  The phone went at seven twenty and Bekir had deiced that it was far too wet to work so they were having the day off.  Sod's law egh...it I hadn't have got the little car, known now as Black Beauty, it would have been a really fine day and I would have wasted it.  As it was, I would have paid the men today so what I didn't pay has paid for the car for the week or so.  Reverse logic came into play there...it's the way that I rationalise things...   So at seven thirty I was all ready and nowhere to go so I lit the fire, got out the Kindle and finished the book.

I spent quite a bit of time watching the birds this morning...there were just so many starlings in the garden, on the hillside and making lots of patterns in the air but difficult to catch up there.  I decided to put the television on midway through the morning and suddenly 'This Morning' stopped transmitting and published a 'sorry' screen and the announcer was really funny to listen to.  His first announcement said that they would be back with us in a few seconds and they were working very hard to fix the problem but the next one stated 'minutes' and the third one 'as soon as possible' and that they were still working 'very hard'.  I kept watching to see how frantic he would get and eventually it was restored but it must have been five minutes or so.  There was no explanation until later when Philip Schofield said that two large cables had become unplugged and demonstrated it....my thought was that it was down to a piece they'd had on earlier about how to find out discount codes for major retailers.  I looked up from my desk and noticed that there was snow on them there hills...winter is on its way and the temperature has certainly dropped.

Having had a phone call from Black Beauty's owner advising me that there wasn't the statutory winter bag with fire extinguisher and the rest in the car, I went to check to see if there was one in Beauty and there wasn't so I headed into Djebel to buy one just in case I'm stopped by the police.....I don't want a fine.  I also mentioned to my student's mum that we'd spoken about house insurance but had done nothing about it.  Tomorrow it will be sorted...it's so cheap here that it would be rude not to.  

Back home for four and realised that I hadn't put a bucket over the rhubarb so found one in the little house and it's now in place with a bucket over it ...the wind has really picked up tonight.  I also put some protection round the oleander but I'll make a better job of it tomorrow when there's more light.  Chicken wings in the oven with potato wedges, six my time and I'm settled in for the night.  The fire has been going all day and the house is pretty toasty so a little bit of TV-Catchup and into the next book...she's got a very easy style to her writing.  LN...Supper is ready...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 21, 2017, 5:46pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 21st November

So it was an early morning start at five and I don't know whether I was cold or net....I didn't feel it but I'd not put my extra pyjama top on last night and the temperature really had dropped.  It was the first major frost of this winter.  I did managed to go off again until seven, washed, dressed and ready to pick up the men and it took quite a while to defrost Black Beauty.  I put the heater on in the car and it does nothing....I might have to mention it at the garage tomorrow...it might just be a switch.  The men were ready and didn't recognise the car.  The cafe owner came out and invited me in for a coffee so I sat down with Bekir while Sally warmed himself on the woodburner.  Off we went to the materials year to get a couple of lengths of the square metal to get going on the balustrade for the little house terrace.  It cost three lev so not a bad deal.  Home for nine thirty more or less, the men got started and I got going on the clementine marmalade, made the men's coffee and at that point the Librarian unexpectedly arrived and was on her way to Kardjali.  I turned off the marmalade and got decent trousers on.

Before we set off I calculated with Bekir how many more tiles we needed to tile the new porch.  We found twelve in the little house left over from the bathroom so reckoned that it would probably take another fourteen to finish it but I decided to buy twenty to give a few spares.  We set off down the back lane which was a little treacherous but she took it slowly, stopped off to get the tiles and fortunately they had the same ones.  Next stop was to the Billa where we bought breakfast and we sat in the car eating it and then to the coffee shop and on to the lev shop.  We had a quick trip round the cheapy shop and picked up a fleece work sweater, Lidl and home again via the back lane, unpacked the car and off she went.

The men had chugged on, I made them a coffee since they'd not made any while I was out, put the shopping away and the tiles into the little house and then time for a camera shoot.  The temperature had started to drop so at five the men were in the car and off we set.  I stopped off at Mrs D of S for about twenty minutes and home in quicksticks.  I'd lit the fire before I set off and I had to open it up a bit but the temperature in the house reached twenty seven today with the sun out so the house had maintained a lot of the heat.

Lunch is sitting heavy so I'm not planning anything for supper.  I intend finishing the marmalade after Eggheads if I can work up the energy.  It's been a lovely frosty winter's day.  LN..Same again tomorrow please...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 22, 2017, 7:27pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 22nd November

It was a five start, no chance of going off again so I'm feeling a little jaded now.  It was a splendid dawn and i took lots of photos from the balcony and from my bed and it was ccc.cold out there.  I read for a while, washed and dress, and put a load of washing in to cook while I was collecting the men.   I went out early to take the ice from the windscreen but there wasn't any so I had a leisurely drive,  they appeared from the cafe early, a gentle drive home.  Bekir was out with the welder and concentrated on the metal inserts for the wall and  Sally mixed up the cement and faced the walls of the new porch.  I went down to get bread and eggs and left the men to it. I made poached eggs on toast for breakfast followed by the new marmalade which I did managed to finish last ight and felt thoroughly stuffed to the gills.

I headed in to town to post a few long distance cards for the forthcoming season and went for an update on the Beast which I'll share with you when I really understand it.  The upside was that it wasn't ready for today.  I've left them with the plan to fix it and give me the bill.  I've organised the house insurance and that will be completed next week at a very reasonable cost.  I got back in time to make the post lunch coffee for the men, I went out and had a bonfire, checked up on the pot plants in the little house and was pleased to see that the cuttings that I've taken from the Greek plants that I've fallen in love...six appear to have rooted so I'll have plenty for next year.

Bekir decided to mend the wheelbarrow while he had the welding machine here which did delay his work a little and I made the mistake of saying that the power supply to the little house would be better being placed underground not swinging in the wind.  I asked them if I should fetch some of the housing so that it could be done and no sooner the word than the blow.  It wasn't completely finished and now I have the old cable still in place and the new cable part installed.  I eventually got them in Black Beauty to take them home at five thirty so I was late getting back.  The fire had gone out so I lit it, pork chops covered in barbecue sauce in the oven with potato wedges ad that was ready for eight more or less and again I feel stuffed.  

The men aren't here tomorrow...I got the feeling that they had work of their own to do and I really couldn't find a whole day's work for the two of them.  The tiles have to be laid in the porch but we found out today that the windows are made but the glass won't be delivered until Monday so early next week for delivery.  Bekir is in contact with them and will let me know.  Fabulous skies tonight but to leave them to take photos while they're still digging trenches for cables wasn't on.  I'm going to have a lie in tomorrow and a lazy day...I've had too many early mornings with little chance of a nap.  And now....relax.  LN..I'm climbing down from the rigging...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 23, 2017, 3:47pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 23rd November

Well it was a five thirty start but I read for a while and then went back off until eight,,,what a lovely morning.  I've not done a lot....I decided that I was a little uptight and needed a day on my own to come down...and I have.  I took my coffee outside and sat on the bench on the terrace, it was a little cold but nothing to write home about and I came in to grab another coffee and again took up position on the bench.  Lots of birds around but no camera so I just enjoyed watching them play on the grass.  The woodpecker was finding it's breakfast down the bottom of the garden...it did gravitate to the fir tree but I think I frightened it off.  It must have been my bright pink PJ top.

I came back in and started up the PC.  I knocked off the DM sudoku in quicksticks, loads of junk emails offering me all sorts, mainly bitcoins and dates with Russian women (what!!).  How do they get through, don't they put any systems in place to catch stupid email addresses?  Eventually I grabbed the towels and made for the downstairs bathroom...it was shower and hair time.  I sat at the computer drying off clothed in a bath towel, found stretch trousers and a polo neck to snuggle in to and dried my hair.   I made toast and marmalade for breakfast and it was at this point that I felt the energy rise so I stripped the bed and got the washing underway, found out the fleece duvet covers from the third bedroom and made up the bed.  Winter is here and I'm surprised that I haven't moved downstairs yet, I normally have by this time of year.

The washing is in and airing on the banister, the downstairs bedroom has been made up with my second nest and the fire is now going and enough wood in to keep me going.  Lunch was a packet of chocolate coated peanuts....not nutritious but very delicious ...and tonight it's last night's jacket potato and it's going into an omelette.  Nothing else on the agenda...as I've said...it had to be a down day today and it has been .  Tomorrow if the weather's as good tomorrow...it's a gardening day.  The fridge that they moved from by the wall is being dismantled and the contents spread around the garden an dit will be moved to the workshop terrace.  It's served its time where it was...time for a move.  LN....I've had a good day...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 24, 2017, 3:26pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 24th November

Six thirty start and it was a dark frosty morning.  The red and blue of morning started appearing, I went on to the balcony to bake the first shot but soon went back and snuggled down in the nest.  It was my first night cosying up and it certainly wasn't disappointing.  I went down at seven for coffee and back to bed, played games for a while and then on to the computer and watched the sun appear as I checked my emails and did serious stuff.  I posted one of the first shots and one from my desk...my central heating had appeared.  There wasn't a lot of heat in the sun to start off with but it did reach twenty seven degrees in the winter lounge and outsider took quite a while for the ground frost to clear.

I was still in PJ's when I went down to the kitchen for more coffee but the mood took me to clear out the fridge, make a space for the new jars of marmalade under the work surface, clear out the sauce cupboard and throw away the old bottles with one shot left in them.  Breakfast was only toast, I toyed with the idea of cooking something but the thought didn't last long.  Up to the bathroom, washed and dressed and out to the garden to dump the fridge clearance over the wall along with the old bread.  I watched from upstairs as the birds gathered and I was amazed to see a raven disappearing with almost a third of a loaf and I wouldn't have thought it was possible.  I went out on to the balcony to take a photo but as you can guess, they all flew away.

At nine thirty I was ready to get the Kindle out and read.  The garden looked tempting but the sofa looked a better bet and I'm really in to the second Merlin book...Arthur is about to be born and farmed out since his father didn't acknowledge him.  Happy days....I bet the CSA would have had a field day.  As for the rest of the day it's been a mixture of reading, Sudoku, coffee, biscuits and a quick nod off.  I haven't bothered with the fire...there was no need and tonight I'm going to my student's home for supper so can fall in to the nest when I get back.  The temperature appears to be dropping and the two cats on the wall were obviously absorbing the heat from the wall.  I was surprised to see them and they were back to back...the white one went along the wall to the burning pit and the ginger one shot off when I wasn't looking.  So tonight with the family....LN...Should be a good evening...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 25, 2017, 5:24pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 25th November

Six thirty start and I didn't even bother opening the curtains.  I'd peeked out, it was cold, damp. a heavy fog and it was back to bed with a coffee and the Kindle and I stayed there until seven thirty.  I wouldn't have got dressed and ready to face the world except that I wanted fresh bread and sugar...I intended converting oranges into marmalade today but never got round to it.  So one sliced, one unsliced and three kilos of sugar and the sugar and oranges are still sitting on the worktop.

Breakfast was the fresh; uncut with Marmite and then it was a matter of collecting up the stuff for burning and heading down the garden armed with garden fork to keep the home fires burning.  I had to clear it out, the contents were damp as you like or don't like and used some of the old fencing to really get it started.  Fortunately the smoke mixed in with the mist so it didn't really upset the neighbours.  I partly dug over the bottom new flower bed and the new shrub garden but it was cold and damp out there so not really worth spending much time out there.  I decided a morning on the sofa with my Kindle was much more inviting. Arthur is now established with his protectors in Brittany.  I'm not sure how close it is to the real' story...I'll have to do some investigation.  I got the fire going about twelve and it's been a day of 'picking' foodstuff form the kitchen most of the day.  Peanuts, biscuits, chunks of cheese and for lunch it was a ploughman with silver pickle onions.  Having said that I'd taken out ready cut mince and onions with the intention of doing a shepherds for tonight but again nothing has happened yet...but it still might...the night is young.

So I've been feeding the fire most of the day....and the house is a comfortable temperature.  Strictly tonight so who's the next to be dismissed and removed from the competition...and that's what it's all about....it's a competition. ..somebody will have to go and this year I've not got a favourite.   Tomorrow the sun's supposed to come out and we'll hit fourteen degrees...much better than the eight it's ticked over at today.  I might even finish digging over the bottom gardens.  LN....Time for another log......LN

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Elsa Peters
November 26, 2017, 3:48pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 26th November

Three start but it was head down immediately and it was seven before I knew it.  There was no rush to get washed and dressed this morning...no where to go and no one to see.  I found my way to the computer and checked out things that had to be checked, settled in to do my Sunday Sudoku which was a little slower that I have preferred but hey...what's time when you have nothing else to do.   You couldn't see to the bottom of the garden but I did spot the grey cat spraying the forsythia so I was out on the balcony .  As soon as the door opened it was ready for the off and I just managed to catch it.

Just before nine I looked at the windows and the hardest part of starting to clean them is to actually start.  I headed for the kitchen, grabbed a bowl and filled it with hot water and my usual floor cleaning 'stuff' and started in the downstairs hall way.  The four large ones cleaned in quicksticks...and then I moved outside and cleaned the same four.  I moved under the balcony and cleaned the outside of the lounge terrace windows, the door and then moved inside and did those.  Once you start though...you don't seem to stop so my bedroom ones are done inside and out and the only ones left to do and the upper levels on the stair...inside and out so I think that's a job for the boys or at least someone holding the ladder while I do it.  It wasn't a job to be tackled while I'm here on my own.  I did managed to mop over floors and hoover through and go into corners that I should have gone in to before now...I've been a bit of a lazy bones but it's good when it's done.

The hunger grubs were nibbling so I made poached eggs with ham on toast and had a short break but I was soon back to it.  The outside table is back in the house and under the stairs...it's the one I use for wrapping presents...it's a good flat surface.  I've made my list for my ladies' goody bags so that's a job that I want to get started...it always seems to take longer than you expect it to take.  I need a day round the shops to check out the gifts for ideas for the special presents.  

I don't think the men will be here tomorrow.  I've had no communication from Bekir and he's waiting for a phone call from the window people.  I'm hoping they delay it until Wednesday...the weather is supposed to pick up by then.  I watched Strictly last night but I really couldn't call it.  I know who should be going home but they probably won't be which means that one of the good ones might have to bow out and that would be a shame.  So results tonight....

Damp old day until until lunchtime when the sun broke through.  Not much of a sunset tonight and the mist was coming down, the moon is trying desperately to show through but is held back by the very high clouds.   Curtains closed, fire going and cosied in for the night.  LN...A productive if unexpected day.....  LN

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Elsa Peters
November 27, 2017, 4:00pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 27th November

Six thirty start, not so cold overnight but it wasn't raining.  As I opened the curtains, the dawn was breaking, mist in the valley but not much of the mountains to see...they'd gone into hiding.  I went down to get coffee and watched it brighten up a little but nothing to write home about.  As time ticked on the sky got darker, more clouds rolled in from the Greek mountains and the last I saw of the sun was a glimmer as the clouds broke.  Eventually the gap covered over and it was gone for the day.  The cat sat on the wall eyeing up where I normally throw the old bread and where the birds feed.  There was no bread out this morning so he was probably after live fodder.

I headed down for more coffee...there was no telephone call from Bekir today and I wasn't really surprised.  I toyed with the idea of heading in to Kardjali and even wrote out my shopping list but then the clouds shed their load...it poured down. Unlike yesterday, I did managed to get dressed but it was with my warm camouflage trousers ...so not only was it damp but it was cold with it today.  I made toasted ham sandwiches for breakfast, lit the fire about nine thirty and it's been going ever since.  I did venture out this afternoon to fill up the log carrier and ended up getting soaked.  Leaves had blocked the two drainage pipes that take the water in the drive out into the lane.  I poked it with a stick and the water shot through into the lane but I should really have worked a bit harder to remove the leaves but I didn't.  I wasn't dressed for outside, had leaky shoes on and tomorrow I'll do a proper job of it.  

So in for the night...tomorrow has been threatened to be the same as today.  Please sent the snow...at least it's pretty. Shepherds pie has just gone into the oven....thirty minutes and I shall have supper.  LN...A little tele time.....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 28, 2017, 5:37pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 28th November

Silly night...I was playing stupid games until two this morning...no sleep in me and when I put my head down, it seemed to take me ages to nod off.  Having said that it was seven before I woke up so five hours of really deep sleep...good enough for me.  So no telephone call again from Bekir but it was as well, not exactly raining but very damp and miserable and it looked like it could throw it down any minute.  Back to bed for me, I could have done with fresh bread but instead stayed where it was cosy and warm and eventually got washed and dressed just before nine.  I cleared out the woodburner and laid it ready for later, put the washing away from yesterday and found out the gift bags from last year to see how many I had to get for this year.  My main reason for going into Kardjali was to get my form signed by my lady at the bank to say that I'm still alive and deserving of my pension.

I set off at ten and headed into Djebel.  I stopped off at the car shop for an update to be told that the car was undergoing road trials and could even be ready.  I sat with her for a while having a warm, I'd set off with a sweater and body warmer but should really have taken another coat with me.  I'd not even bothered with a hat, I carry spare clothes in the Beast but Black Beauty has nothing in it.  So on to Kardjali, I parked in my usual car-park and the cooling fan kicked in and made an horrendous noise and I thought it was worth investigation back at the garage.  Unfortunately the lady that I wanted to fill in the form at the bank wasn't working today and that fair threw me, it almost felt like a wasted journey and inertia set in.  I went up to my cheapy shop and bought a couple of presents for the son from the garage and eventually bought a pair of green leather boots that I'd looked at for a few weeks.  'Shall I -shan't I' so I did.  Back into the car and down to Kaufland and got confused by the self serve scales at the produce department.  They had four different types of apples pictured on the scales and it took a local and myself to find the ones that were on offer and looking at the number of tickets abandoned next to the scales, we weren't the only ones.  Found my gift bags and wrapping paper, an English word book that was on promotion and headed back to Djebel...I didn't even bother buying the things on my list.  I went down to the garage and the Beast was being steam washed, I mentioned the fan on Black Beauty and on investigation, the fan was OK but a little bent so hence the noise...it wasn't running straight on the spindle but not mine to worry about.  I went to the petrol station and put some more fuel in Black Beauty..the garage wanted to hang on to mine for another day so I appear to have the borrowed one for another day or so.  

Back home and the first thing I did was to light the fire....It was damp, miserable, cold and I needed to warm the house up and myself.  I put the shopping away, made a coffee, topped up the log basket and got more starter wood in.  It didn't take long before the temperature started to rise and so much so that I nodded off this afternoon catching up on the lack of sleep from last night.  

Hopefully the windows will be delivered tomorrow and I'll get the phone call from Bekir.  There's supposed to be sun so I'll wait and see.  LN...Kitchen and fire are calling....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 29, 2017, 3:16pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 29th November

Seven start and I was waiting for that phone to go off but no call....obviously the windows aren't ready so no men today.  I opened the curtains and wall to wall freezing fog and there was no telling whether lit would turn out to be a good day or not.  There were embers in the wood burner so I put on some kindling and got it going and it's been that way all day.  The weather did get better but only marginally.  The sun broke through around twelve but didn't have much heat in it.  There as a very cold wind heading down from Smolyan that kept the temperature right down.  I made my way down to the kitchen to make coffee and realised that there was no water from the tap and we've been without all day.  I'm not sure what the problem is but none of the neighbours seem to know either.  I made toast for breakfast and in the warmth of the lounge lay down on the sofa and decided to read for the day.  It's a very pleasant gentle book about the training of King (to be) Arthur and I love the way that she describes everything in a poetic way.

I headed down to Haciber's house to confirm that it was the village that was without water and not just me.  She mentioned that she didn't know why so we left it at that, I went back to my book on the sofa and true to form I nodded off,  I could only have been gone for about fifteen minutes and the next thing there was a knock on the door and Haciber was out there with an eight litre bottle of water that she#d carried up from her house for me.  I explained that I had bottled water so didn't have a problem but I couldn't let her carry it back so I put my shoes on, picked up the bottle and we walked back together.  My neighbours are just so sweet...they don't have much but they are determined to share and look after each other and that includes me.  

Not much else to report.  I got a container load of logs into the kitchen last night so they're up to room temperature and burning well but it is time to get another load in.  The water still isn't on and no signs of any work trucks hitting the main road...I think I shall need to get another couple of bottles as spares tomorrow from the supermarket.  It's supposed to be doiwn to minus four tonight and then rain for the next three days but getting warmer.  Let's see how accurate they are...

Jacket potato in for tonight with chicken wings and should be ready in about an hour.  Fingers crossed that the water is on tomorrow or I shall be having to go to the indoor swimming pool for a bath.  LN...A very lazy day....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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