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Elsa Peters
November 1, 2017, 3:40pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 1st November

Funny old night again.  I woke up at two this morning and was reading until half three and again not an ounce of sleep in me and it could be the same tonight.  I thought I'd heard something falling so checked if there was a gale blowing out there but no wind and couldn't see anything untowards.  I eventually went off and at six I was awake again, picked up with where I'd left off with the history of Egypt and at last there are names that I recognise.  I've now met up with Seth and Ramses and I'm on about the second of them and I'm finding out about the treasures that were saved from the Abu Simbel flooding.  I never made it down there on my visit to Egypt but now I'm reading about it again...another Nile cruised could be in the offing.   I checked again for things that go bump in the night and found that my suitcase had toppled over from where it had been perched on top of another one so problem solved.

A bit of a cloudy sky to wake up to and the sun never really came through until it was well up in the sky.  When it did it was pleasant enough but the wind was really cold.  I took the old bread out for the birds and hung up a couple of fat balls that I'd bought for the birds from the cheapy shop but I don't think any of them will be too interested,  They didn't look very interesting to me but having said that I'm a different sort of bird.  I'll see what's there in the morning.  I went down to the bread van for a sliced loaf and the ladies were complaining that he'd run out of everything so that there was nothing to buy.  I suppose he stocks up but according to the demands along the way....and there was no cheesy bread for me.  Toast and Marmite for breakfast but it sat very heavy and I've been drying to dislodge it all day.  

So a workout in the garden ...I firstly cleared the leaves from the garage and yard and hopefully they should all be down soon.  There is only one Linden to go and that should shed all its leaves in one go when the first really hard frost hits it.  We've been playing at it up to now but tell that to the Cosmos.  They look decidedly jaded so I was out there collecting seeds from them and it looks like they've been dropping their own so I might not have to bring them on myself and only move them to where I want them.  At least I understand them now and won't expect them to flower until late summer.  Down to the bottom of the garden and set to digging out more of the wild plum to give more light to the bed and join this side of the garden to the other.  I took six out, burnt five and planted one but hadn't got the enthusiasm to dig over the new spare ground.  That like the logs is for another day.  I left my tools down the bottom of the garden and came in at one thirty for lunch.  At two I lit the fire and at two thirty must have nodded off with Ramses and woke up with a decidedly dead left foot where my leg had been resting on the arm of the sofa.  I was loathed to put it down on the floor...I imagined keeling over but eventually life came back.  Down the garden to put the tools away, another load of logs brought in to the house to keep me topped up and to warm up the next lot and everything locked up for the night.  The temperature has not really climbed today but what was there has now gone and it was a pleasure to come back inside.  It's going to be a cold old night.

Not a clue what I'm going to have for supper...the mood hasn't taken me yet.  Pictures will be on the next entry...none allowed on the first of the month.  LN...Kitchen inspiration required....LN
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Elsa Peters
November 1, 2017, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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And the pickies

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Elsa Peters
November 2, 2017, 3:59pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 2nd November

Five o'clock start but there again I was asleep by ten last night.  The internet was playing up and I got blips, screeches. repeats of conversation so I gave up realising that there was nothing I wanted to suffer through.  I opened the curtains and it was a real white over this morning...our first real frost ,,,so I thought it best to check out the anti-freeze in the Beast.  Firstly...catch the dawn and go back to bed.  I checked out the thermometer at the bottom of the stairs and it was showing seventeen point five...bearable but under the bedclothes with a coffee was preferable. I watched the sun come up and after an hour checked the thermometer again and it was up to twenty four...my free central heating.

Down for breakfast at eight and two poached eggs were done in quick sticks.  I tidied the kitchen and left everything ship shape, threw the rice out for the birds and checked on the fat-balls...which are no more,,,not even the green mesh was left.  So dressed in jeans, a couple of sweaters and boots I headed for Djebel.  My first stop was to the car shop to check that they could fit me in and the garage owner was there so no problem,  I chatted to my student's mum for about forty minutes and then headed down to the garage complete with my student who was working down there and milf for her father....straight from the milk collection wagon.  I ordered eggs from the mother and picked them up on the way back.  The Beast is OK and showing anti-freeze which should suffice to minus 34 and I was told that I'd be OK to go to Siberia so I'll leave that for tomorrow.  Oil checked, two new tyres ordered and should be fitted early next week and then I should be set up for winter.  I've been warned that the police are having a purge on windscreen washers and anti=freeze stuff in it so I bought a five litre bottle of washer additive.

So off I set for home and carried on to Mrs D of S's to deliver the new boots for the little one.  We sat with a coffee, the little one is absolutely gorgeous, a real poppet and we had playtime.  She nodded off to sleep so I had to talk to her mum but we managed to fill the time until she woke up again,  I was home for four, fire lit, enough wood in for tonight, supper in and it should be finished soon.  Roasted chicken legs and roasted vegetables which I'm really looking forward to.  So nothing on the agenda for tomorrow unless the tyres come in early otherwise I have wood to do and a vegetable garden to dig over...always something to do.  Lovely moon tonight and those full ones seem to creep up on you.  LN...My supper's ready...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 3, 2017, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 3rd November

Bit of an odd day today.  I woke up at five but I switched off the PC really early and slept straight through.  I'd drawn the curtains in the bedroom last night and when I opened them thee was just the glimmer of morning.  It was fristy frosty again, the mist hung in the valley and I didn't linger long on the balcony...it was just too cold.  Lots of pink in the sky this morning and even the mist took on the same hue but unfortunately it didn't show up well on the pictures.  So back to bed with a coffee until it became a civilised hour, OI got on to the PC and created some dialogue sheets a to take with me when I went round to my student's sisters for help with her English.  Washed, dressed and having breakfast at eight thirty and ready for the off by nine thirty.

I stopped off at the car parts shop and dropped off the egg carton from yesterday.  She was busy on the telephone ordering parts so I didn't wait to speak to her and left the box on the counter saying that I would be back.  I carried on to my student's home and was made welcome and I explained what the new sheets were about.  She is so industrious and really trying hard to get to grips with English.  The sheets were all about building sentences and had phrases that are the basis of conversation.  Her method before was to learn words, which is fine, but not for conversational English.  The sheets that I'd printed off before for her to write on she wouldn't...she said they were too clean to destroy.  Oh dear.  I stayed until just before twelve and headed home.  I was intending stopping off at the shop but changed my mind when there wasn't a parking space.  It's mosque and market day so there are lots of people around.  

When I got hack I realised that the electricity was off so check on one of my timing devices and it had been off since ten this morning.  I removed the timer so that I'd remember to change the setting which I did when it came back on at two thirty.  Despite my grand plans to do 'stuff', the wood cutting was out since I needed the electrics for the saw and I couldn't raise the energy to go digging over the veg patch and removing the very desolate looking zinnias and cosmos.  It was also cold this afternoon.  The morning was full of promise but the clouds were high up and fairly thick and you could see the sun but there wasn't any warmth coming through.  I lit the fire at three thirty when I was sure that the electrics would stay on for the pump to work and got another load of logs in and am all set up for the night.  Bit of a strange thing with students...I always feel that the lesson wasn't much use and that's why I don't do more of it....I prefer crating the documentation and leaving it to others.

So only the end of the sunset was visible and there was a strange sky after the sun had gone down.  It looked very white...not natural at all.  So tomorrow, weather permitting is doing all those things that I was going to do today.  Supper was the cold chicken leg from last night and that's over and done with. A little TV and then an early night again. Fingers crossed for wall to wall sunshine tomorrow.  LN...And loads of energy...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 4, 2017, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 4th November

Five twenty start and I peeped through the curtains and noticed that it was a morning for going back to bed and playing games. I checked out the weather and it stated that we would have a couple of showers...wrong...it was a rubbishy morning and it didn't brighten up until about one thirty.  I lingered in my PJs until about nine thirty, boiled eggs for breakfast and though it best I get dressed and out came the sweaters...there was going to be no free soar central heating today.  The inside thermometer was showing twenty one which is not bad but I decided that I would get the fire going...it was likely to be a sofa and Kindle day...I'm still slogging though History of Egypt and am now on the final strait.

I flicked through the TV channels and found that England were playing so I settled in with that for the duration and by the time that had finished, the fire had gone out so I tried to tease it into life but had to resort to paper and more matches than I care to think about.  Eventually it got going so I decided to get more wood in, play down the bottom on the new bed and I edged my way to the side bed by the vegetable patch and removed the weeds and turned the rest over.  I've taken up one of the cosmos bushes that has keeled over and put it down by the walnut hoping the seeds will germinate next year.  I tried to get the bonfire going but it was a definite no go...too wet and too much effort to try.  I've coiled up the hose pipe extension that was lying on the workshop terrace and that's now in for the winter and swept up the leaves that have fallen from next door's pear tree.  The sunbed that's still on the terrace will be moved under the little house when I have an accomplice to get it down there.  I wasn't in to straining my guts out today.

Came in at three thirty, perked up the fire again and settled on the sofa with the Kindle.  I nodded off for about ten minutes but that was the sum total, book down by five, fire really packed and supper is in the oven.  Strictly tonight all being well with the internet, bath time and bed. I think I need to be sorting out some knitting or crocheting...the winter nights are upon us.  I caught the moon tonight and was surprised to see it considering what sort of day we've had but I don't expect it to be out for long.  I got it firstly with the Sony and then with the Canon and I was amazed how good the magnification is on the Sony.  It does appear to alter the colour though...much prefer the Canon for colour and that was for real.  

Supper needs my attention...LN...It should be ready...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 5, 2017, 4:20pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 5th November

Six twenty start so getting better.  The sleep of the just.  I went out on the balcony to take a few of the morning but nothing worth looking at and I came in...too cold out there.  It cleared up by lunchtime and I intended getting the camera out and capturing the mist in the valley but I was much too busy digging over my vegetable patch.

So coffee and back to bed for a while and then on to the PC...it was cold and damp out there and no day to be rushing outside.  I spotted the mince that I'd taken out last night and set to and made a chilli for tonight's supper so no having to think about what to have.  I was also trawling the internet for a recipe for grapefruit marmalade so tonight I'll be slicing and soaking the grapefruit over night and that's my first job tomorrow.  I'll need to go into the little house and find all the pretty jars that I put to give away...I didn't think there was much danger of me using them but after all, the grapefruit were cheap and you can't really buy marmalade here until Lidl have an English week and then it's expensive.

So as I said...I dug over three sections of the veg patch and decided that was enough and came in for a drink.  It suddenly hit me that I hadn't had breakfast so I opened a tin of tuna, made toast and had that for an early lunch / really late breakfast.  I decided to let my food go down before I went out there again and as per normal, so I lit the fire, lay on the sofa with the Kindle and you can guess the rest.  By this time the clouds had come over and it had gone quite cold outside but eventually the rolled over and at three thirty I was out there again.  The veg garden is finished, the cosmos that have really gone over with the frost are piled up at the bottom of the garden against the wall for the birds to collect the seeds along with the zinnias.  I haven't yet round a suitable spot for a compost heap and I really ought to think about it.  I also tackled the big side bed that I started yesterday and the dead flowers have been removed and the bed forked over.  It was dark when I came in so no change of taking any pickies and the sun had gone already.  I only just managed to catch the aftermath.

Early bath for me tonight and then Strictly results...nothing on the agenda for tomorrow as it stands except for the marmalade.  LN....Time to rev up the boiler....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 6, 2017, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 6th November

Five start, more like broad day light with the moon but that didn't last long.  As the temperature went up the mist came down but there was ice on the balcony rails this morning.  It had certainly been a cold one.  Back to bed with a coffee and played a few games on the Kindle...now that Egypt is no more I've got to load a few more on,  I eventually got out of bed at seven, washed, dressed and put the washing away from yesterday, poached for breakfast and it's done me through to now.  I tidied the kitchen. collected the burnables and headed down to the bottom of the garden and it was only nine.  I did notice that I'd forgotten all about the grapefruit so that item's been carried forward for later in the week.The fire was really slow to start and it took me an hour to get it going properly.  It was just so damp and cold.  

I carried on digging up the roots of the wild plums down the bottom and hacking back a few more of the big ones and then I moved to the garden by the long high wall.  Again this garden has been planted up but neglected so I cleared out the cosmos that have gone over and double dug the lot of it.  I found a long plank of wood and edged the bed. rescued the paint brush and applied the old engine oil to the wood.  I found a heather that didn't look too happy where I'd put it so that's been moved.  I came in at twelve thirty for a drink and went on the computer again for a bit of a rest.  I was out there again by one thirty, bonfire was topped up and very hot by this time so cleared all of the branches that I'd hacked back.  Checking on the rest of the shrubs under the long wall. I noticed that the escalonia had a shoot that had rooted so that's now sitting in a pot in the little house.  Tools away by five and fire going by five ten.  It's going to be another cold one,  The remains of the chilli is sitting on the wood burner and rice is in the other pan.  Supper will be served as soon as this is posted.

Another good day in the garden...there's always something to do but I'm still constructing.  Next year should be easier....there's more shape to the garden now.  LN....I feel the bath calling me to ease these weary bones...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 7, 2017, 4:24pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 7th November

Six thirty start and slept straight through again...it makes such a difference about how you feel next day.Coffee and back to bed to watch the dawn.  I did go out on the balcony and take the morning sky but there was no sign of the sun and then it suddenly appeared.  It was huge but it wasn't around long.  The cloud base as soon as it gave it up took it back again and it wasn't until later in the day that the clouds rolled away.  Washed, dressed and down to the bread van for bread, biscuits and cake.  My ladies were there and we had a chinwag in a couple of languages and they were all marvelling at the orange bands on my socks that matched my sweater.  Toast for breakfast and then I headed out to look in the large plastic chest that's in the wood store that's full of starter wood.  I'd decided to use the chest in the little house so I filled three containers to lighten the load and eventually managed to get it where I wanted it.  Next job was to bring the wheelbarrow round to the little house and get two bags of coal into it ready to load into Mrs D of S's car.  A dead wight of twenty five kilograms is too heavy for me to lift so I manoeuvred the barrow to the bottom of the main door steps, walked the bag to the steps, trod on the handles of the wheelbarrow to tip it towards the house and lift the first one into the barrow.  The same procedure for the second and success...two bags and together we would lift them into the boot of her car.  

My next task was to clean out the porch by the main entrance door and I moved the shelving unit between the two pillars under the balcony to try to decide how far out I wanted the new porch to be built.  I'm happy now...I've measured and tested and it's to take up all of the balcony length and width.  It will make the kitchen warmer by protecting the kitchen wall and since this is the only room in the house without heating, it should make a huge difference.  After that I sat out in the sun sorting out this year's seeds and putting them into envelopes and dating them.  

She arrived at twelve thirty and I was beginning to think that she'd forgotten and taken my new favourite little person home without me having a cuddle.  As it happened there was a fairly big queue at the doctors this morning and she was lined up for an injection so had to wait.  The little one was a sleepy head when she arrived but she soon came to.  I moved the tables in the lounge and fairly child proofed it but she is such a mover and quick as lightening with such a cheeky smile when she gets told off.  Love her....one after my own heart.  I found a few toys out for her to play with but the favourite was a metal candle holder with a lid that we had a super game of 'ta' with.  We loaded the car with the coal and off they went..five minutes later the house was back to normal.

I'd just settled down with my book and Gouldjan's mother arrived bringing back my flash drive that I'd given to Gouldjan with the wedding photos on.  She also brought some butter and cheese, we had coffee and then she wanted to see the photos of the wedding so we went up to the computer and went through them together. I now have a list of the ones that she wants and I'll print them off for her and find an  album next time I'm in Kardjali.  Off she went to milk the cows at four and it's obvious that she misses her daughter now in Germany.  Supper in the oven, I've realised that I haven't locked up outside yet so that's my next job and nothing on for tomorrow ...yet...but I'm sure I'll find something.  LN...Kitchen calls...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 8, 2017, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 8th November

Five start but then I decided that the head was going down again...I wasn't ready to wake up.  I'd had my bath last night but there wasn't enough water, the temperature was all wrong so I was out of it quicker than I got in, jumped into really warm PJ's and enjoyed the rest of my evening.  So it was just after seven when I came to for the second time, coffee and logged on to the computer to catch up on anything that might have  happened overnight and delete the junk emails offering me spins for free and dates with Russian beauties.  Of course I've contacted both of them...not.

Checked Messenger and my student didn't want to go to the restaurant for lunch but I was invited to their house for lunch.  I stopped off at the garage shop to query if they'd had any success with finding me all year tyres and they said no so I asked them to place an order for two winter tyres...there's only about a week left on mine and the police are very active at the moment.  The older sister was at home, the father fetched soup from the local restaurant, the younger sister arrived from work and we sat down for lunch at twelve fifteen.  And nobody wanted to go out for lunch..didn't make much sense to me but their choice.  The conversation was good over lunch, the little one didn't want to go back to work but had to.  The father is the postman in one of the outlying village post offices and was going out, coming back with the post and sorting it on the sofa.  There were lots from overseas, newspapers and flyers and off he went to deliver them to the town.  He then came back with lots of receipts for telephone. water and electricity bills for his village, and sorted them out for the older villagers.  He knows them all but offsets the bills against the pensions and works it all out for them...what a service.  

Good news on the tyre front...the garage phoned to say that they had managed to find some all weather tyres and they're being delivered tomorrow.  I'll wait for the phone call.  At least then the car is finished for the winter so bring it on.  Home by four thirty via the supermarket and lit the fire.  It was slow to get started and it seemed to take ages before the temperature managed to get the pump to kick in.  It's cold and damp tonight and has been all day.  No sun around and I mentioned to my student's father that the fire was slow last night and he said that they'd had the same problem and smoke was coming out into the room.  The joys of wood fired heating and central heading.  Spicy sausage  with onions for supper and I emptied a can of backed beans into the casserole dish.  It's sitting on top of the wood burner and should be ready anytime soon.  So tyres tomorrow all being well and then I'm carrying on into Kardjali for a few items I can't live without....or maybe do Kardjali first,  No pickies tonight...it's been a day of activity and memo to self...must do better.  LN...Supper is ready...LN
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Thursday 9th November

Silly night again.  I woke up at three full of the joys of spring so settled in for my history of Russia.  OK...it was cheap from Amazon..ninety nine pence and had four and a half stars so I thought it was worth a punt.  I managed to read a chapter then thought it was time that I got my head down again so I tried and I did and didn't wake up until just before eight and felt fantastic. That feeling has been around for the rest of the day but I've done very little.  A lovely surprise Princess phoned me on her way to work and she banked on the fact that who else was up at that time in the morning.  She's turned into an early bird. and it was good to catch up.
The weather was nothing to write home about so I didn't bother.  I settled for toast and Marmite, washed up from the last two days and got washed and dressed myself making sure that I put on an extra sweater.  Not only damp but cold with it this morning and so much so that I lit the fire at which point the sun came out.  I settled in for morning television until the urge hit me to go get some more wood in, sweep up the leaves that have fallen and deposit them down the bottom of the garden.  It all adds to the bulk and a layer of cow or sheep droppings on there should be life support for some of the new plants for next year.  Next step was to put the shelf run that's been blocking the gap, back against the wall and the table is one step nearer to coming into the house for the winter.  It just needs to dry out a little first.  I'm still toying with the idea of glazing the porch and putting the door at the bottom, opening it all up.  Decisions, decisions but I think it's all ready made.  I hate eating outside when the flies are about in the summer so there would be enough room for a table and chairs with a little juggling.  

So just a few pickies but I've not really been anywhere or done anything.  The tyres didn't materialise so maybe tomorrow,  I did make a birthday card be it a belated one for my student's sister.  She's reach the grand old age of thirty but chooses to reply when questioned about how many...twenty nine plus one.  I think my daughter is still twenty nine.  Had a chat with Haciber and the weather was the obvious topic of conversation.  I have the remains of last night's supper for tonight. and I'm just about to put it on the wood burner to warm through.  LN....Chilled, restful, day....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 10, 2017, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 10th November

A six of the clock start so not bad at all.  I lingered in the pit until eight, couldn't see the mountains at all, wall to wall fog but the house was warm enough.  I'd put a fairly big log on last night before I'd laid down my weary head and most of it had gone so that must have gone on until about three this morning.  I put the washing away, didn't bother getting dressed straight away my PJ's were cosy and warm.  I lobbed out the stale bread for the birds and a can of cannelloni beans that well passed the sell by date so goodness knows where they'd been hiding.  I'll check on the livestock tomorrow.  Poached eggs for breakfast with more coffee and I settled down on the computer for my daily dose of sudoku and a couple of games of Freecell.  Again I had lots of junk offers of things you could never envisage...don't these people ever get bored of creating stupid email addresses and promoting ridiculous products.  I eventually got dresses in clothes that I could go into town in at a minutes notice but there was no phone call from the garage so I gave them a ring.  The tyres hadn't arrived so no joy so I settled into my Russian history latest.  There were a few on Messenger that I responded to and Mrs D of S suggested that I lit my wood burner to make the sun come out as she had washing to dry.  I told her I had firelighters at the ready and we'd see if it worked...I didn't light it but there was a small breakthrough at around twelve and at one thirty I was sitting in my stairwell in the sun and the temperature reached twenty eight degrees.  Free central heating.

I got my head down this afternoon for no other reason than I could.  I had the urge to venture out and cut some more of the long logs into wood burner size lengths but the urge didn't last long.  I'm still waiting for a man that said he would and hasn't been seen or heard of since.  Tova e Bulgaria.....   Let's see how I feel tomorrow but I really need morning sun to shunt some life and enthusiasm into me.  I've just checked the long term weather....it looks like I have to wait until the twentieth of November for anything that hits at good weather....

Six my time and it's an omelette tonight for supper.  I've got a couple of spicy sausages in the fridge that will make a superb filling along with an onion and a sprinkling of cheese.  Simple supper and ready in quicksticks...no lingering longer than I have to these days.  LN...I'm kitchen bound...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 11, 2017, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 11th November

Seven start and there was a likelihood that there was going to be a sunrise.  There was but it didn't hang around for long. the clouds came over and it was a bit hit and miss all day.  It's been a cold one, I did manage to catch the morning with the camera but I was soon in again and back into bed with a coffee.  I was out by eight, washed and dressed by ten passed and watched the ravens bombing the magpies.  I'd put some old bread out for the birds, looked out of the bedroom window and saw a cat out there eating the bird food and a magpie waiting for it to finish.  By the time the cat had it's fill ...nothing left for the birds.  At one point there were about thirty ravens in the wild plum tree over the cat but as soon as I went out onto the balcony they all flew away leaving only the cat.  I also noticed a stray cow in the lane between my extended front wall and my neighbours garden.  It appeared to have no way to get out and I'm wondering how it got in there.  The owner has blocked the lane to stop them getting into my neighbour's garden...mine is now stock proof so no worry to me but I felt sorry for the thing.  I managed to flag down the farmer's son in the tractor and told him about it.

Down to the kitchen and the first job was to quarter and slice the grapefruit. The slices are soaking and I'll be making the marmalade tomorrow morning.  Breakfast of sliced spicy sausage with fried egg and fried bread and watched a little of morning TV while I was eating it.  Such a bad habit but there's no one to get upset about it.  Cleared the kitchen, filled up the log container, laid the fire for later and had a burn up.  Surprisingly it went first time and everything was down to ash.  Just a little bit of work in the garden.  I went round with the fork removing the thistles that have germinated slinging them over the wall since that's where the seeds came from.  Next I dug up the dwarf zinnia and sat in the sun removing the seed heads....they're now in an envelope for next year.  I cut a branch from the Gaura lindheimeri that I bought in Greece and I've taken eight cuttings.  I love this plant....it's flowered ever since I bought it in June and is still flowering now...just beautiful.  I've also taken cuttings from the geraniums....the existing are looking a little bedraggled.  

I came in at five, lit the fire and I'm settled in for the night.  I'm not hungry so far so I'll see how the mood takes me later.  Strictly tonight....let's see who's for the off.  Marmalade on the agenda for tomorrow, I've sorted out the jars so they'll need sterilising while the fruit is boiling.  According to the recipe...it's going to need attending to for about two hours...I just hope it's worth it and I'll let you know.  I've just checked...the cow has gone and now I can rest easy.  LN....Time to throw a log on...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 12, 2017, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 12th November

Six start so I thought I might as well make use of it.  I put the pot on to boil and it was attending to the kitchen for the next two and a half hours.  I don’t normally have much success with jam and the likes…I end up reading the recipe several times over, panic about the setting point and whether or not the jars are adequately sterilised or whether I’ll poison someone if I give them as gifts.  Anyway….the process was underway.

It was up to the boil by seven and the first session without the sugar was for forty minutes.  The lid was on for the first part and I managed a rolling boil, the sugar went in and the lid came off for the next hour.  I’d taken to removing a hair that had got attached to my bracelet and the watched pot was no longer watched and boiled over leaving the most marvellous smell of toffee apples and candy floss and a beggar of a job to remove the burnt sugar when I’d finished.  So into the little house I went and brought back the jars that I’d sorted yesterday.  I washed them, poured boiling water over them and gave them half an hour in the oven at 100 degrees along with the lids.  Eventually I got to removing the pan from the heat and filling the jars with the product of my endeavours.  Three big jars, one small and one half jar, the contents of which is going to be consumed over the next few days.  I had it on toast for breakfast and the flavour is good but I was really scraping out the pot and ended up with some very caramelised offerings.  

It was ten by the time that I’d finished the kitchen and cooker and I was just having five minutes on the computer when a neighbour’s daughter arrived reminding me that there was a baby party at one today and I’d forgotten all about it.  She mentioned that she was looking for rosehips to dry to make tea and I’ve got loads at the bottom of the garden so we went down and stripped the rose bush and off she went.

I was ready with boots blacked by one and heading down for the coach to take us to the event.  It was at the usual restaurant, standard fare, a chocolate, soup, chicken and salad and a slice of very sickly cake and a baby that obviously didn’t want to be there and making a lot of noise.  Back on the coach and home by three and I settled in to watch the tennis and cycling until the internet went off.  I’ve just lit the fire and typing this up in Word and hoping that it comes back on…I have to find out who’s going home in Strictly….it could be one of several…a few failures last night,,,it’s sorting the sheep out as you might say.  I had a phone call from Bekir this afternoon and I’m picking him up in the morning.  We need to find out the materials that are required for the porch and order the windows from Momchilgrad.  He can also sort my wood for me and I can stack.  I should be a full on day for both of us and Sally can join the party later in the week.  Internet is back up so I want to post before it goes down again...if it goes down again.  LN...Time to chill....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 13, 2017, 6:48pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 13th November

Six start and  it was my favourite hojja with the CD disk at full volume that woke me up.  I just hate the fact that he's using a CD when there are a couple of the real things that sing their little hearts out each morning.  There wasn't a glimmer of light when he kicked off but I left the curtains closed until there was a little of the morning showing.  Coffee and back to bed and played one of my games until I thought it best that I jump to...I was picking up Bekir at eight and I had a bathroom to clean before I set off at seven thirty.  Bekir was checking to see if there was a water leak under the bath so with his nose at the base of the toilet I cleaned the floor and washed it over.  

No breakfast for me and he was waiting to meet me with his chainsaw at the ready.  We drove back and discussed what I wanted him to do and we were soon getting the programme for the day sorted out.  Firstly the porch was sketched out and measured up ready to order the windows later or at least get a quote.  We drove to Momchilgrad and the windows are ordered and they've promised delivery for later this week or early next.  Good lads.  We stopped off in Momchilgrad for cheesy bread and a banichka for Bekir but unfortunately they forgot the cheese in mine so I had it later lashed with butter and my new jam.  His next task was to measure up the metal required for completing the railings for the top of the new wall and fortunately he found quite a lot of the metal on the first floor of the little house.  On to the wood with chainsaw and sliced up the rest from the garage and now it's down to the painter to finish it off.  We went to the materials yard but unfortunately they have it but we didn't manage to get a price for it so we've got to go back tomorrow and hopefully it will be delivered tomorrow.  

I stopped off at Mrs D of S's on the way back and had some cuddles from the little one who was determined to climb up my frame and when in my arms wanted to go down again.  I left her about to 'speak' to daddy on the internet and I drove in to Djebel to top up with fuel for the beast and some for me...grapes and chicken wings and now the grapes are finished and half the chicken wings.  Early night for me...I'm into 'work mode' now and sorry but no photos tonight....it's been a day of action.  LN....Washing up and bed...LN
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Elsa Peters
November 14, 2017, 4:45pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 14th November

Silly five start, read until six then with the light on cat-napped until just before seven and then up, dressed, out and at 'em.  I did managed toast for breakfast before I left and then it was over to pick up Sally and Bekir today.  We had to go down to Sally's house, he rather antiquated welding machine is so heavy that I had to back down the track as far as I could, we walked down to the house and it was put on a little trailer and Bekir pushed it to the Breast.  It took both of them to heave it in.  Down to the materials yard and ended up buying and bringing the metal bar home with us and it ended up through the roof and the car was fully protected against the rust with cardboard and a couple of carrier bags from Lidl.  I remembered to buy some work gloves for the men but that was after they'd loaded the metal into the Beast...bit late but they had them for the rest of the day.

Sally was brought up to speed and assigned his first job and it was as per normal....on the wrong end of a wheelbarrow and getting ready to make cement for the wall.  Sally checked out how many concrete blocks we had and we didn't have enough.  We'd got plenty of the smaller ones but only five of the twenty five centimetre ones so that was a trip into Djebel to find some which fortunately we managed to do.  We only needed twenty.  We got back and Sally was chugging on and was happy now that he had enough to finish the job...my telephone went and it was the garage to tell me that the tyres had arrived so that meant another trip into Djebel to get them done.  I am now fully legal.  The men had also asked me to bring back twenty five kilograms of var but the girl didn't understand so that entailed a telephone call to Bekir and it was soon sorted.  

So Bekir has cut the material for the four panels for the wall and the oddments left over are going to be enough to do the small rails for the little house terrace,  It's not going to stop anyone falling over but it's a warning that it's a pretty long drop...only normally achieved once.  There was an in depth discussion about the overhang on the inside and outside of the wall that's going in and where the windows are going to be installed on the wall.  We eventually settled on a value and Sally has been making the moulds for the overhangs so tomorrow that will be done which is another step towards completion.   I'll be choosing the tiles soon .

We took the back lane to the Greece road and there back lane to the men's village and it knocked five minutes off the journey, I think.  I became a taxi on my way back.  One of the old farmhands was walking home so I stopped and picked him up and I also saw my painter walking up the road on his way home so it was a trip down to his.  I mentioned that the wood had now all been chainsawed to chopping lengths and he reminded me that it's his job to do....which saved me mentioning it.  I lit the fire before we left so the house was warm to come back to.  I really must get into the habit of getting food in the slow cooker....it gets more difficult to decided what to have when you come in at just after six.  So early night for me...I've got some sleep catch-up to get on with.  LN...Same again tomorrow please....weather and work wise.....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 15, 2017, 5:37pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 15th November

Silly night last night...I fell asleep sitting up at the computer. I woke up and watched the chefs cutting the cheeks out of cods'heads, realised that I'd developed at some time a stiff neck so I found out the Deep Heat and applied it thoroughly.  Off to bed and the next awakening was at four so I got my book out and knocked off two percent of the Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart.  Back to sleep and it was seven and then it was all systems go in time to pick up the men.  It was another drab, dank morning so I took the short easy route down the back lane and along the Greek road.  The were ready and armed with various pieces of equipment.  One day on the job working without and then they kick in with what they really need.

I meandered around a little this morning but eventually got my act together and went out and cleared some of the weeds from the new wall.  The seem to be developed really deep roots and I'm not sure that the winter will kill them off.  I've cleared most of the wild roses from the walls so that the men won't be hindered when they come to put up the  railings.  I've also taken some weigela cuttings and they;re safely in the little house.  I've just remembered though that I've left my tools out....I had fairly important decisions to make over the building work that's going on.  Sally was knocking up the rest of the frame for the wall concreting and Bekir was happily working on the fourth railing.  Tomorrow he's doing the little railings for the terrace and then time to start the painting.  This might be down to me...I'll see how I feel in the morning.  With that i mind I went into Kardjali this afternoon and picked up a two and a half litre of something called Three in One which is supposed to suppress rust and act as a protector,  It cost forty leva so I hope it does something.  I was also sent off for more welding rods and I think I got the wrong size despite the fact that I took a sample with me and showed it to the men in the shop.  A little of my own shopping in Lidl and Kaufland and I was home by five ready to take the men home....quick turnaround, frozen stuff into the freezer and then back down the lane which really confused the sheep dog...I've been up and down that lane six times today.

Home the hungry hunter and settled for ham in French stick with one of the ice cream sticks for desert,  I lit the fire first and it's mainly for the comfort factor....it's not really cold tonight....just damp.  Sorry no pickies...another day of activity...but I'll take some tomorrow.  Washing up, log on the fire., a book at bedtime and hopefully straight through tonight.   LN....Cross your fingers for me....LN
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Elsa Peters
November 16, 2017, 5:59pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 16th November

Lovely long sleep last night and it was six this morning when I woke up...suits me fine.  I didn't rush, I wasn't leaving until just after half seven and for some reason I was in the third bedroom which is now converted into my sewing room and my eyes fell on a snow suit that I'd bought when I was a lot younger and it had found its way over here in one of the boxes.  I thought I'd give it a try and the top was OK over pj's but no chance over a snow type sweater and as for the trousers....well they did fit when I bought them.  So to save it gathering dust I decided to send it to a good home but I'd wash in first so into the washing machine, it was cooked by the time I was due to leave but the door appeared to be jammed.  I ran the drain program to see if that would budge it but to no avail and I'd have to come back to it.

Off to pick up the men and took the main road.  Everything was damp and my lane would be alright but as for the lane to the men's village I reckoned that would be suspect.  I took photos of my ride through the villages and hills...it's a very pretty route especially at this time of year with the trees changing colour.  The men were ready for action and set to immediately, I remembered that I'd offered to run Gouldjan's mother into the doctors for an injection after yesterday's x-ray at the hospital so I went shopping while she was being attended to and bought the usual things that you do when you are filling in time but I do have a new witch's broom, very necessary since the men have knackered my other one.  A pair of socks for me. a pair of slippers for my favourite little one, paint brushes for Sally for doing the railings and a new charger for something I couldn't find the charger for.  We headed for the supermarket when she'd finished at the doctors and I'm going to have another shot at marmalade using clemantines this time...wish me luck.  I dropped her off and headed home and my next port of call was Kardjali to change the welding rods that I'd bought yesterday and to go to the window man to confirm the size of the gaps now that the building work was completed.  Bekir had received the estimate which I'd agreed to but we put to bed the door furniture and the final design which may be a little more costly but hey and I ordered the fly screen....I have a phobia about them....I'm in and they're out.  It was a quick stop off at Lidl so that Bekir could look at the instruments which were supposed to be 'on sale' but he'd got his day wrong...it's tomorrow.  I managed to sort the washing machine when I got back....a good thump on the door and the release worked so now I can add engineer to my CV.

One man painted and another welded and just before five they were ready to go home.  Two coats of paint on low wall railings and they're ready to be welded into place and only the one long one to be completed by Bekir.  They've both done well despite the weather but they were able to work inside.  Dropped them off and decided to stop off at Mrs D oi S's on the way home for a coffee and a cuddle with the little one and then homeward bound. perked up the fire, fried off a kilo of mince with onions and that will go in the fridge overnight and now ready to relax for the evening.  A productive day all round.  LN...Nicely relaxed....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 17, 2017, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 17th November

First off ...happy birthday to my sister unfortunately no longer with us but remembered fondly.  The forsythia I bought the day before she died is thriving and has produced lots of babies.

Silly four o'clock start again but I managed to go off again until just before seven which was brilliant.  Washed, dressed and into the Beast by seven thirty more or less and set off to pick up the men.  The journey over was normal without any hiccups but as I pulled into the  parking spot in the men's village I noticed steam coming from under the bonnet so I raised the lid and the area was swamped with steam and anti-freeze.  Not a good start to the morning.  I checked the thermostat and it was up but not in the danger zone, I removed the radiator cap after about ten minutes, balanced it on the front edge and unfortunately Sally knocked it and we were now in the position of having no radiator cap.  I managed to get my hand right down to the engine protector bolted on to the underneath of the Beast but couldn't managed to get my hand on it.  Fortunately Bekir came to the rescue, managed to undo the four bolts that were securing the plates and  we found it in the leaves that dropped down as well.  I telephoned the garage to see if I could risk it so Bekir got some hot water from his house, we filled up the radiator, he got another five litres of hot water to take with us and leaving the cap off we set off.  We stopped off in Rogosche to  top it up again and managed to get to the garage with only one top up.  Garage owner's wife's father gave us a lift to my house and I left the Beast and the update is that the radiator should be here in the morning from Varna so fingers crossed.  Bekir's friend from the village came to collect the men and I let them know if we have lift off for Monday.

Anti-climax after that....the rest of the railings are complete and they all have two coats of preservative paint on them and all being well will be put in place on Monday.  Four portions of the mince and onions went in the freezer and the last portion I made with gravy, into a pie dish with it and sliced a potato to cover the mince.  Into the oven it went and forty minutes later I had supper.  The fire has been going from lunchtime today.  It's been cold and damp and not the sort of weather I love at all.  It's still going now with a huge log on it and it should be going for a couple of hours or so...and then we're on to bedtime.   Kitchen finished, Children in Need tonight so something different to fall asleep in front of...and nothing set for the weekend now that I have no transport.  It's actually made me more determined to replace Beauty...there looks like no chance of getting the documents sorted and the police can't help.  LN...A quiet weekend for me...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 18, 2017, 4:50pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 18th November

Silly four start this morning and read for an hour or so and then off until seven thirty and realised I didn't have to go anywhere, or do anything so I leisured it in bed until eight.  Coffee, a load of washing in, washed and dressed, toast for breakfast with my marmalade which does seem to be softening up a little, lit the fire and settled in with my Kindle.  The washing went onto the clothes airer in the bathroom to dry and I only had to wait for the phone call from the garage and unfortunately it was bad news.  The part that had been sent down from Varna was the wrong one and the new one isn't due to arrive until Tuesday   

I settled back down with my book and my brain must have been working on a solution and then it suddenly hit me that one of my friends from Djebel has a little car that I knew was lingering down at the garage.  He bought it when he wrote off his other car and now it's not used.  I gave him a call. he said that it was OK with him but that there was no insurance on it.  A quick call to my student's mum in the garage shop where I normally get my insurance from and three months insurance was seventy leva so I said to go ahead.  I phoned a taxi and headed into Djebel, we all met up at the shop, the car was being brought up from the garage and the only thing left to do was to buy the one month's road tax. thirty lev and I have the car for the next month or so.  It should also make fetching and carrying the men cheaper for me.  I mentioned to Lyubo that I wanted to buy a little car and Beauty could sit in the garage and they could take bits of it when they needed any and we could run a counter account for when mine went in at any time.  The problem with the Beast is not the radiator 'per se' but the plastic that surrounds it or the Bakelite or whatever it's called.

I sat in the borrowed car, I had to think how to drive a car with gears after driving the Beast,  The car had been left in gear with the handbrake off and as I put it into neutral it started to move forward and I had to grab for the handbrake.....a minor panic.  We went through the lights, I drove round the square and by the time that I got to the garage to get the road tax I was back into it.  It only occurred to me as I drove home that I hadn't checked whether there was any fuel or not but I got back safely.  I'd driven back in the dark, the lights are useless so I was on headlights for most of the journey back, the petrol light was flashing but I managed to reverse the car into the drive. Locking the car I realised that the passenger window was down so I fiddled with the window switch and nothing happened.  I went into the house to get a torch to see if I was missing anything like another switch inside and turned off the engine, took the key out and suddenly the cooling fan kicked in and seemed to go on for ages.  It's not good in the dark to try to navigate a strange car.  Eventually I found that the window was on the ignition key and tomorrow in the daylight I'll got through it with a fine tooth comb so that I know what I have to do.  

Six by the time I was in and settled ....at least I have a solution for next week for picking up the men.  The Beast should be ready on Tuesday night but I'll leave it down the garage and return this one when the men finish for the year.  The garage said that I should be charging him for 'exercising' it to save it sitting in the garage.  I'll take the owner out for a meal when everything is back to normal.  No photos....it's been a damp old day again and I came back in the fog.  LN...Learning curve in the morning....LN
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Elsa Peters
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Sunday 19th November

Five start this morning and I didn't managed to get off again so settled myself into the Crystal Cave on the Kindle....I'm enjoying it and four more books in the series.  The fire was still going when I went down for coffee so I threw another log on it and it's still going now.  A little hiccup around three when I had to rescue it but rescue it I did. Washed and dressed by eight but then I clicked on to Film on and the England rugby match was on so that kept me entertained for a while.  I do hate all the analysis though.  They think that the team made too many mistakes and saying how they've got to step up their game for the Tonga match.  I'm sure it's far more technical that it used to be.  Funny decisions by the ref though.  We sent one of the England players off and then not sure how to effect a scrum...what was that all about?

I didn't bother with breakfast but went out to play in the garden.  It started with a bonfire, I'd accumulated a fair amount of rubbish with the men being here so although it was pretty damp it wasn't raining so I emptied the burning bin and got it going.  I think most of it has gone but I'll check in the morning how much the dogs and cats have managed to rescue.  They really have to scavenge for food here....my throw-outs are probably better than the bread that they normally get fed.  I came in at about eleven thirty having cleared most of the bed of the old flowers, removed the old leaves from the rhubarb so that I can get a bucket over it for the winter, cleared under the big terrace wall and that's now ready to put the winter protection around the oleander that I grew from a cutting.  I really don't want to lose it, there were no flowers on it this year but maybe next it will put up a show...fingers crossed.  

Toast and marmalade for a late breakfast and then settled on the sofa with the book.  I managed to read for about an hour but then it was as per normal...the eyes went southwards and I was woken up by a knock on the door at around two.  I was surprised to see the Librarian, we sat in the kitchen and had coffee, did the walk of the garden and generally chatted and off she went around three thirty.  I investigated the little borrowed car while she was here, worked out the windows and how to open up the petrol filler cap and I left at the same time as her to get petrol for the car.  It's strange driving a little one again and I have to remember that the clutch needs some real pressure so that I can change gear.  Otherwise, no problems.  

So it's not been a bad day...damp and there are still patches where the sun wasn't strong enough to dry the terraces.  I did manage to get the hoe out and shock a few weeds into surrender but the darkness comes down pretty quickly and I'm going to blame that for no photos.  Sorry.  Men tomorrow and it's a day for putting up the railings on the wall and terrace.  Everything has been painted twice over and I suspect that Sally might be disturbing and rehousing the wisteria and starting to dig out the toilet.  Strictly results tonight and I really can't call it. It was a mixed bag last night.  LN...Going hunting for supper...LN
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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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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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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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Elsa Peters
November 30, 2017, 6:38pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 30th November

I woke up at four this morning and have any idea why.  I played on the Kindle for a while, woke up even more, made a coffee and went back to bed with my book.  I opened the curtains just as the morning was breaking and what a thrill and pleasure to see it unfold.  I think it went through all of the colours in the palette and if a red sky in the morning was a shepherd's warning ...I was in for one heck of a day.  I took about eighty pickies and selecting which ones to post was a real problem.  

The water was still off, no phone call from Bekir so the day was mine.  I collected up the stuff that needed burning, emptied the burning pit and got it going and it got up a fair head of smoke.  I dug over one of the little beds, cleared the weeds and when I came back in the house it was only nine thirty.  What a long morning it'd been.  Toast and grapefruit marmalade for breakfast and then back to the sofa with Merlin and Arthur, I could have nodded off but I had a phone call from the garage to say that the Beast was ready for collection.  I got out of my garden trousers and put my jeans on, it was a cold water wash and I slapped on cream, there was a really cold wind blowing and a little lippie.  I set off for Djebel stopping off in Rogosche  at the post office and was handed three letters from the bank in the UK and one of them again was requesting a reply with thirty days from the date of the letter.  It was dated the 4th November so that wasn't going to be achieved.  So down to the garage to hand back Black Beauty and pick up the Beast.  It was strange driving the automatic again...nothing to do.  I stopped off at the garage shop and sat with my student's my for an hour or so and then stopped off to buy bottles of water just in case the supply wasn't restored.  I was home for three thirty, the fire was still going and  I decided to phone the bank to say that I wouldn't be meeting the deadline and why the heck did I have to jump though hoops when Bulgaria hadn't caught up with the EU rules.  Sofia might have done but no way had it got down to Kardjali.  I suggested she altered the records, I'd got through security to speak to them so it would save a lot of bother.  Strangely she agreed to do it and said they would contact me if there was any issue with it...Result.  At five Haciber was knocking on my door with home made bread.  We discussed that it was good the water was now on but she told me not to drink it....so I offered her one of the bottles that I'd bought and I carried it home for her.  I did mention not to tell anyone about it...they'd all want one.

I put a jacket potato in the oven with a chicken leg and it did it's own thing.  The wind has got up tonight and it's blowing a gale out there and so much so that I've had to batten down the hatches, the bench from my balcony is sitting in my bedroom, the wheelbarrows have been moved into the garage and the swinging bench has been laid flat.  I couldn't managed to carry that anywhere.  Not only was it windy but it was chucking it down...I'm pleased I'm in for the night.  Supper over, almost ready for a book at bedtime...I'm up to eighty percent so should manage it tonight.  LN....I've got two days of washing up to do.... LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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