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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  DECEMBER 2017
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Elsa Peters
December 10, 2017, 5:22pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 10th December

Early to bed and too early too rise....a very noisy thunderstorm kicked off at around four this morning and despite the curtains there were huge flashes and it was really very near.  Makes me pleased that I've taken lout insurance on the property.  We also had gale force winds and rain lashing and the honeysuckle is down again but this time the support is still n place...a job for tomorrow.

I was down for coffee at five, I didn't manage to get back off again and settled in to my book.  The storm seemed to pass over but there were splendid cloud formations that appeared and dissipated very quickly....and later we had what appeared to be April showers.  The sun was shining, only the odd cloud in the sky and it chucked it down but not for long.  I grabbed a chunk of French stick and made a ham baguette for breakfast.  I grabbed my wellies out of the little house and remembered that I had to take the water bottles down to the well just outside the village to full them up.  Now these are standard water bottles but they all put there own little markings o them.  Some have red, some white and others are blue and if you deliver back the wrong one...you have to search out their bottle.  The daughter of one of the ladies came down with me, the Beast was well and truly a beast of burden this morning and it still sitting outside in the lane.  I had every intention of heading in to Djebel to get the last of the presents but the way apparently is paved with good intentions.  I wrapped more of the presents but the early start sort of put me out of sorts for the day and I've done very little.  That sofa is a really good place to get the book out and not a bad place to nod off if the mood takes me.  Haciber came round early afternoon...she'd been to a Mevlit or the prayers for something or somebody and brought me round a bag of meat and rice...that will do for supper.

Switched on TV Catchup to watch the snooker and it keeps coming back that a threat has been detected but that it's been dealt with.  The joys of internet TV.  Ronnie is on again tonight but so's the Strictly results....like busses they come along at the same time but I think the snooker will be on when the other has finished.  Bekir is here tomorrow to actually put in my fuse box and connect up the cables .  I've only been waiting for it since the electrics went in but because the main inlet is fused it hasn't posed a problem.  Gas bottle is going in for a top up and Bekir will reconnect it...my hands aren't really up to it these days.  You have to push, squeeze and turn all at the same time....find a man who can.  LN...Boiler and bath time before TV....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 11, 2017, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th December

So Strictly went the way that I wanted it to last night and so did the snooker....bad boy Ronnie came good.  It didn't turn in to a finger biting final...he was firing on all cylinders and blew away the competition.

Five start again this morning and I'm, not sure what it's all about, no thunderstorm to wake me but perhaps the brain box is ticking over a little too fast.  I did a load of washing and it was out on the line for seven, dressed and in the Beast by seven thirty and over to pick up Bekir and the gas bottle for my cooker was in the boot.  Straight in to Djebel, I stopped for fuel on the way to get the inserts for the fuse box, money from the cash point, topped up the gas bottle with twelve levas worth and it was spilling out of the top.  I did a little shopping and Bekir headed for the market and made a few purchases including a dog collar that cost him four leva...and I think that's expensive for him...they don't normally spend that much on animals.  

The gas bottle was put back into it's cubby hole and the cooker connected.   I had a bonfire while he set to on the fuse box.  I'd suggested that he made a door for the hole to make it neater but he had his own ideas that were far better than mine.  I started to wrap presents and suddenly I got a whiff of gas.  I mentioned it but he said he couldn't smell anything but five minutes later I went into the kitchen and there was a hissing sound from the cupboard.  The bottle was immediately put outside, he released some of the pressure from it and it seemed to be OK.  He went back to the fuse box and I carried on wrapping presents.  

By two his work was done, we tidied up together and then made a decision regarding the gas bottle.  We decided that we would take it in to Djebel and swap it but this proved more difficult.  Apparently mine isn't a Bulgarian one but of Russian origin and they wouldn't swap it out for a replacement but the girl did say that she had one of those at home and that it if was full to the top this was the problem that you got.  So we brought it home again....Bekir let a lot of the gas out and it seems to be OK...no smell at all but I'll keep my nose at the ready when I go into the kitchen.

We were into the car by two and heading for his home.  He took a lot of his tools back with him and Sally's work clothes that seem to have been accumulating here.  I have to catch up with them both on Wednesday...I have presents for them and their families...it's just something that I do.  I also have to leave a donation for tickets for their village New Year's Tombola...I've told them that if it's a turkey they can have it.  The spoon lasted twelve months but I doubt very much that a turkey would.  Stopped off at Mrs D of S purely to play with the little bundle of fun and to see her walking....   Fire lit, Haciber has been round with a spinach pancake and some fig jam and I haven't the heart to tell her after all this time that I really don't like spinach.

Lazy day tomorrow.....I might go into Kardjali and get my ticket for the bus and there's another couple of pressies that I want to get and then I am completely finished.  Now down to the fridge looking for inspiration...I want something quick.  LN...Super sunset, objectives achieved...LN

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Elsa Peters
December 12, 2017, 4:01pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th December

Silly five start again ...coffee, Arthur and Mordred are no more, Candy crush, fire going from last night's embers, washed and dressed and it was ...eight of the clock.  I went out to the little house to solve the problem of the big locks for the front gate.  The one that I'd taken the house apart for was stashed in the little house and it took a phone call to UK to resolve it.  Any way...the situation I found myself in is that I had two locks, one key for each, Bekir holds one key for the one that was lost and is now found...sounds almost biblical...so top of my list was to get one key for each cut so they were in my handbag ready for the locksmith in Kardjali.  Stage one complete.  So I rattled around, made my final list and was ready to go and searched high and low for my keys and couldn't put my hands on them.  I sent up a silent prayer and nothing came back but I remembered that I'd sorted my handbag out in the downstairs bedroom and lo and behold...they'd somehow found their way under the small duvet that sits on top of the big duvet.  No further lingering...I was off like a bullet out of a gun, down the back lane to the main road and parked down by the old market.  Now this man usually charges one leva and he took one leva from me...I asked for a receipt to put i the car but it wasn't forthcoming and he would always say that it was lost in translation.  Ah well ...it paid for his coffee.  I headed for my usual locksmith but he said that they were specialist keys and he hadn't got the equipment but told me that there was a man who could down by the bus station.  Noted...he didn't know exactly where but somebody would.  So two more main presents down and a few fillers and I headed back to the Beast to move back towards the bus station and Billa car park.  Over to the bus station for my ticket, the usual lady was having a quiet smoke outside her office so I asked her if she knew where the locksmith was and she pointed me in the right direction.  He was a funny little man and obviously took his job very seriously.  A young lady wanted a car key cut and she'd been backwards and forwards to the shop several times and it still wouldn't work so he asked up all to wait outside saying that he had lots of valuable stock...he closed up the shop and went out to the car to make sure that it worked taking his file with him.  Back he came and started to work on mine and they were more expensive than normal and complicated to cut apparently.  So now I am the proud owner of two keys each for two locks and one that Bekir has that fits one of them...sorted for England.  So back to the ticket office and I'm getting the ten thirty to Sofia...plenty of time for snow if it decides to descent but I forgot...this isn't the UK...everything keeps going.

So by now the coffers were low so I tried three cash points and none working.  I walked a little way along the main road and found one, back to the shop to look at suitcases but they were all too expensive and the one that I earmarked, the girls in the shop told me they were rubbish and splintered if knocked.  I thanked them and moved back up town, found one and it's now sitting waiting to be filled.  Coming back towards the turning, there was a road block and everybody was brought in for checks.  I think the policeman thought he'd drawn the  short straw when he realised I was English, the other gave a chuckle and moved away but I provided all that he wanted  and had a clean bill of health.  He courteously stopped the traffic so I could get back into the mainstream and I headed for Djebel.  Final presents bought, two ten litres of water as a standby in case it's off when I get back, Beast unpacked, fire lit and chicken wings and potato wedges are almost done.  

Good day, everything achieved from the list and count down list prepared for Thursday.  Lunch out tomorrow with the Librarian and Mrs D of S....and out little Beauty.  LN...Supper is ready....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 13, 2017, 4:23pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th December

Silly three awakening and had a read for an hour or so and then back off until seven ten which was much more sensible.  Coffee and set to packing up the pressies for Messrs. Bekir and Sally and chocolates for their wives and I remembered to put the padlock in my bag so that I could confirm that Bekir had a key already.  The Librarian's presents were packed already so only Mrs D or S's and the little one to do and then I was ready for the off.  Firstly a shower and washed my hair and that was a little overdue.  I can't wash my hair properly in the bath so to linger long under the hot water was very pleasant.  I didn't bother with breakfast I knew we were in for an early lunch and by ten I was in the Beast and ready for the off.  I remembered to put some money in both of the cards for Bekir and Sally so that they could buy ticket in their village tombola for New Year.

I went firstly to the men's village and Bekir was waiting outside the restaurant with a couple of his buddies.  He hadn't got my keys but felt that the key that he had on the bunch was the correct one but to make sure I gave him the one that I knew fitted Cinderella and I know that I have mine here.  Doubled back on myself to Samodiva and Mrs D of S was ready for the off.   I handed over the little one's present and realised that I brought the Librarian's in to the house by mistake but the little one was allowed to open her present. ....loads of chocolate bars and a box to keep them in but I think she had more fun with the box until she realised what was in it...joy oh joy...have I died and gone to heaven!!

We were at the Librarian's village a little early and we waited on the car park for her to appear.  The restaurant that I'd suggested wasn't open so we headed into one of the hotels in Zlatograd and had a very pleasant lunch and no alcohol in sight.  The little one was so well behaved, stuffed herself silly like the rest of us and the Librarian and myself had takeaways and mine's sitting in the kitchen...tomato and onion salad with burgers and just a hint of green that I'm allowed to leave.     Dropped the Librarian off and swapped pressies, over to Mrs S's and stopped off for a coffee and the baby went back to playing with the chocolate and the box until guests arrived and the chocolate was put away for another day.  

Home and I wasn't sure whether to light the fire or not...it was twenty three degrees in the winter lounge but I succumbed.  I had a job getting a really ancient log into the fire box but in it went with a push and a shove and it should burn until tomorrow.  I'm not going to do very much tonight....tomorrow's checklist is ready and I'll slowly work through it.
LN.....Hopefully a good night tonight.....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 14, 2017, 5:37pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th December

What a good night's sleep last night...more please.  Seven start and I was on the countdown checklist...but I seemed to get slower as the day went on.  I've had my bonfire. the fridge is sorted and the animals have fed well, I've not done too badly myself and I think I'm more or less there.

This year seems to have been more difficult with presents for the village ladies.  I seem to have acquired a few more and it's all proportional.  The original four that I used to buy for has now increased to five but there are others that are in the circle....I love my village.  So Santa had finished by one and only had the chocolates to pack but that didn't get done until three and I don't know why it took so long.  I think it's because I've been fitting jobs in between like getting in two lots of logs so that they will be fully dried out for when I get back.  It's also a dilemma as to what I put in the suitcase...I can't remember the clothes that I have in England.  

So tomorrow I have final presents to deliver and then catch the bus from Djebel to Kardjali without I'm running short of time and I'll take a taxi which means that I won't have to wait for an hour or so in Kardjali before I get the bus to Sofia and then another wait for the plane.  I'm just hoping that the snow in England has stayed in the north and midlands and has not got down to the south yet.  

I've just come back from my student's house after delivering the presents...I reckon that by the time that I got to the top of the lane most of them were open.  I've opened mine from the family...no way could I carry it to the UK and now it's sitting on my chair in the hall...a super cushion.  Thank you all so much.  And now back to packing...scratch head time but what I haven't got I can get in the UK...shimples.  Probably no post tomorrow as I'm moving between time zones....and there might well be delays.  LN...I'll see how things pan out...LN

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December 14, 2017, 6:42pm Report to Moderator

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The Southern fairies didn't get any snow...Mainly Shropshire and those weirdos from Birmingham   Oh wait my misses is from there, so I better say it quietly!  

Safe travels lovely lady! x
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Elsa Peters
December 16, 2017, 6:15pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th December

Thank you Mikey B....and another Midland softie that's not on home turf...but not as far away as I have been.

It was a long wait at the airport last night but mainly because I'd taken the precaution of catching an earlier bus in case the weather was bad.  I'd got my ticket on Monday before I was due to travel.  As it happened it was a beautiful day...a little cold but that dear old sun was out.  And now I've had another experience...the lady that I was sitting by on the bus up was going to Terminal 2 so we did the Metro together and what a clean and tidy place it is.  The journey was one leva sixty more or less but while she stayed at her terminal I caught the free shuttle bus over to Terminal one.  I was unsure where to pick the bus up from so I asked one of the police and was told that it was where the three diplomatic cars were parked up....my joke about how did they know I was travelling today fell on deaf ears and then the bus turned up.

The plane was on time, it was a very empty flight and the whole row in front of me was empty so I asked if I could move forward and I did.  Bacon sandwich, coffee and Kit-Kat, boots off...coat under head and I slept for at least two hours and was surprised when we had thirty minutes to touch down.  It was very cold when we got off the plane but immigration was working it's little socks off , quick walk through the green channel and my lovely Princess was there to greet me with her beau who grabbed my suitcase and whisked me off to the chariot on level three of the car park.  In thirty minutes I was at home, unpacked and ready for bed.  By five I was awake and making coffee, read for a while and then back off until eight, toast and marmalade for breakfast while my host came too gradually and surfacing at about ten.  According to his friend that we've just visited that was early for him.

I've had a very leisurely day....we walked up to visit a couple that we've known for a while and I was surprised how many shrubs are flowering...it's almost as if they can't make out what time of year it is.  Coffee and biscuits with them and home, sweet home and soon be time to get my square eyes on the go...the Strictly final tonight in about twenty minutes time.  Steak and ale pies in the oven for tonight, tomorrow church in the morning and then out for lunch again.  I love this quiet life I lead here....not.  At some point I suppose I'll have to think about doing my cards and getting them in the post....today wasn't the day for it.  I've just been called for supper so the keyboard warrior is signing off.  LN...Come on Joe....you can do it.....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 17, 2017, 8:26pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th December

So Joe won...and I think I might have spoiled it for a few friends on FB by posting my congratulations fairly soon after the contest was over....I'm just not used to watching on demand later...no such luck in BG so apologies if I ruined it for you but the result still stands.  There were a few outstanding routines for me this year that I believe will stay around for a few years, Debbie's Argentine tango being one of them.

Silly night again...three thirty start which if you add two hours on for the time zones is what has become normal for me.  I did try to go off again but nothing was happening in that direction so I did some Christmas cards but ran out of decent ones so finished my book and at the end wondered why I'd persevered with it.  I'd downloaded seven by the same author on to the Kindle thinking that I'd have something to go at while I was over here but shan't be starting on the next unless I get really desperate.  It was a white over morning, I had breakfast before my host had even woken up, spent time on a call to Angela for an overdue catch up, settled in to a hot bath, washed my hair and started searching the wardrobes for shoes and clothes that I have here. It was a jeans occasion and managed to find a black wool sweater that I'd forgotten about and tried on several pairs of boots before I decided on the ones that I'd got in BG and brought over with me.  I don't seem to do heels these days and had visions of me toddling along clutching my plate from the carvery and spilling everything.  The food was really good and ended up feeling stuffed especially after downing a treacle pudding and custard for pudding.  As we left the restaurant the heavens opened and it's been that way for the rest of the day...damp old UK.  Finished off at Asda in the Marina and facing me as we arrived at the store were a display of Quality Street and a tin just jumped into the trolley...Christmas is getting here.  I sort of go into shock when I hit the stores in the UK after BG...there is so much choice and different brands of the same product but I still feel that food in the UK is still relatively cheap.  Butter here is cheaper that I normally pay for it in BG and considering that the wages are so low there for the locals....I'm sure their little eyes would spin.  

Head down this afternoon after adding another couple of layers to get warmed up again....it's not like my free central heating at home or being able to light up and throw a log on.  Tomorrow is really going to depend on the weather...if it's good I shall head into Brighton to have one day getting gifts for the family otherwise I might be finding yet more 'stuff' to give to the charity shops.  I still have things here that I'll never wear again and they should go.  No pickies today.  By the time the camera came out the sun had gone in so nothing more depressing than to see rain recorded for posterity.  Fingers crossed for tomorrow.  LN....Sports personality of the year beckons....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 18, 2017, 7:13pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 18th December

Four thirty start this morning so it's getting better.  I should have come to terms with the two hour shift by the time that I'm ready to go home. I did a couple of Sudoku, put the light out and managed to go through until eight.  Lovely start to the day with wall to wall sun so Brighton was on for shopping.  Settled for lots more coffee and ham sandwiches made out of Tiger loaf bread which I really miss in BG, padded up with extra sweaters and prepared myself for the bus into town.  We caught the twelve o'clock from the end of the street, my host stayed on for the next stop out of Brighton centre and I headed down to the Lego shop to get the first of my required gifts.  I went into W H Smiths to post the last of my cards and gave it a miss...the queue was horrendous and I settled for stamps from the service till.  There were just too many people around for me and I could have easily got back on the bus for home and as for Britain being broke...it certainly didn't look like it to me apart from the vagrants lying in the shop door ways.  They seemed to be surrounded by empty food packets where people had donated food instead of money....none of them looked to be starving.  We headed for the pound shop for a few things and again another long queue at the checkpoint.....and off down the North Lanes heading for the sausage shop so that he could stock up.  We walked back via the Theater Royal to see what was on and Grease is being performed, some of the Dome was under wraps and the hug cranes were assisting in the renovations.   Back through the Lanes to the bus stop and we took the bus along the coast road and the sunset over the sea just had to be captured when we got off the bus.  Back on to another bus to the north of our village and home for just after four.  I might have to make one more trip in to town....but it will be under duress.

News from home from Mrs D of S....we have snow and it wasn't said in words....just a message in messenger of a snowflake.  Not much supper is needed tonight.  We also got a pork pie from the sausage shop and a good chunk of it has gone already.  I don't mind putting on a few extra pounds...I shall need them for getting rid of the snow when I get back.  LN...Looking for nibbles...LN

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December 18, 2017, 7:59pm Report to Moderator

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Will you please STOP IT!

It is extremely unfair you showing that picture of all those sausages.

I think my tongue is about to drown in all the saliva.  
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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