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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2017, 4:57pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 1st December

So the twelfth month of the year....nearly another one gone.  Happy 50th today to my niece...she's off to party for the weekend.

As for the weather today...no sunrise to speak off...there was probably one somewhere but definitely not here.  There were strong winds overnight, lashing rain and fortunately I'd got everything secured.  I was out this morning at around nine thirty bringing in the swinging sunbed from where I'd secured it last night wedging it with the solid wooden table.  There was no way that was going anywhere.  I brought the swinging part in easily enough except that when I faced it to the wind I thought at one point I was about to take off never to be seen again.  That was easy enough to get through the door to the little house but the frame was a bit of an enigma.  It's long, wide based and needed manoeuvring through the door and I was afraid I was about to take out one of the windows but very gingerly it all came good.  It's not assembled in the little house and it'll be somewhere for the men to rest their weary heads if they make it next week.....fingers crossed.  Next job was to sweep up the leaves that were collecting around the workshop and garage opening, into the wheelbarrow with them and down to the bottom of the garden.  I lost a lot of them along the way but hey...they weren't going to blow into the new porch.  I came in for toast and marmalade for breakfast and settled in to have a go at the DM Sudoku which took three attempts.

There was a knock on the door at about eleven thirty and the Librarian was there clutching a box.  I thought it was an early present for the festive season but wrong....she had a problem with her computer and wondered if I could solve it.  The mouse pad wasn't working apparently so I opened it up, shut the machine down. booted it up again and put my mouse on, in to 'settings' and 'enable touch pad' and everything back to normal.  We sat having coffee and at twelve thirty set off for Djebel for the soup kitchen.  We walked in, found a table, the waiter came for the order and I told him that he knew what we wanted and he did.  He brought the chicken soup and the final cost was just under five leva.  Not bad egh.  We did the leva shop and was home for two thirty and she was on her way by three thirty.

I packed up a present for the youngest son of the garage shop, got the Beast out and headed in to Djebel again.  I got there at about three thirty, the boy was in the shop and I asked him what was special about the day.  I'd got the present behind my back and asked him if he'd had many presents and did he want another one.  His little face lit up and I handed over a carrier bag with a rucksack in it and inside it I'd put his English Word book, a special notebook, lights for his bicycle, a card with some money in it.  He was thrilled and immediately got out a pen to write in the book....and I was pleased that he liked his gifts.  I was handed a hug piece of birthday cake and I demolished it standing in the shop. I left them to it....there was a little party about to take place, I was invited but abstained...my days of children's parties finished a long time ago.

Back home....the wind is still rocketing, two loads of logs in and everything still battened down.  Te lights have been flickering...it's amazing that the power is still up but fingers crossed it stays that way.  Fire's going well...it's not cold tonight and hasn't been all day but it's comforting.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far...probably another leisurely day.  LN...Long slow bath tonight....LN

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Elsa Peters
December 2, 2017, 3:01pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 2nd December

What do they say about the well laid plans of mice and men or women...well mine went completely to the wall last night.  The electricity went off which meant that I had to remove the fire from the woodburner risking life, limb and eyebrows in the performance thereof.  I did managed to find the candles to get those going but it's amazing that whenever you go into a new room you always go for the light switch even though you know nothing's going to happen.  I brought in the ash bucket and the metal bowl, cleared the surface of the little woodburner in the kitchen and the top plates so that I could get the burning wood in easily and managed the smaller of the two logs from the biggie.  The other one went into the bucket and I used the metal bowl as a lid and put it outside.  I didn't want to leave it without a lid, the wind was howling out there and I didn't want anything else to contend with.  I didn't bother banking up the little woodburner, it wasn't cold so I didn't need it.  I settled down with tee-lights around the place with my Kindle, read until ten and then decided to go to bed.  I didn't take long to get off but at twelve thirty I was wide awake and there were all those hours to go before the world came awake.

It was seven when I woke up and there was still no electricity.  I heard the bread van so went down to check if the others in the village were with or without power. There was only me and the street lights that seemed to be affected.  On hearing that from my neighbours I decided to phone the electricity board and after two attempts and my calls cut off because of the number of calls waiting in the queue...I decided to leave it and lo and behold...power was restored.  I went to get breakfast and ended up with soggy feet....the fridge had started to defrost so that was another job that I could put on my list for today.  I left the fire, cleaned out the fridge, started it up again and boy did the heavens open.  I watched the rugby while the electricity stayed up. it was still chucking it down and water was streaming out of the gutters.  It had started to come into the new porch so I went to find a plank of wood to block the entrance.  I made my way to the front gate to remove the leaves from the drain by the gate and noticed that I had a river running in front of the gate and heading down the lane.  I guessed it was due to leaves blocking the grating so it was out with the rake and eventually it went and so far so good.  I'd bought a rubberised cover all from Mania weeks ago but it served its purpose.  it stopped me getting rain down my neck but when I came in. the sleeves of my jumper were dripping so I did the strip off in front of the washing machine and headed for the shower.  I'd overridden the timer so had loads of hot water, it made up for not having my lingering bath last night.

So I settled down after my shower to watch the Siberian tigers and blow me if the power didn't go off again...now this isn't fun.  In with the bowl and bucket, removed the burning log but it wasn't roaring like it was last night and thirty minutes later....it came on again.  Stop toying with me punky.....Haciber has just paid me a visit to bring me some spinach pancakes and I haven't the heart to tell her that I eat them under sufferance.  Not my favourite nibbles.  Just after four thirty my time.  I'm doing the update just in case I lose power again and my evening TV gets sodded up, the trials of winter appear to have come early.  The wind has dropped and it's stopped raining so fingers crossed that everything is hunky-dory tonight.  I've got snooker on at the moment....another thing to get stuck in to but everything that requires power has been charged....just in case.  LN...Supposed to rain again tomorrow... ..LN



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Elsa Peters
December 3, 2017, 3:41pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 3rd December

So at ten last night I took to my virtuous couch.  There was nothing on TV Catchup that was worth catching up on, intended reading for a while but I was just so tired after such an early start.  At twelve thirty I was totally awake but lay there and eventually went off again and at five it was the start of my day.  I lit the fire and made coffee and was settled in to my book  when the power went off.  The panic normally sets in immediately down to the fact that no electricity and no pump for the central heating but I left it a while and it came back on again so all in the garden rosy.  We had severe gusty winds and I think that kept me on half sleep for most of the night and torrential rain again.  It's December...this is normally what goes on in the first months of the new year...go away...much too early.

So I did two boiled eggs for breakfast, brought in the two mats that had been washed and left outside after getting soaked when the fridge defrosted yesterday.  They're now on the clothes airer in the bath and have finished dripping.  I'm not sure I want to put them down again...the electricity is like a bride's nightie at the moment and cant be trusted.  The fire was ticking along nicely so I livened it up a bit.  It wasn't cold outside but wet, miserable and very stormy and very pleasant to sit and watch while sipping coffee and eating biscuits.  Everything was fine but suddenly off it went again.  The UPS back up supply to the pump kicked in and I knew that I had to do something about it and remove the fire from the burner.  I left it for about five minutes to see if it would come back on but no go so armed again with bowl, bucket and shovel I set to.  First job is to remove the top of the little wood burner to get the logs in easily and by now I'd worked up a fair head of heat. and there were three logs to get out.  Two I managed to squeeze into the kitchen burner and the third went into the bucket with the bowl on top again to stop any bits flying off when I took it outside to burn out.  The house was full of smoke so it was bathroom windows and doors open, there was smoke billowing out of the bucket on the terrace and I'm becoming an expert at this.  So far, so good and it does remind me of when I was a girl and my mother used to put a shovelful of hot ashes from the kitchen fire into the front room fireplace to get the fire going.  I always thought it was dangerous then but I think it's more dangerous now.  She had coals...I have thumping great logs...   I did a circuit of the garden and rescued the cover from my old sunbed which is now in Beauty, the polythene covers from the cold frame are stashed in the metal sunbed to save them taking off again and as for the honeysuckle...the wind has dislodged the plant and its very heavy wooden support from the lounge terrace but that's a two person job to get it back up again....or cut it all down and start again from scratch.  I'll see if I get any phone calls about working tomorrow.

So the power was still off at three thirty so I phoned the emergency line and managed to speak to someone in English.  I asked him first off in Bulgarian it he spoke a little  English and I think he was more surprised than I was.  He replied affirmative so he took my address, customer number and at four thirty power was restored and a few minutes later a man and a van was outside tooting his horn checking that I had power.  According to him, it was all down to 'a lot of water' so let's hope that everything stays up.  The fire is lit using the stuff that I took out first time around, the update is early just in case it goes off again and I'm settled in for the night.  Not many photos, grey most of the day but I did managed to catch a hint of pink tonight just before it went back to normal.  The one of the honeysuckle is taken from my bedroom terrace and shows the devastation....and that's about it,  LN...Chill and crossed fingers...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 3, 2017, 3:55pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday continued

This gave me a pleasant surprise....not sure it will be out for long...



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Elsa Peters
December 4, 2017, 4:31pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 4th December

Five start, down for coffee and did the washing up and cleared the kitchen and one load of washing in at cheap rate electricity.  I went back to bed with my coffee and read until six, closed my eyes and went off for another hour.  There wasn't a phone call from Bekir so I decided to call him at eight thirty to see if he could shed any light on the issues surrounding my windows.  Apparently it's the same problem.  They get the glass from a place in Kardjali and it wasn't forthcoming but I've been promised Wednesday or Thursday so let's see if it happens.

So I've not been the only one without electricity, Mrs D of S has had outages as have most people in the villages.  The supplies aren't hardy enough.  I told her I was heading in to Kardjali to get the document completed to confirm that I'm still alive so my pension doesn't get stopped and asked her if she wanted anything bringing back.  She mentioned cat food and said that she was ready for winter, only had to get the winter checks done on her car so I suggested that she put her car into my garage in Djebel and we headed into Kardjali together.  It was a plan so I met her at the garage, she explained what she wanted done and off we went with the car seat firmly in place and the little one giving high fives to all and sundry.  We put three hours on the car for the same price as two, I went to the bank and got the paperwork sorted, she had work in the post office, down to the cheapy shop, paid phone bills and ended up at an outside pizza shop for lunch.  The little one is a great attention puller...the number of people that come up and tickle her or smile at her is incredible and she's such a little charmer.  Back in the car and over to Lidl for the said cat food and a few other items and back to the garage and the car was ready and waiting.  Fond farewells but by this time the little one was well and truly worn out so the last I saw of her was her nestling down again in the transferred car seat for the journey home.

I unpacked my shopping, put a black sweater that I'd bought for ninety stotinki in the washing machine..it probably cost more to wash it than buy it.  The pizza is sitting heavy so I don't think I need any supper.  As for activity levels this afternoon, I lit the fire, lay on the sofa for a read and a snooze and came to at four thirty to throw another log on.  The house is ticking along at twenty two degrees, it's supposed to drop tonight to a minus reading so I intend keeping the home fires burning.  So the plans to get my Christmas underway didn't materialise...I might be heading out tomorrow for the leva shop in Djebel to see what I can find.  LN....Love that little ray of sunshine....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 5, 2017, 3:59pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 5th December

Well it's getting better...it was a six start this morning and it was the printer program that woke me.  When it's in standby or sleep mode and switched on it automatically does a self clean and how noisy was it this morning.  Note to self...switch the thing off....   Coffee, there was no glimmer of hope from the fire so I didn't bother to giver it the kiss of life,  There was hardly a cloud in the immediate sky as morning started up and the central heating came over the mountains and stayed for a good few hours.  I collected together everything that had to be disposed of and had a burn-up at the bottom of the garden.  There was quite a bit of unburnt that had been scattered around the garden by the high winds of the last couple of days so I cleared that up as well and worked up a good head of smoke.  I also cleared up the branches that had fallen from the two big trees in the yard, the leaves I decided to leave until later and as it turned out it was much later.  I finished the rest of the French stick and ham for breakfast and settled on the sofa with the third book in the Arthurian series...it is no more so on to book four.

For the last few days I've been looking at the windows in the hall atrium and very aware that they needed cleaning.  Now this is a job and a half...the extending brush and scraper that I'd got a few years back is really difficult to control but I managed to use the brush on the end to clean off some of the dirt.  The device to take off the water is absolute rubbish and left me with more streaks than Lords cricket ground had ever experienced.  I ended up getting the hose pipe with the spray attachment so sluice off the cleaning agent that I'd used and consequently soaked the downstairs windows that I'd cleaned a couple of weeks ago.  Work yet more work.  I was reasonably satisfied with them....it really needs the ladder putting up and doing it properly but being here alone...no way does the ladder emerge from the workshop.  So now to do the inside ones.  This is more difficult...you can't shoot water everywhere so I tried a couple of methods.  Firstly with a damp cloth tied round the extendable brush which only left streaks everywhere.  I then tried vinegar and water with a damp cloth on the same contraption and they were getting better but I was expecting perfection...and sadly this wasn't to be.  I then moved on to window cleaner on poly-roll balanced on the end of the contraption which kept falling off and eventually put all my toys away and I'll live with the consequences until I have a man or two here to do them properly.  Having said that...they look much better than they did.

Back to the sofa and Arthur..I was ticking at eighty percent until I noticed that the temperature was dropping despite the sun, I decided to light the fire and it's chugging along nicely now.  So my eyelids drifted southwards around two and it was three thirty before I headed for the kitchen and coffee.  Time to throw a log on the fire and to stock up on fuel for the night.  Into the workshop with the log carrier and that's now sitting in the kitchen.  The log basket is full to the brim and the shelf underneath the woodburner has three large lots that are acclimatising before being sent to their fate.  As I took the carrier back to the wood store I noticed how many leaves had collected in the garage and by the door so they were gathered, shovelled into the wood carrier and are now down the bottom of the garden to add roughage to the poor soil down there.  I drained the hosepipe and that's now sitting in the little house and I've left the outside tap dripping ever so slowly just in case.  Everything put away and locked up for the night and it's almost six my time.  

There wasn't much of a sunset tonight....it seems that the evening sky seems to be similar to this morning with the same galloping horsemen making their way along the mountain ridges.  The temperature is really dropping now and is supposed to be down to minus six tonight so winter draws on so to speak.  Post office in the morning for a few long distance cards and my letter to pensions administration and a trip round Djebel to see if I can get the things I want from the cheapy shop or another visit to Kardjali may be called for.  I have to get my Christmas underway.  LN....Supper time ....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 6, 2017, 3:32pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 6th December

Funny night last night.  The internet went off at about nine fifteen so I took to the sofa downstairs to read and as per normal nodded off in front of the roaring fire.  Twelve thirty when I woke up so off with the lights and up the wooden hills and straight off to sleep again.  It was six this morning when I surfaced, down for coffee, checked the house temperature and it was ticking over at eighteen degrees.  Looking at the sky the sun would be up later and true to form, it came over the mountains and soon the temperature was up to the early twenties.  Washed and dressed by eight thirty, sat down with another coffee and the plan was to head into Djebel first with my letter and secondly to see what I could pick up locally toward Christmas.  I was in the Beast for ten more or less, in with the key and the battery was as flat as a pancake.  I phoned the garage to see which battery I had to charge since there are two under the bonnet and they recommended the one nearer the windscreen so I got the kit out of the workshop, fixed up the electrics and they estimated that I should be able to turn it over in an hour or so.

With nothing else to do that I could think of (there was probably loads but my brain wasn't computing), I got the fourth in the series out and lay on the sofa in the sun.  Just after twelve thirty I went out to give it a try and hey presto...it fired.  When I was on the phone to the garage my student's mum was having a conversation with my garage mechanic and he said that when it was in last time they'd had a similar problem and thought that one of the batteries was on its way out.  I was a little rude and suggested that they could have mentioned it, I'd rather pay than have any issues in winter out here.  So they ordered two new batteries, I left the car at the shop while I did other shopping, posted my letter and came back to find the  Beast gone.  I completed my house insurance policy documents and I'm covered for earthquake, flood and pestilence and was handed a new form in Bulgarian that you must complete if you have an accident and hand it to the police.  I better get it OCR'd to find out what I need to complete.  I headed out again to do more shopping and by this time it was back, new batteries in place and hopefully it's good to go for a little while longer.  While I was waiting for the battery charger to do its stuff, I had a word with the man or woman upstairs and told him/her that it was about time that things came good for me...it had been coming a little to thick and fast just lately and now it was time to settle down....I hope someone was listening...

Lovely sunset tonight, the Beast is parked outside the gate, I'm going to my student's family for supper.  I haven't bothered with a fire...it's still twenty one degrees without  the woodburner going  and by the time I get back it will be time for bed anyway.  Almost time to set off...we have an early supper.  LN....I'll be busy wrapping tomorrow....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 7, 2017, 4:32pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 7th December

So last night I didn't take to my virtuous couch very early...I was watching the box and got my head down at twelve thirty.  I didn't bother reading and went straight off and ti was six this morning when I walked the landing to the little room.  I made coffee and got a load of washing in at cheap rate and went back to bed with the fourth Arthurian.  This one seems to be written from the point of view of children and I found it disconcerting...It's getting better now though as Authur's son delivered form his sister is now making his way to Court and the mother is destined for an Abbey even though she still thinks that she's entitled to royal privileges.  She's about to get her comeuppance along with his other sister,  Families egh....

Spicy sausage, fried bread and egg this morning..it was a cold raw day.  I'd already pegged the washing out and three quarters through breakfast my phone went and I thought it was Bekir with good news but instead it was Princess on her way to work so we had a catch-up.  So back to my breakfast and then Christmas came to Dushinkovo.  I decorated the teasels that have been in the lounge from last year and plugged in the fairy lights and they still work.  I rescued the Christmas tree from the bedside cupboard, the baubles were still attached so I opened up branches and added the tinsel and the other set of fairy lights...now I was getting somewhere.  The snowman sticker is on the window, the door 'thingie' is outside, the tinsel is round the stairs but I left the rope light and the luminous  Santa and his ladder....if the windows go in tomorrow they will go outside otherwise, they'll go in the little house so that they can be seen from the road.  

The bags are done for the ladies of the village with each present individually wrapped and tarted up and I'm down to the last shopping list with the bottles , chocolates, smellies and toys.  That will entail another day in Kardjali and it's going to be tomorrow unless I hear anything for the window people.  The house smells really Christmassy.  I have tee-lights scattered and orange winter oil on the fir cones in a dish in the lounge.  I know I shan't be here but it's my preparation.  So I've just had a phone call...the windows are going i tomorrow so no Kardjali for me....and Bekir is bringing his huge chunk of metal that they put down the chimney to clean it.  That's on my list of 'to do before I go'.  One more thing is to top up the gas bottle for the cooker.  I have difficulty getting the valve back on so it will be removed tomorrow, I'll head to Djebel to get it filled and Bekir will fit it for me.  

I can hear the kitchen calling...I'm not sure what's for supper tonight...I'll stick my head in the fridge/ freezer and look fo inspiration.  The hunger pains haven't started yet...I've got time to look and cook so to speak.  So a day here, let's see how far we get...they are due to arrive at ten or so tomorrow.  I might even get my shopping in.  LN...Working up to the end again...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 8, 2017, 5:57pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 8th December

So silly evening yesterday but I had to stay up to watch the O'Sullivan snooker against the newby from Thailand.  Almost nail biting except that I've worn most of mine away working in the garden...I switched it off on the PC and then put it on the Kindle and watched it in bed.  Next time, please don't leave it so late in the day Ronnie.  I woke at six this morning and it had the signs and symptoms that it was going to be another good day.  White over again but it was a glorious start with those blue and pink tones to the sky.

I put loads of clothes on including tights under my trousers, my zip up woollen cardigan and  my body.  It took me a while to thaw out the  Beast and I was ready to go by eight.  I toyed with the idea of heading into Djebel first to get the money out of the cash point for the windows but decided to pick up Bekir first and then head into town.  He was ready and came leaping out of the restaurant carrying his heavy lump of metal to clean the chimney. I picked up the cash and the promise was that the window's people would be there by ten.
So Bekir set to on the chimney after we'd managed to work out the  tri-folding ladder.  Up he went on to the spare bedroom terrace and then up, up and away.  I got into position in the downstairs bathroom making sure that my fingers were no where near the flue outlet.  Down came the weight along with quite a lot of clinker and soot, I got it out with the potting spade and then he was on to the next chimney which is for the small woodburner in the kitchen.  There was hardly anything in that one so I cleared it all up and deposited it down the bottom of the garden.  No sooner the word than the blow and he took the flue pipes out, cleaned them and put them back.  All I had to do was to clean the woodburner.  So the window  man said that he was having trouble with the lorry so they'd be delayed.  New ETA...twelve but it was one thirty when they arrived.  The set too straight away, they know their stuff and everything is fine.  They're as good as I thought they would be.  The completed photos will have to come tomorrow....it was getting cold when they went, the boss had sorted out the windows that didn't shut easily for me and sprayed everything in sight...good day's work.  Bekir and myself took the white and blue Profilink protective layer from the window frames and doors, tidied up, the men helped Bekir into the Beast with the welding machine...we were taking it back to Sally and we all went out respective ways.  It looks a little stark in there at the moment...needs tarting a little.

Final Christmas shopping tomorrow and I'll pick up my bus ticket for Friday.  I have an evening flight so there's no rush to get to Sofia.  Bekir is coming on Monday to finish off the electrics, sort out my gas bottle and then I'm almost prepared for the off.  Fish ringer sandwiches for supper tonight..that's the best I could do.  LN..Pickies tomorrow of the completed edifice ...LN




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Elsa Peters
December 9, 2017, 6:12pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 9th December

Six start and it was cold out there so I didn't stay long.  I can't get over how warm the house is now that the new porch is fully glazed under the balcony to the guest bedroom..just amazing. I'd kept the fire going last night but lit it this morning...it looked like it could have been a cold one all day but the sun was out but with a very cold wind.  I sat downstairs on the sofa and read until eight or so with coffee at the ready and just after eight phoned the librarian to see if she wanted to come out to play today in Kardjali.  I'd got the main presents to buy.  It was affirmative for her but we didn't rush to get the day started...we were both in PJ's so arranged that she would come over by tenish, so I went back to my book.  Washed dressed by nine thirty, swept out the conservatory and put up Santa on his ladder, two loads of logs brought in but the fire was left to burn out.  The central heating had come up over the hill and it was ticking along in the early twenties....heating without money.

She arrived at about ten fifteen, I'd been down to Haciber's to see if she had a shopping list for me and she did...she wanted mandarins and apples.  We went via the back lane and I was surprised how good it was and came back that way.  It really does cut the kilometres from the journey.  Firstly the super duper leva shop where I got a few things, then to our usual parking place and checked out the cheapy shop, I put some money on my phone and the girl was being very insistent that I take out a contract with free internet but how that works I'n never sure.  Nothing is free.  Kaufland for the main shop and lunch and Lidl to finish off.  On the way back I filled up five ten litre bottles for the ever flowing spring bu the lake, I use it to top up the plants in the little house during the winter.  It saves going backwards and forward in the house once the outside tap is turned off.  Home James, the Librarian's shopping was transferred to her chariot and I brought the Beast into the drive to unpack later.  Tea for two, she had straight and I had ginger with lemon and off she went at about three thirty.   The ladies of the village were out for a walk as I unpacked the shopping and came in to see what I'd done with those windows that were delivered and they highly approved.  I left it for a while and delivered Haciber's shopping and met up with another daughter from the village and tomorrow morning I'm doing a water run for them all.  Starting blocks by nine.  Back home and  I read for a while until I could stay awake no longer and woke up much better for it.  I didn't pack up the presents ...it's a job for tomorrow and I lit the fire, that wind is getting up again.

Strictly tonight and let's see who's out of it by public demand...I really hope Joe makes it.  No supper for me...but I did come back with pears from Lidl so that could do me well.  LN....Should be a day of rest ...let's see how it turns out...LN





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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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MikeyB
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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tcinbg
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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Elsa Peters
December 19, 2017, 8:53pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th December

Sorry Trevor...I'll report back on the taste after breakfast tomorrow.  I think the sausages are bacon and maple syrup for a change in the morning...with rel bacon and eggs.  How's your tongue now????

Six thirty start so I'm getting there...looks like I might be be back to normal before it's time to head back.  Mrs D of S has sent me a photo of the snow in her village and one of her little one being sat in in and she didn't look too pleased about ti.  So much for teaching her about snow angels...she needs a demonstration not a lecture.  Coffee and crumpets with lashing of butter for breakfast this morning and it was wrap present time until we were ready to leave for a lunch with good friends of ours.  We were at the restaurant for two electing to hopefully go when the lunchtimers had left but fortunately we managed to squeeze in between a work's department do for eighteen people so we weren't held up by much.  We had shared starters of whitebait and scampi and settled for steak and ale pies, fish and chips and fish pie for mains.  Mine was the steak and ale with an assortment of vegetables and chips, chips and more chips.  Sticky toffee pudding for my dessert with custard and ice-cream and various pies for the rest.  We were all stuffed.

Heading out of the restaurant the sky was amazing and stayed that way back to their home.  My host then set to to repair the computer,,,A couldn't get on the internet and now can.  It was also a day of calamities, the washing machine wouldn't finish it's cycle and kept coming up with an error message so I wrestled the sheet out of the machine when I managed to get the door to open and peg it out on the line.  It wasn't the weather for it but it was better that it dripped outside.  So lots of pictures of skies again but they were well worth capturing. More shopping if the weather holds tomorrow and probably down the village.  LN...I need to see the sea.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 20, 2017, 5:43pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th December

Seven twenty start so I'm getting there.  There was very little movement in any other part of the house so I headed down at eight, made coffee and took it back to bed and played Candy Crush managing to spread the jam, get the bears above the string and find thirty of them in the next level.  By nine the bugs were biting so I headed down to the kitchen and made a sandwich, more coffee and a long last there was other movement.  I got washed and dressed and was determined to set off for my walk down to the sea, filling my lungs with the fresh stuff and getting some exercise.  I'm not used to doing nothing.  By ten I headed up the long path that takes me up to the Downs.  The photograph doesn't do it justice...it's one heck of a climb and I have to stop a couple of times to get my breath and it doesn't half push the heart rate up.  So back on the flat and I started my meander along the pathways and the only people up there seem to have dogs apart from one man who was carrying a ball thrower but appeared to have no dog.  I made mention of this to him and he replied that he didn't have his dog with him but that he carried it so that people would talk to  him which seemed a little strange to me but there again....I had.  He seemed a little sad and said that he spends an hour every day playing on his grand piano and has just started a ceramics studio so he appears to have a lot going for him....

I carried on to the sea front and walked along to Saltdean.  Again it was lots of dog walkers and I was amazed to see a repair centre with all sorts of spanners attached so that any cyclist could get underway again.  At one time you weren't allowed to cycle along the undercliff but now the rules have relaxed...time to get my bike out again....not. I think my cycling days are over.  Back towards the village centre and into the charity shop and found a few things that I could never live without.  Three for somebody else who shall remain nameless at this point but they fit in my suitcase and a crazed glass candle holder which was blue inside until I washed it and now it's clear glass.  Back via the Co-op and bought my first mince pies of the year and managed to save them until I got home, found an old treasure box out and spent the afternoon going through it and there's another couple to go.

Five thirty my time and in for the night.  I was going to church this evening but the mood seems to have dissipated so it will soon be time to settle in to tele and get out the Kindle for an early night.  The weather picked up a little this afternoon, it wasn't so damp but it's been muggy all day where I prefer to it to be frosty...ah well...can't have everything in life.  LN....Time to think about supper....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 21, 2017, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 21st December

Five twenty start so the long lie in yesterday wasn't to be the norm.  I've started a new book called Geisha...it's slow but at least it's moving.  I got my head down again but nothing doing so down for coffee at seven thirty...I didn't want to wake the household but there was little danger of that.  I toasted the last of the crumpets and had it lashed with butter but it was a slow start for my host who appears to have now developed man flu.  It was a cooked breakfast to feed a cold and then hot lemon with cinnamon and honey which meant that he was able to chauffeur me....I was almost ready to take the bus.

By eleven we were on our way to Lewes.  I really like the shopping there it's a mixture of old, new and craft outlets and my favourite jewellery shop is there.  I am now the proud owner of a pair of tourmaline earrings....square princess cut to match the diamond ones that I already sport.  Lucky old me.  One more Christmas present done and dusted and then it was walkabout via the castle, we tackled Aldi which I promise never to go into again and then on to Newhaven to Lidl and the Original Warehouse Shop.  A little more money spent.  We were home for three thirty and my host promptly fell asleep while I munched on ham sandwiches, finished off the rest of the seedless grapes and then went on an unsuccessful  hunt for chocolate.  I couldn't even use any presents that I'd bought so I need to go shopping tomorrow.  The Quality Street got donated to a good cause earlier in the week....

So after my blow out this afternoon I'm giving supper a miss.  I didn't manage an afternoon siesta so I'm hoping for a better night tonight and so far there is nothing on the agenda except getting some chocolate in and that might incorporate a walk over the Downs.  LN....Exercise, fresh sea air....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 22, 2017, 6:05pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 22nd December

Back to normal...three in the morning and nothing stirred...except me.  Settled in to my Kindle for an hour or so and then roused round about six twenty but eventually got my act together around seven thirty.  Down for coffee and nothing else moving, washed, dressed and breakfast and ready for the bus in to town at ten.  I didn't really have a lot to to into Brighton for but my host was down with man flu and I certainly didn't want to hang around all day absorbing the germs.  I went to all my usual haunts for example Poundland, Primark and Debenhams and picked up the last of my presents and tonight I have a concerted effort at wrapping them up,  I went into the Lanes and looked at the fantastic array of jewellery....so many diamonds but the prices are so varied.  My four sit in my jewellery box....since my fingers have swollen with the arthritis there is no way that they fit Cinderella.  I was going to take them in to get them fixed but it's not that I wear a lot of 'stuff' these days.  So home on the bus and there was still no movement from my guest.  I did stick my head in the bedroom and heard breathing so knew that I didn't have to take any drastic measures....there was still life but not as we know it.

I sat down for a while in the lounge and decided to walk down the Village for some mince pies from Tesco and another box of Quality Street.  The last one was wrapped as a present and delivered on Tuesday and last night I needed chocolate and not a chocolate drop in sight.  Now I have a whole tin to myself...I'm going to hide them...   

He has risen....but decided that he will not be able to make the family get together tomorrow.  I'm pretty pleased about it....germs should be contained not spread.  My son and family are off on holiday for the new year and the last thing I want to be responsible for is the kiddiwinkles coming down with anything.  So tomorrow my daughter will come to collect me....I'm not on car insurance here.  There will be eight of us for lunch at her house and my son and family will be arriving around eleven thirty.  It will be good to see the grandchildren all together.  

No photographs today....it was damp and murky this morning but by the time I meandered down the High Street it had cleared up somewhat.  Let's hope it's a reasonable day tomorrow...we could have a walk along the sea-front.  LN....A family day....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 23, 2017, 7:42pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 23rd December

Silly early morning library half hour and then back off again until seven thirty.  I wasn't sure of the timings of anything today so I settled for an early bath and hair wash and the day would take care of itself.  I phoned my daughter at nine to say that my host was still incapacitated and that I would need picking up and meanwhile my son phoned to say that they would pick me up on the way through.  So I phoned my daughter back and spoke to my grandson who said that she had already left and about five minutes later she was there at the door but unfortunately my grandson had to work...the beauty of retail.

So we arrived at my daughters, lunch was in the slow cooker and I ended up spreading brioche with butter and chocolate spread to make a bread and butter sort of pudding thanks to a Nigella recipe.  We tried to speak to my son to tell him that the eagle had landed at the destination but his phone went to answer phone so we settled in t wait the arrival.  Another phone call and he said that he'd stopped and walked the children...we didn't understand why but they arrived at one and lunch followed on quite quickly.  Beef casserole, mashed potatoes and broccoli, the wine came out but not for me or the drivers and we had a lovely afternoon.  Me catching up with grandchildren showing me how good they were at playing guitars and they settled in to watching a film while I watched my daughter taking off her nail varnish and applying a new coat, baking it as she went.  It's all a bit too technical for me.

My son was ready to leave by four so I asked him to give me a lift home....my presents to them were handed over and off they went heading for London.  No pictures again....I'd forgotten my camera this time but I do need to capture the house decorations at my daughter's house.  Apparently the police pulled up as my grandson was returning from work and asked if he lived at this address.  He replied that he did and then they asked him to move away from the door....he was panicking at this point wondering what was wrong but all they wanted was to take photos of the Christmas lights on the outside of the house.  Makes me wonder what he's been up to.  

So two more sleeps....a day for the final gift wrapping.  I've got the bracelet that I said I would fund and it will need to be cleaned and wrapped, I need to still buy a bottle for my son in law and put driving licence money into a package for my grandson along with two small toy cars.  Thank goodness it comes only once a year....
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Elsa Peters
December 24, 2017, 7:41pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 24th December

Silly night again...three thirty I was reading my Kindle and my Geisha story seems to be livening up....eventually managed to get back off and awake by seven thirty, coffee and back to bed, washed a dressed by nine and ready to face the day.  I meandered around for a while, fell foul of the washing machine which has so many knobs, bells and whistles that when I tried to switch it off to open the door, the programme started to run again so it was back to the drawing board mother.  Eventually I managed to retrieve it to hang out without it dripping everywhere....technology egh....

At eleven I was out for my constitutional....up over the Downs to the sea and fortunately I'd wrapped up warm in lots of layers.  It was really cold walking over the top but not so bad when I hit sea level and Tesco's was even warmer.  I got what I wanted carried on along the High Street, into the Co-op and walked back home.  Altogether I suppose I was out for an hour and a half and I certainly felt much better than doing nothing and I've decided to look out for one of those sports watches that count the paces and give you a run down....top of my birthday list or next year's Christmas list.  This afternoon I managed to get my head down after demolishing quite a few chocolates out of the Quality Street but I'm amazed how small the tins have become....I could almost have worked my way through it....

So after my siesta I finished wrapping the rest of my presents....I'm off to stay with Princess tomorrow....my guest is still flu laden with germs so will be staying here with the promise of roasties and turkey for his Boxing day.  I'd come back but I really don't want to ruin my daughter's family's Christmas with having to stay off the booze to get me back Christmas night.....as I said...I'm not on an insurance policy over here...not like Bulgaria where the vehicle in insured...not the person.  Now it's time to bring Christmas on...I'm ready, all the bases have been covered and may I just wish you all a Merry Christmas or whatever you call it.  Have a peaceful time if that's what suits or a hell of a knees up if you are of the other persuasion.  LN...Merry Christmas.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 26, 2017, 6:36pm Report to Moderator

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25th, 26th December

So by ten yesterday I was all packed in a handbag to go to stay with my daughter and family.  My host was too ill to go but I waved the flag for the home team.  Presents, presents and more presents and while my SIL slaved over a hot oven basting the turkey for all it was worth, I gravitated around the kitchen doing absolutely nothing.  My grandson was doing what grandsons do best...eating chocolate and exercising on the sofa and eventually we sat down for lunch at around one thirty thinking that we'd be ready for the Queen's speech which somehow we missed.  We'd had one onslaught of opening presents but I saved mine until after lunch but the trifle didn't even get a look in ...we were all so stuffed.  We gravitated to the sofas again and I ended up with my grandson's six foot two frame stretched over to the other end of the sofa while his legs were over the top of mine.  He doesn't half dwarf me now.  While I used to nestle his head against my chest, I have to go in now for the under approach and get my arms around his waist.  Where did the years go?

We had a moment of hilarity last night.  My daughter has been given a face mask which is supposed to have two sorts of lights that emanate from it that rejuvenate.  We all reckoned that she could have auditioned for Darth Vader and fortunately it was on a timer...it's a bit like Asda...when it's gone it's gone and you have to wait for the next day for the next session.  I nearly stayed for today's performance but I had a invalid to check up on.  Eventually we headed to bed at around ten thirty and I had a really good night's sleep considering I was in a strange bed.  I woke up six thirty but didn't go downstairs until eight thirty, made a coffee and waited for the house to come to.  My grandson was working today so there was movement in the camp.  I was pleased to see that the horrendous winds from yesterday had subsided but they're back again tonight with lashing rain.  Breakfast with my daughter....the jelly from the turkey on toast....it's our tradition where the others just won't touch it and after that we packed up a plate of yesterday's left overs for the invalid and bowls of the trifle that didn't get attacked yesterday.  The Christmas cake was also sliced and I brought a good chunk of it home with me.  So back home for around eleven, as I said my grandson was working so they were giving him a lift since the buses are a bit sporadic....and as for this afternoon...I've done very little apart from eat chocolate and watch rubbish on television but I did catch the end of Mary Poppins....a classic.  I've had a really lovely Christmas.  It has been good to be with my daughter and her family, being able to relax and stay there and enjoy the boxing day breakfast.  The good news is that they are coming out this year at some point....it's rounded off my Christmas nicely.

Happy Boxing day everyone....I used to tell my children when they were small that all the toys had to go back in their boxes on Boxing day and if they were good they kept them...if they weren't...they had to go back.  I enjoyed motherhood....LN...It's supposed to snow tomorrow...we'll see how it pans out....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 27, 2017, 10:39pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 27th December

Lovely late start again, well by my standards.  There was snow in the rain as I looked out of the window which soon petered out leaving it just damp, cold and miserable.  I had crumpets for breakfast again and sat at the dining room table looking out at the weather and realised that I appear to be doing a lot of that in my life.  I look at nature, whatever it's throwing at me and it made me realise how I've changed.  The busy bee syndrome is gone and I do what I have to not what I think I should be doing to keep busy.  A quick phone call to Princess to check the size of the Fitbit that I'm ordering and she said that it would be good in that we could set each other challenges.  I've worked out the first for her....to get in two loads of logs and chop up kindling...so I'm ordering the logs in before I return to BG.   I also phone my good friend to check we are doing at the weekend....and I think a curry is in order but that all depends on the weather now.....the UK is in the grip of winter and a little snow and it all stops.  Please don't close the airport around the 5th...I need to get back to sanity.

I ordered my Fitbit and downloaded a copy of a book that I'd received for Christmas.  No way can I carry it back in the paper format and then went on to Amazon and downloaded it to all my devices.  I think it's pretty clever how you can read it on one and it tracks the progress and updates to the current location.  Technology egh.  Sleep this afternoon and woke up during the Chase and pleased with myself for answering a lot of the questions.  I know it's swings and roundabouts but there were more swings today.  I got supper underway....pie and roasties and settled in to watch the second part of The Minimalist.  Quite a dark drama but I enjoyed it...the BBC do do some things well.  Ten thirty and time for bed said Zebedee.  There will be photos tomorrow if we have snow....and I make it over the Downs.  I need more exercise after all I have to be up by seven to receive the delivery of my Fitbit so I could spend the day playing with it.  LN...Heart rate and blood pressure to follow.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 28, 2017, 9:01pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 28th December

Six thirty start this morning and I was aware that my Fitbit was being delivered between seven and ten.  I went down for coffee, finished the last of the crumpets which found it's way into the bin.  I hate anything that has even a mild taste of mould on it, I hadn't checked the sell by date so it was my fault.  I didn't see anything but into the bin it went.  More coffee and back to bed with my new ipad with detachable keyboard to download the Fitbit App.  The Kindle didn't like it but my new one did and I'd set up the dashboard before I'd even received it.  On the dot of nine the lady arrived clutching my package, I had to sign for it on a device and I was up to the bedroom to pair it with the ipad.  I entered weight and height and got them both talking and worked my way through the rest of the set-up.  

By eleven I was ready for my constitutional.  I put the device on and managed fifty steps around the house but thought it was time for a workout.  I set off up the slope to the top of the Downs, down to the sea and sat on a bench watching the waves and the hoards of people out for their constitutional.  The all seemed to be sporting children, dogs or on bicycles and enjoying the long Christmas / New Year holiday.  It appears that most are in for the long haul.  I went back to the High Street and at last managed to find Fisherman's Friends at the chemist in the village for my host for his cough.  I went along to the greengrocers and I was shocked to pay seven pounds for a few veg for roast veg for tonight's supper.  I'm not used to such high prices.   So I carried on home and went onto my ipod to see the result of my walk on the dashboard.  I'd managed to achieve almost six thousand steps, move into the fat burner mode with my heart rate and climbed up several flights of steps.  I didn't find the way to enter that I'd sat for half an hour stuffing Christmas cake made by my daughter's fair hand.

My turn to cook supper and we had roasted carrots, parsnips, swede, sprouts, onions, potatoes and sweet corn with pork chops followed by thoroughly thawed out salt caramel thingies which I shall never have again.  Horrible texture and taste and are Lidl specials.  The dishwasher is going....I'm not used to these luxuries....and I'm now about to sink a pint of water to take away the taste of the dessert.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow but I might try to knock off another six thousand just for the sheer hell of it...it means that I can replace the thirteen hundred calories that I've burnt off with....chocolate.  No space to pack it when I go home....I shall just have to eat it all before next Friday.  LN....After Eights or Truffles?.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 29, 2017, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 29th December

Silly night last night...the wind was howling all night, the rain was lashing down and the wind kept lighting up the PIR in the garden.  Bliss sheer bliss.  I put the light on at five thirty, went down and made coffee, got my washing in the machine, sorted out the dishwasher from having problems last night and getting it into rinse mode instead of wash...doh.  The machine is so old that the settings have been rubbed away and are now hard to read.  I went back to bed with my new ipad and checkout out my Fitbit.  It reported my sleep pattern as erratic and not erotic and the fact that I've just got my head down again probably means that tonight will be just as bad.  

So eventually down to the kitchen again at and emptied said dishwasher and washing machine and hung the clothes up in the kitchen to dry...not a snowball in hell's chance of pegging it out.  I made toast for breakfast...no sign of life from the other parts of the house...and lashed it with marmalade, more coffee and found a different sweater to wear from my supplies in the UK and eventually by twelve I was ready to head out to take my Fitbit for a walk.  This time I remembered to take my camera but the other reason for going was to get a lottery ticket for tonight and another for tomorrow.  There weren't so many dog walkers out today but it really did look like it was going to throw it down but didn't, I love the walk over there but it was really cold up the top and I'm pleased that I wore my old duffel coat and had hat and gloves as well.  It made taking photos a little difficult but I managed.    I went into Tesco to buy the tickets and had to have help...the lottery company has brought out so many variations on a theme that it was much easier to ask one of the assistants who tutored me as he would any old lady in the store.  He wished me good luck as he probably does to any of the ones that go into Tesco...such a nice young man for a change.  Another visit to the chemist to buy Fisherman's Friends, my host had asked for lemons from the greengrocer but he wanted sixty pence for a single lemon and they didn't look that good so I carried on up the High Street without.  Into the Co-op and bought a pack of Cadbury chocolate buttons and munched my way home taking photos as I went.  A quick trip through Kipling Gardens which is a tranquil space surrounded by very busy roads, noticed that a fridge had joined the washing machine in the garden of a house that is being renovated and watched the horses in a field adjacent to the main road.  All in all a very leisurely walk and more to the point....I knocked off another six thousand or so steps, into the fat burn section so don't feel guilty at all about the chocolate buttons or the mince pie that I've just brought upstairs with me.  

Time to think about supper....not sure what's on the menu but last night's roasted vegetables were delicious and it might event be the same tonight.  My Fitbit has just reminded me that it's time to move.  LN...Kitchen decisions to be made....LN
  



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Elsa Peters
December 29, 2017, 5:37pm Report to Moderator

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And there's more



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Elsa Peters
December 30, 2017, 11:39pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 30th December

Lovely day today....I didn't bother taking my Fitbit for a walk and it kept reminding me that it needed a few more steps from me but to no avail.  I watched TV this morning and ate chocolate and finished up with African Queen.  Bath and hair wash and by three this afternoon I was ready to head for Burgess Hill to visit my good friends.....hence the update is late.   

We ordered a curry but it was an hours wait before it was delivered but it was really worth waiting for.  I settled for my usual Chicken Dansak with rice and it was my first for about eighteen months...the restaurant that opened in Kardjali never really took off and was always closed when I went there.  So after supper, my host settled down in the other room and got his head down....another symptom of the cold that he was just getting over while I sat with my good friend and we chewed the fat about everything and anything.  At ten fifteen, I woke sleeping beauty and we headed home over the Downs.  The fog had really come down and it was pouring with rain leaving a lot of debris on the road.  Anyway home now safe and sound....no pickies...no camera around to picture the Indian.  

Nothing on my agenda for tomorrow....I might head in to Brighton to see if they are giving anything away in the sales that I just can't live without.  LN.....Sweet dreams....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 31, 2017, 7:19pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 31st December

So six thirty start this morning and I've done nothing more than watch the rain fall and it hasn't stopped all day.  I did make breakfast, sorted my clothes so that I've got the majority in piles ready for the 'putting it into suitcase' phase, sorted out my chargers for the new electrical things that I've acquired and eaten chocolate.  I did managed to book my taxi for Friday for a four a.m. start and the restaurant for Tuesday with Princess and her husband so those things are not lingering in the brain.  As for the Fitbit...not much of a workout.  It's been prompting me today to get a few more steps under my belt and I did think about walking over the Downs but the thought dissipated as quickly as it had formed.

I would just like to say a thank you for staying with me this year...on the whole it's been a good one.  My resolutions are going to be silent...can't give too many things away but I'm going to make a couple and looking at my visitor list for next year....it's beginning to fill up nicely.  Batten down for winter and get that out of the way and then let the fun begin.

Happy New Year and here's hoping that it brings what's best for you, not necessarily what you want or need and that things work out OK.  Health is top of my offerings to you and sufficient of the other stuff to make things comfortable for you and that happiness follows.  Sending you all good wishes for 2018.   LN... and goodbye 2017....LN




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