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FEBRUARY 2018  This thread currently has 3,518 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
February 1, 2018, 4:51pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st February

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month or 'white rabbits'.  Didn't get pinched and saw no rabbits or hares out on the hillside.  They probably put their heads out at first light and though better of it...it was a cold one again.

Silly start again...what is it with this five thirties inward alarm call.  The fire was just going so it was out with the ashes and a quick top up, hot lemon and orange drink and back to bed.  The book was out in quicksticks and even though I've read three of the books already, the characters seemed to have changed, he's killed off most of the old faithfuls and I'm finding it a little heavy going.  I was washed and dressed by seven thirty...I needed bread from the van and had to fill in time before he arrived.  He was late this morning, it was almost nine before he belted out the horn as he was making for the bottom of the village.  There were a few people waiting and I took my place in the queue, I bought a cut and uncut loaf and a cheesy bread for breakfast.  I walked back home, put the kettle on for the first coffee of the day and sat in the stairwell in the sun.  

I sorted the logs out after breakfast, removed the old rad tax from the windscreen and applied the new one.  Messy things but fortunately last year I'd been given a plastic thing with a blade in it, managed to find it for this year and I didn't have to resort to washing up liquid and spirit to remove the old glue.  Once they're on, they're on so to speak but this works like a dream and it came free with the road tax.  I did a few circuits of the garden, found some more containers so that I could put the flowering plants that I'd got yesterday on to the windowsill, a little more reading, eyes closed for a full house, back to tending the fire and then it was time to do something with the soup.  I put the chicken and the leek and potato into one large pot, boiled it up and had some of it for lunch and by this point the kitchen was looking like a bombsite.  I took a container of the soup over to Haciber and told her that I didn't want the container back again but back it came containing dried fruit and chocolates.  I cleared the kitchen, I'd unpacked the microwave earlier and it didn't seem so big.  The instructions were first in German and then every other language from eastern Europe but not one word in English.  I cleared the worktop next to the cooker and thought I'd give it a go there and this might change when Spring comes and I can take out the little woodburner and move the freezer over.  I checked out the dials but must see if I can get a copy of the destruction manual from the internet in English, gave a cup of water one minute on 800 and it came out hot....it works Cinderella.  Now to get to grips with the rest of the dials.

Almost seven my time...I topped up well on chicken soup so won't be having anything else tonight.  A little t.v., a little reading...I might set about balling up the wool or I might just leave it for tomorrow.  I've got nothing pressing apart from putting the rest of the soup into the freezer, squeezing the lemons to get the juice into ice-cube trays and maybe look out a recipe for marmalade made in the microwave.  I only paid forty five pence approx for a kilo of oranges yesterday and that should make a couplr or three reasonable sized jars.  LN.....Pictures to follow...can't post them on the first posting of the new thread....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 1, 2018, 4:53pm Report to Moderator

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And here they come...

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Elsa Peters
February 2, 2018, 4:43pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd February

So what is it with sleep and me...we don't appear to be making good bedfellows at the moment..One thirty the first awakening, five the next and at six I was ready for the up and at 'em.  Orange and lemon drink, I tried to rescue the fire but that failed so I was opening curtains at half seven, washed and dressed by eight and in a flurry of activity decided to take the flue pipes out and give them a spring clean.  They weren't as bad as I expected and probably would have lasted longer but they were all cleaned and back in place by nine thirty and now it's not a job that's hanging over me like the sword of Damocles. The deed is done and not one stray puff of smoke from the beauties..

I settled for toast and marmalade for breakfast and decided that the cupboard above the worktop could do with a sort out.  As you start to discover the secrets of a cupboard that hasn't been touched for a while you start coming out with bottles that have been backed up with spares and three bottles of soy sauce is too much for for anyone.  One back up Worcester sauce, I found my old tin containing OXO cubes at the back of the cupboard, two jars of part used tomato sauce and one was relegated to the rubbish bag since there wasn't enough in there to write home about.  Small plates have found their way to the top cupboard along with some dishes , my favourite cups have come down a shelf....the spice jars are all topped up, leaving only a few spare packets.  Several packets of soup have been discarded and one old packet of flour.  I now know what's there and was tempted to put an inventory on the inside of the cupboard....but thought it was going over the top somewhat.  My next glory hole to sort out are the small shelves at the side of the washing machine...I've not a clue what's lingering in the back of that but I'll save that for another day.  

At about eleven I received a phone call from my lady in Rogosche post office and I thought she was telling me that she'd given my letters to a neighbour.  I get various people delivering or lobbing them into the garden as they pass by.  By one fifteen nothing had appeared so I phoned her back, she knows what she wants to say and doesn't find other words to express herself if I don't understand.  I really didn't understand her but she said that she would be there until two so it was out with the Beast and I headed up to her village on the main Djebel road.  When I got there she handed over a package and I realised that it was the phone case that I'd ordered from the internet for my new English phone and it was obvious from her body language that she wanted to see what it was so I opened it up and we enjoyed the first viewing together.  I love it...purple and fits like a dream....she thought it was really cool.  

So this afternoon has been book, fire, chocolates, coffee, biscuits, more coffee and more book, more chocolates and then...bonfire.  There was a fairly stiff breeze blowing so I filled up the burning pit and put the lid on and it was smoking until about half an hour ago.  I don't think the animals will find anything worth scavenging but I know they'll give it a try so I'll be clearing up tomorrow.  Six thirty my time...nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far except a phone call to the UK to wish my daughter a happy birthday....I think she's twenty nine again...   LN....Chill time....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 3, 2018, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd February

Five start, back until six and then back until eight.....it put my Fitbit into quite a state and then I had to recharge the battery so my step rate today is way below par.  Ah well, it is 'le weekend' and that's been my excuse all day.  I phoned Princess this morning to wish her a happy birthday, had a few conversations with Mrs.D of S and sent on a message to the Librarian that her car was ready for collection.  She made the decision to leave it until Monday...didn't really need it and that's been the height of my activities today.

I had the rest of the gammon steak and baked beans for breakfast and that's set me up for the day. I did try to light the fire when the wind got up and the rain started to come down, it didn't go first time or second time but I hadn't really put a lot of effort into it.  So what did I do for the afternoon?  I settled in to watch the first three episodes of Game of Thrones and it really has brought it all to life....a very good interpretation and it really does follow the books.  The dwarf has really come to life and his sense of humour is more obvious in the film than in the book...a very good portrayal.  At three thirty I started to watch the rugby and well done to Wales...what a win and then over to watch the doubles in the Davis Cup tennis against Spain and at two down I'd a pretty good idea of the outcome.

I've just had another go at the fire and I think I've actually succeeded.  There's a mega wind blowing outside but it's not a cold one.  The rain stayed off for most of the day but tonight it's supposed to throw it down...I'll probably be wrapped up in the nest by then.  The weather for most of the day has been scudding clouds heading over from Italy...one minute grey all over and the next blue skies but they didn't stay around for long.  I'm going to have another lazy day tomorrow and light a candle and celebrate what would have been my mother's birthday.  LN...February is a busy month for birthdays....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 4, 2018, 4:22pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th February

So I promised to light a candle for my mother's birthday but I didn't anticipate doing it at nine thirty tonight.  The electricity went off, the house was in darkness except for the light from the woodburner and my immediate concern was to move the fire into the little woodburner in the kitchen.  No electricity, no pump and bang goes the boiler.  It's supposed to have two hours worth of charge in it but I left it for about twenty minutes and it didn't come back on again and the way that the wind was howling outside, if the electricians had any sense they'd wait until the morning.  

I got the metal bucket at the ready, lit a couple of candles, cleared the top of the little woodburner, emptied the ashcan and took the metal plates opening up the firebox.  The transfer went well, hot wood into the bucket, gently does it into the kitchen and into the top of the woodburner with the hot coals.  Plates back in place and the extra air to the remaining hot ash in the main woodburner and the pump struck up and circulated the last of the water that was going to be heated last night.  I didn't load the little woodburner up....if I'd have put the hot coals outside the wind was that strong I'd have probably set the next village alight.  I'd still like to ask the question though...you know the electricity is off but you still turn the switches on when you enter a room...automatic pilot.

I sat up on the sofa reading the new Kindle with the backlight switched over to Soda Crush when I got tired of reading and joy oh joy, I'd been held back with one of the levels for the last two weeks and just couldn't do it.  Last night I did...and on to the next.  I finished and was ready for bed at one thirty, woke up at six and went back until eight and the electricity was still off.  I made coffee and beans on bread for breakfast, phoned the electricity emergency number at ten but to no avail.  There were problems all over and my call 'couldn't be handled at the present time' and was disconnected.  

Horrible day outside, the wind had dropped but it was chucking it down but at two this afternoon, I heard the freezer strike up...I was back in business.  I left the fire just in case it went off again as it's done before and went on the computer to check out overnight activity.  I eventually lit the fire, my kmet called round this afternoon with my post that he'd been given in Djebel and it was a card from my grandchildren thanking me for the Christmas presents and two from the bank.  Chicken drumsticks are in the oven with a jacket potato for tonight's supper, not sure what I'm getting up to tomorrow but I'm going to find something.  I need to get out.  LN...Kitchen and fire call...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 5, 2018, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th February

He ho...the electricity stayed up overnight so I'm thinking that it was down to the wind and nothing else.  I wasn't too late to bed last night and it was a six thirty start to the day.  I didn't light the fire...the efforts last night were all in vain...it didn't take and that left me with a couple of partly burnt logs to get me going this afternoon.  It took me a while to get going..it was coffee and back to bed and more coffee and back to bed again.  Bed was much warmer that out and about but eventually I took the bull by the horns and got washed and dressed.  Toast and my grapefruit marmalade for breakfast, washing up finished and kitchen put back to how it was before the electricity went off and everything is now back on top of the little woodburner.  

First job was to get the card written out for my son for next week and ready for the post later today.  Jobs a guddun.  I filled up the log basket and decided to split a few of the big ones and mix them up a bit.  They dry out and warm up quickly in the new porch.  Posted the card in Djebel and headed into Kardjali with the intention of taking back the kitchen scales that I'd got as a present for someone and as we unpacked each one...I realised that the chances of getting a replacement were pretty slim.  Eventually we found one that appeared to work properly and the proof of the pudding turned out to be later this afternoon.  I picked up a few other items from the shop, popped back to the car to get them stashed away and then walked down to my cheapy clothes shop to see if the shoes that I'd seen last week had been reduced...and they had.  They were down to half-price.  I also picked up a few things for my favourite toddler and hopefully will be delivered one way or the other tomorrow.  I stopped off at Djebel to deliver the scales and I think they're destined to be delivered back to the shop...they are no goers.  Over to the market and bought leeks and mandarins....one for soup and the other for marmalade.

Home for four thirty and Beast tucked up for the night.  Unpacked the shopping, lit the fire and I'm in for the night.  I had the rest of the chicken from last night with toast at five so I don't think I shall be having much for supper tonight.  I managed to take the photographs that the house insurance company requested and I've  send them off already.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow unless I get a few messages off on FB.  LN....Relaxed as you like...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 6, 2018, 3:50pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th February

So last night I was in for the long haul on Catch-up TV.  I watched the usual but Monday night is good as long as I can manage to stay awake especially considering that we are two hours in front of the UK.  I love Connect and Mastermind but the program that came on afterwards was an eye opener.  It was the guy who'd had a massive stoke and part of his brain removed and four years later the brain that was left had been coaxed into life again and he was walking unaided, the rehabilitation had trained his brain to make new connections and his wife had found the old him again from the depths.  It helped that she was able to film and document the recovery and it was an extreme leaning curve for both of them.  Brilliant program and the result was that I didn't get to bed until twelve thirty.  Knowing my usual pattern I took the precaution of banging my head seven times on the pillow...I didn't want to wake up until then.   It went a bit askew...I woke up first at three, off again and it was eight minutes after seven when I woke up for the second time.  My internal alarm was running a little slow but I didn't mind.

I lit the fire....it was minus four outside which was a surprise to me....I hadn't anticipated a frost last night.  The mist was hanging in the valley but then the sun poked it's head up looking large on the horizon, I thought we were in for a good day and then the fog rolled in and it stayed cold and it was that way until lunch time.  I had a communication from Mrs D of S asking if I fancied lunch in Djebel and so we met up at twelve, found a restaurant and sat for an hour while the little one found new friends and kept herself occupied returning briefly for cheese on toast and the yogurt drink.  Unfortunately they didn't have a high chair to pin her down.  We walked through the square, called at the cash machine, a little supermarket shopping and we were in our respective cars by two and i was home for two fifteen more or less,  A nice little interlude.

I read for the afternoon until I nodded off for an hour or so.  The fire was going but I had the door to the porch open and it was an ambient temperature when I woke up.  I threw another log on...it looks like being another cold one tonight so I'm battening down the hatches early.  I have just taken a spin round the garden and I'm amazed at the number of daffodils that are showing their little heads.  Thinking about it though I did buy an awful lot in October and November last year...I never thought I would get them all in but I did.  

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.  If the weather is good there's a little gardening to be done...some of the small weeds could come out before they turn into big ones.  Not a clue what's on the menu tonight...I need to go on the hunt and see what I can come up with.  LN...Very relaxing day....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 7, 2018, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th February

Silly five o'clock start again so it was into the kitchen, a hot lemon and orange drink, fresh ginger into the teapot and put it onto the woodburner for later, lit the fire and waited for the warmth to hit the house before I started really circulating...back to bed with the Kindle.  There'd been a ground frost overnight and by the time that it became light there was mountain to mountain fog and no sight of the mountains at all.

By this time the fire was going beautifully and it has been all day.  I made myself bacon and egg sandwich with the remains of my HP brown sauce,  it's on its last legs.  I have a Lidl one to replace it but it's really not the same but beggars can't be choosers so they say...it will have to do until I order some from the UK.  So still clad in pyjamas I took to the upstairs main computer to do my emails, had a little banter with Mrs D of S on Messenger, sent a few more messages off and got washed and dress eventually.  There was no rush, I wasn't about to set the world on fire to burn out the Fitbit with activity..it was a cold, drab day and perfect for sitting reading for an hour or so.  I was amazed by photographs of the snow from Princess so I told her to send it back immediately, it was mine, they've had more that I've had this year.  Another photo this afternoon showed it on my back garden in UK but I'm tole that it's all gone now.

Eventually the sun broke through, I wheeled out the log carrier determined to release the axe head from a log I'd tried to split and failed at but it took a good ten minutes to do.  The wood was straight enough, no knots in it but just didn't want to separate into two pieces and that was all that I asked. ...and then it went but by this time I'd removed the axe head from its handle and it was easier to use this way with the lump hammer and I carried on and filled up the log container with the newly split wood.  At this point I decided to stack the rest of the second line of logs on top of the first, clean up the area and move the old door screen nearer the support wall to the woodstore so that it gives me more room to get in and out of the garage and it didn't stop there.  I swept out the woodstore and put the old leaves and the rest of the stuff down the bottom of the garden against the wall. I filled up the kindling wood container and brought that inside but by two thirty I was in need of liquid refreshment and a couple of slices of bun loaf to fill up a gap.

I've had a very lazy afternoon and don't feel guilty at all....the fire's been going all day and is likely to remain that way if we get more days like this.  LN...the bun loaf is sitting heavily so it's going to be a hunt for something light this evening. Only one pickie of this morning... I was much too busy to take photos and the birds wouldn't keep still long enough...too cold for them.  LN....Will try harder tomorrow....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 8, 2018, 4:08pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 8th February

Three a/m/ eyes open and a check on the time and then back until seven fifteen.  More like this please.  I think it was the rain that woke me up in the middle of the night...It had thrown it down around eleven last night and I'd put the outside light on to have a look what was going on out there, rain was crashing down on to the terrace.  And so to bed to get snuggled up.

So I was straight into it when I came to this morning.  I emptied the ashes but didn't light the fire.  It was a pretty cloudy start but it wasn't cold out there...only the wind...but it had cleared by eight, the sun was up for a short time before the fog came down but that all cleared by ten.  I washed up, was having a bacon and egg sandwich by eight thirty, made my bed and opened the window in the bedroom to get some air in and headed for my desk on the top landing to clear the overnight rubbish that comes through.  I ended up doing the DM Sudoku in record time and was washed and dressed to face the day by nine thirty.  I had nothing to rush for.  I put on Good Morning  to catch the acerbic Piers Morgan but it was only Ben Shepherd doing his stuff so it went off as quickly as it had come on.  I started to watch Game of Thrones but couldn't get in to it this morning so settled for an episode of Outlander and again, one was enough.  

I made my way to the little house and found out the box of seeds that have been accumulated and decided to sort them out.  I took the old plastic chair from the house, put it on the terrace out of the wind but in the sun and sorted them out into the order that they need to be started off.  Snapdragons come first, the blue poppies need to spend a month in the fridge before they get sprinkled on damp soil and kept at a pretty even temperature to germinate and I've assembled a tray of plug pots and undertrays so come March and April I'll be all ready to go.  As for the weather now...we're all still waiting for winter....it's just not appeared as yet.

Visitors this afternoon.  The Librarian appeared with a couple of her local residents, they'd been to Kardjali to the hospital and called in on their way back.  She'd left some plants here when her car had gone into the garage and was picking them up.  We walked the garden and her neighbours were looking round the shrubs but there's nothing to break bits off to start themselves only the winter flowering jasmine but that stayed intact.  They left at about four, I brought the chair in, lit the fire since the temperature was dropping and closed the windows, filled up the log basket and got another load of logs in.  It's all closed up for the night.  There's chicken and jacket going in for tonight...and it should be ready in about an hour.  The Librarian is heading over tomorrow for lunch here if the mood takes me or we'll head into Djebel to the soup kitchen.  It's been a while since we were there.  LN...I't going to be a cold one....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 9, 2018, 4:57pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 9th February

The fire was going well from last night at six this morning so I topped it up ready for me to linger in front of when I had a shower and washed my hair.  Coffee and back to bed until the camera had to come out to capture Narnia, stripped off in the kitchen and added the rest of the washing to the machine and the washing cooked as I washed away my troubles and tribulations.  I swaddled myself in a towel and got cocooned my hair in another and other I finished Game of Thrones book four.  Up to the bedroom, dressed for town and dried my hair.  Quick breakfast of toast and marmalade, washing pegged out and I sat in the sun waiting for the Librarian's arrival.

We sat out in the sun on the terrace out of the wind drinking coffee and I suggested that we made out way into Kardjali....it was a beautiful day and just right for a walk round the shops.  I had the kitchen scales to take back anyway...I'd given them up as a bad job.  The lady said that she wasn't able to refund the money...this is Bulgaria.... so I chose terracotta flower pots to the same value.  A credit note would have meant going in there again and I just didn't want the hassle.  I paid my telephone bill, went into the cheapy shop and bought a set of blue and white striped curtains that will do perfectly for the bottom of the stairs and make a change from the cream ones.  There are five smaller ones in the same material so they will make cushion covers to match.  Very little money and ready made...right place, right time.  Lunch at the Cantina and then finally to Lidl where there was a fantastic sale of odds and ends at ridiculously low prices.  The place was heaving.

Home via the back lane, we sat around with coffee and she left at more or less four.  I got the washing in, lit the fire, took photos of the sunset and locked up for the night.  The curtains will go into the washing machine overnight and hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow to get them dry and then I can work my magic with them.  No need for supper, lunch has filled me up for the day.  LN....A very pleasant day....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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