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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  FEBRUARY 2018
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FEBRUARY 2018  This thread currently has 3,520 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
February 19, 2018, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 19th February

Five start this morning so it was coffee and back to bed with a book before my day really started.  It was a cold miserable day so I lit the fire even though I was heading out having a few things to sort out.  I'd been...shall I, shan't I about the holiday and had put off getting my visa for the trip to Turkey so today was a must, the holiday had to be paid for.  I also wanted to pick up my letters from the post office that I hadn't managed to do on Friday.

So fire going by eight, washed and dressed by nine, poached eggs for breakfast and on to the computer to sort out the visa and what a simple process.  Only one thing confused me, it was how to enter dates into the system...I'd never come across it before.  Firstly you picked the year from a calendar and then chose the month and then the date.  I thought I'd done it correctly the first time but it showed you the entry screen and I realised that I'd not done them correctly so back in to edit and eventually got it sorted.  It was a three step process, an email came through asking me to continue, I was directed back to the screen and my visa was accepted, available to download and print.  The last time I went to Turkey I got the visa at the border and paid really a lot over the asking price...some little man in a kiosk demanding more that I should have been paying but what can you do when there's a coach waiting to continue on it's journey and on that occasion I wanted three.  I was really impressed with the speed of the application.  Despite the fact that the travel company said that I didn't need one...better safe than holding up another coachload.  

Into the car by ten thirty and over to the post office for my cards...three of them and one bill from M-Tel which is already paid.  Next stop was the cash point for the money for the holiday and on to the shop that my student's mother works in to pay over the money.  I'm now getting really excited about it especially when I looked at the long range weather forecast for here....rain, snow, hail and more rain for the next week or so.  My birthday came on the right day or the sun did...not sure which.

Monday is market day in Djebel so I decided to walk the length of it even though the wind was really cold today.  I bought a pair of really warm pyjamas to take with me in case the hotel is not such a good one on my travels, a green pashmina that I liked the colour of and five boxes of firelighters.  I carried on to my car shop and had a few minutes with my other student's mum.  She noticed the firelighters and I asked her if she'd used them and she said she hadn't....she's got one to try and now I'd down to four.  Normale...   On to the supermarket for rice and fruit juice and home and banking up the fire at one thirty.  It was not only cold but miserable out there.  

Topped up the log baskets, settled in on the sofa and you know the rest by now.  More of the Olympics and watched the curling and the ice-skating, chicken leg and jacket potatoes in the oven for supper and it should be ready in half and hour or so.  No photos today...not much to take except my new pyjamas...very pretty...but I'll save you the embarrassment.  Ten days and counting to lift off.    LN....Better think about packing....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 20, 2018, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 20th February

Seven start, another miserable day, no photos and the only chant heard has been 'rain, rain, go away'...  It's been cold and hasn't stopped all day.  I ventured out this morning to remove anything from the fridge that no longer belonged there like week old profiteroles, the remains of the cake that I bought for the ladies of the village and what was left of the casserole that was destined for the freezer but never made it.  Stripped my bed and washed the bottom sheet and quilt cover and put it to dry over the banister and the bed's already made up.  The second load of washing is on the bathroom airier and should be ready to put away in the morning.  I've not been completely lazy today...just very close to it.

Well done to the men's curling team, only one match to win and they're in the semi-finals and the women play tonight and good luck to them.  After watching the women's two person bob I've suggested to Mrs D of S that we start training and we've got four years to perfect the technique before we throw ourselves into the limelight.  We thought about using crowd funding to get the support but decided that the local builders yard has sheet metal and we've got lots of wood hanging around between us to have an independent entry.  The fertile ramblings of a bored mind....and that's how it's been today.

Game of Thrones book five part two has not interested me as much as the others.  You've probably done it yourself...you've been reading and the mind wanders and you have to go over it again...that's how it's been today.  The original characters I'm very fond of....some of the newer ones have been difficult to follow and I'm beginning to feel that it's no going to reach a conclusion.  Far from being a series it's beginning to feel like a 'soap'.

So looking at the weather...it appears it's going to be the same as today so I'm looking to start to make something with the wool that I got from Momchilgrad market.  One and a half kilograms of double knitting....now what to do!!  I had toast with lashing of Brie for lunch so the hunger grubs haven't started to nibble yet.  I'll do something if and when they do.  No pickies...I've hardly seen the Greek mountains at all today and my neighbours have been conspicuous by their absence.  LN...Battening down for the night...LN
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Elsa Peters
February 21, 2018, 4:24pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 21st February

So I was up last night reading until late and started early this morning.  I really needed to know if the book was going to end and conclusions drawn and I was really disappointed.  Several characters from the first books haven't been accounted for and now there is another teaser at the end of this one but I'm not sure I want to go there.  I'll watch the downloaded series instead.  

I lit the fire mainly because it was another damp day and looked like it was going to stay that way all day. settled for toast and marmalade, put the washing away and started to put the clothes that I potentially am taking with me in a pile in the bedroom.  It will change...some in and some out but that's the way I decide what I'm taking with me.  Again it's been a lazy day and I've been watching mainly the Olympics.  The girls are through and were magnificent but the men lost against the Americans so are into a tie-braker...so I'll be watching again tomorrow.  

I've got my first daffodil out in the garden and the freesias are still in bud and hanging on but I'm thinking that I'll have to bring them in to get the buds to pen.  There are more sproutings on the jasmine but I'm not sure if they are shoots or flower buds...it's very difficult to tell.  So I was in need of real food so I opened a tin of local corned beef, fried off an onion, added the meat and put it in a glass serving dish.  I added baked beans and pickled beetroot, boiled and mashed potatoes and slathered it over the top of the mixture.  Into the oven with it to brown the top and then set to to prepare a couple of apples, stuffed them with raisins and sultanas, brown sugar, butter and honey and thy went into the over too.  Forty minutes later everything was ready and.... I'm stuffed.  Unfortunately the cream and yogurt are both over the sell-by-dates and are destined for the hillside tomorrow.

Time to stoke the fire.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far...but the Kindle needs sorting to remove the books that I've read and to check to see if there are any series that I need to think about downloading.  LN...TV and bed....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 22, 2018, 5:28pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 22nd February

Happy birthday to my annual guest....another year older but there again...aren't we all.  So seven ten this morning and what a good night's sleep.  I was cosy, wrapped up in my nest and haven't needed a nap today.  Same again tonight please.  As for the weather...cold again and only one degree when I surfaced, the house was OK but I lit the fire...I wasn't going to be leaping around and you need it just that bit warmer.  My Fitbit has been urging me on all day and I chose to ignore it but I did work up a little steam this afternoon.

Breakfast was the rest of the tin of beans I opened last night on toast and it kept me going until this evening when I've just demolished the remains of last night's shepherd.  I was a bit lazy in that I used the frying pan to bring it up to temperature.  Had a bonfire and cleared out the burning bowl, topped up the log basket and filled up both log carriers in preparation for tonight.  It was going to be a day for keeping the home fires burning.  It was also out with the lump hammer and axe head and split four of the logs from the garage...a little bit of exercise!!

I spent quite a lot of the day watching the birds.  The tits seem to have found the hanging nut container and they were virtually lining up to have a turn.  The woodpecker was hanging around the walnut and I think the big bird on the walnut is a jay.  Most were taken at full magnification...they're all a bit jumpy.  The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the Olympics and when I was bored with that I watched a couple of episodes of Outlander.  I've read all of the books and again it's bringing characters to life.  

Seven fifteen my time....I think I'm heading into Kardjali tomorrow...despite the fact that we've been promised more snow.  LN....Snow shovels at the ready....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 23, 2018, 5:28pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 23rd February

Just before seven and it was another cold, damp, miserable morning.  I got the fire going straight away and it's been going all day apart from the times when it's been a little reluctant and the firelighters have had to come out.  I made an omelette for breakfast...it started out with the intention of making poached eggs but two of them broke before I could get them into the water so it was out with the whisk and into the frying pan.  I crumbled white cheese into it and the toast that I'd put into the toaster came out again, slathered with butter and grapefruit marmalade and went down well.  

I realised that my hair needed washing so I decided that I would linger in a bath...a shower is all very well but a bath can be lingered over.  I put the immersion heater on so that I would be able to top the water up when the temperature dropped but it didn't seem to work.  After about an hour I emerged from the depths, smothered myself in towels and with the fire going, the bathroom was a very temperate climate,  I dressed very leisurely and dried my hair.  Back to the immersion heater...I did a few tests on it by turning the thermostat down to see if it headed up and the light went out. put the thermostat up a little higher and tried it again and everything was working correctly so panic over.  Next landmark....I really needed to be ready to watch the women's curling at one English time and I was well in time for that.

So curling over which had a disappointing end for the English so now we have a play off for the bronze metal and fingers crossed for that.  I did venture out to the little house and filled up the log carrier, had a few words with Hacibar who was heading up to Remsier's house and then went back into the house. locked up for the night and stoked up the fire.  I really hate these cold damp days.  I settled in this afternoon with Outlander, watched three episodes and now it's time to head to the kitchen and sort out something for supper.  I've not put much thought into it so far.  I didn't do Kardjali today...I phoned my painter this morning and I'm picking him up at nine tomorrow.  He needs a root round the charity shops for a few work clothes.  Sorry no photos...I've posted too many damp, miserable days.  LN...Better weather tomorrow please....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 24, 2018, 5:19pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 24th February

Again a seven start but it was dark this morning...the clouds were very heavy but didn't drop anything.  In fact the terraces were drying off but they were still the same this evening...still not dry.  Washed dressed and ready to meet the bread van at eight thirty and met most of the village ladies down there.  I told Haciber that I was heading to Kardjali and did she want anything but she said that she was OK and that she was going to Turkey for a break with her daughter who was arriving later today.  She said that she didn't know how long she was going to be away...it depends on her daughter.  The conversation at the bread van revolved round my holiday to Ankara and Cappadocia so they were determined that I should have a quick Turkish lesson.  I replied that most Turkish speak English and that when I come back I'm going to organise lessons for them....Some hope...Haciber asked me to get Rakia and then decided to head back to the bread van to see if he had it on the van, he didn't so then she placed the order...one big bottle and one small.

Back home and into the Beast for five to nine and down to pick up my Painter.  We headed down the back lane and it was precarious with the rain we've had but OK.  There was a collection of stalls for Baba Marta thingies in the square by the car park...it's such a big thing here.  Into the cheapy shop and he picked up two pairs of trousers, I managed to find a super pressie which I won't talk about too much until after it's been delivered and we carried on to his meat shop at the back of the market.  He came out with quite a lot, I liked the look of the mince and bought a kilogram and it's already stashed away in the freezer in four small bags.  Kaufland for a few items and I was overcharged for a pair of purple wellies that were supposed to be reduced and weren't and I had to take them with my receipt to the information desk, I was given twenty leva but then I had to go back to the cashier and give her ten for the wellies.  It would have been very easy to have walked off with the wellies and the twenty lev....strange system....I suppose it does away with the need for a supervisor at the checkout.  Quick stop off at Lidl and then home via the back lane and we drove by the electricity pole with 'temporary' repairs.  Let's see how long they remain temporary.  Home for one thirty, rakia delivered, fire lit and by goodness is it cold tonight.  I watched the curling and we failed to get the bronze medal.  There didn't seem any 'oomph' in the team.

Chicken and jacket for supper, and watered down black currant juice to wash it down.  The rugby is playing in the back ground and it's time I started watching it.  My painter is supposed to be coming round tomorrow to chop the remaining logs that he hasn't managed to get round to yet.  It's supposed to be rain and snow tonight and more tomorrow...I've told him not to bother if it's too bad but we'll see.  If he does he does,,,if he doesn't ...so be it.  Now back to the rugby.   LN....Scotland appear to be doing well....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 25, 2018, 4:48pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 25th February

Six start and lit the fire and went back to bed with a coffee.  So far no snow and the terraces looked about the same as last night.  I didn't bother with breakfast and headed for eight thirty being suited and booted, not quite into snow boots but by then it had started and I had the feeling that my painter wouldn't turn up but he did and right on time.  I'd opened up the estate and the wood store and moved the old door shelter to the back wall.  I'd left the Beast out last night so that if it really started to come down he could split the logs inside the garage.  He'd suggested that I stood out there with an umbrella but I was far too busy for that but he did set up camp in the yard.

My job was to get the logs from the garage and put them into the wheelbarrow.  He split them and put them in the log carrier, I rolled the log carrier into the wood store and stack the logs.  My Fitbit was counting the footsteps and I managed to knock up seven and a half thousand...not bad at all.  About an hour into it a car drew up outside and I hadn't a clue who it was.  Two ladies and a man got out and went to the boot of the car and came out with six fluffy pancakes wrapped in newspaper...apparently it was thirty days since their father had died and everyone in the village was having them.  I said it was far too many but it was fifty fifty with my painter and they've been my breakfast and lunch.  Off they went to make the rest of their deliveries.

We stopped for coffee and then back to it with a vengeance.  I think I'd made the coffee a little strong since he knocked back the water with it...need more practice.  So we'd finished and I'd swept the garage by one thirty and now feel happier with the amount of wood I have.  I thought I had enough before but now I'm sure.  It's been really cold since it stopped snowing and as I used to say to my daughter, it's too cold for snow but it's been forecast over night, all day tomorrow and Tuesday and Wednesday.  It's supposed to be minus fourteen as I make my way to Djebel on Thursday morning early...I shall probably stay with my students and find a bed on the floor.

The activity was centred on this morning...I've been watching more of Outlander this afternoon.  Cold chicken for tonight unless I decide to do something with it but I doubt it very much.  Just had a conversation with my student about Turkey and she knows about the same as I do...date and time of departure and that's about it.  Ah well...I'm off on an adventure with the youngsters.... by the sounds of things...   LN...Sounds good to me...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 26, 2018, 5:00pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 26th February

Well this could be a very short update.  The electricity has been like the proverbial bride's night attire since four this afternoon...up and down and it's only just come on again.  The big boiler os off and I'm loath to start it up again in case the power goes off so no pump but the little one in the kitchen is going strong so I'll leave it at that for the night.  

Six thirty start and we were covered in snow.  I watched it for a while, got some more food out for the birds who were going to have a rough time of it today...that wind was howling and blowing the snow everywhere.  I cooked bacon and egg for breakfast, spoke to Princess on her way to work and she said that they were having flourishes and I made her green with envy that I had 'real snow' that could only get worse/ better according to how you looked at it.  I washed up after breakfast and cleared the kitchen of debris, used the rest of the chicken to make a curry and put it in the slow cooker for this evening and headed out armed with my trusty snow scoop, snow boots and a waterproof jacket and cleared a path to the wood store and the rest of the yard.  I'd already got about fifteen centimetres and where the snow was blowing it about even more in places.  Back inside and bunkered down ...there's only so much you can do and despite the Fitbit's requests...I chose to ignore it.  

I started to look at the disk for more books to read but got bored with that so started to watch Game of Thrones and it was at this point that the electricity decided to wander off into the ether....I settled down with something else, it game back on again, back to Game of Thrones and off it went.  Now I hadn't done anything with the boiler at this point and the UPS was sending out signals that it was being drawn upon and that there was nothing replacing the output.  Eventually I set too, removed the accumulation on the little boiler in the kitchen and transferred the hot logs from the big one to the little one.  There was still residual heat in the boiler so the water was swished round a couple of times but eventually as they say...it ran out of steam so problem solved.  The little one is ticking along just fine and it's amazing how much heat it does put out.  So I'm not going to longer long...it might go off again.

Lots of birds in the garden today.  I've had all sorts of tits, blackbirds and lots of sparrows.  I put out the chicken bones for them along with the remains of the loaf and they were queuing up for the hanging nuts...The do keep busy but I suppose they have to.  There is about two foot of snow on the terraces in remarkable snow sculptures because of the wind.  The yard has covered over again so tomorrow I'll be out there again...I'm thinking about getting the Beast to to get to the pick-up point for Thursday morning.  I might even be booking into a hotel in Djebel...I'll see what tomorrow brings.  LN....Just a few pickies while my luck holds....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 27, 2018, 4:24pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 27th February

So the electricity stayed up and I lit the fire again at ten o'clock so that it would warm the house through and it kept going all night.  Up at six thirty. fire stoked, two coffees, poached eggs for breakfast, a load of washing done and dusted and then it was 'let the work begin'.  It had more or less finished snowing but there was enough to  move so that I could clear the year and mainly it's in preparation for tomorrow.  I'm concerned about getting to Djebel tomorrow but less now than I was.  Yard done, up to the road done and it was only ten thirty when I came in.  More coffee, five minutes on the sofa with my Kindle, emails done and FB sorted and then moved upstairs on to the main PC.

I went down and sorted out more logs and filled up the log basket and more starter wood.  I spent quite a bit of time this morning watching the birds.  I dug out the food tray from yesterday and added meat that had been lingering in the fridge for longer than it should have done, rice from last night and more bread.... and they got really busy on it...and then I saw a black dog in the garden.  It's one I hadn't seen before and then I glanced at the bird foot tray...it was empty...everything had gone....so I had to go out and fill it up again and blow me down.... cat had the next lot.  

The rest of the day has been taking pickies and I decided to clear the snow from the balconies and since the sun had come out, I carried on and cleared the big house terrace and sat out in the sun for a while enjoying the view and my life out here.  Beautiful day...snow, sun and mountains and I let my creative side run riot.  I was looking at the heap of snow that was still on the main terrace before the steps to the little house terrace and I reckoned that I would be easy to make a snowman without much effort...so I did.  I found out an old hat and scarf and let the Fitbit pick over the bones of that.  I've done nine and a half thousand steps...but it doesn't record moving half a ton of snow.  

Packing in the morning....I'm staying with my student tomorrow night so I'll probably head in about three, weather permitting but if we have more snow...I'll phone for a taxi.  I won't  be digging that lot out again before I leave.  Good day, restfully tired....and I love my snowman on the terrace.....nourish the inner child.  LN...List and packing...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 28, 2018, 11:40am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 28th February

Well there was another shower of the white stuff last night and my snowman looked to have a new coat and hat and put on rather a lot of weight....And yes...the yard was full of it and the terraces and balconies were white over.  Not to worry...the exercise did me good and a thought came to mind...Dad shovelled the black stuff for fifty years down the mines and now I shovelling the whiter stuff... I think mine is somewhat easier.

I'm posting early...I've cleared the yard again with the intention of taking the Beast but it's now started chucking it down again and I think it's probably safer for it to be in my garage than hanging around Djebel for five days so I'm about to see if I can get a taxi to come out.  Packing is done...still toying with what to wear taking into consideration both ends of the journey.  As for posting...it could be sporadic...as and when I have internet connection and how good it is.  The photos might have to wait.  I did manage to make adjustment to my snowman for MikeyB who complained that it needed a carrot for the nose....now it's got one..

So once more into the breech dear friends....hope you're not struggling too much with the white stuff at home...Wish me luck....my journey begins...

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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