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MARCH 2018  This thread currently has 1,611 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
March 20, 2018, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 20th March

Seven thirty start and thoroughly rested.  There was a touch of blue sky, the sun was up but it was cold.  It took me a while to get started, washed a dressed pretty quickly and down for breakfast of scrambled egg made in the microwave, yet more coffee and I worked up the enthusiasm to get out there and dig for victory.

I opened up the little house and moved some of the plants out on to the terrace so they could have some sun.  I trimmed up the dead shoots from the geraniums and petunias, noticed that a lot of the 'twigs' that have stood in the house in the winter have green buds on them.  It's going to take a while for me to identify what they are...they need a few more leaves.  I eventually made my way to the long wall garden and started to weed.  Not my favourite occupation and I soon moved on to the vegetable patch and concentrated on rebuilding the dividers between the beds.  I managed to do two but it was very difficult to dig over...everything is waterlogged.  I came in for a drink and managed to stretch it out for an hour or so but I went out there again and this time I stuck with the wall and uncovered more plants that I can't put a name to yet.  One of the clumps looks remarkable like leeks and again I'll have to wait and see.  I started to pack up at five, plants back in the house since the temperature is about to drop again...some of them are pretty delicate and locked everything up.

In by six and lit the fire..I've got a pack of mince out and will get creative in a short while.  Kardjali tomorrow and I've got the copies of the photo that I want printing up and I'll take the frame in so that the lady will know what I'm trying to achieve.  She's quite an expert.  On to the bank to check out the interest rates that I can expect but unfortuantely it's fallen down to UK rates....bummer.  LN...Kitchen calls...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 21, 2018, 5:15pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 21st March

Bright and early start to the day for both me and the weather.  Sun was up, not really powerful but better than the usual start to the day. I washed and dressed putting on extra layers.  I'd been out to lob out the old bread and that wind was cold...not a day for gardening so it was as well that I'd got other plans.  I settled for two bananas for breakfast but these were soon followed by buttered toast and marmalade, more coffee, a quick tidy of the kitchen and I was preparing for town.

I set off about ten and headed for the car park in Djebel stopping off for fuel on the way.  Mrs D of S and the little one were already there and waiting for me to arrive...they were early so   we moved over the car seat, loaded the pushchair and off we set.  First stop for me was the bank and that was a complete waste of time.  There is more interest to be had from internet banking than from face to face set up so I have to wait until tomorrow and the interest is calculated and added to the deposit. ...where's the sense in that.  We met up again and I set off for the photo printing shop and left my document with the lady in the shop and she quoted me thirty minutes so I set off to find Mrs D of S around the market loading up with bananas for the little one and then we found a restaurant for lunch.  I settled for the soup again and a spinach lasagne went down well with the little one.  She didn't like the texture of the creme caramel that we'd picked in the restaurant so I was lucky to add another one to my intake.  Back to the photograph shop and she had made a brilliant job printing up the photo and for a cost of just over four lev.  We loaded up the car and the little one promptly fell asleep and back in Djebel Mrs D of S was able to whip round the shop in quicksticks, supporting our local shops.  We moved everything back into their car and off they set.  I went to see my student's mother in the shop and they were fuming about the increase in the house tax that I complained about earlier in the week.  I think there is going to be an upset in the town.

Home for three thirty, I promptly fell asleep on the sofa, woke up at five, lit the fire and shan't need anything for supper...I'm still stuffed from lunch.  It's supposed to snow later tonight hence the visit to Kardjali today but I think it's going to be more sleet than snow and it should be happening when I'm tucked up in the nest.  I'll wait and see what the morning brings.  LN...Snow scoop at the ready....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 22, 2018, 5:14pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 22nd March

Silly night last night.  I woke up at one thirty ad this time in my bed not in front of the computer and couldn't get off again.  I threw another log on the fire to keep it going.  Snow was threatened and it was more of a safeguard that anything else.  A few games of Soda Crush and I managed to 'spread the jam' on one of the games that had confounded me for a few days, a few Sudoku and then off to the land of nod and straight through until seven twenty.  It was sleeting and everywhere was dark and damp looking and I stayed in PJ's until after I had made breakfast.  I'd gone enough logs in for the day and even for tomorrow so I hadn't any 'chores' to do per se and it was a really leisurely morning.  I made breakfast of poached eggs on toast with ham underneath the eggs and sat at  the table to eat them.  The yolk got on the plate and I remembered that I used to tell the children that the pirates would get them if that happened and I smiled to myself.  It's amazing the memories that come back with even the simplest of things.  So washed, dressed, with enough layers and socks to comfortably spend a day of lying about and reading or watching videos...there wasn't a lot of activity planned for today.

At ten it started to snow and the grass became white over but there wasn't much danger of it settling on the terraces.  It was far too wet.  It was a day for making sure the fire was still chugging away and it did and still is.  I took a couple of chicken legs from the freezer, peeled a couple of potatoes and an onion and into the oven they went.  Unfortunately the vegetables were done before the chicken so late -lunch, early supper came in two stages.  First the veg course with mayo and hours siesta and the legs followed at around four thirty.

The snow is still lingering on the roof of the little house and some of the grass is tinged with white where the ground was less wet  There's supposed to be more of the same tomorrow and more on Saturday and then next week we have a rapid rise in temperature and it will almost be t-shirt weather again. The Bulgarian vest will stay though.... a girl has to be sure.  Nothing to bust a gut over tonight.  I've just brought in enough logs from the porch to last me until morning.  LN....Time to relax....as if I haven't done enough of that all day...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 23, 2018, 8:56pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 23rd March

Six thirty start and I was surprised that it was white over yet again.  There was nothing new coming down it had fallen in the night but the fire had held on and it was soon up the chimney with a little loving tenderness.  A load of washing went in while I was sorting out the rubbish for burning, washed and dressed, toasted ham sandwich for breakfast and then to face the day.  I put the washing in the bathroom to dry...despite the sun there was no way it was going out...I took the rubbish down the garden and got it going. I'd sorted the fridge out yesterday so fed the birds with stale bread, the chicken bones from last night along with the remains of another pack of ham went out for the cats that regard me as a feeding stop and that should stop them taking the rubbish burning pit apart.

I cleared the terraces, took pity on the daffodils and knocked the frozen snow from them and up popped their little and not so little heads.  I've got a good showing.  I cleared the yard but there was really no need...the sun came out and did the job for me eventually finishing off the bits I'd missed.  Two loads of logs in just in case the promised load of snow falls tonight and again I shall be clearing off the white stuff.

So not much was achieved today after the flurry of activity.  I went on to the internet to clear emails and Facebook and found my way on to TV Catch-up and caught up. There seems to be a lot of mumbling about internet privacy of data and people generally getting upset.  It amazes me how much people reveal.  So over to my student's for supper for six this evening and was treated to a moussaka of sorts and I'd taken a pack of profiteroles which went down exceedingly well afterwards..  I took over the presents from my holiday and also an enlarged photo for the sister that I went with and all were really appreciated.  It was a clear night when I'd set off bu by nine the rain had set in so I was itching to be on my way.  The temperature had dropped and it doesn't take long before it turns to snow and the roads get bad so I was in the Beast by ten and home for ten fifteen.  Fire lit again, undressed and I've messaged my student to let her know that I'm safe and sound.  Lovely relaxed evening with the family.  LN....Coffee and bedtime.....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 24, 2018, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 24th March

Silly night last night ...I sat up until three this morning watch Sports Relief and I'm really not sure why.  There wasn't an ounce of sleep in me but when I eventually got to bed I went straight through until seven twenty.  I expected snow but there was only sleet coming down and nothing was sticking.  I lit the fire despite the fact that I was off to my student's house this morning to transfer over the photos from the holiday to their computer.  I'd expected to do it last night but I'd forgotten the adaptor from three to two so no go.  I left the house by nine thirty and arrived to find that only the sister that I'd gone on holiday with was home.  Apparently my student had Messaged me to say that the  elderly next door neighbour had died overnight and the mother was busy with the preparations, the father was digging the grave and my student was manning the mother's shop to free up the mother.  I had coffee, didn't want to linger longer than necessary they were very busy in a neighbourly way so I plumbed in the Targa box and the job was completed in about five minutes.  

I headed up to the shop to see my student and sat with her for a while.  The mother came into the shop complete with the yeasty pancakes that everybody must have when there is a death and then set off for the supermarket and my other student's car parts shop.  She'd been complaining that she hadn't seen photos of the holiday so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to kill another bird with the same stone so we sat through six hundred photos together with the odd customer coming in in between viewings. She's even more determined to go to Cappadokia now....the landscape is fascinating.

Quick trip to the supermarket for a chicken and potatoes for supper, home for about two thirty, fire relit, chicken in with diced potatoes and onions and I promptly nodded off for an hour or so while it was cooking.  Really rally tender and the vegetables were charing nicely and went well with the mayo and I'm now stuffed.  The fire isn't going very well tonight...there's no draw in the chimney.  It's warm enough but I have to keep poking the fire to see a blaze. No photos of today...it's been cold, damp and nothing much to see so I'm posting a few of the caves from Turkey.  I meant to do it earlier, but never got round to it....it's more like a lunar landscape.  Clock change tonight...as we spring forward into summer.
LN...Let's say goodbye to snow...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 25, 2018, 4:53pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 25th March

So I remembered to put the clocks back last night so that I would be on time for the start of the new day.  It was seven when I woke up and it's been a game of catch-up all day.  I went back to sleep for an hour or so and was very reluctant to really start the day.  I made more coffee, put on TV Catch-up on the Kindle and watched Sunday's version of Saturday Kitchen and it was twelve thirty when there was a knock on the window and one of my younger neighbours was outside and demanding my presence.  I leapt out of bed and still in my PJ's unlocked the porch door and she came in.  She was under strict instructions apparently to not leave without me...Zelinger was having a fluffy pancake (mekitsi) party and I was invited.  I leapt up to the bathroom while she eyed up what she wanted from my garden when they had finished flowering...namely daffodils ...and I was washed,  dressed and ready for lunchtime entertainment in quicksticks.  

We walked down the road and several of my ladies were there already.  It was kisses all round and there was a tray of pancakes already cooked and two ladies were paying strict attention to the woodburner and frying pan as more were concocted.  More ladies appeared and I don't take my camera to these events even though I am witnessing the end of an era.  There was only one young person there, the one who had dragged me screaming to the event and she was minus headscarf,  the rest were in typical headgear.  I sat on the sofa, the table was erected in the centre of the room with the table cloth underneath.  They are all so clean and proud of their possessions.  Honey, fig syrup and cheese were put on the table along with the huge pan of mekitsi and we all set about demolishing them.  Other people came and some went, my painter arrived with bags of rice which his family had prepared in memory of his son's passing and he'd left mine in the porch for me.  Everything was cleared away, the tea came out and they were all surprised that I don't take any sugar in mine while they ladled it into theirs.  My sheep farmer's mother arrived when everything had been cleared away bearing gifts of a honey sponge came which was put on a newly erected table  with spoons for everyone to help themselves.  Such a sensible way to eat...only cutlery to wash up.  I said my fond farewells and arrived home at about three and lit the fire.  It's just over twenty degrees in the house but tonight it feels exceptionally cold everywhere...there's been no sun to speak of all day...and I've not been very active.  The Fitbit has been bleeping at me telling me to take it for a walk....yes...that was going to happen.  I've settled in to Game of thrones and watched three episodes with only a brief intermission to warm up the rice and meat which will do for supper tonight.

I'm heading into Kardjali tomorrow.  There is a three day excursion to Istanbul going in a couple of week's time and I'm going to see if they have any spare places. The cost is one hundred and thirty lev which includes transport down there,two nights accommodation with food and sightseeing which I think is very good.  I also need to do a little shopping....the goody cupboard is bare.  LN....Coffee, bath and bed I think...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 26, 2018, 5:22pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 26th March

Very sleepy last night and went to bed at ten thirty.  I expected a restless night but what a surprise...it was seven thirty when I woke up. I would have been still in my little bed it if hadn't have been for the flash of lightening and a very loud clap of thunder that followed it....and talking to the Librarian it had been crashing around since five this morning and she hadn't managed to get off again.  I'd intended going into Kardjali to find out more about the holiday but because the weather was so naff I rehearsed a telephone call and gave them a ring.  I started off by asking if anyone spoke any English but the answer was no but I explained who I was and they remembered that I'd been to Cappadokia with them and I asked them about the three day excursion to Istanbul and they had places.  I asked them to reserve two and said that I would be in later.  I phoned the Librarian and suggested that she came over with passport so that I could take a copy in and fortunately she brought her laptop with her and we could get her visa sorted when we'd sorted out the holiday.  I'd looked at the FB page and the map had placed the office somewhere near a set of traffic lights on the Haskovo Road.  I drove along the street, turned where I thought it was but eventually ended up at the office when I'd taken in my documents and two lovely policemen found the office in the bus station...miles away from where the map reference indicated.  Booking made, copy of passports handed over, money paid and the itinerary is translated for me into English.  Coach down there, two nights in a hotel with breakfast for sixty pounds more or less.  Good enough for me.  The downside is that we leave Kardjali at four in the morning but what the heck.  It's three hours to the border so it can be snooze all the way.  

Lunch at Kaufland but she didn't want to sell us broken hot dogs but I told her it didn't matter....stick them in the French stick and we'll never know...and she did.  Over to Lidl and the electrical shop where I bought cartridges for my printer and the Librarian bought a SD card for her new camera....and the assistant was very fluent in English and wanted to practice.  Home by three thirty and we set out to obtain the Visa via the internet which went very well until we needed the Librarian's laptop booted up and to get the documents downloaded and printed using my printer.  Success.... so everything done in a day and we leave on the sixth of April.

Off she went at six and I banked the fire up...it's cold and damp again.  We have had horrendous rain, sleet and hailstones today and the rivers are swollen and the roads flooded and we were forced to really reduce our speed.  It's just a pity that everyone else didn't.  So that bath that I was going to have last night, will happen tonight.  Sorry no pickies again tonight...to wet and horrible to have anything good to show you.  LN...Boiler now switched on....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 27, 2018, 3:55pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 27th March

So again I was in bed early and woke up late.  Trouble is the days seem to be whizzing by now that the clock has changed.  Also the weather doesn't help.  It started off good this morning and I was opening the windows to get some fresh air through, swept the carpets and washed the floors overs...two hoovers and I'm sweeping...why.  I didn't bother with breakfast...I was waiting for the bread van but I missed his horn, so missed the van.  I did hear the ladies talking in the square down the bottom of the village and realised it was the van when I saw it heading on to the next village. Not so bad...I did have a French stick so I wasn't completely out.

By the time I'd finished in the house it was ten so headed outside to start on the garden.  I'd put an extra sweater on but after about an hour digging away I had to take it off.  It was pretty hard work...the weeds have managed to get very large roots on them so I ended sticking the fork right in and pulling hard...it reminded me of the poster where they are trying to pull the giant turnip and ended up asking the mouse to get on the end of the line.  Working away I didn't notice how the clouds were rolling in and suddenly there were a couple of claps of thunder and the heavens opened.  Tools in, sweater in, more logs in and I settled down on the sofa with a coffee waiting for it to clear to go out there again. I'd left the windows open , nodded off for an hour or so but suddenly the wind had got up and it was rattling through the house so it was a quick battening down of the hatches, I lit the fire andit's been going ever since.

I was amazed today by the number of starlings, sparrows and crows that were settling on the garden and pecking at the grass....I'd love to know what they're feeding on.  One or two magpies joined in the mix and seemed to be bullying the others but they just changed areas and went back to pecking.  I love them in flight..

Well the mother of all storms has started again and fortunately Google restored itself when the power came back on again. Time to post this...the photos will have to follow when it calms down again....Hope the electricity stays on ...the fire is going beautifully.  LN...That's March for you...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 27, 2018, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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And we have a break

So we are back but the light is really spooky tonight.  It's raining, the mountains are still missing and there is a strange glow over the hillside....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 28, 2018, 4:32pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 28th March

Cold, wet, horrible weather with not a glimmer of the sun at all.  My only claim to fame was that I managed to get a couple of loads of washing done that's now dried and ready to put away.   It's been coffee and more coffee all day.  I got the fire going early on but I'm thinking that I should get the pipes out and give them a clean...it's not been drawing well....and it's on the list for tomorrow if the weather clears up a little and the rain stops.  I've threatened to build an ark....I better look out on the internet for some plans.

My only visit today was from Haciber.  She mentioned that she'd broken a picture frame when we had the pancake party the other day.  I'd not forgotten it but I thought I needed to measure it to make sure of the size.  As it was she came round. had the photo folded in her pocket and she was clutching a jar of fig jam that was the reward for fixing her up.  As it happened I had an A4 frame in stock and it fit Cinderella so I need to do some more shopping.  As for the fire....it's been really slow again so I ended up putting about three firelighters underneath it and at last I have heat coming out of it.

It has stopped raining and we have the same spooky light that we had last night.  Unfortunately all the mountains are shrouded in cloud so despite the fact that the terraces are drying up, it could start any time.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far but we've had interesting discussions on FB about the annual submission of Bulgarian company documents.  A lot of people are still going through solicitors and paying to get their documents registered so I went through the process, it's free.  There were some interesting comments.  LN....Time for supper...LN



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