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Elsa Peters
April 1, 2018, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 1st April

Another early start and late arising...well it is Easter Sunday.  I didn't bother with breakfast we were in for a fairly hefty lunch but I had a few things to do before I left.  I'd bought a selection of goodies yesterday for my ladies...it's my celebration so as they include me in all of theirs it was showtime with the eggs.  So they each had three fondant eggs with three fondant nests and a packet of chocolate eggs and a card.  Now my three ladies have now become four again even though one has left to live in Germany with her family and I made up a couple of 'others' just in case they had visitors from the village.  I'd primed myself to be shampooed  and showered for ten thirty so complete with goody bags I set off for Haciber's house and outside there were propped up three walking sticks and the appropriate number of little black shoes.  Haciber came to the door and I confirmed that two of the other ladies were visiting so I went back to the Beast and procured the appropriate number of goody bags.  There was one more so one of the standby packages was delivered leaving me with one standby and one original for lower down the village.  The ladies all came to the door and it was kisses all round but by this time the wind had got up and the rain was lashing so I didn't linger long on the door step.  So down to the bottom to deliver the last two and off I set for Mrs D of S's with their gifts and also one for the Librarian.

I arrived by eleven and both of them had had a pretty rough night with the startings of a cold. The parcel was opened, the head was bitten off the chocolate bear and it set the tone for the day. We remembered the high chair since this restaurant doesn't have one for the little one and I sat in the back with the little one to save changing over the car seat...it was throwing it down with rain.  We arrived on time for the Librarian who was waiting in the next village in her car, loaded up and off to the restaurant.  We weren't sure if it was going to be open and it was good that we were early before the rush started....it was heaving.

The food was up to it's normal standard, the little one ate well, drank most of her mother's Fanta lemon and her face was a picture.  Unfortunately there was no ice-cream for her to finish on and again the heavens opened as we left the restaurant.  It was sad to see the swimming pool empty but come the summer....I'm sure we'll be back to the infinity pool.  Librarian back to her car, the three of us back to Mrs. D of S's for a coffee, more chocolate for the little one (well it is Easter) and I set off for home at three thirty.  Home for four, head down for a short while, fire lit, no need for supper since lunch was substantial and I think it might be Game of Thrones tonight.  The wind has at last died down and the clouds are hanging there.  The forsythia is out and there are five bushes cheering up the garden.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow apart from thinking about packing for Istanbul and doing a little research on the internet since most of the commentary of the city tour will be in Bulgarian.  LN....Better get a wiggle on....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 1, 2018, 4:45pm Report to Moderator

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And a few pickies

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Elsa Peters
April 2, 2018, 4:37pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 2nd April

I managed to wake up before the sun this morning but it's been the normal activity from the sun swinging across the sky, sometimes visible and at others obscured by clouds but for me it's been a very lazy day.  I've had my Bank Holiday Monday working to the UK calendar.  I was doing OK until eleven, breakfast of poached eggs on toast, I cleared out the fridge,  emptied the rubbish bins with the intention of having a bonfire but they say that the way to the devil is paved with good intention and after today I think I'm on my way. The washing is waiting by the machine and my day has been used up, and I mean used up, by watching Game of Thrones, reading, Sudoku and anything that didn't entail work.  I did managed to start the fire and get enough logs in to keep the home fires burning from three onwards....the clouds came over, it got cold and why suffer...I've got enough wood.

Supper is over...I had a chicken leg left over from last night and that sufficed with a slice of bread.  Not gourmet but adequate....I'm not exactly going to starve.  So as for pickies...just one of this morning and one of tonight.  I just love the way the sun is shining on the forsythia making it really vivid.  I love the views of the evening sun on the mountains...such a variety of colours.  Nothing set in stone for tomorrow....I'll see how the day takes me.  LN...Off onto the evening...LN

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Elsa Peters
April 3, 2018, 3:35pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 3rd April

So Monday night is my night on TV Catch-up. It's all about brain stretching...Tipping Point, The Chase, Egg Heads, Connect and University Challenge and to round it off we had a double shot of Dave Allen....What a character he was and what a shame that he went so early to the other side and I don't me BBC1.  And how civilised that the children from both marriages spoke highly of him.

Straight to the land of nod and this morning it was in my brain to find out how much they would charge me for leaving the Beast In Kardjali bus station car-park when we went to Istanbul.  I ws in the car by nine thirty and decided to try the back lane with fingers crossed.  We've had some pretty wet weather.  Heading to the next village I noticed that my painter was working in his garden and mentioned that he'd been round to the garden when I was out.  He always leaves the top fastener off but puts the inside hasp over just to let me know that he's been.   He confirmed his visit and said that he wanted to look at the garden but while I had his attention I've asked him to bring his strimmer, or to use my big one, and take down the clumps of clover that are sprouting up every where and he said that he would.  

The back lane was very wet but I managed it OK without having to drop into 4x4.  First stop the bus station car park and before I questioned the price I went in to see the travel company to ask if it was possible to leave from Djebel not Kardjali to save having to leave the Beast lingering for three days.  She changed the booking but then mentioned that in would be going at five and I didn't understand since it was originally going at four in the morning from Kardjali...and so the 'thot plickened'.  The tour was now going on the fifth not the sixth and it would be leaving Djebel bus station at ten thirty and travelling overnight which means that we get longer in Istanbul...great.  I'm so pleased I went in...they don't speak English and I' not sure I would have understood all the changes...anyway...sorted.  Over to the leva shop and picked up a few items including a pair of pyjamas, over to one of the cheapy clothes shop with a Tuesday bargain day and I got a denim jacket, a spring lightweight ski jacket and a long sleeve t-shirt all for seven lev.  Bargain...rude not to.  Kaufland and found a metal and wooden bench on offer and filled up with goodies to take to Turkey with us as pickings if we get peckish.

Home for one, unpacked the car, got the clothes washed and out on the line, had a bonfire and did a little digging in the large flower bed.  I also took my strimmer apart thinking that the problem that I was having with the batteries could be something to do with the connections to the battery.  Put it back together again and found the problem was with me.  There is a switch in the guest room that isolates the outside sockets...and it needs to be moved to the 'on' position for it to work.  I'd turned it off for the winter and not turned it back on again...doh.  I now have both batteries charging and weather permitting will be active with the strimmers tomorrow...

Packing to be sorted tomorrow and chargers for camera batteries, etc put ready.  I bought a little travel kettle from the leva shop today so now have to think about cups, coffee and tea-bags....I'm going prepared this time.  Beautiful evening and it's been a beautiful day.  Really warm in the sun but there was a chill to the wind.  The bonfire is still going, the clothes are in and finishing off...I've had a productive day.  LN...Nice feeling when things come together...LN

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Elsa Peters
April 4, 2018, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 4th April

Late to bed last night and late out of bed this morning....no one to complain about it except me....and I didn't.  I had a meander morning....my clothes are ready to get into for the trip to Istanbul, I sorted out money and passport, make-up and soaps and 'things'.  I really should keep all this ready with my gadding about. I went out on to the terrace and watched the day unfold and took several pictures of what I though was a bird but loading it on to the PC tonight it was nothing but a clump of leaves but it had a lovely call.

Breakfast was really late but I made scrambled eggs and sat in the sun with yet another coffee.  The intention was good but the execution was weak.  I somehow found myself watching the opening ceremony to the Commonwealth games, ate a packet of chocolate peanuts but at three thirty guilt overtook me and I headed out into the sun and started work.  Both strimmer batteries were fully charged so  I started on the grass between the front wall and the house and ended up digging out the weeds from round the plants and making a job of it.  I worked my way along the wall to the grave garden, cleared the chickweed of which there is lots from the bed with the tulips and at least they can now breathe.  I need to dig the roots out but for the time being it looks fairly clear.  I took the wheelbarrow down the garden and started a bonfire with the wild plum trimmings to free up the wheelbarrow and took it back up the garden and loaded it up with the rubbish I'd removed from the beds.   So as one battery was used up, I started on the next and continued strimming the grave garden and over towards the big bed against the wall and carried on until that battery died on me as well.

I came in at just after seven thirty and it's been a good day. It's not what I intended doing but I should sleep well tonight...I forewent my usual afternoon nap thanks to the TV coverage of the start of the games.  Tools away...the doors and windows have been open all day and the weather sure makes a difference.  I missed sunset tonight...too busy strimming but loved the sky tonight...gentle not harsh at all. Sleeping on a coach tomorrow so packing lots of nibbles.  LN...Wish me luck....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 5, 2018, 2:42pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 5th April

So I've just had a phone call from the tour company to confirm that the bus goes at ten thirty tonight from Djebel...that's service for you.  

As for the rest of the day....the strimming will have to wait but I have emptied the wheelbarrow and tidied away my toys.  A good breakfast of poached eggs so I'm stocking up on calories before I just in case there isn't anything I like or I run out of money....it depends on my time round the bazaars...

Just showered and shampooed and a bit of a shock when I came to dry my hair...sparks shot out of the plug but the rest of the electrics seem to be OK....I've combed it through and it's in a pigtail...it can dry in its own time.  It's my own fault...I was looking at the dryer the other day and trying to remember when I bought it and how old it was....and as is the case...there is always failure pretty soon afterwards.  I should have told the memory to go away..

The Librarian arrived early afternoon and we sat out in the sun and watched a bloody big brown bird on the hillside.  I took photos so I'll share them with you...it was a long way away and it was difficult to find it because of the sunlight...anyway...think it's an eagle by the looks of things...must look out for it again if it thinks this is home.  Lunch was tuna mayo with the full trimmings and that should do me until later this evening.  We''probably pick up something in Djebel.

Wish me luck..  LN...Istanbul here we come....  LN

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Elsa Peters
April 6, 2018, 3:17pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 6th April

So last night we set off at nine, I parked the car in my student's parents lane so that it would be safe from prying eyes.  We wheeled the suitcases to the local restaurant, settled for orange, water and a plate of chips between and got down to the bus station by ten waiting for anyone else to turn up...and they did.  I#d worked out a plan with the Librarian...I'll handle the cases and you get on and bag the front seats and we were foiled in the attempt,,,it was a minibus which was to take us to Haskovo and on to the coach down from Sofia and the front seat was already 'bagged'.  We found other seats towards the back of the bus and were charged with 'being in someone else's seat' and unbeknown to us, each person had been allocated seats.  We received our seat confirmation, that was already occupied and the couple wanted to stay there....they were the seats directly behind the back door coach exit.  I simply said that we wanted them, we'd been moved once and wanted the ones we were allocated and with heavy hearts and some black looks....the couple vacated and we took up our allotted seats.  Splendid.  The journey went well but it was a long old slog crossing the border into Turkey.  Only one position working and it reminded me of a day in Lidl where they have the checkouts but only one is in operation.  Eventually we cleared the border by seven thirty and joined the rush hour traffic into Istanbul.

I'd had several 'nod offs' on the journey down and the rest of the way into Istanbul proved the same. We dropped off the Sofia travellers at their hotel and we stayed on the coach having a full conducted tour. We'd gained drivers and guides, lost a few on the way but all in all we saw lots of the sights.  Eventually some of the older ones on the tour started complaining and the guide took it upon himself to appease the be-moaners and change the programme.  I'm not sure how this is going to impact us tomorrow...we've booked a boat trip on the Bosporus  and might miss out on some of the sights so I've got to be on my guard tomorrow.  Old and infirms shouldn't be allowed out....out.  As we waited for a decision to be made we noticed that the sun had a halo round it and yours truly suggested to the Librarian that it might be a portent of the end of the world as we know it....and it was going to be one of the first things I looked up when we were connected to the internet at the hotel.

There were one or two puffing as they heaved the suitcase up a gentle hill to the hotel...and eventually we are settled in to a very reasonable three star for two nights.  We went out and found a restaurant and topped up to keep us going for breakfast and back at the hotel I checked out the halo and halos around the sun or moon happen when high, thin cirrus clouds are drifting high above your head. Tiny ice crystals in Earth's atmosphere cause the halos. They do this by refracting and reflecting the light.  So now we know,

The Librarian has showered and is having forty winks, I'm about to have a shower and get into clean comfortable clothes and then hopefully we will catch up on sleep and be refreshed for another day of 'tourist stuff' tomorrow.  Superb day and well worth the money.  LN...and now for a few pickies...LN

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Elsa Peters
April 7, 2018, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 7th April

So despite the fact that I was in bed early last night I managed to go through until four for my first wake up but then went on until six thirty and beat the alarm.  We were down for breakfast for seven fifteen and beat the rush and down to reception by eight thirty for the tour to begin.  As it happened it was all head over heels today and the boat trip that was due to happen first thing was put on to the afternoon so we piled on to the coach and went with the flow.

The Blue mosque was first on the list but it was closed for renovation so we could only see the outside and surrounding outbuildings.  The gardens were beautiful, there were hyacinths planted everywhere and the aroma was overpowering at times.  We had a forty minutes to spare before our next tour began so the Librarian and myself headed to a dinky do shop and bought a few items as pressies but I'll see how many of them get handed on and how many I keep again.  Remember Cappadokia....   One of the sights today that caught my attention was a Muslim lady from head to foot with only the eyes showing but she had on her head a red baseball cap to show that she belonged to the group that she was travelling with....looked a little odd....

Onwards and upwards to the Palace and Museum and was there a lot to see.  We didn't pay extra to see the Harem's area though but one man was seen being dragged and screaming from the area by the guard.  Only women allowed we reckoned.  Next we were back to the coach and we made out way down to the waterfront but some bright spark put fish and bread sandwiches in someone's head and we were dragged along with the locals to feed before we went on the Bosphorus cruise,  Mackerel and salad on a roll for ten lira and then on to the boat for our river cruise.  We sat on the top deck but boy was it cold....it was the wind that was nippy.  So back to the coach and we were dropped off at four thirty and tonight's activity is not to our liking so were going to head our for a meal and again an early night for us.  I've knocked off eleven thousand on the Fitbit and the sparks did fly.  Not sure how many rises I've been up but I'm sure it's a lot...my calves are having twinges.

So tomorrow the luggage has to be in reception by eight thirty and we say goodbye to Istanbul about mid morning and head to Erdine for more mosques and shopping.  Sounds like one of my days.  Time for a shower...there are no pickies tonight...the program that I use to reduce the pixels has gone awry and it's too late to sort it ...it's getting near supper time.  LN...I'm full of culture....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 9, 2018, 4:36pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday/Monday 8th/9th April

Full on day yesterday starting with breakfast at seven, coach by eight thirty, tulip festival gardens and my favourite shopping mall to pick up some of my favourite chocolates.  I bought them last time and wasn't sure what they were like but ...hey...it had to be done again.  Onward to Erdine where it was bazaar shopping at it's finest.  I picked up sweet goodies for my ladies, a few more pressies for me...and why not, a loaf of bread to have fresh for the morning and we were on our way to the border by seven and thought we were making good time exiting Turkey in quicksticks but the entry in to Bulgaria took ages and we didn't clear until nine thirty so back to Djebel by midnight. I'd left the Beast at my students parents house so left the Librarian caretaking the luggage at the bust station and went to fetch the car. We were back to mine for half past twelve and she chose to drive home...I think her bed was calling her.

I woke at six thirty this morning and two loads of washing done and out on the line by eight.  I'd stripped my bed and now the weather looks pretty still...I'm thinking on moving to my summer abode....up the stairs.  I had the fresh bread with butter and homemade grapefruit jam and out to the garden and strimmed until my two batteries ran out.  I did a bit of weeding, came in for a rest and by this time the batteries had recharged so i was out again until they were empty again.  I dug over one of the small beds and put some small zinnia seeds in and also put some into a pot to start off in the conservatory.  The cosmos that I put in last week have shot up and are about two inches tall already.  I think I'll move them out of the sun before they out grow themselves.  I'd picked up a really cheap electric strimmer from Kaufland last year and only put it together not tried it out so I connected it up and low and behold...it works a treat to tomorrow I should be able to finish the garden to make it more manageable for the mower.  The clover is so juicy that it clogs it and it should dry out over the next few days.  

Good day all round....I really enjoyed being away but it's good to back and refreshed.  LN....Same again tomorrow please...24 degrees....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 10, 2018, 6:07pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 10th April

First night upstairs and woke up at five thirty with the moon really shining brightly...not to self...close the curtains. Second awakening was at six thirty and I was up and at it fairly quickly, dragged the bench that has sat in my bedroom on to the terrace, found a couple of cushions, down to make a coffee and I listened to the morning coming to life.  The cuckoos are back, well one at least but I'm still waiting for my one with the 'speech' impediment.  It's the one that puts in too many cuck's  and it's time he was back.  Breakfast of Turkish bread again, washed and dressed quickly and it was full throttle with the strimmer until both batteries were exhausted and then out with the electric one until I was exhausted.  Beautiful day but you can have too much of a good thing.  Having done almost half the garden now it's getting there but this time of year for me is always hard...the weeds just rocket and Haciber was having a moan up again today about it.  Looking at the middle of the garden I thought the lawnmower might manage it so I got it out of the woodstore, checked the oil and it seemed to be OK, filled it up with petrol, primed it and though it was reluctant, it eventually fired up....result.  I made a few passes with it on the top lawn and the grave garden and had three empties of the bin and thought it had done enough for one day and so had I.

So I came in for a rest and started  to watch the Commonwealth games while topping up on bottles of water.  I really had done too much this morning  so got my head down and was out for the count until four thirty. Up and at it straight away though, I put a jacket potato and two chicken legs into the oven and decided to use up the new charges in the batteries for the strimmer and knocked off a few more patches of clover.  I think the mower can go over the same ground tomorrow and I'll give it a whirl on the grass that the strimmer seems to have problems with.  It's really tough stuff.

I was in by six fifteen and watching tv when Haciber appeared to check me out now that I was back from Istanbul.  I found a box of goodies that I'd brought back and gave them to her but they had to go in a bag to walk over the road.  Allah forbid that anyone should see them.  The chicken was ready by this time so I had supper...it's almost nine my time so I shan't be long before my little head hits the pillow.  I shall just feel happier when the first pass of the garden is complete. More of the same tomorrow and managed to knock off nine thousand steps and my Fitbit was on charge for the morning.  LN...I'll wear it out if I'm not careful....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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