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Elsa Peters
April 11, 2018, 4:50pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 11th April

Not such a good night last night ...I was awake at three and it took me a while to get back off again. Seven fifteen when I got my brain into gear, coffee and I sat out on the terrace working out a plan for today.  I went in and grabbed the camera...the cuckoo was in the tree to the left of the terrace, I managed one but then he moved to the electricity cables surveying his patch.  The old one isn't back but I'll keep listening out for him.   

I was a bit slow off the mark this morning, more coffee, I made scrambled eggs for breakfast, washed up and tidied the kitchen. Despite my plan...I didn't get as much strimming as I wanted to do...the intention was good but the back wasn't.  I forced myself through the pain for two rounds, reckoned on getting the mower going over the grassy areas, I started it up, hit the first patch of long grass and it petered out.  Not one of my better ideas...I'll clean the filter and raise the wheels tomorrow to give it more air space...and instead took to weeding.

The grave garden is finished along with the mulberry garden half way down the garden but it's a slow old process.  I came in for a rest, watched the boxing at the Commonwealth games and at three decided to go out again.  I was tired but not enough to get my head down, made my way over to the west wall garden and got stuck in.  Checked out the time on my Fitbit and was amazed to see that I've knocked up a new record of over twenty thousand steps and apparently I've burnt off two and a half thousand calories....now where's that Turkish Delight?

An excellent day but the garden seems never ending...I'm just eager to get the grass down.  I might even be tempted to invest in a bigger electric strimmer and it's a bit like the story of the three bears.  Daddy bears is too big (petrol) and heavy, baby bears is to small but one for mummy bear would be just right.  Investigation is called for.  Cold chicken for supper, I hear the bath calling me to stretch out and relax if it's to be another day like today.  LN...Knacked but calm....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 12, 2018, 4:56pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 12th April

It's been another good gardening day and there's not going to be much text tonight..Normal start to the day, down for bread, jam sandwiches for breakfast, bench out of the little house and box for the cushions washed and ready for operation. It's been a beautiful sunny day.

So what have I done?  The strimmer stayed where it was...I had the Deep Heat on my hip joint last night and I thought I'd give it a rest.  Instead I took the daffs out of the big pots and they're ready for planting down the bottom of the garden when I've cleared a patch, I bought the shelving unit that's been sitting in the little house into the porch so that I can put the germinated seeds out of the sun and in to the shade. Zinnias that I planted a couple of days ago are already up and the cosmos are putting on secondary leaves.  The Himalayan poppies have gone in today and we'll see what colour they turn out.  Last years happened to be pink so Mrs D oif S was very lucky that I didn't sue her for misrepresentation...the seeds came from her collection.

I watch a little of the hockey this afternoon and the diving but i was out there at four thirty again and finished clearing the side garden bed.  I chanced it with the lawnmower and I must have got done about ten square meters....I have to empty the box regularly but my method of lifting it up at the front as it cuts appears to be working...more again tomorrow.

Supper is ready soI'm going to wind it up.  I was going togoto Kardjali tomorrow but if the weather is good tomorrow...I'm going to carry on with the garden now I'm in the mood.  LN...Beautiful calm evening....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 13, 2018, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 13th April

Seven start, up and at it, washed and dressed fairly early on and I used the remains of last night's onions to knock up an omelette for breakfast.  It was supposed to set me up for the day but I got the urge to open a tin of tuna, mixed it with mayo and had it with toast for lunch.  I sorted out the geraniums and potted up the newbies from last years and now they're out on the terrace.  One load of washing pegged out and I turned my attention to the long wall garden and finished it off. planting up a honeysuckle that had sat in a bucket for the winter in the little house.  It should do well...ginormous roots.  Now the pot was freed up now that the geraniums have their now home....snapdragon seeds are in their place and in the conservatory for 'hatching'.

I think I was putting off starting the grass.  I'd got the cable out ready and cleaned up the electric strimmer but it was with little enthusiasm that I tackled it.  I knocked off an hour of strimming but then decided I'd have a go with the lawnmower to see if it would make the job easier and it did until the grass was just too heavy for it and despite my efforts at lifting the front to get more air through...it died on me.  So I left it out and decided to try a little later...it doesn't start immediately after it's cut out.

Any way....it was stop and start for the rest of the afternoon but I can see an improvement....I'm getting there.  There was the urge to create a crop circle just for my neighbours but I was running out of juice at this time.  Washing in, tools away and it was seven fifteen when I eventually made it inside and I'm knacked.  Same again tomorrow I'm thinking...another couple of days and it should be time to start again....No need for supper....I've had enough calories for today she said finding the Turkish Delight that I came back from Erdine with.  LN...Two squares down...time to put it away....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 14, 2018, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 14th April

Beautiful sunrise...and I was lucky to catch it.  I was up last night watching the final of Masterchef and was pretty late hitting the sack and when I got there no an ounce of sleep in me but eventually I dropped off.

I was washed and dressed early and had decided that it was going to be an all out effort on the grass until the hairdryer that had packed up before I went to Turkey drew my attention.  Now I read the words 'fused plug' so decided to take it apart and it was pretty black inside and I replaced the English plug with a Bulgarian but I haven't managed to get up the nerve to plug it in yet....silly old me.  The unfortunate thing was that I dropped the screwdriver and as I leaned over the chair arm to reach it I head one of my old fractured ribs give way again with a gentle crack.  It's only one by the tinge of pain I'm getting but I have to hold the area when I sneeze....I'll see how it does over the next couple of days before I throw myself into the hands of the professionals...not that they can do much...it's a rib.

So out I went with electric strimmer in hand and I was doing well until twelve when the cable ran out.  Now remember this is Bulgaria and Djebel.  On the box it said that I need a 1.2mm cable to replace it and the closest I got was a 1.5 and it was expensive so I tried another shop and could only get a 1.6 but she's going to try to order me the size that I want and it should be in by Tuesday.  Well maybe.  I almost drove into Kardjali to see if they had it but I had nothing else to go in for today so gave it a miss. So with plans foiled, I settled down  for a couple of hours with my  student's mother in the shop and we took the world apart and put it together again.  

So a little bit of shopping in town, back for three thirty and settled down on the sofa for an hour or so watching the Commonwealth games and particularly enjoyed the netball and what an exciting climax....such a close game with only one point in it.  Well done England.  Finished off the day with the old strimmer and did the grass between the front wall and the house and the main terrace lawn where the clover had started to gain strength again...dreadful stuff.  Tools away just before eight and I'm in for the night.  I'll see what I can do with the battery strimmer tomorrow and might even clear weeds instead with fork and hand power...it's pretty effective with the big stuff and there's loads of that down the bottom of the garden...

Supper calls so I'm off to see what I can find.  LN....It wont be spare rib...LN

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Elsa Peters
April 15, 2018, 5:51pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 15th April

So I woke up this morning at four and tried to watch the Commonwealth Games final in the netball but there was no way that I could stay awake so I got my head down again and it was just before nine when I woke up.  Really late for me but was amazed when we had won the gold medal for netball and smashed the reign of the Australians.  Well done England.

As for the rest of the day, the sun didn't break through a heavy mist until around eleven and when it did there wasn't much heat in it.  I had a shower and washed my hair this morning but  still haven't plugged in the hairdryer...I went 'au naturel' and now have a very wavy style....but with no one to see it...what the heck.  Spicy sausage for breakfast with fried egg and fried bread and it's stayed with me all day and so much so that I don't really feel like anything tonight.  I went to get a load of washing together, went to fill up the kettle and realised that the water was off and it's remained so all day.  I didn't bother checking with anyone else but hopefully it will be restored tomorrow otherwise I'll be heading down to the spring to fill up a few bottles tomorrow.  Without a strimmer I was a bit stuffed with regard to the long grass but it was really wet so I wouldn't have achieved much anyway.  I deadheaded the daffodils, removed the finished ones from the 'fridge' garden on the terrace and that's now ready for planting up for the summer...I just need something to plant it up with,  I moved to the long garden and dug out some more of the weeds from around the old toilet area but didn't put a lot of effort into it.  It was cold out there.  I did manage to have a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish but then came in, settled myself on the sofa and haven't done a lot for the rest of the day.  I think I need to catch up on my energy levels....Istanbul and the week in the garden have reduced them and my floating rib has been twinging a little today when digging so the answer is...stop digging.

Nearly nine my time, the water is still off, Kardjali tomorrow to see if anyone has any 1.2 size chord for the strimmer,  water from the spring so it could be a busy day.  No pickies....I'll take the camera to Kardjali tomorrow to get a few different ones and might even come back with a new hairdryer and a larger strimmer...who knows how the mood will take me... .  LN....Time to get a good night in....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 16, 2018, 5:31pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 16th April

Rubbish night last night...my rib was giving me nightmares of its own ...big aches...and I eventually got off again about two hours later and it was seven thirty when I came round.  Last night I'd written my list and I was determined to knock off everything on it and I've succeeded.

I didn't bother with breakfast and was in the Beast by eight thirty, stopped off at Haciber's house to see if she wanted anything from Kardjali but she was no where in sight but there was a pair of little black rubber shoes and a stick so maybe she had a visitor and didn't hear me.  Off down the back lane and first stop was the big hardware shop and picked up three coils of strimmer chord and it was the right diameter and cheaper than I anticipated.  Second stop was the leva shop, I wanted another pyjama set or lounger set like the one I picked up the other day and I bought two....one pink and one peacock blue so they'll all mix and match and now the winter pyjamas can go away.  Next stop was the doctor's surgery in the Polyclinic and I only had to wait ten minutes before I was dragged in screaming.  I related the incident of the rib and that for a time now I've been getting a little dizzy when I get up quickly.  Her only comment was that she could deal with the rib but the other thing was down to age which made me laugh. She's very thorough and got me to strip for checking me out with her stethoscope but chastised me for having no socks on, flesh showing and no vest.  Considering she made me take my clothes off...I reckon it was down to her.  She confirmed that my blood pressure was a little high and then suggested a ECG and asked me if I minded if she took some blood to carry out some tests.  I was taken to a room across the corridor by the nurse and she wired me up, stuck the suckers on and printed out the results.  Back to the surgery, she checked out the results and said that everything was fine, I followed the nurse to another office, the blood was taken and I had to pay two leva tax, another visit to office and  I was handed the documentation to take to the main hospital for an extra.  Up to the second floor for registration, I handed over the form to the assistant and asked her in Bulgarian if she could speak Bulgarian slowly so that I could understand the instructions and she took me to a seat, said that they would just say my first name and I would be processed.  Two extras taken, processed and handed to me to take back to my doctor.  She followed up on the results on the telephone with the consultant who couldn't see a fracture so she gave me a prescription to a homeopathic tablet and a pain killer and I phone tomorrow for the result of the blood test.  My next stop was the chemist and she refused to issue me with the painkillers that had been prescribed and told me to take aspirin or similar since there had been rumours in the west that there had been adverse results with them....apparently Bulgarians were used to the contents but not any of the others.  

I stopped off at the bank where my student's sister works and took her out for a coffee at lunchtime, paid my phone bill. bought some more flowerpots from my other leva shop. stopped off at Kaufland for a top-up and back home via the back lane. Unpacked the shopping and by this time it was almost five.....It had been a long day.  The temperature has dropped so I lit the fire tonight, it makes everything a little more comfortable.  The water was still off but we've just had a trickle through which was enough to flush the toilet but it seems to have stopped again....there was so much air coming through initially....I think they still have issues.

Dependent on the weather tomorrow it might be full stretch with the strimmer.  I've loaded the chord on to the spool but I'm not sure if I've done it correctly...I might have to go back to the drawing board with it or check it out on the internet.  One thing I did forget when I headed out this morning was the camera...so again I've failed.  LN...Time to throw a log on...LN
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Elsa Peters
April 17, 2018, 3:53pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 17th April

So I watched my Monday programmes....Only Connect and University Challenge and then swapped over to watch the Queen and David Attenborough walking through the gardens of Buckingham Palace and outlining the Commonwealth vision for tree planting.  What an initiative and it was lovely to see the grandchildren spreading the word.  So bed at midnight and straight through until seven thirty this morning and woke up relaxed and drowsy.  I put a load of washing in hoping that the water supply would last the pace, cooked a spicy sausage and egg for breakfast so that my tablets would have something to sit on, pegged the washing out and still in my pyjamas sat on the bench outside in what little sun we had.  I'd only been out there a few minutes and I heard a car pull up, didn't move to see who it was and the Librarian had arrived.  We moved to the shady seats under the lounge balcony, I made coffee and tea and it was at that point that I thought it was about time that I got dressed.  

I moved inside while she stayed out and phoned my doctor for the results of the blood test from yesterday.  The cholesterol is a little high so I was advised to stay off the fatty foods and to have a glass of red wine each evening and I wondered if this was the excuse I'd been waiting for....   and decided it wasn't.  She also said that she'd checked for sugar, haemoglobin and anything else she could think of and everything was find so no need for another visit.

In to Djebel and the soup kitchen for lunch, I went round to the shop that had promised to order the strimmer cord for me and they were closed so not sure if she's got it in or not but I'll try another day.  I bought some extra strong Aspirin instead of the painkillers that were prescribed and not delivered and we headed for home and down to the lake and the water spring to fill up seven ten litre bottles of water for the plants.  There's too much chlorine in the delivered supply.  Back home and we struck up hers and my computers and I transferred some of the photos that I'd taken in Istanbul onto her computer and posted some on her timeline for her so that her family could see them.  She left at five thirty after attacking the rhubarb....I shall expect either a pie or some jam...we'll see.

As promised I went out to the garden and took a few pickies of the ones that are flowering...it's amazing how much is in bloom even though it's early season.  That's why I love shrubs though...they can always be relied upon to perform.  Nearly seven my time....another lovely day in Narnia.  LN...Gardening tomorrow.....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 18, 2018, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 18th April

What a day...first wake up at five and then back until seven.  The sun was up, I just managed to catch it, coffee on the terrace but it was cold despite the sun so I came in and made breakfast, it was only toast but it did the trick.  

Washed and dressed for the garden, long sleeved t-shirt and I lobbed my woolly cardigan over the top until it had really warmed up.  So everything now is out of the little house, old pots have been emptied, refilled with new compost, four new pots have been planted up with seeds and charcoal has been put in the bottom since there are no holes in the bottom. It's a trick that I picked up along the way and it seems to work.  I've got nasturtiums, campanula, some sunshine dailies that only come out when the sun shines, the seeds came from last year's plants, the lemon is out and on the terrace and I've noticed that there are lots of buds about to come out.I really should have removed last year's harvest but they do look pretty. I picked up a poly carbonate frame that needed to be screwed together into a cold frame but I realised that it needed another pair of hands to make a success of it so instead I've used one of the panels over two of the pots to bring them on quicker.  It was a very busy morning.

Next task was to rewind the cord onto the strimmer and I decided that it would be wise to try to find a you-tube masterclass but they all seemed to require an arrow pointing on the reel to show the direction the cord had to be wound,  Unfortunately there wasn't an arrow....so the videos were pretty useless.  Now winding two cords and holding on to them while you try to get the end of each cord through two little holes on the outer casing proved to be fairly testing and eventually I managed it.  I plugged it in, it worked and it was only when I needed more cable that I came unstuck.  It didn't release so back to the drawing board, I tried it the other way, it seemed to work this time but I'm thinking that I need to get more cable and do it properly when I've got more time.  I was too busy strimming...I was on a mission.

I came in at six for a coffee and decided that I wouldn't put my tools away just yet and was out there until seven thirty.  Toys away, I want another good day tomorrow, it's called making hay while the sun shines except that I won't be making hay....it can dry where it falls.  No supper....not in the mood yet but might come up with inspiration later.  LN...What a day...LN

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Elsa Peters
April 19, 2018, 5:57pm Report to Moderator

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[b]Thursday 19th April/b]

Well last night was another night for Game of Thrones and it was one thirty when I laid my weary head to rest.  Silly really but I' started watching series six and it's really kicking off.  So head down. up at six thirty this morning. washed and dressed and the garden was beckoning and I made it outside with strimmer in hand by eight thirty. I didn't bother with breakfast, that would come later when I'd woken up my digestive system.  

So you can guess what I was doing...it's pretty slow going, once you get stuck in the grass is just so wet inside.  At the strimmer hits it you can see water mist rising over the rest of the garden...tough.  I laboured and came in for my cardigan...it looked at one point as if it was going to chuck it down but it blew over and eventually the sun came out.  I was having a little trouble with the cord and i had to keep stopping to clean out the cord guard.  The grass was sticking to it and stopping the cord from doing what it was supposed to.On one of my maintenance sessions I looked up and noticed a male lizard taking in the sun and very kindly he stayed in situ until I came back with the camera. I should really carry it with me.  Photo session over, it was back to it and it I stop and look how much more there is to do and back at the strimmer and it reminded me of Johnny Wilkinson sizing up the goal and I had a little chuckle to myself.

At two I came in, settled on the sofa and it was head down until four and it was hard to summon up the enthusiasm to get out there again....but I did and i came in just before eight after putting my toys away and watering the pot plants.  I've just watched Eggheads and it was a close run thing but the jackpot remains. The water heater is on, a bath is written into the agenda for tonight, my back is killing me and I need to wash away the aches and pains.  The upside it I've forgotten any pain from my rib. Every cloud has a silver lining!!  Another full day tomorrow and I should be there.  LN...Fingers crossed....LN

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Elsa Peters
April 20, 2018, 4:31pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 20th April

Six thirty start, coffee, opened up the estate, put my nose out and soon brought it in again.  I headed upstairs and got into outdoor clothes, despite the clouds and grey skies I thought the rain would hold off but it didn't.  The heavens opened as I headed down to the bread van for fresh bread.  Had a little chat with my ladies and headed back, I skinned a spicy sausage, sliced it and put it in the frying pan...it was a morning for a cooked breakfast. Into the pan went a couple of eggs and I fried a slice of the new bread and it went down well.  

The morning plan had been foiled and secretly I was pretty pleased....the grass is a chore.  I settled in to Game of Thrones and knocked off a couple of episodes and by that time the clouds had rolled away, the sun was in and out so I unreeled the cable, plugged in the strimmer and off I went.  At three I watched the sheep come over the hill and the sheep farmer hopped over the wall to check out my progress.  He tried it with the strimmer realised how wet it was underneath and said that I needed to do it with a scythe.  I showed him that it was propped up against the tiles and fetched it for him and he told me that it was not set up properly and needed sharpening so I got him the kit out.  He did about two rows said that the head of it needed to soak in water overnight...and so it will.  He popped back over the wall and went to tend his sheep.  I was tempted to say...'same time tomorrow'....but thought better of it.

Went back to the machine and managed to make a track down the middle of the grass and now it's in several smaller chunks that have boundaries....it also helps with achieving the goal....one large chunk just gets attacked but the end seems along way away.  So tools away by six thirty...it's turned into a reasonable night. I packed up because the cord broke off and that seemed a good time to stop.  I sat on the bench and re-threaded the head....ready for tomorrow...weather permitting.  

My Avatar is returning tomorrow morning from Germany where she's been 'wintering' with her son and family.  It will be good to see her again.  LN...Better make her a Welcome Home card....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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