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Elsa Peters
May 1, 2018, 4:26pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 1st May

Six thirty start,down for coffee and sat out on the bedroom balcony absorbing the morning.  I heard the hoopoe with its distinctive call but no visitations as yet. the cuckoo is still very active and the pied fly catcher was patrolling from the high point on my tree.  As I sat watching the hillside I noticed movement on the tree line in the next field and it was a deer.  I've seen them in the forest but I'm on the edge of a wood...first time so I'll be looking out for it tomorrow with the camera ready.  I did have the camera out this morning but it moved so quickly and I wasn't expecting it.  

Down to the bread wagon and bought bread and cheesy bread for breakfast.  I sat on the terrace with yet more coffee and finished most of it, the rest went to the sparrows.  I didn't fancy strimming today....it was a really hot day so I took to planting up some of the smaller pots into bigger ones and the rosemary went into the terrace bed after I'd dug it over ready for the seedlings to go in.  I've lost a couple before but I've put it up against the wall and I'll give it a winter coat for good measure.  As for the rest of the day, I'm tired of the ballast that seems to get everywhere and encroaches on the yard so I've built a container for it out of two pallets and some lengths of wood.  I've lined it with the stuff that you put under gravel paths to stop the weeds coming through and given it a polythene cover. I've also made a new bed by the side of the little house...it just needed brightening up and hopefully it will.

Tools away at six,,shower time...I need to wash my hair and try out my new hairdryer.  Let's see how long this one lasts. Pictures to follow....can't post on the first post of the month.  I'll just get my Maypole out and do a little jig in the garden.  LN....Hope the neighbours aren't watching....LN
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Elsa Peters
May 1, 2018, 4:49pm Report to Moderator

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Now for the pickies

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Elsa Peters
May 2, 2018, 4:34pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 2nd May

Disturbed night and it might have been something to do with a spicy sausage sandwich at nine thirty last night.  I did put the hot tomato sauce on it and that could have revved it up a bit.  Note to self...if it's that time of night...don't bother.

Having said that I was up and at 'em by six thirty, a lovely morning sitting out with a coffee watching the mist rising as the temperature crawled up the thermometer into a full blown summer day.  I stripped my bed and have now gone into summer sheets and I'll see how I fare tonight.  The nest hasn't been put away, it's still available but it's on it's way into summer storage and into vacuum bags.  So another two loads of washing done and I felt like Widow Twankey  when I brought it in from the garden.  It amazes me how much washing I give myself but it's clean clothes every day even for gardening and gardening I was.

I planted out the ones that had been lying around for a week or so into the steps terrace bed.  I then made my way down to the bottom of the garden and rescued a spirea that had obviously been planted in 'stony ground' and with this lack of free stuff from the heavens, it was obviously distressed.  After two hours in a bucket of water it's looking much better and I'll find it a better place tomorrow.  Where it was is obviously more suited to lavenders and alpines...I'll keep a lookout for the latter.

Out with the strimmer and between the house and the wall is finished yet again and outside the wall.  I didn't stop there, the grave garden is cleared and three of the five beds are weeded.  I have to go steady in the berberis bed, I noticed that there are seedlings of the tall white nameless variety and I think I managed to save most of them.  There they were nestling gently in the weeds and suddenly they're naked and in full view.  Head above the parapet and all that.  I did read that cinnamon is good for making ants feel very unwelcome so I have given it a try on the path down the side of the house and I'll let you know.  If I see any with suitcases...I'll take it that it's worked.

So washing in, bed made up, tuna mayo for lunch so not really in the mood so far.It's a lovely night and so warm, the windows and doors are all open and it doesn't feel like it's time to shut up shop.  Rude not to take advantage of this weather until it breaks so it's more gardening tomorrow.  LN....Time to move outside for a sit....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 3, 2018, 6:07pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 3rd May

Five thirty this morning…it’s getting earlier all the time.  I lay there for a while but at six I decided that I could stay there no longer, coffee and out on to the balcony and watched the sun up.  I showered and washed my hair, dried it and then walked down the garden and had a bonfire. I didn’t have much to burn and it was over more or less before it had begun. I stood watching the hillside looking out for my deer and instead spotted Harold and three others enjoying their breakfast.  I rushed in the house, got my camera and I thought I’d missed them then suddenly one of them appeared.  It’s going to be same time same place tomorrow morning and this time I’ll be prepared.

Poached eggs on toast for breakfast… I’d dressed for town but couldn’t decide what to do and found myself pottering.  I had a quick message from Mrs D of S saying that she’d come back from holiday with tummy gripes from hell so Dr E was available for a home visit with the magic Bulgarian potion that had been recommended for me when I’d gone down with the same.  I drove into Djebel first to get fuel and headed over to their village and spent a couple of hours with them and played with the little one.  She really is a poppet and has grown in her time away.  I could see they were all flagging or jet lagging so I said fond farewells and was home for three.  I fried off a couple of chicken bread coated things and made them into sandwiches and decided that a full tummy required rest so settled down on the sofa for a couple of hours and feel much better for it.  I’d managed to get off the garden treadmill for a day.

Back on to it tomorrow…I really want to finish the strimming and plant up the seedlings…they’re getting too tall to be not fending for themselves in open soil.  It’s been a funny old day weather wise…quite cloudy at times and I woke up cold but OK once the blood started flowing round the system again.  LN…Internet is at last up … LN

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Elsa Peters
May 4, 2018, 6:09pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 4th May

So bit of a cloudy start this morning and it couldn't make its mind up whether it want to rain or not.  At one point the sky was more or less blue, the sun was out but raindrops were falling on my head...you know the rest.  It was six fifteen when I had my first coffee but i was still in pyjamas at nine thirty...I had trouble getting going.  I got TV Catchup on the little Lenovo and watched some of the election results, caught the end of Jeremy Kyle for what it's worth and as I said before I knew it it was nine thirty and time to get a move on,  

I hadn't got much of a plan today yet I achieved a lot.  I weeded down the side garden, planted zinnia in two places, put in nasturtiums along the side garden but having read the soil that they require, damp but well drained, I decided to add another layer to the trug that I made last year but it was never deep enough to plant up.  It's done and dusted, it has drainage in the bottom and I lined it with the black stuff that stops the weeds coming through thinking that it will slow the moisture loss.  In went the nasturtiums, I covered the potting compost with a layer of gravel, watered them well and I hope they're standing up for themselves tomorrow.  They look a little sad at the moment.  Last job was to sweep the terraces off, I have a habit of going out without shoes on and have hit a few spiky bits lately.  Final check on the garden and I was amazed how many roses are ready to pop.  I never liked roses before but suddenly they have a purpose.  The honeysuckle is laden with buds and once it's flowered it's going to be brought down to size...it can be a bit of a bully, it's covering one of the lavenders on the lounge terrace bed.

So snooker tonight...we're at the semi stage and it's time to hit the kitchen to see what I can drum up. I'm not really in the mood to put much effort into it....we'll see.  LN....So far....no plan for tomorrow.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 5, 2018, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 5th May

I had a bit of a shaky start. The house phone was ringing at five fifteen Bulgarian time and I immediately think of three fifteen UK time and that there is a problem back home.  I got to the phone just as it stopped so I was looking at missed calls, recognised that it was a local number that I didn't know and hadn't registered as one that I should know so chose to ignore it.  Minutes later there was a message so I tried to read it from the Bulgarian but gave up as a bad job...no further contact today so it couldn't have been important.  Unfortunately I was in really a deep sleep when the phone went and no one likes to have an alarm call on a Saturday morning....

So it was an early coffee and I decided to put my wellies on with my pyjamas and head down to the bottom of the garden with my camera to look for Harold and company but nothing doing...perhaps they were having a lie in. I sat on the wall and watched the mist forming in the valley and it was quite a magical morning.  The cuckoos ere out, the shy jay was flitting around and there was a bit of a chase going on with the magpie.  There was a call I didn't recognise and as I walked up towards the top of the garden I saw a fat brown bird sitting on the wall near the cranberry tree but it had gone by the time I got the camera into focus...agh well.  Carried on and was amazed by the number of poppies and the activity around them.  The bees were having a field day and there were two big things that should never have managed to get off the ground.  It was amusing when they landed on the poppies...some of them were bent double almost by the weight of the bumble bees but they were determined and happily made their was from flower to flower.

Washed dressed and down for the bread van and my painter was waiting in the queue.  He was off working down the village scything grass by hand and promised me rain for the next three days or so.  Apparently all Bulgaria is going to get it but looking at the weather tonight...not a cloud in sight.  I got my loaf of bread, popped in to see Avatar on the way back and she was sitting down in the vegetable garden weeding the strawberries.  I caught a whiff of something sugary, looked up and she had the outside oven  with the chimney belching out smoke and a huge pot on it.  She explained that it was Haciber who was making acacia and pine tip syrup and that she'd made hers yesterday and I'd smelled what I thought was a candy floss type of smell and that must have been it.  I went home to deliver the bread and she gave me a jar that she'd made yesterday and I explained that I was going to get my camera to take photos of the syrup making and she asked me if I could take a few photos of the garden now that she's worked on it and if I would send them to her son in Germany.  The rest of the family work and live there and she only comes back for the summer but the son hasn't been back for a while and he misses it....so I did.  

I came home and put them on my Kindle so that I could show her and the syrup process was carrying on and boiling it until it reached setting point.  To me this became rather precarious....between them Haciber and Avatar loaded the large container into the wheelbarrow and took it round to Haciber's kitchen where Avatar ladled it into jars and secured the lids turning the jars upside down.  Nothing seemed to be sterilised and the lids were ad hoc but in the end they had filled around fifteen jars with the syrup.  I moved the container outside and back into the wheelbarrow and off we set settling down in the garden to be joined a short while later by my painter.  And that was almost another day gone....it was two thirty when I looked at my watch...I came home, my painter went to his and we'd all missed out afternoon siestas but it was such a lovely day sitting out in the garden in the sun chatting....and in a different language.

So home, I loaded the photos on Facebook for the family and they've been well received.  I got my head down for an hour or so and now it's just after seven thirty, time to raid the fridge but I did have a huge breakfast of fried spicy sausage and baked beans with bread so if I don't manage supper, I shan't come to any harm.  The snooker has just finished and John Higgins is through to the final and what a superb way he finished the match and now to see who's there with him.  LN...Lovely day....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 6, 2018, 4:49pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 6th May

Silly night...I stayed up watching the snooker semi-final when I should have been getting a few zzz's in and the rain has only just arrived despite being threatened for the earlier part of the day.  I was a bit slow off the mark this morning heading for the kitchen for bacon and egg and yet more coffee to wash it down and then 'to horse'....

I watered the plants that I'd put in yesterday and at least most of them seem to have got there little feet down and are standing up for themselves.  Let's ho[e the downpour doesn't do any damage.  I carried on with clearing the bottom garden beds, attacked the wild rose and trimmed the forsythia, found a couple of plants that I shan't know what they are until they put a few more leaves on but at least they can breath now I've cleared the debris from round them..  The clover and chickweed were pretty thick down the bottom but it was really hard work removing it and I really hate clearing round roses...they always seem to get their revenge.

I came in at four to start watching the snooker final but thought I could do a bit more out there before gave up for the day.  I got the lawnmower out and started on the big house grass but despite emptying the catcher regularly...it got hard to do and it kept cutting out.  I think it needs a dam good service but unfortunately not many experts in Kardjali and to send it away to the manufacturers would be really costly.  So it was out with the  battery strimmer until it packed up and so I got the cable out and the electric strimmer and stayed out there until the thunder got particularly loud....time I came in and I did.  Tools away and caught up with the snooker and not good for Mr Higgins, boiler on, cleaned out the bath and hand basin tap filters and now everything put back together again....another skill added to my repertoire.

Kardjali tomorrow for a few essentials especially if it's raining....I shan't be able to do anything in the garden.  Looking forward to luxuriating in about ten minutes time...supper can wait.  Might be another late night with the snooker.  LN....Better set the alarm....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 7, 2018, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 7th May

Normal start, toast for breakfast and washed and dressed for the big city by eight this morning.  I was tempted with putting a load of washing in the machine but the day has been punctuated with downpours so it's as well that I didn't.  I got the Beast out and put it on the grass outside the house leaving room for Mrs D of S's car should they confirm that they were up for a day in town....and they did.  They arrived just after ten, we decided to head straight off despite the rain reasoning that skin is waterproof so the child seat was transferred over, pushchair into the Beast and baby strapped in.  Off we set down the back lane and low and behold as we hit the Kardjali - Greek road we saw a set of roadworks traffic lights which make a change from a man with a flag who hasn't got a clue whose turn it is.  We pulled on to the main road and were first at the light and seemed to sit there for ages and you can image the steam coming out of a local driver's ears but sit it out we did.  I hadn't moved far along the road when I could see a car overtaking others behind and intending to overtake me but with one coming on the opposite carriageway towards me, I applied my brakes.  My life and that of my passengers is more important than speed and the car pulled in in time.  A little further down the road...there was a car in the field which had obviously rolled a few times and the car that overtook me was sitting by the side of the road along with two other cars....and the wreck was still sitting there when we came back.  

First stop the leva shop and I bought new bucket for trees for the terrace, Dove shower creme at really cheap prices and a new book for the little one.  On to the town centre car-park and we'd forgotten but it was a Bank Holiday here too.  Having said that the shops that we wanted were open.  Shoes for the little one, cheapy clothes shop and three t-shirts for thirty five pence followed by pizza and chippies at a restaurant for lunch.  Also one to remember...this one has a decent child seat.  Two trips round Kaufland car park and we gave it a miss....it appears that most of Kardjali was shopping today and off to Lidl and that was an adventure in itself. It's had a refit and I couldn't find a thing....but another book for the little one went into the trolley and she promptly fell asleep as we drove home reading it...bless.

So child, pushchair and chair safely swapped over and off they went..  I unpacked my shopping, made a coffee and promptly fell asleep, woke up and put the snooker on and what a turnaround from last night.  Looks like Higgins is on his way out.  My Avatar has just been round to look at the garden...there was a runaway horse on the road so she waited until it was no longer in sight and I told her to run back home which is a pretty useless comment...she walks with a stick.  No supper for me...the pizza was enough until tomorrow morning...and what a lovely day despite the weather. LN....A little tele and bed....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 8, 2018, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 8th May

Awoke at five this morning after a restless night.  I decided to play Candy Crush and what a success...the program must have felt sorry for me and after two weeks of trying the same one I managed it and then knocked off three others at speed, I popped the bottles, spread the jam and found the bears and now I'm faces with another super-hard game.  Why do we do it to ourselves?  I'm offed to buy extra moves or free time but that's not my style....tight wad...

Two  loads of washing in and out on the line by seven thirty.  I walked to the bottom of the garden to see if Harold was out and about but there was so much morning mist rising that I couldn't have seen him anyway.  It also made me wonder why the washing was out but the sun soon cleared the mist away and it was a sunny even if there wasn't much heat in it.  Last night's rain had really perked the flowers up and that grass has taken on a spurt already.  Dressed for Djebel...I'd decided to take the Beast in so that they could look underneath to check out the minor oil leak so stopped off at the garage shop to spend a little time with my student's mum and also to check how busy the garage was before I put in an appearance.  Looks like there might be a lamb roast on Saturday night, I've been invited and I'm waiting for confirmation that it's going ahead...one for the diary.  Down to the garage and over the pit and it's a minor leak from underneath which needs no remedial action so everything good.  I headed for the plant shop in town to see if they had compost to sell but as he said, with so many people keeping animals what was the point...and he had a point.  I did buy a carnation/pink plant from him...I loved the colour and it had amazing perfume so it's sitting in the conservatory by the door.  

I stopped off at one of the springs on the way home from Djebel to fill up some water bottles but a workman stopped and told me that it wasn't good for drinking.  It did look very milky but should be OK for plants which is what I wanted it for,  Home for one....no gardening for me, the clouds were gathering over Smolyan so it was washing in and the thunder was a forerunner of what was to come.  We've had several rain showers and it's really has freshened up the air.  The bee-eaters were out in force in the garden and have gone now the bees have gone to bed.  I reckon there were pretty poor pickings with the rain that we've had.  Head down this afternoon and it's a relief the snooker is over after a brilliant final last night and I really didn't mind who won....it could have been either of them.  Poached eggs on ham for breakfast, toasted sandwiches for lunch so no supper for me...I'm stuffed.  LN...Eggheads and r.e.l.a.x.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 9, 2018, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 9th May

Five thirty start and it was a really misty morning to wake up to.  Washed and dressed by eight and out for what I thought was the bread van but it wasn't so I headed into my Avatar's garden and interrupted her gardening.  She was putting fertiliser around her tomatoes and there was another bucket of something, brown in colour and I asked her what it was.  She tried to explain its use to me but she didn't know the Bulgarian word for 'mole' and I did.  It's a deterrent...they don't like the smell and apparently they disappear pretty quickly when you put it in the runs.  I think she's got mine from last year.  We went in her house and she offered me a couple of cans of mackerel in oil that's provided by the EU for the elderly in Bulgaria...she doesn't like fish so I said a thank you and left them in the house until we'd been to the van.  The neighbours can be a little nosy.  I also asked to buy a jar of syrup from her for my student's mum and asked her the price and it was 'sto leva'...a hundred leva.  She'd turned my joke back on me so I said that we were all square...one hundred for the lift into Kaufland to do her shopping and one for the jar of syrup....no bills outstanding...

So down to the bread van and back to hers for the goodies, breakfast on the terrace with a coffee and back in the house for a warm.  The sun was breaking though but it was slow and I didn't head out to the garden until eleven.  I went down to the bottom and weeded the little bed near the wall and ended up digging out lots of stones...it's a very rocky area but I did manage to find another two little fir trees that I'd put in, another spirea and a creeping cotoneaster.  They're all looking better for being set free and I thought rain was going to stop play but it didn't.  There were several big claps of thunder and the clouds really came over but only a few spots.  Just prior to that I'd raked over part of the vegetable patch and put in the broad beans and only got tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers left to get in.  There's nothing showing yet....I bet the ants have had a field day collecting the seeds that I've already put in...don't you just love them.

Lovely evening, cows are grazing on the hillside and the swallows are very active around the garden.  I've just been on the internet to order more seeds but they don't have Bulgaria as a drop down option for international dispatches so I'm waiting for an email from them before I  can continue.  I've used them before but they manually processed the order...might have to do it again.  LN....Watering time...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 9, 2018, 5:22pm Report to Moderator

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Bea-eaters like the walnut

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Elsa Peters
May 10, 2018, 6:04pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 10th May

Five thirty start, a very misty and damp morning and very slow from my point of view.  I was watching morning tv downstairs on the little handheld and I noticed my Avatar on the main terrace clutching home made yogurt.  I whipped outside still in my peacock blue PJ's, she commended on how good they looked and they do.  She said that she was waiting for the bread van, I was spurred on to get washed and dressed for the garden and as I set out to start the strimming at the bottom of the garden I heard Avatar's lawnmower.  As I'd emerged from the house it started to rain but hearing her trying to get the mower over the grass between the wall and the road, I went to help her armed with my battery strimmer to take some of the height from where she was trying to mow.  To be fair she'd done most of it but I cleared about fifteen metres and got in close to the wall where the mower couldn't go so between us job was a guddun.  I headed home and strimmed outside my wall and down to the lane and kept going inside the yard until the battery ran out.  

As for the rest of the day it's been cloudy. showery, thundery, full sun but not many gaps between the different states,  I managed to weed the biggest grave plot, there was lots of chickweed and bindweed and plant up some of the new tobacco in its place.  I moved on to the conifer bed and cleared that giving a fighting chance to another spirea and pulling out the daffodil greenery that's been hanging on in there giving light to the bed.  It did start to rain but I worked through it.  The pear tree that produces small pears has been cleaned up at its base, the branches have been trimmed and I've put in a support to see if it can be more like a tree than a bush...fingers crossed.  There used to be one there but about five years ago the wind ripped through the garden and it was down.  The side bed has been cleared of weeds and I've unearthed several marigold babies and they need to be put together to give effect to the bed and the remainder of the tobacco will be planted between the shrubs.  Tomorrow's job.  I cleared away by four...the rain  had really started to come down and had gone cold so I cooked a couple of chicken burgers and had them on buns, found myself a warm cardigan and settled down on the sofa for a late siesta...and so that's why the update is late.

Nothing scheduled for tomorrow apart from strimming the rest of the grass if the sun comes out and it dries out.  I've got forsythia to trim down and cuttings to get in...they do brighten the garden when we've just come out of winter.  LN....Boiler and bath I'm thinking.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 11, 2018, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 11th May

Really good sleep last night, washed and dressed but missed the bread van but caught it on its way back.  I managed to get one of the last loaves and no fishes but headed into my Avatar's garden and sat with two other neighbours under the tree and sheltered from the few drops of rain.  We were joined by another lady from the bottom of the village and she asked where the bread van was and I explained that it had been and gone and she looked mortified...she had no bread so what could I do but sell her mine.  She did mention that I have transport and it wasn't a problem for me but I mentioned that the Beast doesn't run on fresh air which I think she acknowledged as...'that's the last loaf you get from me'...

So home and it was too cold to be out, too wet to be gardening and Ms D of S changed the plans and was no longer going into Djebel and since I'd dressed for town I was at a bit of a loose end.  At eleven I made the decision to head down to Ms D of S abode and collect my tomato plants and we sat in the garden while the little one bounced off various concrete structures collecting scrapes and scratches...that's what little ones do.  I headed into Djebel. confirmed that the lamb roast is on for tomorrow, got stung by a lady in the market who charged me double for my cucumber plants but I'll leave the rest to Karma.  The man who I bought the peppers from tried the same thing but his mate had already told me that they were a lev so I put my hand out for the change from a two leva note and got it.  A little food shopping and home for three thirty.  I'd come back with a chicken so that went in by four and was ready by six and was really tender.  No pickies tonight...damp, miserable and haven't really achieved much today...fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow....I want to get the rest of the grass strimmed.  LN...Deep breath and chill....LN
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Elsa Peters
May 12, 2018, 8:37pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 12th May

Six start but it took a while to get out of bed.  It was cosy and warm.  I was washed and dressed by seven and delivering marigolds for planting up to my Avatar when I saw what I though was a tortoise on the road.  As I got nearer I realised it wasn't...it was a big fat toad and when I say big, it really was but it was dead and must have dented somebody's pumper...OK...slight exaggeration.    I carried on to  Avatar's house and she thought that I was kidding but we walked back and buy this point my other two neighbours were out and looking and we walked back up the road.  Avatar used her stick to toss it into the verge and it was lost to sight,  No way was I going to furtle it out and it turned out to be a talking point.

So it was put to the garden and it's been pretty hard work today and not really pretty.  The grass is strimmed, the forsythia is cut down to size and I can now see the side garden from the terrace, I lawn mowed what I didn't strim, tomatoes, peppers, parsnips and cucumbers are all in and I'm knacked.  Remsier came round for a chat just as I'd finished tidying away and sat down on the terrace and it looked like we were in for a session.  I casually mentioned that I'd been invited to a lamb roast tonight and that I had to have a shower and wash my hair but some fell on stony ground.  Eventually the stotinki dropped and at six ten she left which gave me around fifty minutes to get myself sorted, into the Beast and get to Djebel.  I made it by ten past so not so bad and there were only a few people there before me.  Salads and meats were on the table, drinks were provided and it was in celebration of my student leaving high school and off to university in the autumn.  It's a Bulgarian custom but the American Ball thing has hit BG...so there'll be some thing else after that.

Lovely evening with family and friends and the lamb was very succulent.  As for the rice cooked inside it...I'm to too sure about the spices they use so I pushed that around the plate.  Fond farewells and I was reminiscing with his mother...it was five years ago that I took him on his first plane and to the UK for a holiday.....how time flies.  Home for eleven and the Beast put into the drive but not in its home.  I might just plug in to the Euro-vision to see what's happening.  LN....I might just change my mind.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 13, 2018, 4:45pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 13th May

Bit of a nostalgic day today...I would have been married for forty six years today....where have the years gone??

Seven thirty start but OI didn't get out of bed until eight...I was intending having a very relaxing day but it didn't turn out that way.  Washed and dress and thought that I'd just go out and 'do a bit' but if was six thirty when I came in.  I'd come in for a brief intermission around late lunch time and happened to put on TV Catchup and found the Diamond League event from Shanghai recap.  I was just settling in nicely, had just finished a packet of bread sticks and a carton of pineapple juice and could feel the eyes going southwards when Remsie and her grandson appeared at the door.  Now she was here yesterday and I wasn't sure what this was about but I quickly cottoned on.  The boy wants a car and despite telling her yesterday that I don't have the documents so technically can't sell it, she was asking me how much I wanted so I went through it again with the boy present.  She was also telling me that her son arrives into Plovdiv Airport and how difficult it is to get from there to here and I think she wanted me to get in the Beast and leave straight away.  I mentioned that there is a taxi firm in Djebel that would probably do it for sixty leva....not today for me.

Just about to start my blog when the bea-eaters arrived and they are still out there now.  I showed the photos to one of my neighbours and she reckons that they are budgerigars and wouldn't have it any other way.  She asked me where they lived and I told her I hadn't a clue....I guess she thinks they've escaped from somewhere...and by the colours....from over the rainbow...

Cold chicken for supper...I'm feeling peckish.  I'm worn out after a day in the garden.....the walnut is more of less cleared and I found a great heap of compost that had self created from the grass cuttings and I know I can make use of that....and I'll save that for another day.  LN...Kitchen bound...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 14, 2018, 5:38pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 14th May

Another restless night...I think I had my supper too late to digest it and my hands were giving me gyp....I think I registered too many hours gardening.  Out of bed by seven, down for a coffee and sat on the terrace in my bright green PJ's, inspected the garden and decided that the Escallonia that had lingered in a pot all winter should be given free range to expand and grow so it's now sited in the newly cleared bed at the bottom of the garden.  Not sure it's the right place but II shall be taking more cuttings from it as a precaution...I should hate top lose it.  I didn't stop there...despite being in my PJ's I carried on, cleared the lilac bed of bindweed ready for planting up and put some rockery plant seeds down on the really rock bed at the bottom by the wall.  The garden hose is out but I appear to be missing connectors so it was make do and mend but I think they're on the other hose that's still in the little house.  So veg garden watered and I suppose it's time I went out there and did it again.  I also managed to take nine forsythia cuttings and repotted the Himalayan poppy that seems to be ailing in some way...fingers crossed I can at least get one good one out of the four that germinated.

Headed in to Djebel by ten, I remembered to take in the pine and acacia syrup for my student's mum and eventually found a parking place.  The town was so busy, it was market day but people come in from all the villages and we have a lot of guests from Turkey at this time of year.  I sat in the garage shop trading ideas and language differences with my student's mum for an hour or so., next stop at the chemist for more tablets that appear to be helping my arthritis and my cracked rib...duel function.  I stopped off and caught up with my lady who used to run my favourite restaurant and then off to the garage to top up the Beast and I remembered to get petrol for the lawnmower.  It was a successful day.

Home and the clouds were gathering, the thunder was starting up and the rain started to fall.  There was no going back to the garden so I caught up on my sleep on the sofa and I've just checked out the garden to see if anything needs watering and noticed that the clematis is out on the workshop terrace with lots more flowers to follow.  I should really get another one and put it where I can see it.  Eight thirty my time almost time for bed.  LN...Fairly restful day....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2018, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 15th May

Lazy old start to the day.  I watched the sun come up and took the pickies and then went back to bed.  I did jump into action.... load of washing in and out, scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast and I meandered through the rest of the day.  I have more cuttings from Japonica and Forsythia, the Cosmos seeds are planted in the garden, the hosepipe has been sorted but I've realised that the reason I couldn't get it fixed the other day is that the connector was broken,  The men put it away last year so obviously an accident and nobody mentioned it. Not to worry, I managed to connect it to the outside tap and put the sprinkler on the vegetable garden so gave them a good soaking.  Another problem solved.  The Himalayan blue seem to be happier now that they're in their individual pots and looking more established even after one day...fingers crossed they'll pull through.

I also sauntered through the afternoon..reading, sleeping and I spent about an hour on a printed out copy of Saturday's Daily Mail Sudoku and still no joy.  It will save for another day.  My little gecko hotfooted it over the patio with great aplomb taking shade from the plant pots as it went.  Supper was the rest of the chicken made into a curry and there was enough to put one small portion into the freezer but I have a habit of putting it in there and only taking in out when I'm clearing out the freezer so I finished it off and undoubtedly the rest of the rice will find its way over the wall tomorrow.  Kitchen is finished and I shall have a tidy one to come down to in the morning.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow...let's hope I've got more energy I really want to finish strimming the bottom of the garden and generally sorting it out.  LN...Wish me luck.  LN

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Elsa Peters
May 16, 2018, 4:20pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 16th May

By six I was taking photos of the morning and by seven I was watering the veg patch and then I moved it down to where I'd planted the cosmos yesterday....It looked like being a warm one despite the early clouds and there was a brisk wind which stayed all day and at one point I had to close the balcony door, it was whistling through the house and shutting doors left right and centre.

Toast and Marmite for breakfast, I wanted something quick and wanted to get back out before it got really hot today.  That wind really got up and I sympathised with a very attractive butterfly that was really struggling to settle anywhere.  I tried hard to get a pickie but there wasn't much hope, it was really being blown around.  I came in for a drink and a few minutes off and settled down on the sofa.  I'd got a printed copy of the Sudoku that I'd found a challenge and managed to do it but it did take some time.  I think half of the problem was that my eyes were going southwards but I managed to stay awake...just...and headed out again determined to clear most of the debris from the bottom of the garden.

I found a couple of bushes that I can't really put a name to but I trimmed them to a point for a bit of interest, I removed a load of clover and lobbed it over the wall for the animals and the rake came out to gather the stones and put them at the base of the wall.  I've had a good day and I'm absolutely knacked.   One more day and it should be finished and I can plant it up although I might get some wood out and get creative.  The walnut needs a bench.

Settled into a beautiful evening and the bea-eaters are out.  Strange though...where I've disturbed the soil down the bottom, the birds are ground feeding....never seen it before.  And now they've taken to the air again.  LN.....Knocked off just over nineteen thousand steps according to the Fitbit.  LN...A lap of the garden and I should crack the twenty thousand....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2018, 6:34pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 17th May

Early start. toast and Marmite for breakfast, washed and dressed by seven thirty and played around for an hour or so trying to re-hang the picture on the landing.  I'd caught it with my shoulder as I made my way upstairs and it came crashing down and fortunately it and I survived.  It's in three panels and the nail sticking out of the wall is very shallow and the ring that it has to go in to is very small.  I'd tried yesterday but ran out of patience but this morning I was determined...it was in the way on the landing.    It is now adorning the stairwell...

Out to the garden, I was delayed for a time, we had a shower which didn't amount to much and washed the terraces but it didn't rain on my parade.  My mission today was to complete clearing the bottom right corner but it got waylaid somewhat.  I found myself directed to the pile of old fencing stashed against the left hand wall and now some of it is framing the bottom garden where I've just put in the Escallonia.  Not only is the garden framed, it's also covered in my favourite salve...old engine oil which is guaranteed to sort out the bugs in the timber and to give it a new lease of life.  It's strange how memories come back.  The timber was collected from a farm on the way to Rogosche.  We loaded it in the back of the Beast with about two meters extending beyond the door and Bekir was holding on to it as if his life depended upon it and in some ways it did.  By the time we got to within fifty meters of the house the wood was dragging on the road but we made it and seven years later after serving as fencing to keep out the livestock....it's now put to decorative use.

I came in at one for what should have been a water top up and five minutes rest but I opened a tin tuna, slathered it in mayo and made toast and a full tummy requires rest so they say and by two thirty or thereabouts, I was in the land of nod and didn't wake up again until four.  I came too quite slowly but straight back to  it. seven eights of the surround is complete and I've just got to cut one of the lengths to complete it.  I dug most of it over ready to plant up some of the zinnia and tobacco and watered it well tonight so that they'll have a fighting change when they go to their new home.  The rest of the plants have been watered and more zinnia scattered on other parts of the garden...they will or they wont.... nature will sort it out.  

I eventually came in at eight thirty and almost needed a torch, nine twenty my time and I've missed all of my quiz programmes tonight....the daily brain exercise has been scuppered by physical activity in the garden.  Lunch will suffice for supper...just going down for fruit juice to top up the liquid levels and then early night for me despite the afternoon collapse.  Bea-eaters were out but I fair upset their routine by working in the vicinity, the walnut was out of bounds to them.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far.  LN....  Might have a day off...LN
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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2018, 6:37pm Report to Moderator

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And for the pickies

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Elsa Peters
May 18, 2018, 4:47pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 18th May

So at eight this morning I made the decision to go to Haskovo to the market garden for a few more shrubs.  They're not expensive there and by the time you've taken cuttings and nurtured them, spent sleepless nights over their dietary requirements for three or four lev it's a no brainer.  I phoned the Librarian at eight but no response so I gave her another ring at eight thirty to see if she wanted to come out to play.  It was a positive response so I quickly made toast and Marmite, moved the Beast out into the road and took my breakfast over to Avatar's house where she was working in the garden.  She only had one request...some jam pot lids for the next bottling session...she has strawberries and looking at my cherries, we could be doing those as well.  

The Librarian arrived just before ten and we set off for Haskovo.  We stopped off at Kaufland and stocked up with water, cheese straws and a fruit cake just in case we got the munchies but it was mainly for the water.  They were selling off some very under watered petunias and I took pity on them and into the trolley they went.  Back into the Beast, it's a fair journey and there were several Romanian nutters heading back from Greece...a solid white line means nothing to them so I was taking it fairly easily.  We decided to go to the hardware outlet first, they normally have bare-rooted plants for sale but nothing doing today...maybe I've missed them for this season.   On to the market garden and it has really gone down hill.  We were recognised by the assistant and we headed to the back area where they keep most of the shrubs not the ones that come in from Holland.  Like kids in a sweet shop we picked out what we needed, it was all totted up and the grand total was sixty leva.  I'd only got seventy so I ended up with four berberis to make up the change to save her walking backwards and forwards.  We were also given a two foot pine shrub each for no other reason that we've good customers .  We came back looking like Kew Gardens on a road trip, Lidl in Kardjali on the way back, French stick, ham and cream cheese....I was doing lunch at home.  We loaded the Librarian's goodies into her car, mine were left on the terrace, French stick onto the table with the ham and cheese and that was lunch....be it late but it arrived.  Off she went....I gave my plants a good watering and then headed down to the spring with nine ten litre bottles to top up my supplies for watering the plants.  It was very peaceful down there until a car pulled up, four men got out, three swigging beer while the forth one carried the ingredients for a barbecue so I left.

I put the bottles away in the little house, cleaned out the back of the Beast since I'd noticed a few ants obviously from one of the pots.  The shoes were brought into the house, the body warmers that stay in the Beast have been washed and are drying already and I've sprinkled round ant powder just in case.  I got most of the plants I wanted and a few that I haven't noticed before that are nameless at the moment....I'll have to get my book out.

Gardening day tomorrow and feel refreshed after getting away from it for a day.  I've got planting to do and I think there's something special happening in England around lunchtime, my time.  LN...Better get an early night to fit it all in.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 19, 2018, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 19th May

This is going to be a quick update...the thunder is rattling around and those claps are getting closer.  Someone stole my mountains this morning...there was nothing to be seen.  There were a few spots of rain but nothing too drastic at the start and at eight I headed out to my Avatar's house to take back the dish that she delivered strawberries in yesterday and we sat in the garden raking over the coals.  She said that an old man had died in the village and that all the ladies had headed up to his house to pay their respects while she laboured in the garden.  I think the others are going to bypass her eventually if she stops joining in and to cap it all I was sitting in her garden when they came back so that didn't go down well.  I mentioned that I was waiting for the bread van but was told that since it was Djebel day today that he wouldn't be coming so I have no bread.  I thought I had one in the freezer but when I checked I hadn't...ah well...I had to eat cake.

I settled in for the royal wedding and didn't tare myself away until it had finished.  It was getting on for four our time and since the weather had picked up a little and I hadn't taken my Fitbit for a walk because it was charging, I decided to exercise the lawnmower.  I was doing OK until it hit one or two of the big clumps of course grass and packed up on me.  I moved on to the little house flower bed that was desperately in need of love and attention and removed the clover, strimmed round the bed and took out lots of the mint that grows through everything.  Back to the mower and did most of the little house lawn but then the thunder started so it was tools away, mower box emptied strimmer back on charge.  It wasn't long before the rain came again but it is good for the garden.

There were some nice touches to the wedding that I'm sure will be remembered for a long time...fingers crossed it will work out for them both.  I hope they're allowed to carve out their own paths in life.  LN...Food time....LN

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Sunday 20th May

So this morning i woke up and thought it was Monday.  I was already thinking about going into Kardjali and then I fired up the PC and realised that it was Sunday.  The day of rest but it's been far from that.  I was upstairs in my bedroom and out of the side window I spotted Harold belting down the field towards the trees but no camera to hand.  He was just too quick for me,  I walked the estate and noticed that the wind must have been really strong last night.  Three lemons from my tree were on the floor and a couple of small branches had been broken off.  I know the rain absolutely lashed down but the worst of it must have been while I was asleep.  

Down for fresh bread and even he was running late....I didn't make breakfast until nine thirty but enjoyed poached eggs with ham on toast which set me up for the day.  My Avatar was at the van and buying sugar intending to pick the rest of her strawberries and make jam with them.  She gave me a kilo more or less to have straight from the husk but later in the day I made my own jam.  The jam could wait and I ended up gardening, spray painting blue a couple of waste bins and planting them up and planting some of the shrubs that I'd bought on Friday.  .  but instead I set too and made one large of jam and half on an other which was going on toast tomorrow.  Avatar came over again, I showed her my jar and a bit and she threw a fair wobbly...she'd got ten kilo of strawberries bubbling away so I went over to help her in the final preparations and we filled twelve jars of jam which are now upside down and shrouded and will be turned the right way tomorrow.  I shall then make up my jam collection and I've told her that if hers doesn't set properly, we'll have it over ice-cream or pancakes.

I'd put supper in the oven, chicken wings with roasted potatoes, onions and carrots and had to turn it down while I headed over to help Avatar and when I got back home my supper was ready.  I took half of it and put it into a pie dish and took it over to her.  Unfortunately her next door neighbour was at the house so I left the package and headed home and it was her choice to share it or not.  Lovely sunset tonight and it;s better than last night....it's much more settled.

Nothing so far on the agenda for tomorrow.  I might finish off the planting and see if I can manage to finish the lawn if it's dry enough.  LN....Good productive day.....LN

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Monday 21st May

Five thirty start and meandered around, one load of washing done and out on the line for seven thirty, sat out and watched and listened to the birds for an hour or so and watched the morning come to life.  Washed, dressed and ready for town, I saw Avatar working in her garden and she called me over to look at the jars of strawberry jam that she'd made yesterday.  She offered me a couple to take home but since the neighbours are on high alert as to what goes backwards and forwards I said that I would call round later after I'd been to Kardjali.  I asked her if she wanted anything while I was shopping and she came up with oranges...you don't get those on the bread van.

I set off at nine thirty down the back lane and was amazed at the number of storks that were skirting the fields down by the river.  I stopped off at my leva shop and picked up a few strange items like a small Pyrex bowl suitable for poaching eggs in the microwave, two pairs of trainer socks since I'd put my shoes on without socks and the weather was getting pretty warm.  Parked up in my usual paying car park, down to the cheapy clothes shop and picked up a lightweight raincoat that can stay in the car since it only cost ninety stotinki...not even a leva.  Down to Kaufland and nothing mush worth having except for the oranges and a hot-dog for lunch.  Next stop Lidl for bananas, two tubs of vanilla ice-cream and tins of tuna, diesel for the Beast from the next garage and home for around one thirty.  I settled on the sofa with the tablet and a cup of coffee but I didn't stay awake for long.  Next thing I know Avatar is at the door with the jam and apparently the coast was clear so I handed over the oranges and the ice-cream and reminded her to put it in the freezer as soon as she got home,  She laughed and said that she'd be having some of it before it got into the freezer.

So at four I started the task of mowing the lawn and I finished at seven thirty.  The first part went well but at the bottom of the garden. clumps have formed and the mower just couldn't handle it.  My solution was that I took off the grass box, opened and secured the partition between the grass box and the blade and eventually managed to finish the grass.  So tomorrow as long as it stays dry I shall be going over it again but this time with the grass box in place to pick up the debris.  Needs as needs must.

Nine o'clock my time...I have no pickies...it was too dark by the time I'd cleared up and put my tools away.  LN...Pickies tomorrow...LN
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Tuesday 22nd May

So at two thirty this morning I was hobbling around the bedroom trying to get the cramp in my upper thigh to work itself out.  Such intense pair and I went back to bed wondering how to get comfortable again and frightened to change position in case it struck up again.  I must have disturbed a muscle bank yesterday shoving that lawn mower around.  Eventually I went off again but was fair up and running at five with not an ounce of sleep in the tank so I played Candy Crush until it wanted me to buy lives, checked FB and emails and eventually into the real world by six.  It was a cold old start to the day but despite that I opened windows and unlocked the porch door leaving only the fly screen in place and sat of the sofa with the tablet with my second cup of coffee until I realised how cold it really was.  I toyed with lighting the fire but that meant that the petchka pipes had to come out and be cleaned so I got dressed, put another sweater on instead and watched the birds in the garden with the bea eaters been very active.

I've been having a spot of bother with a polecat in the under eaves  of the little house.  I spotted it last night on the grass, it was too quick to photograph but I decided to check out the internet for a solution.  It obviously considers my under eaves of the little house to be its home and while it's not managing to get in the house itself I wanted to deter it so turned to the internet for a solution and bingo.....I have it.  The internet suggested mothballs and the smell drives them away but I didn't know the Bulgarian word for them or even for a polecat so I spent time on Google translate and went armed to Djebel to see where I could purchase some.  First stop at the post office in Rogosche but the lady who runs it wasn't there so I carried on and went to the hardware shop and lo and behold, they stocked it and I bought seven sachets and now i have to work out how to get them into the under eaves gap.  There are bricks with holes in them that are too small for the critter to get through but a bit of plastic pipe and a funnel should deliver it to where I need to put it.  It's my job for tomorrow.  Stopped off at my student's mothers shop and we've both been invited to a private art showing tomorrow night in Kardjali and she's just confirmed that both her and her husband want to go.  Apparently for me it's an opportunity for me to meet more 'ex-pats' but I think you know me by now...it's not top of my list of things to do....but hey...I'm going with locals so we can always bow out gracefully and find a really good restaurant in Kardjali.

I've had a very lazy afternoon, a couple of hours sleep on the sofa and was surprised when Avatar appeared on my terrace.  She'd come round to bring me the money for the oranges which I obviously refused and I showed her the pickies of the bee-eaters.  She said that she'd never seen them before which is mighty strange.  I gave her one of the sachets of mothballs, she seems to have been bothered by my critter as well and I noticed the step ladder under the grape vine.  She's not exactly nimble so I suggested she held the ladder while I got up there and trimmed the vine before it headed for the pear tree.  She managed to find me some long handled loppers and I did most of it from the ground but took to a plastic chair to reach the others...the ladders looked dangerous to me.

So home...no supper for me, I had a huge bowl of tuna, onion, cooked potatoes, peas and carrots with mayo for a late lunch and that found the spot.  Eight thirty my time....critter work tomorrow and a little more planting up.  LN....Gentle day but feel better for it....LN

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May 23, 2018, 8:35pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 23rd May

Sleepless night again and by the time of the second coming it was just before I woke up.  I missed the bread van, took a couple of bananas over for my Avatar and I munched  another two for breakfast, meandered around for a while and headed out to the garden by ten thirty.  I had the intention of planting the read plum tree in the little bed at the bottom of the garden but an hour later after hitting stone and even with a pick couldn't break through it, gave up and moved a little up the garden,  It's in, supported and I'll check on it tomorrow....it just makes a change from green bushes.  I did a little more planting out and having read how good it is in general for getting seeds and plants through the initial growth, sprinkled cinnamon around the newbies and we'll see how they fare,

I settled down on the sofa in the heat of the day and Avatar was at the door with bread that she'd made and it came from under her jumper.  I invited her in but she's got guests tomorrow so was in the process of tidying her very tidy home in preparation.  I wish she'd come and do mine.

Showered and shampooed and in the Beast for just before six ready to meet up with my students parents and we headed to the art gallery for a showing.  It was held in a very big old house heading for the gypsy quarter of Kardjali and unfortunately it was very poorly attended.  Not many pictures to my liking but there again, my tastes are not to everyone's liking and unfortunately I got cornered by the local priest who tried to tell me that we are all born with sin and only Jesus can wash it away.  It was when he mentioned Adam and Eve that I sort of switched off and having very strong beliefs myself but different to his, it turned into religious gymnastics.  I thought it was quite arrogant of him to suggest that he'd been drawn to me so that he could enlighten me and I countered with maybe he'd been drawn to me so that he could be enlightened.  He wasn't up for reincarnation and said that there was only one spirit and I almost suggested Jack Daniels but I was ready for the off at this point.  Now the group that I'd gone with were all standing back at this point and watching the show from afar but I managed to extricate myself and we headed for the Makaza restaurant for pizza after a stop off at Lidl so that they could top up supplies.

A little more gardening tomorrow until it gets warm again,  I have an invitation for Saturday to go into Kardjali to watch my student arrive ready for his school leaving ball...it's almost like a right of passage.  Tomorrow night I'm at my other student's home for supper...what a busy old life I lead.  LN...Update and bed....LN

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Thursday 24th May

Quick update tonight...I've only just got back from my student's home after stuffing myself to the gills with all things local.  As for this morning...I meandered through the day sporting a sweater most of the time....I managed to clear out the bed under the main terrace and cut back the remaining narcissus stalks before planting up several tobacco plants that are outgrowing their pot and a berberis that hadn't even got a pot and hanging on from the market garden.  Two loads of washing done but nothing went outside.  At one point it looked like it was going to throw it down and I think some of the villages were getting it but we avoided it somehow.  I tested out the cherry tree which is thoroughly laden but they're still not ready for picking and bottling.  Some will be turned into jam but no one seems to know where I can get a cherry stoner from.  The last time I made it with wild cherries I spent about an out picking out the stones when it came to a rolling boil....and life is too precious to do it again.

Gentle afternoon with a book and a sofa and set off for my students at five forty five more or less.  We sat out in the garden for a while until the mosquitoes drove us inside.  Supper of moussaka was served followed by fresh strawberries and cherries.  The mother also made some soft cheese, izvara I think it's called by simmering the local yogurt drink very slowly with a little salt.  She drained it , put some of it on a plate with cherry and redcurrant jam and we all dived in.  Really stuffed, unadventurous drive back through the forest and now ready to rest my weary head,  The quilt cover and under sheets are still  drying over the banister...so much for Bulgaria in summer....LN...time for bed...LN
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May 25, 2018, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 25th May

It's been a full on day.  At seven thirty this morning Avatar arrived with a bucket of strawberries that needed hulling and turning into something so I sat on the terrace for an hour or so doing the dastardly deed.  I'd arranged to be at Ms D of S's and we were heading out to the indoor swimming pool at one of the local hotels her way over and testing the little one out at the same time.  I stopped off at the post office in Rogosche on the way and was surprised to receive a bank card when I'd asked for it to be sent to my address in the UK and had already received confirmation that it had arrived at its destination.  So now I have a dilemma...which card is valid and why were two sent out.!!

Over to the pool and we were the only ones in the pool.  The little one was like a limpet clinging on to mum but when it was time to call it a day she was smiling and enjoying herself.  We need to make it a regular habit and it's so quiet that it really is enjoyable.  I swam for about forty minutes and really enjoyed the exercise but we got dressed to warm up and headed for the restaurant for coffee and cheesy chips.  Next stop was Kirkovo one of the towns that I don't normally go to, Ms D of S had found a small plant shop and what a little treasure box it was.  I picked up a white bougainvillea for half of the price I'd seen them in Kardjali and treated us both to really smelly gardenias.  She'd done the driving to save us changing over the child seat and I'd done the treats.  Back to theirs for two more or less and I played with the little one and sat drinking coffee until three thirty...I had work to do at home...more strawberries to hull and get out the magic wand to get creative.  

By six I'd made three and a half jars of jam, cleaned the kitchen, reported that the jam was made to my Avatar and apparently she'd made eight jars that afternoon.  I don't know where she gets her energy from!!  We had a thunderstorm this afternoon and while I was out it looks like we had a bit of a storm.  I'd got plant pots over and containers where they shouldn't be but all's back to normal now and the garden looks good now it's been rained on and it feels very fresh outside.  

Out tomorrow afternoon to watch the parade of the school leavers and my first student is hopefully heading off to university.  All leavers will be decked out to the nines..it's a custom that has always been followed here and one that hasn't been imported from the States,  It doesn't seem five minutes that I took him to the UK for a holiday and his first flight and now he's heading out into the world.  LN....Life moves on....LN

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May 26, 2018, 8:33pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 26th May

So the sleep of the just until six thirty this morning and I went to bed at about eleven so a good night was had by all.  I woke up to no water though so a shower was out of the question and that load of washing never got done...another day.  I headed down to see my Avatar...she was just coming back from the bread van clutching her breakfast and we sat in the garden and shared a tout manik as they call it...cheesy bread.  I received another jar of strawberry jam from Haciber so it's now added to the collection.

I decided to print up some labels to give to them in Turkish and Bulgarian so that they would know when the jam was made and that was a disaster.  I created and tried to print on out and the strawberries were all yellow so I set about cleaning the printer and ink contacts, we were getting there but then the machine came back with a message that I had to change the yellow cartridge and in doing so managed to spill some ink on to a favourite pair of blue and white striped trousers....so in to soak they went but too late I fear....bah humbug.   When I opened up the new cartridge lo and behold it was the wrong one so no labels for jam for the foreseeable future.....until I can get to Kardjali with the shop open.

I downloaded some more books on to the Kindle and lay on the sofa reading.  It was a beautiful day but that wind was cold and I ended up closing most of the windows and all of the doors.  Thinks were getting blown around again and then suddenly the clouds really started rolling in along with the thunder and lightening...the joys oi summer.  So out of the house by five thirty heading for Kardjali to meet up with my student's parents.  She apologised for not letting me know sooner about the time and place and was unsure whether or not the arrangements would change now that it looked to be throwing it down in Kardjali....and we were playing it by ear.  Driving in was bad.  It had just started when I set off down the back lane but as I hit the main road the heaven's opened and as I approached Kardjali the roads were awash, it was obvious that the drains were blocked and I drove very tentatively through the floods.  I managed to park up near the hotel that was holding the school graduation event and met up with the parents and grandmother and the mother was still unsure of the  programme so we headed for the square and the roads were closed and the police about so we reckoned we had the right place.  He arrived by car along with lots of other and the festivities began.  Lots of family photos and a touching one of the brothers together and despite the age difference, there was love there.  Group photos of the different classes were taken and they then moved on and filed towards the hotel and fortunately the weather held and it turned in to a beautiful evening.

We stopped for an ice cream in the square and decided that a coffee in Makaza restaurant was on the cards so the children could play and the parents could have coffee in peace.  I said fond farewells just before ten and decided to risk the back road and it was going well until I met a minibus coming down as I was going up.  No way was I reversing down that slope so I stuck my ground and he went back about twenty yards and I managed to get round him.  My one hundred and fifty uphill on a slippery road meant that it was all up to him,

I'm intending a slow day tomorrow.  I want to sort out the photos and send them on to the family and then a reading day I think...after all Sunday is a day of rest or should be....it's been a busy old week.  LN...My bed calls....LN

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May 27, 2018, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 27th May

Not a bad morning....I was out of bed by six thirty and out on the balcony and watched the sheep and farmer come over the hill and we shouted our good mornings to each other.  I sat out there for a while until I got cold from the wind despite the sun, came in and got dressed, cleaned the bathroom and the washing was in and finished by the time I got down for my second cup.  Breakfast was a ham baguette and I headed back to the computer and caught up on a few essentials and knocked off the five star Daily Mail Sudoku in quicksticks today with no need to print it out or have several attempts.

I meandered around the garden picking up things that should be in other places...that wind was vicious as well as being cold and at one point I was worried that my washing would end up in Greece but the pegs held.  I sprayed the base of one of the large water bottles blue and it now adorns the conservatory with the new bougainvillea and I really must read the book to make sure that I giver it the right treatment.  Mine in the UK seemed to look after itself...I hope this one's the same.  I deadheaded the roses which have been wonderful this year and there are lots more buds still on the plants.  I must get the washing up solution out tomorrow...they could do with a spray and I reckon they must be limpet greenfly.  Despite the wind, they're still hanging in there.

As for the rest of the afternoon....I've read after establishing myself on the sofa, slept, realised I  was cold so went round closing the doors and windows and put on an extra sweater and still felt cold.  It's a funny old early summer, thunderstorms and winds from the north don't really do it for me.  Supper was a couple of chicken burgers produced by very little effort on the part of the manufacturer and myself I believe.  Last time I buy them....bought in Kaufland but manufactured goodness knows where.  

As for pickies...the only thing worth catching was a very bright male lizard but despite my pleading he wouldn't sty still for a photo shoot.  He looked very good against the blue sprayed flower pot, so I'll be on the lookout for him again.  He was munching up ants as he went about his business....keep up the good work.  LN...Bath, book and bed in that order...LN
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May 28, 2018, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 28th May

Five thirty start, coffee, Candy Crush, another little sleep and at nine thirty I was still in PJ's.  I sat on the terrace listening to the birds and watching them search for their breakfasts from the lawn.  My stuttering cuckoo was out and about this morning.... and I'm wondering it he's picked up a local dialect from somewhere.  The only lizard this morning was the brown one but she was obviously as deaf as my brightly coloured one.  She went down into the lavender never to be spotted again.  There didn't seem much to get dressed for but eventually I got the energy together to do it and promptly took them off again when I started to go through the summer clothes from the chest to see which fitted and which could remain in the chest for another season.  The sweaters are waiting to go into a vacuum bag and the t-shirts are neatly folded and I'm still trying to locate the vacuum bags.

As for the rest of the day...it's been rubbish.  I trierd to order a couple of items from Argos but couldn't remember my password so sent out a request to update it.  No email received...aaarrrhhh.  I made a couple more attempts using the old password I'd got and eventually I was blocked out and still no email so I've contacted them to send me an email and I'm still waiting.  I'm getting some funny messages from Avast so have run a couple of security programs and nothing found.  I'm thinking that the problem may be with my local provider...let's see what tomorrow brings.

I managed toast with tuna mayo for a late lunch so nothing needed for tonight.  I've asked my guest who's due out in ten days or so to order the items for me and bring them out...I think it might be one of these offers that doesn't stay around for long.  LN...A frustrating day...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 29, 2018, 4:32pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 29th May

Six thirty start this morning and a good night's sleep was had by all...me and the dogs down in the next village.  Washed and dressed, I watered the veg patch and the new shrubs that I've put in and generally took stock of the garden.  I was waiting for the bread van so I headed up and watched my Avatar working in the garden and commented on the solar lamps that she's now got round the fruit trees.  Her son had brought them over from Germany and I'd shown her how to switch them on Sunday and now they're out.  I asked her why she didn't want them near the house but she said that there were street lights and the porch light so she didn't need them by the house.  I said it was very good of her to light the path for anybody that came at night to pilfer the apples from the trees and we had a little laugh about it.  The bread van came and I bought a cheesy bread for breakfast and walked the garden eating it.  

I was going to pick some of the cherries but I need more lids before I start making jam and marmalade and maybe some more jars.  I cleaned the old cover from the sun lounger that's been holed up in the little house.  It's also spent time in the boot of the little car, has seen better days but it's in a better condition than the original one.  Put a support up for the two new roses on the little house terrace and generally messed around trying to sort out the computer and I've managed it.  I came in when it was too hot to be out and it would have been lovely except for the wind which started moving everything to new locations.  I settled in to resolve the issues on the PC and I've run another security program making that three in all and no virus or malware found.  I've changed the internet search settings and now it appears to be working OK.  I'm thinking that the problem wasn't mine but it's  done and dusted.

Some how passed the afternoon and went out and noticed that the very pretty honey suckle variant that has long red flowers had been attacked by the cows and was unsupported and hanging between the wall and the house.  It's now got a metal support on the inside and I also noticed that the cows have taken some of the flowers from the hollyhocks at the bottom of the garden.  Don't you just love 'em.  The ladies appeared while I was tying up the plant and have now gone home with bags of cherries.  Talk about locust but there's still lots there.  I'm expecting one of the daughter in laws maybe later tonight or tomorrow and I have to pick for my Avatar and one of my other neighbours that had visitors today and couldn't come with the rest.

Seven twenty my time and the curry that I put in this afternoon is ready so I'm going to sign off.  I switched off the oven around half an hour ago and the rice finished off in the oven with the curry.  Nothing on for tomorrow apart from picking cherries and the ladder is out ready for the assault.  LN....Hope the weather stays fine for it.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 30, 2018, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 30th May

Five thirty start and I've been going for it all day.  Two loads of washing out by eight, one of the Greek plants that I planted in a pot has now been re-sited into little garden under the little house terrace.  It wasn't looking happy so we'll see how it goes in its new place.  I came in for breakfast and used yesterday' bread and made a couple of ham sandwiches making sure I cut the crust off which had gone really hard.  I should have waited.. I made it down to the bread van and got a new sliced loaf....it would have tasted better.  Zelinger was at the van and I said that I would be down with cherries a little later since she wasn't able to collect yesterday so I came back, grabbed a bag, filled it up and took it down to her.  Another happy customer.  Several people have said that they want them but no one appears to pick them so it looks like the majority will go to the birds...and why not.

So I've been pottering most of the day in the garden.  I've tidied up the beds, removed a lot of bindweed and poppies that have gone over, trimmed up the round garden balls and planted things that needed putting in.  The pots on the little house terrace have been sorted and I've freed up a couple to put petunias in and that will be done tomorrow.  I've grown lots of babies and not really put them out yet but they need to go in.  I came in when the temperature went up...and I mean really up....and read for a while but I can't say that the book is really exciting me.  It's the first in a series of seven so maybe it will get better...I'll give it a little time.  Hunger struck so I peeled three potatoes, found a packet of frozen peas and carrots in the freezer so I boiled the potatoes, added the veg, chopped and onion, opened a tin of tuna and mixed it all together with mayonnaise.  There was such a lot if it that I put some of it into another dish and waltzed over to my Avatar telling her to put it in the freezer before the neighbours saw it.  She said I shouldn't but I said that the tin of tuna was too much for one sitting so that's why I shared it.  So another hour gone while I had my late lunch followed by coffee and chocolate biscuits but I did limit myself to five...and five left for tomorrow or later....let's see how the evening pans out.  Really strange tonight...lots of butterflies out in the garden of the same sort...brown and orange...not very pretty but just lots of them.

Much of the same tomorrow....except that I will pick enough cherries to make jam.  And then the birds can have the rest...unless the neighbours do appear.  Lovely evening, bee eaters out and about and I am curious why on some sites and in my bird book they are called 'bea eaters'.  LN...Something to ponder on...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 31, 2018, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 31st May

Five thirty start and by nine I'd picked and delivered cherries for my Avatar, watered the plants, moved a shrub, had my breakfast, done my emails and checked Facebook.  At nine thirty the mower was out and I started the long haul...it's a big area with a push mower....but there again...mustn't grumble at least I still have the energy to do it.  By ten thirty it was time to replenish the water content so I topped up the reserves, sat down for fifteen minutes or so and I was out there again.  I'm pleased it's done.  I managed to do it all without the mower conking out on me...the tufted grass seems to have settled down and it should be alright for the rest of the season unless we have weeks of rain and then it will be back to drastic measures again..  I was just up to the main terrace lawn when I noticed my painter on the terrace, he came down and asked me it if was working OK and decided to do a few runs with it.  I leave it with the motor running and a piece of wire engaging the safety cut out because it's a bugger to start unless you leave it for a while.  I think he'd been on the sauce this morning at his first place of work so I decided that I would put the mower to rest and do the remainder when he'd gone.  At this point another neighbour arrived to pick cherries so I showed her the tree, she caught sight of the clematis and went into raptures over it and explained that she can't have anything in her garden because of the cows...them eat everything.

So while my painter was here I asked him to hold the ladder while I applied the moth ball stuff to the entry point for my critter in the little house under eaves.  It can't get into the house from where its run is and at first the painter didn't understand what I was trying to do but eventually I got through and he's coming on Saturday and by putting a piece of pipe through the bricks that between the roof and the under eaves woodwork...I can get this stuff in the run and it'll definitely head to the open hillside.  Now painter recons I should leave it to it but I'm not paying tax on the house for something to use it as a nesting box....It will be sorted on Saturday...

Off he toddled and I ended up helping my neighbour and she went off with a super haul but the urge to pick my own had subsided and I took to the sofa with a couple of games and nodded gently...not a real sleep.  I made lunch, finished on ice cream and strawberry jam and went back out to the garden at around four.  I've rescued a lavender from where I should never have planted it in the first place and put it in a better position, weeded between the lilac and the acacia, found a baby hypericum and that's now been lifted and has a new home, planted out one large pot of petunias and weeded the grave gardens.  They're now planted up with tobacco and petunias and the bindweed has all gone....it was rampant.  I wanted the veg garden and out of the five rows of carrots that I planted only one has germinated...the ants must have had a field day.  Some of the beetroot are up but tomorrow I shall have to remove the weeds and bindweed to give it a fighting chance.  My peppers are rubbish, the cucumbers are doing well and the tomatoes...I suppose eight out of ten's not bad/

So the end of another month.....and now we're heading into the real summer hopefully.  Long hot days, Greek beaches and the lawn slows down so not so much to do.  Need to make a seat under the mulberry tomorrow..it looks bare now I've stripped it back to the trunk and I''ll make use of the wood that's been lying around...I'm tired of moving it.  LN..Bath and bed...I'm knacked....LN
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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