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Elsa Peters
July 1, 2018, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 1st July

So it started off well and eventually the sun burnt off the mist and dissipated the clouds and sitting out on the terrace with my coffee seemed a good place to be.  I stripped down both beds and put the first load of washing in and it was also a good day for drying...until the clouds rolled over and it was a mad dash to get everything inside. ...and we managed it.  Breakfast of bacon and egg and my guest had local sausage which I personally can't have anything to do with.  There's a spice in it which turns my stomach and I can't get near it.  I'm not sure what it's called but I avoid it at all costs so there were two frying pans on the go this morning.  Lovely in the garden....there appeared to be several baby birds that were obviously looking for 'mum' and the one on the roof of the little house looked shocked to find itself so high......he needed a sign saying 'help' but eventually he made it to the wild plum and was joined by a.n. other.

I've had a day of gardening.  The beds were all dug over and I've planted up the remaining asters, tobacco and snapdragons and some, I know not what, that I found in a pot.  I'd obviously planted a packet of something of which very few had germinated and the label was long gone.  It will be a nice surprise.  I've dug out under the little house main terrace and moved two wheelbarrow of soil to where we've just put in the new garden edging between the wild plum and the vegetable garden.....it's neatened it off.  

An interesting one this afternoon.  There was a man in a white t-shirt and he appeared to be looking for something.  He walked up to the lane that's been blocked off and realised that he couldn't get through so came back through the hedge and headed along the wall to the bottom of my garden and walked along the end as if trying to find a way out.  A minute later he was walking back along the end of the garden so I suggested he climbed the wall, he walked up towards the house and I let him out of the gate.  As he was leaving he asked if I knew who he was and I said that I didn't and he replied that he was Beyser's eldest son over from Turkey for a brief visit and off he went.  

Supper was in early and we've finished already.  Chicken, jacket potato with mushrooms fried in butter followed by ice-cream.  My enthusiasm was up today for cooking...it was pizza last night at the restaurant but it was quite late when we finished...not good at all.  If the weather is good tomorrow...it's a day for doing something....maybe Kardjali and beyond.  LN....Time to down tools....LN
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Elsa Peters
July 1, 2018, 5:51pm Report to Moderator

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And now for the pickies....can't post on the new month...

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Elsa Peters
July 2, 2018, 6:50pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 2nd July

Seven start and my guest was already sitting in the stairwell and the kettle had boiled.  I took my coffee on the terrace, it wasn't two warm out there but I like the smell of the morning and to watch the birds in the garden.  There was a wagtail on the wall, the magpies were finding anything in the grass and a couple of blackbirds were foraging.  I came in for more coffee and went out again and my guest followed on.  The sun was up and not hiding itself behind clouds and when it hit the terrace it felt very hot....such a contrast from the last few days.

Washed and dressed and kitchen duties produced two bacon and mushroom omelettes that went down well followed by toast.  I went out with the strimmer and cleared the land between the house and the front wall and my guest decided to carry on with the lawnmower despite the fact that I thought it was too wet to tackle the grass until the sun had dried it off a tad.  Even with the strimmer it was hard going.  I strimmed until the battery ran out, had every intention of getting the little electric one out but instead sat on the sofa with my Kindle and was very surprised when the Librarian appeared.  Tools down, coffee on and we talked for quite a while and unfortunately couldn't offer her lunch....the bread had gone mouldy and been slung over the wall to the animals but she said that she was off anyway.  We walked the garden and checked on the new shrubs that had gone in and I mentioned that I had some more baby shrubs that I'd brought on from cuttings for her when she was ready for them.  Off she went about four thirty, I went back to my game, didn't do anything else outside and eventually ended up watching Serena Williams at Wimbledon take out one of the younger ones.  It was a good game and you had to admire the spirit of the youngster facing such a daunting task.  

My guest took to to sofa on the terrace and I started supper....potatoes, carrots and chicken liver and onions in gravy and it was delicious.  I'd cooked rather a lot so I took my Avatar a bowl over for her supper....English cooking makes a change for her.  I went out to take pickies of the sunset and ended up talking to Avatar, the sheep farmer and Haciber and generally putting the world to rights.  The subject of money came up and pensions so I bowed out of the conversation and said that I wasn't responsible for the poor funding of the Bulgarian government for the older citizens and we closed that conversation down.  He then congratulated me on the garden and the wall purely put up to keep his cows out and then I mentioned that I had to put wire on the front gate since one of his cows had put its head through and munched my forsythia.  I think the difference is...the rest of the village moan about his cows and do nothing about it....I stop the bastard bovines.  

So time for bed....weather forecast is still iffy....it's July for goodness sake...give us a break.  LN....A good day with the neighbours....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 3, 2018, 7:10pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 3rd July

Six thirty start and my guest was already taking in the rays on the terrace.  Coffee and out there with him appreciating a beautiful morning.  The stork came for a wash and brush up in the dew pond over the wall so I belted upstairs to get my camera and then off it went onto the hillside looking to see what he could find.  I half expected him to fly back towards the large pond but no such luck.  A baby woodpecker was attempting breakfast on my special tree but he didn't seem to get on very well.  He was chirping between head bangs and eventually flew off to the walnut and I think he was joined by one of his parents.  They stayed down there for a while but then headed over for the plum tree on the on the long wall.

I went down to the bread van for bread, eggs and cheesy bread and breakfast was bacon and egg sandwiches in cheesy bread.  It's one to write home about.  On my way back my Avatar handed me a bowl of pears from her tree so I washed, cored and put them on the cooker with dark brown sugar, lemon juice, sultanas and cooked them until they were just soft and no more and we had them for supper.

I went down to the bottom of the garden and replaced the garden edging that I'd pulled up a few days ago.  It meant removing one of the boards, hammering in the supports and digging it out a little but all back now and the side border is in place and the bricks removed,  I came in for a rest and promptly nodded for thirty minutes or so.  The clouds had rolled over by two and we had rumbles of thunder by two thirty so Accuweather was slightly out on its predictions.  

It was out with the strimmer and the bottom of the garden is now complete and I've only got the grave garden grass looking out of the guest bedroom to do.  And then....everything will be done until the next downpour when everything starts over again.  Normally by this time the grass has slowed down but with all the rain....everything is on super drive.  Pork chops, potato croquettes and beans for supper...not exactly gastronomic but it filled the gap along with the pears for pudding.  There are plans afoot to go somewhere but I think we need to look at some larger scale maps.  I appreciate the distances in Bulgaria and I'm having to relate them to journeys in the UK.  Things take time here...some of the roads are not good.  LN....I hear my bed calling...LN

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Elsa Peters
July 4, 2018, 6:46pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 4th July

What a mixture of a day weather wise today. It was sunny to wake up to, hot as you like when working in the garden, the clouds started building and true to form, we had thunder but no lightening and a smattering of rain.  It's July for goodness sake....

I popped over to my Avatar's house this morning and even the key to the outside gate was missing...she'd gone AWOL.  I went home, got on with breakfast and fortunately had a cheesy bread from yesterday so that was the base for my bacon and egg....and it was delicious.  Washing up done, I took the battery strimmer out for a spin and realised that it needed servicing.  I unscrewed the plate that holds the cutting blade, cleaned the spindle and applied grease so now I'm a strimmer engineer,  The small electric one needed the cutting twine restringing and eventually I managed it but the battery lasted long enough to finish what was left over from yesterday.  Next job was to work on the surrounds for the garden near the wall and we worked out there until it got too hot to be out there and took to the sofa on the terrace.

At twelve I went over to my Avatar's house to check that she was OK and there were several tools stashed against the house wall.  Apparently they'd had a session down at the graves in the centre of the village and given it a general tidy but unfortunately no one had provided refreshments and she came back hungry and thirsty,  Haciber and Beyser we sitting in the garden too and it reminded me of when one doesn't leave because they think that the others are going to talk about them.  I'm used to it.....I sit it out to the end and they can say what they like in Turkish and I don't get upset but when Avatar and myself speak in Bulgarian....the others really aren't sure what we're talking about and they're Bulgarian.  

Sun stopped play when I got home and not long after, rain stopped all play.  Again I gravitated to the sofa and munched on peanuts until the mood took me to have a shower and head for Djebel for a few essentials like potatoes.  On the way back we noticed that the work bus that brings some of the locals back was off the road and hanging on to the side of the hill with one or two dazed locals standing by.  I turned round at the first opportunity and went back but there was nothing I could.  Home for seven and too late to cook supper so I abstained and served up pate, toast and there's ice-cream for supper should we want it later.  Just had a visit from six youngsters and Zelinger and one of the great grandchildren with a wedding invitation for Friday.  It was such a surprise and secretly I think they wanted to see the house.  They've seen it when they visited their grandmother but wanted to go on to the terrace and see the garden...she must have told them all about it.  So dancing shoes at the ready for the party tomorrow on the square and for the actual wedding on Friday,

Late with my blog tonight....it's been an exciting day with lots of things happening.  LN...Need to lie down.....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 5, 2018, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 5th July

Seven start and out to the garden with my coffee.  I was in for the second cup in quicksticks and then back out again.  I'd got moving this morning, I'd cooked omelettes for breakfast and we'd finished and washed up since the Librarian was due round nine to help her out with something on the computer. I hadn't bothered getting dressed...I'd got a pair of the baggy pants that my ladies wear with a reasonable blouse but with the help of my guest in the computer department I was able to get washed and done in my own time.  Job was a good'un by about ten thirty, I provided the tea and coffee and off she went after a little catch up by eleven thirty more or less.  

I hadn't slept well last night.  I was bothered by a couple of bites that I think I picked up yesterday when I sat on the outside sofa and boy were they itching.  I applied Sudocreme which helped a little but in the end resorted to vinegar which is a local potion.  They're really big bites and came up like eggs and very red...maybe a slight exaggeration but very sore.  

Garden work this afternoon...another garden edged, and this evening I'm off to the pre-wedding bash in the village and it's time we left.  Emula came to visit to let us know that he's alright after the accident last night...and apparently he was lucky...not sure if it was his Allah or my Gospot.  LN...the party calls...LN

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Elsa Peters
July 6, 2018, 2:05pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 6th July

So last night we had a fun packed evening in Zelinger's garden not in the square where i thought it was going to be.  Music, lights, cameras, old customs, new beginnings, a couple starting out on a life together.  One mother, her six children, her grandchildren and even great grandchildren at one point all dancing together.  I watched the ceremony where they henna the bride for the wedding the next day and the ladies of the village all had theirs done to.  I was offered, I refused, I am a bystander watching  a generation of the old ladies with their baggy trousers and headscarves fade and the new take over.  I feel very privileged.  I stayed until around eleven thirty and walked home with Haciber, she'd even had a go at dancing with two of my other neighbours and I had the photographs to prove it.....bad woman that I am....

So seven start and it was a beautiful morning with mist in the valley.  Boiled eggs for breakfast and as I carried a couple of four 'minuters' over on a serving spoon I lost one and it smashed on the carpet in the kitchen.  I scraped it up as beds I could, served mine to my guest and put another egg in for me.  There was nothing for it...the mat came up...out on to the terrace with it and thoroughly washed, out on the line to dry or at least drip and now it's on the stair rail to finish off.

I made my way over to Avatar's house to check if she was still going to the wedding tonight at the Makaza hotel complex and she confirmed that she was.  The bus leaves the square at six this evening and the wedding starts at seven thirty so this is tonight's offering ...it's going to be too late by the time that I get back.  We sat chatting, she dislodged the small pears from the tree in her garden and we gathered them up for another neighbour who'd bought her own knife having no teeth and was carrying out quality control.  Home and turned the amt round so that it would drip the other way, grabbed the fork and went digging between the berberis and the walnut and removing weeds.  Storm clouds were gathering so we finished edging the final (for now) edged garden but I'm sure there'll be more to follow.  Just about to have a shower and get ready for tonight.  I haven't a clue what to put on yet....I better check out the wardrobe and find some dancing shoes.  LN....The bathroom calls....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 7, 2018, 5:25pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 7th July

Last night's festivities were normal for a wedding...lots of noisy music, the usual formal, food presented cold and the thing seemed to go on for ever.  I was down to the bus for just before six having been ordered from my house by Emula's mother.  The rest were all waiting for the coach and where was I?  The coach driver has a certain quality about him...very relaxed, no rush for anything, nice gentle speed and we get there just the same which was very lucky when it came to the journey back.

No dancing from my table...I was with the older ladies of the village and there were the usual 'mumblings', some cutting food up for others and others filling up plastic bags to take home.  By ten thirty Avatar was itching to leave.  Beyser had asked one of her sons to take her home and he said that he'd had a drink and couldn't, Haciber asked her son and up jumped Avatar, Haciber and Beyser who jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly and another lady was named by Haciber.  It didn't bother me...I'd come on the coach and would go back on it which I did along with the rest from the village but quite exciting on the way back.  I was just nodding nicely when there was a screech of something and lots of smoke and the coach driver had brought it to a rapid stop.  Across the road was a very large pine tree and on the opposite side of it was another smaller coach.  Our men jumped out as did theirs and they tried to pull it off the road but no go...and eventually one from the other coach came up with a tow rope, it was attached to the coach and he reversed it.  Back it came and with a little encouragement from the men it was removed from the road.  I think it would have been different in the UK...police, fire brigade and I'd probably be booked in for trauma counselling by now.  Anyway...home for twelve thirty and pleased to be home safely.

Seven thirty start this morning and down for the bread van, eggs, bread and cheesy bread.  I left my guest to the kitchen and settled down on the terrace with one of the cheesy bread.  More garden edging and it was going well until three or so when the storm clouds gathered and the thunder started along with the rain.  It seemed to blow over then returned and this time it really came down and it was down tools and inside.  I lit the petchka tonight, supper is merrily chugging away and should be ready in about ten minutes.  Pigging weather though...it's just been going on for too long.  Well done to England for getting through to the next and Edmund is doing well in the tennis and now supper time.  I must say though the garden looks really lush...problem being that I shall having to get the lawn mower out as soon as it dries out...it's all gone mad.  LN...Logs and supper....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 8, 2018, 6:01pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 8th July

Up and out for seven thirty and my guest was already up reading and playing games on his tablet.  The weather was OK so I headed out and walked the estate and checked up on the new plants that have gone in and what is surviving despite the weather.  Yet more rain overnight and I even lit a fire.  Only a couple of logs but it makes such a difference.  Having a bout of cabin fever I suggested that we head off to Zlatograd for lunch and maybe make a few calls either on the way there or on the way back and we agreed that we'd be on the road by about ten thirty.  Strange how things happen...friends that were travelling to make their lives here messaged me to ask me over for a coffee and it's on the way to where we were heading so I confirmed that we'd be over by elevenish and everything fitted in perfectly.  I made scrambled for breakfast with toast, washed up, had a shower, boots blacked for ten thirty and we were on out way.  I'd even managed to get three shrubs together as welcome but I was very tempted to take some matches, a fire lighter and a couple of logs as a house warming gift.  That's just my sense of fun.

Nice greetings from the pair of them and we sat with a coffee and welcomed them to their new lives.  They've got loads to do but unless you're on site in BG nothing gets done and decisions need to be made along the way...if you leave them to someone else you lose control.  Put up with the dust...it's the only way.  So left at twelve and headed for Zlatograd and the heavens opened as I pulled the Beast into the car park at the hotel.  I decided that the tour of the town could come later, food and shelter was the priority and we ordered a couple of dishes to share, salad, cheesy chips and garlic bread and everything was more than satisfactory...delicious and the total bill with drinks came to twenty six leva...very reasonable.  Walked the town and noticed that they were extending the sister hotel, the river was flowing very high but not surprising thinking how much has come down lately.  We went to the dinky-doo shop and I bought a puzzle for our favourite babe, into the pottery shop and the potter is going to make me a sun to match the moon that I bought in Cappadokia and we made out way to the leather shop.  My guest had left me a belt buckle that needed new leather attached to make a decent belt so he'd remembered it and we gave it to the man to work his miracle with.....and he did.  New black leather, buckle swapped over and the cost was twenty leva....two for his work...and a true artisan.  

Back in to the Beast and just before Benkovski I'd noticed a new plant shop by the side of the road so we stopped and I had a lovely time in there.  I was telling them the English names of the plants and they reckoned that I knew my stuff and I spotted a bottle brush plant, they didn't know the name so he looked it up on his phone and yes....it was what I thought it was added to my purchases.  Two new pots, and four plants...but only two plants to pay for...two were gifts and so that's my work for tomorrow.  Home for six thirty, car unloaded, plants watered, I had about twenty minutes with my Avatar....I think she wanted to waste time before she carried on with the lawnmower.  I would have used the rain for an excuse...rain stopped play.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.....our newbies will be stopping off at some point and I have plenty to do at home. Good being out and about today....Zlatograd is a very pretty town.  LN...Cheese and biscuits will suffice for tonight.....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 9, 2018, 5:48pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 9th July

Eventually got downstairs around seven thirty, out to the terrace with a coffee and we were investigating why my guest's tablet had booted up into safe mode.  I did a bit on the internet and all that it needed was to hold down the power switch until it restarted itself again and up it came...all sorted.  I had the same thing with my duel boot machine not long after I'd got it but it was as simple as that to put right.  Why do they make things so complicated?...

No bread van today but I wanted to play a trick on Avatar.  We were discussing why the peppers still hadn't turned so I made a couple out of t-shirt oddments and headed down towards her house.  I heard several of the women in Beyser's garden so I quietly headed for Avatar's peppers and hung my two amongst them and they looked really authentic.  I went over the road to the ladies and had a few minutes with them and then headed home.  Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and a quick tidy before my guests arrived with my task for today should I choose to accept but since I'd agreed yesterday...I carried it through.  Off then went on their travels, he popped back to pick up some stuff and headed homeward.

My guest set about the grass and then we both got ready for town...my MOT was due on the twelfth and I wanted to get it in early although it isn't really necessary.  He'd filled in the paperwork before he'd looked at it and it had passed.  Brakes checked, emission checked and that was it.  Next armed with a photo of the inside of my toilet we trolled round the hardware shops to see if we could find new insides for the cistern. The seal appears not to be working properly so there is a steady trickle of water into the bowl and because I pay for it...it needs to be fixed.  Nothing similar in any of the shops so we've bought a couple of seals and we'll check tomorrow if they will do the job otherwise it looks like a new toilet.

Shopping in Kaufland and Lidl. home via the back lane and supper of rack of ribs with tandoori sauce with roast potatoes and garlic bread went down a treat.  I had to ask my Avatar for the garlic...mine in the little house was well passed its sell by date and again we had a giggle about the peppers.  The weather has again turned grim...it was hot and sultry all day which made a change form the rain but it was draining and led to short tempers all round.Just after eight thirty my time and soon be time for a few games of  Soda Crush and there's a melon in the kitchen that would go down nicely.  LN...I'm kitchen bound.....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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