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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  FEBRUARY 2019
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Elsa Peters
February 1, 2019, 3:51pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 1st February

So goodbye January...I've not enjoyed it, it's been wet, lots of rain, the wrong sort of cold and I'm pleased to see the back of it.  The first of February has been pleasant, I woke to sunshine, no rain and it's been in the plus on the thermometer and a day for doing 'stuff' but I've actually done very little.  

I've done some reading, some games, no sleeping, got the logs in, tidied the kitchen and that's about it.  I've put everything together for a bonfire but never got down to the bottom of the garden to do it.  I've just enjoyed a 'gentle' day.  I'll try to do better tomorrow..   LN...Fire, food. a little TV and bed....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 2, 2019, 5:08pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 2nd February

So I woke at six this morning and caught a glimpse of the crescent moon that was hanging low in the sky.  I grabbed the camera, went up on to my upstairs bedroom balcony and went out to take the photo.  It was cold out there so I didn't longer long and I was back downstairs and into my second bed with the Kindle.  The curtain between the bedroom and the view was closed and suddenly I looked up and I could see morning breaking so I jumped out and back into camera mode.

So now my internet has gone down and I take to Word to complete the update.  I marvelled at the colours in the sky and the morning on the pond in the next field made it look like a lava slick.  I knew the sun wouldn’t be around for long…there was the dark band of cloud that would hide it from view the higher it climbed in the sky.  It dissipated quite quickly and about the same time I heard the bread van so headed out for more fresh bread, eggs and a cheesy bun which was allocated for breakfast along with bacon and an egg.  Delicious…  I read for awhile after breakfast waiting for it to warm up outside and peeled some vegetables and put them in the bottom of the slow cooker and put a chicken leg on top of them.  Supper was going in.

Eventually I headed out complete with my rubbish container…it had to go but unfortunately I hadn’t put any holes in the bottom of the burning bin and it was full or water.  First job was to get it on its side, empty it out before I could get the fire going….and eventually all was good.  While I had the garden fork in my hand I cleared out the old daisy heads clearing space for the daffs that are coming up, found two patches of snowdrops and two winter flowering jasmine shrubs that were just coming into flower and put the debris into the burning bin.  As for the flowers, there’s always something having a go for it in nature.  

Down on the sofa this afternoon, head down and I was awakened by Haciber bringing me a dish of strawberry syrup…we were doing OK in Bulgarian but as she got more excited about the news she reverted to Turkish and I ended up nodding and doing my best with body language.  I washed her dish up and off she went.  I went on to watch the rugby, have my supper and fortunately the internet has just come back on.  Seven my time and I’m pleased that I’ve made a start on the garden even though it’s still winter in my book.  A few more nice days are forecast and then we go back to rain, snow and dropping temperatures.  LN…Fire top up time….LN

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Elsa Peters
February 3, 2019, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 3rd February

Happy Birthday my Princess...Age is not a problem unless your a cheese...so they tell me and hope you've had a super day.

Seven thirty start and the sun was up but soon to be hidden but the clouds and they've been hiding it for most of the day.  It's not been cold, a tad windy but I've spent the day in the house or the Nipper so no problems there then.  I finished the remainder of the cheesy bread for breakfast, decided that I was heading to Kardjali to pick up the weather stations for inside and outside temperatures and radio operated up to thirty meters...result.  Saves me having to go out and look at the other thermometers.  There was lots of bird activity in the garden and the field next door today and the starlings were having a whale of a time feeding and dipping in the ponds.  It's quite a big flock and they seem to flit between the electricity cables, ground feeding, taking off in groups and close formation flying.  It's a joy to watch and photograph.  The jays were out and about mainly ground feeding and I had the woodpecker visit the lone pine but no camera to hand for that.

I was in the Nipper for eleven and headed for Kardjali.  I decided not to do much other shopping...I was on a mission.  I'd made a list and only wanted potatoes, carrots and I decided to try celeriac which is a first for me and two of the weather stations, one for me and another as per a request.  I got to the checkout and the girl was  merrily totalling the bill but I requested that only one of the weather stations was on my bill, so I thought she was taking one off my bill....wrong...I paid for the second one separately so that there would be a receipt for the guarantee and it wasn't until I got home that I noticed that she'd charged me on my receipt for two plus the separate one.  I'd  paid for three.  I also noticed that one of the packages had been opened so I compared the contents with the other one and the batteries had been half inched.  So I chewed it over for a while and then decided to head back into Kardjali and get it sorted...no sooner the word that the blow.  Explaining it to an overworked employee was difficult but in the end I had the original with the receipt, the cost of the one without the batteries and the rectified error refunded so I headed back into the store and found another one and this time checked the contents of the box.  The checkout operator that had done the original transaction earlier in the day was just leaving and I explained the problem to her and she remembered that she hadn't deleted the one from the bill...and her advise was that I should always check my receipt.  If she'd have done her job properly....I would only have had to return one through the lack of batteries.  Stopped and filled up with gas on the way back at the grand cost of nineteen lev which was two trips to Kardjali and one to pick up Bekir for the chimney ...I call that good value.  So home and I decide to try to programme my weather station and I've put it to one side....couldn't get my head round it.  

Checking out the bird pickies and was unsure if the fluffy one in the pear tree is a jay or not and went on the hunt for the bird book.  It wasn't where I searched first but I have found my new reading glasses that I thought I'd lost on the hillside and they were in a glass case.  I also found things that I didn't even realise I'd waylaid.  So it's been a win some  lose some day but not bad outcomes.

Supper ....not sure yet...I have to investigate and see what I can find.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far.  I'ts time to get the fire stoked and settle in for the evening.  LN....Enjoy the starlings......LN

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Elsa Peters
February 4, 2019, 3:58pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 4th February

So happy birthday mum, it would have been your day today.  Just to let you know that I'm thinking about you...

What an exciting morning.  It started very genteelly...back to bed with a coffee for a read, I cleaned out the fire, emptied the ashes and swept and cleaned the floor in the lounge and moved on to the  conservatory.  I'd not bothered to get dressed at this point , Princess phoned, I went into the house, I must have had the house and Nipper keys in my hand, put them on the table while I was on the phone and promptly went back into the conservatory and shut the door behind me....wrong.  I did have keys to the workshop so got the ladder out and climbed up on to the spare bedroom balcony hoping that I hadn't locked the door....but I had.  I moved the ladder to my bedroom balcony and made the climb but again, the door was locked.  I did have the Beast keys so I knew that Bekir had a complete set for my house, I couldn't phone him both phones were in the house.

Set off in my PJ's but fortunately it's a very long top with a snowman on the front so looks fairly respectable.  I drove to Bekir's village and the restaurant man told me that Bekir had gone to Fotinovo, he phoned him for me and five minutes later....Bekir was there.  He went to his house, came back with the bunch of keys, I drove home and I was in in quicksticks.  I checked Bekir's bunch and he has two for the house and now one of those is sitting on the workshop bunch and I'll return them to Bekir after I checked the others.  Ladder away, washed and dressed, washing done, logs in and ready for poached eggs on toast for breakfast...I needed it.

The rest of the day has been pretty chilled.  It's been a beautiful day and I should have done more with it but I didn't....I stretched out on the sofa in the sun and read for a while, eyes down for a full house, woke up and played Soda Crush and got several games under my belt but gave up when I had to eat all the chocolate and those that play it understand what I mean.  I'll try it later.  Washing in and on the airer, I think it's fish finger sandwiches for supper so I'm heading for the kitchen.  I've lit the fire for background heat...it will soon be time to get in my PJ's again.  Those from this morning are washed and ready for the off again but I think I've covered all bases now.  LN...Ms D or S' comment...Muppet...and I'll second that....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 5, 2019, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 5th February

Another silly night.  I woke up at four and I was sweltering in my bed and so much so that I had to throw off one of the quilts.  It was a balmy overnight temperature of thirteen degrees...unknown for February.  I settled down again and managed to get off and woke up for the second time at seven, the sun was already up but there was a layer of fog covering the fields and mountains.  Move along...not much to see.

So shower and hairwash, I managed to cut a little more than I wanted to off the ends but eventually straightened it up.  I spent time thinking what to put on....with the temperature yesterday up to thirteen in the day I layered up so that I could take off if necessary...we were off to Haskovo this morning to meet with the diplomatic staff from the Embassy in Sofia so were going to inform us of what we could expect from Brexit and any mutual deals they were forging with the Republic of Bulgaria.  Only nine people signed up and turned up, the buffet catered for around forty and I was very tempted to take a doggy bag home for my ladies...but I didn't.  The meeting concentrated on residency cards, health insurance and driving licences and the advice was to make sure that all the above were in place in preparation for...we know not what.  I get the feeling that Bulgaria is thinking about protecting the Bulgarian rights for those working in the UK and the diplomatic staff were looking for assurances that we also would be catered for after Brexit. All my ducks are in a row so all that I have to make sure is that if there are any changes that I know the steps to take and they're certainly not bloody great big ones over to the UK.  

So meeting over, we went for a walk in the square, managed to locate the car and then did Kaufland and Lidl and then back to Kardjali.  As you know I'd had trouble setting up my indoor /outdoor thermometer but that's now done but unfortunately it's picking up Germany's automatic time zone so it's back to the drawing board Cecil.  Supper for me was a couple of ham baguettes and that will suffice  until morning and I know that I'm having kippers since I bought some from Kaufland....on special offer.  One for the freezer and one for tomorrow.  

Fire is going and it's twenty three degrees in the house and it's almost seven.  I might have to find out my skimpy nightwear if it carried on like this but I doubt it will but like the old adage says...'N'ere cast a clout until May is out' and that won't happen until after Brexit...   As for the diplomatic staff...very diplomatic,...we didn't learn much new but I think they did and now to relax.  LN..Gardening if it's good tomorrow....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 6, 2019, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 6th February

Bed at eleven last night and I couldn't understand why there was an alarm going off at one...then it filtered in.  The new weather station providing temperatures outside and in had somehow got an alarm set and I remembered that three goes at the set/reset button would silence it...and it did.  My only issue with it this morning was that it was picking up automatic time from Frankfurt but with a little fiddling it is now showing the correct time.  Clever old me....It was almost thrown to the hillside on Sunday when I tried to set it up...I am feared of it no more.

Seven start and I heard the patter of rain on the terrace and after a few really good days it wasn't really appreciated.  I got the fire going around nine and it's been going all day since.  Breakfast of poached egg on toast.  It was going to be sitting on ham but I forgot to put it under the egg...next time.  So the rain turned into sleet, turned back to rain, turned to snow and back to rain again.  The starlings were having a field day but there weren't many other birds about.  My next achievement was to sort out the camera display.  My Sony is brilliant but sometimes when you touch one of the buttons buy accident you get a load of technical information about the shot you're taking on the screen and there's no getting rid of it without getting deep into the menus....or so I thought.  I Googled it, found the button I was supposed to press and hey presto.  I'd taken a few of the shots in Haskovo yesterday without seeing the view on the display and again this morning but now I know which one to go for...problem solved.  I caught sight of a jay but it had moved by the time I got the camera out.  There was a lonely crow on the electricity cable and an assortment of very drenched birds in the walnut.  Maggie made it's way there but I think the snow had caught everything out.

I did think I might get to potting a few seeds up that I've got lying around but it was only a thought and didn't materialise into anything concrete.  I've chugged along with Game of Thrones book five and am up to seventy five percent and getting into it more than I did first time round.  Snow has stopped...it's damp, cold and likely to remain that was for the next few days according to Accuweather.  I've got a whole load of roasted vegetables in the oven...carrot, potato, onion, beetroot and celeriac which is a first for me and I put a chicken leg on top of it all.  It's beginning to smell good up here on the first landing and should be ready around six thirty.  A little mayo to top it off should do the trick.  LN...Funny old day...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 7, 2019, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 7th February

So I was just nodding off last night and ....the alarm went off again but this time I've well and truly fixed it....I hope.  At least the alarm symbols have been removed from the display.  Unfortunately it took the sleep out of me so I started playing Soda Crush and I was knocking the games off and in the end had lives still banked but I had had enough so tried for sleep once more and this time it worked.  Seven start, washed and dressed and for the rest of the day have done very little.  It's been another cold old day.  I didn't manage to get the outdoor thermometer outside but managed to hang it up in the conservatory and it's registering ten degrees less than the house so I can knock a few more off and reckon that it's around two or three degrees.

I did manage to get the logs into the conservatory, put the new potting compost in the little house and checked out the plants that are stored there.  All seem to be doing well but we've still got a few more weeks of lots of minus values.  I sorted out the kitchen, made a ham baguette for breakfast and stationed myself on the sofa with the Kindle and that's been pretty much the total activity for the day.  I think most of the exercise today was making coffee and walking backwards and forwards between the sofa and the microwave.  Not much avian activity in the garden today...too wet and cold for them to be out....so the camera has been pretty redundant.  Tonight it's supposed to go down to minus two but with a little sun tomorrow so maybe I'll be stirred into action tomorrow.  LN...Supper time...LN
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Elsa Peters
February 8, 2019, 5:44pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 8th February

What a silly night but at least I'd managed to sort out the alarm on the weather station.  At two thirty I was wide awake with no reason to be so except that my little head was whizzing round insignificant details that should never have been concerns.  So I decided to read for a while and I was still reading at four so rallied the fire round, and went back to reading.  At six I was up and topping up the fire, emptying the ashcan, first load of washing in, washed and dressed, shopping list written and ready for the bread van at eight but never even heard him. It was cold and dry, a little blue sky, snow on the mountains, took bread out of the packet and it was tinged with green so out on the hillside with it.  I'm sure the birds won't notice,  I took a couple of slices from a fruit loaf and put it into the toaster and that was a mistake.  I was a lovely shade of dark brown...really dark brown so I sliced more from the loaf and had it with butter on it.  And still no bread van.

My challenge today was to find out why I had paid two taxes for the rubbish containers last year and determined that I would only pay for one this year.  I knew that I had to complete a form, I knew the name of it but what a helpful lot they are at the council office.  It transpires that because they have it registered that I have two houses in one garden, I have to pay twice.  I explained that no one lives in the house but he was having none of it last year and didn't tell me about the declaration that had to be made.  I now have the form...it can't be used for this year but for next, so this year I shall still be paying two taxes for rubbish and no rebates when they get it wrong. Paid my phone bill, posted off a birthday car and spent an hour or so with my student's mother in the shop and it started to snow but only in the wind and had stopped by the time I  got home.

I relit the fire, settled down on the sofa and got my head down for a couple of hours to catch up on my night time wasted hours.  Haciber came round with a packet of biscuits...another Mevlit in the village, sweet and sour pork in the oven for supper and I had a half packet of potato wedges that went in but I ate the pork even though it was tough and left the wedges...they tasted of the freezer.  

Rugby tomorrow...nothing else on the agenda.  LN...Le weekend looms...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 9, 2019, 4:47pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 9th February

Today has a special significance for me.  I was given this date of confinement for both of my little, now big, ones but one chose to come early on the third and the other on on the thirteenth.  After a boy and a girl there were no other varieties in those days so two years and it was all over.  Both mid forties more or less, employed, tax payers and with children of their own, and I still remember this special day.

I settled down in front of the fire last night at nine thirty, promptly nodded off, woke up at eleven thirty and took to my bed and read until one thirty.  I really should take to my bed straightaway and see if I can manage to get eight straight hours not in sessions.  So up at six, the fire was still going so I made coffee and sent back to bed but not an ounce of sleep in me.  Out of bed at seven thirty, washed, dressed, I collected the rubbish from the bathrooms and kitchen and put it out in the conservatory and the bonfire came later.  I went down to the bread van and he had uncut and cut which was unusual so I had one of each and put the sliced into the freezer.  I walked back from the van with my painter who has got a job for the next three months working on the roads.  It's community work paid for by the council so it's good to see that the extra money I'm paying for my rubbish collection is going to someone I know.

Kippers for breakfast but I got fed up with the bones so the rest of it went over the wall for the cats along with last night's potato wedges.  It was a gentle morning and the sun broke through so I decided that I would spend some time in the garden in the fresh air...so I lit the bonfire.  It went well and I got rid of all of it including the old foliage from last year that was covering the flower beds.  There were lots of green tip hidden including daffs, hyacinths, tulips and irises.  It's a pity that we've had the lull and I hope the snow that's forecast will not set them back.  I cut back the wild blackberry that insists on finding its way through the forsythia and that looks like it won't be long before it flowers.  I managed to knock a nail in the grape vine by the little house and the outside thermometer is up and running so at least I have a true reading of inside and outside now.  I turned the outside water on from the connection point in the bathroom, filled some ten litre bottles up and watered the plants in the little house.  They all seem to be doing well and I did remember to turn it off again...it's supposed to be down to minus three overnight. I also collected the soil dug up by the mole, filled three pots up and planted up some seeds that I'd brought back from Greece.  I discovered them in the pocked to my body warmer when I was out the other day.  Fifteen seeds in and fingers crossed.

So it was up to twenty six in the house today and the temperature outside out of the sun was five degrees but it felt much warmer in the sun.  The kippers had lain heavily today and with a snack of Ryveta and cream cheese this afternoon on the sofa...there might not be much call for supper.....I'll see later.  Accuweather reckons that it's going to be a sunny mild day tomorrow so I could find something else to do in the garden.  LN....Rugby is about to start.....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 10, 2019, 4:19pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 10th February

Very restful night's sleep but was awake at five so got the fire into action.  I checked the thermometer and it was minus four outside and twenty in so not bad going.  I went back to bed with a coffee and my book but by six thirty I was ready to start the day and hungry.  I hadn't bothered with supper last night, thought I'd give it a miss but the worms were nibbling.  I'd got bacon in the fridge so I fried it up with an egg but while I was at it I decided to get supper into the slow cooker.  I chopped an onion, put it in the breakfast pan with more bacon, fried it off, into the slow cooker with it a tin of chilli beans, a dash of Worcester Sauce and tomato sauce and I left it to do its own thing all day.  It now ready for when I'm ready.

As for activity today I went out at nine with the intention of doing something in the garden but soon came in again.  It was a bright day but a very cold wind and it was still on freezing.  I settled down on the sofa for a while, caught some of the Andrew Marr show until I got bored with it and went back to the book.  I seemed to meander through the rest of the morning and at one thirty my time I checked out the time the rugby was to start and I gave myself an hour and a half to get out to the garden and dig over the vegetable patch and don't I know I've done it.  My back is aching...it's the first real exercise I've had so far this year and it's very early in the year for me to have done it.  A little achievement.

The rugby is on, England are doing well so far, the fire is lit, the boiler is on for a bath to ease out the muscles and supper is ready and there should be enough for tomorrow as well.  Lovely gentle sunset and in fact....it been a good day.  I'm on standby tomorrow....I might be going in to Kardjali...I'll wait for a phone call.  LN...Soup and bath but not at the same time...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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