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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 19, 2019, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th February

So bed by eleven, awake by one, read until two thirty and slept until six thirty...and Fitbit tells me I had a good night....paaahhh.

Coffee, bed, reading but up and at it by seven thirty, did my morning tidy, laying the fire for tonight and emptying the ash can, topping up the log basket ready for this evening.  I put the washing away, the washing up dishes into the cupboard and was about to put the rubbish bin out but decided to cook breakfast first.  I had eggs, ham and cheese so I made an omelette that went down very well and I sat in the sun at the table in the winter lounge in the stairwell and had a relaxing morning.  Washing up done, kitchen finished off and my next task should I care to accept it was to empty the bathroom bins and have a bonfire.  

I settled on the sofa until it warmed up outside but at ten I decided to make a name for myself.  I filled up the log carriers, chopped some small starter wood. grabbed the burning rubbish with the fire lighter and headed down to the bottom of the garden.  I removed the metal that provides the lid to keep the rain out and put the rubbish in the bin and it went first time and that was a surprise.  The burning bucket had quite a lot of rubbish on the floor from where I'd had to tip it out when it was full of water so I went and grabbed the garden rake, sorted out the metal that wouldn't disintegrate, took a bag from the conservatory and filled it up with the old tins from previous burnings.  I put all of the metal rubbish together and headed down to the container at the bottom of the village and dumped it...another job done.  Next job was to look at the jasmine that's overwintered in the little house, give it a haircut and see how it develops in the conservatory.  I also chopped up some long plastic gardening supports and used them on the freesias, the lounge plant and the jasmine.  I'll have to get some more for outside when I'm next in town.

I came in at three, tidied toys away and took to my book and settled in for the afternoon snooze.  Back to my book and now finished it and on to the next but not until tomorrow..I've read enough for today.  I've now got to find something for supper and it's going to be a picking session...no hunger pains at the minute.  Lovely weather today and a full moon tonight and I was surprised just how large it appeared.  As I lay on the sofa I caught its reflection on the window looking out on to the little house...very strange...all in the wrong place.  LN..More gardening tomorrow....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 20, 2019, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th February

Not a bad night and awake at six thirty.  I did get up in the night and I thought I'd left the hall light on...the moon last night was so bright that it's even been commented on on the internet and it looks like it could be the same tonight.  It's not up yet but I looking out for it...not quite a blood moon but close.

I missed the bread van this morning...he was early and I was late getting dressed but his standards so I made do with what I had in stock.  Breakfast was poached eggs on toast and again I waited for it to warm up before I went out gardening.  I had no wood to get in..I'd let the fire go out early.  The house maintained twenty three degrees last night after yesterday's beautiful day and it was nine outside at six but by last night just before bed it had gone down to two degrees and overnight it went down to minus one and it was white over this morning.  February has turned into a delightful month after such a bad start when it was cold and miserable.  

I was out by ten and have been pottering in the garden for most of the day.  The old zinnias have been removed and the seeds put to one side.  The birds have feasted on them all winter but not what's left are mine.  I've cleared out the bed that is where the old burning pit was and I'm not too sure about the plant that I bought from Greece.  I't supposed to be frost hardy but the temperature in January when I came from the UK went down to minus seventeen so that might have been just too much for it.  I do have one in the little house that's started to throw out some shoots so I shall be taking cuttings probably next week.  I'll give it a little longer before I attack it.  I've potted up the buddlea cuttings that were sitting in water for the winter and throwing out leaves...they have two choices...either they'll root or go to the great plant heaven.  I cleaned up the winter flowering jasmine and attached it to the fence and as I pulled up some of the longer branches noticed that they have rooted so they've been removed from the parent plant and are sitting in their own little pots...six of them in the little house.  I've also potted up six other plants that shall remain nameless until they get bigger.

Back to the Kindle this afternoon and started the third in the Jim Butcher series and you've guessed it...eyes south but only for an hour or so and then back out to the garden and tidying...so much to do and all the time in the world to do it..   I keep eyeing the bench up in the grave garden.  It started life as a potting bench, got cut down to a garden bench but it was one of the first things I made and I've learnt how to use bigger nails now.  I'll probably make a new one...I think it's too late for a restoration project.

Pork for supper tonight with chippies and baked beans ...I'm not feeling adventurous and not too hungry at this point but I have put the water heater on for a bath.  I had a dull ache on my right shoulder blade and it's moved up towards the neck.  I think the cold wind must have caught it yesterday so bath and cream if I can manage to reach to rub it in or an arthritis tablet should do the trick.  LN....Supper, bath and bed.....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 21, 2019, 9:25pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 21st February

So another lovely day in Narnia...the sun was shining after last night's fantastic moon and there was no need for a fire.  I was out for supper tonight and thought I'd be coming back into a cold house but wrong....it's cold out but warm in so in that case...I'll stay in.

I haven't done a lot to day.  Scrambled eggs for breakfast and I did manage to start the washing and then the power went off which is the second day running.  I reckon they must be doing some work down in the next village.  It came back on gain but it meant re starting the washing machine so it really is as bright as it says on the packet.  I stripped the bed and washed the duvet cover, sheet and pillow cases, everything dried and back on the bed.  I more or less needed double pegs for everything ...it was blowing a gale out there.

I had my afternoon nap...the washing up is yet to be done and it was over to my local family for supper for six this evening.  The older one is getting married on a date yet to be disclosed and the younger on is helping out with the planning for a guest list of  approximately four hundred.  This is Bulgaria...  Lovely food, lovely company and we watched 'Who wants to be a Millionaire' but in the case of Bulgaria it translates as 'Who wants to be rich' and the top prise is one hundred thousand lev and in some cases...not worth turning up for.  Eleven twenty and time I hit the sack...lit's supposed to be very cold tomorrow with snow showers...back to winter me thinks.  LN....Time to batten down the hatches again....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 22, 2019, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 22nd February

So last night I had the great idea of watching Question Time and what a mistake was that one.  Fiona Bruce or whatever her name is is so aggressive, making her mark on a programme that she's wanting to succeed at and with respect....she keeps closing people down.  Unfortunately it started lat and finished even later...I should have just gone to bed when I got in from my student's family.  So when I got to bed I ended up playing Soda Crush until I'd had enough but the downside was that I was awake at six thirty...managed to take photographs but I've felt jaded all day.  

I made an omelette for breakfast, cleared that away and used the beef that I'd taken from the freezer yesterday and made a curry and that's in the slow cooker and ready when I am.  I think I might have put a little too much curry in it but I'll have to wait and see....I haven't tried it yet.  The rice is sitting on the top of the woodburner absorbing the rest of the water and that should be another ten minutes.  The rest of the day I've spent reading and trying to catch up on the lack of sleep from last night and just as I was nodding I had a phone call from the UK telling me about a program that was showing on Yesterday TV.  It was a release of the Communist Bulgarian records but by the time I'd tried to find the channel, I think it had finished.  

I lit the fire around five this afternoon...I'd checked Accuweather and the outside temperature is destined to drop to around minus six tonight and not likely to rise much above it tomorrow and we could be having snow....and I thought the spring had arrived.  The rice is ready, the curry certainly is and I'm getting that way.  LN....Home day tomorrow if it snows tonight....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 23, 2019, 4:22pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 23rd February

So I was awake very early and put on the outside floodlight  to check on the weather and it was throwing it down and blowing a gale.  I managed to get a few shots of the snowfall and stayed far enough away from the window to stop the flash coming on and I love the one from the stairwell.  It shows how the snow was being buffeted around and the result this morning was that there were bare patches and drifts be they only small.  I was out of bed by seven thirty this morning and noticed that I didn't have any eggs so was planning beans on toast.  I got washed and dressed only putting my padded trousers on top of my pyjamas...I had no intention of going out today and very little change of getting there if I'd wanted to.  No snow plough, it's Saturday and I was very surprised when I heard the horn of the bread van.  I grabbed my purse, put on my big yellow jacket and my snow boots and headed out not finding time to get a hat and gloves on and my goodness was it cold and blowy out there.  There were very few of us down there, my young friend invited me for coffee later and I laughed and her and said that I was not moving from the house today and I hardly have.  I remembered the eggs and two fresh loaves so the old bread went out for the birds but sadly no takers and very few birds about.  I did see my robin pottering down by the pots around the windows but I don't think it would find much to nibble on.

So I stuck to my guns and had half a can of beans on toast for breakfast and threw the remainder in last night's curry.  That's in the slow cooker and should be ready in the next hour or so.  I've done some reading, playing games and just stayed warm today.  The outside temperature has remained at minus six all day and the inside at around twenty one so not so bad.  Tonight it's supposed to drop to minus eight, the sky looks full of snow but there's none supposed to drop according to the forecast.  I did managed to get the snow shovel from the little house but only moved the snow away from the door leaving the fly screen in place....I toyed with removing it but haven't bothered...I'll see what tomorrow brings.

So I've just finished watching the France - Scotland rugby and warming up for the England - Wales probably fitting a bath in between that and the Voice later tonight.  Quite a turn-up for the books...last week we were sitting in the sun on my birthday in Greece and now we're freezing in the snow.  What a difference a week makes.  LN....Terraces cleared tomorrow ...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 24, 2019, 5:18pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 24th February

So that bath that was promised last night didn't take place...it's not that I got to watching anything in between it was too cold to strip off and get in there.  I was undecided...I wanted to wash my hair and I usually do that in the shower not the bath so I decided to leave the decision until this morning not struggle with it last night.  Congratulations to Wales...they deserved to win...and I'm sure Mrs D of S enjoyed the game.  I watched the Voice and this is where you can really appreciate how the singers have come on from the auditions with the coaching and then it was time for bed with a book at bedtime and off to the land of nod around twelve, waking up at five and convincing myself that I needed more and off again until seven twenty...result.

It was cold when I got up so I lit the fire that was well and truly out....not even the remnant of yesterday's fire.  It soon got going....the temperature had dropped to sixteen in the house but was minus eight outside.  I watched the temperature go up to nineteen while I sat on the sofa and read my Kindle with my morning coffee but it took a while to get there.  I'd closed the curtain between the fire and the stairwell so nothing had got through last night.  Outside it was a different matter, it only got up to minus four all day and started to go down again around six my time.  It's destined to be another cold one.  I only made one sortie outside to fill the log carrier and had to clear the snow from behind the Beast so that I could get up to the wood store and back again and the wind was icy.  The concrete going up to the wood store was solid ice so I took my time...didn't want any accidents and as for clearing the terraces....another day...another dollar.  

I had my bath mid morning and lingered for a couple of hours refilling the tub when the water cooled down.  I washed my hair, slung a towel round it to take most of the moisture out of it, slung a towel round me, grabbed my clothes and got dressed in front of the fire putting the wet towels and dirty washing in the machine and getting it going.  On to the airer with it and that's now dry enough to put away.  Out with the hair dryer and now feel clean and refreshed.

I watched a little of the rugby this afternoon, read some more, toast and pate on the menu for tonight...I've not done enough exercise to warrant a big meal and haven't got the energy to get stuck in in the kitchen.  My hardest work today has been keeping the fire fed...it feels like it's been none stop but I did managed to get in a container of the old wood from the little house and I'm burning that as well to eke out my purchased wood.  So few photos, very few birds about again probably huddled up somewhere to keep warm just like I am.  Looks like I'm a home bird for the next few days.  LN...More snow threatened for tonight....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 25, 2019, 5:56pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 25th February

Another very cold night but fortunately there was a glimmer of red from the wood burner at seven so it didn't take long for the house to get back to its reduced but adequate temperature.  The wood was in and dry and I've still got the two log carriers sitting in the porch.  The wool sweater went on as soon as I out of bed to maintain the night-time warmth and the purple Ugg boots went on.  I opened up the curtain to let some light in but there wasn't much about and the snow was falling but ever so gently and it kept up until around eleven.  Trouble was it covered up the ice so I had to take care when I was outside.  Having said that....there wasn't a snowball in hell's chance of spending long out there.

Washed and dressed which meant just putting extra on top of the others and down to the fire and sofa and I've spent most of the day reading and playing games and imagining what I could be doing and actually visualising glass painting the pots that I've put ready but my brain wasn't really in to it so I didn't.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast, kitchen tidied, logs on the fire.  I did make a little effort and emptied the bathroom waste bins and wrapped up like Nanook of the North and headed down to the bonfire.  The ground was really crunchy under foot and there was no way I could clear the terraces....they are pure ice under the thin layer of snow.   I had a visitor this afternoon, Haciber came round with a late present for my birthday of a dish and a mug...very sweet to remember it.

I put food out this morning but the birds ignored it.  They were more interested in the buds on the forsythia except for the robin and sparrows who managed to find old bread on the terrace.  I'm not sure the sparrow could managed to get it down it's little throat.  I decided that I would throw the bread and old rice over the wall...the birds would be less disturbed over there,  There was a bit of a scrap on the terrace...a black cat and small white and ginger one were vying for the best place to spend the night on the terrace.  I chased them off, they sat on the wall, waited for me to go in the house and came back again.  I was out there again with the black pepper to deter them...I hate the smell of cats spraying the outside furniture to deter other cats.  Not sure if they're out there now...most probably.  Fish finger sandwich at four thirty so no supper required...Logs have just gone on the fire to keep the temperature up.  Nothing doing tomorrow, the road isn't clear enough to get out and I've nothing to go for.  LN...Cabin fever is likely to set in...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 26, 2019, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 26th February

So watched my favourite programmes last night and didn't get one question right on the Only Connect but did better with University Challenge.  It must be an age thing....I got a few they didn't.  I also watched the foundlings and their search for the parents on ITV.  Fantastic painstaking research using DNA..it's not only Jeremy Kyle that can do it then!!

Bed by twelve and I was straight through until six thirty this morning.  Coffee, rescued the fire, it was down to sixteen degrees inside and at that time was minus seven out and was a tad cold.  The sun was up and with it went the temperature and by ten this morning I was up into the twenties and it climbed steadily all day.  I've let lethargy overtake me for the last few days.  No chance of doing anything outside apart from the basics so today I was determined to clear the ice from the terraces so that they could dry off in the sun and most of it was achieved.  I did the clearing with the garden spade and the snow scoop but even the spade threw up an element of resistance...we had had some really cold nights.  I finished off outside bu about one thirty and reckoned that it was a good idea to go sit in the sun on the outside furniture and read my book for a while.  I was soon in for my windproof jacket , that wind was brisk and cold and I was out there for about and hour until the wind really got up.  After that I settled myself on the sofa and continued reading and then visitors arrived demanding coffee and a change or room was in order.  We took to the lounge and chewed over the fat until tobacco got the better of them so we headed out onto the terrace and I found a couple of pairs of plastic shoes that fitted the bill perfectly.  It was beautiful on the terrace,  there was heat in the sun, the wind had dropped and the view of the mountains just perfect and after an hour or so they left.

I spent the afternoon on the sofa reading and playing games...I'd done everything that I needed to.  I did have a visit from a couple of gypsy ladies who were showing me what appeared to be authorisation to fleece me of cash but I said that I couldn't read it and didn't understand it.  The quiet one got out a jar of something and I'm not sure if she was selling or wanting more of the same and I recognised the word 'pari'...money so said that I was English and didn't understand and off they went muttering.  I'll give to charity as I see fit and unfortunately I just don't trust that it would go to a good cause if I handed over cash to the pair of them.

A trip to the market in Greece might be on the cards for Saturday.....it depends on the weather.  I do like the Komatini one more than the others we've been to but the Sunday with the fish restaurant is worth the extra kilometres.  When you find a restaurant full of locals...you know it's good.  One of my Baba Marta cards has reached it's destination and was proudly shown off in a photograph and it will soon be time to hand them round and receive them in return.  March is a happy time of year in Bulgaria.  I've had an early supper of pate and toast so am not really in the mood for anything else tonight....so far.  I might be frying a mound of chippies with mayo if the idea takes root later.  LN...Fire needs sorting....the temperature is dropping again....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 27, 2019, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 27th February

Five thirty start and trying to get out of a recurring dream and not having any success.  I can't tell you what it was about...can't remembered but it was very frustrating at the time hence the early start.  Coffee and back to bed after getting the fire going...it was a cold old morning and there was a stiff breeze.  When I started to circulate I noticed the moon was still up and thought it was worth taking a picture....it's strange to think it's the same size as it was a couple of weeks ago but we just can't see it.  The perception is that it's not there...but it is.  We started off with very fine powdered snow which suddenly changed to very large flakes and I noticed that the container that sits outside the porch door for the empty cans was not where it should be but had found itself on the terrace in front of the stairwell windows.  I'd heard something rolling around last night and now I knew what it was and eventually found the lid..  

I made scrambled eggs for breakfast in the microwave and threw most of it away.  I'd not paid enough attention to it and it was hard and in clumps so I'm thinking the eggs weren't fresh even though I'd only bought them a couple of days ago from the van.  Maybe I'll have to change my supplier.  I'd noticed that the water from the kitchen sink was reluctant to flow away so this was going to be my first task of the day and something else to add to my CV.  I tried first with the drain cleaner stuff and the plunger but to no avail so I took the screw out of the middle of the drain and it all seemed to fall apart.  Not a pretty sight.  I did remember to put an empty bowl underneath to catch the water and the gunge, there was certainly a lot of it and I cleaned the individual pieces and managed to put it together again remembering the seal and all's good.  I finished off the kitchen and was drawn to the sofa with a book and eventually got dressed at eleven.

I dressed warmly..it was one degree outside and about twenty in but I still felt cold today...maybe it was just one of those days.  My only activity has been keeping the fire going, a little snooze around one and then reading, tv and games this afternoon.  I think it was a down day after managing to sit out in the sun yesterday...such a contrast.  Chicken leg and roasted vegetables in the oven for supper and should be ready soon.  I toyed with the idea of Kardjali tomorrow and wrote the list out but I;m thinking it's better to go on Friday...Baba Marta day and I can hand out a few bracelets on my journey following the tradition.  That will be after I've done my ladies.  Tomorrow I will find something creative or artistic to do...the sould is in need.  LN....Supper needs my attention...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 28, 2019, 5:13pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 28th February

Last day today and then we're in to March and it's celebration day tomorrow.  The happy time when everyone gives everyone a wrist bad for heath and good wishes for the rest of the year.  It can only come off if you see a stork or a new fruit tree in blossom.  Not much chance of either at the moment...it's been a beautiful day but with a cold wind.  I was working outside with an extra sweater on, thought about taking it off but thought better of it...I didn't want a bad back.

So I'm ahead of myself...six start, fire rescued and a couple of small logs on there to keep it in until the house warmed up, coffee and back to bed with the Kindle.  I played a few games of Soda Crush but I've met a bit of an impasse on the last game...the lives run out before I manage to finish it....it's a tad frustration.  I read one chapter of my book and decided to face the day.  I made toast and jam for breakfast, the sun was up so the fire could go out and in quicksticks the temperature went up to twenty five inside but lingered around two degrees out eventually getting up to eleven degrees this afternoon.  I received a phone call from the post office and headed out in the Beast to pick up my mail.  Three belated birthday cards and three letters from the bank in the UK....thank you Princess, CJ and my summer guest.  I fried off some meat and an onion and into the slow cooker with it with a tin of chilli beans....it will be ready when I am.

Today's idea of doing something creative or artistic didn't reach fruition....I ended up clearing the workshop patio, removing the dead leaves, chopping up some of the wood ready for the fire and sorting out the flower pots.  As I was clearing the leaves from round the winter flowering jasmine I found a couple of well rooted runners so they're now in their own pots and fingers crossed I'll have some new plants.  I moved some logs that had been cut last year from the trees at the bottom of the garden and had sat on the terrace.  They're not in the wheelbarrow in the garage drying off.  Everything tidied, rubbish taken to the bottom of the garden and I had a super bonfire, I came in around three thirty, settled down with a coffee and was surprised when the Librarian arrived with a belated birthday present.  We chewed over the fat for an hour or so and off she went, got the fire going, the rice has been brought up to temperature and is sitting in the saucepan on the top of the woodburner and absorbing the water.  I seem to get better results using this technique.  Haciber came round when the Librarian had left bringing me a pot of pumpkin in syrup....it is probably good with local yogurt.

Kardjali tomorrow clutching my list...and I might just have a stroll round the market and the cheapy shops...Supper is ready.  LN....Need to get this posted...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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