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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  MARCH 2019
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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2019, 5:46pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 1st March

Chestita Baba Marta.....welcome Grandmother March....and let's hope it'll be kind to us.  It started off cold with that chill wind but when that dropped it turned out quite balmy.  I didn't light the fire, there was no need, toast and jam for breakfast again, washed up and tidied the kitchen, curry powder into last night's chilli to liven it up a little and eventually washed and dressed to face the day.

I was unsure what to do.  I'd planned on Kardjali but it was a slow start for me.  I felt really tired with a few aches and pains from yesterdays pulling and shoving and chopping wood and heaving heavy bags of boxes and leaves to the bonfire but the aches wore off as the day wore on.  I saw my painter as I was manoeuvring the Beast in the yard so that I could get the Nipper out and we discussed his job with the local authority.  He's got it for two years and the pay is pretty good saying that it's on his doorstep so to speak and he's at the beck and call of the locals.  I did suggest that he might like to fit in a repainting of my front railings but I don't think that comes under 'council work' but later in the summer he might like to do it on a Saturday and Sunday.  It's really only the top and bottom rails that need a light sanding down and then the new paint applying.  Come to think of it I might even get round to it myself come the summer.

I drove straight into Kardjali and went to order new glasses for reading because I need a second pair but the shop was closed...joy oh joy.  I drove back to Kaufland, parked up and did the circuit ending up with chicken legs for the freezer, Bulgarian yogurt because I like the jars that it comes in and make super jam pots and a large packet of toilet rolls.  All packed away and on to Lidl this time using the list and came away with everything I needed and headed back to Djebel.  My student is home from University in Sofia so we had a chat and then I went into the shop and sat with his mother after exchanging Baba Marta bracelets and put the world to rights again.  I heard some banging coming from their roof and they're having the inside of the  roof insulated.  I must go and check it out....it's an idea for the little house.  I understood the principle but I need to see the end result.  

Hope, parked up and put the shopping away and the next thing there was Haciber and Zelinger at the door inviting me to a get together at Zelinger's house tomorrow celebrating her husband's passing.  I decline the offer saying that I was going to Greece for the day and she was disappointed and I said sorry.  I gave them both bracelets and we had a little joke that there was a certain person who would be upset that they hadn't got one...and she shall remain nameless on here.  Off they went and I felt a little guilty so I put more of the bracelet into a bag along with a box of chocolates and ten sachets of coffee and toddled down the road with it.  I met another neighbour at Zelinger's gate so she had a bracelet and one for her daughter.  The rest of the goodies I handed over to Zelinger and she'll do the business tomorrow.

So the curry stuff is warmed through in the slow cooker and let's see what it tastes like now.  I'll have the fire extinguisher at the ready.  Eight thirty start to the venue for tomorrow for the trip to Greece, I don't really need anything but it's nice to hear another language.  LN...Off to the fire....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2019, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 2nd March

Silly night last night...I was watching the Athletics from Glasgow and we were winning medals like they were going out of fashion,  Laura Muir...fantastic...went like a bullet from a gun with about six hundred to go so she went.  Eventually the programme finished and I took to my bed with the Kindle to have five minutes settle down time and that went down the pan.  At the first attempt I finished a game that I'd been playing for a couple of days and followed on with two more at first attempts and shut the think down...it was heading for almost one thirty...time for sleep.

Six thirty start, and today I was out at eight thirty and heading to one of the nearer villages and then on to  Greece and the market.  The border was empty and we were more or less straight through the controls and onwards to the market.  The town was very quiet and so was the market and not so vibrant as normal.  I didn't buy anything so we left the market and parked up to find a coffee shop and afterwards to meander around the shops.  I was introduced to a perfume shop where they make up 'fakes' for you but she'd never heard of Samsara...I shall have to go back, she can get her nose into and see if she can come up with something similar....A test piece for her.  We found a fantastic butcher's shop and both of us bought rump steak...Onward and upwards to Lidl and I only bought packets of seeds giving me lots more to do tomorrow and then to a market garden but sorely tempted as I was...I bought nothing.

Back through the border, I sopped off for a coffee and a view of the improvements to the garden and at four set off for home but stopped off at Mrs. D of S's to catch up with them both and the little one.  She makes me smile...she really is her own person.  Home for six, lit the fire, cooked the steak with onions and added a fried egg into the mix and had it on toasted bread...delicious.  More athletics on the TV now, the Voice later so that's my evening sorted.  Nothing much to do tomorrow...I might make a start of the seeds by sorting the pots out and getting a few started.  LN...The fire needs sorting....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2019, 8:04pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 3rd March

So last night I fell asleep in front of the computer watching the television and ended up crawling to bed at midnight.  My first awakening was five o'clock and then back to sleep until eight twenty...absolute bliss and I woke up fully refreshed and totally rested.  

The washing up still remains to be done, I didn't bother with breakfast, I read for a while on the sofa and decided that I would put the boiler on and at eleven this morning I went into the bath and got out at one, I didn't even dry mu hair with the hairdryer, I towelled it off, put it in a hair clip and let it dry naturally.  Supper was put into the slow cooker, a chicken leg onto potatoes and carrots covered with water and a chicken stock cube and left to sort itself out and it did.  I lit the fire at four this afternoon to get the house temperature up...it had been cold and miserable all day and no sun had broken through so I settled down to watch the athletics and the cycling this afternoon and it's till on now peppered with Dancing on Ice.  I served supper at six thirty and actually made Bisto gravy to go with it and again, the dishes are in the kitchen and will be tackled tomorrow morning.

Heading for a reasonable time to bed tonight...nothing on the agenda for tomorrow, it's a Bulgarian holiday so little will be happening.  No pickies either...nothing much happening in the garden apart from the cats that I've chased out.  LN....A very rested day.....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2019, 5:00pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 4th March

Midnight to bed after watching the athletics and again Laura Muir won the gold with the British relay team taking the silver.  The girls 'done' good so to speak.  

First awakening at five thirty, second just before seven so not a bad night's sleep.  First task was to wash up but before that I had to clear the burnt bits from the slower cooker and the chicken bones from last night and some old rice and it was over the wall with it.  The animals were in for a treat.  The sun was up at seven and I managed to catch it before it ducked behind the cloud bank.  The rest of the sky was blue so it looked like it could be good for later and it was but that wind was cold all day.  Kitchen cleared, cleaned and everything washed up, a load of washing put in and it was all buzzing by seven thirty in my household.  I was washed and dressed before eight and was toying with the idea of either going to the garage to sort out why the rev counter is high when I start the Nipper or head in to Kardjali. The morning was full of 'could does' and I did nothing except get the rubbish by having a bonfire which seems a little silly after putting the washing out to dry...ah well...the garden is big enough.  

I finished my book...Sea Wolf...played a few games, had a nap in the sun and had muesli for a late breakfast as part of the new regime.  I think I need more milk in my diet so this is the way I'm going to take it.  I took it the bowl outside and sat on the bench near the stairwell window in the sun and out of the wind.  Not sure it's going to be a firm favourite..I'll give it a few days to make my mind up.  Bacon and egg takes a lot of beating.  I lit the fire at four thirty and it was a slow process getting it going...I think the wind is in the wrong direction but at least it's going now.  The inside temperature is twenty and the outside eight degrees but the outside relay station must be out of the wind.  It seemed much colder to me.

Tomorrow I am going to the garage to get the Nipper sorted and get a few old tyres from them to spray paint and plant up for the garden.  The seeds I bought from Greece are going to do nothing while lingering in the packet.  I might also dig over the veg patch again and get in the new beetroot seeds..I've got some new ones which are long not the normal round ones and are worth a try.  So Monday night is my night for TV Catch-up tonight...omelette for supper everything else is going to take too long,  LN....Supper and relax...LN





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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2019, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 5th March

So much for my television that is my Monday night special that I don't like to miss.....well I missed it.  I fell asleep in front of the computer fifteen minutes into the first one and slept straight though the second one and woke up half way into the next programme which I immediately turned off.  Bathroom, undressed and bed by midnight and woke just before six this morning with the sun beginning to colour the sky.  Again it was one of those morning when I turned to playing Soda Crush and on the second attempt the one that I'd thought was impossible came out so I was offered smarties and mega destroyers and I managed to finish the next two in quicksticks.  The downside is the game awards you time and lives so it was eight this morning before I got out of bed and made coffee.  

By this time the sun was well and truly up and the temperature in the house was galloping upwards so I washed, dressed, breakfasted on muesli again and was ready to head to the garage by nine fifteen.  I explained the problem to the garage owner and he said that it was completely normal and to do with the automatic choke so I settled for a wash but refused an inside clean...I said that was mine to live with.  Any way that done, I asked for and was give a couple of decent tyres, loaded them up and drove back to Djebel and stopped off at the car shop to buy the blue spray paint and was given ten eggs from their chickens at the garage so it was a very cheap car wash. I went round to the local council offices to pay my house rates and for my local car tax....and I'm still paying for two houses and two rubbish collection fees and was advised to see the 'technical department' who would take photos to verify that I had no one secreted in my little house and the fees should be reduced.  I'll leave it for next year.

I bought a few things from the supermarket and went into the hardware shop and noticed that they had lots of new seed packet in but no Nicotina so I was handed the catalogue and they're not listed even though they stocked them last year.   So home James and I saw my young neighbour who's mother lives in the village dragging branches of a type of bush that they use here to cow proof their gardens.  I asked her if she wanted some barbed wire...I had lots left from the days when I had to keep the cows out, she said yes so I loaded it in the wheel barrow and followed her down to her house.  She had more trips to make for the burning bush and tomorrow I've offered to help her with the barbed wire so I'll be down with my hammer, staples and wire cutters...I've already given her the metal to secure the barbed wire.  So my neighbour popped back when she'd finished her work and invited me to her mother's house for coffee but since I was drinking one here I suggested that she stopped here for one and I found her a profiterole to have with it.  I'd bought them back from Djebel and they were slowly going down so she was very lucky...

Six my time....I managed ham sandwiches for a late lunch so not that eager to head to the kitchen yet and I might not even bother.  Tomorrow....neighbourhood work so I better get my strength up with an early night and save a profiterole for her mother...I fear the rest might go later.   LN..Must remember thick gloves for tomorrow....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2019, 5:48pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 6th March

Early start after a good night's rest and settled in to play Soda Crush.  Again it was a similar story to yesterday...I finished a difficult one that troubled me last night and I was knocking off challenges until eight this morning only stopping for more coffee.  I was waiting to run out of lives and I didn't....so I shut it down, I'd had enough.  Slow to get washed and dressed and finished off the muesli for breakfast...it is no more.  I've got cornflakes somewhere in the kitchen so that's going to be breakfast from now on.  I cleaned out the top of the wood burner and banged the pipes to get rid of the soot.  It's made a difference, it was slow to get started yesterday.

I got the tools together and put on the work boots and started heading down the road towards my neighbour's house.  We were fence building.  I was stopped on my journey by Haciber and called in to the house to meet her sister who was over from Turkey.  The chocolates came out, an offer of coffee and eventuality the Turkish delight brought over by her sister.  I declined everything except the Turkish delight, surprisingly her sister spoke really good Bulgarian and I had a really good conversation about children and grandchildren.   So I made my excuses and carried on to the lower village and again I was bombarded with the offer of coffee and chocolates by her mother.  We had a visit from my painter, he was carrying ready made up breakfasts for the elderly in the village.  I didn't even know that they did it....bread, soup and compote.   Eventually we headed towards one of her other gardens carrying one of the packed breakfasts which we left at another neighbours.  Again the chocolates came out and this time there was a chicken leg taken from the pot on the wood burner and was put on a plate so that we could share it.  I took a token offering...all I wanted to do was get fence building.despite the fact that there was no sight of the barbed wire.  She'd decided that she was going to keep that for round the house.  

Eventually we found the garden and it was down a lane at the bottom of the village.  We took the old branches from last years defences. rearranged them behind the uprights and added the new branches that she'd cut yesterday.  It didn't take long to do and then we went for a walk round the bottom of the lane and I saw houses that I'd never seen before.  The village did look pretty desolate and a lot of the properties have fallen down and a couple of them were for sale.  We headed back and I settled for water not coffee, sat down with her mother for a while and headed back home and for me it was a bit of a let down...I didn't really do anything.  

I settled down on the sofa with the Kindle in the sun, had my afternoon nap and woke feeling cold.  The clouds had come over and it was actually raining...we have April showers in March...this year has been so unpredictable so far  I lit the fire at four and it's ticking along nicely.  I might be going in to Djebel in the morning...Haciber's gas bottle is empty....her son was supposed to come today to get it filled for her but if he hasn't ...I've won the prize.  Chicken wings and roasted veg tonight and it was delicious and to finish it off...profiteroles.  LN...I'm off to the kitchen....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 7, 2019, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 7th March

Stayed up late watching the offshoot of Marigold Hotel until I got fed up with the little Crankies....so I went to bed with the vision of one of the 'challenges' of having blood removed and the plasma injected back into your face for rejuvenation.  What some people do.  Five o'clock awakening according to my Fitbit so back off again and the sun was up, hiding behind the clouds but it looked to be a good day.  It would have been but the wind was strong and keen but there again...it's only March.  I found the cornflakes and that was my breakfast, dressed warmly but took a long sleeved t-shirt out with me just in case that wind dropped.

Today has been spent cleaning flowerpots, spraying some of the larger ones blue and splitting up the cuttings I took at the end of last year and putting them into their own pots.  I was surprised that I had six very healthy cuttings from the fire thorn on the way to Kardjali.  I'd been drawn to it by the number of bright orange berries on it so took the chance and it worked.  Some will go as gifts.  I also have seven forsythia cuttings that are just coming in to flower and when I took a few of them out of the pot, the roots on them are really healthy looking and the top doesn't do it justice.  It will need to be cut back after flowering  and then it should throw up more shoots.  I've also put in a climbing hydrangea, a tamarisk and a snow-berry, weeded some of the side garden and came in for a late lunch of tuna mayo with toast.  Haciber arrived and brought me a couple of yeasty pancakes probably made by her sister and told me her son had come over yesterday and got the gas canister filled so that was off my list of 'to do's'

A Woman's Day lunch tomorrow in Zlatograd....all arranged and pick up times published.  LN....Last night's chicken wings for supper...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 8, 2019, 5:55pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 8th March

And welcome Woman's Day....lots of FB messages with photos of flowers.  It's a big thing in Bulgaria.  Caught a brilliant programme last night on BBC2...a blind man visiting Turkey.  This time last year I was out in Cappadocia so appreciated the walk down Memory Lane and the fascination was with the comedienne who became his eyes for the journey.  She ended up being able to paint pictures in his mind's eye and understanding where he was coming from when he moved into the world of bees admiring how they work as a community...everyone knows their place and is happy with it.  Maybe we could learn a lot from bees and ants.

Six thirty start, shower, hair washed and dried and worked out a timetable to get everything in this morning.  I needed to get to Djebel, buy flowers, go to the cash point, deliver said flowers to the appropriate venues so I had targets.  I was in the car at nine thirty and stopped off at the shop nearest the mosque and bought everything in one fell swoop.  First stop was at Guljan's mothers shop and it was cake all round, an offer of coffee that refused and I was still on time.  Next stop was the cash point and that was working and next to my hardware shop to hand over one of the single flowers and finally to my student's mum shop to give and to receive.  I love the feeling of warmth.

Back into the Nipper and over to Ms D of S's and she was waiting outside so that the little one didn't kick off as she was leaving.  We headed to the next pick-up point but we were early so stopped off at the local leva shop and I found some woven chord for 25 stotinki per meter and felt that I would find a use for it so bought fifteen meters.  At the second stop we were early so we stopped for coffee and sat out in the garden on such a beautiful day and eventually made the third pick up point and the Librarian was waiting.  On to Zlatograd and ordered pizza , salad, chippies with cheese, local specialities and beers for the ladies and water and orange for the driver.  Not that it's a problem for this alcohol free zone.  We were heading home at three, dropped off with flower pots at each pick up and I stopped off at Ms D of S and the little one was so pleased to have her mummy home.  I carried on home, put my flowers in water and then delivered to my ladies and they were all happy bunnies.  

No need to light the fire tonight or to find food....I ate too many chippies, had too many slices of pizza and not enough salad.  LN....It's been a lovely day....LN

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Elsa Peters
March 9, 2019, 7:14pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 9th March

Seven this morning and it looked as if it was going to be a beautiful day...and it was.  It actually got up to nineteen degrees this afternoon and the old adage sprung to mind that you shouldn't cast a clout 'til May is out but you could almost have been out there with shorts and a t-shirt this afternoon......until the wind got up and the sun started to go down.  Cornflakes yet again for breakfast and I've started to feel hungry around lunch time but I staved it off only eating peanuts until six this evening.

So what have I been up to today?....The washing was out by eight thirty this morning and I got out the new spade with the deep spit and really turned over the soil on the veg patch.  I'd cleared the weeds around three weeks ago so there were only the odd ones that needed removing.  I've planted broad beans, carrots, parsnips, onion sets, beetroot and wild garlic and I'll wait and see what comes up.  I might have just buried a seed store for the garden ants...I had one carrot come up last year and no parsnips.  I sorted out the mole runs and put down poison...I don't really like doing it but the garden becomes a liability where they've dug underneath.  The upside is that they do leave some really good soil for potting up stuff so I collected up a barrow-full and the pots are ready for the flower seeds.  I'm leaving it for a while...apparently we're going down to minus figures this next week so they'll do for a while.  I've put the sweet pea in to soak as per the instructions...apparently they find it easier to germinate.  I changed tack and chopped enough starter wood to last me out this year, watched a little of the rugby this afternoon and really settled in to watch the English game later this evening.  I'd set the fire this morning so put a match to it...it's not really necessary but it takes the chill off the house when the sun goes down.  The house isn't cold but it just feels much warmer.  I did managed to take some pickies of my almost resident woodpecker...but only at a distance....he's not that friendly, shrieking when I appear in the garden as if it's his or her territory.

The boiler is on...I'm about to go and have a soak to ease these weary bones....nothing on for tomorrow and after all...it's Sunday...day of rest.  I might find something creative to do like glass painting....now that's an idea.  LN...Bathroom bound...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 10, 2019, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 10th March

Seven twenty start and it seemed about right for me.  Bit of a disaster last night...I love to watch the Voice and fell asleep through the first part of it and was too tired to do anything about it so went to bed knowing that I could catch the replay this afternoon...so I did.  It was house to mountains fog or mist this morning and I could hardly see the bottom of the garden so I made a coffee, threw out some bread for the birds and watch the sparrows fighting over every scrap.  No woodpecker is evidence this morning but he had lots to hide in. the jay headed for the walnut and flitted between that and the mulberry but stayed fairly well hidden.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast, gone was my pledge to have cornflakes every day but it is Sunday and I had washed up and was ready for action by nine.  

I planted up some of the sweet peas in the tyres holding the willow on the little house terrace because they have the depth of soil that's required.  I've never really been successful with them in previous years so let's have one last try before I banish them to other gardens.  My second failing is growing lupins but I noticed the other day that my neighbour has got one that's survived the winter and she told me that I'd given it to her.  I shall be looking for seeds from hers for next year.  So I set about repotting some of the shrubs and put some of them outside in the sun minus the pots so that they could dry off.  I think I might have over watered them in their winter dwelling.  The azalea that was about to be heaved over the hillside surprised me with a little green shoot so salvation was to hand, the poinsettia has gone to that great garden in the sky along with my gardenia which didn't take to the winter at all well.  Some of the garden shrubs have been pruned, the clematis , wisteria and passion flower have all undergone trims and look better for it.  They should start sprouting with a vengeance.

The wind got up so I came in around two and watched the Voice, caught some of Ronnie O'Sullivan in the snooker final on ITV 4 and watched some of a programme about a guy who raises orphaned kangaroos and I was amazed when one of the others gave birth and it hitched itself into the pouch.  Fascinating....  I also found time to sweep the porch and wash the floor over, light the fire and get the house toasty for tonight.  I've put some thought into supper but having munched on peanuts this afternoon I can't say that there's much inclination to get ensconced in teh kitchen...maybe later when the snooker has finished.  

More of the same tomorrow in the garden if the weather holds.  I started with a jumper today, went down to a t-shirt and am comfortable in the house for the moment.  LN...Coffee time....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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