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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  MAY 2019
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Elsa Peters
May 20, 2019, 6:20pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 20th May

Well we found a restaurant and yes, it was much easier with a menu.  Tomato and onion salad, cheesy chips, liver and hamburgers, beer for my guest and sour cherry juice for me...result.
We had actually missed the Djebel show and Avatar mentioned this morning that the reason there were so many coaches from Turkey in the square was that it was to commemorate the date that the Turkish locals were told to leave Bulgaria.  The coaches were free to get them to Djebel to be a force in the town.  We walked round the square and thee was a band playing and the tables and food stalls were all out on the square.  The crowds had obviously thinned down and we were home for just after nine thirty and we watched the firework display from the upstairs bedroom.  A lot of money must have been spent.

Dull old day this morning and I managed to catch a mackerel sky and a bea-eater in the walnut both of which I managed to get pickies of.  I had my coffee on the terrace, came in for a second one and went out again.  It was quite cool but I love sitting out there listening to and watching the birds.  There was a fair old fight going on at the base of the cherry tree.  I think the couple that have hatched the first fledglings still want to use it for the next batch while there are more trying to get in but they're not budging.  I popped over to see my Avatar in my PJ's fairly early on to take over some yellow daisy seedlings that I dug up yesterday.When she comes back from Germany she ends up putting in annuals so that's why I've given her shrubs and I thought the daisy plants would be up and ready for her when she got here.  I came back with her bonfire burning rubbish, took mine from the house and headed to the bottom of the garden and got rid of it all...another job done...as I normally say.  Washed dressed and ready for town by eight thirty, in the car and out for nine thirty...not bad timing.

On the way to Djebel I saw a local who had obviously missed the bus and it reminded me of a comment that is going round Bursa that if the 'English woman' sees you on the road, she will always stop to give you a lift.  Not a bad epitaph.  I parked up in my usual central spot and headed for the cheapy shop and for just under three leva I bought two tops for me and a cardigan, a sweater for my guest and a leather overcoat that I'll use to make the seat cover for the new stool.  Back to the car-park and I left my guest sitting on the wall since he was running out of steam and I went to check on phone bills and none were outstanding.  We walked to the square and he changed up some money, then on to the garden machine shop and I bought a new strimmer with two years guarantee.....I hope it's a German not a Bulgarian guarantee..  Kaufland, Lidl and home, washed the new old clothes and put chicken legs in the oven for supper.  I roasted vegetables and put in enough for Avatar, ran over to her house when they were cooked, woke her up to accept them and came back home to eat ours.

Watched the bea-eaters again and this time there was such a wind blowing that they took to ground feeding at the bottom of the garden.  Washing in, more gardening tomorrow just to finish it off except that if you have a garden there is really no finishing point....there's always something to do.  The update is late, the internet has been off most of the afternoon and hasn't long come back on so I'm trying to get this done before it's off again.  LN...An enjoyable day....LN

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May 20, 2019, 7:45pm Report to Moderator

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I think your new barrel is a milk churn. https://www.objectlessons.org/.....-original/s64/a1049/
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Elsa Peters
May 21, 2019, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 21st May

Sorry Trevor....my little lady who has the garden next to mine reliably informs me that they used to do the pickled vegetables in it for the winter.  She must be  getting on in years and probably remembers it well.  As for me....I will use it to hold the container for my lemon tree.  I was going to plant it in the 'barrel' but since it has to come inside for the winter or into my little house...no way could I lift it  with full contents so I've come up with a 'work around'.

So I woke up at six, dog dozed and eventually hit downstairs at eight.  My guest had been up, had a cuppa and since there were 'calling them home' noises from the downstairs bedroom I left him to it.  I went outside and unreeled the electricity cable with the intention of strimming the bottom of the garden.  I also grabbed the shears and the loppers thinking I might need to bring them into use.  As it happened, my attention was drawn to the cotoneaster bed in front of the little house terrace, it was full of the slipper orchids and sticky willy and it took me a good half an hour to clear the bed leaving it in a heap to pop over the wall for the animals.  By this time my guest had surfaced so I ended up cooking breakfast and the morning had almost disappeared so I cleared up the kitchen, put in a pork sweat and sour into the slow cooker to save having to think about it later.

I headed out to the garden and decided to plant up the petunias that were looking very crowded in the seed bed.  I also thought it was about time that the Greek tree seedling went outside and started making better roots.  Thee was one long root hanging from the bottom of the ten inch pot that it was in and now it's sitting in a much deeper pot supported by a couple of my old tyres from the Beast and I've surrounded it with more petunias.  I have so many seedlings, tomorrow will be another day for sorting them out.

So there was much muttering from my guest regarding the petrol strimmer but eventually he set to work down the bottom of the wall below the walnut but then he has problems with the machine  so back to the drawing board Cecil.  I took my trusty Bulgarian digger and prodder, along with the tools I'd selected earlier and cleared the area of more slipper orchid and sticky willy throwing it over the wall for the animals.  I used the cutter to remove some very spiky bushes that the locals use to keep the cows out of their gardens and now I can actually get into the corner to dump the grass cuttings to start building up the soil level and quality of the bottom of the garden.  All tools away, I rewound the unused electricity cable with a promise of it coming out tomorrow, locked up and prepared rice to go with the pork thingy.

Supper over, all washed up, I caught the end of 'The Chase' and 'Eggheads' and now it's in to relax time.  Early night for me...I'm knacked and more of the same in the garden tomorrow, along with seed planting.  I've got a million lavatera to go in and my 'Forking Larkspur'...what a name for a plant.  LN....Time to socialise....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 22, 2019, 7:13pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 22nd May

A bit of a sleepless night.  I was awake at three and not sure what disturbed me so I ended up playing Soda Crush until the urge to get my head down again kicked in and I managed to stay asleep until seven.  I headed out to the terrace and my first cup coffee, went back in the house and had my second and went over to see Avatar's house and sat watching the birds eating the bread that she'd put out for them.  I said I recognised a few of them...greedy beggers.

Bacon and egg for breakfast again...I shall be putting on weight although I reckon I worked it off today.  I set about the clearing of the stones and weeds at the bottom of the garden where it had been strimmed....sat down for five minutes on the wall at the bottom of the garden and noticed the Librarian had come to visit.  She's knacked her ankle so she too took up position on the wall until I suggested coffee  so she hobbled back to the terrace and I was out about five minutes later with the brew and a crepe bandage that I'd found upstairs in my medical box....

She left just after one, I took up my place on the sofa and got my head down to catch up on the sleep that I'd  missed and felt much better for it.  Back to it after a long drink of water, started the bonfire to get rid of the rubbish that hadn't burnt through yesterday and added to it.  Most of the big bushes at the bottom of the garden are now brought down to size, I still need to move soil around and old grass cuttings to get the levels sorted and that will be tomorrow's work.  

Supper was simple...I shelled boiled eggs, shredded carrots, boiled potatoes and made potato salad, opened tins of tuna and sweetcorn and it was a nice easy meal to put on the table.  Yogurt for pudding, washing up done and my work is over for today.  No pickies.....I'm updating on my little machine while my guest is watching his 'cannot be missed' and haven't quite mastered the art of processing the reducing program on here.  LN....I'll put more effort into it tomorrow...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 23, 2019, 6:16pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 23rd May

So mare of a night last night.  I've been having trouble with the daily Fitbit statistics and all those 'walks' that I'd done hadn't been recorded and my daughter was beating me every week.  I knew that I'd done more steps than it was showing on my weekly report.  Last night I decided to do something about it.  I wasn't sure if it was the Bluetooth so I got out every device known to this woman and tried them all.  Eventually the machine asked me to log in to Google and where is a password when you want one.  My guest was on my big machine and I was struggling to type out things that needed entering and so eventually I asked for a new password to be set up.  At one point the system told me that their system was down but I was getting emails from them.  It was now close to midnight , my guest had gone to bed, the message was going to come through to my phone and my phone was dead as a door nail.  I put the phone on charge and when it got to five percent, I picked up the text message, entered the code and I was in.  The kindle went away and did its own thing and in came the backdated information.  I should smash Princess this week....result and I am a mega-achiever in the steps category.

Six start this morning and it was a good day to wake up to...well any day is at my age.  I went out to the garden, dug up some tall white flower seedlings and took them over to my Avatar.  I didn't bother to knock and left them by her shoes in the shade.  Came home and settled on tot he terrace with a coffee enjoying the morning and watching the birds...such a hard life.  I walked the garden checking up on the clematis that's about to go, had words with the under achievers, stopped at the old fire pit bed and realised that I had lots of zinnias and could spare some for Avatar so I grabbed the hand spade, dug some up and took them over for her.  She was really pleased.  She got back from Germany late and no one else has giver her any.

I cooked breakfast and used the rest of the chunky gammon that was supposed to be bacon  in the slow cooker with onions, chilli and cans of kidney beans and tomatoes.  I washed up, cleared the kitchen and supper was cooking.  My guest busied himself in the little house workshop and somehow I got to be the 'goffer' so my plan to transfer the junk corner by the table in the stairwell into some semblance of order in the bedroom cabinet that I bought has gone by the way.  Tomorrow is another day.  Holding wood secure and the zero end of the tape measure was order of the day and by this time the clouds were rolling over and the thunder seemed to be getting nearer.  Eventually it rained and I can now reveal that the water butt experiment was more or less OK.  We have to put the angled pipes in over the down pipes, water was coming out of the junctions but all in all, it was a success.  I have two hundred litres of rain water for my terrace planters.

Supper at seven and it was delicious.  There is one portion left so the slow cooker is in the fridge plus the remains of a tin of sweetcorn, that will make soup for tomorrow.  The project in the little house workshop is a narrow bookcase to take my tall gardening books....the plans are drawn up and being modified as we speak....oh dear.  Nothing on the agenda so far...we'll see what the weather is doing.  LN...And now for pickies.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 24, 2019, 6:17pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 24th May

So today is the day that the Bulgarians commemorate the introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet and education in Bulgaria.  Lots of flag waving and dancing and we missed all of it.  I was busy digging out the weeds from the parsnips and carrots uncovering in the process an ants nest with lots of eggs that are now scattered to the far corners of the veg patch and covered with ant powder.  How very dare they!!  I suppose they did leave some seeds that managed to germinate but half a row of beetroot is missing.

Six start and out of bed by seven thirty.  The Soda Crush game that's been bugging me will bug me no more.  For reasons known to itself if managed to put the right tiles in the right place and I finished the game with eight lives to go and with a score of five hundred more than anyone else.  I'm top of the leader board but now it's presented me with another that lets you eat the chocolate and it appears I'm on a diet.  Scrambled eggs for breakfast and it was almost eleven when I was washing up.  I did move the things from the desk into the new cupboard and used a Metaxa Brandy box to create sections...job well done.  It was a bit cold today, no sun shining first thing and I stayed around the house for a couple of hours before making my way out in gardening boots to tackle the weeds.  My intention was to  clear a couple of the side borders so that I could plant out my seedlings but again, it's saved  for another day but at least the veg garden is tidy.  Beyser came round this afternoon and was impressed with the garden.  She's spent all her life here and still doesn't understand Bulgarian so I really do have trouble communicating...just the basics for me.  

The rain came at six, went at five minutes past but has just started with a vengeance.  Unfortunately there's no more space in the water butt.....maybe time to work out how to put in an extension.  Supper was the remains of last night's with curry powder added...a novel twist to a chilli followed with lemon sorbet, the fire is going well and we're in for the night.  We might do Kardjali tomorrow unless it's persisting down and it will be 'keep the home fires burning ' with books at the ready.  LN....Bath and Bed I think.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 25, 2019, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 25th May

Oh Noah didn't it rain!!  It had stopped by the time that I dragged myself out of bed and fortunately I'd put the cushions away from the outside chairs and they were dry but the cushion on the sofa was soaking.  I sat out with my coffee, it was around fourteen degrees so not so bad and then burst into action.  I saw that the tall flowers that I'd no recollection of planting at the end of the little house terrace  needed supporting.  I had a flash of inspiration and removed the fence propped up against the little house and dragged it towards the end of the terrace and it fitted perfectly.  I used string to support the fence so that it didn't fall over on to the flowers I was trying to safe and again to tie the flowers to it.  Result...

I dressed quickly knowing that I needed bread and heard him toot his van horn at the stop before ours.  I went down the road ordered one of each and six eggs, practised a little bit of Turkish with my ladies and came back to cook breakfast of poached eggs on boiled ham.  Kitchen finished, washing in, out on the line and by this time the clouds had rolled away so pegged out the clothes.  Because it was good we decided to go into Kardjali, we wanted a few things from the supermarket and my guest wanted a few tools from the hardware shop.  The cheapy shop had nothing to talk of and I've noticed that their prices have gone up and where it used to be two lev a kilo, it's now gone up to five so I think I'll stay with my other outlets.  

On the way back the heavens opened and I suddenly remembered that I'd got washing out.  Fortunately by the time we got to Djebel it was dry roads and blue sky and fortunately it had missed us.  I stopped at the supermarket in Djebel to by spicy sausage and some cream eclairs and after putting the shopping away I sat on the terrace with coffee and two of the said calorie containers....delicious.  I got the washing in since the clouds were coming over and by this time my guest was resting his eyes pretending to read so I went out to the terrace with a bowl of hot water, gave myself a pedicure  and re-painted my nails.  I can not grace any beach.

Hamburgers and chippies for supper tonight and I'm just about to start it.  It's a lovely evening, blue sky with just a few white fluffies and let's hope it stays that way.  I did fancy a trip down to Greece tomorrow but I'm not sure how busy the border will be...it's getting to be the silly season.  LN.....Time to don my white hat...kitchen bound....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 26, 2019, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 26th May

Silly night....I lay on the bed while my guest commandeered the computer to watch the formula one grid placings, promptly nodded off in my day clothes, he came in to switch the light off and I woke up....He went off to his downstairs bedroom and I started watching Monty Don at the RH Show and I think I went to sleep watching the screen.  Undressed and at three thirty I had cramp in my legs and boy was it painful.  It might have had something to do with the packet of strawberry jelly cakes that I knocked off before going to bed.  I just don't learn,,,probably a sugar rush.

Seven start this morning, bacon and eggs for breakfast and washed up and finished by nine thirty so I headed out determined to get my seedlings in,  As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intention but my attention was drawn to the forsythia which is covering lavatera so to date no flowers on it.  Out with the loppers...it's been cut down to size as has the big forsythia in the frog garden.  I can now sit on the terrace and look at the bottom of the garden which previously was hidden.  I've also cut back the wild rose at the bottom of the garden and the slow 'very old tree' with the intention of turning it into a topiary lollipop....It might take a couple of years or possibly might die but we'll see.

Had a visit from OH today and we sat out in the sun and put the world to rights.  He'd brought round a canvas that I admired and since it was under threat of being painted over, he'd relinquished it to my care.  Lovely day for sitting out, the sun was really hot and it's the first real summer day that we've had.  Unfortunately the clouds rolled over around three this afternoon but they were short lived and we had a cloudless sky for sundown.  My neighbour from with the next door garden came round and delivered a bag of newly harvested potatoes and we had them tonight with a roast chicken.....delicious.

More of the same tomorrow except those seedlings have to go in.  I've cleared some of the spaces for them and that's been the problem....I've got lots of ivy and bindweed starting to get a hold so that needs to come out first before anything goes in.  The bea-eaters have been out and about but not so many as previous years.  Maybe more will appear as the weather settles down.  That bath that I was having last night is on the cards for tonight...the boiler is on and getting up to temperature nicely.  LN....Making a move to the bathroom....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 27, 2019, 7:13pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 27th May

Much of a muchness today.  It started off with bright sunshine, I sat out on my balcony with coffee but I wasn't out there long.  Down for more coffee and changed positions and this time on the lounge terrace and tried to make a list of things to do today but reckoned it would get too long so gave up and did things as they came into my head.  Sausage and egg sandwich for breakfast which didn't stay a sandwich for long...too my sausage and not enough bread.

So most of those seedlings are in.  I attacked the frog garden, dug out logs of bindweed, clover and couch grass if that's how you spell it but however you do...it's a complete pain.  The roots burrow along and really take some getting out.  Anyway the upside is...the front of the frog garden is planted up with lavatera and the rest of the garden has lavatera, zinnias and petunias.  From there I moved on to the little beds in the grave garden and they are more or less clear of clover and bindweed but I didn't dig too deeply there are some rather lovely white tall flowers that are currently around four inches high so they need lifting, the bed digging over and replanting.  It's a job for tomorrow.  

So next on the list was the grass and my guest kindly got stuck in with the lawn mower and has done half of it.  I set about the topiaried bushes and gave them all a haircut.  My shepherd's wife was leading them safely home and asked me what I was doing.  I said that i was tidying up the shrubs and she made a circular motion with her arms...and I confirmed that I was making them into balls.  At first the villagers thought it strange that the 'English woman' shaped the wild plum shrubs but it wouldn't surprise me if one or two started it...they have been admired....

Tools away and I was putting out supper when my guest said that there was an owl on the roof so I took my camera and tried to get a decent shot even though the light was fading.  By now it had moved to the roof above my bedroom over the balcony and I think it was trying to get under the roof to nest.  Action will have to be taken...I really don't want the tiles disturbed.  So back to supper, I've left the washing up and hopefully the washing up fairy might be completing it as I type.  LN...I'll leave it a little longer to make sure....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 28, 2019, 7:22pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 28th May

Up and about fairly early and we were breakfasted my eight thirty.  The plan to head into Benkovski was underway.  I phoned the Librarian at around eight to see if she wanted to come out to play but there was no response so either she was having a lie in or was out early doing other things.  We were in the Nipper by nine fifteen and over to the market by just after nine thirty, parked up fairly easily but there were lots of people there but obviously not using cars to get there.

One of the first stalls had petunias so I selected eleven of them all different colours at the bargain price of eighty stotinki each where I normally pay one leva.  He also had Sweet William so I had four of those and now need a place to put them.  I paid the man and asked if he would keep them for me until we'd done the rest of the market which didn't take too long.  Markets in Bulgaria are a bit of a muchness....the clothes are typically Turkish and the shoes are mainly plastic.  We found our way back to the plant man, I parked my guest on a wall with the other old men and I took the plants back to the car.  I rescued him and I noticed that there were more plant stalls in a different section of the market so we walked down and the man had some very interesting shrubs.  I picked out one, it was more expensive but unusual and it's now sitting in a new pottery pot that I'd bought last year.  I also bought a clematis for the bottom of the garden and some more big yellow daisies that will appear each year.  Back to the car and we headed out to the fish restaurant just outside the town to check if they have filled the pool yet and they haven't and on the way back we stopped off at Mr and Mrs D of S, ordered coffee and tea and sat out with them for a catch-up.  The little one is coming on in leaps and bounds...

Heading home around  lunchtime I suggested that we went into the soup kitchen for lunch at the grand cost of five lev and back home for around two.  My guest promptly fell asleep o the terrace, I got my head down on the sofa and felt much better for it.  So much so that I potted up the new shrub and got stuck into cutting the grass and now it's all done.  I felt absolutely knacked and supper was a knocked up spicy sausage fried off with onions, baby tomatoes, beetroot and with added chilli, melon to finish and I feel replete.  Late knocking out the blog and just remembered that I had to look out for the owl and I forgot.  I'll probably hear it rattling around under the barge boarding in the middle of the night.  LN....Shower and bed...I'm really knacked....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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