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DECEMBER 2019  This thread currently has 1,808 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
December 20, 2019, 7:28pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 20th December

Lovely start to the day, the sky was red and the sun creeping over the mountains but it was a long time coming.  as the dawn broke, the sun went behind the clouds and there were amazing skies.

Fire lit by seven, a two cups of coffee back to bed with me.  I didn't want to disturb my guest and I didn't.  It was getting on for nine by the time he surfaced.   Bacon and eggs for breakfast, kitchen tidied and I put vegetables into the slow cooker to make soup for later but that idea dissipated as the day wore on.  So my challenge for today was to wrap up as many presents as I could and I soon knuckled down and got on with the job.  Unfortunately I realised that I would be running out of wrapping paper so at eleven thirty I headed into the post office to collect any mail and yest again she wasn't there.  I want a job like hers.  I carried on to Djebel and bough boxes of chocolates to add to the goody bags, went back to my work and now the presents for my ladies are all wrapped and all other presents are sorted.

The cheapy tree that we managed to pick up yesterday in Kaufland is now gracing the lounge, lights and balls adorn in and I've strung up another couple of sets on the other wall.  Setting up the tree meant that I had to move some of the large earthenware pots and generally reorganise things in there. the low shelving has been polished, the carpets hoovered and I can more or less say that I am ready for Christmas....or rather, the house is....the presents needing parcelling are on the other sofa that you can't see in the pickies.  

Liver and onions for supper, washing up done and everything put away.  More of the same tomorrow and I must put the conservatory lights on a timer otherwise I know I'll forget.  LN..It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 21, 2019, 7:55pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 21st December

Five start so I got my head down again and it was just before seven when I became conscious for the second time.  I opened the curtains to a vary dark sky with red and navy tinges and straightway went down for the camera and remembering to bring a cup of coffee with me.  There were snores coming from the downstairs bedroom no let sleeping dogs lie was always my mantra....so I did.

I took several shots and as the morning broke the sky got really red and as quickly as it came it went and we reverted to a grey sky with the sun striving to break through.  It was around eight degrees this morning and I was slow off the mark to light the fire and it wasn't necessarily for me.  The house soon went to twenty two degrees and I thank the day that I decided to put more insulation in the loft.  It;s made everything just more comfortable.  I cooked the remains of the liver and some bacon served with an egg for breakfast for my guest while i settled for a bacon and egg sandwich which did me through to this evening.

As for the rest of the day....I finished decorating the house and conservatory, the presents for tomorrow's delivery are ready and I intend killing more than two birds with the same stone.  I'm heading to Fotinovo for a little bash so will take my men's presents down with me and one other.  I also made my Christmas cards today and gift tags so my Christmas can arrive anytime soon...just a few more presents to buy but for local delivery.

I caught the end of African Queen the movie this afternoon and it comes into the category of 'old but good'....very easy to watch. relit the fire so that it could be in while we were out and we were off to the Pizza restaurant in Djebel for supper by seven this evening.  We had a bit of a dilemma in the supermarket.  The wine was on offer at five lev a bottle and the three and a half litre wine box was thirteen so I stood there doing my sums and it was a no-brainer....the box came home with us.  Remember...not for me though...I'm just about to chalk up three years of abstinence....without...may I add...no regrets.  Supper was local burgers, tomato and onion salad and cheesy chips and it went down very well.  We followed it with a Turkish desert that is semolina based with loads of honey and topped off with ice-cream.  LN....It's a book a bedtime for me....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 22, 2019, 8:56pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 22nd December

So today was a bit of a lazy one.....I did quite a lot but I was still in PJ's at twelve thirty.  Poached on ham for breakfast, all the rest of the presents wrapped and ready for delivery and  cards written.  Another line of fairy lights have gone up in the lounge and it's definitely beginning to look like Christmas and the snowmen and penguin have all had new batteries so should see out the season before they get put back in the box for next year.

Shower and shampoo at one this afternoon....we had been invited to a Winter Solstice party in Fotinovo.  The weather had changed and it had forecast rain so we were prepared or so we thought.  I took a brief diversion on our way to call at the restaurant in the men's village and deliver the Christmas presents for Bekir and Sally.  I phoned Bekir and he was visiting a cousin in another village so I left the presents in the restaurant and it was at this point that the rain started.  We got to the house and managed to get inside only slightly damp.  We met the neighbours that we'd met after the art exhibition and more old friends and a splendid evening was had by all.  Most people left though and we stayed on with the host and hostess for a little whizz round the channels and ended up watching a comedic hour that was a little close to the bone but very funny.  It was brought to a close by a power cut and by this time the rain was really coming down in sheets and there was no street lights to show is where I'd parked the Nipper.  It rained all the way home, the road was flooded and there were trees down.  I was very pleased when we'g got though the forest on the way home and even more so when I parked up outside the house.  Our power was still up so no problem with the UPS for the boiler but I had a devil of a job getting the car into the drive...I couldn't see the gates for the driving rain.  No pickies...I'll check out for debris in the morning.  LN....Time for bed said Zeberdee.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 23, 2019, 6:07pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 23rd December

I had a pretty disturbed sleep, actually there was nothing pretty about it.  The bedclothes were rucked up, I was hot so the leg went out as a thermostat at around five this morning.  I read until six and went down and made coffee bringing back the old jar and a spoon so that I could make more and not disturb the household.  I did breath some life into the fire and got it going again so that the house would be warmed through for my guest even though it's not cold ...yet.  

I opened the curtains to look at my start of day and it was pretty black out there but the crescent moon was hanging in the sky.  The village lights were twinkling on the hillsides and lightning was flashing over the mountains...someone was getting it and it wasn't me.  I made more coffee upstairs and by nine I was washed and dressed and ready to face Kardjali.  My guest took some getting going this morning  so I made poached eggs on ham again, ate mine before he was ready for his and was washing up as he was finishing off.  Last night's wet clothes went into the washing machine and on to the airer and now they're ready for putting away.  I checked the estate and there was no damage from last night's storm but most of the items in the garden were put away before I went to England so the only thing left to do was to clear the leaves that were forced off the trees last night and clear the drains.  There were no major damp patches in the garden,,,the water had all soaked away.

Eventually I set sail for Kardjali and the traffic was horrendous.  It took about an hour to get to the first traffic lights to turn off for Ardino and arrive at the electrical shop.  Purchases were made, I only paid for one light switch, the connectors were a gift and then we went to park in town but my paid for car park was full so had to go elsewhere. Fortunately a car pulled out as I drove towards the cheapy shop and I pulled in.  Two pairs of leather boots and a sweater for five leva...can't be bad.  Back to the car and found another free parking place and paid both telephone bills and then on to Lidl. ....I decided that Kaufland would be a complete pain so avoided it like the plague.  Back to Djebel and yet more wine for presents, home and unpacked the shopping and the thunder started again and then the rain.  I coaxed the fire into life and now I have hamburgers to cook for supper with a few chippies.....it's all go in this neck of the woods.  LN....Easy day tomorrow.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 24, 2019, 7:52pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 24th December

Pretty dull start to the day but this time the clouds were waiting for the sun to come up to make a sandwich of it but it never did.  It was a cold start but there again, it's December so what can you expect...probably snow but so far this year while I've been here...none.  Washed a dressed fairly early, sausage, bacon and eggs from the kitchen and the fire was salvaged from last night's residue.  I would have let it go out but it's a novelty factor for my guest....while I sit here quietly roasting, or sometimes not so quietly.

I packed up eaven more presents and ran out of wrapping paper so headed into Djebel at around eleven and go stopped on a road check on the way in.  I didn't know the first policeman, he didn't know that I was English and the other policeman that I knew left him to it quietly laughing.  I asked him which documents he wanted to see and as requested got out my driving licence with my blue card and my residence permit and by this time the second policeman sauntered over and in English asked me how I was.  I replied in English that I was fine and asked how he was and he responded that he was fine.  The first one, not to be outdone said that he was fine also, he asked me where I lived and since it's printed on my residency card I wondered why  but told him the village, he handed me back my cards and I was on my way.  He did ask about another friend and I gave the news before I departed.

Christmas paper, leva shop, car shop and supermarket and I was on my way and back for one.  The wrapping is all finished, I have presents for unexpected guests or neighbours and the delivery is tomorrow.  Most of my neighbours don't celebrate Christmas since they are not of the faith but do celebrate new year.  Supper of hamburgers and chippies ...the hamburgers should have been for yesterday but my guest fell asleep so I watched tv on the computer and I fell asleep and y the time I went down to cook supper, he'd gone to bed.  Thorough mix up but it was worth waiting for...very meaty hamburgers to be followed as we thought by bottled cherries which turned out to be bottled olives so that plan was laid to rest.  We ended up with marble cake and ice-cream.

No point putting my stocking up tonight.....it's not quite like my time in UK when I would fill it with all th things I really wanted like Channel No.5 nd telling the children that Santa was so clever to bring me what I really liked.  Those were the days.  LN.....Santa's delivery elf is on the move tomorrow around eleven....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 25, 2019, 10:06pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 25th December

Morning and merry Christmas and today has been about other people not me.  I didn't take my presents to my ladies....the turkey went in at ten, we finished breakfast by eleven, I contacted my student to see if they were here or away and the response was that they were waiting for me.  The youngster enjoys her presents and it's a joy to buy for the family...and I take care what I buy for them from joke presents for the father who insists on cutting up serviettes into halves so that they go further and giving him three packets of a hundred of each.  I also bought a packet for the mother so that she can hand out whole ones.  As for the girls...they normally get the same but now that the older one is married they have a different main present but that doesn't stop the older one still wanting the same as the younger one and it's all good fun.  We eventually made it to their house by twelve thirty dropping off the presents at the garage shop for my student's family...being Muslim they're working but maybe not so hard...commercialism is making more people aware of the twenty fifth of December and joining in.

We arrived home at two thirty and I took the turkey out of the oven, removed the tin foil and put it back in to brown off nicely.  Meanwhile, potatoes on to boil, carrots peeled, potatoes deep fried to provide roasties and peas in with the carrots.  No bread sauce, no sprouts mainly because I don't like them and the parsley root that I dug up out of the garden were too small to be taken for carrots so they're still on the kitchen waiting to find their way into the compost.   Gravy made, food served and the turkey was perfect, kitchen tidied, washing up done and it was time to settle down with my book and relax.  I'd left the car out intending to deliver the rest of the presents but I couldn't raise the energy to go out and be sociable and one day in the grand scheme of things won't really matter.

Nipper put away, I washed Oliver which is a film love, left it to watch Strictly and then went back to watch the end of Oliver, now watching Dolly Parton...and if I can stay awake want to watch Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas show...we'll see how much I manage.  Only me circulating....my guest has taken to his bed about an hour ago while I've developed second wind.  The temperature appears to be going down at night...it was one degree this morning and has fallen to three degrees now.  Winter is-coming John Snow.  LN....A lovely mellow day....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 26, 2019, 6:03pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 26th December

So I stopped up last night to watch various things on the television and by rights I should have been in bed long before I was.  I wanted to see Mrs. Brown's Boys but it was not quite what I expected....a funny twist to it.  Slept really well and woke up at about seven and nothing was stirring not even....my guest.  I lit the fire from scratch, there was absolutely nothing left in the firebox and went back to bed with my coffee until it had burnt up.  It was four degrees out and twenty one inside so the house had held up well.

Eventually I was cooking breakfast and it was an omelette with ham and cheese for my guest and I settled for my boxing day favourite of turkey dripping on toast and of course there are always those bits that fall off the turkey that need tidying up.  I cleared up the kitchen, collected the paper rubbish that needed burning and headed down the garden with the garden fork.  There'd been rain and I knew the burning bucket would be damp so I turned it on its side, drained it out, emptied the remains into one of the log carriers headed down the road to the container in the square.  Back to the garden and asked my guest to drill some holes in the bucket now that it was empty but it took ages to get the rubbish and some tree debris burning.  It was cold and wet...not the best conditions.

The side branch to the cherry tree is now down and sawn into logs.  They really need to move into the garage to dry off but that's a job for another day.  I came in at around four because I was cold and just had a very relaxing Badedas bath to ease out the knots.  I'm currently munching on barbecue Cruspies from Lidl which are very spicy and very crunchy peanuts.  Nothing on the television tonight so I shall be in bed early with a chocolate orange that I brought back from the UK....Thanks Princess...for everything.  LN...The fire needs attention...LN



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Elsa Peters
December 27, 2019, 5:01pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 27th December

Six thirty start and there was definitely a chill in the air so I went down and salvaged the fire from last night's ashes.  It didn't take long before the chill had gone.  I went back to bed with a coffee, opened the curtains and there was soon a mist on the inside...it was minus one outside.  Downstairs had held twenty degrees though so it was only the chill of the bedroom that I felt.  Very dark out but soon the sky was changing, the clouds were taking on the pinkness of morning and the frost was sparkling on the grass.  It was kind of magical.  Eventually the sun came up but it was short lived...those clouds rolled in and although light in texture, they blocked out the sun.

I cooked sausages for breakfast with egg for my guest and I settled for poached eggs on ham.  Kitchen tidied and I went out to check the burning bin from yesterday and it was completely empty with a couple of cats hanging about to see if anything new went in ...and it didn't only the rubbish wood.  I moved the wheelbarrow from where I'd left it yesterday over the rest of the debris that needed burning, got the fire going again and headed up the garden for the bench from the grave garden.  It had hung around too long and had to go either one way or another...and most of it went on the bonfire.  As I worked in the garden it was my first Friday back and the mosques were really going for it.  Unfortunately there were a group of builders who had other thoughts and were playing the radio very loudly in opposition and I think somebody must have mentioned it to them before I got the chance.  I was left with the mosque in triplicate.

My ext challenge was to get my old Fitbit to make sure that the steps on the one that I'd just put on charge were carried over to the one that I'd just put on.  I'd knocked off about seven thousand steps and suddenly they were lost into the ether.  It took me around an hour to fix it and it was only when I used the settings screen and not the desktop icon to access it and it updated immediately.  Not to self...go in through the back door.

This afternoon I stripped the mat from the turkey carcass and soup is in for tomorrow, the leg and wing is ready for a curry tomorrow and tonight we have turkey in white sauce with vegetables with a sliced potato topping.  Into the oven it went and now the potatoes have taken on a gentle brown hue and it will be served as soon as the blog is posted.  I hate the idea of turkeys hanging round for days and everyone gets tired of them.  Not in this house.

So tomorrow not sure what's on for tomorrow.  It looks like being a good day weather wise so I might have to take advantage of it.  LN...I'll update you...LN




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Elsa Peters
December 28, 2019, 8:18pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 28th December

Silly night last night.  I woke up at three this morning with the light on after an early bedtime so I read for an hour or so.  The second awakening was at seven so I went downstairs, made my first cup and took it to bed and used my travel kettle for top ups until the rest of the house was circulating.  I'd lit the fire on my coffee journey so the house was warm to sit down to a cooked breakfast.  One load of washing in and stripped down the guest bed and that was my second load.  I didn't peg out on the line, the sheet and quilt cover adorned the stair we and after a couple of hours could have gone back on...that's fleece blankets for you.  Washing up done and kitchen tidied and I took to the sofa with my book until the urge to do something hit me and I packed up some more goodies, got everything into the delivery bags and took the rest of my gifts round to the village.  I've only got two more to do tomorrow and that will be it...Remsie can wait and Haciber is in Turkey so will get hers when she gets back.

I set off around two and didn't get back until four fifteen, the last port of call was Gouldjan's who has now taken up residence in Germany with her husband.  She told me about her new job helping workers who have recently arrived and don't understand the languages and hoops that you have to jump through.  She has three languages to her bow and seems to be covering any occurrences decided by her city office and loves the work.  She told me her take-home pay per month....and is earning four times what she would be earning in Bulgaria and good luck to them as a couple.

Drove home, picked up my guest and off we went to Kardjali.  I needed to fill up with gas and needed a few things so headed to Lidl and it was heaving.  Lots of price reductions but a freezer can only hold so much so I had to leave loads in the shop. Home for six, car unpacked, shopping and the rest of the turkey was made into a curry for tonight.  Spicy but not too spicy and there is enough left to freeze for next week.  

Temperature is dropping and is down to minus one already so we're in for a cold one.  I thought about Greece tomorrow to the market and will see what the weather is like in the morning.  It won't be swimming weather but they have a very good fish restaurant there....now there's a thought.  LN...Time to throw a log on....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 29, 2019, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 29th December

So the turkey curry went down well last night, the bones from the soup that I've made for today went over the wall for the cats...they must have thought it was Christmas...well it was a few days ago.  The turkey is not more...curried turkey and lentil soup...a first time for everything and to follow that we have barbecued spare ribs with jacket.  Back to normal now.

It was a tad on the cold side this morning.  The fire had burnt out over night and it was down to eighteen in the lounge and minus two outside so I decided to stay in the lounge.  It started off very promising with blue skies but that quickly changed to overcast grey so the plans for Greece were cancelled.  It means going through the high pass so snow is more or less guaranteed and I didn't want to take the Beast over.  Toast for breakfast, my guest was pretty slow off the mark and not gracing me with his presence until just before ten and after all, he's on his holidays.  He got his own breakfast, there's plenty in the fridge and just to let future guests know...I'm not much of a hostess if it's out of what I consider meal time.

Today I've delivered the last of the presents.  One of my neighbours who is not on the list watched me take presents to the others that are and I felt really guilty so I made up a bag for her.  I also delivered the gifts to the lady that has the garden next to mine...she's so generous with potatoes and other vegetables and also a genuinely nice person with so much work to do.  She has cows to milk and an acre to dig and look after and she's the one that I'd love to take for a manicure....just to be pampered...but I know she won't go.

Fire going well and I've closed all the curtains tonight. It's dropped to minus two already and the clouds look full of it and with the wind as it is, it if does snow there will be blizzards.  Accuweather has forecast ten centimetres....four inches to the rest of us I might wake up to white over.  I think it's too cold for snow and my daughter used to laugh when I said it but one year I heard her say it back to me....and I laughed but there'll be no snow where they are ...in Florida.

So kitchen and supper calls, the hostess with the mostess is about to put her apron on, yes I do have one, and get the food underway.  LN....Just a few pickies of this drab landscape...LN



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