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Elsa Peters
January 1, 2020, 6:39pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 1st January

Very frantic around the homestead last night.  Lots of FB messages backwards and forwards, text messages, emails and well wishing everyone and hoping that we all have a Happy New Year.  Some of us will and others won't but maybe we have to try to change the script at times or the internal dialogue to make the changes for ourselves.  Whatever comes our way let's try to find the positives or just look at it from a different view point.  It reminds me of a cartoon that I saw where the soldiers had set up a game of skittles at the end of the shoot from the guillotine and as the heads rolled they knocked down the skittles.  The text was 'No matter what the job, always try to make it fun'.  It still makes me laugh.

So the fireworks went off in the surrounding villages.  I managed to stay awake to see the New Year in, went to bed and was awake at four with not an ounce of sleep in me.  I finished Outlander book eight and it occurred to me that there were lots of loose ends and I couldn't believe that this was the last book....and it isn't.  I went on to Diane Galbaton's website and book nine was supposed to be out the end of 2019...so she's missed it.  Her excuse is that the book might be complete but that there is a publisher's launch date to be considered so goodness knows when it will be delivered.

Not too cold overnight but the temperature has not gone above two degrees outside despite the winter sun but that wind was pretty raw again.  I went out into the workshop by request to help on as a third hand and the cold was cutting through me and I didn't stay long.  As for the rest of the day I've been reading, having a good day catching up on emails and FB requests that have been parked for a while but all OK now.  I also got a new lot of books on the Kindle to keep me out of mischief for a while.    This afternoon I also watched the Sound of Music, a few tears were shed and I watched Billy Elliot last night and I'm saying nothing.

Tonight's supper was Turkish kebabs with cheesy chips or mayo chips that didn't fancy the cheese.  No room for pudding so I'll wait a while to see if anything takes my fancy later besides a box of chocolates.  Cats were out this morning and I gave in and dished out bread covered in bacon fat and last night's bones from the spare ribs....and they're not my cats.  LN.....Kindle at the ready....starting a new book.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 2, 2020, 5:53pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 2nd January

I had a pretty late start for me...I didn't wake up until seven thirty and played games until eight.  The night itself had been a little fraught....I didn't managed to get to sleep until three and according to my Fitbit, my sleep pattern was 'fair'.  I'd have called it poor but there again, I'm not American.  I lit the fire from scratch, my guest had decided to take out all of the ashes from the burning box where I tend to leave some in,  There again the ash box was brimming...we'd burnt some stuff last night.

I started breakfast.  I'd bought some bacon pieces from Lidl and on its first outing had proved very salty so I'd soaked the rest overnight in water in the fridge separating them out into suitable for frying and the rest was going into tonight's supper.  I started supper so that it could go into the slow cooker and a moment later there was knock on the door and Gouldjan and her husband were outside.  They'd come to say fond farewells, tomorrow they begin their journey back to Germany via Serbia and it's going to take them two days to get home.  It's a long way and I hope the weather stays fine with no snow marring their passage.  They left around eleven, I cooked breakfast adding an egg to the bacon and then finished preparing supper which was now going to be chilli beans with bacon, leeks and onions.

I tidied the kitchen and went out to have a bonfire.  It was a beautiful day, the wind was cold but everything looked crystal clear.  I could even spot my little house up in the mountains and it's still standing.  The first pickie is one of the area and the house is somewhere in the middle.  I should have marked it with a cross but I don't want squatters taking a chance on it.   Bonfire sorted and then my attention was drawn to the old cans and bottles in the little house and now there are fewer of them there and a lot more in the skip in the square.  Secondly I asked my guest for help to get the garden cloche over from the little house terrace to the veg patch to cover the broad beans.  They don't mind the cold but they hate the slush when it snows.  They are now protected but minor work had to be done on the polythene...it needed repair and now it's done.

I came in and relit the fire, got supper underway, made garlic bread and put a couple of apples with sultanas, sugar, butter and honey into the oven to have for afters.  Supper is over, washing up done, blog, t.v.  and ...bed.  I've got to listen out for the bread van tomorrow...the cats had the last of the white bread with bacon fat on it and I'm fresh out of eggs..

Lovely day...quite a lot achieved...Kardjali tomorrow or somewhere....I need to get out and about.  LN...Sleepily ready for bed but it's early yet.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 3, 2020, 5:08pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 3rd January

Usual morning, minus six degrees and a chilly start to the day but at least it gives me lovely morning skies.  I didn't venture out on to the balcony to take them and some were done from the  comfort of the bed once I'd got my coffee and I love the views I get from the bedroom.  I'd lit the fire while I was waiting for the kettle to boil so the temperature inside the house was rising little by little and by the time I went down for my second I was up to twenty one degrees inside which is OK considering the outside temperature.

Bacon sandwiches for my guest, toasted fruit loaf for me since I was out of white bread with two pieces of bacon and it really tasted good.  I put out the old yogurt for the cats...and didn't hide nor hair of them today...they must have found a new watering hole.  Thawed out the Nipper and headed into town for around ten thirty...stopping off in Djebel to take a pair of shoes to the cobbler who is a lovely old man sitting in the middle of his lasts.  He said that he couldn't do them today so we agreed next Friday. I didn't have much shopping to get in Kardjali but a quick trip to one of the cheapy shops in town came up with some good loot.  They had a sale on where all jumpers were one lev and we both managed to choose one and that was before we realised there was a sale on. Result.  Stopped at the cheap shoe shop and I bought a pair of ten lev black suede boots and I persuaded my guest to get a pair of cheap shoes instead of wearing his crocks...just in case the weather does change.  Back into the car and down to the new Chinese shop in the centre so that my guest could buy some more charging cables to take back with him and then down to Lidl to complete the list that I'd drawn up this morning and I didn't want to deviate...and didn't.

Djebel for a fresh chicken from the supermarket and brown and white bread from the supermarket at the bottom of the town and home to unpack the shopping.  Hamburgers are in the oven with roasted veg for supper, the fire is going and my guest is asleep...hard life.  Excellent skies again tonight and there was a halo round the moon that I did go outside to capture.  LN....Time to get this show on the road.....kitchen bound....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 4, 2020, 4:49pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 4th January

Seven before I came to this morning, the fire was hanging on by a thread so instead of getting it going I cleared the accumulated soot out 0f the top of the wood burner but I didn't bother getting the pipes of pan out.  I'll save that for another day.  The request was for a bacon and cheese omelette, I settled for toast and jam, kitchen tidied, washed and dressed and then collected up the  rubbish and headed down to the bottom of the garden for a burn-up.  I'd balanced the metal lit on the bucket yesterday and it was obvious that the cats had got in searching for anything.  I'd fed the little one but over the wall yesterday and I think it's psychological on my part...I don't want a cat or dog or anything I feel responsible for.

I went up to put last night's washing away and noticed that the sheep were out and obviously enjoying the experience of the hillside.  I think they've been held in for a few days.  It was then that I noticed how clear the air was and how beautiful the mountains were.  I know I go on about my sunrises and sunsets but there's that bit in between.  The formation is the same but nature adds a different outfit to the model everyday.  There's always something different to see.

I headed out to the workshop...I was out of starter wood for the fire so with chopper in hand I started to split the end pieces of wood and managed to get around two weeks supply done when my guest put in an appearance and offered to chop up some more of the longer pieces of old wood with the chop saw.  Now I didn't mind using it but the last time I attempted it, he'd made modifications and you have to remove the guard from the blade manually.  This doesn't sit well with me so he's under strict instructions to return it to its purchased state....but having said that, he chopped everything that needed chopping and I split it into widths ready for starting my fires.  I tidied up the yard, started to clear the old kitchen in the little house of all its jars and old cans and I have another bag ready for the container down in the square.  I'd also got a load of old plastic boxes and they've npw been incinerated....

Chicken is in for tonight's supper with jacket potatoes.  I've just had a mishap with the rest of the roasted veg from last night..I blended them and added water and tomato soup powder and we don't have soup but what I do have is the base for spaghetti bolognaise for tomorrow...every cloud has a silver lining if you look for it...

Greece might be on the cards for tomorrow,,it depends on the weather and what sort of start we have otherwise if might be a trip down to Zlatograd for lunch.  LN...Kitchen calls ...LN



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Elsa Peters
January 5, 2020, 6:06pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 5th January

Seven start but I was really late to bed.  The Voice has started again and I stopped up to watch Celebrity 'Who wants to be a Millionaire '....late to bed and six thirty...early to rise.  What is it with me?  So I got the fie going from last night's embers, it was only minus one overnight and the house was nineteen degrees but I like to give it a boost.  Lazy morning, washed and dressed because it was called, fed the cats or whatever with last night's left overs including the skin from my baked apple.  I topped it off with the remains of the chicken fat and the hamburgers and the rest of the brown bread.  Such a treat for them.

Poached on toast for breakfast and then I headed into Djebel to pick up a few items that I'd forgotten to pick up the last night I was out.  Milk was on the list but it stayed on the shelf in Lidl.  I needed onions and my guest was out of wine so I found another wine box still on offer and that went into the shopping basket.  For me...more Pepsi....   Back home and made the spaghetti bolognaise for tonight's supper and put it in the slow cooker...organised or what.  I settled down on the sofa after my kitchen preparations, I haven't got a book I'm in to at the moment so I settled for Soda Crush and promptly fell asleep....catching up on the lack of it last night and felt much better for it.  Supper served with  stripy spaghetti that must have been int he cupboard for a year or so but was still OK...no pudding tonight...the hostess has run out of steam.

The threatened snow didn't arrive but tomorrow we're supposed to have around six centimetres of the white stuff so I've put the car window scraper in the  Nipper and the small snow shovel.  I don't think I'll need it but you never know Norman.  Nothing planned for tomorrow yet...I'll see how the mood takes me.  LN....And now for Transponder TV....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 6, 2020, 6:02pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 6th January

It was a five thirty start for me and I went down and lit the fire but this time from scratch...not a cinder left.  I soon got it going again and it's been burning brightly all day.  I went back to bed with my coffee so that the house could warm up, it was minus two outside and twenty in and it looked as if there had been a thaw overnight and all that was left of last night's snow were puddles of frozen water.  The terraces were lethal.  I tuned to Transponder TV on the Kindle ready to catch the first Piers Morgan and for some reason he wasn't starting until eight thirty my time not the usual eight.  The highlight of this morning was watching Ricky Gervaise entertaining the awards ceremony pundits...rude but funny.

Down for breakfast and it was a bacon and egg special, kitchen washed up and tidied and it was the day for fetching the decorations down.  I've still left the fairy lights in the porch...they look pretty and are on a timer so not any effort at all.  Santa has come down though...nothing to see here folks...all away for next year.  Bit of another lazy day....too cold to go out and play, still no good books to read and must make more effort in that direction but I did get a load of logs in.  I did managed to find the business card of one of the guest on the cruise, track her down on FB, send a message request and now we're in communication.  The power of FB.

By four thirty I was stripping the remains of the chicken from the carcass, peeling potatoes and carrots and putting them on to cook.  Chicken into a deep dish with the carrots and peas with a sauce made out of mushroom soup, covered with mashed potatoes and butter, back into the oven and ....it was delicious.  Yogurt and sour cherry jam for pudding...washing up done and kitchen put away for the night.

Internet has been playing up though.  I could get on to FB and Hotmail but there was something wrong with the onward link to Transponder TV and my website.  Everything is up and running now so I thought I'd get this in before it goes down again.  Still got yellow warnings for high winds in the area...best stay indoors then.  LN...Where's my snow you promised....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 7, 2020, 6:19pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 7th January

Cold start to the morning...the fire was hanging on by a thread so I got it underway so that it was warm for my guest to eventually make a grand entrance.  I took a coffee back to bed for a while, played Soda Crush and went down to a warm house.  It was minus two overnight but last night's wind had eventually subsided.  I got dressed...I needed bread from the van, got on several layers and heard the van around  eight thirty or thought I did.  As I walked down the road I heard the toot of his horn at the houses down the back so I carried on and made my way to the bus shelter to get out of the wind that had suddenly sprung up.  My painter watched me head for the shelter and came up for a chat...the'd got the breakfasts to deliver to the OAPs and I'm still waiting for mine...I obviously don't meet the requirements.  The van appeared, just one loaf of white and I headed home noticing that Haciber was still away in Turkey.

Bacon and egg for breakfast followed by toast.  Washing up done and I started the supper for tonight intending to put it in the slow cooker.  I was surprised by a visit from my Fotinovo friend, we put the world to rights, discussed Ricky Gervaise' efforts at the award ceremony and we're not taking bets that he appears at next year's event.  We discussed that I wanted a new PC, moved to the computer on the landing and hey ho...one has been ordered,paid for and will arrive in Bulgaria all being well next week using the England to Bulgaria transport system that is well within our budget.

I went into Djebel this afternoon and had an hour or so with my student's mum, set off for home and went to the supermarket meeting up with my student heading home from school.  I gave him a hug, he wished me Happy New Year and said that he was off to play football and did I want to go and watch him.  I declined, the temperature was dropping already and it wasn't the day for sporting activities.  Home for four and watched 'Who do you think you are?' with Charles Dance which was quite fascinating...a whole new family that he knew nothing about in South Africa.

Supper at seven and it was delicious....the remains of packet pf bacon with onions, baked beans and chilli powder with just a hint of a kick.  Temperature is supposed to drop to minus seven or eight overnight and is already minus three so better keep the home fires burning.  LN....Nothing on the cards so far for tomorrow...I'll wait and see....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 8, 2020, 7:15pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 8th January

Minus seven overnight and it seemed to take ages to get the outside temperature up.  The sun came out but the wind stayed fairly blustery and it cut straight through you.  I managed to find some bits for the cats for over the wall but there didn't seem to be any about.  The black one was sitting on the wall for a while enjoying the sun sheltered by the corner support but didn't stay around long enough to sample the delights of the kitchen.  I left my guest to get his own breakfast and I settled for toast, washed up and went on to the computer.

Had a bit of a mare of a morning.  I decided to transfer currency over from my UK bank to my Bulgarian one using the system that I normally use and they'd put a new process in place to make life easier.  Well it would have been if it had worked but the system came back with an error message, I contacted the bank to make a telephone transfer meanwhile the screen showed that the system had encountered a problem and by now I was worried that my money would be stuck in limbo.  I managed to cancel the transaction on the screen but couldn't log and was left with a locked screen, I phoned the bank to confirm that my money was where I wanted it...in my account.  I then called the transfer company, told them my screen was locked up and gave them the error message and the help desk phoned me back, said that new processes had gone in and that it might be a coding error.  I'm not sure what the guy did at the other end but after about half an hour I was able to log out, log back in again and make the transfer.  In all...about two hours.  

By now it was getting on for lunch time and the sofa was a good place to settle after the stress of the morning.  I hate banks, systems and money, help desks and tech support but that was all in the mist of morning and once the mist cleared I started a new book.  It's about Cleopatra starting from seven years old and supposedly going on for another fourteen hours but so far it's not riveting so we'll see how far I get.

Just finished supper....we were going out but it's very bleak out there and I changed my mind and cooked.  Gammon steaks, chops and egg...nothing gourmet but adequate.  The boiler is on...I need to lie in the bath for an hour or so it's been a stressful day one way and another.  LN....Badedas is calling....LN





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Elsa Peters
January 9, 2020, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 9th January

Seven thirty this morning and that Badedas bath worked its magic.  Such a good night's sleep.  Three loads of washing knocked off before nine, I stripped my bed, put the fleece quilt cover and sheet over the balcony and could almost have put it back on the bed by eleven.  It was minus seven overnight but as soon as the sun came up the temperature inside the house, along with the fire made everything bearable....I was only half dressed but when it came to pegging out the remainder, the sweater went on along with the trousers, socks and boots.

Bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast and by the time that I'd done the chores this morning and sorted things out and had a bonfire, it was just before twelve....so late for me to be eating let alone cooking breakfast.  Another sweater on and we headed out to Zlatograd to go to the leather man for a couple of belts for my guest and to make changes to one that he's wearing at the moment.  We stopped off in Benkovski first and I bumped into the Librarian as I came out of the supermarket and she updated me on her news.  I told her that I'd found some documents of hers under the seat of the Nipper that must have fallen out of her bag the last time she was in the car...she's going to come over and collect them and bring back a few things that have found their way over to her house like my acro-props....I might just need them.

I found a new way into Zlatograd old town avoiding the one way system and we stopped at the hotel for a coffee before we went to the leather man's shop.  I love that place...you can hardly get a smile out of him and he refuses to charge for other work like making new holes in belts but I got one over on him and managed to get his to accept money for his work,  On to the pottery shop where we watched the man making bells on his pottery wheel and even bought a serviette and toothpick holder for the table in the kitchen, a money bod and a small cup that my guest liked.  Lovely late afternoon driving back and the full moon was up...very pale in a blue sky and the camera was out as soon as I got home.  First things first,, washing in and onto the airer, I've made my bed up for tonight, coffee and an eclair that I bought in Zlatograd in front of a roaring fire.  Next step was to capture the sunset, the full moon and watch the end of Tipping Point while my guest got in a few zzz's.

Off to Djebel tonight for a pizza....I'm feeling lazy.  Kardjali tomorrow and if the weather is good, we've earmarked Sunday for Greece and the fish restaurant.  LN....Time to get the gold lame on....LN




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Elsa Peters
January 10, 2020, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 10th January

Five thirty start, down to light the fire at six thirty...having a guest is a responsibility when it's minus seven outside and you need to get the house warmed up.  I think on my own I'd have gone back to bed until the sun was up and at eight, the sun was streaming in the stairwell window and the thermometer was rapidly climbing.  I had a bonfire, the cats were screeching for food, I threw out some bread and they were straight on it.  To go for the bread means that they were extremely hungry...why don't people take care of their pets and if necessary, put them on the pill so that they don't have litter after litter...rant over.

Breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches and then I got supper ready and into the slow cooker with it.  Bacon bits with onions fried off, leeks, potatoes and chicken leg added and I covered the lot with chicken and pasta soup.  In my eleven thirty and ready by six tonight served up with hot crusty bread.  We set off for Kardjali and I decided to pay a visit to the secondhand furniture warehouse in one of the outlying villages but I only bought a shelf with hangers attached and a metal storage box and shelled out twenty lev for the two of them.  We went down to the town and it was very busy.  I paid my telephone bill and was subjected to a promotional offer of cheaper broadband with television but I know that the speed of the service let them down last time.  I stopped off at the bus station and bought the ticket for my guest so that he will have a night in an hotel in Sofia...the weather is supposed to deliver snow...we'll have to wait and see.  I filled up the car with gas and Lidl for a few items including milk to see me through to the end of the holiday and home James.

It's been a beautiful day and I think I put on one sweater too many when I was shopping.  I almost wanted to drop a layer but pleased I didn't.  The police were out in force and I must remember to complete the applications for the road tax tonight or tomorrow morning...both vehicles expire tonight.  There's supposed to be a partial eclipse tonight so I'm off to the balcony to try to catch it with the camera...I'll be back to you later if I have pickies.   LN....It's a very clear night....LN
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