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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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Elsa Peters
January 11, 2020, 7:49pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 11th January

As for the moon activity last night, I tried to take a photo of it but wasn't really sure what I was supposed to see and the camera would only pick up a big white blob and no detail.  Through the binoculars I noticed that there were changes with the surface but nothing that would be highlight of my evening.

Six thirty start, fire lit, normal activity and my morning was underway.  My guest was up and at it by eight thirty, took ages to come round and be civilised so I got on with cooking breakfast...bacon and egg sandwiches yet again.  Washing up done and three loads of washing and it was a beautiful morning for getting it out on the washing line.  It stayed out there until four when I brought it in and put it on the clothes airer in the bathroom and now it's ready to be put away.  As I was walking down the garden to get the washing in I noticed that there were four cats sitting on the wall and the resting bench under the wild damson.  What is it...I don't particularly like cats but they like me and obviously have chosen me...why, why, why???!!!

As for the rest of the afternoon, I was on the sofa and watching various things on the Kindle and playing silly games.  I felt very tired and must have needed the afternoon rest.  I was nodding but didn't actually go off but woke up enough to get the fire going ready to warm up the bathroom to air the clothes and it's been going well all evening.  
Supper of hamburgers and chippies...lots of chippies.  One potato didn't supply enough, two gave us too many but we managed them with mayo and tomato sauce.  

As for tomorrow, we were originally going to Greece but that's weather dependent.  I checked Accuweather and it reports that there might be rain tomorrow in Greece and I don't fancy driving down there to walk around in the rain.  LN....I'll see what the morning brings.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 12, 2020, 8:14pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 12th January

Silly night last night.  I stopped up to watch the Voice, Tom Jones sang 'You can leave your hat on' and he certainly still has it.  The ladies in the audience were almost swooning over him, I just have the impression that he has so little personality and he brings it out in song.  Very good for his age though.  So after that I went to bed, didn't settle for quite some time an woke up at six....so not long asleep according to my Fitbit.

Down to light the fire, cleared the dishes from the drainer, coffee, folded up the clothes from the airer, put mine away and delivered the washing to the guest room.  All go in this house.  Breakfast duties next , bacon and egg, more washing up and at twelve I was thinking about getting dressed.  I seemed to settle on the sofa with my Kindle, played a few games but that's what Sundays are for.  Greece wasn't on...it was raining and despite the fact that it wasn't cold, it was cold enough for me to decided that coldish and damp wasn't going to be the order of the day for me.

At twelve I decided that a Badedas bath was going to soothe away my cares and woes, my guest was working away in the little house on a project to be revealed in a later photo.  Bath, hair wash, clothes on, hair dried and television on. ...as I said...it's Sunday and the highest activity rating was getting in a log carrier full and moving it to the conservatory.  I forgot...I also watered the bathroom plant.

Chicken sings, Turkish kebabs and roast veg for supper.  Getting the veg ready I put my thumb into the squash so that's gone to the compost bin along with carrots that have gone off very quickly and a half beetroot.  Veg here from the supermarkets just don't last.  I haven't washed up tonight....only a couple of plates so they can wait until morning.  Got some concreting to do tomorrow as part of the 'project' and I fancy a trip to Kardjali unless it's throwing it down again.  LN....Chill time....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 13, 2020, 6:59pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 13th January

So I opened the curtains on the morning and it was black as pitch out there and when it eventually went light there was fog as far as the eye could, or couldn't see and it took ages to lift.  I got the fire going around eight....I'd been comfortable in my bed with a cup of coffee and didn't see the need to get up and at 'em until that time.  I wanted to watch Piers Morgan at eight thirty out time...I was interested on his take on the Royal fiasco and rightly so, he was furious that England is being slandered as a racial country by the Americans.  Where did this racist card come from and why so many jump on the bandwagon?  

Bacon and egg came out again, the usual chores needed doing and I ended up on the sofa checking my emails on the Kindle and answering a few.  I dropped one to Angela who'sin the process of downsizing and offered to go and camp on the sofa in about a month's time.  She's going to be at her son's home until she's had essential work done on hers and doesn't plan to walk into hers for another month so thought it would help her out.  I'll see what she comes back with.  

My guest is making a bird table come bird hotel by the look of it and was wanting to put down a concrete base at the end of the support pole so that I can move it about the garden but heavy enough that the wind doesn't blow it over.  I'm really not sure...I get some pretty stiff breezes on my hillside.  When it came to it, I realised that Sally had used up the last of the cement when he was doing the water clock box in the drive so I had to get the Nipper out and have a quick trip into Djebel.  My lady in the hardware shop was quite surprised at my request....not many are doing concreting in these low temperatures.  So a loaf of bread from the supermarket, no van today since it's market day and when I got back I was grabbing wheel barrow and measuring out sand and gravel into the wheelbarrow so that it could be used for mixing it up.  It worked after a fashion, eventually....and we'll see if it turns out perpendicular when all is revealed after the unveiling ceremony.  

It was a cold afternoon so I was cleaning up tools and getting them away and then made a nest on the sofa and watched the snooker.  Eventually set my mind on the kitchen and concocted a hamburger, chilli, baked beans, cannelloni pasta and cheesy white sauce mixture which turned out OK and was demolishes with little effort.  Washing up done, the rest of the chocolates have been demolished and it's getting on for nine my time...soon be time for bed.

Nothing on the cards so far for tomorrow.  If the weather is good I'm sure we can find something to do...it's supposed to be minus three overnight so it could be a chilly start.  LN....I need some sun....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 14, 2020, 8:30pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 14th January

I woke up at five, read for a while and played games and head down at seven for the next shift.  I eventually woke up at eight and down for the first coffee of the day.  By this time I could see on the thermometer that the temperature had dropped to minus four over night, it was white over and all the trees were covered in the sparkly stuff.  It was such a good day that I suggested we go into Kardjali and walk the shops...I felt in need of some exercise and a little retail therapy.

I lit the fire to raise the temperature in the house, it was partly going so didn't take much to get it going, put in a load of washing and made breakfast and all this before nine...I was on a role.  Washing pegged out, dressed for town, Nipper moved outside the gates and we were on the open road Toad by eleven.  I stopped to pick up an old man who was frantically waving his walking stick at me and I had to clear a space for him in the back.  Apparently he's staying with the farmer in the valley for a few days, would like to buy a house here but is going back to Bursa in Turkey on Thursday.  He was very sweet and offered me the bus fare when I dropped him off in Djebel which I always refuse to take.  We had the usual tussle but I won, he took back his money and wished me health for the new year.  I mentioned that he should mention to his host that he was taken to town by the English woman but he said that he knew who I was already...my fame has spread in Turkey...'the woman who picks up any old man that she sees on the way to Djebel'.  I stopped off at the cobblers and picked up a pair of shoes that I'd left last week for re-heeling and a really good job he's made of them.  The heels were a little scuffed so he put new leather round the heel while he was at it'  I've only had the shoes about twenty five years and love them..very soft black leather ankle boots...and there's a good few years left in them.

On to Kardjali and to the cheapy clothes shop and I found a pair of corduroy trousers and a hooded jacket and also a stuffed Angry Bird character.  My guest picked up a college scarf, which college not sure but it will keep his chest warm.  After that we walked down to the lev shop for a few items, back to the car and on to Lidl.  They had ducks on offer so that's for tomorrow and pork chops for tonight along with a lemon and ginger sauce, oven fried mushrooms and fried potatoes.  Firstly though, the things I'd bought were into the washing machine to freshen them up, Angry Bird is drying off over the desk and the rest are on the radiator in the bathroom.  The morning's washing was put on the airer and is now put away.  A decent sized log has just gone onto the wood burner...we're in for another cold one.

Nothing line up for tomorrow so far....I'm still tempted with Greece though if it's sunny tomorrow...it will make a change.  LN....Phone posting time.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 15, 2020, 9:31pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 15th January

This is an excuse for an update tonight.  My main machine is receiving updates even though it's no longer supported, supper was late since the duck was bigger than I thought it was.  The Hassleback potatoes and beetroot were ready before the duck but the gravy was fantastic.  I promise to do better tomorrow.

Add to today's catastrophes....I started the Beast, moved it out of the garden to clean the dried leaves from under it, cleaned out the inside and tried to start it to put it back and yes you've guessed, the battery was flat so I had to get the charger out.  The upside was I drove down to the spring just after the next village and filled up six eleven litre bottle to keep my plants going for the winter.  As they say...every cloud has a silver lining ans as for the duck episode....the cats will have the bones and fat on the stale bread.

And now to sleep..Pickies tomorrow and it's cold duck so I should be more organised.  LN....i don't like days like this....LN.
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Elsa Peters
January 16, 2020, 7:23pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 16th January

So again it's been a funny old day.  I woke up at five a nd got the fire going but went back to sleep again until seven, down for coffee and stoked the fire again.  My guest had obviously got up and put the kettle on, made tea but then gone back to bed so I delivered tea but told him not to get used to it....not much time left now for his to expect that kind of service every morning.

Omelettes for breakfast, washing up done, I fed the cats on the bones from last night's duck and did they fight about it.  As I left the house the white and ginger one with scruffy ears was waiting for me and followed me to the wall and over the wall was the black one and as the food went over, the black one grabbed a wing and shot off towards the hedge.  The white and ginger one stayed put guarding against newcomers.  I was a cold old morning with freezing fog covering the bushes and trees.  I didn't see many cobwebs...the spiders have all found other places to linger.

My guest headed to the workshop to continue with the bird table...I started an investigation to see if an account I had previously set up with a firm transporting 'stuff' from England to Bulgaria was still active....and it is.  I'd looked at an eleven inch laptop come tablet that I'd seen in one of the adverts I received, I'm sorely tempted to order it.   Maybe later...I've got a desktop on its way from England with twin twenty two inch screens with windows ten operating system on it already...my ten year old machine is beginning to creak and is only running windows seven.

As for the rest of the day, I ended up putting more books on my Kindle from my supply on my system.  There are lots there that I haven't read so was sorting out authors and book series.  I like the ones that follow a theme.  Supper of duck with mushrooms in orange gravy covered with mash potatoes followed by ice-cream and several caramel chocolate sweets...rude not to when they're sitting on the table looking at you.  

Temperature is down to minus one already and it's just after nine my time....it could be a real cold one tonight.  LN....More bones for the cats....they love me......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 17, 2020, 7:07pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 17th January

So pretty much the usual start to the day...but no freezing fog...only cloudy sky.  It was seven thirty when I made it downstairs to get the fire going and it was from scratch...nothing lingering from last night...but I still managed it first time.

Breakfast was bacon, eggs and mushrooms and the cats were hanging around but I only had bread for them this morning.  They must have smelled the bacon.  I think the black one has taken to sleeping in the grave yard garden in amongst the bushes while the white and ginger one seems to have taken to the bonfire bucket.  At least it's dry and wind free and there might even be some pickings in there.  Another load of washing knocked off and put on the airer...no way was that going to dry outside and it took until three this afternoon for even a glimmer of the sun.  It was only minus one overnight yet this morning still felt colder.  I had a few conversations on Messenger this morning, there were four letters waiting for me at their house and rescued by the father from the post office.  I invited my family out to supper tonight but unfortunately the mother had other arrangements.  I'd earmarked the Momchilgrad restaurant but we'll have to do it another time.  Because of my perceived plans going awry, I set off at around three this afternoon to collect my letters from the shop where the mother works, take the Nipper into the garage to get its oil checked and have the cigarette lighter checked out.  I'd tried to connect a charger from the car to the phone and the socket didn't appear to be working so remedial measures had to be taken.  

I was down the garage by three and it appeared to be busy so I joined the queue.  I was eventually looked at around three thirty, the oil was checked and topped up and the fuse was checked and replaced and now I can get my phone on charge.  I was given specific instructions when connecting the charger that I was to put it straight into the cigarette lighter and not twiddle it around in the socket.  I shall heed the spoken word.  Cost for the work done...ten leva and I carried on to the town centre and had half an hour with my student's mum and it was a little warmer in the shop.  I nipped into the supermarket and bought some spicy sausages for tonight...it was too cold to go out and find a restaurant.

Supper cooked and served with pasta...out of ice-cream and out of sorbet...they'll be knocking the stars from my hotel status...thank goodness.  Weather forecast for tomorrow is freezing fog all day which puts paid to Greece but maybe Sunday.  LN...Chocolates could take a bashing tonight......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 18, 2020, 4:23pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 18th January

So another silly night.  According to my Fitbit I slept through until four thirty, read until five thirty five and went back off to sleep until eight thirty so in total I had a good night but didn't feel as if I had.  It was a cold old morning so lit the fire straight away and the thermometer has struggled all day...that wind is biting and we've been in and out like the proverbial yoyos.

Breakfast was cooked for me which was nice and I did the washing up and sorted out the kitchen.  I had a message to see if it was convenient to install my new computer with the dual screens after two today and I confirmed that it was.  We spent time in the little house decided what to do at the bottom of the bird house that my guest has constructed.  It has a concrete base that I don't feel is ready to go outside yet...it's just too cold and it might damage it.  It needs bubble wrap or something round it to protect it and I think the birds will have to wait for their dining room table to be completed and installed.  Not sure yet if it's going to be cat proof....my friends in Fotinovo had trouble with their cats managing to get up into it so had to use barbed wire on the main body of it.

So my computer arrived and it cost forty leva to bring it from the UK and I'm fully paid up....I hate having debts.  The box was undone and the bubble wrap that we needed was protecting the two new screens, well new to me so that will come into play tomorrow.  I'd spent the morning clearing off the desk and dismantling what I safely could and the rest was soon done.  The box unpacked, all the screws and Allen keys were supplied and it's a really dinky box of tricks.  All put together while my guest kept Mrs Fotinovo occupied in the kitchen supplying coffee as required while I was fetching and carrying and holding things stable while the two screens were put into place and then I was given a conducted tour of the system.  I now have Windows 10 and will no longer be subject to the messages that my Windows 7 is no longer supported.  Off they went...I've got snooker on the one screen and doing my blog on the other...such luxury, a new keyboard and mouse and not sure where the other system is going.  It's got lots of photos on it and I'm sure I'll have to access it from time to time but I don' want it on the internet until it's got Windows 10 on it.

Originally we were going out to supper but not sure what's happening at the moment.  I'm not hungry and if the mood takes later I'm sure to be able to find something.  Time to put another log on...as I said ...it really is cold out there tonight thought the thermometer is not really reflecting it.  LN....Stoking time.....LN


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Elsa Peters
January 19, 2020, 8:11pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 19th January

Six thirty start, fire lit, ashes emptied, food over for the cats and boy was it cold outside.  I came in and went back to bed with a coffee to warm up again.  I came down to a warm lounge and kitchen and cooked breakfast of sausage and eggs and went straight back upstairs and ran myself a hot bath with Badedas, languished for an hour or so, washed my hair and felt much better for it.  Eventually I got round to drying it.

It was the unveiling of the bird table today, I loaded it with food but so far no takers.  I was half wondering if the cats would find it and make their move on it but so far so good but I must admit I haven't checked it out tonight.  A very lazy day....I've done very little and spent quite a bit of time watching the snooker final which is playing now on the other screen.  I like this two screen system...never appreciated it on other people's systems until now that I've got my own.

We decided to go to to Momchilgrad restaurant tonight...I'd not bothered to get anything out of the freezer.  We took the Beast down the back lane and I was surprised how good the surface is and should used it more often to go to Kardjali.  It does take quite a lot of kilometers off the journey.  Unfortunately the restaurant was closed so we headed back to Djebel and over to the pizza restaurant and came out thoroughly stuffed with cheesy chips, pizza, salad and kufte a sort of hamburger.  I brought the Beast back into the yard,,,it was going to be a long process putting it into the garage and I had snooker to get back to.

No plans for tomorrow so far...my guest has to do a test pack and with a day to go it's not a bad idea.  LN....Stuart Bingham is suffering.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 20, 2020, 8:57pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 20th January

I woke up at five again. settled down, got up at eight and there was a fire going.  My guest had decided to light it and probably got fed up with the hostess that was running out off steam.  I did get washed and dressed very quickly...it was a cold old start to the day and got breakfast underway.  Washing done and on the airer...my guest will take home socks to last him a week.  The ones that he brought over , specialty hiking socks to keep out the cold take so long to dry that he's going to have problems with them when he gets home.  Here it's not so bad....they can go on the radiator in the bathroom and everything dries very quickly.  

Bacon and eggs for breakfast, washing up done, and there were cats demanding my attention.  I collected the house rubbish that needed burning and as I walked down the garden I was like the Pied Piper.....I had three cats following me each meowing on a different note but the big male was also interested in the ginger and white little one...I think his juices were running.  He made advances and she swiped out a few times giving a very plain message but he obviously had gone past the point of caring what she wanted.  I had a good bonfire and headed into the little house to see if there was anything else that needed taking to the bottom of the garden.  I ended up with several old paint tins the contents of which had been mixed to finish off the bird feeder that had been unveiled this morning.  I hadn't got bird nuts so it was a mixture of muesli and cornflakes and there was very little activity until this afternoon and about five or six large tits found it and it could become a popular haunt.

A little bit of admin this afternoon, Soda Crush and contacting the hotel for my guest tomorrow night making sure that everything runs like clockwork.  At eight this evening we set off to have another attempt at the restaurant in Momchilgrad and this time it was open.  We went down the back lane in the Beast and parked up, I forgot my glasses so had a stab at ordering and managed to get what I wanted for both of us but the pudding was now quite what I'd described to the waiter but it was very tasty.  It's a little more expensive that other restaurants but well worth the extra.  The service is superb and the journey home is very quick and we were home for ten.  

Blog is a little late tonight ...I'm working on my new PC and had to download a newer version of Image Resizer...putting everything so that I know where to find the photos again.  LN....Bus at 1.30 tomorrow for my guest.....LN



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January 21, 2020, 7:33pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 21st January

Seven start and when I checked the thermometer downstairs it was minus seven and only fifteen in....and this called for drastic measures.  I lit the fire straightway, the sun came up and the inside temperature started to climb rapidly reaching nineteen.  By this time I'd got dressed so it wasn't too much of a problem for me but my guest was about to have a shower so maybe a few more therms would have made it better for him.  It didn't take him long to get his travelling clothes on though.  I went out to sort out the cats...all three of them and they only got the remnants.  They get fed by everyone though, Haciber being the main contributor but since she is away in Turkey, they've been hanging around here more.  I had a surprise phone call this morning from Princess updating me on their holiday in US of A.  There was one minor setback...she developed an abscess under a tooth and had to have the tooth removed and fortunately everything went smoothly.

Breakfast of bacon and eggs to provide inner warmth, more logs in to keep the home fires burning, I left the washing up...it could be done after I'd put my guest on the bus.  I think he was sad to go and going back to an empty house tomorrow and maybe it will be cold...not much to look forward to.  I shuffled the cars around and got the Beast back in the garage and the Nipper ready for the off.  We got in the car around twelve fifteen, drove through Djebel and on to Kardjali and the bus station and by one fifteen we were depositing luggage on the bus.  Off it went at the allotted hour, I headed to my cheapy shop and managed to find more sweaters for the collection for the princely sum of six lev.  I drove to Kaufland and bought a three pack of saws for the workshop and a painting easel just because I could.  One day I'll get my artist's head on.  Lidl for a few items and home via the back lane by four thirty.  

Two loads of washing done, shopping unpacked and put away, fire sorted and more logs in for the evening.  Phone call was received confirming that my guest had arrived at the hotel and his taxi is booked for the morning to the airport.  His flight isn't until twelve so not great rush for him.  Supper for me was tuna mayo baguette...there was no need to cook tonight.  Lovely sunset though I missed most of it...just caught the tail end.  LN....Now to get back to normal....whatever normal is....LN



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January 22, 2020, 5:55pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 22nd January

It was another frosty start at six thirty and I had the vision of taking down the pipes to the wood burner and giving them a clean.  I'd got a whiff of smoke last night and thought it was about time so I got on with it.  There was a fair amount of soot in them but it didn't take long to do and they were back in place by seven forty, fire lit by seven forty five and everything cleared away, floors cleaned by eight when I sat down to have my first coffee of the day.  I'd boiled the kettle several times and just hadn't made it.  I decided to phone my guest in the hotel in Sofia just to make sure he was up and getting ready for his flight and he was just about to have breakfast.

It was all go this morning...I finished stripping the guest bed, moved all the clothes that he leaves behind to the chest in the bedroom and moved his shoes to the spare bedroom.  The bedclothes went into the washing machine and I decided to strip down my bed and get those into the machine as well.  It was a beautiful day so it all went out onto the line and despite the minus seven start, we got up to two figures more or less.  I moved to the computer table upstairs and started tidying away some of the bits and bobs that accumulate on a flat surface and then next minute there was a knock on the outside door and it was....the Librarian.  We sat drinking coffee for an hour or so playing catch-up...I've not really seen her for a couple of months or so, could be even longer.  Off she went at three thirty, I got the fire cheered up so that there was heat coming from it and got the washing in and made up the beds.  I moved to my bedroom and put away sweaters that had accumulated on chairs, I'd got a little lazy during the last few days my guest was here and now I'm getting back to normal and realising what normal is...I'd forgotten.

Lovely sunset this evening,,,very very red sky and I missed it with the camera.  I had a phone call from England, he's arrived safely, lots of mail to go through from cruise companies so I advised him to put them in for recycling...too early to think about another.  LN....Time for supper.....LN



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January 23, 2020, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 23rd January

Six thirty first start, eight second start and I eventually got out of bed at eight thirty.  I had nothing I had to do, no one I had to entertain, the day was all mine.  I started with lighting the fire although it didn't really need it, the sun was up and it was going to be another beautiful day and it was.  I wasn't going to have a cooked breakfast but I'd not managed to get down to the bread van so I cooked some bacon, added an egg to the frying pan and fried off the remains of the French stick and managed to eat it...I think even the cats would have refused it.  To fill my time while it was cooking I peeled an onion and a potato and cleaned up a couple of leeks.  I had breakfast and then fried off the remains of the bacon, added it to the veg in the slow cooker, and that is my supper.  It's the easy life for me except that each time I go outside I am harangued by the local cats and they seem to be hanging around the bird house.  There was an attempt by the ginger and white one where front legs were stretched half way up the support pole but I reckon it thought it was too much of a stretch.  The platform is much wider and fortunately it can't manage the overhang but you can tell that it's working on it.

I collected up the towels that have accumulated and decided that I would try my washing machine on the hot wash instead of the usual quick wash programme.  Three bath towels and two hand towels went in and it took just under two hours so while I was waiting for it to finish, I cleaned the downstairs bathroom and used drain cleaner as a precaution, washed down the walls and now it's pristine again.  The bath towels went on the line, the second load went into the machine but this time on the quick programme and the rest of the day was spent doing a little bit of this and that and when the temperature in the lounge reached twenty nine, my eyelids were beginning to go, so I went up and lay on the bed.  I didn't wake up until three and about ten minutes later a friend arrived for a chat and a coffee and I provided both.  He left around five, the towels came in and are so soft that I think I might be going for the long programme again.  

My supper is ready but I've got no bread to dip in it so I shall probably have to follow it with cheese and biscuits.  Nothing so far for tomorrow but I'm now having my holiday after my guest had his....Greece is beckoning.  LN...Something for me to work on....LN
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Elsa Peters
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Friday 24th January

Five thirty first wake up, I opened the curtains saw how white over it was with frost and closed the curtains again.  I did go downstairs though and make my first cup of coffee, settled down to Soda Crush, won a few games and then went down to light the fire.  It was minus six outside, comfortable in and reckoned that I would be letting the fire out around ten and I did.  I made it downstairs to start things happening at around eight, I dressed for outside I needed bread from the bread-van and listened out for it but no go.  I decided to walk down the road picking up rubbish as I went and deposited it in the container but there was no sign of any of my neighbours.  It was a beautiful morning, one of the new cats had followed me down the road and followed me back and joined the rest of the crew, sleeping round the perimeter of the building and waiting to see if anything materialised in respect of food.  This was a long time coming...I was yet to sort out the fridge.  I did get more muesli out though for the birds, the cats followed me again but as to yet, they haven't managed to leg it up the post yet but no one else seems to be feeding them in the village.  Come back Haciber...you are very necessary in the village..I seem to be becoming the cat lady.

So no bread for my breakfast so I fried off some mushrooms in butter and made an omelette and settled down at the table in the stairwell in the sun.  I tidied away, sorted the fridge and found a chicken leg and wing lingering and a half pack of ham.  For last night's supper I'd had Brie on top of the soup but I know most people eat the surround but it's not for me.  I trim it and that could also go out to the cats and again I was like the Pied Piper as I headed for the wall.  The new tortoise one is very demanding and bullies for the rest so I tossed him the rubbish first and threw the chicken leg down for the white and ginger one and the wing for the black one.  The remains went  wherever it landed, I came in...it was cold out there.  

I got a load of logs in and sorted out another load to sit in the log carrier and I'm still undecided to get another ton or not.  The weather is good enough for it to be dry in the wood yard and it might be done on the toss of a coin.  I had my afternoon nap, started reading a new book that I couldn't seem to get in to so I'm looking round for another set.  At five I noticed that a little clip peg that my daughter had sent me around eight years ago with the words 'Mum's things' on it had faded in the sun so I got out the glass paints and now it all back to looking good again.  Meanwhile my BG phone pinged and I had three messages all with the same message informing me of a verification code for an internet company that I'd had no dealings with.  I didn't panic but thought it best to phone my bank card company to see if anyone was making any purchases against my card.  All was good, I checked the phone number recorded against the text message and apparently this is a well known number for dodgy calls.  Coffee and biscuits for supper...I'm in a lazy mood.  LN....Time to throw another log on....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 25, 2020, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 25th January

Early morning again and watched sunrise and I went out on to the balcony to capture it and boy was it cold.  Minus six again but at least it looked promising when the sun came up,  There were a few clouds over the mountains and I was unsure at first but the sun burnt them off.  I was dressed for the bread van and once again I didn't hear it and I decided to forego breakfast and settled for chocolate at eleven this morning.  I lit the fire at silly o'clock, it did what it was supposed to do bringing the house up to temperature but as soon as the sun really took hold, I opened the windows in both of the bathrooms to get some air through.

I sorted the bird house out and they were really going for it.  Four cats were hanging around it at one point but to date not one of them has managed to bridge the gap between the top of the wall and the platform.  The little ginger and white one sat there for a good half an hour watching one really cheeky bird that kept bringing it's pickings to the side that the cat was sitting near and it was almost a stand-off.  Some of the morning was spent on FB with my grandson.  He thanked me for the money for his birthday and since I hadn't put it into my daughter's account I asked him how much I'd given him so that I found send it to my daughter along with her birthday present.  He said that he didn't know, all she'd told him was that he would be getting money from me.  I've now got his bank details, the money is in his account, it makes more sense.

As for Greece, I toyed with the idea but somehow I got distracted by the contents of the drawers in the unit under the printer and I ended up tidying them up and getting rid of the stuff that should live in other places or be lined up for the bonfire.  I really got rid of some rubbish.  Secondly I went through my old filing stored on top of the unit in a file box and that's really slimmed down now and finally I set about the shelving on the bathroom-landing.  Another job well done.

Fire re-lit, jacket potato for supper and it's in the oven as we speak.  I've got some strong cheddar left over from Christmas and that should make it very palatable.  Saturday night is my Tele night...so bath, supper and relax.  LN....I've had a good day....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 26, 2020, 5:38pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 26th January

Four thirty silly start, read for a while and back to sleep until eight and again...dressed for the bread-van and nothing doing.  I think he must be on holiday or I should get my ears checked.  Mushroom omelette again for breakfast...I thought about going into Djebel to get bread but there;s no real need.  I'm going to Kardjali tomorrow and the Librarian is supposed to be contacting me and coming with me....we'll see otherwise I'll be flying solo.  

The fire was still going so I rescued it and put a couple of logs on and then let it go out as the sun came up and the temperature with it.  It was only minus two degrees this morning but it was still pretty nippy.  The remains of last night's supper went out to the cats this morning but after I'd loaded the bird table.  There was the skin from the jacket potato and from the two apples that I'd put into the oven when the potato came out.  I did stuff them with sultanas, butter, honey and brown sugar but the best bit was for me with ice-cream.

I tidied up after breakfast and headed up to the third bedroom that's become a bit of a dumping ground.  I cleared the desk that supports the sewing machine, picked up curtains that I'd bought and done nothing with and tidied the boots away.  It's become a fetish buying boots.  My last two pairs of leather boots cost me approximately four lev...two pounds and it would have been rude not to.  Unfortunately this year we've had no snow to talk of so no opportunity to parade them....maybe next year or later this year...the forecasters don't always get it right.  I also posted a couple of old photographs on FB, one of me playing football at eight or nine years of age and the second of my school class taken in the playground.  Lots of interest, comments, likes and loves and I think some children spotted their grandparents on there...they were well received.  The desk is now duel purpose...sewing and computer table for my old computer.  

Cheese and biscuits for supper....seven thirty my time...relax.  Just a quick Happy Birthday to my nephew who has reached quite a sizable age and I'm trying to work out where the years have gone and again it's my grandson's twenty first tomorrow....and as of tonight twenty years ago, I was timing the contractions while my daughter lay in out bath at home and at five thirty...I had my first grandchild.  LN....Tripping down memory lane today....LN
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January 27, 2020, 5:32pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 27th January

Happy 21st to my grandson...again I would add...where did the years go.  I woke up at six thirty and was disappointed by the weather...there was no white over and the temperature was nine degrees and not much chance of the sun breaking through.  I made coffee and went sat at the little computer in the stairwell and plumbed in Judge Rinder...there's a funny side to the programme and offers good advice for protecting yourself.  At eight I went in the shower, washed my hair and had dried it and was ready to face the day and Kardjali by nine fifteen.  I hadn't heard from the Librarian, thought about phoning her but it had to be her decision as to whether she joined me or not and she arrived just before ten with the offending laptop.  I suggested that we left that part of the visit until we got back from Kardjali.

We had a coffee, she walked the garden while I finished off and off we we set off around ten, parked up in our usual centre car park.  The roads were busy and lots of police out this morning but we managed to avoid getting stopped by any of them.  First stop was the cheapy shop and I picked up another sweater and a pair of boots and the Librarian found a pair of knee high leather for the ridiculous price of two lev fifty.  They used to charge a set fee but now they weigh them....they were just a little more expensive than two hours on the car-park.  We carried on up the high street and I checked with the phone shops to see if I had any outstanding bills and I didn't....a fully paid up member.  I moved the Nipper to the back of the market and found the shop for the bags of seeds for the bird table and bought for kilograms of the stuff but I think I shall have to find how to make a bird feeder from a plastic bottle from the internet.  The seeds will fall out of the ones that I have.  

A quick trip round Kaufland, another round Lidl and into Technomarket and found a male-male USB connector that I needed to set up the little computer properly.  It has an unusual power cable and to get power to it and attach a mouse....difficult.  Back to Djebel and to the soup kitchen for their very homely chicken soup and then back home for the computer task.  She hasn't had it working since last September and I thought it was going to be major surgery but as it happened. it was stuck on an update, I fiddled around with it and pressed a few cancel buttons on menus, switched it of, switched it on again and it was obviously working its little socks off to catch up.  Eventually I got Hotmail up, then FB and sent her off with it just closed down so that she could managed to do lots of deletions at home.  Off she went and that should keep her busy tonight.

I filled up the log carrier and loaded the log basket and noticed that two of the cats had settled them directly under the bird house.  I'd noticed earlier that the black one had done a fantastic leap into the air to try to catch one of the birds leaving the platform.  Not very friendly of me but I got one of the bangers and set it off fairly near to them and they shot off like scalded cats and I've not seen them since.  I sorted the fire out, put a load of washing in, a ham filled baguette for supper, washing onto airer and settled in for the night.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except for a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish that I've turfed out lately and then I might settle down for some hand sewing.  LN.....A cosy day at home.....LN  
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Tuesday 28th January

Six start again and it took a long time for the sun to break through and to burn off the cloud.  I stayed downstairs with my coffee, rescued the fire and settled down on the sofa with my book.  I was slow off the mark getting dressed, made poached eggs on toast and used up the rest of the ham sitting in the sun eating my breakfast at the table in the stairwell.  The birds were very active this morning...and so were the cats especially the little white and ginger one.  I chased it off a few times but it kept sneaking back and I caught sight of her sitting just under the wall by the terrace.  The birds were feeding and hopping about when suddenly she made a jump, and she landed back on the terrace with one of them in her mouth.  I went straight out, she shot off over the wall with it still in her mouth and then came back about ten minutes later to take up position.  This time I got a banger from the conservatory and lit it and heck do they make a noise.  The dogs in the lower village were all complaining but it didn't seem to deter the little beauty.  

I headed down the garden and lit a bonfire and she followed me down there meowing for food.  I suppose the bird was the first course.  I cleared the rubbish, removed the old tins from the bonfire and now they're waiting to go to the container.  From there I moved upstairs and continued tidying the third bedroom. the computer is up and running now that I've found and installed a WiFi signal booster that didn't know I needed until I tried to connect to the internet.  The usual connection for the old PC was straight into the modem and I felt quite pleased with myself for working it out and I'd had this piece of kit for years when I used to be in the hotel...and it still works.

Down to the kitchen and I prepared tonight's supper and into the slow cooker with it and it should be ready anytime soon.  I spent the rest of the afternoon tidying the Christmas decoration and boxing them up for next year, curtains that I've bought are in one of the large travel bags until I decided to swap them out and replace the existing ones and another bag of clothes is ready for my attention tomorrow at some point.  I also spent time checking out solar cat deterrents and I shall be ordering tomorrow after spotting the white and ginger cat up in the bird feeder waiting for the next meal to fly by.  I shall be sending it to the firm in England that transports stuff over here, the machine itself is only nine pounds and postage to Bulgaria is nineteen so it's a 'no-brainer.'

Nine my time so I'm late with the blog, I might just switch the slow cooker off and save supper for lunch tomorrow.  I'm more in the mood for a slow bath so have put the boiler on to bring it up to 'roasting'.  Cat patrol int he morning and I might even take the Nipper in for a wash and brush up.  LN....Need some snow....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 29, 2020, 5:24pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 29th January

So I had my bath last night and didn't get to bed until one and played Soda Crush...not an ounce of sleep in me.  I went straight off though and it was seven thirty this morning and will never know the quality of my sleep, I forgot to put my Fitbit on.  I was wearing the none waterproof one so took it off before I went in the bath.  What I enjoy about mornings here is that no two skies are the same.  Very red start over the mountains. not much sun and the colour dissipated and it was quite dull.  The cats were out in force taking up positions underneath the bird table but fortunately the birds were a little slow off the mark.  They don't like the bird seed so it looks as if that might be going to Beyser for her chickens and then I'll get the eggs...exchange is no robbery.

Mushrooms on toast for breakfast, logs in, fire ticking over and I settled in to do a little more sorting and was quite surprised when I had a visitor at around eleven this morning.  I'd received an email with the trailer of a film based in Macedonia, language Turkish and Bulgarian mixture and with sub-titles.  We had coffee, sat out for a while while he had a cigarette, we moved inside and discussed the painting weekend where I'm going to be a guinea pig.  Off he went, I re-lit the fire, tuna mayo on hot buttered toast for lunch and I settled down to watch the film that he'd sent over and fortunately I got to ignoring the sub-titles and understood most of it and really enjoyed it.  Very poignant and would love some of my neighbours to watch it...empathetic feelings spring to mind.  It started to rain as he left so that put paid to me thinking about ordering and getting more wood delivered.

Washing up not done, it can wait for the morning.  I've left the ordering of the cat and dog scarer to my visitor, he can add it to the things that he's bringing over from the UK.  Student tomorrow so I'l spend the morning working on the text for the lesson.  LN....Chilled day....LN






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Elsa Peters
January 30, 2020, 8:08pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 30th January

It started off very dull and despite the thermometer reading eight degrees, that wind was very cold. I fed the birds but this time with muesli and cornflakes, the bird seed has now been offered and received gratefully received by my student;s mum for her chickens.  It's totally the wrong stuff for wild birds.  The fire was still going so I loaded it up, settled for toast for breakfast with apricot jam and put the pork spare 'bones' into a marinade with soy sauce, vinegar, tomato sauce and piri piri.  I put it back into the fridge covered with cling film and the original intention was to have the marinaded meat tonight after the bones had been cooked in a very low oven for about three hours but it didn't quite happen that way.

It was a morning of phone calls and catching up.  I noticed that two of the fuscia cuttings that I'd brought back from the UK had started to sprout,  I'd been just about to pull them out and throw them but now they can stay,  I have them in the garden in the UK and they appear to be always in flower...fingers crossed they'll do well and survive winters here.  I phoned Angela to see how she was getting on mid move and one of my long standing friends and we reminisced about our growing up years during the sixties and laughed a lot.  A lot of my time was spent chasing away the cats from the bird table and not even my flaming cats.

I headed into Djebel at about four and my student is no longer at school....the flu has hit and the school had closed.  He seemed to be in fine spirits and wanted to go out on his bike to see his friends, I sat in the shop and caught up with his mother, the boy came back and went off again to get some thing to eat and at this point I decided that it was too late to start a lesson and so it on for tomorrow morning at ten....and no excuses this time.  I carried on to the supermarket and bought chicken wings for tonight and eclairs and unfortunately three of the eclairs went as soon as I arrived home and the wings, diced potatoes and onions went into the oven.

Supper was good, the pork is for tomorrow, fire is going well as the temperature outside drops....it's now down to minus one.  So Djebel for the lesson at ten in the morning, the Beast might be going down to get the heater fixed...it depends how I feel in the morning.  My students father's analysis is that it might be due to the viscosity of the water in the radiator so he's going to check it out.  LN....I'll let you know....LN
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January 31, 2020, 6:47pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 31st January

So, last day of January and still no snow to speak of.  Maybe February is going to assault us...more wood or no more wood...that is the question.  I walked by the wood yard this morning and was tempted..we need a good few days of sun again and then it will be dry enough to put straight away.

The sun was up already when I woke....I was late.  Outside temperature was minus four degrees, twenty one in which soon started rising as the sun grew stronger.  I didn't bother with breakfast, I'd arranged to start the lesson with my student at ten this morning and I would have been on time except that the windscreen was covered in ice so clearing it put me back five minutes so more or less on time.  Again I forgot that it was Friday and only just managed to find a space on the car-park in the centre....all street parking was taken up by cars or wheelbarrows signifying that at your own peril do you park outside my shop.  Obviously they were expecting deliveries.---and not of wheelbarrows.

I checked with my student's mum that he was awake and I carried on to the flat and as usual he was playing games on his phone.  The fire had been lit and it was really warm in the apartment so I sat down and we hadn't had a lesson for about eight weeks so it was a matter of getting back into the routine of me telling him that he had to stop playing the game...we had work to do.  He explained the game to me...in English and I think in someways it's much better that we have conversation.  All of the students in the school can read the text but few understand the meaning and it's easy to answer questions without again the understanding.  So I picked a simple text, a few American words in it that I have to substitute with the English equivalent for my own sake, and we read it through together.  We discussed the text using the dictionary to find the Bulgarian word which he writes over the top of the text and then get down to answering questions on it.  I did suggest at one point that he should be teaching me Bulgarian to put a twist on the lesson.  We finished around eleven thirty, he was itching to go and play football at this point so I went back to the shop, went through the text with his mother and the did a tour of the market since it was Friday and was asked where I'd got to.  I hadn't really been round Djebel for about two months and it was good to be missed.  

By this time the cold was getting though and I was feeling hungry so I headed to the soup kitchen for lunch...and yes, it was chicken soup again and they have put creme caramel on the menu so I ordered one of those.  Cost of lunch...just under two leva...last of the big spenders me.  I drove home, sat on the stairs watching the cats and the bird table and suddenly I noticed a black cat with pink legs and underbelly coming into the garden.  Not sure what had happened to it but there was no camera to capture it and I couldn't put it down to the drink since I don't imbibe.  Maybe it fell into something that it shouldn't have been near.

Ribs in the oven, book and me in the sun on the sofa and you can guess the rest.  It was four by the time that I woke up.  At four thirty Haciber came round to say hello after thirty days away in Turkey, she'd brought me coffee and a coffee mug from Canakkale which is situated on the Bosphorus.  It's a place that I would like to visit.  Her second visit was to bring me two bead cakes that she'd brought back with her....she went back home and I suddenly remembered that I'd not given her her Christmas presents, this year I was here and she wasn't so I went over to give them to her.  The cats were all back in her garden and I realised that all the ones that were terrorising my birds were hers.  I'm so pleased she's back.

I lit the fire, supper was ready so I served up my plate of bones and nibbled away dipping them in ketchup and mayonnaise.  Stuffed to the gills I managed to force down two eclairs and so much for my healthy diet today.  Saturday tomorrow...nothing doing so far....I didn't take the Beast in today for it's heater check so may do that in the morning...I'll see if I want to be lazy for the day or not.  Beautiful sunset tonight so just a few shots of that.  LN...I'm tired after my afternoon sleep....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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