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Elsa Peters
February 1, 2020, 9:09pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st February

So where did January go?  I had a guest for most of it and I think I'm just about getting back to normal.  I had a nap this afternoon and I still think the tiredness is coming out.  I did wake up at six this morning, it was black and blue sky out and then there was a hint of morning and a strange pink coloured the sky and no sooner had it appeared, it disappeared.  Eventually though the sun came up, broke through and we've had a super day of sun.

I made scrambled egg for breakfast and even though I felt full before I started but managed to squeeze it down.  I got rid of the bones from last night and the contents of the slow cooker over the wall for anyone that wanted it every hopeful that now Haciber is back to feed the cats that they'll leave my birds alone.  I fed the birds on muesli and cornflakes with some old bread thrown in for good luck and I had several visits from them during the day...and also the cats which I chased away and I think at last they've got the message.

I read for a while this lunchtime and eventually, the sun took its toll on my eyeballs and off I went to the land of nod.  I'd rescued the fire this morning and it's been going all day and still is.  I had my shower and washed my hair at four to get ready to leave just after five to head into Djebel.  I was heading to Kardjali with my student's family and we were going to one of the better restaurants near the dam and all looking forward to it.  Unfortunately we were disappointed with the meal, we sent the beef back the waitress who did absolutely nothing about so I progressed the complaint much to the chagrin of my guests.  They don't complain and don't expect anything to be done but I do and the result was that the head chef came to the table, tried to tell us that the beef was only three months old and that it came from the high Rodophes and if it was only three months it must have spent every day walking from the valley to the high mountain and back again.  We left with specially cooked hamburgers but no reduction on the bill.

We moved on to a cake shop for desert and coffee and got totally stuffed, drove back to Djebel and picked up my Nipper and home for just before ten.  Straight into pj's, log on fire and settled in for the Voice.  LN...I have things to do....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 2, 2020, 8:51pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd February

Silly night last night.  I didn't go to bed until one then I was awake at four, read for a while and back to sleep until six and it's been all systems go after that.  It's been a day of work and reward.  I'm aware that every time I take a photo from inside to out, the windows are not as clean as I would like them to be...and now they are.  It started with the conservatory door, inside and out and then the four windows to the side, inside and out and then I thought why stop there. All downstairs window inside and out are done and then upstairs and top landing will have to wait for another day filled with enthusiasm.  I had great difficulty getting under the stairs to clean the inside of the hall window and with a great contorted effort I managed it, removed the rug from the stairwell and shook it outside, hoovered the floor and then went over it with a damp cloth to collect the rest of the dirt.  Result...it was two thirty by the time that I'd finished so I set about watching the tennis and the start of the rugby.  I left the game at 17-0 to France and really couldn't watch the rest.

I copied the Honeyland file on to a memory stick and took it with me to see my student's family tonight.  I arrived at six as arranged and we settled down to supper at around seven and then they decided to watch the film after I'd explained what it was about,  They were both engrossed in it remembering that there are still some villages with only single inhabitants in them and like me...they wanted to know what happened next to the main character.  We all agreed that there could be a sequel charting the gypsy invaders that killed all her bees.  If the curses came to fruition, they wouldn't have had a very peaceful existence wherever they ended up.

Tomorrow I'm helping out a friends with even more administration so a nine thirty start and heading in to Momchilgrad and Kardjali,  I've just checked out the final rugby scores....we made a come-back but obviously ran out of time to complete the job.  LN....And so into another week....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 3, 2020, 6:14pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd February

Happy birthday today to my beautiful daughter, Princess.  Twenty nine again and that means that I'm getting younger every year.

Seven o'clock start this morning and I beat the sun to it, coffee, washed, dressed for Kardjali and ready for nine fifteen and the allotted lift off with my Fotinovo friends was nine thirty so I was ready with boots blacked, or browned with my knee highs on.  I had time to spare so it was out with the hoover and I cleaned out the conservatory, emptied the ash can on the garden and fed the birds, removing one ginger and white cat from the bird table with a brick.  I didn't hit it but threatened it and why oh why...leave the tits alone.

We set off for Momchilgrad and found a parking place reasonably close to where we had to be and completed our business.  The official spoke very good English so there was no need for me really to be there but I was probably going to be useful for the rest of the day. We carried on to Kardjali and picked up the appropriate forms from another department and while it was written in English so you could understand what you were supposed to be doing but the responses had to be written in Bulgarian....and that was a bummer for us all.  We attempted to find the translator to do it but the usual guy wasn't in residence so we had to find another solution which worked, but not completely.  Back to the original venue with the now completed form, according to the young lady it was wrongly completed so it's a job for tomorrow.  I'm going to make my own way there so that I can bail out as required.  The rest of the work that we'd lined up wasn't done but hey...this is Bulgaria and sometimes things don't go as anticipated especially documentation.

Home for five thirty after a quick trip round Lidl and it was a first, I went round the store and didn't buy anything.  The diet started yesterday and the sooner I get rid of the calorific, cakes, chocolate and biscuits, the ounces should start coming off.  It's the wrong time of year really to think about it but I think it's due to the sun shining and giving the impression of spring and activity.  At least I gave my Fitbit a workout with the number of steps completed today....not enough but a start.

Quiz night for me tonight on the TV...Only Connect and University Challenge...two programs I enjoy and then early to bed and early to rise.  I need to be in Kardjali for nine thirty tomorrow morning.  LN....Another day...hope springs eternal....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 4, 2020, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th February

Happy birthday to my mum...no longer with me physically but never the less, always around me and in my thoughts.  

Not  a bad morning and I was in the Nipper and heading down the back lane to save having to drive the long way round.  I parked up in my normal central car-park and the money man wasn't there yet so I responded to a telephone message and made my way to this morning's meeting point.  Everything was underway when I got there, the young lady dealing with the transaction is a real sweetie, her English was put to the test and she came up smiling.  Some of the comments were also in German so I finished it off with a Turkish complement to her and we laughed about it.  I love living here....everyday despite the frustration, things eventually get done and the correct documents obtained.

We stopped for a coffee and on the way to the cafe I spotted the car-park attendant and put three hours on the Nipper.  On to the artwork shop and then on to the Polyclinic and today's objective was to sign up my friends with a doctor and obtain a Bulgarian blue health insurance book that you take with you each time you visit a doctor or a dentist as part of the Bulgarian Health Insurance system.  We went down to the doctor's consulting room and I spoke to the receptionist in her little den and explained what that my friends wished to register with the doctor.  This particular doctor has a good command of English, mine in one of the other cubicles tries hard and we get there.  I need to see the doctor but have made an appointment for Friday at ten, today's mission had to be accomplished without deviation.  

Forms were entered into the system and printed by the doctor, over to the reception and more forms completed in Bulgarian by the receptionist.  We were directed to the fourth floor which has obviously had a revamp and looked exceptional and the next part of the process was completed, on to another office for next stage and back to the doctor where he completed his details in the blue book and applied his official stamp.  Result...they have the necessary blue book for any further medical needs.

We stopped off at a very rural restaurant for chicken, chippies and bread and I headed back to the car-park and paid up another leva and up the back lane to home.  Fire lit, the weather has closed in,  we're expecting rain tonight and it's blowing a gale out there.  Apparently the temperature is about to drop and it might snow overnight...winter draws on so to speak.  A little late but better late than never.  I've already loaded the log carrier and have two in the conservatory just in case.

No need for a cooked supper, the chicken worked it's magic.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far...a day of rest.  LN...or might be moving snow.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 5, 2020, 5:10pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 6th February

So much for winter not arriving...it arrived this morning with rain turning to sleet and then to snow and now we have ten centimeters of the white stuff.  It's very pretty but the downside is that the power has been up and down like a bride's nightie and I'm taking the opportunity to get the blog done before it goes off again.  I've had to keep the fire low, no electricity and the water pump to the boiler is stuffed.  At that point I have the chance to move it to the little wood burner in the kitchen but unfortunately the wood that I have stored in the conservatory is too big to burn in the little one.  Instead, the candles are lit with smelly tee-lights, my pyjamas are downstairs at the ready and all curtains are drawn.  I'm battened down for the night.

So the temperature this morning started off at nine degrees and then it started to drop rapidly.  To accompany this we had the thunderstorm of all thunderstorms and that's not usual with snow and it kept me guessing.  I cooked beans on toast for breakfast, fed the birds, threw out the hamburgers that the restaurant had given us as compensation for the rubbish meal we'd had and the cats benefited.

Just a few photos of the snow and the very many birds that have feasted at the bird table today.  I did put bread out as well as the seeds which attracted the robin and a couple of sparrows.  The tits did object though and bombed them.  Supper was a couple of fluffy pancakes that were delivered this morning by Remsie's daughter in the snow.  Fortunately the tray was empty when she got to me and she was on her way home and very pleased she was too.

Snow clearing tomorrow before it all turns to slush.  I'm loathed too bank the fire up just in case the electricity goes off again...it would be more trouble than it's worth.  I'm hardly going to freeze for one night. Just to add the photos were taken before it really started to throw it down...believe me...it;s between ten and fifteen inches.   LN...I might just post it in time...LN



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Elsa Peters
February 6, 2020, 5:05pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th February

And the electricity did go off again last night...and on again...and off again so I went to bed quite early settled in with my book and on it came again.  What an evening.

I woke up at seven thirty, looked out and there was a fair covering of snow came down in the night, a front was over the mountains and it looked as if the sun might come out...but later.  I looked out to the road to see if that had been cleared and it had and this time, the snow plough had dropped it either side of my drive and from the road to my gate had been cleared as well.  All I had to do now was clear the yard to the gate so that if there was an emergency I could get either one out and be on my way....but that could wait.  The fire had to be started from scratch, I'd only had the kitchen one going last night and that was well and truly out and would stay that way unless there was another power-cut...and there was but not until lunchtime.

So washed, dressed for the weather, baked beans on toast for breakfast for me and bread and seeds for the birds.  I went out to clear the yard and terrace and my painter chappie was walking towards me and yes, it was he that had cleared from the road to the gate.  He was delivered the lunchtime free meals to the old ladies but no spare for me.  By this time the sun had come out so hat and gloves on, big snow shovel out and put into action.  I didn't rush at it but it didn't take too long and then I moved on to clear the big terrace, the little one I left so that the cats couldn't get to the bird table...but I was wrong on that one.  When I'd finished I sat down on the outside furniture enjoying the sun and it was well out of the wind.  

Next activity was to chase the cat out of the bird table, clear the snow from the bush next to the wall so the tits would have more of a hiding place from the bastard thing.  I went back inside the house and blow me down, it was back in again so this time I had to take some serious action...I cut some large mesh metal fencing that I'd got in the wood store, folded it down the middle and managed to get it into the body of the bird table and it covered the two smaller sides and one of the large ones.  The birds were coping OK, they soon worked it out and so did the cat....the dam cat was back using the uncovered one as an entry point but it had real trouble getting out again.  I haven't seen it since.

The electricity is up and both fires lit.  It's supposed to be down to minus ten ten tonight so let's hope it stays that way.  I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow morning at ten so I need to leave here at just after nine in case the roads are icy so fingers crossed for me.  Supper is over and done with.  I cooked a chicken let on top of the cooker with onions and served it with chippies...very tasty but no way is that bastard cat getting the debris...it's finished with me now even though it's nature...not in my back yard.  LN....Fires need attending to.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 7, 2020, 6:50pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th February

Seven thirty start and I had to be on my way to the see the doctor in Kardjali by ten o'clock.  I only had water for breakfast, the last time I went I was sent for a blood test and had had a banana...wrong....so this time if sent I would be OK...and I was.  I had to dig the car out, it was minus six overnight and it was a very slow process to clear the windscreen and try to take the snow from the roof of the Nipper.  I got the screen clear, used the snow shovel to get some from the roof but gave up and set off at nine twenty hoping that what was still there would stay there...and it did.

I met the doctor outside having a cigarette and we walked in together.  While we were outside we discussed what the problem was and as soon as we got to the surgery, I was whisked off to another room with the nurse and wired up so a computer and the results were there when I went in to see the doctor.  I'm still not sure what the test was....but I hadn't got it and I was fine.  I then underwent a complete physical check up. sent off for a blood test and a mammogram and had to wait a couple of hours for the results,  I had phone bills to pay in the centre and stopped off for chicken soup and bread in one of the local restaurants, headed back to the Polyclinic and picked up the results and a disk of the mammogram.  I carried on to the next level down to pick up the results of the blood test and then back to see the doctor. Cost for blood test and mammogram...four leva fifty...about two pounds and results received in one day.  I was prescribed half a tablet a day for blood pressure, absorbed the criticism about cholesterol and a visit privately to a new specialist that will cost me about fifty pounds....it's to investigate slight swelling of the thyroid.  

Back to the car after I'd picked up my tablets, tried to move more of the snow but a lot of it was still stuck solid.  The air temperature had not really moved despite the sun.  I lit the fire, settled on the sofa and promptly went to sleep for an hour and felt much better afterwards. Lovely sunset tonight, the temperature is falling rapidly, I had a good lunch so not to bothered about getting anything else and nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.  The hospital registration is a bind and they're not used to the document they have to work with confirming that I am part of the Bulgarian system and paid for by the UK even despite Brexit.  It's quite good though, I'm known and referred to as 'Elza' when I traverse my way through the system.  LN.....Now for half a tablet.....LN  



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Elsa Peters
February 8, 2020, 5:03pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th February

It's been a beautiful cold day and overnight we had another downfall of snow and this time is was the white powdery stuff that would have been brilliant for making a snowman...but I didn't.

Washed, dressed early on and rescued the fire since the thermometer was showing minus seven...I thought it was a good idea.  As it happened, it didn't get above minus two outside but inside with the sun shining on the windows we were up too twenty five so I let the fire go out.  Toast for breakfast, a load of washing in that I decided to dry in the upstairs bathroom and then out with my trusty snow shovel and cleared the terraces.  I'd fed the birds first and watched them for a while,  The robin was funny, he managed to get into the bird table but got confused as he was trying to get out because of the wire round the outside and eventually it turned round and came out the open side.  As well as doing my yard and the terrace I went over to Haciber's house and cleared her drive and round to her toilet situated in the garden.  I joked with Beyser that it had to be done, she was getting desperate to go and we had a little chuckle at that.

Not much achieved this afternoon but I had a pleasant time with music playing and lying in the sun.  I didn't nod off though, I'd had a good night's sleep last night and took my first half tablet...only twenty nine and a half to go.  Supper was a hamburger and fried onions which my doctor would be spitting feathers at.  As for her suggestion of a glass of wine every night...I've still not taken her up on it.  I've taken lots of photos today but the program that I use for reducing the pixels in them has expired and I got into quite a tizz trying to do it on my old computer...and they'll be published tomorrow.  There were lots of the birds, scrabbling and fighting for food and it was rather like telling the children to play properly.  LN....Back to seeing if I can manage it on the laptop.....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 8, 2020, 5:43pm Report to Moderator

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And photos to follow

I bit the bullet and bought it.  Should have done it years ago....



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Elsa Peters
February 9, 2020, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th February

February 9th holds a special significance for me...both children were given the same projected birth date but with one year apart.  My son being a boy and that says it all was late and came on the 13th while my daughter arrived on the 3rd...both fit and well and it's taken me a good few years to get over it...and I'm still trying.

Today's not held a great deal.  I woke for the first time at six and then turned over and slept through until seven thirty and it could have been even later.  The clock on the landing had run out of battery so I went into the reserves and it was back and everything was normal again.  I settled for an omelette using the pan that I'd cooked last night's hamburger in so threw in a couple of cheese triangles and it tasted OK.  I didn't bother washing up and decided to try to clear the little terrace but despite the sun, not much of it was moving and it still isn't mainly because it was minus nine overnight and it only went up to minus three this morning.  It's now minus two and I think we're going to have another cold one.MY next job was to clean and polish all the boots and shoes in the conservatory and put some of them in the house.  Some are shoes that I'd taken on the cruise with me and done nothing with and now I have.  My new boots have all had renovating polish on them and have come up superbly well saying they all came from the cheapy shop in Kardjali with a total cost for three pairs of leather boots....one never been worn for ten pounds...not bad.  I could almost apply for the job that the man has in Kardjali centre cleaning the shoes of passers-by....it they stop pensions because of Brexit I might have found my niche.  

I also had trouble today charging various appliances.  My Kindle was down to three percent as was the Lenovo so I relied on the Chuwi this afternoon.  I tried reading from the Kindle but it was still threatening with shutdown and so I closed it down and let it do its own thing.  It's curry for supper, a chicken leg went in the slow cooker at one o'clock with curry powder and has just been turned into a proper curry.  The rice is just finishing off.

Today I read about the snow moon that was supposed to be spectacular.  Last night it was very bright...I tried to take photos of it but they came out very grainy but tonight with the Canon I managed to catch it from my bedroom balcony.  It was so bright, so orange and so clear but the photo doesn't really do it justice but it was the best I could do...it is cold out there and the dogs in the next village are barking at the moon so I'm pleased I'm sleeping down stairs.  LN....Supper and ...relax....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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