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Elsa Peters
May 10, 2020, 4:31pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 10th May

Well an early start and I put on TV and cried through Davina Macalls's programme about long lost families where the children were given up at birth.  I then found myself watching Goggle box and never caught it before and was amused by the commentary about Michael Portillo's attempt at joining in with a Bulgarian Fold dance troop...I suppose he did his best.  I was out of bed by seven thirty, washed and dressed and didn't bother with breakfast.  I think I ate too much last night hence the disturbed night and early start.  I'd strapped the elbow up last night after my bath and rubbed in lots of the new gel and probably should have unwrapped it this morning and completed the procedure again but it was too much like hard work.  I've stuck to my regime of hot tea and left off the coffee and feel much better for it...I'll give it a rest for a while.

First job was a bonfire with the household waste and I headed for the wood store at eight thirty and I took the little electric lawnmower and the strimmer to the bottom of the garden.  The electricity cable was unreeled and seventy five meters or so went down the bottom of the garden and I wired it up to the electricity supply from the workshop.  I got distracted though and started on manual labour first...removing the weeds from the fairly big garden by the bonfire.  I suppose it's all due to the very heavy rains in March that the weeds this year seem to have put down deeper roots than I've noticed before.  I managed to unearth a jasmine that I'd forgotten about and most of the garden is now clear of weeds.  There's just one central hidden section but now that I've strimmed between the wall and the back of the bed I shall be able to tackle it from the other side.  Next step was to put the little lawn mower to use but the grass catcher was full in quicksticks so I did most of it without the catcher on....much quicker but I stood one side of the grass exit, one or two stones were being tossed out at some speed.  So back to it but this time with the strimmer where it was really long, I finished the bottom of the garden and back to the bonfire.  I came in for a five minute break, lay on the sofa at about two and slept for an hour or so.  I went back out and carried on strimming until I ran out of cable, I came in at six, tools away and re-threaded the spool.  It's been a good days work.  

Weather permitting I'll mow the rest of it tomorrow and then concentrate on the bottom gardens, I've got some balsam plants that I can take from the long wall garden and they seem to do well without much human intervention.  I've also got a few shrub plants that I can try down the bottom...they make life so much easier.  No pickies today I've been too busy....I'll show you the results tomorrow.  LN....Seven thirty and I'm on the hunt for supper......LN
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Elsa Peters
May 11, 2020, 4:03pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th May

Six start so I watched a little of Judge Rinder to relax before I set out of the challenge I'd set myself for today. The grass was beckoning me, I'd done well with the electric mower yesterday but it wasn't up to the job for today.  I've got this idea that it might be useful to run the electric one over the very weedy bits of the lawn more regularly but having said that it might just turn out to be a patchwork version of what I have now...back to the drawing board Cecil.

A pint of hot black tea to start the day which I took back to bed with me and I was washed and dressed by seven thirty, the washing had gone into the machine just after six so I was pegging it out by six thirty and I didn't bother taking new socks from the draw...the ones that I put on were taken from the line.  I started on the grass at eight and made a gallant effort finishing off half of the big lawn by ten more or less.  I came in to give my strapped up arm a rest, lay on the sofa with the Kindle and promptly dropped off for an hour. When I woke up I realised that I'd not had breakfast so made bacon and egg sandwich, turned on morning tv and saw Piers Morgan was back so closed my Kindle down.  So back to it and finished the big lawn and rode roughshod over the bumpy ground at the bottom...it's a good old mower.  I came in again at around twelve, sat out in the sun with my water bottle and again the sun made me drowsy so again I had forty winks.  It was really hard sweaty work and I think I needed the breaks.  

This time, no more breaks, I started again at two and finished the little house lawn, came in at four thirty and my challenge for today was over.  It's a big job but there's no one else to do it, I really must line up a gardener and my painter seems to be the only one in the village that's vaguely interested in doing things for the old ladies and I think I'm rapidly joining the ranks.  Strimming tomorrow or a day off in Kardjali, I have my annual tax to pay on the Beast and I need to go to the Statistics office to finalise my company declaration.  I might even spin a coin to see which comes up trumps.  Off for a shower to remove the layer of salt from my body....I've perspired well today.  LN....I should be slimmer after this......LN  

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Elsa Peters
May 12, 2020, 5:28pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th May

Another early start, it was four thirty when I woke up and no sleep left in me.  I made tea, took it back to bed, played a Soda Crush game that I've been stuck on for about four days and without they give me smarties or bombs I shan't be moving on.  I do refuse to pay for the extra moves or tools.  I was out of bed by seven, washed and dressed and cooking scrambled eggs for breakfast and washing up by eight.  Too early I shout.

I settled down with my Sudoku book and knocked off three games, I was actually working up the enthusiasm and energy to get out there and dig for victory.  I'd changed the cord in the strimmer late last night and unfortunately I'd wound the cord round the wrong way.  So I changed it and got it working again.  I started by pulling out the Mikey B bench from under the cranberry near the long wall and was amazed to see that the wood has gone rotten.  I dragged it over to the terrace and there it will stay until I work out how to do it.  I cleared where the bench had been and the terrace, there is now a path between the wall and the back of the bed and then I started to clear the weeds and try to remember where the plants were last year.  I kept having five minutes for water breaks...it's been a hot old day once the wind dropped.  The bed was cleared, I found some marigolds and moved a couple to the other side of the bed, I brought a couple of plants from the terrace and they're now dug in and watered and should be OK.  I also separated a pot of roses that I'd picked up cheaply from Kaufland and planted five of them in a group.   It's looking good.

I came in and settled on the sofa, felt really tired but didn't manage to nod off.  I watched Loose Women and it was so funny today....they don't have to appease the audience since there isn't one.  I went out again and carried on with the bushes along the long wall, uncovered the roof tiles that are destined for a structure where the old toilet was and freed the iris and the daisies from the nearby bed from the clover, grass and vetch.  Tools away at six thirty and again I've not prepared any supper so far.  I think it will be tuna mayo with beetroot, it's quick to do.  LN....More of the same tomorrow.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 13, 2020, 4:29pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th May

What a sobering though...even though nothing alcoholic has passed my lips for the last three or so years....today I would have been married for forty eight years if it has lasted.  I almost sent my ex a goodwill message but I think his current wife wouldn't really have appreciated it...   So much water under that bridge and I wouldn't have swapped anything at all....it's good to look back and smile at times and giggle at others.

Seven start and after yesterday's achievements it's been a meandering day.  I didn't have a plan, the weeding of the rest of the bonfire bed could wait but I've got quite a few jobs done.  I'm ahead of myself, bacon and cheese omelette this morning, dishes washed, me washed and dressed and it was eight thirty and the rest of the day was before me.  It was one of those days where you seem to move from job to job and they don't seem to be linked up but by three thirty this afternoon I could tick off a few from my list...that's not the written one, it's the other one that's in my head.

I trimmed the geraniums, cleared the patio pots of weeds and cut back the dying tulips and planted some baby tobacco plants in between them.  I removed the dead oleander from its pot and that's ready for something else and put the potting compost in one of the giant pots that are both empty and awaiting attention.  I pulled out one of my large plastic bowls from under the bench on the terrace and noticed that it had quite a bit hole in the bottom and wouldn't be much use as a bowl and put it to oneside.    Walking through the little house I noticed the garden umbrella and thought it was time for it to be out of the terrace...and it is and I found a use for the bowl...it's nestled on the base with the umbrella post going through it.  I'll get some petunias to fill it, they're pretty.  I did have one brain stretcher, I normally support the umbrella to my balcony  with a bungy cord...the wind across the hillside can sometimes be quite fierce.  Only problem was that from the balcony I couldn't manage to reach the umbrella support and that's quite a long story but eventually I managed it but when I came back to the terrace I noticed that I'd pulled it too far and the top joint was a little bit cocked.  I had two choices, take it all apart or risk removing the concrete triangles and try to rectify the angle...and I did.  I looked at it for a good twenty minutes before I attempted it but it worked out alright in the end.  The big stone that I've been trying to move since I trimmed back the lavender is now moved using the metal garden spade...it was now free space to put in one of the logs that were stored by the side of the house.  It's in situ but the stone is still in the garden..I hadn't got the energy to move it.

I came in for the afternoon and settled on the sofa and yes...I catnapped for a couple of hours, went out and tidied the tools away.  I came in and put a chicken leg in the oven with potatoes, onions and beetroot and it's ready now.  I might even finish off with a bowl of ice-cream.  LN....My supper awaits....LN

PS....My Bee eaters are back....

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Elsa Peters
May 14, 2020, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th May

Horrible night...I woke up at four thirty and that was the end of my sleep.  I played games for a while drinking my black tea and had stripped the bed and first load was in the washing machine, second load finished and pegged out by eight.  I washed and dressed making the decision that I would go into Kardjali to pay the tax on the Beast and get my information to the Statistics department for the company.  I suppose one out of two isn't bad in the success rate.

I settled for toast for breakfast but as I removed the slices from the wrapper I detected a few spots of mold so the cats benefited and I opened the bun loaf and buttered a couple of slices and that was breakfast sorted. As I walked for the car my painter was walking to work he declined my offer to come back with anything for him from the grand 'metrolopes', I'd forgotten all about the time and was amazed when I realised it was only nine thirty.  I stopped off at the garage shop and asked the same question and she was fine too so I carried on and parked up near to the Statistics Office walked up the stairs to the third floor and there was a closed gate which I tried and it opened.  Beyond the gate was a table and a piece of string over the next set of stairs stopped my rise to the destination on the fourth floor, forms were set out on the table and lots of notices ...in Bulgarian.  I recognised the form from the previous year, started to fill it out in Bulgarian and realised I didn't know what I was doing so I took another form and headed back to the car.  I'd ask my guru in the car shop later on my way home.  Next to the payment office and again there were lots of forms on the door...all in Bulgarian so I cautiously carried on to the second floor and waited by the door.  An assistant came out, I was beckoned in and paid my tax or just over one hundred leva for the year.  Success....I can now use the Beast and my plan to collect the mulching material from the side of the road to spread on the garden is taking shape.

I paid both telephone bills and at least one of them was practicing social distancing allowing only two paying customers in at a time.  I moved on to the biggest hardware shop and managed two by forty litres of compost and then on to Kaufland and I bought the plants for the compost and the hanging rail that I wanted to move to the room that I have my guests in if this lock-down for travel is ever lifted.  On to Lidl for another few items, Back to Djebel and got the form translated so I can complete and delver probably Monday, into our local hardware shop and bought more garden solar lights for the garden.

I drove home and unpacked the shopping putting the plants into a bit bowl of water until tomorrow.  I was too hot and bothered from the morning to think about starting again, toyed with fetching the washing in and making the bed up and even that would wait.  I settled on the sofa and it was three hours later when I woke up so I was obviously catching up  on the sleep I'd missed out of overnight.  Washing in, bed made, water bowl topped up for the plants, I'd had a ham baguette before I went to sleep so there's no supper for me.  LN...Restful gardening day tomorrow.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2020, 5:01pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 15th May

Much better night, toyed with the idea of sleeping upstairs but crept into my clean nest and snuggled down.  Seven start and the sun was up already, well I say 'up' but it took until two this afternoon to break through the cloud base and by the time that it did, it seemed to disappear just as quickly again.  It's been a hot humid day.  Breakfast was interesting...I used up the roasted veg from the night before last, fried them off and added bacon to the mix and made it into an omelette.  Kitchen tidied, me washed and dressed, I was slow off the mark this morning and then I spent an hour or so walking the garden, sitting and listening to the birds with my extra glass of tea.  I cam in and tuned in to morning TV and promptly turned it off.  They were at it again trying to get the leader of the Welsh assembly to slag off Boris and the government.   He was so goo and wouldn't do it despite pressure...one to be admired.

I eventually got outside after a few Sudoku and my first challenge was to put together the wigwam metal thingy that I'd bought yesterday.  It looked like it had been opened already and I hadn't noticed in the shop but with relief, everything was there.  The instructions were pretty screwed up, for what they were worth, but they had included a diagram of how (a) fits to (b) etc and with a little effort, I did it.  It did take some lining up though, the bolts had to go through pre-drilled holes so I worked out that if I put a screwdriver in the holes first, I could pull the thing into shape.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with it or what I'm going to grow up it but the sweet peas do require something.

My painter came in for a chat and i discussed going to pile of pine tree outers that has been left by the loggers by the roadside.  I described what I wanted to do with it , use it as a mulch and he suggested that it was better to pick up the fallen needles from the forest and put it on the garden around October time.  Haciber shouted to me while I was tidying up the yard and she was off to see Remsie's husband, the one they all turn to when they have any problems with the house or garden.  One good thing, he now charges them the going rate which doesn't go down too well, he used to work for a two litre bottle of beer but not any longer.  

I came in at six thirty and then went out again to lock up the little house.  As I walked from the terrace into the little house I looked up and thee was a little black and white face looking at me.  Either she's sitting on eggs or one has hatched already.  There's been no sign of the bee-eaters today at all, maybe the pickings are better further afield.  No idea about supper so far...I'm thinking fish fingers....or nothing.  I'm not that hungry.  LN....A good diet day.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 16, 2020, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th May

Another day of two halves....Usual morning and poached eggs on ham for breakfast so that I had a good start to the day.  I played around with the pot plants and watered everything in sight even though that sun was stuck behind a hazy sky until lunchtime.  I moved the Beast out of the garage and it fired first time which surprised me.  I'd been caught like that before when I'd got it started, switched off the engine and there wasn't enough juice left to start it to get it back into the garage.  I thought about driving it down to the lake to fill up the water bottles from the spring or into Djebel to get it washed but instead I kept it running in the drive and put it back where it came from.

I decided to attack the cotoneaster growing at the base of my special pine tree, it had become assaulted by clover, vetch and sticky willy making it unsightly and difficult to strim and mow round.  I worked on it for an hour or so, went in for a water break and suddenly felt incredibly tired.  Tools were all over the garden but I didn't do anything about it, I settled on the sofa and I sort of went to sleep but I didn't, half awake and half asleep and the dreams were vivid and very short.  I woke up for real and lay there for about half an hour summoning up the energy to get back out there.  

Back to normal...the base of the tree is cleared, the rubbish is over the wall for the animals even though there's loads of it over there already, a running buffet or a grazing buffet for them.  The cows came over this afternoon and they are incredibly noisy when then munch the grass.  I then took to strimming round the borders of the old fire pit and along the borders of the low wall.  One or two daffodil leaves became casualties but they've had plenty of time to get some stores in for next year.  I moved a few pots around and noticed that one of the big ones awaiting planting has lost one of its handles...I think the hot glue gun has to come out tomorrow.  Tools away, battery from the strimmer back on charge for tomorrow and I think the big hedge trimmer is coming out tomorrow.  The forsythia in the frog garden is getting higher by the day and blocking the view of the bottom of the garden so it needs to be reduced as does the lime shoots behind the large berberis.  They block out the view of the hillside from the terrace.

Every day there is something to do.  I decided to make a list of the jobs but I always seem to find things to do that aren't on there.  Bee-eaters are back....where's the camera.....but by the time that I got ready, they'd gone somewhere else.   LN.....Save it for another day.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2020, 6:01pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th May

I had a really early night, slept through until just before seven and woke up feeling very refreshed.  I took my tea outside and sat on the terrace listening to the birds..the nightingale had been going for it when I went to sleep and again when I woke up and the martins were very active...with lots of  visitors.  As for the cuckoos...there were two of them having a right old ding-dong.  I'm not sure if they were male female and she was playing hard to get or they were fighting over territory.  They are such big birds and make quite a noise in flight.  I made toast and put the last two slices of ham on it and a couple of cheese triangles and sat in the stairwell munching it.  Washed, dressed for gardening and I was ready to face the day.

My plans for reducing overgrown post flowering shrubs was put on the back burner.  As I walked up from the bottom of the garden chasing the cuckoos, my attention was drawn to Mikey B's bench that was still upside down on the workshop terrace.  I went into the workshop and gathered up a few tools, screwdrivers and hammer and WD40 to spray on the reluctant screws and they came out without much effort.  A lot of them fell out, the wood was so rotten so I took a few measurements, cut up some wood, decided to leave it and then went back to it.  I was going to do it properly by drilling holes and screws but I couldn't find a good enough drill bit and there was no way I was driving in to Djebel so I resorted to nails.  It's done but as I turned it upright the other cross rail and one of the legs shed wood fibers so I know that I have to replace the others but by this time it was getting late.  I'd put the local bug killer on it and stained the new to look more or less the same as the old wood but it will all need doing again when the new legs are on.  It could and probably should have been the last of the bench, it is ten years old but I just couldn't let it go.

I swept the terrace to get rid of the rotten wood and onto the bonfire with it and I set fire to it.  Fish finger sandwiches for supper, not exactly a Sunday roast, but it filled the gap.  No plans for tomorrow as yet...I'll see how I feel in the morning.  LN......And now relax......LN

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Elsa Peters
May 18, 2020, 4:45pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 18th May

Early to bed last night and woke up at five, again at six and at seven it seemed a good time to face the world.  A few games on the Kindle, hadn't bothered with FB or email and went out to view the garden and have my first tea outside.  I boiled a couple of eggs and had toast with then, the second toast I covered with Apricot jam and settled down on the sofa intending to catch up on the things I'd missed this morning.  Surprisingly I had a message from my buddies down in Fotinovo suggesting that we took a trip out to Haskovo and if I was interested to drop them a message.  I thought they might have already gone since the message was at just before eight this morning and it was now ten thirty and said that it was a super idea but if they'd left without me, thanks for thinking about me.  They hadn't, they were still at the coffee and toast stage so they said they would be about an hour, which they were.  I washed, dressed for a day out in super thin clothing, it was going to be a scorcher.  We sat in the garden and had coffee and then off down the back lane heading for Kardjali and then Haskovo to the garden centre, a new store that had opened and the big hardware shop.

In the hardware shop I was very tempted with a dip pool but resisted the temptation but I'll check out the purchase and delivery charges on the internet.  At the market garden I was pleased to see that my lady was still working there and what a difference she's made in the place.  It looks so much tidier but she did say that she was sorry that there weren't more bedding plants saying that they were not getting deliveries from Holland because of the virus.  I bought one Salix which is covered in pink tips and picked up two others that needed love and attention and those came for free.  My friends bought quite a few and the car was looking more like Kew Gardens.  Into the new shop and that's where we found the planters and good value for the two.  Into Haskovo centre, we were all feeling hungry and found a Pizzeria restaurant....bliss...and we settled on one salad and I shared a giant four cheese pizza...delicious.  I offered to pay a donation to the bill which was refused so I said I would buy the ice-creams and as we left the restaurant there was an ice-cream stand so we each ordered from the selection, the cartons were weighed and it came to just over seven leva....nothing...one would have been that price in the UK.

Back to Lidl in Kardjali, a few items of shopping and then home through Djebel.  We reckoned that the extra weight from the shopping had reduced the clearance between the car and the gravel on the lane so it was best to take the road.  Shopping unpacked, one more coffee on the terrace and off they went.  What a fab day and so out of the blue.  We are lucky that our lock-down is more or less over, most people are wearing masks when out and they worst place was in Lidl...we timed it wrongly.  No supper for me, too much pizza...tomorrow I have plants to put in and decisions to be made as to where the planters are going to live.  LN....Nice to have been out and about feeling like a tourist....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 19, 2020, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th May

I went to bed early but woke up at two, it was a very warm night and the nest was on fire or so it seemed.  I played on the Kindle for an hour putting my leg out of bed to act as a thermostat and went off until seven twenty so caught it back again.  Today, the nests,  both upstairs and downstairs have been destroyed, cotton sheets and duvet covers are on both with lighter weight quilts.  What's the betting that the weather's going to change....

Washed and dressed for gardening but not a lot of that happened.  Having stripped the beds, the washing machine was put to good use but I decided against drying them outside, I got bitten quite badly the last time.  The pesky things are minute so you can't see them with the naked eye so better that you take precautions against them....they were dried over the banister in the stairwell.  I had breakfast, two poached eggs with ham on toast followed by one more toast with apricot jam....and it has stayed with me most of the day.  I didn't think that I would want supper but I did.

Today's task was to put up the rolling clothes rail that I'd bought the other day from Kardjali and managed it first time...very simple to do.  I moved out one of the bench type tables into the porch and moved the winter wood starter container and the other wood container into the little house.  The table slid underneath the existing shelving and a lower shelf for storing shoes.  The ash container is now not necessary so I emptied it and that's in the little house as well.  Spring is here.

I watered the pots , moved one or two things in the garden and noticed that the two willow trees that I have in the garden are putting on pink tips like the one that I bought from the market garden yesterday...and that's a surprise.  Not a lot of energy floating around today but I seem to have achieved a lot of 'bitsa' stuff....bits of this and bits of that but sometimes days are like that.  I had a phone call from the UK and we put the world to rights...why should Piers Morgan have the monopoly.

I put supper in while I was finishing off and it was ready by seven.  A whole rack of ribs and I decamped to the computer on the landing with ribs, mayo, tomato ketchup, kitchen roll, knife and form and spoon for the mayo.  I tried to find baby wipes but they'd all dried out but I was close enough to the bathroom to make a reasonable job of cleaning up.  Down with the residue and back upstairs with ice-cream...is there no end to this opulence!!  More of the same tomorrow but a little more activity on the garden.  LN....Chilled day....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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