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Elsa Peters
September 11, 2020, 5:15pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 11th September

Barking dogs.....barking mad. .....I ended up sleeping with the balcony door shut and I even closed the window last night.  I mentioned this to my guest who said that 'deafness has its advantages' and never heard a thing.  As it happens, neither did I, the steps that I took worked and I went straight through until seven this morning without interruptions...fantastic.  I made coffee on the upstairs landing and took it out on to the balcony and was very tempted to get out a dog scare and wake that 'bastuard' up from its slumbers but I settled on the bench.  I looked at the garden and thought I saw a tortoise so went inside for the camera to find out under magnification which one it was and only when I looked at the screen found that it was some bun loaf that I'd thrown out yesterday....Reminder to self...need another trip to the opticians.  

I went out watering the pots and the shrubs in the garden and noticed that the wind had broken a huge branch from the Sumak tree so I fetched the secateurs and cut it off and brought it back to the terrace to take the fruit from it and I've got eight potential cuttings sitting in water.  I made breakfast of bacon and eggs for us both and then checked the internet and found a video on how to make Sumak lemonade so I might have a go tomorrow...seems simple enough.   I also intend to dry the fruit and according to the man on the video it has lots of health properties and I'll be reading up later.

I popped over to my Avatar to check she was OK and welcome her daughter over from Turkey and came back with a few packets of biscuits and it's her thank you for when I buy her stuff and won't take the money.  Things have to be fair and I also came back with two huge tomatoes, met my painter on the way back home and he said that he'd bring me some 'proper' tomatoes tomorrow so I'll wait and see what he calls proper tomatoes.    I asked Avatar how long her daughter was staying and she said she didn't know...she might be in for the long haul.  While searching for the bacon for breakfast two chicken legs fell out of the freezer and despite my best efforts there was no way they were going back in so that was the challenge...chicken and something for supper.  I settled on the sofa and the eyelids fell southwards and I must have been out for a couple of hours and did I feel better for it.  It was a slow step back to normal so I headed for the kitchen and fried off the chicken joints, found a casserole dish and then made a curry sauce to go over them, into the oven with it and supper was underway.  I ended up sorting wood for gate repairs and a new top for the terrace table, it's got warped sitting out in the rain and shine but there was more wood on the little house terrace that I'd already earmarked for it.  That's now sitting in the little house and is getting trimmed and planed....I have a semi professional on the job and I suspect he will use screws now nails.  The front gate is going to prove more of a challenge but he's got to earn his keep somehow.

Supper was good, washing up done and kitchen tidied, blog and then it won't be long before I'm resting my weary bones.  It's been a good first day and he's yet to settle down into the run of things even though he's been coming for years...he still appreciates this place.  No sign of tortoises at all today....maybe they're shy and staying away from strangers or digging a hole for the 'great escape' with a bun loaf.  LN....Still eighty degrees with a stiff breeze.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 12, 2020, 3:19pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 12th September

So last night I went up to bed or rather rolled from the computer into it and thought that I'd play a few games before I put out the light...wrong.  I woke up sitting up in bed trying to finish off a game with the light on so I quickly put the lid down on the tablet, switched off the light and snuggled down and it was seven this morning when I woke up.  That dog was barking in the lower village but it wasn't this morning so it must have worn itself out or woke up with a sore throat....it really does go for it.  I made coffee and took it out on to my bedroom terrace and watched the sun come up, I made a second cup and took it outside while I watered the pots.  Lots of clouds around this morning and it was quite a cool breeze blowing so I didn't longer long out there and by eight thirty my guest had woken from his slumber and I was thinking about getting breakfast out of the way so I cored and peeled the tomatoes that my Avatar had given me yesterday, made a general announcement that breakfast was underway, sliced the tomatoes and put them in the frying pan with oil, plenty of salt and pepper and served his up with on toast a fried egg as requested and mine 'natural'.  I washed up and cleared the kitchen and went out to sit on the terrace with yet more coffee and heard rustlings in the leaves and knew that one of the tortoise was about and spotted Rosie topping up with water in the lid under the low wall.  I got more water and topped it up and she ended up wading through it and wasn't sure whether to add bubble bath or not...so I didn;t.

As we sat on the terrace I noticed a bird feeding towards the middle of the garden so went slowly inside to get the camera so I didn't disturb the bird and managed to get some good shots of it.  I thought it was a hoopoe but wasn't sure until I connected the camera to the computer and yes it was.  They are such a beautiful bird, you can normally hear them but rarely see them since they prefer a woodland setting but I suppose it thought this place was OK.  Off it flew and the next to visit was a finch after the sunflower seeds and again that stayed for quite some time and another pretty bird, not normally solitary usually moving around in a group.  Perhaps this one was Billy Nomates.  Washing in and washing out eventually, by this time the clouds had gone and it was another hot one.  I thought this morning that I could have cleaned the grass with the lawn mower collecting the dead leaves but I didn't feel like punishing myself...it can wait for another day.  

Games and a short siesta this afternoon, Blue Boy was out and about in the garage of all places and eventually made it to the front wall so I filled up another water container and put it by the garage wall.  I worked out that I like non-dependent creatures around, will do things for them and don't expect more from them than I get and they expect nothing from me.  There will be no cats and dogs here.

Unsure about food tonight...we might be tempted to go into Djebel if I can't find anything easy to plate up tonight.  I'm just going to make my way to the kitchen now.  There is a sound of a mechanical tool coming from the little house so my guest is finding something to occupy himself with on the 'work' front.  I really should go and see if it meets the grand design before it get too far along the process.  LN.....Thirty plus again.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 12, 2020, 3:22pm Report to Moderator

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And the finch



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Elsa Peters
September 13, 2020, 4:50pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 13th September

Funny night last night, the Fitbit reported that I slept OK but I felt that I was half awake and half asleep in the early hours.  Not a bad day overall...I've managed eleven thousand steps on the Fitbit so am feeling quite virtuous.  I can have four roasted potatoes later instead of the three.

Out on to the balcony for the sunrise and the kettle on the upstairs landing means that I don't waken the household although I get the feeling that it would take a bomb listening to the snoring.  It was quite a cool morning and I put a sweater on to face the day and because it was so still I could have the bonfire that the breeze over the last few mornings has put on the back burner.  It's so dry out there that it wasn't worth taking the risk, it would just go up.  So I collected everything that I needed and made my way to the bottom of the garden remembering to connect the hose and turn it on.  I normally water the garden while the fire is going and it's always to hand should anything untoward happen....and it went without a hitch.  The plants had a good watering, I decided to collect up the fallen walnuts using a lightweight garden rake to collect the leaves that they've fallen on and then dig out the walnuts.  By this time I had company so I went in and made breakfast, bacon and egg but I had to go down to the bread van first and on the way back Avatar handed me some crispy pancakes that she'd made so we had quite a feast.

The outside table now has a new top, the last one had started to get pretty uneven from the weather and is now renewed.  Guests make themselves useful here or they don't come back.  I spent most of the day in the garden carrying on with the good work but after lunch it was just too hot to be out there so I became sofa bound, didn't quite managed to go off but was very close.  My guest did take to his bed for an hour but then went back to finish off the table.  We walked the garden and I'd noticed that morning that what I thought was a willow was actually an apricot tree and it has eight apricots on it...now there's a surprise....I didn't plant it.

Supper is in and we have tenderloin of pork with a sweat and sour sauce with roasted potatoes and I'm kitchen bound shortly to finish it off and serve.  I love things that you can just put in the oven and forget.  Clouds have come over tonight and fortunately the wind has dropped....it might even rain, the garden and the meadows really need it, there's so little food out there for the sheep.  Kardjali tomorrow, I have to collect my new residency card.  LN.....Kitchen duties call....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 14, 2020, 6:04pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 14th September

For some reason it was a six start to the day and I didn't have to be in Kardjali until...well I didn't know what time....I was thirty seven on the list.  By seven my guest was also up and about so I suggested a shower for him since the water is much hotter in the morning after the boiler has been on at cheap rate for a couple of hours and why waste it.

I went out and watered the zinnias in the old fire pit bed and the spray nozzle promptly dropped off and it's all to do with industrial weight hose so I'm told so I left it to my guest to sort.  He used equipment to put a lot of screw pressure on to the end and the hose.  We'll see how long it lasts. I used up the last of the beans and they were served on toast and I just settled for toast.  Washing up sorted so I went and got dressed ready for the day in town.  We were in the Nipper by just after nine thirty and in Kardjali by ten fifteen and parked up in my pay car park.  I left my guest in the car and went to the Immigration office to see how the numbering was going.  I was abruptly told one of of the staff that it would be after two before I was seen.  I suggested that I only had to collect a card and could I not be seen and there was a distinct frozen attitude and she again said after two, this afternoon, sled oviat, p.m. and she meant it.

I went back to the car and we set off for the cheapy leva shop to check for casual shoes for my guest.  I'm sure he's got plenty here but that's men for you.  I walked him up to the cheapy clothes shop and we found him a shirt and one for me at very cheap rates, up to the second hand warehouse and I bought a shelving unit that I'm thinking will do next to the computer with a pull out shelf for the printer and the chair that we both saw wasn't available, she thought it had been sold.  We stopped off for a coffee as we headed back to town, parked up again and I left him in the car while I went to pick up the residency permit and at two twenty I was inside and at two twenty one I was out again on the pavement.  The joys of Bulgarian bureaucracy....

Food stop at Lidl, shopping unloaded and put away and supper was hamburgers and onion on a bun....Not exactly gastronomic but adequate.  LN....Documents sorted and one off the list.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 15, 2020, 6:48pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 15th September

The wind got up last night and when it came to bed-time I decided that autumn weight PJ's would cut the mustard and I left the door to the balcony open...fresh air and no dogs barking so it was a win-win.  I was pretty slow off the mark and made it downstairs for coffee by eight and my guest saw the light of day by nine.  I hadn't got dressed for the day at this point so made boiled eggs for breakfast and left the timing to my guest and we both had over-cooked eggs.  Of course it was the usual discussion about the point that the eggs go in the water, I always put them into boiling and start timing from then on, he brings them to the boil and then starts timing them.  He reckons they don't burst forth from their shells if his method is followed.  So after much deliberation, we both had semi hard eggs....Washing up done and I went upstairs and had made my mind up that today I would pay my internet for the year and order two tons of wood so I dressed for town.

I checked with the internet shop and they required cash and didn't have the machine to take it electronically so I made my way to the cash point and typical in BG the guy was taking out money from four cards and the next lady forgot her friends pin and they were shouting it to each other....so much for security.  I was next in the queue, took out what I needed, paid my internet and went to the shop where I order my wood and this time saw the owner.  I'd popped down to the yard when I arrived in Djebel and noticed that the heap by the gates was what I wanted.....clean, oak and fairly big chunks and dry.  I mentioned that the first load that I'd had from them was really old wood and old stock and said that this time I wanted the best and told him which lot I wanted.  He relayed the information to the delivery driver and off they set and so I went home and half an hour later the wagon driver was tooting his horn for me to open the gates. The wood was drooped on target and off he went and now my task should I choose to accept it was to move its location to inside the bathroom of the little house.  It's eight foot long and about three and a bit wide and stacking it sideways means that it's contained.  I swept the yard, the bark has gone down to the bottom of the garden for mulching the beds and I sat with a bottle of water enjoying what was left of the evening.

Potatoes boiled for supper and an onion chopped, peas and chopped carrots added to the potatoes and finished off with tuna and mayonnaise.  And that was supper....followed by a mini chocolate ice-cream.  I'm now stiffening up and am about to run a Badedas Bath to see if the advertising slogans actually work.....relax in a Badedas bath.  The other reason for the bath is that I was sweating buckets this afternoon and need to freshen up before I go to bed.  Nothing much to do tomorrow unless swimming raises its head or the walnuts are waiting for processing and more have fallen in the high wind.  Washing up can wait until tomorrow....only a couple of plates and a saucepan.  LN.....Two more jobs off the list.......LN



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Elsa Peters
September 16, 2020, 6:19pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 16th September

So after yesterdays exercise of moving two tons of oak I fell asleep in front of the television and didn't wake up until twelve thirty and that boiler had heated up ready for my restful bath.  I decided not to waste the opportunity, I'd 'perspired  greatly' and knew that I really needed that bath so I did.  I stayed in there for an hour or so and I think that's why I had no aches and pains from the efforts of the day.  Six start and slept, like a log and no pun intended, made coffee and went out to water the pots which I hadn't done last night.  It was a dull old day so swimming was out of the question, it did brighten up and the cool breeze turned very pleasant.  

I'd bought some giant mushroom on my last visit to Lidl so I put them in a pan with butter, added a packet of bacon and eggs and that was breakfast.  We both put it away and it's done me for the rest of the day.  I topped it off with roasted peanuts and that really finished me.  Only a sandwich for my guest and he made that himself so easy for me.  I did strip the beds this morning and the washing was almost dry by the time I'd pegged it out...sun and a stiff breeze works wonders.  

The rest of the day has been pretty lazy....I lay on the sofa and had forty winks and my guest fell asleep in the chair...what a pair.  There was a brief period of activity, he's measured up for a replacement gate and as per normal I have to check the dimensions and tomorrow it's a trip into Djebel to get some wood to finish the job  The main gate has been there for about nine years and the bottom rail has gone rotten and as for the small gate, it was doing OK until the man delivering the sand for the cement work clobbered it with his lorry, it underwent running repairs but now I really need a new one making and it will be done.  The list is growing and there will be the normal rush before departure date....I just know it.  LN....Soon be time for bed.....LN

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Elsa Peters
September 17, 2020, 6:34pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 17th September

Early start but really grey over and almost needed a sweater to sit out on the balcony.  The sheep came over the hill and there were so many of them, came with a whoosh and then the outriders eventually caught up......not sure what the rush was about. there really wasn't anything to eat...everywhere is so dry.  Down for my second cup of coffee and started breakfast straight away, cheese and mushroom omelette for my guest while I settled for toast, it served it's purpose.  

We headed into Djebel before lunch and selected the wood from the builder's merchants. took a saw with us and managed to get it into the Nipper.  The only problem was that I only had three gears and no reverse so I had to go the long way round back to the main road on three gears.  I parked up on the grass and we unloaded and my neighbour from the next garden had brought round the eggs that I'd asked her for along with a huge pot of home-made yogurt and some potatoes from the garden. I took the money for the eggs, cleaned out the saucepan that the yogurt was in and offered her money towards her water bill for the potatoes which she promptly refused.  She said they came from the heart and I know just what she means.  So Nipper unloaded, we both sheltered inside until the heat had gone out of the sun and at four I went out to collect the lavender for drying from the under terrace garden and remove the old dead lavender bush that I'd tried to save last year.  First job done and while I was trying to remove the old root I struck what I now know to be the plastic pipe from the house to the pit at the bottom of the garden.  We managed to remove the soil from the pipe and made a patch out of another plastic pipe and I shall have to be phoning Bekir to resolve it.  It's protected and OK but just needs the magic touch of a water expert.

I'd put a sausage casserole in the slow cooker this morning and at seven I put the pasta in the pan and supper was ready in quicksticks.  Washing up done and I went upstairs to do my blog and the machine came back with a message blocking access to my site. Joy oh joy and thank goodness for old machines.  This one seems to work.  Photos are on the other machine and I really CBA tonight.....I'll post them tomorrow.  LN....It's been a long old day.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 18, 2020, 6:27pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 18th September

And another night completing the blog on the old machine....it's McAffee that's disallowing access to my site...what a bummer.  I've had a long day in the garden and haven't managed the time to investigate how to allow me to get in.  Tomorrow I'll put aside time.

Cold start to the day and a sweatshirt did go on so that I could sit out in comfort. Beautiful red sky this morning and the sun tried to struggle through the clouds and eventually it managed it around lunch time.  Some of the clouds were quite dark and it seemed to promise rain but no such luck....Scrambled on toast for breakfast and then my task for the day was to collect up more of the leaves that have fallen from the trees as they've tried to conserve water and to remove the weeds that I've taken from the gardens.  This took me until lunchtime and I did have to go round filling up the upturned lids that I'm using as drinking pit stops for the tortoise.  I came across Rosie at the top of the garden near the tall wall.  She was heading for the drinking point and then doubled back to the workshop terrace to see what she could scavenge from the baby pears that had fallen from the tree.  The off she went towards the bottom of the garden.  I decided that the lawn mower was better and picking up leaves that I was so I got it out, revved it a few times and I managed the top grass or what's left of it and moved over to the side garden and emptied the debris into the compost bin almost filling it up.  I carried on and put the rest over the wall.  

I had a brief interlude sitting on the bench making holders for my solar lights so that I could attach them firmly to the bird table.  The wire is quite firm so that they dangle but do not sway wildly in the wind....a modification on the original theme.  Back to the leaf clearing and Blue Boy was spotted just before I scooped the leaves into the log carrier.  It strolled off unaware of a near demise and later I found it towards the top of the garden.  I have this theory that a Fitbit on its little leg might work wonders for my averages.  I finished the watering and clearing and at six thirty the light was going and time to think about supper.  Fortunately I'd thrown some sort of meat from a reduced to clear box in Lidl in the slow cooker and that was going to be sufficient for this evening...and it was.  So again as I said I've been blocked on the other machine but I think it's now sorted.  This machine decided to do updates for some reason, the system shut down but brought my work back fortunately.  Now I'm knacked and stressed and need another apple juice in what was an alcohol free zone but not any more with my guest on campus.  LN.....Pictures and post.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 19, 2020, 7:22pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 19th September

I'm back on my machine and my guest managed to sort it.  I suppose I could given time and a fair wind but why push yourself when someone else can add brain power.  Six start this morning but I'd been awake since four.  The door to the balcony was open and there was a gale force wind in operation and I was too lazy to get out and close it...which I did at six,,,so two hours of restless sleep.  Cold start to the day so the long trousers went on.  I stripped down my bed and gave the sheets a high temperature wash, some  insect had bitten me in the night in places where access is normally forbidden and definitely covered hence the remedial tactics.  I sprayed the mattress with bug killer just in case and hopefully it's sorted.  Bacon and eggs for breakfast so a good start to the day and we sat out on the terrace watching the sheep and the world, my guest headed for the workshop while I pottered watering the pots and filling up the tortoise feeding bowls.  I saw an interesting spider on the garden umbrella so that had to be caught on camera.  It was still there when I closed up the umbrella this evening just in case that wind started up again,

By this time it was warming up and I took up my position on the sofa with my Sudoku book and as you've guessed, the eyelids went southwards and I was out for the count for a couple of hours catching up on lost zzzzz's.  My guest mas still out in the workshop making the replacement gate and I suggested that we went into Djebel this evening for pizza for supper which we did.  I had the usual cheese and ham and he had a meaty looking thing with peppers, stopped off at the supermarket on the way home for fresh bread and another bag of chocolate caramels.....I think I have mice that can open jars and replace lids.  Tomorrow Bekir is coming over to assess the damage that I've done to a plastic pipe and to make good and will phone tomorrow to confirm the time.  There will be pictures to follow when the man is at work.  LN.....Bedtime...I'm knacked.....LN



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