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Elsa Peters
September 1, 2020, 6:11pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 1st September

Six start this morning and I was on it already....so much so that by one I was feeling that the day would never end.  Washed and dressed, washing in the machine and pegged out by seven, bonfire and watered the garden down the bottom so that the hose would be on hand should the bonfire get out of hand.  The poor shrubs at the bottom of the garden have suffered....it's been in the mid thirties for the last ten days or so and despite my best efforts, they're struggling.  As I walked near to the long wall to check for tortoise, I noticed two of them tucked up together in the shade under the cranberry tree and I didn't stay around to see if they were one of each.  Yesterday I was given two large tomatoes by the lady that keeps the shop in Fotinovo so I used one of those to make my breakfast......tomato on toast and only one needed, they were huge.  Kitchen all washed up and tidied and I carried on with the watering and waited for my friends to visit, the outside container was still sitting in the Nipper where it had been put by the shop and he was bringing the muscle power.  

I cleared the site on the terrace where the pot was going to sit and had just finished sweeping away the debris and putting the honeysuckle cuttings over the wall when Avatar arrived bringing with her half of the tout manike, cheesy bread that she'd bought that morning from the van.  I was just showing her the new glazed pot when my guests arrived, she handed me the food, shot off like a scaled rabbit, he managed to get the pot out and carry it on his own so I was obsolete so put the kettle on and made myself useful.  It seits well on the terrace, I've got to decide how I want to dress it.  We sat out with coffee, they were heading into Momchilgrad and I suggested the back lane, I'd done it yesterday and it was dry as a bone obviously and a fairly smooth ride.  My painter popped round and offered me pears that he'd picked but they have so much damage on them that they weren't for me.  He had cucumbers for free but again, I leave them on the supermarket shelves.

By now the temperature had climbed to the mid thirties and I went in to cool off, it was much to hot to be outside.  I tried to settle to ancestry but it's got very complicated and the records are sporadic so I turned my attention to a few games that made me really sleepy so I settled on the sofa and went off to the land of nod.  At five I went out to water the garden and thought I'd get ahead of myself but instead I got carried away and ended up finding my tall window cleaning brush and did the tall terrace top level windows using the hose pipe to wash the soapy water off and it seems to have worked.  I found the small step ladder and cleaned the terrace level outside and now my biggest challenge is going to be the inside near the stairs and that's the job for tomorrow.  My house preparation for my guest is underway.  

Toys away and Avatar popped over to see the pot in all its glory and she thinks it lovely.  I didn't tell her how much...I don't discuss those sorts of purchases with her, pensions here are not worth talking about.  Looking at the weather maps I think tomorrow might be for Kardjali and swimming, there are more clouds about on Thursday so the windows will wait until then.  I had the cheesy bread for supper followed by two bottles of water...I need to keep my fluid intake up...a little t.v and bed.  I caught the moon coming up...I think it's almost full.  LN....I'm closing the curtains tonight.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 2, 2020, 6:15pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 2nd September

Six start after a restful night's sleep....I threw out the old bread and realised that I had to go down to the van and get fresh bread if I wanted breakfast.  I watered the garden before I set off and at eight I was in Avatar's garden and we were waiting for the regulatory toot toot announcing his arrival.  We sat under the tree, she said that she was expecting the cement to finish the wall later that day and gave me a small shopping list if I was going in to town which I intended to do.  Most of the ladies were drawn to the bottom square but he kept us all waiting by going to the houses along the back lane but he was soon back and I bought the bread that I wanted.  I walked back with Avatar and she was trying desperately to cook breakfast for me but I'd made my mind up I was going to use up the last tomato and serve it up on toast.

So I made breakfast and tidied up the kitchen, walked the garden and ended up shoving the hoe around on the vegetable patch clearing most of the weeds.  Every thing is so dry and I've given up wasting water on the few peppers that I've got and tomatoes.  As for the butternut squash...it might make and ornament.  I ended up tidying teh little house porch and giving it a good sweep out and I'll work my way in...it really needs it.  The old lavender can go now that I've collected this years and I've still got the big one to gather in at some point.  I came over incredibly tired so drank lots of water and lay on the sofa and you've guessed it. I was out for the count for a couple of hours or so, this heat is so draining.  At two I decided to head in to Kardjali to see if I could get any advice on my residence permit which expires early October.  If I could only pick up the paperwork and set the wheels in motion I thought i could be ahead foo the game.....and how wrong can you be.  I drove in and parked up in my paid car-park and walked to the Immigration Office and was amazed when I turned the corner.  There were around twenty people standing on the pavement, those inside were coming out and calling people in and I realised I would do nothing today.  I recognised one of the ladies having a ciggie break so approached her and asked if I could have a word with her and she agreed.  I found out that there was no appointment system in place, to get seen you had to be outside the office at seven in the morning and get given a number which would be processed that day.  I came away feeling quite disgruntled with Bulgaria and it's systems.  It's mainly due to the Turkish people coming back ensuring that they have duel nationality and updating there residencies.  I've been here ten years now and this should be a paper exercise...they have all my details on file, photographs the lot and yet it's going to take the best part of the day.  Do I want to do it?...no I don't...will I be out of the house at six thirty in the morning?....probably.....just to get the ball rolling.

I made my way to Lidl and bought the things on Avatar's shopping list and a few items for me including butter that I hid under the luggage in the boot otherwise I have oil when I got home.  I was home for five thirty, parked up outside the gate and delivered the goodies over the road and we didn't talk money because Haciber was sitting with us.  I related the story of the immigration to Avatar and she was amazed and I suggested that she comes in with me in the morning....and that's not going to happen.  I came home, put the Nipper in the drive, put the rest of the shopping away and had five minutes before I went out and got ahead of myself by watering the garden.  I came in and fried off a hamburger that I'd taken out of the freezer this morning, slapped it between two slices of bread with mayo and that was supper.  The washing up can wait, the drawbridge is up and I#m in for the night.  The moon has come up but has gone behind the clouds....we might have a cooler night.  LN...Need something sweet to finish on.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 3, 2020, 5:05pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 3rd September

So no trip to Kardjali today...I woke up at ten to seven so wouldn't have made it for the seven o'clock registration and numbering at the Immigration Office.  It's Friday tomorrow so I might very well try again guessing they might be all at the mosques but I have heard that they do work on Saturday so I might be taking too many trips to Kardjali this week.  It's till early, I have a month to go but I don't like leaving things.  I sat on the terrace with my coffee and saw a bird working its way up the electricy pole in the field.  At first i only saw a shadow moving up the trunk but I was able to take long distance pickies when it got to the top.  I calculated yesterday's bill for my Avatar. delivered it and payment received.  I sat in the garden with her and she handed me some of her grapes and I eat on and the eye froze, the skin was tough and she said they were sweet and we laughed about it.  Beyser arrived, she saw the grapes on the table and immediately dived in and we both said that they were very sweet and worth eating and despite the fact that they weren't she had three little bunches.  I said in Bulgarian to Avatar that it was like feeding strawberries to donkeys which is one of my mother's sayings and fortunately Beyser only speaks Turkish....evil aren't we.

I left them to it, came home and made two toasted cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast.  It did me good for most of the day until a packet of chocolate Cookies found there way into my domain and ...they are no more.  I worked in the garden for most of the morning trimming back the cranberry tree, I hate it when I have to dip down to get underneath a tree so now I don't have to.  I noticed the Blue Boy was resting on the polythene on the old window that was lying on the terrace and I thought it was stuck so I moved it, cleared away some of the polythene and left only one and it was back and resting up.  I wondered if it was wanting the overnight damp so I sunk a dustbin lid under the cranberry and later on put one near the short wall, they have drinking stations and I bet they never use them.

Too hot to be out so I came in at around twelve thirty and played around with ancestry and practising my Italic writing.  I used to do it ages ago but it's something I've let go.  At four thirty I went out again and saw Rosie shuffling in the shrubbery, she headed for the grass and they set off down towards the bottom of the garden.  I swept the workshop terrace off and saw that Blue Boy was hiding yet again underneath the polythene but then set off down the long wall so maybe it's on a hot date with both of them heading down to the bottom wall.

No supper required....I am definitely going to try to get up earlier and go into Kardjali and set the ball rolling by seven and overturn the new Ottoman Empire.  LN...Wish me luck....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 4, 2020, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 4th September

So my internal alarm went off at six this morning, I was out of bed by ten past, washed, dressed, into the Nipper and down the back lane and parked up on my pay car-park before the attendant was there and set off for the Immigration Office.  It was around quarter past seven and as I turned the corner, the pavement was rammed.  I joined the queue and with some social distancing going on but not much but most wearing masks, I waited my turn.  A very harassed policeman was dealing with the queue and I was the last.  I handed over my Identity Card and explained that I had to renew and he said 'one moment please' and disappeared inside the building.  I waited and five minutes later be appeared and said that I have an appointment on the ninth of September and he gave me a slip of paper with number one printed on it.  I asked him what time I had to attend and he replied that I had to be there at seven in the morning, I was number one for the day.  What a system.  It was now just after seven thirty so I headed back to Djebel and stopped off to buy cheesy bread from out local shop for me and Avatar and was back in the village for just after eight.  Djebel was just coming to life, the market was getting set up and the coffee bars were filling up,

I drove home and saw that Avatar was in her garden and dressed for town with her long brown coat on.  I handed over the cheesy bread and asked her why she was going in and offered to take her but she wanted to take the bus and explained that her daughter was coming over from Turkey and had asked her to make some Tarna.....a dried breakfast vegetable soup thing and so she was heading in to buy tomatoes and other veg to dry in time for when her daughter arrives.  What she does for her family.  I made coffee and took my cheesy bread out to the terrace.  The sun was hiding and it wasn't that warm but the clouds were breaking up but I decided to start on the windows and get that off the list of things to do.  The inside windows of the stairwell are very difficult to do.  I think I brought every tool that I have in my tool kit into play but I'll have to do them again, the sun came out and I noticed the smears.  Since I'm the only one looking at them, I can live with it for now.  I didn't stop there, the porch windows inside and out are done and also my bedroom and the rest of the long windows and I've only got the inside of the lounge to do.  I did feel that I was almost pirouetting at time balancing on the outside furniture and the little step ladder but i made sure I was safe...I can't afford accidents.

I took a phone call from my daughter, she's got a start date for her new job and is really looking forward to it....she'll do well and she can walk to work and back to school hours and holidays.  She said that she'd had a busy morning doing housework and shopping so that she's clear for next week and surprised me by saying that 'it's what you would do'....and she's right.  I went out with the rest of the cheesy bread and some grapes and enjoyed the sun but the wind was getting up and and later this afternoon it really got gale force.  I had to shut the door to the conservatory to stop the dust blowing in.....it was crazy out there.  That was the last I saw of it, I spent the afternoon in the land of Nod catching up on sleep deprivation and felt much better for it when I woke up at four thirty.

No supper require, cheesy bread is very filling.  The wind's dropped fortunately but so has the temperature and when i went out tonight to water the plants it really felt quite chilled.  I know the sun is going down earlier but it's only eight thirty and there's hardly a glimmer except for the mountains over Smolyan sporting the last of the blue and pink hues.  Nothing on the agenda and certainly no trip into Kardjali...what I haven't got I can do without.  LN....A lie in tomorrow......LN  
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Elsa Peters
September 5, 2020, 6:26pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 5th September

Short and sweet tonight...I had an extremely good morning and got lots done in the garden and by nine this morning, I'd had a bonfire, trimmed back the dead flower heads from the bottom garden, watered the pots and the bigger trees and tidied up the area.  Breakfast called and I had sour cherry jam on toast and sat on the terrace eating it.  It was quite cool this morning and a welcome change but that didn't last for long,  That sun came out and it was a scorcher.

I moved inside and did a load of washing, put the wet run out that I'd spilt water on when I was negotiating the bowls in use for doing the windows.  I'd left it down on the floor but no way was it going to dry so I put it out hanging it down from the table so that the sun and breeze could get at it.  I got the hoover out and cleaned where the run had lain and under the stairs and window sills, shook the carpet from the conservatory outside and put that where the wet one was.  When the other one was dry, that went into the conservatory.  Washing out to dry, moved some boxes from the house to the little house and put them up onto the top floor out of the way.  It almost seemed like it was an autumn morning.....but then the sun came out.  I peeled potatoes, boiled them, chopped an onion, opened as can of tuna and that was lunch....potato salad with tuna and mayo.

I got the washing in and it was away but three...that's what I love about here and summer.  You can more or less guarantee on the weather and its drying ability and in the winter, it goes on the airer and dries overnight in the bathroom....it just doesn't have to lie around like in the UK.  The afternoon was spent watching the athletics, answering emails and playing games and I felt that I'd had a really good morning in the garden and house and with my guest arriving on Thursday and Wednesday being already earmarked for a documentation day...I've not many days left to get things done.  

I went out at eight thirty and watered the pots, I'd got involved watching Alice through the Looking Glass and didn't realise how late it was.  As for supper, the tuna mayo really did fill me up and it's now after nine so no need to visit the kitchen tonight.  LN....I'm sure I'll find things to do tomorrow.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 6, 2020, 6:27pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 6th September

Usual wake up time of six and lingered in a half sleep state until the need for coffee got me out of bed.  I made it and set off to check the water containers for the dependants and cleared them out...just lots of dead leaves around and that wind was up again in the night.  So much so that the door to the balcony was closed but it was definitely warmer last night than the night before.  The sheep were being driven to the far fields and it's good to see that they have a shepherd with them.  At least the owner is sticking to the letter of the law for a change with the sheep, the cows are still a nuisance to the rest of the village but they get told the same thing as I did years ago, get some decent fences.

I came back and sat on the terrace and thought of all the things that I could do today and consequently have done nothing.  I came in and replied to the messages on FB and arranged to meet up with the family tomorrow at ten thirty.  I haven't seen them for ages and it will be good to catch up and I really needed to do it before my guest arrives mainly because of the virus.  Better safe than sorry.  I suddenly felt hungry and made bacon and egg, checking the bread for green dots and it was clear.  It's the one thing that I can't stand, slightly mouldy bread and it was as well that it was OK, the van had been and gone.  I tidied the desk and check the documents that I needed for Immigration and realised that I'd taken the copies the other day and not originals so now everything is ready and sitting in a folder.  I'm very tempted to carry on to Kardjali tomorrow after seeing the family to collect the letter from the bank confirming that I have sufficient funds to be here and can maintain myself.  It's a bit silly really, the bank only declares what they need to declare for me to be self-sufficient not my bank holding...the attitude is 'why should we tell them' and I agree.

So this afternoon I was sofa bound with the Kindle, played games for a while and didn't manage to beat my record on Sudoku medium level.  The fastest I've managed is just over five minutes but I varied today between seven and fifteen.....so not a good showing.  The last one was even longer since I nodded off so we don't count that one.  I must have been out for the count for a couple of hours or so and again we are back to thirty degrees today and the air is very still.  I went out in the daylight for a change to water the garden but it was almost dark when I came in.  I did water the bigger shrubs and trees very well especially the specimen ones that I've brought on from babies.  No supper for me, it's too hot to eat again so I'll stick to water but slow down just before bedtime.  Very restful day, no sightings of the tortoise today, it was probably too hot for them to be out and about.  LN....Wouldn't want them baking in the shells....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 7, 2020, 4:05pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 7th September

Bit of a busy old day....and very enjoyable.  Woke up just before seven before the sun was up so I made coffee and went out on the terrace to enjoy the sunrise and listen my little part of the world coming into life.  There were loads of bea-eaters very high up in the sky chirping their little heads off, a couple jays were flitting around and not staying anywhere very long and the flycatchers were bobbing backwards and forwards to their stations.  The stork flew over obviously had the first meal of the day down at the lake and on to the next watering hole.

I went back inside to make more coffee, the pots were still damp from last night so not requiring attention, the tortoise bowls were full of water but not a tortoise in sight and my morning work was done.  The washing up from yesterday could wait so I went for a shower and washed my hair and went to get ready for the day.  I was off to visit the family this morning at ten thirty so in the Nipper by ten after stopping off at Avatar's house to see if she wanted anything from town.  The plan was to visit the family and then go to the bank to obtain a letter ready for Immigration on Wednesday but I didn't realise that the banks would be closed, it was a holiday yesterday and the bank was having it today.  So coffee with the girls and the married one is over from Denmark and it was such a surprise to see her.  We sat in the garden with baklava and we had lots to catch up on...I haven't seen them for about three months.  The little asked if I was planning on Kardjali and that's when I found out that the bank wasn't in residence today but we still went in to town.  She showed me a shop that I'd not found before and is apparently Polish and reminded me of Primark with cheapy clothes and everything else.  I bought some cheap glass vases to complete and idea that I'd seen yesterday and it will come to fruition when I get round to it.  We carried on to a shop that she wanted to go to and I bought a cheap ring for myself, Kaufland for Gold Blend that was on offer and home James.  

I dropped her off at the lane near her house, I popped in to the garage to check up on my student's family and they really enjoyed their time away while my student held the fort.  I popped into the hardware shop for more items for my project and the supermarket intending to get chicken wings for tonight but they's sold out so I have Turkish kebabs instead and I'll put a jacket in to have with them.  Garden already watered so I'm ahead of myself today and tomorrow I'm back to Kardjali for the letter from the bank...it's that in-box exercise.  Wednesday...seven at Immigration and Thursday...the airport in Sofia unless my guest decides that Bulgaria isn't for him this year...and he's just phoned and it's still on.  Jacket potatoes in and the kebabs will shortly follow.  I've just been out to check on the buddliea that's going to my student's sister tomorrow and spotted Blue Boy on the terrace heading for the steps to the garden.  I saved it the trauma and lifted it down the steps and its little legs were going like the clappers and once down off it set for the bottom of the garden.   LN....Busy week for me......LN



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Elsa Peters
September 8, 2020, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 8th September

I slept in late this morning and didn't have anywhere to go which was just as well.  I went out and checked the watering holes and topped them up and Blue Boy was lingering near the one on the long wall.  I didn't water the garden but I probably should have done...they're looking a little crispy tonight so I better get going when I've finished the update.  Last night's washing up is still lingering, I made toast for breakfast and then set about preparing for my day.  I took one of the buddlieh from the pot with the four new plants growing and potted it up ready to deliver to my family.  I also sorted through the jewellery and found the green earrings and pendent to match and also found out the amethyst earrings and pendent and she could choose to wear them or not.  

I set off at eleven to deliver the goodies and then carried on to Kardjali.  My normal paid car-park was full and I thought I was lucky to find a space near the back of the bank.  I went to the bank and I had to fight the rush of people but fortunately I get good service knowing both of the security guards.  I was directed to the floor manager and she was obviously so stressed and told me that it was impossible to get a letter today and to come back later in the week.  I didn't quite plead with her but said that I had a seven a.m appointment with Immigration, she breather heavily and printed off a form for me to take to the second floor and the wheels were in motion.  I had to wait an hour or so so filled my time with a couple of cokes in different restaurants and was walking back to the bank when I noticed two policemen writing out tickets about three cars from where mine was parked.  I approached one of them and explained that I didn't speak their language very well but pointed to my car and asked if it was OK to leave it there....all he said was  'dave burso' and I know that roughly translated as 'get out of there quickly' so I moved to my paid car park and then went back to the bank to pick up my letter.  I carried on to Immigration and my favourite lady was outside again having a ciggie break and I asked her if I could pay any fees due with a card and she replied that as long as it was a Bulgarian card that they would take payment...result.

I filled the Nipper up with gas and carried on to Djebel stooping to buy chicken wings and went to the chemist and bought masks as backups for when my guest arrives.  Home for four thirty and sat down with a coffee....I'd had a good day, achieved a lot and feel very prepared for tomorrow.  The chicken wings are in the oven and I went over to tell my Avatar that supper would be served around eight and she was in Beyser's garden with the rest of the ladies.  It started off well but then they went into Turkish so I went to see her daughter in law watering her garden and I came home with a knotted blouse full of tomatoes straight from the plants.  Kitchen is calling, I have a six fifteen start tomorrow to get to Kardjali by quarter to seven so that I'm ready for my appointment.  Deliveroo is about to hit the village.  LN...Early night for me ....LN



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September 9, 2020, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 9th September

What a day....I set both alarms last night so that I could be out of the house for six but woke up at four and was concerned that I'd go back to sleep again, miss both the alarms and be late for my early appointment with the Immigration department.  The pressure on those poor girls that work in that office and it suddenly hit me that all of the Turkish people renewing passports and identify cards are confirming that they have access to Europe especially since they are not too enamoured with Turkey at the moment.  I switched off the alarms and played games getting out of bed at five thirty and I was in the Nipper at six and heading for Kardjali.  As I parked up in the pay car park at six twenty five, the noise from across the square at the passport office reminded me of a bee-hive.  It was heaving.  I set off walking to the office and suddenly realised that I'd forgotten my mask so went back and got one from my stash and was at the office for six forty and there must have been around fifty waiting for registration and a chance to get inside.  I made myself know to a very rude policeman and was told to move to oneside and the saying about putting a beggar on horseback and watch him ride to the devil....and he's on his way.  I got talking quietly to an American who was married to a Bulgarian and wanting to renew his residency and we were told to be quiet...just like two naughty schoolkids.  I was eventually called in to the office and it was obvious that there was no trying in English, she fire her questions at me in Bulgarian and I only said that I wanted a ten year residency...it would probably do me to the end of my time but not a glimmer.  She scrutinised my documents. I paid my dues, I was handed a seven page document that had to be completed in Bulgarian and Latin script and I explained that I did not feel that I could complete so she told me to go and sit at the table and see what I could do but I remembered that there was an office nearby that had a representative at the sign in and I went out and asked her if there was anyone at the office that could complete it for me.  Obviously it was only twenty past seven in the morning and there was no one there yet.  Fortunately one of her friends took pity on me and we went back to the office and 'the table' and together we managed it.  It's the new post Brexit form and wants lots of detail including the dates of birth of my parent....fat chance.  So I went back to the 'holy of holies' and was ordered to make an appointment for Monday and only given the number thirty seven by the gestapo at the door with a 'wait' and there isn't a clue as to what time this appointment will come round so I look to be spending about two hours on Monday 'a lady in waiting'.

I drove home and stopped off in Djebel to buy cheesy bread, one for Avatar and one for me and I cooked a half packet of bacon and made a huge sandwich and sat out in the garden with a coffee reviewing the morning activity.  Bulgarians and administration don't sit well together.  So on to other things...I finished cleaning the kitchen, did my last line of washing, hoovered through, drove into Djebel and had a quick service on the Nipper ready for my journey to Sofia tomorrow, stopped and bought ice[cream and Coca-Cola from the supermarket, went home and sat on the sofa and indulged myself and then nodded off for an hour or so.  Washing in and put away and settled on the bed playing games on the Kindle and off I went again for another hour.....just catching up and I feel much better for it.

I'm about to reset the alarms and I shall be in bed by roughly ten tonight...again a six or so start for the airport in Sofia.  I decided not to subject my guest to a four hour bus journey with suspect passengers, much better that I bring him back here.  He doesn't have to isolate but we'll do a week with care together...and if he starts sneezing I#m off to an hotel.  Cold chicken wings for supper and maybe some more ice-cream.  LN.....Wish me luck for tomorrow......LN
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Elsa Peters
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Thursday 10th September

My guest is safely installed, it's been a long day but all back safe and sound.  I was awake again before the alarm, watered the posts to save them getting crusty while I was gallivanting around Bulgaria and into the Nipper and off at six forty.  I filled up with petrol in the village awaking Ismail from his slumbers  and he was obviously waiting for the day shift to come on.  I made Kardjali by ten after seven and Plovdiv airport by just after nine stopping only to top up the gas and empty the bladder.  Needs as needs must.  

I hit the outskirts of Sofia by around ten and headed for the airport, missing the entry to the car-park but I got in on the second circumnavigation and there was so much space....never seen it so empty.  The barrier ticket was marked up as ten twenty seven so I was well in time for the flight arrival. There was no entry to the terminal to wait for the passengers but my phone went and I told him where I was standing, close to the taxi rank and he was through by eleven thirty more or less.  We touched elbows, loaded up the car, the car-park was three leva and try that in Gatwick...you need a mortgage to park up there.  It was all going well until I missed the junction for Smolyan after I'd come off the main highway and somehow found myself heading for the centre of Plovdiv and at one point the gypsy quarter...not that there are many left, they've mainly moved to Germany where they get wardrobes to hang up clothes and good handouts for doing nothing.  Beats begging as they do in Kardjali on Kaufland car-park.  Despite the misdirection, I managed to find another way to get to Asenovgrad and we stopped off at my favourite back restaurant for a late lunch, hamburgers, cheesy chips and salad...he had received his initiation and the first supper early.  Well it does save cooking tonight....I've had a long day.

He's now snoring his little head off and I'm about to go out and water the pots...double treat for today.  I have nowhere to go tomorrow and I've suggested that if the weather is good we head for the swimming pool above Kardjali....it would make a lazy day for both of us.  LN....Tired but journey thankfully without hiccups....LN
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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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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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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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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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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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Elsa Peters
September 20, 2020, 3:30pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 20th September

Another disturbed night...I put the extra quilt on the bed but really shouldn't have bothered.  I think the extra weight was to blame...thicker PJ's tonight and back to normal with the lightweight quilt.  It's that funny time of year, autumn is on it's way but mainly in the wind, early mornings and late afternoons.  We've been spoilt for a while now but pretty please, can we have some rain for the garden, it was like shovelling beach sand today when I was moving stuff around.

I made breakfast of poached eggs, mine with ham on toast and salami for my guest...just to specification.  We both followed it with toast from the fresh bread so the animals at least had something to nibble on.  My task for today was to tidy up the Frog garden, the day lilies had more or less dried to a crisp and were looking very straggly so I collected every tool I possessed.  I firstly had to go round the outside of the stone surround to break through the couch grass that started in the lawn and went inwards and then tug with all my strength.  Bastard stuff really does take hold even in very sandy dry soil.  I was surprised by a phone call at around twelve o'clock and the lady was Bulgarian, I didn't know her voice or number and she didn't speak my colloquial Bulgarian.  I recognised the voice but couldn't place her and eventually I knew her, she was the lady from the second hand shop.  I'd seen a chair in there but was told that she thought it was sold and had to contact on of the others to check it out and I'd forgotten all about it.  The chair is now mine and I collect tomorrow and we laughed that I couldn't place her...the next time I'll remember the voice immediately.  Day lilies sorted, pink Greek wavy flower that I'd put in a pot to rescue it from the dry conditions is now in the Frog garden with new compost and some of the old and fingers crossed it will do OK.

I moved on to the vegetable garden and threw the remains of my efforts over the wall for the animals, trimmed up a few shrubs and cut back the aggressive honeysuckle and tools away at six more or less.  Supper is in, chicken with roasted veg and I've included red and green peppers for my guest and some garlic...I'm going to stick with the potatoes and onions and the mushrooms I'll do separately,  I'd been expecting a call from Bekir to look at the damage that I'd done to the water pipe and he promised that he would phone after lunch and he's just phoned now and is coming over to assess the work that needs doing.  The original plan was that we would go to Djebel to get the parts and it would be done today....the plans of mince and men....fortunately it's not urgent....everything still works.

So tomorrow Kardjali for a good shop and now to get my chair.  It's been a good day, I've achieved a lot and my guest has been slaving over a hot router and four inch plank and is nearly there with the joints in the timbers to replace the little gate.  LN....Earning his supper....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 21, 2020, 5:15pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 21st September

What a surprise this morning...we had rain overnight and everything was wet...joy oh, joy, the garden really needed it and I thought it was in for the day.  Wrong, we went back to lots of pluses and the sweaters came off after lunch.  Breakfast of tomatoes on toast using up the ones that my neighbour gave me last week and I've just remembered that I have beef tomatoes that my painter gave me yesterday along with red pepper, chillies and a cucumber so it looks like salad is on the menu for a few days yet.  I washed up and cleared the kitchen and we were in the Beast by ten and heading for Kardjali.  I'd arranged to pick up the chair that I'd said yes to and the second one that I wanted another look at.  I tried to find a cash point on my way in, Djebel was heaving because the world and all its friends were there it was market day so I carried on, found one on a shopping parade in Kardjali and it was still working but had been vandalised....no where to stick your card and out of choice you wouldn't anyway.  Between us we managed to get enough to pay for both chairs so we carried on to the warehouse.

She greeted me like a long lost friend and we laughed about me not knowing who she was when she phoned and not being able to understand her.  We walked around the warehouse, and I carried the second chair to the door and she carried the other.  I'd found a cushion near the metal chair and it was handed over for free but was it a job getting them into the back of the Beast?.....but eventually we managed it.  Down to Kaufland for a few essentials and the usual non-essentials, we walked round the hardware shop and I spotted two very large terrace umbrellas reduced so I told the assistant that I wanted them.  The one would replace the existing and the second would sit on the other terrace but unfortunately she looked at the ticket and said that the offer had finished and was three days out of date so I asked her why the ticket hadn't been removed.....bad store keeping.  This being the case I left with none...I'll wait for the next promotion, after all it is the end of September....they'll be selling lots of garden umbrellas.  Off to Lidl and I went in on my own for speed and only went in for butter but came out with a boxful of goodies as is normal.  As for the metal chair that I bought, we realised that one of the welds had broken and I'm not sure it if was done when my guest tried it in the store so I stopped off at the garage in Djebel and he welded it for me while we waited.

Back home and I unpacked the shopping and fought with the freezer to get it away, unpacked the chairs and washed them down and took the cover from the cane chair and put it in the washing machine.  I made a coffee and noticed that my guest had sloped off and was snoring gently on his bed so took my coffee on to the terrace with a jam doughnut that I'd bought and was tempted to eat the two since he'd bombed out but I decided to leave it for him.  Out he came and we sat in the pleasant evening sun, he finished his doughnut and said the sleep had done him good.

Kebab sticks for supper with potato wedges and the last of the mushrooms.  The aroma is wafting up from the kitchen and I shall have to finish...I believe it's ready to serve so I better get into gear.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far apart from searching for my little camera.  I seem to think that I put it in my bag before I set off and have to search the Beast in the daylight.  LN....Supper and bedtime.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 22, 2020, 3:49pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 22nd September

Funny old night last night.  I was pleased to see that Only Connect was backs so it was may usual Monday night established.  Unfortunately I fell asleep at the beginning of Only Connect and my guest decided to take to his virtuous couch so I came back into consciousness and managed to stay awake to watch my programmes.  The finisher was the programme with the experts tackling what seem like impossible symptoms to health issues and solving the mysteries and that took me over midnight.  I had a disturbed night and woke up at four and that was it until coffee time at six thirty.  It's left me feeling a little jaded all day, I've done 'stuff' but now with much enthusiasm.  I searched the Best for the missing camera, moving seats and scrabbling under them and I firmly believed it had gone.  My guest said that he seemed to remember it on the back seat of the Beast and I thought I might have thrown it in when I threw the rain gear in before we left.  I'd given up and then he spotted it....on the Nipper near the washer blades...I'd put them there with keys when I was moving cars about and forgotten to pick them up....relief engulfed me.

Omelettes for breakfast and as for supper, not even thought about it yet.  It will be what's available in the fridge or easy to thaw.  I did a load of washing and pegged it out and last night my Avatar had left me with a bag of apricots that needed some attention.  I had to clean them up, they were a little scabby in places and I ended making two pots of jam.  Unfortunately I reckon I put too much sugar in, it was just a kilo of apricots and the scales were playing up when the tare weight wasn't working correctly so it took ages to get to the setting point and I'm not sure that I did.  I did manage to find jars and new tops in the little house, sterilised them and they look good but as for taste....I'll have to wait and see.  I think it had just started to burn in my non-stick pan and in fact it stuck a little on the bottom. I suppose I can get used to burnt apricot jam but I certainly won't be giving one to my Avatar.

The eyes did go skywards for a while this afternoon but not enough to take away the feeling of lethargy.  I've earmarked the British Dig programme for tonight but I'm not sure I'll manage it I'll have to wait and see.  Cold start this morning but it soon warmed up and it's been beautiful all day and so much so that my guest came in from the terrace complaining about the heat.  He'll be doing that when he arrives back in the UK.  Bank holiday in Bulgaria tomorrow so no sense in going anywhere so it looks like a day of woodworking for my guest working on the new gate and I think I shall have a day in the garden.  I've noticed that the weeds are coming to life and it will be a good time to collect them.  LN.....I've got to locate supper......LN



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Elsa Peters
September 23, 2020, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 23rd September

Better night's sleep but we both went to sleep watching television last night and I managed to wake up just as the Great British dig started.  I was in two minds about the programme....it's good that they saved the bodies but unfortunate that the burial records are no longer accurate but at least they are documenting everything....or so they say.  Interesting that the original records were accurate and they found who they were looking for.

Sleep of the just last night and woke up refreshed and ready to go and nowhere to go.....National holiday or so I was led to believe but apparently the post offices were open.  They'll probably tag that on to a weekend and really upset the works.  I'm not sure what I got up to this morning...I cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast with baked beans with the intention of using the rest of the beans in a shepherds tonight but alas it was too late so we're now having spag bol which is on its way.  I was collecting seeds most of the morning, popped over to see Avatar and thank her for the what turned out to be peaches not apricots as I thought...so now I have two pots of peach jam.  

Visitor this morning and it was good to catch up.  It appears that more restrictions are in place for Greece so my guest will not be enjoying the Med but the world seems to have gone crazy.  At least Bulgaria seems to be taking a logical approach but there are less people and they are used to taking instructions and wear masks and social distance in Kardjali.  Off he went and I settled down to watch a little day time t.v., it was too warm to work out and then I went back to searching for my ancestors to see if I could solve the riddle of my five or six times back great-grandfather.  I have two brothers or so it seems and the wills that are lodged don't make it clear leaving out generations and the loot goes to grandchildren and then tend to name children after grandparents.  I gave up...it's a project for another day so I went and mowed the lawn to get rid of the long stemmed weeds.  It took me around two hours, it looks good and it's in preparation for the supposed rain tomorrow.  I didn't want those shooting up any higher.

Supper calls, I've just put garlic bread in and the water is ready for the spaghetti, the bolognaise is done and just needs reheating.  LN....The clouds have rolled over....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 24, 2020, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 24th September

I managed a bath and to wash my hair last night which was in desperate need of washing.  It's easier to do it in the shower but when guests are here I tend to let them have free use of the downstairs shower room without any interference from me.  A brush went carefully through the hair, I'd towelled it dry more or less and it was plaited and off to sleep I went.  I was shattered last night, can't give you a reason why perhaps it was running around after a lawn mower like a blue bottomed individual so that I could get on with supper.  Self imposed pressure.

Seven start and I was on the balcony watching the sun come up clutching my coffee mug.  I came in just before eight, I just love sitting out there watching the sheep and shepherd and he seems to swear at them most mornings to make sure that they end up where he wants them.  My guest was up around the same time as I came down stairs and was reading.  I've introduced him to the Saxon Chronicles and he has twelve books to finish before he goes.....oh dear.  The last six I bought from Amazon and are on the cloud so he might even have to take one of my reading devices with him or allocate one of his to me for the same of downloads.  Guest bed stripped and two loads of washing before breakfast finished and pegged out, breakfast of poached on brown bread, my white with a tinge of green was thrown over the wall to the animals...I hate mouldy bread.  Washing up finished, I had a bonfire to get rid of the debris and watered some of the larger shrubs while the hose was on standby just in case.  

By this time it was getting pretty warm out there so I took to the sofa with my sudoku book and I suddenly realised that it was just after two....I'd pottered the morning and some of the afternoon away.  In the Nipper by three thirty and went into Djebel for milk and a wine box, essential supplies and white and brown bread.....not sure what time our mobile shop will arrive tomorrow morning.  I stopped off at the car shop for a chat with my student and his mother, a pleasant interlude and then home James and don't spare the horses.

Rain clouds were gathering so it was cushions in the storage box, drain from the yard to the outside of the wall was cleaned out so that it doesn't get flooded but it turned out to be a damp squib.  We had thunder and lightening and it seems to be coming round again for a second chance but the garden is hardly wetted.  I've stuffed cannelloni with the remains of last night's spaghetti bolognaise, covered it with a white sauce and a cheese topping.  The salad is prepared and now the rest is done so I have kitchen duties to perform.  LN....Smells good so fingers crossed.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 25, 2020, 6:28pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 25th September

Seven start, the rain was drying up but the clouds were still around.  The fog was on the mountains, the sun was burning it off but it kept rising up the hillside.,,,.fascinating to watch.  I walked the garden and was amazed how many spiders webs were covered in dew, not that I saw many spiders, just the webs and the camera just had to come out.  Time to cook breakfast, spicy sausage, bacon and eggs filled us both up for the day.  I cleared the kitchen, got in a load of washing, pegged it out and sat out in the sun catching up on some hand sewing.  The cushion that came with the metal chair now has four ties to ensure it doesn't end up in Greece when the high winds whistle over the hillside and my guest's PJ's have elastic threaded through the bottoms of the legs so that they don't drag on the floor when he walks around.  He did suggest shortening them but my method saved time, it would have taken me around an hour to do a proper job.

Another day when I meandered through the morning, it got too hot to be outside so I played a few games on the computer and then went up to carry on with ancestry and I did that for most of the afternoon.  I've got back to sixteen twenty now but I have to prove that I've got the right link and it's difficult and I had to resort to following the Parish records to see how much information they provide and that depends on the area that you're searching.  From Parish to Parish it depends on the person keeping the records.

My guest finished in the workshop at six and the gate is looking almost ready for putting into place and then on to repairing the second one.  He settled for an open sandwich and I left him to it but at least he has a wine-box to keep him company.  I settled for tuna with Lidl potato salad followed with peach juice with water.  No sure what to do tomorrow...we need to go into Kardjali for cement to finish the final repair on the pipe that I put a hole in and hopefully the weather will remain good despite the forecasts.  LN.....Autumn's on its way......LN



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Elsa Peters
September 26, 2020, 7:29pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 26th September

So the windows were closed last night since the wind had got up and at four thirty I was opening the bathroom window to get some air through.  It was still very blustery but I managed to get straight off to sleep again and woke up at seven thirty.  I switched my upstairs kettle on, went down for my mug and my guest was already up and reading.  I introduced him to the Saxon Chronicles and he's racing his way through them.  I made my coffee and went out on to the terrace enjoying the morning, it was pretty cloudy and threatening rain but we seemed to be missing it.  I came in and made omelettes for breakfast, washed up and suddenly realised that the heavens had opened and it was throwing it down.  Pretty good for the garden but I had to rescue the cushion that I'd put on the chair when I went out.

My guest headed for the little house work shop and carried on with the gate and I decided that I would have a day of ancestry since there was little to do outside.  I did look up and see a rather large bird down on the walnut so I grabbed the camera and took a few photos and I was really pleased with the results.  My ancestry was brought to a halt, the internet went off so I couldn't check some of my findings but I did come across an entry when it came back, the record mentioned a church near Blackfriars in London known as Church in the wardrobe and so I had to read up on it since it had such a long history until the blitz put an end to it.

This afternoon I watched the World Champion women's road race and what a race it was.  I felt that sport was more about teams than an individual going out to win and I think that comes with money coming into the sport and it's become more of a team sport than individual achievement.  At around five there was a funny rainbow that was running more or less parallel with the ground, not much colour in it and it looked washed out but just managed to capture it.

I started supper at six, hamburgers, chippies and beans followed with individual choc ices, a little television and then to bed...I feel shattered.  The thunder and lightening is still rattling around the hillside.  LN.....Hoping for better weather tomorrow....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 27, 2020, 7:18pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 27th September

Just before seven start and more or less on the stroke of the clock the sun streamed through my little window in the bedroom....normality was established, the sun was shining and the damp patches had more or less dried up.  I walked down the garden and burnt the household rubbish, cleared some weeds from the little garden by the long wall and dug up a very large thistle that's been bugging me for a long time and I'd done nothing about it.  The seeds are now burnt so now I'm not going to have another fifty thousand growing.  I also cut back the stray roses and the honeysuckle and added light to a shady spot in the bed, pulled up a shrub that appeared to be doing nothing and when I really looked at it my effort was a little premature....it had green bits so now it's sitting in water and will find another spot in the garden...it was just too dry where it was.  Next job was to take one of the buddlieh from the pot they were growing in and plant it in the bed near the low wall and the wild plum.  I dug the hole and despite the rain it was dust when I went down around six inches so I had to give the ground a good soaking before I planted it.  I also found a couple of philadelphus cuttings that I had growing in a pot, put them all in a carrier bag and into the Nipper with them to deliver later in the day.  

Wellies off and cooked spicy sausage, beans and egg for breakfast, washed up and then I was on 'helper' duty for the new gate that was going in.  I had staples to take out of the old one, the wire that covered the little gate to keep stray dogs out was going to be used on the new one.  We were putting on the hinges and despite a few shouts and choice phrases, the gate is now in situ and only requiring staining to make it the same as the one it was replacing.  The long gate is next up for repair, the bottom rail has removed itself from the rest of the gate so has to be replaced and that will be a job for tomorrow.  

Time was now ticking on and we were due in the next village for a barbecue and at half one I got into jeans and a long sleeved shirt grabbing a sweater, this time of year can be deceptive.  There wasn't so much sun falling on the garden we were going to sit in and fortunately I had another jacket in the car that did for my guest.  The food was very good, bream done on the barbecue with salad, the wine was forthcoming for those that partook and I settled for coke being in charge of the Nipper.  I'd said that I was taking a pudding but hadn't got round to doing it with the gate repairs but the plants were a substitute and well received.  We moved inside when it got really cold and chatted for a couple of hours or so and at nine I suggested that we made for home which we did.  Pretty late posting and no photos but I've done well over the last few days so look back on them.  LN....What a pleasant day.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 28, 2020, 4:12pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 28th September

I didn't go to bed until one last night, up at three and then eventually back to sleep until seven twenty.  Funny old day weatherwise...we've had hot when the sun came out and cold when it went in and it was in more than out.  I phoned my daughter this morning to see how she was getting on in her new job and she's fine and starting to feel her feet as they say,  I was slow off the mark, I should have put slippers on for walking around but didn't and I had cramp spasms in my toes so I too was feeling my feet but for the wrong reasons.  In the end had to put a pair of thick socks on.  I made breakfast of bacon and egg followed by toast and apricot jam and the plum jam that I'd made a few years ago was still on offer and accepted by my guest.  

Yesterday I'd noticed that my wellies had cracked at the heels so I got a pair of scissors and cut them down to ankle length...a new to me pair of gardening clogs.  The main thrust of today was the gate and it's now back in situ and mostly restored.  I took the Nipper outside the gate and put it over the gap where the gate usually did what it does best, keeping the cows out.  We had one or two walk the high street but they kept their distance. Once it was back in place we painted it with old engine oil that deters the bugs and keeps the rain out and it really looked as if we were in for a downpour which never came.  The layer of real wood preservative will go on tomorrow, we had to make sure that the new virgin wood toned down with the original to match the big gate and it more or less does.  Another coat of engine oil and it should look the same colour and then the other stuff can be applied.  I finished off the day by digging up the dead conifer from the base of the little house steps, dug it over to make sure that there was depth for the new one to go in and I planted up the new little one that I got at a bargain price from Kaufland and watered it in  Fingers crossed it will make it.

Supper is in the oven, I had taken meatballs out of the freezer this morning and now they're sitting in a casserole in the oven in a tomato sauce.  The pasta water is ready, I'm waiting for my guest to wake up, he's currently in the land of nod and calling the cows home.  My night on the tele....Monday is quiz special.  LN.....Kardjali tomorrow I think.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 29, 2020, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 29th September

Six thirty start and it was a grey day.  I don't know where the morning went, I chatted to Avatar, sat on the terrace, had a bonfire but it seemed to take ages to get into gear to to to Kardjali.  Eventually we were in the Nipper by eleven thirty heading for town.  There wasn't much traffic and when I hit the Greek road it was positively dead....no Romanians belting down at a hundred miles an hour taking your life in their hands.

First stop cheapy shop for clothes and I picked up a fabulous pair of jeans, a linen and cotton simple jacket for next summer, a black shirt courtesy of Jack and Jones and an over waterproof for leaving in the car, bright yellow hood and top section, great for a breakdown.  At nine leva for all of it, I struck lucky,  Over to the hardware store and two bags of cement for the repairs to the waste pipes from the house, a plastic table that is the right height for resting my feel on when on one of the new house chairs and then on to Lidl.  I left my guest in the car, I wanted to get round without lingering on the none food and workshop specials and ending up with a huge bill at the checkout.  I almost got caught out though, I picked up three litre box of apple and sour cherry juice and it wasn't until I got in the vicinity of the checkout that I decided to go back and check the price....at almost seven leva it went back on the shelf.  I did find two smoked mackerel for supper and I'm beginning to think they were a mistake.  I filled up with gas and got a superb reception from my two favourite attendant and my windows washed into the bargain and all that for twenty leva including a full tank,

Home for two, shopping away, cement mixed with water and the repair completed, all 'new to me clothes' washed and despite earlier rain the sun came out and the wind got up and it's now finishing off in the bathroom on the airer.  Mackerel was accompanied by home-made potato salad, the bones are double wrapped to keep the aroma away from the hillside.  We'll be inundated with cats if I'm not careful.  I'll be setting fire to it first thing.  The internet went off around seven and with thunder rattling around  it wouldn't surprise me if we lose it again.  I'm about to put the boiler on to linger in a bath for a while....I want to get the mackerel out or my pores.  LN....Pickies tomorrow......LN

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Elsa Peters
September 30, 2020, 5:59pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 30th September

Not a very good night last night...I was knocking off Sudoku until two this morning.  The fish we had last night still seemed to be swimming against the current and the potato salad was doing nothing to help it down and at one point I thought it was about to head upstream so to speak.  I tried to get off again and it worked and this morning I was fine...but it was eight thirty when I opened my eyes and made it down for coffee.  My guest was already up and about as such, head down into the Kindle still following the Saxon Chronicles.

Boiled eggs for breakfast followed by toast which I was determined to work off and I did.  I started with the washing and there's something reassuring about a washing machine...work is being done without any input and all I had to do was peg it out and let the wind finish the job.  Unfortunately the wind never got up, it was fine all afternoon but by five it was clouding over, the rain was threatening, we had a shower and it skirted the village and must have dumped a load somewhere.  I set about gardening attacking the little bed of the little house terrace facing the bottom wall, it was always a dry area and the soil was rubbish and is no longer.  I tied back the tobacco plant that managed to survive winter and has flowered up to now, dug out the grass and made a hole for a plant that was growing elsewhere.  I had a lacy hydrangea that I'd put near the compost with a view to it climbing about the windows on the little house terrace but it just wasn't happy...didn't get any sun and now it's in situ  and looking better already.  I've also decided to try to 'over winter' an Albizzia that that I grew from seed taken in Greece reckoning that it might just get its feet under the concrete and manage to survive.  I'll use a phrase I use often...it's got two choices...it will or it won't.  I put in a pot of Michaelmas daisies that I picked up cheaply in Kaufland and three little conifers that have been sitting in a seed trough and fingers crossed...'they will survive'.

I moved on to the bed in front of the  main house terrace and started to dig another hole near to where I damaged the main pipe to the cesspit....and guess what...I found another pipe and I think it takes away the water from the roof so that it doesn't stay around the house.  This has now been repaired with three quarters of a new pipe stuck down over the damage and it will be concreted over tomorrow.  No one told me that either of them were there and now I know.  This hole was to put in a Spirea which would have covered the repaired pipe that's been concreted over.....and it's still waiting top be planted.  I'm getting scared about digging anywhere....

Avatar paid a visit and has left me with around ten kilograms of peaches/apricots...well it's one or the other.....and so to make jam I need to get more lemons for the pectin.  I think that's where I went wrong last time.  She came over again a little later with bread that she'd made and tomorrow I'm helping out by putting barbed wire on the drive gates to the garden with the objective of deterring the cows from battering through.  I've got a reel of wire left over from when I had similar problems, my wall is the answer to a maiden's prayer.....let the beauties try.  

Washing it and some of it wasn't quite dry so it's gone on the airer, I'd got pork chops for supper and added ingredients to the tomato sauce that was left over from a couple of days ago and made a barbecue sauce to top them off.  Hasselback potatoes served with them, baked red peppers for my guest and I didn't bother with any other veg.  I've had a good day on the Fitbit....just over ten thousand steps knocked up but I've realised that if you don't download the details to the computer, the results are not compiled.  Princess outstepped me last week.  Windows closed tonight and it's going down to seven degrees tonight according to the weather reports.  Cement mixing in the morning to cover the plastic pipe covering the holes, a little more gardening and then over the road for my afternoon's entertainment.  LN....No time for photos today...too busy wrecking water pipes.....LN
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