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Elsa Peters
October 10, 2020, 2:08pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 10th October

Fog as far as the eye could see or as far as it couldn't see this morning and it took quite a while to burn it off.  I put a load of washing in and made bacon and egg for breakfast and was undecided about pegging out the washing but it was on the line by ten thirty.  It's been a lovely October day, the house held twenty three degrees overnight with only a little fire last night so it was lightweight trousers and long sleeved top but socks so that I didn't get dirty feet like yesterday.  I changed back to my gardening clogs and with socks, I've stayed presentable and would have no odd looks if I were to warm my pretty little toes in front of the wood burner tonight.

So what did I get up to?  Bonfire in the garden, the fly screens that have hung around the little house for a few years are now upstairs out of the way, lots of empty boxes burnt and I sorted out the nails from the screws out of the various pots that seem to get filled up with a mixture of both.  My guest chopped some starter wood for me and mended one of my plastic chairs (yet again) to last for another few years.  I don't know why I keep them, they sit in the little house next to the plastic table and it could all go really but it doesn't.  Note to self...start throwing things away.  The washing is in and put away and when I went down to top up the bonfire I caught sight of Blue Boy at the bottom of the garden.  On the way back I spotted a praying mantis on the steps down to the garden or up to the garden depending on how you approach them and it was lucky to survive and yes, the camera was to hand so it got snapped.  Tidying the little house I came across some mothball crystals and I was told by Avatar that the smell deters the moles so I went on a hunt and have desecrated a few fun runs and let's see if they work.  

Tools away early tonight, I've just completed the Covid declaration for my guest's flight on Monday and booked the hotel for tomorrow night.  I could have found cheaper but this one is on the road to the airport and I didn't want the hassle of driving round trying to find some obscure hotel in the back streets of Sofia...and all for a few lev.  There's enough pasta left over for tonight but I think we might be heading out...I'm too knacked to bother doing anything and I've got a day of it tomorrow.  LN....No maps required....LN



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Elsa Peters
October 11, 2020, 7:32pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 11th October

Nothing to report tonight.....safe journey up to Sofia and some marvellous Autumn scenery around Assenograd.  Idiots were still out on the Sofia highway and several blue lights flashing in pursuit.  Makes up the salaries I suppose.

Interesting pepper steak tonight in the hotel ....I was unsure whether they were pepper corns or they'd used a blunderbuss to kill the beast.  For one awful moment I though a trip to the dentist was on the cards....So I used the chips to mop up the sauce and left the bullets.

Another four hour drive tomorrow....airport drop off at ten more or less and then homeward bound.  LN.....wish me luck....LN
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Elsa Peters
October 12, 2020, 3:44pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 12th October

So sleepless in Sofia....it was a disturbed night, down for breakfast at nine thirty, breakfast was all pre-packed due to the virus so it was picking up a plate where you would only eat probably four out of the seven items and such a lot of waste.  Mine had cucumber and salami that was obviously on the no-no list and there were tea-bags and no hot water.  The long coffee came up to a third of the cup so I had two long shots in one and it just about woke me up.  We were in the Nipper by ten, negotiated the barrier to get out of the car-park and I dropped my guest off outside the departures and made my way out of the airport and was 'on the open road Toad'.  

Motorways are mostly the same except that the Bulgarians and Romanians think that they are on the German autobahns.  Lights flashing and expecting you to pull over despite the fact that you are overtaking lorries and the like but yesterday's practice run meant that in no way was I intimidated.  I moved into the zone of my working life where I would sometimes do long journeys and a seven hour work day...and enjoy every minute of the journey.  One funny incident, two police cars joined the motorway before me and overtook, manoeuvred themselves in front of a couple of lorries and caught out several speed merchants leaving a cloud of blue smoke as they applied the brakes when they saw the police cars with only a few meters to go.....good to watch but I'm pleased it wasn't me.  I managed to avoid the trap when I came down the same road almost five weeks ago and followed the signs for Smolyan...and it was right.  I stopped for gas in Assenograd, and headed for the hills on my way to Kardjali and it was a brilliant journey.  Nothing in front of me to slow me down and I've certainly got the measure of the Nipper round the hairpins moving accurately between third and fifth gears and did a record journey of just over three hours from the airport to Kardjali.

I stopped off at Lidl and filled up o the basics, popped into the car-shop to report that I was home safe and sound and then home.  Nipper unpacked, shopping put away, washing from my overnight done and pegged out, ham sandwich on fresh bread and coffee and relax.  I really enjoyed the drive home and it is a testing road through the mountains but I'm pleased with how the Nipper handled it.  

Bath tonight and relax and nothing to do tomorrow unless I find something that I want to do.  I do have the remains of a just opened box of red to think about delivering at some point or it's up for collection.  LN....Back to normal....LN
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Elsa Peters
October 13, 2020, 4:23pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 13th October

Well after yesterday's exhilarating journey through the beautiful mountains I woke up to gale force winds and lashing rain,  At this point I was thanking the airline for cancelling the Tuesday flight and bringing it forward otherwise I would have been battling with the elements on the way down from Sofia not enjoying the experience.  The gods were with me yet again.  I had a pretty slow start and settled for poached eggs on ham, toasted the bread and at that point the electricity went off, thunder and lightening got added to the mix and then the water went off.  It never rains but it upsets everything when it does.  Fortunately I have my gas /electric cooker so I could boil the kettle for more coffee but how many times do you try to flush the loo and switch lights on even though you know nothing is going to work.  

I didn't bother washing up, now that there's only me it's not so important.  I was messing around on my desk upstairs going though the print-outs from ancestry with a view of trying to get everything on paper that I knew and in sequential order.  It's easy to make notes of dates and people and searching is getting more difficult now that I'm dredging around sixteen hundred and you forgot where you've put the 'spoil'....but it's a little tidier now.  I was awakened from my devotions when what I thought was a Bulgarian greeting inside the conservatory and most of my neighbours stay outside and only look through the window to get my attention.  I shouted down that I was on my way and it was my buddy from one of the villages so we settled in for a catch-up.  I think the offer of  the remains of the winebox drew the moth to the flame...only joking....and around two cups of coffee later he was on his way.

The water came on around one, a very strange cloud formation cleared away and the electricity was on again for about two so I went back to ancestry and dug even deeper but it really is a hard slog and I'm back to Parish records.  One 'John' going back to 1700 was married twice, I can't find his first marriage record or that of his first born in 1732 so am now looking for an illegitimate record under her maiden name.  Fills my days when the cold winds blow but I was tempted to get out in the garden this afternoon but the rain really did come down and everything is very soggy.

Chicken legs and jacket potato for supper tonight and it should be ready any time now.  I didn't have that bath last night and didn't really have a good night but today I'm feeling very relaxed, the bath is on the cards for tonight and my bed is freshly made up and looking inviting.  Empty day for tomorrow, just as it should be but I might fill some of it with collecting leaves.  The high winds brought lots down.  LN....Sheep were racing around...all that new grass to have a go at......LN



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Elsa Peters
October 14, 2020, 5:03pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 14th October

Wonderful night's sleep...I didn't wake up until just after seven thirty and the sheep were already in their place for the day on the far hillside...and I hadn't heard a thing.  The sun was shining, there was a brisk wind but nothing like yesterday.  Apparently it brought down trees and that's why the power went off but still not sure why the water went off.  No problems today though and the temperature has dropped tonight and so I've lit a small fire that's gently ticking away.

It took me a while to get on with things this morning but what's the rush.  Washing in the machine and out on the line in quicksticks.  I was going to use up the rest of the boiled ham for breakfast but somehow I forgot to put it on the toast before the scrambled eggs so it went back into the fridge for tomorrow.  I set about cleaning the downstairs shower room and putting rubbish ready for a fire....it didn't happen, the wind was gusting so again I went for safety especially now the long hoses are coiled up and put away.  I decided to sit out on the terrace and enjoy the sun and suddenly spotted what I thought was Blue Boy under the mulberry half way down the garden.  I went down to check and it was no other than Rosie and she's not been around for quite some time and I thought she'd already gone into hibernation or left for greener pastures.  As it is though with the rain we've had recently, my pasture is getting greener by the day and I'm dreading having to get the mower out.  

This afternoon I settled in to ancestry again and found a new way to research and confirm parents the generation back.  I'm now convinced that William is back another two generations and I think his father Allin takes me back to sixteen thirty.  I was fascinated at some of the old parish records gong back to early fifteen hundreds.  There was a note made in 1888 about the records and reminding everyone that now all people registered during the Civil War and it really reminds you how far back you've really gone.  

No supper for me tonight.....a full packet to peanuts on the desk is no longer full.  I've just made it down the stairs though and thrown another log on.....it's so cosy.  It will soon be time to put the t-shirts away and bring out the sweaters.  LN....Winter is coming John Snow......LN  



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Elsa Peters
October 15, 2020, 4:04pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 15th October

It's been another beautiful day, not so hot but that's not a bad thing.  I was slow off the mark, I did see the sheep heading for the hillside when I went out to settle on the balcony but I soon came in again...despite the sun the wind was chill.  Washing away, windows open to let some air through, had a burn up and realised that I hadn't yet had breakfast, I opened up the loaf of bread and realised that the animals were going to benefit from those few spots of green mould.  Fortunately I had the remains of the onion bread that I'd got from Lidl on Monday on my way back from Sofia and it was fresh enough to be toasted.  Four slices cut, toasted, cream cheese spread thickly over them, layered with a very fine boiled ham and that was breakfast sorted.

Fully fortified I opened up the little house and found the bag of compost in the porch.  From the workshop I took some of the huge bale of starter compost, loaded four containers with some of both and potted up lemons and buzzie lizzies.  I'd wrapped lemon pips in wet kitchen roll and three had started sprouting roots so it was time now to see if they would continue to grow.  The last one that I did like this now has four leaves on it and is three centimetres high.....let's hope it fruits...some do and some don't.  The bizzie lizzie that I put in water a week ago has two good roots already to it's time to see what it can achieve and I've broken off another five stems to see if they will root.  I thought that they'd be good for my ladies since they flower all year.

I came in at one and decided to sort the anti-virus that I'd paid for but had never had working on my new machine.  It was a single use package and I needed to remove it from the old machine and now that it was up and running in the back bedroom it was a job that needed tackling,  Stage one worked well, 'why do you want to leave?' 'Are you sure?' and no I don't want to leave but I wanted it off the old machine.  I went on to the new machine and tried to download it and it kept falling over and just wouldn't load.  I went through the help screens to dry to identify the issue, was about to lose the will to live when I noticed that I could go and have a conversation with the help desk and Ivan, the hero, was on hand to take me through the process.  I downloaded the removal program that he directed me to and not only did it remove the crap but downloaded what I was trying to download and this time it worked.  I thanked Ivan but said that I was a little disappointed that to upgrade to a multi-user program, two different prices were quoted and it was nothing that he could do but maybe he could escalate it to the powers that be.  I thought that would be the end of it but instead he asked if I could take screen shots and send them over to him...above and beyond the call of duty....well done Ivan.

By now it was around four thirty and I've done very little since.  I might head in to Kardjali tomorrow and start the ball rolling, my driving licence expires in early December and I probably have to have a personal MOT carried out...it's what they do here.  Windows still open so it's time to shut up shop, no fire tonight, I went to bed early since I was shattered, woke up at three thirty, opened the window and was playing games until five so not a good night.  LN....Fingers crossed for a better one tonight......LN



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Elsa Peters
October 16, 2020, 5:24pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 16th October

Well it's the season of mellow fruitfulness and the skies this morning were incredible.  No red colour at all ...greys, blues, white, yellow and more definite dark grey clouds hanging over the Greek mountains. On a quick scan of the terrace I did notice the black cat cosying up to the terracotta frog....I suppose you make friends where you can when you're normally a lonesome cat.  I came in from the cold, went down and made coffee and got back on the bed to play a few games of Soda Crush.  There was no rush this morning to do anything and as I meandered through I made the decision to stick to my guns and head into Kardjali and start the process of renewing my driving licence.  I washed and dressed and went down to make breakfast using the rest of the onion bread and more cream cheese and the remains of the bread went on to the hillside...the cat had obviously gone elsewhere for better pickings.

Into the Nipper by ten thirty, decided to head straight for the hospital reception and let them know why I was there and the wheels were immediately put into action.  It wasn't a busy time for them and no long queues.  I handed over my licence, the forms were printed out and one of the young ladies was given the task of completing the document.  I've met the group before but when the new young assistant that had completed the form gave me instructions on what to do next, one of the others took pity on me.  I knew where the 'cabinets' for the specialists were but this one was on the first floor and was obviously a new office.  I followed her down stairs and we went in and it was a bit like party time, she handed over the form, the doctor asked me in Bulgarian if my knees were OK and I replied in Bulgarian that as far as I knew everything was OK.  He smiled, completed the form, stamped it in a few places and signed it and that was one cabinet done and we climbed the stairs back to the second floor and this time we went to where they were lined up.  One she went in on her own and came out with a signed form, on to the next where a lady put a trumpet thing in my ear and had a good look.  She asked me if I spoke French and I was so tempted to say 'pardon' but since it was a hearing test I thought better of it.  The last one she said she couldn't help me with since there were several people sitting waiting and at one my optician started the afternoon shift, recognised me, called me in, checked the strength of my driving glasses, wrote it on the form and signed and stamped it.  Back to the reception, the form details were entered in a ledger, my dues were paid, I thanked the trio, went to the hospital shop and came out with a box of 'Merci' chocolates and delivered them to the reception. You don't have to but this one girl went over and beyond and I really appreciated it.  It took me an hour from start too finish....result.

I carried on into town and paid my two phone bills, stopped off at Lidl for a few items and then carried on to KAT where the next part of the process was to take place.  It was a new lady in the section and she had to have help to get into the computer to print off my details.  I think mine was the first one she'd attempted.  She marked where I was supposed to complete the form and fortunately a policeman was monitoring the people coming into the office and between us we managed to complete the form.  Mack to the desk, he complemented me on my ability to write Bulgarian script and all answers were accepted when the form was handed over.  I paid twenty four leva on my card, I had to have a new photograph taken and was told that my new licence would be ready in fifteen days.  

Back to Djebel and to the garage and reminded them that I needed two new winter tyres and made an appointment for them to be fitted on Tuesday morning early.  Home for five thirty, chicken wings, diced onion and potato in the oven for twenty to six and I was having supper at six forty.  Stuffed to the gills, Transponder TV is being absolutely atrocious, freezing all the time and locking up.....maybe I wont be renewing later this year.  It's been a good day and I've achieved more than I set out to do....residency for the next ten years is authenticated and driving licence on the way.     LN....Kindle and an early night.....LN



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Elsa Peters
October 17, 2020, 4:30pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 17th October

Silly evening, I was shattered last night, sorting out documentation always does that to me and I fell asleep watching Transponder, woke up and carried on watching the Graham Norton show so was pretty late to bed.  I didn't feel like going to sleep straight away so played a few games and eventually at around one I fell asleep.  Reasonable night though and surfaced at seven thirty fully refreshed to face the day.  It had been raining overnight but had stopped and was drying up and the sun was desperately trying to break through.

I made a simple breakfast of toast and ham, meandered through an hour or so with emails and Hotmail and then asked a friend to download a film that had been recommended to me and when I'd sorted out a program to be able to watch it, I settled down for the next two hours and watched it.  Brilliant photography but the main character was supposed to be coming to terms with life by making friends with an octopus, visited it every day more or less in the ocean but he certainly wasn't alone, there must have been quite a few responsible for the filming.  I walked the garden when the film ended and thought about planting my bulbs and instead decided to continue tidying the little house and really got stuck in.  I'm getting it ready for when the plants come in for winter, the floor is cleared, the water trays are in place but the cold weather is not really required just yet.  I did have a break and finished off a small bag of chocolate caramels, went out again, swept the floor, tidied a few more areas, locked up and got supper going.  

Strictly starts tonight, winter is on its way and let's see who's going to make us laugh or cry this year.  If the weather's good, the bulbs go in tomorrow.  LN....Another productive day.....LN
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Elsa Peters
October 18, 2020, 7:46pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 18th October

Another silly night....I just couldn't get off to sleep and was still playing silly games at three thirty.  After that though it was OK until seven thirty, out of bed by eight, a quick walk round the garden in the morning mist and then back in doors for a warm.  It was cold or rather cool out there...the cold is yet to come but the temperature has taken a dip.
The bulbs didn't go in but they'll keep for a few days yet and as I was walking back inside I heard the bread van and decided that instead of the brown crusty loaf that I'm sure to break my teeth on in another day or so I'd settle for a loaf of soft brown.  It was good to see the ladies again, I've missed them and they've missed me and as I walked back up the road with Haciber, there was a shout from Beyser in Turkish asking me how I was....another language to learn.  I made poached eggs of toast with the crusty bread and two of the eggs that my garage owners wife had given me from their chickens,  The yolks were so yellow and delicious.

I was going outside but changed my mind and went on to ancestry instead to check a few dates and I was still at it until pretty late this afternoon.  I did manage a coffee and a pack of sultana 'dry fly biscuits' and dunked my way happily through the whole packet.  I watched Kelly's Hero while my jacket potato cooked, lit a fire when the temperature dropped and the sun went down and was just about to settle down to Antiques Roadshow when my Princess phoned to tell me that 'The Greatest Showman' was on Channel 4.  I got frustrated when the computer kept freezing and will have to go in to the shop to see what the problem is.  I've tested the speeds, spoken to Transponder and apparently the signal fluctuates at the lower end according to the technician on the other end of the help line so I've got to explain that in Bulgarian....wish me luck.  It seems to be OK at the moment and what a good film it is so far.

Fire going well, house is warm as toast but I really should be wearing my slippers.  It's twenty four degrees in and twelve outside so it could be a light frost overnight...time to sort the pots out and get them inside and also the outside cushions.  Nothing to do tomorrow, only winter tyres to be fitted on Tuesday morning and that's me sorted for this year with documentation and keeping legal.  LN....Back to the film.....LN



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Elsa Peters
October 19, 2020, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 19th October

Happy Birthday to my dad, no longer with me in body but very much in spirit.  He would have loved this house and what I have done with it and I can imaging him pottering in the garden alongside me.  I feel him most when I'm doing something laboriously like putting away a delivered load of wood and hear him telling me to get on with it and put my back into it.  I always think of my mother's favourite song...'There's the sun, the moon and Harry.  Harry makes me smile' and he makes me smile.

Beautiful morning, mist in the valley, autumn sun and my grass is now green.  I played a few games, washed and dressed and then down to the kitchen to make breakfast.  Nice and simple, crusty toast with ham and cheese and it kept me going all day.  I carried on sorting the little house and had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish and sat on the wall for a while and just enjoyed being there.  I walked back up the garden and heard someone using a saw and it seemed very near.  I guessed that my neighbour in the next garden was doing something, looked up and saw her more or less at the top of the oak tree behind my cranberry.  I didn't want to shout up in case she lost her footing...she's around sixty and really shouldn't have been doing it so I made my way to the workshop terrace and waited until the saw had stopped.  One big branch had fallen on to the cranberry and I managed to pull it down onto my terrace.  I dragged it round to the road and left it by the gate and went in to see if I could help her or at least be there if she fell.  It's been decimated, almost pollarded,  and my poor wisteria has taken a big hit.  I got her to chop it all back, I threw it over to the terrace and wouldn't let her feed it to the cows....you never know but that's where the oak was going.

I chopped another load of starter wood and came in at half four after getting the bonfire going again, brought in some old logs and lit the house fire.  I moved up to the top landing and put the computer on.  I did my emails and checked FM, I'd got a few hints from ancestry that I tried to follow up but apparently the system is down for 'essential maintenance'.  Joy oh joy.  I didn't really want to cook anything for supper and spotted the remains of a Petit Brie which is no more.  The fire's chugging along nicely, I've not done the jobs that I'd earmarked for today but does it really matter in the grand scheme of things.  Tomorrow it's down to the garage to get my winter tyres sorted and tomorrow night there is a painting exhibition that I'm off to and up to now, I'm still waiting for a response to my invitation to my student and her sister.  If they don't want to go, I'll still go and I'm sure I'll manage a meal in town after the event.  LN....Lovely day......LN  



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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