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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2020, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 1st December

Another stupid night.  I woke up at three this morning sitting in front of the computer on the upstairs landing watching snooker...what was that all about.  I switched the computer off, got undressed and headed downstairs to bed and eventually went to sleep around five this morning waking up at seven thirty to a land covered in snow.  Very pretty, very dull and only a glimmer of sun between the cloud base.  I made coffee and boiled eggs for breakfast and dressed for town.  I was going to buy that television come hell and highwater and corona virus....I would see when I got there which shops were on lockdown and which were still open and trading.  

I cleared the snow from the Nipper, the roads were clear by this time and the thaw was underway.  It was only on zero, the wind was cold but I wrapped up warm and was in the Nipper by ten thirty and heading for town.  Restaurants and cafes closed but the other shops were open.  I went to the store, found the tv, purchased it after he'd checked it out, carried on to Lidl which was next door, bought what I needed and didn't scout round for much more and drove back to Djebel deciding to stop off at my dentist to see if I could get an appointment.  By now it was one thirty and he is on reduced hours and wouldn't be back until two thirty so I walked down to the town and bought my Christmas cards, back to the car and drove home.  Just put the car away when the post office phoned me to say that there was a parcel for me so I got the car out again and drove to the next village and I had to sign for the parcel but since I'd gone without any documents, she had to use her ID to battle with the computer.  

I spent the afternoon rearranging the winter lounge and deciding where to put the TV.  I'm not altogether pleased with how it is but it will do until I think of something better.  I eventually got it going and have programmed in Netflix and Transponder TV and felt quite pleased with myself....I just followed instructions but I had to search around for a few passwords.  Chicken in the oven with roasties and they're ready now so need to get this finished....I'm really hungry tonight.  Temperature is on zero but I glanced out of the little window in my upstairs bedroom and caught the very orange moon coming.  The photo doesn't really do it justice, it was much more orange than the picture came out.  Nothing to do tomorrow apart from moving more furniture around until I'm satisfied that it's the best place for the TV to be.  LN....Achieved what I set out to do......LN



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Elsa Peters
December 2, 2020, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 2nd December

Three thirty start again and I really don't want this to become a habit.  Few games and sudoku and around five went back off until seven thirty.  The fire was too late to rescue, there was freezing fo outside and a hoar frost had formed on most of the bushes.  Not many birds flying around, a couple of cats were patrolling but to no avail and I was jolly pleased when that sun started to break through.  I put the tv on and watched an episode of The Durrells, made toasted cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast and put the washing up in the bowl with last nights and knew I'd get round to it eventually.

It was about ten thirty when I decided that today's job was Christmas cards and I started off well.  I'm only sending about ten from here and have left instructions that if I/we receive any in the UK that they'll be sent from there.  I was desperately searching for addresses, my main address book is in the UK because I normally send my cards from there when I go back for Christmas with the family.  A call went out to try to find the address book, I gave full detailed instructions as to what it looked like and I'd a good idea where it was but I was wrong.  I made another phone call and suddenly remembered that it was probably in my bedroom in the UK since it was the last thing that I did before I left with my guest to return here for Christmas.  Result it was located and I managed to get the addresses that I wanted for the ones heading to distant places.

I had a surprise guest this lunchtime so it was kettle on and coffee on the go.  I think he'd read on here that I'd got a new TV and wanted to come round to make sure that I knew how to use it.  He got into the loop of trying to set up a bookmark for my internet television but we got half way there and he made me demonstrate that I knew what I was doing,  Doh....I suppose it's his interpretation of 'help the aged' and 'care in the community'.....I told him so and we laughed about it.  Off he went at around three, I finished my cards and I'll be posting them tomorrow.  I had a brief flurry of activity, I laid the fire, got in a load of the logs from the wood store, collected the house and kitchen rubbish and had a bonfire to keep the place tidy.  I came back in and set fire to the fire in the wood burner and it started first time and it wasn't long before the water was circulating through the radiators.  It had reached thirty seven degrees this afternoon in the house but didn't get above three outside.  The only problem is that as sun as the sun moves round, the house temperature drops rather rapidly so you need the fire.

I made chippies to go with the cold chicken and supper was soon made and I'd finished it by six.  I think I was eating much later last night and that could have accounted for my early morning wake-up.  Fingers crossed that I sleep straight through tonight, I need a good night.  Time to move down now to the comfort of my winter lounge, that's the benefit of the new TV, I can settle down on the sofa and not have to think about moving down.  It's much more comfortable down there.  Washing up done so I have a clear kitchen for the morning and I'm now going to carry on where I left off on a box of the chocolate mint After Eights....they're looking a little depleted.   LN....Fortunately, they have more in the shop....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 3, 2020, 3:52pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 3rd December

It was a six start this morning and for some ungodly reason I thought it was seven and was good to go.  When I realised it was six some of the momentum went away and i went back to bed with a coffee and the Kindle.  The fire was hanging by a thread so to speak so I gave it the kiss of life after checking the outside and inside temperatures and the house needed warmth.  I'd drawn the curtain that shuts of the stairwell and the thermometer is on the stair side of the curtain, on the otherside it was OK but a boost was needed and soon underway,

Another morning of freezing fog, few birds about and not much sign of the cats,  I opened up the curtain to let the warm air circulate, went upstairs to get washed and dressed and started moving around.  I threw bread out for the birds, started to make my omelette by cracking eggs into a jug but as as I turned to put the eggs into the compost container,  I knocked the jug over,  I scooped up the eggs and these went out on top of the bread for the birds but instead was soon gobbled up by the black cat.  Omelette of ham and cheese for breakfast and decided to prepare the remains of the chicken and made chicken curry for supper putting it in the slow cooker and that's ready whenever I want it.  The carcass went out and the black cat soon pounced upon it keeping all others at bay and devoured the lot,,,one fat cat.

I wrote one more Christmas card, collected my handbag, money, phones and was in the Nipper for ten thirty and at the post office in time but too soon in fact.  My student's father was there behind the counter but he does the outside work not inside and only the one young lady was there, not the usual man that I deal with.  They don't send many letters in Bulgaria and everything has to be put through the computer and when I mentioned Australia and Gibraltar the girls eyes clouded over.  She asked me if I could come back later when my man was there so I said I would go to the dentist to try to get an appointment which was another failure.  He wasn't there, the receptionist showed me an x-ray of a previous visit and asked if it was the same tooth....I explained that it hurts when I eat on that side and she implied that it was a wisdom tooth coming through.  I had this thought that at my age it was a little late but I vaguely remembered having them all out in my teens.  Eventually I made an appointment for next Tuesday for an 'inspection' and get a dentists valuation.  Back to the post office, he still hadn't turned up so I left twenty lev and hopefully someone will do something with them and the change will be forthcoming via my student...hopefully.  A quick supermarket visit and home for one, perked up the fire, started filing the ancestry paperwork until the heat in the stairwell forced me to take to the sofa and get my head down for a couple of hours.

Woke up and tended to the fire, went to the woodstore and got in a couple of log containers and I'm set for the night.  The television is on downstairs and I'm so pleased I made the purchase.  Sitting in front of the computer watching it wasn't very comfortable and I'd put up with it for long enough and the cost of the smart TV was minimal....cheaper than a tablet.  Curry smells good and now to start the rice.  The rest of the Christmas decorations need to be sorted and put up but since there is only going to be me, I shan't go over the top this year.  LN....Only family cards to be sorted now.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 4, 2020, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 4th December

So I didn't realise it was Friday until I received my usual Friday email and discovered that I'd been putting the right date but the wrong day on the entries on the blog for the last few days.  I can't even use the excuse that I was following November's calendar...even that didn't make sense.  Ah well, all errors corrected, I got the Friday feeling at the beginning of the day and tomorrow is 'le weekend'....Kardjali calls.

It's bee a horrible damp, cold day and I've spent it stoking fires and filling the day with indoor things.  I made beans on toast for breakfast and used the rest of the contents of the tin with the liquidised remains of last night's curry and packed it out with rice.  Back into the slow cooker with it and now it's turned into something quite gelatinous and will probably go out to the cats in the morning.  I toyed with the idea of freezing it down into slabs which could go into the freezer and topped off with potatoes would make something resembling a cottage pie but it didn't get further than the realms of possibility.  I'll see how I feel tomorrow...it will keep until then.

I stumbled on 'Knightfall' on Netflix and managed to watch a couple of episodes this afternoon and it looks to be quite good.  It's gory like The Last Kingdom and I'll have to look out for the book to see how closely it relates to it.  Not sure how many are in this series or if any follow it....remains to be seen.  I toyed with the idea of going into Djebel this afternoon to buy one of the radiators that fit on the wood burner to see if it would pump more heat out into the room to save it going up the chimney for the birds to get toasted.  I've measured the gap and the sixty eight centimetres will fit without any readjustments of the current pipe work...one out and one in so to speak.  I played around with ancestry this afternoon and seemed to hit a brick wall.  I was working on the old computer on the table in the stairwell but got quite cold from the windows, it's actually warmer working on the fast computer on the upstairs landing but lost interest...couldn't find the families of my maternal parents prior to the parish records and they have the names of Jones and Cox and they seem pretty prevalent in Staffordshire around that time.  

No sleep this afternoon despite the warmth from the fire, I want to sleep straight through tonight unlike last night when I was leaping around with cramp around three this morning....it took about thirty minutes to clear it and then back off to sleep until seven so not so bad.  No supper for me, the thick stodge can wait.  I settled for cheese and biscuits around four this afternoon and it will do me for the time being.  I've just checked the weather and it's supposedly sun and cloud tomorrow and no mention of rain...it might be a good day for Kardjali......most of next week looks bleak.  LN.....Curry for cats and birds was on the menu.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 5, 2020, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 5th December

Another damp and miserable day until around ten when the sun broke through.  Breakfast was toast and for some reason I felt pretty dull all day.  I was in the Nipper by ten, I'd written a card for my young student's birthday and enclosed some money and realised that it was his mother's birthday soon so I wrote one out for her.  I stopped off at the shop and delivered them and was handed a box of chocolates to take some from but I settled for just the one....it was her birthday today so the present for the mother is in the post...I didn't see anything in Kardjali that I thought might be suitable but at least I know her favourite perfumes now so will be looking for offers from the UK

I found my favourite leva shop in Kardjali and bought my first bag of goodies for the ladies, carried on to my usual carpark and paid for the pleasure.  First stop was the cheapy clothes shop, I know it a bit of a routine but I managed to find another sweater for the one that's being disposed of...the neck has started to fray.  Next stop was the mobile phone shop and as per normal we wait outside until there's an operator free but it seemed to take forever.  The three assistants all seemed to be working on 'issues' and no one seemed to be taking money for monthly payments.  When I eventually got to some attention I couldn't understand why my bill has suddenly shot up to eighteen lev and the girl behind the desk was asking for my residency card.  I gave her my new one but that wasn't good enough so I gave her my old one that had expired and at last I could pay my bill.  She didn't speak any English and wasn't speaking sufficiently slowly and wasn't interested in why I was questioning the bill but I paid up and shut up and felt very disturbed by her attitude.  I feel a call to Vivacom will be on the cards or an email.  

I drove to the electrical shop and picked up another timer device so that I can put the Christmas lights into the porch and three colour cartridges for my printer...I have cards to make for the ladies.  I stopped off in Djebel on my way back and bought the radiator for the wood-burner and ask my student's mum to have a look at the messages from Vivacom....and all was revealed.  Apparently they've put me on a new tariff without so much as a 'by your leave' so I am definitely contacting them at some point.  It's all to do with mobile internet and it looks like a recurring charge....subterfuge marketing no doubt.

Home and first job was to install the radiator and I managed to find another small pipe, I couldn't get two of them apart.  Let's see if it makes a difference, it sits on the smoke exit from the wood burner and supposedly pumps out heat.  I don't want supper, I'm feeling down, I hate the customer service or lack of it here and the sheer arrogance of some of the assistants.  I shouldn't let it get through to me but it did.  LN.....Strictly tonight, internet going down would put the cap on the day......LN
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Elsa Peters
December 6, 2020, 4:25pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 6th December

Another cold wet miserable day but at least I missed a lot of it by sleeping in until seven thirty...result.  Coffee and back to bed until nine, prepared the fire and emptied the ashcan, the log situation was not too bad, I realised that I'd have to go out later and top it up.  I looked for the keys to the wood store, didn't spot them immediately in the porch but there they were, sitting in the door to the little house and had been there all night.  Thank goodness I'm in a safe area, there are places that everything would have gone.  I went to the kitchen and found some bacon in the freezer and noticed that the 'stuff' in the slow cooker really needed hoofing out on to the hillside.  I put some of it on the bird table and the tits have been round it all day.  The black cat was waiting on the lawn and disappeared when I walked over to the wall. lingered at about ten paces on the other side of the wall waiting for me to leave and then it was straight at it.  Five minutes later I noticed that it was also attacking the food on the lawn, I was surprised that it had room for it.  The magpies and rooks were approaching her and it left the food and walked away, obviously stuffed.  The birds made short shift of it but flew quickly away when I appeared with the camera...obviously camera shy.

I made breakfast and like the birds made short shift of it, kitchen sorted and tidied and one load of washing done.  I carefully washed  my alpaca sweater by hand and rinsed and gave it a spin and all the washing is on the clothes airer in the bathroom.  I lit the fire at one to make sure that there was enough heat to dry the washing and then I settled down on the sofa to watch more of the series that I've started to watch on Netflix.  When I got bored with that I got in a couple of loads of wood and the Christmas decorations are downstairs.  The timer that I bought yesterday is installed in the porch and now Santa is on a timer and the rest of the lights will go up tomorrow...it's too cold to work out there now.  

I've perked the fire up, shut up shop outside, enough logs in for the night and now to think of something for supper.  Strictly results tonight but I'm not so involved in it this year...they're doing their best with the production but it's not the same as having family there to support the individuals.  LN...Please, some sun for tomorrow....LN


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Elsa Peters
December 7, 2020, 4:45pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 7th December

Late going to bed and took me ages to get off to sleep but the benefit was that I woke up just before eight, coffee and back to bed with the Kindle.  I was another cold damp morning, it wasn't quite raining but the clouds could easily have dropped their load here.  I cleared out the ashes and set the fire for tonight but I really didn't wait that long.  Six degrees out and seventeen in so I was washed and dressed quickly and into some warm clothes putting on extra socks  and slipper socks over the top.  I made bacon and egg for breakfast and sat in the stairwell at the table eating it and noticed the black cat eyeing up the bird table and working out whether it was viable.  I think it could smell the bean stuff from yesterday that the birds hadn't managed to finish off but I reckon that the swinging solar lamps also put it off trying.  I threw out the remains of the bread and it must have been hungry since it eat most of it but really didn't look very pleased with life at all.

I watched some morning television until I could watch no more, the cold was beginning to get through so I lit the fire and got it going well.  It doesn't take too long, the wood is so dry and I'd brought in medium sized very dry stuff to get it going quickly.  A fairly big log on top of it and it was burning for about three hours or so.  I started with ancestry following some of the hints in the tree that I've created but some how I  couldn't settle.  The business with the mobile phone company was playing on my mind so I thought I'd phone them to find out  why I had extra charges on my bill.  When I got through to them on the phone, the recorded message told me to press nine for English but unfortunately the keyboard  disappeared and by the time that I managed to get it to display, she'd moved on to other options and she really wasn't easy to understand.  I gave it another shot to no avail so thought I'd check out my last attempt at registration and have another go.  The problem arises when they give a rough translation that means absolutely nothing to a native speaker......ah well.  I got to the entry of my Bulgarian reference number but since it had expired I settled for my passport number and I was going along swimmingly until I pressed the last 'Go' and the message was that someone would be contacting me to complete the application.  By this time I was spitting feathers and losing the will to live and give them anymore of my custom so I went back to the tv.

After three hours no one had phoned me and I really wanted to know why the shop had asked me for my residency number and it was eating away at me so I had one last try with the phone but this time I waited until I'd got the keyboard up and for her to say 'zero for an operator'.  I was on hold for around five minutes, spoke to the person when they came on and asked them in Bulgarian if they spoke English and again I was put on hold.  Eventually a very helpful young man came on the line and we managed to get things sorted after a fashion but when I came to finalise the registration, I received a 500 message which he knew nothing about.  He was losing the will to live at this point and probably looking to finish his shift and advised me that there was nothing wrong with the registration and he was on his way.  I tried again, got the five hundred message and it transpired that 'the administrators were on the move and would be back with us shortly'.  It was a problem with their servers.

At least it cheered me up, jacket potatoes are in the oven for tonight along with a chicken cutlet and they should be ready anytime soon.  I just hate mobile phone companies here and having worked for one in England and how we used to emphasise customer service, they really need rockets up their backsides, especially in the stores.  Maybe  should offer to run a program for them or at least provide one of the ones that I wrote and leave someone else to do the rollout.  Supper is ready, Monday night is quiz night for me that's if I manage to stay awake to see them.  LN....Kitchen calls and dentist tomorrow.......LN



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Elsa Peters
December 8, 2020, 4:26pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 8th December

Just before seven start and what a lovely night it was.  I was snuggled up in my nest and it seemed to take ages to get back into the world.  Freezing frog greeted and I could hardly see the bottom of the garden, not a lot of activity out there and even the crows were missing from the landscape.  I made coffee and headed back to the nest and played games for a while, went for more coffee and put some hot water on the remains of last night's supper to try and soften up the chicken cardboard that had passed itself as the the package as a 'chicken cutlet'.  The jacket potatoes were good with mayo and lashings of butter but as for the rest....pah....and the pain from the wobbly when I put pressure ...pah and double pah.

I took time to get ready this morning and went out in my PJ's to top up the good wood from the little house and filled up one of the wood carriers from the wood store.  While I was at it I carried in a bucket of kindling and topped up the empty one from the cardboard box in the porch to the little house.  It's good to be prepared.  I sliced the fruit loaf and toasted it for breakfast and it made a change, tidied the kitchen and it was still only nine so I put the television on and watched the first lady have her Covid injection and they made quite a fuss of it.....the first one in the world to have it.  I suppose if I was in the UK I would be on the list somewhere...maybe more chance of getting it in Bulgaria sooner, not so many people.  Washed and dressed for the dentist appointment at twelve twenty, I had to wait and was forced to try and read a 2013 fashion magazine....so up to date here.  Eventually I was called in, took to the hot seat and he showed me the X-ray taken a couple of years ago and it definitely shows the hidden tooth.  So the problem is, the new tooth has started to grow and is pushing out the existing old tooth and goodness knows why it's become active now.  At this late stage of my life, there's no way I'm going to share this information with the rest of the ladies of the village, they'll all want one.  The dentist looked to me for a solution and he asked if it hurt and the answer is, yes it does especially when I eat and you tend to forget that you've now moved that responsibility to the teeth on the other side.  He suggested filing it down and I suggested taking it out even though it's a sound tooth buy taking out the other one would be far riskier and involve a length process.  Let the new one see light of day, if only for a short time.  My appointment is for Monday at ten thirty, no food or drink or tablets if I was taking any which I'm not and definitely no aspirin....the ground it laid.

I went to see my old student and his mum at the shop, he's back from University in Sofia since everything is shut down and Christmas and New Year arrangements came up.  He's off to an hotel in Velingrad for new year and I suggested to his mother that we found out where he was staying and book into it as well.  Breakfast would have been fun with us waving across the dining room.  I left and went to the leva shop and found more things for the ladies, stopped off at the supermarket on my way home and was back for three thirty.  Shopping unpacked and put away, fire lit and settled down to Countdown, a programme I used to love in UK.  Supper is underway and tonight I have meatballs in chicken soup with pasta and they're finishing off on the top of the wood burner.  The gift bags will be sorted tomorrow and the house will get a pre-Christmas spit and polish and then the rest of the decorations can go up....only just over two weeks to Christmas.  LN....Strange this year.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 9, 2020, 5:23pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 9th December

Another silly night...I went to sleep in the bath, woke up eventually with the water still warm, PJ's for midnight and then to bed with not an ounce of sleep in me.  Soda Crush, Sudoku until two and I tried again for the sleep fairy to deliver the sleep dust but to no avail.  Back to the Sudoku and it must have been four before I drifted off.  I woke up just before eight so at least I got a few zzzz's in and was ready to start the day.

The weather was horrible, not too cold but very wet and misty and it's poured down all day.  I haven't even put my nose out of the door, was intending to have a bonfire but that went by the way, don't think I would have managed to light the blue touch paper successfully.  Two boiled eggs and toast at nine and set the fire but decided not to light it hoping that the sun might find its way out which was wishful thinking on my part.  The Christmas box came down stairs, the lights went up in the porch and I changed the configuration of the plugs so that now the fairy lights and Santa are on the timer....it's too easy to forget about them and have them on all night.  The shiny balls are on the teasels in the lounge and the tinsel is up around the pictures and that's going to be the sum of it for this year.  The artificial tree found itself in three sections and no way did they want to fit together so out came the wire, a few chunks of wood to keep the tree secure in a flower pot and a flashing snowman provides the lighting.  One thing I need to do is get a supply of small batteries for the snowmen that I have...only one is flashing...tee hee hee.

The presents are sorted and just need wrapping and distributing between the bags for the ladies and I need to make a list of the other things, i.e. bottles that I have to buy and this is where it becomes expensive.  I think I know what I'm getting for the family, other things are on order from England and I just hope they arrive in time.  I lit the fire at three and the rest of the afternoon was spent watching a new Netflix series that I stumbled upon.  It's very gentle to watch not like the last blood and gore Templar's series.  I feel guilty watching so much but when you think about it, it's just the same as reading a book or listening to an audio book and so the guilt dissipates.  

A pizza is going in the oven for tonight....I'm feeling lazy. Hoover comes out tomorrow along with the renovating wax polish to put some life into the woodwork where the sun's got to it.  LN....Kitchen calls.....LN
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Thursday 10th December

Today was a complete washout.  Lights were flickering last night and again this morning and eventually the power went off.  The wind must have been horrendous in the night, the sun chair that I should have brought in from my bedroom balcony and didn't is now squashed against the bench that fortunately I'd lashed to the balcony railings or goodness knows where that would have been.  I also noticed that the polythene container that I use when potting up my plants is sitting on the vegetable garden...another casualty but the big garden cloche is still intact, the broad beans live.

I made beans on toast for breakfast and lit the fire, it was cold, damp and horrible and settled down on the sofa to watch a couple of episodes of the new series I'd found on Netflix.  It was at this point that the electricity went off, I'd just put a big log on the fire and it was burning beautifully.  The problem is that when the electricity goes off the pump an no longer work, the heating relies on the pump so measure have to be taken.  You have about two hours from the UPS power supply failing so I left if for a while to see if it came back on but no joy so I started to make provisions by emptying the ash tin from the conservatory so that I have a very big container for taking burning logs from the wood burner to the little wood burner in the kitchen...and this one only warms the kitchen.  I emptied the container onto the garden and managed to avoid the cloud of wood ash that was whipped up by the prevailing winds. I'd put a hat on and while I was out there filled up one of the log containers so that I had plenty ready for topping up the fire, cleared the yard drain of the leaves that had clogged up the pipes to the outside of the property.   I noticed that the stream run on the outside of the wall was running well and ready for overflowing so I cleared out the leaves and broken branches that the wind had brought down enabling it to run away.  I came back inside the house, stripped off and got into dry clothes and fortunately the fire wasn't hot enough to demand the pump so I was about to settle down on the sofa when suddenly the power came back on so it was all systems go.  I didn't do too much for about ten minutes, I'd been caught out before but topped up the fire, got it burning well and so far so good.

It's still throwing it down and unfortunately the temperature is up to nine degrees otherwise we would be having it white over.  The remains of the beans were going into a corned beef shepherd's pie but the mood for food has passed...it's been a funny old day and I hope this isn't a foretaste of the way that electricity is going to behave over winter.  The worst year was around eight years ago when we lost power for eleven days and knowing what I know now. if that occurs again. I'm checking into an hotel in Djebel...I'm not so gung-ho as I used to be.  LN....Where's the plans for the ark?......LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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