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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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Elsa Peters
December 11, 2020, 3:25pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 11th December

Woke up last night on the sofa with the 'Durrels' playing to itself and it was a short hop to the bedroom.  I probably need to play the last episode again.  It was only eleven when I went to bed and slept through until just before seven so I must have needed it.  I did wake up once in the night to throw off the second quilt, I think I'd got the fire going too well yesterday and we were in a heatwave last night.  Trouble is though, with the sun being out today and the cloud base being minimal, the temperature could dip tonight and if that rain comes tomorrow, we might have snow so carrots at the ready.

I made coffee and went back to bed, started playing Soda Crush and the blasted thing kept bombing out on me and I noticed that they'd done another upgrade...just to make things better...but they never do.  After three attempts at getting it going I switched the Kindle off so that it could reload and it worked.  I managed to do an extra hard game first time and it must be the commanding way in which I talk to the Kindle and the program....expletives without stars and hash tags...on my mountain I can do that.  Boiled eggs and toast for breakfast and again I haven't put my nose outside the conservatory.  I have enough wood since I've only just lit the fire and it's been bearable until now.  Supper is in, the remains of the beans with my Bulgarian 'corned beef' now has a sliced potato topping , slathered with butter and it should be ready around half an hours time.  

I toyed with the idea of Djebel or even Kardjali today but instead settled in to ancestry and managed to get back to my grandfather x five on my mother's side....up to now I've concentrated on my father's history.  At three I had a shower and washed my hair and again thought about going just into Djebel to get batteries for the snowmen but again by the time I'd dried my hair I'd lost the enthusiasm so another day, another deed.  The hot water has made its first circumnavigation of the central heating pipes so it shouldn't take long for the house to get up to temperature and with supper on the way, that should raise my internal temperature too.  LN....Things to do....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 12, 2020, 5:25pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 12th December

What a funny old day.  Again I went to sleep on the sofa downstairs and sauntered across the lounge and into bed and the sleep of the just until seven thirty this morning.  I opened the curtains to another grey day and it was still raining steadily and there were puddles on the grass identifying that it had rained all night.  It was cold so I lit the fire, no sense in suffering the cold when you have enough wood to see you through the winter and hopefully some to spare.

Supper last night went down really well and to top it all I used an apple cutter that I bought the other day that not only takes out the core but slices it into segments.  It was the devil's own job to get it through the apple but when I did I put it back together again minus the core in a small rectangular Pyrex dish, put sultanas, raisins, brown sugar, butter  and honey down the centre, a little water into the dish and into the oven with it.  One shepherd's pie out and one soon to be baked apple in.  Unfortunately the cream that I bought had got a hole in the lid so that was put into the rubbish...better safe than sorry.  The evening banquet probably caused me to fall asleep early and accounted for me sleeping in this morning.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast, I topped up the log basket and the log containers kept in the conservatory and that's been the sum of my achievements today.  The rain stopped around one thirty and the pools soaked into the ground but I think the rain's back tomorrow.  I was surprised this afternoon by a visitor and we had a very pleasant afternoon talking about various things.  I mentioned that I was off to the dentist on Monday and he offered to oblige if required but I said that I was catching the early bus and would come back in a taxi.....haven't had a tooth out in years so not sure how the body is going to take to it.  Nothing required for supper, I finished off the cream cheese with most of the cracker biscuits just before he arrived and the rest I finished off when he left.  We both had a bit of a whinge about the virus, ended up watching a few videos and he showed me the finer workings of Netflix.  I wasn't pressing the left arrow key far enough to get into the Netflix search screen so couldn't see everything that was on offer.

Just put another big log on the fire and that should see me through for the evening, I thought that Strictly was about to start and had forgotten about the two hours difference between UK and BG so it doesn't start here until nine or just after.   LN......Now I have a choice, bath or more Netflix......LN
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Elsa Peters
December 13, 2020, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 13th December

A brilliant nights sleep again and to what do I owe this pleasure.  No alcohol has touched my lips for three years or so so it can't be that.  Seven thirty when I woke up and woke up with good intentions of getting the hoover out and sorting out the house but the best laid plans of mice etc.  I made toast for breakfast and only buttered it and the washing up is still waiting to be done.  I also removed the Christmas lights in the conservatory and replaced them with another set that doesn't play Jingle Bells and other nonsense when they automatically come on with the timer.

It started well, I collected the house waste for burning and made my way to the bottom of the garden with the igniter and despite the rain and a very wet burning container I managed to get it going sending smoke signals to the world.  I filled up the log basket. got the hoover from the conservatory to the house showing intent and that's as far as it went.  I cleaned the tiles around the wood burner and the rest of the floor and then took to the sofa.  Yesterday I had funny dizzy turns in the morning which went away around lunch time but this morning they came back again.  I think a trip to the doctors might be in order.  I've had two bouts of labyrinthitis in the past and it almost felt like another attack starting off so it's put me in two minds as to whether I go to the dentist of not in the morning at ten thirty.  I'll take a rain check tomorrow.  I lit the fire and kept it going well all day since the temperature had dropped to four degrees outside even though there was a hint of sun and fog on the hillside.  The television has been my companion for most of the day and I've stuck to water and stopped the coffee.

As I said dentist in the morning but if I have any dizziness I'll cancel and get the bus in to Kardjali to see my doctor and take in my old tablets so that she'll know what I was prescribed before.  I think the last attack was around four or five years ago so perhaps I'm due one.  LN.....I'm not good when I'm feeling below par....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 14, 2020, 5:18pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 14th December

Woke up at six really wibbly wobbly again and the morning was full of decisions.  I didn't think I was sage to drive and although it's been said many times, I had the feeling that it was my labyrinthitis back again so I couldn't risk it.  I found out the old tablets from the box in the bathroom, the first were out of date in 2011 and were just turning to dust and the second lot in 2019 so didn't fancy risking it.  As for the dentist, I search for his telephone number, couldn't find it so phone my student's mum. she did the deed for me and cancelled  the appointment.  I lit the fire, stayed off the coffee and have stuck to water all day and have slept for most of it on the sofa.  It's only managed  five degrees outside all day and it's still damp and horrible.  As for the dentist I didn't want to give him more than he bargained for by having an hissy fit in the chair.

Nothing to report today at all.  Supper is done and dusted, a chicken fillet fried and made in to a sandwich so I'm obviously getting better.  I've just had to change the light bulb on the stairwell and was extremely careful hanging on to the banister and a few moment later could have caused a bigger problem, my student's mum phoned to find out how I was feeling.  I mentioned I felt definitely better than this morning and would drive into Kardjali to see the doctor as soon as I felt it was safe for me to be on the road again.  We only have two buses a week from the village at reasonable times and no way do I consider the six thirty a.m. daily bus a proposition.  Her husband is going to the doctor in the morning and suggested that they pick me up but I refused the offer, doctor's waiting rooms take some negotiating and I didn't want them to be waiting around for me or vice-versa.

Having slept for several hours today. I'm not expecting a good night's sleep but fingers crossed, I needed it.  Self diagnosis again....not to be relied upon but having had it twice, I'm fairly sure that my diagnosis is correct.....and as my doctor in the UK said to me....'Have you only come for a second opinion' when I reeled off what it wasn't, he knew me so well.  LN....Time to rest.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 15, 2020, 4:04pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 15th December

Reasonable nights sleep and woke up feeling still under par and not sure what to get up to today.  As it happened it was very little.  Washed and dressed fairly early on and the fire was still going so I rescued it and set it on its way for the day.  I made a single poached egg on toast for breakfast and remembered that I'd got a chicken leg out of the freezer last night so fried it off to brown it, prepared vegetables and a thickened soup is in the slow cooker and it should be ready any time now. A little bit of effort is worth it and saves a lot of effort when the energy levels are low.

First job was to fill up the log basket in the house and the log carrier for the porch.  I huffed and puffed while I was doing it and according to my Fitbit pushed my heart rate into the 'fatburn zone'....not that I was interested in the health benefits of shifting logs.  By this time the sun had really come out and the temperature in the stairwell had risen to thirty four degrees and outside was eight so quite a variance.  Jobs done I took to the sofa and got my head down and woke up when the sun moved round and the temperature dropped.  I rescued the fire and that's all set for the night, we have a cloudless sky so it's probably going to be a cold one and there were some lovely reflections in the porch tonight.  I've so many big windows that catch so many angles.  I've just been down from the upstairs landing and realised that there was a draught coming from my downstairs bedroom and I remembered that I'd opened the window to get air through and had forgotten all about it.  Now all closed up for the night and I'm not heating the hillside anymore.

About to settle down to supper and I intend catching the second 'Full Monty on Ice' and what troopers they are for putting themselves through it for a good cause.  Most of us have been touched by cancer, I lost my mother and sister to it and so many lives, especially young ones are destroyed...cruel world isn't it.  Nothing on my agenda for the rest of the week I think...I'm fairly sure of the diagnosis but will take a second opinion when feel safe to drive again.  LN....The chicken calls....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 16, 2020, 3:36pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 16th December

Well another late night to bed, vivid dreams and woke up at just after seven thirty.  I still felt very unsteady on my feet and 'not quite right' so decided on another gentle day.  I've stayed off the coffee for the last couple of days and went for hot water with honey and salt and lemon would have completed it but no lemons to hand.  I manged to get washed and dressed, toast for breakfast, washed up from last night, took a couple of burgers from the freezer and those will be supper.

It was another cold miserable day so I set the fire but thought I'd see how long it was before I lit it and it didn't take long at all. I wasn't moving around the house and keeping active so by ten, the matches were out and the fire's been going ever since.  Temperature in, twenty degrees and out it's only risen to four but four with cold and damp is not good at all...bring on the snow.  So the television went on and the eyelids came down and I was dog dozing until around one and felt much better for it.  I'm not sure what's wrong but I'm feeling much better than I did so fingers crossed I'm on the up.  I had a phone call from the garage asking how I was feeling and it perked me up....and as for her husband's trip to the doctor, the doctor wasn't there yesterday so he's gone today and I must remember to phone to find out the result.

At around three thirty I had a brief moment of 'must do' and the two rosemary plants that have developed roots in water are now put into compost and fingers crossed they will go from strength to strength.  I also potted up a Bizzy Lizzie that's rooted in water and that's due to go down to Gouljan's mum in the next village when it's put a little more foliage and flowers on.  It will go in her Christmas bag and tomorrow if I'm feeling OK I'll be wrapping the ladies' presents and writing my final list for the rest of the villagers.  So now it's back to the television and the fire and it's mainly the fire that calls.  LN....Hamburger and onions...nothing fancy tonight....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 17, 2020, 6:23pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 17th December

So another strange night.  I went to bed at eleven and hoping that I would make it through the night but nothing so simple. It was three thirty, I played games until five, put in a load of washing and went back to sleep around six until nine.  I managed to get my eight hours in but in shifts it appears.  It was really dark outside in the middle of the night, cold and raining so getting the washing done meant that it would have the day on the airer to dry...no chance of allowing the elements to get at it.

My last egg was poached for breakfast so at some point I have to tempt fate by driving into Djebel.  I pulled a pack of mince meat from the freezer, not sure at the time what I would do with it but this evening I turned it into a very good bolognaise sauce and served with pasta, that was supper.  I spent the morning on the sofa watch Netflix and the series I'm watching is up to series two, episode ten and I'm wondering how many more there are to go...they're really running out of plots.  At two I decided that I really should do something more even though the fire was very tempting and the sofa was comfortable.  I logged on and managed to find PowerPoint even though it was now online and had changed so much from when I used to use it regularly for presentations...and I was lost.  I eventually managed to make a Christmas card and print off nine of the same and they will do for my locals.  Not so fancy this year....it was just so different.

I carried on with ancestry and I've gone back another generation with my mother's paternal side and I'm getting a little cheesed off with the amount of emails that I'm getting from FMP....I'm receiving other people's trees and I'm wondering if my tree is being passed around as well.  I'm going to have to ask the question.  Downstairs and I attended to the fire, one big log and that should do me until I rest my weary head.  I finished the spaghetti and served it with pasta and there's enough left for tomorrow so I might be making a pasta bake with the remains.  And now into the evening, I'm feeling more like myself again, less holding on to door frames so I think I'm on the mend. I'm gong to try to fit in doctor and dentist next week...my tooth is still there despite my worrying it with my tongue.  LN.....Sun all day predicted so fingers crossed....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 18, 2020, 4:13pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 18th December

So the sun didn't manage to see the weather forecast for today....it went AWOL.  It's been another cold miserable day.  I slept well until three thirty, another early morning of games and back to reading one of the Last Kingdom books that I've read before.  There was no washing to be done this morning and a day of nothing really.  I did manage to put my nose out of the door at around twelve and was spotted by my neighbour who wanted to know if I was alright and I said that I was and didn't go into details.  Too much effort to try to explain.  She was off to the next door garden to get some cabbages for the cows, she's such a hard worker.  I really should have asked her for eggs but I forgot.  I lit the fire and my head was a little 'swimmy' when I bent down to put another log on so the secret is 'bend the knees and keep eyes on the horizon'.

I had to change a password yesterday and today it caused confusion with other things that hang on to it and eventually I managed to sort it out.  I did it on the computer on the landing and I've been there for most of the day.  I got stuck into ancestry and I'm trying really hard to try to find the three generation back relatives that went off to Canada but with no luck so far. I need to find relatives of my generation and ask a few more questions. apparently one of the grandfathers went and paid a visit so I need a few more names and areas.

This afternoon I spent in the bath, in a Badedas bath with the spa bath additive that was a Christmas present from my son.  I've used it sparingly and mostly have showers so at this rate it should last at least another year.  I went down and rescued the fire and the hot water is now rattling round the system again and I'm watching the TV on the computer.  It's not time to shut up shop yet and move downstairs for the evening, I'm currently watching 'A Place in the Sun' coming from Bulgaria.  It's interesting watching an outsiders view of property in the country that I've picked as home.  Supper is already prepared and just needs warming and then the move to downstairs and the fire.  LN....Back to the Bulgarian property tour.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 19, 2020, 10:54pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 19th December

Sleep on the sofa last night until two this morning, moved to the bedroom and couldn't get off again so silly games until five and then sleep until eight.  Not a bad trade.  The Fitbit designated that my sleeplessness in the middle as 'light sleep' so gave me a good overall score.  Fooled it.

I was up and about by nine thirty and started tidying up around the place , set the fire and then decided to checkout the wood burner for soot collecting in the space over the water boiler before it goes up the chimney and gave it a real good clean out.  I've been burning well dried out wood so there was nothing untoward but I managed to collect a rather large bowl of very dry soot that I added to the ashes outside.  It was now getting on for eleven thirty so I hoovered up the remains of the debris, washed the floor over, changed the mat on the table and put the emergency candles so that I knew where they would be should we have any more power cuts.  I think it's called getting prepared in advance.  I collected another log carrier of wood from the little house and filled up the log basket and another one from the wood store and dragged it into the porch.  I'd not eaten at this point so I made toast and marmite finishing off with three small profiteroles and the final burst of activity was to spray silver paint on the dried fir tree that had turned bronze, stick it in a bucket in the yard and decorate it.  I'm Christmas ready so to speak.

It was now getting on for two and I decided to watch a couple of episodes of the Netflix series and had a surprise visitor.  We were just settled when I had a unexpected call from my son and explained that I had a visitor and he's going to call back.  Normally I go to the UK at this time of year and arrangements are up the shoot in England, both son and daughter are still working and so are their respective partners so financially they haven't been hit so hard but it makes them more susceptible and at risk of the virus.  It means that my ex isn't able to visit but my daughter with plate up a Christmas lunch and deliver it so that he's not put at risk.  So many rules and regulations in place but so necessary.

My visitor left around half four and I livened up the fire, washed up the cups and did very little else before I sat down to watch Strictly' final and I'm so pleased that Bill Bailey won the competition.  He was the viewers choice, it wasn't down to the judges at all and considering how difficult it was to put on this sort of show, it was really well organised.  Any one of the dancers could have won but he did...well done for the oldies.  Pizza for supper and it was a family size one which was just as well since I left it in the oven for too long so the cats will have something to get their teeth into tomorrow morning. Apologies for being late with the update, I forgot all about it with 'Strictly' fever in the offing.  LN......'And now it's time for bed' said Zeberdee....LN
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December 20, 2020, 4:15pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 20th December

So after this morning's telling off by my daughter I'm completing the update early.  Last night's was late...too busy with Strictly and Netflix...bad mother.  So off to sleep around two thirty and slept though until seven so not so bad.  It has been another day of catching up on things that I should have started a couple of weeks ago but I've had a good day.  I managed to get on to my bank and send the donations to charitable causes. i.e. family presents, update my daughter with the name of the parcel delivery service from UK to Bulgaria and arrange vouchers for birthday and other Christmas pressies.  Bank balance is a tad reduced but hey...it's Christmas in the words of Noddy Holder.  It's such a strange time this year. no travelling out of the county for some places and that's going to affect my daughter's family and no overnight stopovers....such a lot to take in.  

I had a visit from one of my neighbours bearing gifts in the form of frothy pancakes which get delivered so many days after the death of a person and they were from Zelinger.  Emula's mother brought them round and I invited her in and she spotted the photograph of the person who had died behind the television.  I hadn't delivered it yet since the weather hadn't been good to walk down there and not feeling that I was up to it so I packed it up for her so that she could take it back with her to Zelinger's house.  I explained to her why I hadn't been seen round the village but like most of the women in the village, her Bulgarian is not good mainly conversing in Turkish so I got nods and smiles and I'll have to go down and explain tomorrow.  She noticed the fire and said how warm it was, she's not been in the house before.  Off she went and I was determined to make a start on wrapping the pressies for the ladies and after three hours, I was running short of wrapping paper so that's on my list for tomorrow.  I also made more Christmas cards so on the whole a productive day.

No supper, the pancakes are sitting heavy so it will do me good to go without.  I've let my intentions be known that God willing I shall be in the UK for Brian Cox's Horizon Tour on 3rd October and fingers crossed everything should have settled down by then and it might even include a cruise but at least it's some sort of plan.  LN...And now to get back to my wrapping.....LN




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Elsa Peters
December 21, 2020, 6:36pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 21st December

So woke up at seven this morning, washing in the machine, shower, hair wash and dried and ready for my instructions as to what time I would be picked up to head into Kardjali...and the hospital.  We agreed ten thirty and set off down the back lane and the surface wasn't too bad considering the rain that we've had. I dropped off at the hospital, saw the receptionist leaving the hospital as I was entering and she said that my doctor was ill and not working but did I need another doctor.  I said that I did so went to wait outside the surgery.  She organised that I would see one of the other doctors that speaks English and it took around twenty minutes before I managed to get to see him.  I explained what I thought the problem was and he did a few tests, took my blood pressure and so it began.  I was taken to another 'cabinet' and told to wait outside and after around thirty minutes, I knocked on the door and found it to be locked so I went back to the receptionist and again the doctor was consulted.  My blood pressure was up and tablets were prescribed and then I had to go to another building and find another 'cabinet'.  

Within the system I have a copy of my S1 health authorisation that I have to hand over and all the new doctor said in Bulgarian...'this is so hard, very difficult' and that was entering it in the computer before she would start the consultation.  That over I had to lie on the couch, reflexes were checked, my eyes had to follow a light and I had to remove my mask, smile and stick my tongue out.  It obviously meant something to her.  She moved my head backwards and forwards and I mentioned that I thought that 'arthritis' was some of the problem and we agreed.  So another prescription and over to the chemist to buy them and back to the hospital and again met up with the receptionist and she organised that I saw the doctor so that he could explain what the problem was.  This done, he said that he wanted more test done so I went back to where I'd come from and blood test were taken and I go back tomorrow for the results.  Try doing all of that in England, for an ex-communist country they still do some things very well.

A quick trip to Kaufland and Lidl and home for five.  I lit the fire, cheese and biscuits for supper and sat down to watch a little Netflix, came upstairs to do my blog and my telephone went and I've just had a long telephone call from my son thanking me for their Christmas pressies.  I explained that there was no need to get me anything, just to use the courier system and get me some Cadbury's chocolate bars....he thought it was a fantastic idea...I'll look forward to receiving it.  So no supper required, I shall be doing the final Christmas shopping tomorrow, delivering on Thursday or Friday morning before I set off for my Christmas dinner.  LN......Turkey, stuffing and home-made Christmas pudding......LN
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Elsa Peters
December 22, 2020, 5:59pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 22nd December

Another funny old night.  I woke up at five, played games until six because I had no sleep in me, felt drowsy so snuggled down and woke up for the second time at just after nine thirty....and it was all systems go.  I was supposed to be at the doctors for ten for the results of the blood test so quick wash and dressed, had my first half tablet into the Nipper and off.  There was a lot of traffic as I hit Kardjali and managed to park up behind the hospital at around ten thirty and was straight in to see the doctor.  He looked at the report, shook his head, took my blood pressure which had settled down already and the problem is cholesterol...it's a little high.  His remedy was to recommend a supplement to be taken once a day in the evening so with all my tablets and 'stuff' I shall be rattling around the end of the month.  I've got to go back early January to make sure that all is well when I see my own doctor who will have just recovered from Covid....might leave it for a couple of weeks.

I carried on to A1 to pay my home phone bill and was subjected to a very harsh selling process regarding my home internet package.  She was pretty determined to sign me up but I'm happy with the one that I have.  She jabbered on in Bulgarian, I nodded at the appropriate gaps in the tirade and gently told her I wasn't interested and left the shop. They must be under intensive pressure to sell the service but if I have problems the guys are out within the hour and that's worth something.  I carried on to the stationery shop and bought a new supply of heavy A3 for doing my ancestry charts, retrieved the Nipper and parked up at Kaufland, did my shopping from the list and arrived at the checkout with an item without a barcode and she tried to tell me that she couldn't sell it.  I stood my ground and eventually she obtained the price...it took three telephone calls to 'central control' but I got what I wanted smiling sweetly as I left.  I finished off my shopping in the hardware shop next door and think I've found some tiles suitable in the sale for the two balconies the two balconies.  The damp is seeping though the concrete and it should improve the ceiling in the porch.  

Back to Djebel and updated my student's mum on my condition since she was very concerned, bought a few items from the supermarket, cash point had run out of money so had to find one that had, dinky doo shop for more wrapping paper and home for four thirty.  Fire lit, car unpacked, a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches so that I could take the tablets I should have taken this morning after breakfast but I didn't bother in case the doctor wanted more tests.  Those sandwiches should keep me going until tomorrow morning.

My stairwell look a cross between an off-licence and a mini-supermarket and all will be wrapped and ready for delivery by the end of tomorrow...that is my challenge.  The other one is to calculate how many tiles I want for the balconies.  LN....Christmas is well and truly on its way......LN
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December 23, 2020, 3:45pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 23rd December

Another early start but this time I didn't go back to sleep.  It was a bit of a dull start but it improved as the day went on and at least we had a sunset tonight and the moon is out.  Still haven't managed to see the two  planets that are getting extremely close to each other and I don't think this comes around again in this lifetime...maybe in the next.  Strangely enough although it's early days with the tablets I'm feeling much better.  I'm not one for moping around but I really felt rough as the proverbial badgers nether regions but today I seem to have my mojo back, it could have something to do with the weather I guess but at least I've got things done,  Poached eggs for breakfast and supper is already in and should be ready at six...proactive catering.

I lit the fire this morning, the sky looked promising but not that promising and I think I've kept it going for most of the day with only around four decent sized logs.  I stationed myself in the stairwell at the big table and I've only got two more presents to sort out and wrap.  The ladies' carriers are all ready, I've only got presents for Gulcan's parents in the next visit to wrap and that will be it.  Even my cards are done and dusted so tomorrow is pretty clear for me.

Having had that last scare with the blood pressure I'm going to invest in a wrap around machine for taking my own blood pressure.  It's going to be fun trying to put it on but the doctor advised me against one of the electronic finger ones saying that they're not very accurate.  If I really get stuck I can ask my student's mum to measure it when I go to Djebel and I really should be keeping track of it myself not relying on the Fit bit to tell me what my resting rate is and my actual.  It hasn't done a very good job so far...I would have expected bells and whistles.

As for the balcony tiles I've roughly calculated how many I need and when I see Bekir when I the pressies over for him and Sally, if he's going to Kardjali on Saturday I might see if we can meet up to see if the tiles are suitable for outside use.  I don't trust a salesman and since Bekir would be laying them and being responsible for the job, best ask the 'expert'.  It obviously won't be a winter job but the price was exceptional and I could have both balconies tiled for around two hundred leva if my calculations are correct,  I haven't been out there with my stick of centimetres, been far too busy for that today but will probably confirm dimensions tomorrow.  At least if these tiles aren't suitable, I'll be able to strike while the iron's hot if I spot others.

I can smell supper so the kitchen requires my input one way or another.  LN....Christmas can come....LN



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Elsa Peters
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Thursday 24th December

Awake at five and made a hot lemon, salt and honey drink and took it back to bed with me.  Half an hour playing games and then it was let the morning begin.  I emptied the fridge and switched it off and there's certainly no global warming in there.  I needed an ice pick, hairdryer, carving knife and eventually it was clear by ten thirty and now the build-up begins again.  I made toast for speed, a load of washing went into the machine and at twelve I was ready to concentrate on the task in hand, just one more family bag to wrap and all should be out for delivery to the village tomorrow, fingers crossed.  It's become a bit of a ritual on both our parts but the old ladies are so considerate for the year supplying me with home made yoghurt, cheese and eggs that it's my way of saying thank you when they won't accept money.

Sun came up, out and over and the temperature rose to twenty four in and around ten degrees out.  I didn't light the fire but laid it ready for when the temperature decided to plummet and it certainly did so it was out with the matches and off it went around three thirty.  Just had the last of the family present to finish off and made a few more card and set off around five thirty having preciously agreed that I would be at my student's home, plus mask by six thirty.  Now this time I was running ahead of schedule, I stopped off at the car shop and handed over the first of the presents and received a goody bag in return.  Exchange is no robbery and with sincere greetings I moved on to the next pit-stop apologising that I was early.  Time for a catch-up, I was force fed despite my protest, they'd all eaten earlier,  They insisted on opening the presents and when the present for the home was unleashed, the mother was reduced to tears.  Unfortunately my student's sister, who is now pregnant, had left earlier so the little one sent photos of the cache, offered to open their presents and they might be intact by Saturday afternoon.....I really hope so.  

Safely home and no incidents on the way home,  the embers were very active so I gave the fire a poke and another couple of logs went on and it didn't take long to get the chill taken from the air..  I'd like to offer my best wises for Christmas day, I shall be spending mine with friends and sill be setting off after the goody bags are distributed.   LN .....Happy Christmas.......LN
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Elsa Peters
December 25, 2020, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 25th December

Well Merry Christmas everyone and all.  Six start and lit the fire even though I was going to be out for most of the day.  I watched a couple of episodes of Mary Queen of Scots and then concentrated on finishing off the wrapping.  I made the decision not too deliver the presents to the ladies of the village until tomorrow, it is Saturday and some of the families that come to look after the aging relatives will be able to accept the gifts.  I made breakfast so that I could take my tablets for the day, washed and dressed and lined up the presents I was taking with me, the others are in the lounge and all the other debris is cleared away and the living area is very presentable.

I was in the Nipper by ten thirty and intended to stop off in Bekir and Sally's village to leave them there gifts and as I drove into the village, there was a crowd of men and it was sorted.  The lady from the shop would take Sally's since she lives next door to them and I walked down towards Bekir's house and met his wife.  We had a catch-up and back to the Nipper and as I was leaving the village I saw Bekir with his sheep and hopefully tomorrow we can meet up in Kardjali to see if the tiles that I've earmarked are suitable for the balconies.  So...tomorrow with my stick of centimetres I'll do a rough calculation.

I arrived at the private restaurant in Fotinovo, fantastic welcoming decorations and really pleasant and enlightening company for the day.  I was designated two sprouts and I managed one (that's a joke for Princess) and after lunch we settled down to a couple of films and a documentary about the Plantagenets and it's amazing what you don't know about your own vocabulary and a book has been recommended to raise my education...well maybe.  On my way by eight, home, fire lit, don't need food I'm stuffed to the gills, get this posted and I'll be opening the pressie from Princess and Co.  I do like to savour Christmas and I joked with her that if I didn't like the present, it could have possibly spoilt my day so this way it only spoils the evening.

So hopefully you've all had a good day.  I feel relaxed and despite this virus, contented with my lot.  LN....Hope it's not raining while I'm measuring up..LN



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Elsa Peters
December 26, 2020, 7:36pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 26th December

So six start this morning, coffee, games and sudoku and at seven I noticed that the fire was still going from last night so gave it a poke and threw another log on.  I made more coffee and settled down to my Netflix 'Reign' and even though I know the end, the twists and turns beggar belief.  It's almost comical in places but hey-ho...not long to go now.  It was another pink, grey, blue sky, the sun came up amidst the stripes and it took a while to come through then for the rest of the day it's been cloudy with a cold wind.  I decided to have a bath, put too much hot water in so ran some cold into it but put too much in and then it all went ladies; anatomy skywards...a bit like Goldilocks bears' porridge.  First it was too hot, then too cold but I never got it just right.  I got in, and got out and decided to leave it for another time and got dressed.

I was going to make toast but then I remembered that I had bacon in the freezer so made a bacon sandwich for breakfast with brown sauce.  One of my Chrissie presents from my friends in Fotinovo was a new glass bottle of HP so it's no long rationed so late in the old year and going into the new.  Post breakfast tablets taken and out on the balcony clutching paper, pen and stick of centimetres and quantity required of tiles for the two balconies calculated.  Measured twice to make sure, Bekir phoned to confirm that we would be meeting at eleven in Kardjali so that he could confirm that they were the right sort of tiles for outside use.  On with the sprout socks and I posted a message of FB and waited for the comments to roll in...and they did.

Into the Nipper and arrived at just before eleven and Bekir met me outside the store.  He checked over the calculations and more or less confirmed them so we added another square metre to make sure, tiles purchased and they were put on a flat bed trolley by three men and then the trolley pushed outside to the car-park and then it was down to us to load them in the Nipper.  I then realised my mistake, I should have taken the Beast so I dropped the back seats and crossed my fingers that the suspension would hold, said farewell to Bekir and very gingerly I made my way home avoiding the dips and bumps in the road.  I made it safely, parked up with the back door really close to the entrance door in the little house and found an old pallet, cleared a space and started to unload one at a time....they're heavy old things.  It took me about half an hour to complete the task, the outer protective package layer was very damp and not worth keeping so I stripped it from the tiles, stacked them on the pallet on their ends and had a bonfire to get rid of the damp paper.  I wasn't able to burn it all, the wind got up and so the rest is back in the little house.  Got some logs in ready for the evening, locked up and my work for the day was done.

I decided to open more of my presents from my daughter and found one of the packages to be a box of Brazil nuts dipped in chocolates so back to Netflix, topped the fire up, quick tidy round and then I was settled on the sofa and eyes southwards for a couple of hours and the television switched itself off so I reckon I've got to check where I was watching up and back track a little.  I don't want any supper, I've had too many nuts and chocolates and I guess those things aren't on my list of things that I can eat regularly.....ahh well, it's Christmas.  I'll start getting strict with myself when the New Year comes.  I had a quick chat with Princess and said that you can't keep a good pair of sprout socks down and we've made a pledge that we're both going to wear them over the next few years on Christmas day....bonding.

Just watched The Chase and what a load of money they won for charity and I was really impressed by Colin Jackson...very knowledgeable chappie.  Thirty five thousand pounds each for their charities....not a bad evening's work.  Half nine my time and looking forward to my bed tonight and nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except that I should really run round the village with the Christmas gifts for my ladies.....I've just not got round to it yet.  LN...Tomorrow is another day.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 27, 2020, 2:59pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 27th December

Rain, rain go away come again another day....and it's still chucking it down now.  It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow but let's wait and see.  I have pools in my garden, the yard is swimming and I've had to go and clear the leaves from the drain out onto the roadside...it was getting very waterlogged.  The morning was paved with good intentions but I didn't follow up on any of them.  It was eight thirty when I woke up this morning, I cleared the fire out but didn't light it, it was ten degrees outside and eighteen in but that didn't last long.  I made breakfast and did a load of washing, watched until the end of Reign and my daughter was correct. she did lose her head in the end but I didn't realise that she was a prisoner of Elizabeth for about twenty years....I really must get a good book on the subject matter and read what was fact or fabrication.  Fire lit, washing put on the airer to dry, Brazil nuts finished and a chocolate orange took a good beating.  What else is Christmas for?

We had a brief interval this afternoon when the sun threatened but that was very short lived and now it's throwing it down again.  I hear that England has had very violent wind and rain but that it's sunny as we speak.  A couple of phone calls from and to home with updates especially since one of the family is in hospital with the dreaded lurgi...so wishing her well.  I've got a new series on the go....I've done two episodes of Marco Polo and since he's no one I know anything about they can end it as they like...I have no preconceived ways of how the story is to unfold.  I started working on Ancestry but the brain isn't in the right frame of mind for challenging facts and figures, dates partners and the likes.  I've just checked out Transponder TV and what a lot of tut there seems to be on there so I might very well be revisiting Marco your actual.  No supper planned so far, I might make it into Kardjali tomorrow for another few of the same tiles just in case we have breakages during the laying of them....it would be a shame to be a couple short.  LN.....I still have more presents to unwrap...what a lucky girl I am.....LN



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Sunday 27th December

Rain, rain go away come again another day....and it's till chucking it down now.  It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow but let's wait and see.  I have pools in my garden, the yard is swimming and I've had to go and clear the leaves from the drain out onto the roadside...it was getting very waterlogged.  The morning was paved with good intentions but I didn't follow up on any of them.  It was eight thirty when I woke up this morning, I cleared the fire out but didn't light it, it was ten degrees outside and eighteen in but that didn't last long.  I made breakfast and did a load of washing, watched until the end of Reign and my daughter was correct. she did lose her head in the end but I didn't realise that she was a prisoner of Elizabeth for about twenty years....I really must get a good book on the subject matter and read what was fact or fabrication.  Fire lit, washing put on the airer to dry, Brazil nuts finished and a chocolate orange took a good beating.  What else is Christmas for.

We had a brief interval this afternoon when the sun threatened but that was very short lived and now its throwing it down again.  I hear that England has had very violent wind and rain but that it's sunny as we speak.  A couple of phone calls from and to home with updates especially since one of the family is in hospital with the dreaded lurgi...so wishing her well.  I've got a new series on the go....I've done two episodes of Marco Polo and since he's no one I know nothing about they can end it as they like...I have no preconceived ways of how the story is to unfold.  I started working on Ancestry but the brain isn't in the right frame of mind for challenging facts and figures, dates partners and the likes.  I've just checked out Transponder TV and what a lot of tut there seems to be on there so far so I might very well be revisiting Marco your actual.  No supper planned so far, I might make it into Kardjali tomorrow for another few of the same tiles just in case we have breakages during the laying of them....it would be a shame to be a couple short.  LN.....I still have more presents to unwrap...what a lucky girl I am.....LN
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December 28, 2020, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 28th December

Silly night watching rubbish on the television and so late to bed.  I woke up equally late so had a good rest.  Coffee, didn't go back to bed, I was determined to get Santa's late delivery delivered so set about tidying up the few presents that still needed wrapping and finding out what was left.  There's a little group on the periphery that are not quite in the inner circle but that I feel guilty about not giving anything to and those were the difficult ones to sort out.  Seven are packed up and ready to go, just another couple of others and then....'He-ho the Nipper is ready to go'.  Breakfast came before anything though, bacon and egg, well the bacon did need using up and fried bread but don't let on to the doctor, I emptied the ashes and set the fire ready for tonight.

Nipper loaded around eleven and the rest of the Christmas paper and ribbon is away into the third bedroom.  There's a loft ladder that needs installing and then I shall be able to get the boxes up in the roof space instead of them cluttering up the bedroom and that's a job for Bekir and Sally when they start over again.  So first drop was at Beyser's house and I found out that Haciber is in Turkey with her daughter so that's one that won't be delivered.  Next stop down to Zelinger and there were lots of shoes outside so thought I might find other ladies there but no, I think it was family.  I left the Nipper where it was and delivered to Emula's mother, other to my lady who has the garden next to my woodstore and then to the 'little lady' whose daughter always tries to con me out of cuttings for the garden.  Not only did I give a present but I actually received on from her.  Back in the Nipper to the next village and my painter was nowhere to be seen and neither was Goujan's family so I came back home, unloaded the 'undeliverables' into the lounge, tidied my presents away and now all is good.  I brought in two loads of wood, burnt the rubbish and settled down on the sofa for the afternoon and played a few games and had a little nap.

The fire is lit, chicken wings are thawed out but I think they might go into the slow cooker for tomorrow.  I'm not thinking about food at the moment, maybe later.  I went out to take a few photos and noticed that we have a full moon and how did that come round so quickly!!  We're heading swiftly to the New Year and let's hope it's better than the last.  I need closure on this bug and hopefully I can be in the running for an injection and again hopefully, it comes with a 'passport to travel'.  Going round the garden I was surprised at the new life and shrubs that are flowering.  Shame that the cold is yet to come and maybe catch them out but for the present...just enjoy....and as for tomorrow...pretty much the same as today.  I didn't go into Kardjali this morning because it was chucking it down,,,,I'll take a rain check tomorrow.  LN....And relax.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 29, 2020, 6:15pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 29th December

Funny old day, the fire was limping along this morning so I kept it going.  It wasn't cold but I was sitting around doing nothing and it's always better to be warm in those circumstances.  I was awake at five, lingered over coffee and computer games on the Kindle until seven when I made the fire and mooched around culminating on preparing beans on toast for breakfast.  I washed up anything that needed doing, watched the cat from the bedroom window eating I know not what, bringing it back up and having another go at it.  By the time that I went out to have a look there was nothing there and no trace of anything having been there...not even the cat.

The sun was very slow to break through and when it did it disappeared just as rapidly.  The outside temperature has been around ten all day but it really didn't feel like it and inside has been around twenty.  I put the chicken wings into the slow cooker with a packet of chicken soup and that was going to be supper. I sat at the computer on the landing reading postings on FB from a new group that I've been accepted in to.  It was a company site and I first joined the company around nineteen seventy eight and back to full time work after having the children.  It's amazing how many names, people and places crop up and bring back good and bad memories.  I was with them for quite some time and then the first area to go in a crisis is 'Training' and then back on to the 'Open Road Toad'.  It didn't take long before I was on the treadmill again and 'retired' once more leaving me free to make my move over here after retirement.  Anyway, back to the new group.  I've got some manuals that I've hung on to in the UK so I made a phone call and sure enough, some are there and photos have been sent over so I can post them on the site.

I moved down to the lounge and settled myself on the sofa, watched some television, nodded off to catch up with the sleep that I was deprived of from such an early start and have felt thoroughly relaxed all day.  I added more soup but this time chicken and mushroom to the slow cooker, separately cooked pasta, added to the pasta to the slow cooker and gave it a final blast.  All I know is that I shan't be making it again using that sauce mix or chicken wings come to that.  Too many bones, the chicken and mushroom can stay of the supermarket shelf for me and the cat will have a field day tomorrow.  Washing up done, water heater on, logs on, pyjamas soon to be on and an early night is on the cards.  Again, nothing to do tomorrow, I might have a day of ancestry making a new chart on A3 since I bought heavy card for the job.  LN   Tomorrow is a blank canvas.....LN
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Wednesday 30th December

So last night I went to bed at eleven feeling very relaxed until I put the light out and snuggled down and it was then that the cells started working overtime.  I'd had a lovely day and something had jolted the brain into action.  I'd removed one of the quilts so maybe it was a weight issue, but it was so mild last night that I even put my leg out of bed to act as a thermostat. I was awake at eight fifteen which again was abnormal for me and it was twelve degrees this outside this morning on my stick of centigrate and twenty degrees in.  There were clouds in the sky and a hint of sun but that was about it, not so much global warming, I think the axis has tilted.  UK with snow and me with positively glorious weather for the time of year.

I warmed up the remains of the can of baked beans and had them on toast for breakfast.  I sat in the stairwell and by this time the sun had managed to escape the clouds and it was going to be a good one.  There was quite a stiff breeze, a few leaves blowing about but nothing to write home about.  I had a bit of a lazy morning but at twelve I went out to get rid of the household rubbish and the remains of the packaging from the new tiles that I'd bought.  As I said it was breezy so I nursed the fire to make sure that nothing shot off to the hillside and only moved back to the top of the garden when all was safely down to embers with a lid covering the opening.  I managed to put the bulbs that had been removed back into the tree stump on the terrace and put more compost on top of them and then set about emptying the large concrete flower container that I'd bought in Greece this year.  It was much too heavy for me to move with the plants in it but I had visions of the frost getting into it and breaking it hence the cause of my activity.  The main plants were two sun daisies that seemed to be surviving well so I got a large flower pot, repotted the sun daisies and the petunias are on the hillside, the compost is on top of the fuscia as extra protection and the pot is now inside the little house.  Another job done and dusted and I remembered to water the plants in the little house, some of them were a little dry.

I was on to a call from the UK when I heard my cow-bell rattling and thought it might be the wind but no, it was two of my neighbours.  Zelinger is a real sweetie, I'd delivered her Christmas bag yesterday and today she has to reciprocate and I wish that she wouldn't but she does.  She came with my young neighbour that lives near to her and they demanded coffee so their needs were met and I fed them Bailey's biscuits, only one each from the goody bad from my daughter.  I didn't tell them that they were laced with alcohol but they liked them.  They left around four, another phone call to the UK, chicken and potatoes in the oven and I've just lit the fire before the temperature starts to drop.  Nothing on the agenda so far for tomorrow, I've still got this feeling that I should go into Kardjali and buy some more of the tiles just in case and if the weather is good, I'll have an early start.  Some good spells coming from the kitchen so I really should be making moves in that direction and throw another log on the fire.  LN....It's good when the neighbours feel they can visit.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 31, 2020, 6:07pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 31st December

So another good night's sleep and it was just before eight before I got started on my day.  Coffee and took up my position at the table in the stairwell and viewed the day.  There were some really big fronts coming in from Turkey and Greece and the day gradually disintegrated into rain and winds but I'd finished what I wanted to achieve before the deluge started.

Si I cleared the kitchen from last night, washed up the baking tins, threw the greasy water onto the flower beds which really confused the cats.  Toast for breakfast, nothing fancy this morning and decided that shower and hair wash was the order of the day and it was a visit to Kardjali to get the tiles and a few items of shopping.  It's a bit of an Indian winter...the temperature was up to eleven degrees which is unheard of for this time of year so I settled for a body warmer instead of a top coat today.  I got the Nipper out on to the road, closed up the gates and set off for Djebel.  It set off as if it had got kangaroo fuel in it and going through the forest it didn't exactly stall but was very reluctant.  I made it to the main road and then decided to swap over to petrol and drove to the garage without any hitches.  I explained the problem and it was decided that there potentially wasn't any gas in the tank and I couldn't remember the last time I'd filled it but I'd had no warning bleeps to change over to petrol.  I went to Kardjali, bought the tiles and a very helpful female assistant gave me a hand to get them into the Nipper.  Too many people heading for Kaufland so I went to Lidl instead and then to the fuel station to top up the gas.  I changed over to gas and made it back to Djebel without any problems, parked up outside the car shop and had fifteen minutes with the owner's wife but when I came to drive back home the Nipper started to play up.  Instead of home I went to the garage, told them that I'd only put in nineteen leva of gas where normally the car would take twenty five leva's worth.  Unfortunately what the car needs is a gas service so I'm told and a man is coming down from Plovdiv either Saturday or Monday and I'm booked in.  They have another car in the garage with problems.

Home on petrol, shopping away, fire lit despite the fact that it was eleven degrees outside, cheese and garlic baked biscuits for a snack and what a mistake that was.   No supper required, I think that's going to stay with me until morning.

So, the end of another year and what a year it's been.  No exciting cruises, only one trip to Greece and nothing in the offing so far for next.  I've missed my Christmas visit to the UK, missed seeing family and friends and catching up.....but I'm not the only one.  Some families are in a much worse position than I am.  I would like to wish a Happy New Year to family and friends and may 2021 bring us all a better time.  LN.....Let's try to turn it around.....LN



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