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Elsa Peters
January 21, 2021, 5:45pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 21st January

So for me I had an early night...eleven, I thought that bath would relax me and it did....but only until three thirty this morning so I was playing games again until four thirty and then back to sleep until seven.  I hope this isn't going to become the norm.  Pink sky this morning with grey streaks that eventually merged until there were cloud in the sky upsetting my free central heating.  Having said that, it wasn't so cold overnight and only went down to minus four and soon climbed to minus one and the house temperature went up to eighteen.  

I didn't bother with breakfast, instead I spend more time than I wanted to dismantling the under top cupboard light that I needed to replace.  At least taking it apart I knew how it went back together again but what a job it was.  It was two very small screws attaching it to the top shelf using very small plastic brackets.  I managed to get one screw out using s technique I really wouldn't recommend.  I ended up sitting on the worktop and eventually having got one screw out, the light and fitting dangled until it fell down leaving the second bracket still attached to the shelf.  It was then that I realised that the brackets slid into the main body of the light so putting it up should have been a doddle....wrong!!  I set off for Djebel, my local shop didn't have them in stock but offered to get one in for me for tomorrow.  I carried on to the garage to ask if the batteries that were swopped out were any good or not and my thinking was that the big one that they took out could go into the Beast but the garage had put them on charge and they weren't any good.  So plan B, I've ordered another large battery and the small one can go into the Nipper.  I carried on to my electrical shop in Kardjali and they had them so I bought two and was surprised that they only cost nine leva....that's around four pounds and a bit...amazing.  Kaufland, Lidl, gas top up and home, stopping off at the shop to tell the man that I'd managed to get the strip lights from Kardjali.  I also stopped at the little supermarket at the bottom of the town for some spicy sausage, bread and onions which I'd forgotten to get in Kardjali.

So now down to business....I found every screw driver that I owned, I knew it was going to be a difficult job since I was screwing uphill so to speak and gravity got the better of me for most of the afternoon.  I had to use the small step ladder to get up onto the workshop which meant that every screw that I dropped had to be retrieved and I had to duck under the facia that hides the lights so at four I settled for a ham filled French stick and a cup of coffee mainly to get my strength up to have another go.  I got one side fixed and thought I was on to a winner and then the screw head forced itself through the bracket and the lot fell down again.  I was beginning to think that the light probably wouldn't work anyway the hard life it's already had but only time would tell.  I had another break to light the fire, it was now getting on for five thirty and the temperature was dropping and then I had a flash of inspiration and used some very fine wire to secure the lamp and fitting to the facia board, fixed the one side and then the other.  It only took me about three hours to get two screws in place and I've decided that I won't be making a career out of fitting kitchens, especially under worktop lights.

Don't need supper, the French stick will last me through.  I think I shall need some Deep Heat on my back, I had to get into some unusual positions while sitting on the worktop, the head started spinning at one point but I'm alive and able to relate the tale.  Temperature going down, fire going well and nothing so far on the agenda for tomorrow but I'm hoping that the other light doesn't pack up...my patience couldn't take it.  LN.....At least the light worked when I put it on....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 22, 2021, 4:10pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 22nd January

Much better night last night.  I did have one early morning wake-up but I rolled over and woke up at just after seven.  It was my normal pinky blue sky with the front over the Greek mountains but they didn't come too much and stayed the other side of the border in lockdown.  The sun came up, the temperature was around four degrees but it still felt colder than it had earlier in the week.  There was quite a brisk wind and the cats were noted by there absence.  I went back to bed since there was nothing else that was pressing and played a few games and eventually got up and at 'em by nine.  I cooked a bacon sandwich still in my PJ's and sat in the stairwell at the table with coffee and generally looked at the view enjoying the warmth of the sun.  I settled on the sofa with the Kindle and realised my phone was ringing in my handbag in the kitchen so answered it and it was the garage to say that my second battery had arrived.....so my course was set for the day.

I washed, dressed and got into the Beast and headed for the garage but had to firstly find a  cash machine.  Yesterday on FB someone said that there was now only one cashpoint in Djebel so I went to the hidden one that I know and that was still working and I can't believe that the one attached to the bank in the centre of town has closed down.  That one is normally so busy with one of the younger ladies from each village appearing with several cards and pieces of paper with the passcodes written down and taking money out for everyone.  It reminded me of the time that my Avatar offered me her card to do the same and I refused it and she couldn't understand why...I was working to English rules of security.  So picked up my battery from the shop and paid for it taking it down to the garage with me.  It was soon fixed in place, the little battery was put into the Beast and there it remains.  I'm undecided whether to put it into the Nipper immediately so comply with the regulations that the batteries must be registered within ten days.  It's a bit more complicated since the one I'm transferring has to be checked over in the vehicle it's transferring to so it could be Monday and Tuesday in Kardjali.....I'll see what the weather's like.  

So back from Djebel and I planted up one pack of the bulbs that I picked up cheaply yesterday leaving the pot in the little house.  They'd started to shoot already and reading the packet I'd put entirely the wrong compost in the pot so they might have to be dug up and something else can go in it.  I filled up the log basket and the log carrier and the rest of the afternoon I settled on the sofa and watched Netflix, it was still too cold to be outside doing 'stuff'.  Merlin has solved a few more mysteries and at five I put vegetables to roast in the oven with a strip of seasoned belly pork and that should be ready any time now.....organised or what.  Fire lit but it seems to be taking a while to get the house warm but since I've shut the downstairs curtain now much heat is making it upstairs.  Another lazy day tomorrow I'm thinking.  I might even sort out the wool that I've got and see if I can find a pattern to make something fairly easy with thick wool so that it's fairly quick too.  LN.....Supper smells good so I'm off downstairs.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 23, 2021, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 23rd January

Last night I slept very well and it was a six start for me.  It was a dull old morning, I taken a coffee back to bed and played a few games until the sun should have come up but when it did, it didn't stay long.  That's been the total sum up of the day.  I lit the fire very early on, despite the fact that the inside thermometer registered eight degrees outside and sixteen in, for me it was still cold so I dressed up warm for the day.  I made bacon, fried mushrooms and an egg for breakfast to set me up for the day and it did until three this afternoon when I settled down with a coffee and the remains of a packet of biscuits...it was dippy time.

Before that I'd settled myself on the sofa and caught up with a couple of episodes of Merlin but realising that I could spend the rest of the day doing same as I settled for the computer and logged on to my ancestry program determined to find which relatives of mine headed over to Canada but the more I tracked the less I found.  I knew that we had relatives there, my mother had a glass dish that had come from there but I didn't know names and it was only a vague memory for me.  It was an uncle or aunt on my father's side of the family and other recollections from one of my grandfather's brothers descendants had confirmed the outline but no one could give me a name to go on.  I'll have to ask them again, I have their email address.  So after three hours of searching records I gave up and went back to Merlin for another couple of episodes and eventually you've guessed it, sleep to make up for my early start.  The weather by now had deteriorated and it was raining and just the sort of weather that I hate, cold and damp and I haven't put my nose outside at all today except to throw bread out for the cats.

Just after six, there's a big log on the fire and it's going to last for a while.  The temperature has gone up to twenty inside so it's comfortable but now that the night has set in it remains cold and miserable outside.  Not sure what's for supper tonight, I'm not so prepared as last night so it will be a hunting expedition later on when the bugs start biting but no way is it going to be a cheese and onion sandwich....I've learnt my lesson from the last time.  LN...TV and then bed for me.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 24, 2021, 5:18pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 24th January

No much sleep in me last night so I was watching Transponder until almost one this morning and then to bed, cosied into my nest and slept through until just after seven.  I didn't really burst into action until around nine fifteen when I decided that I would use everything up that needed it and make one giant omelette for breakfast.  It started with depriving the cats of two slices of ham, the remains of the roasted veg, sliced up fresh mushrooms all went into the frying pan, two eggs were whisked and added to the pan and finished off with two slices of edam cheese.  I sat at the table in the stairwell with a fresh cup of coffee and that kept the bugs from biting until well into the afternoon.  I cleaned the kitchen including the dish drainer and my attention was drawn to the cooker and the accumulation of fat on the inside of the glass door of the oven.  Nothing for it, out came the trusty screwdriver which was much easier to use screwing downhill, I removed the glass, cleaned it both sides and the internal window to the outside and what a difference.  I didn't stop there, the glass door was cleaned, the top and round the knobs and it looks like the cleaning fairy has been in and not before time.  The finale was to find some new pillow cases for the cushions on the sofa and I even found some giant covers and have put them on the support cushions for the sofa.

I'd brought lots of cleaning cloths into play so they went in the washing machine so I made up a load, it was such a beautiful day that I could even peg it out.  I collected up the rubbish from the bathrooms and kitchen and decided to have a bonfire while the washing was finishing off....what a productive day.  I even set the fire ready for tonight and emptied the ash can and despite the fact that the fire was going very well last night, I still had enough wood inside for tonight.  With quite an aura of achievement lingering over me I took to the sofa and settled down with a new coffee to watch another couple of episodes of Merlin.  It's such a gentle programme too watch with a funny light-hearted script and it has turned into binge viewing but there wasn't much left to do until the washing had to come in and spend the night on the clothes airer in the bathroom to air it.  

So tele off and I made my way up to the computer on the landing determined to find my relatives that shot over the pond but still haven't managed it.  Instead I looked back on the family tree that's stored on the computer and there's still lots of digging to be done on that.  It's difficult to print out but I really must make an effort to do it, I currently only have my paper version done in PowerPoint and it does need improving but that's a job for another day.  Instead I started to follow some of the 'Hints' that the keep leaving me and mostly I end up rejecting them.  They're supposed to come from other people's trees where we have common relatives but I'm amazed at some of the rubbish that gets sent through to me,  Having said that it filled the afternoon and I was amazed how light the evening was at around five thirty tonight.  I know there's a three quarter moon but I was just surprised.  So I set fire to the burner at six this evening and came back upstairs with a slice of chocolate cake that was calling out to me from the kitchen.  At the moment I have not other leanings in the direction of the kitchen....I'll see how I feel later.  LN....The weather certainly aids inspiration for cleaning....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 25, 2021, 4:18pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 25th January

First wake up at around six but snuggled down and started my day at seven fifteenish.  The terraces were damp but at least it wasn't raining like it was last night...gusting winds and lashing rain.  I looked out at the bedroom window and black cat was sitting on the wall and looking very sorry for herself or himself...I've not been close enough to check.  I peeled the skin off a couple of spicy sausages and the cat had breakfast and then I added mine to the frying pan, cooked an egg and added half a tin of baked beans to the mix and my breakfast was ready.  I wolfed it down and back to the kitchen to clear up from breakfast and get supper underway and into the slow cooker with it,  I chopped the sausage. peeled and chopped an onion and added both to the frying pan so that I didn't have anything else to wash up.  I blitzed a can of tomatoes put everything into the slow cooker with the rest of the baked beans plus some chili flakes and supper was prepared.  Everything was washed and put away and now on to the rest of my day.

I'd made a plan.  I decided to take the Beast into Kardjali to get the other battery guarantee certified, pay my home phone bill and have a mooch around.  It was such a lovely day now that the sun had gained strength and the wind had dropped and my extra zippy woollen cardigan remained in the Beast.  Firstly to find the man and we managed to communicate, he tested both batteries now that the alternator has been repaired and confirmed that everything was working as it should be and I thanked him for suggesting that I get it checked out.  Tomorrow I'm having the new little battery put in the Nipper and will get the battery guarantee transferred over which he said he could do.  That done I parked up in the pay carpark in the centre of town and had a few words with my parking attendant.  I haven't seen him for a while choosing other places to leave the car but this one is handy for the phone shops, banks and cheapy shops.  So phone bill paid, walked down to the cheapy shop and bought a sweater for my student if she likes it, a cardigan for myself and another summer sweater ready for my next cruise...every hopeful.  I drove towards the Kardjali road and something told me to go into Kaufland and I was right, the Goldblend coffee was thirty percent off so I picked up eight jars, a few more things including a bottle of HP sauce, over to the checkout, into the Beast and home James....I couldn't face Lidl...the carpark looked very crowded.

Everything unpacked and put away, sweaters into the washing machine and they're now on coat hangers in the bathroom.  I fetched some small logs from the woodstore and got the fire going around five...I'd had the door open until then but as the sun went down, the wind got up and the temperature was dropping.  It won't be as cold as the UK will be tonight but at least when it snows here we get it for a few days not one night wonder and slush.  Supper is ready for when I'm ready for it...it's quiz night on Transponder tonight providing I stay awake to watch it.  So Kardjali again tomorrow with the Nipper and I might even stretch to going to the doctors, I was told to go back early January and I suppose it's still January.  LN....Time to check on the fire.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 26, 2021, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 26th January

Happy birthday to my nephew...knocking up the years and it seems a long time since I used to push him in the pram and take him out for the day when he was small.  I hope he's had a special day.  As for me....it was another early morning when I just couldn't get to sleep and it was four when I turned the light out and settled down and seven thirty when I put the light back on and started my day.  Surprisingly I haven't really felt tired and have got on with quite a lot.

I dressed for town and set off at ten, first stop was to my other student's mums shop and I delivered the zip up sweater that I'd found for very little lev and left it with her to see if her daughter liked it or not.  I left her with instructions that if her daughter didn't like it then it could go to anyone that she chose.  I was offered coffee but refused, I was off to the garage to have the new battery fitted and then off to Kardjali to have the man initial the change of vehicle on the guarantee.  I made it down to the garage, searched for the document and guess what...it was in the Beast, I'd forgotten to change it over.  So back home, I juggled the cars around, put the Beast back in the garage and moved the Nipper under the big tree which I thought might protect it from the snow that's supposed to fall to night.  I'd not had breakfast before I set off so I made toast and buttered it and finished off with a large pot of yogurt.  I decided that my quest for today was finished so I got more logs in and lit the fire and then it started to rain which has gathered momentum all day and now it's throwing it down.  If tonight's snow comes down at the same rate as the rain, I should be digging myself out tomorrow.

I played around on the computer for the afternoon, had a conversation with my bank on how to get the password generator to work and we decided that it's knacked and it has to send me another...joy oh joy...technology is great when it works but we managed to get my grandson's birthday present in his bank for tomorrow.  It was a very long and expensive call.  I put the chili from the remains of last night's supper back into the slow cooker and left it bubbling going down to the kitchen to put pasta on to have with it.  I brought it upstairs and had it in front of the computer while watching Tipping Point and eating with this tooth half out was really painful.  I kept getting caught out by the chili flakes and all I could hear was the clatter of the tooth on the gold cap on the lower level.  It made me think of storks when they clatter their bills.

So if the snow comes down I have my work ready for tomorrow.  It looks like it's not going to linger long so I shall be going into Kardjali on Thursday and paying a visit to the doctor for me and the test centre to sort out the guarantee.  Just after half seven my time....down to the fire and settle in for the night.  LN...And an early night....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 28, 2021, 7:02am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th January

The electricty has just come back on ....it's been off all day so this is a quick post just in case......and that's as far as I got last night before it went off again so I'm risking it just in case it goes off again.  I had flash backs of years back when it went off for eleven days so I went into shut down mode and didn't take it that anyone was working on it 'properly' so I'm not bothering to light the big wood burner and will manage with the little one for the day.  It's early yet...only been on for half an hour.

As predicted the snow came on Tuesday night and we had about twenty five centimetres and deeper in other places but not much wind sculpture so far.  I cleared out to the road in case of emergency but not all of the yard, I'll do the rest today.....and thank goodness for Chrome restore.  

I'm going to post, it's just gone off and come on again so obviously the wire between the contacts burnt out.  Hopefully I'll post tonight with pickies....
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Elsa Peters
January 28, 2021, 4:51pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 28th January continued

So it remained a beautiful day but the temperature didn't seem to go up at all outside but inside it was a different matter.  The weather station went up to twenty degrees inside despite the door to the conservatory being open.  The yard is cleared, I moved the Nipper away from the wall under the tree and it's now parked up next to the house and far enough back so that I can get the Beast out if I need to.  The road to the village is cleared and should only be a problem with ice going through the forest but enough cars have been going backwards and forward.  This morning while I was out in the yard, a fire engine went by and off towards one of the villages further on but I've heard nothing since so it probably wasn't a major incident.  I did managed to get a very good shot of it as it was homeward bound and a wave from the driver.  

The electricity finally came on and stayed on around one so I celebrated by watching a couple of sessions of Merlin.  I was disciplined and turned it off, walked the garden getting up my step count.  I didn't need to get logs in, I've got enough big ones and I've put the boiler on for a bath tonight, shifting the snow from the yard out to the main road has taken its toll on this ancient body.  Supper tonight was a quick affair, I fried off mushrooms and bacon, added a pack of quick noodles and a spoonful of b├ęchamel sauce mix and it was done.  It's the first time I've used them and I was surprised how tasty they were but without the additives, I don't think they would have filled me up at all.  LN......Soon be bath time.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 29, 2021, 4:19pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 29th January

So another cold one last night, it went down to minus seven and the fire just wouldn't draugh last night and just checked the spelling and it says that the word is obsolete...so just proves how old I'm getting.  The downside was that it went down of thirteen degrees the other side of the curtain but when the sun came up it soon climbed up to sixteen and then finally to twenty four this afternoon.  The fire's going now.  I had my bath last night so took to my bed around eleven thirty, had a very good night but ended up in a dream that I couldn't seem to come out of this morning and had to force myself to wake up at seven thirty just in time to catch the beautiful sunrise that even tinged the snow.   What I love about this house is that you get so many reflections in the windows and it was the reflection of the sunrise in the little house that I caught.

The birds were very busy first thing but I only had bread to offer.  I made a bacon and egg sandwich for myself and the kitchen has been tidied but no washing up done yet...I've had a fairly lazy day.  I did a load of washing. collected up the household waste, dressed for the outside and had a bonfire...it was such a beautiful day, clouded over at one point but then the clouds rolled away and the sun came back.  By one thirty I was sitting on the bench on the terrace enjoying the day and really not bothered about doing anything so I walked the garden and freed up the shrubs and trees that have been weighed down by the snow,  The cranberry was almost down to the ground, the new oak at the bottom of the garden was right down to the ground and now restoring itself, the oleander and the fir tree under the little house terrace are now coming back to normality.  At this point it was too soon to come in so I made myself a snow person, just to be politically correct but unfortunately the sun came round and started to melt it almost immediately.  After an hour it lost its carrot nose so I made a few running repairs as the temperature dropped so it should be there for tomorrow.

I watched a couple of episodes of Merlin this afternoon, turned it off, opened a tin of local corned beef, put it in a dish with the remains of a can of beans and covered it with sliced potatoes and it's now in the oven and should be ready in about half an hour.   I've had a very relaxing day and despite the forecast of 'light rain', we haven't seen any of it so I'm hoping they've got it wrong for tomorrow too.  LN.....Kitchen, supper, wash up and ...relax......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 30, 2021, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 30th January

Another really good night's sleep and woke up for the second time at a worthy eight o'clock and about time for the fun to start.  There was fine rain falling as predicted, snow carrot nose was on the floor and the hat was on the shoulder with no head visible...the thaw was in progress.  The birds were active and had obviously found something on the little house terrace behind the bird table but few ventured to feast on the bird table itself.  I'm beginning to think that it's not in the right place, perhaps to near to the bushes and the wall where cats can linger.  So a dull old day, I dressed in several layers again, made another bacon and egg sandwich and sat at the table in the stairwell toying with the idea of lighting the fire or not.  Normally it clears up, there was a glimmer of the sun behind the clouds but it disappeared so fire lighters at the ready and by eleven thirty it was underway and soon belting water through the radiators.  

I set to to put the kitchen back to rights and the little boiler back to being a table top for the blender and juice cartons and the table cloth went back on the table and the little removed, fruit sorted into keepers and throwers and my kitchen looks like a kitchen again.  I'm assuming that the electricity is going to stay up and I shan't need the boiler again but when it does go it's a very useful space to put the hot coals to save leaving them in a bucket in the yard.  I settled on the sofa and watched a couple of episodes of Merlin and then discipline took over and I headed upstairs to have a wash and put the washing away and gravitated to the computer and settled in for verifying details on the family tree.  Unfortunately the site was playing up and I read on FB that I'm not the only one having problems so I moved to another site.

Around three there was a knock on the door and I hadn't even opened up the estate...I'd had no need to go out.  I had a visitor checking up that I was OK and that I had no repercussions with my electricity being off.  He forgets that I'm used to going into survival mode, I've done it for around ten years now.  Anyway the kettle went on and as per normal I asked him if he was staying for a bath or did he only want coffee.  I tend to put enough water in the kettle for four cups at the most while he fills it to the top and it's now a joke between us.  So we moved into the lounge with the coffees and chewed over the fat.  He's a bit of a bad boy on the internet and keeps me up to date with the happenings and advised me that we have to go to our doctors to sign up for the vaccination so we're meeting up in Kardjali on Monday.  We'll take both cars so that one or the other of us can bail out at any time.....we'll have different things to do when we sort out the jobs on the list.  Off he went at around five and it's surprising how light the nights are getting already.

Steak, mushrooms and chips for tonight but the steak is so large that I'm tempted to  save half of it for a casserole tomorrow.  It's so much easier when it's gently cooking without any input.  It's the Voice on the tele tonight and let's see what good acts they fail to spot tonight.  Now to the kitchen and back downstairs to the fire and get cosied in for the night.  LN....Snow should be gone by tomorrow...short lived.....LN
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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