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Elsa Peters
January 1, 2021, 6:46pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 1st January

So I stopped up last night to bring in the Bulgarian Ney Year but didn't managed to hang on to the UK turnover.  Lots of messages on FB with New Year greetings with the main theme...let's get back to normal.  In my humble opinion it's going to take some time....this second wave seems more virulent and more people going down with it especially in the UK.

Lovely morning, I woke up at seven thirty and there was a frost on the ground and the temperature was plus one.  The sun was just breaking though, misty clouds in the valley that eventually turned into freezing fog but that cleared and it's been good all day.  Better the day so better the deed....so I decided to remove the pipes from the wood burner and give them a good clean.  There wasn't much soot in them but I made sure that they were all locked in securely when I put them back together again and so far so good....not a hint of smoke except up and out of the chimney  I cleared away most of the mess and finished off with the hoover and carrying on with the conservatory so that it was tidy for visitors should any appear.  By this time the bugs were biting so I made bacon and egg for breakfast, tidies the kitchen, put a load of washing in.  Next on the list was to empty the tiles from the Nipper, put the seats back, load up the car with the bags that needed delivering and I set off for the first port of call.

My painter still wasn't at home, I knocked for a while, gave up so carried on to Guljan's house to see her parents .Benje the dog announced my arrival and mother came out and was surprised to see me.  I handed over the gift and then came the offers of coffee, baklava, banichka, tea and I settled for baklava but then the others were foisted upon me.....you can't refuse.  In typical Turkish fashion my bag to take home was already being assembled and I've enough food for the next week.  I also have a pot of her home-made yogurt.  We talked about not being able to go places and the effect of the virus in Germany in that her daughter hasn't been able to visit despite having three weeks without work.  I'd promised to go over to Germany this year but then the virus hit and as it happens I've not been anywhere and neither have they.  

I came home and lit the fire, put the washing on the airer and put a chicken in the oven for supper along with a jacket potato and noticed that I had a missed call from the UK from Angela so I called her back and we spent about forty minutes on catch-up.  She's a dear friend and we normally manage at least a few evenings over Christmas together when I'm in the UK but this year she settled for visits from the family.  We talked Netflix and I recommended a few series that I'd watched since she has access and Bridgeton was one of them.  Unfortunately I've got to the end of the series...shame...I want more.

By this time the chicken was cooked as as I fetched it out I put an apple in to back and that was my pudding but unfortunately no cream and I didn't fancy yogurt with it.  Washing up done, log on the fire, want to watch Torville and Dean with their Balero tonight on a glacial lake.  Pretty good at their ages that they're still at it...almost time to hang up their skates.  Might be at the garage tomorrow for my gas system check up...I'm waiting for the call from the garage.  LN.....Nothing else on the agenda so far......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 2, 2021, 5:19pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 2nd January

Funny old day, I woke up at five this morning, played a few games and at seven thirty I was starting my day for real.  I'd watched the sun come up, the temperature outside was minus two degrees and there had been a ground frost overnight and everything looked very picturesque.  Inside the house had maintained nineteen degrees so there was no need to light the fire once the sun came up.  I logged on to the big computer and was very aware that the little camera hadn't had the pictures cleared out of it for a while so that was one of my morning tasks.  I'd rather face it and clear the files that the camera warn me that there wasn't enough space to take the best shop of the century so now I'll be ready for it.  While the files were transferring, I used the new Sony to capture the morning.  

That done I got dressed and made bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, washed up, tidied round and set the fire for later.  I waited for a phone call from the garage and when that came I had been given the time of two thirty to take the Nipper down.  That gave me a few hours before I needed to be anywhere so I settled down on the sofa watching Netflix and caught up on the missed sleep from last night.  I had a further call at one to say that the time had been changed to five and I thought it was odd since it would be getting dark but I really need for it to be looked at so I agreed.  The phone went again and it was my good friend from the UK returning a call that I'd made before the holiday so we had a catch-up with a promise that the next time I'm in UK I will made the journey to see her.  She made Bulgaria, I'm sure I can make Nottingham and I'd just put the phone down and it went again and it was the garage again, it's now been moved to tomorrow and no time has been given...at least it will be in the light.

I lit the fire since I really didn't have anywhere to go, settled down on the sofa again and watched a very peculiar musical film with a very odd story line.  I recognised some of the music and characters but had never seen it before.  I was feeling hungry so raided the fridge and came out with a plate of cold chicken and a bunch of grapes and it felt quite decadent.  Fortunately they were pip-less so easy to eat.  New 'The Voice' starting this evening so that's something to follow and I've yet to find a new series on Netflix that's going to keep me enthralled  occupied.  Seven fifteen my time so now into my evening.  LN...I'll hopefully have a call from the garage in the morning......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 3, 2021, 4:28pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 3rd January

Eight start this morning and I didn't linger in be bed just in case I had a phone call to ask me to present the Nipper at the garage...and I'm still waiting for the call.  I did call the garage around twelve to see if they had heard anything but the man that's doing the service is from Plovdiv was killing an animal last night and following normal procedures, he had a skin full last night and wasn't available for comment.  I settled for yogurt this morning, laid the fire and despite the rain I didn't bother lighting it and moved upstairs on to the computer and was surprised at around eleven but a bit of a commotion at my door and my friend from Fotinovo was making an entrance and said that there was a man in my garden who was just leaving.  I guessed it was my painter so made my way outside and it was, his present was in the conservatory so I called him back and handed it to him.  He asked why and I said that it was for the help that he gives me and is on call should I need anything, I normally don't but he is on the end of a phone.

So on when the kettle and the coffee was made.  We talked weather and how horrible it was today and how it had changed from the two frosty clear days that we'd just had.  What he did introduce me to was a series on You Tube that he had come across and it's a Chinese young lady that's gone back to traditional customs, looking after her grandmother and has become a wow on You Tube especially with the Chinese that are able to reminisce when they see what she gets up to following traditional methods.  More coffee and off he went, I'd lit the fire so stoked it up, put the rest of the chicken in the slow cooker for tonight's supper.  I added curry powder and the rice is about to go on.  

I played around with some tiny elephants that had been given me as a present last Christmas and I'd not done anything with them and so today I found out the piece of wood that I want to use as a base and tried them out.  I took a photograph to send to the person that had given them to me and she approves.  I'll be in the little house sanding the board off as soon as the weather warms up.

So tomorrow I shall be on standby for the garage again.  I've got my road taxes for the cars to sort tomorrow and fortunately I can do it on line.  I'm assured that we shall be having the frosty-sunshiny weather back again and bring it on.  LN...I have rice to cook.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 4, 2021, 6:26pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 4th January

Seven thirty start and I was up and at it and ready for the early morning call to the garage....which never came.  I feel I've got to go there tomorrow to see if there is another garage in Kardjali or to get the plugs checked over to see that they are working correctly.  It's all weather dependent, if it's hissing down I'm going to be staying put.  It started off OK, rained briefly, dried up and kept an even temperature and now it's thundering and chucking it down.  If only it was snowing, that would be more wintery.

I settled for yogurt for breakfast again, trying to be a good girl and staying off the fatty stuff.  I didn't feel too good this morning but got better as the day wore on, not that I did very much.  I'd got enough wood in so that was a blessing and didn't light the fire until four this afternoon and it's ticking along nicely now.  I've been upstairs on the computer most of the day, I went back to chasing my ancestors and realised that I'd accepted a hint that had introduced people into my tree that I didn't want so they've been removed.  I think it's from my relative in New Zealand who has shot down the wrong path despite my advising him of the dates that that path hinged on.  I verified mine with probate records and those have taken me two more generations back. It's difficult sometimes...you just can't accept other peoples trees into yours.  

I did managed to road tax both cars over the internet today.  It was a bit of a performance, the website isn't intuitive and takes you back over a few different screens just to get to the same place.  There's also a 'I'm not a robot' with pictures that are not easy to follow and once you get into the payment screens you have to put in your own bank password and then wait for a telephone password which is all very well but the 'subscreens' aren't translated into English so you have to take it slowly.  Anyway I've done it, printed off and laminated the document to go into each vehicle.

I've just heard some strange noises outside and realised that it's probably my solar lights that are swinging in the 'breeze' or getting knocked around in the gale that's blowing.  I'm not into supper tonight, I had biscuits and cheese about an hour ago so will manage until the morning and it will probably be a cooked breakfast....it's kind of comforting.  The thunder's getting louder and the flashes nearer so it's time I logged off.  LN....Where's my winter?.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 5, 2021, 6:04pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 5th January

So awake at six this morning and snuggled down for another hour...there was nothing to get up for at that time in the morning.  I didn't managed to go off to sleep though so at seven thirty I made it out of bed, went upstairs, got washed and dressed and prepared to face the day.  I was still hoping for that elusive call from the garage....and I'm still waiting.  I did get a call from the post office though, I had letters waiting for me and she would be at the post office until one thirty.  I did the usual things like throwing food over the wall for the cats and my almost adopted black one was first in line.  I stood watching it over the wall as it tentatively walked towards the chicken bones and crunched on some, looked up at me and then head down again.  I left the cat to it and walked back to the house and while I was out there decided to fill-up the log carrier, empty the ashes and set the fire for later.  Perfection, thy name is Peters.

Breakfast next, scrambled eggs on toast and mince meat out of the freezer with the intention of creating spaghetti bolognaise for supper but that plan bit the dust.  It's now in the fridge for tomorrow and supper was a few ginger biscuits with cream cheese....not particularly healthy but very tasty.  The biscuits from Kaufland reminded me of the Swedish pepperkocker biscuits that I used to bring back for Christmas when I was working over there.  I only managed about five of them and now pegs seal the bag and the cheese is back in the fridge.  I drove to the post office and was amazed how many bored looking cows were on the road blocking the way.  I really slows the traffic what little there is of it and it's quite fun when another car is coming the opposite way and the skill is to get through them first.

This afternoon I was on the computer and decided to look what compact discs I had in the drawer and found some I haven't played for ages.  I got through Bocelli, Sting and Elaine Page and I really must sort out the Apple iPod and get the original copy of the discs on to my main machine,  Syncing it won't do it....it will delete the files from the iPod.  Help has been requested and I have the instructions but I need someone to keep on the straight and narrow and not made any errors.  I phoned Princess to see if she was still working at the junior school and she said that she was still.  They hadn't many pupils in and the teacher was working with the class and online with some of the others.  I also phoned another old friend and had a post Christmas catch-up wishing her a Happy New Year.  Our friendship goes back almost sixty years,   Garage in the morning to see if there are any others that can get the work done on the Nipper.  LN.....I hate the way you get let down at times,,,,LN



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Elsa Peters
January 6, 2021, 6:08pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 6th January

So my decorations came down yesterday except for the twinkly lights that are still up in the conservatory on the timer and the lights between the lounge and the stairwell that I put on when I feel like getting cheered up.  Christmas is over, it hasn't felt like much of one but I feel strangely calm about the whole thing.  The weather has picked up for the last two days despite the fact that it's cold but the house has maintained it's normal eighteen to twenty one despite what's happening outside.

Awake at six thirty, chemical wash, the water is still off and I must find out where the problem is by asking the neighbours.  I'm hoping it's general and not just me.  I made toast for breakfast with Marmite and while reorganising the top cupboard I came across an old OXO tin that I'd brought from the UK so cleaned it up and will use it for something else.  I made the bolognaise sauce ready for tonight and had two portions extra that went into the freezer.  I phoned the garage and his wife said they would ask the Plovdiv man and phone me back which she did.  Friday was arranged but no time given but I was advised to go down the garage to see if the problem was a relay switch.  I got my backside into gear, wnet down the garage and the brother tried another relay from another connector and hey presto...it worked.  They had one in stock at the shop and down it came, it was fitted and all done and dusted for twenty five lev.  I decided to carry on to Kardjali to get a few items and to see if coffee was on offer so first stop was Kaufland.  I did a browse of the hardware section and saw that they had on off three step stepladders with the holding rail and I decided to buy one for safety.  I suddenly remembered that my friends in Fotinovo had talked about them so I phone and asked if they wanted a set and they did.  I picked up a few more bargains, back in the Nipper and on to Lidl and bought more water to make up for the lack of it from the taps.  Coming out of Lidl I phoned and offered to deliver the stops, it waa a nice day for a drive.  Lunch was on offer and I stayed until five and we covered lots of topics.

I drove home, unpacked the car, lit the fire, past on to get supper underway, chicken legs from Kaufland into freezer and calved up a lump of pork and got four portions out of it and that's int he freezer too.  Dupper was ready by six thirty and I moved upstairs with my dish, water bottle and put Transponder on to watch Tipping Point or at least  the end of it.  I can't wash up since I have to water and tomorrow i'll  have to take a trip to the spring and fill up some large plastic bottles.  I'll ask the other ladies in the village, they might be in a similar position.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far....might find something to do out of the norm.  LN....Only a mercy water run tomorrow.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 7, 2021, 3:52pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 7th January

So I woke up this morning on the sofa at two fifteen and the Czar and family were just being shot....which means that I've got to view the last couple of episodes again.  I know Rasputin was killed but I don't know how.  It's been a strange series.  I was in St. Petersburg and visited the main places, Rasputin was mentioned but I never appreciated the hold that he had over the royal family until now.  I also didn't know that he was such a randy individual....if it moved he's have a go for it.

So switched everything off and went to bed and slept through until seven thirty and everything in the garden was lovely.  The water was still off so I put more bleach down it and bottled water from the spring and went upstairs and on to the computer.  At ten there was a loud knock on the door, I was part dressed and washed so grabbed a sweater and headed down and it was  Gouldjan's father and he'd been sent round for some large plastic water bottles.  I'd mentioned to his wife that I had lots of them and that they were welcome to them, they have cows and needed them for storage but with the water being off they obviously wanted more.  We made out way into the little house and the bottles are all strung up on a bungee cord so I took about ten off and he went out with them to his car.  He wished me good health and that I live for another fifty years which I hoped was an exaggeration and told him that I'd be happy with what I got.  So at this point I moved a filled bottle from little house to the conservatory to take up to the bathroom.  Next job was to sort some bottles out for me and put a few extra into the Nipper, locked up and headed down to Zelinger's house to see if she wanted any from the spring.  She was so pleased to see me, immediately found me three bottles out and Beyser was also there and she wanted some too so my spare bottles were coming in handy already.  Emula's mother saw me pull up and wanted another bottle filling and my little old lady was making her way to get an empty bottle when I told her not to, I had spares.  Off I set down the lane and came across the reason why we didn't have water.  There was a digger, about six men and a couple of vans and two men were actually digging.  Fortunately I turn off just before the activity centre and followed a car down to the spring.  I know the men by sight, they started filling up their bottles while I waited and one of them told me that he had built the surrounds of the spring and maintained the outside of it.  Off they went and I set about filling my eleven bottles, moving the Nipper nearer so I didn't have so far to carry the filled ones...they're quite heavy.

Job done and I drove back to the village and the ladies were sitting on the bench waiting for me.  I unloaded two and carried them down to Zelinger's house, Emula's mother took hers and I carried the little old lady's bottle to the door.  Back in the Nipper and drove to Beyser's house and carried hers to the door, she insisted that I wait and gave me some Nescafe instant packet coffee as a thank you,  Back home and mine were unloaded into the little house and locked up, loaded the log carrier so that I have ample for tonight and took up my position on the sofa with a book.  About an hour later the water started to flow into the tanks but there was so much air in the pipes that I ended up checking that everything was OK.  I must remember not to do any washing for the next few days....I bet there's lots of sandy water in the pipes too.  I suppose that you don't really have this problem in the UK and are warned about it if the water's going off.  That's why I always keep bottled water in...you never know.

So brownie points earned from the village today....my washing up is still waiting to be done so that's my next job before I make supper.  LN....Restful but useful day.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 8, 2021, 6:03pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 8th January

So I tried last night to watch the Channel 4 programme about Egypt and it was touch and go all the way and eventually I gave up and went to bed and then couldn't get to sleep.  I turned to the Kindle and played games for an hour or so and them managed to get my head down successfully until seven thirty this morning,  I was slow off the mark and still in bed at nine thirty until I managed to lock up the Kindle and gave up in disdain.  I eventually managed to get it to reboot, shut it up and it's been in rest and recuperation for the rest of the day.

Bacon sandwich again and it was amazing how much fat came out of it.  I drained it well and removed the fat from the pan into a metal dish and wiped it round ready for tomorrow.  I've still got three slices of bacon that will be eaten tomorrow. Didn't do a lot, washed up from yesterday and the day before now that the water is on and gave the kitchen a good going over.  I'd done the washing last night and put it on the airer but it still needed longer to dry and I'll give it another day before I put it away.  I even had a bath last night so really made use of the facilities.  Picked up my phone and noticed a mussed call which is nothing unusual and noticed that it was from the post office lady so I phoned her back and she was going to be there until half two so I set off at one thirty.  I thought about taking the Beast for a run so went to start it up and it the battery was flat as a pancake so it need to go on charge but tomorrow is another day.  There was a huge queue at the post office so I jumped it, wearing my mask of course and explained that I only had to pick up some letters.  It was pension day so I asked her if she had any for me and she seriously replied that there was none for today.  She'd obviously studied the contents by feeling the envelopes and said she thought one of the brown envelopes was from the bank and there was a card in it,,,,wrong,,,,it was my new Union Jack EHIC that I'd ordered.  One more from the pensions people about my winter fuel payment and two cards, one thank you and one Christmas from another old friend with a suggestion that we meet up if I get to the UK any time in the next few years...just before we both cop it.

Ancestry this afternoon......I'd done some research for a friend in the UK and mentioned that more Scottish records had been released so have tried to take it further back that eighteen twenty in the Gorbals.  I was only working from odd notes that and didn't have my original workings out and this afternoon make sense of it all and tomorrow I can do some real work on it.  

It's been cloudy all day except for one brief interlude and now the temperature is dropping,  When it's cold and damp it's tempting to keep the fire going all day but I managed to give last out until five and it's going strong now.  Too dull to take photos and nothing much of interest in the garden...even the cats stayed away.  All locked up for the night, big log on which should see me through until bedtime and tuna and potato salad made and eaten and it still only eight o'clock.  LN....Time to relax....LN
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January 9, 2021, 3:44pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 9th January

So last night I was working on the ancestry chart for a friend and at eleven decided that I'd had enough but wasn't ready for sleep so I found an interesting one on Netflix to get stuck into.  It was entitled 'Unorthodox', had German subtitles in places and it was about a Jewish girls battle against orthodoxy and finding her own life in the world.  Very compelling but at one thirty I reckoned I'd like to save some of it for later so switched off and went to bed.

Woke at seven thirty, made coffee and straight way went back to Netflix and by nine thirty I'd finished it and was positively drawn in to the conclusion.  If you get a chance to watch it do so....and outlines the belonging to a religion or cult through as a generational thing not out of choice....very powerful and moving.  So off with the television, breakfast and the rest of the bacon went, washed and dressed and went up to the landing and watched a very secretive jay finding something in the grass to eat and then go to the mulberry to eat it before going down to find more.  It spent quite some time on its pursuit and despite how timid it was I managed a few shots before it went off to find new pastures.  Back to the kitchen and realised that the oranges weren't going to turn into marmalade so time I got a wiggle on.  I put aside four oranges and two lemons and followed the new 'fast recipe' that I'd found on the web and thought I'd give it a go.  I washed the fruit well, used the juicer to make sure that all the pips were removed and sliced up the peel and put them in the blender along with the juice.  I added a little water so that the blender wasn't struggling too much, put it all in a big saucepan and added one kilo of sugar.  I brought it to the boil and left it for twenty minutes to turn 'gloopy', sterilised a couple of jars and found new lids and poured the jam into the jars.  It appears to have worked, it's gone cold and fairly solid and this one needs to be kept in the fridge so that's where it is.  Washing up complete and while I was at it I decided that barbecued pork bubble away in the slow cooker while I  took up a position on the sofa.

My calm was disturbed by a phone call from the UK, I was on the phone for about an hour and then the line went dead.  I thought I was phoning back but instead phoned Princess, she phoned back and the next minute Beyser was at the door so I agreed to phone Princess back.  Beyser had brought round a present for me as a thank you for the Christmas presents and my getting the water the other day and I have new PJ's....red and white.  I opened the 'After Eight' so that she could take some home with her and now I have an opened box,,,they will have to go.  So I phone Princess back and we agreed that the red and white PJ's will become Christmas jamas and go very nicely with the sprout socks....nothing like forward planning.

It's been a good day today, the fire's going well and there's a huge log on it and it should last a while.  Supper is ready, 'The Voice' on tele tonight and the snooker starts tomorrow.  LN.....Lockdown just got better.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 10, 2021, 4:01pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 10th January

So last night I watched some of what I'd scheduled, slept through other things but on the whole went to bed relaxed and straight off to sleep again.  I did have my first awakening at six but then back to sleep and it was eight thirty when my day began for real.  It was raining again and has been throwing it down all day, dull miserable, cold and I haven't bothered to get out of my PJ's and only put a thick sweater on to stave off the cold. I made boiled eggs for breakfast and very tasty they were.  Lidl large ones, very yellow so I suppose the chickens did see some sunlight.  Kitchen tidied and I went up to the computer to check emails and FB and found nothing to interest me so I carried on with the investigations I've been doing on ancestry and have moved on quite nicely and am now back to seventeen ninety six in new territory.  Only got one stumbling block on a wife but that's the icing...I'm following the male line to maintain the name and trace it back.

I've worked on that all day and lit the fire at two and have been topping up the caffeine levels regularly and I've just remembered that my last effort is in the microwave.... retrieved.  The only photo today was of the ginger cat and even that looked wet and bedraggled sitting on the wall under the walnut and when the wind whipped up it changed position hiding behind a bush.  Even the locals don't like it.  If the temperature would drop we would have loads of snow and then I would be happy.  This damp, drab, miserable weather does nothing for my demeanour.  Snow is predicted for Wednesday though so that should improve things.

So supper is going in the oven and on the menu there is barbecued spare rib with potato wedges and should be ready in about half an hour.  LN....My move downstairs is imminent.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 11, 2021, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th January

Horrible night last night, rain was lashing and I sat up playing stupid games until four this morning and eventually got off to sleep and woke up at half eight.  And it was still raining, down to three degrees outside but as you know, damp and cold I'm not a fan off.  I made a cheese and ham omelette for breakfast, threw the bones from last nights supper over the wall with some old cheese and the black cat was waiting so at least it got something to eat today.  I soon came in, as well as the driving rain it was a raw cold wind and even though I'd not lit the fire, the house was still much warmer.  I washed up and tidied away, looked at the clementine, oranges and lemons and looked away again....I needed another recipe, the last one is quick but I'm not sure I liked the taste but with only two pots and an hour's labour, it will not be a great loss but I certainly don't want more.  I went up to the computer on the landing and read through one or two recipes but nothing grabbed me so I'll be back to my original but no today.

I filled up the log basket with the clean stuff and the log carrier with more of the really old logs and at two I gave in to temptation and lit the fire.  I settled down on the sofa and started watching a new series and gave up at the end of the first episode and turned it off.  For some reason today I've felt unsettled and went back to Sudoku...it's a sense of achievement when they come out.  The fire went well and the house atmosphere changed, it's amazing what a difference a fire makes.  On my way upstairs I noticed that the lemon plants were looking a little dry to watered all the house plants and the hyacinth has come in to encourage it to put up a higher spike....pretty colour though.  So back to the computer and settled in again with ancestry and managed to put a surname to one of the wives that had bothered me yesterday.  I turned on to the snooker and watched the end of a match and then went down to encourage the fire to keep up its good work.

Not wanting any supper tonight, the omelette is still sitting heavy and it will do me good to go without.  I've got a bag of roasted peanuts still the shells so that could be a 'snack' to later on.  It's still throwing it down and checking on the predicted weather, looks like more of the same for tomorrow and again we will have lot temperatures.  LN....Where's that plans for the ark....LN




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Elsa Peters
January 12, 2021, 5:15pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th January

Much better night last night.  I ended up watching something on the TV and I can't remember what now but straight to bed at twelve and straight through until eight thirty again.  I think it must have something to do with the tablets I'm taking....the chores have gone into repetitious actions and I feel much calmer.  It's a good feeling...not being able to go out and about and the weather not helping as it's still raining and has done all day...you really need something to take the edge off it.  I watch a Ted talk today on how the new brain cells are still produced in the hypothalamus even in old age and how to promote activity....so I need a treadmill and a glass of wine to ensure I'm doing my bit.

Washed, dressed and it was ten before I started cooking my boiled eggs for breakfast, tidied around, made my way to the bedroom and stripped the quilt cover and bottom sheet.  Not a good day for doing it with the rain still pouring down so I lit the fire and the washing went over the stair well and it was dry and ready to go back on for this evening.  I normally run the quick programme on the machine but instead went for the eco-wash and was amazed that it took about one and a half hours to complete whereas the quick wash takes around thirty minutes.  Next move was to the freezer and out came a chicken let for supper, I thawed it out, browned it in the frying pan with an onion and into the slow cooker with it with a packet of carbonara sauce mix.  It looks and smells OK so I shall have it with pasta and time soon.

The clementine are still waiting as are the oranges and tomorrow I'm going to make a concerted effort to get them processed and into jars.  No photos today, rain is rain is rain and puddles are puddles.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow....I should go and make an another appointment at the dentist to have this tooth out, it's getting looser and hurting when I use that side of the mouth to eat and so....use the other side I hear you say.  LN....Time to move downstairs and sort out supper....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 13, 2021, 6:29pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th January

So I woke up to a much better morning and at around eight thirty the free central heating appeared over the mountains.  The terraces were drying up and steam was coming off the insulation on the outside of the house wall and it looked like it might be a good day.  I made baked beans and bacon on toast for breakfast, retaining half of the beans to add to bolognaise sauce that I'd already taken out of the freezer and there was pasta left over from last night.....it would just need putting together.  I used my new three stepped ladder to change the top light bulb in my bedroom, it had popped yesterday so needed replacing.  The oranges came into view but with the weather about to change I needed to get the Beast sorted so put the battery on charge, the last time I'd tried it it was a dead a the proverbial dodo.  

I had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish, it was such a good day but walking down to the bottom of the garden, everything was squelching under my feet.  We've had such a lot of rain and Bulgaria has had several landslides with people losing their homes and this year, no snow which melts more slowly that the speed that it has come down for the last week or so.  I set the fire and emptied the ash bucket on to the garden, filled up the log basket from the little house and made my way to the wood store to get the old logs that I store outside.  As I walked into the store I noticed that the floor was wet, the drainage pipe in the neighbour's garden on the other side of my wall obviously hadn't coped with the deluge.  I filled the log carrier and took it back to the conservatory, went back and collected the battery charger and connected it to the Beast battery and with fingers crossed left it to do its stuff.

I sat out in the sun for a while and then went in and found David Attenborough's legacy to the nation on Netflix and watched it and then moved on to the start of another recommended series and it was at this point that my eyelids closed and I woke up around two thirty.  The Beast was released from the charger and I turned it over and it started so I drove it down to the yard and left it going while I cleared the leaves that had found their way beneath it and pushed them near the front wall and I went back in the house to grab my bag, phones and purse to head into Djebel.  I set off and tried going through the forest I tried to clean the windscreen and the wipers were struggling and I noticed that the speedo wasn't working but it was do or die so I crossed my fingers for the second time and made my way to the garage.  They checked it out and both batteries were knacked and the son was sent to Kardjali to get the right ones for the Beast and I got a lift to the shop where I waited for the outcome.  The phone call came and I was about to set off to walk to the garage when another call was received to say that the batteries weren't charging so they were having to look into it so I opted for a taxi to take me home but suddenly remembered that my house keys were with the car keys so waited for the garage to close and when I looked there were not taxis so the son drove me home.

Fire lit, Nipper moved into the garage, bolognaise, beans and pasta assembled and put into the slow cooker while I got on with other things.  Tomorrow I will get a phone call to see how the day will pan out.  If it's the alternator then we might have to source one but at least the Beast is in the 'hospital' awaiting the diagnosis.
LN.....The oranges are still waiting......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 14, 2021, 5:12pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th January

Seven thirty start and there hadn't been snow overnight so they'd been lying to me again...so much for accurate weather forecasts.  A little bit of a cloudy start but the clouds eventually all burnt off an it's been a beautiful day until around four when they came back again.  The sky looks full of snow and the temperature had gone down to minus one but again as I used to say to Princess, it might be too cold for snow.  I threw some bread out for whoever wanted it, made a bacon sandwich and sat in the stairwell at the table watching the garden and the bread.  I happened to look towards the little house and spotted this beauty on the roof, grabbed the camera and managed to take one before it shot off in the opposite direction and I thought I'd lost it but saw it on the wild plum and managed to get a few good ones.  Such proud arrogant looking birds.  A little while later the jay was at the bread, the camera ran out of battery and by the time I'd grabbed the other one, it had gone and the ginger cat had taken up residence claiming the rest of the crust.

I went on to the usual tasks and set the fire for the evening and at eleven I decided that I would go for a long leisurely bath and wash my hair.  I took the telephone up with me, I was expecting a phone call from the garage about the Beast and didn't want to miss it in case decisions had to be made quickly.  I took the Kindle up with me too and played a few games of Soda Crush and Sudoku and as expected, the phone went and it was to tell me that there wasn't a problem with the Beast.  When he tested the batteries in the dark he thought that they weren't receiving charge but when he read the book the batteries only accept twelve volts and so everything in the garden was lovely.  She said that her husband had used the car that morning to test it out and everything was working normally so I've decided to go to Djebel on the bus on Friday to get the Beast back home.  I went back to my soak and topped up the water with hot from the tank, stayed there for a little longer and eventually dried off and gave myself a pedicure.  I took off what remained of the old nail varnish, cut my nails and repainted them with some sparkly purple, it's not that anyone else is going to see them but it made me feel better.

I'd dropped the towel from my hair into the bath when I answered the phone so I searched round and found a load of washing, I put it on the clothes airer and for the rest of the afternoon have done very little.  There's been a lot of helicopter activity about today but I didn't manage to get any good shots of them.  I thought they were military but  
remembered that there are a lot of new electricity pylons going up so obliviously involved in that.  I've not managed to do anything for supper so far so have to put my thinking cap on and go and be constructive in the kitchen and it could well be egg and chips.  LN.....Lovely relaxing day, more of the same please tomorrow....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 15, 2021, 6:21pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 15th January

I've just realised that I've gone to pot on days this week...yesterday I thought it was Wednesday and I was really surprised when my Kindle showed me Friday the 15th....and then I had to get a wiggle on.  I had to catch the bus this morning to get to Djebel to pick up the Beast and get the batteries guarantees authenticated.  It was a really cold start so I layered up like a cabbage and put my sheepskin coat on.  The bus is normally very crowded so I anticipated it and caught it on the upstroke to the far village and we picked up the rest on the way down.  We dropped off in the centre and I walked down to the garage and it was only when I was setting off that I went to my purse to find that it wasn't in my bag.  Panic set in, I was thinking or all the things that had to be replaced if I'd lost it so I drove slowly back to the town, I went to the bus station and checked the bus that was still standing there and went back into the garage shop to see if I'd left it in there when I had five minutes with the owner and hadn't.  Before melt down I drove home....and there it was on the table...I'd taken a five leva note out of it and put it in my glove to pay for my bus fare and had obviously not put it back...breath again.

So into Kardjali to get the guarantees sorted and the man commented that the batteries were not holding the correct charge and suggested that I get the alternator checked out.  I carried on to Kaufland and bought a few things including a ultra-sound cleaning machine that was on offer and computer paper.  The Beast started OK so I thought I was out of the woods, went to the leva shop and picked up gas lighters, I seem to be in the habit of breaking them when I take them down the garden and again it started OK and finished off in Lidl and thought nothing of it.  Driving home I had the feeling that I should really check it out so went to the garage that the guarantee man had recommended.  The man put his machine on it and noticed that it was low and when I came to start it, nothing was happening.....he commented that it was probably the alternator, got me going again and fortunately my MOT man was close by and took me down to his brother who had a unit that repaired alternators.  He looked at it. confirmed that there was a problem, told me to come back in a couple of hours and it would be fixed but since I had nowhere to go I sat out in the sun but the man suggested I sat in the Beast to save getting cold.  Two hours later it was fixed and when I went to paid the bill I knew I only had half of the money and told the owner that I would have to go down to the cash point to get the rest but that I would need the Beast to get there.  I saw panic in his eyes but carried on regardless and told him I would be at the most fifteen minutes.  I was back in ten, told him to give me forty back and I would give him what he required and I did.  I told him that there was no way I would have done a runner, I'd lived here for ten years and had used his brother's garage for my MOT's from the beginning of my time in Bulgaria.  He gave a relieved smile and off I went and it drives much differently.  It must have been failing for a while.

Back home, shopping unpacked, fire lit, chicken and jackets in the oven, kettle on and I sat down with a coffee at six fifteen.  Chicken supper at seven fifteen and there's a baked apple that I will be having when the chicken has moved down a little.  It's been a full on day so tomorrow I'm going to do....nothing except the normal jobs.  LN....All's well that ends well.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 16, 2021, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th January

Six thirty start this morning and boy was it a cold one.  Minus four outside and only seventeen in so I made a coffee and took it back to bed ever hopeful that the sun would come out soon.  As it was...it didn't.  It cheered up briefly but was never full out and at ten I decided to get the fire going and it's been chugging along all day.  I only had toast for breakfast with my apricot jam and fed the bones and skin of last night's chicken to anything that wanted it over the wall but it wasn't a day for lingering out there to see who benefited.

I filled up the log carriers and noticed that the floor has already started to dry up in the wood store which is a good sign.  I lifted the rest of the logs from the last line and put them on top of the others to dry out...they stand more chance there than on the floor.  I boned out the half chicken that I hadn't cooked last night, browned it in the pan with onions and that went into the slow cooker with a packed of chicken something which has supposedly got minestrone in it but it was so small that I couldn't make it out.  It might show up more now it's padded out with water but probably won't notice it, I cooked pasta separately and put that in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and it should be ready anytime soon.

So this afternoon I snuggled up on the sofa and there was a tap on the window and it was Haciber back from Turkey.  She'd brought me round a present, coffee a hand towel and a very pretty dish and I asked her to wait while I found out her Christmas goody bag that was in the lounge.  She wouldn't come in, wanted to get back home and I bet her house is freezing, she's been in Turkey for three weeks or so.  Off she went so I bedded down again and put on Netflix and carried on watching my murder, ballet saga that unfortunately is dragging out a bit...I want a conclusion now but it's slow in coming.  Half past six here and I've just drawn the curtain between the lounge and the stairwell to retain the heat from the wood burner.  The radiators can take care of the rest of the house but when you stop moving about....it needs to be warm.

Fully rested today as I said I would be.....nothing to do outside. far too cold for that and too cold to be walking around the shops, I have everything I need here.  LN.....Supper, the Voice and bed.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 17, 2021, 6:48pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th January

So I fell asleep on the sofa last night but managed to wake up for the Voice but my Fitbit gave me a sleep score of eleven hours last night.  Not sure where it got the rest from but I suppose lying flat out on the sofa and not moving in their eyes or sensors counts as sleep.  Woke at seven this morning, it was still dark out but there was a glimmer of sun light breaking over the mountains and it turned out to be a good day.  Minus six on my inside outside thermometer, the time was all to cock, I'd played around with it yesterday trying to reset it and had given up in disgust...at my performance.  I went back to the beginning, removed the batteries and started from scratch and the only thing on the display is that the day is showing DI for demanche....and I refuse to try to reset it to English from the French.  Too much like hard work.  

The fire was still going so I gave it the kiss of life and it took the inside temperature up from fourteen on the other side of the curtain in the stairwell to seventeen once I'd opened up the estate.  Once the sun came out it was another matter.....only managed minus one outside but twenty four in...free central heating so I let the fire go out.  Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast for me and for the birds, the remains of my leftovers from supper and a few old slices of ham that I'd forgotten about.  Over the wall it went and I didn't stop to look what had the lion's share.

I settled on the sofa after finishing the tidy up in the kitchen to watch the end of the series on Netflix.  There were only two sessions to get through but I think I must have missed something.....I thought I knew who did it....it was heading that way and yet the turn at the end really confused me and I think I have to watch the last episode again to make sense of it.  Quite a lot of activity from the hooded crows landing on the little house roof but I'm not sure what the attraction was.  I thought at one time that it was the box of walnuts that had somehow still managed to stay outside probably because of laziness on my part but in previous years I've put them in the little house and the mice or bigger have had them so I thought this year I'd make it difficult for them.

I watched the snooker this afternoon on the computer while I played games and caught up on emails.  I've ordered a new Fitbit strap and decided to have it sent from Ireland, at least their in the EU and so there should be no issues with it arriving safely and no official trying to hold up delivery.  I also tried to sort out a new cover for the Kindle but they make such a variety of covers for the different types of units that I was lost for choice and ordered nothing.  Supper was the heated up remains of last night's chicken and pasta and it was delicious.  Some pasta was left and that's for the birds tomorrow.  LN....Another cold night.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 18, 2021, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 18th January

So I woke up and immediately went to check the weather station on the table in the stairwell and it was reading a very big minus and not very warm inside...but that was the other side of the curtain.  I opened it up, the fire was still going so I went out to the porch putting the light on and ....no light ...so that was the first thing on my list to do.  I found a couple of small logs out and dropped them in the wood burner and it wasn't long before I had warmth.  I found a bulb, unscrewed the plastic cap from the light, changed the bulb and...I had light and the first job off the list before I'd even written it on there.  I made coffee, scouted around for the rubbish and got it ready for a bonfire, dressed and put on an extra layer to take the breakfast out for the cats, boots, bodywarmer and hat on and had my bonfire.  I spent quite a time down the bottom of the garden, the sun had come up and despite the cold it was a beautiful morning.

I came in and took off a couple of layer and cooked breakfast of bacon and egg.  I played a few games, moved on to the main computer on the upstairs landing and did emails and FB and caught up with some of the news.  I'd joined a closed group and why is it that they want to keep it strictly on topic and are looking for any deviations.  I know that there are trolls who will take everything and anything the wrong way and in a lot of cases put a sexual angle to it so I might not bother reading the comments....why can't people take it for what it is.  It's almost like a few people think it's like the holy grail...they've found it and it should be glorified.  Enough said!!  I went  outside again remembering that I'd decided to take the wire netting off the bird table.  It was almost as if they were too aware of the mesh even though they could easily fly through it so out with the bolt cutter and it was easily removed.  It was put on to stop the cats so hopefully they've put it out of their memory banks as being out of bounds.  I shelled peanut, they didn't take kindly to them when I left the shells on, threaded them and hung them like I used to do in England....Bulgarian tits aren't so desperate.  So peanuts and a couple of bananas that have gone over are still sitting on the bird table, there must be plenty of food about despite the cold.

I settled on the sofa to watch some tv and there was a knock on the door and my friend from a couple of villages away had called in for a coffee and a chat.  We had a catch up, sat out in the sun while he had a ciggy and off he went.  It's nice to see another face.  I went back to my pre-occupation and started to watch the series Merlin on Netflix.  I was surprised to see 'Victor Meldrew' in a prominent role. finished up watching several episodes and now I'm looking round for something else.  

Supper is about to finish, I've got barbecued spare-ribs tonight so this could get very messy.  Probably Djebel tomorrow to check when the dentist can fit me in and pick up the old batteries.  I'm thinking that the big one might be OK to put in the Beast and I'll keep the new little one until I need it for the Nipper.  LN....Already minus four and counting.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 19, 2021, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th January

Really good night's sleep again, woke up to minus eleven outside and only fourteen in and that sun was still elusive first thing so patience is a virtue.  When it did arrive, the temperature in the house went up rapidly but outside was a different matter....it's not got above zero all day.  I went back to bed for a while deciding not to rescue the fire but in the end I gave in and then moved my activity to the sofa with the Kindle.  I washed and dressed eventually, put the bones from last night's pork cremation because I forgot I'd put the ribs in the oven but I soaked them first with boiling water to give the cats a fighting chance.  The did look and smell good and last night the ones that I salvaged for me were OK....just not a lot of succulent meat on them.  First up was the black cat who took the best bits and there has been several attempts by others throughout the day.  The bones tomorrow will be scooped up and go over the wall.  Breakfast time for me, the remains of the bacon and one of the two remaining eggs and that was me set up for the day.

I watered the house plants and those in the conservatory and noticed that the oleander seed pods that I'd collected the other day had burst open with the heat of the sun.  I moved them into a better pot and when the weather get a little better I'll be seeing how many will germinate.  These are a hardy variety, the mother plant is now five foot tall and has spent four winters outside so these should have similar characteristics hopefully.  I did managed to plant up some seeds from the bathroom vine that's now spending the winter in the lounge.  It has amazingly pretty flowers and the only other one that I've seen was in Agadir growing against a wall in a courtyard.

At around two. the house was cosy, I was drowsy so I lay on the sofa and I was out for the count for a couple of hours so I obviously need it.  I settled for a snack of ginger biscuits and cream cheese around five and currently thing that supper will pass me by tonight.  Nothing to say that at eight I'm poking around in the kitchen looking for something quick.  I didn't make Djebel...it seemed like a lot of effort for little return.....I'll wait for the shopping list to get a little longer.  I keep worrying the tooth with my tongue and pulling at it and am hoping that I can do it myself without the aid of a dentist but I fear not.  I think that root goes deep.  LN.....Cloudless sky and dropping temperature.....LN



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January 20, 2021, 5:07pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th January

Silly night again.....I woke up at three with my poor heart pounding and reckoned it was because I was so hot.  I threw off one of the duvets and immediately felt better but no sleep left in me so played silly games and Sudoku until five and then managed to get back off until eight thirty so not too bad.  That blasted weather station had reset the time overnight as it linked in to Germany and so I had to fiddle around with it again and suppose I shall have to reset it to plus on from the German time zone that's if I ever find the setting.  Maybe it will give up tonight and leave the time alone.  Cats were out and about and still gnawing on the old bones...there was only bread for them today since last night I made a cheese and onion sandwich and that could have been the reason for the disturbances in the night and interrupted sleep....

As I went into the kitchen one of the under worktop light flickered and then was OK again.  When I went in tonight the one over the kitchen sink no long works so I have to work out how to take it out and replace it.  It might mean taking off the addition to the base of the units so it will be screwdrivers at the ready tomorrow to see if I can manage it and then find a replacement...not sure where I bought it from...it was about ten years ago.  Hasn't it done well!!  I didn't bother with breakfast until much later in the day but filled up the log containers and searched the little house for the door stop that I used to have before the conservatory was built to stop the draught coming under the door.  I eventually found it after scouring various stashes knowing that there was no way I would have thrown it away.  I even went upstairs in the little house to see if it was up there but no, it was in the workshop.  It's now in situ and I've polished it with a neutral boot polish and done the door as well...it really has a very pleasant smell to it.

I sorted out the vegetable rack under the sink and relegated to the compost carrots that I insist on buying and never use and some old potatoes.  I also sliced up a couple of onions and potatoes and added them to the slow cooker with a chicken stock cube and that was my really late breakfast and lunch combined and it will be supper.  I'm having an easy day on my stomach and no cheese sandwiches for me tonight.  I also managed to pot up some Tulip Tree seeds and put some lemon pips on set kitchen paper to see if they will sprout.  That's the way I got three plants going so maybe more coming my way.  These aren't from my tree, they're from Kaufland so might or might not...they have two chances.  The rest of the afternoon I've been watching Merlin on Netflix, three episodes down today and I missed Arthur having his first kiss but caught his second.....'and of course, it cannot go any further, I am a prince'....same old.  As I said supper is already cooked, the boiler is on and so bath night has been declared.  It looks like the inauguration has ruined all TV channels for tonight so it might be more Netflix.  Wintery sundown and temperature is around zero now but not destined to go down to the minus ten we had last night.  LN....I'll remember, only one duvet tonight....LN



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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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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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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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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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Posts: 5,018
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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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Elsa Peters
January 31, 2021, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 31st January

Seven thirty start this morning and I even slept through the Voice last night thinking that I could do the catch-up this afternoon.  It wasn't there...only on Virgin and couldn't be bothered to work out how to find it.  Supper last night was steak. mushrooms and chippies and what a let-down the steak was, tough as old boots not that I've ever tried old boots but the chips and mushrooms were OK.  I only used half of it last night and intended putting the rest in the slow cooker to day and forgot all about it so might bash the remaining life out of the second piece and try quick frying it again.  The debris from last night's steak went out for the black cat and it was last seen scurrying towards the garage taking it out of sight of the other cats...good luck with that then....but it is completely black so stands a good chance.

Just caught the dawn coming up and the central heating arriving and then took to my bed with a coffee and the Kindle and played games until nine.  The temperature had gone down last night quite considerably and was pretty slow getting back to zero before it started the upward climb.  I cooked bacon and egg and made a sandwich and that was breakfast, washed up the damage from last night, cleaned the outside of the washing machine and I considered that my work for the day was complete.  I haven't done much today, I played around printing out some of the family tree, lit the fire at four thirty and settled in and finished Merlin.  I suppose I've got to find another series that I'm going to be drawn in to, even Transponder TV has gaps that need filling.  

So six thirty my time, the fire's banked up and the temperature in the house is comfortable.  Kardjali tomorrow to catch up with my doctor, get a picture framed and pay my one telephone bill.  I also need to get the Nipper in to the battery guarantee shop so that he can test that the alternator in the Nipper is working correctly and so transfer the guarantee over from the Beast.  I've also remembered that it's the cheapy shop day offer day so that might be worth a look.  LN....Hair wash and early night for me .....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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