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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  FEBRUARY 2021
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Elsa Peters
February 10, 2021, 7:38pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 10th February

So my plan to get to bed to sleep went by the way and I woke up at twelve on the sofa, made my way to bed and tried to go to sleep again and didn't manage it.  I took to games and Sudoku and it was four before I put the light out and slept the sleep of the just until seven thirty.  I got moving pretty quickly, washed, dressed and in the Nipper by eight thirty and arrived at Kardjali just after nine.  With mask and documents I went to the Immigration Office, waited and the aggressive policeman from my visit a few months ago has obviously calmed down now that the Turkish invasion is over and told me to wait inside and to go in when the person came out, which I did.  I handed over the documents, was not encouraged to sit down and with a little help, my records were found on the computer and I was handed three forms to complete, in Bulgarian and entirely written in Bulgarian so I asked for a blue pen so that I could make a start.  I realised it was a hopeless case and fortunately I saw one of the girls from the courier company and asked if one of the staff could complete the form for me, she replied that they could so I went to the office round the corner from the Immigration Office.

They are very helpful in there and the form was more of less completed but the names of my mother, father, sister and their dates of birth seemed to be taking it a little far.  I did my best and it's silly really, all this information is held already on the computer and could be printed on the form if required.  Any way, it was done, I paid over ten leva which is cheap at half the price and I made my way back and the friendly policeman saw me waiting outside and told me to go into the foyer and he checked the rook and told me that it would be about five minutes.  In I went again, documents handed over, signatures obtained and then I was incited into the photographic studio next door for a new photograph and now they have two added features, finger prints of index fingers and an electronic signature.  I was told that it would take one month for the card to be processed and I looked as if 'why not sooner' and she said that if I had paid more it could have been processed straightaway.  Nobody told me this....you only learn afterwards.  Back to the carpark and the man who takes the money hadn't arrived so I had a free session this morning so that was one benefit of getting there early.

I popped to Kaufland for coffee sachet, picked p a few more items including two bottles of HP sauce reduced in price.  When I got the other side of the checkout I checked the bill and found that the bottles had been charged differently despite the forty percent discount label on both.  I went to reception and the receptionist pointed out that the items were charged correctly and I disagreed with her stating that identical bottles with the same content and both carrying forty percent discount tickets should not be charged at different prices.  She told me that I should have looked at the price labels, I'd obviously looked at the lower priced item and 'assumed' that they were both the same price....and I thought that was a pretty safe assumption.  She didn't want to refund the difference so I told her that I didn't want the higher priced item and in the UK you would have been able to take it to Trading Standards but this is Bulgaria.  The full price of the item was returned, I was tempted to run round again and get another at the cheap rate but I CBA.

Djebel and more coffee packets purely for guests from the supermarket and then home.  I put the shopping away, made a coffee, lay on the sofa and fell asleep for a couple of hours and felt much better for it...playing catch-up.  I lit the fire, a load of washing went into the machine and that's now drying in the bathroom, fried off a couple of beef burgers and slapped them between slices of bread with tomato sauce and that was supper over and done with.  I spent around an hour on ancestry and didn't really get very far forward, I'm chasing a marriage of William born in sixteen fifty six in his local area but have only managed to find a record for Norfolk so back to chasing the facts, Poirot.

Tomorrow I'm planting up seeds, I have lupin that I bought today and lots of other packets that need to be started off.  Lots of daffodils have come into bud in the garden, the jasmine in the porch has put out its first flower buds...everything is coming to life.  LN.....Fingers crossed for good weather and strength in the sun.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 11, 2021, 5:04pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 11th February

Not a bad night's sleep and it was seven thirty when I forced my eyes open.  Coffee and morning tablet and then out with the Kindle tablet and played games for an hour or so, waiting for the morning to warm up.  More coffee and then decided that a shower and hair wash would be the order of the day, it was cold getting out of the hot water so I didn't take long jumping into warm clothes and waiting for the sun to come out.  It did eventually but the wind was fairly keen again and nothing much was stirring outside, even the cats stayed hidden.  I cooked bacon and egg for breakfast enjoying a little of my cheap HP sauce, washed up and finished the kitchen and threw the crust of the loaf slathered with the fat for the cats, they have more chance of running it off than I do.

I didn't bother with breakfast tele and plumbed in to Netflix and had an hour of Outlander and was very disciplined to switch it off at the end of the episode and off it went completely.  One of the lemons that I grew from seed isn't looking very happy so I gently removed it from the pot and put it into a deeper container.  The roots looked good so fingers crossed it might now take off.  I brought in the pots from the window sill outside, the daffodils that have appeared are about to flower with very little stem on them so maybe it's going to be warmer for them inside.    This afternoon I took the container of everything to do with my ancestry investigations with the intention of making out a new chart but then decided move back up to the landing and try and confirm a few more facts.  I've got a last will and testament that is confusing everything....the grandchildren are correct but he mentions a daughter, Alice a spinster and I couldn't find her in the records.  I also states that his daughter Elizabeth marries a man who is different to the one that I'd linked her to.....maybe dementia had set in and he got it all wrong!!

The weather has really closed in tonight and according to Accuweather it's going down to minus three and there are going to be snow flurries but nothing is going to settle.  The last time it said that it took me half a day to dig me out.  I lit the fire at five and it was slow to start but has caught up and the air is circulating, the radiators are hot as. LN.....Spade at the ready for tomorrow.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 12, 2021, 6:31pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 12th February

So I thought it was half six this morning when I woke up so made coffee and went back to bed and started playing games and when I went back for my second cup...it was only ten after six...doh....should wear spectacles when checking facts.  Washed, dressed and it was still only eight, started to tidy my desk off on the landing and found a glass paperweight that I'd been given back in 1994 by a well known supermarket company that I worked for so I photographed it and posted it on their Facebook sign and to date, thirty likes on it and one comment.  I asked the question as to how many have survived and currently the response is only one.  

The sun came out this morning, went back behind the clouds and so far no snow.  The wind was cold and it was a wintery sun that had established itself up there, food out for the birds and then it was my time.  Boiled eggs and buttered toast was served at the stairwell cafe, I cleared the kitchen and took a duck breast out of the freezer and that was my first step towards supper.  The rest would come later and it did.  I found the documents that I have to return to the bank when I was sorting the desk so I completed the forms and put it ready to take to the post office after one....they have long lunches.  I set off at twelve thirty thinking that I could get the letter done and could get to the dentist so that I could book an appointment for next week.  This tooth is now giving me real gyp...when I have anything hot or cold....it really aches.  So I walked to the dentist after the post office and I thought they started work after lunch at two but it was two thirty so I walked back to the Nipper and moved its location to the health centre and again set off for the dentist at twenty past two....and I waited and I waited and at two forty five I gave up and drove home.  I will make my appointment on Monday.

This afternoon was mine so I lit the fire at three, it wasn't cold in the house but it's the comfort factor.  I made coffee and stretched out on the sofa and switched on Netflix and Outlander.  Two episodes in I put it on pause to answer the telephone and I was on the call for about twenty minutes.  Back to my tele, and then spent the next twenty minutes sorting out supper popping backwards and forwards to keep up with the programme.  So duck breast in the oven, onion, orange peel and juice on the hob to simmer and carrots and potatoes peeled.  Potatoes on to boil and then into the oven to roast, the carrots followed the potatoes into the water and were drained and into their own dish in the oven, I removed the onion, orange peel from the boiling water and added Bisto to make the gravy.  Supper was served and I was half way through when the telephone went again so after ten minutes I apologised and said that I was back to my supper, supper finished off with Greek yogurt for dessert and as for my poor tooth...I wished I hadn't bothered.

The war zone that goes by the other name of 'kitchen' is waiting for my attention and I really must to it tonight, couldn't possibly face it in the morning.  Nothing so far for tomorrow, I need a bonfire and the container needs emptying so that's going to take me a while.  LN....Hoping for good weather.....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 13, 2021, 5:43pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 13th February

Six start again, coffee and silly games.  It was very cold out so I stayed in and only put my nose out to give the rest of my breakfast to the birds, collect logs and take out the vegetable peelings  to the compost.  It's my son's birthday today and I remember it well....wasn't sure what was happening when I started to give birth but that's another story and forty eight years ago...such a long time but why don't I feel any older?

I was out of bed by seven thirty, dressed to face the day, scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast but unfortunately the butter has taken on the taste of local butter even though it's in date so I threw it away.  It had a vaguely cheesy flavour and the word that springs to mind is rancid so it had to go...and there's another one in the fridge with the 17th February as the sell by date so I'll check that out in the morning before I made the decision.  I lit the fire, the outside thermometer was a minus and it was only sixteen inside so it was stoked up well and it's been going all day.  Apart from loading up with wood, the only thing I've been up to was watching Outlander on Netflix, promising myself that I wasn't going to binge on it but it was too cold to get up to anything outside and very little to do inside without I started a project and I couldn't think of anything I really didn't want to get stuck in to.

I was settled on the sofa, switched off Netflix and got my head down for an hour or so and felt much better for it.  I brought in the daffs from the conservatory to the lounge to bring them into flower and gave everything a good watering.  More Netflix this afternoon and supper went in at five, chicken wings and roasted vegetables and I finished off with a baked banana that I served with yogurt.  Washing up done, fire still going well and plenty in stock to keep it going for the rest of the night and tomorrow if necessary.  Minus four and twenty to thirty centimetres of snow threatened over night....LN...I might have work to do if it does snow.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 14, 2021, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 14th February

Well the prediction was correct and it was still coming down when I woke this morning, it's slowed down a little but that wind is blowing it everywhere.  The last lot of snow was very wet and heavy to handle. this one is very fine but it doesn't take long to cover the bits that have been cleared.

I didn't really have to go out, I had enough wood in and by the way that the wind was blowing my exit looked to be blocked and the snow was definitely gathering between me and the woodstore.  I had a very lazy morning, I made bacon and egg, lit the fire since it was minus five out and only fifteen in but it didn't feel cold.  I thought I'd make it a really lazy morning and had a bath which must have lasted for one and a half hours.  I took the Kindle with me and played games on it, I really had nothing else to do except for emails and FB.  I got the fire going really well, made more coffee, put the chicken leg into the slow cooker with orange peel and an onion and by accident I picked up the chili flakes instead of the salt so supper had a bit of a spicy touch to it.  Settled on the sofa and continued with Outlander, finished the section where they were in France and were about to move back to Scotland.  I was almost back to reading the book again but changed my mind...it's somehow easier on the screen.

Eventually I got round to thinking that I should really dig myself out, contingency measures on wood and get another log carrier in.  First step was to remove the fly screen which had somehow turned into a snow trap.  I opened the exit door, lifted the fly screen from its hinges and manoeuvred it into the conservatory shaking the snow off as I did.  Next step was to retrieve the little metal shovel that I keep for clearing the fireplace and take the snow from the door entrance and I threw it to the one side.  After that it was fairly easy with only one step into the deep snow I managed to get over the drift and with the keys to the little house in my hand I opened up and got the snow shovel.  I cleared round the door, removed the drift and then worked my way to the wood store clearing as I went,  It is very powdery snow but very light to move but unfortunately the wind was still blowing it everywhere including in my face.  I'd dress well for outside though but only put on rubber gardening gloves and my hands were soon cold so I didn't longer long.  I locked the show shovel in the little house and made my way to the woodstore, filled up the log carrier and pushed it down the path that I'd made and into the conservatory.  The fly screen is  standing in the conservatory, no need to put that back on, not many flies about only hungry robins so I went into the house, took a slice of bread and some current bread and lobbed both into a fairly clear area and Robin and Blackie were soon down and at it.

I went back to Netflix until I got bored and turned on to the rugby and when I got bored with that I went to finish off supper.  I put potatoes on to boil and at the end added peas and carrots.  I thickened the juices from the slow cooker with Bisto and supper was served while I finished watching the game.  Kitchen is finished and tomorrow the birds will have the remains of my evening endeavours and now it's fire topped up and a stretch on the sofa until bedtime.  It's supposed to go down to minus eight tonight with a real feel of minus fourteen so I'll be staying inside and no night owling for me.  No snow clearing today but I must be out there in the morning to make sure that it deposits its load further on from my drive way.  LN....I'll be listening out for it......LN



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Elsa Peters
February 15, 2021, 3:37pm Report to Moderator

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Monday, 15th February

Happy Birthday to my maternal grandmother today...I have fond memories of her and the things she let me get up to.  I remember my mother bring back some wax matches from Italy and I slice the heads off some of them and put them in a heap on a metal tray, put the stalks in a pattern around the heads and lit the outside and watched the matches burn and explode in the centre of the tray.  I could have only been about ten but it's a memory I have of her...she let me do 'things'.

It was a beautiful starry night at midnight and it was minus eight...so cold outside.  I'd kept the fire going well so no problems inside and the bed was warm to get in to.  I slept well until six and then went off again until seven thirty by which time the sun was up, the wind was blowing the lightweight snow around but it was a beautiful day and an improvement on yesterday when the sun never really showed its face.  I dressed in warm layers, I should go out at some point and clear the terraces and the outside balconies so that the damp didn't sink too far into the concrete over the conservatory but it would have to wait.  Bacon and egg for breakfast, the second packet of butter was sent to the bin since that tasted of cheese just like the one that I threw out the other day.  If it's not good, get rid.  I settled down on the sofa and put on Netflix and Outlander and watched a couple of episodes while I was waiting for it to warm up outside and inside was warming up considerably....the sun was doing its work.

Eventually I went out after wrapping up well and cleared part of the terraces, the balconies upstairs, the snow from the yard and up to the road so that I can get the Nipper out should I need to.  The remains of last night's supper went out for the cats, the black one was the first to have a go at it and just now the ginger one has given it a good going over.  It was interested in a slice of bread that was lying on about a foot of snow but thought better of it and off it went.  A black and white one has now taken up the chase.  The food container has blown off the step and this cat is scooping it up with his paw, eyeing up the bread but I think it really is beyond reach.  

Temperature is now down to minus one outside and I've lit the fire to try and reserve some of the afternoon heat when it went up to thirty plus inside.  Log baskets are brimming over, it doesn't do to be out at this time of year and it warms up when it's inside even though it's perfectly dried out.  No supper required tonight, I had an interlude with Outlander and bread sticks and cream cheese so not sure if I shall be needing to cook or not.  LN....Looks like it could be another raw one.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 15, 2021, 3:49pm Report to Moderator

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A few more pickies...



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Elsa Peters
February 16, 2021, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 16th February

I woke up at seven thirty and that white stuff was coming down again and it had covered the terraces and the path to the wood store that I'd cleared yesterday.  It was a cold old morning and I knew that I wouldn't be waiting until five this afternoon before I got the fire going.  I didn't hand around getting dressed in warm clothes and put everything I'd taken off into the washing machine and got it going.  Electricity can go off in a flash so it's necessary to keep on top of the essentials.  Bacon and egg for breakfast at the table in the stairwell, no sun, minus seven outside and only fifteen in so not really very good so I emptied the ashcan and got the fire going.

I settled on the sofa and watched another two episodes of Outlander and burst into life around twelve by collecting all of the household rubbish and deciding on a bonfire.  I found the snow shovel in the little house and put it into action clearing the path to the wood store and from the big terrace.  The snow was very wet underneath and still frozen n places so by taking the surface off the sun by this time had got some heat in it and started to melt the ice.  The snow scoop broke, the metal protector that I'd repaired once before had come adrift and unfortunately the hole in the plastic had sheered through so there was nothing for the metal to lock on to.  So into the workshop with it and with brute force and ignorance, I hammered it closed and it seems to have fixed it.  They are only six leva to buy so it's a new one when I next go into Kardjali.

I made my way down the garden and had my bonfire.  It was slow to get it started but I'd got lots of dry paper so once it got going it was OK. The black and white cat came down to keep me company and I reckon it was looking for goodies that were cooking in the bonfire but it didn't stop around long enough.  I sat out on the terrace for a while but came in when the wind got up and started to blow the snow around, as I came in I noticed the icicles hanging from the terrace over the conservatory and was amazed at the way that the windows reflected the view.  I just managed to save the fire and it's burning brightly and now that the temperature is dropping, that fire needs to be pumping it out tonight.

Just a few photographs from today.  I've had a lovely day, not done much but on top of all my chores.  The After Eights are no more, I munched my way through the remains of the box and when they've gone, they've gone.  LN....I have a pork chop t do something with.....LN



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Elsa Peters
February 17, 2021, 5:23pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 17th February

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me....another year knocked off and nobody to physically share it with but lots of phone calls and messages on FB and some from unexpected sources...brilliant.

Six thirty start and checked the weather station and it was lots of minus' outside and pretty cold in but I didn't bother with the fire, the sun was up and it didn't take long for the inside temperature to start climbing and the house started to warm up.  It's because I draw a very heavy curtain between the sofa and lounge and the stairwell to retain the heat so that it doesn't disappear through the windows and it is very effective.  I got dressed more or less straightaway and went down to cook my breakfast.  I took bacon from the freezer, added an egg and half a can of beans and while it was cooking, I put the rest of the beans in dish with some oats, sultanas and bread, covered it with the bacon fat and that went out for the birds.  I put it out on the wall but eventually moved it to the bird table, the birds seemed to settle longer there....I think they were expecting the cats.  I managed to take a few photos while it was on the wall and posted one to FB that's had lots of likes.  Breakfast sorted, some two day old chicken wings were put out for the cats so at least they had something.

So my daughter phoned and asked me if the card and present had arrived and to date nothing.  She checked her Amazon account and according to that it's supposed to arrive up until eight tonight so I might have to guide him in with a torch...but I think not....the delivery drivers really don't come out in the dark...this is Bulgaria for goodness sake.  As for the cards...not sure where that's got either and some have been on the road for around three weeks.  I'm thinking that the snow has something to do with it and I know that the cards have not made it to Rogosche, my next village, the lady would have let me know.  

As for the rest of the day, I spent time clearing to the road and broke up some of the ice that had accumulated on the terrace in the wet patches from yesterday.  At minus fourteen, everything tends to freeze.  I emptied the ash can, filled up the log carrier and I've got plenty available for tonight.  The rest of the afternoon I was thanking people for their well wishes.  Nothing on the cards for tomorrow, I might go into Djebel and buy a cake, bring it back and circulate it to the ladies of the village which is my normal routine.....I didn't risk the road today.  LN...Wish me luck tomorrow ......LN



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Elsa Peters
February 18, 2021, 4:32pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 18th February

Well today has been an anti-climax after my birthday yesterday.  It's been a damp old day, the snow is still around and it's a slow thaw, the sun did briefly show itself this morning but it was short lived.  I woke at six and it's made it a long old day and I had a nap on the sofa around two this afternoon but despite the fire I woke up cold.  My loose tooth has also been giving me gip or gyp according to which dictionary you use and the pain has gone into upper and lower jaws.  

So washed and dressed very early and made a few enquiries as to who might be responsible for the onward travel of items ordered from Amazon.  Didn't get any firm answers from the website but my daughter came back to me that she's looked at the progress of the order and it's been delayed until the 25th so obviously something is holding them up.  As for the cards from Moonpig, both still lost in transit and not even anything so far from the normal overseas postage from the UK.  I made breakfast which at least was one success and took a chicken leg out of the freezer and that's now finishing off in the oven.

I did a walk of the garden to satisfy the demands of my Fitbit and checked the contents of the bonfire from my burn-up the other day and everything has gone and nothing for the cats to distribute over the rest of the garden.  I do need to empty out the ash, but today wasn't the day for doing it.  It's so wet I might have needed surgery after straining to remove it from where it sits.  While I was out I shuffled the remaining snow from the lounge terrace and that's now dried up.  I tried to tackle the conserbvatory terrace but that's really thick ice still underneath so the thaw can do its work first.  As for the rest of my day, I started reading book thirteen of 'The Last Kingdom' that I bought yesterday from Amazon.  It's the last book in the series and will finally put Uhtred to rest.  

Supper is almost ready, chicken with roasted vegetables and I've put the boiler on for a bath before bedtime.  It's been a funny old day and tomorrow I'm going in to Kardjali if the weather is good.  I need butter from one of the supermarkets, I've realised I can't live without it and just to top up a few more items so I suppose I should make a list.  LN....Soon be 'le weekend' and hopefully postal service will be resumed as soon as possible....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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