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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2021, 3:45pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 1st March

Well here we go again...another month and they seem to fly by at the moment....maybe it's because I'm getting older.  So all my good plans went out or the window....I thought that Djebel would be humming so decided that I shall go in in the morning....my babas will have to wait another day. So the restaurants in Bulgaria have opened their doors today, and we'll see how well they do at counting how many are allowed at each table.  They've put the restrictions at fifteen at the moment to stop weddings so let's see how the locals get round that.  I'd like to wish friends and family a Happy Baba Marta day....I've not sent cards and wrist bands this year, the postage has been so naff getting here that I didn't want to risk it the other way.  I'm still waiting for my birthday cards from Moonpig.. Princess and my son are probably entitled to refunds....the cards are now almost two weeks overdue.  Bit more good news...my student's sister has produced a daughter at the hospital in Momchilgrad.  Lots of pictures on FB of balloons and boxes...we potentially have another Princess on the way.

Breakfast was very late this morning....one boiled egg underdone and the other overdone.  The underdone one that was still in its shell went back in, I didn't eat the first one quickly enough and that was the one that became overdone.  There must be a system, poached are much easier to control.  It was too cold to go out gardening, it was white over and the temperature was down to minus two...I thought it had started to warm up overnight but I was wrong.  It was up to twenty four inside though so I lay on the sofa, Princess had sent me down a suggestion on Netflix so I started to watch Rebecca and really enjoyed it.  The After Eights took another beating, I have one box left.  It's been another lazy day.  I did managed to put a pork curry in the slow cooker, the rice is on the woodburner drying out and supper should be ready and over by six.

So let's see what happens tomorrow...this time I make no promises.  LN....Rice needs checking....LN






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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2021, 4:50pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 2rd March

Absolute fiasco last night with my special night of quiz programmes....I fell asleep during the first and woke up watching the programme after the ones I wanted to watch.  So to bed miffed but I went straight to sleep and woke up at six thirty so at least my Fitbit recorded a good sleep score for me.  The upside was that I've felt awake all day but as for energy and enthusiasm, I'm not sure where that's disappeared to.  I settled for toast and Marmite for breakfast, washed and dressed for town but as I was working up the energy to set off my neighbour who looks after her mother but lives in Kardjali came round with some cake and coffee.  Apparently she was celebrating the anniversary of her husband's death so I got goodies and a packet of coffee powder.  I was surprised that my neighbour wasn't working but she said that they had no work for the rest of the week so she's using her time to work on their gardens.  I think it's sheer habit as to how much they grow....there's only two of them and she's only here at weekends.

I offered coffee and she accepted and she's the one that looks at everything growing in the garden or pots and either wants the pot or a cutting.  The bizzie lizzies came under scrutiny and yes, I lost the new cutting including a pot to a container to put it in.  She was also eying up my bay tree that's destined for the garden but I managed to keep it intact.  I tried to explain what it was and eventually I checked Google translate and we agreed that it was a bay tree and yes, I'll be taking her a cutting when mine settles in the garden.  Off she went at around eleven thirty, we discussed the vaccine and I was wanting her to ask me to take her and I would have done but lots of the locals are unsure of whether to have it or not.  When I saw her to the gate, that wind was raw so I put another sweater on and filled up the two log baskets from the porch.  I didn't linger long outside, even without a fire the house was warm so that made my mind up that I wasn't venturing out today....I'd had enough fresh air.

Played around on ancestry this afternoon, I'm determined to find my relatives that headed off to Canada but despite my best efforts, still no nearer.  I think I need to contact the daughter of one of my grandfather's brother.  Apparently her grandfather went out to visit them but I think she may have to really delve into memory banks.  I remember my mother had a dish that she was very proud of that came back from Canada but when my parent's home was taken apart when my father died, I haven't a clue where it went and my sister is not around to ask.  Watched Countdown this afternoon and settled down with the remains of the tub of cream cheese and biscuits so I shan't be needing supper tonight.  Gentle sunset and that temperature is really going down again, the fire's going well so it will be soon time to draw the curtain between the lounge and the stairwell.  LN....Let's see if I can stay awake until bedtime.....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2021, 5:36pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 3rd March

Well despite a really white over start this morning, it warmed up considerably and I've had a good day in the garden.  I woke up around six thirty, made coffee and went back to bed after checking the outside and inside temperatures on the weather station....it was cccc....old but by seven the sun was up and my free central heating had arrived.  Out of bed by seven, meandered around for a while emptying the bathroom bins and waste paper bins and getting it ready for a bonfire later.  I watched a little of morning television until I got fed up with the news, moved to the kitchen and was having bacon and egg on toast by eight thirty and putting hamburger sausages into the remains of the rice and curry sauce and that was going to be supper for much later.

I'd started watching a Netflix series last night, Alias Grace and it had sort of fascinated me.  Based on the book my Margaret Attwood I feel now that I'd like to read the book to see if it came to a better conclusion than Netflix.  After breakfast I watched another couple of episodes, eventually got washed and dressed and went outside to get on with some gardening...it was too good a day to waste.  I first potted up some buddlieh cuttings that were lingering in water and they're now in the little house, I started the bonfire, picked up the hedge trimmers and the loppers from the wood store and headed for the front gate.  The rose had gone out of control and so had the honeysuckle that had wound itself round it so now it's all chopped back.  Now I hate roses, nice to look at but dreadful to trim back and I always seem to get stabbed.  I put off the fateful task and went back in the house, back to Netflix and finished the series.  I felt stunned and couldn't work out if Grace had lied her way though it, was really responsible for the death of her master and housekeeper or had really been taken over by another entity.  If in doubt refer to the book....screen writers have a strange way with them.

Back outside, and cleared the roses and honeysuckle from in front of the Nipper and got it moved down to the bonfire and eventually I got it going well.  I looked at the buddlieh and they were about to put out leaves so they both got trimmed back since they were quite leggy and they kept the bonfire going for even longer.  On the downside, the burning bin is almost on its last legs and this last session has put it into the 'dispose and replace' slot on the things to do list.  The last one came from the garage so I shall have to pay them a visit to see if they have a spare one that I can buy from them...after all I do get two for the price of one barrel.

I came in at five and got the fire going, put some of the curry and rice into a bowl and had an early supper followed by After Eights.  Had my best day for a while on Fitbit today, knocked off nine thousand and six hundred steps today and might have to walk round the house a few times to reach the goal.  Lots of fresh air today and bending and stretching so I've put the boiler on for a bath and as soon as I've posted this, that's where I'm heading.  LN...Good to get back into gentle exercise again......LN





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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2021, 5:59pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 4th March

Six thirty start, I did have my bath last night and woke up with the water cold at eleven so got dried, warmed by the fire and then to bed.  I always remember my mother banging on the bathroom door and asking if I was asleep which woke me up and I responded with 'no, of course not'.  I've been doing it for years and I'm still here to tell the tale.

Another cold night but the central heating came up at just after seven and with the sun came the rise in temperature.  The water was off, I couldn't wash up but I did manage to make beans on toast for breakfast.  The birds got a slice of bread and the cats got the remains of the curried sausages over the wall and it was still early.  It was a chemical wash for me and I got dressed determined to do something and my intention was to go to the garage and get a new oil barrel to replace the burning bin in the garden,  I'd just put my face paint on and there was a knock on the door.  It was my Fotinovo friend, he guessed that I was about to go out and I explained where so we didn't make coffee, we headed to Djebel and down to the garage.  I saw the owner, explained what I wanted and we went to the back of the garage and there were small ones and big ones so I chose to small ones that I'll paint and use for flower containers and the big one was halved, the tops are off the small ones and we sat in the sun waiting for the work to be done.  I paid the man, we drove back into Djebel and sat in one of the open air cafes and enjoyed being out and about again.  Lots of distance between the tables with the waitresses wearing masks so we didn't have to.  I had a phone call from the post office and arranged to call in on the way back from town...a parcel and cards had arrived...and only two weeks late.

Back to mine and the car was unloaded while I put the kettle on and again, we sat out in the sun with more coffee.  He put me through my paces with my new phone getting me to speak to the lady that appears to be trapped inside it and get her to make phone calls for me.  I managed it but I think even she was getting frustrated with me.  Off he went, I took one of the larger down to the bottom of the garden, took the old one off the stones, dug out the contents into the log carrier and dumped it in the far corner of the garden.  I put the new one in place and the old one is crumpled ready to go down to the container in the village square tomorrow.  I put a load of washing in just in case the water is off tomorrow again. washed up, made a coffee and finished the After Eight and put on Netflix since Transponder TV just didn't want to hold the signal.

It's been a lovely day today, beautiful weather, new burning pit in place and two more barrels to get planted up tomorrow.  Early March and sitting out in the sun in a warm breeze, I don't mind cold nights as long as that sun shows its face.  LN.....Sixteen tomorrow so it's a gardening day......LN



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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2021, 6:38pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 5th March

Woke just before seven, sun was up and what a good night's sleep.  I went to bed quite early last night and didn't exercise my brain on brainteasers before bedtime with sudoku and silly games, straight to sleep and it worked.  It wasn't so cold out this morning but since the sun was up already, the temperature station had already recorded the increase.  Princess phoned this morning for a catch up and it was good to talk to her.

The water was still a problem today, it was running but very slowly and I reckoned there was a problem with the water pump that pushes it round the villages.  I went out and fed the birds, managed to wash up from yesterday and didn't bother with breakfast.  At ten I put the rubbish that was destined for the container into the log carrier, picked up a pack of martenitsa wrist bands and headed off thinking that I was bound to run into some of the ladies.  As I was trundling by Haciber's house she came out to see where I was going so I slipped a band on her wrist and knotted it to keep it in place and she told me that Beyser and Zelinger were in her house so I left my trolley by the road, shoes on the doorstep and went into the lounge and the fire was at full pelt.  It was roasting in there and despite being invited to coffee, there wasn't much air in there so I abstained, fitted them with wristbands and left.  I carried on with my log carrier and dumped the rubbish in the container and visited the younger neighbour when I saw her working in the garden.  I applied the wrist band, again she offered me coffee that I refused and then she came out with two glasses of coke so we sat in the garden enjoying the morning.  Her mother came out to join us with a plate of biscuits...so I was having a late breakfast.  I was offered onions but came back with a jars of pine tip syrup and one of strawberry and I had great fun trying to get her to say 'strawberry'.  Bulgarians can't get their tongues round three consonants and then the vowel.  Walking back I saw the lady that has the garden next to my house so she had a band and then Emula's mother noticed that there was activity and came out for hers.  I carried on home, put my log carrier away, locked up and that was the end of activity for today.

I went on the computer upstairs, answered emails and settled in to watch Loose Women.  Went down to the kitchen and cooked a couple of beef burgers and had them on bread with tomato sauce.  Now this really was my late breakfast, late lunch and was probably going to be my last for the day and so far so good.  A full tummy requires rest and I promptly fell asleep in front of the computer for an hour or so and at five went down to close the windows since the temperature was dropping and there was another phone call from the UK and we made it last for an hour or so...again, another catch up.  I went down and lit the fire, it was a slow starter but eventually I got it going and have just thrown another log on and it's going well.  The outside temperature is still nine degrees but having checked the weather forecast for tomorrow, it's supposed to snow tomorrow night but only a token offering of one centimetre but it should be white over by Sunday morning.

Athletics have just started so I'm going to wind up.  LN.... Another lazy day.....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2021, 6:01pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 6th March

Another funny night.  I went to sleep in front of the computer again and woke up at the beginning of a programme about the archaeologist who discovered and excavated the site of Koner in Turkey.  It charted him finding a hill and with perseverance persuaded the Turkish government to allow his to work the site and it went back approximately to ninth century BC....four thousand before the Egyptians.  The good news is that this is on the list of stop-offs if you take the trip down to Cappadocia only flying to Antalya not taking the road trip as I did last time.  It's not on my bucket list.  History states that the first civilisation was in Mesopotamia, Ur of the Chaldees and this find blasted the theory out of the water. What he found from his excavations was that there were not roads and the houses were placed against each other and they enter the houses by using ladders and the flat roof of each house became the roadway.  There was also a tour of the museum in Ankara and I was lucky enough to go round it and see lots of the exhibits from the site and it made more sense after seeing the programme. It was two thirty more or less when the programme finished so again...late to bed.

I woke at six thirty and then went back off again until eight fifteen which was much more respectable.  It was a dull old morning but the temperature was OK so I meandered round the house and eventually cooked poached egg on toast for breakfast and put on the athletics and watched that until more or less two this afternoon.  I did a few things in between including seeing off a gypsy fellow that barged his way into the conservatory while I was lying on the sofa so I bounded out to stop him in his tracks.  In his hands he had huge bedcovers that he was selling and offered them to me at ridiculously low prices and mumbling that he needed benzine for his car.  I told him I didn't been them and that he must leave and eventually he went but really quite persistent.  I ventured out into the garden and weeded a couple of the pots and one of the edged flower beds but that wind was cold so I didn't stay out for long.  I filled up the log container and brought that into the conservatory heeding the warning that there could be snow overnight....one centimetre....but best be prepared.  

Netflix went on this afternoon and I finished watching the end of Robert the Bruce and his defence of Scotland against the English.  I'm getting much better at history thanks to Netflix!!  I put a chicken leg with diced potatoes into the oven and at five thirty I had supper ready for eating.  Washing up done, blog in the process and I've just put the athletics back on for the next session.  Nothing much on now until 'The Voice' later tonight and so now time to relax....not that today has had much pressure attached to it.  LN....Probably heading into Djebel tomorrow to buy the plants for the ladies for Women's Day on Monday the 8th,,,,,LN




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Elsa Peters
March 7, 2021, 7:32pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 7th March

So midnight when I hit the sack last night and didn't wake up until just after seven thirty.  That one centimetre of snow didn't materialise, it was minus one degree outside, nineteen in, but there was a chill wind that kept me indoors for most of the day.  I had very little to go out for, I had enough wood and food in but I was hunting around for something sweet to eat and the cupboard was bare Mother Hubbard...but I survived.

I had an early bath and lingered for about an hour an a half and realised in retrospect that I should have lit the fire before I headed upstairs.  I dressed quickly to keep the warmth in, made toast and had it with apricot jam and then turned on the athletics to catch up on the morning results and events.  I checked my emails and FB's and was surprised to receive an email from an old work colleague from thirty odd years ago.  We've sort of kept in touch but without much detail and I'll respond to it when I work out the answers.  We lived quite a way from each other when I was in the UK so it wasn't easy to see each other.....but Covid over, she will be included in my road trip of the UK....whenever that happens.  I kept looking at the wood burner and realised that the only thing between me a a raging fire was a match and I gave in and set fire to it and was soon enjoying the warmth and view of a roaring log fire.

So the athletics finished and I carried on watching a series on Netflix and it became very easy to just press 'next' and watch until the end. It was originally made in France and overdubbed with American accents and the occasional shot of Madame Guillotine seemed strangely out of place considering the date of the drama was set around 1808.  Around six my time the hunger bugs became very active so I pushed the 'pause' button and ended up with several corned beef and brown sauce sandwiches and the gap was filled so I continued until the final credits.  Over to Transponder again to continue with the athletics and they'd finished so it was on to the Red Button to watch the results and award ceremonies and now it's back to BBC 2 to finish off the day nicely.

I didn't managed to get into Djebel today so it's going to be a fairly early start tomorrow to get the Ladies Day flowers or pot plants for friends in Djebel and for the ladies of the village....March is a busy month.  I'll do a top up shop in the local supermarket, I'm at Immigration in Kardjali on Wednesday so will do a bigger shop when I'm there.  LN....Time to throw another log on the fire....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 8, 2021, 5:14pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 8th March

Firstly Happy International Women's Day to all my female friends.  We've all come a long way!!

Another silly night.  I fell asleep watching Antiques Roadshow, woke up at twelve. started to watch another to wake up enough to go to bed, it was a series and the next one followed and suddenly the final part of it was going to show so I decided to watch until the end,  End result.....three AM..... and another one that I didn't really get the ending. I checked the weather before I went to bed and it was a cold old night and at three the stars were very bright and on the weather station it was showing minus three out...fortunately I was in.  And so to bed.

Good night's sleep despite the fact that there was little of it since I woke up at half eight but adding the two sessions together I'd knocked up my eight hours or so Fitbit would tell me.  I put a load of washing in the machine and set it going, washed dress for Djebel, didn't bother with breakfast thinking I'd get something in town.  I hung the washing on the line and set off for town and eventually found a parking place behind the market.  I went to the shop where I normally buy my flowers but the pot plants were very expensive and not very good quality so I didn't buy them and decided to look for other stalls on the market. I didn't have any luck but had noticed on my drive in that I'd seen flowers outside another shop so walked over to it and they had just one pretty yellow rose left so I snapped it up for my student's mum and first stop was to deliver it.  She apologised that she had nothing for me so I reiterated that I don't give to receive, we had a chat but the shop got busy so I said fond farewells and went back to the original flower display.  I bought ten individually wrapped carnations, back to the car, delivered on to my other student's mum and again she was very busy so I had a quick update with her and then down to the supermarket for the essential supplies and then home.  I parked up and then decided to deliver the flowers to the ladies before putting the Nipper in the drive and noticed that there were no little black slip-on shoes outside Haciber's house and suddenly noticed that they were all sitting on the benches near the square so I drove down there and gave out my flowers wishing them all 'Chestit praznic'.....Happy ladies day.  As I was about to pull away, the free food for pensioners delivery wagon was delivering and every one of the ladies was given another carnation and the man stopped and gave me one,  A present from the mayor of Djebel....so this is where my rates go.

Home for two thirty and I'd bought a pizza from one of the shops in Djebel along with a banichka so I finished the banichka and save the pizza for tonight to save me cooking.  Washing in, fire lit and then a phone call to the UK to check up on an old friend to confirm that she was OK.  We go back to teenage years and there's only a few of us left now so we care a lot about each other.  

No mistakes tonight.....when I feel tired I'm gong to bed no matter the time....although the sofa is pretty comfortable.  LN.....Nothing on for tomorrow so far, I'll wait and see.....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 9, 2021, 5:01pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 9th March

So another late night, early morning but not as bad as the night before.  I did managed two and a half out of three quiz programmes but woke up in time to get to bed reasonably.  I slept well and woke up at seven thirty, not a bad morning but cold so I got dressed quickly to retain the night-time heat in the old bones.

I made toast and jam for breakfast, put yesterday's bread that I'd bought into the freezer and managed to get the washing up done, kitchen tidied and collected up the rubbish for a bonfire.  I did remember that the new burning barrel had had oil stored in it so I gingerly got the fire going.  It blazed well and so next time it should be alright and I kept it going by trimming back a few of the bushes that had just started to bud so killed two birds with one stone so to speak,  Having trimmed the bushes back I decided to tackle the weeds on the long bed under the little house terrace and things are looking better.  I moved to the little bed between the two sets of stairs and it took a while, but that's now cleared and I finished with a flourish by filling the log carrier, wheeled it in and went on to the upstairs computer,  

I posted a picture yesterday of the graffiti that I found in one of the parish records and it caused quite a stir.  Several have commented on it and want to know where to find it and after one and a half hours I gave up.  I remember writing down the name of the parish and the book but could I find it,....no and that's really frustrating.  I started to look at the records in and around the same time but still no joy so I gave up and it will be there for another day.  So at five this afternoon I realised that I'd left my toys out so went out and put them away, locked up the little house and lit the fire to bring comfort to the homestead.  I made my way to the  kitchen, peeled a potato and an onion, diced the potato and put it on to boil,  The onions went into a bowl with the contents of a tin of tuna and when the potatoes were done they were added to the bowl and mayonnaise topped everything off, a quick stir round and supper was ready.  

Working in the garden today has given me the enthusiasm to get the garden sorted.  The lawnmower wants a service before I strike it up for this year so it's on the list but top of the list for tomorrow is to get my new registration card.  I'm making an early start just in case the masses decided to gather but by nine I should be OK and bet the rush.  LN....Better get a really early night.....LN
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March 10, 2021, 6:06pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 10th March

So it was an early night last night and slept through until six thirty and didn't have to be anywhere until nine...so time to fill.  I didn't bother with breakfast but should have done, I was in the Nipper at twenty after eight and thought I would manage to get to the cafe bar for nine...and I made it...spot on.  The Migration office was round the corner and we should have set off straight away but didn't and waited in line.  I was just picking up my new card and my compatriots were making sure of the process for getting their cards renewed.  The lady who was handling my transaction was about as pleasant as a bulldog that's eaten a nettle and had trouble locating my card.  She checked the safe, went into the back office and ended up locating it in the computer, back to the back office and a signature was required before I took possession.  I tried to be pleasant with her but with a mask on it's only possible to smile with the eyes...and she was having none of it.  My compatriots questions were partly answered but our sleuth found the forms that need completing written in Bulgarian and English so all they need is a person writing Bulgarian...sorted.

We walked round and picked up a picture that had been framed and what a good job they've made of it.  The frame seems to pick out the colours of the picture...a consolidated good choice.  They wrapped it and we made our way to the polyclinic to check if we could have our second jab but they didn't have any and it was too early anyway.  They also queried an EHIC card under the Bulgarian system, I have mine already covered by England since I'm a pensioner and managed to find a local who wanted to show them where they could complete the necessary forms and pay the fees.  The bank had closed for lunch so that's going to be saved for another day.

We met up again in Lidl, I filled up with a few essentials and carried on to Djebel where I bought the new down pipe for the outside sink and an aerosol spray can of green paint for the oil barrel that I bought and I already have a blue one for the other one.  Back home, shopping away and lay on the sofa and had a quick nap but nothing to write home about.  I lit the fire and went upstairs on the computer and managed to find the elusive graffiti drawing in one of the Parish record books so posted the location to a couple of people on the ancestry website who'd asked where they could find the original.  I had to find it for my own sake....I'm like a terrier at times.

Just thrown another log on the fire, cream cheese and breadsticks for supper and that will see me through until morning.  Supposedly we're in for another cold spell so I shan't be moving far from home and that fire will be kept alive and well.  LN....I have my new residency card.....another job out of the way.....LN
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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