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Elsa Peters
March 21, 2021, 5:43pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 21st March

So a very early start for me and it did force me to get my head down this afternoon for an hour or so.  I made coffee and started my day, it was down to sixteen degrees in the house and zero degrees outside with firstly snow, then rain and sleet and now back to snow.  The fire was still going this morning so I gave it the kiss of life, resuscitated it and it's been going all day.  

I decided to make breakfast of beans on toast, put the loaves that I'd bought yesterday into the freezer if this weather is going to continue.  Unfortunately I opened a tin of cannelloni beans by mistake so put them to oneside and I was going to have to concoct something to use them up.  Beans on toast went down well, I hadn't bothered getting dressed but had had a 'chemical' wash with Micellar water so had freshened up and went back to the kitchen, fried off the pork with onions, added the beans, a can of tomatoes and some chili flakes and that's now in the slow cooker for supper.  I cleared the kitchen and then settled down to Peaky Blinders for a binge session.

This was disturbed, at eleven one of my neighbours daughters appeared at the window as I was stretched out on the sofa.  It was the one that I'd promised the jacket to so I invited her in, switched the television off, made coffee, went back and grabbed the bag with the jacket from the porch and we sat in the lounge well apart from each other.  Apparently the  Covid numbers in Bulgaria have risen sharply and even though I've had one jab, I'm still very careful.  She works in Kardjali and the hospital is said to be full....she should be more careful because of her mother and the rest of my neighbours.  No one is having the vaccination, they don't believe Covid exists and that they are impervious to catching it.   One word for it...'Covidiots'....I gave her the jacket which I suggested she use for gardening and she said she would use if for work...it was too good to garden in.  She left about twelve fifteen wearing the jacket and the snow had started to come down again so she was protected on her way home.

Back to the sofa for me and log duties and it was while watching a gardening program that I nodded off.  I got through about three more of my Netflix and it's very compulsive viewing....a family at war.  Seven thirty my time, I've just got back into my pyjamas and am about to sort out supper.  It's white over again now with the temperature falling so let's see what we're left with tomorrow.  LN....Another restful day.....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 22, 2021, 3:51pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 22nd March

Another late to bed watching Netflix and an early start and instead of getting my head down again I rose into my little world with coffee. Sudoku and more coffee.  The fire was just about going but didn't really burst into life when I put some kindling on so ended up adding a fire lighter and we were soon underway.  It was just on zero outside but was down to fifteen in the stairwell and I was cold and fortunately the fire soon pumped it up to seventeen and the addition of an extra sweater helped out.  I hate these cold miserable days, the snow had gone except for on the mountains but there wasn't a glimmer of sun at all...I know it's up there somewhere but there was a thumping great cloud base that was denying its existence.  

I made toast for breakfast, put the remains of last night's supper into the freezer for another day and thought about what I could get up to today.  There was no chance of doing anything outside, even a bonfire was out of the question despite having things to burn.  Despite the cold weather the garden has really come to life with lots of different sorts of daffodils and narcissus coming into flower,  The forsythia is cheering up the garden and the iris have put on about twenty centimetres and won't belong before the buds appear.  I really need to get out there once the frost has gone to cutback the rest of the shrubs.  Green buds are already appearing but the growth will be stronger on new wood...well that's the plan according to Monty Don.

I did get my head down for an hour or so this afternoon and my day has been spent watching Netflix and feeding the fire....not good for me...I need more activity in my routine.  I could have gone into Kardjali but it's no fun walking around in the rain and spending money that I really don't need to spend....boring.  Supper tonight is the cannelloni that I didn't put in the freezer from the other night followed by stewed apples and I'm going to attempt custard using vanilla powder since there's no custard powder here.  LN....Please cheer up weather....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 23, 2021, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 23rd March

Five thirty start and I wasn't really ready for it.  I played a few games and decided that I'd put the Kindle to bed and see if I could gain more needed sleep and I did...it was eight thirty when I came too for the second time.  I made more coffee, didn't bother with breakfast and realised that I had a telephone bill that needed to be paid so I thought I'd do it on the phone since there was a button specifically for it....wrong move.  I forgot that if paying for it with a card then I my bank had to authorise the payment sent to me via a message and at this point but coming away from the program to pay the bill to accept the authorisation details that needed to be entered, the transaction wasn't available.  What I should have done was to make the payment via the internet and then I have the authorisation code available on a separate device.  You know that feeling when you realise that you're not really getting anywhere, technology seems to be out of your reach and you're operating in a system that starts off in English because you've requested it and then the sub-screens revert to Bulgarian.  And I gave up and made the decision to go into Kardjali, do my shop in Kaufland, pay the outstanding bill and organise automatic payment each month from my bank.  CBA with the hassle.  I also went to the tax office and paid the annual charge for the Beast and all that's left is to do is to pay my annual tax for the houses in Djebel and my legal 'stuff' will be complete and I can hold my head high.  I also paid a visit to my stationery shop and bought very large paper to write up the family chart, a pen and pencil set for myself and extra leads and the bill came to twenty five leva...cheap at half the price.

Back in the Nipper and went to Kaufland and picked up essentials and not much else except hundred gram jars of Gold Blend that were on offer and cheaper than the cost of one of the two hundred gram jars.  I carried on to Lidl again to top up with butter, toilet rolls and cream cheese and that was about it.  Home for four thirty and there was a hint of snow as I came through Djebel but it was gone as I reached the village and the sun was shining but no heat in it.  Nipper unloaded and while I was out and about I filled up the log carrier so that I didn't have to go out again.  I locked up for the night, put the shopping away, lit the fire, watched an episode of Peaky Blinders, turned the TV off, went to the kitchen and put chicken leg and vegetables into the oven...that was supper sorted.  

I went up to the computer on the landing and checked emails and one confirmed that a standing order had been set up so that's another task off my monthly 'to do' list.  I went down to check on supper and my phone in my handbag was ringing and it was my Princess checking that I was still breathing and not spending the inheritance....and that's out little joke.  I mentioned that I'd spent money on stationery and I was dutifully chastised but her....we both love pens and pencils.

Supper is ready, vegetables and chicken cooked and to be served with mayo.  I'm hoping that it warms up a little tomorrow, I need to have a bonfire otherwise I might be tempted to watch the end of Peaky Blinders, it would be rude no to.  LN....I'm pleased I've been out and about today.....it makes you feel better.....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 24, 2021, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 24th March

Funny old day.  I woke up fairly early and was surprised by a white garden after going to bed with a starry sky.  The fire was still going so I kept rejuvenated it and stoked it up, went back to bed with more coffee and the Kindle, played games, toast for breakfast and an episode of Peaky Blinders which has turned very gritty and dark but I turned it off, made my way to the bathroom and started to fill the bath.  I settled in and after an hour or so felt suitable refreshed so dried off and noticed that outside was a white out, it was gale force out there and it had dropped about ten centimetres while I was luxuriating.  I didn't linger long with the bath towel round me but did notice that the cows had been let loose to graze...poor things, they all headed for the shelter of the hedge line just over the wall.  I had a sudden thought about the electricity and tested one of the light switches and sure enough it was off and now I had to get into action quickly.  No electricity, no pump for the heating so I dressed quickly and went down to the kitchen and removed the tiles and everything that was sitting on the little boiler in the kitchen and with the shovel moved the burning wood from the biggie to the little boiler.  There was a fair sized log that I moved using the fire tongues and the metal bucket and now the heat was transferred to the kitchen leaving the door to the woodburner open to extract the heat.  It came on again after an hour or so but I wasn't seduced by it expecting it to go off again and it did but it's surprising how much heat the little one puts out.

With very little to do I started to go through the ancestry documents that substantiate the tree and threw several away.  The electricity came back on so I fired up the computer and got more confused by ancestry, I can't find a birth record for one of the blood lines and I ended up using different search criteria thinking he may have been born before his parents married but still couldn't find him and quite a lot hinges on him.  At three the weather improved considerably and I went out to clear the terraces, the drive and out to the road just in case I needed the car at any point.  My painter was coming down the road and stopped for a chat, he asked me what I was doing but I thought it was pretty obvious with snow shovel in hand.  Off he went, I filled up a couple of the log carriers and took the rubbish down to the bottom of the garden and had a bonfire and didn't stay long down there, that wind was icy.  I'd kept the little burner going and now it was time to transfer one of the new logs back again to get the big one going and it didn't take long before I had a roaring fire.

So another surprise tonight was an amazing sky after the sun had gone down.  I went outside to take photos from the terrace and the remains of the water on the terrace had started to freeze so I took my time walking back to the house.  The clouds were lit up but as the colour drained from them there were three layers, it's a clear sky now and the moon's up but goodness knows what we'll get overnight.  I'll leave it in the lap of the gods.  LN....Snow shovel is in the conservatory as a precaution....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 25, 2021, 5:18pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 25th March

Fairly early start again, it had only snowed lightly overnight and it was still coming down but very gently.  It was cold though, the weather station was showing minus five outside but inside it wasn't too bad at all. The fire was still going so I threw a log on, made coffee and went back to bed with the Kindle for an hour or so until it had really warmed up inside.  There was a glimmer of sun showing through, the grey clouds were gathering and I really wasn't sure how the rest of the day would pan out.  I made poached eggs on toast for breakfast, threw the remains of the French stick over the wall for the cats, emptied the peelings into the composter and that was my work done for the day so what was left.  I put Netflix on and carried on watching a series that I'd started last night.  It's a Spanish dubbed thingy and set in the thirteen hundred so it's historic as well and fairly good to pass the time.  There wasn't much hope of doing anything outside, too cold for me and with the snow still coming down, gently can turn into unholy chaos very quickly so I thought inside was best.  The sun came up slowly but surely and eventually the thaw set in, the air and wind was still cold but the terraces are clear and most of the snow from the garden has gone.

I settled back on the sofa with my new series and woke up again at one so I obviously needed to do a catch up on sleep due to late nights and early mornings. I made more coffee and went to put the washing that I'd done on the clothes airer in the bathroom and meandered to the computer, struck it up and sat there until five thirty on ancestry still trying to convince myself that all the links I've made are correct.  I was also investigating a program that I could use on my own computer not tying me to a search program.  I looked at one and they wanted almost eighty pounds for it so I quickly came off the site...that seems like an awful lot of money and I'll ask around my contacts.  I left the computer and got the fire going again and now it's doing what it has to do.  I made tuna mayo for supper adding boiled potatoes to pad it out and I have some left over to make a potato omelette for tomorrow's breakfast.  

Temperature's going down again so it could be another cold night and this week has seemed particularly long but Friday tomorrow, another week towards April and hopefully a bit more sun with heat in it.  LN....Bring on summer....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 26, 2021, 3:45pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 26th March

Well what a change in the weather and so welcome. I woke up at around six, opened the curtains and saw that it was white over but this time with frost and the weather station confirmed that it was fffrrreeezing out there.  I went back to bed with my coffee and noticed that the sun was about to break so I grabbed the camera and took a shot from the bed.  I was out of my nest by eight and first off was to make that potato, onion and cheese omelette for breakfast and that done, emails sorted, washed and dressed and I was looking for things to occupy me for the day.

I went out to water the plants in the porch and the well water that I'd collected was finished.  I noticed that the snow from the roof was dripping from the downpipe so I made the decision to put the water catchment system in place so that I didn't have to go down to the well.  That always seems to involve other people, I feel obliged to ask the neighbours if they want bottles filling so this meant that I would collect enough for the next few days from my roof.  I found the barrel, I'd cleaned it out before I'd put it away for the winter so nothing to do but put it in place on the bricks, I found the bucket and the filter, put everything in place and opened the tap and put a bottle in place.  As the snow melted all I got was a drip, drip but eventually I managed to fill one bottle and three quarters fill another...saves getting the Nipper out.  Next job was to clear out the brambles that had come over from near the garden next door and settled between the garage wall on the main wall and cut back the roses.  Bit of a spiky mission but managed it and disposed of without any personal damage.  I dug over the area as best I could, dug up some ground cover hypericum and planted a few roots.  I moved on to the old bonfire pit and cut back the Greek plant that flowers prolifically all summer once it get's started and cleared the weeds.  The battery strimmer came out and I'm only waiting for the zinnias to grow, the seeds are in.  I carried on with the strimmer and cleared some of the grass that seems to have, and has, a life of its own and suddenly the fireworks went off on my wrist....somehow I'd knocked off my ten thousand steps.  Quick break for coffee and some buttered bun loaf and then out to sit in the sun and sod's law, it went in so I moved back outside,

So two areas planted up, the old gravel area has cornflowers and dianthus and a seed tray has tobacco, seeds from Lanzarote and snapdragons and the tray is in the porch so hopefully they shouldn't take long to germinate.  Temperature outside reached ten degrees today so maybe we're on the up, just about to light the fire in case it drops tonight.  LN....I've had a good day.....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 27, 2021, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 27th March

Another early start but since I started off my nightly rest period in the bath and woke up when the water was cold, I'd had my allotted sleep minutes according to Fitbit.  Back to bed with a coffee, it was minus three outside and felt chilly inside so bed was the warmest place since the fire was dead as a dodo and not worth reigniting.  The sun came up like a big red ball so I waited for it to do its stuff and it was soon warm enough to walk round in my PJ's.  I made toast for breakfast and smothered it with my home made peach jam and sat in the sun watching breakfast TV and catching up on the news.  I went upstairs to get the camera and decided that I really should get washed, dressed and teeth sorted so I could start my day.  I did what I'd gone upstairs to do but then foolishly put the computer on to do emails, spent time going through Facebook and carried on watching television on the big one until suddenly a message came up that the site wasn't secure and that I should update my security settings.  The message also asked me to check the date and time on the computer so I decided to come away from the site, switch off the computer and get out in the garden where the only security setting was the wall that I'd put round the garden to keep the cows out.

I went out and opened up the workshop and took the little electric mower out.  It was now getting on for eleven and the grass had dried off a little so I was going to see if the little machine would manage it and it did.  It did throw up a lump of something which caught me in the corner of my eye and it reminded me that I should really be wearing my work goggles so I found them out and wore them for the rest of the day.  I had a bit of a fight with the mower, I was using it without the catching basket but I had to keep the back flap up so that the grass was shot out of the machine.  I think I caught most of it in my work boots so when I'd finished the grass in front of the main terrace, I emptied them out, brushed off my jeans and socks and moved inside to make a coffee and I went out again and sat on the bench in the sun.  

Work boots and goggles on again and first job was to remove the winter cover from the veg patch and put it back under the little house terrace.  Unfortunately I had to bang a few nails in to keep it together for the move.  I took out the loppers and removed one of the junipers from the grave garden's biggest bed and trimmed the rose that used to sit by the front gate, there was lots of die back on it.  So boot filling time, out with the mower again and I did the grave garden but there was far more clumps of grass in this section and it was pretty slow going...but it's done.  Tools away, boots emptied again, socks and trousers into the washing machine, fire lit and fish finger sandwiches for supper.  LN....It's been a good day...spring may be here.....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 28, 2021, 5:42pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 28th March

So last night I put the clocks on so that I wouldn't for get and spend the day out of sync with the rest of Bulgarians. It was six thirty when I woke up and the day had already begun, only the one clock to sort....the one that is supposed to lose only one second in a million years (maybe an exaggeration on my part) but the blasted thing hadn't communicated with its controller and it hadn't moved on,  Now this weather station cum timing device is a real bastard to change and the controls are on the back of it so one tends to forget where is the clock button and the set button and it's really crucial.  I got the book out and eventually managed it and expect that it will revert tomorrow and  I'll have to go through the process again.

Coffee and back to bed with the Kindle and Sudoku and eventually I got up at eight, made toast and headed upstairs to get washed and dressed to start my day.  I'd been in conversation with my student to see if they were going to see her sister and the new baby in the near future.  I had a present that needed to be taken and it turned out that they might be going later today if everything worked out.  I'd bought a stuffed moon that was musical and decided that I would give them a money box that I'd bought in Zlatograd at the pottery centre and it's pretty unique, a brown dog with floppy ears and orange spots on it...lovely.   Suddenly I had this urge to make a money envelope /card with a little inspirational verse on it and obviously some money so that they could either buy something or put it towards something that they wanted or needed.  The garden could wait for today, I was heading to see the family.  So I made the card, wrapped the money box so that it didn't break on its journey, put everything in a gift bag and set off at eleven thirty for Djebel.

My student was there, the mother was in the garden working her socks off and the husband was working somewhere with one of the uncles.  I sat chatting for a while and was presented with food which is normal, some meat banichka, beans and cheese and pickles, crème caramel to finish with and coffee.  The mother came in and she looked shattered, apparently the family had had one or two upsets and they were having an emotionally tough time.  Of course the presents had to be unwrapped and rewrapped, my student can't leave anything alone but the card remained sealed and was for the mother and child.  The husband came back and we had a few words, they chose to eat outside and the decision was taken that they would go to visit the baby.  I thanked them for their hospitality, we couldn't hug and despite my words I don't think I can get my student to get the vaccination.  She wants that we go on holiday together but I've stated that if she doesn't have the jab, no way can we go.

I stopped off at the supermarket for eggs, bred and cheese biscuits on my way home.  The clouds were starting to come over and I toyed with the idea of starting in the garden and decided that tomorrow is another day....it could wait.  Television on and I ended up watching part of the snooker final and the World Skating Championship from Stockholm...it's come a long way from Robin Cousins.  Supper was cheese biscuits with cream cheese, that will do me until tomorrow.....I've been fed already.  LN....It was a good catch-up.....LN

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March 29, 2021, 3:07pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 29th March

Seven start, it looked like it could be a good day but despite the sun it's been a cold wind.  Coffee and back to bed, surfaced, washed and dressed by nine, toast for breakfast and waited for it to warm up before I headed outside,

First job was to clear up some of the debris from the Porch, I'd been saving lots of cheese pots and they'd just been dumped.  Now they're stacked and will collect the end of year seeds.  Various other pots have been put ready to burn along with several small plastic bottles that I shall never use and you ask yourself, why oh why do I collect them.

I had two objectives today...clear out the vegetable patch and dig it over and secondly to mow the main grass and I had to wait for the wind to dry it off a little before I did that.  There was lots of clover and chickweed in the vegetable patch and now there is none.  I did manage to find five weigela sticks that I'd stuck in when I pruned them back last year and they have new growth on them.  I'm not sure if they have roots, I'll see how they go.  I didn't plant anything, I'll rake it over tomorrow and put in beetroot, garlic and onion sets.  It's much too early for anything else. I sat out in the sun out of the wind and looked at the oleander that has been hard hit this winter.  According to Monty Don they can be pruned hard before the growing season starts and I'll blame him if I've killed the thing.  I've got about ten of last years plants that have spent the winter in the little house so I'm not short of them so they can go around the garden when it warms up a little.  At the moment everything stays in the little house, the last snow blast caught us out but at least everything was where it should be.  By three thirty I'd knocked off eleven thousand steps on the Fitbit and was praying for the mower to run out of petrol but instead I could feel my heart thumping away so I felt I'd done enough. I let the throttle go, picked up my hat where I'd dropped it because it kept falling over my eyes and put the mower back in it's under little house balcony, it's summer garage.  I've still more to do tomorrow if the weather is good.

In by four thirty, laid the fire and settled down to watch Netflix but there was nothing showing that interested me so I headed for the kitchen and prepared supper. Chicken and roasted veg for tonight and it should be ready around six thirty.  I saw the stork today on its flight path and unfortunately. I was outside and the camera was in...sod's law but now I've seen it once, it's back to its normal routine and I'll be waiting for it.  Nothing set in stone for tomorrow but I might find a market and get a few more plants, when the daffs go there's only tulips to take their place so I need more.  LN....Monday quiz night and maybe a bath just to ease away the aches that I think I might have after bending, weeding and digging.  LN....I'm getting to old for this.. ...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 30, 2021, 3:49pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 30th March

So it looked a very promising morning. The sun was a big red ball in the sky but the wind struck up at around ten thirty and that was the end of my sitting in the sun.

Washed and dressed by eight, decided not to go hunting for more plants, I've been caught out like that before when the weather suddenly changes and the temperature drops.  You can only store so many in the porch and little house.  I used the left over roast vegetables form last night and made an omelette for breakfast and it was very tasty and set me up until two this afternoon.  I had intentions of doing the rest of the grass but I was waiting for the wind to dry it off a little  so that it didn't clog up the mower so spent time having a bonfire and moving plants on to the terrace.  The cushion box came out but I didn't bother with cushions for the bench as I sat out in the sun drinking yet more coffee.  As the wind picked up I moved inside and settled myself on the sofa, still intending to finish the grass but the enthusiasm waned somewhat.  I was very close to nodding off but just managed to keep awake enough to make tuna mayo sandwiches for a late lunch and then settled in to a new series to me on Netflix.  I'm getting disappointed and only seem to be getting Bulgarian offers at the moment...I'll have to get Princess to recommend some for me.

At four I bit the bullet, put petrol in the mower and finished the main house grass and did part of the grass in front of the little house,  I'd gone out with hat and body warmer and I needed both...I was cold when I came in.  At the moment I haven't got any room for supper, I've eaten too much today.  The boiler is on, I need to linger in a Badedas bath tonight and my hair desperately needs washing.  So if it's good weather tomorrow but without that biting wind I'm strimming and clearing the weeds from the flower beds.  LN.....I hate it but it has to be done....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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