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Elsa Peters
April 1, 2021, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st April

Very early start after I went to bed at eleven but had had far too much to eat.  The rack of ribs and roasted potatoes left me wishing it hadn't eaten so much...too late she cried.  I woke at five thirty and thought I might get back off again but no way so I played on the Kindle, watched the end of Hard Talk, the early news felt sleepy again but by this time it was heading for eight so I made toast and watched the world come to life.  That wind was still blowing a gale, despite the scudding clouds the sun was in evidence but it was still cold out there.

I washed and dressed and had planned to go into Djebel.  I was on a mission to find bowls to fit the oil drums that turned into garden ornaments and tested out everything that I had and one metal one had the correct dimensions so that was put ready to go with me into Djebel using it as a template.  I also wanted to see my student's mother but knew that that had to take place after lunch, her little shop was normally humming over the lunch period.  So to pass the time I turned on Netflix and carried on watching what I'd started last night.  It's now getting interesting and I like the music that accompanies it.

I set off at one thirty picking up a pot of sunflowers that I'd grown as a gift for mum and was flagged down by a car that overtook me as I closed and locked the gates.  As I started off it slowed down in front of me and flagged me down, the driver asked if I was English and said that he was looking for the Djebel road so I overtook and said to follow me.  I set off at my normal pace looking out for cows and sheep on the way, hit the main road and then I put my foot down, slowing down for fifty signs and bends but his brake pedal didn't seem to be working very well and I was pleased when I hit Djebel and I turned off to go to the cash point. He waved and carried on, I took money from the cash point, parked up and bought chocolates for student's mum and some for me.  I drove to the shop and student's mum was on her own apart from frozen mackerel that she had to put away and lots of other stock. I handed over the plants and chocolates, she was surprised that I'd visited and I had an update on grandfather who is not very well at all.

Over to the leva shop and carrying my 'template' bowl managed to find identical ones in plastic so bought four of them at one lev each...bargain and then went to the garage shop to have an hour or so with my other student's mum.  I haven't seen her for a couple of weeks so there was a lot to catch up on and I came away with ten eggs from their chickens.  I also spoke to big student who is again home from university in Sofia and little student who is being home tutored and was off to play football....a lovely family.

Home for five and walked the garden noting the shrubs that are budding and the ones that still have to be cut back.  If there's no wind tomorrow, it's definitely a gardening day...I've been away for it too long.  No supper for me so far, I opened the chocolates which was a mistake and I'll see how I feel later.  LN....I nice day in good company.....LN



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Elsa Peters
April 2, 2021, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd April

Early to be and early to rise means that you turn over again and get a few more zzz's in, and I did.  Coffee at seven thirty and I'd made scrambled eggs by eight thirty and washed up and raring to go. The weather looked good, no wind and once the frost had risen from the grass I would find plenty to do.  It was just on zero and white over but it didn't take too long to burn off.  There hadn't been any rain since the water barrel was installed and I was fresh out of water for the plants in the little house and porch so I loaded six by eleven litre bottles into the Nipper and was ready to go around nine thirty.  I stopped off at Beyser's house to see if she wanted any bottles filling and there was a resounding yes from that quarter so I took two bottles with blue tops on them and put them on the back seat.  She uses it for drinking and her bottles were clean not like mine that I only use for watering plants so I have to keep them separately.  I knocked on Haciber's door and she didn't want any and I joked that she had a male friend that was keeping her supplied and then I carried on to Zelinger's house and picked up two bottles with pink tops so this made it simple for me...no mistaking which bottle goes to which house.

I set off for the well and was surprised to see that both outlet pipes were rocketing out where one's normally good and the other very slow so it didn't take long to fill the ten bottles in total.  I stopped to take a few photographs of the area and was disappointed by the amount of rubbish that Bulgarians throw around beauty spots...shame on them.  I did catch a glimpse of a stork feeding it's beak but as I just got it into shot it was off...another missed opportunity.  As I was driving back to the village I saw three people on the road but knew I couldn't pick them up because of the water bottles filling the foot wells in the Nipper.  There was a look of disdain as if I was totally out of order but I carried on, dropped off the bottles at Zelinger's house and received a bag of coffee in return and then on to Beyser and was presented with a cup of coffee, real black Turkish stuff so I sipped it carefully and threw the dregs away.  While I was in the garden the men that I'd driven by stopped to speak to Beyser and it was obvious that I was taking a bashing for not stopping but I smiled sweetly, they were obviously over from Turkey and I certainly didn't know them so didn't feel that I had to explain.  So back home and poured three of the water bottles into the water catcher so that I have it to water the patio plants. one into the porch on a pump and two into the little house...a useful morning's work.

Next job was to fire up the lawn mower and I started on the rest of the grass and managed most of it before I ran out of steam, stopped for a coffee, put on the television and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.  Back out there again and finished the rest including under the big trees and just need to strim round the wooden boarding on the beds and that's finished until it grows again...spring is here.  Next job was to sort out the pots and take the weeds out of them.  I've found three more shrubs that have survived and they have tiny buds on them, I also dug into a pot of 'something' and I'm not sure what it was so I covered it with more soil, watered it well and we'll see what appears.  I've repotted another shrub that seems to have outgrown its original home and will put it in the garden after a few weeks, much too early yet for new roots.  I filled another pot with soil and compost and that's ready for tomorrow, the cuttings that I've taken that have been in water for a couple of days are ready to see if they can find a life of their own...two choices...they will or they won't.

Nothing for tomorrow so far, I could do with a 'shop' but I might be going to Kardjali with Gulcan on Monday, she has a dental appointment and it will be two birds with one stone.  Lovely night with the sunset casting a rosy glow on the garden and the hillside, it looked like rain  earlier but it seems to have gone over.  I've just had to relight the fire...a failure...not allowed and now to find something for supper.  LN....A productive day.....LN



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Elsa Peters
April 3, 2021, 3:50pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3td April

Seven thirty start so made the bed, opened the window and got on with the day.  Boiled eggs for breakfast with toast and it was while I was sitting at the table in the stairwell that the blue tits were showing an interest in a potential nest site.  There was an interlude when I sparrow chased them away but the were persistent and one even went inside.  It has been used before but it was near the garage and at ground level and I found it turned on its side....maybe cats but we'll see if it's used...I'll watch out for activity.  It was pretty soon after when I noticed that the woodies were out in force on the Mulberry and then they transferred to the lonesome pine and were paying particular attention to the old branch stubs.  At one point there were two of them attacking it but it does keep the bugs down.  

Breakfast things put in the wash up bowl until later and my plan for today was to take the barbed wire gift down to my neighbour at the bottom of the village.  I loaded it all in one of my log containers and managed to get by Haciber's house without her coming out to see where I was going and what was in the container but as I approached the bench, three others were sitting there and I had to tell them where I was going.  The wire for securing the barbed wire to the supports was visible but the barbed wire was underneath so wasn't obvious....they were none the wiser.  I carried on to the house and the mother was at home but the daughter wasn't so I put the reel of wire and the support wire in the garden and handed her the wire cutters and pincers to give to her daughter and made for home.  As I passed the bench the were all missing and were in Beyser's garden  and they were dishing out old potatoes that were all chitting and I thought they were going to plant them but no....they were going to cook them and I declined the offer of some to take home.

So I grabbed tools from the woodstore and headed down to the bottom of the garden to clear the rubbish from round the old water tap.  As it stands there's too many bricks and bits of old tiles to strim down there and when I looked back up the garden, my neighbour's daughter was trying to find me so I shouted to her and she came down to speak to me. She gave me a banana, asked me how much I owed her, pointed out what bulbs she wants from the garden and ordered a baby forsythia and anything else that I've got that she hasn't.  She does have a habit of killing stuff but her heart is good and off she went.  The wind was getting up so I collected up my tools and put them away.  It was getting on for around three thirty and I'd done enough for today.  I settled on the sofa and found another series to get stuck into, at five I put supper in the oven, washed up from breakfast and the chicken and veg should be ready in around fifteen minutes or so.  Wind has dropped but at least it coming up from Greece not it's not as cold as it was the other day.  I'm about to light the fire, it's become a bit of a habit but it's comforting at night.  LN.....Out for lunch tomorrow......LN



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Elsa Peters
April 4, 2021, 5:36pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th April

Slept well until seven thirty, up and about by eight, boiled eggs for breakfast by nine, kitchen cleared and everything washed but not put away and in the shower by ten thirty.....not a bad morning's work.  It had rained overnight and the water barrel was almost half full so I really didn't need to go down to the well to start it off.  We had rain, the clouds cleared and the sun came out but it was short lived, the rain set in around eleven and it's been chucking it down ever since.

So dried my hair and had a bit of a mare deciding what to put on today, in your own house you can put another layer on if you get cold but I was out for the day.  I eventually settled for my oversized woollen cardigan, take it off when I get there and put it on if need be.  I was in the Nipper for twelve thirty and set off for Djebel, if I visit I take goodies and this was no exception.  As I went through the village the villagers were out in force, it's election day and apparently several coaches have arrived from Turkey so that the ones with duel residency could vote.  The parties ship them up here and no one has a thought for the virus, I'm so pleased that I've had my first and on the list for the second...Bulgaria is still not out of the woods yet and there's an inherent resilience to having the vaccination. From the supermarket I bought a couple of bottles of wine and some caramel chocolates. it is Easter somewhere after all and then set off for their village.  I was running a little early so I drove really slowly and it's a good job that I did.  Half was along the road the road was reduced to one lane and the carriage way that I was on had disappeared into the great beyond along with the safety rails.  Fortunately nothing was coming the other way so I gave it a wide berth and remembered where it was for the homeward journey.

I arrived at one thirty and the gifts were generously received, lunch was ready for about two and it was lamb with all the trimmings.  Coffee to follow and we decided to get settled with a new released film from the UK and it was very good.....blood thirsty but funny. We then exchanged views on the different things we'd watched on Netflix and at six I was ready to hit the road to get my fire and settled in for the night.  The journey back was uneventful except for the huge puddles on the road....it was throwing it down and patches of fog and the odd cows making their way home meant I had to pay attention.  As I drove through the village the same cars were still outside the polling station and I didn't realise that they stay open until around ten tonight and then...let the count begin.  I was surprised when I got back to find that the water board had let me down again....no water  . so my plan to get the washing done and dried overnight is off.    The fire is crackling away, I also bought chocolates for me so they might be for supper.  LN.....Time to throw another log on.....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 5, 2021, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th April

I didn't sleep well last night, up at two thirty and awake at five thirty and have felt jaded all day.  The water was still off this morning and how many times do you tell yourself that there is no water coming out of the tap or the loo's not going to flush, but on automatic pilot you still expect it to work.  It was another dull and damp morning and I felt cold so I got dressed pretty quickly with an extra layer, was tempted to light the fire but eventually lit it at four this afternoon, just when the sun came out.

So toast for breakfast, nothing to wash up except for one knife which went into the sink until the water came on.  In the absence of anything else that I fancied doing, I settle on the sofa and watched a couple of episodes of a series I'm following on Netflix.  I briefly had a moment of activity and planted some seeds that I'd brought back from Greece.  I've put three in with the escalonia new starters and others in with the container with the new shrubs that I've put in.  I thought they might like company and all get the message that they have to grow big and strong...I can always hope.  It was now heading towards lunch time so I found out some hamburgers from the freezer and made myself a couple of sandwiches, that done I went back to the sofa and put Transponder TV on and when I woke up the television had switched itself off and it was at this point  I realised I was cold and lit the fire.  Back to the sofa and there was an almighty gurgling in the water pipes, it was back on but there was an awful lot of air in the pipes and the water looked very sandy.  It took ages for the toilets to fill up and more air was coming out of the taps than water so I left it to its own devices but will leave the washing until tomorrow.  

I was making my way up the stairs and I noticed that the martins are back and were eyeing up the nest under the eves of the little house.  I'm not sure if it's the same pair from last year but never mind, another rental property seems to be taken.  Sun's out but the terraces are slow to dry up and now I have two potential nest sites to keep watch over.  LN.....Spring season has been declared open.....LN



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linda g
April 6, 2021, 9:46am Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa, Belated Happy Easter, Photos are great as usual, and hope all is ok with you. Love reading the blog each week. Laid up with broken bone in my ankle, doing my head in. anyway take care, hope the weather is getting nice for you soon, and all your flowers & plants will be blooming again. Lots of love from us here in OZ. xxx
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Elsa Peters
April 6, 2021, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th April

Thanks Linda and a happy Easter to you and yours.  In Bulgaria we have to wait for another three weeks, not many eggs in the local shops so I had to buy bags of chocolates when I went out to friends for Sunday lunch.  As for you and that bone of yours....it seems to have taken ages to heal, I hope you're keeping off it and resting it.  The weather is up and down, we still have low temperatures at night so the plants are ready to go out but not risking it for another couple of weeks or so.  Sunflowers are around ten centimetres tall and itching for bigger pots or open soil but they'll have to wait.  Sending healing vibes your way....xxxx

Well water off yesterday and electricity today but thank goodness it waited until I'd had my breakfast  and the washing would have to wait also.  It was on again around ten so washing went in and since it was cold outside I settled down on the sofa and started to watch another Netflix series that was recommended, I watch two episodes and discipline kicked in and I turned it off.  I started a bonfire. there was some very smelly plastic stuff in there that it was good to get rid of.  While keeping an eye on it I took the garden fork and started to remove the weeds from the beds at the bottom of the garden but it was really difficult to find the dividing line between the garden and the grass.  The wood surrounding the the beds had rotted and most of it needs replacing so I thought I'd make a start on it.  Back to the little house, I grabbed the lump hammer, some planks that were about the right size, little hammer and nails and the strimmer to clear round the existing beds.  I took a little sojourn and sorted the washing into two piles..'will dry easily on the airer' and the ones that needed to go outside for a blow.  I pegged out, every hopeful that the weather would stay good and it did for an hour or so but then it had to come in and join the others in the bathroom.  I carried on clearing the beds and was doing OK until the weather closed in, a few spots of rain so it was time for tools away and I think tomorrow I'll be up on the second floor of the little house to see what wood is up there that I can use to finish off the borders.

Fire lit and roaring away, washing airer over the warm tiles in the bathroom, it's going to be fish finger sandwiches again tonight, I want something quick and easy to do.  I'm pleased I've made a start on clearing the weeds from the beds, the main culprits this year are clover and chickweed and the clover has got really deep roots on it.  I might end up digging the bed over completely and replanting anything that is worth planting but that will be after I've finished the surrounds.  LN.....Kitchen and fish fingers are calling me.....LN



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Elsa Peters
April 7, 2021, 3:42pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th April

Horrible night last night.  I went to bed early, woke up at three, played silly games until four thirty, eventually went back to sleep and woke up at nine this morning.  Fitbit is going to tell me that I got a good rating for my sleep.  If you're playing games and only moving your finger on a screen it takes it a light sleep....it should be reprogrammed.  So I made coffee, opened the bedroom window to get some air through and the bathroom one to make sure it circulated.  It was not a bad morning, the sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze which suddenly gained momentum and that was the end of my intention to get some gardening done.  It was cold and windy.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and it was pleasant in the sun sitting at the table in the stairwell, I did emails, a few Sudoku and it was soon ten thirty and I'd not even got dressed.

Shook my feathers and went up to the bathroom, put last night's washing away, washed and dressed and gave the bathroom a quick tidy cleaning the bath surround and the window sill and gathered up the things that needed to go down.  It's a habit what lives downstairs goes down and likewise anything that lives up get put on the table in the stairwell until I need to go up.  Most things in the house have their place.  I cleared out the fire ready for tonight and realised that I was short of starter wood so that became top of my list of things to do.  Priority was to get settled on the sofa and watch a few more episodes of the Netflix series, I watched three, switched the TV off, watered the plants in the porch and took the ash can out and threw the contents on the garden against the short wall.  I came in and went out again with the peelings and egg shells for the compost and thought it was about time that I turned on the water supply to the outside tap. I think the frosts are over until next winter, she said with her fingers crossed.

The activity continued and I now have a full plastic container of starter wood in the kitchen and one in the little house.  My technique is pretty crude, I hold the wood half way down and aim the little axe in the general direction until I get purchase and then keep bashing it and it normally works.  For the really long pieces they get put between the step to the little house and the yard and I stamp on them and they normally give up and split into two.  My challenge is to remove all of the odd branches and 'bit's' of wood that have accumulated over the years when I've not been so observant...this year they will go one way or the other, in the house or on the bonfire.  Tools away and it was now around five so a chicken leg went in the oven with potatoes and onions and that should be ready now if it's not cremated....I'm just going to check...and everything is OK.  We've had rain showers and it looks as if the wind has dropped and it's dried up so I might have more success in the garden tomorrow.  I've also got six busy lizzie plants to pot up for my ladies for their Easter gifts along with Easter eggs.  I've spray painted two more yogurt containers to put the flower pots so that they can keep them indoors until it's safe for them to go out.  LN.....Busy day with adequate rest periods.....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 8, 2021, 3:18pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 8th April

Another funny old day.  When I went to bed last night the sky was full of stars and when I woke up this morning it was sleeting.  The temperature had dropped to zero but the house was still holding at nineteen degrees but I decided to get dressed quickly and make sure that I had layers on.  I was settling for toast for breakfast but gave in at the last minute and put a bowl of baked beans in the microwave.  I'd got the remains of last night's chicken with a slice of bread for the cats and I ventured out and threw it over the wall and then sat down to my breakfast watching what had now turned into snowflakes falling gently.  It came down much harder, the grass turned white but the terraces had enough heat retained to melt the snow on contact and eventually, the grass was white over.  

I lit the fire, washed up the breakfast and last night's dishes and made my way to the computer and delved into ancestry to chase up a few more links and remove some dead ends.  They've changed the format of the program I use and I don't like it.  Before you had one chart and could see it all using the mouse cursors and now they've given it different views and I'm sure some of the updates only find their way into parts of the program and not all view.  I seem to have lost the family of my fifth great grandfather and had to put it in again manually...it might be me putting something in wrongly but I don't think so.  I'm going to have to ask a few questions of the company.  At around one I'd had enough and moved down taking up stance on the sofa and put on my series of pre-Alfred and Merlin and after three hours I've just been introduced to Lancelot.  The series has now ended but they've sown the seeds for the next series and I'm not sure where we stand on that one...there's supposed to be lots of 'coming next' on the agenda.  

The snow has all cleared except for on the mountain tops and it's settled into a pleasant evening.  We've got blue sky to the west as the sun is getting ready to set, the rest of the sky has high grey cloud.  The temperature has risen to five degrees out but depending on what happens to the cloud base, there might be a frost or might not....who can tell.  I've given up looking at weather forecasters for the area.  Pork fillet tonight and I'm just about to slice it up with onions and do something with it, probably with pasta.  Today's gardening agenda had to be slipped because of the weather so it might be on for tomorrow...who can tell?  LN....Fire and kitchen duties call......LN



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Elsa Peters
April 8, 2021, 3:21pm Report to Moderator

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A few more



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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