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Elsa Peters
January 1, 2022, 7:43pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st January

So last night's fireworks seemed to go on for quite some time and then it was off to the land of nod and straight through until seven thirty.  For some strange reason I'm out of kilter with the days of the week, lost the concept of various days even though in BG there are no landmarks and days I do certain things....I suppose I'm out of routine.

I had a bath and washed my hair, New Year's day so why not, put my washiing away, had a bacon sandwich and decided to search through my suitcase and 'stuff' in the bedroom to find my next sleeve of tablets that had gone AWOL and my reading glasses that I felt could have been anywhere.  I emptied out the suitcase and there they were, hiding at the bottom and the tablets were in the soft hand luggage bag so now I'm fine until I go home on Wednesday....I have enough.   My son phoned and we had a catch-up on Christmas activities and he was about to set about one of the front beds in his garden, grass and weeds had taken over where there should have been plants.  I suggested that he kept up the action because I would have lots for him to do when he came over in the summer.

I've bumbled through the rest of the day, I watch several episodes of Pride and Predujice on one of the rubbish programmes and was amazed at how many adverts it showed.  I think it's an advert channel with some content thrown in.  I should have gone for a walk, the weather was a darned sight better than it has been but I never did get the Fitbit juices flowing, ten thousand steps seemed a far off target so I lay on the sofa and fell asleep for an hour or so waking up to Porridge on the same channel.  Christmas chocolates have taken a bashing and my relaxed state was disturbed my most host announcing that there was a robin in his bedroom and he needed help sending it on its way outside.  The poor little thing was terrified, eventually I got it out but didn't manage to shut the window in time and it came back in and by this time it was dark outside.  Plan B was hatched, put the outside light on, switch off main bedroom light and I used a torch to guide it on its way, out it went and pivoting on a bedroom chair I managed to close both of the windows.  Sorry little chap, humans for in and birds for out and I think it's the one thats got its home either inside or under my Calibra in the drive.  

I'm on the hunt for supper and have just come up with the idea of tuna salad with diced potatoes and I've just given the instructions to the chef.....and I'll be down to do it in ten.  I've set my target for a walk over the Downs tomorrow if the weather is good, I need to see if this new Fitbit will go up to ten thousand.  LN.....New Year, new fitness routine.....LN




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Elsa Peters
January 2, 2022, 9:27pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd January

So it was a three a.m. awakening.  I'd fallen asleep playing sudoku with the light on, woken up, switched the light off and continued my journey through the night and awakening at eight thirty this morning.  I didn't have to be anywhere until one o'clock, off to my daughter's for lunch heroically cooked by my S.I.L.  He's a good egg.

I eventually got out of bed by nine thirty, staggered downstairs and made toast with lashings of cherry jam trying to use up most of the pot that I shan't be able to take back home with me in my hand luggage.  I somehow managed to get on the computer and retrace some of the family history of my host, and found that I'd got one name wrong from a transcription error which I corrected using the original census.  I've come a long way since I did the first investigation and will take it back home with me and work on it again to see if there are any others.  The older records are from the Gorbals and I know that more records have been released and it will be fun to retrace my footsteps to see how much further I can go.

So we arrived at my daughter's home at the allotted hour and sat down more or less straightaway for lunch and it was up to his usual standard.  Pudding was extra special.  It was bread and butter pudding but made with croissants, my grandson had finished the chocolate spread so she had used Terry's chocolate orange to flavour the croissants before she'd arranged them in the dish and covered them with the egg custard mixture.  Into the oven with it and it was a real twist on the original.  We sat around the table for quite some time once it was cleared and I was interested in the slimming club that she and her husband went to and how they counted the points that made up the system.  We calculated that my breakfast had been my daily allowance so everythiing else that had passed my lips was superfluous to requirements so I topped it off with a Terry's chocolate that was valued at four points.  I think it would take a while to get used to the system and difficult to get your head round but once ingrained it would be fairly easy to follow.

Home for six thirty and that walk that I was going to take today didn't come to anything.  Once more the rain set in and I don't think there's been one good day since I've been here and I read that it was like a spring day in BG.  According to the weather it's going to be fifteen degrees the day I travel back but minus one in the morning when I'm in that taxi.  I've now opened the box of Toblerone that I photographed yesterday and they are as good as they looked on the outside of the packet......white, milk and dark choclolate.....and can't decide which one I like best.  LN......I'll let you know tomorrow.......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 3, 2022, 8:48pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd January

I had a very disturbed night last night.  It was all about making sure that I had all the documentation that I needed for my flight home and I ended up printing out the confirmation that I dindn't have Covid when I arrived and the report from the laboratory.  Straing things happen when our little brains are filing overnight.  I was awake at six, the Fitbit reported only two and a half hours of sleep and it was about right.  I didn't bother with coffee or breakfast, set about making sure that everything was charged up for the journey and with one day to go it's given me time to go through some of my folders and look at old memos and leaving cards from the days I was employed.  They're quite nice to trawl back on but maybe I should be bining them but still too early.  I'm planning to come back in the summer, there's a lot to sort out.

So I carried on with my packing, suddelnly realised that I hadn't seen my jewellery so checked my handbag, soft bag and suitcase and ended up unpacking the case and it wasn't there.  I've used the soft handbag since I bought it from the charity shop forgetting all about my leather Turkish bag and that's where I found the jewellery stash.  I repacked the case, emptied the soft bag and managed to get that in the case too and put the rest of the stuff for travelling in the leather bag.  It's not panic, it's living in a familiar place and there's too much space for things to get lost and it is a big house.  Eventually I moved downstairs and cooked a late brunch of poached egg on toast and then settled down to watch TV and of course the eyes went southwards.  Some excellent news, my daughter has booked the flights to come out to see me in the summer and tomorrow we shall be having the last supper before I get my head down for a four a.m. taxi.  

No one wanted to cook tonight so my host has just gone down to the chippie for supper and I suppose I should really get the plates ready.  It's a thing that I miss most, you just can't get cod and chips like in the UK and since my grandmother used to own a fish and chip shop, it might be said to be in the blood.  So now I'm heading downstairs to get things ready...I'm going to take a photo of them when they're unwrapped...it would be rude not to and hopefully he'll remember the mushy peas.....and now for the bad news.....all the local chip shops are closed so now to plan B.  I've just phoned the local hotel and they are open for meals.....We're on our way.

Just got back, fantastic fish and chips and about the same price as the chippie, tap water and orange squash for the princely sum of twenty three pounds....and rude not to.  LN.....now going to let it go down......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 4, 2022, 10:03pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th January

Bit of a hectic one today, I packed, unpacked and packed again and this time I only have Elias my elephant from my grandson peeking out of my second bag.  Everything else is safely stowed away ready for the early morning taxi.

I've had a wonderful evening with my daughter and S.I.L and she gave me my birthday card in advance so that despite the postal service to Bulgaria I shall have one at least.  I'm under strict instructions not to open it until February and won't.  

I'll set phone alarms and then worry that I've missed them so check the time, time and again until I eventually get up and sit waiting.  I'll probably not sleep at all until I get on the plane, wake up momentarily to cross Sofia and then sleep all the way on the bus to Kardjali.....and that's the way that I normally do it.  It will probably be around six when I get home so light a fire and start heating the house up but if it keeps to the predicted temperature for tomorrow, the house should have residual warmth. It's supposed to be fifteen degrees tomorrow so fingers crossed it won't be too bad not like minus ten the last time I travelled home at this time of year.

So here's hoping it's a safe journey.  LN.....Next update from BG......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 5, 2022, 6:22pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th January

So last night I didn't go to bed choosing to sleep on the sofa between one and three this morning just so that I wouldn't miss the alarms and the flight.  I was more nervous about this one even though I' prepared well putting everything that had anything vaguely electrical about it in a large plastic back in my second smaller bag so that I didn't even have to open the larger bag unless the customs men decreed that there was something suspicious about it. I also put all cosmetics, toiletries, hand cream and medications in another which went in the same bag...nothing like being prepared.  The two alarms went off and there was a ping on my phone from a friend saying that the rules were changed earlier that day and that anyone arriving in Bulgaria from a red country should have a PCR up tp seventy two hours in advance and I though bugger that for a game of soldiers.  Much too late for me to even worry about it.

The taxi came and it was a fourteen seater and I was obviously spoilt for choice.  I did make a comment that I wish I had enough friends to fill it and eventually I settled in for the thirty minute journey.  The inevitable questions came up as to where I was going and I got into such a good conversation with the driver that when he arrived to drop me off he'd chosen the wrong lane so we exited the airport, went round the block again and this time we were in the correct lane and I was right by the escalator.  I also found out that he'd lived in quite a few countries that I knew, he fancied Scandinavia and I commented that it was good if you didn't drink much and said that he'd also lived in Brazil which fascinated me.  I think we appreciated each other's energy fields at silly o'clock in the morning.

So the man from Easy Jet only required boarding cards and no other restrictions or things to check.  I carried on to departures and sailed through the security check without being asked anything, the flight was called for boarding very quickly after that, boarding passes again at the gate and passport, mask up and mask down, and 'speedy boardings' on first.  I had row four all to myself, I started out in seat C but the child behind was kicking the seat so moved to B and stayed there getting my head down for a couple of hours.  Next thing I knew the captain was informing us that we had started the descent, we landed early and I made the twelve o'clock bus to Kardjali.  Despite my best efforts I think I still got ripped off by the taxi driver but not a s badly as last time.  Kardjali for twenty after three, bus for Djebel in the next bay leaving at three forty, the driver recognised me and helped me on with my luggage and off with it at the other end.  I carried on to the car shop and picked up the keys and the car, had a little chat with my student's mum, drove home and turned the water on, lit the fire, put the kettle on, made beans on toast and have just unfinished my packing and it's eight fifteen.  

Elias is established on my bed downstairs and waiting for company and I shouldn't be too long joining him. Photos tomorrow....the mountains around Sofia were worth taking but with the bus travelling at speed, not worth posting.    LN.....Promise to do better tomorrow......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 6, 2022, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th January

So into my little bed by eleven, the air was a little cold but I snuggled down into my 'nest' and it was eight when I woke up this morning which on English time is six so I'd had a good long sleep.  Today's task was to get the woodburner pipes out and give them a clean, I'd lit it last night and had no problems but I knew it would perform better and more safely with a clear out.  I made coffee and thought about it and set about finding the keys that I'd hidden away before I'd left and I'm still looking....what a fantastically safe place.  I pegged out the washing, the wind was coming up from Greece and the washing is now finishing off in the bathroom on the airer.  The brush that I needed was now behind closed doors so I started anyway and took the pipes out and went over to Avatar's house, I knew shed have one and she uses wire to 'lock' the door to the woodstore.  

I'd seen from the internet that Avatar's daughter was over from Turkey and they'd been down the spring to fill some bottles posting several pictures.  We touched imaginary elbows and I could see from her eyes that that she was pleased to have me home so I asked her where my bottle of water from the spring was.  She looked surprised that I knew she'd been down there and then laughed offering me a bottle of water and I told her I was joking.  She gave me my keys back but unfortunately they weren't the ones that I was searching for, I asked to borrow the brush and we walked to the woodstore and as I came back my three other neighbours were waiting for me to appear and it like a reception committee.  I greeted them in Turkish, told them it was time they learnt Bulgarian with a smile in my voice and said I was sorry but I had work to do brandishing the brush in the air.  I carried on home, pipes cleaned and put back in, fire lit and no need to bash the pipes, there was no smoke escaping and it's ticked over all day.

Despite desperate searches I still haven't found the keys but what I did find was the second key to the Beast and a key to the outside door of the little house so I now have access to the wood from the previous year so at least I shan't freeze to death.  I haven't thought about supper yet but it could quite easily be the rest of the can of beans, little effort and good result.  I missed the sunset tonight but caught the red sky, unfortunately there was a band of dark grey ones on the horizon on both fronts so we could be in for either showers or light shower of snow now that the temperature has dropped.  Tomorrow it's back to the 'hunt the keys' and I'm now turning out areas and thinking 'why would I put them there!!'.  I think the stress of having the test before I left clouded my judgement but at last now that I've found the key to the little house I shall be warm while I'm at it.  LN.....Getting back to routine......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 7, 2022, 4:22pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th January

Another good night's sleep and it was again almost eight when I woke up.  It was six degrees outside and sixteen in so not so bad saying I've only been heating the house for one day.  I lit the fire to get the ball rolling again and it was soon up to temperature and the hot water racing round the radiators.  I didn't bother with breakfast but went for the second cup of coffee, it could wait I had work to do.

Today's task was to find the keys so I started emptying out the chest it the bedroom and became more doom laden as I continued and they weren't in there so went back to the storage boxes, not in the first but success in the second which was the first place that I looked as soon as I got home.  It was obviously not thorough enough and there they were in the toe of a inside slipper....where else would they be!!  So I found the pink cleat and the outside keys so at least I could get into the wood store and fill up the log basket carriers and basket.  I watered the plants in the little house and quite a few of them are still in flower namely the geraniums and the sun golden daisies.  I also noticed that the three bushes of winter flowering jasmine were all in flower so I broke off a few branches from the one by the low wall and put it in the house to give me a taste of spring.  

Another thing that took up most of the morning was to buy my road tax on line which proved to be really difficult.  I'd tried to do it in the UK and left it because it said that one of the cars had already got a vignette which I didn't understand, so I left it until I got back here.  It's not an intuitive program, I have an account so went into it and the cars were showing.  It still gave me the same issues so I telephoned a 'man' who explained that the existing road tax don't run out until the tenth of this month so that's why you get the message so why they don't make them continuous from the day that they expire I shall never know.  I've lost the days and the new ones start from today....what sort of system is that?  Anyway, paid for, downloaded and laminated and back in the vehicles just in case I get stopped by a diligent operative of the law.  Final job was to raise the bird table from the terrace and tomorrow I'll have to buy some sunflower seeds for the seed eaters.  The other food that I got seems to get left on the platform so that can go over the wall for the rest of the birds.  Final thrust was to make myself a bacon sandwich with brown sauce to set me up for the day...aren't freezers marvellous as long as the power doesn't go off.

Since the weather had changed and it was now raining as well as cold I stashed myself away in the lounge and got Netflix set up and checked out the suggestions that my daughter had left for me and settled in to watch a six 'part'er and three have been devoured.  I decided to log in to Transponder so that I could get my TV sorted which again seemed a very slow process entering email and password with an onscreen keyboard and cursor.  Note to self...need to get a mouse set up.

No moon tonight and certainly no sunset so only one photo of the winter flowering jasmine and my welcoming fire,  LN.....Back to the TV.......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 8, 2022, 6:27pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th January

Another good night's sleep and it was eight before I started circulating.  It was dull, three degrees outside and by ten it had started to rain, not heavily but enough to make it really miserable.  I used the rest of the bacon and made a sandwich and had nothing planned for the day but it wasn't going to be another Netflix binge session.  I didn't wash up and left the plates from yesterday and this morning waiting 'processing' and I've cleared everything after supper so good to come down to in the morning.

I played around with ancestry for a while, did emails and Facebook and went out to fill the log containers after I'd filled the log basket up.  I lit a small fire but increased the size of the logs as the day grew more miserable and the temperature didn't rise.  Black Cat was sitting on the outside table so I gave it some dried food and then took the roasted peanuts from their shells and put some on the table of the birdhouse.  I hadn't seen any blue tits and the likes since I've been back and wondered if they needed encouragement.  IN UK we used to thread the shells on to cotton and hang the nuts up but I've done it once in BG but no takers so I do it for them.  So far nothing except for a magpie that squeezed itself inside the bird house and ate the bounty on the corner of my balcony but that was the last I saw of it.

I suddenly remembered that the wind had blown down the honeysuckle from the terrace so went out with saw, a piece of timber that would do to replace the leg that was missing, some of the huge nails and the hammer and set about the task.  Firstly I cut through the honeysuckle so that I could remove the bench support, I heaved it on to the terrace, cut the timber to size and secured it to the frame using the old nails and two of the new long ones that seemed to hold into the frame.  I put it upright on to the legs and hammered the big nails from the top down into the other legs and jobs a guddun.....it seems strong enough to do what it's supposed to.  I chopped back the rest of the honeysuckle so that it will start to sprout again and I can have it over the framework and then set about clearing the honeysuckle from the old well that seems to have got covered up.  This was a bigger job but now looks much better and I'm going to get it back in commission if I can get someone to build the top and clear the bottom.

I cleared up and was back in the house for three thirty.  I made coffee to warm up, put the water heater on for a bath and am about to get into it now.  In the meantime I cooked the mince that I'd got out last night and made pasta bolognaise, ate it watching The Chase and there's enough left for tomorrow.  I did pop over to Avatar's house around eleven this morning to see if she wanted supper making but there was no response to my light knock on the door.  I'm not sure if her daughter is still there with her husband and didn't stay around to find out.....all the more for me.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.  My student has just messaged me to ask when I'm going round to the house so I put the ball back in their court, they have lots of visitors and it's more when they're free.  A few birds this afternoon and I did notice how many flowers are about to burst out, the weather is all topsy turvy for them.  LN.....Let's hope for a cheerier day tomorrow.......LN



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Elsa Peters
January 9, 2022, 6:23pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th January

Another good night....I'm putting it down to the clean air.  Unfortunately this morning I had the swollen lip again and all I had last night was the spaghetti bolognaise made by my own fair hands and I settled into a packet of Candied Ginger from Lidl so maybe that's on my list of no-no's from now on.  It might also mean a trip to the doctors to have my tablets reviewed or possibly reduce the dose gradually and take myself off them.  I might also have to review my diet and get my cholesterol reduced, the blood pressure seems to be OK when I take it...I just don't trust how tablets are distributed here and it's too late this year to change my doctor.

I made a bacon sandwich for breakfast and so much for reviewing my intake, washed up and as I was putting things away I noticed hat the spice containers were fat coated being near the cooker so they are all washed, the wooden stand is now pristine and all the bottles are back and it now has a new space.  I was going to do without a fire until it got necessary but I changed my mind, it was damp, not too cold but the comfort of a fire makes things different somehow.  I went over to see Avatar and take her a box of After Eight that I tried to deliver yesterday and she presented me with a dish of baclava soaked with honey so again my list had been compromised.  I carried it home, made arrangements to take her daughter into Djebel tomorrow morning since the bus leaves at a ridiculous hour and came back and watched Monty Don's Venetian gardens that I'd missed on Friday night.  I picked up that we're in for the Master's Snooker over the next couple of weeks and that it started at three my time so I grabbed my garden fork, loppers and saw and headed down to bottom of the garden to remove the branch that had been blown down in the wind.  It was soon done, I lopped most of it down to reasonable burning lengths, sawed the rest and had a bonfire getting rid of rubbish that had lingered in the burner while I was in UK....and it's still burning now.

I settled in to watch the snooker and Avatar arrived with some home made banichka and that was my supper for tonight.  I invited her in but she doesn't stay long and I was pleased to notice that she came over with the doorbell contact that I've given her so that I know that she's there.  As for anyone else...visitors are not really welcome except those who know that knocking and entering shouting 'put the kettle on' are allowed.

Just after eight my end and I'm just going to attend to the fire and put one more log on before bedtime.  Just a short shopping list for me for tomorrow, I'm out of bread, need some eggs and more tablets from the chemist.  At last I'm settling in, it's strange being on your own again after three weeks of people and conversation.  More snooker tonight, time to get settled in the lounge.  LN......No Candied Ginger for me tonight......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 10, 2022, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th January

Early start this morning...back to normal and it was another miserable morning, raining and cold.  I made tea this and went back to bed, played a few games of Sudoku and then set about getting my morning underway.  I didn't light the fire. I was picking up Avatar's daughter at nine thirty so dressed for the cold and damp and I certainly needed it.  I walked over to Avatar's house to make sure that her daughter still wanted to go and returned the dishes that she'd brought over yesterday and it was still on but when I got home I couldn't find the car keys and had forgotten that I'd put them in my handbag already but eventually got organised.

By now it was really raining hard as we headed in to Djebel and we had a little language barrier that we had to overcome.  The daughter moved to Turkey and is not used to speaking Bulgarian and my Bulgarian seems to throw her but eventually I worked out that she wanted to go firstly to her aunt's house the other side of Djebel and was trying to direct me to the house.  I've been there a few times with her mother so knew where it was and I got through eventually that I knew where I was going.  I pulled up, the daughter got out and we didn't go in the house but the aunt came out with a huge bag of 'something' for her sister and we were on her way.  On the way back we caught sight of four deer on the edge of the forest and they were 'skitty' and beautiful but couldn't get a shot of them.

I parked up and we went our separate days and arranged that we would meet up at quarter to eleven so we had forty five minutes to do what we had to do.  I went to see my student's mum, stopped off and bought some large nails to add to the supply and some purple wool to finish the gloves and enough for a hat so Avatar has more work to do.  Back to the car and she was waiting so we called at the supermarket and again she came out with a couple of large bags to take back to Turkey, things are so expensive over there with the current financial crisis.  Dropped her off and made myself a bacon, onion and cheese omelette mainly because I cracked a couple of eggs on the homeward journey.  

Snooker on this afternoon and I missed the third game but woke up for the rest.  John Higgins is through knocking out the Chinese guy, the rest of the bolognaise is on the woodburner heating through for tonight.  As for photographs, I took some with the little camera and I think it needs attention, it just didn't focus on the long shots so out of luck tonight.  There's supposed to be snow tomorrow so I'm told so you should get some pickies tomorrow...the snow is not destined to last but the temperature is due to drop to several minus degrees.  Winter is coming John Snow.  LN.....Time to batten down the hatches......LN
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