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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  JANUARY 2022
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Elsa Peters
January 20, 2022, 5:40pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 20th January

Another cold day and again I mistook the time on the Fitbit, I really must set up a clock by the bed.  Still dark when I woke up, minus four again but the big log that I'd put on yesterday afternoon was still chugging along nicely so burst it into life.  I was eventually up and at it by seven thirty, first job was to tidy the kitchen, make more coffee and boil a couple of eggs for breakfast and sat at the table in the stairwell in the sun.  Lots of birds were up and about but they still don't like the bird table, maybe the smell of the cat from yesterday's climbing adventure put them off.  

I popped over to Avatar's house to take back a dish that she'd brought yoghurt over in, she handed me back the dishes from last night's supper and I came back clutching her rubbish bag that had stood next to the fence all night.  As soon as I came back I had a bonfire to get rid of it and got rid of mine at the same time.  It had turned into a beautiful but cold morning and it was pleasant being out in the sun stomping around in my snow boots.  I went back into the house and my student's mum was on the phone letting me know that the printer had arrived at the shop so I tidied myself up a little and heading into Djebel.  They'd opened the box while the courier was present to make sure that it wasn't damaged so I loaded it into the car and put it in the footwell to make sure that it didn't get damaged on the way home.  I tried various shops to buy cable to sort out a lamp for the conservatory that's powered up by the timer switch and will come off and go off automatically during the evening but none was available.  

Back home and I didn't want to start the printer straight away.....it was a first but I wanted to read the book and look over it first.  I decided to settle down and watch more of Ricky Gervais and I was surprised when the third season started, I thought the third wasn't released yet but there it was but I switched it off and set about the printer.  It was a slow process but it's done but the trouble is that it's WIFI and I haven't found the USB port which I understood it had.  I felt more comfortable with the old Brother so let's not make judgements before I've really given it a good work out.  

Fire stoked, soup should I desire it is in the slow cooker but I've a feeling that it might be left for tomorrow.....I'm not really in the mood for it tonight.  LN.....Time to switch off and relax......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 21, 2022, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 21st January

I had another four thirty start, got up and checked the thermometer for inside and outside temperature and decided that it was time to snuggle down again and more or less got off straight away.  The second awakening was at seven thirty and that was fine for me.  I washed and dressed, made myself a bacon and egg sandwich, lit the fire and then the clouds came over.  It had been a reasonable start to the day and I took some good pickies, spent time watching the birds, chased some of the many cats away especially the ones that leap onto the bird table.  Around nine I went over to Avatar's house to deliver the clementines that I'd bought for her yesterday and we had the usual 'I must pay you' so I countered it with that I must pay her for knitting me two pair of mittens and a hat.  She countered it with the fact that she is 'filling her time and playing' and I just laughed and the moment was over.  While I was over there I noticed that she had washing on the line and by now it had started to snow, very light at first but then it started to really come down so I set off for home, she got the washing in and I got some logs in, filled up the log basket and that was my work done for the day except for enlarging and printing off the photograph that Beyser had given me.  First time lucky, managed to get it the right size for the frame at the first attempt so framed it and made my way to her house and delivered it.  Unfortunately she doesn't speak any Bulgarian so I didn't stay too long, she went into floods of tears so I made a pretty swift exit telling her to put her purse away....it was a gift.

Every Friday, without fail, I get an email from a Victor Zammit and includes lots of articles on the afterlife and I suppose I look forward to it.  This morning it didn't arrive and I questioned what day it was, it is possible to lose days over here and on checking it was definitely Friday.  I even checked his webpage to see if for some reason I'd been missed out but at one this afternoon it arrived in my inbox and that took me about an hour to follow the links.  By now breakfast had gone down so I tried the soup/stew from the slow cooker and that filled me up but I did leave room for several chocolates from a late Christmas present.  

The snow was still falling so I settled down to watch the last episodes of After Life series three and there were several times that I found myself getting a little teary, there were lots of sad characters in it, over the top in places, black humour but with some profound moments in the script as only Ricky Gervais can be.  At the end of it I went out and cleared the terrace even though the snow had abated but by the time I'd finished up to the road it appeared to gain momentum....the upside was that my Fitbit buzzed on my wrist...I'd managed the ten thousand steps.

No need for supper tonight so far but things can change pretty rapidly.  Last night at nine I was making a cheese and onion sandwich for no other reason than I was 'picky'...and I'm putting it down to the weather.  LN......I'm going to be a home bird again tomorrow......LN

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Elsa Peters
January 22, 2022, 5:55pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 22nd January

So all that snow clearing that I did last night was all in vain....it was minus eight this morning, more snow had fallen and everything frozen solid.  It turned into a beautiful day, the temperature never got about freezing and now it's already dropped to six degrees so it could be a real belter tonight.

Washed, dressed, another bacon and egg sandwich to set me up for the day, the washing up is still sitting in the kitchen sink but I did get on with a few chores.  I cleared a lot of the snow from the terraces leaving the sun to do the rest and it has melted it and they've dried off.  I walked down to the bottom of the garden and cleared the patch of wall that I sit on along with the two logs and they dried off too but they were still cold to the derriere so I didn't stay perched for long.  I got a load of washing done, pegged out the heavy ones and the rest went on the radiator in the bathroom and now everything is virtually dry.  A breeze got up this afternoon and despite the cold, they felt dry to the touch and are now airing.

I spent about an hour wiring up the new lamp that is destined for the conservatory to come on with the timer.  It was a bit fiddly but I managed it, at the moment the Christmas fairy lights come on too early so I have to adjust the timer and maybe it's time that the fairy lights were put away and the lamp came on and went off automatically....saves me forgetting about it now that the prices are going up.  Logs into the conservatory and the log basket filled up and I've kept the fire going all day and it does make a difference.  Around three I settled down to watch Netflix and eventually settled on a new series and I've realised I'm following the same author...how strange is that.  Avatar popped round remembering to bring her outside door bell switch and it 'bing-bonged' in the house.  She wouldn't come in but gave me three frothy pancakes that she'd made and they were still hot...they were demolished around four this afternoon.  The clouds came over around five but they've all gone away and now we just have twinkling stars and a very low temperature.  I caught the last dregs of the sunset and really must do better...Netflix has a lot to answer for.  LN.....Photos to post and then I'm on the hunt for supper......LN

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Elsa Peters
January 23, 2022, 5:09pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 23rd January

Quite a surprise this morning. three inches of the white stuff overnight and all my work of clearing the terrace had been in vain yet again.  I now had a new workload.  I put some bread out for the birds to make up for that which was now hidden under the blanket of snow and was inundated for a time until the big boys, namely jays, flew off with the bigger pieces and left them with the 'rest'.  I made poached egg on toast for me, cleared the kitchen of yesterday's washing up and generally tidied up, washed and dressed for the outside and put the washing away.  The temperature gradually rose from minus nine to a fairly warm minus four when I went outside, grabbed my trusty snow shovel and started to tackle the terrace.  It didn't take too long to get it done so I continued and cleared the yard up to the wood store and up to the gate and it was then that I saw my painter and his wife walking back towards his house.  It was the anniversary of his son's birthday and he and his wife had been to the graveyard to pay their respects.  I told him to wait and went inside to get their belated Christmas presents so she probably wouldn't get much sense out of his this afternoon, he had a bottle of Smirnoff to get through.

I sat out in the sun, a wind struck up but fortunately it was coming from the north so the house protected the terrace.  I could hear it whistle through the lonesome pine and it was quite comforting in a funny sort of way.  I checked my Fitbit and I'd only managed four thousand steps despite my to-ing and fro-ing with the snow shovel so went down to the bottom of the garden and back again to knock a few more steps up but that was sadly undone when I settled down in front of the TV and Netflix this afternoon watching Derek, another Ricky Gervais, with the remains of a box of chocolates and now only the box remains.  I nodded off for a while watching BBC and caught the end of the Nadal tennis match to get him through to the quarter finals.  Very good for his age but he winds me up with his pre-serve routine....I should imagine he's not easy to live with.

I put a barbecued rib of pork into the oven with a potato, onion and carrot liberally doused with honey roast parsnips.  The meat is done and the veg finishing off so I'm not going to be long posting the update.  The boiler is on and after supper I'm going to linger in a hot bath and I'd say 'relax' but there's been nothing to wind me up today or any day for that matter.  Even Nadal was a 'blip' in the grand scheme of things.  Just checked the sky, the clouds came over this afternoon and appear to have stayed so I might be clearing terraces again tomorrow.  The temperature has dropped to minus two already and is forecast to be about three centimetres overnight and tomorrow, with a warning for strong winds.  LN....That's me sorted then and now supper is ready......LN

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Elsa Peters
January 24, 2022, 3:56pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 24th January

Seven start, there hadn't been any snow overnight but I guess that that old phrase comes to mind...'it's too cold for snow'....it's one of my mothers.  My daughter always used to laugh when I said it but today has been the perfect example, the thermometer hasn't risen above minus four and a half degrees all day and the wind has been keen.  I eventually got washed and dressed, I'd had my bath last night and washed my hair, towelled it dry as much as I could last night and it had more or less dried overnight so at least if felt fresher.  Toast for breakfast, the ribs that I didn't eat last night went into the slow cooker with the parsnips from last night, potatoes, carrots joined them with hot water slushed around in the baking tin and it was left to do its own thing.  I popped over to see Avatar to take a dish back, she'd finished my gloves so now I have a pair to match my hat and now she's making a small neck scarf to complete the set.  We were amazed how many big birds were in her garden eating some rice and meat that she'd put out earlier and I joked that no wonder I had no birds in my garden, I'd only put bread out.  

I came home, decided to fill up the log carrier while I was dressed for outside, topped up the log basket inside and that was me locked in for the day until I took the photos from the yard tonight. I few flakes of snow fell but that was all, the sky is full of it and that's where it's staying.  I had a bowl of the stew from the slow cooker and all it needed was a little salt and there's enough left for tonight so that's supper sorted,  I watched Netflix this afternoon and I'm still not sure about 'Derek', it's a little like compulsive viewing but shocking at the same time....but that's Ricky Gervais.  I move upstairs on to the main computer and woke up later having had a very deep dream and it took me a while to come round from it.  By now the fire was out so I had to relight it.  It's burning brightly and topping up the warmth in the house an looking at the weather forecast, we're in for another cold night.  I'm guessing that I won't be going to the lesson tomorrow with my student, the roads are like glass on the small stretch that I can see and I'm guessing that through the forest it's going to be really bad.  Much safer to stay here.  LN.....Time to top up the fire......LN

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Elsa Peters
January 25, 2022, 4:02pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 25th January

Five thirty start this morning, I was snuggled down and toasty but decided to make coffee and check the outside temperature and was surprised to see it at minus twelve and a half and the inside temperature was plus the same more or less.  I'd drawn the curtain between the stair windows and the winter lounge last night to retain the heat from the wood burner and it had worked. The fire was just hanging in there so I poked it, emptied the ash can, a little bit of tinder and off it went again.  I left the curtain shut on the outside world and went back to bed with my coffee and settled down to Sudoku and it just before seven before I started circulating.  I was surprised to see that the outside temperature had dropped even further but at seven forty my free central heating arrived and it was all systems go.  There was a very bright planet over to the east, not sure which one it was but the camera just wouldn't focus on it despite my best efforts.  Lovely one of the moon though in a very blue sky.  

More coffee, toast for breakfast, kitchen tidied, one load of washing done, dried and now put away, washed and dressed to face the day...not that there was much to do.  I put breakfast television on and shouted at it until I decided to move to Beeb two....I'm sure we shall see the guillotine brought out and the television 'presenters' knitting and as for the labour leader, what a damp squib he appears to be.  On my list today was to pay my home phone bill.  I normally pay it in store but haven't been to Kardjali since I got back so I have two outstanding bills, only totalling just under twelve leva so I decided to pay it online and that's where the problem started,  In the end I resorted to their help line since the payment system starts off in English when you select it and then reverts to Bulgarian and when challenged the customer service said that only part of the system was in English....doh and when I tried to enter my email address, it was looking for my entry in Bulgarian characters.  Eventually the assistant set up a new account for me, phoned me back within twenty minutes and I eventually made the payment.  

So now to get on with the rest of my day.  I filled up the log basket from the containers outside, phoned the UK to check up on a few dates for birthdays and then set about my daytime activities.  I put more seeds out for the birds, filled up two log containers from the wood store, chopped more starter wood, had a bonfire and emptied the ash bin from the conservatory.  It was a beautiful morning and the air was so crisp that I sat on the wall at the bottom of the garden and took in the morning, breathing it in and out until my bottom got cold from the wall so I was soon off it and walking back up the garden.  I made sweet corn soup for lunch and it's a first for me but it's not going to become a firm favourite washed up from soup making and how many containers do you need.  I settled for television this afternoon and had my afternoon nap, finished watching 'Derek' on Netflix, brought the fire back to life and closed the bedroom curtains, it's going to be another really cold one, it's down to minus four already.

Chicken fillet for supper tonight and tomorrow I'm making a curry in the slow cooker and the pork is thawing already.  It looks like these cold nights are going to be with us for a couple of weeks, so long as the days are sunny and bright, I don't have a problem with that.  LN.....Roads look like they're clearing up a little.....LN

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January 26, 2022, 2:17pm Report to Moderator

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Nadal has been critised quite a bit recently about his time wasting. Shame you couldn't get the sledge out for a quick downhill run before the snow melted.
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Elsa Peters
January 26, 2022, 5:58pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 26th January

My trusty metal sledge, purchased in Romania back around nineteen ninety is sitting in my loft in the UK and that's my reason for not bursting into action here Trev...  It's not that I waste time, I enjoy time watching my little world, sitting letting things turn over in my brain when I'm not really having much input and I think that's where the inspiration for my house came from.  Allowing the vibes to get through from whence they cometh....

Minus eleven this morning when I woke up at five thirty, wide awake so I lit the fire and again it's been going all day.  The heating came up around eight by which time I was washed, dressed and breakfasting on poached eggs on toast and taking photographs of the birds as they came for their breakfast.  My very nervous jay was obviously very hungry, I'd topped up the heap of mixed seeds and it's good because it eats what the others don't want.  Supper was also in the slow cooker, what I thought was pork was beef that I'd been given by one of my ladies and it needed really slow cooking.  I added onions, paprika, tinned tomatoes, brought it up to temperature and then dropped it to medium,,,it was ready by five.  I added cannelloni beans for the last hour and left it to do it's thing, had a bonfire but didn't stay out there long, the wind was keen and it seemed colder that it had been for the entire cold spell.  

I popped over to Avatars this afternoon and invited her to supper, there was loads in the slow cooker.  I noticed that she had beef on the go on her wood burner but she could choose what she wanted, hers or mine after I'd delivered.  Haciber came round to Avatar's house when I was there, she likes to know what's going and is known as the local news reporter but her heart is in the right place.  I went home, cooked the pasta and delivered food at five forty and I didn't wait to see what she decided to do...I came back and had mine and I didn't stop there.  I baked an apple with fruit, butter, dark sugar and honey in the microwave and opened a packet of cream and liberally doused it.  Washing up done, kitchen tidy for the morning and I might even venture out to Kardjali with a shopping list, the road seems to have cleared, might be not so good in the forest but I'll take it slowly.  LN....And now to write my shopping list......LN

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Elsa Peters
January 27, 2022, 6:06pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 27th January

Another minus six this morning but as it stands at the moment, we are going into tonight on a zero degrees and not sure what will happen over night, it is predicted minus seven so I shan't be throwing off the bedclothes anytime soon.  I made coffee and took that back to bed after I'd salvaged the fire.  I played sudoku for a while, got up to make more coffee, felt peckish, spotted the cornflakes and since I had milk on the go put some in a bowl, sprinkled them with sugar and took them back to bed.  I suppose that one advantage of living on your own, you can do what you like when you like.....and it didn't stop there.  I heated up the half baked apple from last night, put a dollop of cream on it and it felt quite decadent. I didn't linger long in nightclothes, added several more layers since I'd made my mind up that I'd go into Kardjali and top up the food levels.  I didn't make my list last night so set about it as I watched morning television.  I had a few messages backwards and forwards with my grandson who's currently in Cyprus...he's twenty three years old today and I had a flashback of the day he was born and changing his first nappy.  The things we remember.

I started the Nipper up to clear the windscreen and left it running in the yard.  I looked over to Avatar's house intending to go over and ask her if she wanted anything from Kardjali but I didn't spot her walking stick propped against the wall or her little black rubber shoes so she must have been off visiting.  I went to open the gate and because there is so much water in the ground that's now frozen solid, it got stuck and didn't open enough to get the Nipper out of the gate.  I resorted to harden hoe which did nothing so had a brainwave that if I used the old axe head, knocked it under the post attached to the wall I could raise it up on the hinge and should be able to open it,,,and it worked and now to find something to act as a spacer so that I could open it all the way and close it again.  I spotted a couple of hooks from the end of an old bungy cord so took it out and they fitted perfectly between the bottom of the spindles and the spacers, the gate opened perfectly and closed once I'd got the Nipper out.  The road to Djebel was not so good with really icy patches through the forest but I made it to Djebel, stopped off at the car shop to see if she wanted anything from the supermarkets in Kardjali and she settled on four kilos of oranges for just under four leva.

First stop the hardware shop near Kaufland and managed to find a new glass shade for the standard lamp in the winter lounge.  I'd bashed it against the wall, it was only cracked but at nine leva I could manage it.  On to Kaufland and found nine packets of bacon reduced, chicken legs on offer and one or two other items that hadn't made the list.  I moved on to Lidl and what a catastrophe that was.  It seemed as if they had had a late delivery, they were filling up like lunatics, there were cages everywhere and lots of shelf edged labels stating the price of the items were missing.  I did refer to the list and with a full trolley headed to the checkout, loaded the car and back to Djebel to deliver the oranges and home, James, carefully through the forest.  I parked up, unloaded the car and lit the fire and Avatar was at the door asking for a screwdriver, she tried to explain the problem so I went over to see for myself.  She couldn't manage to shut the new inner door to her main room and was beginning to panic.  I tightened the screws on the hinge but it didn't fix it so I took off the latch plate from the door surround and that did it.  Basically the door latch plate needs to be level with the frame and not proud but I'm not the one to do it.  At least now she can close the door.

I came home, made tuna sandwiches on fresh white crusty bread and sat down with a coffee, put the shopping away, topped up the fire and replaced the shade on the lamp.  I can now relax.....my work is done, the cupboards are no longer bare.  LN.....I'm wanting an easy day tomorrow.....LN  
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Elsa Peters
January 28, 2022, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 28th January

Slept straight through until seven this morning, minus six outside, the sky was clear and it wouldn't be long before the sun was going to be up so I didn't light the fire.  Instead I gave it a good clean out, removed the soot from under the top plate and laid it ready for later in the day.  Having sorted the fire out I found a bowl and went through the routine of filling it with cornflakes with a sprinkling of sugar, milk and back to bed with more coffee.  I stayed there until just before nine, made it as I got out of it, washed up from yesterday and this morning, put bird seed out and then decided to get washed and dressed.  Nothing much was going to happen today, I'd had my day of activity yesterday.

I went over to see Avatar to check that she wasn't locked in her day come night room and that she could still open the door.  The outside door key was in the lock so I knew that she'd been out and about so I knocked, shouted and went in and she was busy knitting my scarf to match my hat and gloves.  She insisted that I tried it on and she still has a little more to go and then wants to fringe it....her work and her design.  I came home, filled up the log carriers, topped up the log basket and spotted two empty sweet corn cans that I'd topped up with water and left them out to freeze so took them into the workshop and using a hammer and a nail punched a pattern on them to put tea lights in in the summer.  I also noticed that there were three bulbs sprouting in a pot that had fallen over so put it upright, topped it up with compost and watered it well and some cuttings that I'd left in water were starting to put out shoots so I potted them up too.   I moved outside and started hacking away at the remaining ice with the garden hoe, I've more or less cleared the steps to the little house terrace but the thick stuff between the steps is not to be budged.  

I came inside and  settled down to emails and Facebook until hunger bugs kicked in so I made toast and had the rest of the tuna mayo.  This afternoon I decided on Netflix and binged on 'The Sinner' watching the series one and three more to go but I disciplined myself and turned over to ITV.  Pretty sparse for birds in the garden today.  I had the usual tits and robins, there was a large bird on the tree near the bonfire pit and managed to get it with the zoom lens but it turned out to be a hooded crow that afterwards took up position on the electricity lines at the bottom of the garden.  As for feeding myself today, I've been picky all day so settled for fruit and fruit loaf.  I'm fresh out of sweet biscuits and no cream cheese to go with the bread sticks and haven't thought about supper so far....probably nothing.  LN.....I'm going to find something creative to tackle tomorrow......LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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