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Elsa Peters
August 10, 2022, 6:11pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 10th August

The grass did get done, the mower fired up first time and I thought that I'd get out there before the sun really decided to hot up but even at ten it was very hot out there.  The other problem was that the ground is so dry that it was collecting all the dust as well as the seed head so the mower got really heavy to push.  I came in for water at eleven and was surprised to see that I'd done ten thousand steps already, didn't longer long inside and in a very higgledy-piggledy fashion I managed to do the second section completing it by around twelve o'clock.  More liquid required, I was hot, sweaty and very dusty so decided that my best bet was to get in the shower, wash my hair and at least feel clean again.  I put my toweling dressing gown on, settled on the sofa and watch 'The Hobbit' film on Netflix and thought there ought to be a sequel.  I did sleep through some of it and maybe missed the punchline but thought the animation was good for something made that long ago.

I realised that I hadn't had breakfast so settled for a couple of ham sandwiches and yet more fluids finishing off a bottle of fizzy water in quicksticks and congratulating myself after a giant burp.  That's the nice thing about living on your own, you can say 'good girl' and no one tells you to shut up.  I got dressed again, did my last hoover and mop through and I've finished except that I remembered that I'd dragged the top landing carpet from the grass to the workshop terrace and wanted to put it over the repaired sunbed just incase the rain came tonight.  It's going to be easier to clean it if it's off the ground and more chance of it drying.  Everything locked up for the night, the outside cushions are all in the chest on the terrace, by work is done and according to my Fitbit I've done twenty and a half thousand steps so not bad.  

There's a bright yellow moon that's sneaked up on me and it's looking almost full so maybe we won't have rain tonight....better go and check the forecast.  LN....Now to find something for supper......LN



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Elsa Peters
August 11, 2022, 6:07pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 11th August

By seven I was out in the garden having a bonfire.  I took the precaution of having the hose pipe on standby and once the burning bucket was fully loaded I put the lid on and attached the hose with the holes in to the one with water in and watered the shrubs at the bottom of the garden,  The were looking really sad and hopefully it's seen them through this hot sultry day.  I detached the holy hose and started to move the main hose round the garden so at least the buddlieh had a chance of the flowers coming to something.  The sumac had a good watering and I moved up the garden putting the sprinkler on the flower bed near the workshop terrace, moving it to the old veg bed and getting very drenched in the process, the maple was next, the berberis and finally the choisya, that was really looking sad.  I'm guessing that my bill might be a little higher than last month but what the heck....it's certainly not on a par with English prices.  While I was at it I got out the garden fork and removed the dead grass and the newly shooting grass from the rose bed in the side garden.  I'd been looking at it for days and at last it's done.  The acacia was also bugging me, it's got very tall and the side branches are scratching on the side of the house and I've put a stop to that.  I got the long handled extendable pruner and it's done, the cows were waiting in line to see what was coming over next,  Some of the cows are looking extremely boney, they're having to forage really hard for anything with nourishment in it,  I only hope the farmer is adding to the diet.

I hoovered out the Nipper ready for my pick-up tomorrow to get rid of the flakey pastry that seems to get everywhere and stick.  It's normally on the menu when I come back from shopping trips to Kardjali.  I even washed the rubber mats and that's a first for me and it's looking really ship-shape, I had the outside done by the garage.  Slight problem with the hoover though, I couldn't managed to get the main hose off yet again and couldn't remove the blockage so I heard the workmen in Avatar's garden so trundled over the road carrying the hoover.  It took a while for the message to get through, one of the men does like a drink while he's working but eventually he managed to remove the hose.  You have to press two plastic buttons on either side of a rather fat pipe and my poor hands can't manage it these days and then pull to release it from the machine.  Avatar invited me to look at the work that's taking place inside the house and I think that there's a lot to do.  New bathroom with a wall coming down, inside toilet going in, outside cesspit needs to be dug and lined and kitchen to be fitted out.  I did make a couple of suggestions regarding the height of the socket in the kitchen but it fell on deaf ears and also suggested overhead worktop lighting for the prep area on a different switch next to the main overhead light but I forgot, local men don't know kitchens but only build them.  I suggested that Avatar's daughter in law came to look at mine and Avatar seconded the idea and I explained it to her and she immediately got it/  She will tell them what needs to be done, I have no doubt.

So hoovering complete, I emptied what little there is of the boot area in the Nipper and it's all ready to go at around five thirty in the morning.  The flight arrives at around eleven so I should be fine and should miss the morning rush and be out of Sofia before the Friday exit begins.  Bath, hair wash and early night for me and alarms set.  LN......Wish me safe journey......LN



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Elsa Peters
August 12, 2022, 8:37pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 12th August

What a day and a half.  I couldn't sleep knowing that I had to get up to leave for Sofia Airport and was out of bed at four thirty, in the Nipper for five thirty, cash machine for soon after and filled up with petrol and gas in Kardjali and ready for the journey at six.  It was going so well, Asenovgrad for seven and it all went wrong in Plovdiv.  There was a diversion sign because of roadworks, but only one and nothing to follow the trail and I seem to have covered one piece of road around three times before I saw a sign for Pazardik.  This town I knew and thought that I could join the motorway there but no signs were evident and now I was wasting time.  I found a road sign to Sofia so followed it and that took me the scenic route and eventually I ended up on a very bumpy road, followed it and low and behold a motorway and I thanked the lord because otherwise I wouldn't have made it in time for the flight.  I was there with time to spare and waited until the flight landed and when my daughter and her hubby came through from arrivals, tears were shed.  

So we negotiated the further road works on the way back but this time with the help of a satnav.....I just hate Plovdiv.  On to Asenovgrad and about a quarter of the way through the mountain pass we stopped at my favourite little restaurant and settled for burgers, salad and cokes and soon we were on out way again.  Kardjali and Kaufland for a few items for tonight, the main shop will be done over the weekend.  We've had a lovely evening, lots of memories of people, places and things.  It's been good for me.  I've driven Sofia and back and the old skills are still there.  LN.....And the Nipper did good.....cheap at half the price on fuel thanks to the gas.....LN
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Elsa Peters
August 13, 2022, 8:28pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 13th August

So I was out watering the garden at seven this morning and my guests surfaced after a good night's sleep.  I had a hug with my daughter, we found cracked shell in the garden and no trace of any others to join the party.  Breakfast was fresh fruit and yogurt and eventually we moved back inside and finished off with toast and jam.  Washing up finished we did the tour of the little house and discussed the changes we might make and it was surprising how the ideas differed but interesting to explore the changes.

We sat around outside and made plans to go into Kardjali but again we started silly lightweight conversations and eventually we left at one thirty heading for the lea shop where we made some funny purchases including local underwear that I've threatened my daughter that no way does she wear them outside the confines of the perimeter fence.  The locals wear them under their baggy trousers where my daughter wears them as shorts and very fetching they look too. Over to the hardware shop and I had a premonition that the patio umbrellas had been reduced for quick sale and guess what, they had so I purchased a dark red one, it was boxed but we realised that it wouldn't fit in the Nipper so it's paid for and we'll collect it tomorrow in the Beast.  We shopped at Lidl, bought salad stuff and more fruit for supper.

We arrived home at five, sat around talking again, made potato salad, boiled eggs, tomato and onion salad with cheese and we've just got up from the table now and was surprised to see what the time was.  Full moon tonight but there are dark clouds looming and there have been a few flashes of lightning.  Maybe a storm on the horizon, we'll have to wait and see.  LN.....Maybe a swimming day tomorrow.....it's all weather dependent.....LN
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Elsa Peters
August 14, 2022, 8:24pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 14th August

Seven start and I was out watering the pots, watering round the burning bin and finally setting fire to the rubbish.  It was a pretty cool morning, washing done and pegged out by eight and I really should have put it on the airer instead.  It was a help yourself breakfast and I settled for hard boiled eggs, ham and toast followed by fresh fruit salad....I like having guests, mornings are varied.

We were fairly quick out of the yard this morning and my SIL was driving the jeep...we had the umbrella to pick up from the shop in Kardjali which got loaded into the Beast and I was tempted to by an air fryer after being sold the benefits and managed to find one on my second trip round the store.  I didn't make the decision but carried on to Kaufland, there were two different models in there but they were both much too big.  They would be great for a family but most times there's only me so I went back and bought the first on which was a bargain at around sixty pounds.  All I needed was a few driving lessons and the test was to come later in the day.

On the way home the heavens opened up, thunder, lightning and really heavy rain.  I remembered that I had washing out but rationalised it,,,,it was wet already so might as well leave it where it was, it would dry at some point and I'm still waiting.  Also came home to the big umbrella being forced under the balcony so I had to drag it back from under and tomorrow I have the new one to go up in it's place.

Lovely rest of the day....a little TV until 'Songs of Praise' came on, much to wet to be outside but songs sung by people with immense passion wasn't for me so the tv. went off.  Djebel market day and we're probably going to visit to give them another taste of my chosen area.  They both love it here because it's so peaceful with no schedule to run to or up against.  The air cooker worked a treat and I'm sure will become a firm favourite, lots of salads to go with pork steaks which was in fact my bargain .

Time to wind up and get to bed, both my guests are settled for the night and now it's my turn.  LN.....time for me to get my head down....LN
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Elsa Peters
August 15, 2022, 6:52pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 15th August

It was a late start this morning but at seven I jumped out of bed with cramp in my leg and I could have almost screamed with the pain.  Hopping around the bedroom it eventually subsided and I reckon it's got something to do with the cold air after such hot days and nights, the rest of the house was sleeping peacefully so I went outside in my PJ's put the cushions from the outside furniture out to dry, yesterday's rain had saturated everything.  I popped over to see Avatar and came back with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and chilies and to a daughter that thought that she'd been abandoned.  I walked down the garden and spotted CS (Cracked Shell) hiding under one of the bushes but there were no other sightings until later in the day when we encountered Blue, Rosy, Green God at various bits of the garden with Rosy still trying to get under the gate and off to freedom but just a little too bid for the gap.

We were going to stay at home today, my washing from yesterday was still drying, one more load was completed and that went on to the clothes airers on the terrace and on a whim we decided to go to the market to get potatoes and instead came back with a new dress each, a couple of t-shirts, two new plants for the pot that's had a hard time in this hot spell.  We went to the soup kitchen for lunch and the waiter got the order a little wrong and we ended up with two plates of chicken meat balls in tomato sauce and two plates of chicken with rice but we made short shift of it and with cokes it only came to twenty four leva and there wasn't much left. From there we popped into my car shop so that might family could renew the friendship with the owner and they could meet my new student who was only three years old the last time they visited.  From there we went down to the garage to meet the older student who's just finished university who they first met when I took him to England for his fifteenth birthday and had accompanied us to London on a couple of our trips.  A stop off at the supermarket bringing back jelly sweets and more coca cola. washing came in and the cushions from the chairs have been put away just in case and we sat out until the mosquitos forced us in.  

We've made a list of the things that we want to achieve tomorrow so it's a day at home.  They both love it here and I love having them   It's been a very relaxing pleasant day and no rain.  It's threatened for tomorrow but hopefully it will avoid us.  LN.....Either way, it won't affect the good humour of my hillside....LN
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Elsa Peters
August 16, 2022, 7:09pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 16th August

Up fairly early and managed to clean the carpet that's been sitting on the sunbed on the workshop terrace but forgot to bring it in before the storm started.  I swept the terrace, cleaned the steps to the basement under the little house and my guests slept soundly and it was eight thirty and my daughter was walking towards me with a cup and I was looking forward to a coffee and then realised it wasn't mine but her morning brew.  Fortunately an instruction was sent up the line and mine was ready in quicksticks.  Breakfast was down to me...poached eggs and ham on toast and some even came with cheese, sliced tomatoes and salad, we eat well.  Washing up done and kitchen finished and then the work began.  

My wooden chest that's been topless since it was constructed now has a top on it, the suckers round the little picnic area have been removed and the casual bench and table would have been repaired except that we found a wasp's nest under the concrete base and part of this morning's effort was to get rid of the beasties so the work was abandoned.  My intruder light has been reassigned and now lights up when I reverse my car in the drive instead of lighting up when tractors and buses go by and we sat in the sun and watched it slowly disappear as the clouds gathered.  We'd moved inside when the first thunder started and the winds got up.  Things started flying across the garden, pots tipped over and then the rain came, belting down and the rain drops were huge.  It was only then that I remembered the carpet.

We set up in the lounge and watched the storm burn itself out, turn around and it came back towards up, not so much wind but still a lot of rain.  We were all on the verge of falling asleep so I got up, we went on a tortoise hung and managed to find Blue down the bottom of the garden under the juniper horizontalis but no luck with the others.  We came back in when it started again and I went into the freezer to find some thing for supper removing three steaks and putting them to thaw.  We made salad to go with them and then it was showers for the guests, I cooked the steaks with onions and potato wedges went in the new air fryer.  Supper was served, all washed up and I headed to the bathroom and lingered in the bath for half an hour or so.  Just after ten our end, the thunder is still rattling around and hopefully it will clear up for tomorrow,  Found a beautiful butterfly but just couldn't get the camera to focus on it properly so the photo has been abandoned.  The sky over Smolyan was stunning but again don't think I did it justice. LN.....Just taken my anti-histamine tablet so stop my mosquito bites itching...never seen so many about....horrid beasties....LN



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Elsa Peters
August 17, 2022, 8:19pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 17th August

So I woke up this morning with the light on,  my glasses on the bed and the Kindle on the floor.  I'd obviously nodded off last night trying to get my last game of Sudoku on before I went to sleep...and I didn't manage it.  Light off and back to sleep again and it was seven thirty when I became compos mentis again, switched the light off and settled down once more.

I'd sorted out the landing carpet so that it would dry off after last night's storm, had a bonfire and eventually the family surfaced with coffee.  I put everything back where it should have been, opened up the umbrellas to dry them off and got my first load of washing out.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and a very lazy morning and we arrived in Djebel at one  and hit the shops for some electrical cabling to make a new kitchen light and more goodies for the snack box.  

Back home for three and really we haven't done much, finished preparing for the new arrivals on Friday,  I cooked pork steaks with sweet and sour sauce together with some barbecued ribs out of a packet all served with air fried chips.  I did manage to paint the lid of the old/new box for the terrace pots, not sure it's the correct colour but it wil soon fade in the sun.  We've just been advised that there's a change to the inbound and outbound flights frim Stanstead.....both to our advantage unfortunately they are still very anti-social flight times.

Sleepy now so signing off.  More in and then exiting ....going to be very busy. LN...... That's family for you.........LN
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Elsa Peters
August 18, 2022, 6:20pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 18th August

Another sticky hot day in paradise.....the mosquitoes this year have been a real problem causing me to buy tablets to take to stop the blasted damage itching at night.  I was alright by the bonfire this morning, I worked up a full head of steam, everything caught first time but it burnt well when I put the lid on for safety and allowed me to get on with other things.  The family were still sleeping and to fill time I trimmed the new shoots from the rounded bushes and neatened them all up.  I got into a bit of a pickle though, the slow bushes that I was trimming had very sharp thorns and as the trimmings fell I made the mistake of treading on one of them and one of the thorns went straight through the sole of the silly shoes I was wearing and as I hopped out of it and put more pressure on the other, another thorn went through that one.  Eventually I sorted myself out, picked up the branches as they fell and gained control of the situation, sending every thing over the wall for the animals.  I does look much neater out there and shows off the others that grow naturally in other shapes.

The family came to around nine, breakfast of cheese, ham and boiled eggs that my daughter had done perfectly, soft but not runny in the centre, yogurts for afters and that did me through until we went out for a meal tonight.  I finished off the cover on the sunbed sitting in the shade on the terrace. put it back on the frame, returned to my perching spot and promptly went to sleep for about an hour or so and felt much better for it.  Beautiful day again and fortunately the breeze got up this afternoon, the two umbrellas had been secured to the balcony so stayed intact.  Shower and hair washed this afternoon so it was a steady procession between the bathrooms and the lounge watching television in dressing gowns until we got ready for the restaurant tonight.  

We tried the central restaurant, I've been there before but now they have a menu that has a rough translation of almost anything on there.  One or two things you have to have a stab at but generally we got what we wanted, too much of everything but we all came away feeling full as little ticks.  A quick stop off at the supermarket for a top up for the beers and lemonade.....and I still remain t-total and able to drive while the others will be able to drink.  LN....Ready for my bed tonight...late pick up at the airport tomorrow in Plovdiv for the rest of the crew......LN
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Elsa Peters
August 20, 2022, 7:12pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 20th August

So firstly, sorry about last night, the flight was delayed and we didn't get back to base until one in the morning, the children were hungry.  We eventually made it to our beds at three after toast, bread, ham, cheese, biscuits and crisps and lots of liquid to wash it down.  I woke up at the normal time and was having a bonfire at seven thirty and left the rest of the family to come round eventually, we breakfasted at ten and they were so surprised by the views from the house, it's the first time my son and his family have been here and they love it.  We did a search for the tortoise, I spotted Blue on the little house terrace and later Green God was seen chasing Rosy round and she was having none of it, it got quite vicious, Green God was snapping at Rosy so I know that nature should take its course but my grandson removed Green God and left Rosy to recover in the shrubbery.

I made the suggestion that we went to the swimming pool and this was immediately taken up and at eleven we were in the Beast and heading into Kardjali and the Residentia Hotel.  It was quite busy but we managed to get six beds under a large square umbrella, my daughter's objective was to darken her tan, mine was to get in the water and do a few widths for exercise.  We left at five, Kaufland for a few items, home for six, chicken, pork and jacket potatoes in the oven and salads were made, we've all stuffed well and there was a moment of entertainment when one of the new comers left the fly screen open to the terrace and it was open house for a while.  We managed to get everything out that should be, everything out that should be in was rescued and now everything is calm again.  A tin of fly spray has been dutifully sprayed as a precaution and let's hope for a peaceful night.

No plans for tomorrow so far, it might be a stroll to Ustra which should keep the energy levels of our twelve year old to a decent height.  LN.....A lovely day with the family and delicious food......LN
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