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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2022, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st December

Six thirty start this morning and again it was raining, two degrees on the thermometer so cold we and miserable.  The birds looked bedraggled on the branches, black cat was perched near the frog garden and looking hopefully in this direction.  I took the bones out from last night with a slice of bread and some apple turnover things that I'd found in the freezer, cooked and tasted disgusting...even the cat left those alone but scoffed the rest.  A few magpies flew in to take the bread but nothing approached the apple turnovers and they'll have to be really hungry to tackle them.  They were taken from a new pack from the freezer but now the rest are going to the bonfire.  They just tasted of old rancid fat.  I got the fire going and decided not to empty the ash can.  I'd noticed that my student's mum hadn't emptied hers when I lit their fire and strangely enough, it's burnt really well all day and the fire has given out lots of heat.  Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years!!

I was cooking breakfast at eight, poached egg on toast, I wrapped up the present when I realised that today was my student's birthday. in my head the 1st was Friday.  I did a quick whip round to tidy the place and was in the Nipper for ten thirty and heading for Djebel.  I hadn't got a lot to buy, deliver the pressie, buy some sewing needles with big eyes on them, the ones I have take me thirty minutes to thread the needle and five minutes to do the job...really bad time management.  I parked up outside my student's mum's shop and went in for five minutes which turned out to be thirty, Left the car outside and walked to the cheapy shop and found the needles so bought two packets at the exorbitant sum of two leva, carried on to the real leva shop and bought a new hat that I think I shall never wear.  It looked alright in the shop but that's the way that some things turn out.  I also bought a gas fire lighter and a can of gas for my student's mum.  When I lit the fire at their apartment I used matches and the flame was a little too close for comfort and when I gave it to her, she was unsure about it.  When she used it her face lit up and she said that she'd not thought about using one of those to light the fire.  I said that matches were a thing of the past and all my old ladies in the village start their fires with these.  

Home for half twelve, fire was ticking over nicely, I ate the last three remaining drumsticks, mended my sweater and no time was wasted threading the needle.  I got in two log carriers of wood for tonight and tomorrow and found the big white cat hiding under the Beast so it was given its marching orders.  The rest of the afternoon has been spent thinking about packing, replying to messages and geeing up hospital patients and making further plans for my journey down south from the airport drop off point.  I've yet to phone the cemetery to confirm the time that I shall be arriving to visit mum and dad's final resting spot and I have to buy a holly wreath or flowers to put on the grave.  I know that they're not in there but it's a mark of respect, don't know why but I feel I have to do it this year.  Not sure about supper, I appear to have nibbled all day demolishing a packet of tea biscuits more or less, had a couple of satsumas and that should do me for today.  

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far...a day all to myself.  Packing, unpacking and packing it again...looks like an interesting day ahead of me.  LN.....I'll report back.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 2, 2022, 5:05pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd December

It's getting boring now.....another cold, wet and miserable day.  Black cat, loyal as was waiting for food and I obliged with the bones from last night and bread that had been steeped overnight in the cooking juices and hot water.  It finished all of it and the white bully of the village appeared just as my cat was about to move away and sat on the wall most disappointed.  I settled for ham sandwiches for breakfast, tidied the kitchen and then decided to defrost the fridge, the icebox was in a really bad state and I wanted to make my journey to leaving easier than spending hours on this task as the days roll on.  I'll be switching the fridge off only leaving the freezer running.  As I thought it was a long drawn out process and was about to resort to the hairdryer but the last chunk slid off while my back was turned.  I cleaned it out, switched it on and it purred to attention.

In between doing the fridge I assembled everything that's got to go in the suitcase.  I'm only taking overhead luggage, I've got lots of clothes in the UK but just want a few different ones that I'm familiar with.  I'm also visiting friends that I've not seen for ten years in one case and almost thirty in another on my journey to the south and that might even be extended now after my latest news from the UK.  My one stop is to stay with a woman who was nineteen and I was sixteen and straight from school when I started working at the local council.  It's amazing that our friendship has lasted that long and when I phone her we still laugh about some of the things that we used to get up to.  She kept up with other people that we worked with and just to chart their journeys is incredible...how many people can say that.  

So I'm on track for lift off, bus ticket and hotel booked and I'll go into the bus depot now that I know that my arrival into Sofia will be in darkness so no dropping off at an earlier stop.  It's always difficult to get a taxi from there and more chance of getting one that charges normal fare not exorbitant prices.  The hotel does have a courtesy bus but I doubt it will pick me up from the bus station but will definitely get me to the airport without any hassle.  So this afternoon I settled on the sofa with the woodburner just hanging in there until I boosted it with a firelighter and sticks.  I was warm, comfortable and yes, you can guess the outcome.  I woke up just before six, remembered that Strictly has been moved to eight thirty tonight to accommodate the football and unfortunately it appears to have dominated everything. LN... Again no photos, I'm hoping that we have some good weather otherwise I'll be developing webbed feet.......LN
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Elsa Peters
December 3, 2022, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd December

So it was a little later this morning when I raised my head from the pillow.  It was cosy in my nest, outside was showing three degrees again and inside was around sixteen and I toyed with lighting the fire then thought better of it.  I reckoned that if I was active I wouldn't need it but as the morning progressed I had this vague notion that it wouldn't be as active as I would have liked....and I was right.  There would be no way that any bells or whistles would be emanating from the Fitbit today.  It started well, I made a bacon sandwich, took a barbecue rib from the freezer ready for supper.  I found a load of washing and having done that changed my mind on the fire front, I now had washing to dry and no way was it going to be the natural way...it was another cold miserable day.

By now it was heading for half eleven, the fire was going well so I put Netflix on and finished off the series that I'd half slept through last night and I'm still wondering what it was all about. It was strange all the way through but I just had to finish watching it hoping that the plot would sort itself out but it really didn't. It reminded me of the very first Doctor Who, stilted in its animation and the sound wasn't very clear...but I persevered and got my answer.  Thank goodness there wasn't a second series.  I got on with a few jobs around the house and suddenly heard someone speaking to me, I checked the door and there was no one there and I realised that I'd had a Messenger call so called back and it was an update on a friend's health situation and I was pleased to get the news.  We followed it up with a few messages and pickies and hopefully we can meet up when I'm in the UK.

By now the fire was going well and I was cosy and warm inside and no what was I going to change the status quo.  The next fil offered to me was Lady Chatterley and having read the book in my teens hadn't realised that they'd made a film out of it.  I was well into it and suddenly there was a knock on my inner door and it was Guljan's mother that I hadn't seen for a long time.  She came laden with bags and gave me spinach banitsa, home made bread, home made yogurt and a bottle of yogurt drink that I had to refuse...I would never have got through it and don't really like the stuff.  She also asked me to enlarge and frame three photos for her so that looks like a job for tomorrow.  She told me that one of the pictures was of her brother who died in a freak accident and tears started to flow, the other was of Guljan's wedding and I'm sure I've given her others of this event.  Off she went with some After Eights in a bag, the yogurt drink was going down to Zelinger and the enlarged photos she might have before but I guess after Christmas.

I watched the end of Lady Chatterley and enjoyed it. warmed up some of the spinach banitsa and put the ribs into the oven.  I filled up the log basket and took the log carrier to the woodstore, filled it up and brought it back and the empty starter wood bin was taken to the little house and a full one established in the porch.  I might even chop more wood to fill up the empty container, I'll see how my time pans out before I leave.  Strictly results tonight and I was very good and didn't check out on the internet who was given their marching orders. LN.....I'm hoping for a more productive day tomorrow with regard to packing my suitcase.....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 4, 2022, 5:18pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th December[

Woke up early again, played silly games where I was warm and snuggled in the nest and eventually got up and about by seven thirty. It was another cold, damp miserable morning, cat was sitting on the bench on the terrace looking in towards the lounge when I opened the curtains and hopped on to the terrace from the grass when I delivered the remains of last night's supper in a bowl for her. She didn't eat all of it so after she left I threw it on to the grass, fair game now for anyone else that wanted it.

I made a bacon sandwich for breakfast, washed up and then set about final washing, sorting out travel clothes and packing.  I'd washed two pairs of trousers and a body warmer to take with me and they were OK and didn't need care and consideration.  I though about taking my alpaca jumper which is exceptionally warm and having listened to the weather forecasts for the UK, it could come in extremely useful.  I've had it a long time, haven't worn it much so checked on the internet how best to wash it and it suggested by hand in cool water, rinse it well and dry it in a towel first off and not to spin dry it.  I did the first part, into the washing machine it went, rinsed it, gave it a spin but did put it on the airer flat in the upstairs bathroom.  My neighbour from down the road came round with a present for me. not sure if it was an early Christmas or not, we walked the garden and she noticed that the cranberries were still on the tree so started to eat them.  She pulled on one branch and the ones remaining on the tree fell down on her and we both started to laugh.  On we went to the bottom of the garden and she noticed that I still had medlar fruits on the tree  and she's coming for those tomorrow.  What she really came round for was to ask me to take her to the spring to fill up some bottles for them before I go away and I'm picking her up at nine tomorrow morning.

Off she went, I lit the fire and it's been going well all day.  I settled in to get my packing done, suitcase finished, make-up bag washed and cleared out, chargers sorted, toothbrush on charge, tablets assembled, necessary paperwork in its right place and only thing left to do is to sort out money and jewellery for my hand luggage.  Had a lovely phone call from my daughter this afternoon, they'd had a weekend away and were on their way home.  My grandson has finished already for Christmas and soon I shall be there. I hadn't noticed but earlier in the week she'd sent me a photograph of her sprout socks that she bought a couple of years ago and I told her mine are already packed for Christmas day....the memories we make egh....

I made B├ęchamel sauce from a packet, threw about seven Swedish meatballs into it and put them in the oven.  I took some croquette potatoes from the freezer, put them in the air fryer and voila....half an hour later I had supper done and in another ten minutes, dusted.  Washing up done, kitchen tidy, washing virtually dry, fire going well and I feel I've not got a lot left to do before I go.  Nice stage to be at, nothing to do tomorrow except my mercy mission to the spring and maybe I'll have time for my student on Tuesday.  LN.....Now to see if I can avoid the football.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 5, 2022, 5:15pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th December

So I had a bath last night, there was nothing else to do.  The internet went off just as I was about to settle down to the England game and so the bath was the other option.  I went through the usual procedures and it definitely wasn't at this end and thee were no lights on the mast on the opposite side over the river.  I went to bed at eleven, read for a while, played timed sudoku trying to beat my records and light out at around eleven thirty.

I slept well and was out of bed by six thirty.  Again it was damp and miserable and fortunately most of my washing was already dry so no worries there. My promise to my neighbour to take her down to the spring was kept, I was outside her house at nine and she was thinking it would take some time if the water was slow but I said no way....the amount of rain that we've had would make that impossible.  We took seven bottles down with us and within five minutes they were full and we were heading home....the water was gushing out.  Toast for breakfast, cat had stale bread and banitsa and then I started on the pots from the terrace.  Everything is in, just need to water them tomorrow and hopefully things will manage until I get back....they normally do.  The final bench is in from the terrace and one from the balcony is now in my upstairs bedroom and most jobs are done.  One think I didn't count on was that the strap of my Fitbit broke just near the meeting point with the watch itself and I've only had it a year so it should be a free one.  Unfortunately while I was messing around with the strap I must have pressed another button and the screen went black, I'd inadvertently put it into 'dim' and it took about half an hour on an online chat to sort it out.  As for the strap he pointed me to another help desk so I'll do that later.

I stitched the broken bit back on and then encountered a problem putting it back on the watch.....not sure but I've ordered another one from the internet and I'll be able tell.  At three thirty my neighbour from this morning was asking me if I was going into Kardjali tomorrow, I said 'no', she said that her phone wasn't working and I suddenly remembered that I had an outstanding bill so told her to get ready quickly and I'd pick her up in fifteen minutes.  Typical with anybody you offer a lift to, it's never easy, we had to go to her home in Kardjali first to get the documents for the phone, I headed for the parking, she went off and I tried to pay for a parking slot on line, it didn't want to play so I decided to risk it, ran to my phone shop and paid my bill.  She came back to the car after ten minutes and said that the problem was with her phone and nothing had been achieved and she has to go back tomorrow.

Fire stoked up, I had a fish finger sandwich around two this afternoon so nothing required for tonight.  I'm on final count down and my biggest problem is decided what to wear to travel in and what else I need to put in the suitcase......and then to the final, finals.  LN.....Better make a tick list......LN



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Elsa Peters
December 6, 2022, 7:55pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th December

Silly night last night, I slept through Only Connect and University Challenged, woke up on the sofa, couldn't get to sleep and it was three a.m. before I put the light out and got my head down for the second time.  I slept well though, woke up at seven and it was all go after that. My fire was still going but only just and I must have spent about an hour going back to it and eventually it took off and it's still going now.  I toasted fruit loaf for breakfast, forgot that I'd turned up the toaster and came back to the kitchen with smoke emanating from it and the smell has lingered for the rest of the day.  I had another attempt but stood over it and it turned out OK. washing up done and then stripped the bed, washed the nest and on to the banister to dry it.

I turned my attention to the packing and eventually settled on the my travelling outfit, all on the coat hanger and only the hand luggage to sort.  My attention was then drawn to my ancestry subscription that is due and phoned the company to check whether or not my account was still active since I'd received that email offering me forty percent reduction if I came back.  Joanna answered the call, said that I should never have received it and that my account was active, I told her I was really annoyed and said that the option was to cancel my account and come back with a forty percent saving...and why wouldn't you.  Eventually she came back to me late this afternoon, too late for me to speak to her so I emailed her, the discount had been agreed but I wanted a breakdown of the charging and reminded her that I still felt entitled to my loyalty discount of fifteen percent.  I'll expect to hear from her tomorrow morning before I leave with a final figure but I reckon I shall save around sixty pounds so why wouldn't you challenge the email.

That done I watered the houseplants, all the pots in the little house, wrapped the bonnet of the Beast in an old rug and a waterproof jacket and that's another job off the list.  I went to see my student, we read through a really sweet text about Jack Frost at New Year delivering kindness and love to people who needed it...very appropriate for this time of year. Arrived home at five thirty, the fire was still going and easily rescued, suitcase finished and zipped up and that's it.  I've still got the morning here with only a few jobs to do already on a list and I'll work though it.  LN.....Bus, taxi, hotel and then face the train service, or lack of when I get to the UK.....the delights of going home.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 7, 2022, 7:55pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th December

It's been one heck of a day but at last I'm in my hotel room and ready to crash onto a kingsize bed.....a little different from my winter nest.  Posting may be sporadic for the next few days....this computer is destined for the knacker's yard when I get home....no USB ports so have to rely on friends and family and free internet in hotels.  

Nipper safely stashed in the garage in Djebel, but it's been buses all the way and when I arrived in Sofia bus station I asked a good looking young guy where the taxis were and it wasn't a chat up line....but he was most helpful noticing my suitcases and English accent and phoned me a taxi that cost fourteen leva not the useual rip off when they spot a 'newby'.  Thank you kind sir and off he went when the taxi arrived.  I've booked my transfer to the airport for eleven twenty so I shall have an easy morning...flight at 13.20....arriving in Manchester at 3.00 to be met by my nephew who happens to work there......and then the fun begins....bring it on.  LN....How does one navigate a train strike?.....get the thumb at the ready.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 12, 2022, 10:53pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 12th December

I'm here...back at last and posting.  It's been hell without it...I tried hard to do a posting from my English phone, hadn't got enough juice in it, eventually gave up and it had to wait until I was down in the south.  I've managed to achieve what I set out to achieve and despite the trains I arrived in fairly reasonable time despite the snow.  

My nephew met me at the airport, with full blazer and authority.  He is responsible for certain areas of security so whisked me away from arrivals into his chariot parked not too far from the airport to his home and I was to meet his partner whom I'd never met before.  I was given the baronial suite, they reckoned that if I managed to get into the spare bedroom I might not make it out again...some second bedrooms are like that.  I did say I'd be fine but they were having none of it.  I stayed with them for a few nights and eventually my body clock adjusted from Bulgarian time and I wasn't roaming the house filling in my time until everyone got up and about.  We didn't make it very far but at least I did meet some of the rest of the family and had a baby cuddle with the latest addition, we had a splendid Italian meal and the next morning I said fond farewells and my nephew drove me down to my next stopping point.

I worked with this 'young' lady when I was sixteen years of age at my first job.  We'd made lots of lovely memories, had maintained our friendship for the last sixty years and not many people can say that.  We also went out socially until I left for Gibraltar, knew each others boyfriends and shared some giggles about the things we got up to.  A lot of it was ...'do you remember when?' and there were times when we had to relate the stories, remember names etc.  She still drives well and I managed to see my friend who is in hospital not far from where she lives and she also took me to find my parents grave this morning so that I could leave a wreath.  I'd also bought a robin made out of woven cane that I was going to take to the cemetery  that had a cyclamen in a pot inside its back but I decided against it and left it with her.  I felt that the cyclamen would die and the robin might 'fly' to another site....it was left for her to enjoy.  Our few days were cut short....the train strike was looming and the snow came so we drove into Stafford and I managed to get a ticket for just before three this afternoon and was doing OK, it was a non-stop to London but then one of the trains before us had a shattered windscreen so we were delayed for an hour, I had to walk across London to change stations and my bag seemed to get heavier and eventually I managed to get to my next train and arrived in Brighton around eight this evening,  managed to get a taxi and the fare like everything else has climbed astronomically...when do we reach the pinnacle?

So now I have to buy cards, write them tomorrow and get them in the post, think about presents or money that will be put into accounts and send flowers as a 'thankyou' for the hostesses along the way on my pilgrimage.  I've had a lovely time, as I said have achieved what I set out to achieve, made new friendships and possible visitors for next year and renewed old ones.  LN....And now to my own bed said Zebedee....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 13, 2022, 7:40pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 13th December

It's cold in the UK and tonight I'm going to have to put another quilt on the bed.  I was awake early, my body clock is still out of step with the my current location, the snow has all gone, frost had formed overnight so there was a 'whiteness' to the morning and not many birds were out and about.  I found the box of Christmas cards left over from last year, my address books and a pen and started to write my cards for this year and eventually completed them by eleven.  I suggested that my host wrote his and fairly bullied him into it...why go to the post office twice. I did end up writing and addressing his, he was finding the addresses from an excel spreadsheet, marking that one was being sent and obviously will mark whether he gets on in return or not.  If I get one I'm happy but I really can't go to those lengths.  Because he was making his mind up whether to do them or not I took the the bath with my Kindle and here the hot water is limitless, not like my eight liters at home with top ups and I must have been in there for an hour or so and very relaxed and then the push to get the rest of the cards done and it worked.  

I settled for toast for a snack, I somehow missed breakfast but kept the coffee up and we headed into the village at about three choosing to go by car where normally I would walk over the Downs to the sea.  By now the weather had gone really cold, not a lot of wind, slight flurries of snow but nothing to write home about.  It's probably because we are so near the sea.  We chose to take the scenic route and there is a very narrow lane that has to be negotiated.  We pulled over, there was room for the oncoming car to get by us but he made a fuss, said he couldn't get his car through, as far as we were concerned he could have done, we couldn't go back, he wouldn't go back so we went forward proving that the space was adequate....and the word 'prat' springs to mind.  We'd only taken that route because the road down to the village get's really jammed but I'm sure it would have been quicker in the long run.  So we'd managed to find enough stamps for the majority of the cards and I was only left with one for overseas and an oversized card, the rest went in the box.  The lady is very sweet down at the post office so I selected family cards from there and shopped locally, more expensive but hey...parking in Brighton makes everything expensive.  Back to the car, into the Tesco for bread and unfortunately I spent more on Dairy Milk chocolate, four eclairs and a very small Christmas tree that I will decorate in the morning and by then I should have worked out how to get my camera attached to this system I'm using.  Home James and don't spare the horses, coffee and two eclairs while watching The Chase, the football went on and went off, we're out and I'm really not interested in the outcome any more.  Supper was served, minced beef with baked beans with mashed potato, I like this restaurant, no bill to follow and no washing up....it goes in the machine,

Not sure about tomorrow.  I want to go into Brighton to find some pressies but only if the weather is dry...dry and cold I like but wet and cold is not for me and that will be on the bus.  Alternatively I might just meander over the Downs and to the sea and blow away a few cobwebs.   LN.....I'm missing posting photos....just got to get my head round how to do it on this system.....LN
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Elsa Peters
December 14, 2022, 7:20pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 14th December

Even worse tonight....I can't manage to open up the big machine, a new version of Windows 11 and what a performance it is.  So now on my little Chuwi from China and this is the one that might not even return to Bulgaria...

Another cold day....I.ve not moved away from the lounge and have in fact done nothing...Not quite true...I cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the fire place off and renewed the tea lights, decorated a litte Christmas tree that I'd bought and that was it.  I also replaced a tea light in a little pottery snowman just to make it more festive and it worked.

Supper was beef with potatoes and peas....and it didn't have to cook it.  I like this travelling the country....I get fed but I'm not sure how much entertaining I'll be doing in the summer when they all come to visit.  So now I'm giving up, the cursor keeps flying around the screen and I can hardly keep up with it.  LN....Camera and system sorting tomorrow or maybe a walk if the sun manages to come out......LN
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