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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  SEPTEMBER, 2010
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 1, 2010, 6:10am
Wednesday 1st September

Well the weather certainly has changed.  We had a thunderstorm last night and watching it from the upstairs bedroom windows was quite magnificent until it got too close then I closed my curtains and snuggled down under my duckdown kingsize.  It has got decidedly cooler.

Yesterday the door to the underneath of my other house in the garden was completed to stop the dogs from sleeping under it and generally tidied the garden.  Got quite a bit of tinder sorted and the branches that stopped the dogs are ready to be sawn into logs sometime today.  All's good with my little world.  As for my guest....I think he's finding it pretty hard going and off to bed early.  My men yesterday mixed goodness knows how much concrete and did the floor to the other bedroom so soon I shall have two and now it's time to look for the bath.  When the second bedroom is done I can then convert the one downstairs into it's original purpose....a workroom for me for sewing machine and anything else that I care to take up.  I have some upholstery to do for some of the benches just to make them more comfortable....not desparate but for some of my less paddied friends, essential.
Posted by: Princess, September 1, 2010, 2:01pm; Reply: 1
Hi Mummy, well I'm back at work today, where have the past 5 weeks gone?..... Callumazoo starts school tomorrow. He's quite looking forward to it but I think he is a bit nervous. Reading about your sewing room made me want to ask if you still have the wadding?!!

Love you, to the moon and back, big kisses, Princess xxxxxxxxxxxxxx  :K)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 1, 2010, 8:00pm; Reply: 2
1st September continued

Hello my beautiful Princess....if you can find it in your heart to send about three kilos of wadding it will be greatfully appreciated....I think I'm down to my last few inches....fnar, fnar...Don't forget to give the baby frog a big hug from me and wish him luck for tomorrow....and moon and back to you all.

So we went into Djebel tonight to the restaurant and a couple of police walked in in uniform and the taller of the two said...good evening....and gave me a wicked smile.  That's just like you get in England isn't it with a cheery goodnight as he left.  Two beers and a Sprite, cheesy chips, chicken livers and pork kebabs for the princely sum of £8 approx  and a goodnight was had by all.  

D of S did come round this morning for a coffee and the latest enterprise is selling seeds on ebay.  Now I have loads of Mexican flowering tobacco so I'm joining in the supply trade and we're thinking of a market stall for next year so have started taking cuttings already of rosemary, lavender, forsythia, japonica kerias, cotoneaster, honeysuckle, jasmine, hypericon and lots more.  We could stop the need to trade with Holland if we really get going ;D  Selling them on for 2-5 leva could make us millionaires (Bulgarian millionaires) in quicksticks. (I think not.)  I have a whole (or not so whole) house that I can turn into a potting shed so no polytunnel for me.... ;)

Bed calls....the weather has turned decidedly cold after a bit of an iffy all my canvas bags washed and dried and the dust of ages and bits of concrete removed and the bags are being taken back to England so that I don't have to buy anymore to come over with.  I rucksack it back and have now run out of bags in England so I'm just transfering over the that when I come back next time....Bingo.  Into my fleecies and under my tog 13 and ready to get my head and the rest of me down....LN

Posted by: 25 (Guest), September 1, 2010, 8:13pm; Reply: 3
Hope you weren't driving after your 'port' kebabs with the police so close at hand!!

Sorry couldn't resist!

D of S
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 2, 2010, 6:53am; Reply: 4
Thursday 2nd September

So after a little chastisement from above, I have edited my previous post to now read 'pork' and all I can say to D of on on your blog 'The Gud Life'.  I'm gonna have a field day ;)

Last night it was cold so I was pleased that I found my snuggly pj's and spent the night in utter bliss waking at the alloted hour of 6.00am to a beautiful sunrise.  I got out my camera to record the morning and battery flat...sod's recharging.  The problem is that sometimes when I'm downloading the pickies to put on the web I forget that I'm connected and hence...flat battery.  What a change from last week.  The air feels colder but the men like it.  It's much better for working in and do I want them to work.  I am currently trying to source a loft ladder, found one on an English site but am told that it's 'scupo' (expensive) and that I should be able to find one in Kardjali so we might be having a trip out.

Phoned CJ this morning and wished him a good day at his new school....where have the last eleven years gone.  Little frog is growing up and I should be receiving a pickie of him in his new school uniform later today while it's still experience says that it never looks that good again... :-/

Anyway...must get on....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 3, 2010, 6:41pm; Reply: 5
Friday 3rd September

Again it was a beautiful morning and I was out with the camera at just after 6.00.  The moon was high in the sky until quite late this morning but no moon at night so the stars are exceedingly bright.

Got a few pickies to post providing that my connection stays up but sod's law normally dictates that it goes down when I decided to post pickies.

Good day today gardening and generally tidying but then I decided that the legs were looking decidedly in need of another coat of the brown stuff so got out a book, stuck my feet in a bucket of hot water with shower gell and gave them a good soak.  Trouble is that you tend to walk around with only flipflops or no shoes at all and it you aren't careful you need a cheese grater to get rid of the hard skin which is exactly what I did after a good soak.  Bit of a pedicure and then soaked my leather shoes and gave them a good scrub so olive oil has been applied to feet and shoes and we'll look out for the difference tomorrow.

My men have been really busy today.  I have the electrics completed in my third bedroom and one of the walls already plastered.  Tomorrow they should finish it and then they will screed the floor.  Wooden ceilings come next, bathroom will be the only one left and then terracotta floor to complete the transformation.  They're having a few days off next week.  It is the end of Ramadan so they will  be having their own celebrations which come at a good time for me because I am off with my guest discovering Southern Bulgaria so there should be lots of interesting sights to see.  I've planned the route and I think it is time that the Beast came into its own and took me around in style.  OK but it costs more, but Beauty is the utility vehicle.

I didn't manage to get the photo of CJ in his school uniform.  I tried to download it from T-Mobile but nothing doing.  It sort of got itself into a loop and kept asking for me for the password supplied with the notification and just wouldn't go anywhere else....gave up and Princess is emailing it to me over the weekend.  

Lovely meal tonight.  Put local sausages with chilli, onions, honey and potatoes into the slow cooker this lunchtime and had it with sauteed red cabbage followed with plain yoghurt, honey with grated tiramasu chocolate over it and the grater was washed after it's morning tour of duty ;)

Off to do a last minute tidy of the kitchen, then for a shower and off to bed ready for my 7.30 taxi service to pick up my men.  Now let's try for the pickies.

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 4, 2010, 12:37pm; Reply: 6
Saturday 4th September

I woke up a silly o'clock and just couldn't get back to sleep...don't know what it was but I have started the first of four books of Julius Caesar so perhaps it was just excitement... ;)  Managed to get through a couple of chapters and then head down until 7.00 this morning and it was the pitter patter of tiny feet, six hundred of them attached to 150 sheep or thereabouts that was my alarm call.  They seem to beat down on the hard earth as then cascade down from the hillside and across the field next to my garden and then realise that there is little to eat on the bare earth so they head back again with the dogs in tow.  Everything is pretty barren despite a couple of days of rain.  It hardly seems to penetrate so I am still watering my garden.

Called in to see D of S last night and he handed me one of the bottles of the 40 litres of cherry wine that he has made from my tree.  It didn't seem too good so we have decided that we'll keep one bottle each to see what it could have been like if we had kept it but the rest is going through the distiller in October.  It will be a good day with barbecue and a good time will be had by all.  Annie, his girlfriend will be in BG by then which will be good for him.

The men are struggling under the weight of the amount of work they have got through this week and today it's not warm but the air is oppresive.  Bekir actually had a little kip this lunchtime under the tree and I think the best remedy would be a glass of beer but since he is doing electrics and Sally is plastering perhaps better that they stick to coffee otherwise plastered instead of plastering and the other one with a bit of a glow on...  Next week a holiday (only two days work) so they should be refreshed for the following week.  I think they were pleased I suggested it

My computer has been rescued and restored to yesterday's date....had a bit of a strop on and the font and icons all went huge...great I thought, I can leave my glasses off but not the point.  So system restore it had to be.  Anyway, taking the men home early tonight....think it's best for all of us.  Simple supper and then got a date with Julius.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 5, 2010, 7:41pm; Reply: 7
Sunday 5th September

Tonight is going to be short and sweet.   My connection is very flakey and I'm not really up for the frustration.  Good day today in the garden, lots of brambles cleared and my guest has been very busy with the wheelbarrow and a shovel.....just as guests should be and has started to clear out the little barn where the roof had come down and now roof gone and the floor is beginning to show through.  We had one high spot and thought we had found a trap door but it was an old door that had been buried under the rubble so no extra hiding places.  I did find an old brass scale weigth that will make a very good paper weight.  Antique, Elsa, Antique as my men say when I find anything old and we all have a laugh.

It's pretty late and there is either someone with a radio on or there is a very tuneful drunk in the lane outside my bedroom window.....I shall need to investigate further...wait a he;s very tuneful and not drunk but I just hope none of his mates join in until it becomes the dawn chorus.....I've had a long day in the garden and it's up early to get my men.... :-/

Tomorrow is planned out.  Got to pay my electricity bill, then off the Kardjali to get the lights for the two bedrooms and another couple of dimmer switches and a few bulkhead outside lights for the balconies when they are in.  Lighting is going in tomorrow so need the appliances.  Need a few provisions and some fruit from the market and I feel a new pair of shoes coming on to go with an outfit that came out with the guest.

Well lets try and post....and it worked first time...Lecka nosht......

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 6, 2010, 3:19pm; Reply: 8
Monday 6th September

Now my connection is definately 'poor' so this is to be updated later when the sun goes down and normal service is resumed.  You would think it would be better when the sun shines but seems to want some damp in the air...

I went into Djebel this morning and down to pay my electricity bill but they had shut up shop and were all on holiday so tomorrow I have to go down again but it's on my way to Kardjali.  Need some more supplies.  We have run out of electricity sockets and light switches, need a few bulkhead lights for the balconies and I am going to price a bath and just see what they have to offer.

Went down to the lake at the bottom end of the village and found numerous sloe bushes so tomorrow, after my sojourn into Kardjali I'm off to the lake with my carrier bags and stopping off to buy a couple of bottles of gin...just has to be done.  The elderberries are everwhere and very ripe so I should be getting some elderberry wine on the go....I only had my silly phone camera with me so couldn't take anything very impressive.  Tomorrow I'll take my goodie and post tomorrow....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 8, 2010, 7:20pm; Reply: 9
Wednesday 8th September

Forgive yesterday no update...connection was a shambles and the frustration was too much to is not much better but we'll wait and see.

Yesterday was a day of activity in Kardjali and ended up in my restaurant with my lady and have arranged a meeting for 10.00 on Sunday morning when I will raid her little 'gradinka' and come home with lots of goodies.  Well D of S bucket of potatoes was uncovered today and there was enough meal....with chicken and locally grown leaks and D or S's red onions in the slow cooker...finished off with Knorr mushroom sauce...delicious finished with fresh peaches and yoghurt.

Didn't do much today.  The men were busy sanding beams and generally finishing off my third bedroom making everything ready for the final push for inside completetion and then we start outside.  I believe the terraces are next and then the ouside plastering now that the weather is gettng cooler.  If it's too hot the var just shinks and falls.

Tomorrow we have set a target, my guest and I to set off for the west of Bulgaria...and the pictures will camera is on charge as we speak.   Talking of which...I have decided to record the sound of dogs yapping for no reason at all and intend to have it played back to the vllage at mega...volume so that they can appreciate what it sounds like....if the dog was threatened no one would know since it barks all the time.....I know who you are and where you out....

So my guest is esconced in my original pit. tomorrow I am sorting out the tyres on the Beast since the sheep farmer thought I was up for a fine if stopped by police.  I think I need a little retracking and front to back and back to front as they say so off to the garage.

It is 'bonbon' ramadan when the children of the village appear at your door and demand sweets and they weren't disappointed,  I was ready for them.  Three different ladies appeared providing three different plates of battered buns and it was difficult to decide between them but I think my avatar has it by a slight edge....yippeeeee.

I am off to my virtuous couch gosti disappered what seems like hours ago.  LN....tomorrow is another day....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 10, 2010, 8:37pm; Reply: 10
Friday,  10th September

I am back from beyond.    Tomorrow I will load pickies of the wonderful caves I have explored...tonight I have the complication of cameras etc...LN.. I am Ok and apoligise for the delay......
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 11, 2010, 6:15pm; Reply: 11
Saturday 11th September

So on Thursday we set off heading for the two famous cave sites roughly about 200km from home.  We set off at about 12ish and headed past the thermal springs of Djebel and off to Ardino taking the scenic route over the's a road I've travelled before but I have never driven.  So off we went.  We firstly had a discussion as to whether I needed new tyres of not (well not me, the Beast) but it was a holiday so I thought that there wouldn't be many police out on the road and I was right.  Now local roads seem to want to keep the police employed so they are out in mass....I only saw one police car in the whole of our travels.

Through Ardino and stopped for lunch in Banite which is a spa town but the outside swimming pool with water slide is now empty despite the hot weather...season over for another year by the looks of things.  So next stop was Pamporovo and for a ski resort as with all of them, they look better with snow than without it.  The snow gives the hotels the fairy-tale appeal.  Next on to Shiroka Luka where Bulgarian houses have been renovated and look very picture postcard and it very much felt as though the holiday season had closed closed, churches closed so nothing to keep us there.  Did spot the stone man on the street with his bagpipes (picture below) and lots of pretty bridges and stone houses with stone rooves and so we left.  Moving on to the next village the heavens opened and a thunder and lightening storm with huge hailstones helped us on our way.  Thank goodness for the Beast and not Beauty....I think we should have needed a periskope to have got there in the little one.  Bulgarian roads don't have drains on the sides of the road and rely on nature and unfortunately nature can be a little slow off the mark.  

Eventually after much deliberation and finding more hotels that were not open for business so stumbled on the one in the pickie.  We were given a room, very comfortable with shower and the only thing missing was a hard hat since the loo was built into the eaves.  No permanent damage done and so after a few beers and a not too substantial snack since we had eaten well at lunchtime, we hit the sack ready to go caving on Friday....and now this is going under a separate post.  It has started to thunder here so I might be saying LN and will continue tomorrow....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 11, 2010, 6:43pm; Reply: 12
Saturday continued

Breakfast was a cold platter with a boiled egg and the food and drink for the evening before came to the princely sum of 35 leva approx, the room was 40 leva so the whole thing worked out to about £35.  Very reasonable,  very clean, very modern with a nice dapper man as mine host.  There were several Bulgarian families staying having come from the Black Sea for somewhere quiet.  

So we set off after breakfast and managed to get on the first tour of the day.  Entrance fee three leva each and we learnt later from the second guide in the next lot of caves that this was a vertical cave and the second one a horizontal cave.  Now me not being a cavologist I was expecting stalagtites and stalagmites in the first one and not one was to be seen but as the second guide explained, you only get them in the horizontal caves so you live and learn.  I could have gone to my grave never knowing that :-/

Started to really thunder...will finish tomorrow...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 12, 2010, 5:35pm; Reply: 13
Sunday 12th September

I seem to have got behind with daily postings but just to finish off last night.  We went through the caves but n the second one we were told strictly ' No photos' but we managed to knock off a few as seen below.

Our journey home was via Smolian and Zlatograd (another reconstructed town) and we arrived home at about 8.00 but driving that far really knocked me out.  In the UK I could go for miles without feeeling tired but the roads here leave a lot to be desired or have I mentioned that before.....!!!! :-/

Today has been a bit of a cold one again but I'm assured it will be sunny tomorrow and I hope so or the petchka goes at full blast.  The cows managed to get in again so it was fence building time this afternoon just to keep the little buggars out.  I went to my 'ladies circle' at my restaurant this morning and came away with a bag of tomatoes and very welcome they were too since the cows had eaten mine.  Poor D of Samodiva's garden was stripped bare by the mayor's cow so he wasn't too pleased about that chasing the little beauty down the street and protesting loudly to the mayor.

Cooked a lovely supper tonight with Dom's onions, Sika's onions, my chilli peppers, local sausages and lots of fresh crusty bread washed down with the local brew.  Finished off with bananas, grapes, honey and natural yoghurt and what could be nicer.  Anyway, back to the beer and a few of the other caves just to keep you happy... to sorce the tiles for the bathroom tomorrow and the bath should be coming this week....bliss....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 14, 2010, 1:47pm; Reply: 14
Monday 13th September

The men were right....beautiful sunrise and got hotter as the day went on.

Went to Kardjali, forgot to pay my internet bill but am still connected so that must be done tomorrow.  Got fruit from the market and bought my picture for the kitchen and managed to get through that it didn't need wrapping which the lady was very worried about.  It now sits in the kitchen on the table and is waiting for one of my men to get a suitable fixng into the stone wall..... :-/

Completed the main reason for going....I ordered the tiles for the bathroom walls and found some really rather super ones for the bathroom floor.  This isn't going to be a wetroom like the downstairs shower room so I have had very big ones that the sales person was rather worried about so he phoned Bekir just to make sure that it wasn't a problem.....everything arrives on Wednesday.....bath, panels, tiles and tile cement....

Super was a chicken, mushroom thing....very tasty with.....chippies from the potatoes from the market....lovely flavour and cooked to perfection....washed down with a little red from a new wine box...not sure if they are a good idea or not or if limited to a bottle you drink more or less....I'll have to do the maths. ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 14, 2010, 2:07pm; Reply: 15
Tuesday 14th September

Woke at 7.00 to the pitter patter of tiny hooves (sheep) on the dry earth.  The cold and rain of Saturday and Sunday has done nothing to water the ground and I am still watering.  I have some replacement tomatoes started but I have the feeling that they will never be big enough or ripe enough to make a meal out of.

I had an owl sitting under the hat on my chimney this morning....didn't manage to take a photo but looking at it through the binoculars it had vivid green eyes and was fluffled up.  As the morning warmed up he flew somewhere so I'm wondering if he has taken to being in there during the night.  It has a very screachy call but if it manages to keep the mice away, it's cheaper than a cat and I don't have to change a litter tray.

Did the house through today and felt better for it.  It's marvellous what you can achieve with a broom and a mop.  Polished my kitchen window sill with my beeswax and really must make some more....I'm running out and you can't get it here.

We ran out of nails again so off I went for another two kilograms....what a way to buy them.  The smell of the anti-insect stuff that they paint on to the wood is all over the house.  The room timbers have all been treated and they are now nailing down the ceiling/loft flooring and boy does it look good.....only the bathroom to go now and three doors to make....

As for me....I am waiting for Pepe to arrive with her daughters.  She was coming to see the house today for the first time but it looks like it's not going to happen....well, tomorrow is another day.  My visitor is attacking the garden with a pickaxe and removing tree roots....well he does get fed and for me....suppose I better go and get some glasses for the men....they have a bottle of beer getting warm.

Supper in the slow cooker....sweet and sour pork already bubbling so that it will be ready for when I return from taking the men home.....

LN....posted early....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 15, 2010, 8:37pm; Reply: 16
Wednesday 15th September

So my bath and all the extras didn't arrive today as promised but this is Bulgaria....but will arrive tomorrow or so I am told.....

My Beauty has a slow leak in the front near side that was spotted tonight and drew a strange mixture to fix it.  The village mayor decided that he had just the tool for the job and I told him that the cigarette lighter that he intended plugging it into didn't work so he decided to bring his car up against mine and in went the air to the tyre.  What a crowd we stara mush, the mayor, the sheep farmer, the young village 'lad', my builders, the world and all his friends were there to confirm that my cigarette lighter didn't work.  I subsequently went into the garage to rescusitate my spare that had definately seen better days only to be told that I needed a new one so they are getting me one for tomorrow.  Unfortunately I left my phone at home and my builders were calling and decided not to answer themselves as my phone rang in the kitchen....eventually I got them home, Beauty is in the garage tomorrow and so is the Beast for a tyre swap and let's see how much that will cost me...

My owl is still resident in my chimney....I went to take a pickie today but realised that my card was full and by the time that I'd sorted it....the bird had flown....tomorrow I shall be there with camera at the ready.....

LN....I am tired tonight so off I go....sleep tight peeps....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 16, 2010, 6:56pm; Reply: 17
Thursday 16th September

Beautiful morning, beautiful start, men on time and ready for action.  Sally decided to paint the upstairs bedroom and so I stripped out the lounge and asked him if he would do it afterwards which he did.  Poor Bekir has had a hell of a job with trying to connect up a two way light switch that came with no instructions and for which the cabling hadn't been installed.

My bath came this afternoon minus that bath panel and several of the boxes of tiles damaged so not a good time for the delivery man.  He now owes me two boxes and a few spares and that is going to be sorted on Saturday.  I do love the new tiles though.  The wall tiles are plain white with a basket weave pattern on them and the floor tiles are a lovely mixture of grey and white with a hint of pale lemon in them to match the upper landing tiles.  Good choice.

Supper of chilli sausages with pasta with fresh fruit and yoghurt to follow...wash up and then washed it down with local beer.  

My owl is still nesting/ resting in the chimney and tomorrow I might even get a picture of him.  Unfortunately I haven't got a good enough zoom but with binocs he really is a cutie....

Night for now....all's cool in my little corner of the planet....LN. ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 17, 2010, 8:01pm; Reply: 18
Friday 17th September

So I have had advanced warnings that my signal strength is 'very poor' so I refuse to go through the agony.  Men have had a very good day, whitening walls and inserting door frames while I have had a day of getting the Beast retracked and a spare for Beauty so that I at least feel that I should be on the road with both.  I also stripped both beds and aired mattresses.  It was such a beautiful day at a steady 27 degrees.

Angela comes out on Monday, my guest goes back on Monday and it's swap over time with me feeling like one of those reps that meet you on package tours.  Should I stand there with a sign...maybe.  When I picked up Mikey B there was a lady with a sign that read   'Walking women' and when they emerged from the arrivals most of them had on brogues, had very short haircuts and carried rucksacks.  The 'walking men' had long flowing locks, beer guts and glassy eyes from the flight.  Bet the walking women didn't meet up with the walking men. I'll look out for them on monday.

Went to the Pizza restaurant in Djebel tonight and ended up with Veal liver lightly fried with port grilled sticks, tomato and onion salad and cheesy chips. Beer and fanta orange and total bill, 21leva....not bad at all.  Called into my little shop by my restaurant tonight and they commented on the fact that I had bothered to get dressed up in BG.  Black slinky jeans with studs down the side and a flowing black top down to the knees.  New handbag from the pound shop and did I feel your sweet life I did.  Bought eggs for breakfast and a bottle of wine that is now empty and bin bound....and I'm now signing off and hoping for the best...LN with fingers crossed.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 18, 2010, 7:36pm; Reply: 19
Saturday 18th September

So who got it right today....three men working while I gave myself a ....pedicure.  Removed old nail varnish, got a bowl of shower gell and hot water and sat in the sun to read a book with toes suitably sunk.  Got the scissors and cocktail sticks out, did the business and then repainted with a subtle shade of coral.  It was about 30 degrees today and even the wind was warm when it got up this afternoon and I have added another layer to the suntan.

Unfortunately the quiet spell didn't last for long...Sally had been wielding his long handle brush covered in limewash so I ended up removing the excess from the floor tiles, sweeping through and finishing it off with the mop.  Yet to be tiled upstairs and then only the bathroom to do...everything just seems to be so quick.

My guest goes home tomorrow, well to the airport ready for a Monday lunchtime flight and I am making my first trip in the Beast to Sofia and then on to meet the monday flight when Angela comes out /one in saves on fuel.  

Supper of pork with onions and mushrooms in a pepper cream sauce with pasta followed by pineapple and natural yoghurt.  It's a tough old life but someones gotta live it.

LN...I am knacked despite the easy start to the day....busy day tomorrow...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 19, 2010, 12:15pm; Reply: 20
Sunday 19th September

Finally finished the housework and mopped all through.  It's been a tough one.  Also think I'm coming down with a summer cold with a nose that needs a tap fitting...not a pretty sight.

Packed my overnight and am just about to get into the Beast and head for out and one in but I've decided to stay at the Holiday Inn tonight and packed my bathers....something nice about that place and then I shall tackle the journey home.  Not done Sofia before so I'm a bit on edge and the cold doesn't really help....oh well, it's in the lap of the gods.

Update you when we get back....and the house does look bl**dy brilliant.
Posted by: 25 (Guest), September 19, 2010, 7:25pm; Reply: 21
Have fun in Sofia, enjoy the swimming pool.  I am not bringing Annie to your house she will just shout at me!
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 21, 2010, 5:43am; Reply: 22
Tuesday 21st September

To D of S....I've got three weeks to mess the house up before Annie comes over so never fear....promise to have it so that you feel comfortable...wouldn't want you to suffer while she is here ;)

Now as for my trip to Sofia...the buggars have got the road up on the junction to the hotel and my 'navigator' is telling me that there is no road off to the airport on the map but since I have done it before I know there is, but the last word was....let's wait and see, no point in labouring t.  Well I missed the airport turning that wasn't there, but found another turning to the district that I wanted only 100 meters further on which was a better route and managed to get straight to the hotel without a problem.  Again the same mutilated road made the trip to the airport a little more complicated but managed it, parked up, said goodbye to one and went round to arrivals to meet Angela, my house guest for the next couple of weeks.  She arrived looking a little startled when she didn't see me immediately but soon calmed down and we were back to as we always were.  Getting onto the highway proved to be difficult because of those bloody road works and I realised that we were on the right road heading into the city centre but then managed to negotiate and ended up the right way....result.  Stopped for lunch, back on the road and found the turning to go through the mountains back home ....bad choice, rain and thunder but stopped for coffee and tea, asked for milk for the coffee and somehow managed to get a brandy which Angela was forced to drink since I was driving......giggled all the way home....on a pub crawl and only just got here :-/

Did a little shopping, town out of Pliska Brandy since we thought that we would carry on so we managed a couple of Vodka tonics, cheese and biscuits and then to bed.  She's still sleeping, being two hours ahead here, I'm updating this since I might not manage to get round to it later.   Going into Kardjali, got to go to bank, collect bath panel and a couple of special lightbults....

Enjoy the day.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 21, 2010, 7:54pm; Reply: 23
Tuesday 21st September continued

Lovely day....Bank, builders merchants, supermarket, market, lunch in town and remembered everything I went for.  We decided that the salmon in the freezer looked good and it was only when I checked the bill at the end after payment that I saw the price....I confirmed with the assistant that the item on the bill was for the salmon and can I say that we shall NOT be having it again...expensive or what....tasty but you felt that you had to savour every morsel.... :o

Evening of gentle vodka and tonics with a brandy night to bed....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 22, 2010, 7:40pm; Reply: 24
Wednesday 22nd September

Lovely mellow day but my new guest had to wake me up this morning so that I could go and pick up my men.  I had a rough night and woke at 3.00 am  so had an hour with Julius Caeser and then off to sleep again...don't know what disturbed me but awake I was.  Nice day break and dry heat and cooling breeze today.  Angela got a few emails off to family to say that she had arrived safe and sound, I got the men here and they are tiling the landing and the bedrooms.  Not a bit of trouble from them....they just get on with the job knowing what they have to do.  Sally has been wielding that paint brush of his yet again and I think my bedroom has taken another pasting looking at the skirting tiles that I dutifully cleaned off on Saturday...groan, groan.

Connection pretty poor tonight so I am going to cut it short....last thing I want is to write and epistle to the Anglophiles to have it sent into the ether and no record of the event...LN and let's keep everything crossed... :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 23, 2010, 6:42pm; Reply: 25
Thursday 23rd September

So what started off as a fairly sensible day change rather rapidly when I said.....'Lets go out to Mishevo for a ride'.  On the way we picked up a man who was destined for Ardino having visited his father in one of the high mountain villages and when we got to Ardino yours truely had the idea that we would go out to Devil's Bridge, noted in the travelogues but no one mentioned the road to it....and started off well but the signposts soon ran out and on we the Beast.  The road surface got steadily rougher and narrower, Angela was gripping on to her seat and on the way up, at some points she was over the deep drop and at others it was my turn.  She cracked a funny when we though about a puncture and the final analysis was that...... we would cross that bridge when we can me to it....and since we were heading for Devil's Bridge it seemed to be the only option. As it stood...all safe and sound, tyres intact, engine still in place and a wonderful time was had by all but I did  panic slightly when I realised that to get back the way that I had come, (10 km of rought track) that I had to turn the Beast to back 10 km to civilisation.....I think it ended up a fifteen point turn with Angela guiding me backwards to avoid the stone undergrowth that would have shattered the tyres in an instant...did we laugh ????  Well we did as we were heading back into Ardino for coffee, tea and cheesy chips but not before....but we thanked out lucky stars that we were two women out for a spree without the male Sword of Damaclees hanging over our heads and offering for the pickies.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 24, 2010, 2:09pm; Reply: 26
Friday 24th September

What a change in the weather....I know that I sent up a few words for him/her up there to turn it down a bit because Angela doesn't do 'hot' but tonight I have to ask again for it to be turned up slightly.  She's sitting there with my pink yetti slippers on to match her pink fleece.  As for me I haven't managed to get out of my morning fleece yet.  It's a little nippy when I fetch the men. The washing went in this morning and on to the line but it was either leave it out and hope it get's there before the rain starts or get it in and have a bonfire.  I chose the second option as the men are accumulating lots of empty tile boxes since they are well and truly slapping them down on the upstairs.  

Supper is in the slow cooker, chilli sausages in a honey and tomato sauce and the jacket potatoes will go in so that they're ready for when I get home from taking the men.  They aren't working tomorrow.  It's the Djebel fair and party time for the workers perhaps with a little beer. ;)

We've planned our trip for the next two days and you should have quite a few pickies to look at all being well but this time we shall attempt to stay on asphalt roads and not head for the hills.  If either of us say that it looks alright....the other is to confirm that we are in it together and I'm fitting Angela with a blinker on the side overlooking the ravines.....and I'll be borrowing it on the way back, that's if we manage to get where we're intending.....Watch this space ;)  

Now off to get some money out to pay the men so that they can enjoy the fair tomorrow ::)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 26, 2010, 5:57pm; Reply: 27
Sunday 26th September

I have had the most super days ...driving...and now feel much more confident finding roads, road signs and the likes... ;)  We went to Kazanlak up beyond Stara Zagora and the only thing to let us down was the  I have always wanted to do the Shipka Pass and what stopped me....FOG.  We got part way and what did we see....NOTHING.....even the memorial stones were shrouded.  Poor Anglela's worst nightmare is driving in fog so I understand that even worse than that is being a passenger on the way to the summit.

On Saturday night we found a lovely hotel in Kazanlak and loved this little city/town/whatever it was.  We had supper and went for a walk but when we asked for a beer and two glasses I think we were thought of as wimps or misers...Considering that we had a bottle of the red stuff after supper we lived with the tag.  Breakfast this morning was a selection of everything and the owner was more than willing to tell us of the Thracian History.  

We found the museum and the Thracian tomb but that was before the fog set in fortunately and then we went off to find Shipka and the Shipka Memorial Church with its golden onion shaped domes shining between the trees that's until the fog shrouded the onions.  The inside of the church was beautiful with memorial plaques to the thousands of villagers that lost their lives in the historic battle against the Turks from the Ottoman Empire.

So back home we came and stopped off at a favourite fish restaurant and had Carp, chips and tomato and onion salad with a beer and arrived home at about 7.00 tonight.  Angela took to her bed by 8.30 and the lights are out and there looks to be nobody at home, I am updating this and then heading for the sack.  Looking at the countryside driving home....have we had rain!!  Everything is awash and buckets round the house are full...Must get the low down from the villagers tomorrow....I'll post the pickies tomorrow of the church...I'm just too tired...

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 27, 2010, 6:56pm; Reply: 28
Monday 27th September

So today my men decided to have an away day...away from work in Dushinkovo and who knows what they were up to.

We had a very pleasant day doing ...nothing....I did breakfast and sorted out the water buckets that had accumulated and generally tidied the garden, had a bonfire ad did two loads of washing, got it in and made a wonderful supper of sweet and sour pork with rice and generally had a comfortable day.  The water table was quite high and my normally dried earth had the darkened water glaze and perhaps now is a good time to start moving things from pots to soil.

Worked out that we did about 200miles yesterday during out travels.  Tomorrow we are off to Momchilgrad to the market and then off to my other house in the mountains....not sure what there is to see but since Angela hasn't seen it, it has to be on the agenda.

Sorry no pickies, the camera battery is flat so that's for another day....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 28, 2010, 5:26pm; Reply: 29
Tuesday 28th September

So this mornng I woke up early and it was dark.  These days the dawn is just so much later and at seven the sun was just about showing its little face.  I was just about to get into day gear when Bekir phoned to say that he could not work....a cheer went up and back to bed I went and maybe it had something to do with the wine that was consumed last night....Julius Ceasar has been sent off to oblivion and even though I knew the end, the four books were exciting and I had to condense it for Angela in so much as she is only into the first of Alexander the Great so she looks like never knowing what the next two books are about and his trials and tribulations and the eventual outcome.

Really sunny day today and I got set into the garden and have now established a hedge from the sprouting from the trees I cut down last year.  I have only taken about three feet off them but it makes such a difference.  As for the lilac, that just needed a haircut.

Into Djebel this afternoon so that Angela could send off a couple of postcards.  I don't think that the postmaster has a lot of traffic out as he applied the stamps to the cards and then cancelled them out with a rubber stamp and saying 'cotovo' as he kept them to leave on the next pony and trap probably about next Wednesday.  Did a little bit of shopping and then decided that I would test out my culinary skills and knocked up lasagne in my new little bowls with garlic bread washed down with some of the local brew....wonderful.

Three visitors today....Socks into the rubbish bin for any goodies that might be lingering, two ginger cats with the same aim and one bloody big spider that I should have heard entering.  Quick exit though.  My witches broom traps as it sweeps as it slings them out with quite a force onto the concrete outside the front door. He/she/it/ quietly got up and walked away so no harm done.

Cleo belting out to be a good hostess with the mostest....LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 29, 2010, 9:04am; Reply: 30
Wednesday 29th September

As promised, better late than never.  Pictures of the Thacian copy had to give three day's notice to see the original and the Shipka Pass Memorial Church dedicated to the locals who fought and won against the Ottoman Empire....we didn't see the memorial on the Shipka Pass....too much fog to see your hand before your near and yet so far...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 30, 2010, 9:00pm; Reply: 31
Thursday 30th September

Just a quick update tonight....trip into Zlatograd today for lunch and nothing much exciting happened.  My third bedroom is almost tiled, the men have worked very hard but poor Sally seems to be fed up of the little jobs and can't wait to get his hands into concreting and patio building....

We are planning a weekend away and hoping to visit some of the beautiful cities on our way up to Sofia since Angela heads off to UK on Tuesday...this last week has just flown by.

Bed time said Zeberdee....LN said EP...
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