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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  MARCH 2011
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 1, 2011, 2:39pm
Tuesday 1st March

What a beautiful day.  I picked Gouljan at 7.45 as planned.  She was huffing and puffing up the lane...that girl is always late.  Cinders would surely have missed Prince Charming....she'd have never made it to the ball, the coach would have gone without her.  So we parked up and she invited me in to see the room in the school where the team works and I was introduced to them all including the head of the project and it was such a hive of activity...they were all making Martinitsas ready for the headmasters/mistresses from every school in the Djebel district where they were outlining what their work entailed.  I'm really up for it and my idea of a bazaar/ or selling items donated has really caught on and is underway as we speak.  I made Gouljan a card for Chestita Baba Marta....today's celebrations and she proudly showed it to the rest of her team...love her to bits......

So walking to the school I saw my restaurant lady and delivered and received my first Martinitsa...it's such a joyous day.  You can buy the six bog standard in the supermarkets for one leva so everybody joins in.  From the school I went on to Kardjali and to my lovely second hand shop.  I found a long cotton skirt for one leva, a cotton shirt for one leva and I spotted a leather short jacket and grabbed it immediately...and the good news is that it had been reduced to half price and was the princely sum of......five leva...(£2.00 ish to me and you).  Didn't bother to try it on...I just knew it had my name on it....and the lady also gave me a Martinitsa and I gave one to her....as I said a really lovely idea. After that I went to my bank and saw my team of two that look after me....Martinitsas all round so now my wrist is looking good...and one to pin with my little hat on my jumper.

So Billa, Lidl and then to the restaurant for lunch with the ladies and yes, collected and gave out even more and another one to pin on my jumper, then home and round to see my neighbours and handed one to each of them.  They almost had tears in their eyes....the sentiments of today are truly overwhelming....such a simple thing but with such beautiful thoughts going around.  And you wish everyone great health, good luck, happiness and hope that grumpy old Baba Marta takes away the snow and replaces it with the sun but no chance of that today....it's fliiipppiiinnn freezing.

So to everyone.....Chestita Baba Marta.....Happy Grandma Marta....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 1, 2011, 4:52pm; Reply: 1
Tuesday continued
I am pleased you like the gift Mikey B....I think it will suit the little one, you'll never get in it and niether will Dawn...as for the card...I'll 'borrow' Google images until they come out of my ears...xxxxLN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 2, 2011, 6:41am; Reply: 2
Wednesday 2nd March

And cold winds shall blow and we shall have snow so I reckon that that grumpy old lady needs kicking into touch...all that good will batting around yesterday and it still hasn't warmed the place up... ;)

So I suppose I should post some pickies of yesterdays haul of bracelets....and today I might even find more.  Gouljan has just appeared at the door to confirm that she is going off to Turkey for a long weekend.  I spoke yesterday of going with her, she would stay with her sister and I was going to check into a hotel but last night I looked up the weather reports and it's just as cold there so I decided that I wouldn't go.  At least here if it's cold I can stick another log on but if it turned out to be a cold hotel, I didn't want the tag line of arsonist to be added to my list of attributes.  Sightseeing in the cold isn't on my agenda either and she will have a better time if she is not worrying that she should be 'looking after me' and doing the tourist traps with me.... there is always the summer.  As for the journey down there, twelve hours on the bus, leaving at 6.00 tonight....give it a miss this time.

So this morning I thought I would leave the big fire...it felt warm in the house but having sat for half an hour or so ....it's going to be lit....NOW....

Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 2, 2011, 5:23pm; Reply: 3
Wednesday continued

Both fires going and at last the house is toasty.  Went into the wood store and realised that it was in a bit of a mess.  We only threw the last load of logs in so this morning I decided that I would stack them.  At least I could see how many I'd got and whether or not I need more.  So, neat and tidy....I'm OK as long as this blasted weather doesn't go on for too long. I ventured into the wreck of a house, very carefully and picked up some of the roof timbers to use as tinder.  I came out with a good armful and jumped on them stick by stick and it's stacked by the door so easy to get at.  Just as I'd finished, the white stuff started to come down again.  It snowed all afternoon and it's completely white all over again and snow's forecast again for tomorrow...doesn't seem much end to it.  It's stayed at minus five all day.  

Now supper, Indian spiced belly of pork with rice....enjoy your evening....I shall mine... ;)  LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 3, 2011, 9:15am; Reply: 4
Thursday 3rd March

Now that meal that was big enough for two last night was consumed by one... ;)  The intention was to put some beans that I had soaked into the slow cooker but instead I've sorted them this morning.  I put them in on high for about an hour, fried off an onion, drained and added the beans with some honey and tomato puree, fresh water, brought them back to the boil and then returned to the slow cooker on low.  This afternoon I shall add some gammon and then my supper will be ready.

It is cold and snowing again.  Trouble is it's not heavy enough.  If it all came down at once and then buggered off I think we would all be happier.  The cold seems to linger and hasn't got about -5 on these here hills for the last week or so and I think everyone is getting tired of it.  Now don't get me wrong....I like winter and the cold but this is now taking too long to sort itself out.  

My feeding station has become multifunctional and is there for anyone that wants it....As long as they sort themselves out and don't all appear at the same time it should be OK....My freasia is doing its level best to flower....as you know I rescued two bulbs from the garden, nurtured them and have a few words with them every day....and now a few pickies...
Posted by: 25 (Guest), March 3, 2011, 8:03pm; Reply: 5
Back from Blighty, thought the weather would have improved a bit.  Rained everyday in Swansea thankfully, they now believe me.  Stalin was a casualty of the 'great Swansea flood' sorry.   Annie is back out 20 April, house is rented out so might have djena seki den about xmas. (time for a cow! or two)

D of S
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 4, 2011, 10:27am; Reply: 6
Friday 4th March

Well it's still cold and there's Dom thinking the weather should have warmed up.....sorry....believe me, it has warmed up.  It was really cold while you were away.  As for the skiing..you better start thinking about getting your skis waxed for April then...for some the season might be finished but for other it might just be starting ;)  Shame about Stalin...now I shall never be able to do the comparison thing with Hitler...

There is a glimmer of sun this morning...but it's only a glimmer and there's no warmth in it at all.  The birds were going well at the feeding station but suddenly there was a flurry as the white and ginger cat made an appearance....it took off with a chunk of bread and scurried down the garden to try and get through it....but I think it gave up in the end.

So today I phoned my tax consultant about submitting my annual tax returns. Before you were able to buy a house in Bulgaria, you had to establish a company and deposit a certain amount of money into a business bank account.  Subsequently, each year you have to submit the company activity even if it is nothing, nothing and nothing.  Nulla, nulla, nulla and then take the documents to the tax office....Failure to do this results in a fine, so fine, I don't want one but the person who did it for me last year has been illusive.  I have sent several emails but nothing so as I said this morning I managed to pin him down and I've just realised that it's a holiday today..so he is phoning me on Wednesday or Thursday of next week....we shall see.  I have until the end of the month so not panicking yet.....now...bonfire....must do something.... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 5, 2011, 7:53am; Reply: 7
Saturday 5th March

I think yesterday was a bit of a 'blues' day....can't really explain it but it went with a good night's sleep.  So this morning I have taken the little petchka pipes apart and replaced a couple of them with new that I had lingering.  The 'bend' came from one of my neighbours when I was desparate to get the thing going but it had seen better days.  I gave her a new one and have just replaced mine and raised the burner up a little.  Now this wouldn't have been so difficult to do I think I must have slept in a funny position and I appear to have a touch of sciatica this morning and you would have laughed watching me try to replace a sock that had detached itself from my foot when I took my slipper of to put on my gardening outside shoes.  You know what it's like....you try to bend differently but it just doesn't happen and you know it's going to hurt...and it does.  So I rolled the sock down and shuffled my foot down into it, then the shoe, and so to work but first I did take extra strength soluble aspirin and it does seem to have eased a little.  So pipes all back in place, straighter than it was originally and it will be testing, testing about four o'clock.  It's still cold out there but some how the day just seems brighter and while I had the petchka apart I cleaned the floor over in the kitchen so spring must be in the air....somewhere ;)  and the zebra is having a wash and spin.

Now I've just had a visit from my special avatar and she has delivered five eggs from her own chickens.  They are still warm and since I haven't breakfasted yet although supper is in the slow cooker already (lamb stew from one of the sacrificial beasts), it looks like poached eggs are on the menu....idea planted ....off I go... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 5, 2011, 4:59pm; Reply: 8
Saturday continued

Dom popped in this morning on his way back from Djebel...he had run out of coal and guess what...the coal man was on holiday...and I was down to one bag so couldn't oblige.  Now the real purpose of the visit was to get my tax declaration completed and as Dom said...I timed myself and it took me eight minutes...so I copied his apart from the address, company details and it has taken me four so far....the rest I can do tomorrow.  So took some more aspirin and the sciatica or whatever it eased this afternoon and I sat like a cat in the sun in the hall way enjoying this phenomenon that we have not seen in these here parts for a while now.  Now it's gone down and petchkas going at full blast but the little one was a bugger to get going but when it is, the background heat in the kitchen keeps it all ticking over.  

And I've just had a visit from my other neighbour and she has brought me round some bottled fruit, tomato paste and some peppers, carrots and onions in a sort of compot.......the weather's fine so they are out visiting.  Tomorrow I must go into Djebel and either buy chocolates or fruit....they are sorely overdue...my little gift to them.....

So Monday I am ordering more wood....as least it will have time to dry out for next year if I don't use it all but at least the house is beginning to warm through.  I suppose two foot thick walls take some heating when it hasn't been lived in for about ten years. :-/

The weather forecast is tropical tomorrow so I've just found my bikini out (slight exaggeration) but I think I might tackle a bit of woodwork or demolition and get some wood out of the house if my back is up to it...Let's see what tomorrow brings....LN....my beer is getting warm... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 6, 2011, 3:04pm; Reply: 9
Sunday 6th March

Well I'm a little late in posting today and I thought I'd be able to report sun and a first tan of the season.  If you see any 'brown' tinge to the skin...believe me...it's rust.  It has been that clinging cold and then we had a couple of hours of rain so I've just packed away the bikini and the BBC weather for Kardjali is still saying 'sun'.  It's supposed to be cold overnight though so all the logs are safely gathered in but I made the mistake of putting a thumping big one on this afternoon when it was really red and yes, you've guessed it...it sort of started off well and then sat there so I have spent the last thirty minutes or so coaxing it with bits of tinder, moving it round in the fire box and at last, we have the pump going for the central heating.  It's not that it's cold in the house, but it's when you come to sit and read or just don't move.  Talking to Dom yesterday, you have to go outside to realise how warm it is in the house...same with most things.  It's all down to perception.

So what have I done today...very little.  The lamb that was part of the sacrificial offering that I put into the slow cooker yesterday morning, spent the night in the fridge and I scraped off about half a pound of lamb fat.  It then went back into the slow cooker and is now in the feeding station.  Something not quite right with it....just too fatty for me even after the removal.  Looking out of the window it's still there so not even the dogs and cats are going for it......probably end up on the compost tomorrow if it's still there in the morning.  Downloaded some suduko from Krazydad site.....fabulous...bit of a time waster but there is nothing to do in the garden, the ground is not that good for digging it's too wet after the frozen state it was in and the sciatica still lingering and catching me out...so don't want to exacerbate a situation....give it a little time to heal.  As for exercise and physiotheropy and I shall probably be shifting a ton of wood tomorrow when I phone the man in the morning.... :-/  Just want to top up...what I don't use will be there for next year and should be dried out by then....that's if we ever get a summer.....LN....going to tend fires...Where did I put that petrol can ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 7, 2011, 10:19am; Reply: 10
Monday 7th March

Yesterday I had this niggle about ordering the wood and because I thought it was a holiday I decided to leave it until today.

So this morning I woke up at six and though how light it was outside and thought that the moon must be bright.  Jonothan Cainer had said that the moon would be shining and so out into the hall I went to take a look.  White over, snow, wind, no moon....fristy frosty and nothing like the BBC weather forecast.  I didn't order it, in fact I know of no one who did so please take it away.....the upside, I didn't order my wood and I do have enough to last for a few days...so no real problem.  Even the locals are wondering why it's been going on for so long...somebody must have really upset Baba Marta and it wasn't me....it's my first winter here. ;)

The food in the feeding station that I promised to put on the compost heap has come into its own this morning....I had as many as eight coal tits feeding from it this morning and one robin that kept upsetting everyone by dropping from above, filling his beak, flying off and then it all went back to normal....no cats this morning, the birds have it all to themselves.

Now let's see what I can get up to today..... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 7, 2011, 3:49pm; Reply: 11
Monday continued

Now I thought that this was just a late blast.....but it's lasted all day.  I ordered my wood when it was melting, decided to go into Djebel to get some money out of the bankomat to pay for it tomorrow and since I've got back it has just thrown it down and it's white over yet again. The wind is blowing heavily so the road could be blocked tomorrow so may be he can't deliver...he's hoping if it's like this. Now he's very good, backs his van up so that we can throw it into the wood shed so we don't get snowed on....but if it carries on like this it will be feet deep tomorrow and I don't mean those things on the end of my legs....I shall be reporting back tomorrow....I may be some time...and pictures will be taken. :-/
Posted by: Joanna, March 7, 2011, 8:29pm; Reply: 12
We had snow yesterday too but not much despite the short blizzard conditions. Mind you the wind meant that what little there was accumulated in the most awkward places like our neighbours drive, which meant their car was unable to get out when they needed it. The number of times their poor daughter is going somewhere special and they can't get their car out because it is either broken or stuck - good job they know we will help.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 8, 2011, 10:46am; Reply: 13
Tuesday 8th March

Well done Joanna...resident Brits abroad normally turn out.  :-/

I woke up at silly o'clock again this morning and I'm not sure if it was the external prevailing wind...I was warm enough in my bed but just wide awake.  So I read for a while, did a couple of sudukos and still didn't manage to get back off so up at 5.30 emptying the ash can from the little wood burner where you have to take it apart every three or four days.  It really is burning a fire in a bucket with a raised fire brick thing in the bottom but it's easy to get going when you empty it all out, put the fire brick thingy back and then collect up any embers that are still going or in the case this morning, glowing wood.  Soon warms up the kitchen.

My mercy mission was brought about from a text message from Gouljan...could I take her into Djebel at 7.40 this morning and of course I text back that I could.  The story goes that she had come back on the bus from Turkey overnight (12 hours), arrived in Djebel and got a taxi back at five this morning and had then fallen asleep and had missed her bus at 6.30 to get her into work.  I asked her why she hadn't gone straight to work and got her head down there....strange looks....it has been known I'm sure...but only in the UK.

The roads were really icy this morning so I took great care.  I had one 'twitch', was extra careful after that and there's still a gale force wind blowing from the north.  Just the weather to get logs delivered but at 9.30 this morning he was here, we threw them into the wood store and off he went.  Unfortunately he didn't deliver the quantity I ordered, (I think it got lost in translation when the boss would insist on speaking German to me of which I have only the minimum understanding) so it's not as much as I wanted but at least I have some.  Winter has just gone on too long but at least we have seen the sun today and I have just noticed that there is a trio of lacewings on one of the picture windows on the landing.  Beautiful things...really must Google them to see what they are all about...  

Need a bit of action....am now going to stack the logs just to see how big the pile is....I might have to just chew him off a strip...you have to pay for the van to deliver so I'm wondering if there is none so deaf as those that want to misinterpret....Da...(yes)  ....ton  (ton).... :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 8, 2011, 5:19pm; Reply: 14
Tuesday continued

Did my wood....stacked so at least I can see when I need more and I better practice...'ton...da....ton...da'....and better get out my German phrase book just in case.

My fires have been pure figments of anyones' imagination today..warm, toasty burning ever so brightly when the gale force winds are still screaming round the rest of the property.  My old roof though has hung on in there and the two old chimneys are still there....I thought one of them would have gone....

And so ....just going for a shower and getting tucked up fairly early tonight but not that early that I'm doing the rounds and the activity centre at silly three thirty...LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 8, 2011, 5:26pm; Reply: 15
Tuesday continued

Forgot my icicles one....and forgot to mention that it's Women's Day so good wishes to all the women out there....don't know when Men's day is perhaps we should find out....
Posted by: Joanna, March 8, 2011, 7:11pm; Reply: 16
Arrh I see what you mean about the Brits abroad turning out.

I think it is an ex-Soviet thing, if you don't talk the language of the country to try German, they are sure to understand that  ;D. A bit like in Denmark where a friend of mine was from Russia and couldn't speak a word of Danish when she got there and so they all spoke to her in English, her English is now better than her Danish. :-/. Mind you, do you ever find there are times that someone will throw in the odd word of English into a conversation and totally throw you? A Latvian once used two words to speak to me and said Man sis, the first word was actually his only English word and the sis was Latvian, the problem is that the man is also a Latvian word and so the sentence made no sense to me whatsoever, if he had used just Latvian I would have understood as he was asking if my hubby was home.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 9, 2011, 4:40pm; Reply: 17
Wednesday 9th March

And I am really late posting today but there again, you are two hours behind so it's not so bad against UK time.  Why you may ask? I've just woken up. Had this niggle in my back come over me so I've been moving very gingerly around knowing that pulling on my slippers again after doing the outside chores, ashes, wood and stuff, was going to hurt.  I decided to sit down to do it and yes, it still hurt.  I think it's when I get here at night on the landing working on my pc, I must get the cold into it so out with the hot water bottle tonight, stuffed down my pyjamas.  It was funny the other day when I first developed this aching back, I managed to get the hottie nicely placed and was moving around the house and as I moved, the water was swishing backwards and forwards.  It almost felt like a liquid rudder, weird sensation.  

So last night I put some beans into soak and this morning I rinsed them, brought them up to the boil on the cooker and transfered them to the slow cooker on high for a couple of hours.  Drained them, fried off an onion, added them to the onion with tomato paste, honey, my signature hint of chilli, the cubed remains of the gammon joint, topped up with water and back to the slow cooker.  I kept sticking a fork in and coming out with the odd lump of gammon and so much so that I decided to have a bowl of the mixture with a couple of slices of toast while sitting in the hall soaking up the sun's rays and that's when fatigue overtook me.  Sometimes I just fight it off but today I decided that my body obviously needed the rest so I took a couple of extra strength aspirin for the pain in my back and made up a nest on the sofa in the lounge, not like going to bed in the day.   It took me a while to get off but I relaxed through the pain as the aspirin kicked in but boy, did I have a vivid dream about my ex inlaws (both passed over to that other place wherever it might be). There were a lot of clothes that had to be put away in this ostentatious over decorated wardrobe with amber crystals embedded in the white melamine and if you'd have known my father in law, not to his taste at all.  Now what was that all about? :-/

Despite the sun, the temperature didn't get over the zero today but at least the wind dropped at around lunchtime but is picking up again this evening.  As for my freesia.....well look at the picture.  It won't be long now and the fact that the second one is coming into flower that lttle bit later means that I shall be able to appreciate the aroma for that much longer.....just delightful. :)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 10, 2011, 8:58am; Reply: 18
Thursday 10th March

Could this be the start of spring?  This is the first day that I have not had both wood burners going and am relying on the little one today.  It's just about made zero outside and it's such a change from the other mornings.  My feeding station has more or less gone by the wayside.  I decided not to make it a permanent thing so this morning's stale bread was lobbed on to the garden and there seems to be less coal tits but I've seemed to encourage a whole lot of sparrows and my avatar's chickens and cockerel.  I looked out and there they were strutting around the bit that will be concreted when I have builders back (joke :-/).

It took me back this morning to the advert where the young man went into the laundrette and stripped off proceeding to put everything into the machine.  Once I'd done all my chores I decided to have a shower and wash my hair this morning and get clean for the day.  Now getting down with this back of mine is getting to be a pain in the back as you might say, so I stood in front of the wood burner in the kitchen with the washing machine at my back and peeled down as far as I could.  Then using one foot on the leg of the garments I was taking off, I managed to get one foot free and then did it with the other.  Into the washing machine with the tights, trousers, pyjama bottoms and socks and then a quick run into the bathroom to get the rest off and under the hot shower.   Bliss.  Hair washed, body washed, big bath towel and back in front of the wood burner which by this time is pumping it out.  Quick run upstairs to my upstairs bathroom which is now turnng into a drying room since that's the radiator that seems to acquire the most from this central heating and into warm clean clothes.  I sat in the hall waiting for that sun to break through (and I am still waiting) and dried my hair.

Today I'm into the design stage or things that I can make for Gouljan's project benefit stall.  The original funding came from the EU (where else) but they need extra for materials for the school room and partitions between the desks.....now what's quick so that I can start to deliver and it's not partitions.  I know my woodwork is good  :-/ but even I wouldn't do that to them ;) H & S at work.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 10, 2011, 5:07pm; Reply: 19
Thursday continued

Just going down the stair today and 'captured' the escaping chickens.  They ran away when I shouted 'curry' at them and went straight to their own back yard....or anybody elses back yard.  

And going down the stairs again on fire duty....noticed that although dark outside, the sky over the mountains to the west ...very dramatic so hung out of my bathroom window and managed to get a shot....LN...it's 7.00 here and tomorrow I think I might be a taxi and make my way to Kardjali....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 11, 2011, 1:53pm; Reply: 20
Friday 11th March

So I text Gouljan last night to see if she wanted a lift this morning and no response.  So having woken up at silly o'clock I thought I would look out for the bus to see if she was on it but since it was -6 outside, pyjamas weren't exactly arctic gear so while I came in to get another coat on the bus went sailing by so I was none the wiser.  My next plan was to text here again this time from my PAYG phone not my PC and yes she wanted a lift and Cinderella would be at the bus stop at 7.45.  I removed the ice from the car and got thoroughly frozen fingers doing it and yes, she was late again so explained the one that she would be late for her own funeral and this turned into a Bulgarian lesson all by itself...the word to die, the word for funeral...being late and missing it...it just went on and on.....

Dropped her off at eight, carried on to Kardjali and everything was waking up...not much traffic, people scurrying to jobs or to get buses but really pleasant.  Went to my material shop, got six meters of the material that I had already seen and managed to get a three meter curtain pole, did Lidls but only lightly and stopped off at Dzebel on the way back and got a really fresh crusty loaf.  As I went through Dushinkovo before getting to my house there was an old man walking along the road.  I didn't recognise him so carried on but then I thought I could be neighbourly and so I turned the car round, turned it around again so that I was going the way he was going and said 'Poliantz' which is the next village on.  So he got in, he insisted on speaking Turkish, deaf as a post so I just said 'tell me where to stop'.  So we carried on, down an unmade road which would have been better suited to the Beast, went up and then down again and I saw the houses at the bottom.  So I stopped and said 'this OK' to which he replied that I was to carry on until there was no road left at all.  Dobre, sitchco hubovo (good, everything's fine) but I did have visions of Beauty not managing the climb or the shale surface so I did take it steady.  I saw his mate on the way back but thought that I wasn't going back to the mosque...this could have gone on all day.

When I used to work in Brighton, there was a sandwich shop that made the most amazing tuna mayonnaise sandwiches and on the way driving back I imagined one hunky sandwich.  I was disciplined, I unpacked the car, got the wood in, lit the small fire and then went for it.  Inch thick bread, lashings of butter and I thought I would be good and prepared the tuna mayo in a lidded tin which was a complete waste of time....yes...four sliced of bread and the whole tin of tuna and mayo later....I lay on the sunbed and let it all subside.  All I could hear were sheep munching, chickens clucking, the chanting of the Imam at the mosque and the birds singing away....

Had visitors this afternoon......Bekir and Sally showed up and Bekir wanted one of his tools that I had been storing since they left before Christmas.  They looked really well rested and we've sheduled in a two week commencement (weather permitting).  It's 24 in the sun today and is supposed to be like this for a few days.  My son phoned me this afternoon and asked what I was doing.  I replied that I was sitting in my bedroom watching the sheep....he thought that was 'cool'.

The curtain is a job for tomorrow only because I have to modify the pole slightly but to be sure you won't see me dancing round it tonight.....only if your eyesight is really good and I manage to get up the energy but with a silly o'clock start this morning (yet again)....not top of my agenda... now just a few pics of my freasia and is it spelled like that or freesia...there are two schools of thought...so I'll leave both to your own interpretation.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 12, 2011, 4:21pm; Reply: 21
Saturday 12th March

Woke up at 6.50 and had a really good night's sleep...didn't seem to be any disturbances and I stoked up the fire before I went to bed so obviously it was the cold the night before that woke me.  White over this morning but not for long.  Sun came bounding over the mountain, got rid of the frost and then it was up with that little red thing on the thermometer and straight up to 24 today.  No messing.

I know that the sun energises me.  Today I have dug over my flower garden and raked it ready for my plants to go in, hacked into a new adjoining piece of land that hasn't been touched for years and removed the jam pot lids, about a barrow load of polythene and lots of broken glass.  Lazy living....if you bury it and can't see it then that's OK or let's move it up the road and .....just move it where you can't see it.  Education and a village skip which is what we don't have.....time to do some badgering I think...where's that mayor when you need him???

So what else have I done.....drilled and joined two broom handles and made a curtain pole, drilled the wall and fixed the said fittings and now ready to roll.  Curtain is cut and on the bedroom floor waiting to be pinned since that's the largest flat tiled area and I think the sewing machine might just come into its own tomorrow morning.  I've even worked out how to keep the curtains out of the way of the door and thanks to Lidls special offer, I have just the hooks to do it with.....oh ....how industrious I've been today.

Funny little incident this afternoon....my little girl that I give English reading practice arrived and asked if I had a wheelbarrow.  Well yes I do and she said that my avatar wanted it so I got it out of the gate, wheeled it up the road and knocked on avatar's door explaining that I had the wheelbarrow.  She looked at me as if I was playing a practical joke on her but I think one had just been played on me.  The little girl, in the yellow pullover skipped down the lane leaving us all a little confused, so I wheeled it back.......you let me hear that one round the village.. ;)

Another bit excitement....the sheep farmer has had two diggers out today and he now has a .....lake....it's supposedly like a dew pond for the animals but it's going to be a real puller for storks and herons and I can see it from my bedroom so binoculars at the ready.  Took some pictures of strange little flowers that are sprouting up in my garden....shan't post them since the connection tonight is 'poor'.  Why is it that when it's peeing down it's excellent and as the weather gets better the service gets decimated.

Right...supper beckons.  I have prepared nothing and am toying with the idea of cheesy chips and chicken wings at my restaurant.....I'll report back tomorrow....LN...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 13, 2011, 6:08pm; Reply: 22
Sunday 14th March
And another beautiful day Baba Marta...she must be in a good mood.  There was a bit of a cold wind coming up from Greece--ish....but the sun was hot, hot, hot.   On the agenda for today...nothing except my Bulgarian lesson which is not so much as a lesson as an escaped for Gouljan from the normal and a bit of a chat.  We've agreed that the other house is hers since she needs space...I just have to get a roof on it first... ;)

So what have I done...managed to sleep in until 8.15 which for me is unheard of and then mosied the day.  There was an old piece of 'woodwork' that had been hanging around for quite a time outsided.  Now it is a side table thanks to a few nails, other bits of salvaged wood and some wood preservative....It comes in tomorrow when the smell of the preservative has moved on and tonight is just outside the backdoor.

Had my Bulgarian lesson this afternoon and asked what I owed Gouljan for the previous weeks.  She came up with the grand total of ....NOTHING....since I had done a few mercy missions to Djebel and the likes....I shall get my own back...nobody does nothing for nothing.....I shall repay longterm.  She gave me a delightful present from Bursa....the evil eye woven into a wall hanging....I shall mount it properly on a piece of polished wood to give it the presence that the present deserves...

Well after a super meal of spaghetti bolog whatsit and a bottle of Spanish Temporillo (half in the bolognaise and the rest we won't speak about) for the equivalent of 85p a bottle from Lidl I thing I shall be paying a visit to that emporium and stocking up for visitors....and that's my excuse anyway....LN....I have .25 of a bottle to finish... ;) ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 14, 2011, 4:56pm; Reply: 23
Monday 14th March

What a glorious day, weather wise and everything.  Don't you find that the sun energises you and you just want to do 'things'.  So what have I done?  I've planted lots of seed trays with flowering tobacco, nsturtians, marigolds, snapdragons, ornamental gourds, sunflowers, honeydew melons and dug over my small vegetable garden and put some carrots in.  This afternon there was a complete change of activity and I made my very own outside armchair or it might even come in yet I haven't decided.  There is lots of wood around but unfortunately it does have a habit or warping so some things just aren't as 'square' as you would like them but I can live with that.  As long as it supports me, isn't about to go sidesways and concertina, that's fine by me....afterall the house has been described as 'rustic' by one of my good friends who shall remain nameless, so at least the chair is in keeping with the rest of the stuff....anyway I digress.  It should be put together with screws but I kid myself that it's the prototype but it will probably be around for a while.  I know that screws are best but to do the job quickly so that you know that the design is going to work...nails do it for me at this stage.  I don't have a piece of paper with the dimensions on it....remember I am working with odd bits of wood so it I want two, I measure it and cut it in half a lot of the time....I just don't have the luxury or new wood, well I do if I go and buy some and I might have to now that I know that the prototype works.....well, I might have some friends round and they might need a chair as well.  I have three green plastic thingies that I just hate....practical but....

Well we've just had some excitement through the village.  You don't hear woo...woos here not like the UK where they are going off all the time...so I've just managed to get to the bathroom window and we have a fire engine and a police car going at full pelt towards the next village....I'll wait for the reports..

My freesia has three flowers out on the stem and the perfume in the kitchen is just wonderful.  I used to buy them in England, I love them.....but these two nurtured beauties are just special...so food, spaghetti from last night in the slow cooker and just about ready....nice glass of beer to wash it down and only the small wood burner tonight....I have had doors and windows open all day....now time to shut up shop....LN...a demain..
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 15, 2011, 4:30pm; Reply: 24
Tuesday 15th March

Well I think yesterday's activity was enough for two days so not much has happened today except that I have built myself a little cold frame to take the seeds and insulated it with bubble wrap just incase we have a drop in temperature.  Today it has been windows open all day, sun shining, wind from Greece and my washing was dry within quicksticks.  I do do it on the fastest spin so that there isn't much water left in it but I love to see washing at 90 degrees to the land and then you think well perhaps best get it in before it ends up, in this case, Kardjali.

Went out to get my bread today from the disco magasin and there was a bit of a 'jack the lad' from further down the village pulls his car up.  Him and his mate jump out, he vigourously shakes my hand and then says that I am a very beautiful woman and he orders a bottle of the local beer from the shop.  Now he is about 35, obviously had a drink or two and really shouldn't be driving even locally so I laugh, tell him that it is the beer talking and in England you would have recommended Specsavers.  He then got back in his car and drove further down the village.  I'd gone on a bit of a walkabout, I had a dish of something with pumpkin delivered by one of my ladies so I got three bags of oranges from the van and delivered them to my three lovely ladies who came round later to check out what I had done in my garden and they all want a freesia or two so my next visitor already has it on his list.

Now there are more fun and games happening.  If you remember I said that the sheep farmer was digging out a lake and I was surprised that the digger was still there and no activitiy for a couple of days.....reason being....it is stuck and tonight the cavalry has arrived and they are dancing in unison....one filling and one trying desparately....a bit like a midwife with a breach birth.....I'll let you know the outcome...

Not sure what is for supper tonight...I think it's still in the freezer but I did have another tuna and mayo sandwich at 2.30 so not really ravishing....LN....They are still at it out there....I've decided it's like War of the Worlds.....Da dada dar....da dada dar....eow...eow and I'm waiting for Richard Burton and the dialogue ;)  LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 16, 2011, 7:29am; Reply: 25
Wednesday 16th March

Morning...just a quick update on the dancing earthmovers.....Last night they were working by lamplight until very late and I looked out this morning and could only see the one.  Now we had rain last night so I got out my binoculars and no, there were two but the second one seemed to be disappearing.  Just looked out now.  It appears that the missing one has been rescued and they are now digging in earnest taking out bushes and pounding them in.  Now I don't know if it is so that they can make their escape or continuing to dig out the lake.....progress will be reported on.... ;)

They are free..they were both working on the lake and the one left at 5.00ish and the other is berthed down towards the bottom the valley but I'm not sure what it's doing down there.  I think it has probably been an expensive pool of water but it has given the locals something to do, like watch the comings and goings and a bit of excitement.  There were about ten of them down there this morning supervising operations and they all have an opinion.

Well I spent an hour at my neighbours house this morning.  I went to return the plate but had to go in, have tea (which is not as we know it) and watched them knitting and they do it in a most peculiar way.  The wool is somehow slung round the neck and they get the wool round the needle with a flick of the thumb.  Fascinating to watch and they are so quick.  I also had a spoonful of something in vine leaves thrust at me and it wasn't rice but we worked out using Bulgarian and Turkish that it was based on ground maize flour with lots of spices in it.  You just can't refuse it when it is on a fork under your nose and she is saying 'yash, yash', 'eat, eat', so you do.  I also had some madeira cake before I left.  We had a discussion about pensions and I have to point out that I worked for about forty years in England to get my pension and it's not much more than if I had never worked at all.  Some seem to do ok.

So tonight I have nothing in the slow cooker but I have another outside armchair so if I have a visitor I don't have to give up mine and go for the plastic ones so I think I am down to Djebel tonight to the restaurant.....enough for this time....LN....let's see where tonight takes me.... ;)
Posted by: Princess, March 16, 2011, 9:18pm; Reply: 26
Hi mum bongo, sounds like you are having a good time....... Callumazoo is now officially a teenager, no you haven't missed his birthday....... He punched a bully in the face on his way home tonight..... He was trying to take bubbas scooter and throw it in a bush....... Bubba told him to stop but when he carried on, my boy saw red and bopped him on the biffa! He phoned me really upset and thought I would ground him. The boy threatened Callum with the police and I said bring it on, if he presses charges for assault, I'll press charges for criminal damage....... And if his uncle really is a policeman as he threatened, the boy should know better!

Poor bub was proper upset..... Bless him. No knock at the door so far and no policemen to take down my particulars.......

Work is really busy and rob is really busy too. We went to his work on Saturday and I got to wear my pink high vis and pink hard hat........ Check my bad self, I had it all going on!

Anyway, I'm off go nurse my big boy as he has man flu, it's a killer as we well know..... Moon and back, big kisses, Princess xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
:K)

Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 17, 2011, 12:32pm; Reply: 27
Thursday 17th March

Now that's my boy, no grandson, but that's still my boy....We are all quite quiet in my family, can take aggession up to a point but if we really have to stand up for ourselves on a matter of principles....we do and yes, well done big boy.  I just hope the school has done something about it already.  As for the big boy, I know how hard it is when you have someone with man flu and I know how potentially dangerous it is.  You should be wearing a mask. ;)  Pleased you got to wear your outfit....hope you had something else on or was it only the high-viz and the hard hat/ ;)  Keeping the family tradition going......well done you.

Well warm and windy and so is the weather but we did have a ;ittle rain this morning.  I think the little black and white cat has adopted me.  They always say that you don't have a cat...cats have you and it came right up my outside armchair this mornig...very nervouse but that could be becaused the Tabby had a pop at it last night.  I hear a screech, looked out at it was a cat scrap as opposed to cats crap....thought I better be careful how I typed that one.  

The digger made its escape this morning as it trundled over the hill and far away preceeded by a blue van so what was that all about then?  I know not.  No low-loader for this one but maybe it's a local and if it is I should investigate because it would save lots of digging out here by manual means and cheaper.  

I hear the disco-magazine.....and I'm off...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 18, 2011, 5:57pm; Reply: 28
Friday 18th March

Sorry, sorry, sorry....I have been giving an English lesson in my restaurant.  Now it wasn't supposed to turn out like that at all.

So how it started.  It was a very leisurely morning and I decided to darn my Bulgarian socks that had worn through and my own lazy fault for not wearing slippers with them, mended my jumper where the stitching had come apart on the neck and then decided that the chair hat I made yesterday just had to be finished off.  Now I was missing a piece of wood to make the arms so I decided that the wooden supports for the balcony from my bedroom were fair game but it took a lot of banging to get the one that I wanted down bearing in mind that there is quite a lot of glass in that area...anyway did it and once the rest of the chair was stripped of bark, remember that this is substandard wood, the arms attached, then I had to get the wood preserver on it.  My supply from Lidls in UK is rapidly drawing to a close so I have emailed them to ask them when this might appear on a 'weekly special' in Kardjali.  I get the feeling that the people organising the offers don't really know the  region so we get lots of things that you would buy from the market because Turkey is so close and their work is of a high standard.  Do it your self stuff.....I reckon I could set myself up as the 'local expert' but it would be all the things that I needed and would convince others that they couldn't live without.

So how did the rest of my day go?  I managed to get the price of the tyres for the jeep but when we phoned the number in Sofia...it was like the walking dead.  Haskovo have quoted a price that I balked at but when you take the transport cost from UK, you might as well have local.  I went to the shop and gave him my quote, then went to my restaurant where my special lady and her daughter in law were to deliver the documentation for 'permission for her husband to work in the UK'.  I'd like to know why Bulgarians and Romanians have their own special 24 page section.....they're in the EU now and we've been taken advantage so long and mainly by our own people.  At least if they want to come to work they pay into the system, we have so many taking out of the system that have never worked but don't start me on that one.....

Anyway, delivered the forms.  Velichco decided that the daughter from the hotel could translate it from my English to Bulgarian and I know Eileen well and we got over what we were trying to say.  Firstly the person offering the vacancy has to seek permission to employ that person and then the letter of permission has to be sent with the application for a permit to work.....plus two signed photographs and reams of other information.  Why is he going.....the government has just taken away the subsidy on growing tobacco so the region is in a state of depression?  So the rest of the afternoon....my little four year old birthday demon was in a fraction mood after a morning/ afternoon at kindergarten but I delivered my 'Learning English' for children and we sat around this afternoon having an English lesson with her mother and the four year old.  Grandmother was determined that we should translate it all into Russian and I was equally determined that we shouldn't but it was fun, she is my friend.  Six thirty and homeward bound.  My electricity bill had been delivered and was tied to my door handle with string so that it didn't go missing, my little burner is still going and there is no need to light the big one, I've just poured myself a brandy and hot water and I came home from the restaurant with a bag of.....Lily of the Valley that are going in tomorrow.....my gradinka takes shape....LN....my glass is empty...I'm upstairs....the bottle is downstairs and just while I think about it....poor Princess is burdened by two occurrences of 'man flu'.  Big frog and baby frog have both succumbed so my thoughts go out to her...even the Peters resilience has limits...LN :-/
Posted by: Joanna, March 19, 2011, 7:21am; Reply: 29
I see that the A8 members ie those that joined the EU in 2004 are to have their restrictions lifted on 30th April but Bulgaria didn't join until 2007, so maybe in about 3 years they won't have the restrictions either. It's good news for Latvians anyway  :)
Posted by: 25 (Guest), March 19, 2011, 8:08am; Reply: 30
Super Moon today - The biggest it will be for another 19 years or so

http://sofiaecho.com/2011/03/15/1059455_super-moon-looming-over-bulgaria-on-march-19

Bet it is cloudy!

Dom
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 19, 2011, 4:23pm; Reply: 31
Saturday 19th March

And yes Dom was right.....it is very cloudy so we might not manage that moon tonight....let's keep our fingers crossed....I might not be around in 19 years... :-/

Well last night I decided to take pity on my little (5ft 10) Cinderella and offer to take her into work since she has had to do six days this week to make up for her time in Turkey so we had breakfast together in Dzebel at 8.00.  I said that I thought she had to be in work by 8.00 and she replied that because she comes in from the village that she is allowed to be late and I replied that we were here on time....she smiled and said....'This is Bulgaria'.  Sorry I forget.....one who used to be in the office at 7.20 and the starting day was 8.30 and some days drove 110 miles to get there.....dohhhhh.  I was also complemented on my reporting skills.  Gouljan has decided that to keep up with local events she just needs to read my diary or at least look at the pictures if she only has a little time and read the captions... ;)

Came home, had breakfast and decided to make cushions for my outside chairs, then decided that the Lilly of the Valley that I was given yesterday should go in first and then looked at the heap of half bricks and asbestos left over from the garage fire way before I bought the house, and decided to move it.  Having started that I decided that I could put in a bit of a garden so moved some Flags from the back of my wreck and it was all uphill from there.  I got stuck in and made a new garden, weeded my shrub nursery, moved some ground cover pretties into the new bed and spent the day moving the rubble or at least putting it into heaps and tomorrow am going to build a stone wall since I've got loads of the stuff hanging around.

Got both fires going tonight.  I got chilled in the garden and so need to warm up, moved my outside armchair inside and experimented with foam to see how best to make the cushions for comfort.  What I felt I needed was a footstool since the tiles are cold under foot so no sooner the idea than the completion.  I found two pieces of 4x2 timber that I cut to about 10 inch lengths and then nailed on four pieces of tongue and groove.  Hey presto a footstool and tomorrow I will make a foam cushion for it.  No tele so just have to keep busy...

LN...nothing in the slow cooker but I do have a couple of spicey sausages to tart up with chilli and the likes so I'm off to be creative...I'll get some pickies out tomorrow.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 20, 2011, 3:53pm; Reply: 32
Sunday 20th March

Despite the good intentions I didn't manage to build the wall.  Winter has come back again and there was even a touch of snow in the air this afternoon.  Much too cold for outside games.  So I made the cushions for the outside chair that has now been reclassified as an inside chair complete with padded footstool and it has been in use all afternoon.  Both wood burners are going and I got stuck into a book and have been playing on my DS doing brain training....

Thought I had double vision this morning but no there definately were two of them. In front of my lounge window s the concrete base for what used to be the outside toilet for this house.  So the cats shot towards it and one disappeared down the hole while the other one sat on guard duty.  Haven't a clue what's down there but the one must have seen the flash as I took the pickie from my bedroom balcony and shot off, the other eventually put its head out and then made for the place where I burn my rubbish and tuna cans to get rid of the smell before I put them in the car and take them to the skip in Djebel....scarry cats...caught them just right.

Supper in the slow cooker, early night tonight, off to Kardjali in the morning and picking up Cinderella on the way...LN....but as promised a few pickies ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 21, 2011, 4:12pm; Reply: 33
Monday 21st March

Cinderella safely deposited in Djebel but on the way I managed to pick up a lady and her boy that were on their way to Kardjali so two extra passengers.  So when I got to the bank I was told that I was early...and ..said I, service my account.  Now my account here pays 7.5 percent at the last investment so I am considered to be a good customer.  So they gave me the options and I said that I considered them my financial advisers so 6 months, six percent but they pay the interest in advance so that you get interest on their money for six months...seems OK to me...better than UK.

So went into Lidl and realised that their special offers were rubbish according to local standards....but I bought their Martini at £1.70 there abouts...not to be grumbled at.  Got my extra strength paper, 120 gram and delivered it to Gouljan at the school and yards of elastice to make the masks for tomorrow, the first of Spring.

Now my Beauty had been making odd noises and I thought it was the drive shaft...no...one wheel bearing and now fixed...tyres are ordered for the Beast and tomorrow I go in and they are changed.  I have decided that I am living on bread and water for the next month with a little onion and salt....the standard joke when you are broke.

So back home..fires a mare to get going....at last I think I have managed it by robbing Peter to pay Paul several times...I think we are there...central heating and warmth in the kitchen.

So tomorrow...tyres at the garage....might as well pick up Cinderella and I can have breakfast in Djebel...saves her catching the bus at silly o'clock....Macy Grey playing at full volume tonight...supper from last night with the additions of a few fried mushrooms...sounds OK to me...LN...I have supper to demolish.... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 22, 2011, 1:12pm; Reply: 34
Tuesday 22nd March

So first official day of Spring and what's the weather like...nice in the sun but that wind's a killer.  I was at the garage at eight fifteen this morning and beat them all to it..tyres fixed and so much for peace of mind....I knew they were suspect and this morning I actually drove there with a piece of metal in one that was keeping the air in.  It was a little 'down' but got there safe and sound before the police hit the streets.

Now the other morning I gave a lift to a man with two walking sticks from Gouljan's village to my village and this morning he was standing in the same place when I went to pick up Gouljan.  So I assumed he wanted another lift and then he said that he wasn't going anywhere he was waiting for the bread man.  So I left it at that and waited for Cinderella but when she arrived I explained what had happened and said that I thought I had got the wrong man and were there two on two sticks.  Suddenly the man started speaking to Gouljan and asked if we were going to Djebel and could he have a lift.  So I helped him in since it is difficult to climb into the Beast and off we set.  When we got to Djebel, he said that he didn't have any money and could Gouljan give him some.  She handed over ten leva and I said to her that she should be giving him fifteen since it was five for the taxi...and I was only joking but goodness knows how he was getting back and probably no one knew where he had gone.  Oh dear..... :-/  last seen getting into the English woman's big car....eeekkkkks.

I got it wrong yesterday....it was Quentin Crisp who stated the rules on dust and I beg Christopher Isherwood's pardon....he was the one that wrote 'I am a Camera' that turned into 'Caberet'....(keep up).  

Just moved the table that I had codged together from half a shelving unit from the kitchen to the upstairs landing. The printer was sitting on a big cardboard box and now it's on the table (renamed....shelving unit)...and the area looks a lot tidier.  My job today is to sort out my filing.  I went to the stationery shop this morning with the intention of getting some folders but did they have any...no....we went through all her stock since I didn't know the word for 'folder' but nishto.....nuffin....so now to filing....and I think it's a task for sitting in the sun but definately inside not out.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 23, 2011, 3:52pm; Reply: 35
Wednesday 23rd March

Tried to lie in this morning but just couldn't manage it.  I looked out, white over so it's a good job that I covered up my cold frame last night and when I checked the thermometer, minus four.  Funny night last night though.  I was falling asleep at 8.00 yet wide awake when it was time to go to bed but I must get the kingsize duvet back upstairs, it's just too heavy now that it's warmed up a bit.  Back to one zebra at 7.5 tog and a single 13 tog feather.  I've just remembered that I opened my balcony door this morning so before I forget....I'm just going to close it.

Supper in the slow cooker at breakfast time and tonight I have chicken with mushrooms, onions with a stock cube, chilli sauce and red wine.  I think I might just throw some rice in with it and make it into a sort of risotto at about 6.00 and that will be soon in Bulgarian time.

So today I have been working on my little new garden and getting rid of the remains of the burnt asbestos garage but there is still some to go.  I've dumped it down the bottom of the garden for now but will have to dig a hole and bury it but that can come later.  I did find another small polythene mine but I managed to get it dug out and burnt.  I've started on the wall but I sort of ran out of steam at about 5.20, so got the logs in ready for the night but think I shall just keep the little one going.  The air has warmed up and that biting wind has stopped.

Tomorrow, Haskovo to sort out my tax documents and Mike, a friend who has been in the UK for the past year, returned today to start to renovate.  Unfortunately he had health problems and will have to be back and forwards for a while but at least if he can get builders underway, it's a start.  So tomorrow we shall meet up but no beers for me, I shall be driving.  

LN....the chicken needs attention, the fire needs attention so I better stand to attention.....LN ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 24, 2011, 7:23pm; Reply: 36
Thurday 24th March

Evening, evening and I realise that I'm late posting but it's been a very busy day.  I did mention that I was due to go to Haskovo today and I did.  I met up with Mike and Chris but didn't find my usual parking place so had to search a bit and then realised that I wasn't sure I would find the Beast again.  Yes I took it out for a spin, well not literally now that it has gone new tyres on, but I wanted to get rid of the old fuel and get some new in...Spring is in the air.

This morning it was cold so I thought' jumper' and that was a wrong move.  In Haskovo the sun was shining and it brought out the dolly birds and I was perspiring gently and trying to look 'cool'.  So I have my pechat (company stamp) back in my possession but what a problem sorting out the documents.  I had to make a visit to an accountant, four documents and 40 leva later and 'can you come back in one hour' for the other.  I now have all the documents necessary for the finance people and the 'statistic/business registration.  Apparently you now have to register 'business activity' and they charge you for not even having any 'activity'.  Looks like another 'jobs worth' to me so I might be contacting the European Union about it.  

Eventually left Mike and Chris in Haskovo late and then headed off to meet Garry in Nikolovo....and the lovely three husky puppies that he has acquired.  They are adorable. The intention is to breed them eventually but they are most beautiful, each one a different colour and strangely enough one has different coloured eyes and this apparently is quite normal.....I knew one or two 'huskies' in school then.

So into Lidl late to get some more butter and a couple of bottles of the red stuff that they have on offer, drove home and was tempted to drop into the restaurant for chicken wings and cheesy chips but then couldn't be bothered.  Straight home, bottle of the red stuff open....a chunk of bread and lashings of a blue vein cheese that has gone down very well.  LN.....my first job in the morning is to get out the flue pipes and clean them up.  I could smell the sooty-tar-y smell as soon as I got in tonight so tomorrow's work is to get them sorted.  I think it's down to the man selling me damp wood but it's my first winter here so next year, I buy enough and buy it early...the secret of a successful petchka.  

LN....my glass is empty, my plate is empty and I need more food and drink.....I'm on my starting blocks.  I will try to get pickies of the puppies on the site though....they are beautiful....

LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 25, 2011, 12:58pm; Reply: 37
Friday 25th March

Beautiful day.  My neighbours were all sitting on the pavement outside one of the houses down the road so I skipped down and took my place next to them.  One offered to give up her seat for me but I declared 'no' and managed to get down not knowing whether I would get up again but I did.  They admired my new leather coat that I sported with pride so I took it off and showed them the price ticket....5 leva and it was a real source of amusement, disbelief, shock and horror.  The English woman is buying clothes from a charity shop....I'm not sure if my image went up or down but hey....why should I worry....I'm careful.  So before I set off today my neighbour asked me if I would get her 5 kilograms of oranges from Kardjali but the price has just rocketed.  They were 85 last week and this week 1 leva 20 but I still charged her 5 leva.  I'll absorb the loss, she's the one that gives me eggs and stuff (I know not what) from a fork into my mouth and it's not worth the investigation....you wouldn't want to know.

My documents are in signed and sealed by a lovely lady in the finance office but what a performance.  You have to take a number, (it's a bit like the deli in Sainsbury) and then wait your turn.  Watching the various women behind the counter, yes no men, was quite an eye-opener.  When they pressed the button and the next number was displayed, if the person didn't turn up they just sat there for five, ten minutes and of course, more people were taking tickets and I got the feeling that I would never get out.  They were funny to watch...Some of them worked really diligently while several went to get a drink of water, others took toilet roll from cupboards behind them so I could guess where they were going and it was very laid back.  I think to cap it all at least five of them all went out for lunch at the same time and no one seemed to be supervising the line.  So my number came up eventually after about an hours wait and I had forms picked up yesterday from the accountant and she read through them, I handed over my Bulstat (company registration document) and my passport and then in Bulgarian she asked me a question....no words there that I understand apart for 'How much percent?'.  Now this company has never traded, was drawn up so that I could buy my house, and now we're asking something about percentages so she 'phoned a friend' and it was resolved.  I can now rest easy for another year and have avoided a 500 leva fine.  All seems a bit of a revenue generator to me but at least I didn't have to pay out once I got to the office.

So now to get those flaming, well close but not quite, petchka pipes down to see what they conceal.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 25, 2011, 3:44pm; Reply: 38
Friday continued

What a performance.  I couldn't get the pipes apart so had to try to get enough of the old ones to go from the little woodburner to the hole in the wall to the chimney....so....after much swearing and banging of pipes I managed it and so far so good.  I have had to throw out the radiator that sits in the pipe line because I couldn't get it apart from the old pipes....so tomorrow I will go into Djebel and get a whole new lot for about 25 leva....grrrr.  It's lit, there seems to be no smoke apart from out of the chimney and it certainly smells better...the wood that I got delivered the last time was absolute rubbish...time to switch suppliers but next year...good stuff in early....I've learnt my lesson or I might just investigate if I can have a calor gas heating system....now we are talking... ;)

Nothing cooking so I think it's egg and chips tonight....comfort food...the last two days have been tiring and documents are always a worry since you never know it you have everything...but next year I understand it will be online so that should make life more interesting .....oh forgot....it will be in Bulgarian....drat.  LN....I'm going to catch the last rays of the sun with a beer....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 26, 2011, 5:51pm; Reply: 39
Saturday 26th March

Beautiful weather...silly o'clock when I woke up but perhaps I might sort myself out when the clocks 'spring' forward tonight.

Been in the garden all day....decided to move my potting bench from my the wreck to the new house and install my outside plastic sink and it was downhill from there.  I dug up two honeysuckle that I brought on from cuttings and they are in a huge pot ready for taking to my balcony....I also repotted the sweet peas in something like a pot instead of the yogurt cartons they have spent the winter in.  Moved all the old tyres into the same area and must do something with them. like grow potatoes in them....another day.

So what else did I do....I set to work on the little garden and found another polythene mine so got the 'reprocessing plant' going and my neighbours just love me.  There was so much smoke but at least I have got rid of it....the alternative is to get a wheelbarrow and wheel it up the road and dump it and I get it back when the wind is in my direction....noooooo.

I also dug over my three little gardens which reminded me of burial plots when they were done...and with the fire going next to them, fuelled by the polythene, I could also handle cremations which are not available in Kardjali as we speak....Now there's an opening..... ;)

Sun gone done, spicey sausage in the slow cooker, leek and potato soup in the pan, martini in the glass...not such a bad life.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 27, 2011, 5:56am; Reply: 40
Sunday 27th March

Bit chilly this morning but I must remember that the clocks have gone forward so it's yet to warm up....so as the sun went down on me last night...up it came this morning but it's gone cloudy now but let's hope it burns off. I've got more digging and planting to do. Those burial plots need to be productive if only to help my reputation in the village.... :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 27, 2011, 4:43pm; Reply: 41
Sunday 27th March continued

Did lots of tidying of the back door area and put the wood that I had stored there back in the old barn.  It was looking a little bit the worse for wear and I had been a little untidy.  Swept it all out and the storm this afternoon brough it all back in again....oh well....Had my Bulgarian lesson today but her heart wasn't in it.  I think her job and the salary do not compute but not for me to ask.  She found out too that her sister in law is earning about twice as much working in a perfume/cosmetic outlet and I think it doesn't sit well.

We had thunder and lightening this afternoon and a brief tornado and downpour but it's all quiet on the western front now.  I have just spoken to D of S and he has offered me some yellow cherry tomatoes to go in one of the 'plots' in so much as no one else in the village has them and I've decided sweet corn, normal tmatoes and green beans in the other....if ever the bl***y cravas decide to take a pop at any of those....it's in the freezer as sure as eggs is eggs and I don't care whose cow it is.... ;)

So tonight the remains of leek and potato soup with a smattering of Indian Spice courtesy of Garry of Nikolovo with a great big chunk of bread and then to bed early....I can never get this thing about clocks forward...should I be tired or not....well I'm not so ..no I shouldn't be....I am one hour on....got it....LN ....I'm off for my supper.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 28, 2011, 5:09pm; Reply: 42
Monday 28th March

What a beautiful day ....in the garden....I think not.  I ache, I have blisters and whose silly idea was it to get rid of the asbestos and broken tiles and lower the level so that it is smoother....MINE.  I have just completed the marathon of gardening going backwards and forwards to the bottom of the garden with the rubbish and thinking...just one more....and it's now 7.50 and I came in about twenty minutes ago.  That's the trouble now that the clocks have gone forward....you lose track of the time.  As well as another polythene mine I also discovered a metal depository....oh what a fun time the previous owner must have had but I did dig up a little treasure. I'll wait for you to get to the pickies....not going to tell.

Have a new bird in the garden....I've got my bird book out and at last have identified it as a Red -backed Shrike....and it's an evil looking thing but fantastic colours.  Really tan coloured but the facial markings and the beak make it look evil.  Looking at the book it says that 'it loves rough grassland' so it must have taken one look at my garden and thought 'that's the place for me'.  I tried to take a photograph but just couldn't get near enough.  It has a strange way of just sitting there on the ground with it's head going all the time as if it's on the look out which is probably is.  I'll look out for it tomorrow.  

So apart from working my little socks off on the new bit of garden....I did take five minutes off to look at how the rest of the garden is going.  Just a few days of sunshine and warmth and the wild plum has come into blossom, the Forsythia is just about to burst into bloom and so is the Japonica Keria.  I love spring.

Short post tonight....my supper for the last three days is bubbling away in the slow cooker....again with just a huge chunk of bread and that will be me done for tonight....must have a shower to take away the aches and pains before they get established...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 29, 2011, 10:29am; Reply: 43
Tuesday 29th March

My men are back......I had a phone call last night from Bekir and he said that they could start this morning.  I think it was when I phoned and said something about another man that Gouljan had told me about.....works for me.

They have said their 'hellos' round the village, I have finished my little garden and got rid of all the asbestos and broken tiles, washing is dried and now it has turned colder and Sally is cold.  They have just sat out to have their lunch and the wind has suddenly got up and it all depends which direction it is coming from....we seem to get it from all ways.

Got to go to Djebel to get some money out to pay the men for the last week before Christmas....the weather suddenly 'broke' and they were not to be seen again until today....so I wonder if I should pay interest.  I think my digger man has just arrived...hang on...now for the full story....

My avatar has just had a well dug in her garden so that she gets water...without having to pay for it for her plants.  So I found out that it is her son who has access to the digger and this morning I asked Bekir to find out how much for one hour and it's 45 leva.  So he has just been to 'case the joint' and between them they have worked out that the stone will be much better over my fence and onto my other garden....so the forsythia has to move along with the japonica keria just as they are both coming into flower...ah well....when you think how long it would take my two to dig it out by hand...this is quicksticks and I shall be able to park the cars on the premises as opposed to in the lane by the well....probably coming Thursday or Friday and jobsaguddun.....now back to moving my garden and I think the lilly of the valley is due for a move as well...update later.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 29, 2011, 7:52pm; Reply: 44
Tuesday continued

Had to go into Djebel to get to the cashpoint and ended up being a taxi on the way back to two neighbours and phoned Gouljan to see if she wanted a lift.  Apparently the bus was on its 7.00 pm schedule that the neighbours didn't know about. :-/

Took my men home, called in to see D of S and his man flu is still lingering so I didn't stay long....I've avoided it mostly this year and that's the way I want to keep it.  Went down to Djebel to get some fuel for Beauty since I did Djebel in the Beast this afternoon and decided to go to my restaurant for supper since there was nothing waiting for me when I got home....lazy bones....cheesy chips and deep fried chicken wings, fruit juice (well the car is outside) and home by 8.45 ish but couldn't remember where I'd left my phone and it was in the Beast in the side pocket and I doubt I would have found it in the morning....

LN...bed calls....I have work in the morning....got to get the men, plant potatoes and onion sets and then move some shrubs ready for the mechanical aid.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 30, 2011, 1:58pm; Reply: 45
Wednesday 30th March

Little bit late picking the men up but I'm sure they don't mind the extra coffee.  So what have I achieved?  I've planted my onions, moved my broad beans that survived the winter so that they don't get crushed under the stone, moved my garlic and onions into the new bed, planted parsnip seeds, moved loads of soil into the polythene mine and thrown some seeds over it and they have two choices, moved the three main shrubs that I have in the first garden and that's about it really.  Just gone to get some pictures of Bekir's craftmanship and I have no space on my camera....bear with me...

So I put my camera on to transfer the pickies on to my 'Book' and it was going to take two hours so I let it do it's own thing and the downside is...no pickies of the achievements of Bekir and Sally today or of my gardening efforts but I promise, promise, there will be some tomorrow.  So I got back from dropping them off at 7.30 and at that time I am well into the night.  Didn't put anything in the slow cooker again but I did manage to get through a good few slices of fresh bread and that wonderful combination of tuna mayonnaise so I can't say that I have hunger pains yet.....

A couple of gripes.....I had a survey from a travel company and I was asked to complete it.  Having had several cruises with this company I thought, well why not.  The first question was a little obscure, I ran with it but at the fifth, I realised that I was completing the same information but in a different form so I sent them an email setting out my thoughts and suggesting that if they paid money to have the survey compiled that they should ask for it back....and I received a response saying that it has been passed to the appropriate department and thanking me for my comments...oh yea....So tonight I have received one from Tesco saying how would I like to treat my mother to one of their supper offer.  Considering that my mother passed over twenty years ago I comment to them that I thought the email was very inappropriate, almost offensive at this special time of the year.  I also made the comment that they are obviously not doing targetted marketing and would this encourage you to shop at Tesco  Now what do you think....

LN...I'm off to sort my fire out and look for something tasty in the kitchen.....I'm not hungry...just pickish...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 31, 2011, 5:41pm; Reply: 46
Thursday 31st March

And another month gone....where does time go to.  Well my men have been really busy today.  They have put the winter wrap on the Eastern wall so it will insulate it from the ....SUN....but it does look good.  They have to put another layer of the stuff they are using on tomorrow and then that will be the two biggest walls completed.  The South facing is mainly windows and the West wing is only half the size of the East so it's all downhill from here, (figurately speaking).

I caught them out having a rest when I delivered coffee but the beer came out at about six tonight.  I recognised the point that it was required since they were trying to get the wall finished before they went tonight.  Bless them.  It was seven when they left tonight and considering I pick them up at about eight...I reckon that I get good value.

So what have I done today.  I decided to take out the central bed base on the old outside toilet.  It was a quick job last year so I worked on it all day.  Instead of two beds I now have one and I've got rid of a lot of the stone that was around it.  I also have spend the day looking at the hedge.  If it is turning green it stays, if it is 'dead' looking and is stuff that as been put in just to keep the cows and livestock at bay, it is being removed where there is wire netting behind it.  I did a lot of layering of the hedge last year and it appears to have worked.  Where it hasn't I am digging up suckers growing where I don't want them and planting them in the hedgeline.  

So now I have just lit a fire even though it's not that cold tonight.....poured myself a beer and must think of something for supper.....now let's put a few pickies on....
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