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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  MAY 2011
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 1, 2011, 5:03am
Sunday 1st May

White rabbits and a new month greeting...where did April go?  

So this morning I have just sat for an hour watching my woodpecker in what appears to be his/her new hunting ground.  One of the old beams from the old roof timbers that I put into the fence a year ago seems to be favourite.  I also had my red shrike and the martins are out catching the early morning flies.  

Yesterday the toilet door was fixed since the nails that I had used initially weren't up to the job so they were substituted with four inchers and the hinges with even bigger ones.....I suppose it serves its purpose outside cows this morning....the adjustments to the fence seem to have worked....8.10 my time....down for another coffee and I think it has to be a 'cooked' this morning....update later....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 2, 2011, 8:00pm; Reply: 1
Monday 2nd May#

Well what a day.  I went down to Fotinovo today to order the several bags of cement to complete the balconies and the concrete around the building....thirty one bags delivered and several sheets of ready fabricated sheets of metal.  The balast comes with a different wagon and came about lunchtime...

Apart from that it had been rather a normal day....cement, balast,  and everything ordered.  The lads went down today with their pipe filled with water to identify the levels of the balconies and steps....I think you know what I mean whenI say that I trust Bekir.  He works on this as he would his own house and that's fine by me.

So today we had  mother's meeting by the front gate and it was all to do with the amount of cement I had purchased...I think my avatar's eyes fairly swivelled at the cost of 31 bags but I gave my drop on carry one lady a spider plant which caused some amusement.  She wanted flowers, bells and whistles and when I told her that it just had babies....not to her liking but hey....that's what it does.

So tonight for supper, beans in  onion, tomato, chilli, honey sauce with gammon and served with toasted chunks of bread....and it was good.  We finished the rest of the wine from last night but I had this bottle of Martini hanging around so it just had to be done.

Photos will be published connecion is not good tonight....L.N....sleep calls....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 3, 2011, 5:44pm; Reply: 2
Tuesday 3rd May

What a mixed bag of looked like it was brightening up from this morning's shower and then 'April' showers, a month late, but there again we had snow last month so perhaps the seasons have just moved on one.  Tonight though at about six the heavens opened and I could hardly see out of the windscreen when I took the men home.

Lots of birds in the garden.  I had the hoopoe this morning, the hawfinch working its way through last years wild damson stones, the cuckoo singing out and the woodpecker doing its stuff.  There are so many bird songs coming from the garden it's hard to work out which tree they are in.  

So what have we achieved today?  They sorted out the levels for the patio and I was having a problem trying to decided whether we needed another step into the house or from the lounge out of the house and I just couldn't get it pictured but all sorted now.  The ground has been levelled, the downpipes from the roof are all in place so there should be no water lingering around the house...very important when you see how much comes down.

As well as preparing for the patio they have started to build the stone wall from the patio down to the garden and it's fascinating watching them work...but to be honest it is good to watch anyone work... :-/   Supper over, going to get into a book tonight....haven't done much reading having someone here....aways seems something to do.  Now for some pickies....LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 4, 2011, 6:50pm; Reply: 3
Wednesday 4th May

What a mixture of a day weather started off well and since I didn't have a phone call from Bekir I assumed they were working and again they were outside the cafe since it wasn't open.  First job when we arrived back...fill them up with coffee just to get them kick started. ;)

My new lad from along the road came round and he was hired for the day...the lads continued with the terrace and now I have a whole load of cement going off despite the rain and a stone wall holding it all back.  They worked really hard today while I.....well I reorganised my garden and sunk in some terraces and walkways....and now it looks more...defined.  It will be good when I can steal some of my wood that the men have stored for roofing etc.....when they are not looking.  I regard it as their wood....but when I think about it.....I paid for it so it's mine....and they are on holiday on I might be able to complete my garden.

So I built my polytunnel and then the heavens opened on the newly laid concrete so my polytunnel was dismantled to shield the concrete from the rain.  My hawfinch was back today and descended just where I was working and I'm not sure who was more surprised.  He's very ugly but the rest of him has remarkable colours...I think it is the elongated beak that makes him look so bandit-like. home, supper was sweet and sour pork with roasted veg and it went down with a bottle of the red stuff....catching up on my diary and then hitting the sack....I'm feeling pooped tonight and the front door is completely out of bounds. I'll post pickies of the terrace tomorrow and I've already worked out that geraniums and nasturtiums in pots will show it off no end and now I want a table and chairs so that I can have my breakfasts outside....better get the hammer and nails at the ready....this calls for Bulgarian workmanship.. ;)  LN...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 5, 2011, 6:46pm; Reply: 4
Thursday 5th May

Morning sun and afternoon rain....this is not good.  But I have a patio/terrace and it has been calculated at 34 square's that for having your breakfast on ;)..I looked out of the staircase window and with all the polythene over it to protect it from yesterday's rain I thought it has snowed in the night....and me with new cuttings out there...fooled....the polythene was taken off and my maestor Sally set to work scrubbing it over and making it 'perfect' and we can't walk on it for a couple of days.  Main thrust today was digging out the foundations for the lounge terrace and putting the water canals in for the water from the roof ....all in place and so tonight we are testing it ....well not so much the gods in the heavens....let's see who wins.

Went into Kardjali to try to get a sink for outside but it had to be metal and only 30centimeters wide so that it sits on the joy so tomorrow if the weather is good off to Asenograd to the hardware store/ market garden to see what we can come up with.  I do need lots of plants for the garden but I have taken lot of cuttings from the ones that I got from them last year....forsythia, honeysuckle, japonica keria and I have orders for them already. :-/

So tomorrow I'll see what the weather holds before I make a decision as to what happens.  I was taking my 'guest' on a trip into the mountains but with the weather being what it is...not much point in spending money and seeing nothing because of rain and mist.....updates to men tomorrow they are celebrating the equivalent of St George's day and apparently it is the day of shepherds and the army (so work that one out) and you are supposed to roll naked in the morning dew so I'm out with my binoculars to see if there is anything worth watching but Bekir said that he goes out and catches the dew and washes his face in it for strength and they are supposed to swing on a swing for things to be good.  If you are infertile, this is the day that you should be out there and I am supposed to hang anything green on my doorpost/gate to welcome St George.  I did ask the question if they are Muslim how come they celebrate St George but apparently it is also a Turkish tradition to celebrate this day....rolling naked....early start for me then.....Gouljan and myself though it would be a good idea for her to roll down from her house and I would from mine and we would meet and Cemile's pond for a swim....but with the weather being as it is....not much chance of that then...anyway.....LN....I have lots of planting tomorrow and have to move my outside bonfire site since that has now become.....a soakaway...grrrr.

LN.....I need to sort out the fire and my glass is empty....not a good sign but the bottle isn't....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 6, 2011, 7:42pm; Reply: 5
Friday 6th May

So I was up this morning at silly o'clock with my binoculars but didn't see any of the local farmers rolling naked in the morning dew but there again, neither was I.... ;)  It was grim this morning which gradually transpired to being a glorious day.  We set off for Momchilgrad, went via, via to Krumelgrad and then took in Talul Bizanteem ruins on the way back.

Bought a super Azalea in Krumulgrad market, a really lovely blouse and a...wait for it....laundry basket...well...I needed one.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow, my connection is not so good and I'm absoutely zonked after being a chauffer for most of the day. LN promise to post pickies in the mornng.....LN...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 7, 2011, 6:24pm; Reply: 6
Saturday 7th May

Sorry...didn't get round to posting this got in the way.  Two loads of washing out of the way, a new door for one of the rooms in the wreck so that I can start clearing the house, bonfire fired up so that I can move it to a more permanent site, plants that I 'acquired' from yesterday's trip planted and generally a bit of a garden tidy.

So on the way back from Krumevgrad yesterday we stopped off at an archeolgical dig site that is supposed to be Byzantine holy burial site so we were doing the tourist route.  I was surprised how many people were there,  Americans who are reponsible for the dig, Bulgarians on coach trips and lots of local and Turkish visitors.  Very busy little place.  The entrance fee was 3 BG Leva but they had obviously had lots of ticket printed at 2 leva so we had to have three ticket for two people...don't know what they would do it there were three of them :-/

So to the goes...on the way to Krumelgrad....storks on the way back....Tatul...and something else that we found that we haven't yet identified in the guide book.  Only trouble with Tatul is that the way to the site, you have to drive through the local rubbish dump....must advise the EU about it, :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 7, 2011, 6:37pm; Reply: 7
Just a few more

Can't post stork pickies they are currently nesting on a chimney stack lying horizontal...need to fix picture so Danuta...that one will be for you... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 8, 2011, 6:08pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 8th May

What a buggar sudoku can be...I waisted about on and a half hours this morning trying to do one of the Daily Mail five star puzzles and it won.  I reset it a couple of times, print screened on it so that I had a reference point and still haven't managed it ...grrrrr

Went out to the garden and dug my soakaway at the end of the roof downpipes so that it doesn't become a nuisance to me or anyone else and it ends up on my veg seemed like a plan and resited the bonfire so that it is now away from the new water pipe.  Gouljan appeared and I had my Bulgarian lesson and she had her English is no robbery ....and I think she comes here for peace and quiet. She has her sister over from Turkey and her nephew who has taken to calling her giraffe because she is so tall and willowy.  Rain started this afternoon and seems to have set in and it's cold so the wood burner is doing it's stuff and now that the insulation is completed, the house is holding it well....just like it should have done for the winter.... ...but at least it's OK for next year.

Will Young off to refill, have a shower and early to bed tonight....must get stuck into a book at some seems to have gone by the way when you have someone much to do.

So tomorrow, 7.30 off to get the men unless the rain sets in in which men...LN....and just one picture to post to Danuta and sorry, but I couldn't get any nearer and one that I can't post yet because may battery is flat on my camera....I had a snake in the yard yesterday...thin and scraggy and yet to identify what it was.  On to a shovel and despatched to the hedgerow....bit surprised when I first saw it....about 60 centimeters long and it was enjoying the sun...and now it can enjoy the hedgerow....LN...that picture will get posted tomorrow  

Posted by: 50 (Guest), May 8, 2011, 7:37pm; Reply: 9
Thanks Elsa.  Great photo, I am not disappointed.  How high up is that?    :)  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 9, 2011, 6:53pm; Reply: 10
Monday 9th May

Well the weather stayed dry today but the wind was cold again....that Baba Marta has a lot to answer for....  

Picked up the men but Beauty seemed to be playing up...maybe  a little jealous that I have been using the Beast over the weekend and she was hickupping so I turned round and went out in the biggie again but by 10.30 she had warmed up enough to go into Djebel.  Ordered more material but did not have enough cash in the house so was heading into Djebel just as the lorry arrived so Bekir sorted it all out and said that I would pay in Djebel after going to the bankomat.  Now this turned into a bit of a fiasco.  I didn't know where I had to pay, tried the normal shops but couldn't work it out so headed home.  A little while later my little neighbour had come back on the bus and brought me the bill for the materials with the instructions that I was to give the money to the bus driver when he was on his way back from the upper village so I dutifully counted it out, got Bekir to check it, put it in an envelope, stopped the bus, gave the money to the driver, so now no outstanding bills....sorted.

Had a lovely surprise today.  My daughter-in-law has sent me a beautiful picture of my grand-daughter at the end of her first year at in the lounge with grandson and my father's picture....just a little taste of home.

Now for pictures....the men  are constructing the stone wall around the terrace and what a job is it.  They're good boys though and everything has to be just right.  While they were building I put out my tomato, pepper and cucumber plants and just for the record....I don't eat peppers or cucumbers but it's my token to the village...when they offer me all this stuff when they have a glut I will be able to say that I have some already...method in my madness.

Pickies....I digress...snake from a couple of days ago.....the men in a welcome break and a little frog that I disturbed when I was collecting stone for the men.....and just for you Danuta....I'll skip along to the stork nest with my tape measure and let you know.... :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 10, 2011, 7:22pm; Reply: 11
Monday 10th May

So today I have sorted out a new keyboard and mouse and maybe I won't make so many spelling errors.  They're not so much spelling as missing out letters where my old keyboard on my laptop is very spongy and the letters just don't register.

Three men working, one wall built and tomorrow it is concrete, metal and more concrete.  The three of them do work well together and after I had taken the two back to their home, the third who lives in the village arrived with two huge mushrooms that have been earmarked for breakfast.

Went into Momchilgrad today, a town about 10K for my village and took in one of my flyscreens that needed a repair.  All done while I waited, door catches for the outside doors to the balconies and screws to fit them at the princely cost of ....nothing.  Went round the market and bought a linen jacket for ...2 BGN, a pair of trainers for 5 BGN and some sewing cottons.  Got some fish from Lidl reduced to half price and it was delicious with new potatoes, carrots and mayo....and a phone call from Gouljan could I pick her up from the bus stop in Rogochez and deposit her home since she had missed the bus to Dushinkovo....easy done.

Just a few pickies of nightfall....LN....I am going to my little pit with an extra blanket is a little cold and this is May for goodness sake...Baba Marta...are you listening????  LN
Posted by: Princess, May 11, 2011, 5:05pm; Reply: 12
Oh mummy , I'm disappointed to hear that you have a new keyboard, your smelling pistakes make me giggle! Hope you are well, you certainly seem to have been very busy.

Work is okay, very busy, but as I am frequently reminded by the naughty ones, I wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for them!

Callumazoo is growing bigger every day and cheekier by the minute~ parents evening next week so I should get to find out how he is really doing at school...... When I ask I get the standard answer " fine"......

Right, I'm off to do dinner now, chicken filled with chilli cheese and wrapped in bacon. The diet has gone out of the window for the time being but I can't do everything!

Love you, moon and back, Princess xxxxxxxxx :K)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 11, 2011, 5:27pm; Reply: 13
Wednesday 11th May

So today April showers combined with strong winds...but it's MAY.

Have a lovely beef.  Yesterday I had an email from my internet web provider saying that they were cutting off my service  within seven days since a payment had been 'declined'.  Now this bill was for six pounds and so I phoned the my bank in a bit of a panic and they said that they had not declined any payment and I knew that there was ample to cover phoned the service provider and they said that it was probably one of their 3rd party providers that was responsible for the breakdown that caused my payment to be declined.  At this point I was fairly boiling over....not my concern but threatening to cut me off.....considering that I was phoning from overseas....we resolved it by processing the payment manually but then they had the audacity to confirm that the payment had been made but then they thanked me for updating my card details....a stongly worded email is on  the way to them....

Bekir has been pointing up my wall, Sally has been building, sunbed fancier has been sorting the stone from the earth and has been having a lovely time.  I got an emergency call to take my camera down to where he was working and there was a huge centipede that he was determined to put his spade through but Bekir convinced him that he had a right to live, the centipede that is not Bekir.  It was dutifully lobbed over the fence.

Supper is in the slow cooker, my guest is snoring in the lounge so I now have to slam some doors because I am hungry....LN....just to post the picture of the centipede.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 12, 2011, 6:50am; Reply: 14
Thursday 12th May

Just for you Princess I'll make sure that there are a few 'spellers' to keep you smiling ;).  As for those naughty children.....just go for one or two converts..... :-/

Cloudy, cold wind and threatening rain.  I woke up early but then decided 'five minutes more, five minutes more' and was late to pick up the men....still all back safely, just served them their first cuppas and with a little bit of creativity, Bekir has made a tamper to use on the lounge patio to made me laugh horse....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 12, 2011, 8:22pm; Reply: 15
Thursday continued

So now I have a concrete terrace which is now shrouded in polythene so that the rain doesn't get at it and yes, it is throwning it down tonight.  Bekir with his forsight got me to buy several meters of the stuff x 4 meters wide and now I have a polytunnel growing....nuffin.

The lads worked really hard today.  It was 8.20 when they made their weary way towards Beauty and off we went.  Supper tonight was sausages in the slow cooker with red wine and chiili and it was delicious with a handful of rice thrown in before the finishing time.  Washing up complete and now ready for bed, it's been a long day. Just a few pickies....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 13, 2011, 7:02pm; Reply: 16
Friday 13th May

Thirty nine years ago today I was walking up the registry office steps and I always said that if it went wrong it was due to the fact that it was the 13th.  Unfortunately it did after ten years but we are still good friends now so what really did go wrong...different time, different space, different pressures.

I now have two terraces and a set of steps on to the the garden and it looks just fine.  The decision was three or four steps and the phrase that surfices is 'whatever you want' so in this case I left the ball in their court and it looks brilliant.  No was pretty late when they finished but tomorrow will be the photocall.  Potted up lots of bulbs today and petunias....the petunias really smell delicious...not what I expected at all.

So next week they are on to the septic tank in all it's glory but we do have one day out for a 'holiday' in Dzebel.  Street market, music, dancing, sheep barbecued and all systems go.....I'll see whether I'm up to it or not.

Three more bags of cement and down to one remaining.  Monday heralds the return on the balast wagon and yet more bags of cement.  Can't decide if we are off on our travels this weekend or not...I'm pretty tired from all of the early mornings and decision making so I'll see what the weather is like before I'm commited or as some say...should be....LN...short post tonight...

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 14, 2011, 6:16pm; Reply: 17
Saturday 14th May

So my patio chairs have been in every position possible to catch the sun on the new terrace.  Facing east with a morning cup of coffee, south when I decided to soak my feet and shave my legs and give myself a pedicure (and not before time).  Got stuck into a book and three quarters of the way through wondered why I was reading it as it seemed to have been written with not much of a story line but several blank pages to fill and finally to move them round to the west to catch the dying rays.  I did have a brief sojourn onto my sunbed to get in a few zeds...but that was short lived by the sound of the router coming from the new workshop in the wreck........

Today has been hot sun, warm wind, few clouds hiding the sun, cool breeze so a day of contrasts.  Tonight it seems there are no clouds in the sky so let's hope for tomorrow.  We didn't venture out today...I just felt too tired, partly because there have been early mornings with the men and late nights because the weather has been up and down and I have had just more to do having someone here....I think it caught up with me today.  Let's see how I feel tomorrow as to whether we get somewhere.  I do want to go to Assenograd and pick up some more shrubs and stuff....we'll see what tomorrow brings...LN...I'm thinking about an early night...21.16 for me here....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 15, 2011, 7:24pm; Reply: 18
Sunday 15th May

Beautiful day today...moved earth, moved stones, moved my chair to catch the sun and burnt my ankles...not such a good day after all.  One of my neighbours did bring round some onions so I plaited them and they are outside drying so something achieved.  I decided that my most sensible attire was to put on my Turkish pants since they covered up my ankles (much to the amusement of my disco magazine when he arrived) and to Gouljan who came round with another script to be translated.  This time we did the 'Treasures of Bulgaria' and I'm still not sure who is teaching what to whom....the translation that she comes out with sometimes courtesy of 'Google' leaves a lot to be desired and we both rush to see who can find it in the dictionary first.  Hers is somewhat more concise than mine but we come out with some interesting words.  

So now I've learnt that there is lots of golden treasure, some Byzantine and some Bronze age and the value of the haul.  There was one section that dealt with the treasures going over to Spain for an exhibition and the transport involved an alluminium double skinned chest that was supposed to be able to withstand an air crash.  I said I doubted it and suggested that they should have put it in the black box since that is always found after an air crash but that suggestion was lost in translation along with the rest of the text.

Now I'm tired, I've just managed to throw my visitor off the computer to get this done but I think the most sensible thing to do is to hit the sack and try to compose something sensible tomorrow.  As you can see we didn't go anywhere today....just too calm in the garden to think about driving for the sake of.  Tomorrow have to order another lorry of ballast and cement so the weather is bound to change...we always reckon that once the word is out that concreting is on the cards, the rain starts to come down in buckets

LN....time to hit the sack....I was thinking of putting up and cutting a ribbon when the unveiling of the steps to the garden takes place tomorrow...not sure they would understand the protocol this space...I might just do it...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 16, 2011, 9:49pm; Reply: 19
Monday 16th May

Too late...tonight...tomorrow....just woke up infront of the's been all go here....all day!! :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 18, 2011, 4:19am; Reply: 20
Tuesday 17th May

This is yesterday's post which didn't happen due to a massive thunderstorm last night.  Everything got switched off and boy was it close.  Lovely sunset but I just couldn't get to photograph the closing sun and the lightening strikes...anyway....tuesday's happenings.....

The Bea Eater birds are back, my beautiful butterflies are winging their way round the garden, my third worker who was doing his other work yesterday, like looking after his father's sheep came round with a 'present'.  I got the call to go downstairs with my was a two meter Smok....snake.  Now this one's not dangerous apart from the fact that it drinks the sheeps' milk so is more of a nuisance but if bitten you do have to go to the hospital for an my knowledge is increasing all the time :-/

This morning Bekir got into the car and had a small spray bottle in his hand.  Apparently it is supposed to encourage the bees into a hive so my hive has now been moved to a new site surrounded by clover and has been sufficiently sprayed.  It is Bekir's duty to inspect the hive on the hour every hour for the new colony but with the bea eater birds hanging about on my electricity cables....I'm thinking that it isn't going to happen this side of christmas.....let's keep our fingers crossed or get our shot guns out.
Posted by: 25 (Guest), May 18, 2011, 10:51am; Reply: 21
You mean this storm
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 18, 2011, 6:02pm; Reply: 22
Wednesday 18th May

So as you can see from the above, Dom has more patience than I have...he probably sat for hours to come up with the pickies. ;)

Today has been a day of changes.  This morning it was promising a good day but then it rained on the way over to pick up the men, then the wind picked up and it was cold.  So mid morning I put on my winter trousers and a sweater and felt a bit more to face the day.  We call this weather 'Bekir' weather.  He much prefers it when it's cold but Sally snuck upstairs and found his sweater before he started again.

So what have they done today.  The outside insulation from the lounge is now complete and the step is in place.  I made it a little more difficult for Bekir when I said that it would look good if the bottom of the concrete step had stone there and he spent about an hour wondering the garden for 'just the right lumps'.  It now has terracotta tiles on top of it and it looks good and will look the DB's when he has pointed it up.

Men are not working is Dzebel carnival or 'prasnic' day so Bekir is off with his 'mates' to drink a few beers and eat some barbecued lamb.  Not that he is short of them having about 300 of his own but I suppose his are still walking the hills while someother poor sods are providing substenance for the inhabitants of Dzebel.  In sheep farmer is having about three sheep roasting and profitering.

I had visitors today...the lady that was born in the house and lives in Turkey came round with her husband, daugher and another friend who thought the house was 'cok guzel' or 'very beautiful' and yes it is.  I had a 'podarik' 'gift' of strawberry flavoured wafer bicsuits from Turkey so I shared them with the lads this evening.  I also found that I was losong water from Beauty and on closer inspection there was a hole in one of the water pipes so straight to the garage...said pipe was removed, welded and replaced for the princely sum of 25 BGN...(twelve pounds to you and me).

So now settled in for the is going but I know not why but I suppose it's pretty to look at.  Chicken with garlic dug up from my own garden (the garlic that is not the chicken), oven roast potatoes, onions and carrots and now I am stuffed....time to get another little drinky.....LN...catch you tomorrow....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 19, 2011, 7:21pm; Reply: 23
Thursday 19th May

Rain rain go away.  Please come back another day.  It is Djebel fair today and local fairs have a similar format.  The women stay at home with the children while the men go out with men friends, have a little beer, some barbecued lamb and generally a good time.  Some women might venture out with children for the bouncy castle experience and the fair rides but generally come sundown....a bit like Shreks girlfriend... they are destined for a life under wraps.  I was going to go if the weather was good but instead I was a taxi for Gouljan and her family at 10.40 this morning, saw the crowds and decided that I would prefer to spend the day in the garden once it had cleared up.....and I did.  I sorted out nasturtiums, painted my really old woodburner and it will now have the said flowers growing out of it.  I moved my forsythia which didn't seem to be doing well where it had been moved to, planted out my geraniums, potted up some freasia bulbs for me and my village ladies and dug over the bean bed so that I can put in some more potatoes.  So not a bad day.

Had lunch in the garden and then finished off more of the gardening jobs, had a shower and then headed for Djebel at 7ish this evening and it was still going strong.  Ended up at my restaurant for cheesy chips and chicken wings and a fruit juice since I was in control of a booze despite being told that I can have one without there being a problem....I abstain but now home so am sampling a vodka and tonic and if I like it....I just might have another.  Fireworks were set off to conclude the celebration and I did take a few pickies but tomorrow I shall look them over to see if there are any worth posting.  

LN....want a second opinion (mine) on the vodka and tonic.....pickies tomorrow....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 20, 2011, 7:29am; Reply: 24
Friday 20th May

Dull cloudy start but boy is it warm when the sun breaks through.  So what to do?  We were taking off for a couple of days up country but I've just checked the BBC weather, and good old BBC, gives me Kardjali weather for the next five days and guess what...thundery showers until Monday when it changes to 'slight cloud'.  Time for a rethink of places to go or things to with my map and my guide book now. :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 21, 2011, 5:19am; Reply: 25
Saturday 21st May

And yes the BBC weather was correct and didn't it come down in buckets in the afternoon.  Brightened up again and then started all over again last night.  Still it saves me watering my flowers.

We are off heading north today and hopefully the morning mist will clear and it should be good until this afternoon so camera at the ready, I might this time be able to take photos of the Shipka Pass and Gabrovo and heading back we are intending to go to the Sunday market at Dimitrograd.  Best laid plans of you know what...we'll see how far we get.  The last time I tried for the Shipka, the rain came down, the mist came down and my visitor had a slight attack of 'let's get out of here' since the roads were narrow and the car was big.  Now I thought it was more of a worry for the others but still.

Pictures from the village fete as was all but over when we got there though so not many were taken.  Here you go...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 22, 2011, 9:26pm; Reply: 26
Sunday-23rd May

I have just got back from sojourning to Gabrovo, and various villages around there.  I did not know that there was a wonderful carnival taking place there celebrating Bulgaria and its customs and the photos will be posted tomorrow.

I have seen the Shipka pass and the war memorial was something else.  After that we went to Gabrovo where this wonderful carnival was taking place and then on to a little village where we spent the night,  Today we visited lots of villages on route filling in with a shop called Pratrica and another by some American name and bought some pots and plants for the whose going to be busy tomorrow. :-/

Home safe and sound, the Beast did its stuff and we stopped off at the fish restaurant on out way back.  Lovely meal, back safe and sound, bottle of red at the ready and home we go.

Looked throught the photos and will post tomorrow...Need sorting out a bit... only so that you have the best...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 23, 2011, 7:12pm; Reply: 27
Monday 23rd May

Those photographs didn't get the time that I came to do them tonight both camera batteries are flat so it is a job for tomorrow.

I picked up the men at the usual time and they have had a day of bitsas.  They finished off the plastering over the insulation on the house and now only have the exterior kitchen wall to sort.  It does look good and this afternoon Sally found himself down the hole in the garden removing the earth that the cows had hoofed in so that they can start to get the stone walls built.  That hole is huge but the funniest part was that I didn't know that Sally was down there until I suddenly saw a shovel full of earth shoot out of the hole like a firework and on closer investigation realised what was happening.  It was a hot day though so when it came to 5.30 and both Sally and Bekir were shovelling, I appeared with a 2 litre bottle of beer and two glasses and men were last seen in the shady part of the hole with glasses in hand.

So waiting for them to emerge at 6.30 to go home, I set to work finishing off the weeding that I had started earlier.  There are so manny weeds and self sets that I am not sure which are weeds or self sets.  I removed what I could but have loads of Mexican flowering tobacco that now needs repositioning so that's my job for tomorrow along with putting the new plants into the big pots which is something I didn't do today...

Clouds came over about 7.00 is but I did sit out after supper for a short while but soon came in and lit a  token fire.  Time for bed now and the batteries are on charge so pictures will be sorted tomorrow....I have some funny ones of 'storks' for my good friend Danuta....LN...a demain...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 24, 2011, 7:25pm; Reply: 28
Tuesday 24th May

Lovely pictures today of two men down a hole now lining my outside cesspit with stone.  They almost melted since it warmed up considerably and had to be cooled down with beer.  The other problem is that they have a lot of their own work to do at this time of year.  Bekir has a day's work with his bees and Sally has five deca of tobacco that he and his wife manage to do.  With the subsidy off it, it has been deemed as being not worth it but when it is your only still depend on it and it is the usual routine that few seem to get out of.

I have my new gate, well half of one, the rest is just a sketch on a piece of paper but it has been put alongside the old one so works.  It means now that I do not have to take out the gate post so that lorries can come in....I have hinges. :-/

As for those pickies, they are still in the camera but I shall have more time....Martin goes home tomorrow so it will be back to normal...eating when I feel like it and not at allotted hours....but we did have my wintered broad beans for supper with potatoes with mayonnaise and onions and the remaining hamburgers....filled a corner and the beans were super....they have a second crop on their way so more to follow.

LN....early night. I have to get to the bus station in Kardjali early and hopefully the but will be leaving at 6.00 otherwise I have a four hour trip to Sofia and a four hour trip back....fingers and everything else crossed....LN :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 25, 2011, 5:47pm; Reply: 29
Wednesday 25th May

Martin left on the 6.00 o'clock bus for Sofia and wasn't I pleased that I didn't have to take him up to Sofia...nine hours at the sheel by anybodies standard.  Back home for  6.15 and the sun was only just coming up adnd the decisiona was...bed or no Bed so I settile for the no bed.  I have no workmen, the day is mine so I decided to 'meanr45'  The rest of the day was spent betweeen a book. gardening and using mu newly acquired sheers tp drop the grass in quicksticks....pickes.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 25, 2011, 6:02pm; Reply: 30
Wednesday 25th May

Martin left on the 6.00 o'clock bus for Sofia and wasn't I pleased that I didn't have to take him up to Sofia...nine hours at the wheel by anybodies standard.  Back home for  6.15 and the sun was only just coming up and the decision was...bed or no bed so I settled for no bed.  I have no workmen, the day is mine so I decided to 'meander'...the rest of the day was spent betweeen a book, gardening and using my newly acquired shears to drop the grass in quicksticks....pickies.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 25, 2011, 6:12pm; Reply: 31
Wednesday continued

Meanwhile back at home I had two men trapped in my 'soon to be toilet'...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 26, 2011, 5:44pm; Reply: 32
Thursday 26th May

So I've been on the end of a shovel most of the day moving builder's spoil.  I'd terrace the garden last year but digging out for the concrete and the diverting the roof water downpipes to the well meant that what was there...was no longer and in it's place....vocanic eruptions. I decided that they would go, that I would repair the damage and move some of the soil into the centre and when we remove the stone from the other heap that the digger left behind, the rest of the spoil will cover the other half of the middle bit.  Well that's the theory worked out and tomorrow....I'm attacking the stone heap.

I have no men....I got the feeling that it was warm or rather hot in the toilet pit and with the weather promising to be hot, hot, hot for the next few days they decided that they would do their own work and get in my third sunbed guy to do some of the humping and bumping but I'm going to get there first and I might even have some abs by the end of summer and that will be a first. ;)

Watered my potted flowers and my nasturtium planted in the old painted petchka is struggling towards the light and should make its appearance tomorrow or the next day.  The others are bedding in nicely and my petunias are coming along fine but no sight of the freesias yet.  Two bucket and a tray full of them but the newly planted sweet peas are through at last and eight out of nine have germinated so they'll join the rest on the fence.

So pickies of the day's work and one of the men that I forgot to post....getting back to normal now....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 27, 2011, 5:01pm; Reply: 33
Friday 27th May

So what have I achieved today...not a lot but it has been a beautiful calm day.  Walked and watered my garden, did my emails and got rid of my junk mail, did a few freecell and then thought about breakfast.  Boiled eggs with toast and then went back and did a few more freecell and a silly game Bejewelled.  Did some housework but not a lot, guest bed reinstated, washed and returned to pristine condition.  

Gouljan sent me a text at about 12.00 saying that she was at the bus stop and could I take her into Djebel so I became a taxi.  I suppose she stood there for about half an hour to see if anyone came by which is the routine in the villages so I was a last resort.  Took her in and then went to my restaurant and sat with my little three year old girl who shares my birthday (or do I share hers) and we did her English lesson.  I said it in Bulgarian because she doesn't read yet and then in English and she repeated it.  She then took it upon herself to go to the other children and repeat that 'house' is 'kushta' so the word gets around.  I'm teaching several others without realising it. ;)

Did a little bit of shopping in Djebel then came home and continued to read a book intersperced with Monty Don's gardening book.  The day has just sort of drifted by and I've just put an onion in the frying pan, browned it, added a pork chop, turned it, put a spoonful of tomato puree on it and a dollop of honey and stuck it under the grill.  Meanwhile I peeled and chipped a couple of potates and hey delicious meal.  Now opened a bottle of beer and that will see me through to bedtime.  Blog updated, belly full, glass full and good book in the eight o'clock for me and time to relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 28, 2011, 5:41pm; Reply: 34
Saturday 28th May

Well it started off calm and I wasn't in the mood to do much at all.  You know what it's dream rather heavily and you feel funny for the rest of the day.  The activity set in though when I went to have my morning wash and clean my teeth and it didn't stop there.  Firstly the washbasin, then the toilet and not content with that the stool went in and I cleaned down all of the tiles, and ended up with the now I have a spring cleaned shower room.

Went outside and decided to sit and read a book.  I have been given Europe at War by Norman Davies and it digs out the fact from fiction and to who really won it.  Lots of facts, ideas and having been born just at the others side of the war, I suppose, and I've said it before, I only have a vague feeling of what it is all about.  I'm facinated by the content.  Well that went well until I decided that I need a shelf by the outside sink and now I have one....shoe rack has been converted but more work needed to make it 'just the job' and tomorrow is another day.

Supper tonight was meatballs in tomato, honey and chilli sauce and I sat outside and watched the bee eaters having theirs.  I only wish I could catch their magnificent colours as they glide between the overhead power cables and the walnut tree.  They were intersperced with the martins that do marvelous diving rountines towards the upstairs windows and out again.  One did do a bit of a bang into the glass, landed, shook himself and set off again so no harm done....

Probably about 23 degrees tonight so bedroom door open again with the advantage of being woken up by the dawn an alarm call any day.  So tomorrow I am off to my restaurant lady's garden so let's see what I come back with....and I'll solve the mystery of her English beans....LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 29, 2011, 2:46pm; Reply: 35
Sunday 29th May

Bank holiday UK and I'm told that the weather is much as can be expected for a Bank Holiday.  Here it started off really hot, went a little cloudy this after noon but has turned out pretty glorious again.

Started off with sawing the wood for what was going to be a plant container for outside and then I looked at my needs and realised that I needed something to sit on outside more than I needed a plant container.  My chairs are just to heavy to keep moving around and to be sure the wind won't blow them off the decided that a sofa is in the offing....tomorrow....out with the nails much to several perple's chagrin.  Would do it today but I am expected at 10.00 at the restaurant for ladies' morning.  Had coffee and went down to my restaurant lady's garden and came home with some beetroot plants that are now installed.  The rest of my potatoes have gone in and we also visited her sister and I came home with flower plants which are already planted.  Did a little shopping in Djebel and sat down to a lunch of tomatoes and onion in vinegar and olive oil and I made a sandwich out of Bulgarian kurd cheese and I know now why it is crumbled over chips, salad and the keeps falling off the bread and it's taken me a year to find this out but there again, I've never tried to make a sandwich of it before :-/

Sat down and read some more of Europe at war and I'm really in to it.  Gouljan can't make today since she worked the afternoon is mine.....just a few pickies from last night that I forgot to post and a couple from my sojourn last week end.  The last picture of this particular lady was taken in the wet when Angela and myself made the Shipka in the rain and fog and didn't even know that we had been there....she was at the memorial church and the seated man was in Tryadva in the square....

Afternoon....I'm off to see what I can get up to  before bedtime....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 30, 2011, 5:48pm; Reply: 36
Monday 30th May

Well yes....the Bank Holiday rain descended on the UK and we had a shower of ...three minutes and then it was just the right temperature with a moderate breeze to keep it workable.

Sally was down the hole and muttering and it's at times like that that I'm pleased I don't understand Turkish.  Bekir was getting rid of the soil out of the stone heap and my third builder couldn't make it....he had to go to the dentist.  My little lady came round and looked sorry for herself.  We had a five minute chat and I told her that the men were 'down the hole' and it was obvious that she wanted to speak with them.  I hadn't a clue since the conversation was in Turkish but since my task for the day was to start to clear the stone heap at the top of the garden near my flower bed, I ferried my wheelbarrow down and we walked back up the garden together.  

I did say last night that I wasn't sure what I could get up to....well it did find something.  The wood that I had sawn up initially for a flower box was turned into a sofa and today I went into Djebel to get another foam mattress.  I think the men despair....they came back to a nailed together sofa, a rack for by the outside sink but they were impressed that I had sorted out the terracing.  So what did she come round for?  Apparently last night a frog got into her house and she had asked Bekir if he could sort it so that it could not get in again.  All it took was a piece of timber nailed to the bottom of her door and jobsaguddun.  

Weeded the garden by the heap since Bekir had started to attack my stone 'playground' forked it over and then started to move plants in....watered them when I got back from taking the men home but they were late, they worked until 7.00 tonight so by the time that I got back not really in the mood for food.  Updating this, might have cheese and biscuits and then ready for bed...tomorrow is another day of toil, toil and more toil...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 31, 2011, 7:15pm; Reply: 37
Tuesday 3`st May

What a joyful day....flowerbeds sorted, stone heap gone and only one left to go....all of the old seeds that didn't germinate have gone to that great garden in the sky and the old polythene from both of the heaps has been burnt along with the old rubber shoes that I found in amongst the debris.  I swear there was either a man or a woman with one leg here...the amount of single shoes I find..or maybe I'm finding one but not the other until later.

The men have finished the toilet and it's going to take me a while to fill it.  They put the shuttering up tonight to give it its concrete top so by the time that it comes to Thursday to mix the concrete, it should be raining.  Whenever they start to concrete it rains so we'll see if it's true to form.

Popped in to see Dom tonight on my way back and he related the saga of the turkey chicks....he was given four as a gift but swears they are worse than children to rear....wouldn't bank on it but he has lost the lot but ther again the person that gave them to him has lost all of his so 'givot' that's life or lack of it so they say.

Sat out on my new sofa tonight and had cheese on toast since
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 31, 2011, 7:18pm; Reply: 38
Tuesday 31st May

What a joyful day....flowerbeds sorted, stone heap gone and only one left to go....all of the old seeds that didn't germinate have gone to that great garden in the sky and the old polythene from both of the heaps has been burnt along with the old rubber shoes that I found in amongst the debris.  I swear there was either a man or a woman with one leg here...the amount of single shoes I find..or maybe I'm finding one but not the other until later.

The men have finished the toilet and it's going to take me a while to fill it.  They put the shuttering up tonight to give it its concrete top so by the time that it comes to Thursday to mix the concrete, it should be raining.  Whenever they start to concrete it rains so we'll see if it's true to form.

Popped in to see Dom tonight on my way back and he related the saga of the turkey chicks....he was given four as a gift but swears they are worse than children to rear....wouldn't bank on it but he has lost the lot but ther again the person that gave them to him has lost all of his so 'givot' that's life or lack of it so they say.

Sat out on my new sofa tonight and had cheese on toast since I was too idle to do anything else when I got back but closely followed by a gin and martini topped up with just seemed right....temperature outside is about 21 and the crickets and a screech owl were vying for attention....I think the screech own got it by sheer volume but I think it is a young one.....not yet learnt how to screech and still practicing.

Tomorrow morning Djebel to order metal, ballast and cement to finish the toilet thing off and just a few pictures of my latest they say a picture paints a thousand words...and talking of which...the book is still interesting and we're into the politics of war....LN....I'm on to my next chapter....
Posted by: linda g, June 8, 2011, 6:47pm; Reply: 39
Hi Elsa, I cant believe if I am reading your diary right, that you got hitched on the 13th did I couz, in 1978....hehehe. And mine lasted 10yrs also....What a freaky

But luv the pics they are great.. Take care..  Linda.x ;D
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