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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JULY, 2011
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 1, 2011, 5:11am
Friday 1st July

Another month down...where is this year going to?

So last night we had the most beautiful rainbow but it was too near to photograph all of it in one camera shot.  Now I was torn.  If that pot of gold is at the end of it, are there two pots of gold, one at each end and which one do you tackle first.  The one seemed to be in Gouljan's garden so I don't think they would be too happy if I started digging there but there again, why bother, what do I want a pot of gold for?  I'll use my energy to tackle the garden instead.

Really funny dream last night and it seemed to go on for ever.  You know the ones...they sort of loop.  I was planting out seedlings but it was important for some reason to keep at it and the bed never seemed to get filled...all analysis on a postcard please....

There are marauding swifts, martins, I know not which playing kamokasi around my upstairs windows.  There is the odd clunk when one misses but they normally pick themselves up and carry on but not sure what this pair were up to, I had to take the pickie through the flyscreen so sorry if it's not too good but they certainly are noisy.  I thought at first they were house building but there doesn't seem to be any 'gunge' there so maybe not or perhaps just caught them at it but there were several that just seemed to come in and see what they were up to.

Onwards and upwards...this morning I am tidying up the wood in the yard, cutting back some of the tree and making seating to go round the tree....that's the plan...let's see what I can report back as 'completed' by tonight...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 1, 2011, 5:38am; Reply: 1
Friday continued

Can't post pictures on the first thread so here goes.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 1, 2011, 6:35pm; Reply: 2
Friday 1st continued

I think I have got the date wrong...this can't be July was OK this morning and then suddenly the sky darkened.  I had cleared the area that I intended doing, had a bonfire to get rid of the tree trimmings, had lunch consisting or tuna and potato salad, followed by cherries and yoghurt, I got the washing in since I sensed rain and then the storm blew up.  Thunder, lightening, gale force winds and rain, lashings of it, so there is only one place to go when it get like that and I woke up at 8.20, checked whether it was morning or night since the sky gave no clues but since it's now going darker, it must be evening so got a beer out.  I'm sure I'm going to suffer and be awake in the morning at silly o'clock but perhaps I just needed the sleep.  I do tend to push myself some days.

Very dramatic evening sky to the north and very black to the I said, perhaps I just got the date wrong. :-/  LN...time to get that second beer out.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 2, 2011, 5:05pm; Reply: 3
Saturday 2nd July

Yes I was right.  I woke up at 5.30 this morning full of the joys of spring but there was a mist hanging over the homestead which took until probably 8.30 this morning to clear.  I had a lazy morning...did emails, checked out a few websites, played freecell and the intention was to be in Lidl this morning to take back my fly zapper and exchange it for one that worked.  As I said, sometimes the best laid plans of, well you know the rest go by the wayside and after having a shower and washing my hair in 'extreme' shampoo and giving it 'extreme' conditioner, looks about the same to me.  I eventually got on the road at about 12.00 and it was a 'no quibble' guarantee and since he did not speak English...there could be no quibble.  The security guard wanted to speak in German proving that he has worked there at some time but I was having none of it.  Straight replacement required...guess what...didn't have any so got my money back and just had to sign the refund slip.  What a shame...oh well next promotion.

Went to my favourite dress agency and found a pair of linen and cotton trousers for ...2 BGN and a long linen dress coat for 4 now I have a new outfit for the princely sum of 6 BGN which in old money is just under 3 pounds.  Bargain....On to the Leva shop and found a couple of photo albums that I intend to do for the men of the work they have done, bought a set of Teflon saucepans (not from the Leva shop) since I am fed up of stuff sticking to the cheapies and a honeydew melon as mine should be ready about September.

Got back about four...pork steaks were already in the slow cooker and just needed some rice thrown in to finish supper off so everything ready by 5.30, finished and washed up by 6.00 and sat out with a book 'Poland' which I have picked up, put down, picked up again and this time I am determined to finish it.

Really hot this afternoon but clouded over this evening and looked like rain but it has cleared up now and has turned into a pleasant evening so out I go with beer bottle in hand to get back into my book...

LN....not a riveting day but rather pleasant...
Posted by: 50 (Guest), July 2, 2011, 8:40pm; Reply: 4
Is Poland by the author James Michener, Elsa?   I have always meant to read that book.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 3, 2011, 10:14am; Reply: 5
Sunday 3rd July

Yep, Danuata, the very same.  I'm quite into it in a funny sort of way.  Don't buy it you can have it when I have finished it....and if the weather stays like could be very soon.  Better still...I'll keep it until you arrive.... ;) or failing that I'll swap it for some shrubs like hypericum, escalonia and anything else that is frost hardy that you can't buy here...I did manage to purchase forsythia, japonica kerria and honeysuckle and acquired a standard japonica and I'm not saying where I got it from.  I think I've managed to root a spirea but keeping my fingers crossed on that one.  The rooted tamarisk didn't hold out through winter but I did start them off some underway now so that they can get their little toes down well before winter...

So I moan about the's still dry at the moment and this morning started off with me thinking that I would just get out there and dig up a few of my yellow flowering weeds before they develop into tiny parachute things and flood the garden.  This changed somewhat and I decided to use my trusty English fork and clear the area defined as a path heading to my washing line where the old garage that burnt down used to be.  So what did I find?  Various bits of a bicycle, lots of asbestos roofing left over from the fire, jam pot lids (normal), one shoe from my one legged previous owner (well I have no proof of this but I have yet to find a pair), another little polythene mine, string depository and metal wire supply.  Don't you just love this organic gardening :-/  So the weeds and the polythene will be burnt just as soon as the wind drops a bit, the metal wire is in the 'gardening bits' tin and the jam pot lids along with the bike bits in the metal bank.

I sat reading Monty Don this morning after my gardening stint but he's a bit 'holier than thou'.  I'm going off him, the more I delve into the book and his picture is on more or less every page....I'll have to put it down until the mood wears off.  

So now I head out again unto the great unknown...this may take some time...I'm out for a 'burn up' and a tidy...wish me luck...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 4, 2011, 1:09pm; Reply: 6
Monday 4th July

Special day for some people and you know who you are.  Enjoy!!

My Colorado beetles are back.  The reason so I am told is that because so few people are growing tobacco this year the government is not spraying the I phoned Dom who was due here with my computer this morning after his trip into Djebel and asked him to get me some...stuff...and he did.  I now have the industrial strength and 40 litres of the 'stuff' that will bring instant death to all Colorado beetles.  They were attacking my potatoes, flowering tobacco, big yellow flowers but not any more.

So Dom came round and did his stuff on my computer and I now have an all singing and dancing pc with lots of memory and now it highlights how slow M-Tel really is.  I have huge storage and he has partitioned the disk and told me how to drive's not that I'm's just easier when someone else does it.  So this 22inch monitor I has a cable for speaker cable and it was only on closer inspection that I have the cable but no hole to put it in.  The box said that it was the one with the hole and enclosed was a different model with no my manual is wrong for the one that I have, the guarantee is for the one that I don't have so it looks like I have to pay a visit to the shop....Why can't things be simple?  His reward for doing my pc...lunch and beer but we did have his fresh bread since mine was a day old.

I have just had a visitation from one of my tea ladies who wanted to strip my tree bare of lime blossoms.  Willingly and I'll even help you.  The smell is becoming overpowering at night and as for drinking the stuff..not for me.  So I left her to it...we had finished the yard and now she has moved outside to do the rest of the roadside and while my back was turned, some bloody sheep found their way in and I just hope that they haven't been munching the tobacco that I sprayed earlier.  I think I just caught them in time but I won't be buying lamb for a while in Djebel.  

Back to the garden.  It's clouded over so I can get on with some more digging.  This update is in case we have another mother of all thunderstorms like we had last night and it rained in the night...on the watering of gardens...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 5, 2011, 2:59pm; Reply: 7
Tuesday 5th July

Quick update tonight, the thunder has just disturbed my lack of activity on the activity bench.  All I was doing was investigating Monty Dons approach to growing herbs and reading that my garlic planting should be done in the that's where I went wrong this time.  Well no actually....I did put some in last winter on Sally's advice (that's what I pay them for) but the digger went over the bed so I only rescued a few and the broad beans that have now been eaten by something (and only one feed for me) but there are some old biggies on the plant that I shall use for seed for this autumn.  My builders mocked when I started my broad beams off last winter but I did cover them with polythene, had to move them when the digger was due but they did survive.  Hey I'm new to this gardening lark.

I have two large cucumbers and I don't even like the stuff, the bastard sheep ate the tops of at least five of my sweetcorn when they invaded yesterday but I have tomatoes starting to blush and peppers about three inches long.  Green beans are starting, onions are almost ready for drying (all twenty of them), and my garlic should be ready in about a month.  As for potatoes, several plants thriving and I shall be digging one up to probably find.....enough for one meal if I'm lucky but as I said...I don't do this seriously folks.  

So I've been out there again today with my trusty fork digging up those yellow things before they burst into seed.  There just seems so many of them that I think I shall have to resort to the 'Roundup'....head 'um in, Rawhide.  That probably sounds better to music but that's a bit too technical for me.

So now it's clouded over, the thunder seems to have disappeared temporarily but I wouldn't bank on it.

Oh a bit of news...Star Mush's daughter was here today.  I heard a screech of brakes and was a taxi..she must have said...'Here' and he did.  I'm not sure if it's good news or bad...I heard that he wasn't well but I'll get the gossip tomorrow for my now LN....the claps are back...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 6, 2011, 2:57pm; Reply: 8
Wednesday 6th July

No bankomats in Djebel are working.  I am down to three leva.  The supermarket has dismantled it as part of the revamp, the other two are not working either so the joke goes....bread and water and maybe a little onion.  Just as well that I have plenty of supplies in so I didn't have to try for any credit in the town.  I think I would have got it...quite a lot have it written down in a book and they know it is only a temporary measure and the supermarket's fault for taking it out.  I could have gone into Kardjali but not much need of cash for the next few days.  

Bought some speakers this morning since I had tried to listen to music and no could do.  It so happened that as part of the installation, we seemed to have forgotten about the sound card so I was on the phone to Dom and with his help I managed it.  I now have Nora Jones singing softly to me now that the thunder has has it hung around started about lunch time...and finished about five...some huge claps and I was undecided whether to take to my bed and sleep through it again but instead got stuck into Poland and I keep waiting for it to get exciting and it just doesn't.  

Dug out one of my petunias from one of the terrace pots...not a happy plant at all.  Completely waterlogged so I washed out the roots, not sure whether that was wise or not and it's in the flower bed....I just felt sorry for it so let's see if it perks up. Weather has improved, rain stopped and sun glimmering through.  Got some photos to add but I have to get image resizer sorted out to get them down to a reasonable size so that they load quicker...that's going to be my project for this permitting and least you'll have something to look at....anyway enough rambling...LN....It's one minute to opening time here....where's that yardarm when you need one... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 6, 2011, 4:46pm; Reply: 9
Wednesday update

I am now becoming the expert on my computer until it goes...ladies anatomy point skywards (t*ts up) and then you will hear 'D of S, are you receiving me'....

Pickies...boring without....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 7, 2011, 5:26pm; Reply: 10
Thursday 7th July

I'm late, I've just come in, I need a shower and I've been working, working, working.  Weeds, because of the last few days of inclement weather, like p*ssisting down, mnogo...are gynormous and everywhere.  Turn your back and there's another one.  I decided to fork over the bed by the long hedge/fence or excuse for one until a few more shrubs fill in the gaps and it's as well I had it prepared and weed free.  Gouljan's mother appeared this afternoon out of the blue with some flowers that needed planting, like millions of the things and I get very protective about them...they all have to have a stab at survival and I haven't the heart to throw anything out unless it's a weed of course.

This morning as part of my filling up my computer with lots of programs that I can't do without, I sat waiting for one to download and I suddenly realised that my mouse mat was a souvenir from the open day at Lewes Crown Court.  Now I'd never really read it but when I did I fell a little bit miffed.  It's produced, and advertising for want of a better word, the Community Legal Service offering help with Benefits and Council tax, problems with children's schooling, debts out of control, unfair treatment at work, problems with landlords and it stated that they could help with all of the above.  It's a free and confidential advice service paid for by legal aid but the criteria that you must had to be on a low income ...or on if you are Jo Public managing to provide a subsistence for you and yours with not a lot to spare but have to sort everything out yourself. No sorry, can't help, you earn just over the threshold and you're not on benefits.......England, my England.  My coasters also came from there as did my peg bag...and nobody checked if I was on benefits before I acquired all of these goodies.  

So Gouljan's mother loves my house.  She went into every room about three times asking how much things are.  You don't have to take offence in Bulgaria....everything has to be accounted for and there are two comments...skupo (you've been ripped off) or eftino (bargain).  She loves my kitchen and is going to get the guy that made it for me to make her a unit to go over her washing machine and sink so the next time that I give Gouljan a lift to Djebel (that's if she comes back from Turkey) we're off to see Christoph.  

Enough for tonight....It's a beautiful evening and I'm going to sit out with a beer and just enjoy the fading rays...LN...
Posted by: Joanna, July 7, 2011, 7:01pm; Reply: 11
Hi Elsa, if the birds flying about have white bellies they are house martins and if they are just dark all over they are swifts and they make a very piercing sound that hurts my ears - we have a flock of them outside our building too. We also have Colorado beetle but we are knocking them off into a jam jar as they are quite sedentary little beasts, they don't jump or fly off or anything. Quite stupid things really! :)
Posted by: Old Holborn, July 7, 2011, 7:24pm; Reply: 12
Times, they are a changing in the UK. People are being expected to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Just imagine the horror.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 7, 2011, 7:52pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from Joanna
Hi Elsa, if the birds flying about have white bellies they are house martins and if they are just dark all over they are swifts and they make a very piercing sound that hurts my ears - we have a flock of them outside our building too. We also have Colorado beetle but we are knocking them off into a jam jar as they are quite sedentary little beasts, they don't jump or fly off or anything. Quite stupid things really! :)

Watch out for the Colorado things...apparently they are impregnated when they over winter so don't have to get laid to lay if you get what I mean, Joanna.  

As for the things a' changing in the UK OH...don't joke can't undo three generations of benefit dependants when the pickings are so beneficial.... a bit like you, I can't forgive my parents for teaching me personal responsibility and my kids probably will never forgive me using the same criteria... :-/
Posted by: Joanna, July 8, 2011, 12:21pm; Reply: 14
Well that explains only finding one adult beetle and lots and lots of the little bleeders. Still the potatoes are holding up well as long as we go and find them every few days. I think this year for the first time ever, I shall actually burn the potato tops. :)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 8, 2011, 5:22pm; Reply: 15
Quoted from Joanna
Well that explains only finding one adult beetle and lots and lots of the little bleeders. Still the potatoes are holding up well as long as we go and find them every few days. I think this year for the first time ever, I shall actually burn the potato tops. :)

Since we grow a lot of tobacco in the region and it is closely related to the potato, tomato family, I go down to the local hardware shop and for 3 leva you can buy enough to do 15 litres and that's a lot of spraying.  I've spotted a couple today and so tomorrow, blitz day...they have no right to my potatoes....that's if there's anything under that green stuff at the top...all will be revealed...I think I just might have a look tomorrow... ;)

Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 8, 2011, 5:40pm; Reply: 16
Friday 8th July

So seven forty five when I woke up this morning so the schedule was a bit tight so I decided to sit out with my coffee, wash my hair and have a shower, dry my hair and then go out and get all sweaty again in the garden and that includes my hair.  I had to come in and get a hand towel because the perspiration was going into my eyes and making them sting.  Silly me I thought, so I got a job in the shade.  Now that 'perching bench' for the flower garden, that had to go back on the drawing board....didn't actually get on the drawing board....I found some wood, got a rough idea of what I was doing...of course it's the prototype and the next one will be better but it's OK for 'perching on' when you're absolutely knacked and it's in a shady spot.  And it's still standing...amazing.  One of the photos that I took makes it look a little bit 'leaning to the left' or 'p*ssed' in the vernacular but it works for me.  I put wood stain on it after I removed the cement since it's wood that the men had used so didn't really cost me much.

So can I come in please miss, I've done loads to day, honestly....and so now I'm in.  Lunch was a tin of tuna mixed with mayo and onion and don't you just love / hate it when that little metal ring pull just don't pull and snaps out with my trusty electric can opener that I have only had to use once before but it was worth the carriage from England if only for today.

What else have I done apart from woodwork?  I'm digging out a new vegetable patch, taken some of the earth off my top garden since I kept looking at it and thought it needed a little improvement, and sunbathed a bit with Monty Don.

LN....time for drinkies, relaxation with Neil Diamond.  I certainly get the celebs out here...Sleep tight but not that tight that you're hungover in the morning.... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 9, 2011, 5:42pm; Reply: 17
Saturday 9th July

Well the morning flurry of activity dissipated round lunch time today since it was too hot to do anything constructive.  I was in the garden at 6.30 and worked until about 9.30 generally moving things that were in the wrong place and weeding.  There are some really beautiful blue wild cornflowers that are scattered over the garden so I have tried to round a few up and create a new 'wild flower garden' working on the principle that they still flower and there's no way that I've been watering them so down the garden they go.  So it will include Euphorbia, daisies and poppies and anything else that I come across that is pretty and not too invasive. Perched on my new perch to have my coffee and guess's still standing.

There was a lot of noise going on earlier so out came the trusty binoculars and it was towards the lake.  Now I'm not sure if the fence that the farmer put up to keep the animals away from the water since the ground was so uneven, has been taken down or knocked down by the beauties.  It's now down completely and removed so perhaps the farmer decided that it was dangerous half up, a bit like the Grand Old Duke of York and his men.  Chased a couple of sheep out of the garden this afternoon.  They managed to get in where I had filled up the hole with some spiked bushes so obviously that didn't work so need to get out the nails and hammer and 'I'll hammer in the morning'.....and won't hammer in the evening...

This afternoon, it just got too hot so I thought I'd lie on the bed for a few minutes .....and two hours later.... thought, that was a quick few minutes.  Beautiful evening though, got the watering done and over with and disturbed two little frogs/toads that didn't seem to like the water at all.  Strange seeing where they started off life.  So fly screens definitely have to be kept closed to keep the pesky blighters out unless they've been to limbo classes but I'll just have to wait and keep my eyes open.  They do have to negotiate the steps on to the terrace though and they were very little.

Enough ramblings....I think I need another shower to cool skin is leaking and a drink to liven me up.....LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 9, 2011, 6:21pm; Reply: 18
Saturday evening continued

Just had to get out there with my camera from my bedroom balcony.  The sun had gone down but the sky had that lovely pink tinge to it ...the moon is here goes...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 10, 2011, 6:28pm; Reply: 19
Sunday 10th July

So what is so special about a Sunday?...Day of rest or so I'm told.  The intention was that I went out at 6.30 this morning and sat on my perching bench and drank my coffee and the intention was honourable until I spied, with my little eye something beginning with 'r'.  So I picked up the said something beginning with 'r' and proceeded to rake up the piles of stones that had accumulated at the bottom of the incline from the top garden and then I spotted something beginning with 'w-b' and ended up filling it with the said stones.  At nine thirty I decided it was time to get out of my pyjamas, have a shower, have breakfast but somehow I ended up emptying the said wheel barrow and having a bonfire.  And that is how the day progressed.  I eventfully boiled up half a dozen eggs with the intention of waiting for the disco magazine since I was out of decent bread, mayo and beer and what did he have on board, only beer, no uncut bread and no mayo.  Now I could have gone into Djebel since I had had to raid my stotinki money box to get the money together to get the provisions, to see if the cash point was working but the effort was just too great.  I ended up with a couple of hamburgers that I had found in the freezer, fried off and caramelised an onion, made home made tomato sauce out of tomato paste, vinegar and honey and sat out in the garden and 'enjoyed'.

I then found that it was pretty cool working under the tree half way down the garden and that seemed to be my spot for the next few hours.  I have a new sport though, trying to find the plant with the longest tap root and the couch grass with the longest root run.  Oh when boredom creeps in, it's amazing how the mind occupies itself.  My other one is when I am sawing or chopping wood, I find I count the saw-cuts.

My baby frog was out there today and I discovered that he has his home in the bricks surrounding my garlic patch.  I thought about adding a little roof but ....the neighbours are starting to talk already what with my frog with the hat and kimono dragon in the garden.... eventually gave up, this skin of mine needs two showers a day since it leaks so much.  You have to keep up your fluid level so I'm off for a beer, not in the least bit hungry tonight after my hamburger blow-out so just going to wash the salt off, get into fresh PJ's and think about getting my head down.  It's 9.30 here and morning comes round pretty quickly. to desalinate.... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 11, 2011, 4:20pm; Reply: 20
Monday 11th July

This morning I awoke very early and thought I had a mosquito in the bedroom...there was a funny sort of noise and then yes, you've guessed, it was the Imam calling everyone to prayer.  So I said a few words, like 'Oh goodness me' tried getting back off but didn't manage it so I was out of bed and surveying my garden at 5.50 this morning with a coffee. Now I should know by now that I ought to put my tools away so that they are not obvious.  It's very easy to pick one up and just do a bit and two hours later and the sun is climbing higher and starting to heat up, it's time to think about packing up, getting another coffee and some breakfast.  Tonight I will learn and put them out of sight/out of mind.

There was a lot of noise going on at about eight this morning and lorries carrying ballast and stuff and driving to Djebel I found out why... square holes, lots of men supervising, one digger and we'll see how long it takes for them to be filled with tarmac.

Went into Djebel to get out some money...I felt a bit like royalty hadn't carried any for days with the bankomats being out of service.  Took the car into the garage so that they could finish the job that they started when they ran out of bits, like new air filter and oil filter and decided to check out my insurance on the Beast.  So I handed over my paperwork to Lubchyo and asked if I could renew the insurance.  He remarked that there was no paperwork there and so I panicked.  If I had got stopped I would have been fined but all was revealed when I got home and found the said form in the said folder so now everything in the garden is rosy....well not quite in the garden.

So in with the card and out with the cash and decided to meander around the market.  Found a lovely silver charm and it's now attached to my bracelet.  Did the leva shop for more paint brushes and a couple of tins of wood stain so when I make the other perching bench I have the tools to finish the job.  :-/  I also invested in a fly swat for outside for when I'm taking the evening sun to stop the little buggers.  Avon Skin so Soft works a treat but if you've just had a shower, that's the last thing that you want to drench your skin with.

Joy oh joy, Bekir phoned asking if they can work so I'm going around doing a snagging list.  Because of the heat, they won't be here many days so they might as well do what I want them to do.  I suppose though they will have their list, like connecting the new toilet thingy and fitting the metal lid to the water meter box so that it can get padlocked down....we'll see how it pans out.

Hot, hot and thrice hot and I thought I would get my head into a book this afternoon and did for all of ten minutes till the waves of lethargy swept over me and I've not long woken up.  Two hours in the afternoon seems about right...let's call it siesta.  The sheep are doing their final munching, I'm thinking it's over the yardarm and time to imbibe, skin still leaking so another shower is called for and then I'll catch the final rays...early to bed...I have work in the morning...fetching the men...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 12, 2011, 11:20am; Reply: 21
Tuesday 12th July

Well the men are back.  I was there at the stroke of 8.00 this morning and they were in fine fettle.  Full of the joys and I'm not sure why knowing what they were about to do.  Connecting the new toilet thingy.  Now Sally changed into his new work clothes which have an element of polyester so I reckon my the end of the day he will have lost a couple kilos that he can ill afford and Bekir was in an off white pair of trousers and shirt...and I thought ...great colour for shovelling sh*t!! :-/

It is done.  They had to empty out the old and connect a new length of pipe to the old inlet pipe and get it into the new toilet thingy.  So I suggested instead of connecting it to the littler pipe that they had put through the wall of the new....they take that pipe out and run the new pipe through the wall so that there was no danger of a leak on reconnection.  This was accepted well by Sally, not sure about Bekir but then I heard a lot of echoed banging in the bathroom and realised that my suggestion had been acted upon.  Couple of flushes of the loo and jobsagudun and I have been told that it will take 50 years to fill it....better get started then to prove them wrong ;)

Since they arrived with new overalls I thought I had better sort out the old from upstairs now they are now using the wreck as a base.  So I put all the overalls through the washing machine including caps and they have a new supply which they can take home with them....Sally is on the wrong end of a shovel...the polyester jacket is off and we're down to the cotton shirt but fortunately there are a few clouds rolling over that make it quite pleasant when it clouds over...otherwise we're up to the 30's to Djebel...I have to pay them for five weeks ago, must hand over insurance documentation and fill up with petrol now that I am doing the run again....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 13, 2011, 4:53pm; Reply: 22
Wednesday 13th July

Took them home last night and dropped in to see D of S delivering his sweater back and a few packs of mayo that I had found ....the jars taste like ...well not like mayo but the packet things are worth investing in.  So sat out and had a coffee and he was over the moon with his 'ugly' squashes and my are they ugly.  The rest of his garden is abundant with sunflowers and walking up the drive you imagine one of the triffids grabbing you by the just might not make it out again. :-/

Got home, started to load a media player so that I can watch films so eventually put the thing to bed at after midnight...and eventually got my printer to work with the new pc....bit slow to start this morning...but got to pick the men up and eight.  Planned the day with them and Sally is doing the final insulation by the front door and Bekir was set to do 'electrics'.  Now my kitchen worktop is lit by a bulb on a cable and upstairs I have two strip-lights to go under the kitchen cabinets.  Found a piece of wood to go under the units, kitchen stripped for action, wood prepared and then unfortunately got a phone call to say that Sally's sister in law had suddenly died so at one I was taking them both home.  Apparently she was not ill and it suddenly occurred to me that they would have a post-mortem to identify the cause of death where as here, you can't bring them back so we'll get the funeral over and done with this afternoon.  No big expense for the funeral, vicar, the Imam comes out for free, the hole is dug, wrapped in a shroud and popped in.  The wake is whatever and they get on with life.  So sensible.

So after dropping them off I got home and decided to see if I could play one of my films now that I had downloaded the software.  I have loads on my external hard drive and yes...I chose 'Wrongfully Arrested' a Lesley Nielson spoof and boy is it funny....I'm sure that I missed half of the funnies so I shall have to look at it again sometime...very witty.  So no popcorn but egg mayo sandwiches and a glass of beer during the movie, heat eventually got through so thought I would just lie on the bed for five minutes and yes, it was six when I woke up.  I've been out and surveyed the garden, time to go watering and then to have a shower.  Beautiful evening with a lot of heat left in the sun.  Might just have to take in the final rays with a glass in my hand...LN and now for a few pickies of yesterday and Sally's effort today...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 14, 2011, 10:23am; Reply: 23
Thursday 14th July

So this morning I was unsure or not whether I had workers so I made the phone call to find out.  If no workers I had planned my day to go to the local hotel and lie round the pool, read a book, swim and generally chill out.  Yes we can work...and yes the funeral was yesterday, all over and everything back to normal.  The lady in question was only 63 years and apparently it was her heart...not ill...just her heart but what a lovely way to go but so early...makes you stop and think.

Sally is carrying on with his insulating and because the wall is so uneven from the original that he is having to jiggle the pieces around, make saw cuts in the concrete blocks and polystyrene, cut in for the electric outside sockets and lights and fortunately he has the patience of a saint.  In fact he measures himself on the workfront but seems to still keep going where Bekir will take a nap in his lunch break.

And what else have we achieved this morning?  I decided to go down the local wood yard with Bekir and Emulah in the jeep to get some wood to have a go at a bit of fence building at the bottom of the garden.  Even I have got fed up looking at the excuse for one.  The three of us got down there, we negotiated a price which was a bit high according to Bekir but if we went elsewhere I would have had to fork out for more diesel so I thought OK.  The wood was about four meters in length so a support was devised so that approximately half would be in the Beast and with the back door left open, half would be outside.  So wood loaded and off we set very slowly and then suddenly, bang.  The support timber had given way and the ends of the timber were dragging on the floor.  We tried with another support....until Cemile, my sheep man came along and said that if we took it slowly we would get back OK.  Can't say I was happy about it but off we set, Emula in the front and Bekir sitting in the back holding on to the timber as his face got slowly redder.  We went along very noisily with fourt lengths of timber dragging on the floor and we only just made it.  When we got to the house I think we had about a meter inside and three meters outside....and I have the pictures to prove it.  Fortunately there are no police in the villages.  ;)

My kitchen light is still being done and I have complicated it by asking that the cable be above the shelf not tacked on to the underside of the unit....whatever you want...are the words translated from the Bulgarian... not sure if that's closely followed by a sigh but who pays the piper and all that....

Now we have a fine layer of polystyrene dust covering everywhere...reminds me of winter....and Sally  is looking a bit like a snowman....and perspiring gently at the same time so that it is sticking to him....ho, ho, ho Santa...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 14, 2011, 8:18pm; Reply: 24
Thursday continued

Quick update....I have my picture up in the kitchen that has sat on the kitchen table since it was over worktop lights are working instead of the single dangly bulb, my intruder light is installed as are the balcony lights and most of the insulation is completed and Sally has started pointing up my stone wall by the entrance door.  Little jobs show results especially when you have learnt to live with some things and just put them on the list and yes I have made a list so that I can just cross them off as we go... :-/

Lovely one tonight.  I was exchanging a few words with the sheep farmer about his red sheep and asking him when the green one was coming and I turned towards the house.  I'd already got the beer out for the men because it was so hot and they were sitting in the arm chairs on the terrace in front of the lounge window looking very much 'at home'.  As I've joked with's not my house it's theirs and thinking about it...they have been with me on the journey and it's thanks to them that it's looking like it is.  Considering the communication is still in stilted Bulgarian, we have all worked well together, me with the ideas and them with the execution.  Yes, I've paid them...but it's thanks to them that they could interpret the ideas into construction.  So they deserve to have a few minutes with a beer on our terrace.

On that's been up in the mid thirties today and is still warm for a quick shower before bedtime and looking at the clock it is bedtime for me so LN....I'm signing off...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 15, 2011, 6:16pm; Reply: 25
Friday 15th July

And I now know that the Momchilgrad M-Tel internet station points the way to Mecca.  I asked the question and got the response.  This all stemmed from Sally receiving in my absence a 'Jehovah Witness' leaflet and the rumour going around is that Sally has converted to Christianity and I have stated that I am a Buddhist.  Bekir is staying as he is but Cemile, my good old sheep farmer maintains that he is a good Muslim 'lad' despite pertaining to have several 'ladies' but I don't know much about their religion.  So this morning's joke in the car was that Jesus would never have died on the cross if it had been left to M who uses no nails but only the time that he had sorted it all out he would have died of dehydration and boredom. :'(

So what have we done today?  I have my outside door and insulation finished.  Sally has more or less finished the pointing up of the wall, there is a new concrete skim going over the old window sill  (designed but not in this phase). we have agreed the door refinements and I shall get the wood cut from my kitchen man in Djebel since I know the dimensions and then it is just putting it into place.  

It has been a scorcher today and ticking over at 36 degrees.  Super on the lounge terrace though, there was an easterly breeze that made it OK to sit in.  I harvested my onions and they are now on the terrace drying out before stringing up, dug over the onion bed and cleared all of the weeds.  I think that the soil is so poor that I shall leave it empty but get a load of sheep poo over it to start it working properly.  There are no worms and it's like concrete.

My lounge outside light has been change...I didn't like the other so it has to go.  The nice thing is that when you pay someone to do things, you are only paying for work to be redone but if you want it done, then you pay.  Sally asked me how much I had paid for my outside light and when I told him it was a good job he was sitting on the floor and pointing up otherwise he might have been down and out for the count.  Now in English terms it cost me about thirty two pounds and I think that's good but I reminded them of what I have spent out for good work, I've not skimped and saved on the rest of the building stuff so why can't I have something pleasant on the eye.  And Bekir kept saying 'The light is 'hubovo'.  Crawler or piss-taker I know knot what.... ;)

The latest cones from the mobile shop in the morning for breakfast and in the afternoon we sit down to a water melon and then beer in the evening....a very staple diet...and now the moon is coming up very red over the hills and I want to take a picture before it gets yellow.  LN  I'm off for a camera shoot and the sheep are wending their way home by the light of the moon...cracking...LN.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 16, 2011, 10:30am; Reply: 26
Saturday 16th July

Well pink ice-cream for breakfast this morning and a sticky bun....and the laughs started when Bekir decided that there was one little job that needed doing and required two ladders lashed together to reach the guttering on what is possibly the highest part of the house discounting the roof.  So they were lashed, suitably placed balanced on the well and a couple of chunks of stone but unfortunately not in the position that he could work.  So back to this imaginary drawing board, and out came the wood, the six inch nails and half an hour later we that he could have a platform to work from.  Now any stork flying high would think that the pitch had been taken for nesting but as it happens, he was only up there for five minutes at the most and down came the scaffolding again.  

The next enjoyment of the morning was when my horse man came along the road and I asked if I could take a photograph of him and his horse.  The first photograph he stood to attention remarkably like a Victorian gentleman but then I said I wanted one more and snapped it before he could take up the pose.....and it's super.  So I got back to the house, printed it off, cut down a piece of old glass to fit a frame that I picked up from the leva shop and it's ready to give him as a 'podaruk' a present.  He is so proud of his new little horse and I'm sure will appreciate the photograph.  The men think it is a wonderful idea.

Men are working on the final wall and window and we've found some old timber to bridge the gap between the oak beam and the window frame which I'll daub with wood stain when they've finished their bit.  Temperature has just clocked 35 degrees so time for a .....cold drink.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 16, 2011, 6:18pm; Reply: 27
Saturday continued

The men have gone.  They are off for another holiday and it only seems five minutes since they had the last one...and it was.  They have done my toilet thingy, put a couple of benches under the tree which was an added bonus since they weren't on anybody's list, my insulation is complete and I'll get the final wood stuff made by Christop for the front door and from that drawing board, we now have a metal door going in as a security device for when I go to England..... plan B goes into action.  I metal bowl thingy has been converted into a sink for the outside tap since I couldn't find anything that was small enough that was suitable and now I have it complete with hole and into the outside water escape.  Sally tells me it fits in with the 'old' look while Bekir reckons its 'original'.  I'll show the pictures tomorrow and you can make up your own minds... :-/

I went into Djebel today with the intention of getting fuel so that I would have enough to get the men home and the bolts for the under tree benches, stopped off to get some beer and what did I forget...the benzine and I remembered when I was three kilometres away from home so back I went and filled up and it was rather like replaying a movie if you get my meaning.

So tonight I have just had a visit from my Turkish friend at the top of the village and she is asking it I have friends who want to buy her house.  Fortunately her son under understood what I was saying...I do not want other English living here....I am happy as I am and now I am signing off...I think my horse man is going up through the village and I want to give him his picture...LN...I have a G & T getting warm...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 17, 2011, 2:43am; Reply: 28
Sunday 17th July

It's Sunday, day of rest, so why am I sitting here wide awake and doing an update.....because I can't sleep.  The screech owl is screeching, the mosque is calling everyone to prayer and there is a dog howling its disagreement at being disturbed by the Imam.  I see no point in lying there and trying when there is no way to get off again.  Coffee time.....I think I might be out there tackling the fence or perhaps getting out the wood preservative and stain and finishing off the wooden lintel.  The rest of the new outside sink support has to be wood stained too...and that's the sink support that also did as a perching stool for Sally. Bekir and my avatar yesterday when she popped round to check out the progress.  I joked with her asking if she wanted to come to the local hotel and take in the swimming pool later today.  At first she was in full agreement, but I know that there is no way that she would be doing it.  She said that she couldn't swim so I said that we could take one of the old tyres from Beauty but she go panicky when I insisted on setting the time....I'm wicked ;).

Sun's just coming up, beautiful rosy blue sky if you know what I mean and twinkly lights on the hillside.  My little world is awakening.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 17, 2011, 4:52pm; Reply: 29
Sunday continued

So what did I achieve today...a big fat zilch.  The intentions were honourable but the execution was exceptionally weak.  I had a little of Montezuma's revenge this morning...don't know what caused it but I decided to lie on the bed at 9.00 this morning and woke up at 12.30 but thankfully that bloody screech owl had stopped and there were no dogs yapping and the Imam had gone to bed to get ready for tonight.

I read my 'Poland' book, did a load of washing, thought about cleaning the house from top to bottom now that the men are taking their summer break and then though better of it.  As I've said before, tomorrow is another day.  What I did do though was to pick my first tomato and tonight for supper I've used my first onion in potato salad with tuna and my solitary tomato...Well you've got to start somewhere.  I'm not a gardener...I love flowers but next year I shall definitely grow more onions (not a bit of trouble). garlic (not a bit of trouble), tomatoes (but string them up better next year, broad beans (again no bother) and sweet corn but make sure my fences are ok to stop the sheep nibbling the tops.  As for flowers, I've been promised loads of seeds.  

Washing up complete, washing put away, emails completed and blog updated.  Investigating flights and BA into Heathrow is actually cheaper than most of the others if you take the cost of baggage into account....just need to look at everything....the cost of a bag on easy-jet....38 Euros....extortion.  Back to my book and to find some easy to listen to music...early night tonight and let's hope it's not silly o'clock when I open my pretty little eyes in the to do 'stuff'.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 18, 2011, 8:51am; Reply: 30
Monday 18th July

Slept the slept of the just last night.  There was an horrific storm and by the sounds of it, it was hailing as well.  This morning everything smells fresh and is fresh so I decided to go out and do a bit of digging.  Gardening is one of those things that I watched my dad do as a child, he grew most things that we needed, but I only watched.  At the first sighting of an earthworm that was me, tools down and out with the bat and ball.  My new sport here and this morning I have beaten the record, is seeing the longest root of bindweed or couch grass I can did up and today's effort is HUGE.  The ground has absorbed the rain and so after a few good pulls on my trusty English gardening fork and a little easing here and there...out it came.

As promised yesterday, here are the pictures of my new outside sink that was a bowl converted by the expert Bekir.  You can make your own mind up if it's original or antique... ;) and also the picture of handmade sink support and bucket hideaway otherwise known as a 'perching bench'.  Above it, and I just had to take the picture of the spider, is the reason why you shake out your outside shoes before you put them on :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 18, 2011, 8:13pm; Reply: 31
Monday continued

Well the afternoon panned out as expected.  The heat resulted in not much activity but I had to hold a cremation for some foolhardy sparrow that thought he could fly right through my window...wrong.  Now normally they lie there for a bit and get their wind back and take to the skies.  Unfortunately not this one, so I set its little spirit free on the bonfire.  Yes I know it's too hot for a bonfire but you have to get rid of your rubbish somewhere...

I forgot to mention that this morning I made baked beans out of beans that had been in the slow cooker overnight, a little salt, honey and tomato paste and how delicious was that...beans on toast and I know what went into the beans unlike when I open Mr Heinz...and supper tonight was the rest of the beans with smoked gammon and I know what went into that.

So to bed sleepy head...Poland calls....must finish that book....  LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 19, 2011, 3:37pm; Reply: 32
Tuesday 19th July

Poland is no more...the book that is, not the country.  It will now go winging its way to Danuta so that she might pick up on her ancestry.  It came to a conclusion this afternoon...too hot to do anything else as I lay on the bed in the cool (?) of the afternoon.

This morning was gardening poodling and unfortunately my acquaintance OH has opened up for me some interesting websites and I'm wondering what the outcome will be of the latest hacking scandals...will the government survive?  Well better the devil but there is so much 'baying at the moon', changing of Pampers in the upper tiers that we shall see what the fallout will be.  I had forgotten about British politics and police, and realised a long time ago when my fifteen year old son and his mate were assaulted by a group of lads in town, that he was only a statistic. 'So put the lad on then', and I did.  'So you don't want to report it then?' My boy 'Er...well no" which point I grabbed the phone and said that we bloody well did and what was the next move? 'Oh we'll be round' and nobody came.  

Picked some tomatoes for lunch and had them with potato salad and hard boiled eggs followed by some Turkish chocolate bars from my lovely neighbour's grand daughter who is over for a holiday.  By the number of people visiting it appears that Turkey shuts down apart from Tourism which is advertising some very good deals.  A whole gulet can be hired for approximately 3000 pounds for one week for up to sixteen people.  I only wish that I had sixteen friends ;)

So this afternoon I watched an Horizon episode on the Bible codes....some very intense people and I really felt sorry for the professor when they were carrying out the final experiments....can you imagine a life's work and somebody tries to run some more tests and ambushes your results...wouldn't you be miffed?  I started to watch Sweeney Todd but then realised that it was a bit blood thirsty and it was a long time from lunch so I went to water the garden instead...Time for a's 6.30 ish here so I'm going to say LN...and hope for a more results oriented day tomorrow...I refuse to look at OH's website.... ;)
Posted by: Old Holborn, July 20, 2011, 8:39am; Reply: 33
Oh dear, I hope my ramblings haven't alarmed you. The over riding reason I am heading to Bulgaria is to escape the interwoven society Britain has become, where the simple individual citizen is merely a cog in a massive Corporate/State machine devouring everything in its path.

I'm not naive, I realise the power of the Bulgarian state but it seems if you choose to leave the Bulgarian state alone, it will mostly leave you alone (feel free to correct me) and older values of family, self reliance and independence hold more sway. Corruption may be rife in the upper echelons but it's no different in the UK, with the Government helping itself to as much as it can extract from its citizens as physically possible. In short, life in the UK has become a complex endless struggle to remain an independent individual. The arrival of census "non compliance" officers at my door, demanding my details and threatening me with fines if I didn't conform was enough (I told them to get off my property or I would release the dog - haven't seen them since).

I'm hoping a few traditional values of society still exist in rural Bulgaria - this little forum certainly seems to show them. Community, solidarity, neighbourly actions and a lack of rabid consumerism and vanity, perhaps I just hark back to an era where people enjoyed their lives and raising their families instead of raising their statuses to match an artificially produced norm of "the citizen" created by Politicians desperate to prove "their system" works better than simple evolution and simply being left alone to live your life as you see fit, as long as you do others no harm. No chance of that in the UK, I'm afraid. Where once we reveled in individuals, eccentrics and non conformists, we now vilify their selfishness for not joining in the great "project" as the population greedily devours all in its path.

Give me a good internet connection, a couple of thousand square metres of land, a solid house with neighbours who watch out for all and know that life isn't a race to own what will eventually end up owning you and I'll be like a dog with two tails.

Can't wait.

Edit: Blimey, just read that post. Makes seem like a nutter. Apologies. All I actually want is 6 chickens and some peace and quiet
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 20, 2011, 5:44pm; Reply: 34
Wednesday 20th July

In response to 'alarm me' OH...takes a bit more than that.  With six chickens you won't get much peace and quiet especially in the mornings..I'll let you use my imaginary drawing board that I keep going back to... ;)

So what have I done today?  The best laid plans...I was going into Kardjali to get Beauty MOT'd but it was just so hot even from early on that I had a morning on the pc and decided to watch a film.  Now I'd heard of Happy Feet but never seen it and so I put it on and enjoyed every minute...simple just like me and a bit of a misfit. again just like me and wants to sort out problems, again...well not now but in my working life....  Left me with a nice feeling.

Out with a vengeance this afternoon...I strung up my onions, pumped up the tyres on my bike, got my beret out and I shall be round the village selling them tomorrow....not really...I jest....but I did string up my onions and my neighbours now believe me when I tell them that I have whatever they offer me....from their gardens.

Fifteen meters of fencing replaced this afternoon.  Drew blood three times..once on the arm, on the hand and on the leg...I'll just get the Sudocream out and give them a basting.  My hammer head needs not my hammer head...the head on my hammer needs a new wedge to hold it in place.   It's the first job on the list for tomorrow morning before it gets thrown over the hillside.  

Supper is still in the freezer so I think it's egg and chippies and where's that bottle of red hiding....???  I'm on the hunt...LN...I have work to do....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 21, 2011, 3:35am; Reply: 35
Thursday 21st

Cramp, bloody cramp had me hopping around the bedroom at 4.30 this morning.  Don't you just hate it when that happens. :-/  Apart from that it was a hot sticky night so with a little sleep deprivation I'll face the coming day.  Beautiful skies this morning...that's one benefit of 'up with the lark' and not 'up for a lark'...cramp does that for onwards and upwards...I've run out of six inch nails so I have to go into Djebel...I couldn't even contemplate attempting more of the fence without them ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 21, 2011, 6:36pm; Reply: 36
Thursday continued

Despite the warnings, it turned out to be a super day...nice amount of breeze, nice amount of sun and that takes me back to school when the teacher said that there were lots of words in the dictionary and nice wasn't a 'nice one' to use...I've been searching ever since.

So most of the upper garden fence is complete...and if you really knew the length of my garden you would think that I had achieved 'mnogo'.  I have a hairy fence...not quite mohair in the strict sense of the word but as I was applying the wood preservative with a very cheapy brush,...yes you've guessed it...I was left with about 10 bristles and the varnish had dissolved the  glue holding in the nylon fibres...sometimes called bristles.  Now these brushes were what we call 'Cheena roboti' 'you get's what you's pays for'...

Apart from that I have had a very good day.  I've done more of the fence. I've had three teenage visitors today that wanted to speak English.... they had arrived on their bikes from Djebel and one was the grandson of my avatar who came out and questioned the boy as to whether he had inconvenienced the Anglechanka....One of them I know, her mother is the lady from the Water board...but the third one just needed the bolt if you get my drift....Unfortunately they are watching too many American movies and his favourite word is 'Sh*t'...I did try and explain that it's something he shouldn't be generation.

So I sat and talked with them a while..they love the house and then I sent them packing saying that I had a fence to finish....

Heard a rustle that says to me 'tortoise' and sure enough there were four of them.  I reckon it must be the mating season and I don't know if she was up for it or not but the outcome was that there were three of them at the final and the two males battling it out.  They seemed to take it in turns and then realise that they had a fight on their hands to woo the intended...where's that imaginary drawing board when you need one...

Cleared the wood from my mess pit...that's all burnt now...had a session fighting couch grass and it won...tidied up my tools and came in at 8.45 as all good worker should..just need now to think of food, the drink is already in the glass...Ouzo with lots of water. glass is empty, tools are all packed away...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 22, 2011, 3:35pm; Reply: 37
Friday 22nd July

Up with the lark to a beautiful morning...goodness does this get boring but there was an event today that change everything.  

Dom arrived this morning at eight thirty and we went into Djebel where we thought we would just get a coffee after his ten minute cavort round the shops.  So we walked to the post office and Dom's intention was to buy up the man's stock (they don't keep many stamps in there) but the man almost beamed when he realised that he could service Dom's needs.  On the way though...we were chatting merrily when suddenly I tripped over a raise something, not even a kerb, like Bulgarian workmanship, and over I went.  All Dom said was that I should pick my feet up when walking...that man is all heart.  So two locals rushed to my aid...I sat on the pavement and said that I was fine and smiled and thanked them.  My Pound-stretcher glasses stood up to the treatment fairly well as they skittered across the pavement and apparently I just flew and you know that you can do nothing about it...your feet just don't keep up and the momentum forces you downward....he said it looked good and fortunately he had no camera and despite the fact that it appeared to be in slow motion, I think he would have had to have a pretty fast camera to have got an action shot and there was no way I was doing a retake...  so at the post office he did his business and the standing joke was the old people's saying....'I've had a fall'.  The result of the impact....I fell on my wallet fortunately not my mobile phone, I have a scraped elbow and knee and his comment to that was....I bet that stings...too bl**dy right it does.

Back to the house, Emula came round and I negotiated a trailer of sheep sh*t since my garden is rubbish.  There is no body to it at all since it has been neglected for twenty years or so so in arrives and then next year, he won't be able to laugh at the size of my onions.  My fence drew the comment 'rustic'...but there again, as long as it keeps the cows out that's OK by me...

So now I ache all over....I went flat out and my right leg hurts, my left leg I think I twisted my knee slightly, my upper ribs are always a favourite in that they always get it, my right elbow and right knee sting but I do have a good book to get into thanks to Amazon customer service despatching a second copy of Mao's Great Famine.  A little more factual that White Swan but in the same vein.  I'm told that it makes Stalin and Hitler come out in a better light so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it and I don't think I shall be knocking many nails in the fence tomorrow...I just hurt...

I would say that I was going to lick my wounds...but I can't reach my elbow or knee so I'll retire...hurt and I can't even relax in a hot bath with Radox since my bath is sitting in the third bedroom with not a hint of a water inlet in sight....get those men back NOW.... :-/

LN...I'll limp and manage to cook something, somehow....I might just manage to pour a beer...yes I might just do that...I'm stiffening up beautifully....aaaarrrhhhhh :-/

Posted by: Joanna, July 22, 2011, 5:52pm; Reply: 38
Just doing some catching up and I agree that to live somewhere where life is more simple is great but then I have the choice and many of my neighbours don't have the same choices I have here in Latvia.

Hope you don't stiffen up too much, take care!
Posted by: KingDom, July 22, 2011, 7:49pm; Reply: 39
You make me sound sadistic!  Schadenfreude maybe. How was your 'Buddhism'

D of S

Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 23, 2011, 3:39am; Reply: 40
Saturday 23rd July

Thank you Joanna for your well wishes and yes I agree we both have choices that locals don't have.  As for you KingDom of S, I started to listen to my Buddhism, did ten minutes and while there's lots of 'logic', I would have preferred a debate instead of a monologue so went to bed...'I've had a know' (in a whiny old persons voice) and I've got to get my rest dear.... ;)  As for you sounding sadistic...I only report the facts...just the facts.

I can't see the bottom of my garden, a little thunder last night, a little rain and it started just after I'd finished watering my garden so at least a couple of the pots that I missed got something.  My hose pipe is one of those collapsible infuriating things that seems to twist over and stop the flow between you and the outside tap, finds every stone or obstacle in the garden and gets caught up and then needs attention to 'unbend' and 'dislodge'.  My own fault, I should clear the ground or buy another hose pipe....I'll clear the would probably take only ten minutes but because of my 'fall', everything will take longer today ;)

Sun is creeping out, the bottom of my garden has been revealed...let's me take a stroll...

Posted by: Old Holborn, July 23, 2011, 6:25am; Reply: 41
Buddhist goes into a Pizzeria. "Make me one with everything"

I'll get my coat
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 23, 2011, 6:20pm; Reply: 42
Saturday continued

As for that joke OH...try watching Bi-Centennial's one of the first jokes that Andrew...the robot learns.  I found it funny then but did you see the video clip where the American news journalist told it to the Dali Lama and he didn't get it....the investigator cracked up but as they say 'some fell on stony ground'.

It's been a very slow day...well I've been slow.  I ache front, back, inside and out and I have to gingerly take the stairs.  Must take some aspirin tonight to get a better was a bit turn over...ouch, turn over again, ouch, ouch...still frail voice...'I've had a fall you know'...(especially for KingDom). ;)

Seriously decided that there was no way I could swing that hammer high and fence build so got stuck into Chairman Mao Zedong and I can only take that in small chunks...very factual so it was interspersed with internet and DS.  Got a new good score on Germs today so the flesh was weak but the brain was compensating...also finished the Daily Mail 5* Sudoko in record time :-/.  Something strange going on here....

So now the evening is drawing to a close.  I shall have another gentle day tomorrow and by then it should have worn off.  I get the feeling that the bone is bruised so I shall get my trusty dictionary out tomorrow and try to get some Arnica...normally works for me.  I've got Julian Webber banging out 'Variations' at full volume and with a glass of red to deaden the pain....I should survive.  LN...
Posted by: Joanna, July 24, 2011, 5:51am; Reply: 43
There are quite a few other herbs that can be used for bruises if you can't get arnica such as chickweed, yarrow, comfrey, elder leaves. Basically simmer in oil and then add beeswax to get an ointment or just rub in the oil.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 24, 2011, 7:11am; Reply: 44
Sunday 24th July

Thanks for that's a times like this, as my mother used to say, that you need 'mothering' or 'smothering'.  I know that at times she was tempted to do the latter.  I was not an 'easy child' .. I'll try Arnica first it comes ready made and if not I'll go out and fight the chickens for the chickweed.

I had a good night's sleep, picked up on nothing yet from one of my favourite websites where they seemed to 'party' but were not so out of it that they didn't tidy up after is that the kitchen doesn't look like a bomb site....I'm off to the shop...catch you later....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 24, 2011, 5:36pm; Reply: 45
Sunday continued

Well as you can say, restarted again.  I didn't go into town but decided to take an extra strong Aspirin instead to ease the pain....lay on the bed with Chairman Mao and promptly fell asleep...meanwhile...three hours later...came round to the land of the semi-living, have just had my supper and getting on the web has been fraught with trials and tribulations.  M-Tel has reinstated the 3G service and now it insists on trying to connect me to it but I know that I live of the edge, so to speak, of GPRS and 3G and the latter, despite there being a quick service, keeps throwing me I go back to GPRS, which declares that there is no connection, but I'm writing this now without any glitches.  So M-Tel get sorted....the 3G is wonderfully quick but up and down like the proverbial bride's nightie.

So Sunday night, the sheep are coming round for the final feed of the day and the light is that mellow evening summer yellow where the trees look exceptionally green.  I'm just going out to enjoy the last of the sun....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 25, 2011, 5:21pm; Reply: 46
Monday 25th July

What a restless night...I really paid for having two hours in bed with Chairman Mao and his great famine...

My BG phone was warning me that the battery was low at 3.30 this morning and could I remember where it was?  could I buggery.....I could hear it bleep and searched where I thought it should be and ended up using my other phone to phone it and it was in the place that I should have looked first.  Next problem...I use a USB connector since my standard one is naff and I couldn't remember where I'd put that.  Now this is not senile dementia setting's 3.40 in the morning by this time.  Eventually located it under the cushion on my pc chair so why didn't I think of that in the first place... :-/  It's not that I'm untidy.  Just occasionally things don't get put back and that's when the problems start.

So emailed KD of S to see if there was anything he wanted from Kardjali and the response was negative and he advised me that he was going fishing.  Now this fishing is not the normal sit on the bank with a rod and wait while sipping a beer.  The locals usually strip down to their undies, wade into the river and 'tickle' the fish or have been even known to catch them in their under garments.  Bet he gets second or third degree's been hot as you like today and I know he's not the type to say to the locals...'can you just rub in this sunblock...' and they're not the type to do it....  8)

Went to Kardjali in Beauty....did Billa and ended up buying a five litre wine for just under 10 Leva.  I liked the flagon and I have it on good authority that it's OK after the first.  Got some beer since it is 40 stotinki cheaper than in Djebel and eventually plucked up the courage to get the car to the garage for it's MOT.  I always feel like it's going in front of the headmaster....the guy is really nice in his cut off jeans, t-shirt and flowerpot hat and while I waited in the office, they were MOTing a pretty high van.  Now I had noticed them standing on the back when they were getting it into the bay and thought nothing of it.  Then came the time to get it out and I realised that they could only get it out if they stood on the back again to lower was just too tall.  He made out the documents for mine before he had even looked at it...asked for the keys...drove it in...they lifted the bonnet...put a few connectors around the place...moved it onto the rollers ....he came back in...everything OK...window sticker in place and supporting documentation back in the folder....the cost...25 leva.  I've arranged to take the Beast in later this week so keeping my fingers crossed that that one passes too.

Drove to my nearly new clothes shop but there was nothing that took my fancy so went on to Lidl to stock up with  butter, tuna, Brie, a superb chives plant for me to kill and that was about it.  Back into Djebel at about 1.00 so tripped round the not tripped...(only do that on a Friday)....they were just packing up so decided that it was home James.....tuna with home made potato and carrot salad for lunch.  It's been a scorcher today so stayed indoors and watched a video....finished watering my's 8.15 and my shoulder and chest are both giving me a bit of a hard time although the leg is much easier....I think it was the driving that did.  I'll see how I feel in the morning...I might even take the Beast in tomorrow to get it out of the way and off the list of things to do.

LN.....I can hear Chairman Mao calling..... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 26, 2011, 7:29am; Reply: 47
Tuesday 26th July

Rubbish night sleep again....I was up at 4.00 getting an extra strong Aspirin.  No matter where I put my shoulder it hurt in the vicinity of my top ribs so I'm sure that I have done at least one in.  As I said yesterday, it was probably driving that did more damage yesterday and so off.

Just spotted my Golden Oriole in the garden nicking my ripe wild damsons.  Now I've heard this bird call for a few days now, normally very early in the morning and couldn't spot where the sound was coming was a sort of long warble...and now I know.  I have the RSPB book of birds that I used to identify him and I know that it's a 'him' since the female is much drabber so I'm told.  I then went on to their site and you can listen to the song and was a European Golden Oriole that nicked my cherries and now is going for my wild damsons and with the plums about to ripen, I reckon that he will be with me for a few days.  I couldn't get a camera is just not up to it and he's very shy and in the leaves he looks like sunlight shining through the branches even with binoculars so I resorted to downloading a picture from the web...he's so beautiful.

Coffee calls....investigation over for this morning...catch you later...

Posted by: linda g, July 26, 2011, 3:23pm; Reply: 48
Hi Elsa, Sorry to hear about the slight trip you had. I guess as we get older, our bits take longer to get better. I do hope things are better soon. My Mom said to say hello and hopes you are doing ok there. Not much happening in OZ, winter days with a bit of sun, and cold at night. We are due some rain and storms, dont like driving in the wet, as everyone seems to take their cars when its raining over here. Anyway take care, love the pic's and the paragraph's....hehehe. Good read. Linda.x
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 26, 2011, 4:37pm; Reply: 49
Tuesday continued

Thanks Linda.  The nice thing is that I have a wonderful excuse to be not too good this afternoon so into bed with a book and managed a couple of hours in the land of nod.  Weather was 'close' though, thundery and sticky so I was in the perfect place.

So supper tonight...I cremated a chicken leg with my onions, my garlic and somebody else's mushrooms and served it with my potatoes as French fries (chippies to me and you).  I dug up garlic this morning and my what a sorry state it's in.  'The cloves are so small they are no good at all and they never would ever win prizes'.....that set to music would be great.  As for my onions, KD of S was disparaging about the size but great things come in little packaging so to speak and they did taste good.  I cooked the ones that he said I should have pickled, one mouthful and that is sufficient.

As for the rest of the evening...the storm blew itself out as far as I'm concerned or I slept right through it.  It's now turned into the perfect evening, fluffy clouds, still as you like and that beautiful evening glow or maybe that's the beer talking.

LN...Chairman Mao is getting a bit boring but still needs to be read as part of my education.  Goodness knows why at this late stage of my life I am catching up on world events that were happening at the time of my birth (Hitler and Stalin) and later when I was a mere sprog in the UK. Maybe it's part of the grand plan....LN
Posted by: 50 (Guest), July 26, 2011, 9:58pm; Reply: 50
Hi Elsa
i am just catching up today after being away in Englandshire!!  We missed you. Your friend MOS and his wife are brilliant.  You would have had such fun with them and everyone else.   You should have come and that would have saved the fall.  I do hope you feel better soon.  You seem to still be aching all over.  Take care and don't do too much till you feel better.  I don't fancy relaxing with Chairman Mao though.   ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 27, 2011, 5:21pm; Reply: 51
Wednesday 27th July

Well as you can see from the above post...I should have gone to England and then would be in one piece instead of bits hurting all over the place.  As an update, the legs are fine, it's just my pesky ribs that hurt so I thought a little gentle digging would be good exercise so garlic lifted (small but adequately formed), cleaned and strung and the potatoes from the tyres ready for storing.  I do only need a small bag though...not much to write home about.

It's been a scorcher today again and at seven this evening it was still 28 degrees but it's been dry heat.  Nice breeze this afternoon and very pleasant sitting on the terrace out of the sun.  I took Chairman Mao out there with me but I didn't get through too much of it.  It's pretty heavy going but it was interesting to get the history of Tienanmen Square and having been to Beijing and stood in the middle of it and you read that most of the buildings were pulled down around this's amazing how much actually survived the various revolutions.

Didn't go into Kardjali today.  The last time that I did in my ribs by falling over in London at 9.00 in the morning rushing from the tube to NCR, I asked my doctor for some pain killers because I was having difficulty driving.  His only comment was that perhaps I shouldn't be driving so I decided that I'll go in tomorrow or Friday.  One car is through the MOT so at least I have transport.  Rustling in the dry grass today and yes, there he was, a whopper tortoise and looked back at the house from the garden and decided to take a picture of the house and a couple of the new terrace with the harvested goodies...

I had a phone call from the UK this evening so I'm late with my update and supper is nowhere in sight ....I think cold ham and salad or it might even be chips...Let's see how the mood takes me when I get downstairs. :-/

LN...I'm off...
Posted by: Old Holborn, July 27, 2011, 6:24pm; Reply: 52
I have to say, the house is looking damned impressive. All you need is a pool and a summer kitchen.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 27, 2011, 6:51pm; Reply: 53
Wednesday continued

Quoted from Old Holborn
I have to say, the house is looking damned impressive. All you need is a pool and a summer kitchen.....

Well there is always my wreck in the garden...this already has a sunken room and the joke is that we have discussed using that as the pool.  I would still have three rooms and a hallway.  It would be more of a dip pool at 4 meters x three and a half or I could get a rugby team in quite comfortably or most of my old ladies from the village. ;) or the rugby team and my old ladies from the village....they would insist on keeping their long trousers on though and their cardies...only taken off when the temperature really soars... ;)

The possibilities are's a blank canvas....LN....

Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 28, 2011, 5:19pm; Reply: 54
Thursday 28th July

What a day of inactivity apart from the fact that I cleaned the house from top to bottom but that was the sum total and that took all of about two hours.

The intentions were good, the execution was abysmal.   I didn't make it to Kardjali with the Beast...I didn't have a good night with my poor ribs...every time that I turned over there was an ...ooohhhh....aaahhh ...and it wasn't from the audience.

I did have an amazing lunch of my potatoes and onions in potato salad and my who's blowing the trumpet.  I suppose it's because I never considered myself as Adam the gardener and so for next year I am going to be more serious about it especially on the tomato, onion, garlic and potato front and I have the order placed for the sheep sh*t for garden is just crying out for nourishment and has been sadly neglected for years.

So phoned a friend today and she came up with the right answers.  It's a girl I used to work with when I was sixteen and we're still friends...our lives have crossed many times, her husband is not well but her father at eighty nine wishes to be remembered.  Oh I'm back down that memory lane of a holiday in Newquay where my first attempt at body surfing resulted in a fantastic bruise on my stomach and fortunately swim suits were all the rage then.  You wouldn't have wanted that showing between the bottom and top half of a bikini.  She doesn't have internet connection so I send her photographs of how the project is going out here so instead of rushing to the garage, I decided to write her with some photographs and I shall post it tomorrow.  I promised to do it and it's done... ;)

Supper has been cream cheese with bread-sticks since I ate so well at lunch time....tomorrow is the day for the car and to get that letter in the post.  LN....lovely calm evening and I can relax in my super clean home... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 29, 2011, 6:27am; Reply: 55
Friday 29th July

Got it wrong again this morning.  I was up at 6.00 and sitting on the terrace with my morning coffee cup and thought that I would water the garden first, get the fork out and get rid of a few weeds which I did and then moved to the base of the wall where a good weed patch had developed.

As I dug down I realised that I had struck a polythene mine yet again and (me being the determined little person that I am), decided that it was to come out.  Not a good call having a bit of a damaged rib but's cleared along with the inevitable jam pot covers that are sure to be hidden down there.  Didn't they realise...neither of these things decompose...but the polythene burns well and I believe that the going rate is one leva for a kilogram of jam jar lids.  I better get my weight scales out. :-/

So shower and I'm getting the Beast into Kardjali via the garage for a magic potion for the oil that's supposed to stop it smoking.....wonder if it's fit for human consumption?  I know a few that could benefit from it ;)

Catch you later...must get on....onwards and upwards...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 29, 2011, 1:35pm; Reply: 56
Friday continued

Four thirty...back from Kardjali....I've been MOT'd but prior to that went and had an additive to the oil and I had to go to the petrol station and ask for one leva's worth of diesel in a coke bottle....and request granted.  So back I went to the auto magazine, they mixed the brew, added it to the diesel  and said that it would be good for 10,000 kilometres.  My response was that I would be OK for the next two years then.  I just don't use the Beast much but I am so relieved that it is through the MOT.  The additive is supposed to be good for 100,000K so that should do me until I die then.

So out of the garage with my new paperwork, went into the computer shop since my keyboard is naff and one of the support legs keeps falling down and I just can't type with a flatbed keyboard.  Invested in a new one and while I was at it decided to get myself a surge protector since I have cables into extension leads and they seemed to be trailing everywhere.  All spaghetti sorted, keyboard installed, cables tidied away and now waiting for the thunder.  It's also got a jack point for my phone so that can't be bad....I just need to read the booklet that came with it.  .

Chicken for supper, I'm just going to get it under way and I might even open a bottle of red tonight.  Just pleased to be mobile...I'm assured that the new stuff will stop all the smoking and that there is no way that I need new fuel injectors now that this stuff has been added.  Don't know what it coats the engine with, I did do a quick look up on the internet but there were pros and I went with the pros....

Might just pop on later....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 29, 2011, 4:50pm; Reply: 57
Friday night update...

So there I am enjoying the evening when there is a...neee..naaaa...nee..naaa. hitting the village.  So I go out and there is a police car and a fire engine at my neighbours.  So I have to head down and investigate and it is full on...The fire brigade have hoses at the ready and are dousing flames and my neighbour is fully bandaged around the feet.  I have no idea what caused it...maybe she was burning her rubbish...but to call out the brigade and the police attend too....must have been more than she could cope with.

In with camera, threatened with My Avatars stick for taking pictures but had to do it anyway... so here goes...the outcome is...bandaged feet, sodden garden and the kennel is still OK.

Came back with food even though I had just had my supper of chicken with mushrooms,honey, tomatoes, red wine and onions with rice.  Now I feel stuffed.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 30, 2011, 11:27am; Reply: 58
Saturday 30th July

Hot, humid, sticky but with a breeze blowing so not too bad.

So this morning I delivered the begging bowl back to my neighbour and I'm sure that they think I don't eat...Yash, yash which means 'get it down you' is the standard cry to their livestock and anyone else that visits.  I also had the intention of offering my services to take the injured one to the doctors where her feet could be dressed properly.  Now this one doesn't speak Bulgarian so I need my Avatar, the provider of food, to do the translation for me and she agreed that we would go that instant so I walked home and got my keys, phone and purse and she was on with her coat and waiting for me at the gate...

I hadn't got a clue where the doctor's surgery was but with a little bit of sign language we got there.  We were met by a man who helped her in and I followed and I waited in the reception area. It's Saturday morning at 9.30, one in the surgery so we had to wait for five minutes before she was seen.  No appointments, all the dressings and bandages were fetched from the chemist by a 'runner' and she was out in quick sticks.  I found out that the surgery is open everyday including Sundays so that you can always get attended to.  Fair puts England to shame.....with the four receptionists who are more like a front line defence for possibly two doctors and an appointment system that has to be at least a two or three day wait and you try getting one on the weekend.  While she was in there her sister arrived, I smiled as the runner told me in English 'sister' and so I said the word in Bulgarian but there wasn't even a glimmer.  She went and spoke to my neighbour but when we all left she is obviously suspicious of the 'Anglichanka'.

So home James, I keep getting told that I am a good person and I keep telling them how bad I am really.  Into the garden and I decided to do a bit of fence building until I realised that it was the wrong move so took to the gentle art of digging up my four geraniums that look sadly the worst for wear.  As I've already stated, my soil has no body to it and water just drains away.  I gave them a good drink and have now put them into pots where at least they can have more water.  I've also dug up a couple of busy lizzies that I'm sure my friendly tortoise is nibbling in passing.  They are now soaking in water and new sites to be found.

Decided to chop back one of the bushes on the hedge-line and balanced on the beam was a very beautiful lizard. He obligingly waited while I went into the house to get my camera and I managed to get a shot of him.  Coming back to the house I noticed this very pretty two-tone gladioli. So of the bunch.....

Too hot to be out so just going to have half an hour with Chairman Mao....
Posted by: Joanna, July 30, 2011, 3:38pm; Reply: 59
Can you clear something up for me, are these wild tortoises that you keep talking about and not pets of yours?  :)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 31, 2011, 3:52am; Reply: 60
Quoted from Joanna
Can you clear something up for me, are these wild tortoises that you keep talking about and not pets of yours?  :)

Wild as you like Joanna.  I have no gets so bad that some of the locals collect them in a bag and deposit them far away from their gardens.  Cars have been stopped if one is spotted on the road and they've been given a helping had to get across quicker but I didn't realise they could move as quickly as they do, especially when hounded by a couple of males with dishonourable intentions..  ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 31, 2011, 1:08pm; Reply: 61
Sunday 31st July

Sticky, sticky weather again but very little breeze today.  Woke up at 6.00, down for coffee and then went out to  survey the garden.  Everywhere is so barren and if you water the soil it goes straight through so I have decided to see if the plants are better without it.  Maybe the roots will go searching further down and not come to the surface.

Did a little investigation into potatoes this morning.  When I dug mine up some of them are soft and as I thought, apparently they have some sort of fungus and I have been lobbing them over the fence and onto the hillside.  It's not all of them but won't do you much good apparently so I'll have to go through them again now that they are all harvested before I put them into my Tesco's hessian shopping bag.  The lining disintegrated so at least I have a use for it... :-/

Well my lovely pyrotechnic neighbour that I took to the doctors yesterday came round at about lunchtime.  I wouldn't take any money for the trip into Djebel but clutched in her hand were two Turkish head scarves that she insisted in wrapping me in.  They are beautiful and pictured below.  She has one more trip to the doctors next week I think but I need my translator to find out which day it is and I've made the offer already but no scarves this time...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 31, 2011, 6:13pm; Reply: 62
Sunday continued

Knocked up another table cum bench this afternoon and not really sure where to put it and no suggestions please.   It's currently sitting on the lounge terrace with a couple of pot plants on it covering up the fact that the wood needs the old cement taking off it and it's not very level.  As I was knocking in the nails I realised that it was not what I was supposed to be's not really resting my ribs but I am tired of being just a little incapacitated.  My mate KD of S came out with the fact that his hurt for about two months when he fell off something and injured his.  Always the harbinger of good news.

Forgot to mention that I had three not so little lambs that had lost their way, in the garden today.  Now this is only a small hole but watching them they just follow their noses and end up in 'places'.  So this morning I was searching around for something to block up the hole and I came across the old outside sink support, knocked another couple of planks on for good luck and it blocks it up beautifully.  Over they came to the gap at break neck speed and ....oh well, it was a good idea at the time.  No entry boys.

Nine fifteen here, too hot to eat so I'm just going to raid the fridge for something to nibble at and then early night...six in the morning comes round pretty quickly....LN....and it's white rabbits for the month...blank canvas...
Posted by: Joanna, August 2, 2011, 3:43am; Reply: 63
Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I never thought about where tortoises live in the wild before.  :D
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