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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  NOVEMBER 2011
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 1, 2011, 4:57am
Tuesday 1st November

Not so much 'white rabbits' but white all over this morning and yet again.  I've just put my nose out to look at the thermometer and it's reading three degrees and there's definitely the whiff of winter.  Seven am....solved the coffee getting cold and have served this morning's beverage, made at five thirty this morning in my T-Mobile thermal mug and it's still warm.   Result!!

About to get dressed and the Beast will need thawing out again this morning so on with the fingerless gloves as well as several layers and if it turns out like yesterday, might be fur-lined bikini weather there's something for the men to look forward to (I don't think).  Rest of the stone wall will go up today and then there will be one to take down.  As I mentioned yesterday we have a third contender whose job it is to remove the stone from the terrace area and re-site it behind the bus shelter... let's see how far he gets....on with the day....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 1, 2011, 4:56pm; Reply: 1
Tuesday 1st continued

Well the weather did eventually clear up and was in the middle to high tens and three builders to cater for, well two and a goffer and the goffer has worked his little socks off today.  I haven't got any pictures this afternoon, I was off with my student and then spent a further hour talking to his mum discussing how in one year they can go from being saying yes to everything and then turn into obnoxious youths and not even a teenager yet....I hope it's not getting to Bulgaria too soon.  So text from Gouljan asking if I would pick her up from school since no school, no bus, so I made it in Bulgarian time...fifteen minutes late so I got my own back.  I ran her home and there were some very worried looking people in her village and I worked out that to get from her village to mine they had to run the wrath of Semile's dogs guarding the flock and they were very scared.  So piled 'em in, whisked them back to my house and offered to drive them the rest but they were really content not to have to run the gauntlet.

Back home and saw the remains of a bottle of whisky on the shelf in the wreck and thought I had driven my men to drink only to be told that Semile had delivered it to 'his friend' Sally and there was none for Bekir.  Not sure if it was finished or not...I didn't ask but it was getting cold.  Ran them home, the remains of the gammon from last night and this mornings bacon and eggs is in the slow cooker finishing off with rice and a little glass of the red stuff is keeping me company while I do my update.  Slight change on the house front.  Where there wasn't going to be a door has now evolved into a door with two windows and it's going to save a lot of effort on the stone walling front.  Looks good but it's going to be covered with 'stuff' so you won't be able to see it and it costs a fortune in labour.  Taking the cost of bricks against the cost of stone and labour...I think the bricks win.

So just a few's going to be as cold tonight as it was last night so the fire is lit and coal is going on to underpin it. supper should be ready soon.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 2, 2011, 5:24pm; Reply: 2
Wednesday 2nd November

Not so cold this morning as I went to fetch the men.  Silly o'clock start and I've now gone back to White Swan, the submarine hunter is over and I can read without the help of binoculars.  The fire was still going this morning so with a little encouragement we had lift off and it's still going strong but I think the temperature is going to drop this just has that feel about it.

I was up on the roof today cleaning it off before the men start up there.  I created three big heap of debris and it looked like I had got a very active mole but two are down on the ground but I sort of ran out of steam later and thought it could wait until tomorrow or the next day.  The men are working up to their's four days of families visiting and the killing of the fatted calf or whatever else they can find.  It's a big thing for them so they are working like stink to get plenty done before they break off on Friday for four or five days...I shall await the phone call.

So it was decision day high do you want this wall?  Do you want to put in a bigger window?  Shall we turn this into the kitchen?  You do get marvellous view up here and that was from Sally who joined me on the roof while I was cleaning it off.  So the decision now is do I want to go up a little and create a viewing platform from the roof of the wreck with a panorama terrace and I think it just might have to be done and now I'm waiting for the flash of inspiration as to how we're going to do the roof.....we'll get there ...and I say 'we' because it's as much a journey for the boys...not often they do something that is beautiful and not just practical.  I think they've learn something from the build that they've never experienced before.  

Walls down...concrete caps come tomorrow...a few more metal concrete columns and after their holiday the concrete ceilings go on and then we start on the roof and the fun begins.  I've done it once on the fly so this time I have more of an idea what I / they are doing..... great fun.

And tonight we had a sheep that thought it was a cow leading the herd and the traffic police really slowed the local bus down.....On the way home I developed a 'banging' from under the car which sounded like a loose exhaust so tomorrow an investigation is under-way.  Tried to check with a torch tonight but probably the Beast will be earning its keep tomorrow and the little one goes into the garage later.  Supper is in the slow cooker, spicy hamburgers with rice and I'm just working up to calls...LN... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 3, 2011, 5:22pm; Reply: 3
Thursday 3rd November

Dug the Beast out to pick up the men and it was a reluctant start.  It doesn't get the journeys out that it should... diesel is expensive and I prefer the cheap option whenever possible....except for building's got to outlast me but as to who is going to inherit looks like no one wants to....ah well....

Third worker still working his little socks off and I think he is beginning to feel at home.  Not sure what was wrong with Sally this afternoon...he didn't seem his normal self but perhaps with the holiday season upon us he was going to miss this place...well maybe.  Went off this afternoon into Djebel in Beauty to ascertain the cause of the knocking and the garage found a rubber grommet that had come loose and for three leva they solved the problem or so they thought as I came to drive away.  I put it in reverse and asked them to take another look and it looks like one of the armatures has gone and so they are replacing the pair but they are arriving tomorrow from Haskovo.  Went back with the garage owner and educated his son for an hour and then found out that the bus back to Djebel didn't go until five thirty so into a taxi and what a lovely taxi driver he was.  The clock showed ten leva plus, I gave him twenty and he gave me ten back...I've now become local in an instant.

Men home in the Beast.  They're not working tomorrow and that might be why Sally wasn't his usual self.  Bekir said that he has other work and Sally has to go along with the decision and I know that it's the feast of Bakra-Id or the feast of sacrifice beginning on Sunday.  It's a day to thank the Almighty for one's good fortune and to share it with the less fortunate people. Traditionally, Bakra-Id is marked by the slaughtering of animals as sacrificial offerings, after which the meat is distributed among the needy and deprived. It is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail at the behest of Allah. Hence, on this day just like Ibrahim, a true follower of Islam is expected to sacrifice something that is dear to him.

Festivities mark the first day, when people wear new clothes, offer prayers at the mosque, and greet friends and relatives. The celebrations are carried on through three days to ensure that the entire Muslim community partakes in the noble of act of giving and sharing.  I shall expect my rations of meet for the poor and needy... :-/

So home alone for the next few days....I'm off on the bus to pick up Beauty tomorrow and since there is nothing else to worry about, carrying on to Kardjali to get butter which I am out of, coffee while I'm there and a few more things...just depends how much my car costs me as to whether there are any luxuries involved but my electric toothbrush refuses to recharge...aaarrrhhh so something else into the mix.

LN.....I've got Michael Jackson doing his stuff tonight on the iPod and he really was a legend in his lifetime and magic with music...No supper tonight...I've just had my first batch of pancakes today and feel stuffed...keep 'em coming...we've got days to go...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 4, 2011, 4:44pm; Reply: 4
Friday 4th November

Lovely lie in this work for me fetching the men.  I lazed around, sank a couple of coffees, tidied the electrical tools that get dumped in the hall away since they won't be needed for a week or so.  The intention was to clean the house through but did I do I just looked at it and realised it would keep for another day.

Playing on the pc on the landing with the balcony doors open and enjoying the warmth of the sun, I looked up to find a bloody cow in the garden.  Now you all know the trouble I went to to make this place cow proof and I was surprised to see where it had got in,  I sent it packing and decided that after getting dressed it would be the first job of the day.  Walking back up the garden, Socks, my Avatar's dog came to greet me and then I sent him off home but heard a bit of nattering going on.  There is Avatar with my other neighbour and they are attempting to repair the fence where the same cow had broken through and got into her vegetable garden.  I went to my shed, found the bolt cutters and some more wire and decided to give them a hand.  Over I went, fixed her fence, decided that I would fix mine with a length of old boarding from the wreck and my trusty nails, came back in, went back on the pc and blow me down, the same cow was back.  I tried to shoo it out but the damn thing couldn't find the hole where it had got in to get out again.  After about an hour it was still roaming down the bottom and I saw Semile's wife walking along the road with the wife of Semile's brother and asked her if he was at home...his cow...his problem...and I've only got a little freezer.  No he wasn't so the three of us went back down the garden and they are obviously more used to them since in law it is her cow too and the cow probably knows her anyway, she freaked it and it jumped over the new fence and might even be trying the Horse of the Year, 'Puissance' (high jump for the uninformed) to the fence I went to inspect the damage but this time I was armed with barbed wire and let it try it now..... :-/

Pancake day here, as part of the festivities and handing food to the poor, and so I was given a plateful and added sugar and lemon juice...delicious.  My plans changed.  I had a phone call from the garage to say that the parts for the car wouldn't be here until Monday so I didn't have to go into town and decided against a special trip into Kardjali for no other reason than to get some Cheddar cheese from Lidl.  And during the week...I do enough driving....I'm having a holiday too. ;)

Got the washing done...lit the fire.....washing now airing in the upstairs bathroom...still stuffed with pancakes and it serves me right so no food for me tonight.  Film night ...let's see what I can come up with from the little black box that is my terrabyte thingy.  Temperature appears to be dropping after an absolutely cracking t-shirt day.  LN...I'm searching my 'drive'.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 5, 2011, 8:48am; Reply: 5
Saturday 5th November

Gunpowder, treason and plot and as one of my acquaintances is heading for the Houses of Parliament today complete with mask...have a good day and I hope the other ones hanging about in empty tents don't get in the way.

This morning I'm actually delaying the hoovering.  It's down stairs waiting my attention but the hardest part is plugging it in.  It's a bit like my approach to ironing...when I was in the soon as I got going, everything was done and cleared.  The bathroom and kitchen are finished so there really is not a lot to

Just had a knock on the door and Semile and his brother's children have come round to collect sweets for the Bonbon Byram which is today...lovely boys...they were the ones herding the sheep with air rifles and I've never seen them shoot over the hillside so quickly before or since...........

Hoovering but first to post this morning's pictures
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 5, 2011, 5:08pm; Reply: 6
Saturday continued

So I did the house is spick and span for any visitors that might just pop in for a look around.  More children appeared today and they really enjoy the sweety collection but after all, this is their main festival.

I gave the the Beast a bit of a tone up.  The problem is that you have to have your lights on now all the time...the first of November decrees it and there are fines if you don't.  So you don't really charge the battery even though you go out in the day time so I sat outside and gave it about an hour of charging.  Hotfoot brought round a couple of things to eat...not exactly pancakes, more of a yeasty feel to them and I had two more from my other neighbour.  My Avatar's son has been busy chainsawing all her wood today so that she if prepared for winter.  I still don't understand why she had to go into the forest and collect when number two son managed to purchase seven cubic...but not for me to ask.

Sat outside reading this afternoon in a has been a beautiful day.  White Swan is trudging along quite nicely and I bet I get Badau spider looking over my mention of China, Mao or the likes and I get a visit.

Supper is on the wood burner.  I did the chicken leg in yoghurt and curry powder this afternoon and it is finishing off with the rice.  It is so easy now that I am getting the hang of it.  Fire going well, house warm as you like despite the fact that the temperature outside is dropping after a beautiful day....I'm just about to serve up so I'll wish you goodnight....Happy Birthday for tomorrow for my daughter in law...the flowers should have arrived and I chose the Autumn selection because it is Autumn...lovely colours that I find all around me in this beautiful chicken calls.... ;)  and I might even post a picture of it tomorrow...bones and all....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 6, 2011, 1:00pm; Reply: 7
Sunday 6th November

Cold, damp this morning and not like yesterday at all.  Fortunately it has gone up from six overnight and the sun is doing its damnedest to break through.

Had a visit this lunchtime from Star Mush's daughter who is back for the holiday and she is doing a tour of the village.  I'm so pleased that she popped in and we managed to have quite a conversation.  I beat myself up sometimes that I don't know enough words but in general conversation, I've worked out that you only need so many.  I'm making curtains today for the hall so that it stops the hot air shooting up to the landing.  It will contain it somewhat when I don't want so big a fire or it really drops into the minus figures.

Wth the rice that was left over from last night I have just knocked up a soup, added more fresh tomatoes and a little more curry.  It smells delicious and I think I've worked up sufficient appetite for it.  Yes...I'm off.

Curtains finished...watched the life story of Nelson Mandela this afternoon...didn't know it was his life story until Robin Island was mentioned at the end....lunch was sufficient, almost nine here and not in the mood for any more food today so I'll say LN...almost tome for bed and I really ought to go and sort that fire out.  Almost full moon tonight and temperature is dropping...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 7, 2011, 5:28pm; Reply: 8
Monday 7th November

Another dreary day outside, not so much cold but damp so I pottered for a bit, had a bonfire and that was the sum total of work outside apart from painting the metal bar that I found in the garden in the shrubbery along with three of its mates one of which is still buried and note to self....get it dug out at some point....and it is now holding up the new curtains that are at the bottom of the stairs and what a difference it makes to the temperature when you are just...sitting.  Yes the curtains are finished and I've also started a blind to go in the window that we discovered between the new hall and the lounge...great in summer but as I said the air movement has to be cut down for the winter.  The central heating is doing its stuff but you need that little bit extra and I'm being like the wise virgin and getting prepared for the winter so it doesn't become a 'winter of discontent'.  Still burning the old roof timbers so at some point need to think about getting the pipes down and giving them a spring clean before the winter really sets in and the men have on their list.....chimney sweeping duties....that roof is pretty high.

Beauty is still in the garage having her shocks done and the word for it here is 'tampons' so when Bekir suggested that that could be the problem with the car I had a hard time keeping my face straight and how do you explain that away.  

Supper was spaghetti bolognaise and I really must look round for a real butcher and get real beef not the stuff that you find in supermarkets.  It's supposed to be 100% but one hundred percent of what I'm not sure.  Still I tarted it up well with chilli but unfortunately the red wine stock has diminished or evaporated somewhat so tomorrow morning I'm picking up Beauty, delivering the Beast for it's winter preparation and then heading for Kardjali with a shopping list as long as my arm.....maybe a slight exaggeration there but supplies need to be got in big time, especially the wine.

So no pictures today.....I'll take some of the curtains tomorrow when the sun is was just too dull today and I could take some of the wreck without having a man's face in there.   LN....I've gone back to reading what would have happened in the UK if Hitler had won....and for certain we wouldn't have had the marches that we've had this weekend.  LN....I might have to sample the Rakia that KingDom of S made.  The report from Sally was that it was good if my hair or toes turn curly ....I'll be able to second that...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 8, 2011, 3:27pm; Reply: 9
Tuesday 8th November

Well this morning started off miserable but it has turned into a beautiful day...a little chill but it is November.  There was a feint glimmer of sun over in Greece but considering the political situation, only to be expected, which eventually spread northwards and landed over us.

So this morning was pretty uneventful...I did my chores...bonfire, washing, put away the clean stuff from the airer, tomatoes on toast for breakfast, the remains of last night's supper into the fridge ready for the slow cooker and as we speak it is cooking now.  

Had an awful problem this morning.  The Beast was so reluctant to go and I was suspecting the batteries were duff.  The problem is we have now started driving with permanent lighting and the police are out and about and this is the latest 'globa' (fine) raison d' I was concerned that they weren't keeping up with it i.e. output was exceeding input.  It started eventually and then ran for a while and then died on me so I went in to collect Beauty assuming that she would be ready but no....the parcel arrived and there was only one 'tampon' in the box.  Tomorrow the second one is coming apparently from Ruse which is way up north.  In retropect it's a good job that I didn't go in on the bus yesterday as arranged...something stopped me going and that was the reason why.  I am listening to the  So winter checks on the Beast all over and done with....and I suggested that they changed the fuel filter since it had started OK and then died and so they did.  Winter check, new fuel filter, all fitted and correct...35 leva including parts.  Spent the next thirty five leva in the supermarket but that was for one litre of vodka, two bottles of wine, three kilos of onions, cheese, rubbish bags, two litres of tonic, a bottle of Martini and a loaf of bread.  As you can see I didn't go into laid plans of mouse and me.  I reckon that's going to happen on Thursday....Lidl are doing a very nice garlic press for little money so I think I am off for the Thursday specials.

My lesson today went very well but I think he was eager to be off to play basketball at the school.  He insisted on keeping the hood of his jersey on throughout so I referred to him as 'My Hoodie' but then had to explain what I meant.....I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

Beast in drive, fire going but the pipes are out tomorrow for sure after we had a smoky start.  Just had a phone call from Bekir to say that they can work tomorrow so restaurant at eight in the morning.  LN...I'm going to add a little wine to the slow cooker...last night's supper was missing something and I've just remembered what it was...and now for a few pickies....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 9, 2011, 3:21pm; Reply: 10
Wednesday 9th November

So this morning I was awake at yet again silly o'clock and I think I was concerned that the Beast wouldn't start to pick up the men.  Out there at seven fifteen and started first time so what was I worried about...and it was white all over.  That curtain has made such a difference...I was really toasty in bed and the house felt really warm with a fire going and it looks like it will be a bit of a cool one tonight again.

Sorted my pipes but I should really number them so that I remember how to put it back together again.  But all is safely gathered in..lest the winter storms begin.  I was reading something the other day, a comment on a blog, and it said that you should not tell the story of bonfire night to the children just enjoy the fireworks.  I didn't go along with it...remember, remember the fifth of November as the saying goes....just teach them the rhyme...

Men are creating the door support for the wreck and they have been mixing concrete as if it is going out of fashion and tomorrow we have to order some more ballast.  I on the other hand have been pottering in the garden, like huge bonfire where they had cut back the grape vine and the 'chai' tree and I think it is a beech and dumped it in the yard.  So much so that when I came to get the Beast in the drive last night it was in the way so me thinks this morning...get rid and so I did.  Unfortunately the wind was blowing in all directions and poor Bekir was the recipient perched on top of the wreck but hey ho for the life of a didn't take long to clear.  We've had a day or visitors.  My men are very popular with the locals and Semile was round, Emaulet's father wanting to sell his sheep and my 'little man' who has a super face but the body has been sabotaged by nature.  Coffee was handed round but I told Semile to 'leg it' and not to stop my men from working.  The next time that he has builders at his house I am going to engage them in conversation and considering that I shall probably take a dictionary...'this might take some time'...

Planted out a few trees that had been in pots for the summer or taken from cuttings.  I am still waiting for the men to take their pots of freasias home and there Japonica Kerrias.  Otherwise I shall confiscate and watch the tear-drops fall...

Funny one this afternoon.  Out with my ladies discussing the little calf and who should be coming a long the road with one of the special pancake things in his mouth but Socks.  Looked like a huge discus and he stomped into the field where the calf and cows were, found a flat piece of ground, dug a hole and buried it.  He obviously wasn't hungry but ever the opportunist, was thinking of leaner times...then the animals were about to be put to bed and one of the cows took a lunge at the calf and he went straight through the fence and knocked it flat so out with the hammer... bashed the supports back in a jobsa-guddun.
Men home, supper a mixture of meatballs and last night's gravy with a few added extras and spaghetti...did the job...and filled the gap.  Updating and then getting by the fire.  There is a full moon tonight with a very large star besides it and the temperature is dropping rapidly.  Time to throw another log on...LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 10, 2011, 4:54pm; Reply: 11
Thursday 10th November

So the bastard Beast did it again this morning....started first time and then had an epileptic fit forcing me to switch off and try again and it was only that I swore at it and pleaded with it to start that it came to life.  It could be battery, it could be anything so it was swaps with Beauty complete with two new 'tampons' and the Beast will be 'tested' tomorrow morning in the garage.  My instructions were...just fix it.  I hate it when you can't trust that it is going to's not that I am impatient.... but positive performance means such a lot... :-/

This morning's sky looked ominous but by about nine thirty it has turned into a beautiful day and I sorted out the old flowerpots, cleaned out the ones that had been reduced to soil and little else and put them in the 'shed' of the wreck to winter.  Swept all the leaves, had a bonfire and generally tidied the terraces so that I'm ready for winter.  If you think that I have a bonfire are so right....I just love them...and so for the rest of the day.

Swapped cars with the garage as I've already lesson today was how to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile and it's amazing what you learn when you are teaching others.  I try to find a text that is different each session...some fiction and some fact to make it more interesting.  We've started chatting more at the end now and I've threatened to go and watch him play basketball next Tuesday.

The lads have been mixing so much cement that I had to have another four cubics of ballast today and we have run out of metal so the factory has been on half time turning attention to the preparation for the roof.  Tomorrow comes the metal, fifteen bags of cement, the wood that was on order and hasn't yet arrived and whatever else Bekir thinks we need before he makes the phone call to the supplier.  The third man is back tomorrow ...more power to my fellows' elbows so to speak.

They are home....the remains of last night's supper is now tonight's supper...the fire is going well and I'm sipping a vodka Martini as we speak, topped up with tonic, that's the drink topped up with the tonic....I've got to go some first.  It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow and Saturday but Sunday is 'white cloud' and Monday is 'sleet' so I've warned the men.  They might even be working Saturday yet to make up their money and take Monday off instead....let's see how the mood takes them....LN....slow cooker bubbling nicely, glass empty, time to switch off and get in front of the wood burner...LN....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 11, 2011, 5:26pm; Reply: 12
Friday 11th November

So today it's the eleventh of the eleventh of the eleventh and at eleven English time I paid my respects.  I did jig around a bit though, the wind was so 'bracing' for want of a better word but another one would be that it was too bl**ddy cold to stand around.  I encouraged the men to get the old wood burner out of the work-shed but they didn't like the idea but I know how Sally hates the cold and the wind and when I went out to see them they had used the old pipes and got a fire going in a wood burner bucket and he was toasting his backside.  It took me back to two years ago when we had the joke that I had to keep a bucket of water by the wood burner so that if he set on fire we would have to throw the water over how time has flown.  I have been cemented to these guys for just over two years now and they have done tremendous work for me and I have been very loyal to them.  Yes I could have cheaper workmen...but Bekir is a true engineer and knows his stuff and is prepared to put up with my 'requests' and they are not demands...I ask him if it is possible and he will come back with the answer.  I mentioned yesterday that a lot of the work they normally do is not creative and artistic and they agreed.  He is able to work to his own initiative and Sally works alongside him beautifully...he is a perfectionist.  Third man had a hangover this morning and it's a good job that he was on the two handles of the wheelbarrow...who was holding what up has yet to be decided upon but he did spend time looking over the fence when he arrived at the bottom of the garden.... ;) ;)

The lorry arrived today and there is lots of ten by ten wood and fifteen bags of cement and enough metal to construct the Eiffel Tower should we so wish....I paid off one thousand leva leaving the odd three hundred to be paid at another time.  I did suggest that I go in tomorrow but Bekir warned me against's rather like...he knows where you live.....I'm getting to be local.

My fire has been going non stop today.  My little man that nature has not been kind to who is the brother of the men that owned my houses before has taken  a great interest in my project.  He knows my Star Mush well and Bekir decided it would be nice to sent him a present of a packet of cigarettes and a box of Bekir provided the cigarettes, I came up with the matches and wrapped them in Christmas paper and put a red bow on them...I'm not sure if he will appreciate the wrapping but he will the contents and the lads thought it was a nice touch....

They worked their little socks off and have managed to put the final wall supports in and the columns will go in on Monday, weather permitting.  Winter seems to have come early this year compared to last and there is a threat of snow or at least sleet on Monday so they will phone if it is too bad.  

Semile has asked me if I will teach English to his little one and so on Sunday I have him for an hour.  Not sure Jaylan's son will appear as well but I'm preparing the lesson for two.  No payment at first...let's see how the boys take to me...if we get on OK then it will be the same as for my other student.   I have an income....

Men are home and my were they working late to finish the job.  I paid the third man so that he could settle his bar bill and told him that he shouldn't buy any more drinks for friends from his hard earned cash.  My little man is heading home tomorrow and is back in May and we have a date.  Avatar came round and I explained to her how central heating works and how I have thermostats on each radiator so that if I only want heat downstairs I can control it.  She was intrigued by the UPS and I had to explain that because of the pump, if there was no electricity to run it then everything had to be jettisoned but the UPS means that I had two hours to source an alternate heating system.  She was intrigued.

LN...I had cheese on toast this afternoon so it might be egg and chips later but at the moment there are no takers for pictures tonight but if it clears up tomorrow there might be a few of the house....LN....I'm now going downstairs to toast my tootsies.  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 12, 2011, 2:37pm; Reply: 13
Saturday 12th November

Seven thirty when I woke up this morning but I lingered until eightish then got some coffee.  I knew the plan for today.  Check on the Beast to see if it's going to cost me trillions and then head into Kardjali...I've been about a week now without butter and tuna and that's not good for a girl or me.  Did my chores before I decided to get smart for the city, wood in, ashes out, general sweep of the hall floor and terrace to get rid of the leaves that had accumulated after last night horrific winds.  No damage done though...the remains of the wreck is still standing and after all the metal that has gone into it there is only one wall that is in danger and that's coming down anyway over the next week or so that's if Chippie can stay off the 'sauce' and Bekir still wants to employ him.

Went to the car shop and I was faced with a challenge.  The owner's Jeep records distances in miles and he's only used to kilometres so he wanted to know the conversion.  So he had the calculator out and I know that it is five eighths of a mile but do you divide by eight and multiply by five or vice versa?  Eventually I got there and it was so that he could know the checks that needed to be doing on his Jeep and it was nothing to do with mine.  Mine is going to cost me...nothing.  Batteries are OK, it appears that it's the way that I start it up in a morning....I'm just not gentle enough with it according to the garage.

Into Kardjali and my first stop was my second hand clothes shop and I picked up a long skirt for five leva.  Then on to Billa.  So there I am wheeling my trolley and I caught eye contact with a man in there and he turned and said my name and I suddenly placed him as being someone from Bekir's village but I didn't know that he knew my name and I'd never spoken to him before. I'd sworn at him a few times when he drove like a maniac on his way to work but the next minute Bekir appears with his little bit of shopping.  He's a sweety and it's at times like that I wish I was fluent in Bulgarian and he probably wished that he spoke at least some words of English.  Both tongue tied we were.   I seemed to spend quite a lot in there but most on meat for the freezer so that I have things in.  When you walk into that shop the first thing you smell is the spit roast chicken and it had to be done so I came out, got in the car, opened up the bag and ate a leg with fresh bread.  It's what I used to have for supper when I was staying in the hotel opposite during my first days here.  Delicious.  And so next on to Lidl, got my butter and tuna, back to Djebel and picked up the things I'd forgotten.

So home....unpacked the car....relit the fire that was sort of hanging on.....Elaine Page singing her little heart out and I'm just about to organise The Hungry Caterpillar with a view to going through that tomorrow with the boys.  

Enough...don't want to bore you to death.  I'm about to do something with the rest of the is crackling so should be warm tonight.  We are threatened with minus two overnight, I don't think it's moved above zero today and such a cold wind....Have a good evening....mine's starting now....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 13, 2011, 3:36pm; Reply: 14
Sunday 13th November

Oh it's a cold one.  The wind has removed all of the polythene protection from the new walls and left it strewn around the garden.  So much for the bricks holding it up there.  Sally is going to love it tomorrow if this wind keeps's the dread of his life.

Good, my wood in, my fire going ten to the dozen, prepared for my student(s) and no one appeared.  I'd got a marvellous lesson together of word cards and story time and zilch...oh well...another day.

Last night's supper has been combined with the chicken carcass and potatoes have been added and I'm really warming up to it.  The outside sofa or work bench as I call it has been moved in front of the wood burner and suitably attired in extra cushions and  fleece blankets and is now established as a work of art.  The chair that was there is in the kitchen and the extra wood burner is to go into operation tomorrow.  If this cold will be needed. The lads can make do with the bucket and timber....

Watching a film as we speak and watched one earlier that I had to go back to the credits to work out the plot when it had finished...why are some films so difficult.

So supper ready, heat retained within the curtain, more wood on the fire and I'm all set for the evening...LN...short post tonight...not much's Sunday after all said and done....LN and welcome home Danuta after world travels....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 14, 2011, 5:41pm; Reply: 15
Monday 14th November

Snowflakes today so the men installed my kitchen wood burner in the second bedroom of the wreck.  I told them I was going to dock 50 stotinki from their salary for every hour I caught them not really.  It was cold today so I was pleased that they had a refuge from the elements.  My lad from down the village spent more time in the refuge than the others and he wasn't even working here.  He has just come back from three months working in Turkey so I think his blood has thinned....but he drank my coffee, did help me in with one of the benches into the second bedroom and wouldn't pay up the fifteen stotinki for the coffee.... I reckon the coffee made up for the five minutes work.  AM's bedroom is now the refuge and will be again one day...she knows who I mean... ;)

So what else?  The men have been busy in their metal factory and now there are only two columns to go and then we are on to the roof.  I'm thinking of going to Momchilgrad tomorrow to get my window people out for a measuring session.  I know virtually what I want...the only unknown is the second floor if there is to be one.  Angela it's your fault if you're mentioned about opening up the views and Sally is the other culprit.  We were on the roof and he commented about how good the view were from up there.  Let's just count the pennies....sod has to be done.

I've investigated today in great length for my students and have downloaded lots of lovely stuff.   I found out the reason that they didn't turn up yesterday was because it was cold. It's winter...what do you expect?  

Made two curtains today out of a continental cover and a sheet.  The doors to the upstairs bedrooms are not going to get done while they have so much work to do outside so curtains up and tomorrow they get lined with polythene so that the air doesn't rush straight through them...needs as needs must.

Supper cooked, men home, logs stacked and burning brightly, curtains drawn against the elements...LN....time for drinkies....LN
Posted by: 50 (Guest), November 14, 2011, 8:22pm; Reply: 16
Thanks Elsa.  I so enjoyed your cheeky comments.  Had a very lazy day doing nothing and am tired again!!!!  Not posted much on our other site either, so you know I will be in trouble.  Your house looks wonderful now.  I haven't read all your posts but have looked at the fantastic photos.  My photos of my travels should be on FB by the end of the week.  
I used to use Sparklebox a lot for resources when I was teaching and thought it was brilliant - lots of colour and I think it will suit your purpose very well.   :)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 15, 2011, 4:48pm; Reply: 17
Tuesday 15th November

Oh and another cold one today.  I woke up at silly three o'clock and realised that I was too warm in my little bed so took off my second feather quilt and went back until 7.00am which was absolutely super.  I dragged myself out, made coffee, lit the fire, washed my face and put my work trousers on over my pj's threatening to shower later knowing that my hair wanted student today...  ;)

Went to pick up the men...had a bonfire, pegged out the washing that needed wind dried instead of on the rack in the upstairs bathroom heated my the radiator.  All good stuff.  The men got the wood burner going in their little room, well actually A.M.'s little room and they told me to tell you that they are keeping it aired for you but appreciate that they are only squatters and with limited rights...believe me...this is Bulgaria and and it's mine.  It's turned into a regular little coffee shop and I might just start charging for the ones that don't work here.  There was a bit of a to do mid morning and my neighbour was chasing a calf up the street and my wasn't it shifting.  Found out that mother and calf had attacked Hotfoot's garden but had demolished the fence so out I went with my trusty tartan bag with nails, hammer, barbed wire, pincers and ordinary wire and mended the fence for her.  I am going to charge the cow farmer for the materials and labour....that should be about thirty pence then... :-/ :-/.

Washed my hair but forewent the shower...I couldn't bear the thought of stripping off and warming up another set of clothes but I did get properly dressed.  Lesson went was all about constellations and how they came to get their names so I learn something new every day.

Home at four thirty....more coffee for the men and I got the spaghetti bolognaise out that I made last night and managed four portions out of it and three for the freezer.  I liberally sprinkled some chilli into it just to give it a lift.  Caught Emaulet in AM's coffee shop today and told him that it was fifty stotinki entrance fee.  He asked me why so I told him that it was because he came round to get warm.  Caught the men by moonlight...well it would have been if there had been a it was caught them by inspection lamp in the AM room but as you can see, I was working them quite late and it's a good job that the flash kicked in.

So home delivered safe and sound.  Bought the polythene today to line the upstairs 'curtains' posing as 'doors' until the men get time.  Supper keeping warm in the slow cooker, wine poured, update nearly complete and then...pasta on and supper.  LN.....LG in BG....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 16, 2011, 12:49pm; Reply: 18
Wednesday 16th November

Really cold overnight...pots of water with ice about two inches thick and the hose pipe left full of water so the men had to start mixing concrete using buckets... Beautiful start to the day...I was out taking photos in my jim jams until I realised that it was really cold so took the next lot from my landing.

Men are enjoying the sun and no wood burner for them today.  My fire has gone out and the door is open with just the fly screen closed to keep me from those unwanted guests.  I've trimmed back some of the bushes on the fence line but I need a second effort but this time with a step ladder currently in use.  Bekir found a huge hedgehog asleep wrapped in the polythene in the old barn (little, little house) and despite the fact that they wanted to barbecue it I wouldn't let them so they decided to try to wake it up....firstly Chippy decided to try it with a little metal on metal but then Bekir thought that a different 'timbre' might do the trick but both to no avail.  Is this what I pay them for?.....So big beauty was carted down to the bottom of the garden under the walnut tree and covered with loads of leaves.  

Lots of concreting going on today and I think this has been renovated just in case there is an earthquake.  They might have heard it on the news where I might have missed it... :-/  And it was up to 22 today....

So pickies so far today....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 16, 2011, 3:19pm; Reply: 19
Wednesday continued

Just had to capture the sunset...about to take the men home LN...
Posted by: linda g, November 17, 2011, 12:56pm; Reply: 20
Hi Elsa, Looks like all is well in your part of the world. Photo's are great, luv the sunrise and sunsets, must be a fantastic view morn and Night. Have you any pets of your own at the house other than nieghbourhood rascals??? Still waiting for the history of you, hehehehe. Mum says hello, she is doing ok. Take care and look after yourself. Linda. :P
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 17, 2011, 4:59pm; Reply: 21
Thursday 17th November

Linda, apologies, apologies.  The potted history is now three pages long and growing as we speak....I've been around for a long time you know.  Promise I shall get it finished this weekend and email it to you....Can I just say happy birthday to my sister who is no longer with us but I'll light a candle for you tonight.... ;)

So as for today.  There was only a hint of frost when I set off this morning to collect my men.  The Three Muscateers have been exceptionally busy today.  Bekir and Sally have had the metal manufacturing to contend with and Chippie has been the clean up boy finding a concrete path between the little house and the barn that I never got low enough to find.  We've had various discussions about stairs, chimneys, room size in the loft, windows at the side of the room to get panoramic views and I blame Sally and Angela for making me spend extra on the viewing platform.  If I hadn't have done it I would have regretted it so the dip pool will have to wait for the rest to be completed and then when we've gone up, then we can go down.  It's a bit like the noble Duke of York but I've only got three not ten thousand....that wage bill I just couldn't afford.

My lesson today with my student was on volcanoes and to be honest I live and learn.  He has only got one page of homework and his little face lit up but I'll make him translate it into Bulgarian for me and he could be telling me anything since I'm not sure on the tectonic plates....but I can try to look intelligent.

Bekir reported that my Goldtooth needs to go to Kardjali to the hospital but needs to collect her referral note first from Djebel and was I going to Kardjali any time?  I thought about taking her in the Beast but not sure she could climb that high......I think we'll need a re-run.  No way can I get her in and out if she can't manage it herself... :-/ :-/

So home...supper is spicy sausage with onions, honey, tomatoes, haricot beans with a hint of vinegar and red wine and it's waiting for me now.....LN.....I think it comes with toasted chunky bread....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 18, 2011, 5:12pm; Reply: 22
Friday 18th November

I caught the bus this morning and it cost me one leva eighty stotinki to get into town.  Men were settled with their coffee and breakfast and I stood outside my house and flagged it down and the door was on the opposite side to what I expected.  I met various ones from the village and we had a little dolly bird to take the money and deliver tickets.  I tried to pay as I entered but I was admonished and told to sit down.  I'm a novice at this public transport.

Walked to the garage and Beauty is already fired up with smoke pouring out of the back of it.  It seemed to be going OK and then it stalled and I'm told off for not having enough diesel in it.  Nobody told me that it has to be well up on the scale for the pump to get the good stuff not air and the the lad from the garage drove me up to the petrol station and we put in sixty levas worth and then driving home I stuck in another fifty leva and the needle has hardly moved.  I'm not sure it's working correctly but I took the men home in it tonight since the petrol was down on the other...Bloody cars....

My Avatar appeared with five eggs today and I think it was because Bekir was about to sort out her tap for her...there wasn't hot water getting through.  He did ask permission to be off site and suggested that we went together to make it official and I came home with some cooked meat which I promptly put into my haricot tomato beans for tonight's supper, washed the dish and delivered it full of my beans to my Avatar.

Arranged, Goldtooth is being chauffeured to Djebel to get the document for seeing the doctor in Kardjali about her knee on Monday...and I'm the chauffeur.  It might cost her but I've not worked out what yet... ;)

Men home....the woodwork is in place for my concrete ceiling in the wreck, Monday the remaining metal work goes in and Tuesday we have all hands to the pumps to get the concreting done so that they can start on the roof.  It's all go here.  So Friday night.....the beer came out and Sally had some of KingDom's jungle juice and I think Sally was just about standing.  Bekir had been given a calf's head by Semile which was wrapped in an extra layer of plastic so that we didn't bloody the Beast and I suppose it's better than getting a horse's head in your bed.... :-/

Men home in the Beast....safely parked in the supper is cooked and the fire is going well.  Tomorrow I am getting the other wood burner to go in the way do I get cold this year at all....LN...about to pour a drink and get my supper...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 19, 2011, 5:07pm; Reply: 23
Saturday 19th November

Beautiful sunrise this morning and yet again so I lay down in my upstairs bedroom and watched the sunrise.  I hear on the internet that there is supposed to be a partial eclipse this evening so I'm about to trawl to see at what time it  is supposed to be happening.

I haven't done a lot today.  I had a phone call from Gouljan to see if I would take her to Djebel and I quoted the terms.  I was about to eat my avatar's poached eggs, well not poached when they arrived , and have a shower before I showed my face or the rest of me to the world.  I phoned her back and then had a text a few minutes later saying that she was going in with her relatives and for me not to worry....Like I'm worried.

So pegged out the washing, emptied the old nails from the wood burner, sorted out one of the buckets that I keep the little wood in, did my five star online Sudoku in record time, moved a cow out of the garden and it must have been funny to watch.  The beauty climbed in via my front fence and found itself in the yard.  I approached and instead of it going back the way that it had got in it decided to go down between the little barn and the there I was waiting for it and the bl**dy thing was quicker than I was and the next thing I know it is across the yard and going down my terrace steps into the garden.  At this point I had to work out tactics so I got it moving in the general direction of the barn and wreck and suitable armed with bricks I got it back into the yard but then I had to double back quick to make sure that we weren't going round in circles.  Eventually it got the message and left.  So out with hammer and nails and a couple of planks and jobsaguddun..The trouble is that the farmer doesn't feed them enough hay so out they go to forage in people' gardens.  B*stard beings.

The rest of the day has been spent in leisure.  I did my house work this morning so that I am no longer living in what appears to be a building site despite the electrical equipment littering the hall.  I rearranged the settee in the hall with one of the mattresses from the lounge so that it is more comfortable and that was about the sum total of my existence today.  I made the mistake of putting rather a large log on the fire and it took me a couple of hours to get the wood burner up to speed (I'll know for the future) but now it's chugging beautifully and everything is cosy.

Supper was local sausage with red onion, honey, chilli, tomato paste served with pasta...delicious although I say it myself.  Update nearly photos tonight...sorry....promise some for tomorrow.  Am about to pester friends on my other favourite site and generally insult's what I do best.  LN....I have work to do...

Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 20, 2011, 3:30pm; Reply: 24
Sunday 20th November

Superb sunrise, colourful sunset and everything is tinged with pink.  I think I caught the tail end of the eclipse this morning and should have looked out when I woke up at midnight in front of the wood burner to have gotten the full spectacle....oh well...another time.  

Took my morning pickies and then breakfast.....poached eggs again and only one of My Avatars eggs left now...they are just so yellow and delicious.  Had what I consider a day off today.  Was heading into Djebel to make sure that I have enough fuel to pick up the men tomorrow but decided that I could do it in the morning before I went to collect them.  Helped out with constructing the metal casing for Avatar's well this morning, had my bonfire which was very reluctant and a deputation this afternoon my my three ladies to say that Goldtooth didn't need to go to the doctors/hospital because her leg was much better because the weather wasn't damp any when it gets damp will be back on the agenda.

Did a bit more on Sparklebox today and got some more stuff prepared but Semile and Jaylan's boys didn't appear.  Perhaps I should organise their lesson for an after school day and it might be a bit more interesting. This afternoon I was out on my sun lounger and it was very pleasant lying there until I decided that needs as needs must, got my wood in and am prepared now for the drop in temperature.  

Kitchen is calling and I think a glass of beer would go down nicely...well it is Sunday. horse....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 21, 2011, 6:08am; Reply: 25
Monday 21st November

So the best laid plans of mouse and men and in this case woman have gone by the way today.  I decided yesterday to go into Djebel this morning to get fuel for Beauty.  I was out there at 7.10, defrosted and my was it cold this morning.  I had already been on the balcony to take photos of the sunrise so I knew how cold it was.  Set off and picked up a hitchhiker...well one of the men from the next village walking to catch the bus and he thought his Christmas had come early when I said 'Djebel?' not 'Rogozche?'  where I normally drop off the passengers.

So off we go and on the way my phone starts to ring and I'm thinking it is probably Gouljan and she has missed the bus and now missed the taxi but I was was Bekir to say that he couldn't work today.  So I'm back home now, it's just gone eight, wood in for the day and only got to empty the ashcan and then my next cup of coffee and breakfast.  The rest of the day is open to all possibilities except sun bathing unless the bikini has a fur lining.  Kettles boiling....I'm off..... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 21, 2011, 5:10pm; Reply: 26
Monday continued

I have had a brilliant day in the garden sorting out the now dead flowers and clearing out the beds.  Bonfire was a mare to get going but eventually if got rid of the rubbish. It was t-shirt weather today and did loads of 'stuff'.

Lit the wood burner at about five recognising that the temperature was about to drop and tonight I am cosied in.  My supper by courtesy of the slow cooker was pork curry and rice by courtesy of the wood burner...I cooked for two and ate for two and the dregs will be turned into soup tomorrow.  Now I've watching Paula McKenna on You-Tube and I am in for an evening of meditation....Lecka Nosht...temporal beings...goodness knows what the site will look like tomorrow....LN... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 22, 2011, 5:22pm; Reply: 27
Tuesday 22nd November

All back to normal, men drinking coffee in the cafe, me waiting for the pips to go on the radio telling me that it is exactly eight o'clock, them sauntering out with coffee in hand and then it's 'Hi oh Silver, back to High Chorale.'

This morning's breakfast was one of the local specialties where we play 'hunt the cheese' in the dough wrapping and lots of coffee to wash it down.  In my boot this morning I had a calf's skin that was about to be dispatched via Semile to the tanners and Bekir presented me some minced beef and lamb, some lamb and some beef for the freezer.  Nice thought and it's now tucked away.  I made the mince into patties so that it will be quicker to defrost, I was going to make it up into Bolognaise sauce but I remembered that the red wine had no chance....but stocks were about to be replenished any day soon...and they have been.

The men have been very busy today with the metal work for the I said...if there is an earthquake I shall be able to sing the song....'I'm still standing. yea, yea, yea,' and if it's not I'll sue China for the substandard metal rods.  Emalaut was round today  for a warm in the men's rest area and I provided coffee before I went off to see my English student.  The lesson today was how to differentiate between moths and butterflies and to be honest, I learn something new every week.  I now know what makes a chrysalis and what makes a cocoon...and I bet you don't..

So gave in and bought my other wood burner and the pipes to go with it.  I think Bekir felt guilty because they have the use of my other one in the rest room but I told him not to be.  It would have been installed but there is one of the pipes missing and it reminded me of the story but for the want of a nail the shoe was lost, etc, etc.  So for the want of a pipe the wood burner in the kitchen will be installed tomorrow...

So my supper tonight is the remains of last night's rice with the rest of the pork only this time it has the addition of apricot juice as well as curry and it should be ready anytime now so I'll say LN...I have food to check out but before I go, I must just tell you the saga of the bottle of brandy that I was sending as a birthday gift.  There was a space on the order form for special instructions so I said 'Leave it by the back patio doors if no one is home'.  Straightforward enough I thought but then I receive an email to tell me there was no one home.  I responded and asked them if they had read my instructions to which they asked me if I had read the small print.  Now why should I read the small print...when Interflora who I use regularly, ask for specific instructions, you know that it's at your own risk if they leave them without a signature or anyone answering the door.  Continuing the saga....we left a you didn't...ok so can I readdress it to my billing address?  Yes but that is going to cost you 10.95 which makes it a very expensive bottle of brandy.  So can you please leave it as I suggested earlier by the patio doors and if the odd vagrant happens to find it, he's welcome.  My daughter can go get another and I'll credit her account.  OK fine....Second delivery we have a card this time and meanwhile I have emailed them to go ahead and leave it as stated.  Now my daughter checks with the delivery people just to make sure and is told that the dispatching company insists on a signature....arrrhhhh.  I've emailed the dispatching company but there is no response so she is going to fetch it tonight.....Why aren't things simple?  Company...Drinks agents...City Link.

Now it's supper time and my moan is out of the way....I shall sleep better now or perhaps it will be down to the replenishment of the red wine lake....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 22, 2011, 6:30pm; Reply: 28
Tuesday continued

Why can't Google chrome find me when it sends robots to my site every day....aaarrrgggghhh.....
Posted by: createdbyme4you, November 23, 2011, 8:03am; Reply: 29
Hi Elsa
what  fantastic reading thank you if you can do it so can i move to Bulgaria i mean  :P bought a house in skalitsa 1st Nov this year and looking forward to getting back there in the spring other half is out there now sorting out things before the snow come's , again thank you for your inspiration photos,and great sense of  ;D hope to meet and have a WEE drop of the red stuff ;)    

regards to you and your village

Jackie & Danny
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 23, 2011, 5:27pm; Reply: 30
Wednesday 23rd November

Quick welcome to Jackie and Danny and thank you for being so kind about my blog....and you are more than welcome to share some of the red stuff if you make it this far south.... ;)  But you'll need to carry your passports, we are almost in Border territory.

So I was out on the terrace this morning just to check out the temperature and where the mist had frozen I did a slight skid on the concrete and reckoned that it was going to be a dodgy morning fetching the men.  We don't grit roads be warned.  I set off gingerly, concentrating on the road not what sort of roof I want on the wreck, felt it go a couple of times on my way to the main road and thought better of doing more than thirty round the bends and it is a twisty road.  Again felt it go on a new bit but I know the 'road well travelled' and got to the coffee shop in one piece.  I explained to the men that the road was not good so I was taking it slow and low and behold, going just past KingDom's village there it was, a white van upside down in the ditch and the driver looked OK but a little dazed.  He'd obviously thought 'Winter tyres, I'm alright Jack'.  Wrong. :-/

Men working their little socks off on the roof putting the final touches to the metal work, I'm playing on the internet and realised that I have enough pipes to get the wood burner active today.  Decided to get up on the roof around lunchtime just to keep the men hard at it and we hear the siren of either a fire engine or a police car.  Not much of either do you hear around these parts so it's a bit of a novelty.  Well eventually we see that it's a fire engine and up on the roof you can see for miles and no sign of any smoke.  So it stopped outside of the house and I'm not sure if Sally's wood burner which by this time was belching forth, was a hint for them but we assured them that we had made no phone calls and couldn't help them further.  So they carried on down the village and a couple of minutes later the boys in blue were following on and I could see that they had stopped in the square about a hundred meters further on.  So Avatar was ready for the off as was Bekir.  Such a novelty but I decided to wait for the reporters to return with the story which they did.  Now Semile and his mate had stopped by for a coffee break with my boys this morning and it was a man I hadn't seen before.  So rumour has it, he'd gone to bed with a cigarette on and now his bed was out in the yard doused with water and the police taking statements.

Wood burner installed and active and it makes such a difference to my kitchen.  It's more like a welcoming wall of heat and it means that the biggy which runs my central heating needn't be lit in the mornings.  It's amazing how much heat those little things pump out.  I also put some more stick on door insulation around the hinge side of the entrance door...working on the theory that every little helps.  This house will be so airtight that one day I'm sure it will implode.  Big day tomorrow concreting the ceiling where all the metal work is and I took the weather reports for the next ten days and tomorrow has got to be the day or March....especially if I go back to England which might still be on the cards for the festive season.

Men home, I'm home, not wanting food yet, tuna mayo on toast for lunch and it's sitting heavy.  Wine box tapped...though with the roads being what they are....a couple will be sufficient.  Oh and the picture of the Cornish pasties is specially for my Princess...the difference this year...they have 'Crocs' inside for extra insulation....LN....I'm on to different things...

Posted by: MikeyB, November 23, 2011, 6:51pm; Reply: 31
Boo!  :P

Just thought I'd say a quick hello, and to say that I'm still here every day having a little pre-dinner read whilst Dawn slaves away in the kitchen!  :) (I think Mr B senior might have also found his way here too... not bad for a man who still can't send a text haha)

I can't believe how much things are changing since we came out to see you! The wreck is coming along nicely, and we won't be able to call it that for much longer either! Miss you loads...

Mucho love from the B's xoxo

P.S. Mini B says hi...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 24, 2011, 8:32am; Reply: 32
Quoted from MikeyB
Boo!  :P

Just thought I'd say a quick hello, and to say that I'm still here every day having a little pre-dinner read whilst Dawn slaves away in the kitchen!  :) (I think Mr B senior might have also found his way here too... not bad for a man who still can't send a text haha)

I can't believe how much things are changing since we came out to see you! The wreck is coming along nicely, and we won't be able to call it that for much longer either! Miss you loads...

Mucho love from the B's xoxo

P.S. Mini B says hi...

Mikey B ...much as I try I can't get out of my mind if we 'geled' her up a bit.....I'm sure she would look the spitting image of to all of you and tell Dawn that I hope she's got shoes on in the kitchen and that number two isn't on the way yet...or do you have something to tell me?

So I picked up the men and the third man from the village wasn't able to work today so Emaulau drummed up one of his mates from the lower village so I have a full complement.  I got a phone call from my damsel who is normally in distress, yes you've guessed, Gouljan and she has been standing at the bus stop in her village and hasn't managed to thumb anyone down so I'm the last port in the storm.  I've told her, everyday I go to pick up the men and if she would get her backside down here for 7.35, she could have a lift to the next village bus problem.  As it happened it was her lucky day.  The lorry bringing the ballast could only manage ten bags of cement because of overloading so I went in the the jeep to get the other five that we need and so I could take her all the way to Djebel.  Went down to the banichka shop and came back with breakfast for all of us, made the coffee so I have happy men from the start.  Not sure what they'll be like when they've moved twenty bags of cement and four cubits of ballast.... it looked like they were putting up a gibbet at one point and I thought it had all gotten too much for my Sally but instead it was a filling the bucket, one hoisting, one emptying and I must check out what the forth man is doing?? :-/

Supervisor and official photographer is back to work....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 24, 2011, 5:53pm; Reply: 33
Thursday continued

Official photographer and reporter almost had that camera shoved where the sun never shines.  I could see it in Sally's face at about 5.30 this evening when he was adding the last bit of concrete to the ceiling/wall surrounds, it got so close to the mark that I pub it away out of respect for those that had slaved all day.  The lads were doing well by lamp light and Bekir reminded me that they will need paying because it's Friday tomorrow, holy day and they are off to Djebel some would say to the mosque and others would add that they are off to the cafes looking for tottie.

Emaulet asked me if I would consider him staying in my house if I sent off to England.  I said yes that I would consider it but the answer would probably be no in that I want no one in my bed but me....if he wants to buy one for the other room, OK, he could have his love shack there but a big NO, NO for mine.

So supper is almost ready.  I got chicken wings tonight with honey, onions, tomatoes and stuck some curry in for good luck with a little chilli.  The rice is finishing off on the wood burner and the lit is off so that the moisture will escape...cooked but a bit soggy.  

Going back to my saga of the bottle of brandy...I was advised yesterday that the bottle was successfully collected from City Link and did this get my back much so that I had to catalogue the events surrounding the 'present' and I don't think it was so much 'successfully' collected but that they couldn't get there ar**s into gear and organise a 'drop' at the patio doors.....I look forward to receiving their reply if I ever get one. rice is bound to be ready by now....and let's see what the pickies are like....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 24, 2011, 5:58pm; Reply: 34
Thursday continued

Official photographer and reporter almost had that camera shoved where the sun never shines.  I could see it in Sally's face at about 5.30 this evening when he was adding the last bit of concrete to the ceiling/wall surrounds, it got so close to the mark that I put it away out of respect for those that had slaved all day.  The lads were doing well by lamp light and Bekir reminded me that they will need paying because it's Friday tomorrow, Holy day and they are off to Djebel some would say to the mosque and others would add that they are off to the cafes looking for tottie.

Emaulet asked me if I would consider him staying in my house if I went off to England.  I said yes that I would consider it but the answer would probably be no in that I want no one in my bed but me....if he wants to buy one for the other room, OK, he could have his love shack there but a big NO, NO for mine.

So supper is almost ready.  I got chicken wings tonight with honey, onions, tomatoes and stuck some curry in for good luck with a little chilli.  The rice is finishing off on the wood burner and the lid is off so that the moisture will escape...cooked but a bit soggy.  

Going back to my saga of the bottle of brandy...I was advised yesterday that the bottle was successfully collected from City Link and did this get my back much so that I had to catalogue the events surrounding the 'present' and I don't think it was so much 'successfully' collected but that they couldn't get there ar**s into gear and organise a 'drop' at the patio doors.....I look forward to receiving their reply if I ever get one. rice is bound to be ready by now....and let's see what the pickies are like....
Posted by: createdbyme4you, November 25, 2011, 8:30am; Reply: 35
morning Elsa

been reading your other blogs i am up to may 2010 WOW what a woman you are  :) you got some B**l's girl & a great bunch of men hope i get some just like them to do my work must admit i don't  have as much as you had or have ,
it must be a pretty funny sight in my village right now my other half  (6 foot 3 from  Jamaica wrapped up to high heaven & guess what  ;D  lighting a bonfire) O0 my !!!!!

look after yourself Jackie & Danny
PS still trying to upload pic   hope i can work this thing out  :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 25, 2011, 5:08pm; Reply: 36
Quoted from createdbyme4you
morning Elsa

you got some B**l's girl  :-/

Just checked, haven't grown any so my passport is still valid in the UK.

So what did today was cold with a northerly wind but there was no frost overnight so the men marvelled at my ability to go to the internet, print off the ten day weather forecast and state that if you don't do it tomorrow..forget it for the next ten days....and thank you long range.

Men were out early from their restaurant and we were home by eight thirty.  We hummed and arrhhed about the wall.... was to stay or go.  We talked it over as much as I could in a mixture of Bulgarian and Turkish and I suddenly said...if it's gotta come down take it down...we all looked at each other and the word was 'Da' so that's what we did.  Now I had been promised a 'column' or two when the wall had come down but there was a bit of tidying going on and I knew something was afoot.  At 2.00 Bekir got a call from the Gorska....wood people... that his wood was ready for collection.  Now I know what it's like down stand around and generally wait for things to happen which is what we did.  Suddenly when we were down there Bekir suggested that I go with Semile and the tractor to the main road and I tried to ascertain where he was going. I climbed up into the tractor cab and I have never been so frightened in my life.  Bekir had just announced that he had to go back to his house with the lorry so end of play for today and I broke the good news to Sally when I got back.  It was obvious that he was not sure what was going on...

Going back to the tractor ride...the woodland track had been run into ruts by the tractors, trailers and lorries and the poor tractor that I was in was going all over the place.  I had my arm round Semile clinging on for all I was worth and where is the camera when you want to record the happy my house......

So back home.  Ordered Sally that he was homeward bound at four thirty so I delivered the obligatory glass of red wine and sure enough, we were in the car for five o'clock and I was home for five thirty only to find the lorry with the wood had only just finished at Bekir's house.  Supper tonight was chicken wings and there is a funny story attached.  This afternoon my ladies came round and I was showing them what I was having for supper and Socks (ako Tommy) was with them.  He obviously could smell the chicken and he sat down on the terrace and his little tongue came out and he licked his lips.  I felt so sorry for him that I almost, I say almost gave in but no...this was my 'Coq au Vin' to be had later.  Got home...mashed potatoes for a change from pasta and rice and I found a red cabbage lingering in the veg rack and so it was broiled in oil and butter...delicious.

Now feel fully satiated.  Kitchen tidied, house warm, red wine looks like it might last the night...I can sleep in tomorrow, no work except working out the windows and the roof lines for the soon not to be a wreck...

LN...that wine needs seeing to...
Posted by: createdbyme4you, November 25, 2011, 7:34pm; Reply: 37
Elsa no offence meant   :B what i should have said is you have got some determination  :)      
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 25, 2011, 7:46pm; Reply: 38
Friday continued

No offence should have realised..takes more than that... ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 26, 2011, 3:47pm; Reply: 39
Saturday 26th November

Happy Birthday to my son in's his XXXX birthday today.  The bottle of brandy fraught with mis-delivery instructions was for him and it's only thanks to my daughter that it got there at all...Happy Birthday Robs...xx

Beautiful morning...I wanted to sleep in but could I?'s all because I have to get up during the week and there's no peace for the wicked so they say.  Seven thirty I was rescuing the fire...I just don't seem to get it to go through the night so I think I need to practice more...well winter's almost there so by March I should have got the hang of it.

Played on the PC for most of the morning and have found a new site that I don't quite know what to make of.  Dr Tom Campbell and his book 'My Big Toe' and his videos on YouTube.  Interesting thoughts from physics, metaphysics and the rest of the is-ics.... Now KingDom is against religion and all psychic media stating that he is a physicist and all else is rubbish...I almost sent him the link but he'll look at this site so I needn't bother.  I've had all of the ladies of the village round to check on the yesterday's demolition and they think that the house is 'Choc guzell'....beautiful.  Now I don't call it 'beautiful' but one day....

Had a roaring bonfire of the empty bags of cement and it was so lovely this afternoon that I moved some of the lounge cushions on to the only remaining outside chair and enjoyed the sun and the view.  As I said...I don't think that I will get fed up with it for a long time yet.  There is so much of interest in the mountains and how the sun moves over them.

Got my wood in.  Both fires are going strong and I'm shut up for the night.  I may revisit Tom later tonight, he's putting interesting thoughts my way.  Not sure I like his delivery style but in one of the videos he goes through meditation and exercises into that collective records (deep egh).  You had to try to do a medical diagnosis of a Mr and Mrs and I got the man's symptoms for the woman so I was going ahead of myself and where you had to imagine what was in a box...I got a ball and instead it was an apple corer.  OK so they are both round so I was part way there.

No supper tonight.  I found a half used pot of mayo so decided that it had to be a chips and mayo snack and that will do me for was poached eggs on toast at 10.30 this morning that put everything into late mode.

That wine lake is empty....I used too much of it for cooking ( :-/) maybe....I do have a supply of vodka and tonic with ice and a little lemon so that might come into play tonight.  I can hear the fire downstairs and I really should look what's going on down there.  LN....I think it might be time for a snifter....  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 27, 2011, 4:43pm; Reply: 40
Sunday 27th November

Minus four overnight and a little bit chilly.  Fires still going this morning so perhaps I'm getting the hang of it and about time too.  One winter, one summer and you forget.  Played around this morning with my DS machine and challenged Arnold several times at Scrabble...He's about the only one that I can beat out of all those that are opened up for me.  He's the one that puts in the odd letters and gets reasonable scores and he leaves all the triple words to I win.

Beautiful blue sky but it was white over until about eleven thirty this morning...and I ventured out about that time after devouring bacon, fried eggs and fried bread and several cups of coffee.  Nice leisurely Sunday.  So sorted out the wood store and got rid of some of the debris from the porch to the wreck.  Swept the terrace and yes, the wind whistles and the leaves collect with the dust from the building site that it really quite close and we are now down to one broom and the men have acquired it so note to self...must get another one.

Was watching a film this afternoon, Deja Vu with Denzil Washington when my three ladies came round.  My Avatar is the translator, Bayse needs to get to the hospital on Tuesday and can I take her.  So it is agreed and off they trot but Semile comes round and Avatar is not sure that I know where the hospital is because it's not the regular one and he has to draw me a picture on the ground in the yard.  Back to the film, film over and I've decided it's rather a strange one.

Now I need to think about something to eat.  I'm about to cook supper...I should have done it earlier.  It's the remains of the gammon/bacon from this morning ...I'm going to do it with some onions, tomato and honey and maybe a little chilli to add the finishing touch...

LN...I'm off to the kitchen. ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 28, 2011, 7:47pm; Reply: 41
Monday 28th November

Sorry...much too busy playing Arnold at Scrabble and forgot all about you..I'm here now.

Beautiful morning...minus several overnight but warmed up really quickly,,, collected men and really pretty journey.  The hose pipe was frozen again so we had to defrost but this time we collected the outpourings in a bowl so Sally has gone home tonight with ice for his rakia...a commodity that is rare in Bulgaria in the places that Bekir and Sally visit after hours.  So now he has his own supply.

They worked away and Bekir received several phone calls and after lunch that was it.  It was Semile my shepherd being the go-between the wood man and Bekir and yes he disappeared at 2.00 o'clock to organise the wood for his sister.  Poor Sally was left on his own so I said that if there was anything I could help him with he should let me know.  How to handle this...I asked Sally if he had any more friends that wanted wood....five hours without work and Sally in there like a trooper.

So Sally has gone home with his ice in a bag and what has he achieved today?  We have metal work in place for another column in the wreck and I have decided that a door will suffice for tonight at least until tomorrow when I decide that we really need another window in the room.  As I said this house had been far more difficult than the other.  Too many variables and I am trying to make sure that it is not really observed from this house....

Beautiful sunset...I did take photos but tomorrow I'll get some of the wreck.  Supper..last nights that I didn't get round to and Neil Diamond is playing in the background.  LN...I just need to chill this evening...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 29, 2011, 7:01pm; Reply: 42
Tuesday 29th November

Well has it been a busy old day...Byser was round at 7.30 asking me if I was ready to take her to hospital in Kardjali for her knee injections but I explained that I had to get my men first.  Now this is a difficult thing to do since her knowledge of Bulgaria is virtually zilch and my Turkish is a little better than her Bulgarian. Any way...she went away and I arrived back with the men at 8.20 and she was round again but this time dressed for the city but she had to wait for me to get some coffee for the boys and then yes, I was ready for the off.  Before that though I had a visit from my Avatar asking if I could pick up two bags of cement on my way back just to make my journey worthwhile...god forbid I shall not fill every minute of every day.  

Fortunately for me I remembered the instructions given to me by Semile as to where the hospital was since she hadn't got a clue and we managed to find the room and I think I became a talking point.  I decided to wait outside in the corridor but was dragged in by the receptionist and was confronted by a doctor intent on practicing his English and a receptionist who understood but couldn't speak very much but who was intent on finding out as much as she could about how long I had been here, whether I had family and children and I answered all my questions in Bulgarian much to her surprise despite the doctor butting in with his English.  He asked me if I was married, didn't ask me how old I was which is par for the course here and then told me he was not married and he would look forward to seeing me on Thursday on her next appointment.  I'm going to paint my car yellow and get a sign for the top.... ;) ;)

Got her home in one piece and there was fun and games in the village and much laughter and mirth.  Semile had slaughtered my Avatar's calf, yes the one you saw the photos of and fortunately it was skinned and being butchered when I got back.  Bekir was buying and the bulk of it is sitting in my fridge since he forgot to take it home. The going rate...ten leva a kilo and unfortunately I have no room in my freezer at all but I'm sure there'll be a next time.

Had my English lesson with my student this afternoon so back to Djebel and now we wanted cement and some work metal for the pillars.  Got some of it but no electricity today meant there was no way to cut the big stuff and I couldn't get fuel either. So back home, men to their village, decided to carry on through to Djebel for the third time today and got fuel for the morning and fuel for me in that I stopped off at my restaurant and ordered cheesy chips, fruit juice and water in my restaurant.  My restaurant lady's husband was there and was insistent on wanting to share his bottle of moonshine with me which I refused but he insisted that I had a water bottle full of the stuff to take home with me and it's now sitting in the kitchen.  Rescued both fires from the brink, no need but it does make the place look warm even though it's no cold.  Tapped a new red and wine lake replenished....not wanting to eat tonight after my huge snack...and feeling very sleepy and relaxed.  LN....going to chill in front of the fire...with a little of the red stuff...I'll save the moonshine for another day. :-/ :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 30, 2011, 10:00am; Reply: 43
Wednesday 30th November

I've had a beautiful morning.  My Avatar came round at seven thirty to check if I was up since she had seen no smoke from my chimney this morning.  The intention was to pay me for the two bags of cement that I got for her yesterday to finish off her well and to bring me some of the calf that was killed yesterday.  I hadn't lit the fire since it was promising to be another very warm day so fires are a job for later.

Picked up the men but then went into Djebel to get the metal that I couldn't get yesterday since there was no electricity to run the machine for cutting it and while they were busy with that I went and got the breakfast.  Back home with the metal sporting a pair of Dennis the Menace fingerless gloves, hanging out of the back of Beauty since we had nothing else that was red to act as a warning to following vehicles.  'I'm observing the law, that's all' if challenged by passing policeman with a hole in his windscreen.  Got the men coffee and we sat around on the terrace with coffee and banichkas and decided to pop round to Avatar and give her some of the satsumas that I got yesterday and to check whether or not I had to take my other neighbour to the hospital tomorrow again.  I noticed on the door step that there was a dish of charred something and thought that they had had a barbecue but the story goes that she had put the odd bits from the calf yesterday into the oven of her wood burner, had popped out with her daughter in law to get some more wood and when she got back, went into her lounge and discovered the wood burner oven raging and black smoke everywhere.  Fortunately her daughter in law was with her and took control of the situation dragging the offending dish outside and removing the cause of the fire.  So that's the third fire in the village.  I did suggest that she should have called in Byser to stamp on it but maybe not such a good idea. :-/ :-/  Nothing to laugh at but the calf got its revenge in one way.

A few minutes later Byser arrives and no it's not tomorrow she has to go to the hospital but next week so that's sorted and she is clutching a bag that she gives to me.  I opens it up and I have a new pair of Jim Jams from Turkey as a thank you for taking her to the hospital.  A minute later my Hacebar arrives so this fourth Muscateer decides that it's home time....the conversation is now predominantly Turkish and where I can more or less keep up with I'm lost.....

Back home men are busy with the final concrete supports and then it's time for the roof...too nice to be in...I'm out of here.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 30, 2011, 4:40pm; Reply: 44
Wednesday catch up

All the woodwork is in place for the columns to be completed tomorrow.  I think there was a little swearing going on today but if the extra column hadn't gone in I would have regretted it.  This way I can choose window or bricks when the wood comes off.....but I guess that's in the New Year....depending on the weather.  So far it's brilliant.  Cold at night and beautiful in the day and today was no exception.  

Treated the men tonight to some of the home made rakia that I came back with last night from the restaurant.  Sally said that it's 'OK' and not strong enough for his taste and while one man's meat is another poison, Bekir said it was about right for him.  Talking of meat.  I've got five portions out of the meat that was my 'podaric' (present) from my Avatar, four of which are in the freezer and the fifth is going to be made into a veal and kidney pie.  The little calf's kidneys that were in the meat that Bekir purchased are now in my fridge since he's no too keen on them.  Tomorrow I'm going to try to get the right flour for making pastry and give it a whirl in my let's hope that it doesn't want to take its revenge out of me like it did to my poor Avatar...

I'll get the 'white rabbits' out for tomorrow and they probably will be if the frost is like last nights.  I've put my Bart Simpson windscreen shield on Beauty so that I don't have to defrost in the morning....try that in would be gone and probably the car with it.  LN  ....both fires going beautifully and I'm thinking now of Don Maclean's Starry, Starry Night and my goodness, isn't it...
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