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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  MAY 2016
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 1, 2016, 5:39pm
Sunday 1st May

Silly start at five and put the light on to read but I went back to sleep immediately with the light on and didn't wake until seven thirty.  Sun up, guest up and computer up and played a few games of Freecell and two DM sudoku before I went down for my coffee.  Lazy Easter Sunday.

Breakfast was boiled eggs for one and beans on toast for me, I showered first to get the best of the hot water and devil take the hindmost for the next.  Did a load of washing and it was such a beautiful day that out it in the sun but a little chill in the wind.  Pegged out, into the Beast for twelve twenty and off we set for the motel to pick up our lunch dates.  Arrived at the fish restaurant, found an outside table, ordered the salads and chippies, hamburgers, largish whitebait, pork from the barbecue and calamaris and nothing got sent back and even the cats and dogs had lean nothing.  We finished off with coffee and then did a walk round the site and they have new cages for peacocks, goats and there was an injured deer limping its way around the enclosure....and where was the camera when you need home and my phone was in the car.  Paid the bill and walking back to the car there was a tourist map of the stone wind carvings in the area so we stopped off to investigate a few of them but you need vivid imagination and since the wind had got up...mine had gone awol.  To do them properly I need decent shoes...the last thing I want is an disability payments out here.... ;) ;)

We drove back to the motel and had coffee, the Librarian and her guest  got into their car and we headed home arriving at almost's been a long lunch hour.  Managed to get the washing in before the damp set in, neither of us want anything to eat yet awhile so I lit the fire and we both settled into our Kindles....

Lovely restful day and we've made arrangements to go to another fete on Friday towards Haskovo....LN...No chill pills or alcohol needed tonight...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 2, 2016, 6:09pm; Reply: 1
Monday 2nd May

At three a.m there was a blinking big fly buzzing round and I was on the hunt for fly spray.  I was reading at the time and it sort of dive bombed my bedside light so it had to go.  Success....gone to that great buzz home in the sky.  Head back down again and seven thirty when I checked out the clock.  I crept down, there were snores coming from the guest room so I was outside with my coffee watching the flowers grow and the birds feeding.  The sun was up and it was pretty warm sitting out but I jumped to and gathered up the stuff to be burnt and got the fire going...another day polluting the atmosphere.  I washed and dressed for Djebel...the intention was to go to the market, the hardware store to get some washers to raise the gate up an inch or so and see what else was on offer.  I'd already had poached egg on toast when my guest blearily came into the kitchen and I left him to his own devices regarding his breakfast....I was eager to be off and we made it to the car by eleven thirty.  Problem is I have the feeling that the day is half over by then.  

I managed to park at the back of the town...all the car parks were's market day and a holiday for some people.  I went to pay my MTel bill to be told that I didn't have one and that it would probably be in in a couple of that's Friday then...I'm not going in before.  We bought a couple of t-shirts from the market, went to see my restaurant lady and found that they no longer have the restaurant but a coffee bar next to the we stopped for a coffee and a chat...they hadn't seem my guest since last year so wanted an update.  Over to the hardware shop and on to my student's mum's shop and delivered the empty plastic bottles for recycling and on to the supermarket for a few things and home by three more or less.  A late lunch and then the garden was calling and while I was washing up from lunch I heard the lawn mower going...bliss...someone else was pushing it and not me but it was short lived....he ran out  of steam so I took over and finished the job and it looks really good.  It was hard work since the clover had taken on mammoth proportions but it's now tamed.  Finished off with the strimmer and eventually came in just before seven.  Straight to the kitchen and made boiled potatoes and mixed them with fried onions and spicy sausage and finished off with cherries and fresh yoghurt.  

A day of achievement....and I'm absolutely knacked but with the weather being so changeable, the grass takes on a life of its it had to be tamed.  I did manage five minutes with the camera ....the shrubs and flowers are at last coming into their own in the garden.  It's taken a while but they look really pretty.  So let me bore you with a few shots....and then I'm off to appreciate the fire.  LN...Enjoy...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 3, 2016, 6:23pm; Reply: 2
Tuesday 3rd May

Very wet night and extremely wet morning but at least it's good for the garden.  Hint of a rainbow this morning but too far away to get the shovel out and the fields were too wet anyway.  Grey as you like but then the clouds lifted....I'd cooked bacon, egg and fried bread, washed up and played on the computer for an hour or so so I thought it was time I got dressed and got on.  Only slight rain and I planted up two sorts of beetroot, three sorts of beans and I only have one section of the garden that needs filling with something.  I've also been emptying various seed packets in odd spots in the garden and as I normally say...they have two choices...either they will or they won't and it should be fun sorting out what's where if and when they come through.

So I made a decision...the metal bank was to be moved...I was fed up of looking at it and I'm still waiting for the gypsy with the cart to arrive to move it.  I've now put it in front of the little house on the area that's been earmarked as 'terrace' and since I had to dig a lot of the old metal fence out because it had been covered as part of the wall build, it should be easier for them to remove.  Next stage is to level the site and get a few shrubs in and see what seeds I have left.... ;)

Next project was to attach the plastic coated fencing to the front of the cement block wall in front of the workshop terrace so that the plants have something to climb up and hang on to.....It was a bit of a job sorting the clematis and the wisteria....they sort of mingled together but we got there eventually.  Trimmed the cranberry...every time I walked underneath it it bashed my head so it had to go and I did start a bonfire off but it didn't really take off.....First job for tomorrow.

I came in just before seven.  I'd taken pork out of the freezer this morning so I knocked up a really hot curry and just managed to squeeze enough rice for two from the jar and I've now written it on the list that I'll forget when I head for town...Sod's law. Washing up done, Kindles charged but I need to find myself a new book list.  I'm not enjoying the last that I have of Kathy Riechs ...although I might invest in the last five books of the series....thanks to Mr D of S I have a birthday voucher that hasn't been spent yet and while we're on the subject...welcome home to Mr and Mrs D of S.....they've returned today.

So computer away....a little tidying tomorrow but nothing to energetic....I'm feeling a little knacked tonight....LN....I should sleep well...fingers crossed....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 4, 2016, 4:30pm; Reply: 3
Wednesday 4th May

Damp terrace yet again this morning and someone had stolen the mountains and didn't return them until around ten thirty.  Cooked breakfast of spicy sausage and eggs at this well known four would be five but no lift.

Out to the garden about the same time that the mountains came into view and the bonfire eventually was very reluctant again.  Perhaps as gave the washing time to dry before it belched forth.  So all the wood from the workshop terrace is now in bite sized chunks for the wood burner and thank you to my guest and the reciprocating saw.  I did have to go on the other end of the sawing horse...I was ballast.  I've potted up three ornamental gourds to grow up the wire meshing, cleared out the cut out ready to plant something in there and erected my standing stone that had a very spooky face when the rain got at :-/

The rain eventually stopped play at three thirty and was I pleased to sit down for a while.  I lit the fire to keep the damp at bay and supper...shepherd's pie should be ready in about ten so I'm not going to linger long.  Good day but knacked...tomorrow into Kardjali if the weather is not so good...there are one or two things on offer that I want from Kaufland.  Knowing my luck though...they've probably sold out but if I don't go I'll never know....LN...Kitchen calls...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 5, 2016, 6:25pm; Reply: 4
Friday 5th May

Cold, miserable, weather and the fire going ever since we got back from shopping.

It was a dull old start to the day and I was hoping it would clear up but it never did.  Breakfast went OK and this morning it was bacon, eggs and fried bread and I've got to stop the habit before it becomes a compulsion....On the one hand I'm trying to take four kilos off but on the other hand...bacon does it for me in the morning....sort of sets me up for the day.

So into the car by nine thirty and the drive into Kardjali was OK apart from one or two dipsticks that hadn't a clue where they were going.  It's been quoted on the internet just lately that a lot of people 'bought' their driving licences and they're having a bit of a purge. I've got the feeling that most today had been shopping for one and not sat the test,  Mine's good...and it's Bulgarian....but years of driving on the British roads make you very aware of other users especially on the motorways.  First stop Basmar to purchase the paint for my next project, into Kaufland and they didn't have the oil lamp they were advertising...sold out..On to Billa and the main purchase for my guest was a bottle of White Port and into Lidl for a few things that we couldn't live without.  I'd noticed that the lights on the dashboard didn't light up when I put the key in soI stopped off at the garage on the way back and suggested that it was about time the oil was changed and a new filter fitted.  They checked the mileage or kilo-meterage and I'd got five to go before it should have been done.....Internal timing or what kicking in...

Off to the soup kitchen for lunch while they fixed the car...all sorted and home for three thirty and five lit by three unpacked and sleep by four fifteen.  It was definitely sleepy valley this afternoon.  Jacket potatoes in when I woke up and supper was under way, chicken kebabs cooked on the top and put into the oven, honey glazed and delicious.  I've phoned the Librarian...we were off to one of the neighbouring villages for a fete worse than death tomorrow but I've cancelled.  It's supposed to be storm clouds and thundering by eleven, it's an open site and lunch al fresco in the rain doesn't figure in my book.  There's another one on Saturday in another village so we might make that one.

Nine my time.....please warm up's warmer in the UK at present...not so pleasant...but I must keep repeating...'good for the gardens'.  LN....I'm back to the fire and my book...LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 6, 2016, 3:39pm; Reply: 5
Friday 6th May

So I woke at six, started to read my book and then realised that there was lots more sleep in me.  Down for the count again and my guest actually brought me up a cup of there's a first.  I made my way downstairs and there are smells coming from the kitchen and there was a with that he was only cooking his own breakfast so I went out to the garden and there was a 'breakfast is on the table' so I went in and I could smell something burnt and unfortunately it was on my plate.  His was even worse so he said....He'd used the fat last night with honey that I'd cooked the chicken in and blamed the honey for the chard bacon....He blamed the honey...I blamed him....I reckon it's his way of getting me to get to the kitchen before him each morning....It worked.

I was still hanging around in my PJ's when the Librarian and friend arrived in the garden clutching the chain saw that my guest is going to look at for her.  I'd phoned last night to say that we would no be going to the fete today since the weather forecast was naff but she'd arrived o the off chance so we dressed quickly and set off by tenish.  As it turned out it didn't rain until we were winding up the day at a friend's house in the same village.  We had to park away from the venue...people came from miles around and we legged it to the first restaurant and sat down for drinks.  As it happened lunch time came round quickly so we had a barbecued chicken, chippies and salad with the statutory loaf of bread and spend another hour sitting there absorbing the atmosphere.  We decided to move before we took root and walked the site and my attention was drawn to a man who had a banjo with the back of it made from a cooking pot...very original.  The rest of his group quickly assembled and set up to serenade and group of diners.....I asked permission for a photo and the one game me a lovely smile.

Walking back to the car we bought Halva...a Turkish delicacy...and more sweets that we happily munched as we walked back.  We stopped at the flower stall and I bought some snapdragons and the Librarian some pinks and then over to the friends house where we had coffee and into the car as the heavens opened and there were lots of people running back to there vehicles.  The police seem to have lost control at this point on the crossroads...everybody was doing there own thing to get back on the main road.  Back to mine for's Zlatograd fete tomorrow and if the weather's good we'll be there at the restaurant by ten and if no we won' it cool.

No supper planned...there's cold meat and pickles that will do for the hungry...I don't think I can manage a thing but it's still a little early to think about it.  LN....It's been a good day...the music and festivities lighten the spirits...LN
Posted by: Buddy, May 7, 2016, 12:28pm; Reply: 6
sorry .sorry .........sorry very sorry .......... :-/ :-/ :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 7, 2016, 6:14pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 7th May

No worries my Librarian can't be responsible for locals when they want to be irresponsible... ;) ;)  My was pouring down when I dropped them off... ;D

So awake by six and up and about eight...a really lazy start.  The weather was OK but the current standards and the forecast reckoned that it would be raining by three and they weren't far out.  Poached eggs on toast with ham for breakfast and then a quick shufty to be in the car by nine forty five to get to the restaurant by gen and we managed it.  It got a little confusing as you can probably tell by the beginning of this update...we were giving locals a lift to the Zlatograd fete but they were late and it got confusing as to who was taking whom and where we were picking others up fro.  It was eventually sorted and we managed to park not far from the venue but it was heaving.  

It was a really pleasant morning...we lost the natives and they were supposed to be on the end of a phone for when we were going back but more about that later.  Zlatograd day was all about the Bulgarian culture and the pride in all things of the Rhodope mountains.  There was a huge bagpipe band with players of all ages including little ones, gun and knife toting supposedly patriotic renegades...drum dancers...angelic virgins waving handkerchiefs, vibrant local singers and lots of people in their village local dress.  Unfortunately all the restaurants were heaving and with very long queues and not a lot of change of finding a table so we headed to a restaurant further into the town which was still good but outside of the event.  Lots of stalls selling wood carvings and local art to be seen but by two I was ready to go to my butchers and buy my mince meat and think about heading home and this is where it became difficult.  

On the way in we'd been blasted out by telephone music and never ending yapping and we'd decided that we were not going to be a taxi but one of the ladies had now acquired a male and waved up down as we were making a break for freedom.  As I said, the heavens opened on the drive back and I left them outside the restaurant and we headed off to buy a box of chocolates for my Avatar's homecoming which was supposed to be later today....but to date there have been no sightings.

So tomorrow is going to be a restful day...we've done much too much coming and going over the last couple of days.  Supper was liver and onions with mashed potatoes and my own few broad beans mixed with peas to pad them out.  They were after all the only two that had survived the winter....this years twenty or so are now in flower so there should be more.  LN....Cultured out but a gardening day tomorrow between the showers....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 8, 2016, 5:23pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 8th May

Seven start and eventually joined the land of the living by eight but there were no other movers and grooves at that time.  Not a sign of the mountains this morning...there was so much mist that I couldn't even see the bottom of the garden.  Out in my PJ's with my waistcoat on to keep the morning chill at bay and my box of matches, I set fire to the kitchen rubbish and my bathroom rubbish and the smoke gently mingled with the mist.  I moved on and weeded my parsnip bed and accidentally dug one up that I thought was a weed but what a tremendous root it has on it.  I put it back in and it must be all down to my double digging...they'll be all the way to out Linda... ;)

Back in to cook a breakfast of spicy sausage that wanted using, bacon and fried eggs and that did me until tonight.  I got a couple of loads of washing out. strimmed the grass between the wall and the house and removed the new growth from the base of the cranberry near the workshop terrace.  I took it away so that any rain that falls is used up on the branches carrying fruit and not the others.   As I walked back to the main door I saw some chocolate on the bench and my Avatar had been round and left me a gift already.  I went into the house and picked up the honeysuckle that I'd cut for her yesterday and the box of chocolates and headed towards her house but there was a welcoming committee round her gate.  We gave each other a hug and it was hugs all round for the others as well and they were laughing because she is so white and not like the rest of us.  I've told her that she'll be alright in a couple of days when she gets going in the garden....she's got a lot of planting to do.  I know she's pleased to be back....

She popped round later in the day...her nephew had borrowed my tyre pump and he hadn't returned it before heading off to Djebel.  I think it's been an experience for her to go to Germany for the winter...and she'll have a lot of settling in to do.  So as for me...the thunder started as we talked in the garden and then there were a few spots of rain but someone was getting more than we were.  I tidied up and came inside, sat reading for a while and then into the kitchen to prepare and cook a roast chicken for tonight.  I'd got a few parsnips and a red cabbage and before Princess ask how was about one kilogram....Everything was cooked to's turned into a gentle night with a few clouds but no wind.  Tomorrow looks the same...good to start but thunderstorms rattling around later in the day.  I'm not sure what's on the agenda for tomorrow...currently nothing...LN..Let's see what tomorrow brings...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 9, 2016, 6:21pm; Reply: 9
Monday 9th May

Six start so I was reading so that I didn't disturb my guest.  I crept down for a coffee and had the second one at seven.  Again I couldn't see the bottom of the garden...what is it with this's wearing a bit thin now.  I stripped my bed and got the quilt cover into the washing machine and out by nine thirty which was just as well.  Back in to cook tomatoes on toast and then out to the garden determined to plant the new self-set acer half way down the long wall. Where the cherry tree came down last year has left a gap in the wall and I can see the electricity pylon from the garden....the intention is that this tree will fill up some of the gap and in twenty years or should look good.  Not sure if I'll see it...but someone might appreciate it being there..... ;)  I then found the mole tablets out and 'planted' them in the runs...the blighters are having a field day in the damp soft soil....I hope they enjoy the feast... :-/

Tree in but it took some digging to get rid of the old wild plum and the roots but I think the newby should be OK.  The next task was to clear the pile of soil which was at the back of the old metal heap, dump some of it down the bottom of the garden and smooth over the rest to improve the bank.  I was going well with it but then there was a rumble in the jungle and the sky had turned a horrible shade of grey and I reckoned it was time to put the toys away but that was after I got the washing in.  Priorities....I didn't want damp sheets lying around.

In for the afternoon with a book and a packet of crisps and lit the fire at four.  There were some really loud bangs and tremendous flashes and this seems to be the format at the moment.   Cold chicken and chips for was the remains of yesterday's roast.

It's supposed to improve tomorrow...fingers crossed...we're off to Kardjali.  Now down to the fire and to a new book...the last one was kind of laboured and I'm giving this new author one last try even though there are ten in the set....LN....I hear a crackle so I'm off...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 10, 2016, 5:54pm; Reply: 10
Tuesday 10th May

Seven start and I couldn't understand why an alarm was going off.  Eventually when the brain got into was my telephone and Gouldjan was trying to get through.  I didn't phone back....I was down for a coffee and the phone went again and seven thirty.  Gouldjan's mother had made me another gallon of yoghurt and a ton of cheese and I had to be down there by eight to pick them up.  Quickly into an pair of leggings and the Beast and down I went meeting the neighbours on the way.  Mr Gouldjan was working on the perimeter of the house adding drainage to stop the house flooding in the winter, Mrs was milking cows and it was a little hive of activity.  I accepted my gifts, back into the car and home before eight.  

Nothing much happening at home so I went to get dressed and walked the garden.  I had a visit from my Avatar's daughter wanting to know how I set up my automated payments for my electricity and water...she wants to do it for Avatar.  Bacon and egg for breakfast and into the car for eleven.  I'd decided to go Haskovo to pick up a new strimmer head and then on to the nursery for more plants.  

Back to Kardjali for a late lunch in the market and saw a tree in the square with flowers that I've never seen before.  Fortunately I had remembered the camera and now to investigate what it is....I've no idea.  Over to Kaufland for a few basics and home for five more or less, unpacked the plants and have realised I've given myself more work to do.....but I love it.  Monty Don would eat his little heart out....I only paid forty lev for lots of mature shrubs.  Fire supper tonight...still full from lunch but my guest might be in to the toast and taramasalata later...Greek delight.

Reasonable weather today with only a hint of rain....not sure about tomorrow but hoping for a brief respite to get the plants in....Nothing else on the agenda so's time for Filmon for a little relaxation...LN
Posted by: tcinbg, May 10, 2016, 7:47pm; Reply: 11
Your mystery tree, looks like it could be this, Liriodendron tulipifera,

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 11, 2016, 4:35pm; Reply: 12
Wednesday 11th May

Thank you Trevor...I did research it this morning and yes...Tulip tree.  I'd heard about them but never seen one.  The flowers are just stunning.  It's been a day of surprises.  My cuckoo who can not say 'cuckoo' but comes out with a '' is back...third season or he has similar off-spring and he makes me laugh and a visit from my Hoopoo and where is the camera when you need it.  I'll have to keep a look out.

Six thirty start and yet again we had the full mist obscuring everything which didn't really lift until nine thirty this morning.  Cooked breakfast and yet again but I'll eventually get back to normal when I'm on my own again.  I dug out the hole left in the concrete in the workshop terrace and filled it with a good compost before I planted the Jasminium Nudifloram...and keeping fingers crossed that it gets enough nutrients to give it a good start.  I've cleaned out the terrace bed and the frog garden ready to get some plants in.  I've got a few zinnia self-sets and those are now planted where I want them not where they want to be.  The frog garden is going to have marigolds or nasturtiums,,,I'm not sure yet.

I did have to make a trip into Djebel...I'd finished off the potting compost couldn't find my nasturtium seeds but I knew a man who had some so bought two packets.  He insisted on giving me a gift of more seeds so I settled for parsnip which he said was only good for soup or animals.  I'm thinking that I have to take some into the shop that I've roasted....that should surprise him.

Home and back to the gardening....supper is already in...barbecue spare rib chops with roast diced potatoes and onions.  It's finishing off as I write and that's why I like oven cooked meals.  I can get on with something else while it's doing its own thing.  

Much better day weather-wise....but it did get very humid this afternoon as if we were going to get thunder again but we managed to avoid it.  Nothing planned for tomorrow...there's a lawn to finish that's if it dries up enough....All go this end.  LN...Supper should be ready....LN
Posted by: tcinbg, May 12, 2016, 6:42am; Reply: 13
Have you seen this?

I didn't realise that they flew all the way to Central Africa from the UK to over winter. Perhaps yours does as well.

I've never seen a Tulip tree either, did it have any scent?
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 12, 2016, 6:37pm; Reply: 14
Thursday 12th May

Thanks Trevor...I didn't know about the site so I might be telling them about my see if it's been reported anywhere else.  As for the Tulip tree...pretty but no perfume and not sure if it fruits or not.  Apparently they are easy to grow from seed so I shall be making another visit to Kardjali and they will probably be added to Mrs D of S's seeds for sale.   ;)

Six start but what a good night's sleep.  I crept down for coffee so that I didn't wake my guest and went down to start my day at eight.  The bread van tooted as it went passed but I didn't need any and then it was bacon and eggs with fried bread but I'm sure I've worked the calories off as the day wore on.  The was a bit of the sun showing this morning but not a lot.  Out for my morning estate viewing and I heard my Avatar talking to my painter and he got back into a car but stopped and we had a chat.  I'd got a shirt that I'd bought in my cheapie shop for him and some mince meat that he'd asked me to get from Zlatograd and he popped by after lunch and picked them up.  

The cows were marshalling the perimeter today but were lying down and didn't seem to have a lot of energy.  The grass cuttings were going over the fence and I think these attracted the younger ones.  It looked like they'd all been sent out to amuse themselves and the youngsters were quite inquisitive as they attacked my hedge.  My guest did half the lawn and I finished the rest of it.  I dug out the weeds from the frog garden and planted up marigolds, snapdragons and a fir tree and there are still loads to go in.  Emula came round ..the village is having a 'Mevlit' and a donation was requested towards the rice and meat and paid up front.  

Hedge trimmed, bonfire still going getting rid of the rubbish and weeds....two pork chops went into the remains of the sauce from last night's pork and into the oven with them with a couple of jackets.  I went out and strimmed the grass from the front of the house and drive and I'm fair knacked tonight.  Trouble is it's looked like rain all day and nothing has come of it....and the temperature has gone down again and so much so that I've got a fire going.  

Might go to Assenograd tomorrow but it's weather dependent....if it's pouring down it won't be much fun walking round a market and a monastery....So down to the fire...even Filmon can't keep me up here.  LN....I'm down for a warm...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 13, 2016, 6:38pm; Reply: 15
Friday 13th May

So my first thought this morning that I got married on this day forty four years ago....Unfortunately it didn't go for the long haul but I still remember it fondly and we are still good friends and able to meet on social occasions...

First wakening this morning was at four and I had to get up and open the window.  I ended up sleeping on top of the heavy quilt with only the lightweight one on me thus heralding the start of a rise in temperature,  No way to see the bottom of the garden had rained heavily in the night and there was a downpour at seven and this had created a white out with regard to the mountains.  It eventually lifted.

Only two eggs left so it was poached on toast, a load of washing processed and I was out weeding the pots on the terrace when Remsie came into the garden and invited me to a village party for the ladies today at Haciber's house which came as a surprise.  I walked Remsie out of the garden and we were approached by Haciber and I was lined up to fetch my sheep farmer's mother so she could join in the fun.  Both her boys were busy and there was no one to bring her and since she is blind...she needs transport and assistance.  I picked up Haciber lifting her into the Beast and then down to the farm to fetch Semile's mother.  Back to Haciber's house dumped the passengers, back to the house and dumped the car and then over to the venue.  

Now these ladies all sit around talking in Turkish and I sit there listening and trying to pick out words and follow something of the conversation.  The initial talking point was the fact that I'd put on odd blue with black stripes and the other pink with grey stripes being too idle to find the opposite number of either of them.  Tables were laid, statutory half a loaf for each person, a pot of soup and salad was put in the middle of the table and everybody dipped in.  That was whisked away and a chicken leg issued on an individual plate, bones taken away and a huge round dish of baklava dripping with honey took centre stage.  The finale was a sponge honey cake...the camera came out at each stage but I only took the table shots.  I respect my neighbours too much to have the camera out at every can be an intrusion.

So back home after dropping off my lady, head down for the afternoon and a little light gardening this evening.  I hadn't realised how tired I was or perhaps it was a change in the weather...I'm not used to that big yellow thing in the sky.  Only a little fire this evening but I've got my bedroom window open to keep the temperature down....We didn't bother with Assenograd today...the day was filled with local events.  The Beast is parked outside...Kardjali tomorrow for shopping and a meander and I want to get some seeds from the Tulip tree since I read it's easy to grow.  LN....I'm back to Filmon and a bird programme....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 14, 2016, 6:25pm; Reply: 16
Saturday 14th May

Narnia moments in the garden this morning....the sun was already up but the way that the mist hangs in the valley is stunning.  It didn't last for long though....the sun got warmer, the mist really started to rise and we were enveloped in fog until it burnt off.  Baked beans on toast for breakfast...I'd run out of eggs...I went over to check to see if my Avatar needed anything from Kardjali and she asked me if it was OK to drive a car into Djebel without oil.  My eyebrows must have reach the zenith and she took that as being a no but I went to check the Beauty and I had a couple of litres in the back of it so I was the answer to her daughter-in-laws prayer and I'm assured they'll replace some point.

So into the Beast and off to Kardjali...cheapy clothes shop and got my guest a padded body warmer, a pair of summer trousers for me and two aprons with pockets on the front suitable for gardening when I can't wear my waistcoat with the pockets.  I paid my house phone bill and then Kaufland finishing off at Lidl where I picked up an outside extension lead just for my strimmer chargers....every ready...that's me.  I was three thirty by the time we got home, crusty rolls and ham for lunch and I sat down for a while with a bar of chocolate...wrong but satisfying and was about to get my head down when I realised it was close to five.  Much too late to be snoozing so I got the strimmer out and cleared the bottom of the garden, repotted the Abelia which is looking a little sorry for itself and managed to get the sweet peas and nasturtiums planted up and in situ on the workshop terrace to go up the netting.  In by seven, home made hamburgers and chippies for supper, delicious and quick.  My Avatar came round with some yoghurt that she'd made and it saved me searching for a pudding.  

Looks like it's going to be another hot day tomorrow....It might even be time to get a sun top on and shorts to get some colour on the rest of me to match my face and hands....LN...I'm heading for bed soon...I'm knacked...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 15, 2016, 5:37pm; Reply: 17
Sunday 15th May

So I woke up with the light on this morning...I was just too tired last night to switch it off I guess.  I was trying desperately to watch David Attenborough and did well for most of it but crept to bed and that was it until five this morning when the light did go off and I went back to sleep again.

Down for seven and back to bed with a coffee, crept down for a refill at eight and there was life from my guest.  Breakfast of mushrooms cooked in butter with bacon and an egg and it topped us up for the day.  I got the bonfire going to get rid of anything that wanted rid of and set too down the bottom of the garden to clear the dumping ground.  I tried to strim it but it was too rough so ended up using my trusty Bulgarian rake thing mainly to clear it so that I could see where the stone had been dumped and most of that has now been dumped under the wild rose.  Telephone call this morning from Mrs D of S heading out to Kardjali to see if I needed anything.  Thanked her but we arranged for them to call in on the way back for a catch up.  Coffee on the terrace and D of S started to take it about my 'English' mown lawn but at the end of it said that he now wanted a lawnmower....and the grass has to be striped for the full effect.

Carried on with the bottom of the garden, we dug out some old tree stumps and roots to clear the path along the long wall and are both feeling fairly knacked.  Chicken and roasties along with onions were put in the oven at five and cooked while I finished off outside.  Bottled fruit and my Avatar's yoghurt to finish off ....all washed up and spent quite a time watching the sky.  Several shades of pink and grey and the wind appears to have dropped at long last.  It did managed to keep the 'front' at bay though so no rain for us.  LN....More of the same tomorrow...pretty please...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 16, 2016, 2:44pm; Reply: 18
Monday 16th May

Early start for both of us and again I went to sleep with the light on and only managed to switch it off at three.'s my electricity bill so my problem... ;)

Six thirty down for coffee and breakfast was over by nine and the day was all mine.  I spent time on the telephone trying to order a new blade for my lawn mower.  The number for the warehouse was not responding so I went through to Sofia and the number worked, they spoke English, I was advised to email and I've heard nothing I've emailed them again but I think it's another phone call in the morning,  They wanted me to quote a number starting with 11 and there are so many serial number on the machine that I ended up taking a photo of the registration plate and of the blade with a ruler by the side of it so let them work it out from that.  

Out to the garden and flattening the same place as yesterday and kept the bonfire going all day. It was the rubbish dump down there so all the rubble is now buried under grass cuttings but it's getting there.  The rubble is under the hedge and the wild rose bush and it should be ready to plant up by the end of the week if I do it properly and by tomorrow if I don't ;)  Emula called round at lunchtime to tell me that the Mevlit or prayers for the village at the little mosque in our square is at ten tomorrow.  It will be boots blacked at headscarf at the ready.

Now it looks like rain is about to stop play.  I'm not very brave when the thunder starts...I feel quite exposed in the middle of my garden so it's stoke up the bonfire and put the tools away.  The sheep were heading home early ....the shepherd knew what was coming..and it's just arrived and bucketing it down.  It's an early update...we've been threatened with electricity cuts today so I want to make sure that this is posted.

Cold chicken tonight with anything I can lay my hands on....too tired to be inspirational...LN..It might even be a beer night tonight...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 17, 2016, 4:42pm; Reply: 19
Tuesday 17th May

So I slept with the curtains open last night and what a lovely sight to wake up to.  The mist was hanging in the valleys and then the sun broke through and brightened everything up.  Magic... ;)

Down for coffee and washed and dressed since I wanted fresh bread from the van.  I met two of my neighbours as I was walking down and there was lots of activity in the square.  The fire was lit under a huge cauldron, meat was bubbling away in it and they were about to add the rice.  I didn't have my camera with me so after I bought bread and eggs I headed home to get it.  By the time that I arrived back they were on to the next load and I watch as they measured the water, rice, added salt and then two more arrived carrying the meat in a bucket.  When the water was boiling the meat went in and we were on to the third.  The two that they'd made earlier were nestled under a couple of quilts...we had a mosque service to get through before the feast began.

I went home and made breakfast of boiled eggs, got changed and I was down to the mosque for about ten thirty and the hojja was beginning to get up steam so I went inside and sat on the floor with the rest of the ladies.  I was wearing my headscarf out of respect for their beliefs and I feel that we just have different names for the same man or woman and I know a lot of it...I listen to the hojja when I'm gardening as he strikes forth several times a day.  He went on for about an hour and a bottom was getting numb at this point so I squirmed a bit and I was pleased when he started winding up and then it was outside for a bottle of red clove infused something, yoghurt drink and the meat and rice in whatever they served it in.  The lucky ones got plates, we got a plastic container.  I'd gone down to get my guest so he could join in the fun part....he would have come with me but never the twain shall meet....the men are behind a curtain and only meet over the meat.  I ended up being a taxi again delivering the provisions for the sheep farmer and his family...I'm still after some yellow paint and an illuminated sign... ;)

Quick trip to Djebel afterwards and out into the garden when we got back and we've managed to dig out what could be a free water supply at the bottom of the garden.  There was a broken concrete pipe down there that required investigation and so we investigated it.  It looks like we might be able to fix a stand pipe on it but we'll look at it tomorrow when the mud has settled to see what needs to be done to it to make it work.  So I'm now going to warm up the rest of the meat and rice for supper...served with a hot mango chutney and some lime pickle it should do the trick....LN...Kitchen work to do...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 17, 2016, 4:45pm; Reply: 20
And there's more
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 18, 2016, 6:34pm; Reply: 21
Wednesday 18th May

So I went to bed last night at twelve and was fast as a little rock when I heard the home phone going downstairs.  Now having a guest I got up and went to answer it but it had finished by the time I got down the stairs so I unplugged it and took it back to the bedroom just in case I needed to make a return call to the family in an emergency.  As it was I didn't know the number, it had no name registered against it so wasn't in my address book but blow me down five minutes later a text bleep went off.  So in to Angry Birds until the sleep bug hit me again...two fifteen before it was lights out.

My breakfast was a ham sandwich...I was expecting a call from friends over from England so it was a quick wizz round with the sweeping brush and a dash round the toilet just in case and I left my guest to concoct his own breakfast.  I was far too busy.  The call arrived and they would be with me in thirty minutes so it was on with the kettle and out with the strimmer to clear the outside parking area.  They arrived shortly after I'd finished so coffees made and on to the terrace, a quick trip round the garden and then it was out of the work clothes for me and into jeans since I'd promised them I'd help them with the minefield that is...Immigration documents.  So into Kardjali, round to the translator who completed the forms, into the bank to get the required documentation but we had to wait for the director's signature so it was on to the restaurant for lunch.  The bank phoned and then it was off to the Immigration Office to see how much we'd managed to achieve before they sent us back for more.  Not bad...only needed photocopies of certain documents that we did at mine later and a trip to their local property registration people tomorrow for another letter confirming their property number and postcode and one more trip into Kardjali and this time without me....and it should be sorted.  Not bad in one and a half days.

Home for four thirty and we lingered over a coffee and off they toddled at five thirty.  We walked the garden and checked out the concrete hole that looks like it can be made into a standpipe, I lit the fire since the temperature has dropped with the early hidden setting sun.  Supper was some pork schnitzel things from the freezer with chippies and baked beans...comfort food and with a good chunk of Swiss Roll I'm quite stuffed.  Gardening guest set too in my absence and has done half the lawn so the rest is mine and I really have to get some of the bigger plants in before the hot weather arrives......they need to get their little feet down.  No photo's tonight...sorry it's been a day of frenzied actiity...immigration is like that.  LN...I'm going down to appreciate the fire...LN

Posted by: gottaknit, May 18, 2016, 9:53pm; Reply: 22
Just Googled your 'normous dandelion-alike - all I could think of was Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon so put that in and got the proper name - Goats Beard. Youngest daughter saw one, aged six, and said -"That's not a dandelion" which I thought was a lovely bit of observation. Had to look it up that time too.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 19, 2016, 6:24pm; Reply: 23
Thursday 19th May

Thanks Jean.....I forgot all about searching for 'a big dandelion thingy' but it's nice to know its name.  Apparently they're wide spread in Minnesota...goodness knows how it got here...

Seven start and slept like a little top again and my guest was already boiling the kettle when  I got down.  That's what guests are for.  Breakfast by eight, dressed by eight thirty and out into the garden by nine.  I did spend some time taking photos of my resident does love it when the lawn's cut so that it can see food easily.  Not sure if it's the grasshoppers it's after but it was using my tree as a staging post, down to the walnut and back to the tall tree.  It's a very beautiful bird but noisy...not such a good call.

On the clearing eventually but firstly we were messing about with the new exposed watering hole.  We need a special tool to remove the plug from the pipe, the isolation valve works so we won't get flooded out but the plug seems to have seized up.  We tried the garage eventually.  I forgot that it was Djebel day so parking was out of the question in the town and driving though was such mayhem that to get home we went down the old road onto the new Greek road and came up the back lane.  No way was a running the gauntlet of the town.  I'm thinking that tomorrow I might have to go to the water-board to see if there is a man with a tool who can.

So back to my clearing and bonfiring and I should finish it tomorrow morning and then I can start planting up some shrubs.  I might even put some grass seed down which is very good for the ants...they love it and some might take root and surprise me.  My guest finished off the lawn and it's a job well done.  The morning mists are so heavy that it takes until about two in the afternoon before you can get the mower out.

In for seven tonight....the full moon is up but it's late rising so not so dramatic....I missed the sun but caught the tail end and it did cast a lovely glow over the garden and the surrounding hills.  Supper was fish fingers and chippies.....I'd forgotten to get anything out of the freezer so we made do...and there was yoghurt for pudding.

So tomorrow water board in the morning to see if they can help me out.  I'm hoping that it's a free water supply...if it's attached to a meter I don't want it.  Fire going to keep the home fires burning...I think the temperature is going to drop tonight.  LN...I'm down to enjoy it...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 19, 2016, 6:28pm; Reply: 24
And just a few more...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 20, 2016, 6:14pm; Reply: 25
Friday 20th May

So last night there was banging and the fireworks were the finale of the Djebel day.  I tried to take some pickies of the event but not many came out.  A good day was had by all talking to the neighbours only excitement was trying to drive through the town yesterday without killing anybody.

Six thirty start this morning and I crept around, got more volume to it, showered, dried my hair and it was ten thirty before my guest managed to get to the kitchen.  I managed to speak to the Librarian despite phones playing up and we arranged to go out to a restaurant this evening.  She was going to appear between four and five.  I cooked breakfast and got changed into scruff gear and headed out to the garden.  I managed to put one shrub in near the long wall and moved the stone pile so that you could see the shrubs that were already planted from the grass.  I moved a lot of the weeds that were covering the stone and cut back the saplings that won't be required when the stone heap goes to form the base of the new little house terrace.  I didn't do much was almost lunchtime by then so I grabbed my Kindle and played a few games.  I'd stripped and washed the bedding from my guests bed so I remade the bed and got ready to party.  

She arrived at four, we set off and stopped off at Kaufland for a few top ups and then on to the restaurant by Kardjali Dam about seven,  It was beginning to fill up as we were leaving so we didn't have to wait long for service.  Salad, cheesy chips, chicken in cornflakes, spicy meatballs and extra spicy pork with vegetables served in a mini casserole.   Photographs were taken of the restaurant but my printer with the card slots is in the little house under repair and my camera cable is not the same as the Librarians so I shall have to post them later.

Stopped off at Lidl on the way back for an ice-cream and some fizzy water ...I was out of it and we took the back lane home.  The Librarian should be home by fire tonight since the house is's been a sunny day and it's too late to light one.  Nothing for tomorrow so far...I'm going to try to get stuck into my new book....I've started it but not sure if I shall finish it....LN...Watch this space...LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 21, 2016, 6:43pm; Reply: 26
Saturday 21st May

I have nothing to report...I was watching Filmon last night for a while, went downstairs with my book, up into bed and suddenly the heavens opened and it rained most of the night and was still throwing it down this morning'  Both up and dressed by a reasonable time and used the bacon that I'd bought from Kaufland last night but it really wasn't worth the extra money.  I'll be back to the stuff from Lidl.  So bacon and eggs and it was a toss up as to whether we went out for the sake of or got a good fire going and enjoy the day of enforced rest.  There was no need to toss the coin the fire was lit, the Kindles were out and we cosied in.  I did have a tussle with the Daily Mail Sudoku...three tries on the computer and ended up printing it out, completing it and entering it online...guess actually knocked about  five seconds off my average score....cheat I hear you shout...cheat... ;)

I did manage to get out to the wood store to load up for the day and found a couple of turkey drumsticks in the freezer that went into the oven with a sweet and sour sauce.  There's something good about putting the main in the just have to get the timing right.  Jacket potatoes went in and carrots were chunked and everything was ready by six thirty.  My guest had wine...I had water and that's another month without alcohol.  It's not that I've given up but I'll start when I'm ready.

Photos of rain you don't want....the rest of Bulgaria is on yellow alert and Linda in Australia is almost having to swim home avoiding the logs on the way....They're having it rough so stay safe anyone whol's having to face the elements.  I'm going down to the fire and there's half a bar of hazelnut chocolate calling me...I can hear it from here...LN....A thoroughly lazy, decadent day...LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 22, 2016, 5:53pm; Reply: 27
Sunday 22nd May

Four start for a toilet break and then back until seven....I heard the kettle go on so I thought I'd leave him to it.  I should have made it to the bread van this morning but instead found a sliced one in the freezer which served the purpose.  Bacon, fried egg, fried potato for breakfast...this is the last one that I shall be cooking.  Tomorrow morning we head up to Sofia via one or two recommended pit stops and let's see where we end up.  I am remembering to charge both camera batteries and clear down the memories so that I shall have space to capture anything worth recording.

My Avatar came round this morning to ask me for my painter's phone number.  She needed the grass from around her vegetable garden cutting down since it was too long for the lawnmower.  I mentioned that my guest could do it with my petrol strimmer and despite the protests, it was done in about an hour.  She's so sweet...she came round with her money box to see how much she had to pay so I took five stotinki out of it and said that was enough,  She gets quite angry with me when I play silly b's with her but then I laugh and she laughs.  I made a performance of telling my guest that his hourly rate had gone up since I don't pay him anything...and fortunately she saw the funny side.  I carried on with my new garden at the bottom of the garden and there are now several shrubs planted up.  Hard going though....after all it was the builders' dumping ground.  

We had rain and a rainbow at about six this evening just as I was finishing off and putting my tools away.  Just a short sharp shower and now it's turned into a very gentle evening after it's been blowing a gale most of the day.  Lit the fire...minced beef and onions in gravy with mashed potatoes and carrots for supper and there's enough left to go into the freezer for when I get back from Sofia.  Washing up done....and now to get my feet up with my Kindle....LN.....Down to the fire....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 23, 2016, 4:49pm; Reply: 28
Monday 23rd May

Six start but I lay in until seven until I heard the kettle go on...getting lazy in my old age.  Cooked breakfast and it's the last one for a's going to be a weekend treat not the norm.  

We were in the car by ten thirty which was the deadline I'd set.  The plan was to end up at the Rila Monastery....well that was the plan.  The journey to Assenovgrad was uneventful and I know the road, I negotiated the road avoiding the motorway successfully but then someone wanted to practice map reading skills and I'm not sure if it was upside down or not.  The way to Rila went through Borovets the ski resort and on through Samokov and there were mumblings about the road to Velingrad and on to Bansko.  Now I've only done this route a couple of times but never in the direction I was being sent.  I questioned it and at one point it became a little heated so we stopped for a coffee and I took over the map.  Not much out of our way we were able to regroup and eventually we hit Borovets....The last time we were there was with my grandson CJ when he was five and skiing so it was a jaunt down memory lane.  I recognised the hotel we stayed at but there are many more and the shops cater only for the winter season.  There were posters stating that it was an all year round destination....they lie and two ice creams cost mega lev.....tourist trap.

So on to Samokov and picked up the road to Sofia.....Again we had 'turn left here' I think and as the lights changed there was a request to turn round which I ignored.  I took the next right....went up by Lidl and Billa and realised that I was near to the hotel but had to do another left on to a duel carriage way and there it was....a sign for the Holiday Inn and we're checked in.  Not sure what tomorrow will bring....I've checked out Vitosha but unfortunately the cable car isn't working even though it's a National holiday....Tomorrow we applaud the Cyrillic script ....ABG day for the locals.

Time for a swim....I'm heading down to the spa centre.....LN....I need to linger in the hot tub....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 24, 2016, 3:29pm; Reply: 29
Tuesday 24th May

Swam for about forty minutes last night but didn't managed the hot tub...back to the room and dried my hair and down for a bar these prices you rarely hit the dining room unless you're on company expenses.  Chicken burger that I think had seen the inside of the microwave and not a grill but it came with loads of chippies, mayo and ketchup so it filled the gap.  Comfortable night's sleep but it was so warm in the room despite the air con....I'm just not used to it and they have these rubber mattress protectors for the incontinent...and I'm not there yet..that almost make you believe that you've had an accident.. :-/

Late start for my room mate...I'd already finished a shower and the first coffee when he became compos mentis....and by this time we decided that it would be a late breakfast in IKEA by the time that we'd negotiated the ring road and access to it.  It was very empty when we got there but heaving when we left....and the number of Bulgarians that open wardrobe doors and drawers was amazing....I remember what we experienced thirty years ago....the advent of IKEA.  So Swedish meatballs for lunch and it's kept us going all day.  We managed to negotiate the ring road yet again and eventually found the cobbled road to the top of the mountain that overlooks Sofia.  Snow chains were advised and we were OK on the way started to rain while we were up there and there were a couple of crashes of thunder and I thought we might have got caught without snow chains for the way down.  As it was ....we slithered down the cobbles beautifully.

We eventually made the hotel after yet another mix up with the ring road and the hotel entrance and now it's a toss up between sleep and a stroll out to the Italian over the way for supper or another might even be on the toss of a coin.  My guest flies out tomorrow at eleven....I'm then heading home in a leisurely fashion....taking home any dirty washing that won't fit in his case.  LN....Hotels are all the same aren't they....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 25, 2016, 5:59pm; Reply: 30
Wednesday 25th May

So last night's toss of a coin to decide whether we would swim or not wouldn't have made any difference.  We got kitted out for the pool, arrived there at ten minutes to seven and were told that the pool was closing at seven because it was a national holiday.  I made the point that there was no mention on this in the hotel at all and I was shown a poster on the public entrance to the pool and gym to which I replied that why should I use that entrance when I'm a guest....There were apologies but it didn't soothe the spirit so we went to the room to get back into bar wear and the receptionist made the mistake of saying 'Good Evening' to which I replied well it would have been if the pool hadn't have been closed with no notice at all to hotel guests.  Another red face and a grovel.  Angus steak burger for supper and back to the room for nine thirty....neither of us wanted to oversleep.  I had a passenger to deliver to easyJet.  

We set off at nine thirty from the hotel and there was a gale blowing so it was on with the body warmers.  Lots of traffic around but negotiated it well and off he went to strip off virtually at security and I was only waiting just to see if he reappeared clutching his packet of coffee that he was concerned would be confiscated.  I waited ten minutes, went back to the car park, paid over my two lev for parking and set off for home.  It's a long way but Beauty did me proud despite the rain that was bucketing down.  I travelled at about seventy most of the way, had a petrol stop fifteen miles from Kardjali and headed for Kaufland...a toilet stop was required and I picked up some eggs, potatoes, chicken wings and bread.....back to normal.  I was home for just after two thirty so I had a really good journey...I felt tired after the drive....I'm not used to motorway driving...but I managed to get three loads of washing done, the car sorted, supper in and I had a phone call from England confirming that the eagle had landed.

There was a phone call from Gouldjan and tomorrow I'm doing the Djebel run....I've more yoghurt to pick up that her mother has made and Beauty needs to go in...the windscreen washer bottle either has a hole in it or one of the pipes and needs sorting.  It's good to be back...the weather is warmer down here than was cloudy when I arrived but it cleared and the washing dried very quickly.  I have no photos....too tired to take any and promise to do better next time.  I've put the boiler on for hot water and I'm about to go and soak some of the tiredness away.  LN....Back to normal...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 26, 2016, 6:09pm; Reply: 31
Thursday 26th May

So I managed the soak in the bath last night and then promptly went to sleep watching Filmon.  I woke up to Jeremy Clarkson on some quiz programme, watch it for a few minutes and then headed to bed and slept soundly until seven this morning.  Not much to do this morning, I put a load of washing in, pegged it out by eight and was ready to pick up Gouldjan at eight thirty this morning.  She came bearing gifts of yoghurt so I stopped off at home and dropped off the yoghurt and then carried on to take her into Djebel.  

Coming down from Mount Vitosha on Tuesday I'd had a intermittent flashing oil warning light and the oil was OK and I wanted the contact to the light investigated.  The second issue was that there might be a leak from one of the wash bottle pipes or the bottle itself so two jobs for my garage lads.  Warning contact put in place and fixed in minutes...the second one took longer.  The wheel came off, the wheel arch came off and a small pump was removed,  The garage thought that it was to the back washers but I showed them where I filled the wash bottle for the rear washers so that wasn't it.  The wash bottle for the windscreen was on the other side of the car from where the wheel had been removed and by a process of elimination, we worked out that this leaky pump was for the headlights which had never worked.  It was  that my guest had filled up the wrong bottle, hence the water going straight through on to the floor.  The leaky pump has been removed and joins the car aerial up and down machine in the boot.  Neither are too essential for day to day driving....... ;)

While the men were working on the car I had great fun watching the chickens.  There are a couple of dogs that get fed bread and the chickens would steal it, race around the yard with it in their beaks being chased by other chickens that were determined to take it from them.  I've never really watched them before...very comical and a really important cockerel determined that no other should mate with his hareem.  I left the garage, headed down to the water board and explained my water pipe at the bottom of the garden.  A man came round this afternoon and had a look at it and seems to think that it was put in by the previous owners of the second house on my land and he's going to investigate and let me know.

The sun was out by this time but as I drove home I managed to beat the rain and get in the washing.  Along with the rain came thunder and lightening so I stretched out on the sofa and managed to get my head down for a couple of hours.  The temperature had plummeted so I lit the fire when I woke up to take the chill off, shut the door and now I can let it go's done its stuff.  Cold chicken wings for a late lunch so nothing for supper.....a little bit of Filmon and then an early night with my book.  Sofia did me good.....I now know that my Beast is not as expensive as it used to be now that I have the more efficient engine fitted and the experience of driving on the motorways with fairly heavy traffic on the ring road has renewed my confidence.  Antiques road show is on...I hate how they beat down the dealers...I'm going to try it next time I visit and antique shop.   LN....I bet they have more success that I would...LN    
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 27, 2016, 5:27pm; Reply: 32
Friday 27th May

Slept down stairs last night....the fire was going and there were clothes scattered on the bed upstairs.  It's nice to be able to choose.  It was a seven start and again a bit of a grey day so I played on the pc for a while and eventually got dressed.  I'd put a t-shirt and long trousers on and no socks and while tidying had come across my painter's telephone number and I remembered that my Avatar had asked me for it so I set off for her house.  Her little black shoes weren't there and I heard conversation from over the way and my ladies were having a true coffee morning though it hadn't yet been served.  I was given a cushion and told to sit, handed over the telephone number and they were commenting on the fact that I had a short sleeve top and no socks so Beyser decided that it wasn't on and went in the house and came out with a new pair for me.  I told her that I didn't need them that I'd got lots at home but that wouldn't do for her.....I had to put them on there and then and pull them over my trousers.   You couldn't make it up.  So the coffee was served and out came the breakfast of new potatoes still in their skins with a dish of salt.  'Yash, yash' was the command and we all dived in.  I eventually eased myself out of the mix and was home for ten forty and set to to clean the house from top to bottom....job completed by twelve thirty.

I got back and moved the outside table that had wintered in the lounge on to the patio.  I had to make space for the new ones and putting them together was so simple.  I had visions of having to put all the slats together to make the top but it was already done.  Four legs, four inserts to take the posts, four washers and four nuts for each table.  Half an hour and they were in situ.

I decided to strim the drive and the under wall and I'd more or less finished when a car pulled up.  Guests had arrived so it was down tools, on with the kettle and we sat outside until the wind got up and we were getting sandblasted so moved inside.  They were very impressed with the tables....I might even check out the website and order some chairs to match.  They stayed until around six thirty, I waved them goodbye and went out to finish the strimming and decided to attack the bush that was growing on the little house terrace.  It had sort of taken over and there are no flowers on it so I had no reason to keep it....I've really given it a haircut.  It was reluctant to burn but that can be sorted tomorrow.

There's a lovely reddish glow of sunset shining into the house from the guest bedroom and off the sun goes for another day.  Tomorrow it's lawn trimming yet again.....this weather is should be starting to die back by now.  I'm down to the kitchen to see what I can find.....LN....I'm more picky than hungry....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 28, 2016, 9:33pm; Reply: 33
Saturday 28th May

Sorry it's late....I've been out enjoying myself... ;) ;)

Seven start and not much to write about...toast for breakfast and today looked like it was going to be a good day except for the threat of thunderstorms which fortunately passed us by.  The intention was good....the lawn needed doing but it was much too wet at nine thirty this morning so it was out with the strimmer and I tackled under the front wall and the little side garden round the flower beds and waited for the sun to burn off the moisture before the lawn mower came out.  It wasn't happening...there was hardly any wind and despite the sun, there was still water held under the grass and clover so I settled down with a book I'd started and went from nine to forty five percent and really got into it.  It's a new author for me and there are nine in the it looks like I'm set for a while.  Opened a can of tuna for lunch and demolished a small packet of much for my diet and then the call for action.

Out with the lawn mower and despite its reluctance to start, it eventually burst into action and so did I.  I did the top half of the garden as far down as the burning pit but I was emptying the grass box every three or four runs and it was so hard and heavy to push.  I persisted though and managed the side garden and more runs down to the bottom but I eventually ran out of steam and gave it up as a bad job.  I was also running out of time....I had an evening out with friends at a new restaurant for me and it was shower and shampoo time before I could hit the high life.  Eventually decided what to put on and it was in the Beast for six thirty and I arrived at two minutes to seven and they pulled up at seven.  I'd heard that this hotel had a heated pool and by golly it did.....full sauna facilities and gym and daily cost...ten lev...and I'm hooked already.  It will become a weekly trip for me in the winter.... ;) ;)

The food was good, the service OK with a couple of youngsters doing their best running between tables and we sat chewing the cud and eventually left at eleven....home for eleven thirty more or less so I beat the bewitching hour and the Beast remains the pumpkins or white mice.  I brought it in the drive so that the yard lights would come on but the stars tonight are little light pollution here.  Feeling good with my little world but it was good to stretch it out this evening.  Tomorrow it's the rest of the permitting and we'll see how long it lasts this time...bring on the summer.  LN...It's been a good day...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 29, 2016, 7:54pm; Reply: 34
Sunday 29th May

What a silly night.  It was two before I laid my head on the pillow.  I went on to Filmon and watch Peter Kaye and having eaten so late felt as full as a little tick so to speak....and uncomfortable.  I then seemed to spend the night between trying to go to sleep and in the bathroom sort of on the hour every hour so by seven I was whacked and didn't really start getting my act together until nine.

I settled into my book...the rest of the lawn was too damp to attack so I thought I'd leave it for a couple of hours or so.  I did managed to get a line of washing done and the bonfire lit but back to the book.  At ten thirty I though it had had enough time and it was out with the lawnmower to finish off the main part of the lawn and I carried on until the petrol ran out, gave it a good clean and again back to my book and finished it.  Quite an abrupt but adequate ending and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.  

Settled on the sofa and promptly went to sleep to catch up on that that I'd missed last night.  I came to about three to find I had visitors sunning themselves on the terrace....they'd brought round 'stuff' that I'm going to keep for them until they return.  We sat out in the sun until roughly five thirty, they went on their merry way and I got in the washing and changed very rapidly and off to my student's home for supper.  Mother had gone to a concert in Turkey but it was good to see the rest of the family's been a few weeks....they've had guests and so have I.  Mother arrived bearing gifts with a superb green nut baklava being one of them....delicious.  Nice drive home....the stars are all out but it's still not like a normal night's cold.  Tomorrow I'm helping out with documentation in Zlatograd so it's an early start, I need to remember to get coffee and fill the petrol container so that I can complete the rest of the grass before it gets too long.  Rain is forecast for Tuesday.... :-/...When will summer arrive?  Sorry no's been a day of action and catch-up.    LN...Off to get my head down....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 30, 2016, 5:34pm; Reply: 35
Monday 30th May

Six start after a really good night’s sleep.  I had to be out by eight so there was no rush but I was a little concerned about contents of the coffee tin….it was balancing on crucial.  I took a cup out to the garden and watched the sun come up over the clouds that were hanging over the eastern mountains.  The camera came out….the light was very gentle and I think I got some good shots.

So in to the car by eight, and I headed for the motel in the Librarian’s village.  I hadn't let her know that I was in the vicinity….I was off to Zlatograd with a couple of friends to see how far we could get registering the electricity account from the previous owner into their names.  I knew the lady in the office from previous encounters so went in gently by explaining that if she spoke Bulgarian slowly I would be able to understand but if she rattled on…I would have a hard time.  She smiled and by the end of the encounter, the deed was done, the registration was complete and they are able to go to the bank to arrange automatic payments.  I suggested that a box of chocolates were in order and I understand they were gratefully accepted…just a little thank you…there were lots of documents that she had to complete manually and it wasn't a straight forward transfer.

So I dropped off back at the motel and decided that since I was in the Librarian’s village I would pay her a call and apparently she was really confused that the Beast was parked and I was no where to be seen.  I filled her in on the detail, we had a late lunch and I was home for five thirty.  I sorted out her computer for her and did a mini-training session with her and headed home intending to finish the lawn…..and it didn't happen.  I got my book out and read for an hour or so but it has to be done tomorrow morning…there are supposed to be thunderstorms by eleven.  The race will be on.  

So a little Filmon,  No supper is required, the late lunch will do until tomorrow.  I feel I've had a really successful day…LN….And fingers crossed no rain tomorrow…LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 31, 2016, 4:12pm; Reply: 36
Tuesday 31st May

So where has this month beggars belief.  There's a slow down to the end of the month....I've had guests, friends I've helped with their move over and now June is for me.....unless you know any different.... ;)

Six thirty start and I kept looking at the rest of the grass that needed a haircut and eventually at nine I was out there revving up and ready to go.  I wanted to beat the rain...another few days on the grass and it would have been out with the strimmer to take it down before the mower would have managed it.  It was a really warm day and pushing that thing with it's wonky wheel over the newly formed mole runs was hard work.  I struggled on for a couple of hours, there was no sign of rain or the supposedly impending thunderstorm so I came in and got settled into my book until I'd got the courage to go out there again.  I repotted a couple of inside plants that were going out for the summer and the jasmine is now climbing up the little terrace fencing.  The sweet peas are almost putting their tendrils in that direction too but I'm thinking that the ornamental gourds might swamp everything in their path.....we shall see.

I came in at one and food was calling so it was a couple of hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise and beetroot and that was it.  I've taken off a couple of kilos and just want to shift another couple and should manage it now that it's hotting up a bit and there's more chance to get outside.  A full stomach requires rest so they say so I settled down with my book yet again and the eyelids headed southwards and I didn't come to until four thirty and still no rain.  Out I went and I've cut down the entire lawn again and it's looking good.  It should now all grow at the same pace.

Tools away, showered and hair washed.  I've perspired so much today that I really needed to get to feel fresh again.  I went out to take a few pickies of the garden and there was a rumble of thunder in the distance and the rain has just started to come down.  The upshot is that I don't need to get out there and water the vegetable garden or the flower pots.....every cloud has a silver lining so to speak.  I'm posting early ...if the storm takes off it will be no internet for me...I don't want to be fried to my keyboard...You know that tiredness you feel but there is a sense of well being about it!!  LN...I'm feeling it now...LN
Posted by: scarahfluff, June 1, 2016, 8:06am; Reply: 37
Been lovely reading your blog again. Big hugs from Spasovo, Chirpan. Xx
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