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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  SEPTEMBER 2016
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 1, 2016, 4:43pm
Thursday 1st September

So this is the first one of the new month and this is the first of the closing down ones.  The swimming pools empty, the children go back to school and mothers are heard cheering in the streets.  

I was awake just after five this morning and it was curtains open and I watched the sky change from dark blue to that lovely rose colour and it was crowned by a very red sun.  There were a few light clouds but not like yesterday....you could see all of the sun come up...and it didn't get hidden until later in the day. I was out with the camera and the sunflowers still amaze me..they've had lots of water this year and have thrived.  Not many seed heads left though...the pesky finches are still at it but the babies are the noisiest I've ever heard while the parents just keep pecking away.  Coffee, Sudoku, watered the garden, spread the rest of the manure on the bits that hadn't been attended to and decided it was boiled eggs for breakfast and they turned out perfectly.  

First job was to trim some of the wild bushes that have shot up despite the drought so that I can make them into topiary balls.  It's too much like hard work to dig them all up...so let's make a feature out of them. ;)  Second was to remove the gate, that has seen better days, that goes down the lane and bang some more planks across so that at least it stands upright.  I was going to make my long flower trugs but by this time the sun had really got some heat in it and it was cooler in than out so it was finish book time.....which I did so that the end of the series.  Time to get a new one underway.

Spent some of the afternoon looking at holidays over the next big holiday period and I won't say the name of it....it's much too early apart from the fact that some people do start their shopping early.  I also worked on the picture for my bedroom but I hadn't quite got the effect I wanted so it's shelved until another day.  I also cleared the old books from my Kindle and downloaded more remembering to print off the lists so that I get the series in the right order and now it's time for garden watering again.  Almost eight my time and I wonder where the day went.  No sleep for me today....I either haven't used enough energy up with my gate repair or slept really well.  Who's to say. ...

So nothing to do tomorrow as of yet....my day is all mine and I might get my other half barrel painted and the burning pit could do with emptying and the other barrel that I've used for burning really could do with sorting....just mundane jobs. Garden bound with my new extended hose...I should have done it at the beginning of summer...LN  we have a few drooping heads...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 1, 2016, 5:02pm; Reply: 1
And now for the pickies
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 2, 2016, 5:32pm; Reply: 2
Thursday 2nd September

Silly night last night…not an ounce of sleep in me and I was reading until half one this morning.  The temperature really dropped and I was in two minds whether to get out of bed and find another quilt but it was too much like hard work.  Eventually I went off and it was a late start for me…seven thirty and the sun was already up.

Out for my coffee and fifteen minutes lapping up the sun and then to horse…the garden needed watering and it was half past eight before I’d finished.  Sat down in the house with another cup of the enlivening juice and Gouldjan arrived with her young nephew and they’d been to the mosque.  Apparently he was being a little bit cantankerous and difficult with his speech so she’d taken him to see the hojja for a calming and healing effect.  He loves my Beast though and had to go to the garage to look at it and as soon as they’d left, I was into the kitchen for poached egg for a late breakfast.

The gales have been blowing today…the washing was almost dry before I’d finished pegging it out and I used double pegs.  I didn’t want it ending up in Greece.  It’s been a reading and games playing afternoon and a little bit of fun on FB and again the afternoon seemed to rocket by and no afternoon sleep for me.  Tuna mayo, beetroot and sliced onion for lunch and so no supper for me again…so no going to bed on an overloaded stomach.  

Tomorrow it’s a trip into Kardjali to search for an outfit for her wedding civil ceremony.  We could be traipsing all over town so comfy shoes are a must for tomorrow.  Eleven tomorrow with boots blacked in the bus stop….wish me luck.  LN  I’m hoping for a better and earlier night…LN..
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 3, 2016, 6:59pm; Reply: 3
Saturday 3rd September

Seven thirty start again....five minutes with coffee and then out to the garden.  I gave everything a good watering and missed the bread van so had to catch him on his return trip and almost forgot to pay him.  He had no cheesy bread but offered me a sausage in pastry that I refused...it's a brilliant bringer on of indigestion....  Toast for breakfast and that was enough, shower and hair washed and as arranged at the bus stop to pick up Gouldjan for our shopping expedition.  I parked up and her mother appeared with her grandson carrying lots of bags and I thought nothing of it.  She makes cheese and butter and I thought she was delivering in the village.  Gouldjan appeared about five minutes later and in she got and the bags were loaded.  I knew that she was staying at her brother's house tonight and thought that it was 'stuff' that she needed but as we set off, all was revealed.  The bags were going to her son's house but firstly we had to go to another house in another village to pick up keys from the daughter in law and then make our was to the son's apartment and drop off the goodies in the fridge.  Gouldjan was apologising profusely and I said that the next time she should bring a tin of yellow paint and a flashing Taxi sign and I'd be fine after that.  

We parked in my normal car park and set about finding dress shops.  I found Mania first and a denim jacket that was very reasonably priced and several leather belts that I can use for other purposes, Gouldjan found trousers and then we did hit the dress shops for a dress to get married in,  Very little to choose from and we ended up with nothing for her but I found one in a sale that will look great with either navy or black leggings.  That's me sorted then.  Found a local restaurant for lunch and it was one liver soup for me and chicken for Gouldjan with a great big hunk of bread each....normal fare for Bulgaria, back to the car, Kaufland where we picked up my painter and his daughter from Norway, a quick trip to Lidl dropped Gouldjan off at her brothers and we headed back to their village via the dirt road.

Everything unpacked and stacked, I gave the house and garden a quick tidy ready for my evening visitors.  The taxi arrived at seven and it was my two students, mother, father and grandfather.  They haven't been to the house for about two years and there have been lots of changes since then.  We sat outside after the full conducted tour with tea, coffee and the father had a beer and a very pleasant evening was had by all.  I've just dropped them off in Djebel and driven back home.....all in all I've really enjoyed today....busy but very enjoyable.

No photos...sorry....it's been an action packed day and no time for snap, snapping.  LN...Let's see what Strictly is doing...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 4, 2016, 3:32pm; Reply: 4
Sunday 4th September

Well it was my turn to be up first this morning....the sky was that beautiful blue pink and stood on the balcony and waited for the sun to pop its little head up.  I didn't stay out on the balcony long...September brings that morning nip in the air but it's made up for it, for the rest of the day...wall to wall sunshine.

Coffee inside for a change..I was too idle to put a sweatshirt on but eventually got round to it when I watered the garden.  I also managed to find one of those whirley watering thingies and I've doused well the barest patches of the lawn but I'm probably going to regret it when I have to get the lawn mower out.  Sod's law.  Poached my last egg and had it on toast for breakfast and then straight out again to the garden armed with brushwood cutter, rake and clippers.  In my grave garden, the front wall had been overtaken by the wild quince and damson so they've been attacked and the area cleared.  It does mean that there is now a way through from mine on to the rough ground, well there will be when we start the last wall in a few weeks time.  The bigger branches were lobbed over the bottom wall for the animals to clear up and the rubbish is waiting to be burnt but I'll wait for the wind to drop first.  

I was digging down the bottom of the garden and one of my neighbours came round and succeeded in going home with petunia seeds, cuttings, promises of shrubs when the roots come on the finches' supper in the form of sunflower heads.  The humming moth was out there for all it was worth and there was a black and white winged butterfly that I chased round the garden but I didn't manage to catch it with its wings open.  It even had trouble balancing in the wind but there's a good one of it side on.  Maybe there will be more out tomorrow...I only saw the one today.  

I've dug the hydrangea up yet again and the roots were dry as you like but there were little white roots on it so it was plunged into water for an hour or so and it's now replanted by the patio steps to the little house.  It gets the morning sun but looses it around lunchtime...I'll see how it takes to it.  I had to dig up a tree to clear the space and a hollyhock and boy had that got a large tap root.  The tree's in a container and the hollyhock is soaking pre-planting.  I moved a large stone to the little garden infront of the roof tiles and outshot a green lizard from under it.  I'm not sure who was more surprised but he stood still while I went to get the camera from the terrace and I managed to snap him.  Two seconds later he was off and hiding himself in the stack of roof tiles.

I had a chat with Gouldjan's sister and the tongue tied little boy....and Gouldjan is due back this evening.  Time to tidy up outside and put the tools away.  I'm thinking I'll have to water again...it's been another hot one and the washing needs to be got in...a woman's work....so they say.... ;) ;)  LN...Must get on...LN
Posted by: gottaknit, September 4, 2016, 6:09pm; Reply: 5
Tha's one stunning butterfly - no idea what it might be.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 5, 2016, 5:00pm; Reply: 6
Monday 5th September

I thought so too Jean.  I did an investigation today and the best I could come up with was a White Admiral so I'll settle for that unless you know any different.... ;)

Sun was up before me again and I've been late for everything for the rest of the day.  Coffee was late, breakfast was late, I'm still waiting for lunch and it was all because I decided to attack the garden before anything else.  Out with the rake to clear some of the stones from the grave garden and decided to cut back the quince tree since it had no fruit on it again this year so really gave it a hair cut.  None this year and it's out.  It was here long before me so it might just be old...again like me.  I lobbed the branches over the fence and most of them have been stripped already and beans on toast took care of my bodily needs and still going strong.  I was out there again clearing out the honeysuckle that's proliferated around the old well and that's ready for my trusty workers to clear it out and then I can have free water for the garden.  Hard hats at the ready boys.... :-/ :-/

I took to the sofa with my Kindle and it's the first book in the new series and once more I seem to have picked a set of vampire slayers.  I'll try the first and see how I get on with it and I'll let you know.  I did take an afternoon nap, tt was far too hot to be out there but at five I was back to it with the rake at the bottom of the garden and going over the new beds to get rid of the stones.  I dug out the last surviving dumped tree stump and will find a use for it when I can get it to stand up and sorted out a place for dumping all the stones and broken tiles that I come across.  I have put some thought into it and when the new wall is in place, the stone will be at the base of it on the inside to build up the levels...forward planning egh...it's taken me long enough to think of it.  

I came in at seven as the sun was setting, tools away and time to think about my lunch which I shall deem as supper as well.  I'm still waiting for inspiration.  Another day in the garden tomorrow and a bit more planting up now that the nights are colder just so long as I keep them watered.  The hydrangea seems to be settling in and I've realised that what I thought was a pomegranate tree is actually a medlar so I look forward to blossom and fruit next year....hopefully.  Off to do things in the kitchen....or I shall be going to bed hungry or settle for biscuits...not a good idea.  LN...Here's to a good day tomorrow...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 6, 2016, 4:59pm; Reply: 7
Tuesday 6th September

Well that sun was up again but at three this morning I was commenting on a FB post of another insomniac and playing silly games.  Don't ask me why...I haven't a clue.   I'd had a couple of hours sleep but it was about four when I went back off again.

The sun was up before me again and so out with a coffee to take the labouring sun while I worked up the energy to water the garden.  It's getting to be a chore but you can't stop now after keeping stuff going for fourteen weeks or so.  The cherry tree is losing its leaves as is one of the big trees in the yard but I can't do much about it.  Their roots are well down.  Garden was finished by nine thirty and I was ready to cook beans on toast again to use up the half can but I got way laid trying on clothes and making up outfits.  I buy things spasmodically so it's just a matter of seeing what goes with what and it's the thought of a Christmas cruise that's set me on this path.  

The beans are still in the fridge, the Librarian arrived just before eleven with the table that she'd borrowed and I helped her carry it in to the yard.  She's now setting about making one of her own but a little smaller...I think the bench that I made for her has spurred her on to try it for herself.  We had a coffee and caught up on the news and I suggested that we headed into Djebel for lunch at our Soup Kitchen.  We took two cars as far as Rogosche which is on the main road, dropped hers off and went in in the Beast.  We managed to park up on the main car park and were greeted by the man who waits tables, we settled for the chicken soup with bread and it was delicious.  For just over five leva for two soups, water and a Fanta I call that good going by any stretch of the imagination.  I bought another five meters of hose so that I can comfortably reach the bottom of the garden, dropped her off at her car and came back and fixed on the connectors.  The rest of the afternoon was spent on the sofa with a book until Haciber came round and told me that my Avatar is now a great grandmother....her granddaughter gave  birth today to a little boy...three kilograms.  I've seen the two granddaughters go from volley ball over the gate to motherhood...how time flies.

Eight my time and I'm hoping for a better night and more activity tomorrow.  I also realised that my internet annual payment is more or less due so I'll be heading in to Djebel tomorrow to pay it before my services is stopped,  Not much of a sunset....we've got low lying cloud and the promise of thunder didn't materialise.  Now for a little Filmon and the search for an Egghead....the contestants amaze me how much knowledge they manage to cram in....admirable.  LN...I'm swapping channels...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 7, 2016, 4:35pm; Reply: 8
Wednesday 7th September

Again a silly night and couldn’t get off so not even a couple of hours and then sleeplessness…there were dogs barking and I couldn’t empty my mind to get off again.  I read for a while, fetched a packet of biscuits from the kitchen and had a little post midnight feast…all on my lonesome.  It must have been about two when the dogs eventually gave up.

Seven thirty start, it was pretty dull this morning but I still sat out listening to the birds.  The martins have left now so there’s not so much activity as there was but the sunflower seed stealing finches with noisy babies in tow were drowning out everything else apart from my ‘record playing morning prayer guy’.  Nothing could beat that.  I was out watering when the bread van whizzed by and I really should have legged it down to the bottom of the village but it was too much effort to tidy up to go down there.  I checked out the bread from the kitchen and there was a couple of spots of mould on it…and now I don’t touch it and I realise that I really should have gone down to the van.  Breakfast got put on the back burner and out I went with the digging gear.  In yesterdays prepared hole I put a forsythia and then carried on to dig out and enlarge the new bed I’d created.  I came in at eleven thirty and opened a tin of beef in natural juice, boiled some potatoes, fried off the beef with an onion, added the cooked diced potatoes and some bottled beetroot.  I served it up with lime and chilli chutney and it was almost like one of the dishes I used to like in Sweden.  All it needed was a fried egg….no eggs …but it was still good.

Out again and carried on with the digging and clearing and true to form…you have to have a polythene mine and jam pot lids….not true gardening unless you encounter these item.  I gave up at six fifteen…I was knacked.  No supper required, a little film on,  a bath to ease out the aches and hopefully a restful night.  LN…It will be an easy day tomorrow…LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 8, 2016, 6:39pm; Reply: 9
Thursday 8th September

Lovely sunrise this morning and it occurred to me how late it's getting.  A little bit nippy so I sat inside and watched the sunrise reflected in the little house windows...just to keep track of it and to make sure it didn't change its mind and get hidden behind the clouds,  Coffee and the usual morning but I didn't water all of the flowers just a selected few but looking at them tonight, maybe I should have done.  

I was out to the bread van for one cut and one uncut, found some mushrooms in the fridge and fried off a couple of them in butter and had them on toast. Delicious.  I put the dishes in the sink with the intention of doing them later and in fact it was much later.  I was going into Djebel so dressed accordingly but found myself digging out that hole even further and edging round the other forsythia underneath the walnut tree.  There were also some huge blue-grey straggly weeds with very pretty flowers on them but they really do cling to the ankles when you're walking down the garden so they had to go and it was lunchtime and I still hadn't made it to Djebel.

Lunch was smoked salmon with cream cheese on crusty bread and my only complaint is that the smell seems to linger.  The empty packets went into the rubbish bin in the kitchen and after I'd finished, I was straight outside with it and lit a bonfire in the oil drum.  It took a while to get started but I looked in it tonight and it's all cleared.  It should be OK to empty it on the garden tomorrow.  Haciber came round with a bucket of yogurt drink and the whole lot was mine.  I managed to fill four one and a half litre bottles...that should keep me going.  I think she forgets that there's only me...

I did make Djebel and my internet is not due for another month but I paid it anyway.  I had a chat with my favourite restaurant lady and have been invited to a baby party on the eighteenth....Back to the garage shop and I've agreed to give the little one basic English lessons in the autumn.  His big brother didn't do too badly.  So driving home and the village lush was just outside Rogosche, staggering all over the road since it's pension day and talking to one of the farmers that I know.  I think they thought that I was very brave to stop to pick him up as the cry of Bravo echoed round the village.  Now I understand Bulgarian reasonably well but he had the drunken slur on and the gist was that he wanted to sell his house in the village so that he could live in Djebel with his friends.  He was really going for it at full volume and I was pleased when I got to his house, I got out and opened his door and caught him as he fell out of the Beast.  That's my good deed for the day...over and out.

Seven fifteen when I got back so I watered the garden thoroughly and in by eight fifteen...exactly one hour.  Shopping away, peach fruit juice on the go with fizzy water and a bag of mixed nuts for supper.  Librarian's tomorrow and a quick drop off at Mrs. D of S. on the way through.  Late posting but it's been a relatively chilled day...just what the doctor ordered.  LN....Starting a new book series...LN
Posted by: gottaknit, September 9, 2016, 6:19am; Reply: 10
Dear EP, Message from Seth- walnut trees give off some sustance from their roots which inhibits the growth of other plants in that area, so maybe the forsythia is in the wrong place.
Those sunrise pics are stupendous.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 9, 2016, 3:50pm; Reply: 11
Friday 9th September

Thank Seth from me Jean....the walnut tree is two meters away from it and if I don't get any decent walnuts this year...it's a gonner.  I'm going to get it pollarded this year and so the forsythia can stay there for the time being....but I bow to Seth's greater knowledge...I'll keep my eye on both.  When you look what's growing round it...not much appears to be inhibited....and as for the sunrise...you'd love it out here...sunrises, sunsets and moon rises are Bulgaria's specialities...oh and the starry nights...fab....so little pollution in the villages...

Silly night again.  At four I was wide awake and reading and decided to get the internet up and have a flit around but the Kindle was dead.  I'd put it to charge last night and I know that the cable is a bit dodgy at the device end and I thought it had finally packed up.  So I knew there was another one...somewhere...so I searched and found nothing so sent off a couple of emails asking my next week's guest to see what he could do for a replacement.  Back to sleep at six and eventually came round at eight thirty, coffee, didn't water since it was spotting with rain and I'm ever the optimist, dressed and out by ten heading for Mrs. D of S's for a catch-up.  Left there at twelve and over to the Librarians and she'd been down the wood yard and had come back with some really super material to make a table.  Off to the restaurant in her village for lunch and was joined by some of her neighbours and eventually we set off for the wood yard with one of them in tow. Picked what I wanted, paid the bill, got it cut to a size that I could manage to get it into the Beast, managed to squeeze the Librarian and friend back in and set off for her village.  Ten lengths of two meter, twenty five centimetre wide and about five centimetres thick....Cracking for a table top, stair treads or door frames for the little house.  I think I might be getting some more when the men start back.  Good to get it now though before we have any rain and it gets wet....it's now stashed in the little house.

Lots of promise of rain but nothing to really write home about.  I just want one big downpour....I'm going to have to water again tonight and it takes me an hour to do it.....Better get going now then...I've got a tenderloin of pork to cook that I got out of the freezer last night...silly me.

Nothing now until Monday when I pick up my guest from Kardjali and I'll do a major shop then.  There's no point in using up Diesel  for a trip out.  Garden calls...the sun might just pop it's head out to say goodnight....but not worth a shot.  LN...I've got a garden to water...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 10, 2016, 6:06pm; Reply: 12
Saturday 10th September

It looked a promising start so I was out watering the garden making sure that they all had a good drink.  I really don't know why I bothered...well yes I do...the rain didn't really come down until late this afternoon and then it was only for about ten minutes and it cleared again.  It was stop, start, stop, start for most of the day but still very warm.

Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and I walked the terrace and looked at the number of leaves that are hanging around the place despite my sweeping them up and putting them down the bottom of the garden.  I suddenly remembered that Lidl had an offer on for a leaf sucker up that shreds them at the same time and the offer was only on for today so I was in the car at ten thirty more or less and got one.  I picked up a few more items and moved on to my favourite car park by the bank at the top end of town and the attendant started to complain that I'd not paid the last time I was there.  When we left he wasn't there so I told him that was the reason.  I think he was hoping that I'd cough it up but more chance of hell freezing over....he should have waited.  So I stayed there for about twenty minutes...into the cheapy shop and picked up a work shirt for my guest for next week, a top for my student and a tee-shirt for myself for the princely sum of one pound eighty more or less....how can you refuse.  Off to Kaufland and I'd been asked to buy some cigars while I was in town and managed to get King Edwards for a very reasonable price and leaving the store I saw a couple of friends on the car park and chatted for a while.  Home via the dirt road eventually.  I'm not sure where my brain was but I drove straight past it and ended up turning round about two miles down the road....

While I was waiting for last night's curry to become tonight's curry I opened a packet of peanuts, dropped some into a bowl and it's a good job I did.  There was something that looked like a staple or part of a machine now I have to remember where I bought them from to take them back.  A complaint might not be heeded but at least I will feel better.  As for the curry... it was delicious.  

Very pleasant day...there's something about shopping on your own...my time, my pace and a general meander.  A little late updating but again...where did the day go.   LN...Might have a busy day tomorrow...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 11, 2016, 5:24pm; Reply: 13
Sunday 11th September

Five thirty start and still hadn't made the decision about busy day or not but by six I'd made it.  My journey was to Sofia Airport, I left at just after eight and gave myself plenty of time to get there.  I was there for twelve more or less and a very uneventful journey and I stopped for a coffee and to spend a penny in that time so really good time.  The standard of driving needs really looking at....several well over the speed limit and overtaking and undertaking in all the wrong places.  The Beast handled it beautifully...a little more on diesel than I thought it would be but still withing reason.

I went over to arrivals and got my internet connection going and there was no response to the message that I'd left this morning once I'd made the decision so the person wasn't aware that I was going to be in the airport.  Sod's law...there were four flights arriving at more or less the same time so I was on tenterhooks that I didn't miss him.  The look of surprise on his face when  he spotted me was worth waiting for...the last message from his was 'well if you can be arsed...I'd appreciate it but no worries if you're not and guess what...'I was arsed'....

Into the car and back on to the road without a break until we got to the other side of Assenovgrad where the drinks come back down to normal  rates...not the towny rates.  From there it was only three quarters of an hour into Kardjali.  We made one stop and then I've just dropped him off home.  If I hadn't have bothered...he would still be on the road instead of in his local.

I stopped on the way back to take pictures of the sunset and had a chat with one of the locals from the other village about the beauty of nature.  He asked where I'd been and when I said that I'd been on a mercy mission...his response was 'bravo'....So a fizzy water and juice on the go....no supper since I had a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar on the way down....now for a little Filmon and bed....It's been a long day but well worth it.  LN...I like days like these...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 12, 2016, 6:42pm; Reply: 14
Monday 12th September

So last night after a long day I was falling asleep at the screen and eventually I was tucked up at eleven and straight through until seven this morning.  Perhaps that's a cure for insomnia...drive for five hundred kilometres and then go to bed.  I caught the end of the sunrise and watched it go behind the cloud on the horizon and it's been in and out all day.  Poached eggs for breakfast after I'd walked the garden with my coffee in hand and by rights I should have watered but I didn't.  Bonfire to get rid of the house rubbish, two loads of washing after the beds were stripped and the third was only half done...the electricity went off at lunchtime.  

I didn't have to be anywhere until three thirty this afternoon so I showered and washed my hair, left the house at just after two, filled up with diesel and headed to my student's parent's shop to wish them happy holiday.  Lots of the local shops are closed as the owners spend time with family for Kurban Bayrami 2016 (Eid el-Adha), the Islamic Sacrifice Holiday.  

So I got to Kardjali on time to meet the bus from Sofia and my guest who's with me for the next three weeks.  We stopped off at Lidl to get a few things and headed home via the lane and made it back by five more or less and then the evening has just shot by.  I set the washing machine off again and managed to get it out by six and brought it in at eight...completely dry.  Watered the garden since some of the shrubs were looking a little worse for wear with leaves hanging down so it looks like it might be on the agenda for a while.  Pepper steak sandwiches for supper with fried mushrooms and onions followed by ice cream and chocolate cake...and they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...I intended to keep this weight off...we'll see... :-/

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow...just a catch up of all things gardening like mending the polythene garden cover ready for the broad beans to go in.  It might also be a time to sit down and plan the holiday that we might be taking.  LN....I'm heading down to be the hostess with the mostest...well for the first night anyway...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 13, 2016, 4:18pm; Reply: 15
Tuesday 13th September

Seven start this morning and that sun is getting later every day.  Seven fifteen this morning but my guest was snoring away in the downstairs bedroom when I crept down to make coffee so I came back up to bed and watched the sunrise from the balcony.  Pretty late breakfast....last night's peppered steaks were taking some shifting so it was ten thirty before the urge to cook bacon and egg followed by toast and marmalade.  As for the rest of the day it's flown by mainly because breakfast was late.  Two guest around breakfast time...Gouldjan and her intended turned up with some meat for there festival for us and an invitation to the wedding breakfast tomorrow at four thirty and five minutes later Haciber appeared with a lower shank of lamb for us.  Good neighbours.... ;)

And now to the tasks of the day.  First job was to get my new leaf blower/sucker set up and into use to get rid of the perpetual leaves that blow into the porch by the main door.  I was having to sweep them up two or three times a day so they didn't get into the house....So it was assembled by my guest, he broke the back of it but it's different from the one that we have in the UK...there's no safety switch on it but you have to have all parts assembled for safety.  So when it wouldn't work...I was out with the book...identified that it was a hidden safety switch in one of the long pipes and it was closely followed by....'read the manual' plus expletives.  The lawn mower has been serviced and more spacers so the wheels don't wobble any more, the blade has been removed so that I can buy the correct one on our next trip to Kardjali or Haskovo...whoever has it in stock.  I've trimmed the lavender and hung up around eight bunches to dry in the little house and the rest can go on the compost...there's just so much of it.  The garden is watered already tonight...the hose connectors have been sorted and I've got drenched several times today trying to move the whirly thingy from one patch to the next.  The final job was to attach the battery charger to Beauty...she's about to be made roadworthy again...especially if the men come back to work on the house after the holiday.

There's a gently snore coming from the hallway...I think I've worn him out already and only here for one day.  I think I'll give him an easy day tomorrow....as I said I'm out for the wedding at three thirty heading for Momchilgrad so he might decided for himself that it's down in the sun with a book.  

Lovely evening....no wind, a few clouds, rose blue sky where I've missed the setting yet again....the snoring has stopped ...I can go be sociable again.....LN....No pickies...I've been far too busy organising the troop....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 14, 2016, 6:26pm; Reply: 16
Wednesday 14th September

Seven o'clock start again...sleeping upstairs must suit me...something to do with the altitude.  Crept down for a coffee and took it outside carefully closing the door behind me so that I didn't let too much cold air into the house and it was a little nippy.  I was joined not long after and soon there was some heat in the sun and it turned into a beautiful warm day.  I was down for the bread van forgetting that I'd got a loaf out of the freezer last night when I needed to make room for something else.  I had hugs with my ladies, came back and it was scrambled egg on toast to use up the eggs so I can get fresh ones tomorrow.  Toast and marmalade to follow...the diet has gone to the wall... ;)

So what did I get up to today to burn the calories off?  I finished stringing up the lavender that I cut yesterday and hung it in the little house, had a bonfire and cleared out the old burning pit with a view to working out where I want to site the new one so that I can see it and that it's efficient and safe.  It's on the drawing board tomorrow.  I moved the new wood from the workshop in the little house into what will be the lounge so that it's out of the way while the workshop is in play by my guest.  Beauty is mobile again now that the battery's charged and the tyres need to be pumped up tomorrow,,,,I was too busy thinking about getting ready for a wedding to achieve much more today....I'd done enough and it had warmed up too much to get stuck into mega activity.  I briefly saw Gouldjan this morning as she was being driven round at the rate of knots to achieve everything before the lift off and she told me where the ceremony was to take place and I more or less made it to the right spot and on time.

This was to be a civil ceremony....they were saving their pennies for a new life in Germany and I don't blame them at all.  I was the only one that wasn't family and I'm proud to have been invited.  I've known Gouldjan for about seven years through the ups and downs and her beau ever since she met him more or less.  Good choice on both their parts and I'm wishing them every happiness when they start their new life together.  And now for the event.  It was in Momchilgrad and the Wedding March was played and it reminded me of home.  There was plenty of room for guest...it's just that we were thin on the ground.  The bottle of bubbly game out along with the bread and honey that's fed to the couple by the mother of the groom....and the ceremony was carried out by a lady.  Short and sweet, champagne popped, bread stuffed, loads of photo opportunities then down to the square for more pickies and over to the restaurant for a bun fight/  We may be small in numbers but we all had a good time.  Off they went, mothers cried as is the norm and I drove myself home via the rough road.  

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except that I might try to order the blade for the lawn mower to save a trip into Haskovo and the new leaf vacuum has to go back...the bag has split second time out.....gggrrr...why me.  I'm out of my party clothes and into PJ's and about to get my book out.  It's been an exciting day....LN...Cinderella has found Prince Charming....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 15, 2016, 5:24pm; Reply: 17
Thursday 15th September

Just woke up in time to catch the sunrise this morning...another late start for me.  Out for seven thirty on to the terrace with coffee and this morning I needed eggs from the van.  I walked up to the top of the hill to catch the van at its earlier stop so that I could find out if Remsier was my guest from last night that really confused the heck out  of my guest from England.  Never the twain shall meet due to a language barrier and even with the phrase book...nothing doing.  She had called round last night and it was to tell me that her computer wasn't working and it was due to a configuration error.  I went back later but the commands were in Turkish and I worked out that there was a cable missing and try as I might, I couldn't find one with a loose end.

Back home with eggs and cheesy bread and breakfast was fried eggs on the said cheesy bread....so good we both went back for more.  I cleared the kitchen and out to the garden for a bonfire and a bit of digging.  I spent some of the morning on the computer trying to find the blade for the lawnmower and after a couple of local phone calls I gave it up as a bad job and we are likely to be going into Haskovo tomorrow.

Gentle afternoon in the garden, the Librarian came over on her way back from Kardjali and no sooner had she gone and I'd started the watering, I had five more guests staying in the lower village.  Two from Istanbul, another local and the one from Holland and over for their festivities.  One conducted tour and then in to finish off supper from the slow cooker which held the festival meat from Gouldjan's mother.  It was very tasty and tender...unusual for Bulgaria since they don't hang it long enough.  Just finished the kitchen and came up to do the blog when I noticed the moon.  I caught the photo of it full while my guest took a couple of what looked like a boy running with it.  You have to have a good imagination to be here.

So maybe Haskovo tomorrow, Lidl to take back the bag which has split from the leaf blower....just my luck egh.  LN...I'm going to sit out on this balmy night...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 16, 2016, 5:21pm; Reply: 18
Friday 16th September

Well it was a matter of recording the start of the sun's travels and also that of the moon today.  The rest of it has been very busy on the shopping and communication front.

I tried to make more phone calls to order the part for my lawnmower to no avail, I did managed to contact Bekir and I've arranged for them to start work on the 26th September to complete the wall and he's going to order my winter wood for me so that's another thing off the to do list.  Breakfast was fried eggs on the rest of yesterday's cheesy bread and then it was to horse.  I cleaned up the shredder machine that was due to go back to Lidl since the bag was split and loaded it in the car.  I got the receipt for something else that I'd ordered from MTD lawnmowers and if I had to drive to Haskovo and they didn't have the part, at least they could place an order for me and it would be sent to my address...All courts covered.  I also phoned Gouldjan to see where she wanted me to leave the memory stick with the wedding photos on it since we would be out all day so I left it with her mother at the house and managed to see the newly weds in the next village as they drove home and we set off down the dirt road to Kardjali.  The machine was returned to Lidl and I have a note to hand over when the new one is delivered to the store.

Our shopping trip was successful....new metal connectors purchased for the garden hose and fitted once we got back.  I got coffee filters for the new coffee machine so that I don't end up with coffee grains everywhere, we had lunch in town so it's a snack for supper and we were back for six this evening so it five minutes sitting with the Kindle on the terrace with fruit juice for me and a beer for my guest and then on with watering the garden.  As I started I saw that the moon was creeping over the hill in more or less the same spot as the sun came up this morning and it had a lovely pinky tinge to it.  The rest of the garden was completed in the moon's glow and now it's time to eat.  

Just a few pickies of the sun and moon...no time for anything else today.  LN...the hunger bugs are biting...LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 17, 2016, 4:01pm; Reply: 19
Saturday 17th September

Rotten night...at three I had cramp in my right calf and I was hopping about on the cold tiles to try to stretch out the muscle.  Don't you just hate it when that happens.  I was awake the second time at seven thirty, sun was up, my guest was up and putting the coffee on and we were out sitting in the sun when the bread van came.  I legged it down there, Haciber had a box of chocolates that she was handing round...her grandchildren have gone back to Sweden today and this is a little parting gift.  The holiday is over...all back to normal now but the border crossing is experiencing lots of to-ing and fro-ing...not a good day to venture to Greece despite the weather.  Bread and cheesy bread from the van and back to bacon and egg stuffed cheesy bread for breakfast...delicious.  I hung out the washing I'd done last night to give it a blow and set to with doing a bit of a clear up on the shrub and flower bed under the front wall of the house.  At that point I explained what I needed to do with the concrete pipes that had hung around on the ground between the wall and the house and between us I now have a step made out of one of them.  

We came in for a lunch of cheese and onion rolls and sat in the sun for a while before heading off to Djebel to get some chicken wire for another job that I've earmarked my guest for but that will be done tomorrow.  Put a lamb joint into a casserole with potatoes, onions, carrots and peas and I'm just about to head to the kitchen to thicken the gravy with Bisto....a proper meal for the troops and there is a fat cream cake for afters....

So tomorrow I have a baby party where it's a bit like pin the tail on the donkey only it's pin the note on the child.  This is the new granddaughter of my favourite restaurant lady and the sister of my birthday companion.  Twelve o'clock in Djebel or there abouts and it's normally salad, chicken leg and potatoes, cake and soft drinks...I'll see what this one turns out like.  

Beautiful evening and I'm waiting for that cracking moon to show up....it's the time of the full moon...I'll check for vampires under the bed.  LN...I'm kitchen bound...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 18, 2016, 3:28pm; Reply: 20
Sunday 18th September

Well it was a lovely mellow start to the morning and I missed the sunrise.  I was out there watering  and it crept up on me but then went behind the hazy clouds.  Once it had burnt off it was really hot and remained so for the rest of the day.  I managed to cook poached eggs on toast for breakfast and avoided the toast and marmalade...just like I'm avoiding the bathroom scales.  Shower and hairwash...I was off to the baby party for twelve so I really didn't get stuck into much before I left.

Parked up and found the venue and it was where the Librarian and myself call the soup kitchen.  The same waiter was there and I asked for a chicken soup and he looked confused and said that he couldn't manage it.  I told him that I was there for the baby party and he broke into a smile realising that I was having him on.  I have been friends with the baby's grandmother and the rest of the family eversince I arrived in Bulgaria but it was a bit of a surprise when she told me that the rumour going round was that I'd had a baby....and she had totalliy refuted it.  I said that if that were the case I'd have to be changing my name to Mary and start believing.  They were mixing me up with another English person who in fact has just had a baby....so I explained the mix up.  I sat with the lady from the post office and two more friends and the guests arrived in dribs and drabs.  Eventually most had arrived and the waiter served me first with guess what.....chicken soup and it is delicious.  Close on its heels came chicken and salad and then the cake which I had to force down.  It was good...the baby wasn't paraded round, it was very low key and I had time to chat to people that I hadn't seen for a while especially those that have moved abroad to work and are back for the holiday.  

I stopped off at the hardware shop and got some small nails for my next project, got home and couldn't find my guest.  The house was open and was the workshop and the little house, he wasn't in the garden and it looked like he's be absconded by aliens.  As I was going upstairs to check to see if he was using my computer, I looked into the opening in to the lounge and he's fast asleep in the sofa.  Must have had a hard morning...or slacking since I wasn't around with the whip.

I settled on to the hall sofa and read for a while until I could read no more, I've watered the garden so my work for today is over...just something for supper to think about.  Tomorrow is a blank canvas so far...we'll see what the weather does and it could be a trip down to Greece for the day.  LN....Kitchen calls...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 19, 2016, 3:30pm; Reply: 21
Monday 19th September

Much better night last night but I did have to get up and open the door on to the balcony...it was just so hot.  I should really remember to close the curtains though ...that moon is so very bright.

Seven twenty start and it was almost there but obliterated partially by the clouds and it's been like that most of the day.  I heard the woodpecker down in the next field and managed to work out where the tapping was coming from but unfortunately the camera had problems focusing.  By eight we were sitting out on the terrace and there was lots of heat in the sun with clouds lingering over the Greek mountains so we thought that despite the weather predictions...we were going to be lucky.  Unfortunately we were looking south east but when we looked south west...it was grey over and looked likely to stay that way.  Messed around most of the morning...cooked breakfast for my guest which I started and told him it was his mess to finish since it involved onions and an omelette and I settled for buttered bun loaf.  I repotted a few house plants, intended to put new bulbs in but that went by the way when we started on another workshop project.  I've had a spot of bother with 'something' getting into the little house and running along the under eaves woodwork and I believe making a nest up there.  They first came in in spring, left for the summer because it was so hot and I hoped for good but unfortunately came back as the weather got cooler.  It's not as big as a pine-martin, eats eggs and anything else it can get its paws on so I bought some chicken wire yesterday and today's project was to staple the wire to the woodwork stopping up all the entry points.  I'm just hoping it was out already or I'm going to have a very unhappy 'something'.  I'll let you know tomorrow.

I'd stripped the beds down this morning and washed the sheets and just managed to get them in and beds made up before the few spots of rain....again I was able to count them...fell.  I'm not going to water tonight...it's not been ravishingly hot today and the wind is quite cool this evening.  I'm just about to go round and close a few doors.

I got mincemeat out for tonight but I've just made the decision that we're off to Romantica.....I fancy a mixed grill and am feeling house bound so off down the back lane for a spin.  LN...Early update...I'm out to eat...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 20, 2016, 6:09pm; Reply: 22
Tuesday 20th September

Lovely start to the morning but it didn't last for long.  Dramatic skies, the clouds were forming over the Greek mountains and the wind was blowing in this direction so by eight thirty the sun had gone but then it was in and out until about lunchtime.  It was really pleasant to work in.  Breakfast was fried tomatoes on toast and I abstained from the marmalade and toast.  I had Beauty to wash and spruce up...today was the day of the MOT.  Washed her in the drive, I went into Djebel in the Beast to get the insurance sorted out, down to the garage to see if they could fit in a quick check and back home.  I sat down with a coffee for five minutes and it stretched into twenty during which time I had a five minute nap.  Up and at 'em in Beauty, down to the garage again, they checked it over and gave it another wash.  I did suggest that they took care with the pressure hose...I think the mud is keeping her together.

Off to the MOT garage with the documentation and I sat at the computer with the mechanic and he started entering the details.  Just for the record, I bought this car from the garage in Djebel and the documentation gave the previous owners mother's details.  I've chased this man several times, got him to a solicitor twice and he was supposed to get his sisters to sign at the solicitors to say that the car could be sold as in the meantime the mother had died.  So I'm driving a car that belonged to a dead woman who probably never drove but the families used to register lots of cars to any invalid in the family so that they didn't have to pay local tax.  I'm aware of this, the usual guy at the MOT is aware of this but about three months ago, you have to show the invalid document when you go for the MOT so that the application can be processed.  So the computer came back with the fact that the tax hadn't been paid and I didn't have a certificate and so it couldn't be MOT.  Feathers and spitting comes to mind so I was back to the garage where I bought the car from so that I could contact the previous owner so I could lay into him.  Fortunately...I could cancel the insurance so I drove back home with no insurance, no MOT and for an ex-copper...it went against all the bones in my body.  Fingers crossed I can contact the guy or I might be ready to dump Beauty and get another...she's served me well but I'm still hoping that it can be sorted.

Shepherd's pie tonight followed by baked apples and I'm stuffed.  My wood is supposed to be coming tomorrow so I'll burn off a few calories shifting eight cubic meters and I'll need to contact my painter to see if he wants to come round with his chain saw.  Lovely sunset tonight...not much sun but dramatic clouds and I understand it's now RAINING and it saves me a job in the morning.  LN....I have a little Film on to watch..LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 21, 2016, 4:35pm; Reply: 23
Wednesday 21st September

Disturbed night again.  My fingers were itching like crazy so I was up putting on cream at around two and then I realised why..... there was the 'zizzing' of a mosquito in my ear so it was down to the lounge and upstairs with a can of deterrent.  What use are mozzies?  All answers on a postcard please.... :-/  I was reading and playing silly games until four or there abouts and went down for coffee to the gentle zizzing of a different kind...my guest was still bringing the sheep home as my father used to say relating to a gentle snore.  I went out with my coffee and soon came back in...I'd ventured on to the balcony to take photos of the morning but sitting out was a different matter.  My noise woke up the dead and we were out there and by this time the sun had warmed up a little.

I cooked breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches and I was out to demolish the contraption I'd made last year to protect the broad beans from the snow.  The weather hadn't been kind to it so it was as well down and I believe my guest is making me a new one but out of old wood.  I went upstairs to open up emails and the likes and suddenly there was a whistle from the gate...the lorry with my wood had arrived and it was all systems go from then on.  I'd left the cars outside, they reversed the lorry in...very carefully...two men unloaded it while the lorry driver watched...procedure normal.  I paid him his dues and off they went tooting as they left.  The heap looked big and was big but now it's sorted it's manageable.  Small that will be done with a chop saw and can be stacked immediately, medium that will be cut into lengths and can be used as they are and the biggies that need desperate measures.  They will need to be chainsawed and chopped.  So most of my morning and afternoon was taken up with the task...I did stop for a cheese and onion roll to keep me going but it was a job well done and will make my painter's work much easier tomorrow.

It clouded over and the rain started around five but only lasted long enough for a little rainbow.  The light was magnificent....the dark clouds and the sun lighting up the trees on the hillside with just a hint of the rainbow but as for a sunset...forget it.  The temperature has dropped, the clouds have set in and there's not even a glimmer of my morning friend.

I've a chicken in the oven for supper so must go and attend to my hostess duties...I'm playing assistant to a man with a chainsaw and stacking tomorrow....I woman's work is varied if nothing else.  LN...Kitchen bound...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 21, 2016, 4:38pm; Reply: 24
And there's more
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 22, 2016, 3:59pm; Reply: 25
Thursday 22nd September

Straight through last night from ten fifteen to seven a.m......manual work does me good coupled with a huge plate of roast chicken and potato wedges to fill up on.  I was falling asleep watching Filmon so took to my bed and left my guest to shut up shop and find his own way downstairs.  Everything was closed up, the temperature had dropped so despite requests to light a fire...we managed without.  I think the sight of all that wood had made him think, well why not....but it was only chill not cold.

So dressed pretty early on and waiting for my painter to arrive with his chainsaw to get the show on the road.  I been down to the bread van and topped up with white and brown and a cheesy something different so cooked bacon and fried a couple of eggs to fill me up for the day.  It was as well...once we started it was half two before I took him home and four fifteen before I'd cleared the yard.  The yard is empty.  The big stuff is stacked for chopping, the back wall of the garage has wood that will fit in the wood burner and needs nothing more doing to it and the uncut stuff can be done with the electric saw which cuts down on the wastage.  The little stuff is not so good for the chainsaw so we called it a day.  It was good that I'd stacked the wood, it made it so much easier to cut with the chainsaw.  My painter was able to easily and securely cut through two or three in sequence and not stop to watch his footing or move small stuff out of the way.

Now I'm knacked.  Fortunately it's been dull and a little cold today so it was easier to work than in the heat.  We had a few spots of rain hence the need to get the wood in the garage and away.  I swept the yard but it was difficult to clear all the sawdust from the chainsaw...it had mixed in with the dust and gravel from the drive so I did the best I could and am relying on the wind to do the rest.  I filled four wheelbarrows and dumped the dust and sawdust on the vegetable garden.  That combined with the cow stuff that I applied earlier should do wonders for the quality of the soil and about time to.  

Water going on for a bath tonight...I need to soak away the aches.  Supper is the remains of last night's chicken with chippies which is going to take no time at all and tonight I believe it's the final of 'Make me an Egghead'...it's been exciting stuff.  So down to the kitchen...let's get this show on the road...LN...I should sleep well again tonight...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 23, 2016, 4:53pm; Reply: 26
Friday 23rd September

I woke up to the mountains having been stolen and I couldn't even see the bottom of the garden.  The autumn mist had descended.  The sun eventually broke through and burnt it off but it was a while coming.  I checked out the weather for Greece and a decision was made that we were going down for the day so swimming gear was packed along with suntan oils that never came out and off we set.  First though we topped up on food knowing how expensive things are in Greece...poached eggs for breakfast followed by orange, lime and ginger marmalade on toast...delicious.

Down the back lane to the main road and it was downhill to Greece.  No hold up at the customs, the officer did check to see if there was anyone lying down on the back seat and we were through in about five minutes.  The journey down is magnificent and what a wonder of engineering with about four tunnels on the Greek side.  There was the normal spate of Bulgarian drivers that seem to overtake in the most dangerous places but that's to be expected.  We were heading for Fanari which is a fishing village and I'd never driven down there before and was trying to follow the signs...which was going well until they stopped and we ended up on the motorway to Thessaloniki and it wasn't until we came back that this was where we made the mistake but I'll know for next time.  We off roaded a bit and eventually found the right road and parked up.  Lunch was first on the agenda and I settled for calamaris and my guest for pork skewers with potato salad and cheesy chips and a walk on the beach to follow settled it down a little.  There weren't many people around which was good and we walked the harbour and sat down on the beach for a while just enjoying the view.  Suddenly the breeze off the sea turned chill so we uped sticks, into the car for five and home for six thirty managing to find our way through Komitini and identifying where we went wrong....one turning to soon on the way down.

Lovely feeling that you get after an afternoon on the beach...might manage to get another one in before he goes home.  No supper...still stuffed from lunch....and about to get myself a fizzy water to try to move everything down a little....LN...I'm kitchen bound...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 24, 2016, 4:59pm; Reply: 27
Saturday 24th September

Lovely pre-dawn sky this morning...so much so that I was out on the balcony taking the photo.  The moon was bright but only half of it is there now.  How quickly it seems to go from full to none...the weeks just fly by. I'd put extra quilts on the beds last night and we were both pleased that I did.  I hadn't lit a fire last night but boy was it cold when I went out to take the pickies.  Coffee by seven thirty and down to the bread van for eight for some eggs and a cheesy bun.  The rest of the ladies seem to be fully stocked...there was only three of us down there this morning.  Breakfast was fried eggs on the cheesy bread followed by toast and marmalade...it'll be dieting for me when I'm flying solo again.

Out to the little house this morning and I decided to clear it out and generally have a bonfire and get rid of the rubbish.  I seem to accumulate empty cans, coffee tins and jars thinking that I'll do something with them or give them away and I never do.  The ones that I want are stored, the others are ready for the container the next time I go into Djebel.  I sorted out the little house porch ready to move the old wood into it to use it up first, the wood burners that I've no need for at present are in the designated kitchen and now there's room to put the outside furniture inside when the weather really changes.  This cold spell is only a hiccup I think...I've got a guest so it's usual.

I had a really big burn up and had to go down there with the hosepipe to make sure that I didn't set the hillside alight.  It is contained in the half oil drum so not much danger but I put a metal lid on to stop the sparks.  Garden watered by five, fire started by half past, potatoes peeled and hash made by six fifteen and supper over and done with by seven thirty.  How's that for organised tonight.  

It's been a beautiful day but we had to wait for it to warm up but once the sun went down the temperature dropped and according to the weather people it's a seasonal low.  Fingers crossed for tomorrow....not much planned only the same as today or a trip to Djebel for a few things.  LN....Filmon, shower to get the dust out of my hair, Kindle and bed.  I've got that tiredness you get when you've had a good day and can see the results of your labours.  LN...I'm down to the fire...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 25, 2016, 4:37pm; Reply: 28
Sunday 25th September

Strictly last night and I do feel for Ed Balls.....why do they set themselves up for it.  Bed by ten thirty more or less and straight through until seven...the sleep of the just.  Bit of a mix up over breakfast...I ended up doing mine and left my guest to it.  Daily Mail Sudoku and then I was out sorting the workshop so that I could get a handle on where the new wood was to go.  I'd accumulated old wood from when the yard tree was pollarded and the cherry was blown down and I wanted to get into the corners, sweep it all out and by late this afternoon...it was done.  Lots of work but worth it.

I planted up a few things that had been hanging around for a while including a couple of very large sweet potatoes.  Not sure what will happen to them....they have greenery on the top but no roots so into the vegetable garden they went and they've had a good watering....we shall see what we shall see.  I sat out on the terrace for a while and noticed a very small lizard hoovering round the pots.  When I got up to get the camera it stood still and was still there when I emerged from the house.  Just keep eating the buglies....you can stay anytime...outside.  The bonfire has been going most of the day to take the really old wood, cardboard and general rubbish.  Coffee tins are sorted and stored in the little house along with a few glass jars but the rest are assembled ready for the container in Djebel.  

Supper is over early tonight...fish fingers, chippies and peas....not inspirational but fills a gap and the pork is out to defrost for tomorrow.  I'm picking the men up tomorrow to start the wall and finish off the old one and that will probably be it for this year.  I shall be fully cow and sheep proof.  Shower time....I have a fine dusting of....well dust....and I don't want to be taking that to bed with me.  LN....I'm off to spruce up...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 25, 2016, 4:40pm; Reply: 29
Automatic pilot and posted before complete...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 26, 2016, 5:12pm; Reply: 30
Monday 26th September

So a leisurely soak last night and slept like a little log until six thirty this morning, waited for the sun to show her little face, single coffee and set off to fetch the men.  First day back and they were there with their little shoes blacked, lunch and clean work clothes to hand and I think they are pleased to be back.  We set off for the materials yard, ordered five hundred cement blocks, thirty bags of cement, metal for the construction and wood to hold the concrete until it's set.  The final wall of the fortifications is going up...cows and sheep eat your hearts out... ;)

They had to settle back in again, their old workshop in the little house is taken up with old wood so there's not much room in there.  They set themselves up in the workshop and started to assemble tools for clearing the top part of the fence and trees and digging the trench.  The resorted to the electric reciprocating saw to remove some of the tree roots and branches and they've completed about five meters so far.  We did have a short sharp downpour when it was a rush to get the thirty bags of cement covered up against the elements but it was short lived.  

I went into Djebel just before lunch to get some money out of the cash machine to pay the bill but when I got back they'd already delivered but this time they'd used a forklift to deliver the blocks on pallets.  Normally they're offloaded by hand hence I ordered five hundred and not the thousand as I did last time.

Prepared a pork curry and it was cooked by the time that I got back from delivering the men to their village.  I did stop off on the way back to do some baby worshipping...it would have been rude not to....I'll give more details later.

Rice is cooked so time to serve up....so down to the kitchen I go.  LN....It does smell good...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 27, 2016, 4:59pm; Reply: 31
Tuesday 27th September

So it was a six thirty awakening and eventually got out of bed, dressed and ready to go by seven thirty.  I took the photos of the sun from outside on the terrace today and sipping my coffee in the interim.  The men were waiting and soon into the car and we set off for the materials yard so I could pay my bill.  I hate it when I have anything outstanding.  There was one purchase to be made...a new pick....they broke the other yesterday...the ground is so hard.  Bekir and Sally played around for a little while while we were deciding whether to save the tree or not and how we could remove the roots of the one that we didn't want.  I think there's a bit more trimming to do before the final decision is made...I'd like to but if it's in the way...it can come down.  My painter also put in an appearance with his electric cutting machine and set himself up in the garage.  The rest of the small wood was finished which put pressure on me to get it stacked so that Beauty could go into the garage and be out of the yard.  I was doing really well, the Painter had set off with his machine on his wheelbarrow refusing my request to put it in the back of the Beast and as I lifted one of the fairly large logs, it slipped and dropped on to the top of my foot....painful.  I slapped some Arnica on it, didn't bother with the ice which I should have done and it's really aching and turning a lovely shade of blue.  I'm hopping around like an oldie.

The lads struggled on with the wall and telephoned Semile to see if he could come along with his tractor to straighten the metal for the wall support.  He was eating when Bekir phoned and we started to take bets on whether it would be today, tomorrow or next week....and hush my bunny...I heard the tractor around two in the afternoon.  The men set to, all the coils are now straight and cut into lengths and it makes their lives much easier and that kept Bekir off the end of a pick for the rest of the afternoon.  Sally couldn't find anything else to do.  I got the garden watering in early today, lit the fire and was ready for their home time by five before six.  We decided to test out the lane way down to the Greece road and up their rough road to see how many kilometres difference it was than my normal route.  I zeroed twice and it was three kilometres difference the usual way to the lane but it seemed much quicker...the road is better.

Supper under way and should be ready in about ten minutes.  Chilli spicy sausages with potatoes in tomato sauce...I'm looking forward to it.  It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow...the wind was cold today but fine in the sun which kept popping behind the clouds.  LN...Bring back summer....pretty please....LN


Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 28, 2016, 6:12pm; Reply: 32
Wednesday 28th September

Well it's been another busy old day.  Six thirty start and I was amazed to see the moon at about thirty degrees from the horizon...I thought it was much earlier in the night.  I got the book out and waited for the morning proper and was washed, dressed and completely ready to face the day by seven thirty when the sun came.  I didn't take any photos, into the car and off to get the men.  They were on time and jumped in and we were home in quicksticks and the first job of the day was to order the sand and gravel mix for the concrete.  No sooner the word that the telephone call and the materials arrived and got dumped in the lane.  I only hope my neighbour stays in Turkey....I don't really want any hassles.

Sally slogged on with the trench and made the land fairly flat so that he could push the wheelbarrow safely to the trench without it slopping everywhere.  Bekir was busy with the rest of the supports and the first lot was mixed and went in.  We're not too bothered about the height at the moment...blocks can go on later...it's all about getting the foundations right so that we don't have the wall collapsing into the field.  Breakfast was beans on toast...I couldn't drum up much enthusiasm to concoct anything else and then I was busy in the garden clearing weeds and grass from a couple of the beds...they've taken off now that the cow shite has gone on.  The day sort of rushed by today....I seemed to do a lot but it didn't seem to count for much and I'm sure we all get days like these.  I was a bit hampered by the foot, the Arnica has really helped and the swelling has gone down.

Decision was made early on...I wasn't cooking supper tonight....we were off to the restaurant when the men had been dropped off.  Not sure what state Bekir will be in tomorrow...he was going to the dentist tonight for some maintenance but the objective is to get them all capped.  I'll take a good look tomorrow to see if it was worth the effort.  Sally has been quiet today...I think the novelty of being back has worn off...trench digging when the ground is so hard isn't easy.

So the restaurant is one that we've been to before and we sat by the pool but out of the sun was cool and the wind off the water had a nip in it.  The food was good but by the end we were both glad to get in the car and get home.  It was eight thirty but I lit the fire...can't have my guest cold....and I'm going down as soon as I've posted to enjoy it.  LN...The fire calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 29, 2016, 5:05pm; Reply: 33
Thursday 29th September

Another week, another month nearly gone...We're heading into winter although the forecast for October looks really good.  I'll wait and see though ...they have a habit of getting it wrong.

I woke up at two this morning with my Kindle on the bed and glasses on so safely removed both and managed to get off again until six thirty and off to fetch the men at seven thirty after downing a cup of coffee.  I had half written the instructions for Mrs D of S's visitor on the best way to get down from Sofia Airport to the house and it was to be one of the jobs when I got back.  I took the rough road down to the road to Greece and their rough road and was there in quick sticks.  I did take the main road back again...poor Sally does get sloshed around in the Beast.  There were still snores from my guest bedroom so I was out helping the men when I dropped a plank of old wood on my foot and a rusty nail went through the strap of my shoe and into my foot.  I couldn't see to release the wood from the shoe buckle and when I did there was lots of blood when the nail came out.  I took the shoe off and hobbled to the bathroom, cleaned it up and applied iodine directly to the wound and slapped on a cotton wool pad and got my shoe back on again so that the strap could hold the pad in place.  Once more in the wars as my mum would have said,

Breakfast over we headed into Kardjali and I left the kettle outside for the men to make their coffee.  I went to the Poly Clinic first...I know that my Tetanus is sadly overdue so saw my doctor, she gave me a prescription for the stuff for the injection and told me to come straight back and she would give to me.  Ten minutes from consultation to implementation at a cost of one lev eighty stotinki.  Meandered around and wasn't able to get the new chain for my Painter's chainsaw or the oil they were out of stock of both.  Sorted out my bank to make sure there was enough in the account to pay my direct debits, lunch in the pizza place, Kaufland for a few items and Lidl to finish off.

Back home for just before five to be told that the kettle didn't work...strange ...it did for me so I made them coffee and we had a laugh about it.  Dropped the men home and dropped off a exterior hard drive so that I can scam some series from Mrs D of S....all set up for the winter.  Not really into food tonight....the late pizza did me in.  Egghead calls....I'll sort some photos out for later....LN...Checking up on the newbies...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 30, 2016, 5:57pm; Reply: 34
Friday 30th September

Woke up again with the room illuminated by the Kindle.  I've found that by playing Candy Crush it doesn't switch itself off.  Not to self...put the thing to bed before I go to sleep..... :-/

Awake by six fifty, dressed and ready for the off by seven fifteen and round the garden with coffee in hand.  I was having five minutes by myself before my guest appears and the men are grabbing tools and working quietly in the background.  It was a Narnia morning with the mist in the valleys and it was a 'good to be alive'day.  It's very therapeutic.....the sun comes up and all's right with my little world before the fun starts.

I went the back lane again to pick up the men before the cows were set free to wonder and at their restaurant before the allotted hour.  They were in the car and we were back here by eight twenty.  They set to immediately and by the end of the day I had the beginnings of a breeze block wall and it was all down to me to decide the height since the garden is much higher than the outside world and is the other wall in reverse.  I spent the morning having a burn up and they've really shifted some cement and ballast and just over a hundred breeze blocks have been laid.  I have a new pallet to play with and five more heading my way.  

I headed down to the bottom wall and used the water from my free water supply (that no one wants to know anything about) but using a coffee can on wire, dropping it into the hole and filling a bucket.  It appears to work well and I managed to get three buckets of water from it and it fills up immediately back to where it started.   Mums the word.

So chicken in the oven and a of mixed veg in the oven to roast while I took the men home.  I came the back way up the rough road and met up with Gouldjan's mother driving her cows home.  I found out that Gouldjan is off to Germany tomorrow with her new husband and not long after arriving home, she came round with her new husband to say goodbye and I had to dry her eyes.  I just gave her a pep talk...told her to embrace the new life, she was married now and joked that she would be in a head scarf and baggy pants now that she was married and that brought a smile to her face.  Off they went....supper over followed by ice-cream and my diet starts on Monday.  LN...nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far...I'll have to think of something to do....LN
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