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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JANUARY 2018
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 1, 2018, 5:07pm
Monday 1st January

Usual early start and by eight thirty I was ready for breakfast even though there wasn't a sound, except for snoring from the rest of the house.  Marmite on toast...the butter was finished so it was definitely a trip down the village to exercise my Fitbit or a visit to town.... know my host wanted some lemons since I refused to pay sixty pence each for them from the village.  This is more than I get ripped off at home.  So I eventually made enough noise to raise the dead and it worked.  At ten I had a telephone call from one of my good friends, we chewed over the fat for thirty minutes by which time I went into the bedroom and said that she'd wished him Happy New Year.  I briefly asked if he had any plans for the day and said that I was out of butter and bread and if he intended going in to town all well and good but otherwise me and my Fitbit were off out despite the weather.  So in his own time he breakfasted and got ready and we were in the car by twelve thirty.

Lidl was the first stop and I was pleased to see they were closed.  All members of staff having a day off was to be encouraged,  We headed down to Asda in the Marina and that was heaving.  How can people be out of food for goodness sake...some had really full trolleys or perhaps they were out after the bargains.  There were a few....mince pies and short coded cakes were down to twenty five pence or so but not a lot was to be had.  We went on to the Village store specialising in cheap dinky doo's and I found a pair of slippers for my hose that I picked up for three pounds in the sale...good buy.  We headed for the luggage shop and I like a handbag but not the price and then home to scoff the food that we'd bought watching the end of 'Dances with Wolves'.    

The temperature has dropped, it's still damp and I don't like that....I'm not used to it.  Give me 'cold', or in the summer 'hot', real summers and real winters.  Lunch tomorrow at one of the old restaurants we used to go to but now under new management.  I'll let you know what the general opinion was tomorrow.  LN...Time to check the schedules....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 2, 2018, 7:04pm; Reply: 1
Tuesday 2nd January

Well it was seven thirty when I woke this morning and according to my Fitbit it really raised my average nightly sleeping pattern... ;)  I didn't bother with breakfast until I spotted a packet of cheese straws and two of them got demolished.  I'd booked lunch today for Princess and her husband at a pub restaurant that we used to use a few years back but it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

I'd booked for twelve thirty but we were overtaken by two ambulances on the drive over and the queue along the Coast Road was horrendous.  For some reason they'd installed temporary traffic lights at the turning to the restaurant and it really did slow things down.  Eventually we made it and we had a deadline of a ten to three leave time for Princess, she's booked an Asda delivery and that was the only time that was available but we thought that two hours for lunch would be about right.  As it happened we were wrong.  It was very quiet when we arrived, we placed the order for the drinks and the food more or less straight away.  Only one of us was having a starter but in the meantime the restaurant filled up and even though the starter didn't hang around for long, the serving dish did and all around normal service was established but not for us.  It seemed to take ages and the clock ticked on.  There was a brief moment of panic....Princess looked out at the car park towards their car and it looked like it was on fire.  Her eyes shot open and then she realised that it was the reflection from the bar fire and it was focused perfectly on their car.  She got her camera out and I asked her to send a copy to me....I didn't take my camera it's another grey, rainy, stormy many days left?

Eventually the started plate was retrieved and it must have taken fifteen minutes before our mains arrived so now we were heading for two twenty.  Lots of tables had come and gone and our requirements must have gone to the back of the queue whatever their system was.  The meals were disappointing, we'd asked for chips not potatoes for one of the meals and we go potatoes, the mixed grill which we'd gone 'large' on was nothing to write home about and by this time the clock was severely ticking and so asked for the deserts to be cancelled since we'd run out of time and as we were getting up to leave...they arrived.  ...up and brewery spring to mind....As for the bill....I just wanted to pay it and leave.  I mentioned to the man behind the bar that it has taken too long to eat and he said that it was half an hour each course.  My response was that we were there before one and it was now almost three and we'd had only one course each and only one starter but it wasn't worth the hassle.  I might become very active on their website and leave a would make me feel better.

So home, usual quiz stuff on television and I've just watched Eggheads.  I've checked up that my grandson isn't working on Thursday so I might be able to have some time with him in town before I go back.  He was working today.  LN....Please can we have some sun....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 3, 2018, 8:17pm; Reply: 2
Wednesday 3rd January

What a disturbed night last night.  The wind was howling, the rain lashing against the window and the outside light popping on and off every few minutes.  I finished most of the puzzles in my 'Mindfulness' Christmas gift, a couple of Sudoku and would have resorted to a bottle except that after two years, hadn't the heart to.  According to my Fitbit it was two ten when I eventually got off or lay still enough for it to detect no movement and seven thirty when I raised my weary head from the pillow.  I legged it down for coffee, didn't bother with breakfast until ten and spent the rest of the day doing everything and nothing.  I did make it up into the loft to try to find a book that I'd been given from school as a prize for woodwork but figured that if I moved one box the rest might come careering down.  The temptation was to start tidying but with two days to nerves weren't up to it.  I also started to go through old photos and decided to get out my camera and take photos of photos so that I could take them with me.  I belong to my hometown's website and I have lots of old photos that my parents took when they went on holidays with others from the town.  It's good when I post them and a lot get recognised by their's a good talking point.... ;)

I did intent to go for a walk down the village today but I got engrossed in a survey.  Yesterday's restaurant asked for any comments that I might have about the meal yesterday and yes I had plenty so gave it to them between the eyes.  It was all fact not fiction and my major criticism was that the waiting staff can only deliver what's ready to be delivered.  If they get their timing wrong in the will always have the same outcome.

So my Quality Street are no more.  I finished the last of the chocolate creams today even though I don't like cream chocolates.  I have a box of After Eights that is still intact and a box of Florentine biscuits.  I have about twenty four hours...I better get started.  Tonight I cooked potatoes, swede and carrots in the same pan and mashed them all together serving them with liver and onions.  Angela has just phoned to say safe journey if case she doesn't managed to get round to phoning tomorrow due to pressure of I know no what.....retired and so much to do.  I might be out with my grandson for lunch tomorrow somewhere in Brighton.  It will be good to catch up with's been too long.  I'm down to see if there is anything that might be worth watching on the box in the corner of the room.  LN...Getting ready for D-Day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 4, 2018, 8:04pm; Reply: 3
Thursday 4th January

Grim start to the day again and I was reading at four thirty again.  I eventually went off, woke up late and have been trying to catch up with myself all day.  I got a text from my grandson and we arranged to meet in Brighton at one so I caught the earlier bus to have a bit of a wander round in Churchill Square but he phoned and with the use of technology we found each phones egh.  I mentioned to him that I wouldn't mind upgrading my mobile since I thought it was up for a renewal so we went into the shop together and sure enough, I was eligible and had been for a few years.  The assistant was very helpful, I told him that I had a Friends and Family discount from T-Mobile which he informed me had been reduced from fifty to thirty percent.  So now I had to select a phone from the numerous ones on display and he calculated that an upgrade would cost me nineteen pounds a month.  Now I don't use this phone much so selected a cheaper phone and the outcome was that I would now be paying just nine pounds so I quickly said 'done deal', I was saving money.  I think my grandson hung his head when I selected the phone...he can stick to his Apple and I suggested that they called it that because they squeeze the pips out of you with the cost.  Lead balloons and what.

Shopping done we headed to Nandos and filled up with lovely spicy stuff and extra hot sauce added and I think I'm breathing fire at the moment.  Coupled with garlic bread, I'm not sure if I'll be safe on the plane tomorrow.  And talking about that.....I'm in the final stages of packing which I think is always very stressful.  I've gained a ten ipod with keyboard and case, an extra phone and the appropriate chargers for everything.  I've got my Fitbit and I've bought pressies and so some clothes have got to stay and will get delivered if any of the visitors have room.  I also want to take back a leather briefcase thingy...why do I do it to myself.  

So back to the packing...flight is at six twenty five so I'll wave as I go over the UK and when I arrive in BG.    LN...Back to the packing...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 5, 2018, 5:27pm; Reply: 4
Friday 5th January

So couldn't manage to go to sleep last night so slept with the light on to make sure that I'd wake up when the alarms, and I repeat alarms went off.   I woke up at two and deiced to read and stayed awake and got dressed and was ready for the four o'clock taxi by three thirty.  It went like a dream.  A text message to to tell me that the driver was outside the house, it was a Romanian lady and we had such a lovely chat going up to Gatwick North that we ended up with the usual continental kiss and she wished me a good journey and I wished her luck in the UK.  Security was a bit of an issue...I'd left my jewellery on which meant that I had to go through the Tardis and I'm not liking the new seem to have no control over where your hand luggage  and I'd got coat, computer, boots and belt in one basket and then the second one was shifted over to another desk while she checked out my kindles.  In the old days you were able to watch every step of the operation.   Anyway....negotiated it well and had only half an hour before we were sent to a gate that had obviously been renovated.  The last time I'd complained about the dirty carpet and chairs...why do they always pick me out for surveys.

I had difficulty lifting my supposedly 'hand' luggage into the overheads and fortunately a chivalrous male came to my assistance and helped me heave it up there.  The good news was that we had a hundred miles an hour tail wind so we were in Sofia in record time.  I took the Shuttle bus over to the bus station and managed to easily get the twelve o'clock bus and was in Kardjali by three twenty.  Again the next bus was waiting for me and scheduled to leave at three forty and the driver asked me if I wanted to stay on and get dropped off at the door.  As it happened my car was outside my student's mums shop and after a little chin wag I was home by four thirty and Haciber noticed the car outside and came out to welcome me home.  Water turned on, fridge turned on, gas turned on, fire lit, suitcase unpacked, washing done and drying, computer set up, plants watered and I'm settled.

Managed to catch the sunset tonight...the photographs that I'd taken from the bus were rubbish  so I won't be posting those.  I'll be down to the bread van in the morning and also need eggs, it will be a cooked breakfast in the morning.   LN....It's so, so be home...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 6, 2018, 5:31pm; Reply: 5
Saturday 6th January

I caught the moon last night but unfortunately I'd hidden the keys so well to the balcony that I took it through the not a good shot but it was good to see it again.  I got my head down at about eleven but by three I was toilet bound and it's been that way all day.  I've had tummy gripes and the trots and they only thing that I ate yesterday was the bacon sandwich on the plane and some cheese biscuits on the bus getting down here.  Not a lot to upset me there but it only takes one little bug...and then that's it and it found me out.

I slept downstairs last night near the wood burner...the house has been three weeks with out heat and there have been a few minus temperatures and last night it went down to minus two in my neck of the woods.  As I said I was up and down most of the night and it's been the same today.  I caught the sunrise and it's been sunny but coldish all day. I did managed to get down to the bread van and the man shouted and welcomed me back to the jungle.  I'm not sure that he knew what a jungle was but he'd obviously hear it somewhere.  I said that I was pleased to be back and then had to translate it for him.  Haciber was down there and she told me that her son was in Haskovo and would be arriving soon.  She'd bought a box of chocolates and opened them, mine is sitting on the worktop.  I met the other two Beysers and had a hug from them...they wanted to know how my family was in England and I told them that Princess and family will probably be coming out in May. I topped up the log basket and the outside container and again it's been going all day.

I finished my book lying on the sofa, the Miniaturist is no more and despite having see the two part series on the Beeb I really enjoyed her writing style.  I did manage to catch up on some sleep and my Fitbit suggested that I took it for a walk....I shan't tell you my response.  

Seven thirty my time...I might just manage some dried toast before I go to bed.  I missed the sunset but caught the dawn so you'll have to bare with me.  LN...I'm off to bed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 7, 2018, 5:03pm; Reply: 6
Sunday 7th January

Early to bed, early to rise but I did go back again and was up at eight....I'd had several visits to that little room in the night and it doesn't seem to be abating.  I suppose I shall have to try Imodium or something akin so I've kept up with the water intake infused with honey and salt.  There's no sickness with it so that's a relief but I've just felt out of salts.

I did manage a walk of the estate this morning and noticed that the winter flowering jasmine is out in a couple of places and I have jonquils out too.  They were looking decidedly blown about and frost ridden so I took thee of them and they're now in the house.  They're something pretty to look at.   As for the rest of the day it's been spent on the sofa.  I read for a while, did a crossword, dozed, played a couple of silly games and kept the fire going.  It's been a beautiful day but I want to ensure that the fabric of the building is thermed up before winter really sets in.  Apparently it's going to rain towards the end of the week which will turn to snow but only be a couple of centimetres or so.  I've heard that one before so like a good girl guide...I'm prepared with my snow shovel in the new porch and at the ready.

I've had a bit of an issue with chargers for the various devices that I brought back with me from the UK.  New mini laptop, phone and Fitbit and it's almost as if I've lost some but I'm not in the mood to search at the moment.  I know they're trying to make the connectors universal but in some cases it doesn't seem to work.  It's a job when I feel more myself.  A little TV and then bed....I'm feeling drained and no pun intended.  LN...A little yellow sunshine...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 8, 2018, 5:00pm; Reply: 7
Monday 8th January

Five start but felt better than I had for a few days.  I'd tried to light the fire last night and given up in just wouldn't go so I took it apart this morning, put it all back together again and it went first time.  I went back to bed after having a honey and salt hot drink  and got my head down until eight thirty again...Great stuff.  It was now to put another log on the fire and it's been going all day.  I've managed to slide in huge logs into the firebox and they've done the trick.  The pump has been going all day and it's surprisingly comfortable, the tiles are warm to walk on.

I haven't had a great day of activity....I managed to get logs in and I had a visit from Haciber who arrived bearing gifts.  I have a new pair of slippers, two packets of biscuits, a pair of socks and her son has brought me some Pepparkakor ginger biscuits. from Sweden where he works.  They should last a while as should the others.  I'm still on the dry toast.  I did tell Haciber off...she brought me thses presents because I bought her some for Christmas.  I had to remind her that her festival is Byram and I expect meat not pressies.  Had another lovely surprise,Guldjam phoned, I recognised the number but the phone hadn't picked up the contact.  She told me that she is home having picked up a cheap return from Germany and she's here until Saturday.  She's coming to see me tomorrow when she's finished her work at home.  Her parents have killed a cow and apparently there is meat everywhere and they're probably putting it in jars.  

Weather-wise it's been good today, mostly hazy but a sign of a sun up there somewhere and there wasn't any sunset only a red sky at night over Greece.  There must be loads of pollution up there  but I got  a few good shots of it.  LN..Hot bath and bed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 9, 2018, 4:18pm; Reply: 8
Tuesday 9th January

I had my bath and then watched Connect and University Challenge and took to my virtuous couch at eleven last night and didn't wake up until seven forty. Wow...the best night's sleep I've had in ages.  I decided to check the Fitbit and to look at the quality of sleep since it breaks it down into REM, deep, awake and light and I seem to be measuring up quite well as it puts it 'for someone your age'.  It's the same with my resting heartbeat but I do object to it encouraging me to make a few more steps just for the record.  Not today....I'm still feeling under par.  If anyone sees a mojo lurking where it shouldn't be, please sent it back...especially you Mikey B.

What have I done today.  I managed to do a load of washing and that's dry to put away.  I've got wood in, filled up the log baskets and got the other log carrier filled for tomorrow, a casserole is in the slow cooker but not sure if I'm really up for it.  At two this afternoon I was really hungry to put a couple of eggs on to boil and half an hour later I remembered them.  I opened a tin of tuna, drained it, added the eggs and a few slices of beetroot and sat on the sofa a scoffed the lot...thinking that all the time it was a mistake but so far so good.  The casserole can wait until tomorrow.

A couple of phone calls but I've no credit on my phone to phone back.  I was downstairs, the phone upstairs and by the time I got there the phone had stopped.  I called back on my English phone but there was no was Guildjan and she probably didn't recognise the number so didn't answer it.  Since she didn't appear today as suggested she'll probably turn up tomorrow and I'm having another day at home so it's no skin off my nose.  There are plans afoot for Saturday...just need to confirm a few things.  Fire and book tonight but I'm finding the Brief History of Everything very hard's along old book.  LN....Need to find a new series...LN
Posted by: MikeyB, January 10, 2018, 10:12am; Reply: 9
I think our mojo's must have secretly met up while you were here for Christmas and sneaked off... as I've not seen mine since either  :-/
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 10, 2018, 4:21pm; Reply: 10
Wednesday 10th January

I was in bed by eleven last night, woke up and thought it was about five but it was only one thirty and there wasn't an ounce of sleep in me.  Out with the Kindle and played a few games, read for a while and at three tried to settle off again.  Now I've been really cheesed off with my hourly visits to the little room so I gave my body a good talking to.  I've this great belief that if you ask for help you normally get it so I told the guys and girls upstairs that I needed things to change, I instructed my body cells to imagine that they were Pac men and to go search the bad guys.  It seemed to work....I rescued the fire but the wind was in the wrong direction and it took ages to fire up and give out any heat, it was cold, damp and miserable and these's been very little bird activity in the garden.  The tits just sat on the bare trees not even tweeting to each other.  

I made breakfast at about ten thirty, two hard boiled eggs and dry toast but I've kept up the honey and salt with hot water.  My mojo appeared briefly while I got in three loads of logs, some of the chopped small stuff for starting the fire and from the little house I brought in the rosemary bush and the freesias along with the pottery cat to live in the new porch.  I did question my mojo if it had spotted yours Mikey B...but to no avail...sorry.  I peeled a couple of potatoes and put them into the slow cooker with the lamb from yesterday and by three this afternoon I was hungry and it was ready.  What I didn't managed to eat has gone over the wall for the animals...your provider is back.

As for the temperature today it's been lingering at around two degrees all day but I hate it when it's cold and damp.  Real cold and snow I can cope with..this you contend with.  I did phone Guldjan today and she's still surrounded by meat but intends paying a visit tomorrow and she'll have to hurry up, she goes back to Germany on Saturday,  I'm heading into Djebel tomorrow and my list is ready.  LN....Need money on my BG phone...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 11, 2018, 5:30pm; Reply: 11
Thursday 11th January

So at three this morning I was wide awake and reading but fortunately settled down again until seven thirty.  The fire didn't take long to bring to life and I sat at the table in the stairwell with my new morning drink...ginger and lemon tea.  I settled for toast and marmalade for breakfast and still without butter, I'd washed up last night so the kitchen was good to come down to and I brought two chicken legs out of the freezer and they went into the slow cooker with a stock cube.  

I phoned the Librarian but it sounded like I'd caught her unawares but we made arrangements for her birthday on Saturday. I confirmed the details with Mrs D of S and a little later that I'd mistaken the days and somehow I thought it was Friday.  So another phone call to the Librarian and a Messenger note to Mrs. D or S and we should all be in the right place at the right time on Saturday.  I didn't have much to do today, I printed off the DM Sudoku, had about three attempts at it and used up almost a pot of Tippex but still couldn't do it.  It sits on the table and I'll have to print it again.  It's one of those with so many options on it that it becomes very frustrating.  Had a Message from Mr.s D of S and she thought about heading into Djebel but had already left by the time that I'd answered her message.  I guessed she might call in with the little one with the threat of taking my house apart instead of hers and they did turn up about one.  When I opened the door, Guldjan was with them and they'd met at the gate and were clutching my Christmas post that they'd found on the drive.  Apparently the Kmet had tossed them over the gate .  No sooner were we all settled in the lounge with coffee, teas and water when Haciber was at the door checking up on whether I'd got my mail or not.  It was obvious that she'd seen the car so I went in and grabbed the little one so that she could see her and the little one wasn't sure what was happening...but there were no tears.

I handed over the pressies and Mrs.D of S loved the coat hook thing that I'd found in the charity shop in the OK and Guldjan ended up reading one of the books to the little one and talking to her all the time in Bulgarian.  The rest of the conversations were conducted in Bulgarian, English and Guldjan did keep lapsing into German which confused us all.  So the Samodiva mob set off at three and as she was leaving my neighbour came along the road and wanted his photo taken with his horse.  Guldjan was here until five thirty and we covered the news of her life in Germany and the rest that I don't normally hear about in and around especially since I'd not been here.  

Lovely day...the weather turned very pleasant this afternoon but it's got much colder now. Lots of birds around today pecking on the hillside....mainly crows with a few ravens thrown in.  One of the chicken legs has now been reduced to bones and yet more ginger and lemon tea.  It could be my new poison.  Djebel and Kardjali tomorrow with Guldjan to get 'stuff' done before she goes on Saturday.  LN...I've got such good friends...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 12, 2018, 6:11pm; Reply: 12
Friday 12th January

Another silly night...I woke up at three and just couldn't get off again.  I toyed with the idea of relighting the fire but left it until five thirty.  I hadn't got to be anywhere until nine thirty and for some reason I never managed to get breakfast before I set off to pick up Guldjan.  I'd written my list, I hadn't got a lot to buy and I was on a mission for Guldjan today.  Wedding dress day all over again.

So when I got to the bus stop her father was there too.  This is normally par for the course. It was going to be a messy start to the day.  We drove in to Djebel, I stopped off at the petrol station and father got out so I thought that was the end of it and I'd got away lightly.  We went round to the bank and Guldjan queued up and waited to be admitted.  Strange system.  She was only in there for ten minutes or so, her phone went and she disappeared into he local supermarket and came out carrying bananas, apples, fruit juice saying that there was a man in the village outside of Djebel and we were now waiting for her father to give him a lift there.  So father arrived and he said that we had to pick up my painter from the central parking and it was just 'drive down there and turn round' and then we can be off.  I smiled inwardly, this is normal.  So I did as instructed and he was no where to be seen, te father checked the cafe bar on the parking area but shill not to be found so I put my food down with a firm hand and said that we were leaving...and we did.  I dropped father off with the bag of fruit and it was a short walk to the invalid.

On we went into the big Leva shop and we both picked up a few items, on to central parking and down to the travel agents so that Guldjan could pick up her ticket for the flight tomorrow. We stopped for a soup lunch with creme caramel to finish on and on to the Telenor shop so that I could put credit on my phone.  The lady was determined that she would sort me out with a contract, I'd told her before that I wasn't interested but she was really determined and I walked out laughing saying that today I wasn't interested, tomorrow I might be.  Over to Panda hoping to get a case for my new phone but so far they don't stock it and into Kaufland for fresh veg and picked up some good offers on pork and chicken wings.  Lemons were so cheap..ten large ones for three leva...a little different than Rottingdean.  I dropped Guldjan in town to wait for her brother to take her out to a distant village to visit her husband's grandmother, I popped into Lidl and back to Djebel to pick up a new square ashcan so it doesn't spill out of the bucket I was using.  It started to rain as I was heading home but back at base I unloaded the Beast, lit the fire, put the shopping away and left Guldjan's shopping in the car...she was picking it up later.

Sat and watched the fire for a while and back to the kitchen making more chicken soup from the remains of last night's supper and it was delicious.  The shopping has now made it home in the brother's car and it's really cold and damp out there.  I was pleased to get back inside.  I'm hoping for a better night tonight....I'll last out as long as I can before I get my little head down....I want a good night.  LN...Everything crossed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 13, 2018, 5:52pm; Reply: 13
Saturday 13th January

Seven thirty this morning...the sleep of the just.  Did a bit of housework by clearing out the bins and rubbish from the kitchen but it was far too windy to get down the bottom and have the bonfire.  It was blowing a gale down there and it was sleeting so it's now sitting in the new porch.  I knew there was a reason that I had it constructed... ;)

I had a leisurely start, packed up the Librarians's birthday pressie and got myself ready to head out at eleven.  I was a little of the villagers flagged me down and he thinks he speaks English.  I told him to try his own language and we might have a fighting chance of understanding each other but the gist of it was that a mechanic was bringing his car back to Rogosche and I met the driver by the bus-stop.  Unfortunately he hadn't made it clear that this was the man so I was heading further along the road when he bellowed 'stop' and this I understood.  So out he got with a 'thank you madam' and I carried on to Samodiva to pick up Mrs D of S and the little one.  We were there on time to pick up the Librarian and taking the child's chair with us.  The last time we were at this restaurant theirs was a little suspect.  We decided to leave ours in the car and asked the waiter if they had a chair and the reply was negative so I legged it out to the car and got in the one that we'd brought with us at which point the waitress approached and said that they had one.  We settled for ours.

The waiter was an trainee but we managed to get the order placed and the food came fairly rapidly.  We'd made the mistake last time of ordering too much food so we were careful this time round.  The little one is a treasure.  She packed away the cheesy chips and a hamburger and delighted the other diners when she was eventually unleashed for the chair.  Dropped off the Librarian at three-ish, we carried on and I had coffee and I delighted in the fact that the little one climbed on to my knee clutching a book and we acted it out together with Mrd D of S supplying the punchlines and she passed with flying colours.

Home for five and the fire was out...the big log had died a natural so I had to start from scratch.  It's very cold out there and is destined to go down to minus four tonight so I shall keep the home fires burning now that I've stoked it up.  I've just lingered in the bath for an hour or so and kept topping up the water.  Now clad in several layers...bring it your damnedest.  No photos tonight..I'm not feeling too good ...I think this tummy bug is coming back to bite me in the bum.  LN...I'll post in the morning if we have snow overnight....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 13, 2018, 7:05pm; Reply: 14
And the promised photo...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 14, 2018, 4:42pm; Reply: 15
Sunday 14th January

Silly night...woke up at three thirty and felt like I'd had a full night's sleep.  Off until three again and then down again until five thirty, read for about an hour and then back off at seven until eight thirty.  Fortunately my Fitbit captures every detail...and I've only really had four complete nights since I got the thing.  I'm still feeling very tender around the lower stomach area and tomorrow ...I might very well pay a visit to my doctor and hoping it won't turn into a hospital visit.  I've not really tested yer yet.  I sorted the fire out on my five o'clock sleep break and despite the sugar coating of was really very cold out there and no hint of sun at all so no free central heating.

Bit of a lazy day...I've been introduced to the Game of Thrones books and I started book one last night.  I've made ten percent already but I'm finding it hard to put the characters into camps yet.  It might get easier as the books go on.  So I spent the day on the sofa and obviously caught up on one and a half hours of sleep, topped up on ginger and lemon tea and stretched out again and was just about to nod off when there was a tapping on my window and it was the daughter of one of my old ladies and she came bearing gifts.  One coffee mug, one little pot for bonbons, a serviette fan holder, a trivet for the table and a very pink nail varnish.  I made her proper coffee and opened a box of chocolates for her.  I offered her the newspaper wrapping paper so that her mother could light the fire with it and she said that I should;d keep it for my fire.  I mentioned that I didn't use it and showed her the firelighter...and I gave her a box to go home with.  She left at about four and I decided to top up both of my log carriers and they're in the porch.  

I remembered that the snooker championships are on the TV and that's what I've been stuck into for the rest of this afternoon.  It's a bit more interesting than Dancing on Ice will be tonight.  What is it with these judges....I heated thought the soup that I'd blitzed this morning but didn't really enjoy it.  It's now back in the saucepan with the stale french stick and I'm sure the animals or birds that get there first will enjoy it.  I finished off with yogurt and honey for pudding.

There was a hint of sun as it went down and it's all we've seen of it all day.  My fire has chugged along nicely all day and the house has maintained a comfortable temperature.  Not hot but comfortable and it's bitter outside....I should have worn cloves when I sent to get the wood in.  I'll see how I feel in the morning as to whether I'm off to Kardjali or not.  LN...I'll let you know...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 15, 2018, 4:47pm; Reply: 16
Monday 15th January

Better night and a lovely five thirty start.  It was one of those mornings that seem to take a lot of time to get in to but it's a pleasant journey.  Got the fire going, a load of washing in and back to bed with Game of Thrones.  It was time to stock up the fire again made breakfast of yogurt with honey and freshly squeezed orange juice and it could become a favourite.  I felt good this morning and cleared out three boxes of bits, namely supermarket receipts and other 'stuff' that was waiting to be deposited in the garage, wood store. upstairs or in a box somewhere.  Done, dusted and all present and correct.  It went a little hazy this afternoon when I was trying to remember where I'd put the ends to make a light fitting.  I'd brought the cable in from the little house and couldn't find the ends and suddenly spotted in the 'wait to go' pile.  When I was getting dressed for the day I decided to pop on the scales and all it said was 'Lo'.  I guess it meant low battery not 'lo and behold' so I removed it, checked the number and phoned my car shop to see if they had one in stock...and she had so that sorted out the rest of my day.

I checked the weather report and it did say snow in the afternoon so I got my act together and headed out at twelve and it was just beginning to drop a few flakes but that's all we've had.  The Beast jumped to, I moved it outside, closed the gates and set off.  I parked up and went to pick up the battery and I sat with her for half an hour or so chewing over the happenings.  Apparently her son had the same virus that I had, and lots of people have had it so I asked her for the 'local' remedies and came out with some good ones.  A local powder that you take four of the first day along with drinking a ampule of the stuff that usually get's injected in to you for problems in the nether regions and I went off to the chemist clutching a written list of requirements.  The shelf life on the ampule is 2021 so I thought it was worth investing in two.  Total value of purchases...just under ten lev.  Next port of call was a trip round the market and bought three pairs of scissors describing to the stall holder that if I'm up the scissors are down and vice versa...she knew what I meant so I bought three pairs again for ten lev.  Final call to the market and bought some apples. came home and had cheese, biscuits and a peeled apple.  I weighed myself and it came back with more than I was in the UK but I was wearing three more sweaters and a pair of boots than I was wearing in the UK.  I've just got into nightclothes and I weight the same as I did in the UK.

Fire going well, got enough wood in this afternoon to last through tomorrow, brought in my pottery frog and hedgehog to sit in the porch and sorted out the small wood and got the next load to bring inside.  I've had a good day today and I seem to have put my last few days to one side.  Still cold and temperature dropping so I'm wrapped up for the night.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow..I'll have to find something creative to do or get stuck into my book again.  LN....Time to do down to the fire....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 16, 2018, 4:21pm; Reply: 17
Tuesday 16th January

One of those nights when I was reading until late, woke up at five and got the fire going, read until six again and then got my head down.  It was nine thirty when I came round for the second time, the fire had mostly burnt itself out and it was a struggle to get it going for the rest of the day.   Poached eggs for breakfast on toast...I'm getting better thank goodness ...I moved the birds food from the terrace wall and threw it over the garden wall.  I guess it's too near the house for anyone of the little beauties to attempt it unless they're really starving and there seem to be less cats around.  They're probably holed up in barns and searching wildlife that coming out into the cold and yes, it was cold despite the sunshine.  So giving up on the fire I decided that I could last the day without it but it wasn't going to happen.  I wasn't feeling active despite my Fitbit telling me to take it for a walk and I spent most of the on the sofa with my Kindle and with my eyes closed until three this afternoon when it was definitely time to get that fire moving.

I did go out to look at the garden and I'm amazed at how green things are.  The marigolds are still with heads held high with lots of buds still waiting to come out, the narcissus are still in flower though looking a little raggedy and I noticed my first crocus in the middle of the grass and I have two snowdrops.  So at this point I decided to to a walk of the garden and noticed that the rose that I planted last year which seemed to have done nothing has a new shoot on it with very green leaves and both winter flowering jasmine are doing well.  The one hidden up the corner in the shelter of the wood store and the wall is doing really well, I think it likes its root under concrete and the shelter that it gets.

So back in the house and really shook the fire up and I'm pleased to say that there is at last heat coming from it.  It was twenty four this afternoon in the stairwell so not so cold but at least the house is maintaining the heat with the fire going.  So supper is in...chicken leg with jacket potato and roasted vegetables and I've even put a baked apple into the oven.  I've felt inwardly cold so maybe I've not been taking in enough fuel.  Time to do something about it.  

It appears I missed the Ronnie O'Sullivan match yesterday but at least he came through it without me...good lad.  Supper should be ready by seven so a little Tipping Point until then , Eggheads and time to cosy up.  My next planned outing is on Thursday....Lidl is selling a shredder and the offer price is good.  I've got lots of old bills that I need to get rid of and yes, I could burn them but this would make life easier.  I didn't catch the sunset only the remnants but it was really stunning.  Very red and very black...there are some dark clouds on the horizon from Smolyan direction.  LN...Time to check on supper...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 17, 2018, 4:44pm; Reply: 18
Wednesday 17th January

Another silly thirty and not an ounce of sleep in me so I was reading until four this morning.  This has got to stop...I need to tire myself out more.  I did go back off until six thirty though and it was the morning to welcome the dawn.  The sky was that early blue black that opens up to a blue pink and then the sun comes free central heating.  Not that I really needed it today...the fire had been ticking along all night and with a little bit of sun it soon shot up to twenty three degrees in my stairwell.  

I washed up from last night after a fantastic supper and pudding.  Maybe that's why I didn't sleep to well, my body was having a hard time digesting it so I'll keep it a little lighter tonight.  By nine thirty I was washed, dressed and eating toast and marmalade sitting in the sun and reading my book all at the same time and Princess called me for a post-Christmas catch-up.  She just loves her new job, has only been there for about three months and is saving the company money already by following up on training grants for the apprentices.  She's organised a couple of events that have been very successful already...that's my girl.  I went back to my toast and decided that I needed some activity so lit a bonfire and got rid of everything since I'd returned from the UK and sat on the wall at the bottom of the garden taking it all in until I realised that the wall was cold so I headed up to the terrace and carried on with my book on the old chairs that hadn't made it inside this year.  I came in for a drink, took to the sofa again and at twelve my eyes went southwards for an hour, I carried on with Game of Thrones but realised that I needed to do 'stuff'.  I emptied the ash tin, filled up the log baskets from the log containers and took them outside to refill.  It was such a good day that I decided to split logs taken from the stack in the garage and armed with the axe and the lump hammer, I filled one container and half filled the second.  Good stuff.  I also put the battery charger on to Beauty...with the weather getting colder it's time that the Beast was under cover but I needed also to pump up the back a pancake.  The Beast went out of the gate so that I could manoeuvre Beauty, she came down the yard and I parked her close to the wall under the tree but before I could attempt it I had to throw water on to the windscreen and rear couldn't see out.  Since the garage was empty, I took the opportunity of sweeping up the dead leaves that had accumulated under Beauty and generally tidying up the area but it was strange driving her again.

I should have worn work gloves splitting the wood...I've acquired a couple of blisters that might stop me doing it again tomorrow ;) ;).  According to the weather we're going to have snow flurries at three a.m. and I'm hoping that I'm not awake to see them.  Apart from that we're only in for a couple of minus degrees so not so bad.  Time to look in the fridge for something nice and easy and maybe make some chippies with it.  Give my gut a work out.  I might head in to Kardjali tomorrow...I mentioned that Lidl has a shredder...I'll see how I feel.  LN...A successful day....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 18, 2018, 5:05pm; Reply: 19
Thursday 18th January

So despite the wakefulness in the night I managed to eventually go through until five thirty.  I coaxed the fire into life, got a good log on it and the house was toasty while I lay in bed reading Game of Thrones ...and is it getting exciting!!  I could hardly put it down but I had places to go.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and why is it that as soon as I put the eggs in the water I always find something to do and this morning was no exception.  I was checking the balance on my Bulgarian account from the last withdrawal slip. it was still OK and as I returned to the kitchen I remembered the eggs.  The toast had popped up and was cold so that went in again, the eggs were rescued but by the time everything was assembled....the were overdone and the toast was cooling rapidly.  Note to not stray from the pan when eggs are in progress... :-/ :-/ :-/

Washed and dressed and ready for Kardjali by ten.  I went down the back lane was a little damp and I decided that I would take the high road through Djebel on my way back.  I stopped off at Lidl first and picked up the shredder but unfortunately it comes without a waste basket so I'll have to see if anything will suffice.  I also got a few other things while I was in there and then headed for my central car park.  I had two things on the list....a 'Next' watch that I'd bought in the UK about ten years ago needed a new battery so into my watch shop and he fixed it in quicksticks charging me two lev for his time and effort...not bad...about eighty pence.  I then moved on to my stationery shop for some inserts for the cheapy note book cover I'd bought the other day but nothing to hand with the holes that far apart.  It's almost like a small Filofax....I'll have to check the internet.  The last shop was my 'dinky doo' shop or 'Aladdin's Cave' as I call it and it was really to check out new stock.  They had two more of the square plant containers but this time in terracotta so I bought them both and stainless steel kitchen scales for another five another ten gone.  Cheap at half the price.  Finally on to Kaufland for fresh veg and another six chicken legs since they were on offer.  

I arrived in Djebel and bought two bottles of lamp gas to be prepared if the electricity goes off and then into the car parts shop where I should 'five  minutes' which invariably stretches to half an hour or so.  I was settled in when suddenly the Librarian came in, she'd seem my car outside and thought I had problems.  I said that I hadn't and had just come back from Kardjali and she said that she was on her way there.  I said to call in on her way back if she had time and she did.  We sat and had coffee, apparently she had an issue with her laptop so I rebooted it and sorted it for her.  We've made a date for Monday if she fancies going in to Kardjali.  Off she went at four thirty and I chugged the fire back to life and logged in to TV Catchup to catch up on Ronnie your actual and what a poor show he put up.  Beaten six one so now he's out of it.  

Fire going beautifully, switched over to Game of Thrones again, much more interesting that the programmes that were filling in the gaps and pulled up the drawbridge for the evening.  I've achieved what I set out to achieve today and that's a first for a while.  Six thousand steps on the Fitbit...that's what going in to town does for you...exercising and spending money.  
Lazy day tomorrow without I have guests and then it will be all hands to the pumps.  LN...Those sort I love to man.....LN

Posted by: tcinbg, January 19, 2018, 1:44am; Reply: 20
Lidl shredder. I bought one the last time they had them on offer. Returned it after a couple of days for a full refund. It kept jamming, even when only putting one sheet of paper in. The automatic switch in the centre of the paper feed was the problem. Maybe these are different, although they look the same. Good Luck with yours.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 19, 2018, 5:03pm; Reply: 21
Friday 19th January

Thanks Trevor, I better find the receipt out just in case.  I did put one envelope through it to try it and some of the strands did stay in the machine...oh well... :-/

Seven start and I was getting washed when I heard the bread van and this morning  I needed him.  I threw on jeans, my heavy zip up and my hat, grabbed some money and shot off down the road and made it.  There was no one there except was just too cold for anyone to be out.  He only had sliced bread so I just had the one and a cheesy bread for breakfast.  The mosques was going well as I legged it back up to the house and I got the feeling that someone from our village has popped his or her clogs so I'll have to check tomorrow.   The 'news' after the call to prayer is always in Turkish but I kept hearing 'Dushinkovo' mentioned...I'll speak to Haciber...she'll know.

I got a good bonfire going this morning and it had burnt out before I pegged out the washing.  It was such a beautiful start to the day.  I'd had the brilliant blues and pinks for starters and then the central heating had come over the hill and the temperature shot up to twenty three and it was only nine fifteen.  The fire was going but I let it really wasn't necessary.  I lay in the sun today and the second book is better than the first and easier.  I'm now fully tied in with the characters, understanding the undercurrents and it's all good.  I'd put Sting on the ipod and he was  playing in the background...a very relaxed atmosphere in the house and I'd even opened the windows and the doors and flooded the house with fresh air.

Guests arrived at twelve thirty....Mrs D of S came bearing pizza and it went into the oven to add a few more therms.  The  little one had a wonderful time removing the fridge magnets and alphabet magnets from the freezer and had a roaming lunch.  We settle down for a coffee in the lounge and shut the door to the rest of the house so that the little one was trapped.  Mr's D of S's task today was to download a couple of series onto one of my external was slow but eventually I have about five outs of viewing.  They left around three thirty and I lit the fire again and took up my position on the sofa back with my book.  The washing is in, the washing up is still waiting and can wait until the morning.  The boiler is on...I'm going to luxuriate tonight.  Lovely crescent moon tonight but I didn't manage to get a good shot of it.  Maybe with the other camera later.  LN...The weekend has arrived....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 20, 2018, 7:07pm; Reply: 22
Saturday 20th January

Seven thirty start and it's been a lazy day for most of it.  Toast and marmalade for breakfast and I got the bottom half dressed by ten and completed my morning ablutions by twelve thirty.  I was slow lighting the fire, it wasn't exactly cold but it's when you come to sit and read that the chill gets through.  I read until I didn't want to read any more and moved up to the computer and watched the first part of Outlander that Mrs D of S uploaded on to my external drive yesterday.  It's strange knowing the books so well and seeing the characters coming to life....not a bit how I imagined the characters but we'll see how it progresses.  The books were quite raunchy and the film seems to be following the book closely.  I watched the first two episodes and then I was up for something else so I decided to clear out the old filing that I have going back to 2011 and in some cases earlier...time it went...I'm running out of space.

Flicked on to TV Catch-up and watched the snooker this afternoon and Trump is out.  The person he played against came from five one down to win the match and what a turnaround.  I get more out of the commentaries...they twist and turn and suddenly they have to praise where they've been slagging off....eating humble pie and swallowing the crust carefully.  I've had was my old faithful chicken wings with roasted vegetables followed by yogurt and honey.  In fact the computer was off, the fire is roaring ad I'd just settled myself on the sofa with the Kindle when I heard the wind and rain outside so put on the outside light and goodness was it throwing it down.  If the temperature drops we might be snowed in by tomorrow.  I also remembered that I hadn't done my daily update so came back upstairs, put the computer on and done and dusted.  There are no really don't want to see photos of full paper bins, empty filing boxes and an untidy desk....and neither do I but I can live with it until morning.  It's a bit like the kitchen...that can wait for morning too.  LN...I'm back to the fire....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 21, 2018, 4:38pm; Reply: 23
Sunday 21st January

Well what a good night's sleep last night according to my Fitbit...I fell asleep at nine thirty on the sofa...spring back to life for an hour or so and slept through until six twenty five this morning.  The marvels of technology.  Unfortunately according to the apparatus I only had eight percent of deep sleep so not sure if that was enough but I've hardly pushed the boat out today in any shape or form.  Yesterday I sliced up some fresh ginger and put it in the tea pot to steep over night and with lemon,honey and salt added that was my first breakfast drink and it certainly started something moving.  I've been dipping in to it all day...very pleasant.

Washed and dressed and managed to go down the garden and clear away the debris deposited on the hillside from the burning pit and restart the fire. Dogs, cats, not sure but they certainly make a mess. Unfortunately the lashing winds last night complete with hail and the low temperatures made it difficult to start but I think I got rid of most of it.  So while I was out I got in two loads of wood, big and small and the fire's been going all day and ticking along very nicely.  You get days when it does and the others when the wind is in the wrong direction and it seems to smoulder all day.

After the effort I headed for the kitchen, found the remains of the roasted veg from last night, into the frying pan with them and turned them into a very respectable omelette.  The remaining chicken wings might made their debut tonight but not really in the mood for food.  It's been a picky day.  The ginger biscuits brought back from Sweden have been started and I've been rationing myself, a Christmas present from Germany has been opened and they've taken a bashing.  They were a box of After Eights but white and cream centred and I;ve never seen them before but there again I didn't look for them when I was in the UK.  I didn't know they existed.  

So Masters final tonight and I have my favourite and soon to go back to it. No pickies of the day...believe me it's been drab and cold and there wasn't even a hint of sun in that pesky sky.  I'll leave you with the pickies of the chocolates and you're lucky to get the shot of the innards...they probably will not last the evening.  LN....Hopefully better weather tomorrow...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 22, 2018, 3:43pm; Reply: 24
Monday 22nd January

Silly night last night and I stopped up to watch the Masters but my favourite didn't win but I ended up reading until two this morning in front of the fire.  Bed called and I was snuggled until six thirty, I resuscitated the fire, back to bed with more fresh ginger infusion and at eight had a shower and washed my hair.  It was really in need....I sat on the sofa reading while some of the water soaked into the head towel and then it was out with the hairdryer.  Two loads of washing done, I stripped the bed, put the bed linen on the stair banister and it was dried and ready to go back on the bed by four this afternoon.

Breakfast was toast with marmalade and the remains of a pot of Greek yogurt and I was stuck in my book until one.  I'd originally planned to head into Kardjali today with the Librarian but Accuweather predicted rain and snow so I phoned and cancelled.  Perhaps we'll do it later in the week.  The filing is all finished and I have a load to burn but it's not the weather for it.  It's very damp out there and there's quite a brisk wind and I don't want stuff blown over the hillside especially if the animals get in to it.  

Lovely time on FB at the moment.  I've posted some old photographs of neighbours and school friends and they've created a lot of interest.  I'm speaking to some that I went to school with and their children and unfortunately some from the photos are not around any more.

The bed is made up for tonight, I think a jacket potato is going in for supper so I better get on with it.  LN....Fire and kitchen to attend to.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 23, 2018, 5:13pm; Reply: 25
Tuesday 23rd January

So last night I fell asleep on the sofa reading. woke up at ten thirty, straight to bed and went through until seven thirty this morning.  Result.....and it does make you feel good.  I didn't bother with the fire and came upstairs for something and noticed the red of sky and had to take just a few from the upstairs balcony.  It didn't last long though...a flash in the pan and then it was back to grey clouds and it didn't clear up and the sun break through until one this afternoon.

I'd left the ginger tea on the boiler all night so half filled a cup with it , topped it up with hot water, lemon juice, honey and salt and that was my first beverage of the day and it works.  It starts the digestive juices running and clears out the pipes so to speak. I had boiled eggs for breakfast with toast and I'm back on the coffee and took it upstairs with me.  I struck up the computer, checked emails and FB and decided to make birthday cards since I'; now in the silly birthday season. All for my Aquarian friends.  This took quite a time finding suitable pictures to put on the front...I do like them to be individual.  I decided to search for a case for my new phone since they didn't have one in Kardjali and it should be delivered early next week and I've had a purple seems to be my colour recently.

At one thirty this afternoon I headed into Djebel....I wanted to post the cards.  The Bank of Daughter will have to be topped up for presents although she will have one surprise.  I carried on to the main car par and stopped off at the car-shop to spend time with my student's mum and we make good company for each other.  We were discussing my morning drink and she said that you should really use 'English salt' not normal salt in the drink,  I said that I didn't know what it was so she looked it up on the internet and it turned out to be Magnesium sulphate and I suddenly remembered my mother taking Epsom's salts in hot water each morning.  It's the same thing and now I know and you know ;) ;).  I don't know how but we came round to the discussion of vignettes and she reminded me that i needed to get a new one...I'd forgotten all about it so I legged it up to the garage and got a new one starting February first.  They've now changed the system....before they all used to start and end January to December and now you can buy a twelve month one from any month of the year.  I stopped off and bought a few things from the supermarket, headed home and was pulling into the drive just after five.

I was now on automatic pilot...Beast into the garage, wood in to the house from the container, lit the fire, topped up the container from the wood store, a couple of slices of buttered fruit loaf and a cup of coffee and down with the Kindle for a couple of chapters of my book.  Not sure about supper....I've got mince out so I might be making home-made hamburgers and a few chippies...but that will be later.  It's supposed to be down to minus ten tonight..I'll wait and see.  LN....Now for a relaxing evening....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 24, 2018, 3:51pm; Reply: 26
Wednesday 24th January

So the sleep of the last few nights didn't go through to last night.  I think I had too much supper to digest.  Four slices of bread and three home-made hamburgers...delicious, very satisfying but really bad for the digestion.  At four thirty I was awake, I salvaged the fire since it was minus ten out there and the pump was soon blasting hot water round the system.  It only seems to take the chill off but that's enough.

I went back to bed with a coffee and read all the way through until seven thirty.  The book is really getting going and despite the fact that I have the series on the computer. I don't want to spoil it for myself.  Book then video.  I was ready for breakfast despite last night's feast and it was bacon and egg sandwiches sitting in the chair in the stairwell in the sun with my new found ginger drink made with fresh ginger unadulterated with the likes of lemon and honey.  It's the real thing.  The rest of the day has been spent reading, catching up on sleep and tending the few flowers that are in the porch.  I've noticed that I have two flowers starting on the freesias and the photos will follow.  Now I'm on a mission to get into the Beast and go off to my family for supper.  After demolishing several chocolates from a box that I had for a Christmas present...I'm hoping my hunger returns.

Just a few photos of the dawn...that sun actually came up red this morning and it's been a beautiful day all day.  The only draw back was a biting cold wind but there again it's January.  I think this time last year I was digging the cars out from three foot snow drifts.  What a difference a year makes.  So I'm off I have places to go and people to see.  LN...Promise more photos tomorrow....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 25, 2018, 4:29pm; Reply: 27
Thursday 25th January

One of those silly nights when I woke up at one thirty thinking that I'd slept the night through only to dog doze the rest until....wait for it...eight o'clock.  I didn't bother with the fire since the sun was up already so it was toast for breakfast with my marmalade. coffee and on to the sofa with 'the book'.  The second book is finished and now on to the's very enthralling.

I did break way to get a load of washing in and get it pegged out and to get the bonfire going but everything was so cold in the burning bucket that I didn't stay around long enough to see if it was burning or not...I put the lid on it to stop the animals digging about in it but it doesn't seem to stop them.  Nothing to see here or feed on...move along please... ;)  I opened up the house today and it didn't take long before it was up to twenty seven .  I didn't have to leave the washing out long before the breeze had taken most of the moisture out of it and it's now finishing off in the bathroom on the clothes airier.  I emptied one of the log carriers into the log basket and filled it up from the wood store and then back to base...the sofa.  

I don't know what it is but I feel that winter is a disappointment this's cold and sunny but there's no snow so I'm not really getting the exercise that I normally get.  As for my Fitbit it keeps informing me that I've got so many minutes to get so many step in and my rate has really dropped.  That ten thousand seems a very high target.  It's a pity it doesn't count the stairs as an incline...I seem to go up and down those very frequently.  I lit the fire at three thirty and it's ticking along nicely and I have hot radiators.  I've put a couple of chicken legs in the oven with a huge tray of vegetables to roast.  It includes sweet potato as well as normal, carrots, onions and beetroot.  The remainder I'll make into soup tomorrow..very tasty.  

So six twenty my time...supper should be ready about seven so time to stoke up the fire and get into PJ;s....shut up shop, draw the curtain between the stairs and the winter lounge and get everything cosy for tonight.   LN....A little TV Catch-up I'm thinking....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 26, 2018, 5:21pm; Reply: 28
Friday 26th January

Another of those silly nights, I'd let the fire go out overnight but at five this morning I was lighting it.  It was really cold overnight around minus eight, fourteen in the stairwell and six in the porch when I went out to empty the ashes.  I put the new thermometer into the winter lounge and it son went up to eighteen so it wasn't cold inside but I was soon making a drink of hot lemon and orange, honey and salt and I was back to bed with my book.  The fire caught quickly and raised the temperature to twenty in the lounge and soon the sun was up, time to open the curtains and let in the free central heating.  I settled down on the sofa and got on with my book with another hot lemon and ginger drink and at nine I was making toast for breakfast, browning off pork with onion to put a curry in the slow cooker for tonight and the washing up is still waiting to be done.  

So as for the rest of the day.  I let the fire go out by eleven, I had enough wood in so didn't have much work to do at all.  I could have found plenty to do but I really wasn't in the mood.   I didn't seem to warm through at only went up to two degrees outside despite the sun and the house being twenty nine but everywhere felt cold.  My dear old Fitbit has reminded me all day to get my finger out and take it for a walk...I managed to find the strength to ignore it and my resolve increases daily.

At five I got the fire going again but it was reluctant.  Some of the wood seems to be too hard to get going easily and unfortunately I'd put two of these little beauties on together.  It was out with the firelighters, a few lengths of kindling, three matches to get it to catch and off it went.  It's now ticking along beautifully, the curtains are all drawn, doors are all locked and I'm in for the night.  Tomorrow might hold a few possibilities....I'm tired of being in.  Supper was the remains of the chicken and roasted vegetables from last night and I switched off the slow cooker, the curry should improve with age.   No photos's been sunny and cold like yesterday, the sky is full of stars tonight with a half moon and it's going to be another cold night,  LN.....Looking forward to tomorrow...a little exercise...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 26, 2018, 5:21pm; Reply: 29
Friday 26th January

Another of those silly nights, I'd let the fire go out overnight but at five this morning I was lighting it.  It was really cold overnight around minus eight, fourteen in the stairwell and six in the porch when I went out to empty the ashes.  I put the new thermometer into the winter lounge and it son went up to eighteen so it wasn't cold inside but I was soon making a drink of hot lemon and orange, honey and salt and I was back to bed with my book.  The fire caught quickly and raised the temperature to twenty in the lounge and soon the sun was up, time to open the curtains and let in the free central heating.  I settled down on the sofa and got on with my book with another hot lemon and ginger drink and at nine I was making toast for breakfast, browning off pork with onion to put a curry in the slow cooker for tonight and the washing up is still waiting to be done.  

So as for the rest of the day.  I let the fire go out by eleven, I had enough wood in so didn't have much work to do at all.  I could have found plenty to do but I really wasn't in the mood.   I didn't seem to warm through at only went up to two degrees outside despite the sun and the house being twenty nine but everywhere felt cold.  My dear old Fitbit has reminded me all day to get my finger out and take it for a walk...I managed to find the strength to ignore it and my resolve increases daily.

At five I got the fire going again but it was reluctant.  Some of the wood seems to be too hard to get going easily and unfortunately I'd put two of these little beauties on together.  It was out with the firelighters, a few lengths of kindling, three matches to get it to catch and off it went.  It's now ticking along beautifully, the curtains are all drawn, doors are all locked and I'm in for the night.  Tomorrow might hold a few possibilities....I'm tired of being in.  Supper was the remains of the chicken and roasted vegetables from last night and I switched off the slow cooker, the curry should improve with age.   No photos's been sunny and cold like yesterday, the sky is full of stars tonight with a half moon and it's going to be another cold night,  LN.....Looking forward to tomorrow...a little exercise...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 27, 2018, 4:33pm; Reply: 30
Saturday 27th January

Happy nineteenth to my grandson today...I messaged him and got him on his way to the early shift...card in the post,,money in Bank of Mum and instructed him to have a good day but to take care... he's very precious... ;) ;)

I woke up at seven this morning  and got the fire going...there was a real hard frost outside and it was to take the chill off while I was cruising around in my nightclothes,  It seen got going but I was pleased to see that the winter lounge had maintained twenty degrees despite it being minus nine outside,  My new porch is doing its stuff.

So my plans for the rest of the day went out of the window and had to make new ones...not difficult for a girl like me.  The preparations for the original included shaving legs but they were soon covered up with tights and a long skirt that I realised I bought in The North Lanes in Brighton around fifteen years ago so I've had my money's worth out of it.  I teemed it with a roll neck and wool cardigan finishing it off with a body warmer and leather boots and it still looks trendy even on this old bird.  Before there was a change of plan I made sure that the Beast fired up.  It was reluctant last time I used it and again it was reticent and took four turns to get it to fire.  I know it's been exceptionally cold so I left it running and on the yard not in the garage and turned it off after about five minutes.  After the change of plan I decided to head into Djebel and the could very well be the glow plugs and since the batteries are new it's nothing to do with power.  

I had breakfast before I set off, discussed it with the garage owner and have arranged for it to go in on Monday morning to be checked over.  My student was there and we had a hug.  He was driving one of the cars so I said that I was undercover for the police and did he have the correct documentation for driving other vehicles and knowing that he had I was jesting with him.   After that I set off for Kardjali, parked in my usual place, did the cheapy shop, my leva shop, Kaufland for a few groceries, Billa for a wander round and Lidl for the majority of my requirements.  I drove back and used the back lane and arrived home at four more or less.  I've had no complains from my Fitbit....I've exercised it well.

The curry is warming up in the slow cooker and I just have to do the rice, the fire is going and I'm in for the night.  LN....Successful day...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 28, 2018, 4:00pm; Reply: 31
Sunday 28th January

So I settled in last night reading in front of the fire....there was nothing worth watching on TV-Catchup that I couldn't watch this afternoon.  The Voice this year really hasn't interested seems much of a muchness.   I fell asleep over my book as per normal and woke and ten thirty, threw a log on the fire hopefully to keep it going for most of the night but it didn't work out that way.  I lit it this at six this morning, the house had maintained eighteen degrees which wasn't bad considering that it was well into the minus overnight.  I washed up the dishes from last night,while I was waiting for the kettle to boil and made myself a hot lemon drink and took it back to the warm nest and it was out with the kindle.  I opened the curtains when it started to get light and was ready with the camera to catch predawn and dawn....It's one of my favourite times of the day.

Washed and dressed and ready for the bread van.  On my way down to the van I heard a really strange bird call and couldn't work out where it was coming from.  As I got nearer the van I looked up and there were a couple of woodpeckers stabbing away at a really old tree and despite lots of effort, they were just too far away to photo them.  Most of the ladies were down there already....I gave Zelinger a hug since I really hadn't seen her since I'd got back and in turn, they all had to have one.  I wanted fresh bread this morning, I'd bought what was supposed to be English bacon and not the sort I normally but as I began to fry it I noticed that there was a lot of water coming out of it.  The fried bread was getting soggy so I turned up the heat and threw in an egg and it turned out OK but for the extra money, the bacon isn't really worth it..  The birds got the rest of the stale bread and it didn't hang around in the garden for long.  

As for the rest of the's been a lazy Sunday.  I read for a while, had to recharge my Fitbit so the averages are down for today but what an excuse.  When I put it back on again I had to sync it to the laptop....the time had gone haywire on it.  Speaking of the laptop, that came back with a really strange message and wouldn't boot so I had to force shutdown and on the second try it booted.  I thought I was about to have technology breakdown but all's well.

As for tomorrow...the Beast goes in in the morning and it should take a couple of hours or so but since it's market day...I can always find something to do.  Alternatively I can go and sit with his wife in the passes the time for both of us,  If they dn't have the glow-plugs in stock, they'll be sent down on the bus from the system here.  Sun's down, temperature is dropping so I've just relit the fire and it didn't take long since it ws still warm from this morning.  LN....Same again tomorrow pretty please...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 29, 2018, 5:11pm; Reply: 32
Monday 29th January

Six thirty start, lit the fie but not sure why, it wasn't that cold but it was very comforting.  Back to the nest with the morning health drink and opened the curtains as the dawn started to break.  It was a bit of a cloudy start, a heavy frost covered the grass but the morning woke up beautifully and I managed to catch it.  I'd put a load of washing in last night and it this morning it was ready to put away when i made it to the bathroom.  Washed and dressed by eight thirty, I logged on and sorted out the overnight emails and FB,,,today I was heading off to the garage to get my glow plugs sorted.  

I sat in the sun reading for a while, Princess was due to phone so I didn't head out to early.  She phoned...I must work out how to answer an incoming with this new phone and I had to phone her back.  She was on her way to work...hands free might I add and we had a little catch up.  We signed off as she pulled in to the office and another week at her job.  She loves it.

So wrapped up warm and went to start the Beast.  Again it was reluctant, eventually it got there so I moved it into the yard to get it warmed up.  I was at the garage for ten thirty, they took the plugs out and I was right...they checked them out and two were useless and the others on their way out so I told him to order the four and be done with it.  I walked back to Djebel....counting the steps as I went and I did just over a thousand from the garage to the garage shop.  I checked in with his wife in the shop, did a circuit of the market, stopped and had a few words with other shopkeepers that I know and when I got back to the garage shop was told that the Beast was out of the sick bay and all fixed.  Another thousand steps under my belt, I paid my dues and the labour charge was only twenty leva....just under ten pounds...try that in England.  My Fitbit was having a field day...

I wasn't in the mood to go home yet so I headed for Kardjali and parked in my usual place.  I went to my cheapy clothes shop and picked up a knitted cardigan for my student...I hope she likes it.  I picked up a stained window mindfulness colouring book for two leva but unfortunately as I put the book on the counter a pot of orange nail varnish shot off the counter , smashed and splashed my boots and jeans and I ended up clearing it up with the assistant.  The owners wife walked in, saw what we were doing and went back to her shop next door.....who could blame her.  I went to Kaufland and it had three pots of the tidy daffodils that were in need of love and attention.  They're now sitting in the veranda after having a long drink of water.  Home for four fifteen via the back lane, shopping put away, wood sorted, fire lit and chicken in the oven.  I'd had a record day with the Fitbit and only needed one hundred and seventy steps to knock of ten thousand today so I headed down the garden, back up, round the front of the house and I did it...first time ever.  The moon was up early tonight, not quite full yet, I'm all locked up for the night, the fire's ticking along nicely and now that the Beast is's a weight off my mind.  I hate being in the position of not knowing if it will start or not.

Chicken with bread while I was watching Tipping Point and now I'm getting back to my book...well... after Eggheads.  The books not going the way that I expected it to...another twist and turn....but I'm sure they'll be a few more before it's finished.  I've had a lovely day today...the exercise has done me good.  LN...Long may it continue....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 30, 2018, 5:58pm; Reply: 33
Tuesday 30th January

Silly night...three a.m. start and I read until six thirty. closed my eyes for an hour until seven thirty, showered, washed my hair and got ready for the day.  I'd rescued the fire at three and I had a beautiful warm house to meander through and by the time I'd showered the sun had come up and I sat smothered in towel drying off in the sun.  Out with the hairdryer and confirmation that Mrs. D of S was up for a visit to Momchilgrad market since she'd not been thee before,  In the surrounding towns, one market is very much like another but just the few difference make a visit worthwhile.

I lit the bonfire at nine thirty to get rid of the house rubbish, sat reading my book for a while and Mrs D of S and Munchkin arrived at ten fifteen.  I'd got the Beast out already and joy of flared up first was worth the investment and it's also peace of mind.  We transferred the  baby seat over to mine and were on the back road to the Greek road by ten thirty more or less.  It takes about ten minutes to Momchilgrad and about thirty to find a parking space.  Eventually a large van move, I slotted into the space and battled the mud to save going up to my knees in ti.  So buggy assembled, baby trapped and we headed up to the market and II took up my usual stance as we made it up the two flight of steps.  I grabbed the front of the buggy and we lifted it up and little Munchkin thought it was a great game.  So up one side of the market and I spotted some wool that I fancied and reckoned to pick it up on the way back.  It was fifteen lev a kilo which isn't a bad price for pure wool  and I made a mental note to get it.  We cleared the market, stopped for a coffee near the park and then headed down to the swings but unfortunately she didn't take to them too well.  We headed back to the food stop, filled up and walking back to the car I suddenly remembered that I hadn't picked up the wool so it was back to the market, I picked out the colour that I wanted, it was weighed and I've got one and a half kilos, approximately 45 ounces for  twenty lev...We negotiated the mud once more, set off, topped the Beast up with fuel and we were back to mine for three more or less.  The little one had fallen asleep on the way back so we left her sleeping peacefully in the Beast while we had a quiet cup of coffee sitting in the sun and off they went about three thirty.  

I didn't bother with the fire since it was thirty one degrees inside but laid it ready for later.  I settled down with my book and had periods of eyes down for a full house, a few more words from the written page and then a few more zzz'z.  At five I struck up the fire and what a  mare it was.  It just didn't want to go despite lots of coaxing.  Eventually two firelighters later and lots of kindling it struck.  We had such a good lunch that I'm not really up for much supper but it will probably be cold chicken for later.  No pictures tonight...another lovely day in Narnia and you just can't believe the temperatures for January.  Another relaxing day...LN...Now what to do with that wool....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 31, 2018, 5:58pm; Reply: 34
Wednesday 31st January

Five start again this morning so I rescued the fire, got a load of washing in, made a coffee and went back to bed with my book.  I'd finished the third book of Game of Thrones last night and managed to find the fourth book on my little Kindle but not loaded on my big one so that was a job, but for much later.  I got stuck in to the next book and before I knew it it was seven thirty and time to get going into the new day.  Washed and dressed, I thought I needed bread from the van but realised that the last one I'd bought from him was still OK so I settled for poached eggs again with ham on toast to set me up for the day.  It was white over and the ground crunched under my feet as I pegged out the washing, I moved the bird feeder into a better position than where I'd hung it yesterday and in the process disturbed about four woodpeckers in roundabout trees.  I went into the little house and filled up a couple of the lidded buckets with kindling and emptied out the old plastic chest that had been storing it.  It needs washing out but again can be left for another day and put to better use.

Back inside and I pulled the rest of the chicken from the carcass and put it into the slow cooker, cleaned and chopped three leeks, two potatoes and made a pot of leek and potato soup.  I checked the clock at this point and it was only nine thirty.  I'd been really industrious and so much so at this point that I decided enough was enough, fresh coffee and down on the sofa for the next instalment of my book and I thought the day was mine all mine and even messaged Mrs D of S that it was a day for ignoring the Fitbit and her response was that I was a lazy mare.... ;) ;)  As per normal, lying in the sun reading with the door between the house and the new porch open, my eyes headed southwards and I was out for the count.  I came to suddenly when the Librarian crossed the threshold...I was surprised to see her but on her way to Kardjali, she'd heard strange noises coming from her car so had driven to Djebel from the new road and gone to the garage to have it checked out.  They'd done a quick check, were unsure what parts were needed but said that if she could get some off the old jeep that she had at home, they could fit them.  She asked me to phone the garage to see if I could get any more details which I did but the outcome was that to be able to get the correct part numbers they would need the car back again so I followed her in, we left it there and continued to Kardjali to fill in some time.  

We stopped off first at the bus station to check out the times of the bus to her village from Kardjali and one was leaving and ten to four so that was earmarked.  We parked up in my parking place and the attendant was surprised to see me again and then it was a meander round the shops. I bought a microwave and grill on offer in Kaufland along with more plants for the garden and I put the goodies in the Beast while the Librarian got lunch from the snack bar outside Kaufland.  By this time it was heading for three thirty, the Librarian headed for the bus station while I drove back to the garage shop to see how the land lay.  As I went into the shop the garage owner and his wife were huddled over the computer trying to find the parts.  He showed me photographs that he had taken when he was taking the underneath apart, they located one of the parts but in Prague....there was nothing in Bulgaria.  So I left them to it and thy'll update me tomorrow.

Back home and unloaded the car, got the washing in, rescued the fire again, put both of the soups in the fridge for tomorrow...not really in the mood after my hot dog and chippies.  The Fitbit is fairly happy...despite my promise of a quiet day I've knocked off seven thousand steps, caught up on a few catnaps for the sleep I didn't have last night and now quite settled in and the shop is shut up for tonight and tomorrow I have to sort out where the microwave is going to sit and how to use it...This one comes complete with grill and all for ninety nine was a bargain.   LN...The wool can wait for another day.....LN
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