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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  FEBRUARY 2018
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 1, 2018, 4:51pm
Thursday 1st February

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month or 'white rabbits'.  Didn't get pinched and saw no rabbits or hares out on the hillside.  They probably put their heads out at first light and though better of was a cold one again.

Silly start again...what is it with this five thirties inward alarm call.  The fire was just going so it was out with the ashes and a quick top up, hot lemon and orange drink and back to bed.  The book was out in quicksticks and even though I've read three of the books already, the characters seemed to have changed, he's killed off most of the old faithfuls and I'm finding it a little heavy going.  I was washed and dressed by seven thirty...I needed bread from the van and had to fill in time before he arrived.  He was late this morning, it was almost nine before he belted out the horn as he was making for the bottom of the village.  There were a few people waiting and I took my place in the queue, I bought a cut and uncut loaf and a cheesy bread for breakfast.  I walked back home, put the kettle on for the first coffee of the day and sat in the stairwell in the sun.  

I sorted the logs out after breakfast, removed the old rad tax from the windscreen and applied the new one.  Messy things but fortunately last year I'd been given a plastic thing with a blade in it, managed to find it for this year and I didn't have to resort to washing up liquid and spirit to remove the old glue.  Once they're on, they're on so to speak but this works like a dream and it came free with the road tax.  I did a few circuits of the garden, found some more containers so that I could put the flowering plants that I'd got yesterday on to the windowsill, a little more reading, eyes closed for a full house, back to tending the fire and then it was time to do something with the soup.  I put the chicken and the leek and potato into one large pot, boiled it up and had some of it for lunch and by this point the kitchen was looking like a bombsite.  I took a container of the soup over to Haciber and told her that I didn't want the container back again but back it came containing dried fruit and chocolates.  I cleared the kitchen, I'd unpacked the microwave earlier and it didn't seem so big.  The instructions were first in German and then every other language from eastern Europe but not one word in English.  I cleared the worktop next to the cooker and thought I'd give it a go there and this might change when Spring comes and I can take out the little woodburner and move the freezer over.  I checked out the dials but must see if I can get a copy of the destruction manual from the internet in English, gave a cup of water one minute on 800 and it came out works Cinderella.  Now to get to grips with the rest of the dials.

Almost seven my time...I topped up well on chicken soup so won't be having anything else tonight.  A little t.v., a little reading...I might set about balling up the wool or I might just leave it for tomorrow.  I've got nothing pressing apart from putting the rest of the soup into the freezer, squeezing the lemons to get the juice into ice-cube trays and maybe look out a recipe for marmalade made in the microwave.  I only paid forty five pence approx for a kilo of oranges yesterday and that should make a couplr or three reasonable sized jars.  LN.....Pictures to follow...can't post them on the first posting of the new thread....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 1, 2018, 4:53pm; Reply: 1
And here they come...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 2, 2018, 4:43pm; Reply: 2
Friday 2nd February

So what is it with sleep and me...we don't appear to be making good bedfellows at the moment..One thirty the first awakening, five the next and at six I was ready for the up and at 'em.  Orange and lemon drink, I tried to rescue the fire but that failed so I was opening curtains at half seven, washed and dressed by eight and in a flurry of activity decided to take the flue pipes out and give them a spring clean.  They weren't as bad as I expected and probably would have lasted longer but they were all cleaned and back in place by nine thirty and now it's not a job that's hanging over me like the sword of Damocles. The deed is done and not one stray puff of smoke from the beauties..

I settled for toast and marmalade for breakfast and decided that the cupboard above the worktop could do with a sort out.  As you start to discover the secrets of a cupboard that hasn't been touched for a while you start coming out with bottles that have been backed up with spares and three bottles of soy sauce is too much for for anyone.  One back up Worcester sauce, I found my old tin containing OXO cubes at the back of the cupboard, two jars of part used tomato sauce and one was relegated to the rubbish bag since there wasn't enough in there to write home about.  Small plates have found their way to the top cupboard along with some dishes , my favourite cups have come down a shelf....the spice jars are all topped up, leaving only a few spare packets.  Several packets of soup have been discarded and one old packet of flour.  I now know what's there and was tempted to put an inventory on the inside of the cupboard....but thought it was going over the top somewhat.  My next glory hole to sort out are the small shelves at the side of the washing machine...I've not a clue what's lingering in the back of that but I'll save that for another day.  

At about eleven I received a phone call from my lady in Rogosche post office and I thought she was telling me that she'd given my letters to a neighbour.  I get various people delivering or lobbing them into the garden as they pass by.  By one fifteen nothing had appeared so I phoned her back, she knows what she wants to say and doesn't find other words to express herself if I don't understand.  I really didn't understand her but she said that she would be there until two so it was out with the Beast and I headed up to her village on the main Djebel road.  When I got there she handed over a package and I realised that it was the phone case that I'd ordered from the internet for my new English phone and it was obvious from her body language that she wanted to see what it was so I opened it up and we enjoyed the first viewing together.  I love it...purple and fits like a dream....she thought it was really cool.  

So this afternoon has been book, fire, chocolates, coffee, biscuits, more coffee and more book, more chocolates and then...bonfire.  There was a fairly stiff breeze blowing so I filled up the burning pit and put the lid on and it was smoking until about half an hour ago.  I don't think the animals will find anything worth scavenging but I know they'll give it a try so I'll be clearing up tomorrow.  Six thirty my time...nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far except a phone call to the UK to wish my daughter a happy birthday....I think she's twenty nine again... ;) ;)  LN....Chill time....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 3, 2018, 4:38pm; Reply: 3
Saturday 3rd February

Five start, back until six and then back until put my Fitbit into quite a state and then I had to recharge the battery so my step rate today is way below par.  Ah well, it is 'le weekend' and that's been my excuse all day.  I phoned Princess this morning to wish her a happy birthday, had a few conversations with Mrs.D of S and sent on a message to the Librarian that her car was ready for collection.  She made the decision to leave it until Monday...didn't really need it and that's been the height of my activities today.

I had the rest of the gammon steak and baked beans for breakfast and that's set me up for the day. I did try to light the fire when the wind got up and the rain started to come down, it didn't go first time or second time but I hadn't really put a lot of effort into it.  So what did I do for the afternoon?  I settled in to watch the first three episodes of Game of Thrones and it really has brought it all to life....a very good interpretation and it really does follow the books.  The dwarf has really come to life and his sense of humour is more obvious in the film than in the book...a very good portrayal.  At three thirty I started to watch the rugby and well done to Wales...what a win and then over to watch the doubles in the Davis Cup tennis against Spain and at two down I'd a pretty good idea of the outcome.

I've just had another go at the fire and I think I've actually succeeded.  There's a mega wind blowing outside but it's not a cold one.  The rain stayed off for most of the day but tonight it's supposed to throw it down...I'll probably be wrapped up in the nest by then.  The weather for most of the day has been scudding clouds heading over from minute grey all over and the next blue skies but they didn't stay around for long.  I'm going to have another lazy day tomorrow and light a candle and celebrate what would have been my mother's birthday.  LN...February is a busy month for birthdays....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 4, 2018, 4:22pm; Reply: 4
Sunday 4th February

So I promised to light a candle for my mother's birthday but I didn't anticipate doing it at nine thirty tonight.  The electricity went off, the house was in darkness except for the light from the woodburner and my immediate concern was to move the fire into the little woodburner in the kitchen.  No electricity, no pump and bang goes the boiler.  It's supposed to have two hours worth of charge in it but I left it for about twenty minutes and it didn't come back on again and the way that the wind was howling outside, if the electricians had any sense they'd wait until the morning.  

I got the metal bucket at the ready, lit a couple of candles, cleared the top of the little woodburner, emptied the ashcan and took the metal plates opening up the firebox.  The transfer went well, hot wood into the bucket, gently does it into the kitchen and into the top of the woodburner with the hot coals.  Plates back in place and the extra air to the remaining hot ash in the main woodburner and the pump struck up and circulated the last of the water that was going to be heated last night.  I didn't load the little woodburner up....if I'd have put the hot coals outside the wind was that strong I'd have probably set the next village alight.  I'd still like to ask the question know the electricity is off but you still turn the switches on when you enter a room...automatic pilot.

I sat up on the sofa reading the new Kindle with the backlight switched over to Soda Crush when I got tired of reading and joy oh joy, I'd been held back with one of the levels for the last two weeks and just couldn't do it.  Last night I did...and on to the next.  I finished and was ready for bed at one thirty, woke up at six and went back until eight and the electricity was still off.  I made coffee and beans on bread for breakfast, phoned the electricity emergency number at ten but to no avail.  There were problems all over and my call 'couldn't be handled at the present time' and was disconnected.  

Horrible day outside, the wind had dropped but it was chucking it down but at two this afternoon, I heard the freezer strike up...I was back in business.  I left the fire just in case it went off again as it's done before and went on the computer to check out overnight activity.  I eventually lit the fire, my kmet called round this afternoon with my post that he'd been given in Djebel and it was a card from my grandchildren thanking me for the Christmas presents and two from the bank.  Chicken drumsticks are in the oven with a jacket potato for tonight's supper, not sure what I'm getting up to tomorrow but I'm going to find something.  I need to get out.  LN...Kitchen and fire call...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 5, 2018, 4:21pm; Reply: 5
Monday 5th February

He ho...the electricity stayed up overnight so I'm thinking that it was down to the wind and nothing else.  I wasn't too late to bed last night and it was a six thirty start to the day.  I didn't light the fire...the efforts last night were all in didn't take and that left me with a couple of partly burnt logs to get me going this afternoon.  It took me a while to get was coffee and back to bed and more coffee and back to bed again.  Bed was much warmer that out and about but eventually I took the bull by the horns and got washed and dressed.  Toast and my grapefruit marmalade for breakfast, washing up finished and kitchen put back to how it was before the electricity went off and everything is now back on top of the little woodburner.  

First job was to get the card written out for my son for next week and ready for the post later today.  Jobs a guddun.  I filled up the log basket and decided to split a few of the big ones and mix them up a bit.  They dry out and warm up quickly in the new porch.  Posted the card in Djebel and headed into Kardjali with the intention of taking back the kitchen scales that I'd got as a present for someone and as we unpacked each one...I realised that the chances of getting a replacement were pretty slim.  Eventually we found one that appeared to work properly and the proof of the pudding turned out to be later this afternoon.  I picked up a few other items from the shop, popped back to the car to get them stashed away and then walked down to my cheapy clothes shop to see if the shoes that I'd seen last week had been reduced...and they had.  They were down to half-price.  I also picked up a few things for my favourite toddler and hopefully will be delivered one way or the other tomorrow.  I stopped off at Djebel to deliver the scales and I think they're destined to be delivered back to the shop...they are no goers.  Over to the market and bought leeks and for soup and the other for marmalade.

Home for four thirty and Beast tucked up for the night.  Unpacked the shopping, lit the fire and I'm in for the night.  I had the rest of the chicken from last night with toast at five so I don't think I shall be having much for supper tonight.  I managed to take the photographs that the house insurance company requested and I've  send them off already.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow unless I get a few messages off on FB.  LN....Relaxed as you like...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 6, 2018, 3:50pm; Reply: 6
Tuesday 6th February

So last night I was in for the long haul on Catch-up TV.  I watched the usual but Monday night is good as long as I can manage to stay awake especially considering that we are two hours in front of the UK.  I love Connect and Mastermind but the program that came on afterwards was an eye opener.  It was the guy who'd had a massive stoke and part of his brain removed and four years later the brain that was left had been coaxed into life again and he was walking unaided, the rehabilitation had trained his brain to make new connections and his wife had found the old him again from the depths.  It helped that she was able to film and document the recovery and it was an extreme leaning curve for both of them.  Brilliant program and the result was that I didn't get to bed until twelve thirty.  Knowing my usual pattern I took the precaution of banging my head seven times on the pillow...I didn't want to wake up until then.   It went a bit askew...I woke up first at three, off again and it was eight minutes after seven when I woke up for the second time.  My internal alarm was running a little slow but I didn't mind.

I lit the was minus four outside which was a surprise to me....I hadn't anticipated a frost last night.  The mist was hanging in the valley but then the sun poked it's head up looking large on the horizon, I thought we were in for a good day and then the fog rolled in and it stayed cold and it was that way until lunch time.  I had a communication from Mrs D of S asking if I fancied lunch in Djebel and so we met up at twelve, found a restaurant and sat for an hour while the little one found new friends and kept herself occupied returning briefly for cheese on toast and the yogurt drink.  Unfortunately they didn't have a high chair to pin her down.  We walked through the square, called at the cash machine, a little supermarket shopping and we were in our respective cars by two and i was home for two fifteen more or less,  A nice little interlude.

I read for the afternoon until I nodded off for an hour or so.  The fire was going but I had the door to the porch open and it was an ambient temperature when I woke up.  I threw another log looks like being another cold one tonight so I'm battening down the hatches early.  I have just taken a spin round the garden and I'm amazed at the number of daffodils that are showing their little heads.  Thinking about it though I did buy an awful lot in October and November last year...I never thought I would get them all in but I did.  

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.  If the weather is good there's a little gardening to be done...some of the small weeds could come out before they turn into big ones.  Not a clue what's on the menu tonight...I need to go on the hunt and see what I can come up with.  LN...Very relaxing day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 7, 2018, 5:35pm; Reply: 7
Wednesday 7th February

Silly five o'clock start again so it was into the kitchen, a hot lemon and orange drink, fresh ginger into the teapot and put it onto the woodburner for later, lit the fire and waited for the warmth to hit the house before I started really circulating...back to bed with the Kindle.  There'd been a ground frost overnight and by the time that it became light there was mountain to mountain fog and no sight of the mountains at all.

By this time the fire was going beautifully and it has been all day.  I made myself bacon and egg sandwich with the remains of my HP brown sauce,  it's on its last legs.  I have a Lidl one to replace it but it's really not the same but beggars can't be choosers so they will have to do until I order some from the UK.  So still clad in pyjamas I took to the upstairs main computer to do my emails, had a little banter with Mrs D of S on Messenger, sent a few more messages off and got washed and dress eventually.  There was no rush, I wasn't about to set the world on fire to burn out the Fitbit with was a cold, drab day and perfect for sitting reading for an hour or so.  I was amazed by photographs of the snow from Princess so I told her to send it back immediately, it was mine, they've had more that I've had this year.  Another photo this afternoon showed it on my back garden in UK but I'm tole that it's all gone now.

Eventually the sun broke through, I wheeled out the log carrier determined to release the axe head from a log I'd tried to split and failed at but it took a good ten minutes to do.  The wood was straight enough, no knots in it but just didn't want to separate into two pieces and that was all that I asked. ...and then it went but by this time I'd removed the axe head from its handle and it was easier to use this way with the lump hammer and I carried on and filled up the log container with the newly split wood.  At this point I decided to stack the rest of the second line of logs on top of the first, clean up the area and move the old door screen nearer the support wall to the woodstore so that it gives me more room to get in and out of the garage and it didn't stop there.  I swept out the woodstore and put the old leaves and the rest of the stuff down the bottom of the garden against the wall. I filled up the kindling wood container and brought that inside but by two thirty I was in need of liquid refreshment and a couple of slices of bun loaf to fill up a gap.

I've had a very lazy afternoon and don't feel guilty at all....the fire's been going all day and is likely to remain that way if we get more days like this.  LN...the bun loaf is sitting heavily so it's going to be a hunt for something light this evening. Only one pickie of this morning... I was much too busy to take photos and the birds wouldn't keep still long enough...too cold for them.  LN....Will try harder tomorrow....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 8, 2018, 4:08pm; Reply: 8
Thursday 8th February

Three a/m/ eyes open and a check on the time and then back until seven fifteen.  More like this please.  I think it was the rain that woke me up in the middle of the night...It had thrown it down around eleven last night and I'd put the outside light on to have a look what was going on out there, rain was crashing down on to the terrace.  And so to bed to get snuggled up.

So I was straight into it when I came to this morning.  I emptied the ashes but didn't light the fire.  It was a pretty cloudy start but it wasn't cold out there...only the wind...but it had cleared by eight, the sun was up for a short time before the fog came down but that all cleared by ten.  I washed up, was having a bacon and egg sandwich by eight thirty, made my bed and opened the window in the bedroom to get some air in and headed for my desk on the top landing to clear the overnight rubbish that comes through.  I ended up doing the DM Sudoku in record time and was washed and dressed to face the day by nine thirty.  I had nothing to rush for.  I put on Good Morning  to catch the acerbic Piers Morgan but it was only Ben Shepherd doing his stuff so it went off as quickly as it had come on.  I started to watch Game of Thrones but couldn't get in to it this morning so settled for an episode of Outlander and again, one was enough.  

I made my way to the little house and found out the box of seeds that have been accumulated and decided to sort them out.  I took the old plastic chair from the house, put it on the terrace out of the wind but in the sun and sorted them out into the order that they need to be started off.  Snapdragons come first, the blue poppies need to spend a month in the fridge before they get sprinkled on damp soil and kept at a pretty even temperature to germinate and I've assembled a tray of plug pots and undertrays so come March and April I'll be all ready to go.  As for the weather now...we're all still waiting for's just not appeared as yet.

Visitors this afternoon.  The Librarian appeared with a couple of her local residents, they'd been to Kardjali to the hospital and called in on their way back.  She'd left some plants here when her car had gone into the garage and was picking them up.  We walked the garden and her neighbours were looking round the shrubs but there's nothing to break bits off to start themselves only the winter flowering jasmine but that stayed intact.  They left at about four, I brought the chair in, lit the fire since the temperature was dropping and closed the windows, filled up the log basket and got another load of logs in.  It's all closed up for the night.  There's chicken and jacket going in for tonight...and it should be ready in about an hour.  The Librarian is heading over tomorrow for lunch here if the mood takes me or we'll head into Djebel to the soup kitchen.  It's been a while since we were there.  LN...I't going to be a cold one....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 9, 2018, 4:57pm; Reply: 9
Friday 9th February

The fire was going well from last night at six this morning so I topped it up ready for me to linger in front of when I had a shower and washed my hair.  Coffee and back to bed until the camera had to come out to capture Narnia, stripped off in the kitchen and added the rest of the washing to the machine and the washing cooked as I washed away my troubles and tribulations.  I swaddled myself in a towel and got cocooned my hair in another and other I finished Game of Thrones book four.  Up to the bedroom, dressed for town and dried my hair.  Quick breakfast of toast and marmalade, washing pegged out and I sat in the sun waiting for the Librarian's arrival.

We sat out in the sun on the terrace out of the wind drinking coffee and I suggested that we made out way into was a beautiful day and just right for a walk round the shops.  I had the kitchen scales to take back anyway...I'd given them up as a bad job.  The lady said that she wasn't able to refund the money...this is Bulgaria.... so I chose terracotta flower pots to the same value.  A credit note would have meant going in there again and I just didn't want the hassle.  I paid my telephone bill, went into the cheapy shop and bought a set of blue and white striped curtains that will do perfectly for the bottom of the stairs and make a change from the cream ones.  There are five smaller ones in the same material so they will make cushion covers to match.  Very little money and ready made...right place, right time.  Lunch at the Cantina and then finally to Lidl where there was a fantastic sale of odds and ends at ridiculously low prices.  The place was heaving.

Home via the back lane, we sat around with coffee and she left at more or less four.  I got the washing in, lit the fire, took photos of the sunset and locked up for the night.  The curtains will go into the washing machine overnight and hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow to get them dry and then I can work my magic with them.  No need for supper, lunch has filled me up for the day.  LN....A very pleasant day....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 10, 2018, 3:31pm; Reply: 10
Saturday 10th February

Silly night...three a.m. start and back off again until five thirty so my day started early.  The fire was still going so I lobbed another log on and it's been going all day.  At three this morning we had a moon and starts....and for the rest of the's been dull, raining and cold.  I've been on to Amazon and downloaded book five of the Game of Thrones but it's in two parts.  The author states that the first book is running in parallel with book four that I've just finished.  The one concerns the characters that appear to have been left out of the last it should all come together eventually.  I went back to bed with the Kindle and started on part one.

Out of bed by seven thirty and got washed and dressed.  I wanted to go down to the bread van this morning...I was out of eggs and his seem much fresher than from the shops.  I tootled around outside until I heard his horn outside Remsier's house and started my walk down the road, meeting up with my ladies from the village.  Eggs, two bread and cheesy bread, back to the comfort of a warm house and bacon and egg with cheesy bread for breakfast.  I'd washed some of the new curtains yesterday and they were dry already...they'd been on the clothes airier in the bathroom over night.  The double width one had been washed last night and spent the night folded on the kitchen worktop so the little ones were removed from the airier and the big one took its place.  No chance of putting it outside today.

I got a load of logs in, split four of the huge logs from the garage and I have enough to last for two or three days.  They burn much slower.  I had a bonfire and later the cat came round but I'm afraid there were no pickings had been a good blaze with the metal lid in place despite the rain.   The computer went on and I watch the first day of the Winter Olympics but I got fed up of Clair Baldwin's coverage so I put Dancing on Ice on recorded last week and I went back to the Olympic coverage, got the iron and ironing board out for a little domesticity , ironing the curtains watching rugby....and the internet failed so I ironed watching nothing.  Don't tell too many about this but it should bring a smile to Mikey B's face.

The rugby's back on,it's half time so the fire needs attending to.  Supper has been sourced from the freezer and I've put in a load of vegetables to roast.  I like suppers that cook themselves.  The rest of the evening will be split between TV-Catch-up and the Kindle and no nap today so hopefully I'll have a reasonable start tomorrow.  LN...Back to the rugby...LN
Posted by: MikeyB, February 10, 2018, 8:09pm; Reply: 11
Well that's a picture I never thought I'd live to see!  :P :K)

I thought you usually clicked your heels together and waggled your nose and all the creases would fall out!  ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 11, 2018, 4:06pm; Reply: 12
Sunday 11th February

Not these days I get older the power is diminishing and they were bloody big curtains....the gift that just keeps giving... ;)

So it was a four start this morning, the fire was out so I made coffee and went back to bed with the Kindle, read for about an hour and then off again until seven fifteen.  What a surprise when I opened up the curtains…it was white over, not snowing but by eleven it had started again and it’s been at it all day and not at all expected.

At the bread van yesterday the ladies said that we would be having snow but the van driver and myself settled for rain…there was no mention of snow on the weather forecasts that I get for this area.  They were right and the others were all wrong.  Fortunately I’d stocked up with bread and eggs yesterday and the freezer’s full so no great hardships. I did get the fire going at seven though and it was chugging along very nicely until, yes, you’ve guessed it, the electricity went off at about twelve.  It was really strange.  It went off, came on again, the monitor was flashing to say that there was power, the computer was doing the same thing but nothing would boot.  Just when I’d set up the laptop with the monitor to see if it was a monitor problem or a problem with the computer, it went off again but this time it came on at reduced power and the desk lamp was hardly lit and then finally …nothing at all.  Fortunately the fire had got very low at this point so I didn’t have to empty the contents of the firebox into the little wood burner.  

So it’s been a very lazy day and my only exercise has been to get in two more loads of logs just in case and I cleared off the terraces so that if it really freezes tonight, they won’t be so bad.  So far no snow plough but there are two well defined tracks where some hardly souls have made it out or back.  

I now have power and internet so I’m going to get this posted while everything in my garden is looking wonderful…white over…covers all the weeds.  LN…And it’s still at it…LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 12, 2018, 4:29pm; Reply: 13
Monday 12th February

So I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up at one thirty.  It was still snowing so I peeled myself off the sofa and headed to bed.  Five start but I put my head down again and it was seven twenty when I got up for the second time...the fire needed lighting, coffee needed making and I was in to my morning.  The rest of the soup went out for the animals but most of it is still left on the garden...they don't appear to like curry but something is going to come along that's really hungry.  It will go I'm sure.

I didn't need to get the logs in...I'd done that yesterday and having thrown the soup out I managed to find some lamb chops in the freezer that I fancied for tonight.  Chops in Bulgaria are not quite like in the UK.  These came in a chunk, I tried hard to split the chops up so that I could have a manageable amount to eat.  I took them outside and bashed them on the concrete but I had to thaw out all of them but at least I have some for tomorrow.  

The rest of the day has been keeping the fire stoked, reading the fifth Game of Thrones and watching the Olympics.  I'm toying with either icing over the patio and taking up speed skating or building a half pipe in the garden especially now the snow is down.  The thaw has set in and I found one place that I wouldn't want to be standing...little house on the little terrace.  The snow bent the guttering last year and I think it's going to need replacing this year.  It's a little bent.  Supper went in the oven, I added a sliced onion to the chops and thinly sliced a potato and laid it on the top .  I cored two apples that have been lingering for longer than they ought to have done and they went in with sultanas where the core should have been with brown sugar, butter and honey but I could only manage one when it came to it.  I did think of taking one over to Haciber but it was too cold to be out and bothering people.

The kitchen can wait until tomorrow, I'm watching the speed skating and don't plan to be doing much at all except make it to bed at a sensible time.  I was going to see the Librarian tomorrow but the roads aren't good and it's supposed to be minus six tonight so the roads could be icy.  LN....Another lazy day to contend with... ..LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 13, 2018, 4:28pm; Reply: 14
Tuesday 13th February

Firstly happy birthday to my son ...he's had to go to work but should be skiing and celebrating by the weekend, unfortunately not in Bulgaria but Switzerland with the family and the outlaws.

My day started at seven this morning and I was all set to face the day by nine thirty even though I was still in PJ's.  It wasn't cold but it was miserable and even though the forecast said sun and clouds, again it got it wrong....I didn't see the sun at all.  I checked in with the Winter Olympics and caught up overnight activity and we don't seem to be doing anything worth writing home about.  Norway are doing well and so are Germany and our speed skate lady got knocked out of it, physically, it was that or lose her fingers.  Two more events for her so maybe she'll come good after all she is World champion in both events.

A bit of banter with  Mrs D of S and the little one was due and injection and a check up with the doctor so we arranged to meet up for lunch.  I popped in to see my student's mother in the shop and again we discussed English lessons for her little one and I struggle with people that try to do direct translations into another language.  Bulgaria only has one word for somethings where we have several ways to phrase things and they're just not used to it.  I think it's better to learn the phrase within context and then there's no need to translate it.  I'll prepare the lessons ready for the coming of spring.

We had lunch in Nazdrave, the little one was full of beans despite her injection and kept us both on our toes.  She's such a little live wire.  I was home for two thirty and only stopped at the supermarket to get the wrist-bands that I'm sending off for the 1st March celebrations.  When I came back the fire was in need of attention and it's been slow to get going.  I think it's due to there being no wind today and a lot of downward pressure....lots of dry sticks and firelighters but it took a good couple of hours for it to take off and circulate the water round the radiators.

More lamb for supper tonight...if I get round to cooking it. Beans on toast for breakfast, toasted sandwich for lunch so can't say I'm really champing at the bit.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far apart from making a few cards to go with the wrist bands and I want them in the post by Thursday to make sure they get there in time.  The weather looks to be closing in again.  If the temperature drops the rain might turn to snow again....well it is only February ..still winter.  LN...Fire and kitchen in that order....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 14, 2018, 4:46pm; Reply: 15
Wednesday 14th February

Happy Valentines day to those who haven't received anything through the post today might come tomorrow... ;)

It's been a horrible day weather wise.  The rain woke me up at silly o'clock, and I couldn't managed to get off again so it's been a long old day.  I loaded the washing machine and set it going at cheap rate electricity, managed to salvage the fire this morning and went back to bed with my book and a coffee.  Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and I made my way to the computer on the landing to catch up with the overnight happenings and apparently I have a huge amount of money sitting  in a bank in Nigeria...a distant uncle I knew nothing of.  It's probably the same one that a million others have.  Obviously I sent all the information that they requested including bank account details.....well you do don't you... :o :o

At eleven thirty I was still in my PJ's and it was a toss up as to whether I would get dressed today or not...but I did.  The rest of the lamb was put into the slow cooker with an onion, a tin of tomatoes and some tomato sauce and that would be ready around five tonight without much effort from me.  I cleared up the kitchen, made another coffee  and checking out the terrace noticed that one of my large blue pots with daffodils in it was waterlogged.  My simple remedy was to find the lump hammer out and bash three hole in the bottom of it so that it would drain...and it was as well that I did.'s been pouring down all day.  The washing had to go on the clothes airier in the bathroom would never have dried.  

Very lazy afternoon watching the Winter Olympics...reading and my only activity came from the fact that my Fitbit kept prompting me to do so many steps to complete an hourly target.   I've kept the fire going and it;s been burning well all day.   I made mashed potato to go with the lamb and it was delicious and I' just washed everything up again and the kitchen is tidy for tomorrow.  It's good to come down to.  

Nothing on for tomorrow during the day but supper with my student's family tomorrow night.  Looks like it might be another lazy day.  LN..Hard life isn't it...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 15, 2018, 9:17pm; Reply: 16
Thursday 15th February

And yes, another family birthday it would have been maternal grandmothers...we must all have ovulated at the same time to produce so many Aquarians...May fertility and all that jazz.

So I was reading again at three this morning but managed to get my head down again at five and slept through until eight so not so bad. I managed to have a shower and wash my hair but half way through I noticed that I was still wearing my Fitbit so it was a quick jump out, Fitbit off and fingers crossed that it was going to be OK.  It doesn't seem to have done it much harm but note to self to be more careful.  

It wasn't so cold this morning until you went outside and the wind was keen, so I didn't linger long.  I got dressed a little earlier today ten with a load of logs and moved the jasmine from the little house into the porch.  I think I've got flower buds starting on it so after checking out the internet for it's flowering period decided to give it a little more warmth to give it a chance.  I tied it up to the old grape vine that for some reason never got chopped down and it's certainly useful for hanging things on.  Fingers crossed I shall have flowers within the week.  It's sitting next to the freesias so it might give it a clue as to what I expect.  So after a fluffy of morning activity including poached eggs for breakfast, I took to the sofa with the Kindle and got stuck into the book.  The Olympics seemed to be doing a round-up of the previous day's events so I didn't linger long on that .  It was up to twenty four degrees in the house according to the thermometer and I knew where I was best off and it certainly didn't take long for me to have my eyelids fall southwards and off I went to the land of nod.

Back to the book when I came to and at four I lit the fire to keep the house warm for the night-time.  I went to my student tonight for supper and I was presented with a cake with candle and a present that I shall open on the seventeenth....Lovely evening with the family and I might be going on a jaunt with the elder sister.  There is a five day tour going to Turkey to Cappadochia and Ankara and I'm up for it.  It's a lot of time on the coach but hey....with Kindle and camera...I can sleep there as well as here.  I'm having to sort out if I can get a visa for Turkey over the internet tomorrow and have to present a copy of my passport over the weekend so it's going to be all systems go.

The fire was out when I got back so I've just lit it again....Not much sleep in me so far tonight so I'm moving down to the fire and might knock off a couple of chapters.  Only a visit to the post office on the cards for could be another lazy day.  That's what winter's all about.  LN....Hibernation alley...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 16, 2018, 4:26pm; Reply: 17
Friday 16th February

So instead of getting stuck into my book I got going on the document that I'd put myself up for to translate from Hungarian to Bulgarian.  It was four pages long so I first scanned it into the computer but that's where I came unstuck/  It resulted in PDF files that weren't recognised by the translation program.  Scratch head time and eventually I managed it but it was heading for one-thirty so it was a lengthy problem.  Back down in front of the fire eventually and I settled down with the book and knocked off that couple of chapters and in fact I finished the book so started on the next one in the series.  I headed for bed at three this morning but I just couldn't get my feet warm and it seemed to take me ages to fall asleep.

Out for the count until eight, there was a hint of pink in the sky but it was cold out there.  I meandered round for a while, took a copy of my passport, wrote a card for my birthday buddy and at eleven headed to Djebel to get my cards in the post,  Cards posted, money out of the cash point and over to my student's home to deliver the translated document.  She made omelettes for both of us and we finished off with the remains of my birthday cake from last night.  From there I made it to the mother's shop to buy a cake for my ladies tomorrow morning's delivery, down to the garage for a quick check of oil, water and tyre pressures....I'd decided to take off with Mrs D of S and the little one and the Librarian and head down to Greece for lunch.  Such a hard life.  I delivered my Birthday Buddy card to the grandmother, filled up with fuel and headed home for three thirty and met the local sheep hazard as I drove  through the village.  I finished the arrangements for tomorrow and everyone is primed...we shall be setting off at about ten thirty.

I lit the fire at four and it's chugging along nicely and it's just as well, the temperature has really dropped.  I had a really good lunch after a toast and marmalade breakfast so the bugs aren't really biting....We'll see what they do later.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow...LN    A walk by the sea....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 17, 2018, 6:40pm; Reply: 18
Saturday 17th February

Very frosty start but what a good night's sleep I had.  Seven before I raised my sleepy head from the pillow.  I intended going to the bread van to deliver cake for the ladies but I was still in PJ's when I heard the horn toot so ended up delivering the cake to them individually and have stale bread toasted for breakfast.  I'd fancied cornflakes but had left the milk on the shelf and not in the fridge, so that was a no starter.

Over to Mrs D of S's house and in the Beast for eleven with the Librarian and off we set for Greece.  The border was not very busy, only five cars in front of us and through in quicksticks.  We were a bit scuppered in Kometini....a policeman with a very loud whistle was blocking the road we wanted so it meant a quick tour of the backstreets and eventually I got up back on the road to Fanari....a very good haunt for a wander along the beach and lunch especially with the weather as it was. ...full sun, blue skies, cold breeze but a lovely day for a stroll.  We walked for about an hour, found a brilliant restaurant and ordered far too much food again as we normally do but this time we had an excuse for it....the waitress didn't speak English and didn't tell us that the meal came with chippies already and we'd ordered extra.  We'll know for next time.

More walking and into the car for four thirty and again there was only a few cars in front of us at the border crossing.  I stayed and had coffee with Mrs D of S and played with the little one.  She's such a poppet.  Home for seven, fire going, no need for supper, phone Princess to thank her for the phone call, spoke to my CJ and now to chill for the night.  I've had a beautiful birthday, another one notched up and have had some super presents and others still winging their way over from the UK along with my cards that are locked in the post office in the next village.  LN....Feeling blessed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 18, 2018, 5:27pm; Reply: 19
Sunday 18th February

So last night I was watching television on Catch-up and before I knew it it was one thirty in the time flies.  I was fascinated by the program of Mel Brookes of the Producers fame until I realised that it was very disjointed and it was time to switch off and get to bed.  You get night like that....after what was a very busy day.  I was also trying to handpick the  birthday greetings out of two posts.  Mrs D of S had announced my birthday on FB before I had and comments were appearing on that news feed so that's shy I posted my own with a lovely cartoon suggesting that I was surprised after my life style to have made it this far.  Thanks to those who posted on both....I had a lovely day.

After my late to bed last night I didn't wake up until seven thirty and fortunately found a loaf in the freezer so didn't have to get dressed and chase the van.  I didn't bother with breakfast though...I was reading for a while. got dressed when I got guilty about lazing around despite the fact that it was Sunday.  It didn't really spur me into action though, I went on to the Olympics, shed a few tears with the parents of the girls who'd got gold and silver and especially that she'd retained the gold from four years ago...what an achievement.  Decided that it was time for activity...I topped up the log basket from the logs in the porch, filled up the log carrier from the wood store and reckoned that it would do me no harm to sweep the woodstore and split some more of the big logs.  I managed five of them which gives me enough big ones for the next couple of days or so and I suppose I'm eking out the wood from the previous year.  After that it was time for breakfast so I used the chippies from the restaurant from yesterday and just as I was about to serve up my chippie omelette my painter arrived in the yard asking where I had been.  I could have asked the same question of  him but didn't bother...he's the one that was supposed to be chopping the rest of my wood from the garage so I mentioned that I'd done some that morning and he said that it was his tell me when...and it's all his... ;) ;)

After my late breakfast I made a coffee and tackled the DM Sudoku on paper...I'd tried it on the PC but to no avail but at this point my eyes headed southward while the fire ticked away nicely and I nodded off for a couple of hours catching up on last night's lack of sleep.  More coffee when I woke up, the fire was out and what a mare it was to get that going again...the wind must be in the wrong direction.  Nothing for supper....that omelette was a big one and I used the eggs that I was given by my neighbour from her own chickens so that's why it looks very yellow.  The fire is at last doing what it should have been doing an hour or so ago....just a couple of pickies today yesterday's presents and I've got the cards to pick up from the post office tomorrow.  LN....Fire and book is on the cards....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 19, 2018, 4:58pm; Reply: 20
Monday 19th February

Five start this morning so it was coffee and back to bed with a book before my day really started.  It was a cold miserable day so I lit the fire even though I was heading out having a few things to sort out.  I'd been...shall I, shan't I about the holiday and had put off getting my visa for the trip to Turkey so today was a must, the holiday had to be paid for.  I also wanted to pick up my letters from the post office that I hadn't managed to do on Friday.

So fire going by eight, washed and dressed by nine, poached eggs for breakfast and on to the computer to sort out the visa and what a simple process.  Only one thing confused me, it was how to enter dates into the system...I'd never come across it before.  Firstly you picked the year from a calendar and then chose the month and then the date.  I thought I'd done it correctly the first time but it showed you the entry screen and I realised that I'd not done them correctly so back in to edit and eventually got it sorted.  It was a three step process, an email came through asking me to continue, I was directed back to the screen and my visa was accepted, available to download and print.  The last time I went to Turkey I got the visa at the border and paid really a lot over the asking price...some little man in a kiosk demanding more that I should have been paying but what can you do when there's a coach waiting to continue on it's journey and on that occasion I wanted three.  I was really impressed with the speed of the application.  Despite the fact that the travel company said that I didn't need one...better safe than holding up another coachload.  

Into the car by ten thirty and over to the post office for my cards...three of them and one bill from M-Tel which is already paid.  Next stop was the cash point for the money for the holiday and on to the shop that my student's mother works in to pay over the money.  I'm now getting really excited about it especially when I looked at the long range weather forecast for here....rain, snow, hail and more rain for the next week or so.  My birthday came on the right day or the sun did...not sure which.

Monday is market day in Djebel so I decided to walk the length of it even though the wind was really cold today.  I bought a pair of really warm pyjamas to take with me in case the hotel is not such a good one on my travels, a green pashmina that I liked the colour of and five boxes of firelighters.  I carried on to my car shop and had a few minutes with my other student's mum.  She noticed the firelighters and I asked her if she'd used them and she said she hadn't....she's got one to try and now I'd down to four.  Normale... ;)  On to the supermarket for rice and fruit juice and home and banking up the fire at one thirty.  It was not only cold but miserable out there.  

Topped up the log baskets, settled in on the sofa and you know the rest by now.  More of the Olympics and watched the curling and the ice-skating, chicken leg and jacket potatoes in the oven for supper and it should be ready in half and hour or so.  No photos today...not much to take except my new pyjamas...very pretty...but I'll save you the embarrassment.  Ten days and counting to lift off.    LN....Better think about packing....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 20, 2018, 4:44pm; Reply: 21
Tuesday 20th February

Seven start, another miserable day, no photos and the only chant heard has been 'rain, rain, go away'...  It's been cold and hasn't stopped all day.  I ventured out this morning to remove anything from the fridge that no longer belonged there like week old profiteroles, the remains of the cake that I bought for the ladies of the village and what was left of the casserole that was destined for the freezer but never made it.  Stripped my bed and washed the bottom sheet and quilt cover and put it to dry over the banister and the bed's already made up.  The second load of washing is on the bathroom airier and should be ready to put away in the morning.  I've not been completely lazy today...just very close to it.

Well done to the men's curling team, only one match to win and they're in the semi-finals and the women play tonight and good luck to them.  After watching the women's two person bob I've suggested to Mrs D of S that we start training and we've got four years to perfect the technique before we throw ourselves into the limelight.  We thought about using crowd funding to get the support but decided that the local builders yard has sheet metal and we've got lots of wood hanging around between us to have an independent entry.  The fertile ramblings of a bored mind....and that's how it's been today.

Game of Thrones book five part two has not interested me as much as the others.  You've probably done it've been reading and the mind wanders and you have to go over it again...that's how it's been today.  The original characters I'm very fond of....some of the newer ones have been difficult to follow and I'm beginning to feel that it's no going to reach a conclusion.  Far from being a series it's beginning to feel like a 'soap'.

So looking at the appears it's going to be the same as today so I'm looking to start to make something with the wool that I got from Momchilgrad market.  One and a half kilograms of double what to do!!  I had toast with lashing of Brie for lunch so the hunger grubs haven't started to nibble yet.  I'll do something if and when they do.  No pickies...I've hardly seen the Greek mountains at all today and my neighbours have been conspicuous by their absence.  LN...Battening down for the night...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 21, 2018, 4:24pm; Reply: 22
Wednesday 21st February

So I was up last night reading until late and started early this morning.  I really needed to know if the book was going to end and conclusions drawn and I was really disappointed.  Several characters from the first books haven't been accounted for and now there is another teaser at the end of this one but I'm not sure I want to go there.  I'll watch the downloaded series instead.  

I lit the fire mainly because it was another damp day and looked like it was going to stay that way all day. settled for toast and marmalade, put the washing away and started to put the clothes that I potentially am taking with me in a pile in the bedroom.  It will change...some in and some out but that's the way I decide what I'm taking with me.  Again it's been a lazy day and I've been watching mainly the Olympics.  The girls are through and were magnificent but the men lost against the Americans so are into a I'll be watching again tomorrow.  

I've got my first daffodil out in the garden and the freesias are still in bud and hanging on but I'm thinking that I'll have to bring them in to get the buds to pen.  There are more sproutings on the jasmine but I'm not sure if they are shoots or flower's very difficult to tell.  So I was in need of real food so I opened a tin of local corned beef, fried off an onion, added the meat and put it in a glass serving dish.  I added baked beans and pickled beetroot, boiled and mashed potatoes and slathered it over the top of the mixture.  Into the oven with it to brown the top and then set to to prepare a couple of apples, stuffed them with raisins and sultanas, brown sugar, butter and honey and thy went into the over too.  Forty minutes later everything was ready and.... I'm stuffed.  Unfortunately the cream and yogurt are both over the sell-by-dates and are destined for the hillside tomorrow.

Time to stoke the fire.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far...but the Kindle needs sorting to remove the books that I've read and to check to see if there are any series that I need to think about downloading.  LN...TV and bed....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 22, 2018, 5:28pm; Reply: 23
Thursday 22nd February

Happy birthday to my annual guest....another year older but there again...aren't we all.  So seven ten this morning and what a good night's sleep.  I was cosy, wrapped up in my nest and haven't needed a nap today.  Same again tonight please.  As for the weather...cold again and only one degree when I surfaced, the house was OK but I lit the fire...I wasn't going to be leaping around and you need it just that bit warmer.  My Fitbit has been urging me on all day and I chose to ignore it but I did work up a little steam this afternoon.

Breakfast was the rest of the tin of beans I opened last night on toast and it kept me going until this evening when I've just demolished the remains of last night's shepherd.  I was a bit lazy in that I used the frying pan to bring it up to temperature.  Had a bonfire and cleared out the burning bowl, topped up the log basket and filled up both log carriers in preparation for tonight.  It was going to be a day for keeping the home fires burning.  It was also out with the lump hammer and axe head and split four of the logs from the garage...a little bit of exercise!!

I spent quite a lot of the day watching the birds.  The tits seem to have found the hanging nut container and they were virtually lining up to have a turn.  The woodpecker was hanging around the walnut and I think the big bird on the walnut is a jay.  Most were taken at full magnification...they're all a bit jumpy.  The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the Olympics and when I was bored with that I watched a couple of episodes of Outlander.  I've read all of the books and again it's bringing characters to life.  

Seven fifteen my time....I think I'm heading into Kardjali tomorrow...despite the fact that we've been promised more snow.  LN....Snow shovels at the ready....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 23, 2018, 5:28pm; Reply: 24
Friday 23rd February

Just before seven and it was another cold, damp, miserable morning.  I got the fire going straight away and it's been going all day apart from the times when it's been a little reluctant and the firelighters have had to come out.  I made an omelette for started out with the intention of making poached eggs but two of them broke before I could get them into the water so it was out with the whisk and into the frying pan.  I crumbled white cheese into it and the toast that I'd put into the toaster came out again, slathered with butter and grapefruit marmalade and went down well.  

I realised that my hair needed washing so I decided that I would linger in a bath...a shower is all very well but a bath can be lingered over.  I put the immersion heater on so that I would be able to top the water up when the temperature dropped but it didn't seem to work.  After about an hour I emerged from the depths, smothered myself in towels and with the fire going, the bathroom was a very temperate climate,  I dressed very leisurely and dried my hair.  Back to the immersion heater...I did a few tests on it by turning the thermostat down to see if it headed up and the light went out. put the thermostat up a little higher and tried it again and everything was working correctly so panic over.  Next landmark....I really needed to be ready to watch the women's curling at one English time and I was well in time for that.

So curling over which had a disappointing end for the English so now we have a play off for the bronze metal and fingers crossed for that.  I did venture out to the little house and filled up the log carrier, had a few words with Hacibar who was heading up to Remsier's house and then went back into the house. locked up for the night and stoked up the fire.  I really hate these cold damp days.  I settled in this afternoon with Outlander, watched three episodes and now it's time to head to the kitchen and sort out something for supper.  I've not put much thought into it so far.  I didn't do Kardjali today...I phoned my painter this morning and I'm picking him up at nine tomorrow.  He needs a root round the charity shops for a few work clothes.  Sorry no photos...I've posted too many damp, miserable days.  LN...Better weather tomorrow please....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 24, 2018, 5:19pm; Reply: 25
Saturday 24th February

Again a seven start but it was dark this morning...the clouds were very heavy but didn't drop anything.  In fact the terraces were drying off but they were still the same this evening...still not dry.  Washed dressed and ready to meet the bread van at eight thirty and met most of the village ladies down there.  I told Haciber that I was heading to Kardjali and did she want anything but she said that she was OK and that she was going to Turkey for a break with her daughter who was arriving later today.  She said that she didn't know how long she was going to be depends on her daughter.  The conversation at the bread van revolved round my holiday to Ankara and Cappadocia so they were determined that I should have a quick Turkish lesson.  I replied that most Turkish speak English and that when I come back I'm going to organise lessons for them....Some hope...Haciber asked me to get Rakia and then decided to head back to the bread van to see if he had it on the van, he didn't so then she placed the big bottle and one small.

Back home and into the Beast for five to nine and down to pick up my Painter.  We headed down the back lane and it was precarious with the rain we've had but OK.  There was a collection of stalls for Baba Marta thingies in the square by the car's such a big thing here.  Into the cheapy shop and he picked up two pairs of trousers, I managed to find a super pressie which I won't talk about too much until after it's been delivered and we carried on to his meat shop at the back of the market.  He came out with quite a lot, I liked the look of the mince and bought a kilogram and it's already stashed away in the freezer in four small bags.  Kaufland for a few items and I was overcharged for a pair of purple wellies that were supposed to be reduced and weren't and I had to take them with my receipt to the information desk, I was given twenty leva but then I had to go back to the cashier and give her ten for the wellies.  It would have been very easy to have walked off with the wellies and the twenty lev....strange system....I suppose it does away with the need for a supervisor at the checkout.  Quick stop off at Lidl and then home via the back lane and we drove by the electricity pole with 'temporary' repairs.  Let's see how long they remain temporary.  Home for one thirty, rakia delivered, fire lit and by goodness is it cold tonight.  I watched the curling and we failed to get the bronze medal.  There didn't seem any 'oomph' in the team.

Chicken and jacket for supper, and watered down black currant juice to wash it down.  The rugby is playing in the back ground and it's time I started watching it.  My painter is supposed to be coming round tomorrow to chop the remaining logs that he hasn't managed to get round to yet.  It's supposed to be rain and snow tonight and more tomorrow...I've told him not to bother if it's too bad but we'll see.  If he does he does,,,if he doesn't be it.  Now back to the rugby.   LN....Scotland appear to be doing well....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 25, 2018, 4:48pm; Reply: 26
Sunday 25th February

Six start and lit the fire and went back to bed with a coffee.  So far no snow and the terraces looked about the same as last night.  I didn't bother with breakfast and headed for eight thirty being suited and booted, not quite into snow boots but by then it had started and I had the feeling that my painter wouldn't turn up but he did and right on time.  I'd opened up the estate and the wood store and moved the old door shelter to the back wall.  I'd left the Beast out last night so that if it really started to come down he could split the logs inside the garage.  He'd suggested that I stood out there with an umbrella but I was far too busy for that but he did set up camp in the yard.

My job was to get the logs from the garage and put them into the wheelbarrow.  He split them and put them in the log carrier, I rolled the log carrier into the wood store and stack the logs.  My Fitbit was counting the footsteps and I managed to knock up seven and a half thousand...not bad at all.  About an hour into it a car drew up outside and I hadn't a clue who it was.  Two ladies and a man got out and went to the boot of the car and came out with six fluffy pancakes wrapped in newspaper...apparently it was thirty days since their father had died and everyone in the village was having them.  I said it was far too many but it was fifty fifty with my painter and they've been my breakfast and lunch.  Off they went to make the rest of their deliveries.

We stopped for coffee and then back to it with a vengeance.  I think I'd made the coffee a little strong since he knocked back the water with it...need more practice.  So we'd finished and I'd swept the garage by one thirty and now feel happier with the amount of wood I have.  I thought I had enough before but now I'm sure.  It's been really cold since it stopped snowing and as I used to say to my daughter, it's too cold for snow but it's been forecast over night, all day tomorrow and Tuesday and Wednesday.  It's supposed to be minus fourteen as I make my way to Djebel on Thursday morning early...I shall probably stay with my students and find a bed on the floor.

The activity was centred on this morning...I've been watching more of Outlander this afternoon.  Cold chicken for tonight unless I decide to do something with it but I doubt it very much.  Just had a conversation with my student about Turkey and she knows about the same as I and time of departure and that's about it.  Ah well...I'm off on an adventure with the youngsters.... by the sounds of things...:-/ :-/  LN...Sounds good to me...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 26, 2018, 5:00pm; Reply: 27
Monday 26th February

Well this could be a very short update.  The electricity has been like the proverbial bride's night attire since four this afternoon...up and down and it's only just come on again.  The big boiler os off and I'm loath to start it up again in case the power goes off so no pump but the little one in the kitchen is going strong so I'll leave it at that for the night.  

Six thirty start and we were covered in snow.  I watched it for a while, got some more food out for the birds who were going to have a rough time of it today...that wind was howling and blowing the snow everywhere.  I cooked bacon and egg for breakfast, spoke to Princess on her way to work and she said that they were having flourishes and I made her green with envy that I had 'real snow' that could only get worse/ better according to how you looked at it.  I washed up after breakfast and cleared the kitchen of debris, used the rest of the chicken to make a curry and put it in the slow cooker for this evening and headed out armed with my trusty snow scoop, snow boots and a waterproof jacket and cleared a path to the wood store and the rest of the yard.  I'd already got about fifteen centimetres and where the snow was blowing it about even more in places.  Back inside and bunkered down ...there's only so much you can do and despite the Fitbit's requests...I chose to ignore it.  

I started to look at the disk for more books to read but got bored with that so started to watch Game of Thrones and it was at this point that the electricity decided to wander off into the ether....I settled down with something else, it game back on again, back to Game of Thrones and off it went.  Now I hadn't done anything with the boiler at this point and the UPS was sending out signals that it was being drawn upon and that there was nothing replacing the output.  Eventually I set too, removed the accumulation on the little boiler in the kitchen and transferred the hot logs from the big one to the little one.  There was still residual heat in the boiler so the water was swished round a couple of times but eventually as they ran out of steam so problem solved.  The little one is ticking along just fine and it's amazing how much heat it does put out.  So I'm not going to longer might go off again.

Lots of birds in the garden today.  I've had all sorts of tits, blackbirds and lots of sparrows.  I put out the chicken bones for them along with the remains of the loaf and they were queuing up for the hanging nuts...The do keep busy but I suppose they have to.  There is about two foot of snow on the terraces in remarkable snow sculptures because of the wind.  The yard has covered over again so tomorrow I'll be out there again...I'm thinking about getting the Beast to to get to the pick-up point for Thursday morning.  I might even be booking into a hotel in Djebel...I'll see what tomorrow brings.  LN....Just a few pickies while my luck holds....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 27, 2018, 4:24pm; Reply: 28
Tuesday 27th February

So the electricity stayed up and I lit the fire again at ten o'clock so that it would warm the house through and it kept going all night.  Up at six thirty. fire stoked, two coffees, poached eggs for breakfast, a load of washing done and dusted and then it was 'let the work begin'.  It had more or less finished snowing but there was enough to  move so that I could clear the year and mainly it's in preparation for tomorrow.  I'm concerned about getting to Djebel tomorrow but less now than I was.  Yard done, up to the road done and it was only ten thirty when I came in.  More coffee, five minutes on the sofa with my Kindle, emails done and FB sorted and then moved upstairs on to the main PC.

I went down and sorted out more logs and filled up the log basket and more starter wood.  I spent quite a bit of time this morning watching the birds.  I dug out the food tray from yesterday and added meat that had been lingering in the fridge for longer than it should have done, rice from last night and more bread.... and they got really busy on it...and then I saw a black dog in the garden.  It's one I hadn't seen before and then I glanced at the bird foot was empty...everything had I had to go out and fill it up again and blow me down.... cat had the next lot.  

The rest of the day has been taking pickies and I decided to clear the snow from the balconies and since the sun had come out, I carried on and cleared the big house terrace and sat out in the sun for a while enjoying the view and my life out here.  Beautiful day...snow, sun and mountains and I let my creative side run riot.  I was looking at the heap of snow that was still on the main terrace before the steps to the little house terrace and I reckoned that I would be easy to make a snowman without much I did.  I found out an old hat and scarf and let the Fitbit pick over the bones of that.  I've done nine and a half thousand steps...but it doesn't record moving half a ton of snow.  

Packing in the morning....I'm staying with my student tomorrow night so I'll probably head in about three, weather permitting but if we have more snow...I'll phone for a taxi.  I won't  be digging that lot out again before I leave.  Good day, restfully tired....and I love my snowman on the terrace.....nourish the inner child.  LN...List and packing...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, February 28, 2018, 11:40am; Reply: 29
Wednesday 28th February

Well there was another shower of the white stuff last night and my snowman looked to have a new coat and hat and put on rather a lot of weight....And yes...the yard was full of it and the terraces and balconies were white over.  Not to worry...the exercise did me good and a thought came to mind...Dad shovelled the black stuff for fifty years down the mines and now I shovelling the whiter stuff... I think mine is somewhat easier.

I'm posting early...I've cleared the yard again with the intention of taking the Beast but it's now started chucking it down again and I think it's probably safer for it to be in my garage than hanging around Djebel for five days so I'm about to see if I can get a taxi to come out.  Packing is done...still toying with what to wear taking into consideration both ends of the journey.  As for could be and when I have internet connection and how good it is.  The photos might have to wait.  I did manage to make adjustment to my snowman for MikeyB who complained that it needed a carrot for the it's got one.. ;)

So once more into the breech dear friends....hope you're not struggling too much with the white stuff at home...Wish me journey begins...
Posted by: MikeyB, February 28, 2018, 7:58pm; Reply: 30
I never said nose...  ;) ;D

Safe travels and happy holidays Mrs P! x
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