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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JULY 2018
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 1, 2018, 5:26pm
Sunday 1st July

So it started off well and eventually the sun burnt off the mist and dissipated the clouds and sitting out on the terrace with my coffee seemed a good place to be.  I stripped down both beds and put the first load of washing in and it was also a good day for drying...until the clouds rolled over and it was a mad dash to get everything inside. ...and we managed it.  Breakfast of bacon and egg and my guest had local sausage which I personally can't have anything to do with.  There's a spice in it which turns my stomach and I can't get near it.  I'm not sure what it's called but I avoid it at all costs so there were two frying pans on the go this morning.  Lovely in the garden....there appeared to be several baby birds that were obviously looking for 'mum' and the one on the roof of the little house looked shocked to find itself so high......he needed a sign saying 'help' but eventually he made it to the wild plum and was joined by a.n. other.

I've had a day of gardening.  The beds were all dug over and I've planted up the remaining asters, tobacco and snapdragons and some, I know not what, that I found in a pot.  I'd obviously planted a packet of something of which very few had germinated and the label was long gone.  It will be a nice surprise.  I've dug out under the little house main terrace and moved two wheelbarrow of soil to where we've just put in the new garden edging between the wild plum and the vegetable's neatened it off.  

An interesting one this afternoon.  There was a man in a white t-shirt and he appeared to be looking for something.  He walked up to the lane that's been blocked off and realised that he couldn't get through so came back through the hedge and headed along the wall to the bottom of my garden and walked along the end as if trying to find a way out.  A minute later he was walking back along the end of the garden so I suggested he climbed the wall, he walked up towards the house and I let him out of the gate.  As he was leaving he asked if I knew who he was and I said that I didn't and he replied that he was Beyser's eldest son over from Turkey for a brief visit and off he went.  

Supper was in early and we've finished already.  Chicken, jacket potato with mushrooms fried in butter followed by ice-cream.  My enthusiasm was up today for was pizza last night at the restaurant but it was quite late when we finished...not good at all.  If the weather is good's a day for doing something....maybe Kardjali and beyond.  LN....Time to down tools....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 1, 2018, 5:51pm; Reply: 1
And now for the pickies....can't post on the new month...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 2, 2018, 6:50pm; Reply: 2
Monday 2nd July

Seven start and my guest was already sitting in the stairwell and the kettle had boiled.  I took my coffee on the terrace, it wasn't two warm out there but I like the smell of the morning and to watch the birds in the garden.  There was a wagtail on the wall, the magpies were finding anything in the grass and a couple of blackbirds were foraging.  I came in for more coffee and went out again and my guest followed on.  The sun was up and not hiding itself behind clouds and when it hit the terrace it felt very hot....such a contrast from the last few days.

Washed and dressed and kitchen duties produced two bacon and mushroom omelettes that went down well followed by toast.  I went out with the strimmer and cleared the land between the house and the front wall and my guest decided to carry on with the lawnmower despite the fact that I thought it was too wet to tackle the grass until the sun had dried it off a tad.  Even with the strimmer it was hard going.  I strimmed until the battery ran out, had every intention of getting the little electric one out but instead sat on the sofa with my Kindle and was very surprised when the Librarian appeared.  Tools down, coffee on and we talked for quite a while and unfortunately couldn't offer her lunch....the bread had gone mouldy and been slung over the wall to the animals but she said that she was off anyway.  We walked the garden and checked on the new shrubs that had gone in and I mentioned that I had some more baby shrubs that I'd brought on from cuttings for her when she was ready for them.  Off she went about four thirty, I went back to my game, didn't do anything else outside and eventually ended up watching Serena Williams at Wimbledon take out one of the younger ones.  It was a good game and you had to admire the spirit of the youngster facing such a daunting task.  

My guest took to to sofa on the terrace and I started supper....potatoes, carrots and chicken liver and onions in gravy and it was delicious.  I'd cooked rather a lot so I took my Avatar a bowl over for her supper....English cooking makes a change for her.  I went out to take pickies of the sunset and ended up talking to Avatar, the sheep farmer and Haciber and generally putting the world to rights.  The subject of money came up and pensions so I bowed out of the conversation and said that I wasn't responsible for the poor funding of the Bulgarian government for the older citizens and we closed that conversation down.  He then congratulated me on the garden and the wall purely put up to keep his cows out and then I mentioned that I had to put wire on the front gate since one of his cows had put its head through and munched my forsythia.  I think the difference is...the rest of the village moan about his cows and do nothing about it....I stop the bastard bovines.  

So time for forecast is still's July for goodness sake...give us a break.  LN....A good day with the neighbours....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 3, 2018, 7:10pm; Reply: 3
Tuesday 3rd July

Six thirty start and my guest was already taking in the rays on the terrace.  Coffee and out there with him appreciating a beautiful morning.  The stork came for a wash and brush up in the dew pond over the wall so I belted upstairs to get my camera and then off it went onto the hillside looking to see what he could find.  I half expected him to fly back towards the large pond but no such luck.  A baby woodpecker was attempting breakfast on my special tree but he didn't seem to get on very well.  He was chirping between head bangs and eventually flew off to the walnut and I think he was joined by one of his parents.  They stayed down there for a while but then headed over for the plum tree on the on the long wall.

I went down to the bread van for bread, eggs and cheesy bread and breakfast was bacon and egg sandwiches in cheesy bread.  It's one to write home about.  On my way back my Avatar handed me a bowl of pears from her tree so I washed, cored and put them on the cooker with dark brown sugar, lemon juice, sultanas and cooked them until they were just soft and no more and we had them for supper.

I went down to the bottom of the garden and replaced the garden edging that I'd pulled up a few days ago.  It meant removing one of the boards, hammering in the supports and digging it out a little but all back now and the side border is in place and the bricks removed,  I came in for a rest and promptly nodded for thirty minutes or so.  The clouds had rolled over by two and we had rumbles of thunder by two thirty so Accuweather was slightly out on its predictions.  

It was out with the strimmer and the bottom of the garden is now complete and I've only got the grave garden grass looking out of the guest bedroom to do.  And then....everything will be done until the next downpour when everything starts over again.  Normally by this time the grass has slowed down but with all the rain....everything is on super drive.  Pork chops, potato croquettes and beans for supper...not exactly gastronomic but it filled the gap along with the pears for pudding.  There are plans afoot to go somewhere but I think we need to look at some larger scale maps.  I appreciate the distances in Bulgaria and I'm having to relate them to journeys in the UK.  Things take time here...some of the roads are not good.  LN....I hear my bed calling...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 4, 2018, 6:46pm; Reply: 4
Wednesday 4th July

What a mixture of a day weather wise today. It was sunny to wake up to, hot as you like when working in the garden, the clouds started building and true to form, we had thunder but no lightening and a smattering of rain.  It's July for goodness sake.... :-/ :-/

I popped over to my Avatar's house this morning and even the key to the outside gate was missing...she'd gone AWOL.  I went home, got on with breakfast and fortunately had a cheesy bread from yesterday so that was the base for my bacon and egg....and it was delicious.  Washing up done, I took the battery strimmer out for a spin and realised that it needed servicing.  I unscrewed the plate that holds the cutting blade, cleaned the spindle and applied grease so now I'm a strimmer engineer,  The small electric one needed the cutting twine restringing and eventually I managed it but the battery lasted long enough to finish what was left over from yesterday.  Next job was to work on the surrounds for the garden near the wall and we worked out there until it got too hot to be out there and took to the sofa on the terrace.

At twelve I went over to my Avatar's house to check that she was OK and there were several tools stashed against the house wall.  Apparently they'd had a session down at the graves in the centre of the village and given it a general tidy but unfortunately no one had provided refreshments and she came back hungry and thirsty,  Haciber and Beyser we sitting in the garden too and it reminded me of when one doesn't leave because they think that the others are going to talk about them.  I'm used to it.....I sit it out to the end and they can say what they like in Turkish and I don't get upset but when Avatar and myself speak in Bulgarian....the others really aren't sure what we're talking about and they're Bulgarian.  

Sun stopped play when I got home and not long after, rain stopped all play.  Again I gravitated to the sofa and munched on peanuts until the mood took me to have a shower and head for Djebel for a few essentials like potatoes.  On the way back we noticed that the work bus that brings some of the locals back was off the road and hanging on to the side of the hill with one or two dazed locals standing by.  I turned round at the first opportunity and went back but there was nothing I could.  Home for seven and too late to cook supper so I abstained and served up pate, toast and there's ice-cream for supper should we want it later.  Just had a visit from six youngsters and Zelinger and one of the great grandchildren with a wedding invitation for Friday.  It was such a surprise and secretly I think they wanted to see the house.  They've seen it when they visited their grandmother but wanted to go on to the terrace and see the garden...she must have told them all about it.  So dancing shoes at the ready for the party tomorrow on the square and for the actual wedding on Friday,

Late with my blog's been an exciting day with lots of things happening.  LN...Need to lie down.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 5, 2018, 6:13pm; Reply: 5
Thursday 5th July

Seven start and out to the garden with my coffee.  I was in for the second cup in quicksticks and then back out again.  I'd got moving this morning, I'd cooked omelettes for breakfast and we'd finished and washed up since the Librarian was due round nine to help her out with something on the computer. I hadn't bothered getting dressed...I'd got a pair of the baggy pants that my ladies wear with a reasonable blouse but with the help of my guest in the computer department I was able to get washed and done in my own time.  Job was a good'un by about ten thirty, I provided the tea and coffee and off she went after a little catch up by eleven thirty more or less.  

I hadn't slept well last night.  I was bothered by a couple of bites that I think I picked up yesterday when I sat on the outside sofa and boy were they itching.  I applied Sudocreme which helped a little but in the end resorted to vinegar which is a local potion.  They're really big bites and came up like eggs and very red...maybe a slight exaggeration but very sore.  

Garden work this afternoon...another garden edged, and this evening I'm off to the pre-wedding bash in the village and it's time we left.  Emula came to visit to let us know that he's alright after the accident last night...and apparently he was lucky...not sure if it was his Allah or my Gospot.  LN...the party calls...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 6, 2018, 2:05pm; Reply: 6
Friday 6th July

So last night we had a fun packed evening in Zelinger's garden not in the square where i thought it was going to be.  Music, lights, cameras, old customs, new beginnings, a couple starting out on a life together.  One mother, her six children, her grandchildren and even great grandchildren at one point all dancing together.  I watched the ceremony where they henna the bride for the wedding the next day and the ladies of the village all had theirs done to.  I was offered, I refused, I am a bystander watching  a generation of the old ladies with their baggy trousers and headscarves fade and the new take over.  I feel very privileged.  I stayed until around eleven thirty and walked home with Haciber, she'd even had a go at dancing with two of my other neighbours and I had the photographs to prove it.....bad woman that I am.... ;) ;)

So seven start and it was a beautiful morning with mist in the valley.  Boiled eggs for breakfast and as I carried a couple of four 'minuters' over on a serving spoon I lost one and it smashed on the carpet in the kitchen.  I scraped it up as beds I could, served mine to my guest and put another egg in for me.  There was nothing for it...the mat came up...out on to the terrace with it and thoroughly washed, out on the line to dry or at least drip and now it's on the stair rail to finish off.

I made my way over to Avatar's house to check if she was still going to the wedding tonight at the Makaza hotel complex and she confirmed that she was.  The bus leaves the square at six this evening and the wedding starts at seven thirty so this is tonight's offering's going to be too late by the time that I get back.  We sat chatting, she dislodged the small pears from the tree in her garden and we gathered them up for another neighbour who'd bought her own knife having no teeth and was carrying out quality control.  Home and turned the amt round so that it would drip the other way, grabbed the fork and went digging between the berberis and the walnut and removing weeds.  Storm clouds were gathering so we finished edging the final (for now) edged garden but I'm sure there'll be more to follow.  Just about to have a shower and get ready for tonight.  I haven't a clue what to put on yet....I better check out the wardrobe and find some dancing shoes.  LN....The bathroom calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 7, 2018, 5:25pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 7th July

Last night's festivities were normal for a wedding...lots of noisy music, the usual formal, food presented cold and the thing seemed to go on for ever.  I was down to the bus for just before six having been ordered from my house by Emula's mother.  The rest were all waiting for the coach and where was I?  The coach driver has a certain quality about him...very relaxed, no rush for anything, nice gentle speed and we get there just the same which was very lucky when it came to the journey back.

No dancing from my table...I was with the older ladies of the village and there were the usual 'mumblings', some cutting food up for others and others filling up plastic bags to take home.  By ten thirty Avatar was itching to leave.  Beyser had asked one of her sons to take her home and he said that he'd had a drink and couldn't, Haciber asked her son and up jumped Avatar, Haciber and Beyser who jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly and another lady was named by Haciber.  It didn't bother me...I'd come on the coach and would go back on it which I did along with the rest from the village but quite exciting on the way back.  I was just nodding nicely when there was a screech of something and lots of smoke and the coach driver had brought it to a rapid stop.  Across the road was a very large pine tree and on the opposite side of it was another smaller coach.  Our men jumped out as did theirs and they tried to pull it off the road but no go...and eventually one from the other coach came up with a tow rope, it was attached to the coach and he reversed it.  Back it came and with a little encouragement from the men it was removed from the road.  I think it would have been different in the UK...police, fire brigade and I'd probably be booked in for trauma counselling by now.  Anyway...home for twelve thirty and pleased to be home safely.

Seven thirty start this morning and down for the bread van, eggs, bread and cheesy bread.  I left my guest to the kitchen and settled down on the terrace with one of the cheesy bread.  More garden edging and it was going well until three or so when the storm clouds gathered and the thunder started along with the rain.  It seemed to blow over then returned and this time it really came down and it was down tools and inside.  I lit the petchka tonight, supper is merrily chugging away and should be ready in about ten minutes.  Pigging weather's just been going on for too long.  Well done to England for getting through to the next and Edmund is doing well in the tennis and now supper time.  I must say though the garden looks really lush...problem being that I shall having to get the lawn mower out as soon as it dries's all gone mad.  LN...Logs and supper....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 8, 2018, 6:01pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 8th July

Up and out for seven thirty and my guest was already up reading and playing games on his tablet.  The weather was OK so I headed out and walked the estate and checked up on the new plants that have gone in and what is surviving despite the weather.  Yet more rain overnight and I even lit a fire.  Only a couple of logs but it makes such a difference.  Having a bout of cabin fever I suggested that we head off to Zlatograd for lunch and maybe make a few calls either on the way there or on the way back and we agreed that we'd be on the road by about ten thirty.  Strange how things happen...friends that were travelling to make their lives here messaged me to ask me over for a coffee and it's on the way to where we were heading so I confirmed that we'd be over by elevenish and everything fitted in perfectly.  I made scrambled for breakfast with toast, washed up, had a shower, boots blacked for ten thirty and we were on out way.  I'd even managed to get three shrubs together as welcome but I was very tempted to take some matches, a fire lighter and a couple of logs as a house warming gift.  That's just my sense of fun.

Nice greetings from the pair of them and we sat with a coffee and welcomed them to their new lives.  They've got loads to do but unless you're on site in BG nothing gets done and decisions need to be made along the way...if you leave them to someone else you lose control.  Put up with the's the only way.  So left at twelve and headed for Zlatograd and the heavens opened as I pulled the Beast into the car park at the hotel.  I decided that the tour of the town could come later, food and shelter was the priority and we ordered a couple of dishes to share, salad, cheesy chips and garlic bread and everything was more than satisfactory...delicious and the total bill with drinks came to twenty six leva...very reasonable.  Walked the town and noticed that they were extending the sister hotel, the river was flowing very high but not surprising thinking how much has come down lately.  We went to the dinky-doo shop and I bought a puzzle for our favourite babe, into the pottery shop and the potter is going to make me a sun to match the moon that I bought in Cappadokia and we made out way to the leather shop.  My guest had left me a belt buckle that needed new leather attached to make a decent belt so he'd remembered it and we gave it to the man to work his miracle with.....and he did.  New black leather, buckle swapped over and the cost was twenty leva....two for his work...and a true artisan.  

Back in to the Beast and just before Benkovski I'd noticed a new plant shop by the side of the road so we stopped and I had a lovely time in there.  I was telling them the English names of the plants and they reckoned that I knew my stuff and I spotted a bottle brush plant, they didn't know the name so he looked it up on his phone and was what I thought it was added to my purchases.  Two new pots, and four plants...but only two plants to pay for...two were gifts and so that's my work for tomorrow.  Home for six thirty, car unloaded, plants watered, I had about twenty minutes with my Avatar....I think she wanted to waste time before she carried on with the lawnmower.  I would have used the rain for an excuse...rain stopped play.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.....our newbies will be stopping off at some point and I have plenty to do at home. Good being out and about today....Zlatograd is a very pretty town.  LN...Cheese and biscuits will suffice for tonight.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 9, 2018, 5:48pm; Reply: 9
Monday 9th July

Eventually got downstairs around seven thirty, out to the terrace with a coffee and we were investigating why my guest's tablet had booted up into safe mode.  I did a bit on the internet and all that it needed was to hold down the power switch until it restarted itself again and up it came...all sorted.  I had the same thing with my duel boot machine not long after I'd got it but it was as simple as that to put right.  Why do they make things so complicated?... :-/

No bread van today but I wanted to play a trick on Avatar.  We were discussing why the peppers still hadn't turned so I made a couple out of t-shirt oddments and headed down towards her house.  I heard several of the women in Beyser's garden so I quietly headed for Avatar's peppers and hung my two amongst them and they looked really authentic.  I went over the road to the ladies and had a few minutes with them and then headed home.  Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and a quick tidy before my guests arrived with my task for today should I choose to accept but since I'd agreed yesterday...I carried it through.  Off then went on their travels, he popped back to pick up some stuff and headed homeward.

My guest set about the grass and then we both got ready for MOT was due on the twelfth and I wanted to get it in early although it isn't really necessary.  He'd filled in the paperwork before he'd looked at it and it had passed.  Brakes checked, emission checked and that was it.  Next armed with a photo of the inside of my toilet we trolled round the hardware shops to see if we could find new insides for the cistern. The seal appears not to be working properly so there is a steady trickle of water into the bowl and because I pay for needs to be fixed.  Nothing similar in any of the shops so we've bought a couple of seals and we'll check tomorrow if they will do the job otherwise it looks like a new toilet.

Shopping in Kaufland and Lidl. home via the back lane and supper of rack of ribs with tandoori sauce with roast potatoes and garlic bread went down a treat.  I had to ask my Avatar for the garlic...mine in the little house was well passed its sell by date and again we had a giggle about the peppers.  The weather has again turned was hot and sultry all day which made a change form the rain but it was draining and led to short tempers all round.Just after eight thirty my time and soon be time for a few games of  Soda Crush and there's a melon in the kitchen that would go down nicely.  LN...I'm kitchen bound.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 10, 2018, 4:11pm; Reply: 10
Tuesday 10th July

Seven start and no sound from the guest room at all.  Made coffee, there was a stumbling and a mumbling so I made a pot of tea and took my coffee outside to get some fresh air and check out the garden activity.  The woodpeckers were out and there was a  lot of squawking going's a tall tree but obviously not enough room for  three so one took off, another followed it and then the first came back.  It was more 'catch me if you can' and I think it was a mother trying to ditch the little one for a moment's peace...if they do that sort of thing.  

I went over to see Avatar to give her some jam pot lids that I'd bought when I was in Lidl and she insisted on making me pancakes for breakfast so I sat in her hall way while she did the cooking.  I skipped home carrying the booty and served them for breakfast with yogurt and runny syrup.  She also gave me a pot of pear syrup that she'd made the year before and the instructions were to put it in the fridge and it would be thicker.  It will keep for another day.  Washed up and cleared the kitchen and my guest took to the sofa in the lounge with a headache, moved to the bed so I went out to have a bonfire.  It was pretty clogged up so I pushed the bin along to the wall and emptied it and unfortunately it seems that all the air holes have joined up and the bottom seems to be coming away from the top...time I had a new one.  

I made a ham sandwich since there seemed to be no takers for lunch and on my way out a car pulled up outside and Zelinger had a bag of rice and meat for me.  There had obviously been a mevlit and I'd missed lunch somewhere.  I ate my sandwich and did a little more at the bottom of the garden, came in to check FB and saw that it was the 100th RAF Anniversary and managed to catch it on TV-Catchup.  Pretty spectacular...didn't realise we had so many planes and so many different types.  The Red Arrows take a lot of beating for displays but the troops with their ground display of 100 RAF came a close second.  

Back to the garden,  A chicken has gone in for supper and I dug up one of my beetroot, the first of the season and it's now roasting along with potatoes that were delivered by somebody and hung on the gate and I know not from whence they came.  No one has come forward yet despite interrogation.  I've also got a couple of onions in there as well and everything should come to fruition in about fifteen minutes.  

Well it's a calm old night and it's the first day for ages that we've had no rain and only one brief spat of thunder.  Fingers crossed that things might be settling down now.  Kitchen duties call, Serena I hear is through to the next round but where is the competition this year?  Not like the good old days.  LN...Kitchen calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 11, 2018, 3:38pm; Reply: 11
Wednesday 11th July

Silly night last night.  I went upstairs to get my Kindle, got on the bed and promptly fell asleep and woke up at nine.  I didn't want to disturb my guest so went on the computer and eventually headed for bed at ten thirty and slept through until six this morning and eventually emerged for my first coffee at seven.  My guest was up and about which is very unusual so I took my coffee outside but didn't stay out there long.  There was a heavy mist, the sun was well hidden and it was pretty chilly out there.

I came in, made breakfast and decided that the order of the day was to go swimming at an hotel above Kardjali....and we did.  We stopped off at Kaufland on the way and I took back a computer mouse that had parts missing and the paperwork was horrendous, bought two large bottles of water and we headed up to the hotel and by this time the sun was up, a few clouds in the sky but nothing to stop up having a super day.  I must have been in the water for a couple of hours on and off or in and out and have that well being feel when you've exercised and had a day lying in the sun and reading.  I've started the first book of Game of Thrones and the second time I'm appreciating it more now that I've seen the characters on the's sticking more.

Supper is cold chicken with's the remains of last night and then I'm all set to watch the football as long as TV-Catch up can supply it or if not I'm having an early night with my book.  I'm a little pink in places but only to be expected....more of the same tomorrow pretty please.  LN....Chips don't cook themselves....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 12, 2018, 5:55pm; Reply: 12
Thursday 12th July

Last night I had the most excruciating cramp just as I was heading off to sleep.  It was in the right leg thigh and I was almost screaming with the pain and stomping round the bedroom trying to stretch out the muscle.  Don't you hate it when that happens....suppose I should take more tonic water.

Six start but I stayed in bed until seven not to wake my guest and there was a gentle melodious hum coming from the room so I knew there was no chance of waking the dead.  I took my coffee out on to the terrace and this time with the camera and watched my little world come to life.  There was a young woody in the walnut but it didn't stay long and headed over to the other side of the garden.  The pied fly catcher was on and off the little pear tree in the centre of the garden spending some of its time on the wall and every time I'd got it in focus off it went but eventually I got it.  All good things come to those that wait.  Lovely morning but a heavy dew otherwise I would have mown the grass.  I was in for my second cup of coffee, my guest was up, I stripped the bed and got the washing in and then ham and cheese omelettes to use up some loose ham I bought and then set about to plan another swimming day.

Down the back lane again and up to the swimming pool on the hill but today it was very crowded.  I think school had finished and the lads and lassies were out in force chasing each other round the pool, jumping in and boys and girls flirting with each other.  Sap was rising.  I managed a couple of swims of about half an hour each and spent the rest of the time reading as did my guest.  At four I had my last swim, dried my hair in the sun after the suggestion had been made that we headed out to the restaurant near to Kardjali dam and as we drove away there was a huge transport plane that seemed to be on practice runs.  I only managed to get the one shot, the sun was on the camera display and I was lucky to get that...more manoevers.

We arrived at the restaurant about five thirty, ordered chicken in cornflakes and chicken livers in oil, tomato and onion salad and cheesy chips but my chips last night were better.  As for the rest of the meal, the tomatoes had little flavour and I remembered what I didn't like about the place...too many flies competing for the food.  So we swished and swashed and managed to get rid of a few but we beat them to most of the food and they had what little was left.

Back home for eight, sheets in off the line and bed made up, I haven't got the enthusiasm to finish the rest of the grass as was my intention....tomorrow is another day providing there's no heavy dew tonight.  LN...So it's not coming home.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 13, 2018, 6:33pm; Reply: 13
Friday 13th July

Six thirty start and not a peep from downstairs so I went out to have my first cup on the terrace.  I remembered that I'd planted a seedling acer from the UK and it probably needed water but it took me a while to find it.  Weeds had surrounded it but they are no longer there....all thrown over the wall for the animals.  I watered it well, forked round it so that the water went down to the roots and didn't stop there.  I was out there for about an hour working my way along the side wall and cleared out quite a lot.  

My guest was compos mentis...well more or less and I offered breakfast but it was declined...too early so I went back outside and carried on finding enough to occupy me.  I watered everything on the terrace, Haciber's tomatoes with bacon and egg for breakfast, washing up done and I decided that I would clean up the large garden umbrella and see where it needed repairing. I found an old pair of cotton trousers, cut off the seems at the bottom of the legs and used the material to pad out where the spokes of the umbrella are inserted and patched the one large tear with over-sewing and more material.  At two I was burning up in the sun where I was working so came in for a while and thought the sun had gone in and went out came out with a vengeance and I suffered for my art.  

I'd invited the Librarian over on her way to Plovdiv to pick up family from the airport.  Her printer wasn't working and now is.  The flight was due in an hour ago and they should be well on the way to being home....let's hope it keeps fine for them but after the weather in UK....they might be looking forward to a good downpour. She set off just after five, I went back to my sewing, one of the dead trees was being felled at the bottom of the garden, I put the umbrella in the little house as the storm clouds gathered, the wind picked up, pots fell over and down it came and it was so cold.  Thank goodness we've had two hot would have been hail.

So supper in, pork chops with barbecue sauce and it's over and done with and ice-cream to follow.  Washing up done, out to take a few pickies of the sunset and now it's time to catch up on Wimbledon.  Nothing on the cards for tomorrow so far.....we'll see what the weather brings.  LN....lots achieved.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 14, 2018, 6:37pm; Reply: 14
Saturday 14th July

Don't you just love it...the zzzzz or a mosquito at five in the morning.  Fortunately the spray was at hand and a quick blast and I was off to sleep again but I think the critter managed to nibble my leg....I have an itch.  Upside was it was just before eight before I headed down the wooden hills. out with my coffee taking in the morning, realised that I needed bread so had to put on a little more than the bedtime attire ready to face my ladies.  I headed off before I heard the horn and my Avatar was just putting the finishing touches to a garage clear up and I grabbed the rubbish boxes and headed down to the containers despite protests for the lady concerned.  Anyway it was done and we arrived at the same time as the bread wagon and it was one sliced white, one cheesy bread and I found out that the potatoes that were left on the gate last week were courtesy of the lady who has the garden next to my house.

It was still very damp so the grass couldn't be cut until after lunch or so I thought.  I'm not sure what else I did this morning but the snapdragons are now all planted.  I thought I'd finished with the seeds but found another pot that I'd forgotten about. I started the grass at one ten and finish it at two twelve but decided that the rest of it needed to be done.  My guest had done it in stages so it never gets completed due to the rain but now it is.  I have my new starting point.  The mower has had an oil change and it's starter cable tightened so should run even better.  One of the old lintels has been sanded down to make a bench but until we decided on the height...nothing more will happen to it.  I think it can wait for a week or so and then it will be completed.

I came in to watch the ladies Wimbledon final but caught the end of the men's game and so pleased that Djokovic won.  I really don't like either of the semi-finalists but the least unliked got through.  I shall be supporting the Sought African int he final though.  As for the ladies final.  I said from the start of Wimbledon that I didn't think Serena would win and she didn't.  The German girl played so much better and deserved it.

Supper's nearly there.  I had suggested a pizza in Djebel but I've had a speck of dust in my eye for the last two hours ago and it's a little bit weepy so I put a couple of chicken legs in the over with some large potatoes for jackets.  It should fill the gap.  So food calls, my guest has had his shower and I think the boiler is going on for a bath...I need to soak away the day.  LN....Down with the switch...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 15, 2018, 4:31pm; Reply: 15
Sunday 15th July

Early five a.m. start and the mosque was going for it for all it was worth and my man in the next village was the same.  I'm not sure if he got the wrong CD in, he's over eighty and deaf as a post so really wouldn't know if it was a faux to speak.  It was a beautiful morning and by six I was sitting on my balcony watching and listening to the birds.  The Golden Orioles were flitting around but there wasn't any chance of catching them with the camera...they get tucked into trees with lots of leaves and they're in and then they're out.  As for the wood pecker...he started off in the big tree, went off for a while but then came back for more and by this time the camera was at the ready...Reasonable shots but I didn't know that it was the green one until the sun hit him as he made his way towards the little house and the balcony.  It must be some old wood on there that's attracted it,

First coffee at seven and I went back on the balcony for a while, came down for my second and remembered that we needed more eggs.  He was here just after eight and by the time that I got there all the ladies were assembled.  I walked back with my Avatar and she invited me in and made me wait for her to cook seven yeasty pancakes for out breakfast.  It's impossible to say no...she get's really I sat it out and delivered breakfast to my guest.

Today's task was to strim the surrounds and round the parts that the lawn mower doesn't reach and I succeeded.  It did take me until three this afternoon before it was done and without a break but now I feel happier...I can go and play tomorrow if I want.  I watched the tennis final and well done to's just a pity that Anderson didn't start playing until he'd lost the first two sets.  Just showered and shampooed.....and about to think about supper.  I've got some liver out so it might be liver, bacon, chippies and a fried egg or however else it takes me as I head to the kitchen.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far.  I have a hotel to book for Wednesday night and I must try and get some plan in my head for Tuesday / Wednesday.  LN...I need a plan Baldrick....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 16, 2018, 6:36pm; Reply: 16
Monday 16th July

Six start and I went out on to the balcony with my coffee and came to life with the morning.  I took a couple of pillows for the bench and snuggled down, it wasn't chill but fresh.  I spotted the green woodpecker feeding from the grass and heard the golden orioles along the valley and was snapping away quite happily when the battery packed up so it was out with the Canon.  Now I love that camera for clearness but for magnification, the Sony is better....and just as the exchange was taking place...up comes the golden oriole and I thought I'd miss it or as it turned out...them.  They were in the walnut, the balcony rail was getting in the way but I didn't want to move and frighten them away.  I got a few shots, they went to the mulberry and despite the fact that they were trying to hide in the leaves, I managed to get them,  Success...everything comes....etc., etc.

Breakfast of boiled eggs, cleared the kitchen and spent an hour or so putting the wedding and pre-wedding celebration photos on to the Lenovo so that she could see them properly.  I headed down to Zelinger's house to show her the pickies and we settled on one that I'm going to print and frame for her....she's a little treasure.  When I got to her house there were several ladies from the village eating a water melon and I had one piece but for me I can't eat the seeds and have to spit them out.  For them everything goes down and they reckon that that's where the 'vitameens' are.  I walked back with Avatar and deposited her at her house, carried on home and spent the next two hours planning our route as we meander to the airport in Sofia for a Thursday departure for my guest.  We have the hotel booked in Sofia and the other will be pot luck since I know where I want to be but with Bulgarian roads...who knows.

In to the garage this afternoon to get the Beast checked over before we leave and again I looked over the little car that I might be buying on Friday as a replacement for Beauty.  It's been impossible to get the correct documentation to register Beauty properly, the guy who previously owned it is still working in Germany so I've given it up as a bad job.  It can go down the garage for spares.  Over to the leva shop and I bought the picture frame and three more just in case....down to the supermarket and bought chicken wings for supper along with some large cartons of juice for the journey.  Chicken wings to go and diced potatoes, onions and my very own beetroot dug up this morning...delicious.

It's a warm, sultry night.  I here cases being filled, locked, unlocked and more stuffed in.  I've insisted that the shoes he leaves here are serviceable or thrown and a pair of laces have appeared in the kitchen so I know one pair has gone already.  Updates may be sporadic....I'm home on Thursday night all being well....and now time to do my packing.  LN....I can always buy along the way...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 17, 2018, 8:28pm; Reply: 17
Tuesday 17th July

What a long day.  Reasonable start, plants all watered because I shall be away for two days or so and back home for Thursday after my drive from Sofia....all being well.

We were in the Beast by eleven thirty and the route took us via Ardino and Smolyan and eventually we've ended up in Blotevgrad and we'll be on our way to Rila Monastery tomorrow and Sofia tomorrow late afternoon...well that's the plan.  Just a special message for Mikey B....I've taken some photos that brought back memories of your visit.  We stopped off at the reservoir over the long wobbly bridge and it's just as long and just as wobbly but I ran over first and waited for Martin at the other side.  Some of the planks were a little suspect so on the way back I came over first again....I didn't want to get stuck.

Eventually found the hotel that we were intending to stay at after bothering the locals for directions and it ended up with one of them jumping in the car and directing us from the inside.  I thank the's done us proud and after driving it for about eight hours on very twisty turney roads...I don't feel shattered at all but I probably shall tomorrow.  So only got about fifty or so kilometres before we get to Rila so we shall have breakfast in Rila village.  The restaurant tonight was good....spare ribs for me and a chicken mixture on pitta bread for my guest.  

He's in the land of Nod while I type this...and sorry no pickies.... I shall sort  some out and post tomorrow.  LN....Tomorrow I'll be on the look out for a monk with a clean habit.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 18, 2018, 3:26pm; Reply: 18
Wednesday 18th July

Another long day but we are in the Metropolitan Hotel in's a free minibar on the booking but no hard stuff in sight....not that it matters to me but hey there you description and all that.  

I had a very sleepless night and think it was the euphoric mood of managing to finish a Soda Crush that had resisted for a week or so and the noises emanating from the other single bed.  I don't do well with snorers and only purr myself. ;)  I surfaced about five thirty this morning, my kindle battery was shot so  not able to continue where I left off and the little Kindle requires a bedside light and that would have disturbed my guest so I put the laptop on and played a few games.  Eventually there was life Jim as you know it...we were out of the hotel for eight thirty and heading down for Rila for breakfast as planned.  Found a small supermarket where they brewed coffee and had Bulgarian style breakfast goodies, both topped up we headed for the monastery and were there before the crowds.  Beautiful place, lots of work being done on it and bedrooms being added but only found one monk....they must have been hiding or gone for a early siesta.  Back to Rila for lunch and then Sofia bound and two trips round the block to find it and a third to find the entrance to the car park.  

Suitcase packed, unpacked and repacked and I'm taking 'stuff' home with me to store for another year.  Photos from cameras swapped between devices and now checking out the restaurant menu for tonight but there is no way the Beast is moving from its spot until I set sail for home tomorrow morning....I've been round more back streets than I  care to think about.

A few 'to hand pickies'.....I'll publish the best tomorrow.... and maybe some to FB.  LN...I never did find my monk...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 18, 2018, 3:34pm; Reply: 19
And for Mikey B
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 19, 2018, 6:43pm; Reply: 20
Thursday 19th July

So another sleepless night in ....Sofia.  The air conditioning had been left on and I was a tad cold but I hate the hum that is bringing me the cool air.  Tonight I am in my own bed, under my own duvet with the window open and the nightingale singing its little head off....or will be soon.

I left my guest to the hotel free bus service to the airport and I set off at nine thirty more or less to head home.  It was less complicated than I'd imagined to get on to the Plovdiv highway...I did a U turn like the three in front of me did at the first set of traffic lights and then up the slip road and I was away and burning rubber.  There were the usual autobahn drivers with flashing lights and a couple tail gated me but if you are overtaking lorries and there are only two lanes, where do the plonkers think you can go.....I rest my case.

I stopped off after Ascenograd for a coffee and a plate of cheesy chips which was both breakfast and lunch and was back in Kardjali and parked up by two more or less.  I went to the bank and Kaufland for a few items and was home for three thirty.  I had a piece of string tying my gates together and it was my lovely Avatar who was keeping tags on the house while I was off on my travels.  If the string was missing, she had a Miss Marple's to carry out.  I'd had a good journey and hadn't had to stop for fuel at all.  Tomorrow I'll sit down and work out the readings to try to get some idea of kilometres per litre...and that could be fun. ;) ;)

Bags and car unpacked, washing done, guest bed stripped down, mattress protector, sheets and duvet covers all washed, out on the line and dried.  I had to empty the flower pots, it looked like there had been torrential rain yesterday which was confirmed buy my Avatar when she brought over a couple of letters that had been left with her...letters delivered and in payment she left with my baby buddleia that had just come in to flower.  She's going to put it in the garden so that only she can see it not between the fence with her neighbour as I suggested.  Good girl.

No supper for me I'm on peanuts and pineapple juice, my guest has arrived safely and is going through his pile of mail and junk mail and thank goodness Bulgaria hasn't got into that yet.  I'm having an easy day tomorrow as far as I know but things change....LN....It's good to be home....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 20, 2018, 6:11pm; Reply: 21
Friday 20th July

Six start and it was a dull old morning.  I made a coffee and went back to bed and lingered until around eight and eventually got up and dressed to meet the day.  I made toast for breakfast, cleared the fridge out, heard the bread van but didn't need anything today and spent time looking and photographing at a very large bird on the dead branches of the walnut.  There were two of them, the second one was up and away but the one that remained was taking its time.  It made lots of noise, peered round quite a lot, had a few good stretches and eventually flew off to join its pal on the hillside.  The golden orioles were about but not visible and last night I heard the hoopoes but not seen any.  The baby bird from yesterday must have made a meal for something, there wasn't a trace and as I headed down the garden for a bonfire...Mr Mole has been very busy and if I catch the blighter, his coat won't be so glossy with spade marks on it.  He appears to like the tablets that I leave for him along the runs....and reminder to self...must get some more.

I left for the garage at twelve thirty after removing the fly screen from my bedroom balcony.  The part that covers the door handle had left the surround and the world and all its friends could have got through...Hey boys and girls, there's a meal over here. hence the door has been closed.  Into the Beast with it and I got to the garage and made arrangements to go back after the fly screen was sorted and it was in quick sticks.  The man removed the single panel and replaced it and jobs a guddun and all for free. Back home and refitted the fly screen which allows me to leave the door open all night, into the Beast and back to the garage and at three we picked up the garage man and his wife and we headed into Kardjali.  The first solicitor wasn't available so we found another who completed the paperwork and cleverly checked that they could use my local identity card in the new system that's been introduced and it went through like a dream.  We made our way to Kat to register the new ownership but it was getting on for five by this time so the man suggested that I go back on Wednesday morning at eight thirty and I shall be first in the queue.  The documents will be in my name .....I shall be legal.  Beauty will be taken to the garage to be used for parts and I've not exactly replace her...this one is called Baby.  

I drove home in the Beast and waited for Baby to be delivered and it was at seven fifteen, I drove the family back to Djebel and took possession outside the waterboard offices and managed surprisingly well considering it's been a year since I touched a gear crunching and I managed to get up to fifth.  All safely in drive...Beauty will go next week when I've charged the battery and pumped up the tyres and I should be able to drive it there...trying to avoid any boys in blue and kamikase pilots...well this is Bulgaria.

No supper's been a hot sultry day with the odd flash of lightening, thunder and heavy rain but super for the gardens.  It's a calm night now....time to get my feet up and my kindle out.  LN....A good day's work....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 21, 2018, 4:13pm; Reply: 22
Saturday 21st July

Just before eight this morning when I woke up and I had a really slow start.  Coffee on the terrace and back in for a second and then dressed for Djebel...I was unsure about a light on the new Baby and had printed off the appropriate page from a manual in English and drove down to the garage.  No problem...the light was showing orange not red and was also showing on the garage owner's car and all to do with the pressure of the gas in the tank.  I am now reassured.  

I left the garage and went to the shop to check up on my student's mother.  I haven't really sat and chatted to her for ages with having a guest here and we did a general catch-up.  I did buy some new seat covers for the Baby to protect the seats...the previous owner kept it immaculate and that's a challenge for me.  I also bought a pack containing a new fire extinguisher..I've had the old one for about seven years so probably about time.  I just need to fond a first aid never know do you Norman.... ;) ;)  A quick visit to the little supermarket for juice and spicy sausages and I'm all set for the next week or so.  Shopping unpacked, I lay on the sofa checking on emails on the Lenova and thought about having an eyes closed session but instead went on to the big machine and switched on to the athletics which was surprise...I didn't know that they were on.

So seven my time and looking forward to the children's Voice final tonight.  I've caught it for the last two nights and I have my favourite.  It's a beautiful evening but looking at the grass I know what I have to do tomorrow that's providing that there's no rain overnight.  Exercise with a lawnmower...what could be better.  LN...Short tonight..still catching up ...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 22, 2018, 6:31pm; Reply: 23
Sunday 22nd July

Another seven thirty start...I must need it.  So last night I watched the children's Voice and was very disappointed with the end of the show.  The announced the winner and that was conversation with the winner although he was reduced to tears so it might have not been much of an ended suddenly.  Straight to bed and sleep, very vivid dreams but they didn't really disturb me and I jumped into action as soon as my eyes opened.

Washing gathered and the machine set going, my bed stripped down and waiting to get uploaded, guest bed made up and I thought I might be using it tonight.  When I came to put the second load in I realised that there was no water and it's been off all day.  Apparently the news is from my Avatar that one of the neighbours was doing some work today and went straight through the pipe.  I think they've had someone out to look at it but there was a shake of the head and off he went so maybe tomorrow.

It's been a hot old day today and with the grass in mind I left it until about twelve to burn off the overnight dew but it was a hard slog.  I should dry out now that I've cut it all back so tomorrow I have only strimming to do and put mothballs down the mole holes until I can get into Kardjali to get the proper tablets to get rid of the darn things.  I've got little Vesuvius all over the grass, the tobacco flower bed looks as if it needs the plants all treading in again so that's on my list for tomorrow as well.  My garden is looking good although I say it myself.  I've had my first white multi-headed lily come out and it smells divine.  I should really have left it in the pot and brought it in to the house....maybe it will have babies that I can pot up and bring on.  I thought I was going to have no luck with the passion flower this year but it's laden with buds and they open one by one along the stem.  Really beautiful flowers,  The humming moth was very busy on the zinnias in the fire-pit garden but the light wasn't good enough to catch it.  I need the Canon out for that and to be in a sitting position so that I can hold the camera really steady.

So with no water I boiled up the kettle and had a complete wash down after working in the garden.  I really needed to freshen up and get my feet sorted from the dust.  I went out to take a photo of sundown and my Avatar is still working away on her lawn.  I might have to buy her one of those helmets with a lamp on the top if she's out there for much longer.  Gentle gardening day tomorrow with the strimmer and a touch of weeding and then I'll see how the rest of the day unfolds.  Once the grass is's off my brain.  The longer it's left the more difficult it is and by this time it's normally brown and I'm thinking about watering it.  I found sheets for my bed so won't be heading down to the guest room.  LN....Achy day today....LN
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