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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  NOVEMBER 2018
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 1, 2018, 4:55pm
Thursday 1st November

Lovely lazy day but I did spend half the night on ancestry....and with a seven start I was ready for my nap as per normal.  It's left me feeling lethargic all day so now I'm having to not get drawn in so much.  They've rested for a few hundred years so will last for a little longer.  I didn't bother with the bread van and used up the rest of the cheesy bread from yesterday and the remains of the bacon that was still in the pan.  I grabbed another coffee and took my breakfast out on to the terrace watching the very active birds.  I don't know what they find but it kept a lot of them very happy.  I sat out there for quite a while watching the morning come to life...there was lots of mist in the valley and the grass looked very sparkly as if there was a touch of ground frost but the temperature wasn't that low.  The house had maintained twenty three overnight without a fire but as soon as the sun broke through it went up to twenty nine.  Keep it saves me burning wood.

I came in and washed up the breakfast things and gave the kitchen a quick tidy over and then moved in to the lounge with the dustpan and brush.  The new hoover is not a fan of my corridor carpet even though I have the maximum air vent open on the pipe.  It makes to disappear up the pipe.  The kindle came out and I took up my position of the sofa and then came the exit from the world of consciousness.  Back to the book when I came round and I managed to keep myself away from the ancestry...and feel better for it.  I toyed with the idea of getting the plant pots in but checked out the weather and it starts to deteriorate towards the middle of next week so they can stay for a while.  It looks empty without them.

Six thirty my time...I munched on honey roasted peanuts this afternoon so not really into supper so far.  The veal I took out of the freezer this morning is destined for the fridge and I'll do something with it tomorrow.  Boiler on...bath tonight.  LN...Early night for me...LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 2, 2018, 5:29pm; Reply: 1
Friday 2nd November

Six thirty start and there was nothing to see...mountains gone, garden hiding in the gloom so it was a coffee and back to bed.  What could be nicer.  Soda Crush and you've guessed it....I have a difficult one which is proving very difficult so I guess I'll be on this one until the app gets sorry for me.  The bread van was early this morning and the man was tooting his horn at just before eight and he appears to have gone back to his normal route.  I chose to ignore him...I still had the loaf from the other day and hadn't opened it.  Washing in the machine, the meat that I had taken out of the freezer yesterday I cut into cubes, into the slow cooker with it along with red onions, salt, pepper, pineapple juice, tomatoes, an oxo cube.  I put it on to cook and after about two hours I added a tin of cannelloni beans and turned it down to low to cook until supper time.

I removed the washing from the machine but decided that it would do nothing outside so left it in the basket waiting to go out.  Toast and jam for breakfast and it was downhill all day after that.  It took two hours for the sun to break through so out with the peg bag and then I was drawn towards the laptop and ancestry....and eventually sorted out the Thomas I wanted and made the connections.  I still can't track him down after that though,  there is a reference to the Napoleonic Wars so I've got to check that out at some point.  His wife did get married again and that link is made but I wish I could find him.  

I settled down on the sofa when my eyes were spinning and got the Kindle out for more of Game of Thrones and after  the eyes went a southwards a couple of times I decided it was back to the laptop and after about half an hour I was surprised to see Gouljan at the door.  I thought she'd left for Germany as her father had told me that she had another five days here but she needed my internet to look at the prices of airline ticket to get back home.  She was trying to do it on the phone so I suggested that we headed up to the main computer so we got it fired up and got into the site.  I think she was expecting really cheap tickets and that just wasn't on.  Eventually the choice had to be made and for one extra week here she was saving one hundred lev but she decided to check with the ticket company in Kardjali and I've told her before that their prices are higher and this time we proved it.  It was fifty leva more expensive and I realised that she wanted to book with an agency...she didn't have a card to pay for I offered.  Everything went through until I met up with a new system where a one time code is sent to your phone to authorise the transaction...fantastic ...what a good idea.  

Work done I took her home since it was really dark and there are dogs and cows around, back home, car away and I've just had the casserole out of the slow cooker.  Not bad...the slow cooker had made the meat better but still not melt in the mouth.  Nothing much needed from Kardjali so I'll be staying home tomorrow....I'm still finishing off food from my entertaining period.  LN...Washing up can wait...LN.  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 3, 2018, 4:04pm; Reply: 2
Saturday 3rd November

Six start and it was the same as yesterday.  No sign of the mountains or the bottom of the garden and there was a very low cloud base.  Back to bed with a coffee but at seven thirty I decided to make a name for myself and set about the day...not that I did much with it.  Washed dressed, beans on toast for breakfast and the remains of the can going into supper for tonight so I shall be on the move tomorrow.  

I washed up, tidied the kitchen and did my usual routine.  I put yesterday's washing away and wondered what to get up to next.  I made a check of the thermometers...inside twenty three though it didn't feel like it and outside in the porch eighteen and that felt warmer.  I did put my nose outside to check what was happening out there but I soon came in again.  So this morning I had  lots of hooded crows parading around the walnut and picking stuff up, the one in the tree looked seemed to get bombarded by others but stood his ground or his air space in his parking lot but then seemed to fall off his perch somewhat....I reckon its too much of the rotted fruits.

I settled in to ancestry and still can't find the lost Thomas despite my best efforts and I might even be asking for help from my last but one visitor...well she did get me into this.  Let's see if she has any better tactics to employ.  I took a bit of a break and played Soda Crush and when it says 'hard', it really is and I can't seem to find the key to this one.  It's going to be one of those.  Gouldjan arrived at just after two to pay her debts even though I didn't consider she had any and we sat around talking and trying to sort out when we are going to get involved in someone else's things that need sorting.  It's all down to timescales and her mother is still not well enough to milk the cows in a morning.  They have a milking machine but the cows don't seem to like it so she resorted to manual this morning so that she could have the milk ready for when the milk wagon arrived.  Germany and exams must seem a world away from the life she's having to fit into at the moment.  I think are conversations are her port in a storm.

So my supper is ready when I am....I have nothing else to do this evening except settle in for 'Strictly' and maybe then turn over for the 'X Factor'.  I'll see how the evening pans out.  Gentle sunset and I was amazed how many flowers I have in the conservatory so they just had to be captured.  LN...Downtime is upon me....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 4, 2018, 5:43pm; Reply: 3
Sunday 4th November

The sun had a hard time this morning trying to climb above the it got higher so did the clouds and it didn't manage to get to shine until around twelve.  I lit the fire last night and as per normal, the house held twenty four degrees and the porch held eighteen degrees.  I think the temperature outside went down to around eight last night.  There's November.

Normal duties this morning but I didn't bother with breakfast.  I decided to sort out my boots ready for winter and put my 'summer' shoes away but before that they needed cleaning and they're all lined up ready to get polished.  After that I attacked the drawers in the bathroom....the tights are in one, the underwear in another as are the pyjamas and having put all my socks in one plastic bucket...I didn't realise how many pairs I have.  The shoes that I don't want anymore are about to be offered around to some of the villagers and the socks will be got rid of the same.  I really don't remember buying them.  I also went through some of the coats that I've bought over the years and they are going as well.  So that took up most of the morning and after that, the new hoover came out and my spare bedroom can now officially be called a 'spare bedroom' not a junk room.  As for the new hoover....splendid 'suckability' and so easy to empty.

I took to the sofa this afternoon and nodded off for about half an hour or so and then decided to catch a little of the rugby and instead fell into War Horse and sniffed my way through some of it.  My painter popped round this afternoon and told me off for not having cleaned off the husks from the walnuts and put them out in the sun to dry.  It's on the list and it's on the agenda for tomorrow afternoon.   I was munching cheese and biscuits when he arrived and I got told off for that as well as he told me that it was fattening.  My response was .probably'.  Kardjali tomorrow morning if the weather's good...alternatively I've got lots of little jobs that I could turn my hand to.  Just had a surprise phone call from one of my summer visitors and we're planning the next already.....Istanbul and maybe down the coast next time to the Bosporus  graves.

Time to settle in now for the evening.  There's no need to light the fire...the sun has done its stuff today.  LN...Strictly results.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 5, 2018, 5:41pm; Reply: 4
Monday 5th November

No gunpowder, no treason and no plot, so far, but the night is yet young.  

Seven thirty start and that bugger of a Candy Crush came out first time and I was offered lots of minutes and spent them well,  I've got a load of chocolate to eat on this game and we all hate it.  I did manage to get washed and dressed by eight thirty and continued sorting out sweaters, summer away and winter out and continued filling up the bag that is going to the locals...they'll have a field day.  Really foggy morning and it seems to be the norm and it doesn't burn off until eleven or so.  I hadn't bothered with breakfast but when I came in from having a bonfire I headed for the kitchen and made myself a cheese and onion omelette which went down really well.  I settled in to ancestry paperwork trying to get my head round the enigma of the missing Thomas and started to search the military and immigration records but they seem to be later...I'm looking for him around eighteen thirty....his wife got married again in eighteen forty one.

So lunch over I decided to dig the tall yellow flowers up since Mrs D of S mentioned that they have the capacity to take over and they have the most amazing root system.  The seem to produce tubers so I think I need to get in and give the soil a good going over.  I've thrown the plants down the lane on the other side of the wall and some down the bottom of the garden and I don't mind them growing there in the corner....let nature take its course but not in my flower beds.  Next job was to make a start on the walnuts after the prompt from my painter yesterday.  I sat in the sun on the terrace and started to work my way through the bucket taking off the outer husks and had to bring a knife in to play.  Eventually after about an hour I'd had enough and there's till two thirds left to go.  Tomorrow is another day.

I came in and took a chicken leg out of the freezer, into the microwave with in and then into the oven.  I sliced up sweet potato, normal potato, carrots that looked a little past their sell by date, red and normal onions and beetroot and they've roasted to perfection and ready to serve  Kitchen and tummy calls....LN....I have to go....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 6, 2018, 5:19pm; Reply: 5
Tuesday 6th November

Sleep of the just last night except that I woke up at three with the light still on so it was a quick bathroom trip and then back again until seven.  Bliss.  Not a hint of blue at all this morning and there hasn't been all day.  It's cold, damp, miserable but it is November so I'll have to start to get used to it.

I went down to the bread van and the ladies were all in attendance,  The chorus went up that they had no cheesy bread so I made a few crocodile tears and settled for an unsliced loaf and a couple of sausages that they were buying which I'd never had before and I shan't be having them again.  I put them into the slow cooker with Chinese vegetables, soy sauce and a stock cube and towards lunch time I lobbed in some spaghetti spirals and left it to cook.

Breakfast was jam sandwiches and I decided to collect the rubbish and have a bonfire and all I saw when I was approaching the rubbish bin was tail of a cat which shot out of the container as I got nearer,  It scarpered up the wall and sat there watching me while I burnt the rubbish.  If it had only known....I'd cleared out the fridge and that was the other side of the garden over the wall and the birds were having a field day.  Hunger got the better of me and I tried the mixture from the slow cooker.  The sausages had puffed up to three times their size so I reckon that they've got plenty of rusk or filling in there,  I had a couple of pieces and then settled for the liquid, vegetables and a very thick slice of the new bread,  Sufficient to fill a gap,

The afternoon has been spent with ancestry and I've managed to track down my Thomas who is in a war grave.  I'm now trying to find his parents and siblings to prove the point.  I lit the fire and it started well but it had a relapse this afternoon and I had to work at it but it's OK now.  No supper needed...the sausage is still lingering.  I didn't manage the walnuts but they're now in the conservatory just in case the heavens open tonight.  

Nothing on for tomorrow so far....I might even go visiting.  LN....Back to the fire....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 7, 2018, 3:41pm; Reply: 6
Wednesday 7th November

Straight through again last night and woke up at seven...and felt much better for it.  Down for coffee and back to bed with the Kindle and a little session with Soda Crush...and then decided to jump into action.  Scrambled for breakfast and the washing up can wait in the sink until later.  I'd been sorting out clothes yesterday with a view to sending them to charity but by last night there were more lying on the bed that found their way dumped on the floor...they are no more.  Shoes, clothes, belts and handbags are all sorted.  What I have is with me until the spring when I'll have another clear out.  It's a problem...when things are so cheap from my cheapy shops, one buys things and later on you wonder why....not a great outlay of cash and it will do some good somewhere.

I was still in PJ's but twelve so thought it was about time I got ready for the world.  It was a grim old day up to that point and was actually raining when I woke up and there was a short break in the clouds but mainly over the mountains towards Turkey.  At one point when the sun came out the temperature did go up to twenty nine but it's dropped down to twenty three now and it's about time I got the fire underway.  Haciber came round at four with a spinach omelette/pancake, left and then returned telling me that there were two bags of cow dung by the gate that had been delivered my my lady who has the garden next to mine.  I'd left the bags she delivered last time on the front wall and hadn't noticed they gone but now they'd been refilled.  I went into the workshop, found the wheelbarrow and they're now lying on the vegetable garden waiting to be emptied onto the patch.  I put the barrow back in the workshop and I'll get round to it tomorrow.  It was cold and damp out there.

The pancake will do me for supper...I shall settle for cheese and biscuits.  Kardjali tomorrow with Gouldjan to get some administration work down for one of the newbies.  Gouldjan is along as translator/form filler which is what she does well.  We're taking two cars so that we can please ourselves what we get up to when all is done.  Now I'm getting cold, pyrotechnics time.  LN...Where are those firelighters....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 8, 2018, 6:47pm; Reply: 7
Thursday 8th November

Lovely bath last night but I almost lost another Kindle....just managed to salvage it before it hit the water so I put it on the shelf next to the bath and go my head down for an hour or so until the water was a little chilled.  I'd left the boiler on so I topped up the bath and carried on sloshing around for the next twenty minutes to warm up again.  Straight into fluffy jim-jams, no playing games and was out for the count until five thirty this morning.  Early but down for coffee, on the the Kindle and Soda Crushed myself through the next hour and a half.  Washed, dressed ready for town, into the Nipper by nine twenty and at the pick-up point for nine thirty and Gouljan appeared five minutes later, changing from her little rubber shoes into her townies and off we went.

The meeting time at KAT was ten thirty and since we were early I stopped off at my electrical store to get some light bulbs so stock up the cupboard and in the shop next door I managed to find a new table lamp for the downstairs desk.  I need more overhead light.  On to KAT and up to the office and only one person was working on the desk...everything on the go-slow but fortunately I managed to spot the main guy, he came from behind the counter to say hello and out request was now on the front burner not the back.  The wheels were in motion, the processes in place and the next stop was the hospital to get the appropriate tests done so that the driving licences can be transferred over.  Hospital food for lunch and the four of us ate a hearty soup followed by creme caramel.  Two more things crossed off the list and then back to the Nipper that had been dumped at KAT for the day.

Gouljan and myself went to the leva shop, she had to buy some new milk buckets for her mother and I set to starting to buy my first Xmas presents for my ladies and I came out armed with loads of goodies.  We stopped off at Lidl and again I picked up a few more items at Xmas preparations are underway.  Gouldjan dropped off and mother came out to help with the luggage....and our next meeting was agreed...Saturday morning at eight fifteen...we're off to Greece to the market.

I've settled for a ham baguette tonight for supper and I'm already in my night clothes so no fire has been lit.  It's been damp, cold and miserable day today but the fire seems a waste of time since it was six thirty when I got back home and unpacked.  Nothing on for tomorrow but I can always find something to do ;)    LN...Orange juice and peanuts calling from the kitchen....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 9, 2018, 7:37pm; Reply: 8
Friday 9th November

Silly night last night.  I stopped up to watch Question Time and goodness knows's getting boring these days and as for the Abbacus''''you couldn't and wouldn't want to be accredited with the script.  After that I got into the ancestry thingy and managed to go to bed about two thirty but I'd not had a fire last night and had got cold sitting at my desk and it took me ages to get warm in bed.  My fault entirely and at seven this morning I really felt like going back off but didn't.  

It was a beautiful start for the day and it stayed that was until about four this afternoon when the temperature started dropping.  When the sun't out this place is like a green house and goes up to late twenties without any problem at all and although a lot of it is absorbed into the fabric of the's not that it is cold but it feels it.  I managed to get a load of washing in and dried more or less and that's sitting on the airer in the bathroom finishing off.  I managed to get dressed about twelve thirty, walked the garden and pulled up a few weeds but soon came in...the sind was cold and sat in the conservatory determined to finish taking off the outers from the walnuts and putting them to dry out.  They're all done and I felt quite virtuous about was such a laborious task and I'm not even sure I'll be making anything soon with them.

The fire was lit around five and it just seemed to spring into action and you get days like that.  At other times if the wind is in the wrong direction it seems to take forever before there's any warmth to the radiators.  I've not achieved anything else today apart from the's been a day of cudda, wudda and probably shudda...but there's lots of time to do things.  So far this year we haven't had any frosts so the flowers are still out on the terraces but early next week that have to come in...Winter is coming Jouh Snow.

So tomorrow off to Greece again and the market to see what's available...I'll update you tomorrow with my treasures.  LN...Now back down to the warmth...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 10, 2018, 6:14pm; Reply: 9
Saturday 11th November

Not much of the sun was visible this morning but it sort of cleared up and turned into a very pleasant day.  Seven start and it was straight up and at it, I needed to be at the bus stop to pick up Gouljan...we were heading out for the day.  I didn't bother with breakfast, I put on extra layers in case it remained cold when we were in Greece but the decision process as what to wear was a little slow off the mark.  I found a purple polo neck and thought that would do but instead settled for a navy one and my orange over was in case we lost each other in the is easier to spot.  

Over to the meeting point a little early so we stopped at the car park and she translated the Nipper's manual from the German to English so that I could find out how to change the clock to the correct time.  I'd felt around for a while and could find no buttons to press but looking at it sideways you could just spot the four symbols and pinholes that had to be used.  Having nothing like a pin in the car I went out onto the pavement and came back with a piece of wire and now I have my new name from Gouljan...Madame Bricolage....she reckons I will find a way of solving the problem.

Parked up and we were off more or less straight away  There was only one can in front of us at the border and found a super parking spot near to the market.  I was only intent on more of those super grapes that they have and succumbed to clementines as well and lemons but Gouljan went a little mad and bought lots more fruit.  It was her first time at the market and she couldn't get over how cheap the fruit and veg turned out to be.  We also bought the essentials for making the local pickled vegetables and that's on the cards for tomorrow morning.  The cabbage, carrots, beetroot and cauliflower are sitting in my kitchen ready.  I did spot a vase on one of the second hand stalls on the way in and was determined to buy it on the way out if it was still there...and it was...very quirky, almost Picasso but no markings and very reasonable.  I'm not sure it was everyone's taste but that really wasn't important.

Back over the border with only two cars ahead of us and coffee and cake while Gouljan complete essential documentation for more administration work next week.  We called in at the village shop on the way home to buy vinegar for tomorrow and I hadn't been to the shop for eight years but the lady remembered me...once seen.  Gouljan came in and made used of my internet to make calls and my electricity to charge her phone when it ran out.  I dropped her off home and met up with her brother and family, her mother and father and they all grabbed bags to take home.  I've just made fish finger sandwiches for supper and followed it with grapes and brie.  The fire is going well and I'm totally relaxed after a very pleasant day....about to change into PJ' evening is beginning.  LN....Eleven in the morning and the pickle farm is into production....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 11, 2018, 5:51pm; Reply: 10
Sunday 11th November

Early start and I wonder why I didn't just get my head down again...but no....straight into Soda Crush and I solved one that had hung around for a few days and two more.  I was allowed access to the system until six when I ran out of I got on with my own.  Washed dressed ready to go out and bring the pot plants in but that wasn't to happen.  There was the glimmer of a fire left over from last night that I fanned into action and I put my nose out of the door and decided that it was better in until it had warmed up.

By seven I was hunting in the freezer for a pack of bacon and my hunt was successful so I started the morning well.  I'd had fish fingers for supper last night so the bacon replaced the aroma of the fish and I took the sandwich to the computer and watch a little of TV....but I soon turned it off and I went to try and find concrete proof of some of my ancestors' war records.  There are no relatives left who would know and the records are difficult to work through.  I have hints of the Napoleonic wars and several that disappear from the normal lists and I can oly presume.  I need more time but I'll track them down,

I went down to pick up Gouljan for eleven and we brought back three litre jars to make the pickle.  We peeled carrots and beetroot, took the shells from some very sticky garlic, sliced cabbage and the florets from the cauliflowers and set to with the sugar, salt, vinegar and topped them up with water.  Unfortunately we could only find soluble aspirin so I need to get some tomorrow to finish the job.  Some of the larger cabbage leaves went home for stuffing and the outer went back for the cows.  Some benefited int he short term and we shall in the long term.  I took her home and headed home and got my head down for a short time.  I filled up the log basket and got another lot into the conservatory.  I decided to have a bonfire...the garlic trimmings were smelling out the kitchen and it was still puffing away after an hour or so.  On the way back up the garden I picked the medlars from the tree and decided to deliver them to my student's house for the family.  I stopped for coffee, dropped the girls off at their cousin's house and had to light the fire again but it was soon thumping out heat.  I'd pulled meat out of the freezer this morning and used part of it to make a couple of hamburgers for supper and the rest I fried off with onions and that will form the base of tomorrow's meal.  

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far but I'm sure I'll find something to get up to.  LN...Relax...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 12, 2018, 7:45pm; Reply: 11
Monday 12th November

It was a glorious morning.  My first entrance into the new day was at five.  I managed a toilet stop and then decided that I would be OK to get my head down again and it was seven thirty for the second revival...beautiful.  The sun was more or less up, the temperature in the house was very comfortable so I made a start on my day.  Washing in, toast for breakfast and used up the last dregs of one of the big jars of strawberry jam, cleaned under the kitchen worktop tiles on the island unit, rubbish bins emptied, pegged out washing,down for a bonfire and decided to sit on the wall and survey the estate and the hillside,  And where is the camera when you want it?  In the house and it's been a bit like that all day.

I made a list of things that I wanted to achieve today and more or less finished the list apart from go into Djebel and pick up the aspirin for the's a job for tomorrow.  I did top up the water in the jars though...I noticed that a couple of them were down and vegetables uncovered so the sooner they're finished and delivered I'll be happier.  After that I headed out and started on the list.

The daffodil bulbs are in and I've cleared out the trug and a couple of the pots to house them.  The little house terrace is empty and the cacti in the little house as is the lemon. the potted oleander and the orange trees and the male lemon are away for the winter.  I didn't cut back the geraniums and get them stashed away...they're still flowering and I might live to regret just seems a shame to cut them back when they're still flowering.  The hyacinths are planted up and the freesias have been unearthed from the petunia and now have a chance to flower without competition.   I've swept up the leaves from the trees in the yard and hopefully there will be fewer now that autumn is really here and thy're now dumped over the wall and maybe the cows will clear them in due course...they seem to eat everything else.  The rhubarb has been cleaned up and a bucket put over it with a rock on the top to stop it blowing away.  And so to tomorrow's jobs in the garden...the rest of the garden furniture is going in the little house, plant pots are going to be cleared away and yes...the main terrace is going to be cleared...geraniums and all.

Supper was boiled potatoes with the mince, onions and gravy and I finished the lot.  I do wish they would use only the meat and take some of the jaw snappers out.  I hate coming across a chunk of gristle.  Fished off the meal with more of the grapes and I might even have to go down again this weekend to get some more.  My students want to go so we could make a day of it..  As for tomorrow....Djebel first thing and then gardening....I did intend taking lots of photos today but I was just too busy.  I did notice that I have narcissus already out and was amazed to see them and the proof will be published tomorrow. LN...About to start a new list...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 13, 2018, 6:23pm; Reply: 12
Tuesday 13th November

Six start this morning and managed to find the bears and pop the bottles...yes....Soda Crush and I put it down before my lives ran out.  That's discipline for you.  It was a cold damp, miserable morning and it actually rained so I had a shower, washed my hair and had a lovely relaxing morning.  I had nothing more to do except get aspirin from the chemist in Djebel and bread from the supermarket.  I was still in my PJ's when the bread van man tooted his horn and there was no way I was going to make it,  

I got dressed for the weather and set off at around ten thirty and down to Gouljan's house.  Her father met me in the lane and we shook hands.  I love the formality of Bulgaria.  Her mother was working in the fields and Gouljan had been very busy in the house, was immaculate.   She opened up a packet of biscuits even though I asked her not to, made cappuccinos for us both and offered to light the fire which was was so cold in the house but I persuaded her against it .  About ten minutes later her mother arrived and she lit the petchka...she was obviously cold.  I left at twelve and parked up outside the car parts shop and settled down behind the counter with my student's was a very slow morning for customers.  She suggested I went to the little chemist for my aspirin ..the bigger ones have coated soluble ones...not suitable for putting into my pickles.  Anyway...he knew which ones i wanted when I mentioned the Turkish word for pickles.  Over to the supermarket and found that one of the ladies from the other supermarket was now working in this one.  We had a few words, I got bread and chicken wings and a box of eclairs and I headed home, lit the fire, made coffee and settled in with my eclairs.  I checked out the weather report for tomorrow and it was time to get the rest of the pot plants into the little house...the terraces look very bare.

Supper over, fire going well, tomorrow I'm meeting Gouljan at nine and we have yet more work with our newbies.  It's very good to have a Bulgarian speaker when you're doing admin work.  Another couple of eclairs have bitten the dust.  LN....Now in the fridge...LN
Posted by: tcinbg, November 13, 2018, 8:47pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from Elsa Peters
Tuesday 13th November

.Now in the fridge..

Not for long I bet!  :)

By the way, did you plant up the sprouting Ginger? We did one of ours recently and it is growing well in a low wide pot.

Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 14, 2018, 5:10pm; Reply: 14
Wednesday 14th November

Another busy day...for those that live here you will appreciate that some things are so difficult to set up that you almost lose the will to live.  Any way ...we live to fight another day and it will be back into Kardjali tomorrow hopefully to get it finished.  So much to do and so little time and thank goodness it's not for me.  
As for those eclairs Trev. my sweet....they're still in the fridge but will be coming out shortly and as for the ginger that will be planted up tomorrow when I get back and fingers crossed I might succeed.

So picked up Gouljan at nine and in Kardjali and at the meeting point for nine thirty.  We managed to find the centre for psychological testing and an appointment has been made for tomorrow morning at nine thirty....all this to keep the option to drive a seven and a half ton lorry on the driving licence.  We ended up in the Polyclinic to set up Bulgarian Health Insurance and it's so much easier when you've retired.  I didn't have any of this backwards and forwards to different departments but hey...tova e Bulgaria.

Eventually we called it a day and the next piece of information has to be downloaded from the internet and we decided that tomorrow is another day.  We drove back to the Nipper who'd been resting at KAT and we headed back into town....Gouljan and myself were hungry so we headed into one of the local restaurants and she settled for soup but I had chicken stew with lots of vegetables and a dish of chips that I dipped in the stew and ate them that way.  Gouljan took the hint and we shared the chippies.  The temperature had really dropped and the food really hit the spot.  We stopped off at Lidl on the way back and I topped up with gas.  French stick and ham for supper tonight that's when I get round to doing it but at the moment I'm not really might be just the eclairs, Trev.  Fire is going well and the house is ticking over at twenty two degrees....four of the six jars of pickles have been delivered to Gouljan's house and I'm under strict instructions to shake the remaining jars well to get the salt, sugar and anything else we put into them to get it to circulate.

Tele time....and then early night for me....LN...Let's hope everything gets sorted tomorrow....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 15, 2018, 4:25pm; Reply: 15
Thursday 15th November

Silly night...I was absolutely whacked at eight so got myself settled on the sofa for an hour's kip.  The upside was I felt better for it the downside was that I had a mare of a night waking up every two hours thinking that it was about time that morning had come.  It was cold, it was raining and it looked a rotten day to be walking round Kardjali getting things finalised but the rain stopped and there wasn't my walking to be done.  Everything done, lunch in town so no need for me to get creative in the kitchen so a packet of biscuits and another cup of coffee looks like that might be supper.

I stopped off at the garage shop in response to a message on messenger, my house insurance needs securing for another year and the documents will be prepared and sent to the office next week and the premium remains the same....that's a first.  I dropped Gouljan off at the bus stop and was home for two  thirty.  I didn't bother lighting the fire since the temperature was showing twenty five.  The late sun had done it's stuff but I did light  it when the sun went down and the temperature outside has really dropped.

Nothing on for tomorrow so far...Gouljan has to come up to print off her boarding pass for Sunday but the rest of the day is free.  Tonight I don't think that I need to get my head down before the event... I need a goodnight's asleep.  LN...Fingers crossed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 16, 2018, 6:15pm; Reply: 16
Friday 16th November

It's here John Snow.....well not's his brother Jack Frost.  It was cold this morning until the sun came up and the house temperature shot up to twenty seven.  I got the washing out by nine and it was blowing a gale out there and it was a cold one.  I didn't make the bread van but still had some of the French stick left so finished that off, the fire was still in but I didn't put any more on...I didn't need to.

So I'd made a bit of a list last night of things I wanted to achieve and most of them are now ticked off.  The little house plants have been watered well and they should be OK for a few weeks...they're on shutdown.  I cleared the window sill by the outside sink so the bottles and jugs don't rattle around in the wind.  The plastic chest for the outside furniture cushions is in the little house and I spent a good hour tidying up the tools, the lawnmower is in the workshop and that's been tidied too.  I've tried in vain to find my little axe to get more starter wood cut but I found the big one so I'll count my fingers before I start and afterwards.  The second load of washing didn't make the line and is now on the clothes airer in the bathroom with the washing that did make the line and it should be all ready to put away in the morning.  I lit the fire at around four and it's really chugging along nicely.

Gouljan phoned and came round at five thirty to print her boarding card for her flight on Sunday a.m. and had forgotten her passport which we obviously needed for check in so into the car, I took her home and waited for her, back to mine and it's done.  I'm now under instructions to buy a cake, fizzy drink and chocolate for her mother for Wednesday and to take them down to the house since she won't be here.  She's now back home and I'm picking her up at ten thirty tomorrow so that she can get her hair cut before she goes to Germany....hairdresser charge much more there than they do here... ;)

Full and busy least everything is finished outside now and I even remembered to bring in the swinging bit from the metal garden hammock.  I seem to recall that I forgot it two years ago and the snow was about two foot deep on it.  Kitchen calls...I need to find something for supper.  Gouljan did bring me some mekitsi pancakes that she's made today...those might do if I warm them up or alternatively....cheese and biscuits with silverskin pickled onions.  The plan comes together.  LN...I'm kitchen bound....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 17, 2018, 6:08pm; Reply: 17
Saturday 17th November

Six start but after a good night's sleep I didn't mind the early start. I put the washing away and got dressed over my PJ top and camouflage padded over the was a really cold morning...minus two at eight and it's not really gone much above that all day.  It's been a raw wind.  Down to the bread van and it caught us all out by taking the low road round to the other part of the village before it arrived at our square.  Not many of us out there today....Haciber, Emula's mother and Beyser and that was the sum total.  I got chastised for not wearing anything on my head but I really wasn't out for long.  I also picked up five eggs so today's breakfast was two poached on fresh bread and I sat at the table in the stairwell to eat it.  The fire was still going when I got up so I banked it up and the house has more or less managed to hold twenty plus degrees all day.

So down to pick up Gouljan at ten thirty and we set off for Kardjali.  I didn't have any bacon for this morning but for tomorrow I do.  Gouljan wanted a hairdresser but no joy without an appointment so we headed back to Lidl for the basics and then on to Djebel where she could try out the local hairdresser without an appointment.  I went to the leva shop while she was being shorn and bought the Christmas gift bags for my ladies, a picture frame so that I can get a promised picture that is overdue to Zelinger and another set of fairy lights for the conservatory.  The next stop was  to the cobbler who is going to put another sole on my sheepskin slippers and then on to do some baby worshipping born to a lady that Gouljan used to work with but that I also know.  

I dropped Gouljan off at three thirty and I put the Nipper in the will be going nowhere tomorrow.  It's been a 'picky' day today so I'm not really up to cooking and I haven't got the appetite either.  So she'll be off at midnight and I'm going to miss her and so will her parents I'm sure.  She left me twenty lev to buy her mother a birthday cake and chocolate and I got a box of Belgium chocolates for her from Lidl.  I just hope they stay intact until Wednesday.  LN...PJ's, telly and bed....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 18, 2018, 3:54pm; Reply: 18
Sunday 18th November

Seven start this morning and there was nothing to see so went back to bed.  Some one had stolen the mountains, if there were sheep out there I would never know..freezing fog and not any rain but very fine stuff falling.  I went out to throw the old bread to the dogs and cats and whoever was there first would get it.  The profiteroles went too...they'd gone very solid in the fridge and obviously not the place to keep them.

Eventually got dressed and sorted out the fire.  It only took one firelighter under the wood that was left from last night and it's been going all day.  The house got up to temperature really quickly but I find that if there's not a lot of activity you can still feel cold so an extra pair of trousers went over the tights and reckoned that breakfast would sort me out.  Bacon and egg on French stick with brown sauce found the spot and it's been another day of nibbling at everything in sight and there's chicken in the oven for supper tonight.  

Looks like we're going to have the same sort of weather tomorrow and we've got heavy rain warnings but it's not the rain that's the was minus out there and it looks like there's not much change of  it warming up until Tuesday.  I did managed to get out to fill up the log carrier and bring them into the porch...such a good idea too have it built...the kitchen seems so much warmer.  I think it's almost time to think about making my Christmas cards ....and I've got one birthday card to make for Wednesday. It's not normal to send them but it's for Gouljan's mother....she's going to be missing her daughter.  LN.....Smells like my chicken needs attention.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 19, 2018, 4:34pm; Reply: 19
Monday 19th November

Seven start and it was so bright that I thought there was snow...but no.  It had rained hard most of the night but there was fog and was still cold out there when I took out the remains of last night's supper and put it over the wall for the animals to fight over.  The cats were patrolling the terrace and there was nowhere for them to sleep now that I've taken in the outside cushions but they're ever hopeful of finding food and comfort.  I am not a cat person and they still haven't got the message.

It took me a while to get washed and dressed.  The fire was still going so I topped it up despite the fact that I was in negotiations to head in to Kardjali with Mrs D of S but the weather put us both off.  No point in walking around and getting wet for the sake of...we can do it another day.  So today I reckoned it was the day for setting up the beds with the 'nests'.  I found out the two fleece quilts and bottom sheets and both the upstairs and downstairs beds have been made up.  By now I'm normally sleeping down but so far it's not been so cold and I do enjoy being upstairs, down is like battening down the hatches and an acknowledgement that winter is here.  I washed the bed linen that I'd taken off and the sheet found itself over the banister and the quilt over the door in the bathroom and it's now over the clothes airer.  While I was upstairs though sorting it out I put the water heater on....I bath later on seems a very good idea.  I did get a phone call from the post office in the next village advising me that that there was a letter waiting for me but that she'd only be there until two this afternoon so I got the car out and went up there to collect it and I'm pleased that I did.  Thank you Linda...your letter has arrived and is really appreciated...what a lovely sentiment ...I'll be dropping you a line in the next few days...

Bacon and egg for breakfast, I have spicy sausages that I'm about to fry off with an onion and a potato for supper and that should see me through until morning.  Another load of logs sitting in the porch...the fire is going well and I'll be keeping it topped up all evening.  Nothing on for tomorrow so diary only has one entry and that's for Wednesday and that's for a visit to Djebel to pick up a cake for Gouljan's mum.  And now kitchen calls...supper before bath time.  LN....Good bit of planning...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 20, 2018, 5:01pm; Reply: 20
Tuesday 20th November

Lovely bath last night and in bed by eleven and straight through until seven...the best sleep in ages.  I love the nest and I'm still upstairs not down but not much to see, I opened the curtains and it was damp and yet again and not much chance of seeing the views that I rave about.  The mountains returned about one this afternoon and there was a very watery sun with no heat in it whatsoever.  Winter is here John.

I went down to the bread van to get bread and eggs.  Putting my boots on to go down I'd dropped some money into one of them so at the bread van I took off my boot to retrieve my coins and was dutifully told off by the ladies for not wearing any sock.  I did explain that my boots were well insulated but they weren't having any of it.  Home and I used the last of my spicy sausages to fry off.  I added an egg and that was me done for the day until five this afternoon when I opened a tin of tuna, mixed it with tuna and had it with slices of buttered toast.  

It's been a lazy day again and my only real activity was to have a collection of the rubbish and have a bonfire.  While was down there with the garden fork I collected up some of the leaves round the walnut and cleared out the grass from the beds at the bottom of the garden.  I moved up and dug round the big lilac and pottered for an hour or so and then came back in and settled down with the kindle for a while.  I've just headed upstairs to make the card for Gouljan's mum's birthday and yes...I could have done it sooner but didn't.  I've also brought up a couple of Christmas cards that I bought from one of the shops in town and intent to scan them in to make the ones for my ladies.  Cheapskate I know but cards are expensive here not like in the UK.  Djebel in the morning and I have to pick up my sheepskin slippers from the cobblers.  The uppers were good the bottoms had fallen apart so new leather soles on them and they should do me for the winter but I was told that they are only 'house' slippers and definitely not for going out to the garden.  LN....Card studio in action....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 21, 2018, 5:18pm; Reply: 21
Wednesday 21st November

So boy didn't it rain last threw it down and was still going strong this morning.  I did see the mountains but they were shrouded in clouds and the sheep trails were running down the hillsides and it was also collecting in the yard.  I didn't go out to fix it until I was ready to leave and the rain had more or less stopped.  So washing in and onto the clothes way was it going out on the line today.  I washed and dressed for Djebel, I had a cake to buy and the rest of the presents from Gouljan to her mother.  Beans on toast for breakfast so filled up with warm looked pretty cold out there as well as being damp and miserable.

I was ready to hit the Nipper by ten thirty but firstly I had to clean out the two pipes that take the water from the yard to the other side of the front gate.  The leaves collect there but five minutes later and the water had all gone.  As for the insulation in the water clock box it was floating well and the clock was fully should go down by tomorrow and I'm just hoping that there isn't a frost over night.  So off to Djebel and remembered to call into the cobblers who was putting the new sole on my sheepskin slippers, they were ready and I'm really pleased with the results.  So over to the cake shop and I was really surprised at the choice.  I picked out a small chocolate one that only cost nine leva and it came in a box and I later found out that it tasted delicious.  They're made by my favourite shop in Momchilgrad.  I went to the supermarket and bought another box of chocolates for her, two packet of biscuits and a bottle of rose water and it made up a good selection for her birthday treat.  I'd made the card last night and my box of chocolates had survived and were still intact...and that was a surprise.  I popped into the garage shop to say hello and caught up with the gossip and then set off for home after I'd popped into the chemist to buy Voltaren gel and tablets to take away the arthritic pain from my fingers.  It's the cold weather...

Down to the next village and delivered the goodies.  She was really surprised when I arrived and handed over the cake and she opened my gift and I had to open the card for her.  No one sends cards here so she wasn't sure what it was.  I explained that Gouljan had left the money for her pressies and cake and she burst into tears and said how hard it was now that Gouljan had gone back to Germany.  I told her to stop crying, Gouljan had been here for two months and that that was where her life was now with her husband but it's still hard for her.  So we cut the cake, she insisted that I also had some home made banitsa that she'd made and eventually I left at one thirty and headed home.  I messaged Gouljan to let her know that all was good, she phoned me immediately and thanked me and we closed the call and five minutes later she was on the phone again.  Mother had phoned in tears but everyone was happy at the end of the day.

I lit the fire since it was cold, went out to photograph the water meter box and the roses that are hiding on the back wall of the little house.  I almost cut them and brought them in but it seems such a shame so I left them there where they'll live longer.  In for the night with the fire going.   No supper for me, my lunchtime fill up is still lingering..I might get creative later.  LN...Home bird tomorrow....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 22, 2018, 6:42pm; Reply: 22
Thursday 22nd November

One of those mornings when you don't want to see what time it is because you think it's too early but I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked the Fitbit and found that it was just before seven.  The house wasn't cold but the bathroom floor was really warm from the heat from last night's fire and the washing was dry enough to put away.  I went down and made coffee and then back to bed with the Kindle playing several games of Soda Crush until one defeated me and I've been trying it on and off all day.  I hate it when that happens.  At eight thirty I thought it was about time that I faced the day so washed, dressed and was just warming up the remains of a can of beans for breakfast when the telephone went and it was Princess.  I bet she really hates the work ethic that I lumbered her with...she was getting a head start on the rest of the office.  I do like hearing from her and she updated me with my grandson's new career choice exploits...can I just say that it's not the weather for sleeping out in the open....and not...she's not thrown him out and he's living on the streets... ;)  So back to my beans closely followed by a slice of cake and's the weather for it.

I've read for most of the day.  The house is tidy, there's very little to do except get in wood and make sure that the house stays warm and toasty.  I had an interesting visit from two ladies mid morning that asked if I spoke Turkish!!  Their Bulgarian was even more limited than mine and I can only assume that their parents were brought up in the village and they were looking for people and places.  Of all the house in the village...they picked mine but I did direct them to Haciber's house...she would know who, what and where....and what for.

Back to my book until the eyes went southwards and I had a very pleasant forty winks in front of the fire.  It would have been better in the sun but it wasn't to be.  I did toy with the idea of finding out some wool from my wool stash and start to do something creative but I've just started taking some tablets for the arthritis in my finger that's been troubling me for the last week or so and thought better of it.  It's also due to the damp, cold weather so it's gloves when I go out and Voltaren gel rubbed in overnight.  That should sort it out.

I've just had Brie and biscuits for supper and there's a chocolate cake that's calling me from the kitchen shouting eat me, eat me and I think I might succumb.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow but I might just get an attack of cabin fever and surprise myself.  LN...All depends on how well I sleep....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 23, 2018, 7:26pm; Reply: 23
Friday 24th November

Seven twenty start this morning and straight through...without a hitch,,,,same again tonight please.  Those tablet have really kicked and doing their stuff.  Back to bed with a coffee and the Kindle and that was me sorted until I ran out of lives on Soda Crush but I did manage to do the one that had been bugging me and the next one at the first attempt.  It's back to normal now though...another super difficult one.

Washed, dressed out to feed the birds with the trimmings from last night's Brie fest, the remains of a chicken leg, a few cracker biscuits that had little snap, crackle and certainly no pop left but I'm sure the wildlife be in airborne or ground based enjoy it.  There was certainly nothing left when I peered over the wall later on.  Poached eggs on toast for me for breakfast and I thought twice about light the fire and on the second pass I was out with the matches, firelighters and sticks and I soon had a blaze going and it's ticked along nicely all day.

Visors this afternoon and we got to discussing televisions and I mentioned that the next time they were heading into Kardjali I'd like to meet them there to get a second opinion on the one to get.  I only want to watch Transponder TV which is the replacement for TV Catchup and don't want to be delving into Turkish or Bulgarian soaps and the like and only need to make sure that the set has WiFi.  They confirmed that they were on the way to Lidl so suggested that I tag along since the TV that they'd recommended was on offer plus the Black Friday ten percent extra, we looked at it but I was warned that the controls are fiddly and they recommended that I had a try with theirs to confirm that I can be bothered to fiddle before I buy so I'm off tomorrow to their to have a trial run.  I did a mini-shop in Lidl, we got back for just after four thirty, a quick coffee and they were on their way.

So out tomorrow and I shall probably get in touch with Mrs D of S and pop in to see them and the little one after I've finished tele fiddling.  The weather looks to have picked up a little...the terraces have dried off more or less and there was a glimmer of sun today but only a glimmer.  I was quite surprised tonight, the moon was up for a while and I though we were in for a real stinker of a cold night but it seems to have gone behind the clouds so that should keep the temperature above freezing.  Just after nine my time...the trouble is that UK television is two hours behind BG time and bedtime soon comes round after I've watched my programmes.  LN....Almost time for technology and me to sign off....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 24, 2018, 6:17pm; Reply: 24
Saturday 24th November

There was a hint of sun this morning,  The mountains were clear, a patch of blue and a grey band of cloud that turned into a dramatic speckled read just before the sun came up.  It was a cold start...the temperature on the thermometer outside showed minus three and the windscreen of the Nipper was covered in frost and inside the house was showing sixteen and a half degrees.  I'd settled in last night watching the television on the computer and had closed the curtain between the lounge and the stairs and and forgotten to open it as I went to bed.  Once I'd opened it it went up to eighteen but it was pretty raw outside as I threw out the odds and ends for the birds.  Eventually there was a glimmer of sun and it was fine until it went up into the dark band of cloud but eventually it burnt it away and ti turned out to be very pleasant except that it was still pretty cold and settled for about thirteen outside.

Ham baguette for breakfast and cleaned up the baking tins that probably should have been cleaned up sooner.  I settled for a very hot shower and washed my hair and sitting at my desk in the sun with the towels round me was very pleasant...nothing and nobody on the hillside to worry about...only the woodie that settled on the fir tree and the magpies strutting round the garden searching for their breakfasts.  At one point I though that woodpecker had got its beak stuck in the bark of the tree.  It seemed to take ages to have a look round as they normally do but it waited a while and then shot off towards the other side of the road.  Dressed, hair washed and dried and I sett off for my initiation ceremony into television programming and arrived around twelve thirty.  We sat around with coffee and I was shown the improvements to the house since the last time I was there and eventually we decided to head to a new local restaurant to grab some lunch.  We were the only ones in there and settled for beef in tomato green bean stew with a hint of paprika and out only complaint was that it needed to be served warmer but that's a common complaint in BG.  Back to their house for more coffee, tele fiddling and I found that it was very logical to work my way round but it was using a different browser and didn't seem to work well with Transponder TV so back to the drawing board Cecil.

I left at four and headed for Mr and Mrs D of S forgoing the proffered coffee or other beverages.  The little bundle gets bigger every time I see her ...a real poppet and I managed to get a hug and kiss out of her...this little non-stop automaton....she never seems to rest.  I said my fond farewells at six and headed home and was aware that the temperature was dropping and I hadn't had a fire going all day.  I shouldn't have bothered...the thermometer was showing twenty degrees...the sun had obviously done its stuff while I was gallivanting.  Straight into action, fire lit, logs in, curtains drawn, laptop fired up and log basket filled from the log carrier in the porch.  Only need of a sandwich tonight since lunch was very filling and tomorrow is going to be a very gentle was pretty busy today but enjoyable.  Catching up with people normally is.  Strictly tonight and I shall be watching it downstairs in the comfort of the winter lounge....with a roaring fire to keep me company.  LN....Big computer off....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 25, 2018, 6:11pm; Reply: 25
Sunday 25th November

Just before seven start, opened the curtains and someone had stolen my mountains.  Wall to wall mist and eventually we had a hint of the sun but it was really quite a lot later.  I got dressed more or less straight away, checked the thermometers and decided that the fire needed lighting, it was only a faint glimmer.  I emptied the ash can, put a firelighter under the log that was unburnt overnight and it caught more or less straight away and it's been chugging on all day even though it didn't really need it once the sun broke through and the clouds rolled away.  I went out to wait for the bread van but it was a no show and I think that there were several ladies disappointed.  Fortunately I had bread that was OK for toast so I settled for that with Marmite.

I did a circuit of the garden and worked out my plan for the day.  Bread for the birds, yesterday's washing up could wait and then I settled down with the Kindle and it wasn't long before I was back in the land of nod and I woke up at eleven.  I thought I'd slept OK but obviously I needed by twelve I was out sorting out the wood that needed chopping that was stashed in the little house and desperately searching for my little chopper...and there it was...on the wall where it should be.  So now I have four large containers of starter wood, all eight of my fingers, two thumbs and one blister on my little finger.  I've now made a pledge to myself to clear the little house of all the wood that's been hanging around for a while, a very long while before I get stuck into the wood in the wood store.  All swept up and cleared away by five and I headed to the kitchen to sort out supper.

In Lidl I'd bought packets of 'cooking' bacon although I'm not sure what else you'd do with it, took a couple of gammon steaks from it and put the rest in the freezer and they went into the oven with some of the juice from a tin of pineapple.  I scrubbed up a potato and put that in the oven...along with a baked apple filled with dried fruit and honey,,,supper was in.  Everything was ready for six thirty and delicious, time to sort out the fire and throw another log on and then settle in for the evening.  Strictly results tonight and let's see who gets their marching order tonight.  LN....I've had a productive day...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 26, 2018, 5:33pm; Reply: 26
Monday 26th November

Funny night last was cold to start off and then I was removing the bedclothes and sticking legs out of the bed as thermostats.  I did managed to get off to sleep again and it was seven by the time that I came round for the second time.  It was raining yet again, very damp and the clouds were hanging in the valleys so I lit the fire, got the washing on, the sun seemed to be breaking though and I toyed with the idea of pegging out the washing but decided against it.  Just as well, the sun went back behind the clouds, it got darker but a day on the airer and the washing is ready to get put away.  I've had the fire going all day.

I've not got up to much.  I wrote out my first Christmas card and it's ready for posting but that was the end of the enthusiasm for all things Christmas.  I played a few games until I decided I had to do something which required a little exercise so I filled up the log basket from the carrier and then filled up the carrier in the log store.  The plan to only use old wood went by the way so that idea didn't last too long....ah well...tomorrow is another day.  I cleared up the kitchen and washed up from the last couple of days, cleaned down the work surfaces thoroughly and tidied the rest of the house and then took to the sofa with the Kindle.  Sleep overtook me as per normal and then it was log duties, toast and tuna with mayo, more coffee and that was the sum total of the day's activities or lack of.

The boiler is on to have a leisurely bath tonight and going to Haskovo tomorrow.  Nothing much on the 'must haves' we'll see what takes my fancy.  Connect and Mastermind tonight...I do like my quizzes.  Keeps the brain box active.  LN....Bath time...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 27, 2018, 6:21pm; Reply: 27
Tuesday 27th November

I didn't manage the bath last night...I was too busy watching quiz programmes and by the time those had finished it was heading for eleven my end...much too late to wallow.  Seven start this morning and there was only a glimmer of sun behind the mulberry which did open up to provide a very unusual sky which was obviously captured.

Washed dressed, toast for breakfast and I was ready for my visit to Haskovo and my taxi arrived promptly.  I go along sometimes as translator and in some cases to just get things done.  We stopped off at Djebel so that I could collect the documents for my house insurance and sign for them....I'd received the message that they'd been delivered yesterday.  There were lots of police checks on the way into Kardjali...Christmas and winter is coming John Snow.

We went to the big hardware shop in Haskovo and I picked up a few things that I wanted and had a fun time explaining that I wanted another timer switch...I've decided to put one on the fairy lights for the conservatory that will go up this weekend.  I also picked up a lacy climbing hydrangea plant that will go in in the spring but will get potted up and stored in the little house over the winter.  We had lunch in the restaurant over the store which was very good and very reasonable, the weather had turned so there was no walk round the town and we headed back to Kardjali.  I went to pay my outstanding telephone bill and unfortunately I got the operator who didn't speak English so I couldn't exactly 'speak my mind' and it's probably as well.  Home for five thirty, fire lit, new curtain rings that I'd bought from Haskovo and now in place and swish along the pole instead of getting stuck half way.  

I decided to phone England and the service was still suspended and there was no way that you could find the option to speak to an operator.  I eventually managed to get through to an operator over the internet and it appears that she has managed to get me up and running although I've yet to test it.  I know they're under new management but I still don't understand why the service was suspended...and was advised to go through the telephone help lone instead...if that's working.  

No supper required...I'm still stuffed to the gills from lunch.  The fire needs attention so I'm heading downstairs to sort it out.  LN.....I've work to do.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 28, 2018, 4:19pm; Reply: 28
Wednesday 28th November

Dark, damp and no way could I have told what time it was before I put on the landing light.  I lit the fire, the house temperature was eighteen but it soon went up to twenty and it was comfortable.  I didn't so much as get dressed but put my camouflage trousers over my PJ's with a warm polo neck, I was expecting the bread van but no show.  That's two days in a row so maybe he's having a holiday...I feel sure I would have heard him.  

So at nine I got the bacon out and fried off a couple of rasher and had to use the old bread.  An egg joined it in the pan and it started the morning off well.  I'd also found the two pork chops that I'd taken out of the freezer on Monday so they joined the pineapple in the slow cooker along with an onion and a small can of tomatoes and that was going to be supper.  I needed to do something constructive today so I fetched my bedroom curtains down and have made minor adjustments and put on header tape which I'd not bothered with before.  I had a fun time trying to take them down.  It's about a four meter length of old water pipe supported at either end and I was worried that it was pretty close to the bedroom windows but anyway I succeeded.  I managed to put twenty new curtain rings on the pole and manoeuvred the pole back into the supports and the new curtain hooks I made out of wire ...they're stronger than the plastic ones that you get here and the curtains don't pop off the hooks.  One back up, one ready to go up and now I have to make another ten hooks and the metal and pliers are at the ready.

I had a bit of a surprise when I went out to get the log carrier in and the wire for the second set of was snowing and I didn't think that it was that cold.  The clouds had been in evidence all day and there was a tremendous long clap of thunder this afternoon but the last thing I expected was snow.  I'm not sure it will stick is very wet under foot.  I've just had supper....I served it with rice that I finished off on the petchka and there is enough for tomorrow.  I'm early's fifteen after six and now I have work to do.  LN...I have hooks to make....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 29, 2018, 4:15pm; Reply: 29
Thursday 29th November

Six thirty start, dark out, white over and the fire still going so it was brought back to full steam to get the place warmed up.  It wasn't that cold but it just needed an injection and then I was drinking coffee in bed until everything got toasty.  Out of bed by eight, washed and dressed in sweater with over sweater and my camouflage trousers again....I must see if they have another pair in Djebel.  These are now nine years old so they've cost me very little over the years.

I heard the bread van this morning and headed down to get fresh bread.  On the way down my Avatars nephew was stopped on the grass verge with his bonnet up and he explained that it had started but that it was very cold on the open land where he parks the van.  I reckon that the diesel had gotten a little waxy.  I carried on down to the van and bought a sliced for the freezer and a crusty, a cheesy bread and six eggs more as a standby than anything else.  I still had four but if more snow comes down I might not be able to get out and he might not be able to get in.  The ladies were there and no one was wearing a coat explaining that they had lots of cardigans on.  I was wearing my cheapy sailing coat, three times too big but it hides a multitude of sins.  On the way back I stopped to speak to Avatar's nephew and he said that he had no jump leads and was waiting for a friend.  I was unsure if the friend had leads so I left the shopping in the conservatory. picked up the leads from the woodstore, walked back to find that his friend was about to connect the two vehicles to get him mobile again.  He thanked me, I headed back, decided to top up the wood while I was out and about, get the bonfire going to get rid of the rubbish and clear the snow from the terrace.  

Outside tasks completed I made bacon and egg on cheesy bread, made more coffee and having noticed that there was egg yolk on the place I took a photo and emailed my son to tell him that if he received a ransom note from the pirates to ignore it...I was fine.  Today has been the day for keeping the fire going and keeping warm.  The outside thermometer was showing minus six and it never went above zero all day.  Winter has arrived.  I got settled on the sofa with the kindle and had my over lunch siesta, made more coffee and switched on the pork and pineapple in the slow cooker but added more water and curry powder.  I settled in and watched a film on  five this afternoon which was a lovely old fashioned love story which whiled away the  afternoon, supper filled up the gap and now it's in to evening.

It's going to be another cold one tonight.  The wind has dropped and there's no snow falling at present and I would tell my daughter, it's too cold for snow.  LN....Jack Frost is making his presence felt....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, November 30, 2018, 4:25pm; Reply: 30
Friday 30th November

So at three thirty this morning I couldn't get back off so moved downstairs, stoked up the fire and lay on the sofa.  I started playing games and instead of sending me off to the land of nod I just kept at it and it was five thirty and not worth bothering to hit the sack.  It was really cold outside and despite the fire I put on my wool cardigan and grabbed a blanket for my legs.  Not much sun around until eleven but it soon sent the thermometer rattling up to twenty five in the house.   Bacon and egg cheesy bun for's becoming a habit and really does set me up for the day.

I headed out to fill up the log carrier that I'd emptied into the log basket at five this morning, scraped the ice from the terraces and it was ice...very little snow....and decided that I would turn over both the Beast and the Nipper to make sure that I have lift off if need be.  Both started first time and looking at the state of the roads I'm probably going to head in to Kardjali tomorrow to get my Christmas shopping done.  I've booked my flight for the UK at a very reasonable cost so shall be spending it with family and now I have pressies to buy and wrap...can't let my ladies's a tradition.  I walked the garden and was surprised how many flowers are still out despite the cold night, winds and freezing temperatures and though it was worth taking a few pickies.  

I was ready for my afternoon nap especially since I had a really early start to the day and was awake about three and managed to rescue the fire.  It wasn't really necessary but it does put warmth into the fabric of the building to keep it topped up.  I've been on the hunt for curtains to put up internally between the lounge and the stair well as it cuts down the flow of heat from room to room.  My house is designed for cool air movement in the summer but not really necessary in the winter.  I have been round and drawn the curtains in the cuts down on the loss of heat through the windows.  Winter mentality takes over...

I've suddenly realised that it's the first of December tree can go up despite the fact that I've got nothing to put under it yet.  I've yet to test the fairy lights but at three lev for a new's not going to break the bank if I have to get some and Santa appears to be working too....he's going in the conservatory and should be warmer than he's been in previous years.  So Kardjali tomorrow when the streets are aired and not hit at shopping....the list is made and then Sunday wrapping and realising how many more I need to get.  Ah's only once a year.  LN....Evening has begun....LN
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