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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JANUARY 2019
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 1, 2019, 5:17pm
Tuesday 1st January

So I've just typed up the first message of the year and it's gone off into the ether and not posted.  Is this a portent of what's to come?...I hope not so let's try again.

Sleepless night and I was opening windows at silly o'clock to get some air into the room unlike BG where you want to keep the hot air in and the cold air out.  I eventually got off again and woke up to a really pleasant morning and I sun full of promise.  It stayed around for a while but no sign of it later in the day not that I saw a lot of it.  Long leisurely bath this morning and washed my hair and this time I didn't use Badedas in the bath so I rinsed out the shampoo completely and haven't ended up with sticky hair.  Breakfast of toasted fruit loaf which has sustained me for the rest of the day apart from the packet of sugar loaded Squashies Drumsticks that I've just finished and I've an idea that this could be supper unless I go on the hunt.  We had fish and chips last night at A's house and I came back with a carton of chips that were just too much for us to get through with the idea that I would make them into a Spanish omelette today and that's going to happen isn't it.  Our local fox should do well tonight.

Again it's short and sweet.  The New Year is here and now I'm in to planning what to take with me when I go home and if I have to book a bag for the flight home.  Decisions, decisions.  I've also spent the day looking at late availability cruises so I might be back since they all take off from the UK.  So now to plan the night's viewing on the tv and to attack the contents of the freezer that my host thought was going to last a little longer that day one of the new year.

LN....I'm on the scavenge....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 1, 2019, 5:38pm; Reply: 1
Pickies from today...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 2, 2019, 7:05pm; Reply: 2
Wednesday 2nd January

So last night I was still sorting out the records for my host's previous generations until one thirty this morning and took to my virtuous pit at just after that with a box of Belgium chocolates....a present from my grandson.  I did ration them out and had only three...they were so soft and squidgy...but the second layer is still complete...they should do me until the end of the holiday.  The box of Quality Street still lives to fight another day.  

I woke up at seven twenty, started on Soda Crush and managed to achieve the one that had held me up for a few hours on and off and managed to knock off two more until I'd had enough closing off my Kindle with 'lives' to go.  That's a nice feeling.  Down for a bacon and egg sandwich, I'd chosen the bread from Lidl but I've been popping seeds from it all day even after cleaning my teeth.  That'll teach me.  I tidied up the lounge and got rid of the recyclable stuff and it took me a while since I'm not used to it.  I don't recycle I burn and the vapours lift off onto the hillside and get blown away with the breeze.  I think the neighbours here would throw a wobbly and be dialing for the emergency services if I tried it here.  Lightweights.  

So today I've confirmed the dates of births, deaths and marriages on the genealogy notes from other members of my host's family and charted it up so that you can see who's who and who's with whom.  They started off in Scotland in the eighteen hundreds, some moved to Sunderland and the rest to Worcester but the Sunderland branch made contact and couldn't work out how they were related.  This system of naming the first after the father means that everybody seemed to have a William and a George, etc and it can get very confusing.  I've been using a couple of programs and I've now confirmed that the family came from the same 'many great' grandfathers and two brothers went their separate ways.  In fact seven brothers and sisters went their separate ways and I've logged some of them...others can remain unlocked...the main thing is that I've proved the mutual ground between two of them and my host is ready to spread the good tidings to the rest of the clan.  Clever old me... ;)  I do enjoy it and I blame my autumn guest for leading me into the path of genealogy....thanks P.

The telephone today has been a hot line to BT with lots of incoming calls saying that we had a problem with the internet.  We don't....I think they're trying to sell in a different service so in a fit of pique I asked him for their company number so that I could complain and he gave it to me...strange.  Both kiddiwinkles are back at work and Princess is complaining that she has to get used to the lack of chocolates on the desk and non-alcoholic drinks and my son was deep in paperwork...first day 'sort outs'...I remember them well.

The weather has been dull and lifeless again...please, please send me some good stuff....I've had enough of it for now.  I've just check out the weather for BG....three degrees and raining, turning to snow overnight and continuing for tomorrow and Friday and a yellow warning for wind.  Better get the Rennies ready.  LN....I'm on the hunt for supper....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 3, 2019, 9:39pm; Reply: 3
Thursday 3rd January

So I stayed up last night again until silly o'clock trying to track down the many great grandparents' birth dates and to no avail.  I have a couple of potentials but no firm proof so to date they stay on the chart with only a marriage entry to support their existence.  I took to my bed at two, started playing Soda Crush and knocked off about three games without much effort and I had to call a stop to the evening/early morning entertainment....I shut if down and closed my eyes and off to the land of nod.  It was an eight thirty start, another grey day so the promise of a new shiny year had evaporated already.

Eventually we managed to get down to omelettes for breakfast and I decided that George, the giraffe with a voice box message recorded by my grandson when he was five years of age, had to go for remedial treatment.  it only clicked and did nothing else.  Two years ago the old message had been salvaged and recorded on to a new voice box and my grandson is the proud possessor of the original and it was to him that I turned for help. Apparently it's up in the loft somewhere so I told him to leave it for a while and we headed in to Brighton on the trusty red bus and dropped off in Churchill Square and I headed for the Bear Factory with George stuffed in my shoulder bad.  So into the shop and the assistant said that they could do nothing....'we're not engineers'....and I explained that this time it had only lasted two years where the last one lasted ten.  She replied that the voice box had obviously been pressed too much and the device was worn out.  I explained that I lived in Bulgaria and George was resident in GB and her response was that it hadn't been pressed enough.  She did advise that I got him to re-record the message of 'Happy Cristhmas (with a lisp), nanny I love you' but I said that to get the same tone of voice in a nineteen year old would take a bottle of vodka and a helium balloon.  She didn't see the humour and considering she works in a Bear Factory maybe she should choose another vocation,  

Onwards and upwards and we made it to Poundland and I managed to buy some more telephone and data charging cables for one pound each...good value and they're different colours so that I can keep one for each device.  While in the shop, coming down the stairs was the store manager and we looked at each other and realised that our history went back a few years.  He used to be an assistant manager when I worked for a supermarket company and we were really surprised to see, and recognise each other.  So the old names came out and I mentioned that I new several of the oldies on FB, he said I hadn't changed in thirty odd years so I suggested he went to SpecSavers for a checkup.  He's going to message me on FB for a real catch-up.  Back on the bus and home for five, pot roast beef, roasties, swede and carrots for supper and it's going to be followed any minute now by a lemon cheese cake.  

Early night for me...the genealogy is put to bed except for copying it out on A3 so that it's easy to follow the lines.  I can do the rest back in BG when the snow is falling and the nights grow long.  My latest weather report is that it's very windy, cold and it's snowing so I suggested to Ms D of S to get back inside, put on a sweater and take a couple of Rennies to sort her out.  Just my little joke.  LN...I'm heading for the cheesecake and sofa.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 4, 2019, 10:33pm; Reply: 4
Friday 4th January

What a performance last night with the Kindle Fire.....for some reason Facebook has now deemed that it will not allow messenger to be run through it and that perpetual loop I found myself in has stayed the same all day.  This morning I checked out my other machine and that has successfully updated and Messenger seems to be working OK.  One out of two isn't bad I suppose and I'll soon have all the time in the world to get it sorted.  Up and about by seven thirty, Marmite on toast for breakfast, emptied the dishwasher as my contribution to morning and sorted out the clothes that I want to leave and packed the rest.  I somehow have to make space for my presents both given to me and those I'm taking back.  I settled in to write up the family chart for my host and it's finished more or less.  There are still people to investigate but that's putting the finishing touches to it but the link is proved between the two branches of the family.  I worked on it until four and at five we set off for A's house to say cheerio and to enjoy a curry supper from the local curry shop,  We arrived at six more or less, the order was placed and by seven we were sitting down to supper and it was my first Chicken Dhansak for a year  and it went down well,  Poppadoms abounded and it was followed by a strawberry cheesecake....rude to refuse.

I washed and dried up and sorted things out....she's having a bit of an issue with mobility so every little helps.  We sat around talking and generally chewing over the fat and at nine thirty we said fond farewells.  She has been out to stay with me in the early days and it would be good to see her out again but currently she couldn't manage it.  Maybe next year.  Lunch out with the family tomorrow, the restaurant is booked for one.  LN...Time for bed...I'm knacked....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 5, 2019, 8:55pm; Reply: 5
Saturday 5th January

So today I've had the feeling that it's been Sunday all day not Saturday and I'm pleased that I've increased my packing time and have all day tomorrow to get the final stuff in that little case that seems to be getting smaller all the time.  Seven thirty start and I headed for the bath and washed my hair so that I would look presentable for the family get together.  I lingered longer than anticipated and could willingly have nodded off in there but instead knocked off about three chapters of Game of Thrones.  I dried my hair and it looked OK, was intending to wear it loose but instead ended up coiling it up out of the way, eventually decided what I was going to wear and was ready for twelve.  I had time to kill so went back on to investigating the other side of my host's family and managed to find one of his uncles and his family which adds to the list of people that he knew nothing of.  It's fun when that happens and I was hot on the trail and had to put it to bed and head off to the pub for lunch.

Princess and her family were already there and they'd found us a cul de sac table for the nine of us so we settled in to wait for my son and his family.  They eventually arrived about one fifteen, hugs all round for everyone and then the menus came out.  Most of us settled for the carvery, the boys went big and I even struggled with the standard.  I think my grandson had the worst of the deal, he'd chosen a baguette which seemed to take ages to prepare but he'd brought his origami kit along and was quite happy to be making oriental birds to perch on the glasses.  At nine years of age...I was impressed.  Having said that, he ordered a bottomless all you could eat ice-cream, so sister had the first top up, the second seemed to get passed round the table and the third was back to my grandson and my dessert.  We handed presents out and I had a very nice cotton throw and I think it's going to have to stay here until I come over next time....I'm not going to be able to get it back in my hand luggage.  Princess had a unicorn lamp that she has decided would fit perfectly on her office appears to be her trademark.  Out on to the car park and again it was a hug fest,  my daughter and family heading home for an afternoon on the sofa and my son and family heading down to the beach for a look at the sea.  We stopped off in the village on the way back....the lottery ticket I'd bought the first week I was here had won a lucky dip free ticket so let's keep fingers crossed for tonight's draw.  

Home for four thirty more or less and sang my way through the score of Oliver showing on the television, fell asleep when it ended and felt guilty that I'd left my update this late.  Nothing fixed for tomorrow but I might try and get in one final visit to church tomorrow night...they don't have my church in BG.  Update from home, the temperature is very low and the roads very icy but only two centimeters or so of snow.  Let's hope it stays that way so that I can get back to the village safely and get myself installed.  No supper required, stuffed to the gills, only two more sleeps or one and a half, the taxi will be here for about four on Monday morning.  LN...My bed is calling...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 6, 2019, 9:53pm; Reply: 6
Sunday 6th January

Late to bed but up by seven thirty and I don't seem to have stopped all day.  I did contact Easyjet about getting a bag booked to save me carrying my luggage but it turned out that it would have cost me almost thirty five pounds for a single trip and I'm still able to carry it.  What she did notice was that my boarding pass was made out in the name of Mr so she changed it for me and I noticed that the incoming flight was in the same gender,  Maybe nobody dare say anything in the era of gender fluidity but on the other hand I didn't get any strange looks from the personnel along the way.  So I had to print out another boarding pass so they might think I came over for the operation... ;D ;D

I decided to check the lucky dip ticket that I'd obtained from a win the first week I was here and joy oh joy....I've won thirty pounds....perhaps my luck is changing.  So packing complete....incomplete...complete....and I think I'm there.  They can do what they like with me at the boarding gate...CBA...if they charge me because the bag is two centimeters over in the depth of the bag....I'll open it and put some more clothes on.  I spent the afternoon still looking at the female line of my host's family and got back another couple of generations.  I shall be doing a bit of research when I get home but not telling anybody about it.  The other side of the family are doing their own research but we set about it with different objectives.  Oh dear.

Bedtime for me....I've missed 'who wants to be a millionaire' so now I might as well get my head down for a few hours,  The taxi is booked for four a.m, my daughter has sent me the news that it's about minus three when I arrive at lunch-time tomorrow so winter has come John Snow.  I'll check in when I'm back providing my trusty steed is primed and awaiting ....I should be home by five thirty.  I have this horrible feeling though that if the snow has fallen, I have to dig out the water meter outside and turn it on so that I've got water inside the house.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it and a new phrase I heard over the holiday is...'Build a bridge and get over it'...seems very appropriate in the present climate.  Just about to finish the carrot cake before I dim the lights.  LN...Wish me luck...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 7, 2019, 6:24pm; Reply: 7
Monday 7th January

I'm's been a  long day and it's going to be a cold night but hey...things can only get warmer ;)..

Three thirty start this morning and it was a host was up and making coffee for me and actually stayed compus mentis until I'd left in the taxi.  As for nicking the silver there's none to nick so  he wasn't worried about that.  Safe and steady journey to the airport...the taxi driver was Romanian and he was slagging off the mafia in his own country and my lips were sealed....nothing to add.  The flight was on time, it was very full and there was no issue with any bags having to be put into the hold..The flight in charge was very humorous making light of his announcements which the English appreciated but totally lost on the Bulgarians.    I think he's seen the you tube video and I think it's on American Airlines...very funny and I did need help lifting my suitcase up into the overheads from a swarthy male but when the flight attendant was asked for help, he asked what was in it and she replied chocolate.  My swarthy man just did the job I asked him to without back chat.

Minus five when we landed and unfortunately we were the third flight in so the delay at the 'incoming' meant that there wasn't a snowball in hell's chance of me making the earlier bus so I settled for the one o'clock.  I tried reading but the words started to get jumbled so it was down with the Kindle and I must have slept almost to the coffee stop...a real catch  up.  Kardjali for four thirty and I decided to take a taxi on to Djebel...I didn't fancy waiting around for a bus...I had some settling in to do.  My carriage was ready and primed for action  outside the car shop so I had to go in and have five minutes with my student's mother to catch up on things.  She said that it was minus twelve last night and I think we are heading for the same.  It is  cold.  I headed to the supermarket for bread and a couple of spicy sausages so that I would have something quick and easy to cook.  The drive back was fun...the main roads were clear but when I turned off on my village road, it was sheet ice under a layer of snow.  I had one skid, corrected it and followed it closely with a second so I dropped it into second gear and after that everything was.  I negotiated the gate, got the Beast into the drive, turned the water on outside, unlocked the house, lit the fire, lost the car keys so checked where I'd been kneeling down to turn the water on and there they were there.

The house was six degrees when I checked the thermometer, it's now gone up to nine , the radiators are heaving and the boiler is on for hot water and the timer reset.  I've cooked supper and eaten it watching The Chase, my extra quilt is warming by the woodburner along with my feather pillow and it won't be long before I'm getting cosied up in my 'nest'.  I don't thin there's much danger of getting undressed tonight...but I will take my boots off.  

There's a little bit of snow falling, I need some eggs from the van tomorrow if he turns up.  It will be good to see my ladies again.  I'm too cold on the upstairs landing so heading down to the fire.  LN..Fingers crossed for a peaceful night...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 8, 2019, 4:18pm; Reply: 8
Tuesday 8th January

I managed to sleep through until seven thirty...what a surprise but with the amount of clothes I had on to go to sleep in, it was probably the weight of the clothes that held me down.  The fire was still going so it was back to basics, ash can emptied, starter wood to get it going sooner and I had a blaze.  I boiled the kettle and made my first cup of coffee and took my Christmas decorations down.  I went to fill the kettle to made my second cup and surprise, surprise, there was no water in the system so it was emergency procedures brought into play...I went out and turned off the water at the supply just in case the frozen pipe was in the roof.  I checked the outside thermostat and it was down to minus seventeen, there was ice on the inside of the conservatory windows nearest the door and I went inside for my first cup of coffee.

Haciber was my first visitor and she said that she had water to the outside tap but not inside but I was welcome to fill a bottle should I need to.  She sat down for a while, told me the news about her son and daughter in law, updated me on the ladies of the village and didn't know if the bread van would be here or not.  I happened to mention that I only wanted eggs and left it at that.  My next visitor was the daughter from one of the other ladies in the village and she looked at my in supply for the water and said that there wasn't enough insulation and off she went and ten minutes later she came back with a bag of hay for me to stuff down the hole in the ground.  My further instruction was to put some warm but not hot water on the pipe after about an hour and so I settled down to a bit of Soda Crush.  I went back to unpacking my suitcase, put the perfume gift box back together and filled it with the perfume and hand cream and even put the plastic sleeve over the box.  You'd never know that I't taken it apart for transporting it.  Back to the water, removed the hat, turned on the supply to the house, poured the warm water over the pipe, there was a gurgle so I went back inside the house....all restored.  I returned to the hole, stuffed the hay back in in its bag, put the insulation back round it and fingers crossed it should be alright tomorrow.  We have another cold night coming up... :-/ :-/

I went down the lane to tell my hay deliverer that everything was OK and stopped for a cup of coffee.  By the time I got back the egg fairy had been and left me a croissant breakfast, a pair of socks and a bar of soap and at this point in time I'm not sure who the good fairy is.  I'll find out at the bread van tomorrow.  Log baskets filled, fire chugging away and will be all night, spent some of the afternoon sitting on the sofa in the sun reading my Kindle and the rest of the day pottering.  I cleaned off the terrace but the snow is so powdery that it was difficult to move and cleared the yard and up to the wood store.  The sun didn't melt stayed on minus temperatures all day.  

The curtain is drawn over the stairwell and I'm about to set up the laptop so that I can watch TV's much too cold on the landing.  I'll be having my bath in the morning and I'm looking forward to it.  I think it's beans on toast for supper...I need comfort food.  LN...I'm kitchen bound...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 9, 2019, 4:28pm; Reply: 9
Wednesday 9th January

It was on and off napping on the sofa last night until I took to my bed but the Fitbit said that I'd had eight hours sleep...that's the best I've achieved in ages.  Same again please.   Fire still going, wood enough to last for a time, ashes out, coffee, the water was still flowing....everything is almost back to normal except that with the very low temperatures it's the devil's own game to get the bricks and mortar warmed but but I think I'm getting there.  At close of play tonight I've finished up at plus sixteen but I have lit the little wood burner in the kitchen this afternoon to help it on it's way.  Washed and dressed and it's all about putting on another layer and not disturbing too much of existing while the house is cold.  The bathroom is OK...the radiator is only small but very effective so I maybe linger longer there than other parts of the house.

Out came the cooking bacon from the freezer.  I'd decided that I was going to make lentil soup for supper and bacon and eggs for breakfast with fried bread...back into the swing of things.  I heard a car horn outside and thought it was the bread van but I was was the animal feed lorry.  Beyser had also got it wrong but at least I found out who delivered the eggs and the rest of the goodies yesterday so I thanked her, we had a little chat partly because she only speaks Turkish but we get there.  I went back home, walked the garden,  fried off the bacon and an onion and got the soup underway, cooked breakfast and as I was sitting down to it I heard the van so left the food and went down to fetch new bread and more eggs.  Most of the ladies were there so we had a few hugs and on the way back I was invited with the rest of the ladies for coffee at the house that I visited yesterday morning.  I went back and finished my breakfast and headed down the road and met up with the other ladies.  Boots off, coffee, biscuits, oven roasted pumpkin and cheese puffs so I settled for the coffee.  No matter what they do to it I really can't take to the pumpkin.  The television was on so I had a diversion from the hour of Turkish banter.  Some of it was translated for my benefit but basically I get most of the body language.

At one we headed home and it had just started to snow and it's been gently falling all day and still is.  I did have one request for help.  Beyser had lost the key to her daughter-in law's padlock on the gate and I was presented with a pair of pliers to break through the chain...and no could do so I told them to hang on and I went back for my bot cutters and no messing around...I was through in quicksticks and they thing there is very little that beats me.  If only they knew. ;) ;)

It's been a lazy afternoon.  I did fill up the log carrier and topped up where necessary, both fires are going well and it really does make a difference with the kitchen one helping out.  The snow is still coming down, I blended the soul and had it with toast, washed everything up and tidied the kitchen so that it's ready for tomorrow.  I still have another couple of portions of the soup left so I shall have to think of something else to put in it like that lingering spicy sausage...two birds with one stone.  Curtains all closed, I've shut up shop for the night.  I'll see how much snow there is in the morning and discover my work load.  LN....Gives me something to do....LN
Posted by: tcinbg, January 10, 2019, 4:48pm; Reply: 10
That is something new for my recipe book.  ;D ;D ;D

"I blended the soul and had it with toast"

I can just hear you saying it, what a smart arse!
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 10, 2019, 6:47pm; Reply: 11
Thursday 10th January

That made me smile so much...I'm not going to edit it.  So I was cold last night, the house is at last warming up, it was much excitement can a girl withstand?

As for the rest of the weather, not only was it snowing hard last night but there was a thunderstorm going on and we had the same thing tonight.  It was sheet lightening fortunately and was right over head and going well in fact that it's taken up to now to get the internet back on for the update.  What a day...last night the weather got warmer and it started to rain but it didn't clear the snow and this morning the temperature was hovering around freezing, only got up to four degrees and nothing much to write home about.

I cooked breakfast and relished all of it...more or less a whole packet of bacon, one of Beyser's really yellow yolked eggs with a slice of fried bread.  Today has been about keeping fires going, clearing terraces and the yard and getting more wood in.  Having lit the little one in the kitchen I've decided to use up the old wood that's stored in the bedroom of the little house.  It's been there for a few years and it's been laziness on my part that it's still there but at least I've made a start on it.  

After working outside, I made another nest of the sofa and went back to Game of Thrones on the Kindle and strangely enough I'm more or less in parallel with the showings on the  TV when I was in UK at my daughter's house for Christmas so it's all pretty fresh.  As I said before, I rocketed through the books first time round and this time I'm taking it slower and really finding the bits that I missed.  I really shouldn't do it a box of chocolates and put them by my side when I'm reading...the chicken that I got out for supper is now in the freezer and will be made into soup tomorrow.  Some of the soup is out for the birds with a few slices of stale bread but there weren't many takers, maybe the dogs or cats will find it overnight.

The thunder and lightening has started up again so I'm going to bring this to a close.  I better check it for typos though...but there again does bring a smile to some people.  ;) ;)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 11, 2019, 3:49pm; Reply: 12
Friday 11th January

Slept really well last night...woke up at five thirty, nestled down again and eventually came to around seven twenty...good enough for me.  I got the little fire going first, the big one needed more attention but by eight both were chugging away and the temperature was going up.  The house did maintain fifteen overnight so at least the house is warming up and it wasn't so cold as it has been overnight and looking at the weather, it should be around minus three tonight.

It's been a damp, miserable day, we had one hint of sun which lasted all of about an hour but there was little warmth in it.  This morning I realised that I needed to buy my road tax for the cars and tried it out on line.  What a simple process, both records printed and laminated and ready for the Beast and the Nipper....they are now legal.  The emails are filed so back ups at every turn....we are moving into the digital age in BG. ;) ;)

The only other activity today was to keep the home fires burning and the log basket in house and in the conservatory topped up.  I've stuck to my resolution...all the wood has come from the little house not from the's more fiddly but it's clearing the little house out.  Come spring there's work to be done.  The chicken that I took out of the freezer didn't get made into soup, it's in the oven with roasted potatoes and onions but mayo.  I had written out a shopping list and intended going in 'somewhere' either Djebel or Kardjali but the plan never got off the was that sort of weather.  I did have one visit from my coffee neighbour delivering some fluffy pancakes in memory of a passing and she hinted about going into Djebel but I didn't take the bait.  If I decide to go in tomorrow I'll let her know.  The lack of photos is due to the fact that there was nothing much to photograph.  The birds haven't touched the food that I put out yesterday and the garden has been pretty flightless.....maybe try to get some fat-balls for them tomorrow if I go into town. LN...Supper, book, 'tele' and bed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 12, 2019, 4:44pm; Reply: 13
Saturday 12th January

Again it was a five thirty start so I rolled over and went back off again.  I toyed with the idea of starting the fire but that would have meant getting out of bed and I was snuggled down, warm and cosy so why would I?  At seven thirty I attempted to start the fire and it seemed that there was a very dense log left from last night and it was a hell of a job to got it going.  I teased it with firelighters and kind ling and it was red but there was no oommmph to it so I put it down to the weather.  It was damp outside, very little wind and everything just seemed to be hanging and it must have taken about an hour to get the first hot water coursing through the radiators.  It was all poke and prod, more kindling, another firelighter and this was interspersed with the sofa and Game of Thrones.  Eventually success!!

Toast for breakfast after I lobbed the rest of the soup over the hillside with the remains of the bread from the bird dish.  A cat did have a nibble and it must have been really hungry but then it sauntered away to find better pickings.  I dressed for Kardjali, sat on the sofa in front of my now roaring fire and made my mind up not to go.  After all you only spend money.  At twelve my new found coffee friend that I'd discussed the possibility of going to Kardjali with arrived and asked if we were still going.  I hummed and harred, said it was cold and damp and then asked her if she really wanted to go and she replied that she did.  She lives there and only comes down to see her mother at the weekend and she had things to take to the apartment and things to bring back so I 'painted the Beast yellow' and became a taxi...

She arrived at twelve thirty ready for the off, I was still messing around removing the old road tax disk with hot soapy water and putting the newly acquired laminated receipt in the Beast.  While I was at it I also sorted out the Nipper and started it for the first time since I'd got back and sweet purred.  Off we set and she has a habit of speaking Bulgarian with all the correct tenses and gabbling so I have trouble understanding her sometimes.  She said that she wanted to go to Billa but eventually I worked out that there was another one in a different part of town but she forgot to tell me the turning to take and then screeched that it was on the other road.  She doesn't drive so I carried on and turned in Lidl car park and off we set again explaining that I needed a little more notice f we were manoeuvring off the straight and narrow.  We found Billa and I parked up but it was more like a corner shop. and I bought a few things in there.  I'd sussed out that this was her neck of the woods and we ended up at her apartment where she left some stuff and picked up a couple of bags of things for her mother so back in the Beast, over to Kaufland and it was heaving so we didn't linger long, Lidl for a few things and she stayed in the Beast while I whizzed round for bacon and butter and then on to Djebel and we stopped for a coffee.  

Onwards and upwards and I dropped her off and her mother was pleased to see her.  She's such a sweet lady and one of my regular gang and the parting shot from the daughter was that I should go down for coffee tomorrow.  I said that I wouldn't....I had things to do...but we'll go out again but I don't want to do it every weekend...Saturday in town is not pleasant...too many people in the stores.  Fire was still going so I've banked it up.  The temperature has dropped dramatically and it's supposed to me many minuses tonight.  I've put more insoles into my slippers to keep my tootsies warm and at long last have put a new battery in the clock on the wall so that I get the right time now not an approximation as before.    I'm going downstairs now to settle in for the night...back to the next G of T book.  LN....I'm on stoking duty....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 13, 2019, 4:54pm; Reply: 14
Sunday 13th January

It was another cold night last night and a white and wintry start to the day.  Usual morning tasks, the fire being the main one even though I was going out for the day....I'm still warming the building up.  I'd phoned the Librarian last night to see if she wanted to come out to play today since it was her birthday.  She'd said yes and I was having to leave around eleven twenty so I had time to fill.  I'd invited Ms D or S along but the little one was fancying a pyjama day so we left it for a later decision.

I did a wash load and that's now dry having put it on the airer in the bathroom while I was out and it waiting to be put away.  I had enough logs in and didn't need to get more so I moved the Beast nearer the house so that I could get the Nipper out easily...the roads were clear so I didn't need the four by four facility.  I had my first shower since I've been back and washed my hair and rushed upstairs to the bathroom with the radiator, got dried off, dried my hair and put on clothes for style and warmth.  As I was leaving Remsier's grand-daughter arrived with a couple of fluffy pancakes in memory of someone's passing so I opened up the house and put them in the kitchen.  

I'd heard nothing from Ms D of S so carried on to the meeting point in the Librarian's village.  She was sitting in her car and soon legged it over to mine and off we set for the fish restaurant and guess was closed for the day.  I tried to text Ms D of S to tell her that the venue had changed but the text didn't go through...the provider had scrapped my balance because I didn't make a top up in time.  This week I'm keeping the number and porting it to another provider on a contract.  They should have no right to delete balances.  So off to the new restaurant, we both settled for thick soup and cheesy chips so it was a very cheap lunch.  I settled the bill and we headed out to walk round the lake, well not all the way round and noticed how much ice there was on the lake and it was obvious that there'd been a wedding, there were white love hearts even floating on the lake.  Unfortunately my camera battery packed up otherwise we would have more.  

Back to the pick up point which now became the drop off point and off I set to visit D of S, Ms D of S and the little one.  I sat with a coffee, the little one is adorable but is none stop...I was tired watching her.  Home for five thirty, fire started and it didn't take long before the hot water was  belting round the system.  I caught the Masters Snooker and my hero is on the table tomorrow so that's my Monday sorted.  The temperature has dropped again and is destined for minus seven according to the internet, the house is up to eighteen degrees and that is good for there being no fire for the afternoon but the sun has been secondary heating system.  No supper for me...I'll manage until breakfast.  LN....A very relaxing day with friends....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 14, 2019, 5:01pm; Reply: 15
Monday 14th January

First awakening at three thirty so it was definitely a roll-over and managed to stay until six thirty...very reasonable.  It was a cold start and lots of wind belting around but the sky was blue so I thought it was a good day to get the wood burner pipes out and give them a clean.  I'd intended doing it before I went to the UK but time ran out as it sometimes does so now was as good time as any.

They were dismantled by six forty five, taken out into the conservatory and cleaned,  I spring cleaned the rest of the wood burner and it was all back together again by seven twenty and I stopped to have a coffee along the way.  It's a job that you think is going to take a long time and to me it's a bit like ironing.....not that I do any of it now.  The hardest part is getting the ironing board out and plugging in the iron.  I used to hate Sunday nights when the children were small and the uniforms had to be done plus ex's shirts.  So now that I'd made a start on housework there was no stopping me until twelve when I sat down to a late breakfast of bacon and egg.  Sweet and sour pork with onions and carrots in the new slow cooker,  I cleaned and swept the conservatory and shook out the mats, did the same with the kitchen and gave it a tidy, another load of washing into the machine but this time on the radiator even though there was no fire, so no heat.  Got rid of the burning waste and had a bonfire, walked the was such a lovely day apart from the wind which kept the temperature low despite the sun.

After breakfast I lay on the sofa with my Kindle and by one the eyes had gone southwards but I was awakened from slumber by two of my local ladies arriving with gifts.  I think I'm going to have to stop Christmas presents to them...they want to give something in return and I wish they didn't.  Of course I shouldn't deprive them of the pleasure of giving but I know how little their pensions are.  I had biscuits, dishes for the kitchen, chocolates, a drinking cup, fruit and a jar of coffee and it was Gold Blend.  I went into the lounge to get a box of chocolates and one of the ladies had not really been in the house before so followed me in and looked at everything.  From the lounge you can see my downstairs bedroom so she made a bee-line for that and when she looked at the quilt I told her that it was feathers from the duck and she was amazed...I don't think she'd seen or felt one before.  So off they were going and I explained that the new conservatory made the kitchen much warmer and she hadn't noticed the kitchen so she was back in the house to have a proper look and then into the bathroom and there were a lot of ooos and aarhhs.  I think she liked it.

Eventually she left and no sooner had I got back on the sofa with a book when I had another visitor wishing me a Happy New Year.  We had coffee, I mentioned that I had a problem with the bathroom light fitting so I was whisked in the car into Djebel to try to get a new one.  Nothing doing locally so we carried on to Kardjali, new one bought for twenty lev, straight back home, fitted and now I have lights in the upstairs bathroom again.  Big thanks.

Fire is going, supper is ready and I'm having pasta so nice and quick and it looks like there's going to be enough for tomorrow.  It does take time to get back into the routine.  LN...Same weather please tomorrow.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 15, 2019, 5:06pm; Reply: 16
Tuesday 15th January

Woke up this morning at one minute to internal clock appears to be a little fast but for one minute...I shan't complain about it.  Normal morning routine, ashes out, fire lit and I wasn't too sure if we were going to have a sunny day or not but I needed have worried about it.  I knew that I was about to hatch a severe lungs felt tight, my head was a little swimmy  so I got straight down to the hot lemon, honey, pine tree tip syrup and I've been bouncing off the walls ever since.  A huge sugar rush but the aspirin dulled it down enough for me to go to sleep for about three hours on the sofa.  More lemon on the awakening, temperature in the lounge was up to thirty two so that sun did me OK and the fact that the fire had expired during the same time that I had didn't present a huge problem.

So I'd just come back to the land of the living when Haciber arrived at the door bringing me a wafer bar and some chocolates from her daughter who'd arrived from Turkey.  I must give her the name of the chocolates that I really adore and maybe she can do me a favour obviously for cash...I wouldn't expect anything different.  Now Haciber related that her daughter had gone to Kardjali so sort out some central heating for her for her cottage.  The idea's great but I think she needs to get her a simple idiot's guide.  No heating, UPS recommended two hours and then it's useless and if the electricity went off like it did a few years ago for twelve days...she'll need a back up.  There again...look what I've started....who'd have thought it.  The internet was down this afternoon and probably down to the howling wind.  A phone call to my provider and it was back within the hour. so hopefully will stay up.

Supper is still the same stuff from the slow cooker.  I turned it on at three this afternoon, added potatoes so I can dine as and when.  My appetite is not what it should be...colds just bung you up but I shall nestle down in front of the fire once I've finished the update.  It's not so bad tonight..only supposed to go down to minus six...positively tropical.   ;) ;)  So nothing on for tomorrow....I'm self medicating and nursing.  LN....Supper and a book at bedtime....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 16, 2019, 4:23pm; Reply: 17
Wednesday 16th January

It's flu is raging and I'm content to walk around with a toilet roll in one hand and a black bag in the other.  The sneezes are earth shattering and my poor brain, for what it's worth is getting bashed about something chronic.

I went to bed last night at the normal time even though I'd slept most of the afternoon and true to form I was awake at three thirty and dozed with the light on until six when I greeted the world.  I went back to bed with more lemon and honey mixture dosing myself up with more aspirin and watched the sun come up from my bed and realised that there would be no need to light the fire, we were in for a good day.

I ran a that at eight thirty and lingered there with my Kindle until nine thirty dried off and then took up position on the sofa downstairs and I've been there most of the day sleeping on and off.  I'm not particularly susceptible to colds but according to Guljan who phoned me from Germany this afternoon...'it is a virus, everybody in Bulgaria has it' and I certainly don;t like to be exception to the rule.

So that's me, this is finished, I think I'll survive without resorting to antibiotics which is the way of a Bulgarian.  It just needs to run it's course but I'm hoping it's quick about it.  LN....The sofa calls.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 17, 2019, 4:12pm; Reply: 18
Thursday 17th January

So I managed on the sofa until ten and off to bed, slept until one thirty and had the most amazing coughing fit, gasping for breath and all sorts.  Manage to get off again until three thirty and then dog-dozed with the light on again until six thirty.  The morning got me out of bed.  There were some superb colours in the sky that need to be captured.  I wasn't exactly leaping around the estate but limping and holding of for dear life.  I jest but could this be man-flu now that I'm living on my own....maybe I'm entitled to it. :-/ :-/

I coaxed the fire into being and headed back to bed.  It promised to be a good day weather-wise and it didn't disappoint.  I only had one job to do and I was putting it off but eventually I succumbed.  Two log carriers filled up and delivered into the porch and I've kept the fire more or less ticking along all day.  I did managed to wash up from the last few days...emptied the remains of the slow cooker over the wall and the fat ginger one was on it in a flash and the pot is  now ready for my next concoction.  I've given up on the aspirin, I didn't eat until three this afternoon when I dug out some smoked cheese and some rice crisps.  I needed something with flavour.  

Hoping for a better night tonight....I haven't slept so much during the day but I'm tired of FB, email, Soda Crush and Sudoku.   LN....Please make me well again soon.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 18, 2019, 4:38pm; Reply: 19
Friday 18th January

So bed by ten thirty and woke up at one thirty and I think I was asleep, not sure, I was playing pac-man with the bad germs in my system and dreaming that I was eating them all up.  I didn't managed to get back to sleep again until four and was awake at seven...not the good night I was hoping for.  I did feel better today though, coughing better as my mother would say but didn't feel like anything to eat, settled for coffee and went back to the sofa after I'd finished my morning chores.  Wood into the house as I walked back from gathering a couple of screw drivers from the little house.

I have a leak from the water system in the downstairs toilet, not gushing but the mat was always damp when you went to the loo.  I'd identified that it was one of the seals so turned off the supply to the toilet, emptied the cistern, and noticed that the seal had not been put in correctly when Bekir had made the last repair to the plumbing.  So I unscrewed it, centred the seal, screwed it back up and still leaks but ever so slightly so on Monday I'll get a couple from the hardware shop taking in the original so there's no mistaking the one that I want.  I have a new skill to add to my C.V.  I did put a dish under the leak so that it's contained...the mat and floor is dry.  I did have a visitor today bearing gifts....home made bread and a orange drink and apparently it was from her mother.  I excused the fact that I didn't ask her in by telling her that I had 'grip' so was infected and she soon ran away.  I went back to my desk,gave myself a manicure and painted my nails.  I am back..well most of me.

I made a couple of phone calls to the UK this afternoon to catch up with the news and settled in to watch the snooker.  I think my hero is playing on Saturday afternoon so that's my Saturday sorted then. The fire's going well even though I didn't light it until four thirty, it's been sunny but cloudy from lunchtime onwards but the house is ticking over at twenty four as we speak,  That's enough for me.  No photos...I was too busy being the maintenance person to the estate and I've been chewed off for saying man flu...the new phrase is 'person flu'.  I'll remember it for next time,  LN...Fire stoking..LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 19, 2019, 5:34pm; Reply: 20
Saturday 19th January

Another sleepless night unfortunately, three thirty found me reading and skipping over certain chapters of Game of Thrones on the Kindle to go with the characters I know not the ones that just drift in from various island groups.  Now I'm getting selective,  I kept going until five when I turned the light off and got my head down again and it was just before seven when I surfaced for the second time to a beautiful sunrise with nature coming up with a beautiful colour palette.  Snapped for a while, tried to get a few of the woodpecker but it was really flitting around but managed on just as it was leaving the Acacia half way down the garden...and at some speed.

I'd kept the fire going all night since I was up and active so I emptied the ash can and had a very lazy morning after that.  I put the computer on upstairs and watched breakfast time and then realised what a waste of time it was so put the machine to bed.  I've not eater very well for a few days now.  Everything tasted the same that's if I could taste anything at all with this stupid cold and the head's OK now but the coughing just comes on in spasms and it's quite tiring.  So I sliced up a couple of onions with the intention of making onion soup but then it got a little more complicated.  I fried them off in butter, added bacon, a tin of baked beans, a couple of OXO cubes and some water and let if stew very gently.  I had onion soup but not as you know it.  It tasted OK and at least I could taste it but it left me with indigestion...jut too heavy for a  hardly used stomach.

On tot he sofa by twelve, slept between more chapters on my Kindle and I was ready for three thirty for the start of the snooker match.  Ronnie was playing Ding and the first three games flew by but then it all seemed to go pear shaped for him and from a four love match it suddenly turned into a four three match and I'd lost interest at this point.  Anyway I stuck with it but managed to get chicken wings, potatoes and onions into the oven, two loads of logs in and the fire banked up while he sorted himself out and I watched the last frame demolishing the last of my Cadbury Wholenut chocolate from the UK.  He fortunately without me hanging on to his every attempt at potting balls....he came through.

Supper won't be ready until eight so at least my lunch should have gone down and I'll sleep with a full tummy so hopefully...I shall be weighed down.  Finals day tomorrow so another afternoon in front of the computer.  LN....And relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 20, 2019, 6:16pm; Reply: 21
Sunday 20th January

Well an even stranger one last night.  I fell asleep on the sofa in front of the fire and woke up at one thirty and full of the joys…..not an ounce of sleep in me.  I’d watched the snooker to see who would be in the final with my ‘looks to be departed hero after today’s efforts’ but the internet had been playing up…so hence the sofa with the tablet for a few games.  I’d made it to bet and turned out the light ready to settle down but decided to check up who’d managed to get the second final place and instead of turning it off immediately I carried on until four thirty.  Straight to sleep and it was seven thirty when the great awakening occurred but I shouldn’t have bothered…it was raining, cold and damp and it’s remained that way all day. As I woke up I thought it was Monday and was cancelling my planed day in Kardjali, then brain power kicked in and I remembered that Sunday normally follows Saturday…silly me.  As for the internet,  I think my provider has too many new recruits without the infrastructure in place it’s been like a bride’s nightie….very frustrating and I’ve just had the same problem.

Lazy day, yesterday’s soup went into the slow cooker with the uneaten chicken wings from last night, doused liberally with curry powder and they’ve provided a delicious supper.  I was invited this morning to a mekitzi pancake party at Zelinger’s house, she was having visitors that she wanted me to meet and I had to refuse…I still feel bug laden.  I’d settled back into my computer and tracking down a few more relatives and noticed that there were two strange people in my garden so I went down stairs and they were with my coffee lady from the bottom of the village.  These were Zelinger’s guest clutching pancakes.  I went to the door, explained that I would prefer that they didn’t come in but they weren’t taking no for an answer and wanted the conducted tour and it’s difficult to stop some forces when in action especially when you don’t really feel up to it.  They loved the house and the big windows, the natural wood of the staircase and the general layout and off they went after about twenty minutes.  Not my fault if they catch it…they were warned,

Ronnie is getting thrashed and I think he might give up playing now, eight my time and I’m hoping that the internet is up so that I can post this and I’ve had success on the relative front and I think I’ve found the parents of my ‘many time great’ that was stopping me from going even further back.  Still cold and miserable…and if the weather is like this tomorrow….I’m staying home.  LN….I want snow and cold…LN
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