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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  AUGUST 2019
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 1, 2019, 4:33pm
Thursday 1st August

Not a bad morning to wake up to but it was a very hot and steamy night and that was due to the temperature.  I meandered through the morning with pickies, garden walks and old bread over the wall for the animals and scrambled eggs on toast for me.  A little morning television and an extra cup of coffee and I went to get washed looking forward to my hot water and guess what....there was no water to the village.  The kitchen didn't get tidied, the toilet got 'flushed' with water from the outside water collection barrel and I got a wash with bottled drinking water.  I met my painter when I went out to get the water from the barrel and he said that he'd already reported it and they were coming out to fix it.  My Avatar was out with her electric mower taking down the grass so I said that she could do mine when she'd finished hers and that went down like a lead balloon and then she noticed the smile on my face.

I took the Nipper out of the drive and went to pick up the boy and we headed into Kardjali.  I think the world and all it's friends were on the road this morning and what normally takes me around twenty minutes was more like thirty.  I think the Romanians were giving Greece back to the natives.  I managed to find a parking place at the pool, delivered the boy to the instructor and moved a bench into the shade to do some reading.  He was happy, I was happy but at twelve he was ready to get change.  I think a lot of his friends hadn't turned up this morning and he was eager to be away.  While he was getting changed I took some pickies of the old communist structures which are obviously no longer in use and spoke with the old pool attendant who told me how good it was when it was all up and running.  It appears he's had the job for all that time even managing to say thank to me in Russian which I managed to recognise much to his surprise.

Into the Nipper and Djebel via Lidl and we happened to bump into the boys grandmother that I know quite well,  As with most young lads they don't like being fussed over and we made out escape to the car avoiding the coffee that was offered at her apartment.  I made him get out of the car and give her a proper before letting him get back to his chocolate donut....... ;)

Dropped him home and I carried on unpacked the shopping from the car and Avatar was still doing the grass but the village had had a shower and the machine kept getting clogged up.  I suggested that she pack up but she was determined and eventually she had to...the thunder started and the rain really came down.  I settled on the sofa and had an afternoon nap disguised as time with my Kindle and I've not made it to the Pilates class.  The weather has cheered up a little, I've not managed to sort out the moles...that's now tomorrow morning's job weather permitting.  The water is back on and the boiler switched on for hot water, it's too late to cook the chicken I bought from Lidl so I'll be microwaving a jacket instead.  Nothing to do good and no where to be and people to see.  LN...I like days like that.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 2, 2019, 4:02pm; Reply: 1
Friday 2nd August

What a storm last night.  The water came on, the electricity went off and it was a good job I'd got the blog done early.  I don't think there's a danger of it going off was dull as ditch water this morning, mist hanging everywhere and I couldn't even see the bottom of the garden.  It took until about ten thirty before  ti cleared and I did a load of washing anticipating that it would clear up eventually and I was right.

Toast for breakfast with spread cheese, I got the Marmite out and then changed my mind, cleared the kitchen since I couldn't do it last night by candlelight .  It eventually came on at around nine thirty and I was in bed by eleven remembering to blow out the candles before I closed up last night.  I pegged out the washing, cleared some of the weeds from the pots, cut back the box that had been attacked by something and hooked the bougainvillea up to the garden umbrella.  The white one is OK but the purple one has got very leggy inside so I'm giving it a chance to make a name for itself and put on new leaves.  Next job was to head down to the mole hills at the bottom of the lawn armed with the garden spade, the gas lighter and one of the mole smokes.  I wasn't quite sure how they would react so I dug a hole and found the tunnels, lit the firework that fizzed like futy so I dropped it in the hole and covered it up as per instructions.  Maybe it was a bit too damp today to be doing it, I tried a second one in one of the other holes and we'll see tomorrow if it or they are still at it.

It was pretty warm out there so I've been reading all afternoon but no sleep for me and feel OK.  The chicken went in at five thirty, I dug up carrots and beetroot from the garden and they followed the chicken into the oven with potatoes and onions.  There's enough for my Avatar and it should be ready by seven thirty.  I was surprised how big the one carrot was...the others are two bitesize.  Lovely evening but I've noticed that the grass has taken on some growth after the rain of the last week....roll on summer and days of sun but I suppose the upside is that I don't have to water the garden....only weed it.  LN...Supper needs attention...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 3, 2019, 6:00pm; Reply: 2
Saturday 3rd August

Early to bed and yet again. I left the door to the balcony open it was a hot steamy night again but at three thirty this morning I was running around closing windows and doors, there was another mother of all storms that was directly overhead so better safe than sorry.  Lashing rain and pretty loud thunder and big flashes of fork lightning and I felt happier when the door was closed.  It didn't take me long to get back off again and I was awake around seven. There was no sitting out on the balcony, the bench was sodden yet there was the pale glimmer of the sun coming up.  It was a warm old morning yet again and no sooner the shower than the perspiration flowing so I didn't rush anywhere.  The big mole volcanoes seem to have stayed down, I've got a couple of smaller ones around ten feet away and on the other lawn there are a couple that have yet to be tackled.  I took one of the smokes over to Avatar but it's just been too wet to do anything.  I caught her in the middle of making cheesy filo banitchka so I put the smoke down int he dono't want to get any contamination.  

I got back and had toast for breakfast followed by half a melon and as Avatar arrived at my door with my portion of her morning work that became my brunch so it was a running buffet today.  I settled on the sofa with the Kindle for a while, went upstairs to make the bed and the tomato fairy has been and gone.  The tomatoes were left in the porch and I don't know who the benefactor is...I'll make enquiries tomorrow...nobody has been out and about today.

And so the thunder rumbled round, strong winds blew up and then it subsided and I thought it had blown over....and then it doubled back.  Exactly the same but then suddenly it came with a rush.  Really loud bangs, gale force winds, lashing rain, pots flying everywhere, flowers leaving the stalks and gigantic hail stones.  There'd been stories of car windows being smashed in Sofia due to the hail and I had visions of moving the Nipper under the tree in the yard instead of it being out in the open but if the tree was struck....things that go through your mind.  The hail was large and there was so much of one point the garden was white over and then the electricity went off.  I settled into Candy Crush on the sofa, realised I had to weather the storm so to speak so did nothing.  The electricity came on...went off...came on again and now it seems a little more stable.  It's been up for half an hour so I shan't linger long over this.  There's more lightening now...I'm supposing that Greece didn't want it so it's sent it back.

Cold chicken for supper so not a lot of effort will be involved.  LN...Let's see what tonight brings....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 4, 2019, 5:26pm; Reply: 3
Sunday 4th August

It was a dull old day, the mountains were obscured by the cloud base and the mist with a very grey sky.  The electricity stayed up last night but it was a different story this morning.  I'd gone to bed with the lightning flashing over the Greek mountains but not too many bangs and crashes.  I woke up at four, hadn't got a lot of sleep in me so read the Kindle until five and then managed to sleep until seven and eventually went down to make coffee and only then noticed that the electricity was off.  I carried on reading the Joanna Cornwall - Kay Scarpetta book , washed and dressed, the boiler was up to temperature so it hadn't been off long and my task was to get fresh bread from the van.

The weather was clearing up at this point and it looked a perfect day for getting the strimmer out and maybe the electric mower to take off the long stalks of the plantains and then I remembered that there was no to plan B.  I came back from the bread van with fresh bread and eggs and the lack of power was not the entire village.  This is what happened when it was off for eleven days a few years back but in winter...some houses had it and others didn't.  Beyser did, Avatar didn't and there was no telling who had or hadn't...must be the different supply cables.

So for breakfast I used up the old eggs in an omelette with cheese portions to add flavour and then back to the sofa to continue with the book.  The electricity didn't come on again until three this afternoon and promptly went off again until four so I'm now into the next book except that I don't appear to be reading them in sequence.  I'll have to find out the original order listing....there are about eighteen books in the series.  I've read them before but with most series, you can get stuck in to them without actually reading them thoroughly...and it has been years since I read them for the first time.

Two lazy to do anything for the rest of the day...the ground is pretty damp under foot so another day of sun if that's possible will make the grass easier to mow.  Eight my time more or less and so far so good.  It's a cloudy but calm night and fingers crossed that it stays that way.  Kardjali tomorrow with the Librarian and if the rain stays away we'll head  to my favourite restaurant/pool above the town and get some sun.  I did catch a programme on the internet about the hotel in the rain forest canopy above Quito in Ecuador.  The owner bought goodness knows how many hectares, saved the rain forest from the logger and built a glass hotel.  He's employed local people and an environmental specialist that went to work on a four month contract and is still there eight years later keeping track of the wild life and what has been saved because the rain forest has been retained.

Only a couple of pickies of the sunset...and I thought there wasn't going to be one.  LN....A very lazy day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 5, 2019, 5:31pm; Reply: 4
Monday 5th August

Midnight to bed and not a sound from the pavement and that's because we don't have any....only grass verges for the cows.  I read for a while, woke up at six and I was before the sun and eventually the lazy thing appeared, I took a couple of pickies and then it was up for the day except for a gathering of clouds around lunch time which fortunately dissipated leaving us with mountain to mountain blue sky.

I washed up from yesterday and make fried tomatoes on toast for breakfast and cleared all those pans away and I have a clean frying pan for tomorrow morning.  I shan't be cooking tonight...I had a late lunch out and that will suffice. So the Librarian arrived at nine and we set off in the Nipper at nine thirty using the bumpy back lane to get on to the Greek Road.  It takes around twelve kilometres off the Djebel route.  Unfortunately I'd forgotten about the torrential downpours that removes the silt from between the stones so as I said...a bumpy ride.  We parked up in our usual central car park, headed for the cheapy shops and I found a pair of trousers for the Librarian for silly money and they fit Cinderella.  Back to the central car park to offload the loot, shoe shop, another two cheapy shops and I bought a brand new swim suit and our work was done, over to my favourite swimming pool and only two couples were there.  We spread ourselves over four sunbeds and two table, some in shade and others in full sun and headed for the pool.  It was a little cold to get in but once it it was brilliant and I must have spent about half an hour counting how many stokes it took to do a length and trying to beat it next time.  A little sun, a little shade, more sun, more swimming, more counting, changed for two thirty and Kaufland for three.  We intended to have lunch from the outside stand but they had nothing left so we went to Lidl, topped up on a few essentials including jam donuts and over to my fuel stop but this time for a chicken and a cheese burger, fries and coke...six lev for the two meal deals.  

We came back via the back lane, I made coffee and we sat and had the donuts with it and off she went.  I've done a load of washing and it's pegged out and had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish.  Not sure what tomorrow is going to bring fun in the sun.  The grass is desperately in need of mowing but I'm sure it will keep.  I think I've just acquired a homing pigeon...and I think I've spotted number 24601 on its leg....I'll call it Jean.  LN...The grass is a problem for another day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 6, 2019, 6:38pm; Reply: 5
Tuesday 6th August

Another silly night.  I woke at two this morning and was reading until four.  There was a couple of dogs barking their little heads off but obviously not enough for the heads to become separated from their little bodies and I need to find out who owns the noisy blighters.  Eventually I was tired enough to get back off but six seemed very quick to come round.  Now i appreciate that 'something' must have set them off and in a rural area 'something' could have been 'anything' but I blame the owners.  There have been a few guns going off this evening so maybe that'something' might have been sorted.  So at seven this morning I thought about getting the grass cutter out but fortunately I convinced myself that it would be too wet under foot and the blades would struggle with it and after another internal dialogue this evening where sleep overcame me yet still remains uncut.

More tomatoes on toast for breakfast...I must get the juicer out to use them up.  My own tomatoes remain on the plants while I use up the donated ones but village...I don't want anymore of yours...just grow less.  Fortunately the neighbours know that I don't like cucumbers and most things coloured green so there are not many footsteps heading to my door.  Arrangements were made last night that the girls were out to play today so I showered and shampooed and was ready when the Librarian arrived at just after eleven.  We headed for Djebel and made the agreed deadline at twelve in Djebel and with the Nipper fully laden we set off for Kardjali.  We were off to a restaurant that three of us didn't know and on the way we were all contributing to where we could park but not knowing where the restaurant was I suggested that we got to Kardjali and we took  it from thee.  It all became clear as we drove the high street, I took a side road and found a place to park immediately and we crossed the road and found the Turkish restaurant.  An English speaking guy was assigned to our table not realising that we could manage a menu in Bulgarian and he apologised at his waiter's skills as cutlery clattered around us.  The food was enjoyable and worth another visit at a date yet to be agreed, reasonable value and the service good in such a busy restaurant.

All back in the Nipper, two dropped off in Djebel and the Librarian an myself stopped off at the local supermarket and I needed to buy a bottle of coke, there must have been lots of salt in the meal which I hadn't noticed as it went down but needed attention when I got home.  We sat around at at four the Librarian set off for home, I got changed ready to tackle the  grass but lay on the bed supposedly for an hour until the heat went out of the sun but by the time I woke up, the sun had decided to get to bed until hopefully tomorrow.  The grass is on the list as a 'carried forward' on the blank page that is tomorrow.  No food for me, lunch is still lingering and it was better at going down than making it's way through.  I did take the camera with me but never had the opportunity to take it out today....promise I'll do better tomorrow.  I haven't see 24601 today...maybe its found its way home.  LN...Sleep could be sporadic tonight...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 7, 2019, 6:51pm; Reply: 6
Wednesday 7th August

So after my mega sleep yesterday afternoon, I didn't get to sleep until around two this morning and was awake at six and watched the sun come up.  Down for coffee and back to bed for internet, emails and scrolling through Facebook and looking at the holidays on offer.  I checked messenger and my student has sent a photo through of the blackboard and easel and the boxes that she wants to go with them and I delayed going out to the grass and throwing the lawnmower around,  I calculated the wood that's required for the boxes using a template of fifteen centimetres for the width of the plant but when that was done I could not delay my work for the day any longer.....Toast for breakfast with my second coffee and then it was out to the garden with a purpose.

I was outside by nine and started the grass but it was a little early.  The grass was wet and stuck to the blade so I carried on until I ran out of fuel and left the mower upside down in the sun with the empty box facing the sun.  I'd been out there for just over an hour and managed to do about a quarter of the grass but came in to give it a change to dry off and at this point the strimmer came into play.  I edged round the flower beds, cleared the bits where I hadn't used the mower because of the tree roots and cut the grass between the house and the front wall.  As I went out I noticed that there was a new mole hill starting on the bit that I'd just cut so I headed back to the house and fetched a mole smoke and the matches.....and I hope another one bites the dust.  There is another one starting up on the bank between the two lawns but that's a job for another day.  I finished the grass in front of my house and by now it was really warm out there so I put the mower underneath the tree and again emptied the box and dried it off in the sun.  I had another hour in the house and went out again and decided to tackle the weeds in the bottom left hand corner of the garden.  I've got some pretty nasty bushes growing by the wall and I've ousted them.  The  weeds have been lobbed over the wall for the sheep but every time I threw a weed over, they scattered...animals of little brains.  Next step is too put a wooden raised bed which will form a path behind the existing beds to make it easier to keep the area had just got very overgrown.  It was half three by the time so I had another hour in the house and then out again and I started on the little house grass.  I kept at it and had almost finished it by six and decided to leave the rest for tomorrow morning but then enthusiasm kicked in again...I went out at seven and finished it by seven thirty and my Fitbit has logged well over twenty thousand steps today...and I'm well and truly knacked.

I've showered, not sure if I want supper or not or just something to pick at, I'm about to head down to the kitchen to see what I can find.  Tomorrow I'm woodworking, bench mending and following the photo that my student sent me.  Wish me luck.  LN....Pickies tomorrow.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 8, 2019, 7:44pm; Reply: 7
Thursday 8th August

Lovely at six this morning and I beat the sun.  It was an amazing red sky and the shepherd's didn't have to take was up in the thirties and stayed that way.  Washed dressed and thought I'd take myself for a spin round the garden at seven thirty to admire my handy work from yesterday and as I looked over the low wall by the walnut I noticed water cascading down the bank about thirty meters from the wall.  I realised that if I phoned the waterboard I would have to really concentrate to explain so I took the easy option and phoned my painter and he was by my house about ten minutes later and we viewed the scene together.  He said the water company was aware of the problem so I left it alone.

Just after eight I went down to the bread van and followed my Avatar up the road, she'd jumped the queue down at the van and she invited me into the garden for a sit down.  As I sat she told me that the water company had sent the van with workers and a digger and it had made its way over the rough ground and when I got back I saw the van parked more or less next to the wall and the digger close to where the water was coming out.  I went down to have a few words with them and left them to it.  He'd mentioned that I should have a gate put into the wall and why wasn't there one already and I said that I didn't know that they had a pipe going across my garden.  The said that if they didn't find it they would have to come into the garden and carry on searching and that would mean the digger would be in and the more I thought about it, I suggested that they dig another channel outside the wall and relay the pipe. At this point there was total uproar saying how expensive it was and I countered with it would be expensive for me to rebuild two walls and re do the garden.  A figure was quoted as to how much it would cost and I said that it would be almost worth me paying half to change the run of the pipe that to knock down my walls and rebuild and then I walked away and carried on in the garden.

I answered a telephone call and noticed that the van was driving away, the hole was filled in be it very roughly and the digger went too.  Water was restored to the house even though my supply didn't come from this pipe and I've heard nothing since.  I don't know if they've taken my suggestion on board, found the leak or rerouted the supply to the lower village bypassing the pipe through my garden.  I'm now going to let sleeping dogs lie.  Half an hour later I was in the car to sort out my insurance for the Nipper so that all my ducks are in place for the MOT later this month.  My student's mum does my insurance at the shop and we arranged to go to Pilates this evening which was a laugh in itself.  There's lots of crunching coming from these old bones but I try...I really do.  Her husband met us when we finished at eight and we popped into the restaurant next door to the Pilates venue and rewarded ourselves with pizza.  Home for ten and I feel nicely tired tonight and am hoping for a good night.  LN...I'll keep you updated on the wall....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 9, 2019, 5:12pm; Reply: 8
Friday 9th August

What a good night's sleep last was seven when I woke up.  Coffee and bed to get the technology bits out of the way, down for my second cup and bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast.  Tidied the kitchen, my washing was still on the line from last night so nobody had taken a shine to my selection of goodies.  There was no sign of water on the hillside or waterboard transport so I'm assuming that they must have found or fixed the break in the pipe but nobody mentioned that yesterday.  I have water, the rest of my village have water and I've heard no rumblings from anyone else.

I was intending to go out there and work my little socks off but instead I settled down on the sofa with my book and finished it later this afternoon.  I was tempted and succumbed to a bag of chocolate toffees that I'd bought for the children's goody bag day at the weekend and Haciber delivered three pancakes and I handed over some of my chocolates.  I didn't feel so bad after that.  The pancakes have been put into the freezer...I was going to have them with lemon juice and sugar but my lemons were beyond redemption are now in the compost bin.  Haciber was round again at around five...she delivered a chocolate croissant and a chocolate milk drink, the croissant got eaten was my supper.

After I finished the book, I took the camera down to the buddliea bush and grabbed some shots of the humming moths and the butterflies that were flitting about.  The trouble is, the moths move very quickly and it's difficult to catch them but I think I did OK.  Since there's been very little activity today, I'm going to be out there early with the strimmer to finish what I started before my brain was addled at the thought of my walls coming down.  And now it's hose pipe at the ready....some of the zinnias are looking a little crispy.  LN....And then to find a new book....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 10, 2019, 6:53pm; Reply: 9
Saturday 10th August

It was a lovely start to the morning.  Since I didn't water the pots last night I decided to do it straightway so that they had a fair chance to get some sucked up before the sun really came into its own...and it certainly did.  I had the usual issues with hoses and connectors but eventually managed to get my curly yellow hose half way down the garden and the two other long ones in place so that I could even water the beds down the bottom of the garden.  Eventually I spotted the hydrangea that was hiding in the little garden shrub bed and left the hose nozzle wedged in the trunk of one of the trees in the adjacent bed and gave it a really long drink.  It's now rewarded me with flowers that are holding themselves proudly upwards but it might require the same again tomorrow.

I sat out on the terrace with a coffee and watched the mother feeding the little one in the nest below the eaves of the little house.  It was a surprise when eventually we had a family move it....I thought it had been abandoned but I have proof and lots of poo on the terrace under the nest and it is good for feeding the plants.  The birds were having a lovely time in the garden and suddenly there was a bang of a bird against one of the windows near the entrance hall and I responded with my usual's a window.  As I walked in to make my second coffee I saw a bird looking really shell shocked so I got my garden broom and gently nudged it and it seemed to come round and started blinking.  I nudged it again and it flew near the bench and into the shade so I left it to recover and about ten minutes later I went out to check and as I got near it it flew into one of the trees in the yard.  Down but certainly not out.

I made bacon, egg and fried bread for breakfast and had just finished when Haciber appeared with my first fluffy pancakes and I've had a steady stream of them all day.  I've also had meat given to me and now my freezer is neighbours are so generous.  Next the children arrived with their bags expecting sweets since it's their special time and then eldest boy who is one of my favourite characters asked if they could go and look at the garden.  I obviously said yes and there was an ...ooohhh as they spotted the swinging chair in the cherry tree and it was put to good use.  And then they were on to the next house.  My next visitor arrived by van and there was a lot of car horn hooting and his wife was at the gate with a bag containing meat which I thanked them for.  It's the first year since his mother died so hence the slaughtered animal.  

By the time the activity had ceased for a time....the sun was up and no way was I going out there with the strimmer so I settled down on the sofa with one of the new books I'd downloaded this morning from Amazon offers and made sure that I'd got them downloaded on to all my devices that I use for reading.  Then I heard the latch on the gate so I went out and was surprised to see one of the old ladies from the bottom square who had another packed of meat to give me.  It was very difficult to communicate because she only speaks Turkish but I managed to get her to sit down for a while and when I walked her to the gate she stopped and pulled some of the petals from the roses so I went and got the scissors and cut off several buds for her to take home with her as a little thank you.  Back inside and on to the sofa and I started to read the first one of the series of six and yes you've guessed it and at around three I had my next visitor, Zelinger's son with more pancakes closely followed by my neighbour from the garden next door who delivered more.  As for my work...just too warm and far too busy to settle into the mundane work of gardening.  

At four thirty I tuned in to the European Team Championship from Poland and it was good to see unfamiliar names in the English squad...we have more talent in the pipeline.  I watered the pots tonight....I'd done a little weeding this morning and moved things around and they obviously needed more love and attention than I'd given them all day.  No supper for me...I've had a couple of those pancakes and unfortunately the bag of sweets that I'd opened for the children was conveniently placed near the sofa as I settled down to the athletics.  LN....Let's see what tomorrow brings.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 11, 2019, 5:28pm; Reply: 10
Sunday 11th August

Really good sleep last night and I woke up with so much energy.  I've used most of it up and have relaxed watching the European Championship second day and what a calamity...we didn't take part in the last men's relay...some dingbat put the wrong name down on the entry of the shot putters to run in the relay race...oh yeah.

I was out in the garden by seven and took out the tools of the trade and breakfast had to wait.  I'd stripped the bed and pegged out the sheets by seven ten...I was really going for it this morning.  I firstly used the little electric mower to get rid of the grass from the drive where I would usually use the strimmer.  I got a bit pebble dashed and it was a good job I put the grass catcher on it otherwise I might have had to use a white stick and get myself a dog.  That done I moved down to the bottom of the garden and on to the area where I would normally use the strimmer.  The poor mower blade caught on the buried stones but it kept going and after I'd finished I went round picking up the stones and throwing them against the wall where I'd been putting the grass cuttings.  It should be easier next that some of the stones have been removed and it's made the shrubs growing against the wall stand out more but more shrubs needed.  I also attacked the mole hills....the beauties seem to be more active after the fireworks went down the holes and so I put down some mothballs that apparently deter them and now I'm also out of mothballs and mole smokes so a trip to Djebel is on the cards for tomorrow.  

I came in at ten and cooked the tomatoes and had some of them on toast and the rest are ready to go into a mince concoction if I get round to cooking tonight which at the moment doesn't really seem to be on the cards.  I went out again after breakfast and carried on with clearing using the strimmer this time for the areas that I knew the mower wouldn't manage and the garden fork to remove giant weeds.  When I'd had enough and was fairly satisfied with my efforts, the washing was rescued from the line when the wind got up and I settled into my new book.  Knowing that the athletics started at three thirty, I made up the bed so that I wouldn't have to do it later.  As for cooking,there were a couple of bags of sweets hanging about and much too near the computer where I was watching the television....  I guess the spag. bol. can wait for tomorrow.

Lovely gentle evening, the wind has dropped and as well as Djebel tomorrow I think I might be heading up to my favourite swimming pool. I've done enough in the garden and a day in the sun  and swimming will do me good.   LN.....No pickies tonight...I've been far too busy....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 12, 2019, 5:38pm; Reply: 11
Monday 12th August

Funny old day...and funny old night.  I woke up at two this morning with the light still on, the Kindle waiting patiently for my input so I put the kindle on the side table, switched off the light, took the glasses off and settled down for the second shift.  This stretched out until six, I put the Kindle on charge which I'd omitted to do at two and I was out of bed and down to the kitchen for my first coffee of the day.  I took it back upstairs, synchronised the Kindles with the iPad for the new book so whichever one I picked up I would be up to date.  As it happens, I didn't get round to read any of them.  I took the house waste to the bottom of the garden and had a bonfire and I'd carried the small hedge trimmers down with me, the topiary was about to get underway.  Before that though I attacked the land behind the bonfire bucket and dug out the weeds, the long grass and moved the planks that have been propped up against the wall for the last three years.  I didn't move them far though...they need to be taken up to the little house and chopped up for fire wood...a job for another day.

Let the topiary commence....the little wild plums were the first to be cut down to size and then I attacked the bigger balls.  They look good and they certainly amuse the neighbours...I'm the only one in the village that has the time, enthusiasm and crackpot ideas and carry them through to fruition.  I moved around the garden removing weeds, stray grass and trimmed back the bush honeysuckle that swamps everything else.  It needs more work though but that's for tomorrow.  I picked the tomatoes and washed them before bringing them inside and then decided that breakfast would be beans on toast but got waylaid by frying off an onion, adding the mince that I'd taken from the freezer yesterday, chilli flakes, the tomatoes that were also left over from yesterday and baked beans.  It's now in the fridge for tomorrow.  The rest of the beans  I heated up and had them on toast for breakfast and that's how it all started.

I checked my phone and there were three calls from the Librarian wondering what I was up to today.  She had some to do in Kardjali but couldn't be at mine until twelve so swimming might be on but we had to wait and see.  It depended how long the documents were going to take...and this is Bulgaria.  I'd filled my time with knocking in staples to hold the wire mesh on the front gate in place and I printing off her boarding cards for her holiday.  I got the Nipper out, she arrived at twelve twenty, stopped off in Djebel for more mole smokes and mothballs....I'll beat those garden bastards...eventually and carried on to Kardjali.  We parked centrally..went to the first document station which was dealt with a very authoritarian manner  and they've introduced an appointment system...obviously stressed out.  It took longer than expected and so we stopped for lunch and it was now getting on for two thirty.  I decided it was too late for paying seven leva each for a swim and it would have probably a fight for sunbeds so we went on to the next document stop and were told that we were very early to get the work done but we were taking in to account that the Librarian is off to the UK.  It was now ticking on toward three thirty so my next decision was to go to Kardjali pool, take advantage of the  pensioner rate and invest four lev in an afternoon of swimming.  Not many people about, very few jumping children. we left at five thirty and the sun was still very hot.  I stopped for fuel, Djebel for bread and a few items and it was half six when we got home and off she went.  

Washing done and dusted and pegged out, supposedly there are meteors to look out for tonight....I'll probably catch them when I switch the Kindle off at silly o'clock.  LN...Lovely relaxing day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 13, 2019, 5:09pm; Reply: 12
Tuesday 13th August

I was so determined to watch 'Who do you think you are' last night.  I watched the beginning, missed the end, forgot to check out the meteor shower that was predicted at around one which was the time I woke up in front of the computer.  I staggered to bed and slept through until six.  I went down to make coffee and opened up shop, headed for the terrace and disturbed a black cat that has taken to 'overnighting' on the sofa...P.S. to self...remove the cushions tonight, all the cats round here have got fleas.  I walked the garden with my coffee and noticed that the Kerria at the bottom near the wall is flowering brings brightness against the wall.  I made my way up the garden pulling weeds as I went and watered the pot was going to be another hot day.  I looked at the sunflowers and realised that they needed supported so got out the string and tied them to one of the logs on the terrace.  Not very pretty but functional.

Next job was to string the onions that were in a container in the conservatory.  Some were soft so were to put for one side and eventually made it into the compost.  Haciber caught me stringing them up and watched me for a while....they don't do it with theirs...they get stored in a dry place.  She did bring a gift though...I have more meat for the freezer.  Next step breakfast and I fancied poached eggs on toast which turned out to be a disaster.  As I put the eggs into the pan they separated, whites one way, yolks the other and I'd gone off the idea by this time.  I put the yolks on to the buttered toast, they were OK but not that exciting and the most fun was to empty the pan over the wall for the animals and trying to hit a stone with the two eggs that remained in the shells and with the second one I managed it...result.  Eggs are now on tomorrow's shopping list, talking to my Avatar later, none of the chickens are laying.  I heard a car horn, looked along the road and saw Avatar and Beyser at the side of the road near an old car with a trailer filled up with water melons.  I went down to join them taking three leva with me.  I was offered a sample and it was very sweet and asked the man with tongue in cheek for one without pips.  He looked at me rather strangely, said it wasn't possible and his mother who was sitting on the floor told him that I was joking and eventually he saw it.  I did buy one and it's yet to be cut open.

A little more in the garden, I took the bark from the two logs on the terrace and put the debris in the bonfire and cleared the stone edged garden of weeds and picked up the rose cuttings where I'd trimmed it yesterday.  Now it was getting hotter and uncomfortable to be out there.  I lay on the sofa, read for a while and you can guess the rest and I was woke up by a visitor, I came to quickly and we settled for orange juice and water, inside for a while and then on to the terrace so he could puff away.  We put the world to rights and off he went around five thirty.  I'm about to warm up the chilli that I made yesterday and then it will be shower and early night for me.  Tomorrow it's another document day with the Librarian and then on for a swim if there is time.  LN....I'm kitchen bound....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 14, 2019, 5:38pm; Reply: 13
Wednesday 14th August

And again I didn't see the meteors...last night's full moon was just too bright.  I woke up at six, out of bed by six thirty intending to have a shower and wash my hair but remembered that potentially I was heading to the swimming pool when the document work for the Librarian was finished so change the plan.  Back up the stairs and had a body wash which did just as well.  The Librarian arrived at eight thirty and needed her form completing in Bulgarian so I phoned my student's mother to see if she would oblige...and she said that she would and did and we set off for Kardjali.

We were a little early so stopped for a coffee before we faced the demons...this is a department that takes no prisoners and expects you to speak their language fluently.  The lady that we saw the other day that speaks a little English wasn't on duty wasn't in so we saw the one that is normally there.  I'd tried to eye contact her the other day but nothing doing but this morning I asked her how she was in Bulgarian and we started off on the right foot.  Eventually the documents were accepted, I said to the Librarian that it looked like all the hurdles had been jumped and I said this in Bulgarian and it raised a smile.  One of the others appeared and I said that we were off to the swimming pool and she asked me where we were going and queried why we were going i Kardjali when we lived so far away.  I reminded her that we were in Kardjali to get this work done and that after swimming we could get food shopping done after a splendid day at the pool.  They would be sitting behind their desks...what a shame... ;)  On Friday we have to pick up the final document...result.

Over to the pool, it was very busy but we managed to get sunbeds and stayed there until four thirty and I've got the legs of the duty lobster by virtue of the fact that I normally wear long trousers when I'm gardening...they should be brown tomorrow.  No supper because we stopped for hot dogs and chippies from Kaufland, Librarian on her way home around six thirty so I watered the pot plants ...they were looking's been very hot today.   Moon's just come up and I saw it from my desk so I was out there with the camera had to be done.  Nothing on the agenda until tomorrow night when I'm off to Pilates again.  LN....I suppose the garden will call though.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 15, 2019, 8:30pm; Reply: 14
Thursday 15th August

So I've just finished the first effort and Windows decided to update itself and wiped everything...don't you just love it when that happens.  Six when I came to this morning and seven before I was ready to bring myself into the world.  I was dog-dozing, dreaming very heavily in short bursts but don't ask me what I was dreaming about...I can't remember, not even flashbacks.  Downstairs for coffee and out to the garden.  I'd watered the pots well last night so didn't have that to worry about but looking round the garden, the flowers and shrubs really needed a good soaking so hose to the fore, joining every one that I have and did all of the beds in stages with the rotating sprinkler head on.  I came in for breakfast and prepared boiled eggs with soldiers using the new eggs from Kaufland that I'd bought yesterday.  That's two down and eight to go before the twenty eighth of August when they make good ammunition for target practice...I hate stale eggs.  Kitchen tidy and back out there again this time concentrating on the rather large pot that I'd sunk in the promontory where there used to be a king-size weed established.  I'd put stones in the bottom of it and today added some of the old bark that I'd stripped from the log on the patio, the bird droppings from the little house terrace, some of the local white fertiliser and more soil from the ever expanding mole trail.  I gave it a good watering and now I have a bronze red shrub planted up that was in flower when I bought it and needs a better home than a pot on the patio and now it's got one.

More pottering including taking some of the couch grass from the cotoneaster at the bottom of the lonesome pine and that's now ready for strimming.  I did dig up a root of the said shrub and planted it up in the new bed against the long wall moving some huge chunks of stone from the path following the wall and depositing them at the back of the bed.  I came in at twelve turning the hose work was done.  I read for a while and went to sleep for an hour or so and read some more when I woke up.  It was just to hot to be out.  Had my shower at four and washed my hair...I had Pilates tonight and not really sure why I'd washed my hair.  We were all worked up to a lather in a very small room with no aircon and I actually kept up for most of the lesson.  We finished at eight, I walked back to the car with my student's mum and she asked if I wanted to go for a coffee.  Her husband had a rush job on a car and was still working so we picked up my swimming youngster from the flat above the shop and off we all went to the restaurant.  Chicken nuggets with sauce, salad and the girl forgot the cheesy chips but there was enough for the three of us.  I was home for about ten.

The Librarian should be here by eight in the morning...we have to pick up her temporary card from Immigration at nine and then I might even take the Nipper for its's due this month.  Back to my book at pickies it's been full on.  LN....Let's hope the card is ready for collection....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 16, 2019, 6:23pm; Reply: 15
Friday 16th August

A bit of a sleepless night last night probably due to the fact that I ate pretty late....onions before bedtime or maybe that I had to be ready early and in Kardjali at nine o'clock.  Normal walk f the garden, it was wet underfoot so no plants to water this morning though I did have to rescue a few pots from over watering.  Some of the containers haven't got holes in to let out the excess so it's back to a manual process.  Out with the plant pot, empty out the outer and replace the inner.  At eight the Librarian hadn't arrived so I checked my phone and I hadn't heard it secreted in my handbag.  I phoned her back and Immigration had let her know that they'd upped her status and she didn't have to pick up the temporary white card until just before she goes to the UK.  Good news for her and for me....I could have breakfast and the rest of the day was mine to do what I wanted with.  So poached eggs it was and since I was ready for town I set off at eleven more or less for Djebel, got the Nipper cleaned on the outside and headed off to Kardjali to have the MOT done.

The MOT garage was pretty busy this morning...there was one in the bay, one waiting but my man goes through them pretty quickly.  The owner was on duty this morning....I think 'the lad' was on holiday but it didn't take too long for mine to be on the conveyor.  I had my special greeting of 'Madame' which I closely follow with 'Monsieur' and we discuss his daughter who is working in England and his racing pigeons.  Two very safe topics of conversation.  Documents handed over and checked, emissions, lights, engine number, lights and brakes, thirty five lev paid over and I'm all set for another year.  He did comment that he thinks it's a good little car....a very good little car.  Documents returned and very slowly I drove it over the pit and back to safety...I normally get them to do it for me.

Back on the open road Toad I went up to the second hand furniture and 'things' warehouse and my lady was there holding the fort.  I had nothing in mind but you never know what's in and what you might just fancy.  I did the 'dump' first and found a teddy bear that looked very forlorn and noticed that it could go into the washing machine at thirty degrees.  I took it back to where the lady was sitting nursing a cat and asked her how much was the bear...only one leva and I could have the cat if I wanted it.....thanks but no thanks...I have enough.  I also found an old wooden box that will do for the garden to hold plants and two glass vases and the total of fourteen lev for everything was agreed upon.   I paid and left, drove straight home since the weather was very oppressive and getting more thundery so bear into the washing machine with a few clothes that were hanging around  and on to the line with it, including the bear by its neckerchief.  I got the garden hose on the box and washed the vases and settled down with my book.  

Suddenly the thunder started and the clouds came over and I realised it wouldn't be long before the rains came down.  Washing in and on the clothes airer in the bathroom and most of them were dry already, bear was hung up in the conservatory and the wooden box was brought in to the conservatory to finish drying off,  The squall brew up very quickly so I downed the umbrella and secured it and took up my place on the sofa while it all went on outside clearing the air.  You've guessed it, I caught up on the sleep that I didn't manage last night and didn't wake up until six fifteen so my sleep pot is full which won't bode well for tonight.  I'd had a late lunch of tuna mayo with beetroot so am not really in the mood for anything else tonight and it's time to go round and open up the windows that I'd rapidly closed when the storm came.  The house has warmed up again.  LN...Looks like we're in for an unsettled period again....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 17, 2019, 6:16pm; Reply: 16
Saturday 17th August

Very productive day except that the clouds rolled over and yet again around one this afternoon and rain stopped play.  It didn't stay for long and I welcome it in a flowers to water but it did mean that I had to pack everything away quite quickly/

Six thirty start so my sleep yesterday afternoon didn't really upset the routine, it was damp but it didn't take long for the terraces to dry up once the sun really got going.  Grass cutting is out of the question and it's just perfect for it to grow, and grow and grow some more.  I'll need to be getting in the cows if it doesn't dry up soon.  Scrambled eggs for breakfast and I dressed for outside work.  The box that I'd got yesterday and washed off needed a layer of wood preservative for protection.  I haven't bothered sanding it off..I want it to look rustic and might give it some more treatment when I bring it in for the use it will eventually get put to.  I then found out the other wood that I want to use, scraped the old concrete off them and removed the nails, headed up to the loft in the little house for more wood and found what I was looking for.  I took those outside and washed them off and as I said rain stopped play, so I put everything in the little house so that it stayed dry.  Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.  

It's been an afternoon of reading and I got my head down again.  Despite the rain, the temperature didn't drop and I find this weather quite tiring.  More book when I woke up and as I looked out on to the terrace there was the black cat sunning itself in front of the pots.  I made a few noises and it didn't move so I went up on to my balcony and dropped an empty plastic Coke bottle right next to it and boy did it shift.  Straight off the terrace, across the garden and over the wall, stopping to look back in anger and to check out what had just happened.  I don't want it to make this it's home...if I wanted a cat there are plenty to choose from.

Mind numbing television this afternoon while I waited for my supper to cook.  Pork stead, which turned out to be as tough as old boots, but the tomato sweet and sour sauce was good and went well with the jacket potato I'd started off in the microwave and finished off in the oven.  Nine fifteen my time and it's almost time for bed.  More construction tomorrow and I have to construct a blackboard to go with the easel but it's gong to be a brown board...goes better with the theme.  LN....Hoping the weather doesn't let me down.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 18, 2019, 6:04pm; Reply: 17
Sunday 18th August

So at three I was trying to locate the fly spray...there was a zzzzz in the left ear and I wake up immediately when I hear that sound.  I found it, sprayed the headboard, pillows, wall, round the door frame and back to sleep in quicksticks and straight through until six.  Thee wasn't much action , I snuggled down again and it was eight when the urge to venture out into the day overcame inertia.  Coffee, out to the garden, moved to the outside chair on the terrace, found that spray can and did round the table and the chair I was sitting on.  There was a very active fly, a big one and the spray was certainly a deterrent. I stayed out there for a while and realised that I really needed to go down to the bread van today so I sorted out some change from my stotinki pot and returned to the terrace to await the toot of his horn.

He was late's Sunday so I suppose he has a lie in.  I set out when I heard him and Avatar was leaving Beyser's gate so I caught her up and we walked down together.  As I went by the gate I noticed Avatar's sister and her daughter sitting in the garden.  I knew they were visiting but I tend to stay away when neighbours have seems polite.  We did out shopping and all the ladies were out.  I hadn't been down for a while and it was hugs all round...I've missed them.  I walked back with Avatar and we both went in to Beyser's garden and I was greeted by the sister and daughter and we sat down in the sun laughing and joking.  I was asked to stay for coffee but I refused saying that I had work to do in the garden....I only know so many Bulgarian and Turkish words and I think I'd used most of them.

Toast for breakfast with the new bread and then it was a bit of a lazy old day.  I finished the book I was reading and started the second, it clouded over and it was a day of 'could have and didn't'.  I settled for tuna mayo with beetroot for lunch and I was having a 'picky' day.  I ran out of ice-cream, biscuits and sweets and settled on the TV to watch the athletics meeting from Birmingham and it looks like we have a few more weeks of the same.  When the athletics finished at six thirty and realising that I'd done nothing all day, I went out and managed to mow the big house grass and the side grass, perspiring profusely and came in at eight....the little house grass will be done tomorrow late afternoon...I'm off to Kardjali tomorrow and swimming if the weather is good.  I've just put supper in, chicken with roasted vegetables in the sweet and sour sauce left from last night and only just realised how late it is.  Ah well...I'll survive.  LN...Just got time for a shower.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 19, 2019, 6:37pm; Reply: 18
Monday 19th August

Six start and what a lovely morning.  I was awake before the sun, everything quiet and tranquil and I brought a tumbler of coffee cup wasn't going to touch the sides and it would have meant another trip downstairs.  I played around with Soda Crush and knocked off a few games until I ran out of lives and then headed down to start my day taking the bathroom rubbish with me...bonfire time.  I put a small load of washing in when I'd made my coffee so by the time I was circulating it got pegged out.  I took the lid off the burning bin and I'd forgotten that I'd put the bark that I'd taken from he two logs on the terrace,  Once it had got going it really got going so it was lit on to stop the sparks flying.  I'd taken the garden fork down with me and so started to remove the weeds for the curved bed on the stony ridge and I've decided to not have it so crescent shaped and started to dig it out.  I suddenly remembered that Librarian was on her way and due around was nine thirty, I was still in my sleep attire and had to get my nether regions into gear.  I dressed quickly, we tried to sort out a problem on her laptop which we abandoned and headed into Kardjali via the back lane.

First stop Kaufland, they had Gold Blend coffee on offer so I picked up six jars and thereby a saving of six lev per jar which is work having.  I also found my favourite shampoo and conditioner on offer and the washing gel 80 servings was still on offer so it would have been rude not to,  water for the pool and then on to swimming.  It was a very slow start and we had the pick of the sunbeds, good for us but not so good for the owner but when it got to lunchtime more people arrived and it was a good turnout for him.  We had lunch in the restaurant, back for another swim and I fell asleep in the sun so I'm back to having a faint pink glow which should be brown tomorrow... ;)  Another swim to wake me up, dried off and we left at four thirty.  We stopped off at Lidl for butter and a few more items, topped up with gas and headed for the back lane and home.  Shopping away and I sat down for a while but at six thirty I headed out to finish the lawn that was still outstanding and it was done and dusted by seven thirty and I've knocked off fourteen and a half thousand  steps today but haven't yet found out how to start and stop the timing for the swimming....back to the drawing board Cecil.

Woodwork tomorrow and more continuous weeding.  I've got the seedling walnuts to get up and put in the large water bottles before the roots really get established in the soil underneath the walnut tree. I've got three takers for them already.  No supper required, lunch was very adequate.  LN....And relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 20, 2019, 6:11pm; Reply: 19
Tuesday 20th August

I was awake before the sun got its act together and the sky was a beautiful colour.  I went out with my coffee and the black cat shot off the swinging has a new spot to rest it's weary bones.  I'd rather it's there instead of the seating on the's not a place I use very much.  A few games of Soda Crush, I ran out of lives so decided to go down to the kitchen and make poached eggs on toast with ham for breakfast ...and then there were two...eggs that is so it looks like none will be finding its way over the practice will have to wait.

The first part of my morning was taken up with digging up mole channels and laying smoke bombs in them.  I'm not sure if they do more than the immediate area, the garden is so big that I've probably got a very severe underground population and they move areas.  As I clear one the word goes round and they're off.  After laying about six bombs I worked out that the best way to cover the hole was with a stone and that technique appears to be successful.  I've still got two mounds but they're near ones that I've fired so maybe they've done the trick.  Next job was to move into the little house and work on the blackboard or it might even be a brown board which is very similar to the picture that was supplied.  As I walked into the little house I noticed that I have two babies in the nest above the door but as per normal, they became very camera shy.  I've been working a little bit blind on the items for the wedding, I needed a visit from the bride and her sister to see if it's what they want and it is.  They must have picked up my vibes and telephoned this evening to ask if they could come round to deliver my invitation to the wedding.  We headed to the little house and everything I've done so far is acceptable, the two vases that I bought the other day they enthused about and the plants should be flowering at just the right time.  I should have some second flowering lavender offered up and that matches the invitations that have lavender on the front of them.  We walked the garden, the bride to be has now finished work and I suggested that she come round a little before the wedding to decide what flowers she wants and I'll pile everything into the Beast and we'll get it to the venue.

They left around eight, it was too late to do anything else even to water the garden so I locked up the little house, put the vases and the lantern that we'd looked at earlier back in their places.  Nine o'clock my time and too late to get any food and sleep peacefully so a packet of biscuits lied temptingly on the desk in front of me....No I'll save them for tomorrow.  LN....Blackboard finishing tomorrow....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 21, 2019, 5:48pm; Reply: 20
Wednesday 21st August

Seven start this morning and I woke up with very puffy lips as if I'd had an allergic reaction to some thing and I could only think it was either orange juice or some cheesy biscuits that I'd nibbled last night.  As I drank my first coffee I had to stop myself from dribbling but thankfully as the day progressed it started to go down.  No juice and no biscuits for me tonight...horrible sensation.  I settled in to Soda Crush and what a run I had...I was playing until nine thirty...and then I ran out of lives...and was so pleased when I did.  I wanted to get on with the day.

Having said that...not a lot happened.  I made a ham and cheese toasty sandwich, more coffee, I picked up the Kindle, settled on the sofa and was there until I'd finished the book.  It was well into the afternoon and I didn't feel at all guilty about it.  One moment of excitement, through the fly screen I saw a squirrel in the yard.  It was a mixture of red and grey and where's the camera when you need it.  It played around the compost container, I went upstairs to get the camera and unfortunately it had gone by the time I'd got down the stairs again.  It's only the second one I've seen here.  

I loaded up the third book in the series but I abstained and decided that I really should be getting on with the blackboard now that I'd worked out how to do it.  I'd used the frame from an outside cold frame that I'd bought two years ago and never assembled  and now I had to find something to fill the middle of it and I set my mind on hardboard and I had a very large sheet on the top floor of the little house but I needed to get it down.  It's a bit booby trapped up there and lots of spaces to fall through and eventually I manoeuvred it and it fell to the bottom.  Cutting it was another problem and much harder than I thought it would be and lots of things came into play like a carving knife from the ditches.  In the end I folded it over and trod on it and it broke in half, over again and I had more or less the size I wanted and the jigsaw did the rest of the work for me.  I'd found some very old blackboard paint that D of S had given me around nine years ago, I peeled off the skin, managed to get enough into a jar with a little turps and gave it it's first coat and it's looking good.  Second coat tomorrow and jobs a guddun.  

Not into supper again my tummy a rest.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except a little more woodwork and the second coat.  I might even mend the bench that appears to have died outside.  LN....Water tonight ...not risking anything else....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 22, 2019, 5:37pm; Reply: 21
Thursday 22nd August

Six start, coffee. Soda Crush and down to the kitchen by eight.  I needed bread so I went down to the van walking down with Avatar after chatting to her daughter in the garden.  The daughter goes back to Turkey this evening and back to work.  Not many ladies down there this morning but no cheesy breads so I came back with a banichka, a cheesy filo flat pastry thingy and an unsliced which still remains intact.  I made more coffee and sat on the sofa with the cheesy thing and watched a little breakfast television.  I'm getting tired of the way that the programme anchors seem to have an opinion on everything.  They become very used to be good when you were told the news and that was it and you made up your own opinions without influence... :-/

First job was to water the plants in the conservatory and on the terraces,  I gave the petunias haircuts...some were looking very leggy.  Next job was to put the second coat of blackboard paint to cover the few streaks and put the rest of the hardboard up in the gods where it came from and some of the insulation that I've put to one side ready for winter.  When I'd taken the photo yesterday I realised what a state the little house had got in to.  There was still wood around from when the stairs went in and some from when I had made the blackboard.  There's so much dust kicked up...I need new cement floors throughout but that's not going to happen this year...probably next.  So I was in and out all afternoon and drinking well to settle the dust from the atmosphere that I was working in.  I've got loads of 'stuff' to burn and that's sitting in a garden rubbish sack but it was quite windy this afternoon so that will have to wait for the weekend...I'm helping the Librarian again tomorrow so it could be swimming in the afternoon if we get the work down quickly.  

Supper went in at six this evening but it came out in stages.  The chicken was still frozen when it went it, the vegetables were ready first so I had those and gave the chicken another half hour to make sure it was cooked through.  Both were delicious.  The boiler is on for a bath...I need to soak tonight...plastic shoes in this weather makes the feet sweat and with the dust around...not really worth talking about.  So Kardjali tomorrow at KAT.  LN...It could be quick...we'll see...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 23, 2019, 5:29pm; Reply: 22
Friday 23rd August

I was expecting the Librarian for an early start to Kardjali so despite having a bath last night I wanted to wash my hair and take out yesterday's dirt.  I didn't bother with breakfast thinking we'd have it in town.  At ten I was still waiting, bright eyed and bushy tailed so I phoned her home and no response, tried her mobile and again no response which said to me that she was on the road.  I did a load of washing and pegged it out, made toast for a late breakfast and tried the mobile again and she phoned me back.  She was in Kardjali already so I was on stand-down and my swimming day wasn't to be.  She did suggest that I went and met her up there but the mood had passed.

I changed into lightweight trousers and settled down with my book and got really engrossed until there was a knock on the door.  One of my neighbour's daughter was there with her sister from Turkey.  They'd been to the graveyard and tidied up their grandparents' graves and they'd stopped off so that the sister could check out the garden and invariably the house with the full tourist tour.  She loved it...choc guzel....not spelt correctly but you'll get the meaning.  Off she went clutching an envelope filled with seeds from my garden.

I settled back down with the book and had my nap waking up at three.  Back to the book and then had an invitation to Greece tomorrow and checking on my euro I realised I had very few and I found my EHIC card and noticed that it expires next month so tried to renew it online....totally wrong move and ended up making a call to the said department.  No wonder it's in debt. I headed to Djebel at five fifteen, over to the cash point, straight to the money exchange and ended up in the supermarket next door which served the same purpose and now I have cash in my pocket for tomorrow.  I stopped off at my student's mum's shop and my new swim buddy and told him that there will be a lot of English homework when we start his lessons when he goes back to school.  He groaned...but he will do well I know...he's bright.

Home for seven, washing in, watered the old fire-pit bed...the flowers are looking crusty and have just reminded myself to turn off the hose pipe.  Fish finger sandwiches tonight followed by ice-cream.  LN...Eight start tomorrow for an eight-thirty meet.  LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 24, 2019, 6:21pm; Reply: 23
Saturday 24th August

Not a good night.  It was hot and balmy and the man down the road blasting out the radio morning greeting from Istanbul did so at such a volume that it annoyed me.  From the mosque it's very low key which is OK....this man's perfect rendering grates on the nerves.  The locals don't say anything and at this point I'm biting my tongue.  Any way up...I read for a while and then at six switched off the light, closed my eyes and dog-dozed for an hour and then it was all systems go.  I had to leave the house at eight, be on the road to get to the meeting point.  I was ten minutes leaving and thought I wouldn't make it but arrived outside the house at exactly eight thirty and we were on the road five minutes later.  Crossing the border took all of ten minutes with the passport being viewed by a solitary figure and not handed and recorded as having left BG and entered Greece.  It just made sense.

As we arrived at the market others were leaving with bags full.  We parked up, did the cheapy clothes stalls which didn't compare favourably to my cheapy shops in BG, there was a man happily selling his potatoes, my grape man was stressed and the fish sellers were obviously trying to out do each other with their fish sculptures.  And all enjoyed having the photograph taken.  We went for a coffee, found a cafe for chips and doners and then carried on to the beach.  Beautiful weather and tonight I am duty lobster on the face despite the fact that I spent most of the time in the water and sitting on the edge with the waves splashing over me.  I think I shall have to go back tomorrow to deposit the half a ton of small stones that found their way into my swim suit.  

Back to BG and again sailed through the border even quicker that we entered Greece, stopped and was given a conducted tour of the changes to the property since I was last there and headed home.  I'd bought grapes so I took some over to my Avatar and came back with a bowl of home made is no robbery.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so's very tempting to have another day on the beach but I shall abstain.  I have a bonfire to work through.  LN...A very pleasant day in the sea and with thirty nine degrees.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 25, 2019, 5:43pm; Reply: 24
Sunday 25th August

I ate too much too late last night and much too rich and ended up having trouble digesting it.  At four this morning I was reading, brought on mainly by my choice of supper and also by the fact that the balmy night made it very difficult to sleep.  I could have kept trying but not worth the effort.  Book four is going down well and forty six percent under my belt by the time that the athletics featured on TV this afternoon.

I was out of bed by six and it struck me that the sun was late coming up this morning...well it wasn't the sun but as winter draws on so to speak it obviously gets later.  There was a hint of morning and by six thirty I was watering the pot plants on the terrace and then moved the hose out to the garden and did the beds in order.  I moved to the bottom of the garden armed with garden fork and the rubbish that needed burning from the house and the hose was doing its thing while I was doing mine with the matches.  There wasn't any wind so it meant that I could get rid of the rubbish that I'd accumulated from the clean up of the workshop in the little house so I started the five and then collected the rest.  By seven fifteen it was well underway and by eight I cleared the lot.  I also noticed that one of the old mole hills that I'd trodden down has signs of underground activity so I went to the house and brought out a mole bomb, scooped the top from the hillock, found the way that the tunnel was running and lit the fuse and stood clear placing the stone over the hole so that the fumes went underground.  I'm really not nice to moles... :-/ but they don't appreciate the work that goes into the garden.  

By ten the sun was really up so I went indoors, made more coffee and buttered the bread that I'd bought last night and covered it with strawberry jam.  That was my breakfast.  Back to the sofa and book and by eleven I'd entered the parallel universe waking up at twelve thirty and deciding that ice-cream would fill the little gap and that tun is no more.  I'd got a little sweaty in my morning exercise and by now the temperature was up to the lower thirties so I went for a shower, washed my hair to get rid of the salt coating from yesterday and donning a lightweight pair of baggy trousers and a very flimsy top and with doors open and fly screens in place...I had a very pleasant afternoon with my book until the athletics started at three UK time.  So an afternoon of TV interspersed with making a tuna, onion, potato and beetroot salad with mayo and I made far too much but ate it all.  At least it was early and it should be digested before I rest my weary head tonight.

Nothing much to do tomorrow but I'm sure I'll find something....I might even head into Kardjali and find a swimming pool for legs are actually getting to be the same tone as the arms and face instead of looking like a worker's tan due to wearing long trousers in the garden.  Only two of the evening sky and the other of the maniac that brings his cows in using his revving his trials bike.  LN....Checking eBay for a stinger....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 26, 2019, 5:31pm; Reply: 25
Monday 26th August

So Bank Holiday in England so I thought I'd have the day off too...and I did.  I had a good start to the day, watered the garden by seven, first load of washing in, stripped my bed, sorted out a new swim suit since both of my others were in the wash and fully intended to use it....wrong.  Second load of washing in and when I went to get a sheet out of the chest I notice that it needed a little TLC so spent the next half an hour giving it what it needed.  All washing pegged out and in to the kitchen for poached eggs on toast and it was still only nine thirty.

The rest of the day was me pegged out on the sofa.  I felt very tired as if I'd done a full day already so decided to take it really easy.  I finished my book and have got far into the next...I shall have to be buying some more at this rate or delve into the library and re-read some that I whizzed through in the past.  Lunch time came and went and as the day wore on it got hotter and hotter and eventually I decided that I wasn't going to the pool.  The eyelids eventually went southwards and I was woken by the thunder so I roused from the sofa, got the washing in from the line, sorted it out and put it away.  I made the bed up and sprayed the sheets with fly spray to get rid of the little bugs that I've been told are called chiggers or the official name of Berry Bugs..... tiny pests that live in grass and I obviously pick them up when mowing the grass or simply doing stuff like pegging out the washing.  They are just so itchy.

So seeing Ms D of S tomorrow in will be good to catch up and I might even head up to the pool if the weather is good.  There's not a lot to do in the garden.  LN....Grapes for supper....I need nothing more.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 27, 2019, 4:10pm; Reply: 26
Tuesday 27th August

So after yesterday sleeping most of the day I thought I'd have a very sleepless night but I obviously needed it.  I didn't even hear the man in the next village with his recorded mosque message unless somebody told him that the job should be left to the mosque.  I did hear it coming from the local mosque when daylight was breaking...just as it should be.  I took to reading my book from six thirty onwards and finished the fifth in the series.  I was different from the last ones, not sure I really enjoyed it but I had to get to the end to tell you that.

I had mushrooms left over my meal the other night so I fried them off in butter and had them on toast for breakfast and I sat i the sun looking out to the garden.  I watched a Pied Fly Catcher resting on the washing line and popping over to the lonesome pine and picking off insects.  It was there for about twenty minutes so obviously there were good pickings.  I washed up and tidied the kitchen, walked the garden and realised that the flowers in the marigold bed at the bottom were looking a little crispy so I attached all the hoses and managed to get water down there.  I left it on for a while and waited for confirmation that I would be meeting up with Ms D of S and the little one in Djebel but she was having a very slow start to the day.  We arranged that she would turn up for lunch and I put in my shipping order for shopping would wait until tomorrow.  I filled in the time clearing off the little house terrace and using the electric mower to cut back the grass in the yard and left everything out with the intention of doing 'stuff' this afternoon but it was too hot as it turned out.

They arrived around twelve and she'd tuned up with pizza for lunch.  We settled the little one down with pizza and I have a few more pictures for my fridge and they left at about one thirty.  It's been very hot today and nowhere was comfortable to just 'sit'.  There was one portion of pizza that was left, I'd mentioned it to Ms S but she advised me to give it to the cats and that seemed such a waste, I settled on the sofa with the pizza and started the sixth book in the series and as for the seventh, it's not due for release for another month or so so he better get on with it.  I had my afternoon nap waking up at four thirty and desperately in need of a has turned into real dry heat this afternoon, the clouds came over but have since dissipated and we have a clear sky tonight.

Tomorrow I'm swimming if the weather is good...I've put it off and need the exercise and have to go to Mother Hubbard the cupboard is bare.  Thursday will be my gardening day.  LN...Book six is calling me....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 27, 2019, 4:50pm; Reply: 27
And a few more pickies in the evening sun
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 28, 2019, 5:29pm; Reply: 28
Wednesday 28th August

Went to bed at eleven and read my book until twelve deciding to leave some for the morrow.  Woke up at six thirty, down for a coffee, back to my book, down for toast and strawberry jam at eight and back to bed.....and finished the book at nine thirty.  Lazy days and the rest of it was going the same way.  I'd water the pots last night so thought they'd be OK for the rest of the day and they probably were but they're crying out for it now.  I didn't have to go for bread since I'd had a deliver from Mrs D of S yesterday so I got washed and dressed and didn't even bother washing up the breakfast things...I was heading out.  After getting washed I thought I'd heard a car pull up so I went into the guest room and no car but Avatar was doing the grass and had the lawnmower on it's side and was looking at it.  I decided to go over the road to see if she needed any help and she'd already set sail on the next row.  It wasn't the mower, it was her..I think she was taking a breather.

In to the Nipper for ten thirty, drove down the back lane and fortunately the only vehicle I met was at the start of the route.  The traffic was pretty slow going once I got to Kardjali, there was more going the other way down to Greece.  Parked up under the trees and there weren't many people at the pool.  I paid my money and had a choice of beds but there was some movement.  I felt like a sunflower following the sun.  Swimming, swimming and more swimming interspersed with time on the sunbed, tinge of duty lobster but a feeling of well-being.  I was overheard when I was checking in but a young boy who asked me if I spoke English after I'd said thank you to the barman.  I replied that I was English and he volunteered that he was a ten year old American who was spending the summer with his grandmother.  I asked him if he spoke Bulgarian and he retorted with 'I have to. how else can I talk to her'.  I left it at that.  At around three thirty he asked me what time I was leaving and I said I hadn't a clue.  He said that his grandmother had asked if I would take them down to Kardjali and could I let them know when i was leaving.  I made a move at four mainly because a small child had been armed with a giant water pistol and was not keeping in in the confine of the pool and his father thought it was funny.  I made the comment that I thought it was a swimming pool...lead balloon.  Any way, grandmother and grandson were ready and off we set but she was trying to direct me to where she lived and I was having none of it so I suggested the hospital and they have a taxi rank there...sorted.

Kaufland and Lidl and back via the lane and I am so careful when i turn off the Greece racetrack and on to my little track.  I start to indicate with a hundred yards to go and keep touching the brakes so that the one following knows I'm about to do something with precision and this time it went smoothly.  No other vehicles on the lane and I arrived home at six thirty.  Shopping unpacked, no room for one of the new ice-creams in the freezer so I had to leave out a quarter full container and that is no more.  No supper required...I forgot to mention that I stopped off for a hot dog at Kaufland store so I've no need to cook anything tonight.  Tomorrow is a gardening day so it's going to be an early start.  LN...socks and long trousers at the ready.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 29, 2019, 6:56pm; Reply: 29
Thursday 29th August[b][/b]

Six start, out in the garden early, watered the pots and then set about watering the garden.  I had very crispy flowers and drooping shrubs.  The last few days have been torturous for the little beauties and for me mowing the grass.  I made myself a ham baguette for breakfast and a couple of glasses of coffee.  I tried to watch the morning news to find out what this new step by Boris is and the little tablet kept freezing but I was loathe to put the main computer on...such a time waster.

I took the grapes over for my Avatar last night and left them on the table reckoning that she was in bed so I went over to check that she'd found them.  Beyser was in the garden and Haciber so it was party time.  Beyser informed me that she needed a new battery for her wall clock next time that I was shopping and she was going on about visiting the hospital in Djebel but I didn't get the rest of it....and didn't want to get involved in driving her it...she has family.  Haciber disappeared to answer her telephone and we heard it ringing from her house and Beyser went to make coffee for the ladies.  I stayed with Avatar and she admitted that there was a problem with her mower, I reckon it needs a new blade so I turned it over and took the serial number and I'll try and find one in Kardjali next time I'm there.  We went over to Beyser's garden and Zelinger was there and apparently she had the doctor out last week...very poorly with very high blood pressure but she's a little better now but not A1.  I mentioned the clock, I went inside with Beyser, realised I had one at home sp went and fetched one, fitted it, changed the time and back on the wall it went.....done and dusted.

Home and at ten thirty I started the mower up and did the big lawn and the side lawn and came in at twelve.  It was getting really warm out there and I'd had enough.  On to the sofa, downed several glasses of water and then went out again until three, back to the sofa, played a few games of Soda Crush and then time for my afternoon nap.  Out to the garden at five thirty after putting the chicken in the oven with jacket potatoes and the rest of the grass finished.  Meanwhile, I was moving the hosepipe round the garden and that's another job done.

Chicken served up at seven thirty, leg portion and jacket potato over to Avatar, she was out so I went in the house and left it on the table for her, came back and served up mine moving up to the computer table on the landing but absolutely nothing on Transponder TV tonight.....I shall have an early night and have to find a book.  Tomorrow I'm off to my student's home with my laminator to get things done for the's all systems 'go'.  LN....twenty three thousand plus steps today...result....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 30, 2019, 5:23pm; Reply: 30
Friday 30th August

Last night I was really suffering from the work in the garden.  I don't know if it was down to dehydration but I had my middle finger, middle joint on the left hand really playing up.  As my mother would had the screws and whenever I bent it it hurt and as my daughter would say...don't bend it then.  I managed to find out my Volterol arthritis tablets out and took one and a generous slathering of Deep Heat and after a good night's sleep, no pain Hose...minus the accent.  I went back to bed with the statutory coffee and had to shut the door to the balcony...that stiff breeze was very cool and picking up so I went down and put the umbrella down...I want it to last a little longer to get my money's worth.

Washed and dressed and soaked my hair with serum to get the brush through it.  I should have washed it but decided it would last for another day...tomorrow I'm off to a wedding.  I headed out to Avatar's house armed with very fine wire and a pair of scissors to seal up the hole that the cat goes through to get the bread that she puts out for the birds.  I'm working away and she offers me breakfast, bread dipped in egg and fried and when I'd finished I went into the garden and sat down to enjoy what I'd never had before and Haciber joined us and never said a word.  I think she was keeping tabs for the rest of the village.  Avatar thanked me for her last night's supper and at first she didn't know that it was a potato because I'd wrapped it in foil, opened it up and filled it with butter.  She said that she really enjoyed it.  The cat came, tried to get out and almost ended up shredded and had to find another way out.  I went home and counted the number of A4 laminates I had and unfortunately not enough so I message Ms D of S to see if she had any and she did so I was over there just after nine thirty, picked up the laminates and the laminator and came home with red and white onions, four different types of tulip  bulbs....and crocus.  I was given instructions on how to harvest the saffron....out with the tweezers.

Drove to my students with the laminator and laminates and had lunch with them first and managed to do the work that they wanted.  The one that is getting married headed off to meet the bridegroom to be in Kardjali and the other one went back to work on time.  I popped in to see her mother where she works and said that she must ask me if she needs's a busy time for her.  After that I headed to the garage to ask them to check out the brakes, I'd pulled up sharply and thought that I'd hit metal and wanted the pads checked over which they did.  Nothing wrong, brake fluid and pipes checked and they even spruced up where the paint on the fairing has been attacked my the cow pats as I've gone along the lanes....very corrosive.  Final bill...thirty five lev...and now my mind is at peace.  Stopped off at the garage shop and had an hour or so with my student's mother and then home for four thirty.

A few games of Soda Crush, a little time with a book and no sleep today..I should rest easily tonight.  Cold chicken for supper and I stopped off and bought mayo so I might add some curry powder for an oriental touch.  Wedding tomorrow but not until seven in Momchilgrad...I'm trying to get Avatar to come with me....she needs encouragement to leave the village.  LN....Supper... time to get creative...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 31, 2019, 9:43pm; Reply: 31
Saturday 31st August

I didn't managed to get to sleep until one this morning despite not having a nap yesterday afternoon.  The brain was going overtime and I'm not really sure why.

I was awake by six, coffee, a few games of Soda Crush until I ran out of lives, headed down stairs and walked the garden and moved the hose to the patch of garden that needed it the most.  I watered the pot plants first realising that it would be the quicker thing to do and then attached the hose to the rest of the garden hose and turned the water on.  I moved it to about three positions and now I've got some happy garden flowers.  I spent the next fifteen minutes or so chasing a butterfly that was having problems settling due to the wind but that achieved I went back to moving hosepipes and weeding the garden, interspersed with having a bonfire and pegging out washing.  I also had the bea-eaters back...probably filling up before they head off to the sun for the winter.

I came in at twelve and heard a strange noise in the bathroom and realised that I'd somehow managed to capture another bird so I went over to see Avatar to release it for me.  I just hate things that flap about.  Over she came, checked the two soot collection points in the bathroom and nothing to be found, we banged the pipes to both pechkas and nothing and I even took the little on in the kitchen apart...and still no joy.  It must have found its own way out,

I settled on the sofa and slept for an hour or so and then it was time to think about having a shower and hair washed to get ready for the wedding,  I was originally taking the car when Avatar was threatening to leave the village but when she changed her mind, I decided to ride roughshod with my neighbours.  Tried about three dresses but settled for the navy with my bright green jacket, navy shoes and felt good.  All aboard for six ten and over to Momchilgrad picking up along the way and we arrived just before the bride and groom so well timed.  Lovely evening, I'm getting the gist of them now and despite the announcements in Turkish I'm going wit the flow,  Festivities over we were back on the coach for eleven, home for half past straight to my door and ready for sleep when I've posted this.  LN...Another lovely day....LN
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