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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  SEPTEMBER 2019
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 1, 2019, 4:38pm
Sunday 1st September

Pinch and a punch and white rabbits but more about cream coloured cats.  I saw it come into the garden near the Kimono dragon and suddenly a black cat appeared and the light coloured one shot across the lawn and up the other wood sculpture near the new flower bed.  Not much protection but obviously waiting for its ardour to calm down a little, stick her tail in the air and tell him she was ready for a scrap.  I think he thought the burning pit offered more for him at that precise moment in time but foiled again...I'd burnt it all to a cinder...nothing to see here...move along please and off them both went individually and I haven't seen them since.

Now September for me is on the countdown to winter except that the temperature has been up in the thirties today and the water was on first thing when I filled up the kettle but around nine thirty is was off and since the water board don't consider it an emergency, there are so many springs around and most of the locals have wells in their gardens, 'we don't do Sundays' but hopefully it will be on tomorrow.  My garden is looking crispy again but I have enough stored in the water butt in the garden to do the main ones like the lavender for the wedding and the bougainvillea that is just coming in to flower.  

I popped down to see Avatar to confirm that it wasn't only me with a problem with water and we sat in Beyser's garden discussing last night's wedding.  She handed round chocolates and that was my breakfast.  I went back home and decided to clear the rest of the weeds from the little house terrace garden and that's when I decided to take the plank that was laid down on the ground, dig a trench, bang in some supports and edge the bed.  I also put the spade under the little bed edging and pick it up slightly so that it retains the soil better, out with the old engine oil and they look like new.  Unfortunately the engine oil is so thick after standing since my guest left so tomorrow I need to get some thinners from the shop and then I can do the rest of the garden edging.  It makes it look so much better and cared for...and it is.

I came in when it got hot and settled down with my book and you know the rest was a bit of a sleepless night last night.  I'd forgotten to open the door to the terrace and slept fitfully but I caught it all back.  This afternoon I watched the highlights of the triathlon and we managed to bag second and third places losing out to the American.  Those girls have such stamina and's not for the feint hearted.  

Cold chicken for's still hot out there.  The black cat has just come back into the garden and made an attempt to climb my lonesome pine....I think it's ardour is still kicking around.  It's also after the birds that use it as a staging post so I chased it away as I've just done with the motorcycle lad that terrorises the cows at the end of each day.  I went into the guest room that overlooks the road and he looked up as he was revving like crazy so I put my fingers in my ear and signalled that he should go slowly, slowly and he got the message.  I'm going to have to have a word with his of the old ladies was complaining that he goes so quickly on the road that she fears that she's going to get knocked over and it will take an accident to slow him down I fear.  I don't think he even has a licence yet and drives everything in sight including tractors.  Ah well....I'll stay off the road.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except that I might go in and get the thinners and if the water isn't on, head up to the pool in Kardjali....they close down in September so we're on final count down for that as well.  I might also head in to the council and order my allowance of wood from the forestry...apparently you have to put your name on the list and it's probably another anti-corruption safe nothing sacred?   LN....Now to find supper....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 2, 2019, 6:36pm; Reply: 1
Monday 2nd September

So it was a pretty late start and I dog dozed for another hour and I was up and at it by seven thirty.  I opened up shop which in my book means that I opened the outside porch door and first job was to reorganise the hoses and water the terrace pots...clear blue sky and I reckoned that we were in for a scorcher and i was right.  We were up to thirty one degrees.  The water came on last night so someone must have been putting in a little effort...someone must have read the blog and wanted to proved me wrong when I said that no one works on a Sunday.  Washing in and pegged out and all this was done by nine this morning.

I pooped over to see Avatar and as I approached her gate there was a shout from Beyser's garden so I joined them.  There was a lot of activity, Haciber had her son visiting and her daughter-in law and they were reversing their car out of the drive when I heard a clunk.  No one got out so it might seem pretty normal to him, they left and another car appeared to take Haciber's sister to the doctors.  She has a gammy knee that needs another looking at.  There was a little confrontation between Haciber and Beyser and Avatar and myself had a raised eyebrow moment and a giggle...such is village life.  Beyser joined us, went in the house and came out with four eggs for my breakfast...what have I done to deserve these??  I didn't have them for breakfast, I gathered up my trusty garden fork and headed out to clean the grass from the beds between the lavender which seemed to take ages and as the temperature went up, I went in to raise my fluid level and stayed in for an hour or so.

Because it was hot I decided to work in the little house and finish the box table for the wedding.  I fitted a shelf and some feet but the problem is the wood is so old and in places rotten that it would have been simpler to have made a new one.  Eventually it's done and I moved the bougainvillea inside to see how it would look round the blackboard and it looks fine.  I now need to feed the plant up so that the flowers get more nourished...I've got two weeks for them to improve and I'm hoping to slow down the lavender plants that I bought so they've been moved into the little house too.

As for the rest of the things that I might have got up to...I did nothing that was on the list but the list will be there for tomorrow.  LN....Frustrating but a day of achievements....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 3, 2019, 6:14pm; Reply: 2
Tuesday 3rd September

Pretty cold night but I'd made preparations.  I'd put another quilt on the bed, and tucked the sheet and the first quilt well under the bottom of the mattress so that my toes didn't pop out.  Six thirty start and went out on to the bedroom balcony but with a cardigan on and watched the sun come up.  Lots of birds in the garden and on the electricity wires obviously gathering to set off somewhere.

I went down to make another coffee but this time got back into bed and checked emails and FB.  A few games of Soda Crush until I expired so I went down and outside to check out the garden from my work yesterday especially the plants that I'd found to be very dry, given remedial and replanted and there were signs of life.  I also decided that the pot that the bougainvillea was in wasn't doing the plant any favours and I really do want it to be in flower for the wedding so I repotted it and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast, titivated a little more outside and then heard Avatar scrabbling around near her wall so I went out to check what she was up to.  She was just finishing off, she was piling cement on top of her stone wall and hiding all of the stone.  She wants it to be here when she comes back next year from Germany so prevention is better than cure in her book.  I looked at her hand and she had a very angry looking gash on her wrist that I'd only seen covered before.  I shot back home and came back with a small pot of Sudocrem and told her to apply it after she'd washed it in hot water and then to put a bandage on it.  She also asked me a favour saying could I get her a small bottle of fabric softener....I've got one that she could have but it must be eight years old.  I don't use it, I'm convinced it wrecks washing machines.

So I suddenly made the decision to go swimming, the weather report for the rest of the week reckons that it's going to be could be the last for this season, the pool will be closing soon.  I managed the back lane, stopped off at my Tuesday cheapy shop and then on to the material shop and bought three lots of ribbon that I need for the wedding.  Back into the car and to the pool and there were only about twelve people there but unfortunately I seemed to pick the noisiest spot.  A little brat swimming on his back was making a donkey braying noise and the youths that he was with found this funny.  I swam for quite some time and he appeared to be everywhere so I told him to shut up.  No one was listening to him and others round the pool were beginning to get restless but no one said anything.  To compound this another family settled down about four sunbeds along from me and they with the donkey in water started jumping and somersaulting into the water....maybe today was a mistake so I settled in to my book and continued with 'Outlander' and nodded off for half an hour or so.

At five I made a move, parked up in Kardjali and paid my home phone bill, into my Saturday cheapy shop and picked up some material and then on to Lidl for a few items.  Carried on to Djebel and got the fabric conditioner, twenty minutes with my student's mum and I'm going to start the English lessons with the little one when he starts back to school in two week's time.  Back home, fabric softener delivered, shopping unpacked, supper of ham baguette and finished off the grapes that I'd bought in Greece last week.  I managed top get a couple of shots of a late feeding woody and the bright sun going down.  As for tomorrow.... not written an agenda as such but I've got lots to do.  LN...Better get an early night then.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 4, 2019, 5:45pm; Reply: 3
Wednesday 4th September

Lovely long sleep with no interruptions...eating late seems to work wonders.  I can't wake up until the food is digested.  The plants got watered, I got coffeed, Avatar came round with the money for the things that I got for her yesterday, she had to change her fifty lev note with the bread van this morning.  Somehow he'd made two items come to twice the price and offered me more but I just took the five and she tried to give me more.  Today she was cooking meat that was left in the freezer in preparation for her winter escape to Germany and this afternoon she came round with a platter of lamb which was absolutely delicious but there was a lot of fat in the  juice which is the way that it gets cooker here.  I waited for it to get cool and put it in the fridge and I've just scraped the fat off it, put a couple of potatoes in the microwave, sliced them over the meat and it's now in the oven.  I did add some of my 'fat' to it buttering the potatoes so that they crisp up and taste nutty.  Lamb fat just doesn't do it for me.

The rest of the day has been full of 'could have beens' but I've done very little.  I designed an outfit that I might try and get made for the wedding but other than that I have my trusty outfit that I had for my daughter's wedding that I still like a lot.  It's when you keep trying things on to go with other things that it appears to get very complicated.  I read for a while this afternoon and played silly was just too hot to be outside but fortunately it's cooled down now and the clouds have come over.  The garden will need doing again tomorrow....I'm going to get one heck of a bill this month but hey...that's what happens.

Strange thing...I took a couple of pickies this morning of the sunrise on the Canon and thy're not there tonight.  I did have to change the battery pack and didn't switch it off between old and new so maybe it just didn't capture the images so sorry...the thought was there but the equipment didn't want to play.  I'll investigate tomorrow.  Today has been a 'restful' or  'idle' day according to how you want to describe it and now supper's ready so I'm kitchen bound.  LN...I'll try to do better on all fronts tomorrow....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 5, 2019, 8:24pm; Reply: 4
Thursday 5th September

Six thirty start and it was a very dull morning.  Lots of clouds about and I was keeping my fingers crossed for rain, the garden could do with it but it wasn't to be.  I listened to the English news and the fiasco of Brexit and whichever way you're swinging it's unpalatable.  The country said 'leave' so we should ' ifs and buts' and if we don't jump off the cliff we'll never know.   So I was sitting at my desk watching the news when my attention was drawn to my frog garden and the orange cat was sitting on my frog and it's hat had been unseated.  Now that hat has sat there happily for the last six or seven years without a hitch and one of my least loved creatures had attacked it but before I could get the camera out it had gone.  I only had the remains of its labours.

On to my second coffee and walked the garden and it really was cool out there.  I went to check on the bougainvillea that I'd repotted yesterday and decided to dig up one of my lovely pink spiky plants that I'd got from Greece and pot it up.  It's going to be added to the collection of plants for the wedding.  That done I headed for Djebel, I had a birthday card to post and needed to get more Bezir to thin down the old engine oil and that's on tomorrow's and popped into the supermarket for fresh bread and some chicken wings for tonight's supper.  I also confirmed that Pilates was on tonight and made arrangements with my student's mum to be there for seven.  I also went to the local council and ordered five cubic of wood from the forestry...well had my name put down on the list...we'll see if it happens.

Home and had just settled down when I had a visitor.  We chewed over British politics, walked the garden, made arrangements for next week and off he went.  I firstly made an appointment with a new dentist for a clean and polish and then settled down on the sofa with my book and yes you've guessed the rest, two hours in the land of nod, chicken wings in the fridge for tomorrow as I wouldn't be cooking them after Pilates....much too late. Back into Djebel, Pilates and we have a newby and by golly did she work up hard tonight...lots of bending and stretching, twisting and turning and most I could manage but as for the 'Cobra' it's on my list for things to work up to.  We walked to the stadium when it had finished where the little one was playing football and after that back into town and found a restaurant to fill up the child and we would have pickings.  There was a reasonable amount of people in the outside restaurant but as the evening wore on, the temperature seemed to drop and I was decidedly cold.  Bill paid and I was in the Nipper for ten fifteen and was surprised by the number of hedgehogs that I saw on the way home....they were all over the place and I missed every one of them.

Lazy day tomorrow except that I stopped off at my sheep farmers meat shop in Djebel as  we walked to the restaurant and asked if he could drop me off some manure for the garden and if that's delivered I might find myself on the wrong end of a wheelbarrow for the day.  LN.....I need to get my head down.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 6, 2019, 5:39pm; Reply: 5
Friday 6th September

For some reason I didn't manage to get into action until eight this morning.  I'd woken up early but then turned over and off I went again.  Coffee in the garden and I reckoned it was going to be another scorcher and those shrubs definitely needed a water.  The buddleias were looking very shrivelled along with the forsythia.

At nine thirty I went over to see Avatar to thank her for the supper the other night.  She was out yesterday when I took the dish back but my day was pretty full yesterday,  We sat in the garden and chin wagged for quite some time and I was catching up on the gossip.....the village is full of it.  Haciber came round when she saw me there and of course the conversation changed to very informal and normal, I came home and Avatar when in the house so Haciber went home.

First job was to start to clear the vegetable patch just in case the tractor turned up with the 'shite' I'd ordered.  I'd been informed by Haciber that one of the brothers was in Greece having a break so it might not happen until he's back...but I'm ready for it.  The onion bed is cleared of weeds, the carrots are lifted and note to self....thin them out more and water them often.  I only had a few good ones and the rest have gone into the composter along with the beetroot that I'd neglected.  The parsnips are still in there but might suffer the same fate as the carrots.    I came in and made scrambled eggs on toast...I needed a break and that took me up to lunchtime,  Early lunch but I was out there again and working in the shade.  I cleared the weeds from round the acacia along the main house wall and the sheep were having a field day....they were having fresh stuff for a change not scrabbling around and fighting for every blade.  I had a bonfire, mended the surround of the vegetable patch, moved down to the walnut and gave it a trim.  I then set about removing the grass from under it and around the little walnut trees that had established themselves and spent a lot of time moving stones and old tiles behind the topiared shrubs and finally made it to the bottom of the garden and removed the brambles that had started to take hold.  They went over the wall as well.  

At five I put the chicken wings in the oven and didn't bother with vegetables....went out again and tidied my toys away, checked on the bonfire and got the washing in, did a little more clearing and at seven supper was ready and served.  The washing up can wait until sleep today and I'm feeling slightly knacked so it will be early night with a book after I've watched Monty Don.  LN....Another day in the garden tomorrow to get on top of it....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 7, 2019, 6:15pm; Reply: 6
Saturday 7th September

Lovely night's rest start and out of bed by eight.  I didn't want bread from the van so ignored the toots and went out to the garden to water the plants.  I rigged up the hose on to the acer that was looking a little dry and went all around the top bed.  The veg garden is cleared except for the parsnips and a couple of beetroot and I set about clearing some more of the weeds from the other beds.  I went to the Nipper to put something into the boot and Avatar shouted over to see if I wanted any apples that were falling from the tree.  I said yes and went over with a bag and we collected them together throwing the ones that were diseased or really marked over to the donkey and cow in the next field.  They must have thought it was their lucky day and it was.  Avatar doesn't really ask me for favours and if she does it's in a very roundabout way.  She mentioned that her gas bottle for cooking was a little low and that she didn't think that she'd have enough before she went off to Germany for the winter and that if I had any 'work' or reason to go to Djebel could I put ten lev of gas into her bottle.  I'd gone over there with the keys to the car and remembered where they were and she came over with the apples and the keys clutching a twenty lev note.  I took the note from her, said that I would go straight away and she refused to accept the ten lev change.  I snuck it into the pocket or her cardigan, she said that if I didn't take it she'd refuse to give me the bottle for the gas so I laughed at her, got into the car, drove to her house, headed into the garden where the bottle was waiting and got it into the car before she arrived.  As I drove to Djebel the warning bleeped that my gas had run out so I really did have a reason for going.  The man filled up the car first and then ten lev into the bottle and asked me how much gas he'd put in, he'd forgotten.  I reckoned it was twenty six, he said twenty four so we struck the middle for diddle and I paid over thirty five for both of them. I was back in around twenty minutes, put the bottle in the house and we sat in the garden for around an hour in the was another roasty day.

Lazy afternoon and I decided to watch the athletics as part of the Great North run weekend, cold chicken wings for supper and that's about it.  I did have bacon, egg and fried bread for breakfast so I won't go far wrong today.  I watched the England  v. Bulgaria football tonight and we really thrashed them and now Strictly until Christmas.  LN.....What a thought....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 8, 2019, 6:39pm; Reply: 7
Sunday 8th September

Another good night's when I woke up.  Coffee while I walked the garden and somehow I got the scissors in hand and decided to trim the iris at the top of the long wall that had been neglected.  I moved the dead bench with a view to repairing it today but I got stuck in with garden spade and fork and I only have one bed that needs de-weeding...there are just so many of them.  Hose pipe was out again on the shrubs against the long wall and I just kept moving it along.  It's cloudy tonight and it might well drop some of the wet stuff, in one way it would be good but if I order three tons of wood that wouldn't be so good since wet it will weigh more.  I need to check out the weather forecast and got my order in soon and stacked...Haciber had three tons of oak from Djebel and it looked quite a load.

I had a late breakfast when Avatar came round and disturbed my digging with a bowl of her home made yogurt.  I transferred it into one of my dishes and handed hers back to her and suddenly remembered that I'd heard a bird in the flue box on my last visit to the throne room and I shouted to her and she came back.  She put on a glove and put her hand into the flue box and said that she couldn't feel anything.  I got a torch from the kitchen and hiding up the corner of the box was a tiny bird.  She made a grab for it, it flew out of the chimney and she was chasing it round the tiny bathroom.  It eventually lodged itself on the other side of the bathroom window but the fly-screen stopped it from leaving.  I went out to try and remove the fly-screen but it was almost impossible.  Back into the house and I resorted to closing all the doors to the rooms in the corridor, drawing the curtain to the stairwell and at that I opened the bathroom door and quick as a flash it shot out of the bathroom, into the porch and on to freedom.  Back to the yogurt and I finished the pot of strawberry jam that I had made from Avatar's strawberries last year and then back to the garden.

I worked until around eleven thirty, came in and watched some of the Great North run and Sir Mo fight off the opposition and completed the half marathon in record time.  Fantastic talent.  I stayed on the sofa, played a few games and then went off to the land of nod, waking up at three thirty and lingering until four before I went out's been a warm old day.  The side frog garden bed was really stressed much grass and everything hidden from view.  There were a few casualties namely campanula but I planted them up in the veg garden.  I sorted out the iris in this bed and the yukka, removed several straying hypericum, the bully of the shrubbery and I've planted those down the bottom of the garden against the wall.  Tools away and I came in at seven...I'd had enough.  I'd taken out some mince with the intention of making spag. bol, but instead I made enough hamburgers for Avatar and myself and made chippies....meals on foot delivered and I had mine with tomato sauce and mayo.  

Half nine my time, tomorrow I've got the dentist at eleven and a cake to buy and deliver to a cool box in Fotinovo for safe keeping until Tuesday when we head off to Greece to celebrate G's third birthday on the beach, weather permitting.  LN.....Bath time for me now....I need to stretch out and relax.....LN.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 9, 2019, 5:26pm; Reply: 8
Monday 9th September

Silly night's sleep...could have been that it was taking too long to digest the hamburger...I hope my Avatar was OK!  Awake very early at five, read for a while, head down at six and dog dozed until seven and then it was 'let the day begin'.  I seemed to have lots of time to get where I was supposed to be but I still ended up with a foot hard on the accelerator but the dentist was late anyway.  A lady popped in front of me.  

So in the Nipper by ten thirty after showering and washing my hair...had to smell good for the dentist.  As it was I got in the chair, he decided to put some 'medicine' as he termed it to break up some of the tartar and I have to go back on Wednesday at one.  I found the shop in Fotinovo and bought the cake for G's birthday and it's now sitting in the fridge at Mr and Mrs R of Fotinovo and will be put in a cool box for the beach tomorrow.  I mentioned that I was heading to Haskovo when I left there house and they decided to come with me so I headed home, stopping off at Mrs D of S's to confirm that the birthday cake had been purchased and was in situ.  I headed home and about an hour later we were on our way to Haskovo...I was on the lookout for plants for the wedding this weekend while they were looking for plants for their new garden and my market garden has shrubs, loads of them and very competitive prices.  I managed to get some of mine and coming back we were like Kew Gardens on the move and I spent a lot of the time staying away from a very spiky berberis.  Kardjali and we stopped off at a giant store and bought things necessary for a  three year olds beach party.  It's going to be a rave and the weather is supposed to be in the thirties but with clouds...perfect.

We came back to mine and had coffee on the terrace, off they went and I raided the fridge and found fish fingers and made sandwiches...filled a gap so they say.  I repotted one of my new purchases and watered the rest applying a little fertiliser given to me bu the lady at the market garden and now about to have an early night...I have to be at the rave centre for just before nine tomorrow and then we head down to Greece with bathers at the ready.  LN....An exciting day is forecast....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 10, 2019, 6:48pm; Reply: 9
Tuesday 10th September

Early start and I was in the Nipper for eight twenty and heading over to Fotinovo for the birthday meet-up....G is three years old today and my has the time flown.  On the way over I saw a man walking just beyond the village that Bekir and Sally live in and I was more or less sure that it was Sally so I pulled the car over and waited until he was near to me and wound the window down.  He looked, recognised me and he was on his way to Kirkovo so I took him to Fotinovo which is breaking the back of the journey and dropped him off.  He was sure to get a lift with one of the many friends he has there.  I carried on to the meeting point, we loaded up the car with all the gear for a birthday bash on the beach and I transferred myself to their car and off we set.  Mr and Mrs D of S were about four cars in front of us at the border crossing into Greece and we met up the other side and carried on in convey to the beach but stopping off along the way for coffee and some rather superb baked goodies from the bread shop.  All fortified we carried on to the beach.

What didn't we have?  The gazebo came out along with camping table and chairs, cool boxes, birthday cake, towels and mats for sitting on and it wasn't long before some of us took to the water after kitting out the little one in full sun gear.  While they were swimming we took to blowing up balloons and attaching them to the gazebo, a dolphin joined the balloons and we were doing fine until the wind got up, the gazebo was almost bound for Thassos  so we packed it away, strung up the balloons properly, closed up shop at one thirty and headed for the restaurant in the resort.  Lovely fish and chicken meals, ice-creams were served after the bill was paid and out came the cake and the candle lit and the restaurant all joined in with some of the left over cake going to the other diners.  

Back to the beach only this time we took down essentials and stayed in the shade of the tall pines and ventured out only for was up in the thirties despite the high clouds.  Mr and Mrs D of S left at around five thirty and we stayed on until around six thirty enjoying the evening and watching the sun go down behind Thassos.  Back to the town and Lidl for a few things, the market garden surprisingly was still open so I was able to get the plant that I wanted for the wedding at the weekend and we bought lots more again looking like Kew Gardens on the move.  Unpacked and shopping transferred by eight and I was home for eight thirty, car unpacked and now feeling very sun happy and relaxed.  It's amazing what a day in the sun and sea does for you.  LN....Lovely day and hopefully built memories for a three year old......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 10, 2019, 6:54pm; Reply: 10
And cake time
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 11, 2019, 6:30pm; Reply: 11
Wednesday 11th September

Terrible night last night.....Woke up and thought it was four, flicked on my watch and found that it was only two, read for a while and got my head down again at four and finally woke up at seven thirty.  Pahhhh.  Quick shower and ready to set off for Kardjali with my Fotinovo buddies to finish the documentation that we started about seven months ago....some things take longer in Bulgaria but we have to await the documents from England and that can be very slow...just saying.  Off we set and parked up, over to the office and with a little cajoling  and smiley faces the form was filled in by the young man behind the  counter, payment made and everything in the garden is rosy.  We have succeeded where several have failed and are still trying.  We went for a coffee, popped in to Kaufland to see its special offers that weren't offers and certainly not very special, back to Djebel for bread for me since I'd missed the van this morning.  I was dropped off at twelve twenty and had to be at the dentist in Fotinovo by one and it was all systems go.

Kettle on, frying pan on, bacon in, bread sliced, egg in, sandwich made and i was eating it by twelve thirty.  A fantastic in-box exercise.  I was doing really well and then as I ate my breakfast in the garden while watering one of the plants, my painter shouted over asking if I was OK and I reminded him that he was going to ask his brother who works in Denmark if he could be on the lookout for a small apartment for my student's sister who gets married this weekend. ...and time was now ticking.  In the Nipper for twelve forty five and managed to get to the dentist at four minutes after one and I apologised.  What a fantastic job he has done.....scraped and polished at a bargain rate and I've booked in for six months time for my next treatment.  Over to my buddies for coffee as they'd suggested when they dropped me off and home for three thirty.

I found out the material for the dress for the wedding and made a start on it...tomorrow I'll be getting the sewing machine up and running....I've decided how I want it to look and I'll make it tomorrow.  If it doesn't work out OK, I still have time to get to one of the bigger shopping towns and search for the one that hasn't yet been made....but I'll give it a try first.  I got the washing in, watered the pots and Avatar came round with one of the dishes that I'd taken over with food and I asked her if she had anything for tonight which she said she hadn't.  I'd got nothing in the pipeline so I went into the kitchen, thawed out some mince, fried off an onion, potatoes in the microwave, a can of beans open and I concocted enough for both of us and added beetroot just before I served it up.  I popped over with it, she told me I was a very bad woman which I know anyway and I came back and had mine.

Final challenge for today was to sent a egift card and I still don't know why they can't be purchased with an account balance and you have to pay for it again....The birthday girl will be able to have some fun and have books waiting for her when she arrives in the UK.   LN..... Now time to relax and hope for a better night tonight....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 12, 2019, 6:37pm; Reply: 12
Thursday 12th September

Slow start and I needed it...I've had a few busy days.  I didn't need the bread van, watered the pots but it was a lovely cloudy day and there's not much light coming from the solar lights tonight.  It's around twenty tonight so the door to my bedroom terrace is closed and probably will remain so and an extra quilt might go on.  

I started the dress making and made good progress until I came to the crossroads of cutting the top material and I've still not done it.  The main is in two parts, skirt and strappy top and it's just the over layer that needs to be attached...when I've worked out how to do it but that's a job for tomorrow.  Again I've tried on my staple outfit for weddings and high days  and it still might be a contender for the wedding.  After about an hour of cutting and snipping I settled for beans on creative hunger had been overtaken by my physical hunger and it had to be satisfied.  I settled for the baked beans left over from last night on toast and it did me through until tonight when it was more toast with cheese triangles...not 'gastronomic' but it filled the gap and will see me through until tomorrow morning.

So at three I'd had enough and lay on the bed with Soda Crush, managed to finish a game that I've had to work to complete.....not nice.  Unfortunately I nodded off, woke up at four thirty and it took me ages to come round.  I had a message about Pilates tonight and I replied that I was having trouble coming round from my afternoon nap so I'd probably fall asleep on the mat.  It was much safer to stay home.  

Short and sweet tonight...I hear the ice-cream calling me from the freezer.  Tomorrow is a blank canvas....sewing to finish the outfit....and that's about it.  LN....Moon's up ....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 14, 2019, 6:10pm; Reply: 13
Friday 13 and Saturday 14th September

I was surprised...I must have shut down last night without posting the day's happenings....I was very tired last night so it could well have been the case.  I remember looking at it and didn't check that it had fault...sorry.

Yesterday was a day of dressmaking, popping over the road so that Avatar could give it the once over and as far as she was concerned, there were a few minor changes which have been completed and all that was left was a little had stitching.  I did this last night so it's all set to go to a wedding but now I'm not sure if I want to go back to the original plan and wear the outfit I wore for my daughter's wedding....I'll see how I feel tomorrow, the day of the wedding

So at seven thirty this morning I had a message from my student that they were going to the wedding venue at ten thirty and was it possible that I could join them and get the blackboard tableaux sorted.  It was something that I wanted to get out of my brain and over and done with so I gathered everything into the  Nipper except for the smaller items and two bougainvillea and was then on time.  I suddenly remembered that I wanted my nails done with a gel coating...they've never looked so bad as they do now due to a summer of gardening and lack of care so she phoned her lady and made an appointment for me at one today.  We sat and had coffee waiting for the bridegroom to appear and at eleven we set off for the hotel in Kardjali and did what we had to do.  The result pleased the soon to be weds and the rest will be done tomorrow at five.  We drove back to Djebel, I had lunch with the family and was ready for  my nail lady, parked up in the town and walked to the shop;  What a find...she does hair, nails and massage, is a trained nurse and a lovely lady and I'll get her speaking English eventually.  Like most she did five years of English at school but has not used it since.  It took three hours and I'm so pleased and promised her I would wear gloves for the gardening from now on.

A little shopping in town and bought chicken wings for supper and I shared them with Avatar.  I came back with about ten small yukka shoots and they're now sitting in water to establish roots.  A lot's been achieved today, the wedding is not starting until three thirty at the house, five at the hotel and seven for the rest of the guests and on until goodness knows my update for tomorrow might be a tad late.  LN....I'm watching the unveiling of the pyramids....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 15, 2019, 10:45pm; Reply: 14
Sunday 15th September

It's very late I's been a full on day and very successful it was too.  The flowers and blackboard and easel with the greeting was admired for being very original, the couple are wed, I have ninety six photographs to look through and there appears to be a few good ones amongst them but I had to run the gauntlet of professional photographers with arc lights and there were lots of them running around.  I've never seen it before at a wedding in Bulgaria but they were taking photographs of the guests as well as the event, framing them up and selling them.  I just hope they got a discount on the cost of the wedding photographs and that it was offset by the ones purchased by the guests...but I doubt it.

It was the first time that I've been invited to the house to see the 'secret' part of the ceremony.  The bride to be's family waited at their house with the relatives, the groom arrive accompanied by a clarinet band and his family, one of the men from the brides family escorted the groom to the foot of the stairs after throwing a flag down in the garden the significance of which I must ask about, the female members of the grooms family went up the stairs and into the house, they trooped out and then the groom was escorted up the stairs to the door which was closed, had to knock and money was demanded by the sister before he was allowed into the house.  The couple were in the house with some family members and after about five minutes they appeared at the top of the stairs for the waiting photographers.  Out on to the street where the band struck up and the bride and groom led the dancing with the family.  Just before five the bridal car arrived, I'd parked mine in the mayor's car park so made a quick exit via their back gate and beat them all to the venue in Kardjali.  By the time the family arrived, I'd finished the rest of the flowers and finalised the display....My work was done until tomorrow when I take it all down again.

So my student was insistent that she could fit it all in their car and I convinced her that a quart doesn't go into a pint pot so tomorrow I'm taking the Beast for my things and theirs.  It didn't pack up until midnight and driving back from Kardjali there were few cars and in the forest I only saw one deer and where was the my bag and it disappeared too soon to capture it.

Just a few pickies from the day.  LN....I'm off to my virtuous couch......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 16, 2019, 6:14pm; Reply: 15
Monday 16th September

Straight through until eight this morning so checked to see if I'd had a message from my student to see what time I was expected for the chauffeuring to last night's venue to collect everything that hadn't been brought back last night.  I made toast for breakfast and walked the garden with my coffee and everything is really in need of a good soaking but looking at the rain for two weeks so it's due to get crispier.  One load of washing done and hung out and by eleven I'd heard nothing but did see on another page that she was heading to Greece so obviously nothing was happening today.  I was more concerned for the flowers needing water so I dressed for the pool, headed in to Kardjali but stopped off in Djebel to see her mother who had to work today and asked if my 'stuff' had been cleared out last night but it hadn't.  At this point father appeared and he was working and said that he couldn't help me but help wasn't what I needed ....I just needed to create a plan and get on with it which I did.  I drove to the hotel, picked up the key from the bar, dismantled the blackboard and easel, carried everything down to the Nipper and loaded it to the gunnels.  I'd got a couple of half empty bottles of water so I gave the most needed a drink and headed up to the swimming pool.

That was a waste of time.  The water looked very green so I saw the barman and asked if they'd finished for the year to which he replied that they hadn't and at this point I decided I had.  He blamed the weather, I blamed the fact that they'd probably economised on chemicals and electricity and declined his offer of a sunbed and headed down to the town centre to pay telephone bills that were not outstanding but due.  Over to Kaufland to pick up potatoes, carrots and a butternut squash and came out with toilet cleanser for the next two months or so because of their offers and reduced hamburgers, two of which I've cooked and just eaten and the other four are in the freezer.  I went to fill up with gas and the attendant noticed that one of my rear tyres was down in pressure and he offered to top it up for me.  I declined his offer and drove back to Djebel when an antique nail was removed and a puncture was repaired.  Ten minutes with  student's mum and she showed me photos she'd received from my ex-student who's finishing off his working vacation in New York...what an experience  for a twenty year old and now it will be back home and to university in Sofia.

Home and unpacked the shopping, then the plants, ice-cream in the freezer and the rest of the hardware into the little house.  I got the washing in, made a coffee and sat outside but noticed a few little flies hanging around and no way did I want any more bites....this year has been horrendous, everyone's complaining.  I moved in the house and the phone went with an update from home,  At this point Haciber came to the door and I gathered that there's going to be a baby party this weekend, I didn't know which day or time so I had to have a translation from Avatar when I'd finished the call.  It's Sunday at eleven thirty....mystery solved.

Favourite night on the tele tonight....but an early night is on the cards.  Tomorrow I'm heading into Djebel to order some wood and so tomorrow I'm probably stacking.....a little physical exercise.  LN....Wish me luck.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 17, 2019, 6:22pm; Reply: 16
Tuesday 17th September

Very silly night.  I woke up towards the end of one of my favourite programmes, caught University Challenge and went to bed.  I fell into a really deep sleep for three hours, two hours of Soda Crush and reading and back to sleep by five , leaving the door to the balcony open.  Weird dreams until seven thirty and felt like rubbish when I woke up and all that on a couple of hamburgers.  I went out to check the pots for water and rearrange everything that I'd dumped yesterday and started a desperate attempt on the garden shrubs that were obviously suffering from the lack of rain.  The long wall hydrangea was the first to benefit, I moved the hose to the potentilla, the new big pot with the unknown occupant was next finally finishing on the forsythia and the flowering shrubs under the Lonesome pine.  I'll have to check on the rest in the morning to find the next recipients.  It could be a long road to rain is scheduled for the next week or so.

Late breakfast of toast and fruit loaf followed by yet more coffee but it really did take me ages to wake up.  I think the stress of the last few days has to come out as my mother would say.  It makes me realise that flowers and getting them to flower at the right time is not an easy process.  The lavenders hung on and managed to display at the right time and I did cut late flowering ones from the big bushes in the garden to make a floral display.  That's now pride of place in the porch and the aroma is stunning and tomorrow I'm cutting the rest of the stalks so that I can hang them to dry.  I must also sort out last years that are obviously dry and seeds need to be separated from the stalk...and need to think of doing something withe them like lavender bags.

This afternoon I'd made the decision to buy three tons of logs despite not really knowing how a ton relates to the 'cubic' measurement that I normally go for.  I drove in to Djebel and went to see my student's mum and we investigated together.  There are such a lot of things to be considered, the density of the different types of wood, whether it;s dry and how long it's been cut and we managed to work out that there's probably about one point eight cubic to one ton, give or take , but at least it's ready to stack.  I got to the yard and they have wood at various stages of the processing but there wasn't anyone at the yard so I phoned the number on the gate and found out where the shop was and I knew the owner but not the lady on the end of the phone.  I went to the shop but the owner apparently is in Turkey and she wasn't able to take an order from me and suggested that I go in tomorrow morning early to catch the owner.  I'll see how i feel in the morning.  

I arrived home by four thirty, turned the hose off and settled down on the sofa with my book and yes....I woke up at six thirty and still feel jaded.  As for photographs, the camera will be out tomorrow at the wood yard and I do have blossom on the cherry in the garden that I kept threatening to photograph today and didn't get round to it.  Let's home tomorrow is a better day and I get my mojo back.  LN...No supper required....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 18, 2019, 5:56pm; Reply: 17
Wednesday 18th September

Better night last night and I was up and at 'em ready to get into the wood yard for eight but the more I thought about it I decided to phone just in case the owner hadn't come back from Turkey.  There was no response to the phone call so I left it until after nine and still no reply so I headed in anyway.  I had my internet to pay, my year was up, so I had another reason to go to Djebel.  I went round to the shop and the lady from the supermarket came round to serve me and asked if I'd been down to the yard which I hadn't so I set off to see if anyone was there.  It looked deserted but eventually the owner appeared, we talked wood and he asked me what size I wanted and I pointed it out to the workers, we settled on the price since there were two prices on the gate and we went for the middle one and agreed the cost of the lorry would be fifteen lev.  I actually paid less than I'd calculated with the reduction in the price of the wood...result.  I moved to the main car-park and met up with Mr and Mrs D of S with the little one who had come to Djebel on a shopping expedition.  I carried on to the Internet shop and paid for the year, back to the supermarket for bread and I met the family coming out...but the little one was not very chatty this morning...may be wrong side of the bed.

So home and preparing for the delivery.  The wood store was done already but I moved the Beast to near the wall outside the gate facing out and the Nipper in front of it and I relaxed knowing that I'd got a whole load of work once the lorry arrived.  He tooted the horn and I went out, he asked where I wanted it dropping and I said that if he could get it in the yard it would really be appreciated and what a gem he way.  It was pretty tight but he reversed in and started dropping the wood on the concrete just outside the garage, a very calculated drop and he made his exit and I still have two gate posts intact.  It looked a very good load, some of the logs need splitting but nothing wrong with that....better that than matchsticks.

I started at twelve, came in for a rest at one thirty, went out again, came in at three, slept until four and out again and didn't stop until I'd finished.  I managed to stack three deep of up to middle size and the larger ones are stacked in the garage on one side and the back wall.  I shall see if my painter is able to give me a day or half day to get them split otherwise I'll do them as I need them.  The wood is very dry so they should split easily.

Jacket potato with cheese for supper tonight done in the microwave...and I'm now going to check on the ice-cream.    I hear it calling from the kitchen.  Knacked but that's a job well done and it looks as if the weather is about to change.  Ordered, paid for and put away before it got wet and went down in value...same price, less wood.  LN....Bath and bed.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 19, 2019, 5:27pm; Reply: 18
Thursday 19th September

So I had my bath last night and emerged from the tub at eleven, last visit to the loo, went to wash my hands and water.  Someone must have been out late turning it off.  The digger was spotted going down the street today and it came back on at around one but there was loads of air and silt in it.

My sleep last night was nothing like it should have been.  I woke up at two and opened the door to the was a warm night and at around three I thought I heard rain and I did. I went out and stood in it and it was so refreshing.  The terraces were damp this morning but it was nothing to write home about.  Eventually got my head down again at five and woke up at seven fifteen,  I was quickly out of bed, hot water from the kettle for my wash and teeth and it's amazing how many times you try the taps to get water out even though you know that there's none in the pipeline.

Today I'd offered to take Avatar to the cash point to take money out for her winter in Germany and I needed her with me...I'd had trouble removing my card with my new nails so I didn't want the bank asking where the owner of the card was if I'd have lost hers to the Bank.  I went over to her house by eight but she was waiting for a delivery of milk so I said I wasn't in any rush, so I suggested that she came over when she was ready which she did.  The lady with the milk hadn't arrived so she went over and got it from the lower village.  I removed the gas bottle from the kitchen cupboard, Avatar removed the valve from the top of the gas bottle since my hands don't work that well and we carried it together to the car.  The plan of campaign was gas bottle, bank card, water bottles from the supermarket with a few other items that we both wanted and we were home by ten thirty and she managed to get some credit on her telephone.  She's now ready to leave at the end of next week.  She replaced the valve on my gas bottle...I'm ready for winter cooking....and she headed home.

I settled in to reading and resting, yesterday and a sleepless night was taking its toll but at eleven there was a phone call from the post office saying that there was a letter for me but I didn't get to pick it up until one.  It was head down this afternoon and I feel much better for my afternoon of doing nothing.  I was just so lucky getting the wood in would have weighed more today and I would have had less....the angels smile.  Tuna mayo on toast for a late lunch and no need for supper tonight.  I did take a trip round the garden and I'm amazed at the colour despite the drought.  The Greek plants just keep giving and the yellow flowers will need to be culled at the end of the season...they take over but they're lovely to look at.  

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow or the weekend so I'll have to find something to do.  That shouldn't be too difficult.  LN.....And relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 20, 2019, 6:47pm; Reply: 19
Friday 20th September

So I was awake at six thirty this morning and what a good night's rest.  It was raining quite hard and I was so pleased..the grass is coming to life again already and I have a mole hill...bastards are back.  Coffee, back to bed with the tablet until it was a reasonable time to face the day.  I had the feeling that it was Saturday and when I went into my emails I saw one that I receive every Friday and I realised that I had an extra day.  I stripped down the bed after my second cup of coffee and spent time sorting through the linen chest for some warmer bottom sheet.  The weather has changed.  I also found out a bigger and heavier quilt, if I want to sleep with the door open for the fresh air, I need more on top of me.  

By now the rain had stopped and it was beginning to dry up.  I walked over the road to take back a dish that had arrived via Avatar with foodstuff in it and I took over a pair of scissors.  She'd taken her old pair to one of the men in the village to get them repaired but it was a waste of time....they were much beyond economical repair so I checked my stock and found a pair she could have.   I sat down with her for a time and saw that she was sorting out her wardrobe and throwing stuff out.  She also showed me two boxes of bottled foodstuff that she is having taken by road to Germany while she takes the plane.  Habits are hard to break.  I came back with more breakfast and yogurt that she'd made yesterday and we'd spoken about machine oil that she needed for her sewing machine.  She'd asked my painter about it but apparently he kept forgetting so took the yogurt plate back and a small bottle of machine oil from again my stock.  

Two loads of washing done and dusted and out on the line and this afternoon I had a visit from R of F and after viewing my wood we headed into Djebel and ordered a load for him and it will be delivered tomorrow morning at around eight thirty.  No sooner the word than the blow.   Supper of chicken wings and roasted vegetables into the oven at five thirty and ready for seven.  Princess phoned on her way back from work and we had a catch-up and talked about December festive (too early to say the word)....and it looks like we all might be holidaying though not together.  I'm out tomorrow night at a goat roast and on Sunday I have a baby social life knows no bounds.  LN....Long may it continue....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 21, 2019, 7:36pm; Reply: 20
Saturday 21st September

Six thirty start to the day, down for a coffee, washed up from last night and upstairs and in bed for the sunrise.  Lots of mist hanging about in the valleys and it's quite fairy-tale when it happens.  I was pretty slow off the mark today despite my early start, I'd checked my emails and ended up buying the  Patricia Cornwell twentieth book in the Scarpetta series and spent time searching for book nineteen to no avail.  The one that I bought was on offer for ninety nine pence so a bargain and that's the only time that I buy them.  So I headed down at about eight thirty and breakfasted on boiled eggs with soldiers and again washed up those dishes by nine thirty so instead of doing something constructive, I settled into my new book for a time but then took my coffee outside and ended up chasing butterflies.  Two of the yellow ones were chasing around and just wouldn't settle enough to get good pickies so you'll have to make do,  They were much prettier in flight.

Out to the garden and ended up digging around the escalonia on the long wall and found a couple of self rooted babies and now they're potted up until I decide where they're going to spend the rest of their lives.  I turned my attention to the little terrace bed and weeded it, dug  out four self set hypericom and two of those are now in situ and the other two in water until I decided again where they'll go.  The two Greek small trees that look like mimosa have been repotted in ten litre cut off water bottles, they had good root systems but needed more depth so that done and will spend the winter in the little house and fingers crossed they like their new homes.  I'm not sure they can withstand a Bulgarian winter.

I tried for a rest this afternoon knowing I was out and about tonight but it wasn't happening so I went out and did a little more digging and clearing and at five came in for a shower and to wash my hair.  I was ready for six and in the car by five past and heading out to Samodiva for a goat roast as a good bye offering for D and A of Samodiva , they are heading back to the UK for a while.  R and K of Fortinovo were there as well along with lots of locals at the bar in the village and the goat arrived courtesy of one of the farmers and boy was it a big one.  It was hacked apart and around sixteen of us settled in to it, very tasty, a little chewy and I spent the next hour or so trying to get it out discretely from the gaps between my teeth.  I stayed until nine and walked back to my car with A and the little one who by this time was getting very sleepy and I was frozen despite putting a jacket on.  

It was a very cold night and eleven degrees when I got home.  The first thing I did when I got in the car was to put the heater on to full power and get warmed up and when I got home I undressed and found a fleece jumper and some thick trousers....and I;m still cold now.  The house is in the lower twenties but I've just got chilled to the bone and soon to bed fwith a hot ice-cream for me tonight.

Tomorrow it's a baby party in Djebel and the coach leaves at eleven thirty... I shall be there with the ladies from the village...what a social life I have.  LN....A hot drink is called for....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 22, 2019, 5:41pm; Reply: 21
Sunday 22nd September

Lousy you know I came back cold...put on thick PJ's, double shot of coffee before bed and that must have been the one that threw out the rhythm of the night.  So at three I was reading my new book that I downloaded yesterday, eventually decided to get my head down again at five but nothing doing so I put the washing machine on and was pegging it out at six thirty this morning before the sun was up.  I checked the outside thermometer and it had gone down to five overnight but the house retained twenty two.  I did go back to bed again though and again got stuck into my book.

The sun was up and the temperature rising and I thought I'd have breakfast before I settled into tidying the garden.  I sniffed the bread and it was just on the turn so it was over the wall with it and the breakfast would have to wait for the bread van.  So to fill in the time I took out my hedge trimmer and cut the lavender back stacking the lavender in the log carrier and exposing the plants.  The lavender has die-back in the centre so I'll have to sort it out tomorrow and decide how much I cut back.  Bread van came so headed down the road and lots of ladies were already there.  I walked back with my Avatar and confirmed that the bus to take us to the baby party would be arriving at eleven thirty so I managed three slices of toast with strawberry jam and that saw me through until the lunch.  Quickly got changed, my neighbour arrived and was insisting on lavender so I told her to come back after the baby party and probably when the other neighbours weren't looking at what she was going back with. They would all want some.

So off we set, it's our usual driver that seems to spend time half looking at the road, twenty five percent on his phone and the rest of the time talking to passengers sitting near.  We walked to the restaurant, my neighbour from the next garden lost the heel from her shoe on the way and we managed to cobble it together to get her there.  My student's mum from last week's wedding was there and came over to speak to me.  Apparently she is on the house on her married and other daughter has gone to Turkey with her father and she must me having a lovely time with nothing to do but relax.  The baby was paraded, we coughed up the baby party tariff , had a lunch and then walked back to the pickup point and waited for the bus for the return journey.  A lot of the ladies decided to do their weekly shopping early and came back with bags of goodies.  Home for three, sofa with the book and head down for a couple of hours of catch up.  I was woken by my neighbour who'd  come round earlier in the day wanting lavender seeds, plant and anything that wasn't nailed down.  She went away happy.  Washing in, I swept the lavender seeds from the terrace on to the garden, cleared the steps down to the garden and tomorrow I will attack the third lavender and remove the bullying honeysuckle from it.  

Tomorrow I'm off to see Mrs D of Samodiva to collect the loot that she can't manage to take with her including a rocking chair.  I've got the label already for the bottom of the chair to make sure it does back where it belongs eventually should anything untoward happen to me before they return.  I've also lined up more work for me...I've asked my neighbour to ask one of my other farmers from the village for a load of manure...and that could be happening from Tuesday onwards.  LN....Why do I do it to myself.!!!...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 23, 2019, 5:23pm; Reply: 22
Monday 23rd September

Lovely rested sleep, sun was up before me but it was still a little cold when I took my first coffee outside.  I didn't have to be anywhere until eleven so I wasn't in a hurry to do anything.  I put on morning television with Piers Morgan and they were interviewing Joan Armatrading.  Now my concept was that she was American and I'd never really listened to any of her music  and I was over the moon when she handled Piers as he tried to ask her a political question and she was having none of it..Good girl.  I took my camera outside and again I had the problem that the automatic flash wouldn't pop up.  I ended up checking with in Internet and using a Q-tip and screen cleaner I cleaned the appropriate areas and fixed it.  I can now add this to my CV.....

I'd settled for a cardigan over a long sleeved t-shirt...the sun was strong but the wind was cold and it's been around five degrees for the last two morning.  I remembered to take with me the dress that II'd borrowed from K of F as a standby for the wedding but as it happened I didn't use it and also a copy of a photograph that I'd taken of a painting that I'd seen in one of the first houses that I view with Princess and her husband when we were all looking to more here.  The picture wasn't for sale but K has offered to recreate it a mixture of rural communism and Picasso and I fell in love with it.  I was over to Mrs D of S's by eleven  sat with her and the little one and what a poppet she is.  Her vocabulary for a three year old is superb and I'm going to miss them all.  I loaded up with bulbs from their garden, we carried the rocking chair to the car and managed to get it in and also the log carrier that I'd left with her two years ago to make her winter life easier.  I was full to the gunnels with lute plus some wax and wicks for candle making and that should keep me quiet for the winter.  

I carried of to see R of F and we sat in the garden with coffee after I'd handed K's dress over.  Their garden is coming on in leaps and's a challenge taking a garden from scratch and the vegetable garden has almost everything in it and the load of sheep shite that they spread over it was very productive and they're now looking for topsoil for the rest of the beds.

Driving home I came across an accident that had just happened.  A white van was across the white line as I came round the bend and a small black car was further along my lane and glass and debris was scattered on the road.  I stopped in plenty of time and threaded my way slowly through the debris and carried on my way.  I flashed the next car coming towards me as a warning and carried on home.  I unloaded the car, managed to get the rocking chair up the stairs and to my bedroom taking care that the rocker base wasn't too near the window to the balcony...that would be an expensive error.  The bulbs were put in the log carrier and will be sorted in the morning...I wasn't in the mood tonight....and are sitting in the  conservatory for the morrow.

Avatar came round and tomorrow there is a rice feast that I've been invited to and apparently the sheep farmer has provided the meat free of charge so it should taste really good.  I might be expecting my sheep droppings tomorrow...I've heard nothing from the lady that was organising it so it's a wait and see moment.  I've had supper already...hamburgers and chippies with lots of tomato sauce and own version of McDonald.  LN.....Active or inactive....I'll wait and see......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 24, 2019, 6:24pm; Reply: 23
Tuesday 24th September

Silly night again...I woke up at two and went back to sleep at six....carried on with my book and only managed to sleep until seven thirty.  I washed up the dishes from the yesterday and took my coffee outside and watched the birds in the garden.  There were some very noisy magpies out there trying to scare everything else off but the blue tits flitted backwards and forwards...very busy they were.  I didn't managed to get washed and dressed until eleven and I was out there in my PJ's which didn't really look anything like PJ's and sorted out the bulbs after I'd had a bonfire.  I'd put the house rubbish out and added the weeds from the old fridge flower container and the failing petunias from the tyres on the terrace.  I popped over to Avatar's house to take something back and while I was there Byser came over and a request came to fetch some water from the spring so that she could start on the rice and meat bucket that was going to feed the ladies of the village and their respective spouses.  I went back and fetched the car putting in a clean eleven litre empty bottle that would be filled for somebody.

Avatar came with me and we'd loaded another five empty bottles and we headed down to the 'cold water' spring about two kilometres from the village.  There are two spouts that permanently spew out waster but they were flowing very slowly and I'd filled up five while Avatar's chosen spout filled up only one bottle.  We've had no rain for about two months so there's bound to be less in the reservoir.  Back we came and I delivered two to the village square where the food was to be prepared, one was taken to Haciber's house for her personal use, two to Beyser's house and the last one went to Avatar.  We'd missed the bread van but caught up with the van as he reversed out the lane into the square so I have to pay for bread tomorrow but I think my credit's good.  I parked up outside my front wall and went in and made poached eggs on toast and then I concentrated on planting up the tyres and the fridge with the bulbs that I'd be given.  At around eleven fifteen Avatar came round and asked if I was ready to go down to the square for the feast so I asked for ten minutes to get out of my PJ's and get ready to face the village.

The rest of the ladies arrived in dribs and drabs and eventually there were fourteen assembled but by now the clock was ticking and Avatar and myself were eager to be off and back to the jobs we had to do.  The rice oversized pot was uncovered, the individual pots surrounded it and it was dished out and I joke that I had enough for a couple of weeks or so.  We were the first to leave, I took some of the rice and meat and put it into a smaller dish and loaded it with soy sauce, lay on the sofa and caught up with the sleep that I'd missed over night.  It was four thirty when I woke up....I was going to carry on with the bulb planting but it started to rain so I stayed inside.  It's around twenty degrees outside but having been used to thirty degree days, I'm feeling cold tonight and toyed with lighting the fire but at nine's a little late.

Hoping for better weather tomorrow...I've still got lots of bulbs to put in and I'm tempted to go down to my neighbours to get a few barrow loads of manure since the cart didn't arrive today and then plant a lot of the bulbs up in the vegetable patch just to see what the bulbs are.  I've got various types of tulips and lilies and I'm not sure which are which....I didn't get photos with them.  Ice-cream for supper...the rice will live to fight another day.  LN....Bath and bed.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 25, 2019, 5:27pm; Reply: 24
Wednesday 25th September

Not a bad night and woke up at six this morning.  Down for coffee, back to bed, read more of my book and was down to the kitchen and starting on my day by eight.  I didn't want bread but owed for yesterday's so legged it over to Avatar's house with my one leva so that she could settle my bill.  She'd been working in the garden again and is finishing everything off before she leaves on Monday.  She came over later and was on her way to her husband's grave so I asked her if she would like a few bulbs to put round it and I explained that I had a few left over after saturating my garden with them and she said that she would love them.  I offered her my plastic planting tool and she said that she didn't need it and had her walking stick.  I suggested that she took mine, I knew how hard the ground was despite yesterday's light rain.  She came back about an hour later and thanked me...I was right, the soil was very solid.

I made toast for breakfast and finished up the last of my strawberry jam.  I went out tidying some more of the pots but the state of the conservatory was niggling me.  I started off by potting up another wandering jew that I might have to give away seeing how quickly they grow.  I emptied the shelves of the old stair case and decided that it needed a coat of bezir and that's how it all started.   The shelves have been painted and everything tidied and put into storage boxes, old shoes have been thrown out, coats have been sorted and old work gloves thrown out.  The floor has been vacuumed, the carpet shaken and the floor washed's now ready for winter.  Even the wind chimes have had a coating of bezir. ...and now I'm knacked.

I finished tonight off with a bonfire and I was surprised when I got down to the burning bin....there was a cat sitting on the remains of this morning's fire.  I suppose it was a warm spot.  It didn't jump out immediately and I reckon it could have been stuck in there so I took the lid off and that's when it took off at a great rate of knots over the wall.  The fire started quickly, I went back to the house to get more ammunition and by this time it had really taken off and I was tempted to take a bucket of water with me but didn't.  I did put the lid back on it and it chugged along nicely and not a cat in sight.

I'm hungry and about to head down to the kitchen to see what I can find...and this might include the microwave.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far but things change quite quickly in this village.  LN...Hunt for food is on....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 26, 2019, 4:57pm; Reply: 25
Thursday 26th September

Up at the same time as the sun this morning.  Only a few light clouds in the sky and it's been a reasonable day all round.  I made it down stairs by seven thirty and I was finding jobs to do, starting them and moving on to the next so I had to give myself a strict talking to.  The pottery balloon from Capadokia had taken a bit of a tumble yesterday while I was clearing out the conservatory.  I'd managed to catch the balloon, the basket had fell to the floor and last night I couldn't find the clapper but this morning I found it under the starter wood bucket.  The next problem was to put it back together was too narrow to get fingers up it to tie knots and things to hold the clapper in place.  Eventually I decided to use new ribbon and not mess around with the existing and using a needle I managed to put it all back together again and you'd never know that I'd played around with it.  It's now back in place.

Settled for toast and Marmite this morning and took to the sofa with the book,  I was on seventy percent and it was at last warming up.  I toyed with the idea of getting the old fence wood from by the burning pit but pushed it to the back of my mind.  The day was moving on but my work arrived in the form of a horse and cart loaded with dry manure.  I move the Nipper so that the horse could be led into the yard and the poor thing had poor pickings from the grass...there was very little.  The cart was unloaded, together we turned the cart round as he led the horse and off he went and it's the same again tomorrow.  I started more or less straight away, wheelbarrow and small snow shovel from the workshop, secateurs to clear the path through to the graveyard garden and it was all systems go.  I covered the beds and got down to the mulberry more or less and kept on load back for the pots when it comes time to get them into new compost.  I was tempted to take to the sofa again but I decided to split a few of the larger logs with the wedge and lump hammer and managed to fill the log carrier twice.  My work was done.  

Back to the sofa, finished the book and it was one of those where they bring in the villain in the last chapter.  I'll have to go back and read that again.  I might have more manure tomorrow if Hassan feels in the mood otherwise I think I might be heading in to Kardjali...I have work at the bank.  LN....Boiler on for a bath....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 27, 2019, 4:25pm; Reply: 26
Friday 27th September

Very restful night again, washing in at seven and back to bed with a new book.  I was a little concerned with the boiler this morning.  The water temperature hadn't gone up as much as it should and I thought it might be the boiler thermostat or maybe the timer device that restricts the power to the boiler.  Inspector Cludo to the rescue....and found that there might be a problem with the timing was shutting off and stopping the functioning.  I suddenly remembered that I had another timer in the conservatory that I'd used on the Christmas lights so plugged it in and raised up the notches to regulate the length of time that the power flowed to the boiler.  I gave it a try and even though the notches were down the power still flowed....and this is where the brain kicked in....the notches were opposite than the previous one....and had to be up when not in use not down so I switched it over and works.  I don't have a problem with the boiler.

Beans on toast eventually, washed up and cleared the kitchen and it was back to the bulbs, pots and I planted the tamarisk which I've since found out that it's very invasive and the red hot poker which has been in the pot for too long.  I actually found three in the pot and have put them all in.  The old Beast tyres are i the yard and the bowl is in awaiting filling and placing....

Back to the book...I didn't head out to Kardjali just in case my manure arrived...but it didn't...maybe tomorrow.  I might risk it list is growing longer.  I got steak out of the freezer last night and now have to think of something to do with it.  I seem to remember that the last lot was tough so I might bash it to death or cut it into strips.  LN...Another winter preparation day...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 28, 2019, 4:51pm; Reply: 27
Saturday 28th September

Six thirty start, coffee, back to bed and read my book until the sun came up and glared me out.  At this point I was forced out of bed, shook the duvet, put yesterday's washing away, washed and dressed and walked the garden and had a chat with the new plants that went in yesterday.  They appear to be doing OK...they were watered in well yesterday so should have enough to survive until tomorrow and they'll get a good drink in the morning,

I didn't bother with breakfast and was in the Nipper by nine and heading to Kardjali via the back lane.  I was pleased to see that they've had a digger or tractor to level out the humps and bumps and have filled in the holes with clinker.  I was slipping and sliding a little but managed to get down without anything coming up to meet me.  There was quite a lot of traffic on the Greek road and the roat tax vehicle was pulling in a few card from Greece that were obviously without paying the road tax.  Greeks are kicking off about it....we don't have to pay to use their roads since they don't rn a temporary road tax system so maybe they'll be introducing one.

First stop at the hardware shop and bought the timer to replace the one that went to the great electrical heaven in the sky.  I drove on to central Kardjali and my car park attendant wasn't obvious today so it was a cheap visit.  I went to the cheapy clothes shop and picked up a few things including a fully waterproof coat that will spend the winter in the Nipper or the Beast depending  which one is in use, a long curtain only because it has the aluminium pole circles in the header and a pair of jeans which fit Cinderella and me.  I went to Kaufland and bought vegetables a large pack of coffee beans...for my guest to take back or for me to transport.  Moved to Lidl and spent a small fortune on nothing including a bag of hyacinth bulbs as if I don't have enough work to do.  I stopped off and filled up with gas and headed home via the back lane and that's when it became interesting.   I was slipping and sliding everywhere and did it all in first...the Beast would have managed it with no trouble at all.  Home for just after one and I was seemed much later and by two I'd unpacked the car, got the frozen in the freezer and the rest of the shopping away, the clothes were in the washing machine and out onto the line.  Four chicken legs into a  lidded casserole dish with water into the oven, I prepared enough vegetables for Avatar and myself and into the oven with them and I reckoned that all would be ready by six.  I'd put the oven on a lower temperature than normal.  My work was, sofa and book.  

The world athletics are being shown and so I started to watch it and food has been worked in around it.  Food delivered to Avatar on schedule and she said that she didn't want it, I said I would take it home and she more or less snatched it from me.  We do have our little jokes.  I also took over a bunch of white grapes that were down to  one leva twenty for a kilo...not very sweet but I'll keep them for a day to see if they get any better.  Kitchen tidied, two more legs of chicken in the cooker to cool down and they'll be curried tomorrow.  More athletics and Strictly tonight...let's see who's the first to go out but not really been following it so was a goat roast last Saturday.

Gardening tomorrow ....I've got three more shrubs that I bought today plus the hyacinth bulbs to go it.  The lawn could do with a trim if only to clean it up to get rid of the leaves.  LN....Another good day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 29, 2019, 7:16pm; Reply: 28
Sunday 29th September

I appeared to have a good night's sleep but my memories of last night was that I was scratching itching ankles for the last two hours.  I can only think that they are old insect bites....the little things that live in the grass might have jumped up and nibbled a bit....little bastards.

Up before the sun this morning again, it was normal routine. washed up from last night, made my coffee but then made my bed....I didn't go back there but sat out on the terrace and enjoyed the morning.  The mist was hanging in the valley, I had fresh eggs and thought about poached on toast with ham but the thought went to the back of my mind.  I realised that I only had the Lidl bread that overnight had toughened up a little so went over to see Avatar aimed with two lev and we sat in the garden watching a parade of Turkish visitors walking up and down the street and lots of cars bearing Turkish number plates.  It was a quick update from was our village fete worse than death.  The gypsies were out with their horses galloping up and down the street but no brad wagon.  We reckoned that with the fete going on, he thought there wouldn't be much trade.  I toyed with going and then decided against it....I would have met people that I know up there but my brain wasn't in the right place for it...I wasn't up to the effort involved....instead I left Avatar, went home and I ended up with toasted ham and cheese sandwiches out in the sun on the terrace.  

The rest of the day was spent in the garden....I dug holes and planted the three plants that I'd bought yesterday and planted up more bulbs.  I then set out and tackled the bed by the old roof tiles that I'd ignored totally this year.  I knew there were lots of flags in there and so I firstly raked over it to get rid of the old leaves and grass, tidied up the old leave from the flags and uncovered the rhizomes and the new buds.  I chopped back the bushes, planted a forsythia and another plant from Haskovo that's doing nothing in the pot and dug in bulbs around the bed.  I came in for forty minutes rest and obviously the eyes went southwards and when I surfaced I went out and tidied away the tools watering everything well before I gave up for the night.

Cold chicken and roast veg for supper tonight and ice-cream to follow.  As for tomorrow...nothing set in stone so if the weather is good, it might be more gardening to knock the rest of the bed into shape and might even edge it,  LN....Shower and bed...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 30, 2019, 5:33pm; Reply: 29
Monday 30th September

So last night at twelve thirty I went over to sway goodbye to Avatar.  The taxi was coming to pick her up and take her to the airport at one thirty and off to Germany for the winter she goes.  She's sad to be going but it takes the strain off fires to sort out, wood to chop and she's with the family.  It's going to be strange without her but I wish her well for the winter...

It didn't take me long to get into bed and asleep in quicksticks and through until five thirty this morning.  I made coffee, went back to bed, got out my tablet and clutching my coffee woke up when I felt it tip over and some went on the quilt and duvet cover.  Thee quilt was washed and the duvet put in the sun to didn't take long.  The washing was out on the line by seven and fortunately I'd pegged it well.  The wind got up and everything was at ninety degrees to the line.  This morning was a kitchen real tidy...both frying pans washed and put away, the chip pan was emptied and the old oil ready to go on the bonfire, the final chicken leg is now curried and is tonight's supper and the temporary chip pan is now back to its original status.  As for breakfast, I found a couple of kidneys that I'd bought on Saturday so I chopped them and had them on toast for breakfast....made a change.

Out to the garden and I was drawn to the third lavender original bushes under the main terrace wall.  It had suffered greatly from the onslaught of the honeysuckle and it was very dead in the centre so I set to and dug it out, hacking away at the honeysuckle to knock it into shape.  It now gives me the chance to edge the bed properly so I'll be up in the little house loft to see what's up there and suitable to use.  It could be a woodworking day tomorrow.  I came in two and my feet fairly slipped out of my gardening clogs and I realised they were in need of a great deal of attention.  I soaked them, cut the nails, poked them and cleaned them up and painted my toe-nails.  Then the effort got too much, head down and went to the land of nod for an hour or so, woke up and tidied away the tools, washing in, bed made up, athletics on the computer and I'm about to have a shower and admire my toes.  LN....More of the same tomorrow....LN

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