Print Topic - Archive

Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  APRIL 2021
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 1, 2021, 5:16pm
Thursday 1st April

Very early start after I went to bed at eleven but had had far too much to eat.  The rack of ribs and roasted potatoes left me wishing it hadn't eaten so much...too late she cried.  I woke at five thirty and thought I might get back off again but no way so I played on the Kindle, watched the end of Hard Talk, the early news felt sleepy again but by this time it was heading for eight so I made toast and watched the world come to life.  That wind was still blowing a gale, despite the scudding clouds the sun was in evidence but it was still cold out there.

I washed and dressed and had planned to go into Djebel.  I was on a mission to find bowls to fit the oil drums that turned into garden ornaments and tested out everything that I had and one metal one had the correct dimensions so that was put ready to go with me into Djebel using it as a template.  I also wanted to see my student's mother but knew that that had to take place after lunch, her little shop was normally humming over the lunch period.  So to pass the time I turned on Netflix and carried on watching what I'd started last night.  It's now getting interesting and I like the music that accompanies it.

I set off at one thirty picking up a pot of sunflowers that I'd grown as a gift for mum and was flagged down by a car that overtook me as I closed and locked the gates.  As I started off it slowed down in front of me and flagged me down, the driver asked if I was English and said that he was looking for the Djebel road so I overtook and said to follow me.  I set off at my normal pace looking out for cows and sheep on the way, hit the main road and then I put my foot down, slowing down for fifty signs and bends but his brake pedal didn't seem to be working very well and I was pleased when I hit Djebel and I turned off to go to the cash point. He waved and carried on, I took money from the cash point, parked up and bought chocolates for student's mum and some for me.  I drove to the shop and student's mum was on her own apart from frozen mackerel that she had to put away and lots of other stock. I handed over the plants and chocolates, she was surprised that I'd visited and I had an update on grandfather who is not very well at all.

Over to the leva shop and carrying my 'template' bowl managed to find identical ones in plastic so bought four of them at one lev each...bargain and then went to the garage shop to have an hour or so with my other student's mum.  I haven't seen her for a couple of weeks so there was a lot to catch up on and I came away with ten eggs from their chickens.  I also spoke to big student who is again home from university in Sofia and little student who is being home tutored and was off to play football....a lovely family.

Home for five and walked the garden noting the shrubs that are budding and the ones that still have to be cut back.  If there's no wind tomorrow, it's definitely a gardening day...I've been away for it too long.  No supper for me so far, I opened the chocolates which was a mistake and I'll see how I feel later.  LN....I nice day in good company.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 2, 2021, 4:17pm; Reply: 1
Friday 2nd April

Early to be and early to rise means that you turn over again and get a few more zzz's in, and I did.  Coffee at seven thirty and I'd made scrambled eggs by eight thirty and washed up and raring to go. The weather looked good, no wind and once the frost had risen from the grass I would find plenty to do.  It was just on zero and white over but it didn't take too long to burn off.  There hadn't been any rain since the water barrel was installed and I was fresh out of water for the plants in the little house and porch so I loaded six by eleven litre bottles into the Nipper and was ready to go around nine thirty.  I stopped off at Beyser's house to see if she wanted any bottles filling and there was a resounding yes from that quarter so I took two bottles with blue tops on them and put them on the back seat.  She uses it for drinking and her bottles were clean not like mine that I only use for watering plants so I have to keep them separately.  I knocked on Haciber's door and she didn't want any and I joked that she had a male friend that was keeping her supplied and then I carried on to Zelinger's house and picked up two bottles with pink tops so this made it simple for me...no mistaking which bottle goes to which house.

I set off for the well and was surprised to see that both outlet pipes were rocketing out where one's normally good and the other very slow so it didn't take long to fill the ten bottles in total.  I stopped to take a few photographs of the area and was disappointed by the amount of rubbish that Bulgarians throw around beauty spots...shame on them.  I did catch a glimpse of a stork feeding it's beak but as I just got it into shot it was off...another missed opportunity.  As I was driving back to the village I saw three people on the road but knew I couldn't pick them up because of the water bottles filling the foot wells in the Nipper.  There was a look of disdain as if I was totally out of order but I carried on, dropped off the bottles at Zelinger's house and received a bag of coffee in return and then on to Beyser and was presented with a cup of coffee, real black Turkish stuff so I sipped it carefully and threw the dregs away.  While I was in the garden the men that I'd driven by stopped to speak to Beyser and it was obvious that I was taking a bashing for not stopping but I smiled sweetly, they were obviously over from Turkey and I certainly didn't know them so didn't feel that I had to explain.  So back home and poured three of the water bottles into the water catcher so that I have it to water the patio plants. one into the porch on a pump and two into the little house...a useful morning's work.

Next job was to fire up the lawn mower and I started on the rest of the grass and managed most of it before I ran out of steam, stopped for a coffee, put on the television and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.  Back out there again and finished the rest including under the big trees and just need to strim round the wooden boarding on the beds and that's finished until it grows again...spring is here.  Next job was to sort out the pots and take the weeds out of them.  I've found three more shrubs that have survived and they have tiny buds on them, I also dug into a pot of 'something' and I'm not sure what it was so I covered it with more soil, watered it well and we'll see what appears.  I've repotted another shrub that seems to have outgrown its original home and will put it in the garden after a few weeks, much too early yet for new roots.  I filled another pot with soil and compost and that's ready for tomorrow, the cuttings that I've taken that have been in water for a couple of days are ready to see if they can find a life of their own...two choices...they will or they won't.

Nothing for tomorrow so far, I could do with a 'shop' but I might be going to Kardjali with Gulcan on Monday, she has a dental appointment and it will be two birds with one stone.  Lovely night with the sunset casting a rosy glow on the garden and the hillside, it looked like rain  earlier but it seems to have gone over.  I've just had to relight the fire...a failure...not allowed and now to find something for supper.  LN....A productive day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 3, 2021, 3:50pm; Reply: 2
Saturday 3td April

Seven thirty start so made the bed, opened the window and got on with the day.  Boiled eggs for breakfast with toast and it was while I was sitting at the table in the stairwell that the blue tits were showing an interest in a potential nest site.  There was an interlude when I sparrow chased them away but the were persistent and one even went inside.  It has been used before but it was near the garage and at ground level and I found it turned on its side....maybe cats but we'll see if it's used...I'll watch out for activity.  It was pretty soon after when I noticed that the woodies were out in force on the Mulberry and then they transferred to the lonesome pine and were paying particular attention to the old branch stubs.  At one point there were two of them attacking it but it does keep the bugs down.  

Breakfast things put in the wash up bowl until later and my plan for today was to take the barbed wire gift down to my neighbour at the bottom of the village.  I loaded it all in one of my log containers and managed to get by Haciber's house without her coming out to see where I was going and what was in the container but as I approached the bench, three others were sitting there and I had to tell them where I was going.  The wire for securing the barbed wire to the supports was visible but the barbed wire was underneath so wasn't obvious....they were none the wiser.  I carried on to the house and the mother was at home but the daughter wasn't so I put the reel of wire and the support wire in the garden and handed her the wire cutters and pincers to give to her daughter and made for home.  As I passed the bench the were all missing and were in Beyser's garden  and they were dishing out old potatoes that were all chitting and I thought they were going to plant them but no....they were going to cook them and I declined the offer of some to take home.

So I grabbed tools from the woodstore and headed down to the bottom of the garden to clear the rubbish from round the old water tap.  As it stands there's too many bricks and bits of old tiles to strim down there and when I looked back up the garden, my neighbour's daughter was trying to find me so I shouted to her and she came down to speak to me. She gave me a banana, asked me how much I owed her, pointed out what bulbs she wants from the garden and ordered a baby forsythia and anything else that I've got that she hasn't.  She does have a habit of killing stuff but her heart is good and off she went.  The wind was getting up so I collected up my tools and put them away.  It was getting on for around three thirty and I'd done enough for today.  I settled on the sofa and found another series to get stuck into, at five I put supper in the oven, washed up from breakfast and the chicken and veg should be ready in around fifteen minutes or so.  Wind has dropped but at least it coming up from Greece not it's not as cold as it was the other day.  I'm about to light the fire, it's become a bit of a habit but it's comforting at night.  LN.....Out for lunch tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 4, 2021, 5:36pm; Reply: 3
Sunday 4th April

Slept well until seven thirty, up and about by eight, boiled eggs for breakfast by nine, kitchen cleared and everything washed but not put away and in the shower by ten thirty.....not a bad morning's work.  It had rained overnight and the water barrel was almost half full so I really didn't need to go down to the well to start it off.  We had rain, the clouds cleared and the sun came out but it was short lived, the rain set in around eleven and it's been chucking it down ever since.

So dried my hair and had a bit of a mare deciding what to put on today, in your own house you can put another layer on if you get cold but I was out for the day.  I eventually settled for my oversized woollen cardigan, take it off when I get there and put it on if need be.  I was in the Nipper for twelve thirty and set off for Djebel, if I visit I take goodies and this was no exception.  As I went through the village the villagers were out in force, it's election day and apparently several coaches have arrived from Turkey so that the ones with duel residency could vote.  The parties ship them up here and no one has a thought for the virus, I'm so pleased that I've had my first and on the list for the second...Bulgaria is still not out of the woods yet and there's an inherent resilience to having the vaccination. From the supermarket I bought a couple of bottles of wine and some caramel chocolates. it is Easter somewhere after all and then set off for their village.  I was running a little early so I drove really slowly and it's a good job that I did.  Half was along the road the road was reduced to one lane and the carriage way that I was on had disappeared into the great beyond along with the safety rails.  Fortunately nothing was coming the other way so I gave it a wide berth and remembered where it was for the homeward journey.

I arrived at one thirty and the gifts were generously received, lunch was ready for about two and it was lamb with all the trimmings.  Coffee to follow and we decided to get settled with a new released film from the UK and it was very good.....blood thirsty but funny. We then exchanged views on the different things we'd watched on Netflix and at six I was ready to hit the road to get my fire and settled in for the night.  The journey back was uneventful except for the huge puddles on the road....it was throwing it down and patches of fog and the odd cows making their way home meant I had to pay attention.  As I drove through the village the same cars were still outside the polling station and I didn't realise that they stay open until around ten tonight and then...let the count begin.  I was surprised when I got back to find that the water board had let me down again....no water  . so my plan to get the washing done and dried overnight is off.    The fire is crackling away, I also bought chocolates for me so they might be for supper.  LN.....Time to throw another log on.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 5, 2021, 4:11pm; Reply: 4
Monday 5th April

I didn't sleep well last night, up at two thirty and awake at five thirty and have felt jaded all day.  The water was still off this morning and how many times do you tell yourself that there is no water coming out of the tap or the loo's not going to flush, but on automatic pilot you still expect it to work.  It was another dull and damp morning and I felt cold so I got dressed pretty quickly with an extra layer, was tempted to light the fire but eventually lit it at four this afternoon, just when the sun came out.

So toast for breakfast, nothing to wash up except for one knife which went into the sink until the water came on.  In the absence of anything else that I fancied doing, I settle on the sofa and watched a couple of episodes of a series I'm following on Netflix.  I briefly had a moment of activity and planted some seeds that I'd brought back from Greece.  I've put three in with the escalonia new starters and others in with the container with the new shrubs that I've put in.  I thought they might like company and all get the message that they have to grow big and strong...I can always hope.  It was now heading towards lunch time so I found out some hamburgers from the freezer and made myself a couple of sandwiches, that done I went back to the sofa and put Transponder TV on and when I woke up the television had switched itself off and it was at this point  I realised I was cold and lit the fire.  Back to the sofa and there was an almighty gurgling in the water pipes, it was back on but there was an awful lot of air in the pipes and the water looked very sandy.  It took ages for the toilets to fill up and more air was coming out of the taps than water so I left it to its own devices but will leave the washing until tomorrow.  

I was making my way up the stairs and I noticed that the martins are back and were eyeing up the nest under the eves of the little house.  I'm not sure if it's the same pair from last year but never mind, another rental property seems to be taken.  Sun's out but the terraces are slow to dry up and now I have two potential nest sites to keep watch over.  LN.....Spring season has been declared open.....LN
Posted by: linda g, April 6, 2021, 9:46am; Reply: 5
Hi Elsa, Belated Happy Easter, Photos are great as usual, and hope all is ok with you. Love reading the blog each week. Laid up with broken bone in my ankle, doing my head in. anyway take care, hope the weather is getting nice for you soon, and all your flowers & plants will be blooming again. Lots of love from us here in OZ. xxx
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 6, 2021, 4:07pm; Reply: 6
Tuesday 6th April

Thanks Linda and a happy Easter to you and yours.  In Bulgaria we have to wait for another three weeks, not many eggs in the local shops so I had to buy bags of chocolates when I went out to friends for Sunday lunch.  As for you and that bone of yours....it seems to have taken ages to heal, I hope you're keeping off it and resting it.  The weather is up and down, we still have low temperatures at night so the plants are ready to go out but not risking it for another couple of weeks or so.  Sunflowers are around ten centimetres tall and itching for bigger pots or open soil but they'll have to wait.  Sending healing vibes your way....xxxx

Well water off yesterday and electricity today but thank goodness it waited until I'd had my breakfast  and the washing would have to wait also.  It was on again around ten so washing went in and since it was cold outside I settled down on the sofa and started to watch another Netflix series that was recommended, I watch two episodes and discipline kicked in and I turned it off.  I started a bonfire. there was some very smelly plastic stuff in there that it was good to get rid of.  While keeping an eye on it I took the garden fork and started to remove the weeds from the beds at the bottom of the garden but it was really difficult to find the dividing line between the garden and the grass.  The wood surrounding the the beds had rotted and most of it needs replacing so I thought I'd make a start on it.  Back to the little house, I grabbed the lump hammer, some planks that were about the right size, little hammer and nails and the strimmer to clear round the existing beds.  I took a little sojourn and sorted the washing into two piles..'will dry easily on the airer' and the ones that needed to go outside for a blow.  I pegged out, every hopeful that the weather would stay good and it did for an hour or so but then it had to come in and join the others in the bathroom.  I carried on clearing the beds and was doing OK until the weather closed in, a few spots of rain so it was time for tools away and I think tomorrow I'll be up on the second floor of the little house to see what wood is up there that I can use to finish off the borders.

Fire lit and roaring away, washing airer over the warm tiles in the bathroom, it's going to be fish finger sandwiches again tonight, I want something quick and easy to do.  I'm pleased I've made a start on clearing the weeds from the beds, the main culprits this year are clover and chickweed and the clover has got really deep roots on it.  I might end up digging the bed over completely and replanting anything that is worth planting but that will be after I've finished the surrounds.  LN.....Kitchen and fish fingers are calling me.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 7, 2021, 3:42pm; Reply: 7
Wednesday 7th April

Horrible night last night.  I went to bed early, woke up at three, played silly games until four thirty, eventually went back to sleep and woke up at nine this morning.  Fitbit is going to tell me that I got a good rating for my sleep.  If you're playing games and only moving your finger on a screen it takes it a light sleep....it should be reprogrammed.  So I made coffee, opened the bedroom window to get some air through and the bathroom one to make sure it circulated.  It was not a bad morning, the sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze which suddenly gained momentum and that was the end of my intention to get some gardening done.  It was cold and windy.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and it was pleasant in the sun sitting at the table in the stairwell, I did emails, a few Sudoku and it was soon ten thirty and I'd not even got dressed.

Shook my feathers and went up to the bathroom, put last night's washing away, washed and dressed and gave the bathroom a quick tidy cleaning the bath surround and the window sill and gathered up the things that needed to go down.  It's a habit what lives downstairs goes down and likewise anything that lives up get put on the table in the stairwell until I need to go up.  Most things in the house have their place.  I cleared out the fire ready for tonight and realised that I was short of starter wood so that became top of my list of things to do.  Priority was to get settled on the sofa and watch a few more episodes of the Netflix series, I watched three, switched the TV off, watered the plants in the porch and took the ash can out and threw the contents on the garden against the short wall.  I came in and went out again with the peelings and egg shells for the compost and thought it was about time that I turned on the water supply to the outside tap. I think the frosts are over until next winter, she said with her fingers crossed.

The activity continued and I now have a full plastic container of starter wood in the kitchen and one in the little house.  My technique is pretty crude, I hold the wood half way down and aim the little axe in the general direction until I get purchase and then keep bashing it and it normally works.  For the really long pieces they get put between the step to the little house and the yard and I stamp on them and they normally give up and split into two.  My challenge is to remove all of the odd branches and 'bit's' of wood that have accumulated over the years when I've not been so observant...this year they will go one way or the other, in the house or on the bonfire.  Tools away and it was now around five so a chicken leg went in the oven with potatoes and onions and that should be ready now if it's not cremated....I'm just going to check...and everything is OK.  We've had rain showers and it looks as if the wind has dropped and it's dried up so I might have more success in the garden tomorrow.  I've also got six busy lizzie plants to pot up for my ladies for their Easter gifts along with Easter eggs.  I've spray painted two more yogurt containers to put the flower pots so that they can keep them indoors until it's safe for them to go out.  LN.....Busy day with adequate rest periods.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 8, 2021, 3:18pm; Reply: 8
Thursday 8th April

Another funny old day.  When I went to bed last night the sky was full of stars and when I woke up this morning it was sleeting.  The temperature had dropped to zero but the house was still holding at nineteen degrees but I decided to get dressed quickly and make sure that I had layers on.  I was settling for toast for breakfast but gave in at the last minute and put a bowl of baked beans in the microwave.  I'd got the remains of last night's chicken with a slice of bread for the cats and I ventured out and threw it over the wall and then sat down to my breakfast watching what had now turned into snowflakes falling gently.  It came down much harder, the grass turned white but the terraces had enough heat retained to melt the snow on contact and eventually, the grass was white over.  

I lit the fire, washed up the breakfast and last night's dishes and made my way to the computer and delved into ancestry to chase up a few more links and remove some dead ends.  They've changed the format of the program I use and I don't like it.  Before you had one chart and could see it all using the mouse cursors and now they've given it different views and I'm sure some of the updates only find their way into parts of the program and not all view.  I seem to have lost the family of my fifth great grandfather and had to put it in again manually...it might be me putting something in wrongly but I don't think so.  I'm going to have to ask a few questions of the company.  At around one I'd had enough and moved down taking up stance on the sofa and put on my series of pre-Alfred and Merlin and after three hours I've just been introduced to Lancelot.  The series has now ended but they've sown the seeds for the next series and I'm not sure where we stand on that one...there's supposed to be lots of 'coming next' on the agenda.  

The snow has all cleared except for on the mountain tops and it's settled into a pleasant evening.  We've got blue sky to the west as the sun is getting ready to set, the rest of the sky has high grey cloud.  The temperature has risen to five degrees out but depending on what happens to the cloud base, there might be a frost or might not....who can tell.  I've given up looking at weather forecasters for the area.  Pork fillet tonight and I'm just about to slice it up with onions and do something with it, probably with pasta.  Today's gardening agenda had to be slipped because of the weather so it might be on for tomorrow...who can tell?  LN....Fire and kitchen duties call......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 8, 2021, 3:21pm; Reply: 9
A few more
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 9, 2021, 5:35pm; Reply: 10
Friday 9th April

Firstly, not unexpected but still a sad day for the queen and her family.  He will be missed....RIP Philip.

Five thirty start this morning and games and Sudoku until I started my day at seven.  I was briefly woken at midnight last night, I'd touched one of the buttons on the weather centre yesterday and set one of the alarms.  I knew I'd done it last night but couldn't find the book to show me how to deactivate it and I couldn't be bothered last night to get out of bed to turn it off so it was one of the first things that I did this morning.  Find the book...do the deed and I did.  I shall not be bothered tonight by it.

White over this morning, minus three outside and one or two of the hyacinths were looking a little jaded.  I took a photograph of the hillside and was a little concerned, there was lots of smoke coming from one of the houses and I was unsure if it was a bonfire or the house had gone up...it turned out to be a bonfire.  There was lots of morning mist hanging on the mountains...pretty magical.  Eventually my central heating appeared and despite the sun, it was still very cold and the wind remained that was all day.  I made bacon and egg for breakfast. cleared the kitchen, washed and dressed, got the wood in and prepared the fire for tonight.  It was still too cold to go out there and do anything so I turned on Netflix and watch Sense and Sensibility, heard lots about it and never watched it but what a pleasant interlude it was.  Twelve when it finished and I looked out and noticed that the insulation from the water meter had been removed and the rubber mats were lying on the ground.  I went to check it out and noticed that some bright spark had written the number of the house on the wall facing the road and I was having none of it so I went into the house, came out with a sponge and bowl of washing up liquid and removed it.  I shall paint it on a sign and post it in the undergrowth at the side of the gate....keep off my property.  

While I was there I also noticed that the grass had grown in the yard so it was out with the little electric mower and that was cut down to size and it didn't stop there.  I rigged up the long electricity cable and connected it via the little house and over the terrace and set about the grass in front of the big house terrace.  I didn't have the basket on it and it made life much easier and it didn't stop there.  I did the grave garden and eventually got half way down the grass, managed my ten thousand steps and tools away at four, I'd done enough.  The wind had really picked up and it was time to call it a day.

I lit the fire and it went first time thanks to the new started wood that I'd worked on yesterday.  Found a new series on Netflix and this one is based in Turkey and has some wonderful scenery and I think some of it was based near Cappadocia.  The dubbings not bad and quite watchable and since there is nothing but royal tributes going on, I might be watching for episodes tonight.  A couple of hamburgers in the crust end of the bread slathered with tomato sauce for supper, nothing sweet to finish on, the chocolates have gone and on the list for tomorrow's shopping.  LN....it's going to be another cold one tonight....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 10, 2021, 3:21pm; Reply: 11
Saturday 10th April

Reasonable night but I was in half sleep/half awake for the last hour and a half of the night/morning eventually getting up just before seven.  It was another cold morning so I made coffee and went back to bed and snuggled down with the Kindle to pass the next hour or so.  I was out of bread, heard his toot in the village to drag people from houses but I'd missed him and was still in PJ's....there was no way I was going to get dressed in time.  I washed and dressed not sure if I was heading into Djebel or Kardjali or having another good day in the garden. As it happened, I did nothing except make a bacon omelette and sat in the stairwell eating it.  At ten it was still too cold to go out and the frost was lying heavily so I waited for the temperature to go up and by the time it had risen slightly, I'd got engrossed in Ancestry again, still trying to solve one of my mysteries but I didn't and thought I'd leave it for another day.  

It was now getting on for twelve so I settled down on the sofa and wasted the next few hours following my latest series on Netflix showing lots of panoramic views of Cappadocia and it brought back memories of my visit around three years ago.  At four I was still trying to decided whether to go to Djebel or not so I looked in the freezer and joy, oh joy, I found half a loaf of bread so didn't have to go anywhere.  I took a chicken leg from the freezer and it's now in the oven and will be very adequate for supper.  

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day...the weather forecast does say that we are going to have sun all day and the current temperature is eight degrees out so maybe it won't get down into minus figures overnight.  I might have a look round for my get up and go.....the grass has to be finished and the weeds definitely need removing although they are protecting the lily of the valley and some of the other bulbs.  LN....Kitchen calls and I might light the fire.....LN


Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 11, 2021, 4:15pm; Reply: 12
Sunday 11th April

According to my Fitbit when I synced it this morning, I slept really well and have a good sleep score.  It didn't feel like it but obviously Fitbit knows more than I do.  I was up and ready for action just before seven, coffee at the table in the stairwell, I didn't go back to bed, it was a beautiful morning.  Not much to do this morning, I made toast for breakfast and only had to wash up the baking tray from last night and I'd put sliced apples in the oven last night with a layering of sugar and a little water and that dish needed washing too.  As for the apples, they were just sitting there so I thought 'why not' so I did. I should really have put brown sugar on them but for some reason I didn't, it was pretty late though.

So at nine I was ready for action except that I was waiting for the grass to dry out a little so I went to my dear friend, Find my Past and rooted around with the one that's bugging me.  I still didn't get a resolution but the family chart going back from seventeen eighty nine has lots of crossing out on it and date changes, a working document, but it was getting that bad that even I couldn't read it.  A new one is now in progress and I'm checking dates as I go and this could have gone on for the rest of the day except that I was wasting an opportunity to be out in the garden doing 'stuff'.  Boots on at twelve, found my rubber gloves, one was where it ought to have been and the other was in the front pocket of the last over sweater I'd worn the other day...tracked down eventually. I was out and today's task was to finish the grass cutting and also some weeding but the latter never happened.  I took the little electric mower out and connected up the extension lead but this time I ran it from the little house log store.  I unreeled the long cable and walked down to the bottom of the garden with it, it makes life easier when it's done first.  I started on the main grass and much as I like the little one, I find the cable a complete bind, I always seem to find it wrapped round my ankle and I dread running over the cable.  I remembered my safety glasses, I run it without the grass box otherwise you have to empty it every five minutes and the grass is still wet underneath so everything sticks.  At three thirty I had five minutes on the bench with a bottle of water, it seemed slow going but I had to stick with it and I did.  I swapped to the petrol mower with the basket on when I was doing some of the grass where there were stones in it but it the grass was too long for it to cope with it so back to the drawing board Cecil, the little one was back in business.

At six it was tools away, I swept the woodstore out and made it look more respectable and came in at six twenty.  It's amazing how all of the what appeared to be dead twigs are coming to life, there is lots of white blossom around, the forsythia have been magnificent this year, the six weigela twigs in the veg garden are really sprouting leaves and the white lilac is ready to burst forth.  According to Fitbit I've clocked up almost seventeen thousand steps, eleven and a half kilometres so I reckon that if I drank I'd deserve one tonight.  The boiler is on, I'm going to rest awhile in the luxury of a bath, I haven't a clue what's on for supper, probably a toasted cheese sandwich, in the bath. That's one advantage of living on your own, it's all at my pace.  LN...Boiler up to temperature....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 12, 2021, 4:36pm; Reply: 13
Monday 12th April

Another good night and woke up just before seven again...it's seems to be getting a habit.  I didn't light the fire last night so did go back to bed with my coffee until the sun that was already up had some heat in it.  By the time that I made my second cup and had wasted an hour playing games it was very pleasant in the stairwell so I started to write my shopping list.  I'd done enough in the garden yesterday to warrant a day off so I was going to take it, Old Mother Hubbard's fridge was fairly bare, no biscuits or anything to nibble on or pick at and the freezer no longer had any bread in it.  I did a load of washing, had toast and peach jam for breakfast, washed and dressed and ready for the off at ten thirty.

I was tempted to take the old road down to the Makaza road but wasn't sure what had happened to it with the snow and heavy rains so didn't risk it.  Instead I went through Djebel and was in Kardjali by eleven and went to my pay car park and it was fairly empty.  I had a telephone call on Saturday asking me to go into the Vivacom shop to renew my contract so thought I'd do that visit first but when I got near the shop it was undergoing a refit.  I set off for the other shop near the market and they couldn't be bothered walking that far so back tracked and went down to my really Monday cheapy clothes shop and picked up a pair of summer weight trousers and a linen top for one lev ninety which in our currency is around seventy pence so that suited me down to the ground.  Navy trousers and mid green top...great for a cruise.

Kaufland and stuck to my list except for a jar of 'Over Sixty Five' day cream to save me using Nivea which is a bit like putting treacle on some mornings when it's cold.  The bill in there came in at just around thirty lev and that included four packets of reduced bacon so on to Lidl and that has now become the culinary issue.  I bought a fresh duck, in the oven it went when I came home, I made orange gravy but when I came to carve it, it was bloody so it's gone back in the oven and should be ready any time now.  Again I stuck to the list and have bought lots for the freezer for the next couple of weeks or so.  I had a phone call from Princess when I was on the car park and clipped my keys on to the other side of the handle than I normally use and after the phone call couldn't find the keys so all the shopping was removed from the boot.  Eventually I found them and headed home stopping off in Djebel for the last few items from the list including biscuits and chocolates.  One of my neighbours was in the supermarket and was waiting outside for me...I have become a taxi again.  I dropped him off in the next village, Guljan's mother was chasing cows up the lane so I stopped and had a few minutes with her.  

Shopping unpacked and put away, as I said, the duck should be ready soon and served with jacket potato, carrots and peas.  Gardening tomorrow after I've sorted out the melee in the kitchen, they might happen after a bacon sandwich.  LN....I'll let you know how tough the bird really was.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 13, 2021, 3:44pm; Reply: 14
Tuesday 13th April

So another restless night and I put it down to the duck.  I did managed to wash up the debris from the gastronomic adventure last night....it was more than I could have faced this morning....quoting...don't put off until tomorrow what could be done today....doh.  I could easily have tackled it at three thirty this morning when I hadn't an ounce of sleep in me instead of playing silly games and eventually getting back off to sleep at around five thirty.  This in turn led to a late start but since I had nowhere to go and only gardening to do, it didn't make much difference.  

I wasn't feel too good today.  I think I might be allergic to something...the bottom lip was swollen and I've been having strange red marks come up in the inside of the elbow joints.  The doctor put it down to dermatitis but I think this is way off the mark.  My doctor in the UK used to ask me if I'd only gone for a second opinion and usually I was right, his remarks were in jest buy he made sure that he got it right and we agreed on the diagnosis.  Unfortunately in the UK you don't have the luxury of time unlike in Bulgaria.  I think another visit might be on the cards for me....I get annoyed when things don't work properly despite my advancing years... ;)

Breakfast at ten thirty, the duck went over the wall and I heard an angry bark and reckon that a dog had found it and was chasing off the cats.  I did check later and all that was left was the onion that was stuffed up it's nether region.  The other half is in the fridge and it's probably going in the slow cooker tomorrow, I'm not in the mood for it tonight since my late lunch was toasted sandwiches at three thirty.  So what did I do this morning?  The hand fork means that I have to get down on my knees or keep bending over while I'm weeding so I cut some of the handle off it and now have a long handled little fork.  The handle did need shaving off a little with a knife but it worked.
The little bed between the steps is cleared out of deep rooted weeds and chickweed and I've put in some pretty looking clover plants with pink flowers that come out in the sun.  I don't know the name of them and four of the sunflowers have joined them, they were outgrowing the pot so I'll see what they do out there.  It was a dull morning and around one it started to rain but I kept at it but at three it got heavier so it was tools away and in the house.  I lit the fire around three thirty, started to get into Netflix and then the sun broke through and then disappeared again when the clouds came over from the west.  Netflix suddenly went off and I couldn't get into Google browser so I spent the next fifteen minutes on settings and trying to reload when the telephone went and it was the garage advising me that my new tyres were in.  I was given the choice of this afternoon to get my summer tyres on or tomorrow but if the weather is good I certainly don't want to spend the morning down at the garage....there was no one there this evening so I changed my clothes and got down there by five.  They'd already put the tyres on the rims so it was an easy job for them, I was ninety light on the payment but they know where I live as I've told them before.  I went to the cashpoint and dropped the outstanding amount with my student who was working in the shop and carried on home.  

The fire was still going, it's a fairly still night, the sun flowers have survived so far and it was a pity that the weather changed, I was just settling in to the job in hand even though I hate weeding.  LN.....Now to sort out the tele....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 14, 2021, 3:37pm; Reply: 15
Wednesday 14th April

So another disturbed night, three thirty seems the waking point, play games until five thirty and back to sleep until eight thirty this morning.  So a slow start meant that I didn't go out into the garden until it had warmed up a little but the overnight temperature was nine degrees on the outside thermometer and the sunflowers were looking OK when I checked up on them.  Ham and cheese toasties for breakfast but that didn't happen until ten thirty so washed and dressed and it was eleven before I was putting my work boots on.  I gathered the tools together and intended carrying on weeding moving down to the little bed near the washing line.  Unfortunately this bed has a lot of couch grass so I took the spade and cut through the roots from the outside of the old window frame and dug most of them out with the garden fork.  I also noticed that the window frame had sunk so decided to make an inner compartment so that I can strim round it without harming the shrubs.  Into the little house and found suitable wood, saw, hammer and nails and made the frame, used old engine oil to protect it and did the same to the old window frame and put the new inside in place.  I planted one of the beautiful pink Greek plants that I'd nurtured in the porch and jobs a good'un.  I was looking where to move on to next and it was at this point that the weather closed in, the sky was very black and there was the first rumble of thunder.  It was only light at first so I carried on, set up the strimmer and went round the new surround, the rest of the wooden borders until it was impossible without getting drenched so it was tools away.  I emptied the weeds from the log container carried, wheeled it to the wood store and filled it up with logs just in case I was going to light the fire later.

By now it was getting on for three thirty so I put on the TV and it came up first time via the internet.  I'd had issues with it yesterday and not sure if there was a problem with Google, I kept getting the page not found message but today it's OK.  So a little bit of Loose Women and then on to Netflix and started to watch something which I survived the first two but I don't think it's a binge watcher.  Fire lit and going well and I've just had a phone call from my friend in the garage shop, I missed her yesterday and spoke to her son when I payed my debts.  She phoned to let me know that Covid virus has hit the villages around Djebel and Kardjali and the hospitals are full....it was just so I was mindful of it.  I told her that she should have the jab but at the moment she said that only AstraZenika is available and she will, but not that one.  Apparently it's the only one available in Bulgaria at the moment.  There's such a resistance in Bulgaria...it will go on for ever if they don't start listening to sense.

So I've just checked the weather report for tomorrow and in the morning it's going to be sun but with a shower in the afternoon so perhaps instead of playing games I should get out into the garden at four in the morning by torchlight just to get a start on the day and sleep in the afternoon.  Not sure about supper, the half duck is still in the fridge and I suspect it might go over the wall....I really didn't enjoy it.  I do need potting compost so might plan to go somewhere to get some, I'll see how I feel in the morning.  LN....A good day if short on the labour time available....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 14, 2021, 4:56pm; Reply: 16
And it cleared up
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 15, 2021, 3:59pm; Reply: 17
Thursday 15th April

Does anyone know how to switch off an internal alarm?  It was three thirty again this morning and I really don't know why.  Eventually I went off again and it was nine fifteen when I arose from the 'close to dead' and started my day for the second time.  I went on to automatic pilot and went through the normal routines and then went into hyper mode and did lots of those little things that have been hanging on for a while.  I did get washed and dressed just in case I had visitors, which I rarely do and noticed that Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins  was showing on Beeb 2 so I settled down to watch it on Transponder.  I find his programs fascinating.

Two poached eggs and ham on toast was on the menu this morning, extra coffee and then into the day.  A couple of old eggs were thrown over the wall using a stone as target practice and I managed to get one of them to smash.  I also threw out a couple of apples that had seen better days and an orange that I only bought when I bought the duck a few days ago...it had started to go soft.  Washing up done, kitchen tidy, me fairly tidy, weather reasonable so I plucked up courage to grab the tools from the woodstore and pick my workspace.  I settled for the garden under the main terrace and it was really thick with small spreading weeds but they are no more.  I also found packets  of seeds and spread them liberally on the rest of the beds that I've cleared out, there are Californian poppies, zinnia, delphinium and I split up some clumps of oxalis.  I've just got my fingers crossed that the temperature stays reasonable overnight and they germinate.  I've also put red hot poker seeds in a pot and more cuttings of escalonia, the shrub under the long wall is looking sad so I will hopefully got some reserves on the go.  

I came in for water and ended up watching Netflix for an hour, lit the fire, went back out and finished off the corner of the long bed, tools away and what a pleasant evening it is.  Eleven degrees out there so I've left the rest of the sunflowers to harden off outside and they can go in for tomorrow.  I was searching seeds and found an envelope stuffed with more sunflower seeds so time to get more on the go....all go here.  LN....Tomorrow earmarked for gardening again.....LN
Posted by: tcinbg, April 15, 2021, 8:11pm; Reply: 18
That dammed internal alarm. Mine was at 04:00. I defeated mine. I got up, make a cup of tea, read for 20 minutes, went back to bed and sleep. I think the internal alarm becomes a habit, it just needs breaking with something irregular.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 16, 2021, 6:04pm; Reply: 19
Friday 16th April

Thank you Trevor for those words of wisdom. Last night I watched TV until midnight, played a few Sudoku and then went to sleep...straight through until seven so could this be the new pattern?  Let's see what happens tonight.  Straight into the day, the sun was rising in a very cloudy sky but the reflection in the pond in the next field was worth catching, or so I thought and it was rubbish when it came out.  I moved outside on the terrace and tried to take it again but still not good so that's not going to be published either.  Boiled eggs and toast at nine, washed up by nine thirty and got on with the usual things like watering house plants, putting things down and searching for them, emptying the ash can and raking the fire out for tonight...all the usual stuff that life revolves around.

Washed and dressed for the garden, the sun was at last peeping through but the wind was again quite chill.  First outside task was a bonfire and I'd just lit it and decided to weed the lower bed while it burnt down to a safe level and there was a yell telling me to 'put my back into it'....I had a visitor.  We walked the garden together and then headed up so that I could make coffee and we sat on the terrace and chewed the fat for around an hour or so, updating each other with the lack of 'happenings'....bloody Covid.  Apparently they are having an 'unveiling' of the border restrictions but it's still 'no-go' for us as we await the second injections and then two weeks to wait after that and, yet to be decided' how the passports will work and Europe still has to make a decision on the process.  At least our health details are held on a central system so they can confirm who's done what against our ID cards which will show up when we cross the border but they have to sort out whether or not we have to isolate when we come back to Bulgaria from Greece.  Left hand and right hand springs to mind.  

So off he went and he'd mentioned that his pot plants were all out and I decided to get mine out of the little house and on to the terrace.  First job was to get the Nipper out and go on the hunt for some gravel to help with the drainage in the new pots and cover the soil in some of the others to stop the weeds.  I took the car down towards next village, saw one or two heaps but they obviously belonged to someone and the road gravel wasn't really suitable.  On a bit further and I came across the perfect stuff where the waterboard have been working on the pipes, so I grabbed my container and a shovel and overfilled it and struggled back to the Nipper and headed back home, 'purloinment' carried out without a hitch.

The six containers of geraniums have all got very leggy so I've now go them down to a manageable size and fifteen 'babies' on the go.  Once the pots were outside it freed up the bench that normally sits under the porch window so I dragged that outside, found the old engine oil out and it's got its summer coat on and it does stop the bugs from finding new homes.  That's now sitting in the yard drying off and in a couple of days I'll put it on the terrace.  More seeds have gone into pots, started to tidy away but instead put supper in the oven to cook while I finished off outside.  Fire lit, was just about to start the update when the internet went off, and with it the TV and fortunately supper was ready so that filled the gap.  I had a telephone call asking if I was still alive because I'd not done my blog, I explained that the internet had been down so I'm running to catch up tonight.  I've had a good day today but can't put the weeding off for much longer, I'm running out of other jobs to do.  LN...I could go to Kardjali tomorrow I suppose... ;).....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 17, 2021, 5:14pm; Reply: 20
Saturday 17th April

So I stopped up last night to watch the 'so many cats watch Countdown' and it was pretty late when I laid my weary head on the pillow...and it worked.  Seven when I woke up this morning and it was...raining so my weeding prospects went out of the window fortunately and I've spent the day doing relatively little.

The cats had the rest of the pork with Chinese sauce for breakfast, I made the mistake of economising from Lidl buying two packs of a different type than I usually do.  I'd managed to cut them into four packs, into the oven with one of them with roasted vegetables and I couldn't get the hang of cutting them into individual ribs when they were cooked.  I shan't be buying them again but at least the cats benefited.  Toast for breakfast along with toasted bun loaf and I've been picky all day.  I washed and dressed with the potential of driving into Djebel for some black paint and a cream containing Arnica.  When I was carrying one of the large geranium pots yesterday and aiming for the stack of tyres to put it in to, I caught the edge of my boot on the gravel surround, sank gracefully to the floor bashing my shin on I know not what.  I felt a bit of a bump under the trousers but when I stripped off last night for my bath I noticed that I really had scraped the skin off the shin and it really was a bump.  As it happened, I started chasing ancestry for the morning, no way to get stuck into the garden and I didn't go anywhere.

I lit the fire around two this afternoon, it was damp and drear outside and it did dry up a little but not enough for me to venture out.  I continued watch the Netflix series I've been watching until I fell asleep, woke up, realised I was hungry so made toast and opened a small tin of tuna and mixed it with mayo and that's me finished for the night.  At five I turned over to the funeral service and what a superb format it was.  I did drop a tear at the sight of the Queen sitting on her own and after all that time together, she has lost not only a husband but a friend to have a giggle with I'm sure....and we all need one of those.  I switched off and went back to ancestry chasing and solved one issue and opened up several more.  The trouble is the website send over so many hints and potential links to other persons' trees and some contain lots of rubbish and it takes ages to sort them out.  It's much better to ignore them.

Just sorted the fire out and it should be enough for the rest of the night.  I don't need to think of supper, I've got caramel chocolates in the kitchen.  Grey clouds make a blanket for the sky, it's pretty still out there and it isn't raining at the moment and I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow....I do want to get some weeding done.  LN....I'm down to the fire, warmth and chocolates.....LN    
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 18, 2021, 4:09pm; Reply: 21
Sunday 18th April

I was so tired last night that I went to bed around eleven and hoped for the best.  I managed until one thirty, messed around on the Kindle until three thirty and eventually got back off again.  On the plus side, I didn't wake up until eight thirty and launched myself gently into the day.  It was cloudy but dry and it picked up during the day but went back to cloudy, cold and with the potential to throw it down any minute but I was out there until six this evening and I've had a good day in the garden.  

I made toast for breakfast with peach jam and when I went into the fridge for the butter I realised that the half duck was still lingering in the bottom of the fridge so still in my pyjamas I went out to throw it over the wall for anything that wanted it.  I didn't break it up and left it that if one of the cats got it, it might very well hide it if it was too much to manage at one sitting.  As I walked back to the house from the garden I noticed the daughter of one of my neighbours coming into the yard carrying a plastic bag.  She handed it to me, I looked at it and realised that they were rubber washers that my painter chappie had left me.  He might have come into the garden but not seeing me around wouldn't knock.  I asked her why she wasn't working and she looked at me strangely and said that she was and was off to get more of the local 'barbed wire' that grows on the hillside to keep the cows out and I asked her why she wasn't working in Kardjali.  Doh....it is Sunday, not Monday...I'm ahead of myself.  She looked at the plants that are out on the terrace and pointed out the ones that she wants babies from...there's no stopping her.  Off she went with her billhook....she had work to do.

I punched holes in the two pots that I wanted to put in the small oil drums that I spray painted.  The one now is sporting 'bizzie lizzy' and I've put seeds in the other one.  So then to the task in hand that I've been putting off...weeding.  So I stuck at it, firstly on the frog garden and then moved on to the new bed which was part of the vegetable garden until I reduced it.  My day was interspersed with brakes, coffee and a packet of biscuits but it's been productive so now on to the other beds tomorrow if the weather is good.  I've not got much to get from Kardjali.

So fire going, chicken wings in with jacket potatoes and they should be ready in around twenty minutes.  The snooker is on but Higgins is playing and he's not my favourite to watch so I might give it a miss and see if anything else is worth watching.  I've just checked the Fitbit and I've managed just over fourteen thousand steps today...who'd have thought it...good start to the week.  LN....Fire and food.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 19, 2021, 4:07pm; Reply: 22
Monday 19th April

So this morning woke up to another drab miserable day.  Last night's sky had had a pink tinge to it and the sun had already set...quite spooky.  It wasn't raining but was full of possibilities and it was cold and after yesterday, I was quite disappointed.  I'd got into weeding and was almost looking forward to it, I say almost and then the heavens opened and there was no way I was going out there.  April showers came my way or not so much showers, it bucketed it down.

I comforted my self with bacon sandwiches with brown sauce and sat in the stairwell with a steaming coffee and watched the rain.  I took the remains of last night's supper out for the cats and they must have been hiding somewhere, not one to be seen.  I did check out the Busy Lizzies that were at the side of the house in the converted oil drum and the intention was to bring them inside but they looked OK so I left them where they were.  I didn't know what to do for the rest of the day.  Outside work was out of the question without there was a rapid improvement, I toyed with the idea of dragging one of the benches into the little house and sanding down the woodwork but lethargy got the better of me so I put the computer on on the landing and added people to my ancestors but this time to my uncles side of the family.  I added my cousins and their line until I met another brick wall so switched off and finished watch the series I'd been following on Netflix.  Series over I turned over to the snooker, got the fire going and now am back on the computer for my update but this time in a warm environment.  It remains cold and damp, miserable and I'm sure that I can literally see the weeds growing so when it dries out, the mower will have to come out again.  It's all go in my neck of the woods.

Not sure what's on the menu for supper, might be tuna salad with hot potatoes, I'm not moving far away from the fire to linger in the kitchen.  If the weather's like this tomorrow I'll be heading in to Kardjali for a sprint round the shops, especially if it's raining hard.  And now it's thundering.  LN....Need to find another Netflix series.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 20, 2021, 4:16pm; Reply: 23
Tuesday 20th April

Early start again and so by nine I'd washed, dressed for the garden and breakfasted on buttered toast.  I was still full up from my tuna and potato salad last night, it was a big one.  I'd found a new series on Netflix but decided to flip back to Beeb 2 to watch the last two semi finals and now we have the four contestants for the final.  It's surprising how some of them got there, maybe by default, it depends who is up against them in the heats I suppose.  I do enjoy trying to answer the questions but no way would I put myself up for it....not my style....and not that confident.

The weather looked quite promising, cold but adequate for getting the weeds out.  I decided to tackle the two beds on the short wall surrounding the wild cherry and the acacia.  I knew there were surround stones under the grass and clover so out with the fork and head down.  The weeds had really put their roots down and the poor old daffs that had finished flowering fortunately were wobbling a bit but on the first bed they were OK and the second bed, I staked them and tide them up.  They've finished so I might be knotting them soon.  I used the little strimmer until the batter ran out and checked out the bigger electric one and managed to get it working.  I thought I'd had problems with it when I'd put it away last year but all's good.  I used it to trim round the back of the beds but it was really too wet to make much of a difference and then, rain stopped play so it was a matter of packing up the tools and clearing away.  At least I've made a start and found a couple of marigolds grown from seed this year and now they're moved into smaller bed by the log.

So I went in and made coffee and started to chase a few more on ancestry.  I'd also got a couple of important phone calls to make and had an interesting chat with Moonpig about a delivery that I'd setup.  Checking the website it said that the card was in 'printing' and there were no further messages as to what was happening with the order.  Poor Daniel found himself in the lion's den, I did say that it wasn't his fault but that someone was responsible down the line but we wished each other a good day.  

Just phoned the said recipient of the flowers to wish her a happy birthday, they've arrived and they're beautiful so well worth sending them.  It's settled into a dull evening, I've had a packet of cheese biscuits so not in a hurry to get something for supper but the boiler is on for a bath tonight.  It was hard work digging out the weeds, the ground is so wet and cloying so I'm going to relax in a Badedas bath.  LN....Sun tomorrow please.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 21, 2021, 4:04pm; Reply: 24
Wednesday 21st April

Seven twenty start and a very relaxing night after my bath and hair wash,  I should have dried it but didn't so that was the first task this morning to try and get some order in to it.  It was enough, I was only gardening today and it looked like it was going to be a good day.  I washed and dressed, made an omelette for breakfast with cheese triangles, washed up and cleared the kitchen and prepared myself mentally for weeding.

The sun was shining and mulled over where to put my attention.  I settled on the garden behind the little house terrace, it was full of chickweed and as I started to clear it I noticed that I'd also put some shrubs in there last year that I'd forgotten about.  I also removed a very rough fence that had been balanced against the terrace wall behind the shrubs, propped it up against the lawn mower and found the pot of old engine oil and the brush...I had work to do.  I found the hammer in the little house and set about knocking in the old nails and bashing them down on the other side.  I think this section of fence came from when I relied on a fence to keep the cows out and it was fairly rough, nails everywhere.  It's still in fairly good condition and with an extra level of protection, it will do for another few years I'm sure, the engine oil covers a multitude of sins and age.  I carried on with the weeding and moved round the corner and cleared round the under terrace bed, it had got sticky willie climbing up the conifer.

I came in for a coffee, sat down doing a Sudoku and suddenly heard the pitter patter or rather thud of heavy raindrops.  It had started again so it was a quick trip round the garden to bring in the tools and my camera that was sitting on the bench.  It went on for quite a time so I decided to make tuna potato salad and that was going to be enough to see me through the rest of the day and so far so good.  I've just had a phone call from my Princess with family updates, she's back at school after the Easter holidays.  From what she's been doing in the garden, she's going back for a rest.  The sun has come out and it's all calm in the garden but it's too late to start again.  The fire's lit and it's warm as toast in the house and time for me to settle in for the night.  LN....April showers, egh....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 22, 2021, 3:31pm; Reply: 25
Thursday 22nd April

I've worked out how to stop myself waking up at one thirty...go to bed at two and then an undisturbed sleep until seven this morning,  I opened the curtains and the sun shining on the lake was blinding, I did take a pickie but when I looked at it it reminded me that the windows want cleaning so I put it on the list and it's one that I won't be posting tonight.  I made toast for breakfast, I didn't have to make a plan for the day, the weeds are a priority but it sort of went askew.  Dressed and ready for action at around nine, I ended up playing around with ancestry while the day warmed up enough to be out there and by ten I was putting my boots on...I meant business.  I did stop for a while and watched the interplay between the sparrows and the martins.  There seemed to be a bit of a battle on as to who would claim possession for the summer and I thing the martins have it.  

As I walked through the conservatory I noticed that the sweet peas needed to be put in and thought they would be OK in the tyres on the workshop terrace.  The tree that had started off in there hadn't made it so the first job was to clear it out and put new compost on top of the old and in went the sweet peas.  I didn't put anything else in, I'll see how they do first and I've got a few left and now to find another place.  It was walking back to the house for some more equipment that I heard my first cuckoo and now I'll be listening out for my one with hiccups.  So back to the terrace and out came the wood from the upstairs of the little house and the bed is now with a wooden surround which makes it much easier to strim.  Surprisingly I didn't end up covered in engine oil but I need to  get some more from the garage...I'm running short.  I found garden tiles under the weeds and now I've put them under the bench which makes it look better and filled up the log carrier to take the weeds down to the bottom of the garden.  As I glanced down at the bottom garden I suddenly saw Rosie, my tortoise and there was Blue Boy...looks like they hibernated together and have come out of it together.  The nail varnish needs renewing, it's looking faded but I checked on them at around five and they've cosied up either side of a very large stone and are both more or less buried.  

Tools away, I came in at five thirty, managed my ten thousand steps and despite not doing what I set out to do, I do love making new areas, but back to the weeding tomorrow.   I have to think about supper to keep my strength up but at the moment nothing is getting my creative juices flowing enough to head to the kitchen.  I'll think of something.  LN....I have guests, I'll have to put the watering holes out......LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 23, 2021, 5:09pm; Reply: 26
Friday 23rd April

Another silly night where I woke up in the bath at twelve last night and the water was cold.  I got out to get warm, straight into fleecy PJ's and into my nest for a very good night's sleep.  I slept through until seven thirty and the day has just shot by.  I set myself up for the day with a bacon and egg sandwich and it did me through until tonight.  I sorted out the kitchen before I went out to the garden but even before that I logged in to ancestry and think I might have stumbled on a murder victim that belonged somehow to the family that one of the ladies married in to.  It's a common name and the dates are more or less right but the day was moving on and I wasn't.  I had a garden to sort,

I armed myself with the electric strimmer and grass mower, unreeled the cable and connected up the strimmer.  The reel needed sorting, only one of the cutting strands wasn't showing so I took the reel off and one of the eyelets that it threads through was bent.  As I tried to do a running repair, the eyelet popped out on to the grass and look as I might, I didn't find it.  So I put it back together without it and it worked but then it didn't so the mower came in a as reserve.  Because I operate it without the grass box and the flap at the back open and held up, I found the face protector which is a little larger than the glasses and despite the fact that stones were being thrown up, I was unscathed.  I was doing well, had a little chat with my next door gardening neighbour, told her I'd got my tortoises back and you could almost see her eyes go back in her head.  Maybe I should keep quiet about some things.  The tortoises were out but not moving far from the burrows.....it was cold and damp.  I noticed that Rosy was munching on the grass but by the time I put the tools away, they were both entrenched and possibly drenched.  

It started to rain, there were a few large spots, it stopped again and I carried on until the grass was too wet to mow.  I'd managed to do more or less half of the surrounds but it was impossible to carry on.  I'd also moved some of the debris that was once the roof of the outside toilet and cleared behind the stacked tiles and could see what needs to be don.  The escalonia is looking sick and needs pruning back and one of the japonica kerria looks like it needs to be removed.  When it really started to throw it down it was tools away quickly, cable rewound, little mower cleaned and left open so that the air can circulate until the next time it comes out.  I took my boots off outside and they were full of grass, the trousers badly stained so everything was put in the washing machine and it's now on the airer.  I put a thick sweater on, lit the fire and sat on the sofa and noticed that my ring wasn't on my little finger. I went through the mental steps where it could be. checked the washing machine and walked the garden and as a last resort checked the bed and there it was.  Panic over.

Supper was spaghetti bolognaise.  I'd taken out what I thought was meet from the freezer when I'd gone for the bacon and left it to thaw so added more tomato sauce to the  mush and put the pasta on to cook....and it was delicious.  I should do that more often.  Tomorrow it's going to be cooler with 'spotty showers'......so I think gardening might be out of the question.  Benches do need sanding down though....there's always something.  LN....Another good day despite the rain......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 24, 2021, 4:16pm; Reply: 27
Saturday 24th April

So as predicted it's been a miserable day...not much as even a glimmer of sun and I hadn't got the incentive to get out and do anything,  The benches will have to wait, it was too cold in the little house.

Awake by seven at bacon and egg sandwich made, eaten and washing up done by nine.  I toyed with the idea of going into Kardjali or even Djebel but really didn't have much enthusiasm for that either so I signed on to ancestry and played around with a few of my much older relatives.  When they have ten children and they all marry you have to research the partners and then the children and I've added around twenty new entries.  When it got too much for me I went on a tour of the garden to check up on Rosy and Blue Boy and they're still buried with only the nail varnish blobs on show.  I also checked on the sweet peas that I put in the tyres yesterday and they are already getting established...good stuff.

I went back in the house and made a coffee and began to watch a new series on Netflix.  It looked like I would be in for the duration and then I looked out of my downstairs bedroom window and the length of the grass disturbed me enough to throw on a body warmer, boots and a hat and head out.  It was very damp under foot so I decided to use the big mower, filled it up with petrol, fired it up and went for it.  It struggled and I had to keep emptying the grass box but I managed to do two thirds of the big house grass.  I put the machine away, have just realised that the petrol is still on the terrace so I must do that before I lock up for the night.  I left the flap up so that the air will dry it off on the inside and before I use it again, I'll have to clean round the base of it, lots of wet grass has accumulated.  I came in just before five and made coffee, sat down with the intention of watching another episode and decided to put supper in the oven instead, a chicken leg with potatoes and onions.  Back to the television and the snooker, food ready so I moved upstairs to watch Transponder on the computer and took it upstairs with me.  

I've just put the boiler on for a bath tonight and I'll made sure that I stay awake this time....I don't want to wake up in cold water again.  If the weather's good I'll finish the grass tomorrow and save shopping for Monday.  I might even do some weeding now that I've uncovered the grass edgings and have something to work to.  LN...It's time to relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 25, 2021, 5:08pm; Reply: 28
Sunday 25th April

A beautiful night's sleep, I had trouble coming out of my dream and didn't want to.  I can't tell you what it was about, I can't remember and should have written it down immediately on waking and give it some analysis later in the day.  I didn't so that left me plenty of time to get on with the gardening.  I made toast for breakfast and everything was washed up by nine.  It was too cold to go outside and start work so I waited for it to warm up, I watched a couple of episodes of the series that I'm following and at eleven it was on with the boots, body warmer, hat and I continued with the mowing.  It is still very wet and clover has a lot of moisture in it anyway and the big machine grass box had to be emptied every few runs.  I did the little house grass first so I could see that I was achieving something, and then went in for water and came out again and sat on the bench enjoying the sun that had made an appearance.

Before I started again I cleaned the underside of the mower, it was better but still not as good as using it on dry grass.  I moved on to the big house grass and carried on where I'd left off yesterday.  It was tough pushing the mower but eventually I more or less completed it and gave up when the petrol ran out.   I cleaned the machine thoroughly and left it with the flap at the back open so that the air will circulate.

I thought about carrying on weeding and decided that I'd done enough. The body warmer kept the cold out but the effort made me sweat which then went cold and it was uncomfortable and without a hat, my head got cold but with one, my hair was wet with the effort.  So I filled up the log carrier and locked up the woodstore, lit the fire and locked the outside door...I'm in for the night.  It's a beautiful clear night and a full moon has appeared.  With the cloudy skies that we've had lately and rain, you lose track of the phases.  I've had supper already, tuna, mayo, beetroot and hot cubed boiled potatoes but this time without onion...I'm fresh out of them as I am with lots of things.   Tomorrow Kardjali is definitely on the cards, I have a telephone bill to pay, vegetables to buy and bread for the freezer, just a general shopping trip.  LN....Off to the city....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 26, 2021, 5:09pm; Reply: 29
Monday 26th April

Again another long interesting sleep and I didn't wake up until almost nine.  I'd run out of bread so couldn't make toast, had only one egg so couldn't make an omelette so the odds were stacked against me.  It was a beautiful day, the wind was quite blustery and chill but I did go down in my PJ's to check on the 'little ones' and they were all tucked up as good little ones should be.  I could still make out the nail varnish marks and it reminded me that I have to renew it at some late stage.  So at eleven I was still in my PJ's, syncing the Fitbit and doing sudoku when there was a face at the wide window....a guest had arrived.  I unlocked the door, apologised for my attire, made coffee and he had brought me some things to look at for input, ask for my help on a few things and offered in return to clean my windows.  It's not every day that you get an offer like that so I said that I would agree if he would only do the four big ones on the stairwell, inside and out, that I can't reach.  I think he reckoned that I protested too much but eventually he agreed.

He'd brought his own collapsible ladder. I found a bucket and the cleaning solution and after a coffee he was straight to it.  I took the opportunity to get washed and dressed and afterwards watched his precarious positions as he straddled the ladder to do the top half of the long windows and the bottom.  It must be around five years since I'd made an attempt at them.  We agreed the plans to get out second jabs for Covid on the 5th May.  Unfortunately Bulgaria shuts down for Easter and there's very little activity over five days...everything shuts down.  Windows done we had a walk of the garden and found Blue Boy but Rosy was on her travels and I eventually found her by the bonfire eating grass.  Off he went home via the rough road to meet up with the Makaza road, apparently the direct road from his village to mine is closed for repairs and no one tells you about it until you meet the men doing the repairs, so he was choosing the other way home.

The day had moved on and I really hadn't done very much.  I walked up to the garden next to mine and had a chat with my gardening neighbour and she said that she'd herd the mower going yesterday.  She was still had turning her garden and I feel so sorry for her, they'd had a tractor in to turn the ground over and it had obviously cut through and spread bindweed and couch grass and that's what she was fighting against.  At two I changed from gardening clothes to blouse and sweater because if felt as if spring had arrived....that sun was out and warm.  I managed to park by the telephone shop, walked to my cheapy shop but it was closed.  On the way back I walked by a flower shop with a beautiful little garden outside with a very pretty variegated grass growing in it.  Two men were working on it so I went into the shop to see if they had any plants for sale and the man said that they didn't and said that it was like a weed and grew everywhere very quickly and then he proceeded to pull up some roots for me.  I asked him how much and he wouldn't accept anything for them and now they're sitting in water and will be planted tomorrow.  I drove to Kaufland and on to Lidl finally finishing in Djebel to pick up bread, biscuits and chocolates....rude not to.  The little packet of biscuits only have about seven or eight in them and satisfy the urge without stuffing your face completely.

Home for six, shopping away and six half loaves of bread stashed in the freezer....I don't waste so much this way.  I had a cheese pastry in the car coming home so no need for supper or even to think about anything yet.  As for the windows, just a little titivating and they are such an improvement....the streaks are gone.  LN....Weeding tomorrow...looks like it's set to be a good day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 27, 2021, 5:04pm; Reply: 30
Tuesday 27th April

Six start, coffee, back to bed with the Kindle, FB, email and sudoku and whiled away the hours until eight and then it was time to face the day.  I remembered that I'd bought a French stick yesterday so that was the basis of breakfast with Edam cheese and ham and it's been with me most of the day.....I really don't know why I buy French sticks.  

Washed and dressed for the garden but it took me a while to get out there, instead I started to watch Netflix until the weather warmed up, that promising sun had gone behind the clouds and was well hidden.  I went to check on the tortoise, found Blue Boy who was still quite hidden and Rosy has gone AWOL but I do have a big garden.  I shall have to watch out where I'm strimming now that she's on the move again.  Strange really, I seem to have sexed them both but how do you tell until the mating season, they could be two males or two females and I'm sure that gender swap hasn't got to the land of tortoise.  I collected tools from the little house and worked on the long wall garden, came in when I'd had enough and seemed to be achieving very little.  In fact I've achieved but there are so many weeds this year, perfect growing conditions, rain and then warm days.

I didn't go out again until four and then tackled some of the other wall and cleared two sections giving the plants a better chance.  I need to dig out a couple of shrubs that haven't made it, there's not even a glimmer of green on any of the twigs.  I did notice that the allium have got buds on them about to burst, I did thing at first that they were daffodil seed pods but no and I didn't expect to find them where I did.  My two red hot pokers are uncovered and doing well as are the tall white daisies but unfortunately I've noticed that I have to renew most of the wooden surround so need to get more wood to do a proper job.  

I was surprised that it was seven when I'd put the tools away and came in.  Supper is staying in the freezer, I found a packet of jelly sweets on the desk by the computer and now they are no more.  There's also three cream filled Easter eggs sitting on the desk....I'll have to strengthen my resolve.  LN....Another day of the same tomorrow.....weather permitting.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 28, 2021, 5:02pm; Reply: 31
Wednesday 28th April

Another six start and the same routine as yesterday.  At least the sun was in evidence this morning so I was planning another good day in the garden.  I made breakfast of boiled eggs and toast and sat in the stairwell in the sun enjoying them.  I washed up and finished the kitchen and was in no rush to get out there.  I plumbed in to the series I'm watching on Netflix, trying to drum up the energy to start for the day, watched two series and found my mojo.  First job was to get the little electric mower out and cur the grass in the yard and between the main house and the front wall.  It really was in need of love and attention so it got it.  I used the grass box to make sure that no stones became projectiles, moved the cable to the little house terrace with the intention of carrying on clearing the clover from the bottom of the garden,  Instead I started to clear the bed by the roof tiles near the long wall and realised that it had no real surround only three or four stones so that became my target for today.  I'd uncovered the Iris and they're about to flower and the daisies are coming through and carefully I strimmed the rest.  

I made my way to the little house and found enough wood to do  the job, the rest of the tools were already in the bucket and only needed carrying down the garden.  It took quite a while to do it, there's a concrete strip between the garden and the tiles so I had to clear it first.  Supports in, first two boards in place and then I had to join two to do the front view.  I did the three sides and then realised that it needed another one along the back running parallel to the concrete and the tiles so I was on the hunt again and managed to find one long enough.  It's all painted up with engine oil and tomorrow I'm going to dig it all over and plant some seeds that need planting.  Tools away at seven, managed my ten thousand steps today and feel pretty knacked.  

I've not put anything in for supper yet...much too busy but I have put the boiler on for a bath to ease the aches and pains.  I've done a lot of bending and stretching, weeding takes it out of you.  Same again tomorrow if the weather holds....I want to finish it this week and then it's down to maintenance not real hard work.  LN.....And then to buy wood.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 29, 2021, 4:56pm; Reply: 32
Thursday 29th April

Five thirty start this morning, the penalty for having and early night.  Unfortunately it's left me listless all day, whiled away some of the hours on Netflix and despite a beautiful day I couldn't get my act together until after a nap this afternoon.  The day was full of good intention but nothing came to fruition.  I had my nap this afternoon to catch up and it was after that that the action started.  I finished the surround of the big long wall garden, engine oiled it and have three quarters weeded it.  It's always been a funny garden and nothing much grows in it so this time I've set about removing the weeds and double digging it and then I'll spread the remains of the large bag of potting compost that I bought last year.  It was a mistake purchase, it's more for starting seeds off not giving them a life of their own.

As part of my afternoon lethargy I ended up with a tub of cream cheese and some bread sticks and so supper is not on the agenda....  I shall manage until the morning.  It's promising twenty six degrees tomorrow so it might even be down to t-shirt but definitely no shorts, too many biting insects around at this time of the year.  They were out and about today, the martins must have had a field day.  As an update, Blue boy is still lingering in his little hole and Rosy was out and about near the short wall sunning herself.  I was eating a pear as I walked the garden so I threw her the core and checked this evening.... and it's gone.  LN...Have to look out for my pets.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 30, 2021, 5:27pm; Reply: 33
Friday 30th April

Funny old night.  I was watching Netflix until one fifteen, didn't realise what time it was.  I went to bed, suddenly realised that it was extremely bright outside so got up again to check whether it was down to the moon or what...and it wasn't the moon.  I saw that the lights were on in the little house and immediately thought that I'd knocked the light switch at sometime during the day so picked up the keys, didn't bother with shoes and went to sort out the problem.  I can only think that whatever got in through the small window hit the snow shovel that was propped up near the light switch and that's why the lights came on.  As I put the key in the door there was a mighty screech from inside and something banged really hard on the inside of the door.  My heart went up a pace or two, I went back in the house to consider options and picked up the torch with the idea of trying to see what was inside...and saw nothing.  I decided that I would have another go at the door, it was all quiet on the western front and I grabbed the old cow chasing stick that I keep in the butter churn by the indoor.  I opened the door, stood well back, nothing shot out and I used the stick to switch the lights off....and went back into the house.  It took me a while to get back off again, I wasn't sure what it was and it's the first unnerving happening in all my time here...apart from the cows that used to insist on sleeping in my garden pre-wall building.

Because of the late head down, it was late heads up.  It was nine thirty before I woke and I seem to have been playing catch up all day.  I went to check the little house and there were things knocked off the shelf and a starter wood container knocked over and soil had been scratched out from near the in door...it was probably trying to make its escape as I put the key in and we more or less frightened the life out of each other.  I had yogurt for breakfast and watched a couple of episodes of my Netflix and headed back to my long wall garden and got stuck in.  Cleared more of it and found some self sets of balsam and they were rescued and replanted in the cleared patch.  Worked on it for a couple of hours, went in for water, watched another of my series, back out again, planted up some allium for a pot on the terrace and dug up a Greek pink shrub and put it in water to soak overnight.  It's one that I can split up into several other plants and it needs doing.

Back in the house at six twenty, everything locked up and the snow shovel was moved far away from the light switch....I want no disturbance tonight.  Chicken leg and vegetables put into the oven for supper, I checked my email on the computer on the landing, several 'hints' from Find my Past and I checked them out and got involved checking out the records.  Eventually I connected the camera for tonight's pickies so I better get posting.  LN.....More of the same tomorrow.....LN
Print page generated: May 7, 2021, 9:13pm