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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JANUARY 2022
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 1, 2022, 7:43pm
Saturday 1st January

So last night's fireworks seemed to go on for quite some time and then it was off to the land of nod and straight through until seven thirty.  For some strange reason I'm out of kilter with the days of the week, lost the concept of various days even though in BG there are no landmarks and days I do certain things....I suppose I'm out of routine.

I had a bath and washed my hair, New Year's day so why not, put my washiing away, had a bacon sandwich and decided to search through my suitcase and 'stuff' in the bedroom to find my next sleeve of tablets that had gone AWOL and my reading glasses that I felt could have been anywhere.  I emptied out the suitcase and there they were, hiding at the bottom and the tablets were in the soft hand luggage bag so now I'm fine until I go home on Wednesday....I have enough.   My son phoned and we had a catch-up on Christmas activities and he was about to set about one of the front beds in his garden, grass and weeds had taken over where there should have been plants.  I suggested that he kept up the action because I would have lots for him to do when he came over in the summer.

I've bumbled through the rest of the day, I watch several episodes of Pride and Predujice on one of the rubbish programmes and was amazed at how many adverts it showed.  I think it's an advert channel with some content thrown in.  I should have gone for a walk, the weather was a darned sight better than it has been but I never did get the Fitbit juices flowing, ten thousand steps seemed a far off target so I lay on the sofa and fell asleep for an hour or so waking up to Porridge on the same channel.  Christmas chocolates have taken a bashing and my relaxed state was disturbed my most host announcing that there was a robin in his bedroom and he needed help sending it on its way outside.  The poor little thing was terrified, eventually I got it out but didn't manage to shut the window in time and it came back in and by this time it was dark outside.  Plan B was hatched, put the outside light on, switch off main bedroom light and I used a torch to guide it on its way, out it went and pivoting on a bedroom chair I managed to close both of the windows.  Sorry little chap, humans for in and birds for out and I think it's the one thats got its home either inside or under my Calibra in the drive.  

I'm on the hunt for supper and have just come up with the idea of tuna salad with diced potatoes and I've just given the instructions to the chef.....and I'll be down to do it in ten.  I've set my target for a walk over the Downs tomorrow if the weather is good, I need to see if this new Fitbit will go up to ten thousand.  LN.....New Year, new fitness routine.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 2, 2022, 9:27pm; Reply: 1
Sunday 2nd January

So it was a three a.m. awakening.  I'd fallen asleep playing sudoku with the light on, woken up, switched the light off and continued my journey through the night and awakening at eight thirty this morning.  I didn't have to be anywhere until one o'clock, off to my daughter's for lunch heroically cooked by my S.I.L.  He's a good egg.

I eventually got out of bed by nine thirty, staggered downstairs and made toast with lashings of cherry jam trying to use up most of the pot that I shan't be able to take back home with me in my hand luggage.  I somehow managed to get on the computer and retrace some of the family history of my host, and found that I'd got one name wrong from a transcription error which I corrected using the original census.  I've come a long way since I did the first investigation and will take it back home with me and work on it again to see if there are any others.  The older records are from the Gorbals and I know that more records have been released and it will be fun to retrace my footsteps to see how much further I can go.

So we arrived at my daughter's home at the allotted hour and sat down more or less straightaway for lunch and it was up to his usual standard.  Pudding was extra special.  It was bread and butter pudding but made with croissants, my grandson had finished the chocolate spread so she had used Terry's chocolate orange to flavour the croissants before she'd arranged them in the dish and covered them with the egg custard mixture.  Into the oven with it and it was a real twist on the original.  We sat around the table for quite some time once it was cleared and I was interested in the slimming club that she and her husband went to and how they counted the points that made up the system.  We calculated that my breakfast had been my daily allowance so everythiing else that had passed my lips was superfluous to requirements so I topped it off with a Terry's chocolate that was valued at four points.  I think it would take a while to get used to the system and difficult to get your head round but once ingrained it would be fairly easy to follow.

Home for six thirty and that walk that I was going to take today didn't come to anything.  Once more the rain set in and I don't think there's been one good day since I've been here and I read that it was like a spring day in BG.  According to the weather it's going to be fifteen degrees the day I travel back but minus one in the morning when I'm in that taxi.  I've now opened the box of Toblerone that I photographed yesterday and they are as good as they looked on the outside of the packet......white, milk and dark choclolate.....and can't decide which one I like best.  LN......I'll let you know tomorrow.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 3, 2022, 8:48pm; Reply: 2
Monday 3rd January

I had a very disturbed night last night.  It was all about making sure that I had all the documentation that I needed for my flight home and I ended up printing out the confirmation that I dindn't have Covid when I arrived and the report from the laboratory.  Straing things happen when our little brains are filing overnight.  I was awake at six, the Fitbit reported only two and a half hours of sleep and it was about right.  I didn't bother with coffee or breakfast, set about making sure that everything was charged up for the journey and with one day to go it's given me time to go through some of my folders and look at old memos and leaving cards from the days I was employed.  They're quite nice to trawl back on but maybe I should be bining them but still too early.  I'm planning to come back in the summer, there's a lot to sort out.

So I carried on with my packing, suddelnly realised that I hadn't seen my jewellery so checked my handbag, soft bag and suitcase and ended up unpacking the case and it wasn't there.  I've used the soft handbag since I bought it from the charity shop forgetting all about my leather Turkish bag and that's where I found the jewellery stash.  I repacked the case, emptied the soft bag and managed to get that in the case too and put the rest of the stuff for travelling in the leather bag.  It's not panic, it's living in a familiar place and there's too much space for things to get lost and it is a big house.  Eventually I moved downstairs and cooked a late brunch of poached egg on toast and then settled down to watch TV and of course the eyes went southwards.  Some excellent news, my daughter has booked the flights to come out to see me in the summer and tomorrow we shall be having the last supper before I get my head down for a four a.m. taxi.  

No one wanted to cook tonight so my host has just gone down to the chippie for supper and I suppose I should really get the plates ready.  It's a thing that I miss most, you just can't get cod and chips like in the UK and since my grandmother used to own a fish and chip shop, it might be said to be in the blood.  So now I'm heading downstairs to get things ready...I'm going to take a photo of them when they're would be rude not to and hopefully he'll remember the mushy peas.....and now for the bad news.....all the local chip shops are closed so now to plan B.  I've just phoned the local hotel and they are open for meals.....We're on our way.

Just got back, fantastic fish and chips and about the same price as the chippie, tap water and orange squash for the princely sum of twenty three pounds....and rude not to. going to let it go down......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 4, 2022, 10:03pm; Reply: 3
Tuesday 4th January

Bit of a hectic one today, I packed, unpacked and packed again and this time I only have Elias my elephant from my grandson peeking out of my second bag.  Everything else is safely stowed away ready for the early morning taxi.

I've had a wonderful evening with my daughter and S.I.L and she gave me my birthday card in advance so that despite the postal service to Bulgaria I shall have one at least.  I'm under strict instructions not to open it until February and won't.  

I'll set phone alarms and then worry that I've missed them so check the time, time and again until I eventually get up and sit waiting.  I'll probably not sleep at all until I get on the plane, wake up momentarily to cross Sofia and then sleep all the way on the bus to Kardjali.....and that's the way that I normally do it.  It will probably be around six when I get home so light a fire and start heating the house up but if it keeps to the predicted temperature for tomorrow, the house should have residual warmth. It's supposed to be fifteen degrees tomorrow so fingers crossed it won't be too bad not like minus ten the last time I travelled home at this time of year.

So here's hoping it's a safe journey.  LN.....Next update from BG......LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 5, 2022, 6:22pm; Reply: 4
Wednesday 5th January

So last night I didn't go to bed choosing to sleep on the sofa between one and three this morning just so that I wouldn't miss the alarms and the flight.  I was more nervous about this one even though I' prepared well putting everything that had anything vaguely electrical about it in a large plastic back in my second smaller bag so that I didn't even have to open the larger bag unless the customs men decreed that there was something suspicious about it. I also put all cosmetics, toiletries, hand cream and medications in another which went in the same bag...nothing like being prepared.  The two alarms went off and there was a ping on my phone from a friend saying that the rules were changed earlier that day and that anyone arriving in Bulgaria from a red country should have a PCR up tp seventy two hours in advance and I though bugger that for a game of soldiers.  Much too late for me to even worry about it.

The taxi came and it was a fourteen seater and I was obviously spoilt for choice.  I did make a comment that I wish I had enough friends to fill it and eventually I settled in for the thirty minute journey.  The inevitable questions came up as to where I was going and I got into such a good conversation with the driver that when he arrived to drop me off he'd chosen the wrong lane so we exited the airport, went round the block again and this time we were in the correct lane and I was right by the escalator.  I also found out that he'd lived in quite a few countries that I knew, he fancied Scandinavia and I commented that it was good if you didn't drink much and said that he'd also lived in Brazil which fascinated me.  I think we appreciated each other's energy fields at silly o'clock in the morning.

So the man from Easy Jet only required boarding cards and no other restrictions or things to check.  I carried on to departures and sailed through the security check without being asked anything, the flight was called for boarding very quickly after that, boarding passes again at the gate and passport, mask up and mask down, and 'speedy boardings' on first.  I had row four all to myself, I started out in seat C but the child behind was kicking the seat so moved to B and stayed there getting my head down for a couple of hours.  Next thing I knew the captain was informing us that we had started the descent, we landed early and I made the twelve o'clock bus to Kardjali.  Despite my best efforts I think I still got ripped off by the taxi driver but not a s badly as last time.  Kardjali for twenty after three, bus for Djebel in the next bay leaving at three forty, the driver recognised me and helped me on with my luggage and off with it at the other end.  I carried on to the car shop and picked up the keys and the car, had a little chat with my student's mum, drove home and turned the water on, lit the fire, put the kettle on, made beans on toast and have just unfinished my packing and it's eight fifteen.  

Elias is established on my bed downstairs and waiting for company and I shouldn't be too long joining him. Photos tomorrow....the mountains around Sofia were worth taking but with the bus travelling at speed, not worth posting.    LN.....Promise to do better tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 6, 2022, 4:41pm; Reply: 5
Thursday 6th January

So into my little bed by eleven, the air was a little cold but I snuggled down into my 'nest' and it was eight when I woke up this morning which on English time is six so I'd had a good long sleep.  Today's task was to get the woodburner pipes out and give them a clean, I'd lit it last night and had no problems but I knew it would perform better and more safely with a clear out.  I made coffee and thought about it and set about finding the keys that I'd hidden away before I'd left and I'm still looking....what a fantastically safe place.  I pegged out the washing, the wind was coming up from Greece and the washing is now finishing off in the bathroom on the airer.  The brush that I needed was now behind closed doors so I started anyway and took the pipes out and went over to Avatar's house, I knew shed have one and she uses wire to 'lock' the door to the woodstore.  

I'd seen from the internet that Avatar's daughter was over from Turkey and they'd been down the spring to fill some bottles posting several pictures.  We touched imaginary elbows and I could see from her eyes that that she was pleased to have me home so I asked her where my bottle of water from the spring was.  She looked surprised that I knew she'd been down there and then laughed offering me a bottle of water and I told her I was joking.  She gave me my keys back but unfortunately they weren't the ones that I was searching for, I asked to borrow the brush and we walked to the woodstore and as I came back my three other neighbours were waiting for me to appear and it like a reception committee.  I greeted them in Turkish, told them it was time they learnt Bulgarian with a smile in my voice and said I was sorry but I had work to do brandishing the brush in the air.  I carried on home, pipes cleaned and put back in, fire lit and no need to bash the pipes, there was no smoke escaping and it's ticked over all day.

Despite desperate searches I still haven't found the keys but what I did find was the second key to the Beast and a key to the outside door of the little house so I now have access to the wood from the previous year so at least I shan't freeze to death.  I haven't thought about supper yet but it could quite easily be the rest of the can of beans, little effort and good result.  I missed the sunset tonight but caught the red sky, unfortunately there was a band of dark grey ones on the horizon on both fronts so we could be in for either showers or light shower of snow now that the temperature has dropped.  Tomorrow it's back to the 'hunt the keys' and I'm now turning out areas and thinking 'why would I put them there!!'.  I think the stress of having the test before I left clouded my judgement but at last now that I've found the key to the little house I shall be warm while I'm at it.  LN.....Getting back to routine......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 7, 2022, 4:22pm; Reply: 6
Friday 7th January

Another good night's sleep and it was again almost eight when I woke up.  It was six degrees outside and sixteen in so not so bad saying I've only been heating the house for one day.  I lit the fire to get the ball rolling again and it was soon up to temperature and the hot water racing round the radiators.  I didn't bother with breakfast but went for the second cup of coffee, it could wait I had work to do.

Today's task was to find the keys so I started emptying out the chest it the bedroom and became more doom laden as I continued and they weren't in there so went back to the storage boxes, not in the first but success in the second which was the first place that I looked as soon as I got home.  It was obviously not thorough enough and there they were in the toe of a inside slipper....where else would they be!!  So I found the pink cleat and the outside keys so at least I could get into the wood store and fill up the log basket carriers and basket.  I watered the plants in the little house and quite a few of them are still in flower namely the geraniums and the sun golden daisies.  I also noticed that the three bushes of winter flowering jasmine were all in flower so I broke off a few branches from the one by the low wall and put it in the house to give me a taste of spring.  

Another thing that took up most of the morning was to buy my road tax on line which proved to be really difficult.  I'd tried to do it in the UK and left it because it said that one of the cars had already got a vignette which I didn't understand, so I left it until I got back here.  It's not an intuitive program, I have an account so went into it and the cars were showing.  It still gave me the same issues so I telephoned a 'man' who explained that the existing road tax don't run out until the tenth of this month so that's why you get the message so why they don't make them continuous from the day that they expire I shall never know.  I've lost the days and the new ones start from today....what sort of system is that?  Anyway, paid for, downloaded and laminated and back in the vehicles just in case I get stopped by a diligent operative of the law.  Final job was to raise the bird table from the terrace and tomorrow I'll have to buy some sunflower seeds for the seed eaters.  The other food that I got seems to get left on the platform so that can go over the wall for the rest of the birds.  Final thrust was to make myself a bacon sandwich with brown sauce to set me up for the day...aren't freezers marvellous as long as the power doesn't go off.

Since the weather had changed and it was now raining as well as cold I stashed myself away in the lounge and got Netflix set up and checked out the suggestions that my daughter had left for me and settled in to watch a six 'part'er and three have been devoured.  I decided to log in to Transponder so that I could get my TV sorted which again seemed a very slow process entering email and password with an onscreen keyboard and cursor.  Note to self...need to get a mouse set up.

No moon tonight and certainly no sunset so only one photo of the winter flowering jasmine and my welcoming fire,  LN.....Back to the TV.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 8, 2022, 6:27pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 8th January

Another good night's sleep and it was eight before I started circulating.  It was dull, three degrees outside and by ten it had started to rain, not heavily but enough to make it really miserable.  I used the rest of the bacon and made a sandwich and had nothing planned for the day but it wasn't going to be another Netflix binge session.  I didn't wash up and left the plates from yesterday and this morning waiting 'processing' and I've cleared everything after supper so good to come down to in the morning.

I played around with ancestry for a while, did emails and Facebook and went out to fill the log containers after I'd filled the log basket up.  I lit a small fire but increased the size of the logs as the day grew more miserable and the temperature didn't rise.  Black Cat was sitting on the outside table so I gave it some dried food and then took the roasted peanuts from their shells and put some on the table of the birdhouse.  I hadn't seen any blue tits and the likes since I've been back and wondered if they needed encouragement.  IN UK we used to thread the shells on to cotton and hang the nuts up but I've done it once in BG but no takers so I do it for them.  So far nothing except for a magpie that squeezed itself inside the bird house and ate the bounty on the corner of my balcony but that was the last I saw of it.

I suddenly remembered that the wind had blown down the honeysuckle from the terrace so went out with saw, a piece of timber that would do to replace the leg that was missing, some of the huge nails and the hammer and set about the task.  Firstly I cut through the honeysuckle so that I could remove the bench support, I heaved it on to the terrace, cut the timber to size and secured it to the frame using the old nails and two of the new long ones that seemed to hold into the frame.  I put it upright on to the legs and hammered the big nails from the top down into the other legs and jobs a seems strong enough to do what it's supposed to.  I chopped back the rest of the honeysuckle so that it will start to sprout again and I can have it over the framework and then set about clearing the honeysuckle from the old well that seems to have got covered up.  This was a bigger job but now looks much better and I'm going to get it back in commission if I can get someone to build the top and clear the bottom.

I cleared up and was back in the house for three thirty.  I made coffee to warm up, put the water heater on for a bath and am about to get into it now.  In the meantime I cooked the mince that I'd got out last night and made pasta bolognaise, ate it watching The Chase and there's enough left for tomorrow.  I did pop over to Avatar's house around eleven this morning to see if she wanted supper making but there was no response to my light knock on the door.  I'm not sure if her daughter is still there with her husband and didn't stay around to find out.....all the more for me.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow.  My student has just messaged me to ask when I'm going round to the house so I put the ball back in their court, they have lots of visitors and it's more when they're free.  A few birds this afternoon and I did notice how many flowers are about to burst out, the weather is all topsy turvy for them.  LN.....Let's hope for a cheerier day tomorrow.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 9, 2022, 6:23pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 9th January

Another good night....I'm putting it down to the clean air.  Unfortunately this morning I had the swollen lip again and all I had last night was the spaghetti bolognaise made by my own fair hands and I settled into a packet of Candied Ginger from Lidl so maybe that's on my list of no-no's from now on.  It might also mean a trip to the doctors to have my tablets reviewed or possibly reduce the dose gradually and take myself off them.  I might also have to review my diet and get my cholesterol reduced, the blood pressure seems to be OK when I take it...I just don't trust how tablets are distributed here and it's too late this year to change my doctor.

I made a bacon sandwich for breakfast and so much for reviewing my intake, washed up and as I was putting things away I noticed hat the spice containers were fat coated being near the cooker so they are all washed, the wooden stand is now pristine and all the bottles are back and it now has a new space.  I was going to do without a fire until it got necessary but I changed my mind, it was damp, not too cold but the comfort of a fire makes things different somehow.  I went over to see Avatar and take her a box of After Eight that I tried to deliver yesterday and she presented me with a dish of baclava soaked with honey so again my list had been compromised.  I carried it home, made arrangements to take her daughter into Djebel tomorrow morning since the bus leaves at a ridiculous hour and came back and watched Monty Don's Venetian gardens that I'd missed on Friday night.  I picked up that we're in for the Master's Snooker over the next couple of weeks and that it started at three my time so I grabbed my garden fork, loppers and saw and headed down to bottom of the garden to remove the branch that had been blown down in the wind.  It was soon done, I lopped most of it down to reasonable burning lengths, sawed the rest and had a bonfire getting rid of rubbish that had lingered in the burner while I was in UK....and it's still burning now.

I settled in to watch the snooker and Avatar arrived with some home made banichka and that was my supper for tonight.  I invited her in but she doesn't stay long and I was pleased to notice that she came over with the doorbell contact that I've given her so that I know that she's there.  As for anyone else...visitors are not really welcome except those who know that knocking and entering shouting 'put the kettle on' are allowed.

Just after eight my end and I'm just going to attend to the fire and put one more log on before bedtime.  Just a short shopping list for me for tomorrow, I'm out of bread, need some eggs and more tablets from the chemist.  At last I'm settling in, it's strange being on your own again after three weeks of people and conversation.  More snooker tonight, time to get settled in the lounge.  LN......No Candied Ginger for me tonight......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 10, 2022, 4:11pm; Reply: 9
Monday 10th January

Early start this morning...back to normal and it was another miserable morning, raining and cold.  I made tea this and went back to bed, played a few games of Sudoku and then set about getting my morning underway.  I didn't light the fire. I was picking up Avatar's daughter at nine thirty so dressed for the cold and damp and I certainly needed it.  I walked over to Avatar's house to make sure that her daughter still wanted to go and returned the dishes that she'd brought over yesterday and it was still on but when I got home I couldn't find the car keys and had forgotten that I'd put them in my handbag already but eventually got organised.

By now it was really raining hard as we headed in to Djebel and we had a little language barrier that we had to overcome.  The daughter moved to Turkey and is not used to speaking Bulgarian and my Bulgarian seems to throw her but eventually I worked out that she wanted to go firstly to her aunt's house the other side of Djebel and was trying to direct me to the house.  I've been there a few times with her mother so knew where it was and I got through eventually that I knew where I was going.  I pulled up, the daughter got out and we didn't go in the house but the aunt came out with a huge bag of 'something' for her sister and we were on her way.  On the way back we caught sight of four deer on the edge of the forest and they were 'skitty' and beautiful but couldn't get a shot of them.

I parked up and we went our separate days and arranged that we would meet up at quarter to eleven so we had forty five minutes to do what we had to do.  I went to see my student's mum, stopped off and bought some large nails to add to the supply and some purple wool to finish the gloves and enough for a hat so Avatar has more work to do.  Back to the car and she was waiting so we called at the supermarket and again she came out with a couple of large bags to take back to Turkey, things are so expensive over there with the current financial crisis.  Dropped her off and made myself a bacon, onion and cheese omelette mainly because I cracked a couple of eggs on the homeward journey.  

Snooker on this afternoon and I missed the third game but woke up for the rest.  John Higgins is through knocking out the Chinese guy, the rest of the bolognaise is on the woodburner heating through for tonight.  As for photographs, I took some with the little camera and I think it needs attention, it just didn't focus on the long shots so out of luck tonight.  There's supposed to be snow tomorrow so I'm told so you should get some pickies tomorrow...the snow is not destined to last but the temperature is due to drop to several minus degrees.  Winter is coming John Snow.  LN.....Time to batten down the hatches......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 11, 2022, 4:06pm; Reply: 10
Tuesday 11th January

Really early start this morning, it was seventeen degrees inside and four outside but by nine it had dropped to one point five outside.  The rain had turned to sleet and it looked like the prediction for snow would come to fruition....and it did.  I was out of bed by seven thirty, made coffee and sent upstairs to get washed and dressed and put the washing away that had dried overnight.  In fact the upstairs bathroom is the warmest room in the house.  I was undecided what to get up to today, I had my student at three this afternoon, I needed to get into Djebel to get more tablets since I'd run out and Ronnie was starting his attack on the snooker championship at three.  

Having time to make my decision and checking the weather frequently, I started with poached eggs on toast to give me a good start to the day.  I filled up the log basket and topped up the fire that I'd made earlier and made my way to the wood store and filled up three containers.  It just means that they warm through a little before I throw them in the burner.  By now there was more snow than rain, the grass was covered and there was a blizzard blowing but the terraces were clear and very wet.  Black cat was around but not many birds were out and about, my hands were frozen when I came in from the wood store.  I settled in to ancestry and had another attempt to track down the Canadian branch of the family to no avail.  I know I'll just fall on the record some time but it does get frustrating.

At two it had really started to come down and I decided to drive into Djebel to get my tablets and check out the road on the way.  By now, the road was white over and the wet surface had frozen but I took it very gently.  There were a few speed merchants on the road and a few in larger, heavier cars that were really taking it slowly but I remember my days with the Calibra,...the tyres would fill up and I'd slip, slide everywhere while my daughter in her little car had no problems at all.  I parked up outside the car shop next to the chemist, my student's mum was surprised to see me and I apologised and said that I wouldn't be staying for the lesson, the road between was filling up nicely and I was better off at home.  She understood completely, I bought my tablets from the chemist, got back in the Nipper and set off for home.  I was behind a BMW going really slowly, a snow plough came the other way and the BM moved to the wrong side of the road crawling along, I flashed it and could do nothing else but overtake it on the inside and having done that was on my way.  I arrived safely, got the Nipper back into the drive, got me back into the house and made coffee and by now it was almost three and ready for the snooker.

Such a good game for Ronnie, not so good for his opponent, fire topped up and burning well, it's still snowing so it will be terrace clearing tomorrow for my exercise routine.  Nothing on the agenda so will probably settle down with the computer and ancestry....I want to get it on to Excel which I've started but not finished.  I also want to work on my grand-daughters chart on my daughter-in-laws side, I've made a start but the records from Holland are not easy to find.  I've still got pasta bolognaise left so might settle for that or might just give supper a miss....I've had a pickie afternoon and the After Eights have taken a bashing.  LN.....Winter's here John Snow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 12, 2022, 6:00pm; Reply: 11
Wednesday 12th January

So minus five overnight, a funny night for me, I woke up in front of the TV and it took me ages to get off again when I eventually got into bed.  I threw a fair sized log on the fire, the temperature had dropped to minus five outside and I kept my fingers crossed that the electricity would stay on and I wouldn't be emptying the wood burner at really silly o'clock in what was left of the night.  As it happened I didn't have any problems and with a little poke this morning at six thirty it burst into life and it's been good all day.

Washed and dressed quickly. watched a little of morning television until I got fed up with the ITV witch hunt for Boris the Bold, the tennis player and motorway hard shoulders that I switched it off and set about my day.  Breakfast was first on the agenda and I made bacon with fried egg and fried bread and the washing up is still in the kitchen waiting to be done along with the supper dishes.  I fetched a chicken log out of the freezer and that was going to be supper with roasted vegetables.  I moved up to the landing and played around with ancestry but didn't get far with the links I was looking for.  I was pushed towards the new census release and since they were wanting me to pay for the pleasure even though I've got a top level subscription, they could whistle.  I wasn't that desperate to view it, it's not a direct family link but one that I'm doing for a friend.

I thought about clearing the terraces off but under the layer of snow was a fairly thick layer of ice and that wasn't going to be easy.  I cleared by the door, put more food out for the birds and collected the rubbish and decided to have a bonfire.  The sun hadn't really broken through as it was supposed to and despite gloves my fingers were freezing so I only stayed out to get the fire underway, fill up the log carrier and bring it into the house and then lock up shop for the day that was until I went out to take the picture of the sunset.

By three I was again watching the snooker and it turned into quite a good match with many twists and turns.  I did take a break to get supper into the oven, took more photos and was surprised by a phone call from my daughter just to check how I was.  I've just eaten supper from the roasting tin on a tray on my lap watching the finish of the snooker and again, kitchen is tidy but the washing up can wait until tomorrow.  It's going to be another cold one tonight and supposed to be down to minus eleven so shan't be going far tomorrow, it might never warm up to anything sensible but is winter.  LN.....I think a bath is on the cards for tonight......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 13, 2022, 5:16pm; Reply: 12
Thursday 13th January

So minus six when I went to bed and minus ten when I woke up this morning,  For some reason I mistook the time on my Fitbit and read it as six thirty and in fact it was four thirty so I did get a little sleep in this afternoon to catch up,  I'd let the fire to out last night so I brought it back to life, I'd drawn the curtain separating the large landing windows from the winter lounge so the other side of the curtain was down to thirteen degrees by the woodburner side was OK so once the fire was going I opened it up to the elements and all was OK.  I topped up with hot coffee and by eight I was making a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, putting the old pasta out for the birds and more fresh bread.  Not many of them were around until I put the food out, it was a bit chilly for them and when they did arrive, they were all puffed up and why wouldn't you be,

I had a shower and washed my hair this morning and dried off in the upstairs bathroom, the warmest room in the house.  The sun was up by this time but it didn't really do much in the way of softening the ice and snow on the terraces so they're left uncleared.  In fact the temperature stayed just below freezing all day and now it's on its way down again.  I popped over to see Avatar and her daughter was giving the house a final clean before she leaves for Turkey tomorrow and I did mention that if she was really bored I could find her work.  I left just as Zelinger arrived, pretended to smash elbows together, cleared the ice from the gate so that it would shut and carried on home to clear my drive up to the road where the snow plough had done what it does best and blocked me in.  I also cleared the drive in front of the Nipper and cleared the snow from it so that I won't have to do it when I take Avatar's daughter to Djebel tomorrow morning at seven fifteen.  

I had a bit of a lazy afternoon, attempted to clear the terrace but gave up and had five minutes in the sun enjoying the view.  Next stop was Netflix and a new series called The Stranger and watched about three episodes before I settled in for the snooker and saw Ronnie go out again.  I'd put supper in the oven and I had a rib of barbecued pork ribs and a jacket, kitchen cleared and washing up done and fire relit and belting it's going to be another cold one, the moon's up and the starts are out.  As |I said I'm out early in the morning and I'm going to take it slowly, not much snow but the road is going to be icy in places.  LN.....Note to self...set alarms.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 14, 2022, 8:30pm; Reply: 13
Friday 14th January

What a full on  day it's been.  I set the alarm so that I didn't oversleep this morning and at five thirty I switched it off, I was already awake.  The outside temperature was minus eleven so I was out of bed by six and dressing for the extreme cold.  I was taking Avatar's daughter to Djebel so that she could catch the bus to Turkey at eight this morning but thee was a lot to do before then.  The Nipper was iced over inside and out despite my efforts yesterday to clear the windscreen so I started the engine at six thirty to warm it up and with full winter gear on I was out there chipping away.  The passenger door was iced over so that was going to be a problem but eventually at seven I drove out of the gate, turned at the bottom of the village and parked up outside their gate and we started to load the Nipper.  There was only a faint glimmer of morning, Haciber was out already to watch the departure, two holdalls went in along with two extra large carriers and the daughter had to sit with parcels, the door wouldn't open, it was still frozen shut.  Eventually all was safely gathered in and off we set.  

I hadn't driven the road since I'd made it back when the snow started to fall so wasn't sure what to expect so I took it slowly., it was good in places, very icy in others, it got better as we hit the main road but where the sun hadn't managed to melt the snow through the forest if wasn't foot at all but eventually we made it by seven thirty.  The bus still hadn't arrived from Zlatograd so off she went to get food for her journey and I waited for her to come back. we unloaded the luggage and I set off for home at just before eight, again taking it very slowly.  I put the Nipper back in the drive intending to have a quiet day but at nine my Messenger pinged and my friend from the next village asked if I was up to anything and could I go over to his village and take him to get some money, his car was fixed and ready for collection.  Being fresh from my triumph of the morning, I set off again at nine twenty, found a cash machine in Djebel and headed down another back lane and on to the main Greek road which was more or less clear and was over there for ten thirty, a swift coffee and we were off again to collect his car from the repair yard.  The man wasn't there to pay him so he drove the car back to his, more coffee, a couple of phone calls and off he went to get money from another cashpoint so that he could pay me back, go back to the yard, pay the man and we could all now relax.

By now it was getting of for lunch time so we had lunch, chewed the fat for a while and I set off around three thirty for home arriving around four fifteen, got the fire going to  start warming the house up, settled down to watch the snooker and promptly went to sleep during the chase wrapped in a blanket lying on the sofa.  I woke up just before ten, toasty and realised I hadn't written up my day and now it's done I must remember to switch the alarm off.  Fortunately the temperature is only down to minus three tonight so it looks like this really cold snap has moved over, nothing on for tomorrow except for a lunch appointment with Avatar and some of the villagers but i might even side step that, I'll see how I feel.  Two good turns in one day deserve a day of rest and I'm going to take it.  LN.....That's unless I decided to go shopping to Kardjali......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 15, 2022, 6:36pm; Reply: 14
Saturday 15th January

Around seven  thirty when I woke up to face the world.  The outside temperature station was showing minus five so lower than I'd expected but not so cold as it had been.  I lit the fire, the sun wasn't up yet and I could always let it go out if the sun really shot up in temperature but I wasn't expecting to get the bikini out.  I did a load of washing and put it on the airer in the bathroom and made poached eggs on toast for breakfast but before that I was out and about in the house with the camera taking my view of the morning.  The sky was very cloudy but eventually the clouds cleared and it turned out OK.

I filled up the log carriers and put them in the porch, tried to clear the snow from the terraces but it wasn't having it.  The terraces were very wet when the snow began to fall and with the really icy temperatures, there was no moving it.  I also tried to clear a path to the wood store but that wasn't having it either and I guess I'll leave it to nature.  I moved upstairs and decided to sort out the photo that Beyser had given me of her daughter-in-law who had died prematurely, she wanted it made bigger and framed.  It had been a while since I'd done one and for some reason I couldn't get the scanner working properly so I ended up taking a photo of the photo with my camera, I managed to get the photo into a document and then when I tried to print last time it didn't print properly so I set of the cleaning routine.....and it wouldn't.  I have this horrible feeling that it's the print head that's failed so more than likely I'll need to replace the printer.  

By now the time had moved on and I remembered that I should be over the road with the ladies for lunch and as I left the gate, Avatar was about to come over and bring me lunch.  I carried on, she said that they were just finishing up and I said it didn't matter, I joined the gathering, made a hamburger with a bread roll that she'd baked and poured myself a glass of juice.  I'd now joined the party.  It was good to see the ladies there, Avatar hasn't had them round for a while and I think she needs to get herself established back in the village now that she's back from three winters in Germany.

The ladies left around one thirty and I stayed on to help Avatar clear away, we talked for a while and then I came home with more rolls and burgers and I'll probably have one later for supper or maybe put them in sauce and have them with pasta tomorrow.  I went out and did a little more terrace clearing but it really wasn't happening so I settled myself in front of the TV and the snooker, nodded off, woke up and watched the end of the game and what a good game it was.  I eventually got the fire going again, it had been very reluctant to burst into flames but now it's doing what it should be and sending hot water round the radiators and since it's going down to minus seven tonight, I shall need it.

Shan't be late to bed tonight, nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far and if it's minus seven there'll be not terrace clearing.  LN.....Another day of rest......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 16, 2022, 4:39pm; Reply: 15
Sunday 16th January

Well to cap it all my internet went off and so I'm writing this OpenOffice and hoping I can copy it across later when all is restored.

Up to this point I've had a lovely day.  It was minus six when I eventually became compos mentis at eight this morning, the sun was up and had beaten me but hey, what the heck, I haven't a bad track record.  I opened the curtains and put down the drawbridge, set the fire but didn't light it, emptied the bins and accumulated the was going to be a bonfire day.  I found bacon in the freezer and fried it off with an egg and that was breakfast sorted, didn't bother to wash-up and it's still waiting for me now with tonight's supper dish in the bowl with it.

I went out to feed the birds and to my surprise saw my painter walking down to the village and he stopped for a chat.  I mentioned that I still had his Christmas present and that I'd been down to his house twice before I'd headed to the UK and he replied that Glucan's mother had told him but by which time I'd gone.  Off he went, he didn't call back or he might have but I was at the bottom of the garden and he didn't pursuit it.  So I suddenly remembered that Monty Don had his programme repeated today of his journey down the gardens of the Adriatic and since I enjoyed the last one I settled down for an hour with this episode and it was well worth it.  I didn't know much about Croatia or that coast except that Game of Thrones was filmed there and it was quite enlightening.

Down to the bonfire and got it going, cleared the old stalks of the Jerusalem artichokes and got those in the fire as well, removed the tin cans, sat on the wall enjoying the view of the house and hillsides.  Came back up the garden and cleared more of the ice from the terrace and I'm nearly there.  Settled in for the snooker this afternoon, warmed up the hamburger things from yesterday and had them with bread and mayo and that's supper over.  

Just noticed that the internet is back on so I'm going to post this before it decides to go off again.  Back to the snooker and it looks like my man is not having such a good time of it.  LN.....Up the English.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 17, 2022, 4:11pm; Reply: 16
Monday 17th January

So last night was solely for the snooker when the internet returned but I lost interest as the one that won it seemed to assume the air of the winner with still a chance for the other player to get back into the game.  I also get really pee-ed off with the commentators that change direction at the drop of a hat and always seem to want to back the winner.  At midnight I wended my way to the bedroom, settled down and slept through until six thirty, turned over and woke up for the second time at eight...refreshed.

I washed and dressed, decent trousers and sweater and was in two minds whether to go into Kardjali or not.  I meandered through the morning, toast and jam for breakfast, more coffee and moved on to the upstairs computer and played around with ancestry for a while.  I was surprised with a visit from Avatar as she used the door bell that I gave her, came in for a change clutching the pair of fingerless gloves that she'd finished with the purple wool that I bought the other day.  She'd also started the hat to match and wanted to test whether it fitted round my head or not....a personal fitting....and it did.  She left the one that I'd given her as a guide and I found another one in the porch as she went off with that one.

I cleared out the ashes from yesterday and went out to fill the log carrier.  The logs are going down and somehow two metal step ladders and a wooded one had found their was on top of the remaining logs so I ended up rejigging the wood store and now the ladders have a new home and the logs are easier to get at.  On the way out of the wood store I noticed that the English garden hoe was propped against the wall and my little brain thought that it would be a useful tool for removing the really icy topping on the terraces.  I started work and lo and behold I eventually cleared the lounge terrace and a decent path to the porch, the rest is just too iced on at with the temperature hovering at zero I decided to come in, get warm again although it was warm in the sun, it didn't do much to get rid of the ice.

Not much happening this afternoon, I checked out printer offers in Kardjali and think I've found one for a reasonable price.  I'll head in in the morning, it's on offer on the internet so I'll check out if it comes with cartridges and how much they cost to confirm that it's a good buy.  It's twenty leva cheaper on the net with free delivery so that should pay for the first refills.  

I've just lit the fire, went to close the curtains in the bedroom and noticed that we have a full moon that appears to have snuck up on me.  I grabbed a couple shots of it and one of the frosty hillside, sorted out the fire again that seems very reluctant to fire up and put my coffee through the microwave for the third time.  I switched the boiler on this afternoon and now it's up to temperature, I think a bath might be on the cards for tonight before my quiz night wrapped up like a mummy in the lounge and then snuggle down in the nest with a hot drink.  I'm not cooking supper...I thawed the mince out but after a packet of biscuits, be it a small one, the edge is off my hunger.  LN.....It's going to be another cold one......LN
Posted by: tcinbg, January 18, 2022, 2:32am; Reply: 17
Some print heads can be removed from the printer. If yours can give it a good soak in warm water removing any dried up ink, no soap, allow to dry in a warm place, then give it a quick clean on any contacts. When it is dry stuff it back in and it may well work fine. If it doesn't nothing lost. Just read you are going to buy a new one, Never mind! :-)
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 18, 2022, 7:32pm; Reply: 18
Tuesday 18th January

Thanks TC....had the same problem with the last one and looking at the price of a new one today, it's ordered and will be delivered hopefully tomorrow.  I may become experimental tomorrow and follow your suggestion, nothing wrong with having two printers just in case the other one goes wrong... ;)

Another beautiful start to the day and I managed to catch the moon on its way to bed after it had lit up the estate all night.  It's just so bright and must check up if it's normal at this time of year.  Of course the snow helps and so far it's hung around for quite some time and the ice on the terrace is still as hard as ever and I was very careful walking around today....don't want a re-run of a few years ago.  Bacon and fried egg for breakfast, load of washing done, fire cleaned out and laid, logs in and the log basket loaded and it was only eleven o'clock.  I set about finding a text for my student for this afternoon realising that I couldn't print a new one out so had to make do.  I found about four that I could use so went back outside and tried hard to chip more of the ice away to no avail so I'm leaving it to nature.  

So into the Nipper at two thirty and I was surprised that the road remained really icy through the forest.  I thought the boys would have been out and spread more salt on the road but thinking about it, my terrace has had sun on it and it's still not melted so I approached it gingerly.  I managed to park up outside the shop next door leaving parking places for customers, my student returned from school and went up to the flat, I sat with his mother in the shop and ordered my printer from the internet saving money and getting free delivery.  Had a good session with my student, it was a slow start, it's been around five weeks since his last lesson.  We did OK though and as I was leaving he asked me to stay longer and I think he just enjoys trying out his English and raise his confidence levels.

It was six when I set off for home, slowly through the forest and then into fast mode to light the fire, fry off the mince with an onion, peel potatoes, open a can of beans and turn it all into a shepherds pie for supper.  By seven thirty supper was ready, the radiators were warming up nicely and supper was served.  The washing up is done and it's now nine fifteen and I shan't be long before I get myself snuggled down in the nest.  Nothing on for tomorrow except to collect the printer from Djebel if it arrives and I might even try to take the printhead from the old printer and give it the suggested treatment.  LN.....I've had a good day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 19, 2022, 4:41pm; Reply: 19
Wednesday 19th January

So I mistook the time of coming to this morning and thought it was six thirty...wrong five thirty but by this time I had a coffee made and was back into bed.  I did check the outside temperature and it was down to minus six this morning and since the fire was lingering on from last night I brought it to life and it's been going all day.  It's surprising really, I've only used about three big logs and the one that's on now should do me through the night and maybe through until tomorrow morning, it's not blazing just ticking along nicely.

Breakfast was hit and miss, I had a half jar of apricots in syrup that I finished off, more coffee and toast and that was it.  I've found out that Countdown has a re-run in the mornings so settled in to that, I'm tired of the witch-hunt by the zealous champions from ITV Morning programme, everything is done so far out in the open, let the party get rid of Boris if it so desires.  Everybody seems to get whipped up into a frenzy,  I'm all for a quiet life......the ducking stools will be next to be brought out.

So my job for today was to chop up starter wood, I was down to my last few sticks and now I have two containers full to the top to see me through,  I'm using old wood and went on the rampage for more and found it on the little house balcony and now it's gather in ready for the next chopping exercise.  I also sat myself down in the sun on Mikey B's bench on the woodstore terrace and envisaged my next project and how I could make it into a solarium with a dip pool and hot-tub and heat it with solar panels on the roof.  When the day to day dramas are far from your mind it's easy to let it wander and come up with ideas.  

I'd gone upstairs to make a call to the premium bond office about its insistence that I fill out forms that it sends to the UK and replacement cheques for a small prize that I've son.  I thought I'd sorted it from England but there's not even a record of my contacting them so not much chance that what I asked for could be done.  Let's see how they get on this time.  At the same time, my Avatar appeared on the terrace with the new hat that she'd made to match the gloves but when I put it on it was much to tall and looked like the comb on a chicken so it went back for readjustments and now it's fine.  She now wants to make me another pair of gloves in the same wool, at this rate we could go into production.

I tidied up outside and settled down to watch the first series of the After Life on Netflix written and produced by Ricky was suggested this morning on TV and low and behold was on...suggested for you.....and I managed to get through the first series.  The second one is available and this morning he was talking about the third one which is going into production but that will be the last.  Not much further he could be taking it considering the subject matter.

Supper is in the oven and I'm doing it for Avatar and myself and tonight we have chicken leg with roasted potatoes and onions and I should really check on it.  I've just added a baked stuffed apple to the menu and everything should be ready in around ten minutes so time to get a move on and get this posted.  LN.....Another productive day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 20, 2022, 5:40pm; Reply: 20
Thursday 20th January

Another cold day and again I mistook the time on the Fitbit, I really must set up a clock by the bed.  Still dark when I woke up, minus four again but the big log that I'd put on yesterday afternoon was still chugging along nicely so burst it into life.  I was eventually up and at it by seven thirty, first job was to tidy the kitchen, make more coffee and boil a couple of eggs for breakfast and sat at the table in the stairwell in the sun.  Lots of birds were up and about but they still don't like the bird table, maybe the smell of the cat from yesterday's climbing adventure put them off.  

I popped over to Avatar's house to take back a dish that she'd brought yoghurt over in, she handed me back the dishes from last night's supper and I came back clutching her rubbish bag that had stood next to the fence all night.  As soon as I came back I had a bonfire to get rid of it and got rid of mine at the same time.  It had turned into a beautiful but cold morning and it was pleasant being out in the sun stomping around in my snow boots.  I went back into the house and my student's mum was on the phone letting me know that the printer had arrived at the shop so I tidied myself up a little and heading into Djebel.  They'd opened the box while the courier was present to make sure that it wasn't damaged so I loaded it into the car and put it in the footwell to make sure that it didn't get damaged on the way home.  I tried various shops to buy cable to sort out a lamp for the conservatory that's powered up by the timer switch and will come off and go off automatically during the evening but none was available.  

Back home and I didn't want to start the printer straight was a first but I wanted to read the book and look over it first.  I decided to settle down and watch more of Ricky Gervais and I was surprised when the third season started, I thought the third wasn't released yet but there it was but I switched it off and set about the printer.  It was a slow process but it's done but the trouble is that it's WIFI and I haven't found the USB port which I understood it had.  I felt more comfortable with the old Brother so let's not make judgements before I've really given it a good work out.  

Fire stoked, soup should I desire it is in the slow cooker but I've a feeling that it might be left for tomorrow.....I'm not really in the mood for it tonight.  LN.....Time to switch off and relax......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 21, 2022, 5:39pm; Reply: 21
Friday 21st January

I had another four thirty start, got up and checked the thermometer for inside and outside temperature and decided that it was time to snuggle down again and more or less got off straight away.  The second awakening was at seven thirty and that was fine for me.  I washed and dressed, made myself a bacon and egg sandwich, lit the fire and then the clouds came over.  It had been a reasonable start to the day and I took some good pickies, spent time watching the birds, chased some of the many cats away especially the ones that leap onto the bird table.  Around nine I went over to Avatar's house to deliver the clementines that I'd bought for her yesterday and we had the usual 'I must pay you' so I countered it with that I must pay her for knitting me two pair of mittens and a hat.  She countered it with the fact that she is 'filling her time and playing' and I just laughed and the moment was over.  While I was over there I noticed that she had washing on the line and by now it had started to snow, very light at first but then it started to really come down so I set off for home, she got the washing in and I got some logs in, filled up the log basket and that was my work done for the day except for enlarging and printing off the photograph that Beyser had given me.  First time lucky, managed to get it the right size for the frame at the first attempt so framed it and made my way to her house and delivered it.  Unfortunately she doesn't speak any Bulgarian so I didn't stay too long, she went into floods of tears so I made a pretty swift exit telling her to put her purse was a gift.

Every Friday, without fail, I get an email from a Victor Zammit and includes lots of articles on the afterlife and I suppose I look forward to it.  This morning it didn't arrive and I questioned what day it was, it is possible to lose days over here and on checking it was definitely Friday.  I even checked his webpage to see if for some reason I'd been missed out but at one this afternoon it arrived in my inbox and that took me about an hour to follow the links.  By now breakfast had gone down so I tried the soup/stew from the slow cooker and that filled me up but I did leave room for several chocolates from a late Christmas present.  

The snow was still falling so I settled down to watch the last episodes of After Life series three and there were several times that I found myself getting a little teary, there were lots of sad characters in it, over the top in places, black humour but with some profound moments in the script as only Ricky Gervais can be.  At the end of it I went out and cleared the terrace even though the snow had abated but by the time I'd finished up to the road it appeared to gain momentum....the upside was that my Fitbit buzzed on my wrist...I'd managed the ten thousand steps.

No need for supper tonight so far but things can change pretty rapidly.  Last night at nine I was making a cheese and onion sandwich for no other reason than I was 'picky'...and I'm putting it down to the weather.  LN......I'm going to be a home bird again tomorrow......LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 22, 2022, 5:55pm; Reply: 22
Saturday 22nd January

So all that snow clearing that I did last night was all in was minus eight this morning, more snow had fallen and everything frozen solid.  It turned into a beautiful day, the temperature never got about freezing and now it's already dropped to six degrees so it could be a real belter tonight.

Washed, dressed, another bacon and egg sandwich to set me up for the day, the washing up is still sitting in the kitchen sink but I did get on with a few chores.  I cleared a lot of the snow from the terraces leaving the sun to do the rest and it has melted it and they've dried off.  I walked down to the bottom of the garden and cleared the patch of wall that I sit on along with the two logs and they dried off too but they were still cold to the derriere so I didn't stay perched for long.  I got a load of washing done, pegged out the heavy ones and the rest went on the radiator in the bathroom and now everything is virtually dry.  A breeze got up this afternoon and despite the cold, they felt dry to the touch and are now airing.

I spent about an hour wiring up the new lamp that is destined for the conservatory to come on with the timer.  It was a bit fiddly but I managed it, at the moment the Christmas fairy lights come on too early so I have to adjust the timer and maybe it's time that the fairy lights were put away and the lamp came on and went off automatically....saves me forgetting about it now that the prices are going up.  Logs into the conservatory and the log basket filled up and I've kept the fire going all day and it does make a difference.  Around three I settled down to watch Netflix and eventually settled on a new series and I've realised I'm following the same strange is that.  Avatar popped round remembering to bring her outside door bell switch and it 'bing-bonged' in the house.  She wouldn't come in but gave me three frothy pancakes that she'd made and they were still hot...they were demolished around four this afternoon.  The clouds came over around five but they've all gone away and now we just have twinkling stars and a very low temperature.  I caught the last dregs of the sunset and really must do better...Netflix has a lot to answer for.  LN.....Photos to post and then I'm on the hunt for supper......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 23, 2022, 5:09pm; Reply: 23
Sunday 23rd January

Quite a surprise this morning. three inches of the white stuff overnight and all my work of clearing the terrace had been in vain yet again.  I now had a new workload.  I put some bread out for the birds to make up for that which was now hidden under the blanket of snow and was inundated for a time until the big boys, namely jays, flew off with the bigger pieces and left them with the 'rest'.  I made poached egg on toast for me, cleared the kitchen of yesterday's washing up and generally tidied up, washed and dressed for the outside and put the washing away.  The temperature gradually rose from minus nine to a fairly warm minus four when I went outside, grabbed my trusty snow shovel and started to tackle the terrace.  It didn't take too long to get it done so I continued and cleared the yard up to the wood store and up to the gate and it was then that I saw my painter and his wife walking back towards his house.  It was the anniversary of his son's birthday and he and his wife had been to the graveyard to pay their respects.  I told him to wait and went inside to get their belated Christmas presents so she probably wouldn't get much sense out of his this afternoon, he had a bottle of Smirnoff to get through.

I sat out in the sun, a wind struck up but fortunately it was coming from the north so the house protected the terrace.  I could hear it whistle through the lonesome pine and it was quite comforting in a funny sort of way.  I checked my Fitbit and I'd only managed four thousand steps despite my to-ing and fro-ing with the snow shovel so went down to the bottom of the garden and back again to knock a few more steps up but that was sadly undone when I settled down in front of the TV and Netflix this afternoon watching Derek, another Ricky Gervais, with the remains of a box of chocolates and now only the box remains.  I nodded off for a while watching BBC and caught the end of the Nadal tennis match to get him through to the quarter finals.  Very good for his age but he winds me up with his pre-serve routine....I should imagine he's not easy to live with.

I put a barbecued rib of pork into the oven with a potato, onion and carrot liberally doused with honey roast parsnips.  The meat is done and the veg finishing off so I'm not going to be long posting the update.  The boiler is on and after supper I'm going to linger in a hot bath and I'd say 'relax' but there's been nothing to wind me up today or any day for that matter.  Even Nadal was a 'blip' in the grand scheme of things.  Just checked the sky, the clouds came over this afternoon and appear to have stayed so I might be clearing terraces again tomorrow.  The temperature has dropped to minus two already and is forecast to be about three centimetres overnight and tomorrow, with a warning for strong winds.  LN....That's me sorted then and now supper is ready......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 24, 2022, 3:56pm; Reply: 24
Monday 24th January

Seven start, there hadn't been any snow overnight but I guess that that old phrase comes to mind...'it's too cold for snow''s one of my mothers.  My daughter always used to laugh when I said it but today has been the perfect example, the thermometer hasn't risen above minus four and a half degrees all day and the wind has been keen.  I eventually got washed and dressed, I'd had my bath last night and washed my hair, towelled it dry as much as I could last night and it had more or less dried overnight so at least if felt fresher.  Toast for breakfast, the ribs that I didn't eat last night went into the slow cooker with the parsnips from last night, potatoes, carrots joined them with hot water slushed around in the baking tin and it was left to do its own thing.  I popped over to see Avatar to take a dish back, she'd finished my gloves so now I have a pair to match my hat and now she's making a small neck scarf to complete the set.  We were amazed how many big birds were in her garden eating some rice and meat that she'd put out earlier and I joked that no wonder I had no birds in my garden, I'd only put bread out.  

I came home, decided to fill up the log carrier while I was dressed for outside, topped up the log basket inside and that was me locked in for the day until I took the photos from the yard tonight. I few flakes of snow fell but that was all, the sky is full of it and that's where it's staying.  I had a bowl of the stew from the slow cooker and all it needed was a little salt and there's enough left for tonight so that's supper sorted,  I watched Netflix this afternoon and I'm still not sure about 'Derek', it's a little like compulsive viewing but shocking at the same time....but that's Ricky Gervais.  I move upstairs on to the main computer and woke up later having had a very deep dream and it took me a while to come round from it.  By now the fire was out so I had to relight it.  It's burning brightly and topping up the warmth in the house an looking at the weather forecast, we're in for another cold night.  I'm guessing that I won't be going to the lesson tomorrow with my student, the roads are like glass on the small stretch that I can see and I'm guessing that through the forest it's going to be really bad.  Much safer to stay here.  LN.....Time to top up the fire......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 25, 2022, 4:02pm; Reply: 25
Tuesday 25th January

Five thirty start this morning, I was snuggled down and toasty but decided to make coffee and check the outside temperature and was surprised to see it at minus twelve and a half and the inside temperature was plus the same more or less.  I'd drawn the curtain between the stair windows and the winter lounge last night to retain the heat from the wood burner and it had worked. The fire was just hanging in there so I poked it, emptied the ash can, a little bit of tinder and off it went again.  I left the curtain shut on the outside world and went back to bed with my coffee and settled down to Sudoku and it just before seven before I started circulating.  I was surprised to see that the outside temperature had dropped even further but at seven forty my free central heating arrived and it was all systems go.  There was a very bright planet over to the east, not sure which one it was but the camera just wouldn't focus on it despite my best efforts.  Lovely one of the moon though in a very blue sky.  

More coffee, toast for breakfast, kitchen tidied, one load of washing done, dried and now put away, washed and dressed to face the day...not that there was much to do.  I put breakfast television on and shouted at it until I decided to move to Beeb two....I'm sure we shall see the guillotine brought out and the television 'presenters' knitting and as for the labour leader, what a damp squib he appears to be.  On my list today was to pay my home phone bill.  I normally pay it in store but haven't been to Kardjali since I got back so I have two outstanding bills, only totalling just under twelve leva so I decided to pay it online and that's where the problem started,  In the end I resorted to their help line since the payment system starts off in English when you select it and then reverts to Bulgarian and when challenged the customer service said that only part of the system was in English....doh and when I tried to enter my email address, it was looking for my entry in Bulgarian characters.  Eventually the assistant set up a new account for me, phoned me back within twenty minutes and I eventually made the payment.  

So now to get on with the rest of my day.  I filled up the log basket from the containers outside, phoned the UK to check up on a few dates for birthdays and then set about my daytime activities.  I put more seeds out for the birds, filled up two log containers from the wood store, chopped more starter wood, had a bonfire and emptied the ash bin from the conservatory.  It was a beautiful morning and the air was so crisp that I sat on the wall at the bottom of the garden and took in the morning, breathing it in and out until my bottom got cold from the wall so I was soon off it and walking back up the garden.  I made sweet corn soup for lunch and it's a first for me but it's not going to become a firm favourite washed up from soup making and how many containers do you need.  I settled for television this afternoon and had my afternoon nap, finished watching 'Derek' on Netflix, brought the fire back to life and closed the bedroom curtains, it's going to be another really cold one, it's down to minus four already.

Chicken fillet for supper tonight and tomorrow I'm making a curry in the slow cooker and the pork is thawing already.  It looks like these cold nights are going to be with us for a couple of weeks, so long as the days are sunny and bright, I don't have a problem with that.  LN.....Roads look like they're clearing up a little.....LN
Posted by: tcinbg, January 26, 2022, 2:17pm; Reply: 26
Nadal has been critised quite a bit recently about his time wasting. Shame you couldn't get the sledge out for a quick downhill run before the snow melted.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 26, 2022, 5:58pm; Reply: 27
Wednesday 26th January

My trusty metal sledge, purchased in Romania back around nineteen ninety is sitting in my loft in the UK and that's my reason for not bursting into action here Trev...  It's not that I waste time, I enjoy time watching my little world, sitting letting things turn over in my brain when I'm not really having much input and I think that's where the inspiration for my house came from.  Allowing the vibes to get through from whence they cometh.... ;)

Minus eleven this morning when I woke up at five thirty, wide awake so I lit the fire and again it's been going all day.  The heating came up around eight by which time I was washed, dressed and breakfasting on poached eggs on toast and taking photographs of the birds as they came for their breakfast.  My very nervous jay was obviously very hungry, I'd topped up the heap of mixed seeds and it's good because it eats what the others don't want.  Supper was also in the slow cooker, what I thought was pork was beef that I'd been given by one of my ladies and it needed really slow cooking.  I added onions, paprika, tinned tomatoes, brought it up to temperature and then dropped it to medium,,,it was ready by five.  I added cannelloni beans for the last hour and left it to do it's thing, had a bonfire but didn't stay out there long, the wind was keen and it seemed colder that it had been for the entire cold spell.  

I popped over to Avatars this afternoon and invited her to supper, there was loads in the slow cooker.  I noticed that she had beef on the go on her wood burner but she could choose what she wanted, hers or mine after I'd delivered.  Haciber came round to Avatar's house when I was there, she likes to know what's going and is known as the local news reporter but her heart is in the right place.  I went home, cooked the pasta and delivered food at five forty and I didn't wait to see what she decided to do...I came back and had mine and I didn't stop there.  I baked an apple with fruit, butter, dark sugar and honey in the microwave and opened a packet of cream and liberally doused it.  Washing up done, kitchen tidy for the morning and I might even venture out to Kardjali with a shopping list, the road seems to have cleared, might be not so good in the forest but I'll take it slowly.  LN....And now to write my shopping list......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 27, 2022, 6:06pm; Reply: 28
Thursday 27th January

Another minus six this morning but as it stands at the moment, we are going into tonight on a zero degrees and not sure what will happen over night, it is predicted minus seven so I shan't be throwing off the bedclothes anytime soon.  I made coffee and took that back to bed after I'd salvaged the fire.  I played sudoku for a while, got up to make more coffee, felt peckish, spotted the cornflakes and since I had milk on the go put some in a bowl, sprinkled them with sugar and took them back to bed.  I suppose that one advantage of living on your own, you can do what you like when you like.....and it didn't stop there.  I heated up the half baked apple from last night, put a dollop of cream on it and it felt quite decadent. I didn't linger long in nightclothes, added several more layers since I'd made my mind up that I'd go into Kardjali and top up the food levels.  I didn't make my list last night so set about it as I watched morning television.  I had a few messages backwards and forwards with my grandson who's currently in Cyprus...he's twenty three years old today and I had a flashback of the day he was born and changing his first nappy.  The things we remember.

I started the Nipper up to clear the windscreen and left it running in the yard.  I looked over to Avatar's house intending to go over and ask her if she wanted anything from Kardjali but I didn't spot her walking stick propped against the wall or her little black rubber shoes so she must have been off visiting.  I went to open the gate and because there is so much water in the ground that's now frozen solid, it got stuck and didn't open enough to get the Nipper out of the gate.  I resorted to harden hoe which did nothing so had a brainwave that if I used the old axe head, knocked it under the post attached to the wall I could raise it up on the hinge and should be able to open it,,,and it worked and now to find something to act as a spacer so that I could open it all the way and close it again.  I spotted a couple of hooks from the end of an old bungy cord so took it out and they fitted perfectly between the bottom of the spindles and the spacers, the gate opened perfectly and closed once I'd got the Nipper out.  The road to Djebel was not so good with really icy patches through the forest but I made it to Djebel, stopped off at the car shop to see if she wanted anything from the supermarkets in Kardjali and she settled on four kilos of oranges for just under four leva.

First stop the hardware shop near Kaufland and managed to find a new glass shade for the standard lamp in the winter lounge.  I'd bashed it against the wall, it was only cracked but at nine leva I could manage it.  On to Kaufland and found nine packets of bacon reduced, chicken legs on offer and one or two other items that hadn't made the list.  I moved on to Lidl and what a catastrophe that was.  It seemed as if they had had a late delivery, they were filling up like lunatics, there were cages everywhere and lots of shelf edged labels stating the price of the items were missing.  I did refer to the list and with a full trolley headed to the checkout, loaded the car and back to Djebel to deliver the oranges and home, James, carefully through the forest.  I parked up, unloaded the car and lit the fire and Avatar was at the door asking for a screwdriver, she tried to explain the problem so I went over to see for myself.  She couldn't manage to shut the new inner door to her main room and was beginning to panic.  I tightened the screws on the hinge but it didn't fix it so I took off the latch plate from the door surround and that did it.  Basically the door latch plate needs to be level with the frame and not proud but I'm not the one to do it.  At least now she can close the door.

I came home, made tuna sandwiches on fresh white crusty bread and sat down with a coffee, put the shopping away, topped up the fire and replaced the shade on the lamp.  I can now work is done, the cupboards are no longer bare.  LN.....I'm wanting an easy day tomorrow.....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 28, 2022, 6:13pm; Reply: 29
Friday 28th January

Slept straight through until seven this morning, minus six outside, the sky was clear and it wouldn't be long before the sun was going to be up so I didn't light the fire.  Instead I gave it a good clean out, removed the soot from under the top plate and laid it ready for later in the day.  Having sorted the fire out I found a bowl and went through the routine of filling it with cornflakes with a sprinkling of sugar, milk and back to bed with more coffee.  I stayed there until just before nine, made it as I got out of it, washed up from yesterday and this morning, put bird seed out and then decided to get washed and dressed.  Nothing much was going to happen today, I'd had my day of activity yesterday.

I went over to see Avatar to check that she wasn't locked in her day come night room and that she could still open the door.  The outside door key was in the lock so I knew that she'd been out and about so I knocked, shouted and went in and she was busy knitting my scarf to match my hat and gloves.  She insisted that I tried it on and she still has a little more to go and then wants to fringe it....her work and her design.  I came home, filled up the log carriers, topped up the log basket and spotted two empty sweet corn cans that I'd topped up with water and left them out to freeze so took them into the workshop and using a hammer and a nail punched a pattern on them to put tea lights in in the summer.  I also noticed that there were three bulbs sprouting in a pot that had fallen over so put it upright, topped it up with compost and watered it well and some cuttings that I'd left in water were starting to put out shoots so I potted them up too.   I moved outside and started hacking away at the remaining ice with the garden hoe, I've more or less cleared the steps to the little house terrace but the thick stuff between the steps is not to be budged.  

I came inside and  settled down to emails and Facebook until hunger bugs kicked in so I made toast and had the rest of the tuna mayo.  This afternoon I decided on Netflix and binged on 'The Sinner' watching the series one and three more to go but I disciplined myself and turned over to ITV.  Pretty sparse for birds in the garden today.  I had the usual tits and robins, there was a large bird on the tree near the bonfire pit and managed to get it with the zoom lens but it turned out to be a hooded crow that afterwards took up position on the electricity lines at the bottom of the garden.  As for feeding myself today, I've been picky all day so settled for fruit and fruit loaf.  I'm fresh out of sweet biscuits and no cream cheese to go with the bread sticks and haven't thought about supper so far....probably nothing.  LN.....I'm going to find something creative to tackle tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 29, 2022, 6:34pm; Reply: 30
Saturday 29th January

Six thirty start, bathroom trip and then decided to try for another few zzz's and managed it until just after eight.  I've moved taking my tablets until after lunch and it's made a real difference to my sleep habits...I sleep more deeply and feel like I've had a night's sleep.  Cornflakes for breakfast watching morning television, noticed that the boiler is still not heating to the required temperature overnight so swopped out the timer control for the one in the conservatory and I'll see if that makes a difference.  I used the override and there's nothing wrong with the boiler, it reaches temperature within and hour so I'll give an update tomorrow.  The replacement is working OK in the conservatory, the lights have come on according to the setting and I'll check that it switches off before I go to bed tonight.  

So washed and dressed, it was dull and threatened rain but nothing happened except that wind got up and it was very cold.  I put the food out for the birds and threw the crust from the loaf out and the sparrows settled for the bread on the grass and the jays and tits picked happily at the seeds.  The sparrows did go back to the seeds when the cats finished the bread but that's the way it goes.  I settled for a bacon sandwich for top up and then added another jumper and went out with my trusty hoe and garden fork and set about the ice on the terrace and between the two implements I cleared most of it and what's left should thaw out if the temperature stays as good as it is now.  It was plus two when I last checked.

I made a couple of ham sandwiches for lunch and fried off a packet of 'Royal Meze' as it translated via Google and put it in the slow cooker with some pasata and that is ready now and I just need to do a jacket potato to have with it.  Avatar came over this afternoon and pinged my doorbell using the control I gave her and brought over the finished scarf that she's made me.  I actually persuaded her to come in and sit down for a while but all the time she was telling me that she hadn't locked the door.  A couple of minutes later another lady from the village arrived with another knitted hat that she'd made as a present for me but unfortunately it wasn't quite long enough so it's gone back for a modification.  Between them they virtually finished the After Eights but I don't mind, it saves me putting on more weight.

Off they went, I topped the fire up and settled down in the lounge to binge on the second series of ' The Sinner',  same detective, different case and with an unusual twist....compelling and I didn't guess the 'who's the daddy'.  So fire rescued yet again, supper is ready and the jacket will be done in the microwave.  There's enough supper to take some over the road but because it's pork it's a no-no so the rest will go into the freezer and come out on a day that I can't be bothered to find anything to spend time on.  We've got another clear sky and the stars are out so I'm really expecting the temperature to drop again...time to close all the curtains and batten down the hatches.  LN.....Forecast minus seven, sunny tomorrow and snow on Tuesday......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 30, 2022, 7:33pm; Reply: 31
Sunday 30th January

Slept really well again and the usual routine for breakfast although I didn't bother lighting the fire and thought that once the sun had come up then the temperature in the house would soon be comfortable.  It was cold out at minus six again and that was slow to climb as well and suddenly noticed that there was a glint of red from last night's embers so nursed them back to life around eleven thirty.  I settled for cornflakes for breakfast again and it's mainly to use up the milk but succumbed to a bacon sandwich not long after, tidied the kitchen and it's been a bit of a none day after that.  I'd just got the fire working well and had settled down to watch a little television in the lounge when it went off and I realised that the power had gone and now I had a problem.  The perked up fire needed to be dismantled before it got too fierce. the UPS had only so long to live so nothing to drive the pump and then I cleared the top of the little woodburner in the kitchen and moved the burning logs from the big one to the little one and the large one I put to the back of the burner in the big one.  At least I'd alleviated one problem.  

The power came back on around one, stayed up until two and by which time I'd move the logs back and then it went off again.  I decided to leave it for an hour, the fire wasn't burning too intensely and the power came on again around three fifteen and this time it's stayed up, thank goodness.  Now I was cooking on gas again I turned on the slow cooker, there was enough meat left from last night to make supper for later.  By this time the clouds had rolled over and I'd banked the fire up really well but still felt cold so at five I closed all the curtains in the house, put some potato wedges in the oven to add some internal heat and ate around seven.  I have to remember to change the time on the timers otherwise I shall be paying for electricity at the expensive not the cheap rate for the boiler.

Supper was good, the washing up can wait until tomorrow, at last the house if feeling warm again and so am I.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far but I might head into Djebel since it's market day if the weather is OK.  Lots of birds in the garden and I think the jay's are quite used to this as a food source as have the sparrows, tits and robins.  LN....And now to reset those timers.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, January 31, 2022, 5:00pm; Reply: 32
Monday 31st January

Another seven thirty start so nothing to complain about. The outside temperature was minus three, the inside the other side of the curtain in the stairwell was thirteen but the good thing was the sun was just coming up and it didn't take long to crack seventeen that by lunchtime it was up to twenty seven.  Free central heating, thank goodness for it....I didn't have to light the fire until five thirty this afternoon.  I settled for cornflakes, put food out for the birds and sat watching them for a good half hour....they're so funny how they chase each other off the food source and tackle each other for what is perceived to be the best bit.

I washed up and tidied the kitchen, I had a very lazy morning and decided to have a shower and wash may hair...a good start to the week.....using the towels from the downstairs loo and that made up a very good load for the washing machine.  It was such a good day that it got pegged out around one, brought in at four and it's finishing off now in the bathroom.  I walked the garden and settled down on the bench on the little house terrace and a very large eagle began circling, I went back in the house to get the camera and by the time I got outside again, it was nowhere to be seen but the washing blowing in the wind and sun was worth capturing and so were the daffodils that are breaking through.  I also found my snowdrops but not many of them but they need another day to open.

I found a shank of pork in the fridge that I'd forgotten about and that went into the slow cooker around twelve,  brought it out about five and not really sure if I like it or not.  It had been coated in a spice and would probably have been better roasted not slow cooked.  The cats might like the meat and the dogs the bones, it's back in the slow cooker to check that it's cooked through properly....I can't disappoint my animals.  I'll see how hungry I feel later.  LN....Potential snow for the next two we go again......LN

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