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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  MAY 2022
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 1, 2022, 4:45pm
Sunday 1st May

Six thirty start, no where to go but plenty to do and I was walking the garden, washed and dressed by seven thirty weighing up the state of play as to how wet the grass was. I realised that I wouldn't be attacking it until nine or just after so I set to repairing the cable on the extension lead. The cable had pulled apart from the plug so all I had to do was to reconnect the cable and it was all set to go.  Second job was to weed some of the pots that had come out of winter storage and top them up with potting compost, give some of them a good watering if that sun was anything to go by.  As it was, the sun was out but the wind was cold again but as I struck up the mower, it didn't bother me at all as I worked up a reasonable head of steam.  

I popped over to see Avatar to ask if she wanted anything from Kardjali tomorrow and I came back with a list.  I'm pleased to see that her workman came back and finished off the job, more or less and all it requires now is a coat of paint.  I noticed that Avatar has now relegated the woodburner to the garage while I'm still burning logs at night.  Her room looked quite empty.  We had a delivery of fluffy pancakes while I was there and I brought mine home and had them with pine tip syrup and that was after my two poached eggs on toast but it did keep me going all day.  More pancakes arrive during the day, and I had some eggs given to me as a present from my neighbour from the next door garden.  Another visit from my friend down the road and she brought me some pasta and another one delivered a crispy pancake and a croissant.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be their day for guests...so Kardjali should be quiet.

I finished the grass at two twenty, didn't get to work on the garden, it was a stop and start morning with the visitors.  Stripped off and everything in the washing machine and I took off as much grass as I could before it put it in the machine.  I'd used the little electric without the grass box but the big one came out to do the main house terrace grass and the grave garden grass and now it's down to clearing flower beds from clover, sticky willy and the likes.

Quick shower and I had a front row seat or sofa for the snooker and Ronnie finished the first session in the lead but it was soured by an altercation with the referee.  No one seemed to know what it was about but Ronnie had steam coming out of his ears and thank goodness it was the last frame of the session.  No supper for me, I'm stuffed to the gills with pancakes, just had a ten minute cat nap but feel utterly whacked after this morning's effort but at least it's done for another week or so.  As I said Kardjali tomorrow....I have Avatar's list and my list.  LN.....Let's hope I can go in and get out quickly and back to the garden.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 2, 2022, 4:33pm; Reply: 1
Monday 2nd May

Well after a very exciting evening of snooker  we have the final tonight and I've had a disappointing afternoon but at least the fire didn't give me any problems getting it going.  I was out of bed at six thirty, washed and dressed for Kardjali by seven thirty.  I walked the garden and saw no shell or peeping nose of any of the tortoise, it was a little nippy so probably too early for them.   It's the Muslim 'Christmas', the village is very busy and lots of visitors over from Turkey.  My ladies were out in force so I wished them all 'Chestit Byram', checked with Avatar as to how much cheese she wanted me to buy for her, received sweets from some of them and ended up taking one of the daughter-in-laws into Djebel when I mentioned that I was going into Kardjali.  She was waiting for the bus but obviously, the Nipper is quicker and she was so excited to be seeing her daughter and grand-children and tomorrow she is off to Kardjali to visit her mother.

I carried on and approaching Kardjali by nine, the traffic was building as I approached the town but generally the roads were pretty quiet.  I was in and out of Kaufland very quickly with a small bill but I did buy a cheese and filo pasty ring and some of it turned into breakfast on the car-park.  I toyed with going into the centre but decided against it, round the island and into Lidl, topped up sticking mainly to my list and managed to buy the window cleaning machine that was advertised.  I thought hard about it and then thought 'what the heck'.....but the excitement to 'open the box' when I got home didn't kick-in so I'll leave it for another day.  I stopped off in Djebel's little supermarket and that was heaving...it's a little gold-mine.  

Back home and unpacked the shopping, assembled Avatar's and took it over for her along with her bill and she's always surprised how much she gets for her money.  I found everything that she wanted including one item that I only had the Bulgarian name for and had never come across it.  Fortunately a very kind gentleman helped me out and even found me again to tell me he'd found it in other flavours not just chocolate.....so I got her a lemon one.....as a gift.  I came home and walked the garden again and found Blue and Rosy at different ends of the garden....the sun was out but the wind cold so they weren't moving far from the remaining long grass under the short wall.  I lit the fire, made a coffee. settled down for an afternoon of snooker and didn't enjoy it at all.  I'm hoping that Ronnie comes out with more fire in his belly tonight or that Judd comes out with less.  I might even just check out the results on morning television and not bother watching tonight.  LN....Supper is still in the packet so better go and do something about it.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 3, 2022, 4:43pm; Reply: 2
Tuesday 3rd May

So after a few messenger interactions the upside was that my student's lesson today was being brought forward, he has a football training session at four in Kardjali and has a match tomorrow requiring that his dental appointment for two thirty tomorrow has also to be rearranged....boys and their sports.  I saw him at one this afternoon and ended the lesson just before three.

Cold, wet and miserable morning, not a glimmer of sun and such a change from the last few days.  So no doubt the swimming pools won't be opening up any time soon.  Six thirty start, there was a glimmer of fire from last night but with going out just before one I didn't think it was worth breathing life into it....but it's going well now with a thumping great log on it so it's in for the night.  I meandered around some what after an early start, didn't get washed and dressed until ten and remembered that I didn't have a reading text for my student this afternoon so got ready for the day and opened up the computer.  Found a text, sent it to the printer and a message came back that the printer was off-line.  I've always had Brother printers before and understood the cleaning process and everything about them...as for this HP, what a load of tosh.  I changed the colour cartridges last week and that only printed green despite the fact that it was a new cartridge but at least the black was still working.  So first step was to get it back on-line which I managed, sent a test page to the printer and the paper came out as clean as it went in so I decided to go through the printing cartridge dialogue from the computer.  More blank pages printed so I had a spare black to hand so I changed it, tried again and this time it fired up.  Meanwhile I'd lost the text that I wanted to print so back to the drawing board and came up with a couple of good ones with questions sheets included to job done...I had something to work through with the boy before we could play football in the lounge and all this while I'm seated on the sofa.  

Lesson over, I went down to the shop while he got changed for his football training.  His father was taking him in to Kardjali since his brother is able to work down the garage so at least someone is there during the afternoon, not that there's much trade today, most winter tyres are changed over to summer and still lots of visitors here from Turkey and people are busy with family.  I stayed at the shop chatting to his mother and was surprised when it was only four thirty when I decided to leave.  Normally with the lesson ending at about four thirty it soon gets round to six and I lighting a late fire and skimping on supper.

Home by five, set my schedule on the way home and it worked like clockwork,  First stop toilet, second step vegetables peeled and diced, supper in the oven with pork kebabs, lit the fire, boiled the kettle for a glass of hot water and my evening was about to start.  I've been at a loss since the end of the snooker. I'll have to find another focus and if the weather isn't good, it can't be the garden.  Nothing planned for tomorrow....I've got self-set seeds coming up all over the place which is good and I think I have wild bird seeds that have germinated that look remarkably like sweet peas.  I suppose they could just be peas so I might just collect them all together in the old veg garden and see what happens.  I'd put the tomatoes out this morning to get some rain on them and I've remembered to bring them in.  They are another experiment since they're the seeds that germinated inside the tomato...maybe hybrid....maybe horrid and only time will tell.  Nasty clouds coming in from the west and not much good happening from the north.  LN.....Not a good day for photos.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 4, 2022, 5:30pm; Reply: 3
Wednesday 4th May

Early to bed last night.  I was intending watching Life after Life but decided against it and hopefully it will be on Netflix or the likes pretty soon and I'll watch the full series from there.  So 'early to bed and early to rise', I woke up at six, played sudoku for an hour or se, felt very sleepy so got my head down again and woke up for the second time just after eight thirty and was on the go slow for most of the day.  I washed and dressed fortunately, washed up a few roasting tins that had been used last night and one that had sat in the fridge for a while with meat that eventually got thrown out and started to cook two rashers of bacon around ten.  Just ready to turn the bacon when I noticed that friends had arrived unexpectedly so turned the cooker off, kettle on, went out to greet them, cushions out of the chest and on to the outside furniture and back in to make the coffee.  

It was good to see them both, I'd only thought about them this morning and suddenly they arrive proving that the signals do get through.  We chewed the fat, had a catch-up and swapped films on Netflix, he made second cups of coffee for us all and at twelve I suggested that if they had nothing on for lunch that we headed into Djebel for a pizza.  It was such a lovely day after yesterday's shite weather that we should take advantage of it.  They said that they'd drop me off afterwards but I suggested that I took my car and they they were free to get on with things they needed to in Djebel.  And it worked...off they went, I changed my work shirt for another  casual top and met them in the restaurant. Very pleasant lunch, totally relaxed and we made friends with a puppy that had set up residence in a bush at the side of the steps to the top bar and he finished off the crusts that I couldn't manage.

Back home for around two thirty feeling, didn't want to get up to much so found a new series on Netflix, The White Queen, and watched three episodes and stayed awake through them all.  Lit the fire at six, it's not really necessary but cosy and certainly don't want any supper after a huge pizza for lunch.  We've made forward plans to go up to one of the highest peaks this side of the border and we'll need to go in the Beast up to the lodge and it's about an hours walk after that so it will be trainers at the ready.  Hopefully next week we'll have a few dry days so we don't run into problems driving up there and clear enough to be able to see the views from the top.  Apparently the coast of Greece is magnificent from up there and you can see over to Thassos and some other islands.  So all we need are a few dry days.  

Gardening tomorrow, I've got lots of seedlings to put in the flower beds and still more weeds to remove before they drop their seeds and I have even more to contend with.  Super day.  LN.....Thank goodness for good friends......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 4, 2022, 5:32pm; Reply: 4
And the pickies
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 5, 2022, 5:44pm; Reply: 5
Thursday 5th May

Woke up at six thirty, made the bed but Eli just didn't want to face the world.  Every time I put the elephant upright it kept falling over, eventually bed was made and I was on to other things.  Washed and dressed and ready to face the day, put on Netflix and watched a couple of episodes of my new series and it was still only eight o'clock when I decided to walk the garden, collect the rubbish together and have a bonfire.  Firstly I made poached eggs with ham on toast for breakfast, watched or rather listened to morning television while I had my breakfast and then went out to walk the garden and see how many of the 'family' I could spot.  CS was down the bottom along with Green God and Blue was in the run of small wild plum bushes towards the bottom of the garden and it seems to have made a dried grass hideaway with entrance and exit.  

I took the rubbish down to the bottom of the garden, poked around in the burning barrel and removed the old tins and brought them up to the yard and into the container bin and I'll take them down later.  The fire went well. it was a fairly cloudless sky and there was some warmth in the sun which got better until it clouded over again and eventually this evening we had rain.  The afternoon was spent digging out weeds from the flower beds and my idea to do away with the annual beds seems to be gathering momentum.  I've just got to get more clumps of lilies, daises and flags so that they stand up for themselves in the grass between the shrubs and suppress the weeds.  Spotted Rosy at the other side of the garden, the poppies are about to flower along with the old fashioned iris, the garden is looking very pretty.  I repotted the fuchsia that I bought last week, I don't think it had settled in the pot that I bought it in, very newly potted so now it's in new compost and a much bigger pot and it's looking better already.

I popped over to see Avatar and sat with her for half an hour or so.  She'd mown the grass yesterday and said that she's run out of 'benzine' and it suddenly hit me that it was an electric mower....she personally had run out of steam.  Came home and fried off a couple of spicy sausages with sliced onions and had dipping mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce to go with them.,,,I'd offered Avatar supper but she' d got meat and veg left over from the previous day so declined my offer.  More of the same tomorrow, pulling weeds and tossing them over the wall for the cows.  LN.....I'll be happier when it's finished......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 6, 2022, 5:48pm; Reply: 6
Friday 6th May

Early start, washed dressed and television, it was so foggy and the ground much too wet to get out in the garden.  I settled for toast for breakfast, grabbed my tools from the little house and headed for the grave garden determined to clear the bed underneath my downstairs bedroom window and plant it up with cornflowers that are growing too big for the pot.  It was a slow slog, not my favourite occupation but settled down and completed it by twelve.  Pulled up a lot more weeds covering the shrubs against the wall and uncovering a very healthy winter jasmine that was struggling under the weight of clover and sticky willy...it can now breath once more.  

I came in for a while and had a sour cherry yogurt to fill a gap and went out and walked the garden.  I found Rosy half way down the low wall sunbathing and sleeping and as I walked down towards the bottom wall I heard a clatter and suddenly saw Green God haring it towards the row of short bushes where it had set up a hidey hole.  I  had a thought, it had probably been harrying one of the others and there was Blue looking shell shocked though for a tortoise that's not too difficult and I reckoned that it had just come out of a 'not too brief encounter'.    I didn't see where Green God went but realising that Rosy was on the other side of the garden and fast asleep, she was quite safe .

I went back to my gardening and cleared more but two more beds are going to lose the surrounds especially the deep ones.  They're just too difficult to get on top of but I did clear the weeds from the Iris that are just budding now.  I've also got some of the new variety, one out and several to follow including the variegated ones near the steps up to the little house terrace.  I came in at about three, put Netflix on, watched an episode and then watched another one, maybe two, with my eyes closed and felt much better for it.  I did have a visitor during this time who returned a pot that I'd given him an oleander in yesterday and I only knew about it when I went out to chop some starter wood for the fire.  

So wood chopped, logs in, fire lit and though it's not cold, it's not warm either and it just feels more comfortable with the fire going,  More of the same tomorrow but more of strimming , removing garden surrounds, lawn mower in action and see how it pans out.  Several of the wooden surrounds need replacing anyway and for me it's a step in the right direction.  Where I've removed them and mowed underneath the overhanging bushes, the beds look fine and if I plant up day lilies when they've finished flowering at the end of the season, they will multiply and suppress the weeds.  I must admit I feel better at the end of the day than I did this morning.  LN...Switch off and relax......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 7, 2022, 4:49pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 7th May

Another early start, walked the garden with my hot glass of water and no sightings of any of the tortoise...they must be sleeping in and not showing themselves until the weather warms up and the sun has some heat.  I pulled a few weeds but the grass was very wet and my gloves were still in the conservatory, well three of them are....the fourth is yet to be found.

Toast and another hot water for breakfast, I'm giving coffee a break for the time being again.  Washed and dressed and out to the garden by ten more or less and again on tortoise watch.  I found Rosy at the top of the garden just where I was about to strim and pull up weeds so that had to stop for a while and Blue was down the bottom of the garden, neither was moving, just enjoying the warmth of the sun.  I was at first but then realised that the wind was cold and whistling straight through the t-shirt I'd found out so I was inside for a sweat-shirt despite the fact the sun was out.  First job was to get one of the strimmers working.  I'd forgotten to put the battery one on charge, the head of the big one needed the cord replacing and that's temperamental at the best of times.  The other little one I didn't bother with and left that for another day.  Eventually the big electric one was sorted so had to get the long extension cable sorted to test it and everything seemed like hard work this morning.  I know we get these days when everything seems a chore and this was one of them......eventually I was strimming on electricity other than cooking on gas.....and everything was going OK.

I started off by pulling up fistfuls of long grass and sticky willy, Rosy had moved off to the other end of the bed and was now under the wild plum tree.  I approached her with a dandelion leaf and she didn't put her head inside the shell but started to eat it from my hand.  This hasn't happened before so I went in to get the camera to record the happy scene and blow me, the SD card in the camera was full so I went back inside the house, fired up the computer on the landing and saved the files to the hard drive, went back outside and Rosy was no where to be seen...photo opportunity wasted.  Back to the strimming and this time I found one of the smaller ones with purple nail varnish on her shell and she was obviously warming up so I had to find somewhere else to play.

Six o'clock and tools in.  It's a beautiful evening and I've achieved quite a lot but still more to do.  I chopped back the choisya that's been battered this winter and intend to take some cuttings from it tomorrow. I've been lucky before and hopefully I'll get two or three to take root, it's such a pretty shrub and normally stays with its leaves all winter but there were a few dead branches in the middle, and new growth on the inside but very little happening on the long straggly branches.  It has just put out some flowers and might be the wrong time to do it, it should be done when it's finished flowering but it is what it is and it's done now.  It's back to Mother Nature.

Fire going though again, not really necessary but I'll cosy up in front of it after my bath.  LN.....Boilers on, bones need soothing, supper needs sorting.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 8, 2022, 6:55pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 8th May

Another six thirty start and it was the same routine, take one glass, three quarters fill it with boiled water and top with bottled water and head to the garden.  Tortoise weren't out an about yet, too cold and they're lazy shells at first light.  I put a couple of cushions on the bench on the terrace, went in for more water and sat in the sun but didn't stay out there long.  Despite the sun the air felt cool and it was much warmer inside.  Washed and dressed, I couldn't spend all day in PJ's and went round opening windows and doors to get some air into the place and again settled for toast for breakfast.  The grass was too damp to do anything with it so settled on the sofa and saw that Netflix had new episodes of Blacklist or so I thought but it ended up being just the one.  It is a continuation of the last episode but it seemed very complicated and not so enjoyable as the original episodes...almost like scraping the barrel to put stuff together.  

So now it was time to face my demon weeds so I took the battery from it charger and attached it to the strimmer and put the hedge trimmer on charge for later,  I've got around thirty lupin plants that need to go into soil so I started to attack the bed against the top of the long wall near to the workshop terrace.  I strimmed between the bushes first to take away most of the weeds and then started pulling them up.  It was a slow old process but eventually I cleared them and all I have to do is tie up the bushes at the back of the bed to the wire netting on top of the breeze blocks and get the mower out to clear the path....but that's a job for tomorrow.  Having cleared the bed I managed to find that the choisya that I thought I'd lost has a few buds about to break so that was good news.  I filled up the empty space with around ten lupins and to patches of cornflowers and gave them all a good watering.  All being well, it should fill out nicely.  

Tortoise update...Rosy was sitting in the water bath that I'd renewed yesterday and Green God was around ten feet away.  Now whether he'd had his wicked way one more time or she was making it very difficult for his to even attempt it I'm not sure....it was all over by the time I got there.  Cracked Shell was in the garden I was clearing and hiding under the weeds so I moved it on to the grass and it soon scurried away and headed for the grass in front of the wood store terrace and not to be spotted again.  Avatar came round with some ice-cream that she'd been given, shared with the rest of the neighbours that afternoon and the rest was for me.  I'd checked out her house a couple of times but no little black shoes and stick were evident and I was hoping she was OK.  She's done lots of work in her garden and said that she was feeling tired and I do worry about her.    Off she went, tools away and store rooms locked, strimmer battery and hedge trimmer on charge for tomorrow.  I've somehow had more zest for it today and one bed completed and planted up....gives you more encouragement to finish the challenge.

No supper for me tonight, I made an half hearted attempt to light the fire using a log that was too big to catch and it didn't.  Need to go into Kardjali first thing, my phone cable doesn't seem to want to charge my Motorola or there's something wrong with the battery so either way it needs sorting.  It got up to nine percent and just didn't want to go more so if I get the cable first and try it in the car charger then I'll know if I need to take it to the man who understands these things.  I didn't realise how late it was, time I put the computer to bed for the night.  LN.....Time for bed said Zebedee....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 9, 2022, 4:31pm; Reply: 9
Monday 9th May

Six start after a sleepless night....I didn't seem to get settled.  Of course I slept but it didn't seem as if I did.  I put my nose out and took photos of the early red sky before the sun came up, lots of birds singling and three cuckoos were competing vocally  with my hiccupping bird winning hands down or beak up.  The weather was cold so I came in and settled on the sofa, flashed around Netflix and watched one episode of something but didn't take to it so tried my luck outside and it had warmed up a little.  I didn't spot any of the gang but it was still too early for them, they don't get active until they've warmed up.  

I'd left the errant phone on charge overnight and still no joy so that was the main thing to sort out today so Kardjali was on the cards.  Toast for breakfast, I'm getting lazy in my old age, washing in the machine, I washed and dressed and tidied the hairbands and hairclips and put a new bowl in the bathroom to hold them.  The washing had finished so I pegged it out, still no sign of the troops, into the Nipper by nine and on the road soon after.  Djebel was heaving and I suppose it's time to say goodbye to the infiltrators from Turkey for the high days and holiday.  I carried on and first stop was to the dinky doo shop as I call it that seems to sell everything over five floors.  I took my old cable in with me and the lady helped me to find the one that was supposed to be the same and it probably is and only cost three leva.  I moved to the central car-park and I really miss my car-park attendant.....I now have to negotiate a machine since the app that I downloaded doesn't seem to work properly.  Eventually it delivered my ticket for the dashboard, you have to enter the car number and for some reason it had missed the K from the front of mine so I adjusted it with a pen when I got back to the car.  First stop was to my home phone provider to pay my outstanding phone bill but they were closed and only a notice on the outside door....I'll have to pay it over the internet.  Next door to this shop is a phone accessory shop so I went in and bought another cable, pricier but I'd tried the other one using the cigarette lighter USB and nothing seemed to happen, it was just too slow so now I feel the new one is going to be better.

Back to the Nipper and I walked on to my cheapy clothes store and low and behold they were waiting for me.  A pair of shoes, my size, leather, made in Spain and they're the same 'Frog' brand that I love.  They're the perfect colour for wearing with black or navy, a light tan.  Priced at three leva they were a bargain...same price as my cheapy cable.  Kaufland, Lidl for a few things, drove back to Djebel and tried to park up at my little supermarket but it was heaving so I carried on home getting there around two.  Firstly I had to move a bag of compost that my lovely lady from the next door garden had left for me after I spoke to her yesterday.  Unpacked the shopping, left a pack of beef burgers out of freezer and that's going to be supper, lay on the sofa with a soft drink and the eyelids went southwards.  Woke up about an hour later, washing in and put away, sweatshirt on, that wind was cold despite the sun.  Tomorrow morning I'm tempted to do the grass before I go to visit my student for his lesson at three, if I leave it much longer it will be a nightmare and I'll be emptying the grass box every two runs.  LN.....Time to cook supper......LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 10, 2022, 5:54pm; Reply: 10
Tuesday 10th May

Six start, washed and dressed by six thirty, first walk of the garden at seven, did a bit of weeding at the bottom wall and in again for seven thirty.....the sun was up but the air was cold.  I went out again at eight, had a bonfire and again weeded more of the same on the tortoise run and came in at nine to cook breakfast.  I'd just plated up when I heard a call from the terrace and my friend was there with a proposition.....I was to drive him to the garage where his car was booked in for some minor maintenance and he would come back with me and mow the grass.  Inviting proposition but it's my discipline to do as much as I can for as long as I can so off he went to the garage and I said that I would follow him in and bring him back to mine.  I decided that I would take the Beast to the garage, it needed a run to keep the battery topped up and when I got to the garage. his car was up in the air so he could have a good look at it.  The work had been agreed on so back into the Beast and parked up and he noticed that I'd bought a new rubber mat that needed fitting in the back of the Beast so with a Stanley knife and a screw driver it was done Cinderella and I was given a crash course in the rear seats and how to drop them down properly which will come in useful when the family are all here.......and wow....what a difference it makes so now I have to get the cockpit shine out and do the rest of it.

I made more coffee and we sat in the sun enjoying the rest of the morning.  We'd been given an estimate as to when the car would be ready but how long is a piece of string.  At one I suggested that we went for lunch in Djebel, I dropped the garage owner's wife a message to say that I may or may not be there for the lesson for my student depending on when the car was ready for collection and could she contact me when it was.  So I prepared a  text for the lesson, suggested that we went to Djebel for lunch and we set off just after one and went to the soup kitchen......good food at amazingly cheap prices.  Two chicken legs with rice. water and iran came to ten leva more or less and a tip on top for my tip-top waiter.  The phone rang and it was my student's mum, the car was ready for collection so we were at the shop for two thirty and ready for the lesson for three, except that my student stretched it out until four.  

The lesson went well, he's getting far more confident and the text was gobbled up but at the end I had to agree with him, there was no conclusion and it was almost as if part two should be on it's way.  This site that I used does give good support for question papers, crosswords etc so his homework is to complete three more sheets of questions about the text which suited him well.  I went down to the shop from the apartment, the boy went off to football training to Kardjali and the father took him in the car and I sat with his mother in the shop until around seven, we suggested to each other that we go for a coffee but neither of us could raise the energy or enthusiasm.  Back home just before eight, supper was the cold beef burger that I didn't managed to eat last night followed by a chocolate pudding. Not the day that I expected but the grass will wait for another day and this was a very relaxing day.  I enjoyed taking the Beast out for a spin, it's just so easy to drive with a solid feel....you point and it goes, brake and it responds and considering I've now had it for a good few years, it's better than it was when I bought it all that time ago.  LN.....Gardening day tomorrow........LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 11, 2022, 5:26pm; Reply: 11
Wednesday 11th May

Another early start and slept well after having a really late bath, falling asleep and just managing to stop my Kindle falling in the water.  Fortunately the water wasn't deep and it landed on my tummy but it spurred me on to get out, get dry and get to bed.  I boiled the kettle and had my pint of hot water instead of coffee and went back to bed and wasted an hour with Sudoku....maybe bit wasted but 'passed a little time'.  Out of bed for the second time at seven thirty, walked the garden and didn't see a single tortoise and thought of things that I could do to delay the 'long march' with the lawnmower...the grass would get done but I was leaving it to dry out a little first but breakfast was calling me so I skinned the remaining two mushrooms, found a pack of chopped bacon in the fridge that I'd picked up cheap on Monday. fried both off, whipped up a couple of eggs and made an omelette and it was huge but I managed it and it kept me going all day.  Washed up and tidied the kitchen, washed and dressed in a pair of old trousers, no point in getting grass stains when doing the grass.

So this morning I sorted out the pot plants.  I remembered that I'd bought five petunias yesterday, rescued them from the Beast and planted three up for the terrace and the other two are waiting in the wings.  The four albizzias that  I'd grown from see last year survived the winter so now they've been put in larger posts, two in each and well fertilized and I'll see how they do this year.  I also topped up the existing pots with more compost and plant food and again let's see what happens.  Yesterday one of my neighbours was complaining that she had no flowers in her garden and was poaching seedlings from Avatar's garden.  I've got spare of cornflowers and lupins so I put some in a pot and at that point Avatar was standing by the gate so together we walked down to Zelinger's house and nearly all the village ladies were out in force.  The problem is that if you give to one, they all wanted some but unfortunately I don't have enough for all of them and Avatar joined in saying that even she hadn't got any of the lupins.  I skipped back up the road and by this time it was getting on for two o'clock so I challenged myself to have the grass finished by six.  I didn't check the time but put some lupins into a pot with the compost and walked over to Avatar's house to deliver them.  The outer gate had the key in the lock but there was no key in the house door so I left the plants by the door and was just leaving the garden when she called me back and invited me in.  I stopped for around ten minutes, back to the task in progress, slogged through it and when I went in the house it was just before six...I'd managed it and had clocked up nineteen thousand steps...a new record for me.

Tomorrow it's tidying up the margins with the strimmer and the hedge cutter is coming in to play...the three lilacs have to be cut back now they've finished flowering and the rest of the round bushes will be done with the litter trimmer.  LN      Tuna salad for supper so better get the potatoes on....... LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 12, 2022, 7:00pm; Reply: 12
Thursday 12th May

Silly night last night....woke up at four, no sleep in me so played Sudoku for an hour, head down again and no way so I was up and making coffee at six.  I took it back to bed, the morning was fresh so I snuggled down in the nest and watched morning television on the Kindle.  Washed and dressed, today's task should I choose to accept it was to cut back the lilacs since they've finished flowering, the forsythia in the frog garden is getting tall so that needs a haircut too.  

Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and followed it with apricot jam on toast....a bit piggy but I did see me through until two this afternoon.  I ran the water to wash up and tidy the kitchen but it's still sitting in the sink awaiting my attention instead I set about the shrub on the little house terrace and cut it down to size.....and I didn't stop there.  The other shrub on the main hours terrace and uncovered the hydrangea that was getting smothered.  I cleared away the debris and then unreeled the extension lead, took out the large hedge trimmer....this was serious stuff.  First to go was the white lilac and then I moved along to the run of lime that appeared once the tree was taken down.  Unfortunately I've neglected cutting it back and this year I noticed that it's really taken over and not giving anything else a chance.  I started off my cutting the long stems at the base so that I could get to the wall, it had got very woods and only leafing at the top so I decided to really hack it back and will probably end up  digging out the roots but not today.  I also cleared the weeds from behind the berberis all the way to the acacia and tomorrow I'll strim the area.  The temperature had really gone up so went inside at one, Philadelphia cheese with biscuits for a snack, Netflix on and started watching 'The English Game' and managed one episode before I nodded off catching up on the sleep I'd missed overnight.  

Back out at four and attacked the big lilac but I had to bring more tools into play namely the long handled pruner.  Everything went over the wall today and the cows had a field day on a running buffet.  It was hard work and I was feeling the strain, I finished off with another small lilac and that was me done for the day and I had no idea of the time and when I checked it was eight o'clock.....it's been a long day.  Cable reeled up, all tools away, I haven't cleared all the debris away but I'll do that tomorrow morning, frog garden forsythia and another lilac yet to do and then it's time to strim the areas cleared.  It's been a long day and I've achieved loads, fourteen thousand steps to day on the Fitbit...this could be a record week.  LN......Soon be time for bed......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 13, 2022, 5:46pm; Reply: 13
Friday 13th May

Another early start but I felt like rubbish this morning...I think I did too much yesterday, in fact over the last two days so I didn't really get going until after mid-day.  I walked the garden and found three of the tortoise around the upturned lid that I'd filled up with water and Blue decided to make use of the facilities.  I went back inside and did jobs around the house such as yesterday's washing up and two loads of washing but it wasn't with much enthusiasm.  Netflix went on, I finished watching the English Game and enjoyed it but the new offers weren't that good and didn't find anything so switched off and went back to my garden.  

I trimmed back the last of the lilac and intended doing the forsythia but it lives on for another day.  I also noticed that the lime tree is dropping yellow catkins on the concrete in front of the Beast so swept them up and put them into the compost bin but noticed tonight that lots more have dropped so maybe I should leave that job until they finished.  So back to the big lilac that was chopped back and decided to investigate what was in front of it.  I dug up around ten little ones from runners and they're now sitting in a bucket and I'll offer them to the neighbours tomorrow.  I cleared the weeds, dug the bed over and removed the roots and added some manure, dug up some iris and buried them into the new bed and planted around six lupins and watered them in well.  I walked back to the house and heard a high pitched noise coming from somewhere and went to the gate to investigate.  I suddenly realised that it was coming from my water clock area so removed the covers and the winter protection, lots of spiders and insects shot out so I waited for a while, put down a rubber mat, turned the water off and on again and the noise stopped.  Bit like computer maintenance.....turn it off and turn it on again.

I cleared up and put the tools away, locked up the little house, washing in and put away and am now ready to relax.  Nothing prepared so far for supper so it will probably to something that needs little preparation such as tuna salad, just need to get the potatoes on.  LN.....Kitchen calls.....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 14, 2022, 8:47pm; Reply: 14
Saturday 14th May

Early start and yet again but was out there at seven having a bonfire to clear the rubbish.  I decided that a cooked breakfast was order of the day so I fried bacon and an egg, microwaved some baked beans and sat at the table in the sun and demolished the lot and felt much better for it.  I meandered down the garden to check on the bonfire and to feed it I removed the old wood from round one of the bottom garden beds and neatened up the area, planted a lilac and one of the privet that I'd bought from Kaufland.  I then moved on to the little bed in the middle of the garden with the stone surround and made it smaller, moving them in towards the tree in the centre, cleared the weeds and got rid of some of the stone chips and old tiles that were inside the bed.  It just needs a little more work and I might try to terrace it but it's good enough for now.  

I came in for a drink and noticed that I had a message from my student's mum inviting me to the open evening at Kardjali museum and since I hadn't been before I thought I'd take the opportunity since it was free.  I arrived at the apartment at seven and we were in the car by seven thirty and heading to Kardjali and managed to park up very near the museum.  There was a talk being given and since it was in Bulgarian I decided to take in some of the exhibits, lots of people were listening to him but I find it difficult to translate that quickly and so did my student.  

We left and went to find a restaurant in Kardjali and eventually ended up at a Turkish one that I've been to before.  The service wasn't so good this time round and the prices have gone up but we all had enough to eat and I was surprised how late it was when we were heading back to Djebel.  The Nipper was parked outside the shop so I was soon on my way and only stopped at the little supermarket on the way out to buy fresh bread for the morning.  Picked out some of the photos from tonight, lovely evening with my student's family and a good time was had by all.  It's amazing how comfortable the boy feels in his effort to speak English, I correct him and he remembers.  LN...Time I was in bed, Cinderella has to put her glad rags away and check on the footwear......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 15, 2022, 5:01pm; Reply: 15
Sunday 15th May

Six thirty start, lots of clouds in the sky and it looked to be threatening rain.  I made my hot water system cleanout, topped it up and had a second and settled down to watch an episode of The Royals that I'd started watching yesterday.  I switched off after one episode and at eight was making bacon and egg for breakfast and followed it with apricot jam on toast, really piggy, but necessary, it was a cold morning and miserable to boot.  By this time I'd decided to watch Beeb 2 and it was the gardening programmes, and several chanted the mantra 'it's all down to climate change but I did hear one presenter say that 'we've probably had them before' and I supposed he's been sacked by now.

At around eleven I heard a car door slam but didn't think much of it.  I'd not bothered to get out of my nightclothes which could be worn as day clothes and was surprised when a couple of visitors arrived.  I put the kettle on, they settled themselves on the terrace and by now the rain had stopped but the thunder was rattling in the distance.  The young lady had arrived last night and I accused her of bringing the rain with her and she confirmed that it was situation normal but informed me that England was having a cracking day.  I did the house tour since she'd not been here before, we chewed the fat in the delicate sun and then went on a tortoise hunt.  First one to surface was Cracked Shell who was hiding near the buddliea, a couple of steps on and we came across Blue, swing round towards the low wall and there was Green God in the long weeds and there was Rosy in all her glory...little Blue shimmer was no where to be seen.  I'd got some more lilac babies and they're now heading for a new garden and some of the lupins that are still hanging around.  

Off they went and by now I realised I was cold in the house so went round and closed the windows, back to the sofa and this time cooking programmes and decided I would suffer no more and lit the fire.  I could have put more clothes on and suffered in silence but why suffer when I've still got lots of wood left.  I found a new series on Netflix and settled down to that, turned over and watched the Women's football final and from what I saw some of them played as dirty as the men.  I've picked on food most of the day so not really interested in supper so far.  The rain has appeared to have stopped and the sky is blueish, pinkish, greyish and there's mist hanging in the valleys....let's hope tomorrow is better.  I'm going to Djebel market to see if they have any more plants that I need and am very tempted to go up to Kardjali to get more potting compost, I'm running short.  It depends on the weather.....it it's throwing it down, I might even find something to do here.....there's always something.  LN.....A very relaxing day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 16, 2022, 5:49pm; Reply: 16
Monday 16th May

Another dull old day and couldn't see the bottom of the garden, lots of rain and the garden looks good for having it.  The downside is the grass will come on in leaps and bounds and I shall be gearing up for another four hours on the wrong end of the lawn mower.  Another twenty thousand steps in the pipeline I'm guessing.  A morning of sudoku, television news updates, toast, hot water and eventually coffee and it definitely seems to work better having my one tablet and night instead of the morning.  I washed and dressed for Djebel, I was still unsure whether to go or not but my neighbour wanted money from the cash point and some soft cheese so I made an effort on her part and was ready to leave at nine thirty.  I was lucky to find a parking spot outside my student's parents shop and went in to have a chat to her before I started shopping.

Djebel was heaving, lots of visitors over from Turkey and it's Djebel fair this weekend so part of the central car-park was blocked off where they put up rides for the children.  There was a lot of activity centered around the new municipality market square and as I walked towards the cash-point I was approached by the mayor and his entourage...a gang of about twelve looking very important and it appears to be the same all over the world.  This one however does seem to be doing a lot for the town and has invested in tidying up the town centre, filling the flower beds and this years fair looks like it could be well worth going to and I might even manage to make the effort.  I stopped off at my friends flower shop and bought several from her and left them there while I went to the cashpoint.  I was about fifth in the queue and had to wait about fifteen minutes since one person probably collects the pensions for several old people in the villages.  Some of the old people just can't managed to get in by themselves and a lot of the families are working away.  Walking back through the market I bought more flowers from one of my favourite stall holders from Benkovski and four cucumber plants and these will go into one of my growing containers along with my tomatoes.  

Back to my student's mums shop by twelve and her elders, who used to be my student, has come home from Sofia and now working at the garage.  He'd also come to look after the shop while his mother went to the school to have an update on my student and she invited me along.  I'm used to parent's evenings where you discuss your child with the teacher on a one to one basis but this seem like a free for all.  Good students were praised and named, disruptive ones were criticised and the teacher laid down the rules that should be adhered to in class.  She was saying that it was all down to discipline and I wouldn't agree, it's all down to her to control the students, send the disruptive ones home or keep them in for detention after school to get them to comply.  I think in some cases maybe teachers need to have further training on how to control a classroom.....only my two pennyworth.....but Bulgarians don't complain.

Left for home around two and stopped off at the supermarket to spend my neighbours cash and a few items for me.  Bread I noticed has now doubled in price since I first came out her and has risen to one leva fifty today, still cheaper than the UK but the wages and pensions are much less here.  Unpacked the shopping and put it away, Avatar was mowing her grass when I came back and it had started to rain so I didn't disturb her, she could have her money and cheese later.  I settled on the sofa, I could do nothing outside, made coffee and demolished a small pack of biscuits and promptly fell asleep waking up at four thirty.  Armed with card, money and cheese I headed over to Avatar's house since rain had stopped play for her, handed over the loot and explained the cash-point receipt to her and I think she understood.  Despite taking money out she had more in the bank comparing the new withdrawal slip with the last one and I think she's now understanding  the balancing of her account.  It's all new technology for the old people.    

Came home and boiled potatoes, opened a tin of tuna, peeled an onion and made a tuna salad with beetroot for supper.  I found a couple of small yogurts in the fridge that had to be devoured instantly.  Washed up and tidied the kitchen so that it's OK for tomorrow morning.  Gardening in the morning, I bought a Salix and this is the third one so hopefully this one will survive and student in the afternoon.  Feel really good after my afternoon nap, the last few days have been restful. I think almost eighty thousand steps last week knocked me about a bit.  LN.....Need to take it easier at my age.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 17, 2022, 6:28pm; Reply: 17
Tuesday 17th May

Late start this morning, the sun was shining, clear as a bell out there and wasn't sure what I was getting up to today.  I had my student at three this afternoon but before that, the day was mine.  I started with breakfast...I'd got another pack of diced bacon so I fried it off, added the remains of last nights potatoes and then added two beaten eggs and made an omelette.  I took my seat at the table in the stairwell and while watching breakfast television I devoured the  omelette with sparks flying from the utensils.  Kitchen tidied, covers from the outside furniture into the washing machine and pegged out.  I removed some of the water collected yesterday in several containers due to a very heavy downpour and decided to plant up the specimens that I'd bought yesterday from the market, some went in the garden and others in terrace pots.  

It was much too wet to get the mower out and I toyed with the idea of strimming round the borders but the idea came and went.  In fact it was much too hot to day to be out there, Avatar came round to bring me back one of the jars that I'd taken something over in but I didn't want it and told her to keep it.  She had the idea to go to the forest and collect pine tips from the new growth to make syrup and I might even offer to take her tomorrow, she can make the syrup, I'll provide the jars and the encouragement.

Student this afternoon at three and the lesson was about Petra and its discovery.  He'd not heard about it before so after the text we looked it up on the internet and he was fascinated as to how it was built and they had some really good photos of it on there.  The text also mentioned that a bust of Nike, the goddess of victory was found and he immediately thought of sportswear and I guessed that the sports brand might have got its name from her. This then took us on to sports shoes and the astronomical cost of some of the specials and a discussion as to whether or not it was worth paying over the top for anything.  I know where I sit on this one.  We were late finishing the lesson and I left at five but we'd forgotten the text and had interesting discussions.  I don't teach him grammar but to give the language a fair bash and correct him with the tenses as we go and the more he uses them the easier it will be for him to get the confidence together to communicate.  Everyone likes a tryer....

Bought some carrots on the way home and on the menu tonight ....chicken wings and roasted vegetables.  I had a fight with the chicken and the freezer, the middle drawer wouldn't budge and I ended up emptying most of it and moving stuff until I could open the drawer fully.  The into the oven with it and despite the effort, it was worthwhile and very tasty.  The washing up can wait....there's nothing on for tomorrow so far, Djebel fair starts on Thursday so tomorrow is all mine except that it's supposed t start raining at twelve so I'll have to get the lawn and borders done before then.  LN.....Better set the alarm...LN.
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 18, 2022, 4:23pm; Reply: 18
Wednesday 18th May

As predicted the rain came at lunch-time and rain stopped play with regards to the grass.  I'd had an early start, out into the garden for seven thirty and set about the outside of the property with the little electric mower but the power kept going off intermittently so I finished off outside and started to recheck the connections.  So one hour later I still hadn't identified the one that was playing up and they've got these weird rubber plugs on that seem to be more trouble than they're worth.  The problem was compounded because I'd used a hose pipe stand to wind the cable round and it's great when it works and a bugger when it doesn't.  At this point I decided that I could do that when it was raining and not waste time doing it immediately so I got out the trusty petrol mower and set about the grass.  Hunger grubs were nibbling so I settled for toast for breakfast before the challenge began, went like crazy to see how much I could get done before the storm set in, and I managed to do more or less to the bottom of the main house grass apart from a strip in the middle...that was when rain, thunder and lightening set in and as it turned out, set in for the day.  It further deteriorated with hail storms, high winds and I'm guessing that the fete became worse than death for Djebel.  I might even take a 'rain check' as to whether I go to meet up with my student family tomorrow evening, my old student has put his name down for the chess competition in the square and I was looking forward to watching him play.  It's now in the lap of the weather gods.

I could have gone into the workshop and mended the cable but instead I stretched out on the sofa and started watchin my Netflix next find until that was terminated when the power went off.  So on to the little kindle and played a few games of Sudoku but I couldn't even get my head round some of those...it must be a weather thing.  Coffee and biscuits this afternoon, chicken wings in for supper and I've just lit the fire so that the washing that I was hoping to get dry this morning will dry in the bathroom instead.
Come on...it's the middle of May for goodness sake...we need a few days of sunshine together to believe that summer is on it's way.  

The power is back on and hopefully will stay that way now that the fire is lit.  At least I don't have to water the plants on the terrace or the garden, nature has done it for me.    and watching the clouds scurrying towards Greece, that's probably upset a few plans for some people.  LN....My chicken wings are ready....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 19, 2022, 7:53pm; Reply: 19
Thursday 19th May

Late tonight, I've just got back from an evening of fun and frivolity in Djebel, it's the Djebel annual fare.  I've had a lovely evening with my students' family, chicken supper with bread in the square and coffee afterwards at a very quiet restaurant away from the 'hurley burley' and the music at several decibels higher than my ears can take.  Very busy, lots of singing and dancing in the square and the normal amount of inebriates joining in both activities.

As for the rest of the day, the sun was shining this morning but that wind was pretty chill.  It was good though in that it dried off some of the water from the grass and I was able to finish the rest of the mowing but that was after I demolished poached eggs on toast for breakfast.  I also tidied out the fridge, washed up from this morning and yesterday, put the washing away and it was still only nine thirty.  So out with my trusty mower and managed to do the rest of the main house grass and half of the little house grass but I ran out of steam and called it a day.  The grass was sticking to the blade making it really hard going and clinging to the grass box making it difficult to empty.  Mower away and I turned my attention to putting in some of the seedling into the garden, most of the marigolds are planted in the old veg bed along with yet more of the lupins.  The downpour over the last day has really brought them on and I've about three pots of zinnia that I have to find homes for,  Still more urgent are the cucumber and tomato plants and they are jobs for Saturday.

I was in the Nipper just before five and headed into Djebel where I'd arranged to meet the family.  The shop was closed when I got there so I phoned and they gave me rough directions where they were, I found them and they were near where the chess tournament taking place and my older ex-student was taking part.  Thirty people played each other and the one with the most wins won the tournament and the cup and despite the competition being open to members of chess masters from other towns, my student finished twentieth out of thirty so not a bad result.  He's not used to playing speed chess but he'll be defending his position next year I'm led to believe.  

Home for ten thirty, a very pleasant evening with a very special family.  LN.....Out for the day tomorrow so off to bed for a town I've only been to once before......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 20, 2022, 6:55pm; Reply: 20
Friday 20th May

Very early start, shower, hair washed and dried and ready for the off by eight this morning.  I was off to Krumovgrad which is now recognised as the gold rush town in southern Bulgaria and is open pit mining  and apparently very successful.  The town has benefitted from it...it was once run down and now we have water spouts in the pavements, new seating in the newly paved squares, vey full modern coffee bars and I hardly recognised the place, I'd been thee about nine years previously.  We walked the markets, I chatted to a flower stallholder that I see at various markets around the area and she mentioned that the next 'praznic' or fete in the area is at Pripek and will be the first in the village for two years because of Covid.  We found a small cafe for lunch and for four of us it came to fifteen lev which is approximately seven pounds and this saw me through until this evenings hamburger in a toasted bun.  The thing that they really need to spend money on are the toilets in the market place and the bus-station, not pretty or hygienic to visit...I'll have to have a word with the mayor when I next see him at an event.

From there we made out way back to Kardjali, easily parked up using the new system but payment confirmed by sending a text not using the banking payment system.  A few cheapy shops with the visiting guest and I managed to find a pair of black leather ankle boots, forward planning for winter.  The guest googled the name and for eight lev I think I've got a bargain.  We visited the local art centre and met up with a few friends delivering works for a forthcoming showing and I was home for four thirty after a full on day.  It's been a proper summer day with temperature in the high twenties, so much so that I managed to nod off on the way from Krumovgrad to Kardjali....nice to be chauffeured.

A little Netflix this afternoon, supper and then went to the land of nod waking up at around nine my time and fingers crossed I shall manage to get to sleep tonight.  I'm going to have a day of gardening, electrical work changing the plugs on the extension cable and then putting the little mower and hedge trimmer to use, the forsythia has managed to avoid the haircut for a few days now.  LN.....Relaxing day in pleasant company......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 21, 2022, 6:01pm; Reply: 21
Saturday 21st May

Another six o'clock start, the sun was up and it was promising to be a very warm day.  Instead of walking the garden and planning my day, I went back to bed with the Kindle, put my Fitbit on charge and what was the use of expending energy when I wasn't being recorded.  Eventually I was out of bed by seven thirty, washed and dressed ready for the garden but firstly made mushrooms on toast and cleared the kitchen deliberately putting off what was to be my first task for the day....changing the cable ends and using the spare reel to wind it round, the other had seen better days. I procrastinated even further and went to see Avatar just for a catch up and she was emerging from her kitchen with a filo pastry dish stuffed with spring onions and soft cheese.  She offered me some, I said that I was fine and had only just had breakfast and it sat on the table with a plate over it to keep warm.  It smelled really delicious and as I was leaving she offered it to me again so I came home with half of it and despite having breakfast, I devoured it as soon as I got back, stuffed to the gills but it was so good.  The ladies really know how to make something out of nothing.

Out to the garden and I gave the little electric mower one more chance to fire up and nothing.  I unwound the cable from the reel, prepared the new one and eventually sorted it out.  Next move was to take the investigate how the starter fires up in the little mower and it seemed pretty easy so put it back together again and still no power getting through to the motor.  I'm not sure if it's worth repairing, it didn't cost much and has given good service so I might see if I can get another one at a reasonable price.  Next job on the list was to sort out the forsythia and cut it down to size so that I can see the bottom of the garden from the terrace...and now I can.  The cuttings went over the wall, the cows eat it currently so let's see if they like it when they're not stealing it from me.  

By now the temperature had really gone up so I came in at two and settled on the sofa and carried on watching my Netflix series and went out again at four thirty and this time watched it all, I didn't nod off.  Fired up the petrol mower, finished the rest of the little house grass and round the cherry tree by the long wall and by now it was getting on for six thirty, I put it away, took the strimmer to the yard and took down the grass and the removed the grass between the house and the front wall.  Tools away, I was surprised how late it was when I'd finished, everything locked up, chicken leg in the oven by eight and I should really be checking it out.  The boiler is on for a bath tonight to ease out the aches and pains, we've swung quickly back into summer after rain and let's hope it stays around a bit longer this time.  I've just watered the garden and the pots, they do benefit from and overnight thirst quencher.  LN......Need to checkout supper.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 22, 2022, 6:15pm; Reply: 22
Sunday 22nd May

Late bath last night and woke up even later with the water cold so I was out drying off very quickly and into my warm nest and slept though until six thirty.  It's been a mixed old day weatherwise. we had a cloudy dull start to the day, warmed up around eleven so went out and had a very slow burning bonfire.  Spotted four of the five tortoise with only shiny purple missing from the role call, Rosy was in the garden at the top of the long wall but didn't seem to be doing any damage to the plants, Cracked Shell was towards the middle of the same stretch and Blue was down the bottom sunning itself.  As for the Don Juan of the outfit, he appeared later in the day when I was sorting out the beds in the grave garden.  

I decided to do some topiary on the bushes in the grave garden which stretched into removing weeds and the leaves dying back from the daffodils.  I've still got plenty of seedlings that need to go in but the planting has been left for another day.  It looks like we shall have rain again overnight so the ground will be ready to accept them and I'll be putting manure on the beds to make sure that they have a reasonable start.  I came in at three to watch the coverage of the Diamond League from Birmingham but couldn't find which programme it was on and the times,  Unfortunately Transponder TV doesn't seem to update the programme guide so instead I turned over to Netflix for an hour or so and promptly went to sleep catching up of my lack of nocturnal resting overnight.  I went out again and did a little more weeding until I felt something prick my finger so it was inside, hot water wash, Germaline on and bandaged.  Went out again but this time to pack up the tools, lock the little house and woodstore and lock myself in the the night.  Time to close the windows since the temperature has dropped and I decided to take in the cushions from the bench on my upstairs balcony after I felt the first drops of rain.

Moved to the kitchen and cooked four fish fingers and made sandwiches for tonight and supper is now over.  I'd forgotten I'd bought them and only found them when I was sorting out the freezer when the middle shelf seemed more secure than Fort Knox.  Lovely light tonight as the sun was going down.  There's a very low cloud formation making everything dull and lifeless except when it set it lit up the trees in the garden and the houses on the hillside...quite magical.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far so I could be planting up the rest of the seedlings and finalising a few more tubs.  One more job that's really chiding me is to mend the cover on the large terrace umbrella, I'll give it one more go and if not successful, may be time to buy a new on since this one is getting on in years.  LN.....Time to switch off and prepare for an early night.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 23, 2022, 5:31pm; Reply: 23
Monday 23rd May

Early to bed...early to rise but three thirty was just too soon for me so it was Sudoku for an hour and then back off again until seven.  I'm out of a routine and I think it's something to do with the temperature going up and down as it is.  I'm thinking of moving upstairs to see if that helps, I'm finding the downstairs bedroom cold some nights and warm others.....I'm changing room number....

I was having poached eggs on toast at eight thirty, I'd been out to look at the garden and try to plan the day but the best laid plans of mice and men...pahhhh.  The strimmer came out and I went round the grave garden again after I spent time clearing it yesterday.  I've topiarised some of the little shrubs in the long low walled garden and set about clearing the weeds from the circular stone beds round the red plum and the acacia,  It was hard work but one of them is planted up with marigolds that had been lingering in a bucket, they're watered in and are looking really healthy.  I've weeded the garden between the steps and in front of the main terrace, trimmed some of the bushes and moved a few self seeded plants around.  

Unfortunately work has been interspersed with Netflix and this time I managed not to sleep through an episode...which bodes well for tonight.  A few bee-eaters landed on the electricity wires so I shall be looking out for a few more pics of them.  They've got such beautiful colours but not a particularly noticeable call unlike my hiccupping cuckoo that was very vocal this morning and the golden orioles were out and about, they'll be tackling the cherry tree and the mulberry quite soon...villains.

Student tomorrow afternoon and this time I'm going to make sure that I have a half decent text to work through.  I scraped the barrel a little last week, it was interesting , the topic was Petra and we ended up checking it out on the internet for more pictures which was good.  And now to find something for supper, nothing prepared so might be attacking the tinned food stash under the worktop.  LN......Local corned beef, beetroot and grated carrot....healthy snack....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 24, 2022, 5:25pm; Reply: 24
Tuesday 24th May

Seven start again, not too good a start to the day, sun was up but clouded over pretty quickly and it was like that for most of the time.  I washed and dressed and had the idea to go into Kardjali and come back for my student's lesson in Djebel but the action to achieve the said idea never materialised. Toast and apricot jam for breakfast. I walked the garden and only saw Blue sunning itself down the bottom of the garden but the others were obviously having a lie in or were in hiding places that I've not discovered to date.

I was feeling cold so changed my town top for a zip up sweater, took my blood pressure and it was fine but I felt lethargic and down for some reason.  I'm putting it down to the weather, there's no stability in it and for tomorrow we are to expect thunderstorms and showers with a temperature of twenty six degrees.  That makes it incredibly humid, upsets the arthritis and saps my energy levels.  So at eleven I took to the sofa, didn't bother with UK TV but put on my Netflix series and watched it for an hour or so and am now engaging with series three.  I didn't fall asleep which I would have loved to do so at twelve thirty I set about finding a text or two for my student this afternoon and found a couple of smaller ones.  We tend to use the text for reading practice and the words that he's not met before I write in English over the text.  Mostly I end up explaining the meaning of some of the longer words over the text to make sure he understands the way that you would use it.  We came across the word 'nap' meaning short sleep while reading a text from a person living in Spain.  This then brought the word 'siesta' up and explaining that the main meal in Spain is at lunchtime and that after lunch they settle down for a 'nap/siesta', the shops reopen at five in the afternoon and stay open until they close depending who owns the store.  This then brought up a conversation about customs of different lands and a second text mentioned that the UK had one of the longest monarchies in Europe which led to a conversation about how many European countries still have kings or queens.  So not only language but history to boot.

Lesson over at five, I spent an hour with his mother in the shop and by now it was thundering and raining quite hard.  The plus side is that I won't have to water my garden tonight.  I stopped off at the supermarket and bought bread, eggs and Turkish biscuits which work out at about twenty five pence for small packets and saves me devouring a big packet.  Better for the pocket and the waistline.  Home just before seven, tuna mayo sandwiches for lunch on fresh bread, washing up can wait until tomorrow to fit in with whatever tomorrow brings or how I feel.  LN.....I'll always be able to find something to do.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 25, 2022, 6:02pm; Reply: 25
Wednesday 25th May

I slept on the settee last night through two sessions of the Netflix I was watching so this afternoon when it got too hot to be outside I rewatched them....that's the beauty of Netflix instead of watching television.  Another good reason is that I find very little on the channels to interest me at the moment....I suppose I'll have to wait for winter.

Scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, it started off dull but got better and by two as I said, it was time to go inside.  I'd used my time well, the rose growing by the gate made it very difficult to open the gate fully when moving the car in and out.  From the pickies you will see that the rose is very deep from the wall so I ended up poking though a hoe attached to a bungy after first attaching it to the railings.  I picked it upon the inside, threaded it back through the rose, heaved on it and attached the other end to the railings.  Eventually I followed the bungy with some heavy cord to hold it firm incase the bungy snaps.  I followed that with an extension to the original cord that I use to secure the gate and now job done.  While I was at it I secured the white rose and the pink and white one and chopped down a stray plum that had got up to around six feet threatening the view from the upstairs bedroom.

I came in and finished up the rest of the tuna mayo from last night on two slices of toast and was now ready to sit down and see what I'd missed last night.  Unfortunately I got hooked and watched more episodes and eventually got out there again to water the new plants and I did manage to put in around twelve tobacco plants in the old veg garden this morning.  The lupins have taken hold, the cornflowers are about to flower and the sun daisies have lots of buds on them.  I'm happy to see that the bronze ones have survived in the little house over the winter.  No supper required tonight, nine my time already so time to settle in to the rest of the evening.  More of the same tomorrow and that grass seems to be having a growth spurt...pahh.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 26, 2022, 6:05pm; Reply: 26
Thursday 26th May

Seven thirty start this morning which was a bonus for me.  The sun was up, hardly a cloud in the sky and I was planning a day of gardening.  Only had toast for breakfast and shouted at breakfast television and then walked the garden.  I found Rosy down the bottom near the bonfire and CS was not far away, Green God was staying out of everyone's way which saved him bearing the wroth of Rosy.  I grabbed the electric hedge trimmer, the forsythia near to the lavatera was covering a lot of it so I took off the new growth giving the other bush some light.  I moved over to the mulberry and cleared the  weeds and leaves from the daffs....it was looking a little shabby and noticed that Rosy had  made her way to the bushes next to the mulberry and I realised that the fruit was forming and would soon be dropping.  Clever old Rosy, we'd had a few stiff breezes and some of the fruit had dropped already.  I did a load of washing and while it was cooking. as I call it, I started tidying up my shoes in the porch, boots out and day shoes in.  Washing out and the temperature was now up to twenty eight so I made the decision that I was going to get out on the balcony, move my comfy chair out, take my t-shirt off and get some sun.  Arms and legs haven't been out this year yet so it was sun-oil on, small plastic table out to put my legs on and relax.  

I stayed out there for a couple of hours or so, was just changing position so that I could get my back in the sun when I noticed that the clouds were building from Smolyan and that sun was rapidly disappearing.  I put a few more clothes on and as those clouds got darker, the washing had to come in and on my way back to the house I felt the first few spots of rain and heard the first clap of thunder.....my sunbathing today had come to such an abrupt halt.  Now I had time of my hand so I've started to sort out the wardrobe in my bedroom, winter sweaters away in the large chest and now I've got to go through the t-shirts but this time with a vengeance and I need to be cruel.  Some to stay and some to go to the local charity  service in Momchilgrad for the people that need clothes.  Supper was barbecued spare ribs from the freezer along with potato waffle thingies and the potatoes were eaten, the meat was as tough as old boots so cats with strong teeth can test them out in the morning.  Nothing on the agenda tomorrow except more of the same, I'm preparing for summer.  LN.....Time to put on warm pj's.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 27, 2022, 6:07pm; Reply: 27
Friday 27th May

Well the weather seems to have got into its normal pattern for what is supposed to be summer.  Sunny starts, then it clouds roll in and then the thunders starts and today was no different except that we had real rain not just the threat of it.  Looking at the weather forecast for next week, more of the same is indicated.

So seven start and nothing unusual about the morning except that I woke up with a sore throat and a tickly cough which seems to have improved as the day progressed but still don't feel one hundred percent.  So much for getting my first layer of suntan on and I should have heeded my granny's warning....'ne're cast a clout 'til May is out'....nearly there but not quite.  I set about clearing up the baking tins from last night, too much grease on them to wash them in the sink so put on a degreasing cream, boiling water from the kettle, left for thirty minutes or so and it all just comes away.  I collected the water in a bowl and lobbed it over the wall and washed up the tins in the normal way and saves getting a clogged sink.  Toast for breakfast with cheese slices and that did me until beans on toast tonight.  I went out into the yard and my neighbour from the next door garden had kindly brought me a large pot of home made yogurt.  At first I thought it was milk but when I tried to pour it into one of my containers so that I could wash hers and hand it back, it slopped its way out of hers and into mine.....yogurt.  I washed it and took it back to her as she worked in her garden and what a splendid job she's made of it...but after years of practice I'd expect no less.  

The grass was too wet to mow and after a sleepless night I settled on the sofa and went back to sleep until around twelve.  I woke up to some clattering.  The polecat's pups/kits and I'm never sure what they are were romping and exercising in the roof run and making a real clatter.  There was another noise that I didn't recognise at first, it started when the power came back on after a power cut and eventually I reckoned that a bird had fallen down the chimney and found itself in the little spare cooker in the kitchen.  I listened to it for a while then cleared the kitchen window sill so that I could open the window into the porch, moved anything dangling over the window so it had nothing to bump in to and opened the fly screen, took the items from on top of the cooker and put them on the table, removed the tiles and prepared for action.  I opened the door to the firebox on the cooker, the bird shot out and headed for the window, settled on a flower pot, took stock and then went straight out of the door.  All I had to do was to put the house back in order, replace removed items and hope that I have no more.  

I cleared the porch while everything was out of it, cleaned off the window sill, swept the floor, rescued a couple of self-set petunias from other pots and now they're in the porch and another is hanging from the bird table.  Visit from a young lady from the next village who wants me to help her with her English...I've not met her before and I come recommended by Gouldjan but I'm not really sure what help she needs.  If it's regular lessons I'm not interested, if she wants to come round for conversational practice, that's fine...she only lives in the next village.....I'll find out tomorrow.  Tatting tomorrow I think, the grass is still going to be too wet to mow after today's rain...and it keeps growing.  LN.....Roll on summer and end to end sunshine.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 28, 2022, 4:22pm; Reply: 28
Saturday 28th May

Horrible night.....the cold has set in and I've kept myself topped up with honey, salt, lemon and hot water.  The headache set in and I felt hot so at seven this morning I cancelled my new student date by Messenger, I certainly didn't want to pass anything on to her.  She replied around nine, designated arrival at ten and I was beginning to think that I would have to telephone her....but no...all was good.  She was disappointed and I messaged that we should be able to meet up next week.  It was such a relief...I felt rough.  I'd had a shower and washed my hair just in case I hadn't managed to contact her so dressed for the day, there wasn't a lot of activity planned.

I made toast for breakfast, cleared up the kitchen and took to the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  I'm not sure if I went to sleep or not but at ten I made more hot lemon and honey, put the refreshed lamps back on the fir tree under the little house terrace.  I suddenly heard the sheep farmer dogs kicking off outside the gate so I went out to see what was happening and there was Emula off his bicycle and shouting at the four barking dogs.  They are dangerous, it should never be allowed to have four vicious dogs without a shepherd looking after the sheep.  They chase any car that's on the road and apparently according to Avatar, two old ladies were going about their business and were suddenly faced by the dogs and were frightened out of their wits.  I've complained already in jest to the farmer, so have others and his response is that it's a village and he's entitled to do as he wants.  That's almost a challenge!!

At twelve I got the urge to sort out the grass.  The clouds were gathering but nothing ventured nothing gained and I managed to finish the main house grass before the rain really set in along with the thunder.  I did it in two sessions and at the end of the first I went over to see Avatar, she was cutting her grass and we both looked fairly knacked but I still went back to complete the grass and I heard her strike up her mower...she was off......two women with a mission to accomplish.  Despite my shower this morning I had a bath, I was sweating, it was very humid and I felt better for it.  Chicken wings in the oven along with veg roasting and there's enough for Avatar and myself.  It's been a while since I took supper over.  Just check the wings and they're more or less ready, the veg wants a little more time so time to get the sweet chili sauce into a little pot and the mayo.  LN......Second grass tomorrow if it dries out....something to look forward to.....not......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 29, 2022, 6:27pm; Reply: 29
Sunday 29th May

What a horrible night's sleep.  I found some throat sweets that said do not use after the expiry date but thought what the heck.  So chicken mayo delivered over the road, I ate mine, the washing up can wait and is still waiting and sorted out my Blood pressure tablet.  I had a relatively early night for me, took a lemon and honey drink to bed with me at at three this morning  my throat was so sore so I made another drink and had another throat tablet.  Back to sleep again eventually and this morning I felt rubbish, my lower lip was out like a baboon's bottom and I'm not sure what caused it, it's been ages since this happened.  So this morning stuck to hot water, toast for breakfast and it was around lunchtime before I began looking the way that I normally do.  It unnerves you when you don't really know what's going on with your body, I've had no issues with these tablets since March time.

Washed and dressed for the garden, I had the rest of the grass to finish and all that's left is to strim round the old toilet block near to the high wall. I checked the number of steps and have only managed six and a half thousand today, yesterday I managed almost thirteen thousand....on the other hand, it is Sunday.  The winter sweaters are all in the chest in my bedroom, the wardrobe space is sorted and I've just got a pile to decide if it stays or goes....and I think most will go to the charity shop.  It was pretty hard going pushing the mower around, the temperature had gone up to the high twenties and I got through about two litres of water.  

By three it was beginning to cloud over and I remembered that I put a load of washing ready but hadn't managed to get it into the machine,  So in it went, there was a stiff old wind blowing so I pegged it out even though there was the odd spot of rain.  I went inside again, coughing and spluttering as I went, lay on the sofa to find something interesting to watch and the sun came out, the washing was horizontal but well secured with pegs so I'd made the right choice.  I fetched it in at half five and it's on the airer although I could have put it straight away.   I'd fallen upon 'Marcella' on Netflix, and have binged on it somewhat.  I don't feel well but tomorrow I'll got to the chemist and get a linctus and some tablets that are within the shelf life.  No supper for me or tablets of any description and hopefully my facial features will be normal in the morning.  LN.....And time to close down for the evening......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 30, 2022, 4:58pm; Reply: 30
Monday 30th May

Another horrible night, itching hands kept me awake and at three I was kitchen bound for more water but at least my lip was back to normal size this morning.  The sun beat me to it , quite a bit of mist around but generally it's been the first what I call a summer day.  The clouds did start building around three but they soon dissipated and now we have a pleasant summer evening without any wind at all.

Toast for breakfast, Avatar came over and suggested that I went to the doctors with my cough but Monday at the Polyclinic is more like a bun fight.  I toyed with the idea of going into Djebel to get some linctus and throat tablets but I seem to me coughing better than I was so I'll go to the chemist tomorrow if I go to see my student....I'll see how I am in the morning.  I set about finishing the job that I'd started sorting out the rest of the clothes from the big chest in my bedroom and now that's done.  I have sorted and put to one side ready for the charity shop, one load of washing went in and those items are probably still going to a charity closer to home.  I moved into the spare bedroom and over the time that I've been here I've accumulated lots of bedding ranging from winter, spring, summer and autumn and now it's time to sort out the fleece nests and get standard duvet covers on before we move on to just sheets and a lightweight cover.  So all the fleece are washed and put away, my boots are all in the spare room with everything that's already put aside for the charity shop.  Curtain material to be sorted next and new curtains are wanted for the guest room, the existing ones have faded so that job's been added to the list.

Not sure what's on the agenda for supper tonight...I'm giving my digestion a cooling off period after my swollen lip yesterday morning.  Just about to go out and give the garden a good watering, the new seedling especially the lupins are looking a little sad.  LN.....Time to get the hose out.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 31, 2022, 6:47pm; Reply: 31
Tuesday 31st May

Another disturbed night but after an hour playing games I went back to sleep and it was eight thirty when I woke up,  Not a bad morning, I felt as rough as a badger bit of anatomy so made toast for breakfast and then 'poodled' around with menial tasks before settling myself on the sofa.  I had a message from my former student suggesting that we went to supper on Wednesday night but decided to decline.  I explained that I had a touch of a summer cold and could we leave it for another time, well wishes for a speedy recovery and a date to be rearranged.  I next generated a message to my student's mum at the garage cancelling today's lesson with her son....my voice was almost non-existent and my coughing sounded like a badly tuned car engine.  She came back with a recipe for chamomile tea which was great but I'd not got any in the garden so that was a none starter,

At ten thirty I almost had a melt down.  My cough started up, I kept at it and nothing that wanted to dislodge dislodged,   I moved to the kitchen for more water and it was almost as if breathing and coughing had gone out of sync and eventually I managed to get control.  It frightened me so much that I decided to go into Kardjali and see my doctor, I thought a prescription for and antibiotics was very necessary and a good linctus.  I was ready by eleven thirty, got the Nipper out on to the road, Avatar was in her garden so I popped over to see if there was anything that she wanted from Kardjali.  As I drove in I went to clean the windscreen and had run out of water so decided to stop off at the garage to get more washer stuff, but first checked the boot and I'd got about a pint in a big bottle which did the trick.  She used to be a nurse and between us we decided that it was probably better to get a good linctus from the chemist next door, see how I was overnight and then go to the doctor tomorrow if nothing had improved.  Bought the local noted linctus for just over five lev, went into the supermarket and picked up sliced and standard hot bread and some lemons.  Avatar noticed that I had come back and suggested that I could buy her some ginger root tomorrow and she'd make me the local brew, I had ginger root in the kitchen so I gave it to her with half a jar of honey.

I settled on the sofa for the afternoon, slept for around two hours without coughing but started when I woke up, more hot water to ease the throat, more linctus and Avatar was at the door, she'd made me the preparation by grating the ginger into the honed and apparently a spoonful is to be taken each morning. Off she went but she is very worried about when it gets down to the lungs and by then it's hospitalisation and I saw her a few years ago and don't fancy time in a Bulgarian hospital, so doctor tomorrow.

Not bothered with supper tonight which in good. about to make up a bottle of water with fresh lemon and then I shall be heading down the wooden hills. as my mother used to call the stairs, and hopefully have a settled night.  LN......Almost time for my next dose, not like Zubes cough mixture which I loved a s a child....,LN
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