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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  FEBRUARY 2016
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Elsa Peters
February 1, 2016, 4:30pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 1st February

So 'white rabbits' and 'pinch and a punch' and all that for the new month.  February is my month of family birthdays...well it started at the end of January with CJ and then we have my two, my ex and mine.....Unfortunately I did look a the cost of getting to the UK but at short notice to get everyone together for a party...can't really do it over the distance.  Having set that...it's just another year....

So what did today hold?  Eight o'clock start for me and the intention was to head into Djebel and get my hair trimmed but I really couldn't be bothered.  Morning coffee, I didn't need to light the fire so I didn't bother and the morning mist lifted about eleven and it was warm in the sun but there was a chill to the wind but having said that...it's winter.  Decided to look at the bathroom through visitor's eyes and had a bit of a tidy up.  That then stretched it to my upstairs bedroom but I got distracted and had a bit of a fashion session.  I'm normally in jeans or work clothes and don't much try out the haute courture ....donning tights, shoes with heels and putting outfits together that have been bought at different times.  What a lovely time I had and realised at one point that most newly acquired items are from the charity shop and I could do a fashion show on my own just to show what bargains are to be had.  Best not though...if I advertise it too much all the bargains will go.

So last night I had a roaring fire so I decided to throw one of the packets of stuff that is supposed to dislodge the soot from the chimney.  I've done this in the before and I usually end up with a problem but thought nothing of it as I lit the fire about three this afternoon.  Suddenly there was smoke pouring out of the chimney cleaning access in the bathroom indicating that there was a blockage up there somewhere.  I emptied the wood burner and put it into the little on in the kitchen...removed the pipes that go from the wood burner to the chimney and ended up with three meters of plastic piping rattling it around and boy was there a lot coming down.  Anyway....all back to normal, fire going well, no smoke pouring out and the secret is obviously to put another couple up as soon as possible and bring any more soot down that's lingering....The joys of wood burners.  So another handicap is that the water is off and how many times do you go to wash your hands especially when they get sooty...and you know that nothing's going to come out...but auto-pilot is a wonderful thing.  

Almost seven and the water's not come on so they must have problems somewhere with a burst I reckon.  Not much into supper...I've had too much coffee today so it's a top up with bottled water tonight.....And there are no photos....LN...I've been a bit busy sorting out pipes and stuff to stop and take photos....LN
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Elsa Peters
February 2, 2016, 4:49pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 2nd February

Five thirty start this morning and I'm still not sure why.  I didn't manage to get off again so read for a while, played Angry Birds which I haven't done for a while, didn't bother with the fire since it was a comfortable heat in the house and still.....the water was off.   Boiled the kettle and washed in the kitchen bowl since I couldn't be bothered taking the kettle upstairs.  Again I was heading for the tap when the water was too hot...habits are hard to break.

Washed and dressed and down to the bread van for a couple of loaves, eggs and I was tempted by some of the savoury buns with white cheese on the top which came in a pack of six.  I settled for two for starters but by one this lunchtime...they'd all gone.  I lay in the sun reading for a while and then the urge to do something hit me so I removed the old putty from the glass in the door to the little house.  This had never set and the glass at the top was slowly edging its way out....the door is just so twisted,  The way that the putty had been pushed in to correct the distortion so I took it all out, reseated it with brown silicon and I think I was wearing more of it than I'd placed in the frame and it ended up that I had to put string round the frame and force the glass back in place with a chunk of wood until the bonding had taken place and it's still there now.  I managed to lock the door and that seems to have pushed it further in so we'll wait and see what tomorrow brings.

The water came on this afternoon and I got a load of washing done just in case it goes off again.  Back to my book this afternoon for a while then into the oven with a joint of pork that I'd rescued from the freezer this morning, peeled potatoes, parsnips and carrots and into the oven they went...all except the carrots which were destined for the hob with some peas....a proper roast.  I found some Bisto lingering in a jar and made gravy....served up and thought I'd eat it watching the afternoon Filmon but as I went up the stairs I looked at the setting sun and had to go out there and capture it.  It was a really strange sky tonight.

So tomorrow I'm taking the other door window glass out and using silicon to put it back in.  This one should be easier than the one I did today...the frame is in better shape.  Just before seven my time.....David Attenborough  telling me all I need to know about hedgehogs....LN...I'll tell you about my rant for today tomorrow....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 3, 2016, 7:13pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 3rd February

Good morning and happy birthday to my Princess....my baby and always will be.  

Beautiful morning....I opened the curtains and it was a stunning dark blue sky tinged with pink and so many stars still out and the moon hanging over my special tree.  I rescued the fire and got back into bed with my book and opened the curtains so that I could keep a check on the awakening morning.  I wasn't disappointed as the day started.  Out came the camera and I went outside to get some good shots of the skyline and then I looked back at the house and realised that it was all reflected in the ground floor windows so I captured that as well.

Back to bed and it was eight thirty before I started my way in the world today.  Washed, dressed and then there was a day of ready, playing games, getting wood in, emails, checking my work yesterday on the little house porch window which seems to have been a success.  I left the wood in place so that it can really set and tomorrow I'll put another layer on and do the second window ....weather permitting.  I didn't feel too good today....I'd drunk a lot of water yesterday and suddenly remembered that the water had been off, came on, went off again and may be I should have stuck to the bottled stuff.  I've not had pains in the tummy just a gentle rumbling and an uncomfortable feeling and I slept for about an hour or so.  No supper...going to give it a miss tonight.

And now my rant from yesterday.  I tried to order flowers from Interflora yesterday and jumped every hurdle they place in my way as part of the ordering process but failed at the last fence when they were unable to process payment.  I checked the card details and re-entered them and still no joy so I abandoned it and used the telephone to make the order.  This is is not the first time that payment has failed with them and I have the emails to prove it but by this time I would have thought that they'd fixed it.  I went on to the 'Contact us' and I did and also they promised to sent me confirmation and the order number but it appears that they took me email address down wrongly and were only able to contact me because I'd contacted them.  Today there have been several interaction...they know about the problem, advised me to use the .com not .co.uk so I checked out the site and the prices quoted on the .com are prohibitive and suggested that from a marketing point of view they should do the same.  Anyway the flowers have arrived and are beautiful, the card from here arrived, all confirmed by a telephone call from Princess....

So into the evening....about to switch off Filmon and take to my book.  Nine my time so soon be time for bed said Zeberdee....LN...just a few photos of my morning...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 4, 2016, 7:01pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 4th February

So this morning it would have been my mother's birthday so Happy Birthday mum.....another February birthday...

Silly night's sleep again...three o'clock I was reading again but I managed to go off again until seven thirty but there was no real opportunity for a morning sunrise photo shoot...it was a full grey sky.  I decided that I would salvage the fire...the house was warm enough but as I took the ash can out I realised that that wind was really cold so I was making the right choice.  Toast for breakfast and then I stripped the bed down and got the sheet and quilt cover from the nest into the washing machine and the second load was made up of the pillowcases.  The quilt and sheet went out on the line...the sun was trying hard to break through but sadly it never did make it.  The pillowcases ended up on the bathroom on the airer.

I finished my latest book and decided that I would go and tackle the final window in the door of the little house porch.  The putty was a soft as you like but the good news was that the window that I'd done the other day was really well secured and now they both are.  I removed the piece of wood that applied the pressure to hold the glass firmly into position and put it in place to hold the second window pane and the next job is to clean up the glass and remove the excess silicone which could be a really slow process.

At two I took the rest of the joint of pork from the fridge, cubed it and along with sliced onions browned it off, threw in curry spice and paprika, tomato paste and water, into the slow cooker with it and tonight I had the most amazing curry...it was the best I'd ever made here.  I'd used the local way to make the rice....I brought it to the boil and moved the pan over to the wood burner and forgot all about it....it was cooked to perfection and really fluffy.  

I've had several emails today from Interflora asking me why I didn't complete the online order and there quality control appears have no control.  There have been different names on the bottom of each email...not much consistency on follow up.  I've suggested that we close the issue and that they spend the time looking at their systems so that customer's don't have to contact them...I can be the only one that wants to order flowers from abroad for delivery in the UK.

So almost nine my time again and I'm wondering where the day's gone.....no snooze today so I should have a decent night's sleep (hopefully) and I've eaten early enough that my body will be still in processing mode,  LN...Snow has been forecast for tomorrow.. no need to go anywhere so I'll batten down the hatches, bank up the fire and enjoy the day....LN

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Elsa Peters
February 5, 2016, 7:28pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 5th February

So at five this morning I was awake and put on the outside light and it was white over and blizzarding.  I went out to empty the ash can to rescue the fire....I was thinking that it would be necessary...not much chance of any sun today.  I went out to dump some old bread so that the birds would have something to nibble on and realised that there wasn't much change of a snowman...it was very wet snow.  It was then a matter of clearing out the kitchen wood burner...both were going to be blasting away today.

Beans of toast for breakfast, put the rest of the can of beans in last night's curry which spent it's night in the slow cooker, washed up last night's supper things and decided that today would be a chance to catch up on a few of those jobs that are on the list...so I darned several socks while watching Masterchef on BBC2.  What they put themselves through...I got settled on the sofa and into my new book by Sue Grafton and I'll have to Google her...I just like her writing style.  I switched on the slow cooker and had an late lunch, early supper, got in few more logs to make sure that there was plenty dried out and warmed up for tomorrow.  Went back to the sofa and got my head down for an hour or so...waking up at five in the morning is OK but it makes it a long day.

I've juiced a couple of oranges since I'm out off fruit juice, didn't want coffee and I'm still off the alcohol....that's over five weeks now and really am not missing it but not sure I feel better for it.  I've lost a few pounds though and must look out for a set of bathroom scales for confirmation.

It's still snowing...it's supposed to be down to minus three tonight and according to the forecast...the sun will be out tomorrow.  The snow plough was out and the roads are clear but I've got a bit of a snow drift going on by the front gate ...Let's see what tomorrow brings...LN....Time to stoke up the fires...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 6, 2016, 5:04pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 6th February

Six thirty start and peeped out of the window and there it was...the first slither of the new moon and there certainly wasn't much of it to see so it was out with the big camera.  It had trouble focussing but eventually we got there. Got the fire going, ashes out and it was certainly cold out there so it was back to to bed with a coffee and my book.

Out of bed for more photos to catch the sun rise but by the time I was looking at it second time round the clouds had come over.  They were pretty clouds and eventually the sun managed to climb above them and show her little face.  Bacon, egg and fried bread for breakfast and then out to have a bit of a bonfire and clear the snow from the terraces.  The sun was beginning to melt the snow so it wasn't a difficult job.  I managed to get another load of logs in but by eleven I had let the fire go out....it was topping twenty eight in my stair well and it was really pleasant lying in the sun and reading...another of Sue Grafton's book down and I am on to the letter K....for the next book.

Walked the garden and took a few photos and it was really pleasant being out there.  The air was so fresh and clear.  I noticed that there was a track of really large footprints...it must be the sheep man's kangol.  I made a couple of shepherd's pies this afternoon and at six I popped over the road with one of them for Haciber...it's been a while since I provided her with supper.  I watched the rugby this afternoon and this is going to be cut short...the England Scotland match has just started.  Just a few of today's photos of this beautiful day...LN...I hope you are enjoying the game...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 7, 2016, 6:23pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 7th February

Six thirty start and I couldn't even see the bottom of the garden...a rime frost as they say or a hoar frost...not sure which one and having looked at the dictionary definition for both of them I really need to have a look in the morning if we have the same sort of weather which I think we shall.  Clear cloudless sky and millions of starts out tonight and no sign of the moon yet but I know it's a late riser.  I did light the fire since all my efforts to get a bath scheduled in seemed to have failed and so I wanted the house warm for when I left the heat of the shower.  I really needed to wash my hair...you can get a little lazy when you seem to always stick your hat on when it's so cold.

Used up the rest of the bacon this morning, fried an egg but no fried bread this morning.....I really need to lose some of the weight that I've put on.  Not drinking alcohol has helped...I've lost inches on the top half but need to take a little off round the middle.  It doesn't help that it was such a super morning when the fog burnt off and I could lie in the sun wearing my PJ's on the sofa reading and my first visitor was Haciber returning my dish from last night filled with roasted mixed nuts.  My second was my painter calling my name from the terrace and despite I was still in PJ's but they look more like a lounging suit, I invited him in to the warm since it was really cold out.  What he wanted was to ask me if I would get him a couple of bottles of extra virgin oil the next time I'm in Kardjali and he wanted to know if I could take a photograph of him for his children and the family album.  I took them...I'm not happy with them so I'll catch him again and then I'll frame a couple for him but I need to get my printer sorted first...it needs a good clean.  

Had my shower and washed my hair...feeling squeaky clean followed by a manicure and a pedicure.  Winter feet here get very dry being trapped in woollen socks.  I bought a plum coloured sparkly nail varnish at the grand cost of one lev but it didn't seem to spread very well.  It will do for a couple of day or so but at least the feet look better.

Lazy afternoon reading, the temperature went up to thirty five in my hall and consequently it was eyelids southwards for an hour or so.  Supper tonight was the second shepherds pie heated up and bottle peaches and cream for afters.  I also blended up some of the other peaches, added some water so I've cut down on coffee today.  The television went on late this afternoon and I caught the end of the memorial service for Terry Wogan and the tribute from Roger Royal....very moving.  So now I'm battening down for the night....rested after my afternoon siesta and back to my book...the K for Killing is going well.  LN......House warm, all cosy....back to PJ's...LN  

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Elsa Peters
February 8, 2016, 4:47pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 8th February

Six thirty start and really a very cold morning.  There was a thin ribbon of red on the horizon but the clouds above it didn't bode for a very good day.  And it wasn't....the temperature has stayed low all day, not much of a wind but really bleak.  Started the fire with last night's embers and by seven the hot water was rattling round the radiators and warming up the place nicely.  Sat down on the little table in front of the fire to drink my coffee staring off into the flames with the brain registering not much at all.  Washed, dressed and wrapped up in a couple of high necks against the cold, started the Beast to warm up the engine before I had to leave at nine twenty five, got in a couple of baskets of logs from the previous years supply ready for when I got back from town.  On with hat and gloves and picked up my painter as arranged from the bus stop.  I hardly recognised him...he'd shaved off the beard he was wearing yesterday and looked so much younger...and apparently it was due to pressure from the older ladies of the village...nothing to do with me....

So off we set...I had very little to buy but still managed to spend.  Diesel for Djebel and that's really come down in price, first stop was the locksmith to get two new front door keys cut and the bookshop to get a few more cards.  We walked the market but the fruit and veg didn't look very good and all of the stallholders looked absolutely frozen.  Back to the Post Office to post a letter and the computers were down so everything was being handled manually and it cost me more since they sent it airmail and 'burzo' post....Found a local butcher and bought a couple of sheep's hearts that I'm going to stuff and put in the slow cooker tomorrow.  It's been ages since I cooked that dish and one is going to be for the painter.  He sort of turned his nose up at it...we shall see....Kaufland to top up pork and sundries and stopped off at Lidl for the other things that neither of us can do without....not....

Home for four this afternoon and again salvaged the fire which is now belting it out.  Shopping away and pork cubed and already in the freezer in five different bags.   I came back with four mackerel from Kardjali and two are in the freezer earmarked for my painter and the other two I've cleaned and they're in the oven for tonight's supper.  Lovely sunset tonight and I tried to take it from different angles so hope you're not too bored.  I can smell the fish so I must go and check it out.  LN....It should be ready in ten....it's not managed to escape from the oven...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 9, 2016, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 9th February

So the sunrise this morning was a reversal of yesterday.  The cloud base was hanging on to the mountains and I had to wait for the sun to climb over it.  I managed to catch a pickie of it but it had not got any of the wow factor about it.  The fire was still going so a few sticks of kindling under it and it was belting it out in quicksticks and a couple of small logs kept it going until eleven when I let it die a natural.  

Did a load of washing and decided to peg it out for a change since most of it is dried inside these days.  The wind was pushing it out at more or less ninety degrees and it was a lovely sight to see.  And for breakfast this morning.  For those that know me no milk passes my lips and hasn't for a few years but yesterday out shopping I had the urge to buy cornflakes and fat milk.  So this morning...two bowls of the said cornflakes which kept me going until lunchtime when I was forced into topping up with one and a half small baguettes filled with cheese and onion.  Today it's been a whim day....I've let my feelings control what I've done.  So I washed the hearts that had been in salt water over night.  I made breadcrumbs, diced an onion and some mushrooms and put them in the frying pan with some butter mixing them all together.  I stuffed the hearts with the mixture, browned them and put them in the slow cooker on high turning them down to low for the afternoon.  

So after a full stomach and lying in the sun with Sue Grafton....I finished K for Killing and I was disappointed with the ending.  It seemed to wrap up very quickly and left a few unanswered questions for me.  I headed into the workshop and sorted out the wood that had been covered up with tools at the end of last year.  It's the wood that's hung around for a couple of years and is old stuff from trees that have come down in the garden and it's a good opportunity to get rid of it.  It's not really cold so I'll leave the oak until it is or for next year...it really does burn intensely.  

Back to the kindle and the new book but I put it down, the eyelids headed southwards until just after four. I relit the fire and now it's time to check the hearts, make some mashed potatoes and serve up my supper.  LN .....I'll let you know the results tomorrow...if I live to tell the tale...LN

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Elsa Peters
February 10, 2016, 6:09pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 10th February

Lazy day....I was still in PJ's when Hacibar knocked on the door and brought me round some of her home made bread and some olives.  I welcomed the bread and refused the olives...not one of my 'likes'.  I'd not bothered to light the fire...the house was warm, the temperature had gone up but the wind was bitter today and blowing a gale out there.  I'm surprised that Hacibar made it over the road in safety so I sent her home with a pack of salted biscuits as a little thank you.  She gave me the weather forecast....rain for the rest of the day and she was right.

I decided it was time to get dressed just in case I had any more visitors but with the weather closing in I didn't think they're would be any others.  I was tempted to head into Kardjali to get some more of the three litres of pure apple juice on offer at Kaufland just under five leva since it's got no added sugar in it.  I opened one last night and it's very tasty.  Cornflakes again for breakfast, I did light the fire and in fact lit the small one in the kitchen as well.  No sun so I needed the comfort.

Lazy afternoon but no sleep and settle in to Kindle, Angry Birds and a couple of other silly games.  Supper was the second heart sliced and warmed up in the gravy and it was even better than last nights...I stewed a couple of apples with dark sugar and served them with fresh cream and feeling quite stuffed.  Countdown and Eggheads and then it's off with the computer and down by the fire.  Restful day....I might make it to Kardjali tomorrow so see if the promotions are still active but no real enthusiasm for it at the moment since the rain is really coming down and that wind is still howling...LN...Back to Eggheads...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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