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Elsa Peters
May 12, 2021, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 12th May

Well you may ask what happened to last night's post!!  I wrote it, thought I'd posted it and was surprised when my guest phoned me at nine UK time to check that I was still breathing.  I assured him I was and that I wasn't a recorded message and I can only apologise.  As I said I wrote it, but must have pressed cancel instead or just closed down the page.....note to self....pay more attention.

I settled for beans on toast last night for supper, not very inspirational but filled a gap.  Somehow the evening got away from me, everything was late and by eleven I was heading to bed and it wasn't long before I was in to the land of nod.  I woke early, just before six, coffee, back to bed, took a couple of pictures of the pre-dawn sky and didn't bother with the sunrise....I had a difficult Sudoku on the go but in the end managed to solve it.  Washed and dressed by nine thirty and munching buttered toast and thinking about how my day would pan out.....and nothing went to plan.  First job was to plug in the hoover, the carpet from the porch was taken up and ended up on the terrace.  I found the well hidden mop and bucket, cleaned the floor and then hung the carpet on the washing line and scrubbed it, hosed it down and it's still on the line now.  I'm just hoping it doesn't rain overnight, fingers crossed, I should be OK.  Haciber arrived with the first of the days yeasty pancakes, two from her and two from Beyser and two of them served as lunch.   The mosque was really going for it today....and I was surprised that no children came round for their sweets.  I'd not got any in specially but I need help with the chocolates....I'd rather someone else has them.

The vegetable patch is dug over and the remains of the potting compost  from the wood store has been spread over it.....it was only good as a starter compost but should help the seeds get started.  Beetroot is in and I've got to look through the seeds that I have as to what else goes in.  Zelinger was my next visitor with more pancakes and she brought round a pot of pine tip syrup which is delicious.  Apparently her son made it for her on Saturday and she wanted to share a jar with me.  I pointed to my lonesome pine and said I could make my own if I could only shin up there to get the tips....it would be quite a climb and we had a chuckle.  I did have one young lady demanding sweets and I asked where the others were and she didn't know.  I put a handful of mint chocolates and some mint ones into her bag and she went away a happy bunny. She's a real sweetie and I remember she sat on my lap as a little one when she was coming from nursery and promptly fell asleep.

I strimmed the borders of the beds and decided not to stop there, I got the petrol mower out and did the grass from the terrace down to the mulberry.  I'd had enough, tools away, little house and woodstore locked up, two glasses of water later and another pancake and that's me done for the night.  I thought it was later.  Boiler on for a bath tonight...I need a soak.  LN......Now I need to post......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 13, 2021, 5:04pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 13th May

Surprise visitors late last night.....Guljan and her husband have returned from Germany for the holiday and came with chocolates and to update me.  They'd driven over, have had their first jabs and were extolling the virtues of life in Germany and covid.  Despite a slow start with regard to the vaccinations, apparently self testing has now become the norm, work hasn't stopped and they have to test every day.  They've come over also to buy an apartment in Kardjali and they're signing the documents next week and I've offered my help should they need it.  Her name for me is 'Madame Bricolage' and she's seen me through most of the building work here and would like me to get involved at some point.  We'll wait and see.

It was a dull old start to the day and I ended up swapping my thin blouse for a fleece sweater.  As it got warmer I thought I'd made the wrong decision but that wind coming off the hills had a nip in it so I managed OK.  I'd woke up early again despite having fallen asleep in the bath, drying off and crawling into bed at one so all in all I got my seven hours in.  Unfortunately I didn't have it recorded on the Fitbit, I'd put it on to charge.  I had my first coffee in bed and took my second one on to the terrace and my painter came in to the garden, he was off to the mosque, it's the first day of the holidays.  So because of my six o'clock early start I'd taken the table clothes from the small table in the lounge and the one from the kitchen and put them in to wash, polished the little table with brown shoe polish and breakfasted on toast and my home made peach jam.  

The rest of the day was spent gardening.  Pottering for the first half and really going for it in the second half and didn't come in until six thirty.  I cleared out some of the pots and the trugs and planted them up with petunias that I found that had seeded on one of the other pots.  The tobacco is still wanting love and attention but I need to clear more garden first so that was what I was doing down by the walnut at the bottom of the garden.  I tried to use the little battery strimmer but the clover kept getting stuck round the spinner and I spent more time untangling it that using it so I ended up with the long handled cutters.  Out came the hammer and nails, I've renewed a couple of the border edges and will engine oil them tomorrow.  Blue Boy has spent the afternoon in the garden between the house and the front wall and was last seen going into the garage underneath the Beast.  I had a little surprise when I removed one of the rotten garden edging, Sandy the new little tortoise was underneath so I covered her up again and last heard heading down the garden.

Tools away at six, I've had a very successful day in the garden and I can see where I've been working.  I think it might be a day of topiary tomorrow, I have to trim back the bushes and reinstate the spherical bushes.  Supper is in the oven and I'm waiting for it to finish off and it's pork spare ribs.  I'm fresh out of mayo which is some ways is not a bad thing thinking of the fat content.  LN....A trip to Djebel is on the cards for tomorrow morning......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 14, 2021, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 14th May

Early night, early start, coffee, back to bed, washed dressed, buttered toast for breakfast, cleaned the fridge out and washed everything in sight.  It was still only eight thirty.  Rosie was out and about when I walked the garden and this time she didn't pull her head back into the shell when I said my good mornings.  She might even be recognising my voice.

I was trying to delay the garden performance so put Netflix on with the intention of monitoring my intake but as I got to the second I heard a car pull up outside but strangely enough I didn't hear the metal latch falling and was surprised when the vision appeared in the porch so I switched off the tele, switch on the kettle and we were having coffee on the terrace in quicksticks.  I had my update on the border crossings and a test run is happening next week and we have a date set for next Saturday if all goes well so fingers crossed that the weather stays OK.  It's planned to go to the market, find a beach and have a late lunch....it seems so long since we went over to Greece.  We walked the garden, Blue Boy was spotted near the gate again but twenty minutes later he was legging it across from the mulberry to the high wall garden and my visitor couldn't believe that the tortoise had made it from the front gate to its position so quickly,

Off he went with a bucket with a couple of cuttings and tulips and a Buddleia cutting that will either fade or become magnificent...it has two choices.  I made it outside and used the electric mower without the grass box and cleared the land on the outside of the wall and the channel that takes away water after snow or rain.  I continued on the passage between the wall and house and cleared the grave garden.  By this time the clouds had rolled over and the thunder was rumbling so I reckoned that was enough.  I unplugged the machine, collected up the cable and headed towards the wood store and realised that I hadn't done the yard, so I set in and completed it and finally tools away.  I finished off by topiary work on the bush at the bottom of the garden and two on the side garden and then the thunder really kicked off so I came in.

I washed and changed, I had a message from my student's mum at the shop asking if everything was OK, I hadn't seen her for two weeks or so.  I didn't bother replying, I presented myself at the shop to prove that I was still in one piece.  She told me that Pilates was starting again and I said I wouldn't be joining this year, I asked her about the local restaurant and she confirmed that they did take-away pizza.....so I left the shop, went to the restaurant, ordered a pizza and brought it home.  It was good to have a change, I was welcomed by the owner, things might even get back to normal.  

The clouds have rolled away but the temperature has dropped.  Just a few more days and I should manage to get the rest of the garden into shape.....it just seems to have taken longer this year.  LN......I did enjoy my pizza......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2021, 5:06pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 15th May

So again it was early to bed and early to rise......five thirty this morning and full of beans so made a coffee and again took to my bed with the Kindle.  A few games, emails sorted, FB checked out, washed and dressed and bacon and one of the blue eggs that I'd been given yesterday with fried bread.  Really set me up for the day.  I washed up and tidied the kitchen, nothing else to do inside to I went out to think about what I had to do today.  I took my second coffee outside with me, sat on the bench and cogitated.  Absolutely nothing wrong with cogitating, listening to the birds and watching them being very industrious while I was doing nothing involving activity apart from brain work.

Tools out, the electric lawnmower was going to have to work it's magic today and it has.  I started near the workshop terrace and got half way down the grass to the little house, moved over to the main house grass and pocked up where I'd left off the other day.   That was pretty slow going down to the log in the centre of the grass so I moved back to the other side and finished down to the bonfire pit.  I came up to the house for water and five minutes on the bench which stretched into fifteen and I had to change my footwear.  I'd put my purple wellies on this morning hoping that not too much grass would go inside them but instead, I'd forgotten to put socks on with them so ended up with a 'rubbed patch ' from the wellies.....and they were still full of grass.  Brushed down and went into the house for a pair of socks and changed to my work boots.  Back to it and this time I brought the petrol mower with the grass box on it, there was quite a lot of dried grass on this last bit.  It was slow going but finish it I did and managed to get down to the bottom of the garden.  I've broken the back of it and tomorrow I can do some hand weeding and do a final strim against the wall.  

Rosie was out and about today and I watched her eating the small yellow flowers and using her front leg to hold down the stalk while she nibbled it.  She soon moved over when I struck up the mower again though and headed under the new lawn edging for safety.  I'd spotted Blue Boy earlier by his blue spot on his back in the weeds by the end wall and the second time he was by the tile stack...gets about does our Blue.  

I managed to get my work boots off eventually and they seemed to have more grass inside than the others.  I'd managed to get the tools away as the clouds rolled over just before the rain started so I move inside, made a coffee and made my way to the bathroom....I knew where I would be spending the next couple of hours.  I put the boiler on but there was enough water for starters, I'd taken the Kindle with me to play Sudoku but that didn't last for long.  I closed it up, put it on the side stand, topped up the bath with really hot water and closed my eyes and you can guess the rest.  Half an hour later I felt refreshed, washed my hair and conditioned, dried off and emptied the bath and I swear I brought a lot of the garden in with me.  I rinsed the bath, dried my hair and am now contemplating supper.

The clouds have rolled away again and it's turned into a pleasant night.  It's been a hard day but I was determined to finish the mowing today and I have.  Unfortunately that rain has probably given the grass the kiss of life.  LN.....I've a load of grass stained washing to get going.....LN



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Elsa Peters
May 16, 2021, 4:00pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 16th May

Early to bed and not so early to rise....seven this morning...and all was well with me.  Coffee and back to bed with the Kindle, the sun was up already and it promised to be a good day despite the warning that it would be 'light showers'  We did have one light shower around two this afternoon but the one that arrived at five thirty had me tidying away the tools fairly rapidly and getting indoors.

Another blue egg for breakfast with bacon and it did me through until my afternoon binge on chocolate.  Gouljan had given me some chocolate eggs with German packaging and I think they were liquor chocolates.  I managed to stop myself after four of them and am saving the rest for later.  On my way out to the garden, I opened up the container of sunflower seeds and saw that most of them had germinated and since they'd made the effort, so should I.  I have four pots of them that will be going to neighbours, one of the sections of the veg garden is planted up and there are two or three patches in various gardens.  Tools at the ready I headed down to the bonfire garden but firstly had a bonfire to get rid of the household rubbish.  Unfortunately my neighbours from the next garden were mending the fence and I only hope I didn't smoke them out.

I've put this garden off, the clover has really taken hold, the shrubs that are there have been hidden and I knew it was going to be hard work,  I started at the side edge and worked my way along the front and up the other side and eventually making my way into the middle.  I found two shrubs that I'd forgotten about, cleared the bed round them and now they have a fighting chance.  It's going to take another day to finish it ....but it won't be tomorrow, I'm off to Kardjali.  

The rain came on very quickly and lasted for about half an hour, has given everything a good soaking and it all looks very fresh.  The sun eventually broke through and I was searching for a rainbow and I wasn't disappointed, it was a double.  Chicken leg is in the oven for supper along with Hassleback potatoes and tonight I'm feeling very hungry...it should be ready in around half an hour.  Another good day in the garden and I'll be pleased when I reach the tittivating stage.  LN....Kitchen calls......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2021, 4:29pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 17th May

Another early to bed and early to rise and it was six when I woke up and made my first coffee.  Eventually I went on the rampage and found enough washing to put in the machine and was pegging it out about eight thirty.  I had no bread to make breakfast, we have no bread van on a Monday and to be sure the cupboard was bare so today was the day to do something about it.  I'd had a letter from my Bulgarian bank requiring more information to meet International banking regulations so I printed off the letter to make sure that the bank understood what my visit was all about.  I phoned the post office to see if any mail had arrived from the UK but they still appear to be on the go slow...the Post Office wants reporting to the EU.....but it might be driving the agenda.  Pegging out I spotted Rosy sunbathing in the little garden by the short wall and blue was on the grass just beyond the tile stack.  Neither was moving, yesterday's rain brought a coldness to the air and they needed to warm up.

In the Nipper by nine thirty and put a sweater on.  I took my passport with me, just in case, and parked up in my usual paid car park in the centre of Kardjali.  The road in is lethal.  It has been dug up 'willynilly' as they say and you move from hardcore down to tarmac with no one really organising anything in between.  There are so many diggers, a tarmac laying machine and on the way back I saw a man with a cutting machine about to carve up the road so that they can put the gas pipes in.  Not able to organise on in a brewery comes to mind.

So I went to the bank, saw the one in charge, explained why I was there and mentioned the make of my washing machine for money laundering and she said that she did the same.  A form was printed, I signed it, got out of there without being arrested and made my way to the cheapy clothes shop more or less on the same street.  I picked up a couple of cotton blouses for just over one lev and they're now washed and ready for action.  I paid my home phone bill, went to Kaufland and Lidl and made my way home.  Shopping away, washing in from the line, made a coffee and felt exhausted...I've had some very busy days in the garden.  Supper is going to be a four cheese pizza purchased from Lidl and fingers crossed I won't cremate it.  Back to gardening tomorrow....I'll have to make sure where the family is before I start strimming.  LN....Supper and bedtime....LN
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Elsa Peters
May 18, 2021, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 18th May

It was a bit of a restless night and a repetitive dream that I couldn't quite get out of until I decided that my morning had begun.  I made coffee and sat at the table in the stairwell and wondered what sort of weather we were going to have.  As it happened we had all of it in no particular order and that again was repetitive...sun, ran, thunder, cold wind and then it started again.  Poor Rosie hasn't moved far all day and was obviously not happy with the sixteen degrees that were experiencing and Blue was hidden in the greenery at the bottom of the garden.  I made it down to the bottom of the garden, planted the lavender that had sat in a bowl of water to liven it up, weeded the weigela  and with a hearty crash of thunder, I was soon inside.  Breakfast this morning was a pot of yogurt and I've made a pledge to cut back on coffee...it's no good taken a blood pressure tablet with two pints of caffeine....sort of defeats the object of taking the tablet.

As for the rest of the day it's been a 'bitsa' day.  I had a morning of bank telephone calls chasing post and reorganising a few things and getting more money to boost my balances here.  That seemed to take for ever and a few other phone calls to and from the UK took up most of the morning and it was soon one o'clock.  I had a few conversations on messenger and some of them even in Bulgarian written in normal text....don't have a Cyrillic keyboard.  I put Netflix on this afternoon and watched Anna Karenina, a film I hadn't seen before.....and can't say that I enjoyed it but I should really read the book....and then I can make a judgement.

I made an early supper of tuna mayo with onions, boiled potato and beetroot  and sat eating it at the end of the film.  Maybe some of the confusion of the plot was due to time spent in the kitchen.  It's turned into a pleasant evening but I was so cold this afternoon that I got a small fire going and it's just taken the chill out of the air.  Not  really necessary but comforting.  The weather tomorrow is supposed to be twenty three and pleasant with no mention of rain so it looks like I'm in for a day of gardening....keeps me fit and last week I did over fifty kilometres....amazing really.  LN.....Now back to the fire....LN



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Elsa Peters
May 19, 2021, 5:13pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 19th May

Bit of a dull start to the day and it took ages for the morning mist and clouds to clear.  I walked the garden to find the family, Rosie hadn't moved and was sunning herself in a sheltered place and Blue Boy was in a grassy dell doing the same thing. I wasn't in the mood for gardening, just checking what was happening out there and noticed that the one red hot poker had put up two flower spikes and the second one in the other bed has put up one..  The shrubs are all putting on lots of new growth especially with the rain we've just had and the grass is growing again which is not good news.  I checked out the little house terrace and was amazed to see that the aloe vera has put up a flower spike and that's never happened before.  The sunflowers that I planted up from the kitchen roll have all popped up their little heads and thrown off the outer seed casings and all look very healthy....who'd have thought it.  As for things that need finding proper homes I have tobacco, lupins and one tray of unknowns ...that's for tomorrow if it warms up or at least if the wind drops.  There was an interesting episode this morning when a pair of cuckoos were getting really angry with each other and at one time a smaller bird was having a sky fight with one of them.  The little one knew no fear.

As for the rest of the day, I got my head down this afternoon, I just didn't feel up to getting stuck into anything.  I put on Netflix at around two and got sucked in to my silly series for a couple of hours which covered my resting time very well.  I've been off coffee today and I'm wondering if I've got withdrawal symptoms going on.  I've stuck to hot water and lemon this morning and ordinary water for the rest of the day.  I cooked a spicy sausage for supper with an onion and had it with bread and finished off with peach yogurt.  I should manage until morning.  

Bit of a setback with visiting Greece.  Apparently the translation from Bulgarian to English doesn't meet border requirements.  The names are spelt differently on the Covid document and the British passports so are not permissible.  We have another hurdle to cross and so on Friday we are off to the office in Kardjali to try to resolve it but it seems to go much deeper so I'm not sure if we shall get anything changed.  It will take higher input I think.  LN.......And now to switch off for the night.,,,,,LN



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Elsa Peters
May 20, 2021, 3:58pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 20th May

Another funny night....the temperature overnight was up and I seemed to spend the night taking off the quilt, then putting it back on again so not a very restful sleep.  I woke up early and had a drink of water, didn't check the time but it was just getting light outside so I went back to sleep and the second revival was at seven so not so bad.  I boiled the kettle and had hot water with a couple of slices of lemon....another morning without coffee but so far haven't felt the benefit....I've had a headache all day.  I don't take tablets unless prescribed so I suffered in silence...well there was no one to listen to me.  

Beautiful start to the day but it disintegrated after that and we ended up with a few light showers.  I settled for a ham sandwich for breakfast and watched morning television while I was eating it.  I tidied the kitchen and walked the garden and managed to find Blue Boy and Rosie, Rosie eventually hid herself in the shrubs along the short wall but as for Blue, took him ages to get revved up.  I made a start on the tobacco that needs planting in but there are just so many of them.  I've liberally spread them over four gardens and some in the trugs on the terrace but I still have lots left and then I ran out of steam.  I settled for an hour of television, looked at the lawn in front of the big house terrace and out came the petrol lawn mower and I managed to finish it just as the rain came over.  Rain having stopped play I settled for peach yogurt with more Netflix this time, almost fell asleep but didn't.

My only pickies today are of a very small bird that was pecking at something in the yard.  Unfortunately the door of the porch was open but the flyscreen was closed so the photos look like they've been taken through a food strainer...sorry...I knew if I crept within direct view it would fly away and as I did....it flew away....never to return today at least.  I've checked my bird book and can't identify it so far so I'll have to check the internet.

Kardjali tomorrow to try to sort out the wrongly translated name.  It will probably entail completing several forms in Bulgarian which will incur more costs.  LN.....Now to think about supper.....LN




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Elsa Peters
May 21, 2021, 6:36pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 21st May

So another early night and another day without coffee.  I woke up and settled for hot water with a couple of squeezes of lemon and I doubled up on my tablets.  It had started to rain last night and was starting to dry up on the terraces but it was only fourteen degrees outside...almost a case of winter draws on again.  I walked the garden pretty early on and Rosy and Blue Boy hadn't appeared to have moved at all and were stretched out catching what there was of the morning sun....and there wasn't much to catch.  I came in and made toast for breakfast, wasn't much to wash up and there'll be nothing for tomorrow, I ate out but will let you know later.

I had nothing to be ready for until one thirty and I was being picket up from the house so didn't have a lot to think about.  At ten I went in the bath and lingered for about an hour having thirty minutes nap in the middle of it.....as per normal.  I hadn't bothered to wash my hair but when I was combing it out ready to do something with it, I decided to wash the front of it in the hand basin, dried it and it passed muster for me.  I put a long sweater on and boots with my jeans, I wasn't going to freeze for anyone and I even put a rain coat on that was put to good use when we arrived in Kardjali.  So I was picked up at one thirty and we headed to Kardjali and the hospital.  Today's task was to get the name changed on the Covid vaccination confirmation document where the mistake had been made on the name translation from the Bulgarian.  So we climbed to the third floor, found our favourite doctor and explained why we were there.  He scratched his head, did a look-up on the computer and joy of joy, the names had been changed and the documents amended and so our doctor printed them off for us.  Lovely man and the more he relaxed with us he was not so embarrassed to try out some words of English.  We now have the necessary document to go over the border to Greece....result.

Next was to deliver paintings for an exhibition that starts on Monday and to catch up with acquaintances.  Over to the restaurant for coffee and it was there that the heavens opened and it was stair-rods coming down and fortunately we were outside but under cover.  We walked back to the car and moved to the next location, we'd been invited to an exhibition of Greek icons and was surprised that there were people waiting outside to go into the Art Museum.  As well as icons there was also a bronze of an owl that I fell in love with and could have sneaked out if I was that was inclined and there was also a sculpture of mother and child and the sculptor was present.  His comment was that it was an old piece done thirty years ago.....I'd like to see some of his other stuff.

Back to the car and I suggested that we stopped off in Djebel for pizza or whatever and the idea grew momentum and so we did. We sat out in the garden, it was 'fresh' and the only downside was a black cat that wouldn't take no for an answer....real pest.  Home for eight thirty and feel so relaxed after a lovely day with friends.  LN....Apparently the sun returns next week...thank goodness.....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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