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Elsa Peters
June 10, 2021, 9:29pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 10th June

Sorry big machine on the go slow so working on the Kindle.  Lots of swimming, very restful day and back to the routine tomorrow and I'll have pictures to post.  Super restaurant tonight...good food and excellent company.  LN......Home James......LN....
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Elsa Peters
June 11, 2021, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 11th June

So I woke up at six before the rest of the apartment. stripped down the bed, did my packing, made my first coffee and was on the balcony when other awakenings occurred.  The morning moved on and we had to exit the apartment by ten and we managed it in plenty of time.  We made our way up the east side of the island and parked up in Thasos for a coffee and loo breaks and it was at that point that the rain started, we were encouraged to move tables so that we didn't get wet and after paying went for a walk round the older part of the town.  Very lovely shops but the car had to be back so that we could catch the ferry so we didn't longer long.  We sat on the bench with the luggage while the car was checked over, we bought the tickets for the ferry as foot passengers and got comfortable for the short journey to the mainland.  The ferry was empty, the island was certainly empty, Covid has been cruel.

We landed at the ferry terminal and again we took up our positions on the bench hoping that the car that we'd left was still where it had been parked and ten minutes later, our chariot arrived.  Car loaded, the clouds were gathering for the journey home but we'd time out break perfectly and you know the feeling that a day in the sun and swimming can bring.  On went the masks, if you don't belong to the same household it's a three hundred euro fine if you're not wearing one so we did.  Along the coast to Komatini and we stopped off at Lidl for a few items for home, another pit stop at an Ikea pick up point to see if they held stock of an item that was needed but they didn't,  It was worth trying, a single day journey to Greece can't be made just now.  Now much of a queue at the border, the Greek officer had to walk over to the other side to get the stamp to confirm that we have exited Greece and the Bulgarian officer asked for our residency cards to confirm that we lived in Bulgaria.  He was a little bit confused,

We parked up in their village, I found my car keys and brought my car nearer to load it up.  I had to come back the diversion route, the direct road hasn't been fixed yet.  It was a steady journey home, I parked up in the drive, noticed that the grass has definitely grown while I've been away but after getting my luggage inside, the heavens opened and it threw it down.  Luggage unpacked and washing machine filled and now washing done and drying in the bathroom.  It felt good getting back, I opened the windows, despite the rain, to freshen up the air.  I'd brought fresh bread from Lidl so made tuna mayo sandwiches and yes...I'm back,

Lots of photos but just posting a few that I probably should have posted if I'd have been able with the right equipment.  Love Thassos and would go back again but maybe I should see more of the coast first.  It's stopped raining and fingers crossed it will stay that was overnight....my grass needs love and attention.  LN... Bath tonight and relax....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 12, 2021, 4:59pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 12th June

It was nice to get back to my own bed last night.  I did have my sleep in the bath before I made it to the bedroom but it didn't stop me.  I woke up at seven, it had stopped raining and the terraces were drying up, I made coffee and walked the garden noticing how much the grass had grown while I'd been away and how the garden had come along.  I found a very wet Rosy who didn't look very happy at all.  She thought it was summer and to be honest, so did I.....it was in Greece but it had stopped over the border.

I made toast for breakfast, I knew there wasn't a snowball's chance of gardening, it had started to rain again.  I managed to catch a photograph of a very pretty bird on the japonica so I snapped it very quickly before it took off again and what appeared to be a very young jay that was cleaning up its feathers on the walnut.  There didn't appear to be any parents about.  I finished unpacking, cleaned out the beach shoes for next time and switched on the computer.  I checked things that needed to be checked, toyed with the idea of going into Kardjali for food shopping but really couldn't face the effort involved.  I'd been very busy for the last few days so today was just mine and I didn't get up to anything worth mentioning.  I started up my ancestry program and did a little research of my own and then got my head down for an hour or so and felt much better for it,

The thunder has started and the sky is very dark which doesn't bode well for gardening tomorrow, it might be another day like today.  I've checked out the long range weather and roll on the weekend, we have this 'funny' weather until then and to be honest I don't find it very funny.  The kitchen calls and the rain falls.  LN.....I'll dream of Greece.....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 13, 2021, 6:34pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 13th June

It had rained hard overnight and there was lots of mist around hiding the mountains.  I took my coffee outside and listened to the morning come to life and the mist starting to lift.  The cuckoo was competing with the hoopoe, the blackbird was singing along with the nightingale and the crickets were supplying the rhythm.  I moved the bedroom chair outside, the bench was far too wet to sit on and came in for a second cup of coffee and got washed and dressed.  With nothing to do, the grass was far too wet to even think about until it had dried off, I took up a horizontal position on the chair using a plastic table as a footstool.  Eventually I was cooked so moved inside, made it down to the kitchen and set about making poached eggs for breakfast and using the bread that I'd brought back from Greece for toast.  I had intended going down to the bread van but hadn't heard him so probably missed him.  I went back upstairs and turned the computer on, carried on with ancestry investigations and at twelve decided to see what I could manage to do outside with the mower.

I found the family outside, Rosy was half way down the garden on the short wall side and Blue was making his way down by the burning pit and on his way to somewhere.  I reckon that at least they could both warm up this morning.  I eventually took up the challenge and fired up the mower, it was very reluctant since it was sitting on a cushion of grass and not enough air was circulating underneath it so I lifted it up and it worked.  I set off, it was pretty hard going and I was having to empty the grass catcher every two runs and it really hadn't dried out at all.  I needn't have worried, as I got down towards the mulberry I noticed a few spots of rain on the top of the mower and I hoped it would blow over but no.....it got heavier and the machine had to go away.  The grass was soaked, I was soaked and no more would get done today.  I went in and realised that the chair was still on the balcony so I moved it inside, wiped down the metalwork and the cushion went in the bath to dry off, the heavens opened and the wind was blowing the trees over and I'll put things away tomorrow. I sorted my wet clothing out and put on a fleece sweater to warm up, the television went on and I settled down to an old film with Barbra Streisand and whiled away the afternoon.  I managed to watch until the end, avoided a couple of games of football, turned on to another channel and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.

The sun eventually showed it's face again at sundown and put a rosy glow on the evening which the camera didn't really catch.  I'll head into Kardjali tomorrow morning for a shopping top up and hopefully the grass will dry off if the weather is good and if it's not, not much I can do about it.  LN....Supper and bed.....LN




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Elsa Peters
June 14, 2021, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 14th June

Another good night's sleep in my own bed and it was around eight when I started my day.  I sat out on the bench with a coffee and despite the odd spots of rain it wasn't cold so not too bad a morning,  I had the feeling that it could go either way, there were clouds gathering but again there was no grass cutting on the cards.  It's been a bit of a come-down after spending three nights away and it feels almost as if it didn't happen.  Next time I shall go for longer, just starting to relax and then it was on to the ferry and home.  I made a cheese omelette for breakfast, yet more coffee, washed up, washed and dressed, wrote my shopping list and at ten thirty I was in the Nipper and ready for the off to Kardjali.

Djebel was heaving as I drove through, it was market day and there are lots of people over from Turkey.  I carried on to Kardjali and again, lots of cars on the road and the traffic island by the water fountain was almost at a standstill.  I changed car-parks and went to Billa to see if they had anything different and only settled for new potatoes and a loaf of fresh bread and I popped these straight into the Nipper.  I went round the hardware shop intending to buy garden net to put round the balcony for when I'm sunbathing out there but could find nothing suitable so will probably make my own...I've lots of material and old curtains and sheeting.  I went to another car park and into my home phone shop to settle my bill and was amazed at the cost.  I'd  obviously gone over the allowance and boy was it expensive but as I told the man when he confronted me with 'you talk too much', I have the money so what's the problem.  He took the money, gave me a receipt and made no further comment.  I love it when that happens.

I finished up at Lidl and found everything that was on my list and didn't deviate, stopped off to fill up with gas so that I could still enjoy cheap motoring.  Back to Djebel and into the car parts shop to catch up with my student's mum and my student was having a break from the garage and said that he was keeping my seat warm for me so I told him to get back to work.  I had a present from his mother of coconut oil that had solidified in the fridge, she uses it to make herb and flower salves and has given me some to experiment with...it's worth a try.  Home for three thirty, unpacked the shopping and put it away, washed two potatoes, speared them with old table knives and put them in the oven with about six chicken wings....I was having an early supper and I did, washing up done and now the evening is all mine.  

It's turned into a beautiful evening, the black cat is sunning herself on the wall at the bottom of the garden , not sure what she's waiting for and if it's food, she's two late...it's all gone.  I really should do something with the cherries from the tree in the garden before the birds have them all...I'd put a sign out but if I put a sign out in Bulgarian, none of my neighbours would understand it...they only speak Turkish.  For me it might be 'pick my own' and 'Deliveroo'.   LN....I think a walk round the garden is called for.....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 15, 2021, 5:03pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 15th June

So it was another six fifteen start and it took ages for me to get off to sleep last night and I don't really know what it was all about.  Maybe too much supper.  I was dressed quite early on, did a load of washing but there was no way it was going out on the line.  I made toast for breakfast, cleared the kitchen and then looking for things to do and since it was cold outside I wasn't too eager to get out there but out there I got.

I tackled the outside using the strimmer but without much success.  One of the cords keeps finding itself inside the casing so I have to reload, which is a pain since you have to hold the cord tightly and thread it through two sets of holes and my fingers aren't as good as they used to be.  After three stops for repairs I used the small electric to cut the grass in the yard and then moved on to the grass between the house and the front wall.  The ground is sodden and it's so heavy to push and I have to keep emptying it every two or three runs.  Rosie was lucky, I spotted her on the grass in the grave garden so went round her with the mower and I have one patch that I must sort out later.  She obviously was cold and conserving her energy and she didn't move for ages.  I've just been out and checked and she's gone somewhere and I hope she stays out of the rain....not much life for a tortoise at the best of times.  I moved the cable round over the front terrace and used the little mower to cut the grass in the grave garden, had another attempt to strim round the beds and gave up.....I've really never liked this machine and might revert to my little strimmer.

I came in at one for water, ice-cream and yogurt and that's kept me going until the rain came down.  I carried on down the garden and got to the kimono dragon in the middle of the big lawn but then the clouds rolled in, the thunder started and the heavens opened.  Fantastic summer.  I settled on the sofa and turned Netflix on and decided to watch 'Scent of a Woman' again and I still enjoyed it and didn't quite tear up as much as the first few times.  I was surprised to see a workman in the garden so went out and he wanted water to clean off the water clock so that he could read it.  My water bills have been high and I think no one bothered and they put down what they thought it should be and with me watching I've used a third of what they've been reporting and it will cost me this time very little.  While he was down there with his torch a very small something was running around, managed to get out then fell back in again and I think it was a shrew, not fat enough for a mouse.  I didn't manage to get the camera out in time....maybe next time.

So film over I went out again and this time without the grass bucket I zipped along until I ran out of petrol just as the rain started again.  Tools away, I've broken the back of it, just the little house grass to do.  Not sure what's for supper tonight, I didn't realise what time it was, my day's been governed by the weather.  LN....Please somebody, send me some sun.....LN
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Elsa Peters
June 16, 2021, 5:20pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 16th June

For some strange reason I was awake at six , wide awake.  It was a dull old day again, not a glimmer from the sun but I opened the door to the balcony and let some fresh air through.  I made coffee, and more coffee and played silly games until seven thirty, got washed and dressed, made toast, washed up and at nine I was looking around for things to do.  It was still too damp to go out and play in the garden so I sent a few emails, wasted time on FB, it started to rain again, eventually stopped so I grabbed the secateurs and a bowl and decided to dead head the roses.  They've been beautiful but the wind and rain over the last week has given them a hard time and they definitely weren't looking their best.  I've tidied them up and taken off the honeysuckle that's swamping the lavender spikes and I'm thinking that honeysuckle is no more than a pretty weed that annihilates everything else.  I was surprised when a car pulled up outside and it was my Greek compatriot bearing gifts from their garden, namely beetroot and borage seeds.  I've never grown borage from seed before but was advised to 'plant them deep', apparently the ants love them.  I'm amazed how many beetroot I've had germinate in my garden, it must have been too wet for the ants to come out and gather in the goodies.

On holiday we mentioned taking families back in time and it's his family that I'd started to poke around in.  It was good today, he remembered some of the names and I've got it bang to rights to eighteen seventy eight and the names have answered some of the questions that he'd not resolved over the years.  We sat under the balcony on the terrace and had coffee, I paid him the outstanding balance on the holiday and we agreed that it was OK as a 'tester' but when you take the travelling time to Thassos, we both felt that you get more out of a day trip to Fanari which is just over the border if you balance the day with a trip to the market.  Unfortunately day trips aren't possible at the moment but the regulations change each day....so fingers crossed.

So off he went and I repotted the jasmine and the lemon that I've grown from a pip and put some more plants in the garden from flowerpots.  I came in for a coffee and somehow found myself in front of the little computer and now that I knew that I was cooking on gas with the ancestry stuff, I started looking at a few more records.  I've realised that there ate two different families but probably related but I've not discovered where yet but I've managed to get back to just before eighteen hundred and I've documentation to proved the relationships.  Of course dates are out by one year here and there but some of them didn't even know when they were born or even how old they were in those days and when I'd decided to call it a day I realised it was almost seven, the day had flown by.

The sun is shining, it's a beautiful evening and I've even unpacked a couple of solar lamps that I bought last year and put them out.  Fingers crossed we have no rain overnight, I really want to finish off the grass before the others start to grow back...perfect weather, hot and damp.  The forecast isn't good but maybe they've got it wrong....but if it rains overnight, I'm off somewhere.  LN...Kitchen calls....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 17, 2021, 3:53pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 17th June

Not a bad morning, the mist was hanging in the valley but at least we had sun.  I knew what my task for today was but I was hoping the sun would come out and dry off the grass to make it easier to mow...wishful thinking on my part,  I washed and dressed for the work in hand but needed fortifying for breakfast so made two poached eggs on toast, I was tempted to go for another slice of toast but I held myself in check.  The diet is going to do nothing if I don't help it along.  

I cleared up from breakfast and then spent the next hour trying to repair the little strimmer.  The top that holds the cord and head in place had come apart and I tried to devise something to hold it all together and managed to do it but the top of it obviously had built in lugs that stopped the cord unravelling and my new addition didn't support lugs.  I'd lost the bit that I was trying to replace i the garden somewhere and try as I might, it wasn't to be found,  Considering the cost of little strimmer, I ask myself why I'm bothering and I was really trying to save off the ten thousand steps I was going to be doing with the mower.  I came in for a drink, the temperature had climbed and it was humid but I decided to take on the challenge and it really did seem daunting.  I'd let it run out of petrol the last time so that I could tip it on its side and clean underneath to remove the clinging grass, filled it up with petrol and I was read to go.  

I finished the main house grass and then started on the bank between the two gardens and found that the mole had been exceptionally busy leaving very soft patches.  I worked my way to the top of the garden and did round the lonesome pine and the cherry tree and all I could hear was the ping, ping of cherry stones as they hit the inside of the grass bucket,  When I got down to the tiles, I'd had enough, the clouds were gathering and I thought I was in for an early day so I moved inside for more water, settled for cream cheese and bread sticks followed by yogurt and the clouds rolled away.  I went out again and I'd got about a third left to do, the fuel ran out so I half filled it after I'd cleaned the mower underneath again.  On the last few laps the thunder started and fortunately the rain was all around but not here.  Tools away, wood store and little house locked up and headed for a shower.  I feel very good, the job is done and tomorrow I can go round titivating with a strimmer if I can get one to work for longer than five minutes before the cable shoots inside the housing.  Showered, hair washed, combed through and braided and I'll leave it to nature to get it dry.

I've just been out to take the pickies and guess what....there were a few spots of rain but at least it's gone over now.  Shrub trimming tomorrow, the forsythias have gone mad with this hot wet weather and need a good haircut, the japonica I did yesterday to give the lilies a chance and the mock orange has more or less finished flowering.  The roses want dead heading around the rest of the garden, I did the front wall yesterday  The joys of a hot, wet, balmy climate...name me one.  LN.....Almost seven my time and I'm going to try and stay awake until bedtime.   LN.....Fat chance......LN



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Elsa Peters
June 18, 2021, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 18th June

So I didn't manage to stay awake until bedtime, I fell asleep in front of the computer, woke up and went to bed at twelve, woke up again and one and played silly games until three and finally settling off.  I woke at seven, it was a reasonable morning so I took my coffee out to the balcony and took in the morning listening to the birds.  The sun got hotter so I settled for another day in the garden, not galivanting around searching for a new strimmer, washed and dressed for the garden, made toast and took it outside to sit in the sun.  I cleared the kitchen and found out my battery strimmer, did some minor repairs on it and managed to strim round the beds.  Please note, despite my experience, I have no intentions of becoming a strimmer engineer.  

As I walked the garden I saw Rosy and Blue Boy both under the mulberry and I realised that they were both searching out the mulberry fruit that had fallen.  I collected up some of the m and put it down in front of them and watched them devour the heaps.  I don't like them, I think they look like grubs but I was fascinated how quickly they got through them.  I noticed Rosy later in the day sleeping them off a little further down the short wall, I haven't seen Blue since.  I planted up the base of the umbrella with self-set petunias and snapdragons, the sewing kit came out and I made repairs to the said umbrella until it started to rain again, spray painted an old bucket and tomorrow that will get planted up.  

It's been a gentle day and I've got a few jobs done.....and after yesterday's epic grass session, I needed it.  I came in and boiled beetroot that came as a gift and went out and weeded mine that are nowhere near ready.  Kitchen calls, I need to get creative....with a can of tuna.    LN......Maybe Kardjali tomorrow.....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 19, 2021, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 19th June

Six start again this morning, coffee and I sat inside, the balcony was wet from last night's rain.  It was pretty murky on the hillsides and mist hanging around but there was a glimmer of the sun through the mist that made it look like the sky was on fire.  It didn't stop there, at one point it looked like the mountain was blowing smoke rings until the pink spread out to the rest of the clouds.  I dressed for the garden or rather the terraces, I was potting up more self sets today, heard the bread-van so made my way down to the lower village and meeting up with the rest of the ladies.  As I passed Haciber's house I noticed that her daughter was over from Turkey and I mentioned this to her when I saw her sitting on the bench.  She didn't look too pleased about it, no spring in her step this morning and my only conversation with Beyer was when she asked me if I was going to Kardjali and the hospital.  I mentioned that I might be going on Monday but it's not the day to go, the world and all its friends earmark Mondays for the Polyclinic.  She dropped the conversation fortunately, she has family that could take her and this year no one is working away so should be available for taxi duties.  I bought my loaf of bread, offered my goodbyes to the rest of the crew and walked back with Haciber,  

I threw the old bread out to the animals and made toast and jam for breakfast and sat at the table in the stairwell eating it, I was unsure what to do today, the sun broke through and we were doing OK so I went out and pottered with more self sets, the bay tree is in a bigger pot and the sun daises have changed position and the potting compost is no more.  I toyed with going to Haskovo for more potting compost but let that thought go and instead decided to to to Kardjali so got changed and was in the car by one thirty.  I'd remembered that my student's mum wanted lavender flowers for her salves so picked some, dropping it off at the shop as I drove through.

First stop was at Basmar, a hardware shop to check out their strimmers.  Mooching around I found a blade strimmer head and ten blades for just over four lev and asked if they had a machine to go with them.  They're so easy to use and easy to fit a new blade to when it takes to the air, they had one but not the battery to go with it.  Altogether it was going to be expensive so I settled for a small strimmer for thirty lev but took the risk of buying a pack of blades and the head to see if it would fit on the Lidl machine, it was worth the risk at the price.  I paid for the items and carried on to Kaufland, picked up a few items including a  baby comforter that I'd suggested to my student's sister for the new baby.  She has trouble settling her off at nights so it was worth a try...the mother wears it for a few days, it picks up the mother's smell and then you put it in the cot with the baby and it seems that mother might be there.  Works for some.  

I stopped off at my student's mum's house, my student was working and explained the theory when I handed over the gift.  She'd not heard of it before but thought it was well worth the try.  I had coffee with them on the terrace, left around five, remembered that I'd bought two packs of cherries at reduced price so opened the boot and gave her one.  She wanted to pay me and I sent her packing...they were gifts.  

Unpacked the shopping and the strimmer stuff, settled down to watch the tennis and we at last have an Englishman in tomorrow's final.  I opened up the little house and moved into the workshop with the strimmer, sprayed the screw holding on the head to remove the rust from it, unscrewed it and ...Cinderella it fits.  I'm going back to buy up the rest of the stock, cheaper than ordering them from the internet, metal head and ten blades for two pounds, couldn't make it up.  Not sure about supper, I ate a packed of jelly sweets while I was watching the tennis so not really wanting anything yet, and might not until tomorrow morning.  LN.....A successful day.....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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