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Elsa Peters
September 11, 2021, 5:22pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 11th September

I managed to stay awake last night so slept through until seven without interruptions....result and realised when I woke up that I'd not shut the balcony door, it had blown to and I hadn't realised it was ajar.  I made coffee and took it back to bed for an hour of emails and games, washed and dressed, toast for breakfast and was out tortoise spotting by eight fifteen.  By this time the sun was warming up so I sat on the bench and did a review of my life out here and it's not so bad.  The garden is looking OK, I was feeling OK, the bank balance is OK so what's there to grumble about and no one to hear me if I did except the tortoise and they only squeak when rear ended by another one.

I had a bonfire making sure that the lid was on and somehow was tackling about three jobs at once and moving from one to the next very fluidly.  I set about tidying the little house, found a carpet that normally sits under the one that's down now in the winter lounge so put it down ready for the winter.  I moved the chair that was sitting by the toilet door next to the table in the stairwell, put the sturdy table where the chair was and that takes the fire lighters...so getting prepared.  The mat went down for the log basket to sit on and I filled it up so I can strike up whenever I want to....all is prepared except for the chimney that potentially needs sweeping or a metal ball dropping down it which is what they do here.  I went back into the little house and swept the dust and debris off the floor, removed the old dried lavender and that's for burning, I'll be bringing in the new lot to be dried in the next day or two.  I've thrown the seeds on the old veg patch and we'll see if any germinate in the spring.  Avatar came over to bring me a plant pot that I'd let her have when I gave her a lavender that I'd bought and i showed her the bags of coal that I'd got and suggested that she takes them out of my way.  I loaded one up in the log carrier and trundled it across the road, she insisted on bringing her wheelbarrow over so I loaded the second one into the carrier and we put the other two in the wheelbarrow and we off loaded them in her wood store.  We had the usual argument about money and I said that I wanted fresh yogurt for the next two years to cover it and we shook on it.

By this time I was peckish so I had potato salad and tuna and watched a few episodes of my Netflix programme.  I was good, I only binged on two, switched it off and decided to stack the rest of the uncut wood in the garage and split what I could using the head of the old axe, the lump hammer and my big lump hammer.  I was at it for about an hour, quite a bit achieved, the rest is stacked, the garage is swept and the yard cleared of leaves.  I've just been over to see Avatar to ask her where she bought the wheelbarrow, my two have been worn out and are only suitable for growing flowers in so I need a new one.  She's had hers twenty years so she took me to Haciber's woodstore and showed me the one that she's just got but I'll do my research in Kardjali and see what they have to offer.  Back home at seven thirty and now to find something to eat....not that I'm too hungry at the moment despite my active day.   LN......Nibbles, bath and bed......LN



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Elsa Peters
September 12, 2021, 8:49pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 12th September

Silly night again.  I was awake at three, playing silly games until five and back off to sleep until eight so caught up on a few zzz's.  Coffee on the balcony, walked the garden when I thought I saw one of the tortoise at the bottom of the garden and it was a branch hanging down from the Medlar tree....should have gone to Specsavers.  I didn't bother getting dressed, I was out for a barbecue later so made cheese on toast for breakfast, more coffee and settled in to ancestry to fill in a few gaps on the chart that I've been doing for a friend and writing up another rough draft,    I was surprised where the day had gone, it was two this afternoon when my friends daughter arrived asking me why I hadn't gone to the 'mevlit' and I said I didn't know anything about it and no other neighbours had gone either.  I had my statutory portion of rice and meat, a soft drink and  a couple of small chocolate bars and off she went to deliver to the other ladies of the village.  It's a shame I missed it, I really like the hour of meditation and to catch up with the other ladies from the village,,,but it wasn't to be.

I had my shower and washed my hair and left at three thirty for a village around fifteen kilometres away taking the back lane to the Makaza Highway.  The idiots were all out so I kept my speed down and was warned by the other drivers that there was a police radar trap ahead but I was within the limits so it was mainly for the others.  I arrived on time, we sat chatting for a n hour or so, steak, sausages, chippies and salad followed by chocolate biscuits....all good food, good conversation and good company.  I left around ten thirty and was making for the back lane but missed the turning so did a quick turn around at the next junction and retraced my tyre prints and found the turning onto the back lane.  It's scarier at night and the uneven surface looks even more uneven by headlights and eventually I made it onto my road.  Brought the Nipper into the drive, car unpacked and I came back with beetroot and that is in the conservatory until tomorrow when it will get processed.

It was nice to be out and about, sorry for the late posting but I shall just make it before the bewitching hour,  LN.....And so to bed.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 13, 2021, 6:39pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 13th September

Lovely morning to wake up to except that the water was off this morning so I'm assuming it was off yesterday and I never noticed last night.  It put paid to my getting the washing underway and so it will stay for another day or two...according to when they get their finger out and get the supply re-established.  I've got two bottles of bought water though so cooking and coffee making is not an issue and even got five bottles of the spring water from the next village so all's good here.  It's amazing how many times you still turn on the tap and then the realisation hits you but it's good exercise upending an eleven litre bottle to tip into the loo.  I was startled this morning by my Avatar when I went out to put something in the Nipper.  At first I couldn't see where she was but she was over the road hiding behind a wild rose bush collecting the hips before the cows came and finished them off and it wasn't too long before they appeared bellowing to let us know that we were on their territory.  I went back inside my gate...cow are pretty big.

I started sorting out a few untidy areas and thought I'd give the hoover a trip round.  I was having a visitor this afternoon and made sure that he would wipe his feet before coming in not as he was leaving.  It wasn't so bad but guests keep you on your toes.  Did a trip down the garden fairly early on.  I spotted one of the tortoise so took a tomato down to give it a change of diet and it was Green Goddess who is rarely seen and then I went to check on Rosy but the lazy shell was still in her hollow so I tempted her with tomato and she sort of raised her head and I left the rest of the tomato on the grass just behind her.  Walking back I spotted yet another one so I legged it back to Rosy's abode and took one of the lumps of tomato and have it to Cracked Shell who walked straight over it and was obviously fed and watered.  The joys of living in the country.

I was soon back at it and finished the work by eleven.  I should really do it more often and even the hoover got emptied.  I sat in the stairwell at the table checking on a few dates on ancestry desperately trying to track down my Canadian relatives but still no joy.  Bored with that I put Netflix on and carried on with my series and took to the breadsticks and cheese for a late breakfast or early afternoon snack and then went back to ancestry when I was bored with Netflix.  I think it's like that when you're waiting for guests to arrive, it's filling in time and not really starting anything seriously.  The arrived, coffee on the terrace, quick guided tour of the residence and little house and after a catch-up off they went.  I decided that the weigela that I'd cut the other day and left in water needed to be planted as cuttings and now I have twelve that hopefully will take root.  The forsythia that I put in the other day which I rooted in water seem to be doing OK putting on new growth already.

More TV this afternoon and I must admit I shall have to rewatch the last episode and maybe more of my series...the eyelids went south for about an hour or so.  More gardening tomorrow, I've started sorting out the pots that even loads of water will not resuscitate....and I might even be tempted to go to Haskovo to pick up some compost.   I'll see how I feel in the morning.  And now to thing about supper but looking at the time, nine thirty this end, it won't be very exotic.  LN.....The house really does look better.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 14, 2021, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 14th September

So another of those silly nights.  Monday night is my night for Just Connect and University Challenge and then I'm not sure what was on after that but I woke up at two fifteen, made my way upstairs and not an ounce of sleep in me so played silly games until five and eventually managed to get off until eight.  The water was still off This morning so I was filling the kettle from downstairs but eventually made coffee and sat out on the terrace watching the birds mainly coming down to feed. There were about seven pied fly catchers that didn't bother taking to the air but fed from the grass, a pair of wood pigeons settled in the lonesome pine, came down to feed but as I got up to fetch the cameral they took off and haven't been seen since.  It was almost ten when I made my way downstairs, lowered the drawbridge and walked the garden.  Every thing was so crunchy underfoot, it's so dry and I was forced to take drastic measures with one or two of the plants. One of the shrubs in the veg patch now has a bottle that goes down to its roots so that should be a little happier.  The yucca that has sat on the terrace is now in the grave garden, compost under its roots and well watered in.  The forsythia are showing signs of growth so they had a good dousing from the roof water store but I must have gone to the outside tap a few times and kicked myself every time that I did....habit is very good when the situation is normal...it's a buggar when things change.

I came in at one thirty, washed my hands in paid for water and made another coffee for myself.  I also stuck two slices of bread in the toaster, I'd now worked up an appetite, took it in the lounge, put the TV on for my series on Netflix and then spent the next half hour bobbing backwards and forwards to the kitchen for more to nibble at.  The rest of the cream cheese went with breadsticks, a chocolate mousse and a choc-ice and I was still looking round for more.  I watched about three episodes and then made my way outside again and watered the rest of the pots that were looking crispy, the sunflowers have gone, I've collected more seeds from the yellow and red little daisies that I'll start off when I get the compost and the  Echinacea plants that were gifted yesterday were watered but it's too early to put them in my soil and I don't want them to whither and die.

The water came on around four thirty so I ran a rinse cycle in the washing machine and then managed two loads after each other.  I pegged the first one out and then walked over to my Avatar's garden where three other ladies of the village were taking the evening shade.  I have one willing participant who I speak English to and she repeats it and so with Bulgarian, Turkish and English lessons going on at the same time, we managed to pass an hour or so until one of the other ladies from the lower end of the village was seen walking in out direction and the party immediately broke up.  Avatar decided to come back with me telling the others that she had some work to help me with and we, along with the cows, legged it back to mine.  You get a different view of the next village from my garden and Avatar was amazed how much building work has taken place and how much more is in progress.  I saw her back to the road and off she went to collect more rosehips for making tea.

When I went in the house the water was off but while I've been writing this it's come back on again but there's not much pressure.  Not sure what's wrong but they might call it a 'service improvement' but we'll wait and see.  I'm out of my favourite bread so I might be having and early morning trip into Djebel and come back with some cheesy breads for the other ladies....I'll see what time I wake up but I certainly won't be doing the first few hours on the sofa.  LN....Yet more gurgling going on....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 15, 2021, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 15th September

Really good night again, seven when my little eyes opened, made my way to the bathroom and filled up the kettle.  Coffee made, balcony door open and time for me to survey the estate and check out on the birds.  Not many to report today and not a tortoise in sight....I think they're digging and making winter hideaways.  I was pretty slow off the mark and didn't make the kitchen until nine, I put the washing away, made my bed and decided to go into Djebel to get fresh bread for the freezer, pay my next year's internet and deliver a sample of Badedas to my student's mum.

I checked with my Avatar to see if she wanted anything from Djebel and she declined, the ladies had not appeared to make the banichka so I assumed it was off for today but it all happened while I was in Djebel.  As I tried to park near the cash point I noticed that the normal parking spots had been outlined with parking distances and everyone was full.  The normal parking in the near by streets now had bays marked out at forty five degrees to the pavement and there were a lot more 'no-parking areas'....you have been warned.  I managed to park in a little layby on my way to the dentist but I was soon at the cash-point so that I could go to pay my yearly internet...I feel much better when it's paid and I shan't have to think about it until October of next year.  I've just worked it out, that's roughly nine pounds a month for unlimited.

I rescued my car and stopped off and had five minutes with my student's mum in the little supermarket, declined the offer of coffee and biscuits but did put out an offer for them to join me for a pizza one evening that they deem suitable.   Back into the Nipper, down to my other student's car parts shop, school had started back and at eleven they were all sent home and left to their own devices.  Apparently the first day is to find out the new classrooms and welcome the new starters and then it's over for the day.  Into the supermarket on my way home and bought bread, eggs and a big bag of Joocy sweets, to stop me picking on more expensive and calorific goodies, set off for the village and when I arrived I noticed Avatar sitting in the garden with her outside oven going and she was finishing off the banichke and I went home and was told to go back later but no time was stated.  Around an hour later Haciber was shouting me from the garden and my presence was requested, six of us sat down in quite a formal setting in the garden and attacked the thirty centimetre wide dish and it's contents and boy, can they put it away.  We had juice and a toffee cake that we all laid into and off they went, I helped tidy away, put one of the tables back into the garage and we sat watching as the clouds started rolling in suggesting rain.  Suddenly a car pulled up and out jumped two ladies and they delivered meat and rice, sweet cakes and a pair of socks each...another mevlit in the village.

I came home at three, put my goodies away, television on and after about thirty minutes I was off with the fairies so again I shall have retrace my footsteps on the series I'm watching.  Turned over to BBC2 and caught 'Who do you think you are' and a very interesting programme about India, Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh and the woman was walking in the footsteps of her great, great grandfather.  She was born in Liverpool, had denied her Indian heritage but this had brought it home to her and given her a different perspective.  Supper is potentially the rest of the banichka warmed up in the microwave, nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far but the cushions are in, it looks like we might have rain.  LN....I really hope so.....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 16, 2021, 5:57pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 16th September

Early to bed and as the saying goes, early to rise but two a.m. was a little too early for me.  Another session of silly games, eventually four of the clock I managed to settle down again until seven thirty.  More games on the balcony, more coffee on the balcony and it was down hill after that.  I eventually made it outside by ten, watered a few of the pots but didn't do a full scale service to the garden.  I've done the ones that matter and went into the little house and soaked the new cuttings and all are there for the remaining really hot days and they won't dry out and whither.  

It was too hot for me out there so I came in and did ancestry for an hour or so, walked over to Avatar's hour to return the dish from yesterday but she was having her beauty treatment and the doors were all closed.  I didn't bother going back, I left the bowl on the table knowing that she'll find it.  I went back to ancestry and managed to find a news cutting about my grandmother reported in the local press when a coalman's horse bolted and the horse and cart had crashed though the shop window.  I printed off the report, I knew about it already since my mother had kept the original article from the press but it was a challenge to find it from ancestry.

Next task was to order more cartridges for my Lamy pen and I went back to the 'Penshop' in Sofia that keeps a good supply of sundries and I noticed that there was a thirty percent reduction on pens and cartridges so I ordered more than I needed.  I was really tempted by a Calligraphy set but managed to keep myself in check but did order one pen as a gift for a friend.  Delivery is free and should take two to three working days and you pay for the items when they're received...you pay the driver either by card or cash....very civilised.  Chicken fillet for supper so not a lot of work to achieve it.  Nine my time and I'm hoping for a better night tonight.  LN.....To shop or not to shop tomorrow?  That's the question....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 17, 2021, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 17th September

Thank goodness, a good night's sleep at last and it was six thirty when I woke up.  The normal routine of opening the balcony door, making coffee and taking up position waiting for the sun to arrive.  It was quite elusive this morning and first spotted a red dot through the tree which then got brighter and eventually it came up about the top branches.  There wasn't much redness to the sunrise, there was a strange yellow glow that was almost silvery in appearance.  Very gentle start to the day.

I didn't stay out there long, there was a fly or mosquito that was buzzing around, I couldn't see it but could hear it so I came inside and settled on the chair just inside the door after I'd made my second cup of coffee.  I checked the electronic post since there's no other these days, all letters seem to get lost in transit.  The morning slipped away from me and it was ten before I was making scrambled eggs on toast.  At the last count I had twenty two eggs, after buying some in Djebel my Avatar gave me ten from my garden neighbour so I had to do something with them.  Tomorrow I'm going to hard boil some and put them in the fridge and make egg mayonnaise later probably with tuna in and that's my food sorted for the weekend.

Washed and dressed and I had a bonfire and really careful, there was a gusty wind blowing.  I spotted a couple of the tortoise briefly, Cracked Shell and Blue were both out but by the time I'd got the fire going they'd both shot off never to be seen again.  I sat out in the sun for a while on the wall at the bottom of the garden and it's quite a good vantage point.  I tracked the night-time barking dog to the Kmet's brothers house and I might have to be having a word at some point.  It kicks off at midnight normally, starts other dogs off and while I appreciate that something might be disturbing the sheep that are penned up down there, it's no longer a joke.  

I had a phone call regarding the order placed at the Penshop in Sofia confirming my address, it wasn't obvious to them that I'd given them the name of the village and the hose number and she thought that the village name was the street, which in effect it is.  I suggested that if the courier didn't know where to deliver, the local courier office in Djebel should phone me and I'd pick it up from the office.  The order was being processed and  would soon be on its way.  I'm still tempted with the Calligraphy set and with a thirty percent discount, it's a good price for it.  It was the sofa this afternoon and I managed to stay awake so should be OK tonight.  I made barbecue pork with roasted potatoes and onions  for tonight's supper.  It's all eaten and the roasting tins are all soaking and will be sorted tomorrow.  LN...A little TV and bed....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 18, 2021, 3:47pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 18th September

Slow start this morning, I was having a dream that I couldn't get out of despite fighting like crazy.  Eventually I surfaced, made coffee, opened the door to the balcony and didn't even have time to sit down, my painter shouted a good morning to me and half asleep, I made my way to the door, opened the drawbridge, he was here to work.  I unlocked the wood store while still in my PJ's, found him the axe and the chuck hammer and made my way upstairs, washed, dressed, grabbed my coffee and went out to join him in the yard.  My job was to remove the logs from the garage and his job was to chop them into suitable lengths for the woodburner and then to remove them from the yard into the woodstore and stack them.

We work well together, I stopped for more coffee and he drank water and only had two cigarettes insisting that he went out into the middle of the road so that I didn't inhale any smoke.  I think by the time that it got to me it would have been so diluted by the fresh air from the hillside that it really didn't matter but that's what he does.  The chopping block got demolished and is now fire wood, I found another one that he used and found a metal band to hold it together when it started to disintegrate....the outcome was though, all of the logs have been chopped and I'm ready for winter.  A by-product was that I cleared out the wood store, removed a box of old wood and it's ready to be sorted into 'usable' or 'rubbish' but that's for another day.

Off he went at one thirty and I made myself an omelette with the remains of the roasted potatoes and onions from last night with a couple of cheese triangles and sat in the stairwell and ate it drinking yet more water.  He's back tomorrow to clear the chimney with a suitable metal ball from the top down and to check out the connectors on my gas bottle and cooker just in case the pipe wants renewing....it has been ten years.  I carried on in the yard and cleared some of the suckers from the big tree, raked it prepared to throw the leaves to the cows but then came the rain and I was quick to get everything away and get myself in doors.  As for the storm, we had rain, thunder and lightening and horrendous winds that brought down lots of leaves from the trees and blew others over the hillside.  Eventually it cleared and now we are back to normal, the sun is shining and all is calm on my hillside.  Everything has dried up so all being well he'll be able to perch on the roof and clear the chimney with the ball on a rope, he's also going to clear Avatar's chimney so we shall be able to puff onto the hillside without setting fire to our chimneys.  

Just after six thirty and it's the first week of Strictly so I now know that we are on the downward slope to Christmas.  Now there's a thought.  LN....No supper required, I'm still stuffed....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 19, 2021, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 19th September

I woke up at seven thirty with a start remembering that my painter was coming at eight, supposedly by it was still wet after last night's storm that no way did I want him to go up on the roof and clean the chimney.  He eventually arrived at eight twenty just as I was lowering the drawbridge complete with what he considered tools for the job.  We agreed though that we would need a different task for today, his reason was that once the tiles are wet they're more likely to crack with his weight and I'd never considered that before...as we say...you live and learn.  I set him to work on the gas bottle, apparently the gas pipe was OK, special for the job which I knew it was so goodness knows what other people use.  The reason that it was leaking a little was that the hose pipe connector needed tightening up and now everything appears to be OK and there's no smell of gas at all.  I can now start using the gas for cooking again, I find electric just so slow after using gas.  

We were now looking for things to do and my painter was waiting for Avatar's son and they were going into Djebel by car to doe something which I didn't investigate.  The son was still asleep, confirmed my Avatar listening at the door so now we were waiting or rather he was and I was still hoping for a chimney clean.  Eventually it had dried up enough so we found one of the wooden ladders to lift on to the guest bedroom balcony and he could use that to get to the chimney which he did.  He wasn't using the usual ball on a rope but some strange contraption that looked like a metal dog's bone with a little metal brush attached.  I had misgivings, the round ball does its job and doesn't get stuck but anyway he removed the tiled 'umbrella'  and down went the bone on the rope.  I stationed myself in the bathroom where the soot ends up, opened the trap and heard the metal biting into the dross up the chimney.  He shouted down to me asking if I could see the metal yet but somehow it managed to get stuck in the chimney.  I get a plastic pipe and try to unblock it from my end, He gets a metal rod from the top and tries to do it from the roof and eventually, Avatar's son arrives and puts another brain to it, goes home and comes back with a thicker plastic pipe.  I go back and station myself in the bathroom and low and behold, there's a clunk and it appears.....'jobs a guddun' but never again will I let him use the bone shaped metal.  

He washed up and set off for Djebel as planned, I set about cleaning the bathroom and woodburner where I'd removed the pipes just in case they were blocking anything, everything back to normal except I was smelling like a chimney sweep so I cleared the outside and eventually had a shower.  While I was out I noticed Rosy and Blue in different parts of the lawn, Cracked Shell that will now be known as Crack head was trying to climb the flyscreen into the wood store.  Eventually she took off and my next sighting was in the middle of the lawn towards the top steps so I rewarded her with one of the peaches that Avatar had given me earlier and since they were windfalls, definitely not Class A.  I had my shower, washed my hair, dressed and left my hair in a towel and settled myself in the lounge and woke up in the middle of an horrendous thunderstorm which was a little too close for comfort.  It seemed to settle down again but we now have the heavy rain which is great for the garden but please, no more thunder.  After only managing two slices of toast for the whole day, the kitchen beckons.  LN.....Another eventful, but productive day......LN



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Elsa Peters
September 20, 2021, 3:49pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 20th September

Well after last night's storms. the moon came out with a fantastic halo round it.....I don't think it rained again in the night but this morning your couldn't even see the bottom of the garden at six thirty and it remained very misty until it burnt off later in the day.  I washed and dressed, opened the door to the balcony but didn't sit out , took my coffee to bed, got out of said bed, made said bed and was downstairs for eight.  I didn't bother with breakfast but by eight fifteen I was opening the gate to get the Nipper out of the yard when my next door neighbour asked me where I was going.  This one isn't slow to come forward so I said Djebel and she said that the normal nine bus had already left and could I take her in.  No problem, I'm going anyway and at that she found her mask out of her bag and put it on.  I brought the car out and parked it on the opposite side of the road which is the normal routine to close the gates after me.  She stood and watched me do it, little effort on her part to help and then she got in.  She asked me what I was doing in Djebel so I said I had a parcel to pick up, a little shopping to do and she asked me what time I was returning to the village.  Now I don't like being a taxi for anyone so I said that I didn't know and probably would be going on to Kardjali.  We parked up and off she went, I went to the parcel office and picked up my parcel, then over to the cash machine and stopped off for a coffee so that I could put the contents of the parcel into the gift bag for my student's mum.    I changed some of the cartridges round taking out blue and inserting red and black so that she can have a change of ink in the pen when she really get's to play with it.

On the way from the cafe I stopped and chatted to the lady who used to run my favourite restaurant when I first came out here and I hadn't seen her for ages.  She gave me a face mask that she'd made and I thanked her but unlike most of the ladies here, she's not had the vaccine.  Over to the car part shop, I handed over the present and she was thrilled to bits and her son said that she would be producing good flower drawings when she was bored so I suggested that I sent off for some green cartridges for the leaves and we joked about if.  He went down to the garage to help his father, I took the Nipper down and had the tyres pumped up and then carried on to Kardjali.

First stop was Kaufland for a pit-stop, a little shopping there and then to the free parking in the centre of town, walked to my cheapy shop and bought a lightweight top and a knitted jacket and found a pair of shoes that I thought would do for my painter so telephoned him and still waiting for him to come round.  They are very strong brown suede boots and cost twelve lev and if they're no use to him. someone else in the village will make use of them.  Lidl for a few goodies and home for two thirty more or less.  I'd bought two lots of chicken legs from Kaufland, four in one packet and six in the other and I asked Avatar how many she wanted and she took the six and for seven lev they are worth having for the freezer.  Shopping away, television on and then on to Netflix for my latest series...The Fall...a psychological murder.  Chicken leg is now ready for supper so that's all from me.  LN....It's been a pleasant, enjoyable day.....LN



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