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Elsa Peters
April 11, 2022, 4:30pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th April

Silly night.....I fell asleep in front of the tv, missed the program I wanted to watch, carried on watching what came up at a later time, checked emails and there was a hint that named the husband of a distant cousin in America.  I tried hard to prove or disprove the hint but by now it was four a.m. so I abandoned the attempt and made it downstairs to bed.  Seven thirty when I woke up, back to bed and sleep and I managed to get up to face the world at eight forty.  I toyed with the idea of Kardjali, we had torrential rain overnight, hail and thunderstorms yesterday evening but fortunately if had dried up but wasn't looking too good for the rest of the day.

I washed and dressed and made my mind up that I would be going into Kardjali remembering that I have my student tomorrow afternoon.  I didn't bother with breakfast and it was almost eleven before I got into the Nipper and started my journey. Lots of traffic on the road this morning, Djebel was heaving but it was market day and I just felt that I was at odds with other drivers that were not only bending but breaking the rules of the road.  A police car was parked up on one of the villages and yes, they're filling up the coffers with speeding fines but there's a section of the road going into Kardjali with solid lines that the locals don't seem to realise mean something.  My question would be why are they parked up in a comfortable spot where they could catch a whole load of them with a camera aimed at the junctions in and about the blackspots.   Ggggrrr.....

Parked up in my old car park and had to pay by machine and remembered how to do it...one lev for one hour.  First stop was the cash machine to get enough out to pay road tax on the Beast, job done and then on to find a parking spot near the hospital...I needed a prescription for more tablets, the doctor had provided me with the last lot from her supply.  I found a parking space on the rough ground so didn't need to pay, there was no one outside her door so I knocked and she was surprised to see me.  I told her why I was there, she said that she was half a doctor for not giving me one last time, offered to take my blood pressure but I suggested she didn't, I'd got into a tizz so knew it would be high.  I told her that I'd reduced the dose to one tablet a day, taking two had left me feeling woozy and she said to make up my own mind and take what I needed.  On to Kaufland, next to Lidl, didn't bother stopping in Djebel for anything, I'm there tomorrow.

Shopping away and moved on to my next item on the list which was to try and find insurance covering from here, cruising the Med and back to here for roughly one month.  I phoned up a company I've used before, my details were still on file and she came back with a very good quote....just waiting to see if it comes to fruition.  Second task was to check that my life certificate form had arrived in England but I spent too long on the phone listening to a recorded message so I gave up.  Beautiful evening, the sun is still shining and the sky has just a few clouds and all's good in my world.  When doing anything with the local council you expect problems but the young lady managed the transaction well and smiled when I said that next year we will conduct it in English.  LN....Now to get the nipples on the Beast greased.....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 12, 2022, 6:21pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th April

Six thirty start. normal sudoku but I hit a slow patch and had a mare of a morning so I gave up and decided to face the day.  At eight I was poaching eggs, opening the packet of ham that I bought from Lidl and making toast and that was breakfast sorted.  I washed up and cleared the kitchen, got dressed forgetting that I was with my student this afternoon and would need a shower and hair wash before I set sail.  I pegged out a load of washing that I'd put to cook while I was making breakfast, the sun was up, the breeze was steady and that was another job out of the way.

The rest of the morning was very frustrating.  I'd checked the Princess cruise website to confirm the insurance qualifications requirements and I noticed that they were looking for two million upper level.  I contacted the company that I'd made the initial enquiry with asking for a new quote based on the two million level set by Princess and they said that the policy that they'd given the quote on was limited to one million and they had nothing else to offer me.  Back to the drawing board Cecil and as the morning went on, the frustration increased and I decided that it was all too much trouble.  I phoned my friend and asked him to delay booking anything and he told me that he was having the same feeling about it so I straightway cancelled the whole thing.    At this point I decided to check out the tours going from Sofia where the insurance is sensibly included and IO think I might have come up with something going out later this month and if I book I'll surely let you know.

At two I had to get into gear, shower and hair wash, hair dried, dressed for Djebel and I arrived at the shop at three.  I sat talking with his mother for a while and went up to the flat and we had a lesson about octopuses and it was an eye opener.  At the end of the lesson we ended up looking on the internet at the different species and we both decided that the blue ringed octopus is the one that we all should avoid, even the fish stay away...it's poisonous.  I went down to the shop with him at the end of the lesson, off he went to the stadium to practice his football and I stayed talking to his mother until six and bought a tyre pump but this time an electric one.  Off to the  supermarket for cheese and bread, I bought two more stacking plastic trays for forty pence and will be able to stack anything that needs stacking.  Home and unpacked the Nipper, the pump went into boot and supper has only been cream cheese and breadsticks, I wasn't in the mood to cook so didn't.  I've not even managed any photographs today...lazy mare.  LN.....Promise to do better tomorrow......LN
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Elsa Peters
April 13, 2022, 5:47pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th April

Another six thirty start and the morning followed the normal routine and eventually out of bed by seven thirty.  I had a mare with sudoku....I really felt that I wasn't concentrating....but eventually I got into gear and worked one out in record time.  I'm still having hot water and cutting back on the morning coffee, poached eggs again mainly to use up the ham, took my tablets and blood pressure check moments later put it into the acceptable range.  Washed and dressed and out into the garden by nine thirty.  I popped over to Avatar's house to deliver some local 'Deep Heat' cream to help her aches and pains after her fall in the wood store, she'd also mentioned last night that she needed stronger tablets from the Paracetamol that she'd been using.  I came home, carried on weeding the old veg garden and made a decision that I would go into Djebel to get her the tablets. get more tablets using my prescription and I met her as I was about to get the Nipper out.  She was walking to her nephew's house and told her that I was off to get her tablets and she said thee was no need, she'd rubbed the cream on and it was much better so I decided not to bother going.....so I didn't.

Back to the garden emptying the weeds over the wall and I noticed a lady and a small child walking on the hillside from the direction of the lower village.  She noticed me as I emptied the weeds and came over for a chat.  Apparently she lives in Turkey some of the time, her house has had some renovations down but still more happening.  She commented that the garden was beautiful, asked if I was living on my own, asked how old I was and these are normal questions for Bulgarian and Turkish people.  Off she went when the grand-daughter had started making her way home, she'd obviously got bored.  I came in for a couple of episodes of my Netflix, went out again and planted up a rose bush in the old veg patch and watered other plants.  I eventually came in at five, lit the fire since the temperature was dropping, it was reluctant but eventually the heat was going round the system.  

Not sure what I'm gong to have for supper but since it's on it's way to nine o'clock my time, I might very well do without...I've got pockets that the body can munch on.  Nothing on for tomorrow, just more of the same and I've got seeds that I can plant out.  I've also noticed that I've got twelve tomatoes of the ones that germinated in the tomato,  growing in a pot.  Also forgot to mention that a very dusty 'Green Goddess' has emerged from her winter hide-away and was spotted in the grave garden.  I checked on her later and she was down to the bottom of the garden, probably heading back to her hole in the ground, the nights are still bouncing around zero.  LN.....I need to fit her with a tracker.....LN



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Elsa Peters
April 14, 2022, 4:59pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th April

Another six thirty start, changed to scrambled eggs for breakfast and out into the garden by nine thirty.  It was a little chill so came in for a while longer and eventually emerged by ten thirty.  It's been a frustrating day....I decided to fire up the trusty lawnmower but it refused to fire.  I'm thinking that the spark plug needs changing so out with the manual and the diagrams didn't line up so still not sure how to get the old one out.  My call was answered and I have a man coming over tomorrow to have a look at it, hopefully get the old one out, I'll drive into Djebel for a new one and all should be good.

The rest of the day was spent pulling up weeds, strimming weeds, swearing at weeds to clear the ground to put new plants in.  It was a hard slog today as it is every year at this time...we had such a lot of rain that those weeds are strong and the roots long.  I did come across a lovely surprise, another little tortoise that is not one from the previous year.  It has now a stripe of iridescent  purple on its shell and so far hasn't been named.  Again this one is very dusty and must have only just emerged.  They are creating a super highway along the base of the low wall flattening the weeds but I know now to watch out for them.  Rosy and Blue are still unaccounted for and are probably lingering down the bottom of the garden...or missed the alarm clock of spring.

Another lovely surprise, what I thought were sunflowers are in fact lupins. I only found out by the second set of leaves that they've put up and I'm going to do a complete little bed of them in the old veg garden.  I love them and haven't succeeded in growing them before.  I've planted out more borage in the garden under the main terrace, the Festuca is going to be split tomorrow, it's cramped where it is and I've got lots of cornflowers that are outgrowing the seed tray.  Looking back on today, I've done lots but it's  taken a lot of effort today.  LN.....Bath and bedtime....and early night for me, recharge for tomorrow....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 15, 2022, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 15th April

Early night, woke up at three thirty, snuggled down again and the second awakening was at seven so felt much better today.  The sun was up, it was seven degrees outside and  promised to be a really good day...and it was.  Washed and dressed, toasted ham sandwich for breakfast sitting eating it at the table in the stairwell and I was just putting in the last mouthful when my saviour arrived with the promise of sorting the lawn mower.  I made coffee and we firstly had a catch-up, we'd not seen each other since out last Greek trip and with spark plug remover in hand we made our way to the wood store, took the mower out to terrace, tried to fine it up and nothing so plug removed.  It was replaced since it seemed to be OK and so I suggested a fuel blockage.  I did have a new impeller so the one on the machine could be replaced but I gave it a prime, tried it and it fired up.....result.  I switched it off, fired it again and it responded and switched it off again and I intended doing the grass later.... and it will be much later...probably tomorrow.

That done I asked if he could sort out the television, I used to have Transponder TV as a bookmark but the television had lost its settings and I now have to use the onscreen keyboard to enter the address.  It's now been sorted along with my memory on the computer.....I never know what I can delete....but it's now got enough space to work property.  All this for two cups of coffee!!  I walked the garden while he answered a call and I found Green God...it used to be Goddess but I think it's a male so its's had to be renamed.  Unfortunately it had tried to get through a patch of root suckers from an elm tree and had got stuck so I found the loppers, removed the ones surrounding it and lifted it out and on to the grass.  My guest came out to join me and we carried on round the garden and found Rosie in the bonfire garden stretched out and obviously warming herself in the sun.  I walked him to the gate and off he went, I went back down the garden armed with pink nail varnish to renew the pink colour on the shell, spotted Blue and the only one outstanding is 'Cracked Shell' and suddenly I heard a rustle in the undergrowth and blow me down....all are now accounted for.....they've all lasted the winter.  

So this afternoon I planted up another terrace bowl, started to make a container for my new grow bags but couldn't find the wood so dragged the bench out of the little house where it had spent the winter into the yard.  I tried to use the small sander but the on/off switch was difficult to negotiate, it appears the plastic coating has perished so I tried one of the other sanders, cur the sandpaper to size and got started.  I was doing well until I got to the curved bit at the bottom so ended up taking one of the struts off making it easier to negotiate and have only got one to do by hand...and then on to the second bench which is sitting on my bedroom terrace.  I came in at seven, not too bothered about supper yet so I might see what I can find later.  A much better day...gardening tomorrow, it looks like being a good day but not too promising for next week.    LN.......Spring forward and winter might be back....better made the most of it.....LN



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Elsa Peters
April 16, 2022, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th April

Six thirty start and I was out on my bedroom balcony watching the morning unfold.  The cuckoo was calling merrily or desperately for a mate but I didn't hear any replies to his requests...better look next time.  I haven't managed to get any photographs of the cuckoo, it's not taken to sitting on my power cables this year.  The morning was very still, there were high clouds and I really wasn't sure how the day would turn out but it was sunny but not as warm as yesterday.

Breakfast was the banichka that Avatar had given to me yesterday and I warmed it up in the microwave.  I picked at it, chose the middle bits that weren't so crunchy and ate most of the cheese out of it but the rest went over the wall for anything that wanted it.  I try to discourage feeding the animals in the garden, there are just too many cats around this village at the moment.  I washed up, tidied the kitchen, went to the bathroom and tidied myself up and initially thought that it would be a gardening day but it didn't turn out that way.  I walked the garden and found three of the tortoise stretched out and warming up.  I reckon they'll have to be burrowing again, ran is forecast for the next few days with low temperatures so I better keep the nail varnish at the ready for top-ups.  

I took the jasmine outside and gave it a good brushing down.  Most of the flowers have died and only a few remain now but it still fills the house with its aroma.  I've changed its pot, the other one was too deep so it wasn't getting enough water and now it's in a smaller one and the bottom of the pot is sitting in water.  I also sprayed up a new plant container with aerosol blue paint and refreshed one of the others, watered the pots on the terrace and then decided to go into Djebel remembering that it was Easter Sunday tomorrow.  I'd bought some egg candles for the ladies but needed either eggs or chocolates to go with them....I celebrate my dates and they benefit.  I also wanted petrol for the lawnmower, I didn't have enough to finish it so didn't start and that's my excuse for lethargy.  Into the Nipper, first stop the garage and petrol has gone up by a third, on to the chemist to see if I could find a knee support for my neighbour and then on to the flower and dinky doo shop to see if they had any pot plants that I hadn't.  I'm good friends with the lady that owns the shop and we go through the new additions and I'm normally say 'got it' and on to the next but I did buy some lovely little buckets that I'll use to put the egg candles in and also a fuchsia that I did have but the weather killed it off.  Last stop the supermarket for chocolates, chicken wings for tonight and then home, unpacked the car, settled down to Netflix and had a little snooze.  Lit the fire and put the chicken wings in the oven, replayed the last episode that I'd slept through and watched one more while having my supper with grated carrot and diced beetroot followed by a chocolate mousse.  Washing up done and now my work is finished for tonight....not that it actually started today.

Round the village tomorrow morning when I've made up the gift bags and out for lunch at around two so that means no gardening tomorrow if I play my cards right.  The bench is having to be moved back into the little house to protect the bare wood until it gets the top coat for protection just in case it rains.  LN...The fire needs attention.....LN  



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Elsa Peters
April 17, 2022, 6:29pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th April

It's going to be a quick one tonight, haven't long got back from my Easter lunch, it's persisting down with rain and it was a horrible journey home.  Most of it is on back lanes with crap surfaces and the camber going the wrong way on most bends.  On the way out I was following as what I might call a 'slug' for about five miles until we came to the centre of the village where I could put my foot down and not be too late to my 'restaurant'.

So this morning I awoke to rain and it was cold and damp.  I managed toast for breakfast with apricot jam and set about preparing the small Easter gifts for my ladies.  I'd bought two bags of chocolates with soft centres since few of them have any teeth left and the egg shaped candles went into the little metal buckets, everything in one bag and that was another job out of the way.  I at last have spotted my cuckoo, firstly hiding from the rain against the electricity pole and second time on the wire after preening itself.  I didn't have anything to do after I'd delivered the goody bags so I took in two episodes of Vikings, had a shower and washed my hair and was ready to leave at a quarter to two with the intention of getting there around two,  As I said...there was a 'slug' perpetually pressing down the brake pedal and maximum speed was about thirty five kilometers per hour hence I was about ten minutes late which for me is not usual.  If I say 'two' it's more or less on the dot.

Lovely lamb lunch and veg from their garden followed by Greek baklava, coffee and an afternoon watching the film 'Dune' and I'm still none the wiser as to what it's about and part two is in the making so perhaps I should read the books.  We also watch several You Tubes of Greek islands and it's left me wanting more and seeing more of it for myself....Greece is so near, it would be rude not to.

Dreadful drive home just as it was going dark and arrived home in the dark around eight, got the Nipper into the yard with only the garage spot light coming on since the house intruder light seems very reluctant....maybe it's time to get a new one.  It was cold coming into the house so I ran a bath with the little hot water that was in the boiler, sloshed around, dried off and put on PJ's and my daughter's 'onesie' that she left last time she was over.  So feeling very snuggly, the box of chocolates that I came home with are having a bashing and the washing machine is almost finished to get that on the airer in the bathroom.  This rain has been forecast for the next few days so it's good to get it out of the way. LN..... Now time to switch off and relax and eat some more chocolate......LN



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Elsa Peters
April 18, 2022, 3:54pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 18th April

So my early night last night did me no good at all, I was awake at five this morning and no chance of going back off so played a few games of sudoku and was getting washed and dressed by seven thirty.  It was a very cold morning, there was snow in the rain and the mountains were white over and Kardjali did not seem and exciting proposition so I checked out the number of chicken legs in the freezer.  Avatar is providing supper for the Hodja and the entourage at the mosque tomorrow so I went over to her house and confirmed that she wanted three or four chicken legs checking, three for the mosque and one for her and I said that I thought I'd got enough in the freezer so that I didn't have to go into Kardjali since the weather was cold, miserable and didn't look like improving.  I went home, lit the fire since I wasn't going anywhere, cooked bacon and egg for breakfast, settled on the sofa and promptly went to sleep for a couple of hours 'watching' television with closed eyes.  Woke up, finished the box of chocolates that I'd started last night, dug the three legs out of the freezer and four drumsticks that she could have and left them on the worktop and took them over much later.  

I've not done much all day but looking at other people's photos on FB we've got off lightly.  Lots of other people thought that the last frosts had happened and got caught out with tomatoes and other plants, my tomato seeds are still in the conservatory and the rest of my delicate flower seeds are still in the packets waiting to be sown.  According to the weather forecast, we should be OK towards the end of the week and fine my next week but remember, this is Bulgaria.  I've loaded up the log carrier and the fire's going well, there's been no sightings of the tortoise and if they've got any sense they've all cone back to their holes in the ground until this spell is over.

Settled in for the snooker this afternoon and decided to cook home made beef burgers using the mince that I buy from my sheep farmer in Djebel.  I pick it out and they mince it for me so I know that it's genuine stuff not a mixture that you get when you buy it from the supermarkets.  I diced the onion, salt and pepper on to the meat, didn't bother with an egg to hold it all together and peeled and chipped a potato.  Burgers into the pan, chips into the deep pot that I used so that it doesn't go over the sides and supper was ready in ten minutes or so.  Served it up with ketchup and mayo and took it to the sofa and carried on watching my snooker finishing off with a crème caramel.  Fire banked up for the evening, washing up done and kitchen tidied and now the evening is mine.  Student tomorrow afternoon and must be back here by seven to do the mosque run, Avatar has no way of getting the food up there on her own. LN.....And now...relax.....LN



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Elsa Peters
April 19, 2022, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th April

It's going to be a really quick update tonight.....I'm late and I'm hungry and it's been a funny old day.  Again it was cold and just on minus one this morning, snow still on the mountains and it's threatened more of it tonight so the fire's going well and it would have been warm in the house but I opened my downstairs bedroom window, forgot all about it and have been warming up the hillside for the last couple of hours.  It's closed now so I should start feeling the benefit in the house, the radiators you can hardly touch.

Poached eggs on toast for breakfast but I didn't get washed and dressed until eleven this morning.  I had nowhere to be until two this afternoon so there was no great rush on until I remembered that I'd promised to take the blood pressure monitor over to Avatar so I could take a reading.  I went over about twelve, she was busy cooking the banquet for the mosque tonight and making banitsa from scratch and laying out the layers on a cloth on the bed.  She'd done four and had three more to go and at the end she dusted herself off and I slipped the monitor onto her wrist and the pressure was really quite low.  I don't take hers everyday so can't really judge whether it's good or bad so I'll take it again tomorrow and see if there's any change....she might just be normal for her to fire on a low engine.  I went home again and remembered that I'd promised my student to frame one of the photographs that I took when I watched him play football so set about printing it off.  It suddenly occurred to me that I needed to change the colour printer cartridge and that proved more difficult that my old printer.  Eventually I managed it but it doesn't print properly in colour and it was getting near the time that I was having to leave for his lesson so I gave up and will tackle it tomorrow.  Off for the lesson which turned out OK and I had to be back in the village by six to take the goodies off to the mosque for the banquet and just made it back in time.

I parked up outside of Avatar's house, used my shopping basket from the boot of my car to take up the meat stew, Fanta, bread and baclava and that went on the back seat.  Avatar got in and I put the hot chicken and rice on her lap along with the banitsa and we set off for the mosque in the village.  I took the back lane and the first gate that we tried was unlocked. I took the food and put it down on a table in the yard, went back for the washing basket and carried that down and Avatar joined me.  I went into the mosque, opened the door and the hodja was at his prayers but soon stopped when he saw me and came to the door.  I explained that I had food and he took the basket from me, I retrieved the chicken and rice before the animals got it and handed it over.  Avatar had made it down by then so I left the rest to her, he asked me to take the containers from yesterday back to Zelinger and I agreed to do so.  I got Avatar back in the car, dropped her off at her gate and will pick up the containers tomorrow evening.  It's all go in our village.

Back home by six thirty, fire lit, coffee made and Netflix went on and I've just immersed myself in Vikings.  The Nipper was making a funny noise tonight so I checked the oil and it seems low so tomorrow I'll have to use the Beast to go to get more oil, the container in the boot was empty so no use to man nor beast...or Nipper for that matter.  Not had supper yet so I'm on the hunt for something quick and easy to keep the bugs at bay.  LN.....It's been a full on day....and only Tuesday....LN
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Elsa Peters
April 20, 2022, 5:51pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th April

Lovely sleep last night...I bashed my head on the pillow seven times to commit to memory that I wanted to wake at seven but it was seven twenty so the last one must have been a little harder than it needed to be.  Any way, seven twenty was fine, hot water to get the insides moving, old bread out for the birds and two slices of the fresh stuff into the toaster and had with apricot jam.  I'd planned this morning and car movements or so I thought but the best laid plans of mice and me in BG all went to the wall.  It was another cold day, there was a hint of sun in the sky but that didn't last long, more sweaters went on to keep out the chill.

I didn't do anything with the Nipper, grabbed the keys to start the Beast, tried to turn it over and it was as dead as the proverbial dodo.  I found the battery charger from the workshop, lifted the bonnet of the Beast and connected the 'bits' to the right contacts and all I got was a clicking noise so I checked the internet and followed up leads for recharging a dead battery.  So back to the drawing board so I telephoned the garage, explained the predicament and the garage owner sent his son out with oil and another battery charger but by the time he arrived, I'd resolved the issued with my charger.  I'd left the keys in the ignition when I'd tried it earlier so I removed them and reconnected and joy of joys...it started to charge.  Meanwhile his son arrived, checked the oil and there was some in the Nipper so that wasn't the problem but he topped it up anyway, he put the other charger on the second battery and that worked fine.  I almost suggested that we took the Nipper for a spin but I'd rather his father took a look at it instead and the plan was to take it down to the garage immediately but instead I changed things round.  Off he went back to the garage, I decided that the best course of action was to get the Beast into the garage in Djebel, the journey in would top the batteries up properly, get the nipples greased and a proper check over and finally to get it professionally valeted....and fit for purpose for later in the year.  So paid my dues, went to the shop and had an hour with his wife, ordered my tablets from the chemist since they don't keep mine in stock and drove home via the mosque to pick up Avatar's empty containers from last night's supper.  The hodja was waiting for me, everything was neatly assembled so into the Beast with and I headed home.  I delivered the empties to Avatar, she gave me four eggs that had been given to her and I headed home and put the Beast back in the garage.

So tomorrow I'm driving the Nipper to the garage to try to identify the problem if there is one and it makes a noise on the drive over, if everything is OK I'll go into Kardjali and do a bit of a shop and have a meander and make sure that I buy chicken legs for the freezer...the mosque had my last lot.  Cheese and biscuits for me since I'm too lady to cook.  I had a thank you phone call from the UK.  The flowers and card that I'd ordered for my friend of sixty years had arrived and she loved them.  I'm trying really hard get her over here but there's not much chance of that....I'm thinking that I might have to fly into Manchester and make my way down to Stafford, the mountain might have to go to Mohammed.  LN......I now know that the two holes on the dipstick of the Nipper indicate low and high levels....LN



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