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Elsa Peters
April 1, 2023, 8:13pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st April

Well I've seen no April 1st jokes here in the newspapers and I'm what the UK had to offer.  I slept well but woke up in good time to fetch my painter who was starting work with me over the next few days.  I was just getting the car out to fetch him and he arrived with one of his friends.  It was good that he did, I'd put most of the things that I thought we would need in a storage container, found out the old paint that we were going to get more of and generally started to get organised.  I don't think he understood that I was quite used to getting these sorts of things, not your average type so we set off for Kardjali and off to Basmar, the DIY shop.  He insisted that we put the half can of paint in the car so that we could identify colour and type but I went straight to the shelf, without the half can and found the one that we needed.  It had got a huge dark brown sticker on the lid but he was trying to find the printed word that it was 'dark brown' and despite his desperate searching, he didn't find it but I knew it was the right one. We picked up rollers, brushes and thinners and headed home.  He changed into his work clothes in the little house and I set about clearing the shrubs from the railings over the wall so that he could have a clear run at it, sanding it down and then painting it.  He's finished from the garage to the gate and also half of the second section from the gate towards the grave garden.  

I'm absolutely knacked.  I cleared the roses and the rest of the shrubs but the biggest problem was the honeysuckle.  It had threaded itself round the railings and was difficult to remove.  I started off burning what I was removing but in the end I threw it over the wall and time will rot it down I'm sure.  I carried on along the wall and it got worse not better and where the wild rose was, it is no more but not much more to do and then I start on the side railings but those shrubs are not so heavy so I can pull them forward and hopefully they will spring back into place.  I took him back to his home, put my tools away and dressed quickly to go over to Fotinovo, we were out to supper tonight and I was more or less on time.  We were first into the restaurant, ordered food and sat over it for about two and half hours talking about how our lives have crossed since they moved to Bulgaria.  Situations change but friendships remain.  There was an almighty storm while we were in the restaurant, I've just dropped her home and some big puddles and lots of fog on the way back.  Home safe and sound, not often that I'm out this late....passed the bewitching hour for me.  LN.....Pictures tomorrow...no time to take them today.......LN
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Elsa Peters
April 2, 2023, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd April

So the rain from last night must have drenched everywhere and the result was that I couldn't see the bottom of the garden.  The patchy fog from last night had turned into a dense on this morning and so my painter who was supposed to arrive at nine eventually turned up at twelve.  I appreciate that it's not his fault that it rained and it's difficult to paint when it's raining but I'm sure I could have found him other work to do...like chopping logs.  I did manage to fill my time with poached eggs for breakfast and what a surprise it was when there was a double yolker...not seen one of those for years.  So breakfast over and washing up done, the sun was now breaking through so I went out and started clearing the debris that I'd left when I was removing shrubs from the railings.  I anticipated that he would carry on where he left off but I made an executive decision, the railings on the balconies were completely dry when he arrived so I set him to work on those and I'm pleased to say that they are both done.  

As for me I've had a day of activity.  The debris from the railing clearout is either burnt or over the bottom wall to disintegrate with time.  I can't see it, it's not a problem.  I'd thought about using the new burning barrel, got it down the bottom of the garden but had half emptied the old one so carried on and decided that there was still some wear in it so it's still in play.  The cans are waiting in the log carrier for me to wheel it to the container at the bottom of the village but that's not crucial.  I dug up the old elderberry roots from near the little garden at the back of the terrace and made a surround for it and will plant it up later.  This prompted the old engine oil and paint brush coming out and the wood surround on everything in the main garden has been saturated in the stuff and I watched the insects leave their hidey holes and head for fresh pastures...sorry bugs.  As I said it's been a busy day but I did almost fall over my painter as he made his peace with his head guy a couple of times this afternoon.  I hope he was asking that we'd have no rain tomorrow!!

I drove him home, chicken winds and jacket potatoes into the oven for supper, lit the fire, ran a bath all in the space of about ten minutes.  Stretched out and enjoyed the brief moment and now to get supper underway...just need butter for the potatoes.  LN......Only six thousand steps today....it feels like more......LN



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Elsa Peters
April 3, 2023, 7:42pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd Apiol

So I was a awake really early, five thirty and it was all go this morning.  The fire was still going so I loaded it up and kept it going all day today, it was cold, threatened rain but it managed to stay off until around lunch time.  My painter chappie arrived at nine, mixed his paint and started work and was able to finish the next two panels so now my railings over the wall are completed to where the lane starts and two balconies are done.  By half twelve he was ready to hang up his paint brush, there were a few spots of rain around eleven so he was sanding down some of the other railings towards the final corner but then it came, not heavy enough to call rain but too damp to continue.  Meanwhile I carried on clearing the shrubs and honeysuckle from the wall so that he could get to the railings and now the garden looks bare but I've left untwined honeysuckle so that I can put it back onto the fence when it's eventually finished and it should come back again fairly easily.

I offered to take him home but he was off to his friends house.  There were other jobs that he could have done, one of the metal and slat benches needs sanding down and repainting but he didn't spot that and neither did I until he'd left and let's see what tomorrow brings weatherwise.  I think we're in for more of the same.  I finished putting my tools away and was quite pleased that I could come down from the pace that I'd been keeping up to clear the site for him.  I snuggled down by the fire this afternoon and put my feet up and at five went into Djebel to put some petrol in the Nipper, I had a couple of days running on petrol when the gas ran out and now everything is topped up.  I also went to the cash point and took out the money to pay the man if he turns up tomorrow and it probably wont be for work looking at the weather now.  Shame it wasn't finished but it is what it is, a quick stop at the supermarket for fresh bread and some nibbles for when my daughter arrives, topped up the fire and that was me settled.

I made supper when I got home.  The intention was to put a pork shop in the oven with barbecue sauce but that didn't happen.  I put it on the griddle on top of the cooker  and had it as a sandwich.  I looked around for a film to watch and settled on 'Irishman' which had rave reviews and was more of an historic piece about American politics pre and post Kennedy and the strength of the unions at that time.  Eye opening but long.  Almost eleven my time and time for bed.  LN.......Soon to welcome arrivals......better start making beds up......LN
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Elsa Peters
April 4, 2023, 6:28pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th April

And it started so well!!  Last night I slept through part of the film I was watching, woke up and went to bed and not an ounce of sleep in me and at one I was still wondering  whether I would sleep or not.  I went into a strange dream state, this continued on and off most of the night and I woke up suddenly and still dreaming.  It was only five thirty.  The fire was still going so I coaxed it into life, the house wasn't cold but I didn't want it to get cool.  I had washing to do and intended drying it inside and it was as well that I'd made a plan.

Toast for breakfast, cleaned the corners of the kitchen and was surprised to see my painter chappie so opened up the workshop and the little house for him.  He gets ready for work in the little house and keeps the paint and all the 'gubbins' that goes with his job in the woodstore.  It had rained over night but had stopped and the sky was quite bright at nine.  He started on the little house terrace and I helped him to sort out the two fir trees at the base of the wall using a sheet of hardboard and some blocks of wood.  He mainly wanted it out of the way when he was painting and we had quite a lot of time to go before he got to that stage.  So I finished cleaning downstairs, shower room done, my bedroom done, kitchen done, winter lounge and main lounge done.  Just the TV to more rooms tomorrow and the porch to clear out.  Next job was to make up the bed upstairs and as I sorted through the linen chest I realised that some of it wanted freshening up.  I also made the mistake of washing one of the quilts, it was difficult to get in the machine and made a horrible sound as it was rotating in the drum so much so that I stopped it mid-cycle and before it would let me open the door I had to put it on a 'drain' program and then it finished and tinkled at me.  I emptied the quilt into one of the large containers and it's still on the line and getting re-rinsed but the rain.  Just got to hoover upstairs and that won't take long at all.

The painter painted and we decided that there was nothing for it but for him to put his brush away around one thirty.  I offered to take him home when the heavens opened, we had a very sudden hailstorm which soon changed to heavy rain so I grabbed the keys and took him home leaving the Nipper outside the gate with the intention of going into Kardjali and my bank.  The Nipper is still sitting outside the yard, I got consumed with washing and drying the stuff that I didn't make the trip but I managed to get my head down for an hour or so and felt much better for it.  The fire is still going strong, the guest bedroom is made up and I'll do the bank and shopping in the morning, the flight gets in around eleven thirty so I can expect visitors around four thirty tomorrow afternoon...plenty of time.  Not really into much supper and nine thirty my time...where's the day gone.  LN......It was a very sudden heavy storm....not nice for the serious gardeners.......LN



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Elsa Peters
April 5, 2023, 8:33pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th April

Full on day, more rain so no painter today.  I set about the house with the hoover, mop and bucket at the ready, made up the spare room since my son-in-law has gone down with a hacking cough and sore throat.  The move ensures that my daughter gets all the sleep she needs and deserves.  I didn't stop for breakfast and eventually headed for the shower and hair wash around ten thirty and in the Nipper by eleven heading to the shops to fill up the fridge and the goody box with goodies.....we thrive on goodies and treats when we all get together.  Shopping over in Kardjali and just a few things to get in Djebel, everything put away so I made coffee waiting for my guests and eventually they arrived at five.

It was lovely to see them both....they came armed with more goodies for the box and an alcoholic selection for the ailing son in law who has taken to a honey, lemon, rum mixture and he went to bed happy around ten after we'd finished supper.  I sat chatting to my daughter, the older we both get the more we realise that she definitely is a chip off the old block and we are proud of each other which is lovely.  She's off to bed. it's eleven thirty my time so time I should be getting my head down too.  Sorry it's late tonight and no photos of the miserable weather but who wants to look at pictures of rain clouds.  LN.....Nothing planned for tomorrow so far, we'll see how the patient is in the morning.......LN
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Elsa Peters
April 6, 2023, 7:13pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th April

So I woke up at five, realised it was too early to disturb the house so I managed to get back to sleep until eight...late for me but good for the household.  I made coffee for myself, being downstairs I'm out of everybody's way but was aware of my SIL coughing really badly so I made a lemon and honey drink and took it up to him in the spare room.  He wasn't ostracised but at least both of them had a peaceful night despite his coughing and the drink was very welcoming.  I'd used an old lemon and that was the last so I decided to head into Djebel early and was in the Nipper by nine buying throat tablets that had been prescribed for me. more for throat and temperature, lemons from the supermarket and back home just before ten and could tend to the ailing.  We didn't do much this morning just had a pleasant catch up and came up with a plan to go into Kardjali so that my Princess could by more legging identical to the ones that she'd bought last year and fortunately they had them in stock.  She's so pleased with them that she bought two pairs and more will be bought the next time we go in....half price to the ones that you get in the UK and much better quality.

A quick trip to Lidl to find something for supper and we settled for burgers. chips and beans...not exactly Michelin but the company was brilliant.  Nothing on the agenda so far for tomorrow...it depends on the weather.  Today it was a cloudy start. it didn't really pick up until late this afternoon and we had the most amazing views of the sun on the mountains at close of play.  They've just had showers and into gym-jams for a last hour of Netflix before we head for the wooden hills.  LN......Let's see what tomorrow brings...I'm equally excited about what we get up to........LN
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Elsa Peters
April 7, 2023, 5:05pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th April

The days with my daughter and SIL seem to be passing very quickly but at least he had a better morning's sleep even though he had a disturbed night coughing his little socks off.  I was up at seven thirty, load of washing in, and lighting a bonfire by eight.  I didn't remember that I'd filled up the burning bucket with debris from my wall cleaning so that the painter could apply his paint to the railings and had to clear the rubbish so that I could get it started.  Eventually I got a good burn up, filled it up with the household rubbish, put the lid on it and left it to its own devices.  The smoke appeared to be blowing in all directions but it was far away from the washing line not to be a problem.  I was just walking back up the garden when I saw Princess coming towards me with the washing and pegs so together we pegged it out, it wasn't a brilliant morning but it eventually cleared a little, the wind picked up and I eventually brought it in around three this afternoon.

Princess and I made breakfast, my SIL was catching up on lost sleep and he eventually appeared around lunch time, we dosed him up with more tablets, he sat in the lounge until he had repaired his throat enough to start answering our unending questions as to how he was feeling.  He didn't needs to tell us to go away, we got the vibes.  I'd lit the fire early that morning and I've kept it going all day.  Inside the house twenty four degrees, outside it peaked at ten degrees so the washing came in and was put on the airer in front of the woodburner, we were all comfortable in the lounge, I sat doing an 'very difficult' Sudoku and Princess attacking the Telegraph crossword and soon the clock raced round to three thirty....where was the day and holiday going.

I've just put supper in the oven. spiced pork and home made wedges and we've got loads of salad stuff to have with it.  Coffee and cake took up most of the afternoon and at the moment I'm really not hungry....but by time supper is ready I should be ready for it.  We cancelled going out for supper with my family in Djebel....SIL is still not well enough to be out and about so it's been rearranged for Monday.  LN......Now to attend to supper.....I have guests to feed.......LN



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Elsa Peters
April 8, 2023, 7:03pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th April

I was awake at seven this morning, I'd taken to my virtuous couch around twelve last night, taken a very difficult Sudoku to bed, fallen asleep over it and woke up with the light on.  Ah well!!  I ended up rubbing out the numbers, I didn't managed to do it so had another attempt this morning but still not managed it.  Princess printed off another one for the three of us and I managed to do that before breakfast...not easy but interesting.  We all sat down to breakfast together which was a first...normally the day moves on and we suddenly realise it's going to be renamed 'Brunch'.  We even got to have three meals today.

The rest of the morning was taken up with more Sudoku and Bulgarian lessons for my daughter.  We worked our way through various crib sheets and half the fun of it is remembering hot to write the letters and how to say them.  The thing about Bulgarian is that you always pronounce the letter the same way whereas in England it can be pronounced differently and it becomes very confusing.  She's doing well and even writing down English words using Bulgarian letters so that she gets used to the sounds.  I'm very proud of her.  So we went through the usual morning pattern, logs in but I didn't bother lighting the fire.  We'd had a frost overnight and the mist had to burn off before there was anything resembling a sun up in the sky and as it happened, it didn't stay long.  Around one Princess was pegging out washing and we were walking the garden and naming shrubs as we went and out of the blue the man who'd painted my railings appeared to finish the job since rain had stopped play before.  He asked if it was convenient to finish the job so I said yes and now I'd given myself more work by having to clear the rest of the shrubs from the wall down the long side.  He got changed and prepared himself for work, I found the long rope to virtually lasso the bushes and pull them away from the wall and railings so that he could paint them.  Princess gave me a hand and we left the man in peace to get on with the job.  Princess went back in the house after getting the washing in from the line to put it on the airer....it had little chance of drying.  It wasn't quite raining but miserable but not enough to stop the painter doing his stuff.  He finished around five, I got the Nipper out and loaded up the rubbish to go into the container and then paid the man and took him home.  Another job off the list.

Outside tidied and everything locked away, I put supper into the oven and we had home made chippies, steak, pork chops and oven roast tomatoes and I've just remembered I forgot to oven bake the garlic bread....It's for another day.  Princess was in charge of lighting and keeping the home fire burning and she'sits own done a good job of it.  Time to go downstairs and settle in front of the television with a film.....it's been another good day.  LN.....See what the weather is like tomorrow and we might find a restaurant for lunch........LN
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Elsa Peters
April 9, 2023, 7:23pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th April

Happy Easter, eggs for breakfast and chocolate Easter eggs for pudding.  It's been a very lazy day. Sudoku challenges. crossword puzzles, logs in, fire going, a little gardening and then back to the lounge.  Just a few emails to sort but nothing major with less junk emails batting around and why do people send them with no content.....what's that all about.

It's been a fairly sunny day but it's been a cold wind so I wasn't out for long and one o'clock came round really quickly so as I said there's not much to tell you except that I contacted a friend who has her son staying and asked if they'd like to go out to one of the local restaurants tonight and we picked them up at six.  We went to the one that I'd been to last week, ordered, hamburgers came with cheesy chips and a very pleasant night was had by all.  Home for ten and I relit the fire to keep it toasty overnight, it's going to be another damp day tomorrow by the looks of it.  LN.....Final full day tomorrow of my Princess and SIL, Kardjali and final shopping.......LN
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Elsa Peters
April 10, 2023, 7:06pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th April

Well I thought we were in for a super spring day, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and then it all changed.  The clouds came over, the temperature dropped, I managed to peg out a load of washing only to bring it in around an hour later to dry on the airer.  I was awake at seven, my daughter appeared eight thirty and my SIL eventually surfaced around eleven....he needed a good sleep after his racking cough has kept given him disturbed sleep for the last few nights.  We breakfasted without him, boiled eggs, mayo, cheese and toast, we were very continental this morning, lashing of coffee for me and biscuit tea for my daughter.  SIL went settled for little yogurts. The rest of the morning we were finishing off the sudoku and attempting a Telegraph cryptic crossword which my daughter downloads daily....it's fun to work on something like that together.

So at one we set off for Kardjali, the shopping list said leggings, cheap shop and anything else we couldn't live without.  The leggings we got, from the cheapy shop we got a cycling jersey as a silly present for SIL's brother and a dress for Princess.  As for anything else, we went into Kaufland and filled up with a load of crisps, sweets, chocolates for their journey back to Sofia tomorrow.  They are staying in an hotel tomorrow night, the hire car has to be back and the flight out is at approximate eleven fifteen and then sweet home and back to reality.  Princess is still on school holidays so doesn't go back until next week so has time to settle in to the routine.  Back home we dived into the chocolates, crisps and more nonsense filling time until we due to go out to the local restaurant with my student's parents, his brother and girlfriend...eight of us all together.  We booked an early table, arrived at the restaurant in pouring rain at six thirty and I phoned to let them know that we were there already.

Lovely meal and lots of food for all of us including cheesy chips and a shepherd's salad that I'd not had before.  There was lots of laughter round the table. my young student behaved perfectly and confidently spoke to Princess in English, my star pupil.  His elder brother was also my student and I did take him to England back in the day so he knows my family well.  All paid up, we said goodbyes and by now the rain was really coming down, a careful drive home, car away and the first job was to relight the fire and that's a job that Princess has taken to.  It reminds me of when I would get up early and try to beat my dad to making the fire for the house and I used to get told off if I didn't empty the ashes properly or clear the ashes from the grate.  That was a really long time ago but it's a memory of my father I cherish.  Fire going Princess made me a hot chocolate drink and she's told me to write that it's the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted.  Firstly she blew it up in the microwave and i had to add extra chocolate but yes, it was excellent.

Tomorrow they leave and I'll be sad to see them go.  I shall move up to the upstairs bedroom when they go, re-organise my clothes and clear the downstairs bedroom ready for whoever comes next.  I've got two potentials....let's see who makes it.  LN.....And now to find the fire and sit with them on their last night.......LN
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