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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  MAY 2021
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 1, 2021, 4:15pm
Saturday 1st May

Six start this morning, washed up, cleaned the baking tins from last night, made coffee and went back to bed with the Kindle....games, emails, and the usual rubbish.  Out of bed by eight and made toast and opened a pot of grapefruit marmalade that I'd made at the tail end of last year and intended finishing off with yogurt but I forgot.  Washed and dressed and out too the garden for eight thirty and no disturbances last night at all.  I continued on the weeding and removing plants from pots and planting them.  I split up the Greek plant and was surprised on the thickness of the gnarled root and have five of them sitting in a bucket of water until the roots get more established together with two winter flowering jasmine that I discovered in the root ball.

I came in for water and to take a five minute break but it stretched out to an hour and could have been longer but I turned off Netflix.  I just love this new series, it's gentle, couples kiss but you see no more and that's quite unusual in this day and age.  I went out again, finished clearing the bed, cleared the back path between the bed and the wall and took the dead branches from the kerria that's currently flowering.  Because the ground on the other side of the wall is around four feet higher, I'm guessing that some of the plants get waterlogged and the cold snow melt doesn't do them any good.  I filled up the wheel barrow with the dead wood and the weeds, took the house rubbish down to the bonfire and had a burn up.  The burning pit was quite full but I managed to get flames out of it, the wind was up so I stood watching it and weeding down the bottom of the garden and found plants that I'd forgotten about.  

I looked up and heading towards the wall was Blue Boy and he appeared to be on the trail of a much smaller tortoise so now I have another one.  I went back to the house and went through my nail varnish collection and came up with a reddish- brown one and this one's now called Sandy.  As for Rosy, haven't seen her for a few days but she's bound to be somewhere....the garden is pretty big.  

Tools away, at six thirty, bonfire is covered over with a lid and it appears to have settled down.  The wind got up this afternoon but it's dropped now and the clouds have come over,  It got quite sticky this afternoon and the temperature got up to twenty seven degrees and tomorrow it is supposed to be warmer.  I've not thought about supper yet, I'll have to get my thinking cap on.  LN....More of the same tomorrow.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 2, 2021, 5:45pm; Reply: 1
Sunday 2nd May

Seven thirty start and this time I didn't go back to bed with a coffee.  Instead I took it outside and sat on the terrace watching the morning and the garden come to life.  I walked the garden, checked up on the sweet peas in the tyres on the workshop terrace and remembered that I intended to spray paint and old tyre rim and make some sort of concoction for the sweet peas to grow up....but that was going to happen much later, I had breakfast to sort.  Yesterday's bonfire had more or less burnt away and as I took the remnants of last year's bin that I'd used as a lid for the new one, it suddenly went from my grasp and rolled down the hillside coming to a stop in the middle of the garden.  I intended burning some more rubbish but the wind was still pretty strong so I thought I'd leave it for another day.

So back to the house and I made poached eggs on toast and sat in the stairwell thinking that I didn't want the pirates to get me which meant not dropping egg yolk on the plate.  It was a tale that I used to tell the children and it's been passed on to the grandchildren...strange what we remember,  I open my mouth and my mother pops out.  I didn't manage to wash up, that can wait for tomorrow but I did get a load of washing in and that was pegged out and dried in quicksticks and is now waiting to be put away.  

I did the sweet pea support, spray painting it blue, attached wire fencing to the bottom of it and suspended it from the top of a wooden tripod that was pushed into the soil in the tyres.  I used metal wire to attach the mesh to the back mesh on the wall that supports the honeysuckle and the clematis and now they have something to grow up.  Next I unreeled the electricity cable down to the bottom of the garden and took my little old strimmer down with me and managed to clear some of the tall weeds by the bottom wall.  I was doing really well until the head came apart and remembered that I'd glued it once before and I'll try it again tomorrow.  I used the battery strimmer until the power ran dry and realised that the latest purchase also needed attention so I was stuffed.  Instead I got the electric mower out and cleared the bottom of the garden between the beds but it's made me realise that I have lots of clearing to do...there is so much clover this year.  So it might be time to purchase another strimmer without I can get a new head for the last one that was bought.

Tools away, I was absolutely shattered, stripped off in the porch, everything was wet, the weather got very close this afternoon and my boots are outside to dry off.  I bought the washing in from the line, sat on the sofa and put the snooker on and promptly nodded off for twenty minutes or so.  I've just finished my shower and that's why I'm late posting and I've yet to dry my hair.  Looking at the garden, it's probably going to take the rest of the week to sort and I think it's been harder this year, I've no guests coming over so no deadlines set.   Kitchen calls, I need something to eat and haven't a clue what to do.  LN...I'm off to investigate....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 3, 2021, 4:44pm; Reply: 2
Monday 3rd May

Seven start, I had a bacon sandwich since I didn't make it to the kitchen last night for a midnight feast and slathered it with brown sauce.  The cat joined me with two slices of boiled ham that had seen better days but it was very timid coming towards me.  I tried to encourage it with Turkish and Bulgarian but either it has it's own language that I know nothing about or it's just a scary cat.  I left it to it's own devices and went back to my breakfast.

Funny old morning, reasonable day but it's been a little cloudy and there were a few spot of rain around five this afternoon.  My washing was out on the line by eleven and dry by around half past...a fair old wind was blowing and this time from the west, yesterdays was from the east.  I was still avoiding weeding so got the biggie out and cut the side grass and down to the mulberry over both areas,  It took me two sessions to achieve it and I took up position in front of the television between bouts and then I decided to water the plants on the terrace.  I looked at the oleander that sits next to the lemon and it looked as if there was a lemon on the oleander and I was confused.  I looked closely at it and realised that it was a tree frog.  Now people that know me fairly well know that I don't do creatures very well but it was so cute that I had to get the camera out and try to take a reasonable photo.  It was really difficult, it was well hidden by the leaves but they're the best that I can do.  I've never seen one before so I checked it out on the internet and apparently they are quite common around this area but under threat in Latvia of all places.  I kept checking it out during the afternoon and it's still there and strange that I've never noticed it before.  

So walking the garden today, I am amazed how many shrubs have come in to flower. Spirea, Wisteria, Potentilla and the Iris and Allium are making up a splendid array.
The mower away by five thirty, I've done my statutory ten thousand steps today, aching but happy.  Tomorrow I'm going to weed everything down to the mulberry tomorrow so that I can say that at least one part is done.  I've also got about a million (ok slight exaggeration) baby plants from seed that need going in to the garden so I need bare ground to put them in.  You can only have so many in pots.  Chinese flavoured spare ribs in the oven as we speak along with a couple of hasselback potatoes and they should be ready any time now.  LN.....Kitchen bound.....I'm hungry.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 4, 2021, 4:33pm; Reply: 3
Tuesday 4th May

Five start but I managed to get off again and it was seven for the second awakening.  I imagined the smell of bacon cooking so brought a thought into reality, made my bacon sandwich and sat in the stairwell at the table eating it.  It was a good start to the day, the wind was a little cold but I had to check on the menagerie.  The tree frog has gone on to pastures greener, Rosy was out sunning herself and warming up in the sun and she gave me quite a shock.  Her back leg seemed to be sticking out at a funny angle and at first I thought she'd had a mishap but as I approached, she tucked her head in so I knew she was fine.  I had trouble seeing who it was at first so I went back to the house and found more pink nail varnish and she's suitably 'daubed'.  The bones from last night's supper were put on the wall, I could see no sign of the black cat but when I checked later, the bones had gone.

So my promise to myself to finish weeding down to the Mulberry went out of the window.  All the beds in the grave garden are complete, I've cleared the weeds under the short wall that faces my downstairs bedroom window and I'm now doing the big bed in the side garden.  By six I'd had enough, the weeds are now over the other side of the wall from whence they came in the form of seeds and the cows thought the gods had smiled on them.  Of course they'll come out in the form of seeds germinating in a pile of dung and will then send their fruits of their labours over the wall for it to start all over again.  That's nature for you.

Supper is in the oven and tonight I've got chicken let with roast potatoes and onion....I'm not for slaving over a hot stove.  I had a lovely surprise today...I've been friends with this person since I was sixteen and we've always kept in touch.  She's kept in touch with others that we used to work with and today I got an email from one of them...I've sent a quick response and it's good to know that we have another in the mix.  Tomorrow I'm off to Kardjali for my second jab and hopefully my travel passport....early meeting with friends so better set the alarm.  Sod's law if you want to wake up early, that's the morning you sleep in.  LN....it's been a long time since my bacon sandwich.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 5, 2021, 4:34pm; Reply: 4
Wednesday 5th May

D-Day beckons....my second jab today and it's been full on.  I had trouble sleeping last night, you know how it is, when you want an early start it would be nice to think that you have a very restful night ad I didn't.  I woke at two, realised that it was very hot in the room so I opened the window to let some air through.  The bathroom window was open so you could feel the air-flow, I played a couple of sudoku and convinced myself that I wanted to sleep...and I did until six.  Dark red sky this morning which didn't get captured properly by the camera, the old Canon is much better and needs servicing but that will have to wait until the virus is over and travelling is possible again.  

So I knew what time I had to be in Kardjali and that meant leaving at around quarter to eight to be at the cafe for eight thirty.  I'd arranged to meet in town, the link road between their village and mine is under reconstruction and they would have had to use the scenic route so I took the challenge out of the morning.  I had a mare of a morning getting ready...the temperature was down to eleven degrees and I had to remember to put something on that was easy to take off for my vaccination...it was very much like a production line.  

I was in the Nipper by seven forty five, waved to my student's parents as I drove my the shop and had an uneventful journey into Kardjali apart from the road works and the patches of tarmac missing.  I parked up on the pay-carpark almost next to my friend's car and the cafe that we'd agreed on was closed and I had three minutes to get there spot on time.  First stop off was the Bank and they hadn't even opened the door so we went in with the herd.  I asked to see the head of the floor, we were pointed in her direction and made out request....it's necessary to provide certain documentation for the Immigration department.  That done and all documents provided we went to the Polyclinic to queue up for the jabs and the number of people waiting is a joy to behold....maybe the times are a changing....locals are heading the call.  So job done, my new residency card caused a discussion, the design had been changed post Brexit and so three heads eventually worked it out.  I went down to see my doctor to see if the Passport Certificate could be printed off but it looked like our details had been handwritten but not entered into the computer so no go.

We walked to the town centre and to the place that the documents could be completed in Bulgarian at very little cost....over to Immigration and unfortunately the girl was shutting up for lunch so we decided to have ours and had an appointment for one.   The went in, I sat in the sun, they came out to go pay necessary dues, I still sat in the sun, they went in again, all steps completed for the day so we decided to have another go at getting out passports at the Polyclinic.  They have a different doctor to mine so I waited until they came out and only one certificate was in evidence so we headed up to the third storey to check to see if the details had been entered.  We found a lovely man in the surgery, I explained the problem in Bulgarian and managed to get the point over, he checked the screen and printed off the other two documents.  Yippee, we now have out document for the border controls for going and coming back from Greece.  The sea beckons.

Back to the car-park, five lev for the day's parking, I filled up with gas and came back via the rough lane, I'd not tried it this year.  The Certificate is ready to be photocopied and put in the passport and the original in the health folder.  LN.....Now for restrictions to be lifted...another step towards the beach.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 6, 2021, 5:04pm; Reply: 5
Thursday 6th May

Horrible night last night and not sure if it had something to do with the jab.  I was in a really deep sleep and seemed to be fighting to get out of it which I obviously did otherwise I'd not be writing this blog, put the light on and it was two o'clock.  It took me until five before I was ready to go back to sleep.  Strange feeling....

Second awakening was at seven, washed, dress for gardening but there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm there.  I was also sporting a headache and that's not normal for me so I made toast for breakfast, and put Netflix series on that I've been watching.  I eventually headed out to the garden, put the sunflowers into the little garden between the steps to the garden and my neighbour from the lower village square appeared.  She was still enjoying her Easter holiday and had come bearing gifts of baby onions for salad, explained how to prepare them and commented that Haciber had asked her why she was coming to visit.  Now this is the lady that looks at everything in my garden and wants 'only one' of everything.  We walked the garden and she spotted the wisteria and asked for a branch to put in water in the house and I told her to leave it alone...even I don't break flowers off and only bring in daffs when the wind breaks them off.  House plants are for the house, the rest remain in the garden.  She was also introduced to Rosy who was taking the sun and had the audacity to touch her shell at which point Rosy played 'dead'.   She went back with a baby 'Greek' plant, a weigela cutting that had rooted, tobacco seedlings and a potted up winter flowering jasmine....quite a little haul and I ordered out of the garden...I had work to do.

Eventually I worked up the courage to tackle the grass and clover that's currently masquerading as a lawn.  I fired up the biggie but despite the sunny weather, clover holds a lot of moisture and despite emptying the grass box every couple of runs, the machine was still clogging up and it didn't like the clumps of strong grass.  I resorted to the little electric, and again the grass box was filling very quickly so I went 'boxless'.  I eventually finished it and came in at six thirty...it's been a long old day but I have managed just over fifteen thousand steps and boots filled with grass cuttings.  I emptied them out on the terrace and they're now drying, my socks and the bottom of my jeans are a shade of grass green so they'll be in the washing machine before the day is out.  

I haven't even thought about supper and tomorrow it's weeding.  At least the headache has gone.  LN....Boiler is on for a lengthy soak......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 7, 2021, 5:11pm; Reply: 6
Friday 7th May

So I had a better night's sleep and it was a seven fifteen start.  The wind was howling outside and things were moving on the terrace and I was hoping that I would have an easy day in the garden...by not going out there.   Wrong...it wasn't a cold wind so I went out to start weeding and was in it for the long haul.  I was going to settle for toast for breakfast but decided at the last minute to scramble a couple of eggs which was a mistake.  I buttered cold toast, put it on a plate instead of a flat bowl and as I tried to cut the toast, some of the scrambled eggs shot off the plate and I played catch-up for the next ten minutes.  There was lots of activity near the nesting martins and there appeared to be swallows around it with red undercarriages.  They're much larger, I checked out my bird book but didn't get a hard match and haven't bothered yet to find out.  I also had a couple of fly catchers hanging around the grapevine in the yard near the compost bin, they seemed to be catching lots of insects which is fine by me and ten resting on the grapevine to eat them....keep at it boys and girls.

When I went to get the tools out today, Rosie was on the concrete by the Beast and it wasn't where I expected her to be.  My first sighting this morning was when she was sunning herself in the grave garden....obviously checking out the estate for me.  She did make it back to the grave garden and was not far from where I was working and probably taking a rest after her morning activity schedule.  It was hard work out there today...the grass is in such large clumps that I appear to be removing half of the layer of top soil and it's as hard as iron, we've had no rain for a while but the weeds have got really established and have really been left to their own devices.  I've removed around six log containerfuls of debris and there's still more to do but at seven, I called it a day.  The other day I was advised to 'put my back into it' and today I believe I have and I might be suffering for my art tomorrow.

I'm not in the mood for supper tonight...the eggs didn't sit well and I should listen to 'Old Wives' Tales' and not eat eggs around this time.  I've managed thirteen thousand steps again today and certainly exercised my diaphragm and stomach muscles...I might even have a six pack by the end of garden weeding.  LN    Feet up and Netflix tonight....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 8, 2021, 5:32pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 8th May

I woke up early and there was a faint glimmer of morning on the hillside but the rest of the sky wasn't looking very promising.  I took a couple of shots, went back to bed with the Kindle, checked emails and at eight breakfast was calling.  I made toast, walked the garden while it was in the toaster, emptied the compost bowl and checked up on the sweet peas in the tyres on the wood store terrace.  They're just beginning to climb the supports.  I went up to the grave garden and saw Rosy coming to life and nibbling at the clover and she was really stretching her neck to get at the smaller leaves at the top of the plant....she's very selective and really doesn't have to fight the competition off...I haven't seen the other two lately.

Toast and marmalade, washed and dressed for the garden and at ten I made my way to the little house and grabbed the log carrying basket and a couple of tools, the fork and spade were already line up and waiting.  The clouds had dissipated and it was breezy but not a bad day.  I carried on where I'd left off yesterday but it was fairly backbreaking.  I had to bend under a very spiky bush to get at the weeds underneath and stabbed myself a couple of times so I went to the little house and bought out the loppers and took the very spiky branches off.  Having had enough of punishment I decided to move down the bed  and tackle between the lilac and the mulberry and that seemed to work for me.  I found the gladioli that have just started and cleared enough to be able to dig it over tomorrow and get some other plants in there.  I've just got close to the wall to sort in this bed and one other but today I felt that I've really broken the back of the weeding along the short wall.  I'd reached the point where I felt I could do no more and put tools away and went into the house and was amazed to find that it was only four thirty....I wasn't tempted to start again.

So it was an early supper for me.  I boiled potatoes and added frozen carrots and peas towards the end of the cooking, chopped and onion and opened a can of tuna.  Mixed everything together with the remains of a tub of mayo, not a lot in there but sufficient unto the day.  I lit the fire while the potatoes were cooking, it's not cold but started to rain and feels damp.  That's the problem, we've had super weather for the last few days, ignoring the wind and now we have rain again so I'll sit and watch the clover grow in the lawn.  If it clears up tomorrow it should made weeding easier and it should also make digging over what's already been weeded easier too.

I've just got the kitchen to tidy, the TV is on downstairs and I'll soon be plonking myself down in front of it.  I've had this funny feeling today that it's Sunday...not got many landmarks between one day and the next.  LN.....I think I need to establish a routine again.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 9, 2021, 5:03pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 9th May

Seven ten start and the sun had beaten me to it...it was up already.  Coffee in the stairwell and switched on the little notepad, checked emails and there was nothing of note, Facebook was still continuing to knock the Labour performance and I went to the paper version of Sudoku.  I'd already started one of the 'very hard' and just couldn't get my head into gear this morning and then it clicked and everything fell into place, well the numbers did anyway.  Washed and dressed for the garden by nine thirty and settled for buttered toast and the washing up is still waiting.

I went to get the tools of the trade from the little house and decided to mend the strimmer to see if I could get it going again.  I had to refer to a printed page of the manual to remember how to dismantle the head, I've only used this one a few times and have never had much success with it and and always reverted to my little electric one but unfortunately the on/off switch has given up the ghost and I have to bash it on the top of the handle.  The last time I was using it the top casing came apart, I've glued it before but now I can't see to find the bit that I'm supposed to glue back in place.  Back to the drawing board Cecil or perhaps I'll just invest in another little electric strimmer, cheap as chips really.  Wondered into the workshop and noticed that there was a half constructed sign that I'd intended to finish to stop the waterboard scribbling the house number on my house wall, so I finished the job.  I used old engine oil on the supports that need bashing into the ground and waited for it to dry before I write the house number on the sign.  In fact, all I was doing was delaying the weeding and so I got my act together and started.

It's been a long old slog today....the grass and clover have really taken over the irls bed and it took me ages to clear it.  Well not exactly clear it, it will be done again more thoroughly now that the majority is cleared.  At least now you can see the trunks and main stems of the shrubs and it does resemble a garden...and tomorrow is another day.  I put my toys away and came in at seven, hadn't had the fireworks going off on my Fitbit so checked it out and I'd only clocked up nine thousand three hundred so immediate action was required.  I got washed up from the garden, put my PJ's on and did a couple of circuits which easily knocks up seven hundred and just as I was approaching the door for the second time, off it went.  

Not bothered about supper, I'll call it another fast day.  I might go into Kardjali tomorrow for a supermarket stock up and to see if there are any bedding plants in Kaufland.  Now that I've got bare earth I might as well cover it up.  I've also got to go to the post office to check for incoming mail....post Brexit I think the mail from the UK is being sent to sidings or customs.  If mine eventually get through I'll need to take the Beast to collect.  LN.....Time to switch off and relax......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 10, 2021, 5:08pm; Reply: 9
Monday 10th May

Beautiful start this morning and I was up before the sun.  The usual routine of coffee, toast and gaming and toying with the idea of Kardjali but not really wanting to go.  It almost seemed futile. I have plenty of things in to eat and a lot still to do in the garden so I settled my mind to get on with a few more jobs...and succeeded.

I pottered outside planting things that needed putting in the ground and watering the rest of the post.  I'm pleased to see that the sweet peas have made it on to the supports and are starting the long hard climb.  As for the wisteria that is looking delightful, I think the neighbour chopping down from the oak tree and lobbing it over my wall has done it a power of good, lots of blossoms and now it's back it gets trained up the cranberry.  I also collected everything together from the house that needed burning and had a bonfire.  The wind was a little gusty so I managed to put the base of the old burning bin on top of the new one and kept the stuff contained.  I know it's not tinder dry yet but I take no chances.  I repaired the strimmer or so I thought and the cable still kept breaking so I think I either need a new head for this one or I'll have to invest in a new one....and the decision needs to be taken soon.  I rewound the cable. it worked for a while and the cable snapped so I had to dismantle and reload it and guess what...it snapped again and found itself inside the loading point.....very frustrating so I went on to other things.

I phoned the post office to see if they had mail for me and she did so I got into the Nipper and headed to the next village.  There were two but not the one that I was expecting and I was really disappointed, so much so that I phone the bank to see if they could courier a card to me but they said that they weren't able so we came up with another solution that will be put into place next week if the card doesn't arrive.  Post from the UK is being held up in the systems here and even my bank commented on it....making us suffer I suffer I suppose post Brexit.

Spend the rest of the day weeding, haven't seen any of the tortoises today, they're either hiding from the sun or have gone AWOL.  If anyone spots one on the roads with nail varnish on the shell, they are under strict instructions to return them to where they belong.   After all they only understand English now...foreigners in a strange land and they aren't carrying identification apart from coloured dots.  This Covid and isolation has a lot to answer for!!  LN....The aroma from the kitchen needs attention.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 12, 2021, 4:55pm; Reply: 10
Wednesday 12th May

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

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

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

I strimmed the borders of the beds and decided not to stop there, I got the petrol mower out and did the grass from the terrace down to the mulberry.  I'd had enough, tools away, little house and woodstore locked up, two glasses of water later and another pancake and that's me done for the night.  I thought it was later.  Boiler on for a bath tonight...I need a soak.  LN......Now I need to post......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 13, 2021, 5:04pm; Reply: 11
Thursday 13th May

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

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

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

Tools away at six, I've had a very successful day in the garden and I can see where I've been working.  I think it might be a day of topiary tomorrow, I have to trim back the bushes and reinstate the spherical bushes.  Supper is in the oven and I'm waiting for it to finish off and it's pork spare ribs.  I'm fresh out of mayo which is some ways is not a bad thing thinking of the fat content.  LN....A trip to Djebel is on the cards for tomorrow morning......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 14, 2021, 5:30pm; Reply: 12
Friday 14th May

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

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

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

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

The clouds have rolled away but the temperature has dropped.  Just a few more days and I should manage to get the rest of the garden into shape.....it just seems to have taken longer this year.  LN......I did enjoy my pizza......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 15, 2021, 5:06pm; Reply: 13
Saturday 15th May

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

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

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

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

The clouds have rolled away again and it's turned into a pleasant night.  It's been a hard day but I was determined to finish the mowing today and I have.  Unfortunately that rain has probably given the grass the kiss of life.  LN.....I've a load of grass stained washing to get going.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 16, 2021, 4:00pm; Reply: 14
Sunday 16th May

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

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

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

The rain came on very quickly and lasted for about half an hour, has given everything a good soaking and it all looks very fresh.  The sun eventually broke through and I was searching for a rainbow and I wasn't disappointed, it was a double.  Chicken leg is in the oven for supper along with Hassleback potatoes and tonight I'm feeling very hungry...it should be ready in around half an hour.  Another good day in the garden and I'll be pleased when I reach the tittivating stage.  LN....Kitchen calls......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 17, 2021, 4:29pm; Reply: 15
Monday 17th May

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

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

So I went to the bank, saw the one in charge, explained why I was there and mentioned the make of my washing machine for money laundering and she said that she did the same.  A form was printed, I signed it, got out of there without being arrested and made my way to the cheapy clothes shop more or less on the same street.  I picked up a couple of cotton blouses for just over one lev and they're now washed and ready for action.  I paid my home phone bill, went to Kaufland and Lidl and made my way home.  Shopping away, washing in from the line, made a coffee and felt exhausted...I've had some very busy days in the garden.  Supper is going to be a four cheese pizza purchased from Lidl and fingers crossed I won't cremate it.  Back to gardening tomorrow....I'll have to make sure where the family is before I start strimming.  LN....Supper and bedtime....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 18, 2021, 4:58pm; Reply: 16
Tuesday 18th May

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

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

I made an early supper of tuna mayo with onions, boiled potato and beetroot  and sat eating it at the end of the film.  Maybe some of the confusion of the plot was due to time spent in the kitchen.  It's turned into a pleasant evening but I was so cold this afternoon that I got a small fire going and it's just taken the chill out of the air.  Not  really necessary but comforting.  The weather tomorrow is supposed to be twenty three and pleasant with no mention of rain so it looks like I'm in for a day of gardening....keeps me fit and last week I did over fifty kilometres....amazing really.  LN.....Now back to the fire....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 19, 2021, 5:13pm; Reply: 17
Wednesday 19th May

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

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

Bit of a setback with visiting Greece.  Apparently the translation from Bulgarian to English doesn't meet border requirements.  The names are spelt differently on the Covid document and the British passports so are not permissible.  We have another hurdle to cross and so on Friday we are off to the office in Kardjali to try to resolve it but it seems to go much deeper so I'm not sure if we shall get anything changed.  It will take higher input I think.  LN.......And now to switch off for the night.,,,,,LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 20, 2021, 3:58pm; Reply: 18
Thursday 20th May

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

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

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

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

Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 21, 2021, 6:36pm; Reply: 19
Friday 21st May

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

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

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

Back to the car and I suggested that we stopped off in Djebel for pizza or whatever and the idea grew momentum and so we did. We sat out in the garden, it was 'fresh' and the only downside was a black cat that wouldn't take no for an answer....real pest.  Home for eight thirty and feel so relaxed after a lovely day with friends.  LN....Apparently the sun returns next week...thank goodness.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 22, 2021, 6:13pm; Reply: 20
Saturday 22nd May

Four start this morning, I tried to go back to sleep and just couldn't manage it so I played Sudoku, did emails, made hot water with lemon and brown sugar and at six I watched the sun come up and the world come to life.  Not a cloud in the sky, as the sun came up so the mist was born and it was coloured by the sun overlaying a golden glow.  The birds were very active, the blackbirds were busy finding food for the brood, the sparrows were still deciding on which mate to settle with, the martins were bobbing in and out of the nest and the cuckoo was making so much noise and it makes you wonder which bird is feeing the cuckoo's young.  I went outside to take photos but didn't stay out long, the sun might be up but it was a cold morning.  

I washed and dressed for the garden, sliced an apple and had it with the rest of the peach yoghurt and still no coffee....I'm doing well.  I decided to send an email to a friend and used the Chuwi, my notepad and was surprised when it went into the Outbox and there was no warning message that I had lost connection.  I put the big machine on and rewrote it and sent a Test run to myself and this time I got the message that it was working on sending it and eventually, the machine came back with the message that there was no internet and it was down for about half an hour but it was the provider, not me.  Washing in the machine, pegged out and decided to sort out the rest of the pot plants and put a few more tobacco in.  I also moved six lupins into one of the sections of the veg garden, I'm not bothering with much veg this year, there is only me and my neighbours grow for the neighbourhood...and I'm on the list.  The bonfire garden is finished and I found plants that I'd forgotten about.  I've a reasonable sized Escalonia   and a yellow jasmine just coming in to flower and they were both hidden by grass and clover.  I cleaned round the base of the buddliea and moved on to the stone edged wild rose bush and that's covered this year and looks much better now most of the grass has been removed...still more to go but I've made a start.

Washing in at seven, tools away and I've managed twelve thousand steps today. I removed a chicken leg from the freezer for tonight but not really in the mood for it so it's in the fridge and I'll have it tomorrow.  I shan't be long before I hit the sack tonight....it's been a busy day.  LN.....More of the same tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 23, 2021, 4:22pm; Reply: 21
Sunday 23rd May

I went to bed at eleven and at four I woke up, managed to get to sleep again and it was eight when I woke for the second time.  Fantastic night according to my Fitbit giving me a good sleep score but I strangely didn't feel refreshed.  I found one lonely spicy sausage lingering in the fridge so with the last of the blue eggs that became breakfast with fried bread.  This could be the end of my diet but I did managed to avoid coffee yet again so much so that I'm thinking of donating a double pack of standard Nestafe to a good cause, I've got enough Gold Blend bought at promotional price to last me for a year and at the current rate of consumption, for the rest of may days.

It was a beautiful morning and I could feel the heat from the sun when I went to throw the casing from the sausage to the birds or cats....delivered on a first come first served basis.  The plate went in to the sink and is still there now, I've been on water for the rest of the day and only visited the kitchen for four caramel chocolates, the second nail in the coffin for my diet....but I did managed to stop at four only.  

Out to the garden eventually at eleven thirty and today there's been more determination than 'a spring in my step', I wanted to clear the rest of the stone bed and the wall behind it.  I took the tools out, unreeled and connected the electric cable to bring the strimmer into play and my trusty garden fork, I meant business.  Bed cleared of most of the weeds and the final attack will be forking it over, removing as many of the stones as I can and planting it up with maybe a Choisya to add a yellow shrub to the mix.  The weeds went over the wall, I started the bonfire again but I didn't get it going well so that's a job for another day.  I did really well with the clearance and half of the bottom wall is done so all that's left is the remains of the wall and the two small gardens at the bottom of the garden and then to topiary the bushes.  I came in because I think the strimmer needs a height adjustment, I developed a dull pain on my right side about waist level and the cord broke and needs rethreading and it was as good an excuse as I was going to get today.

I was surprised that it was only four in the afternoon when I came in but I'd done eight thousand steps so nothing to feel guilty about.  Blue Boy had made it to the grass between the house and the front wall and Rosy, who I'd last seen at the bottom of the garden this morning was in the grave garden...they certainly motor and I've not spotted Sandy today.  Chicken and jacket potato are on the menu for supper and late lunch was a carton of yogurt.  The windows are all closed up and I've got this urge to move my sleeping quarters upstairs for tonight so have big feather pillow will travel.  It will be my first night this year.  LN.....I'll let you know if it was successful......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 24, 2021, 4:06pm; Reply: 22
Monday 24th May

So I moved upstairs last night and the nest was still make up but I decided to risk it....wrong.  Upstairs is much warmer than down so at two this morning I was taking off the winter quilt, moving one of the pillows since I couldn't get comfortable and ended up with my over quilt and eventually got back to sleep around three.  It worked though, even with the curtains open I didn't wake up until seven so despite the night time activities, I am not permanently and officially...upstairs.  I'd filled the kettle last night and had a glass upstairs so settled for my hot water and sat in the rocking chair watching the morning come to life.  The sun was up...all was well in my little world.

First job was to strip the bed and get the bedclothes in the washing machine along with others from the laundry basket, pegged it out and got the next load in.  It was such a beautiful day with a breeze so no problem getting it dry.  I then turned my attention to the clothing shelves and sorted out the summer work tops and trousers and the winter pyjamas went away...lets hope that we don't get an arctic freeze...I shall be digging them out again.  

So at three made up the upstairs bed and settled on it with the Kindle.  I wasn't aware of feeling sleepy but I obviously nodded off and was woken up by my English phone and when I checked it was my Princess.  I phoned her back and we had a catchup.....It's been a while since we've spoken, she was off to the dentist to have a crown sorted out.  In her words the dentist had put a lump of metal in her mouth and it needed lowering...she was in pain.  It was five thirty when I got off the phone so I went out and got the washing in and put it away.  Winter quilt and cover into storage in one of my storage chests from Kaufland ....best twenty five pounds that I spent.  I did have intentions of getting my trusty strimmer out and mowing machine out today but I found other fish to fry and feel good, it's been a restful day.  Tomorrow off on a mercy mission and taxi duties, supper is still in the freezer but I must admit that the chocolates took a hammering today.  LN....Diet restart tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 25, 2021, 5:09pm; Reply: 23
Tuesday 25th May

More settled night last night and I awoke at six and remembered today that I was on a mercy mission to take a car in for attention and return the driver to his home base.  I sat and watched the world come to life, the cuckoos were out in force as were the golden oriels...noisy things.  Two glasses of hot water set me up for the day, I washed and dressed and went down to the kitchen, washed up yesterday's detritus and put two slices of bread into the toaster.  I'd got a loaf that had green speckles on it and that went out for the birds...I'd bought brown by mistake from Lidl, two slices for the lawn and the rest over the hillside.  Buttered the bread, finished washing up and wiped down the surfaces and at just after eight I was in the Nipper.  I should have set off down the lane, I didn't have to be at the venue until nine thirty but instead I took what was a direct route which turned out to be an indirect route.  In the next village the road ahead was closed and I had to take off into the hills and I was doing well until I hit a square with three roads going off it and no sign posts.  Fortunately there was a local heading towards me so I aske where the road to Greece was and I had to turn round and take the one that looked least likely.  It was pretty twisty but eventually I met the Greek road and was back on track.  

I wasn't in a rush which was just as well since there was a pickup truck with lots of men in it and that was only travelling at around forty kilometres and hour.  It's a twisty old road and in normally I'd be champing at the bit but as I said...plenty of time.  I found the restaurant, but with time to spare I went into a couple of shops first and eventually went back at nine twenty and as agreed, my coffee mate arrived except that I'd ordered water and he wasn't in the mood for coffee.  We convoyed it to the garage, back in the Nipper and headed back for a tour of Benkovski market but nothing purchased.  I hoped they'd got petunias but nothing worth buying.

Back to my friends' house, sat in the sun, tuna pasta salad for lunch, we've booked an apartment in Greece for three days away on Thassos, their favourite place and my first trip.  We go in two weeks time...and really can't wait.  Then back outside in the shade, it was too hot for the sun and we whiled away the afternoon.  I came back via the back lane and brought back a plant for the garden and three lamb chops for supper but they've found their way into fridge to thaw out and they'll be on the menu tomorrow.  I taken my camera to Zlatograd but unfortunately the battery went flat after three pickies....I should pay more attention.  LN.....Splendid day with something to look forward to......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 26, 2021, 7:25pm; Reply: 24
Wednesday 26th May

Silly night last night.  I was awake at three thirty and didn't put the light out again until five but managed to sleep through until eight so caught up on my allotted hours.  I moved down to the kitchen and boiled the kettle for my hot water which is rapidly becoming the 'norm' and the caffeine dependency seems to be abating.....the headaches have gone already.  I threw the bowl of very greasy washing up water over the wall and noticed that the task for today would have to be delayed, the grass was very damp with dew so at nine I made toast and sat watching my Netflix series for an hour or so and then was ready to face the mower and a great expanse of grass.

When I opened the door to the woodstore I saw that the polecat was making its way across the roof beam so I shot back into the yard and let it make its escape to where it calls home, the gap between the roof and the wall plate.  It can't gain access to the little house, the gaps are too small and I heard it thump across the cladding under the roof timbers and really not sure who's more frightened.  Extension cable out and all wired up for action wearing work boots knowing that I'd be operating the mower without the grass box so needed leg protection.  I did the outside of the property first, moved in and did the yard, then between the wall and the house and on to the grave garden.  I didn't stop, except for water, until I'd managed to get down to the mulberry on the main lawn.  I came in at one, did another two episodes of Netflix, filled up on tuna mayo sandwiches and worked up the enthusiasm to get going again.  So back to it, moved the extension cable from the yard to the workshop terrace so that I could work without effort.  I trimmed the wild plum bushes on the long wall garden and then continued with the little house grass down level with the mulberry.  The rest will be done tomorrow.

I came in at seven, put the tools away, cooked the three lamb chops in a frying pan, turned off the gas, put a lid on the frying pan and had a shower and washed my hair.  The chops were delicious and very tender, my hair is drying naturally and I tried desperately to capture the super moon tonight.  There's also supposed to be an eclipse but not sure if I shall manage to catch it here, the clouds as it makes its transit might cover it and it depends how my sleep pattern goes as to whether I catch it or not.  LN....I should sleep well tonight, I'm knacked from today's efforts......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 27, 2021, 5:27pm; Reply: 25
Thursday 27th May

What a night, same problem as yesterday except that I think I got confused as to when the eclipse was suppose to happen so I was up and down like the proverbial yoyo checking out the moon until three thirty...when I gave up.  Off to sleep and woke up at seven so another night without a good sleep record.  Washing up from last night put away and settled again for toast, checked emails on the notebook on table in the stairwell.  Prepared for the onslaught of the day, grass mowing duties, the final push and I wasn't sure whether or not it was going to be my final push or not.  

Out by nine thirty and equipped with boots, rubber gloves, I set up the mower and started on the rest of the little house grass.  I managed to do finish down to the rough garden by approximately eleven, despite the rain and sat under my balcony until it had finished.  It wasn't much but the drops were huge and unfortunately wet the little house grass and I suppose I should have finished until it had dried up a little but no...the job had to be done.  I started by using the electric mower but the machine kept stopping despite the fact that I was operating it without the grass box so I switched to the petrol mower, did from the mulberry down to the kimono dragon and came in for a break...it was hard going.  The grass box had to be emptied every three runs, the cows were happy about it, I wasn't.  

I finished off the tuna mayo with two slices of toast and forced myself out again.  I went with the petrol mower and eventually finished the big house grass by five.  I'd gone round the little beds but I still had to do down to the wall and so switched to the electric mower without the grass box until the machine was throwing up quite big stones so for safety the box went back on.  It's now finished, I left the mower out, planning to use it to pick up the hedge trimmings...that was going to be my next job.  The bushes are back to being spherical and eventually, the mower went away, and it was seven when I came in.  Total steps for today, fifteen thousand more or less.

Not sure about tomorrow...if the weather is good I'll have the final push and that will be it until it needs it again.  If it's not good, I'm off to Kardjali for a visit to the doctor, I just want her to check out a few things especially a very dry eye.  I hope it's fine, next week is supposed to be iffy with a cold spell...LN....Come on....it's nearly June...global warming...pah....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 28, 2021, 4:39pm; Reply: 26
Friday 28th May

So a beautiful sunny morning to start off with.  I saw one of tortoise lying in the sun under the short wall so made my way out to see which one it was and it was Rosie. I grabbed a couple of dandelion leaves but I reckon she was sunning herself and couldn't be bothered to eat until she was ready,  I carried on down the garden and spent about ten minutes removing the vetch from the day lilies, it's a beautiful weed but it really does swamp anything that it grows over and I found two bent over buds so it was obviously doing what it does best.  I threw it over the wall just as the sheep arrived and it didn't take long before it was no more.  

Having fed the sheep, I decided that I would feed myself so out with a packet of bacon from the freezer and into the frying pan with it.  It was joined by an egg and a slice of bread and by now it was almost ten.  I didn't rush to get dressed, I'd had such a big day in the garden so I washed up, tidied the kitchen and put the silly series that I'd been watching on and messaged to see if there was any news on the car and if it was out of emergency.  I heard nothing back but at ten forty five my phone went and it was a request for assistance.  I said that I was having a lazy day and that I'd be there by eleven thirty and taking the back road I actually made it for eleven twenty five.  We droved to Zlatograd and the garage had finished the repairs, he was shown the part that was taken out and where the decay had set in, a new filter had been fitted and it was good to go. I was invited back for lunch, we sat in the garden at at two thirty more or less the clouds rolled over so I said my farewells and headed home again via the back lane.

The sky got blacker and blacker, the wind was blowing everything everywhere and as I reached home the thunder started and heavy raindrops started to fall.  I closed most of the windows, got into my PJ's since nothing was going to happen today outside, settled on the bed with the Kindle and that was my rest of the day until six thirty and do I feel better for it.  There's mist in the valley, the sun's trying to force itself through and everything looks very green....so now I'm sitting watching the garden grow, no Internet so this is getting saved in Open Office and hopefully I can post it later....LN.....Fingers crossed or another one goes into the ether.....and it's back.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 28, 2021, 5:50pm; Reply: 27
Pickies after the storm
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 29, 2021, 4:59pm; Reply: 28
Saturday 29th May

After yesterday's storm it was a beautiful morning once the mist had burnt off.  Very damp everywhere, I walked the garden to find the tortoise but they were well hidden, probably sleeping in and Rosie didn't show herself until around ten o'clock.  As soon as she saw me though she headed into the shrubbery despite the fact that I waved a dandelion in her face.  I toyed with the idea of going into Kardjali or Djebel but did neither.

I cooked bacon for breakfast and used up the remains of the tin of baked beans I had last night mixed with tuna, mayo and beetroot.  Quite a mixture but very tasty and quick to prepare....just as I like it.  I've bought some smaller tins of tuna which are great for one, the large tins are just too much and I hate keeping it for the next day.  I was on a mission this morning to find my swimsuits and beach shoes....I know they were hanging at one point in the conservatory but no longer there.  I checked the back of the kitchen door, nothing, couldn't get to the back of the Nipper since I'd parked it under the tree in the yard and the rain had more or less camouflaged the fact that there was a car there.  I decided to forget about it and had one last try upstairs and there it was, behind the sewing room door.  By now it was getting on for eleven thirty, I tried the swimsuit on, it fitted so I moved the armchair on to the balcony, lashed myself with sun cream that was from the same bag and set about getting on a first layer of suntan.  I garden with long sleeves and long trousers, I dread getting bitten by anything that flies or crawls so stay covered and no sun gets through.  The sun was very hot. a wind was blowing but that keeps away the flies and I spent a couple of hours with only a Sudoku book for company.  I used giant pegs to attach a beach wrap to the balcony railings so stray sheep or shepherds wouldn't be shocked.  The clouds started to roll in so I decided to go in....and get warm again by putting some decent clothes on.

This afternoon was spent watching Netflix and nodding gently on the sofa and for and early summer I boiled a couple of diced potatoes with peas and carrots, settled for tuna again and made a giant potato tuna salad.  That should really see me through until breakfast.  I think it's a visit to the bread van tomorrow, I'm down to the last crust of the loaf and I might as well go to Kardjali on Monday....more shops open.

So with my first layer of sun tan expected to turn brown over night, I'm preparing my body for exposure on the beach at Thassos.  Two swimsuits are in the wash basket so I'm thinking about my packing already....I'm so out of practice with holidays and packing.  LN.....Those clouds are rolling in again.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 30, 2021, 4:06pm; Reply: 29
Sunday 30th May

Reasonable night but I woke up at five, played games until six. awake at seven and that was when I got up and this morning, made coffee....first time for a week and I enjoyed it.  I used up the remainder of the bacon and made sandwiches with brown sauce, I've run out of eggs, bread, mayo and I definitely need to do a shop tomorrow.  I might even get in a doctor's visit to get my thyroid checked out, the doctor mentioned it when I went in about a year ago and then we forgot about it.  It shows up on a blood test so no breakfast before I get the vampire treatment.

I noticed one of the tortoise walking down the bottom of the garden so I went to check which one it was and it was Blue Boy. It amazes me how far they manage to travel around the garden, bottom wall to front wall, terraces and garages...they seem to cover it all.  It was a pretty warm morning with hardly a cloud in the sky so I knew what I was up to today, another day in the sun for as long as the sun lasted.  I had a message on my phone to say that by lunchtime we were going to have heavy rain but we had the clouds, the temperature dropped but then it cleared up around five this afternoon and the sun came out again.  I'm still working on the principle that it will be brown tomorrow but at least I feel that I've got some colour starting off.  I made the mistake of picking up hair conditioning oil instead of the suntan oil and only realised when I'd lavishly applied it.  It's supposed to have pure coconut oil in it and give hair a sleek finish so maybe it will do it for me.  I did wash it off when I gave up when the sun went in, don't want that on clothes and furnishings.

Nothing much happening today for me and very little activity.  There were a couple of bee-eaters about but this year they haven't been in abundance...not in my garden anyway...but at least I got a couple of pickies.  I've also done a photoshoot of the roses that are magnificent this year and so varied and I caught Rosie down the bottom of the garden, she normally hangs around the mulberry.  Pizza for tonight and the kitchen's my next stop when I've posted the blog.  LN....Shopping tomorrow.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, May 31, 2021, 5:18pm; Reply: 30
Monday 31st May

It was another early start so at five I was playing games, at six I was playing more games and at seven I was thinking about food but knowing that I was heading off for a visit to my doctor I had to stave off the hunger pains and settle for hot water.  It was pouring down with rain so I anticipated that there wouldn't be many people at the polyclinic but I didn't take into account that it was Monday and should have done.  I made it to the Nipper by nine and picked up a container of sunflowers plants for my student's mum at the shop and delivered.  I had a few minutes with her but carried on to Kardjali, my private carpark near the hospital wasn't open for business and I had a five minute walk to the clinic.

There were three people in front of me but the doctor wasn't in the surgery but the receptionist was.  Apparently the doctor had gone off to pick up some results for the patient which seemed to take longer than expected.  The receptionist noticed me and without any conversation called me to go with her to another room and she wired me up for an ECG just to check that my heart was beating.  I laughed with her and said that if it wasn't she was wasting her time, I dressed and went back to waiting for the doctor.  I told her what I wanted, a blood test for thyroid and instead she stripped me off again and gave me a thorough check over front and back and took a blood pressure reading.  I got dressed again and left the surgery with paperwork for a blood test that was carried out across the road in another offshoot of the polyclinic and a document to take to the main hospital to make appointment to see the eye specialist.  That's what I like in Bulgaria, everything is instant and once you've parked up, it's in walking distance.  The first appointment is tomorrow at ten o'clock, it cost me one leva for the administration because I'm a pensioner and two if you're not.  The results for the blood test will be sent to my doctor, the other results I will pick up from the specialist and go back to the surgery for a consultation....so simple.

I walked back to the Nipper, drove to Lidl and bought a few items, stopped off at the car shop in Djebel for a catch-up and finished off buying a few more items from the Djebel supermarket.  I drove down to my post office and got there for ten after two and despite a sign on the door that it was open from one to four, she wasn't there so my post will have to wait for another day.  I put the shopping away, felt extremely tired so ran a bath and had my usual nap in there emerging from the depths at five thirty,  It's turned into a pleasant evening, a couple of bee-eaters are swooping over the garden, a woodpecker has just found his night-time snack on the lawn and a pied fly catcher has set up its viewing point in the mulberry but every time I pick up the camera it disappears...sod's law.

So tomorrow I'm seeing a different eye specialist from the normal one....I just need to find out what the problem with this eye is.  Kitchen calls, I've got a couple of hamburgers to process for supper and I'm hungry.  LN.....A successful day.....LN
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