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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JUNE 2021
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 1, 2021, 4:17pm
Tuesday 1st June

So it was another early start and at seven I was out enjoying the morning.  I heard a car outside the wall at the front of the house so I went round to see what was happening and saw a red old car, the window opened and my neighbours from Turkey had arrived to do some work on the wreck next door.  As they were setting off, I asked if they had had the vaccination and the back door of the car opened and the wife said...'Naaa'...so I responded with 'Heidi' which roughly translates as 'go away' and I laughed.  At this point they drove off and I bet that had a chunter in the car.  I didn't bother with breakfast again just in case I had to repeat the blood test and set off for the main hospital just before nine to give myself time to park.  I parked up eventually on a side road and got to the cubicle by ten to ten and there were several waiting with numbers lower than mine.  I was approached by one of the others and he asked me which number I had so I told him eight and he said that he was number eight also and he pointed out that mine was dated the day before.  I made my way to reception and one of the other ladies dealt with my query and said that I'd got the wrong date.  I pointed out that the time on the receipt for my payment for the appointment was timed at eleven twenty yesterday and my appointment was given as ten so why give me an appointment before I'd even got to the hospital.  Now some officious employees don't like errors pointing out to them so she said that she would make me an appointment for eight thirty tomorrow but thinking about it later, the one that took my money, put the wrong date on the slip and didn't enter me on the list for the doctor.   No apologies, no putting me as an extra on the list so I settled for the new appointment and have to go to the hospital tomorrow again.

I went back to the polyclinic to find out the results of my blood test but the doctor wasn't in so I spoke to the receptionist and explained what had happened and that I'd find out the results of everything the next day but showed her that where I'd had the blood taken, the area was very swollen, hot and red and she insisted that I wait for the doctor and she phoned her to return to the surgery and immediately said that I was to go back to see the head of department for dermatology.  I told her I didn't want to go because I would have to negotiate the receptionist that I'd just had a ruck with and she virtually pleaded with me to go...so I did.. My doctor gave me the result of my blood test and everything is OK.  I returned to the hospital reception and smiled as I approached and the one that I'd had the disagreement with took my documents, took my one lev, never smiled at me but the other one did and I got my appointment immediately.  I joined the queue, was seen after twenty minutes and the doctor said that it was an infection and wrote out a prescription for me and gave me the report for my doctor so back to the polyclinic.  I left the form with another doctor, mine nor the receptionist were in residence so I'll see them tomorrow.  

So there I was extolling the virtues of the Bulgarian health system and I still am but I'm sure that they will not make the same mistake again with any future booking.  Over to the chemist and I'm on antibiotics for seven days, I've taken one and it seems to have gone down a little already.  As I arrived home, the rain started, the temperature outside is down to twelve degrees and I'm seriously thinking about lighting the fire and I've added the quilt that I'd put away and it's now back on the bed.  LN....Let's see what happens tomorrow at my eye test......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 2, 2021, 3:32pm; Reply: 1
Wednesday 2nd June

So another early start but this time I had somewhere to go.  It was a cold morning and I should have put socks on s my doctor reminded me later in the day.  I went to the loo before I left but half way to Kardjali I felt I needed a pit stop but at just after seven in the morning you really have to drench the brain bank and suddenly Kaufland came to mind and I pulled on to the car park and saw with relief that the store was open and...... that's really good to know.  I pulled on to the hospital car park and managed to find a parking space by being a little cheeky pointing to a very short space near the parking cubicle.  He smiled at me, moved his bottle of water to stop anyone parking there but my Nipper fitted perfectly Cinderella.  I walked half way to the hospital entranced and realised that I'd left my mask in the car so I went to retrieve it and set off again.  The hospital was empty and I was the first to sit down outside number eight cubicle and within half an hour, the area was heaving.  I was first in when the optician arrived bang on time.

I handed my form over and asked him if he spoke English and sheepishly he said that he spoke 'a little'.  The assistant started filling in the form without difficulty so that was a start.  He asked me what was the problem to I explained it to him and I got a complement on my Bulgarian.  We sailed through the examination, he gave me the 'puff' test and diagnosed dry eye syndrome and I had two lots of eye sprays, one with cortisone that I have to put in the 'bad' eye for seven days and one that I can use in both eyes for as long as it lasts.  I've not met this guy before and he is so different from my usual one....I think I'll settle for him in the future.  I signed my forms and walked back to the car and made my way to the Polyclinic and fortunately found a paid parking spot and as I walked to the hospital the police were out in force booking everybody parked on the street in the vicinity of the hospital.  They must be getting short of funds again.  I went to see my doctor to show her the prescription and the diagnosis and she agreed that if it doesn't improve I should go back and see him again.

I drove to Kaufland, bought a few items including two bags of compost and was home for eleven thirty and felt knacked, I've had busy times at the hospital but at least I know my blood test is OK, my ECG was OK, my cholesterol is OK so it's more or less like an MOT.  I drove home and was there by eleven fifteen and marvelled at what I'd achieved.  I made coffee and ate a jam doughnut and there was a message from my co-traveller to Thassos to say that he'd filled in the form for our entry into Greece and it seemed that I would have to fill in my own form since I wasn't 'family' or resident in the same home.  He volunteered to come over to make sure that we had the same accommodation details entered and I'll get the email at midnight the night before we leave for Greece.  I am registered and all the documentation is in place.  We say under the bedroom balcony out of the light shower and I know it's good for the garden but I'm sick of it now.  I did a load of washing and put it on the airer, I'm going to light the 'fire to make sure that the washing can be put away in the morning.  Supper is going to be lightweight, I've put the boiler on, I'm destined for the bath tonight, an early night and tomorrow I'll be sorting my packing or at least deciding what I want to include.  LN.....And now ..relax.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 2, 2021, 3:48pm; Reply: 2
And a few pickies
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 3, 2021, 5:28pm; Reply: 3
Thursday 3rd June

Well after the sapping events of the last three days with so many visits to doctors and hospital I didn't wake up this morning until just before eight and what a welcome change.  It was a misty old morning but then it burnt off, a little nippy as I threw the remains of the French stick that I'd bought yesterday out to the cats and any other takers over the wall.  As I was walking back to the house, one of the bushes in the grave garden moved and on closer inspection the black cat was hiding under one of the Spireas and all I saw was a pair of green eyes staring back at me.  I think it sees this garden as a place of refuge with the potential of getting fed.  She settled on the one slice of bread that I'd put out for the birds, maybe she didn't like the flavour and texture of the French stick either and it's the last time I buy one from Kaufland.

I made bacon and fried egg for breakfast to give me a good start for the day and there's not been a lot of activity other than trying on summer clothes that have been stashed away in the chest in my bedroom.  So far this year I haven't done the winter/summer sorting and put the winter ones away.  I did manage to make a beef curry and put it in the slow cooker to work while I didn't, and searching for potential things to pack, have found shoes in the third bedroom that really need throwing out.  I found my trainers and they might be going with me to Greece especially if there is any walking involved. Last night's washing remained on the airer to make sure it was really dry before I put if away and I washed another couple of sweaters and put them out and at this point, as per normal, the clouds rolled over but it didn't rain thank goodness.  

At two, Netflix went on and that was me, head down until four catching up on the last few days.  I woke up cold so lit the fire and for June it's almost unheard of.  I've still got plenty of wood so I'd rather be comfortable that suffering for the sake of four or five logs for an evening.  It's not really suffering but I do like to be comfortable.  I enjoyed my curry and used a new boil in the bag rice pack but think I really enjoy the real thing.  I seem to have more control over how soft and fluffy it gets.  It was OK but nothing to write home about and I was unsure how much salt to add, next time I will go back to the old method.  I finished off with peach yogurt and my antibiotic tablet, nothing like sending it down in style.  

I found the 'family' this morning, Blue Boy was at the top end of the garden and Rosie was down the bottom which was a complete reversal.  As for Sandy, not spotted for a few days now...could be anywhere.  Eight thirty my time, all quiet on all fronts and I think it's going to be an early night with the Kindle.  LN....Building my strength up for next week....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 4, 2021, 5:23pm; Reply: 4
Friday 4th June

Funny old day for weather.  It was an eight start for me and as I sat at the desk I spotted the 'family' out and about so took pictures to identify them later.  As I said yesterday they'd swopped territories and they had remained in the new areas overnight.  The sun was out early on, it clouded over a little and then cleared so I thought it was time for another top up so at ten or thereabouts I moved the chair out to the balcony, put up my 'curtain' to protect the cows' prying eyes and in my underwear took up a horizontal position and got another coating of sun on.  As you've guessed it's all in preparation for Thassos, I don't want to be lily white when I hit the beach.  I liberally put sunscreen on but could feel it burning but no need to worry, the sun wasn't out for too long.

Having taken the pickies of the tortoises this morning it made me realise that the rainy weather had encouraged the grass and weeds to grow in what I loosely term a lawn.  With it now clouding over I got the mower out and as I started it up it groaned and moaned and I knew that it needed cleaning underneath so I persevered until the petrol ran out and tipped it on its side.  Having done this it was plain to see that it really needed sorting so I took a kitchen knife and cleaned the underside thoroughly, oiled around where the blade spins round, filled it up with petrol and fired it up again.  It works like a dream now and I managed to get down to the lump of wood in the middle of the main house grass, it certainly needed it.  I gave the cows a shock when I put the clippings over the wall, one bolted and the rest of them followed suit and they headed down to the pond.

By now it was getting on for three so I went for another search for one of my long lost relatives and still can't managed to pin down a birth or baptism record for him thereby confirming his father.  I only have a last will and testament stating that his father, John and his father in law should administer his will, so because I can't find his father I'm not sure of his mother either.  It's been about two years on the burner and like a spot, I keep picking the top off it.  I eventually gave up and settled down to Netflix, it was threatening rain so nothing more to do outside.  I've finished the series I was watching so I'm on the hunt for the next but instead found a film about Mary Queen of Scots which I managed to get to the end of and then promptly fell asleep for about half an hour.  Supper was easy, a can of tuna with mayo, onions and beetroot followed by more peach yogurt and I've just realised that its twenty after eight my time....the evening has shot by.  The terraces are starting to dry up again but looking at the long range it looks like this weather is running into next week...thank goodness I shall be in Thassos all being well.  I was always told to not count the chickens before...When I was out there I noticed that the cherry tree is absolutely laden and I've just see a jay heading in that direction....doing my bit for the wild-life.  LN....An impromptu day in the garden...it does look better though......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 5, 2021, 8:33pm; Reply: 5
Saturday 5th June

Silly start for me, I woke up at four and didn't managed to get back off to sleep until four this afternoon in the bath.  By eight I'd managed breakfast and washed up, and eventually I was able to see the bottom of the garden so I went to check on the family but no signs of either.  It was a pretty cold start to the day with wall to wall or rather, mountain to mountain fog. I had a bit of a meander morning, I was trying to sort clothes out for Thassos digging deeply into my summer clothes chest and coming out with others that I'd forgotten I'd even bought and I really must have a sort out.

At ten thirty I'd written a list and wrote a list of things that I needed including petrol for the mower and euro for the trip.  First stop the change shop and that's one thing ticked off, second over to the cheapy shop for masks for the trip and the ruling is if we're not from the same family we have to wear masks in the car so ten new ones as reserves.  I stopped off at my student's mum's shop for a chat and updates and then over to see a friends new shop that she's opened but she was off visiting so I had to find her in another friend's shop.  So many friends and so many shops.  I stopped off and bought myself a pizza for lunch and a local yogurt drink, twenty leva of fuel for the mower and bread and sun tan lotion from the supermarket and it was still only one thirty when I arrived home.  

I warmed up the pizza and munched my way through it and put a load of washing in the machine and went upstairs for a bath,  Unfortunately I forgot to put the boiler on. woke up in cold water and couldn't top it up with hot so washed my hair and conditioned it, rinsed it off, got out of the bath and wrapped myself in thick soft towels to warm up again.  It was now getting on for four thirty so I dried my hair and for some strange reason it looked good left lose so I toyed with the idea of leaving it like that for this evening's jazz night at one of the hotels in Kardjali.  We've all had those days when you can't decide what to wear and I was putting things on and taking them off until I remembered that it was an outside venue so leggings went on with a role neck sweater and covered with my very long lambs wool cardigan which is very warm and it was for the best.  I'd arranged to meet my compatriots in crime at the venue, managed to park up in the car park and was shown to their table,  They'd beaten me to the first round so I coughed up for the second and stuck to water and orange juice....it does for me these days.  We had simple food, the groups were OK but it wasn't true jazz, more a mixture of styles and as I suspected the temperature dropped and by ten I was ready to depart and head for home. Interestingly, the fire-flies were out and about, strange things aren't they,

I'm not used to driving at night and really wish they would replace the road markings when they've renewed the road surface,, Not that it means much to a Bulgarian but I find them useful.  I didn't find any stray cows on the way home, all must be safely gathered in and there was very little traffic.  I suddenly remembered that I'd not put the washing on the airer so that was my first job and fingers crossed, it will dry in the house.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except packing,,,and that shouldn't take long.  LN.....Only two days to go....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 6, 2021, 5:13pm; Reply: 6
Sunday 6th June

Six start and then I got my head down again and it was eight when I woke for the second time.  I settled for toast for breakfast, old bread out for the cat and over the wall for the birds. it was a much better morning from what we've had lately and I sat on the bench and enjoyed the morning.  I settled for sorting clothes and have at last more or less settled on what I'm taking with me to Thassos, I ended up putting sweaters away and tee-shirts on to the shelving unit in the bedroom.  It's just not been the weather to encourage this sort of action before.

I meandered through most of the morning and at one I challenged myself to get on with the grass cutting.  My neighbour turned up around eleven to return a pair of wire cutters that I'd leant her, the fence is renewed and the cows are kept outside the boundaries.  We sat drinking apple juice and then made out way out to the garden, she's the neighbour that look to see what's new and if she's able to carry it home with her and I found a Choisya that needed putting into soil and not held in a pot so off she went with new treasure.  I made a start on the grass and it was pretty hot out there for the first few laps and it seemed fairly easy going.  Unfortunately it was still pretty wet underneath and the damp slowed down the transit of the cuttings into the basket and I was having to empty every couple of runs.  Eventually I'd finished the main area and came in for water and settled on the sofa for an hour or so and at four went out again and then the clouds came over.  Not only did we have large raindrops but thunder and lightening and firstly I don't like thunder and it's not good weather for mowing grass so I gave up at six.  

Two loads of washing done and is on the clothes airer moved into my bedroom to get the sun if it shows its face tomorrow and I've accumulated ironing which is not normal for me,,,,but I want to take a couple of pairs of cotton trousers with me.  I noticed that I had a very colourful lizard on the terrace and I was amazed how long the tail was.  It even waited for me to go in the house and get the camera so that I could take the shot and just a few more of the flowers that have appeared.  Gentle day tomorrow, out for lunch in Djebel with my student and a catch-up.  LN.....Now I'm getting excited.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 7, 2021, 5:14pm; Reply: 7
Monday 7th June

Well this morning began with a message to say that I had another form to fill in for our trip to Thassos confirming our details, the port of departure and arrival, email and telephone numbers.  Apparently this was only introduced today so it's a moving target....and you just hope that you've got all bases covered.  I've packed a few times and unpacked and packed again.  I was originally taking a rucksack and one for my swimwear but now I done away with the second bag,,,too much baggage.  So tonight I'm waiting for my last form that is supposed to arrive at midnight and then off tomorrow morning.

It was quite a good morning, toast again for breakfast and the last of the washing done and just as I was pegging out we had a few drops of rain fall.  What is it with this weather and it's supposed to last until the end of the month and there's no chance of getting my wood in like I did last year around this time.  It's a good job that I've still got some.  At eleven I was in the Nipper and was heading towards my student's house for an early lunch.  We hadn't had a catch up for ages and I was really looking forward to it.  I stopped off at the supermarket and bought a giant box of lemon After Eights and a packet of biscuits and she was waiting at the gate for me.  Her father was there, lunch was chicken and salad and she'd made a banana yogurt for desert but we had that when I arrived...pudding first.  Her mother arrived at one from her work and we talked about gardens, the weather and family.  She went back to work, I stayed with my student and I agreed to bring back a bottle of sea water for her to smell....she's missing the sea and Greece.  I've tried to persuade her to have the vaccination but there's so much wrong press about if.  I mentioned to my student that I had two tortoise and that they were the same ones as last year, she said that she had one and thinks it's the same so I told her about me putting nail varnish on the shell so that I could identify them and she's going to do the same.  

I left at two thirty, stopped off at the cash point and carried on home and by this time it was really raining so my first job was to get out the few things I'd put out this morning.  It was actually raining harder in Djebel than here so it wasn't too wet.  I shan't need supper, I'm still topped up from lunchtime so just a snack later.  Updates are likely to be quick or none existent ....not sure of internet access and wifi points.  Bear with me....I'll put lots of pickies on later.  LN.....Just a few thigs to sort......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 8, 2021, 5:19pm; Reply: 8
Tuesday 8th June

What an eventful day.  I didn't go to bed until one this morning, I waited for my Passenger location form to come through at just after midnight, printed it off and then went to bed.  Everything was assembled in the hallway, I only had to fill in the five hours before I had to get up and drive to the next village.  I set the alarm but was awake before it, made coffee and left the house at six forty five having to take the long way round because of the road closure.  I presented myself at seven fifteen and we loaded the car and set off for the border complete with all necessary documentation.

The border crossing took about an hour and we were soon on our way to the ferry departure point, more documents to fill in but soon we were on our way to Thassos.  Into the hire car and we headed east of the island and arrived at the apartment around three thirty.  Luggage unpacked and we decided to walk down to the beach and for me to take in the surroundings and what a beautiful place it is.  It's such a shame though, the tourists are not coming due to Covid and the restaurant owners are desperate for new diners.  We ended up at a restaurant that my friends have been to before, they were well received and the meal was very good.

A quick trip round the supermarket and now about to sit on the balcony and it will be an early night for all of us,,,,,it was an early start.  No pickies....I've taken  lots but there's no USB port on this machine to attach the camera.....they'll have to wait.  LN....Let the good times commence....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 9, 2021, 4:17pm; Reply: 9
Wednesday 9th June

Sleepless night but what can be expected from a new to me bed.  I thought I would be straight to sleep but no to be.  Eventually I fell asleep at 1 but was awake at six and dressed by seven and we were in the car and searching for breakfast by eight.  We headed up the coast and found a baker's shop and settled for feta in fill and by this time a coffee shop was open.  Back into the car and over to a beautiful cove and no one else was there so it made it a no brained.  Eventually a few more arrived but we swam in water that was cold to get in but very soothing once you'd made it.  By twelve we'd had enough sun so went to the supermarket and picked up a few things for lunch in a very leisurely fashion a took it back to the apartment.

One stayed to paint and I was taken to see the historical sights, a few more beaches and dinky door shops.  Back for five thirty, off to another rustic restaurant for supper.  LN....Thassos is magical....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 10, 2021, 9:29pm; Reply: 10
Thursday 10th June

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

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

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

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

Lots of photos but just posting a few that I probably should have posted if I'd have been able with the right equipment.  Love Thassos and would go back again but maybe I should see more of the coast first.  It's stopped raining and fingers crossed it will stay that was overnight....my grass needs love and attention.  LN... Bath tonight and relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 12, 2021, 4:59pm; Reply: 12
Saturday 12th June

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

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

The thunder has started and the sky is very dark which doesn't bode well for gardening tomorrow, it might be another day like today.  I've checked out the long range weather and roll on the weekend, we have this 'funny' weather until then and to be honest I don't find it very funny.  The kitchen calls and the rain falls.  LN.....I'll dream of Greece.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 13, 2021, 6:34pm; Reply: 13
Sunday 13th June

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

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

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

Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 14, 2021, 4:35pm; Reply: 14
Monday 14th June

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

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

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

It's turned into a beautiful evening, the black cat is sunning herself on the wall at the bottom of the garden , not sure what she's waiting for and if it's food, she's two late...it's all gone.  I really should do something with the cherries from the tree in the garden before the birds have them all...I'd put a sign out but if I put a sign out in Bulgarian, none of my neighbours would understand it...they only speak Turkish.  For me it might be 'pick my own' and 'Deliveroo'.   LN....I think a walk round the garden is called for.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 15, 2021, 5:03pm; Reply: 15
Tuesday 15th June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sun is shining, it's a beautiful evening and I've even unpacked a couple of solar lamps that I bought last year and put them out.  Fingers crossed we have no rain overnight, I really want to finish off the grass before the others start to grow back...perfect weather, hot and damp.  The forecast isn't good but maybe they've got it wrong....but if it rains overnight, I'm off somewhere.  LN...Kitchen calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 17, 2021, 3:53pm; Reply: 17
Thursday 17th June

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

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

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

I've just been out to take the pickies and guess what....there were a few spots of rain but at least it's gone over now.  Shrub trimming tomorrow, the forsythias have gone mad with this hot wet weather and need a good haircut, the japonica I did yesterday to give the lilies a chance and the mock orange has more or less finished flowering.  The roses want dead heading around the rest of the garden, I did the front wall yesterday  The joys of a hot, wet, balmy climate...name me one.  LN.....Almost seven my time and I'm going to try and stay awake until bedtime.   LN.....Fat chance......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 18, 2021, 4:38pm; Reply: 18
Friday 18th June

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

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

It's been a gentle day and I've got a few jobs done.....and after yesterday's epic grass session, I needed it.  I came in and boiled beetroot that came as a gift and went out and weeded mine that are nowhere near ready.  Kitchen calls, I need to get creative....with a can of tuna.    LN......Maybe Kardjali tomorrow.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 19, 2021, 4:33pm; Reply: 19
Saturday 19th June

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

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

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

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

Unpacked the shopping and the strimmer stuff, settled down to watch the tennis and we at last have an Englishman in tomorrow's final.  I opened up the little house and moved into the workshop with the strimmer, sprayed the screw holding on the head to remove the rust from it, unscrewed it and ...Cinderella it fits.  I'm going back to buy up the rest of the stock, cheaper than ordering them from the internet, metal head and ten blades for two pounds, couldn't make it up.  Not sure about supper, I ate a packed of jelly sweets while I was watching the tennis so not really wanting anything yet, and might not until tomorrow morning.  LN.....A successful day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 20, 2021, 5:07pm; Reply: 20
Sunday 20th June

Lovely skies last night at around nine but not much going for it this morning.  I was up and about around seven sitting watching the morning but this time from within the house from my bedroom and not many birds were out and about.  I could hear the hoopoe but so far haven't seen it, perhaps my garden is just too cultivated, it prefers scrub, and then I ventured down to the kitchen to make bacon and egg for breakfast.  Supper didn't happen last night and I was feeling really hungry, everything washed and tidied including me and I ventured out to review the garden close too and realised that there was a lot of grass and vetch lingering in the flower beds so started pulling some of it out and lobbing it over the wall.  Next job was to get out the tree lopper and removed several branches from various acacias round the garden, the branches were getting very heavy so they had to be removed.  It's a pretty tree but really needs controlling and I didn't stop there.  The wild plum tree got a trim and I went outside the house and trimmed the lime tree that's hanging over the road and the debris went over the road into Haciber's patch for the cows, they'll made short shift of it.  I strimmed round the beds using the new strimmer and I must say that the blades seem much stronger than the others I used to buy from the internet or maybe it's because the holding plate is new, the blade didn't keep popping off.  I know now why they're red, so you can find them easily in the undergrowth.

I came in for a drink and sat on the sofa and nodded off and it was only ten thirty and I've been like that all day.  I've gone out and done 'stuff', tidied round the tyre garden and compost bin, repotted the clementine which I thought I'd lost and put in lots of self set tobacco and petunias and the area looks good.  I came in and did a load of washing and managed to get it out, caught the end of the tennis, the other player was just too good for the unseeded English guy but he really put in a good performance and took it to three sets.  More tidying and weeding and at six I decided that the top part of the grass really needed doing so I got out the biggie and just managed to get down to the mulberry and switch the machine off and then it started to rain....very well timed.  I was hoping that it would run out of fuel so that I could clean underneath but that will have to wait for it's next outing.

Supper went in at six before I set to on the grass and it's ready not so I've turned the oven off and can smell roast chicken, jackets and roast beetroot and it's not that I want to rush things but I'm really hungry...it's been a long time since breakfast.  As I was emptying the grass box for the last time I saw black cat over the wall and munching on something.  From where I was standing I couldn't see what it was so I went out with the camera and I've yet to see what it was....probably a lizard or something and that's nature for you.  Quite a lot achieved today and I see to have worked through some of the mental list.  LN...It's supper time....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 20, 2021, 5:07pm; Reply: 21
Sunday 20th June

Lovely skies last night at around nine but not much going for it this morning.  I was up and about around seven sitting watching the morning but this time from within the house from my bedroom and not many birds were out and about.  I could hear the hoopoe but so far haven't seen it, perhaps my garden is just too cultivated, it prefers scrub, and then I ventured down to the kitchen to make bacon and egg for breakfast.  Supper didn't happen last night and I was feeling really hungry, everything washed and tidied including me and I ventured out to review the garden close too and realised that there was a lot of grass and vetch lingering in the flower beds so started pulling some of it out and lobbing it over the wall.  Next job was to get out the tree lopper and removed several branches from various acacias round the garden, the branches were getting very heavy so they had to be removed.  It's a pretty tree but really needs controlling and I didn't stop there.  The wild plum tree got a trim and I went outside the house and trimmed the lime tree that's hanging over the road and the debris went over the road into Haciber's patch for the cows, they'll made short shift of it.  I strimmed round the beds using the new strimmer and I must say that the blades seem much stronger than the others I used to buy from the internet or maybe it's because the holding plate is new, the blade didn't keep popping off.  I know now why they're red, so you can find them easily in the undergrowth.

I came in for a drink and sat on the sofa and nodded off and it was only ten thirty and I've been like that all day.  I've gone out and done 'stuff', tidied round the tyre garden and compost bin, repotted the clementine which I thought I'd lost and put in lots of self set tobacco and petunias and the area looks good.  I came in and did a load of washing and managed to get it out, caught the end of the tennis, the other player was just too good for the unseeded English guy but he really put in a good performance and took it to three sets.  More tidying and weeding and at six I decided that the top part of the grass really needed doing so I got out the biggie and just managed to get down to the mulberry and switch the machine off and then it started to rain....very well timed.  I was hoping that it would run out of fuel so that I could clean underneath but that will have to wait for it's next outing.

Supper went in at six before I set to on the grass and it's ready not so I've turned the oven off and can smell roast chicken, jackets and roast beetroot and it's not that I want to rush things but I'm really hungry...it's been a long time since breakfast.  As I was emptying the grass box for the last time I saw black cat over the wall and munching on something.  From where I was standing I couldn't see what it was so I went out with the camera and I've yet to see what it was....probably a lizard or something and that's nature for you.  Quite a lot achieved today and I see to have worked through some of the mental list.  LN...It's supper time....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 21, 2021, 3:58pm; Reply: 22
Monday 21st June

So it was a pretty early start.  The light was still on, the Kindle had fallen to the floor but my glasses were folded on the bed next to me....it was five fifteen.  I tried going back to sleep and it just wasn't happening and at five thirty there was some mist in the valleys but the sun hadn't broken through to spoilt the views so out with the camera.  I love it at that time of the morning, there were very few birds about, I'd even beaten them to it.  St seven I was making a bacon sandwich with brown sauce and I sat outside on the bench and by then the sun was up and not even the bottom of the garden was visible but it eventually cleared and turned into quite a pleasant morning.  I cleared the kitchen and decided to have a bonfire and on my way down to the bottom of the garden, black cat was sitting hopefully waiting and I remembered that I had the remains of last night's chicken for her so I went back to the house to fetch it, she moved to the top of the long wall, I put it on the ground and she waited until I was almost back to the house before she approached it.  I left her to it and only started the bonfire when she'd moved on to pasture new...and nothing was left only the potato skins.

So I had a good burn up and put the lid on it in case the wind picked up and at nine thirty I was heading in to Kardjali down the rough road to the Makaza road.  It takes around fifteen minutes off my journey but you have to beware of the idiots flying down to Greece especially from Romania.  My mission today was to buy the other discs and blades for the battery strimmer, now that I knew they fitted I wanted to make sure that I grabbed the last of them.  I carried on to Kaufland and bought potatoes, carrots and tomatoes towards my health kick and on to the Raider shop and asked if they had more blades but they didn't and there are none available on the website so I might have just bagged the last.  Drove on to my cheapy shop but didn't find anything, back to Lidl and topped up with a few items and then on the road home.  I was back for one, unpacked the shopping in the rain.  I'd just got home in time but it was a short sharp shower, it cleared up and now we have a beautiful evening.  I've just spotted Rosy heading for the mulberry tree to hoover up the mulberries and now she's off to find a bed for the night under the short wall.

I forgot to mention that this morning I posted photos of my time in Gibraltar police and there's been lots of response and even a message from a police woman that I used to work with.  We lost contact around nineteen seventy five so lots of catching up to do.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow, it the weather stays good I'm sure I can find something to do in the garden and I've got two benches that need sanding down and sorting and several large shrubs that need haircuts.  Macaroni cheese is ready, so kitchen calls.  LN.....Always something to do....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 22, 2021, 5:03pm; Reply: 23
Tuesday 22nd June

Another silly early start but this time the light was off and the Kindle was on the side table.  Not the same sort of day as yesterday, wall to wall mist when the daylight came up so coffee, back to bed and a few games of Sudoku.  I opened the balcony door, it wasn't cold but there was a dampness in the air which fortunately dissipated as the day wore on.  I settled for a couple of boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, fed the cat the remains of last night's supper and again, she waited for me to go before she started it, I crept back and all I saw were two green eyes staring at me so I left her to it.  Cleared the kitchen and stripped the downstairs bed and got the winter quilt cover and bottom sheet into the washing machine.  The nest can go away until next year and made the bed up with summer quilt and cover....maybe I will have guests again but really doesn't seem likely but live in hope.

I was out to the garden at nine thirty with all tools to hand.  First on the list was the forsythia in the frog garden, it's really taken off with the weather we've been having and I wasn't able to see the bottom of the garden from the terrace and felt hemmed in.  I've taken it down about two feet but will probably give it another haircut leaving it time to grow so that it flowers next spring.  I moved midway down the low wall and the lime hedge had gotten covered with vetch and looked really naff so the first job was to try and remove the vetch to see what was underneath.  I used the rake on it pulling off what I could but then decided that the hedge trimmer would do the job and it did.  It took longer, there was a buzz, a couple of sparks and I'd cut through the extension lead cable so I retired to the workshop, grabbed a screw driver and now I can add another string to my bow.  I walked to the bottom of the garden, connected it back up and it didn't power up and then I realised that for safety I'd unplugged everything in sight so back to the workshop, tried again and I was in business.  I moved on to the wild rose bush and the wild plum next to it and they're both down to a reasonable height, another forsythia tamed and another wild cherry reduced and made into a ball.  I've cleared the ground underneath and strimmed it and tomorrow I can use the old engine oil to coat the wood surrounds.  I did have another go at the electrics, the cable was severed for the second time....

I took a break and came in for a drink and munched on some jelly mice.  I really wasn't surer if I enjoyed the sensation, the brain plays strange tricks sometimes.  I had a brief interlude with first one tortoise and another.  I'd spotted Rosie in the bushes have a nap and turned round and Blue Boy was circling the underneath of the mulberry looking for the fruit so I scoured the ground for him and almost handfed him.  I made a heap of about five or six and they were devoured in quicksticks, Rosy appeared about an hour later and we went through the same performance.

Eventually tools away by six, strimmer cleaned, cables wound up ready for action tomorrow and if it stays dry, it's a lawn mower day.  There's just been too much to do this year because of the weather....maybe we're on the change, it hasn't rained today but there's still time.  LN....I should sleep well tonight.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 23, 2021, 4:37pm; Reply: 24
[b]Wednesday 23rd June[/b

Another six start, again it was misty and not a lot to see.....but you know it's out there....the views, the freedom and the work....gardens never stop growing.  I did have my bath last night and went to bed very relaxed and had a good night.  I put a load of washing in, settled for toast for breakfast, noticed that Rosy was under the mulberry so I took some grapes out for her.  I put them down in front of her, I obviously woke her up as she gave a big yawn and didn't seem at all fazed when I spoke to her and didn't disappear into her shell.  I left her to it and ten minutes later that she was off down the garden.  I really should produce a map for them....it seems to change every day, grass strimmed, hedges trimmed, new plants in and weeds out leaving patches of empty ground.

To today's challenge was to remove the weeds, from the old veg patch.  I'd divided it up into squares or sort of squares and sunflowers were in one, beetroot in the next and wild poppies in the other that was about it.  So now I have three planted up and three with nothing in them except a sucker from the tree at the bottom of the garden and two lupins that were hiding under a bunch of weeds.  I found two more and now they have a bed to themselves.  By twelve it had really got hot and sticky so I came in for a break and raided the goody box and drank lots of water.  I settled on the sofa, settled for a recommended film based in Russia and I really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately thee quarters of the way through, I realised that a storm was in progress so stopped the film, grabbed the washing from the line and by now it was throwing it down and the thunder was overhead so I ran in the house, put the washing on the airer and went back to the film.  It finished at five and so I went out again and finished off the flower bed clearing the old broad beans and tulip seed pods, moved over to the other side of the garden and ended up digging up and old tree stump and moving the old concrete roof from the outside toilet on to the old concrete base.

I came in just before seven, tools away, barbecue spare ribs in the oven with a jacket potato.  The sun's come out again and it really is a pleasant evening...and no sign of the family...they must have gone to bed for the night and I shan't be long after them.  LN......Time to check the kitchen......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 24, 2021, 5:31pm; Reply: 25
Thursday 24th June

Another six start and it seems to be becoming a pattern.  I really don't mind but I should get into the habit of going out and making a start on things in the garden.  I would have done but it rained yesterday and the poor grass mower is struggling as it is and so am I...two runs and the grass box has to be emptied...hard work.  

Omelette for breakfast and I felt it wasn't worth opening the packet of Cheddar cheese for one small omelette.  I discovered an issue with the Kindle before breakfast this morning, I couldn't get into Hotmail and the message was that I could not access the Hotmail server.  Now I've done nothing different on it and the last time that it happened it was down an update form Amazon and they'd forgotten to make the update to all available devices.  They sorted that one so I went on to the chat help line to remind them that my device is an old one and the developers have to remember that it exists but all the guy had to go through was a script and he wanted me to de-register the device and then to re-register it.  I ended the session and my details are held for twenty four hours so that I don't have to go through it again and so far, it's not resolved itself so it's another session tomorrow.  

By this time it was really too late to start mowing the grass but I made a start on it....and regretted that I had.  It ran out of fuel so I cleaned underneath again and it really needed it.  The grass clings underneath and it's heavy to push and the blade isn't efficient...so it was OK for a while but then I was back to normal.  The ground is so wet.  Eventually I came in and waited until after five to go out again and it was still up in the high twenties - low thirties, I was dripping sweat like a wet sponge, my hair was drenched so at seven I gave up, put the machine away, locked up the tools and settled for a shower and hair wash.  

I'm feeling much fresher, opened up the computer on the top landing and just notice Rosy having the last of the sun before she takes to her bed for the night.  Blue was very active today, I noticed him firstly half way down the garden near the long tall wall, then by the bonfire pit and later this afternoon he was back under the mulberry.  I know that it seems odd making friends with tortoise but they really have been a life saver without the responsibilities during lockdown.  I don't see my neighbours so much, they have family appearing from Turkey and I know they have tests but for me it's not so secure as the vaccine.

It's going to be tuna mayo tonight, easy to prepare and quick to deliver.  Tomorrow providing we don't have rain overnight, I have to finish the grass which should take a couple of hours and then finish trimming the bushes and then it should be finished for a week or so...that's if it doesn't rain again.  LN.....Where is summer?.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 25, 2021, 5:58pm; Reply: 26
Friday 25th June

Early start, sat and had coffee on the balcony then stripped the bed, it had been a clammy night and I decided to freshen it up for tonight.  Three loads of washing done, breakfast of boiled eggs and toast, kitchen sorted and it was still only nine o'clock.  I tried the Kindle out and I was right to think that it would sort itself overnight and it had, the only thing it didn't do was to send messages directly but put them into the Outbox and I had to push them on.  I went back on to update the help desk but they really didn't want to know and just asked me if I'd de-registered and re-registered and to let them know when I had and that was the last I heard of them.  CBA to carry on any discussions.

I eventually got out to the garden at eleven and carried on where I'd left off yesterday when I ran out of steam and it wasn't such hard going.  I finished it about one, was dripping with perspiration, we were up in the thirties.  I swabbed down, watch a little TV and headed for the kitchen and made a potato salad with onions, grated carrots and eggs and with a small can of tuna, that was lunch.  I'd made a huge bowl of mixture so put the rest of it in the fridge for my evening meal.  As they say a full stomach requires rest so I settled down on the sofa and was out for a couple of hours, checked my emails and lo and behold there was one from Amazon.  I assumed that it was asking for feedback on my interactions with them but it wasn't.  It was confirming that they were sending me a replacement Alexa and I was to return the faulty unit otherwise I would be charged for the replacement so I emailed them and received another email saying that I had replied to an email that didn't accept messages.   I went on to the help desk again and elected that they would call me back but I was asked to enter my Bulgarian number but Bulgaria wasn't listed on the dropdown so I settled for my UK phone.  I was contacted almost immediately, I explained the problem, the girl checked my account and nothing was amiss on it, she confirmed that the operator had sent the email to the wrong person, that it was completely unacceptable and would I accept their apologies.  I asked for confirmation in an email and I'm still waiting.

Feeling energised from one success, I went out and finished off the big house grass, it wasn't too long but needed a trim to complete the look of the grass I did yesterday.  I now only have the grave garden to do.  Funny light tonight, it looks like it might rain, the sky is very black but the air is very still.  Tortoises were out and about today, Rosy and Blue were on the grass and I spotted Sandy underneath the big lilac.  My last sighting of Blue was on the main house terrace and goodness knows where he was going so I picked him up, his little legs were going like mad, put him down on the grass and he shot off like a bullet out of a gun.  I came in, washed down and got into summer PJ's, had another bowl of salad and this time with beetroot.  LN.......Just a few pickies....and hopefully no more interactions with Amazon.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 26, 2021, 4:54pm; Reply: 27
Saturday 26th June

This time it was a five o'clock start...I shall have to start leaving the balcony door open, it was very muggy last night but at five there was a cloud base with only a hint of sun when I started its day.  I sat on the bedroom chair with the door open, checked the Kindle and it was working as it should be.  I was receiving emails and able to send  without them lingering in the Outbox.  Intermittent faults...pah....the last one was two years ago...someone was moving stuff over to another server at a guess.  I made my second cup of coffee and used some from an old jar, tasted it and promptly threw it away and the contents of the jar went in the rubbish.  I don't settle for using it just because it has a value...no like...no use.....so I went downstairs and opened a new jar for upstairs.  It's on the landing so that I can make it when I'm working upstairs and set it up originally so that I didn't disturb my guest.  When he's over from the UK he sleeps downstairs, likes the fact that it remains cool.

So the old bread went out for the animals and I was waiting for the bread van, I was out of eggs as well. He came about eight thirty, Haciber was walking down to the square and she doesn't look well at all and told me that she's going to see a doctor in Turkey and stay with her daughter.  I looked at the yard and asked if she wanted me to strim it so after I'd bought essentials from the van, I went home, picked up the strimmer and toddled off to her house.  I was doing well until the screw holding on he cutting plate shot off somewhere and so couldn't continue.  I searched and searched and still no luck, realised that I'd got the old one in the workshop, it had been taken apart not by me, the screws were in a coffee jar top and I thought I was in luck....but no joy.  It's a special screw with a reversed thread on it so I did some research on the internet and it's no longer available for parts....bugger...so I'll go back to the store I got the last batch of blades from, to see if they can help out...I can't be the only one to lose a screw.

I cleaned the mower ready for action but by the time that I'd finished on the internet it looked like rain so I put the machine back in its hidey hole, promptly went to sleep for an hour or so, it hadn't rained but the thunder was belting round, out with the mower and finished the grave garden and came in and watched the tennis from Eastbourne.  By this time the sun was up again so I attacked the garden between the big lilac and the mulberry to get rid of the grass growing just inside the garden surround, planted up a couple of shrubs that have been in pots and trimmed back the bushes that have finished flowering.  I've just got the iris to tackle, they need the leaves trimming back and lifting so that the tubers are exposed, they aren't at the moment and didn't flower well at all this year.  

So came in at seven and had to walk the garden to achieve my ten thousand steps and there was a satisfying buzz from my Fitbit.  Might have to get the new electric little strimmer out to do the bottom of the garden tomorrow, it's a bit like the Forth Bridge but I want to get near as dam it.  No supper, I had the remains of the potato salad while I watched the tennis, it's settled into a very quiet, calm night, thunderstorms tomorrow according to the weather 'experts' but it might be a swimming day on Monday or Tuesday...it's supposed to be sunny all day.  LN.....I'm off for a shower.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 27, 2021, 3:23pm; Reply: 28
Sunday 27th June

Well I once heard that Sunday was the day of rest and it has been today.  The mother of all thunderstorms last night, we had power cuts and I was out with the tea-lights finding my way in the dark and fortunately the power came back on around ten so I still carried on and had my bath.  Into bed by eleven and the storm was still raging, with horrendous winds and lashing rain so I switched the lights off and even drew my bedroom curtains.  I just don't like storms of that magnitude, some people take great pleasure in watching them, not me, I'm a lightweight.  It was calm this morning and plenty of dew on the grass so I knew that I wouldn't be strimming very early so I took it at my leisure.

Fried tomatoes on toast for breakfast, the washing up is still waiting to be done as are many other things.  I dutifully wrote my list with the intention of having a cracking day but instead of that, realised it was far too hot to be out there working...so I didn't.  I now have another coating of the brown stuff and must have gone down a couple of shades in the tanning charts.  Around one it got very hot and my mind turned to making a sun shade so that I didn't shrivel up completely and my mind went into overdrive.  I found a couple of butcher's hooks, two single tab-topped cotton curtains in a very nice lilac shade, two lengths of wooden curtain poles and some safety pins...after all this is only the prototype,  I set to and hung one of the wooden poles using the butcher's hooks to the metal curtain rail in the inside of the bedroom.  I looped the curtains, now joined with the safety pins, over the fly screen and closed it up leaving the balcony door open.  I inserted the other length in the top of the other curtain and hoisted it over the balcony and I had a sunshade.  The weight of the wooden pole stopped it from flapping about and stage two is on the drawing board.  

I need to secure two other lengths of curtain pole to the balcony railings so that they are above the current balcony level, make two little pockets so that the top of poles attached to the balcony railings hold it firmly in place and give it the height and then it should be all set to go.  So into play tomorrow comes the sewing machine, tie wraps to secure the poles to the balcony rails and sun.  I love working things out...of course I could go and buy an umbrella but the force of the wind at times coming off the hillside would mean it would be in the next village if not properly secured or in shreds if it was.

As for supper, haven't even thought about it yet...far too busy.  The sun shade is now inside, I've moved the bench over to the other side of the balcony and tied it back on and I must remember to tie the chair down as well...don't want any damaged windows.  As for the garden...it can wait.  LN.....I've had a good day.....LN

Posted by: tcinbg, June 28, 2021, 3:14pm; Reply: 29
I laughed, get a bit of a high tide there do you. High enough so you have to tie the chair down so it does not float away.  ;D ;D ;D ;D
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 28, 2021, 5:19pm; Reply: 30
Monday 28th June

No high tide here Trevor, only intide and outtide....I was more worried about the wind from the hillside and broken windows.  Anyway, calm down, laughing takes a lot of energy but I'm pleased that you enjoyed my little escapade.  Please note that the typos are sometimes down to fingers hitting two keys at once and old age.... ;) ;)

So seven start this morning and I was in bed at eleven last night and slept straight through.  My sleep score on the Fitbit should be good.  I made coffee and sat on the balcony enjoying the morning, no tortoise in view....lazy bones or shells. There were a few clouds in the sky, I thought about going to the pool but I had one or two slightly 'pink' patches so settled for a day in the garden instead.  Washed, dressed for the garden, scrambled eggs for breakfast, more coffee, load of washing into the machine and it was eleven thirty when I'd pegged out the washing and prepared for the task in hand.  I filled up the log carrier with almost every tool that I had and wheeled it to the bottom of the garden, connected up the extension cable to the outside supply and took down the electric lawnmower and was set for business.  The beds at the bottom of the garden have been neglected, the wooden edging needs replacing and I weeded the rest of the garden, these I didn't.  The wild bushes at the bottom have also grown wilder and have been covered with vetch, pretty but smothering everything it grows round.  Firstly I went round with the electric mower and ended up taking the grass bucket off it and avoiding and projectiles thrown up....I call it living dangerously.  Eventually there were two many stones so I took to the new little strimmer and I'm very impressed with it.  

I came in for water and Wimbledon to see the start of the tournament but was good, I went out to continue with my self inflicted challenge.  I can now get round the paths around the beds and can see the wooden surrounds, the bushes are all trimmed, there's one solitary day lily that's survived what the garden had to throw at it and tomorrow I'll replace the wood and engine oil them and dig the beds over.  I also need to think about putting some muck on them and might have to engage the help of the sheep farmer and his tractor.  Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Rosy near the bonfire and a minute later I saw Blu near where I'd been working and they'd both gone AWOL all day.  They're probably both appraising the new layout and wondering where the heck they go for safety.

Tools away at six and my watch buzzed to confirm that I'd reached my ten thousand steps.  Workshop and woodstore locked, washing in and put away and now back to Wimbledon and an unseeded Brit having a good go and knocking out the American.  Unfortunately they've abandoned that game and I can't get I-Player over here and they've switched to Andy Murray.....so I've concentrated in getting this finished.  Lovely evening, not a cloud in the sky...let's hope it's not too hot tomorrow.  LN....I think I'll have pizza later....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 29, 2021, 5:55pm; Reply: 31
Tuesday 29th June

Six start this morning and straight out to the balcony with my coffee.  The sun came up putting a rosy glow on my little world and the moon was still up and very clear so I had to take a pickie of that too.  I knew what I was supposed to do today, my self imposed 'continue with the garden' slog but I knew I wouldn't do it. I'd had a pretty hard day yesterday and didn't really want to push myself.  There were a few clouds about and thought about taking myself off to a pool for the day but that seemed to require a lot of effort, not really but it wasn't what I wanted to do either so until twelve I did very little.  I did make boiled eggs for breakfast, tidied the kitchen, put the computer on on the landing, checked emails and FB, washed and dressed and decided to go into Djebel, see a few people, have a few conversations and pick up a few items of shopping.  I also checked the documents for the Beast and they're all in order and my MOT is around the thirteenth of the month, I turned the car engine over and everything sprung to life without any issues, not like last year when the alternator had to be fixed.

I toyed with the idea of taking my swimming bag with me just in case I changed my mind but didn't and took the Nipper into Djebel.  I stopped off first at my student's mums shop but my mini-student said that his mother was at the other shop next door pricing up new stock.  I popped my head in, she invited me to sit down but could see that she was busy so said that I would go and do my shopping and catch up with her later when she had more time.  I set off for the leva shop and on the way went to visit my friend who has just returned from the UK and is now running a gift shop and noticed that she had pot plants for sale.  I bought a white hydrangea and Rudbeckia (also known as Coneflowers), most gardens have them both but when you ask for a root, it's normally not the right time to be given it.  I asked her to put them to oneside and I'd call in later.  

The owner of the leva shop came to meet me and I told her I wanted an umbrella for my balcony.  If it wasn't any use and if it was too windy for it up there, I could always use it when Greece opens up its beaches again.  I had a choice, big or medium and I went for big and need to find some method of keeping it upright and stable.  I also found some very cute trainer socks, four pairs, different colours so they'll be interchangeable for when I have the 'don't want to be normal' days and if there are any comment I'll say that I have another pair exactly the same at home....my quirky side surfaces now and again.  I walked back to the flower shop, picked up my new plants and went back to the car shop and now we had time for a chat and catch-up.  I've also agreed to go and watch the little one play in a school football tournament on Saturday or Sunday in Zlatograd...according to the schedule.  Such a lovely family.  I stopped at the supermarket and forgot most things on my list but remembered bread, the old stuff went out for the birds this morning.

I was home for four thirty feeling very relaxed,  watched some tennis and cooked an early supper and now I should really go and water the garden, there'll probably be a few thirsty pots out there.  Not sure what the weather is going to do tomorrow but I'll find something to do and might, just might, carryon where I left off with the bottom of the garden.  Very still night and time to walk the garden attached to a garden hose.  LN....A woman's work is never done.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 30, 2021, 5:07pm; Reply: 32
Wednesday 30th June

Lovely start to the day so I put the umbrella up on the balcony.  I secured it with an elastic bungy and no movement in it at all so result.  I didn't look at it properly in the shop and the material is very flimsy not sure how long it will last so I'll have to be careful and remember to take it down if a stiff breeze get's up.  It was one of those morning where you start one thing and end up doing another and somehow I was on the wrong end of a hoover.  I've seen some advertised that cope with long hair so that it doesn't cling to the rollers and am still wondering whether I should invest in one.  I think I used each nozzle to see which one would produce the best result and eventually I settled for one that did direct suction without anything spinning and thought for better performance I really should take it apart and empty the machine which I did throwing the debris over the wall. The birds should like the long hair for nest building, maybe a little late but who knows.  I started on the landing, did the three bedrooms and the bathroom and collected up the cotton mats and they've all been through the washing machine.  

I was just about to sit down for five minutes on the balcony when I hear a car pull up outside and I recognised the squeaky brakes.  Kettle on...I had a visitor.  We sat in the sun and had a catch-up, we tried to print off my new Covid passport but for some reason the system didn't want to play so I have to visit the polyclinic and get them to do it for me.  It's recommended that you get there at silly o'clock in the morning before the queues start building.  Off he went and i carried on where I'd left off and went out to the garden for some weeding around the Greek plant in the centre of the garden.  I went in because it was getting hot and watched some of the tennis catching up on a game that was continued from yesterday and the British player won and is through to the next round.  Another Brit is making his bid and Andy Murray was also playing but I'd given up watching the favourites.  

I went out again and into the little house search for the garden spray now that I'd put the hosepipe out.  For some reason I was drawn to a pot and in it I found the old plate from the battery strimmer and the screw was still inside it and it would mean that I could use the new one now that I'd got the blades. I had the devil's own job getting the screw out and resorted to spraying it with rust remover and going back to it about twenty minutes later. Everything seemed to come into play but eventually I managed it, fixed the new one and strimmed the yard just to prove that it works.  Emula came round, I haven't seen him for ages and he came to tell me that he's just bought one of the houses in the village.  An elderly couple from Turkey used to come over for the summer but they are both unwell and have decided to sell up.  I'm so pleased for him.

Eight my time and I haven't even thought about supper and I'm not even hungry.  We've had a few rumbles of thunder that haven't amounted to much and if it's good tomorrow, I might do the polyclinic, have breakfast in town, do shopping and go to the pool...I'll see what the weather has in store.  LN.....Time to relax.....LN
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