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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JULY 2021
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 1, 2021, 4:54pm
Thursday 1st July

Funny old start to the day, I walked the garden and ended up planting up a bed in the old veg garden, I'd spotted some plants at the bottom of the garden which were obviously self-sets and not thriving very well so I dug them up and in they went.  I'd watered the patch well so that they'd have something to go at if it got hot later in the day but I shouldn't have worried, nature did it for me.

I made coffee and sat out in the sun watching out for the 'family' taking their morning saunters but first saw Blue on my way to dig up the plants.  Last spotted down by the bonfire, he must have spend the night near the mulberry, he certainly does get around.  I have this strange urge to put the Fitbit on one of his little legs but chances are he'd lose it.  I phoned Princess for a quick catch-up before she set off for work and she's OK, works in a school and is fed-up of certain years being sent home because one or two pupils have it and it's a common theme on the news channels.  She unfortunately works across all years and not in direct firing line for having to spend two weeks at home because the children aren't there and I think she's really looking forward to the holidays.  

Breakfast was fried tomatoes on toast, I washed up and tidied the kitchen then took to the sofa.  I hadn't slept well last night so I put the TV on and eventually fell asleep, it was hot and muggy, physically draining so at one I changed into my swim gear, got my other stuff in my rucksack and was in the car by two and going down the back rough road to the Makaza death route.  Goodness knows how long the queues must be a the Makaza crossing looking at the number of cars rushing like lemmings to the sea.  As I neared Kardjali there seemed to be a few clouds gathering but not to be deterred, I carried on to my favourite swim pool and parked up.  The owner was behind the bar and fist-bumped me when he saw me with a big smile on his face, a lot of the beds were empty and I paid my fees and bought a bottle of water which I didn't need.  I got in the water straight away and it wasn't too cold and did several lengths without any interference.  The beauty of this pool is that it's big enough even when the beds are all taken to swim unhindered and you don't get jumped on as you do in some of the smaller pools.  

I watched the clouds gather as I dog paddled around, there were a few claps of thunder and a few drops of rain and then it started.  I stayed in for another ten minutes or so, made it to the sunbed and settled under the umbrella and a towel.  I started my new Michael Palin book on the Kindle and suddenly we had a light hail shower and I realised that my day in the sun was not going to be as I imagined.  Ten minutes later I made it to the changing room, back to the Nipper and driving in places through ankle deep rivers on the roads, I made it to Lidl, stocked up on dairy products and a few 'reduced for quick sale' items, more large bottles of water and home for five thirty.  The cushions are hanging over the balcony on the terrace, they obviously had the downpours here too but it's turned into a beautiful evening and everything looks very green.  I really enjoyed my swim, it's good to get back to pleasurable exercise again, the garden is all very well but it's much more enjoyable in water.  LN....First pool this year and it's July....I'm late.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 2, 2021, 5:32pm; Reply: 1
Friday 2nd July

Another silly night.  I woke up at three thirty for no reason except that it was a muggy night, I opened the balcony door and after playing a few silly games I went back to sleep at around four thirty and stayed asleep until eight so I caught up, more or less.  A few clouds n the sky but the sun was shining. I'd put the chair cushions out to drip last night from the balcony rails after the storm and they were still damp.  I took the driest one and used it on the chair as I sat drinking my coffee but my PJ's got damp so I rehung the cushion over the rail and went in and got washed and dressed to see what I could get up to today.  I put a load of washing in the machine, made ham sandwiches for breakfast and sat out on the terrace enjoying them throwing the crusts out to the birds.  The cat was looking longingly but to no avail...the rest was mine.  

Washing pegged out, I walked the garden, sorted the sunflowers out, the heavy rain had left several of them in a horizontal position. The grass was too wet to mow so I went back inside and settle on the sofa, my energy was waning after a disturbed night and I think I nodded off for half an hour or so. I woke up and ten minutes later my neighbour was outside asking if she could take some of the blossom for linden tea from my tree so I went out and helped by taking down some of the branches with my tree lopper and collected the blossom with her.  The leaves she wrapped in a sheet and  took for the cows stopping off at her garden to collect potatoes and she came back and handed me a small bag of newly dug.  She said that she had lost most of her tomato plants and the netting had been damaged by the hail, her peppers weren't looking too good either.

By now the weather was closing in and the thunder started.  I brought the washing in and put it on the clothes airer in the bathroom I didn't want wet washing hanging around and the cushions came in from outside, they were dry and wanted them to stay that way.   I settled down and watched the tennis, had an early supper of hamburgers with a cheese topping and served with potato salad, closely followed by a strawberry yogurt.  Interesting times with the tortoise today, Rosie was out and was scrutinised by the cat who didn't quite know what to do.  She saw that I was accepting the crawling thing and made no effort to remove it so she left it completely alone.  As for Blue, for some reason he made his way to the garage, came out again, went back towards it, investigated the gap between the front wall and the side wall of the garage and last seen heading for the underside of the Beast.  Back to the tennis and now watching the doubles with Venus Williams and Kyrgios, just spotted and interesting cloud forming over the mountains so we're probably in for more thunder tonight.  LN....A bit of a lazy day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 3, 2021, 4:59pm; Reply: 2
Saturday 3rd July

Six start and there was lots of mist around, so much so that I thought it was raining but was proved wrong when I went out to the balcony clutching my first cup of coffee of the day.  I didn't stay out long though, it was quite a chill morning so back to bed, leaving the balcony door open for some air.  Email hadn't woken up, Facebook was boring so I ended up playing Sudoku for an hour or so and then faced the day.

I'd made my plan....I potted up one of my Greek plants that I'd put into water with fingers crossed and it had developed quite good roots already.  I was giving it to my student's mum at the shop joking with her that it was something else for her to kill when I handed it to her.  I stopped off at the shop on my way to the garage, I thought that the handbrake needed to be tightened but apparently it was OK when my student's father checked it.  I asked him to clean the outside of the Nipper, what was inside was my rubbish to sort out and I've booked the Beast in for Tuesday morning so that it can be checked out before I take it for its MOT.  It's not due until the twelfth but I never like leaving it to the last minute.

I drove back to town, parked up in the central carpark and went round to the flower shop to hand a laminated photo of the Greek plant to the shop owner.  She was complaining that no one was buying them but it wasn't obvious how big they can grow.  Maybe the photo will help sales. I went back to the garage, I'd noticed that one of the tyres looked a little low on air so I had them checked out and all put back to the correct pressure, stopped off at the little supermarket for a few items and headed home and managed to catch the end of the last English woman standing in the tennis and watched her make it to the next round.  

I could have settled in for the afternoon with the tennis but I switched the TV off and decided to see how far I could get with the mowing, the plantain heads were banging against my ankles as I walked the garden.  There was fuel in the machine so couldn't clean underneath until the fuel ran out so started on the big house grass, and managed that and also the grave garden and it just managed to finish it.  The rain had started, it was short sharp shower so I turned the machine over, gave it a good clean underneath, was tempted to continue with the rest of the grass but instead I went inside and started watching the Federer-Norrie match and I'm still watching it..Norried started believing he could possibly win and still has the belief.  It's gone to four sets...and Federer has just managed to win the match and at eight my time...I should be thinking of visiting the kitchen.  LN......The rest of the grass can wait until tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 4, 2021, 6:07pm; Reply: 3
Sunday 4th July

So I'll celebrate independence day in my own way...just be and the tortoises with one visit from a neighbour bearing gifts and robbing me of my store of lavender seeds.  It was her birthday yesterday so brought me a gift of a couple of sweet bun things and yesterday I delivered to her mother a framed photograph I'd taken a few years back of both of them at a local event.  So I got the dates right without knowing it.  She was working yesterday so just came round to say thank you.  

What a lovely sunset last night.  The sky was all sorts of colours and so I posted photos to FB but I'll follow up with a few from last night on here.  It's not so colourful tonight, less orange in the mix but maybe I've missed it, I had my head down over a strimmer trying to avoid the shrapnel.  Silly really, I've got a full head mask and forget to wear it.  Another six start for me and I went out on the balcony with my coffee and caught sight of Rosy warming up in the morning sun.  As for Blue not seed shell or pointy head of him since yesterday when he was hanging around the garage and goodness knows why...maybe he's got a secret love nest but having said that Rosy emerged from there today around five so maybe they've got a thing going on.  I made a ham sandwich for breakfast and had a pretty leisurely morning tidying a few things up, reorganising the third bedroom that covers as a sewing room and sorting though a heap of clothes that are due for passing on.  As I said my neighbour came round and I asked her if she knew anyone that could give the lounge and downstairs bedroom the once over with a paint brush, the smoke from the wood-burner had left the white a little jaded.  She said that there's a workman in the village that she could ask, he was reliable. asked the usual price for work and she's going to let me know.  

Off she went and by now some of the heat had gone out of the sun so I filled and fired up the lawnmower and set to on the other half of the grass.  By now it was two o'clock, had clouded over slightly and with due diligence I managed to finish it by four leaving myself only strimming to do now that I'd managed to get the battery strimmer back in action.  I came in and settled on the sofa and promptly went to sleep, I felt drained but having recharged the batteries, strimmed the garden until the battery ran out on the strimmer and I'm really pleased with the results of my labour.  I've noticed that the tobacco plants have traces of Colorado beetles on them so tomorrow I have to find the powder out and give them the treatment... it's very effective.  Tools away, on charge where necessary, it's a pretty calm evening and tomorrow it's probably more of the same unless I make the effort to go to the polyclinic and get the latest version of the Covid Vaccine documentation.  This one is supposed to be recognised throughout Europe so well worth having.  

Nine o'clock my time....I'm late this evening, the boiler is on for soak before bedtime.  LN....Another successful day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 5, 2021, 5:37pm; Reply: 4
Monday 5th July

Short and sweet tonight, I've had a full on day and feel absolutely whacked.  Seven start and it was a beautiful morning out on the balcony with my coffee, tomatoes on toast for breakfast and as arranged my potential workman came round, looked at the work, we managed to communicate in local language and I got most of it and the paint for the winter lounge/ corridor is going to be Turkish.  His idea is that it give much better coverage especially near the woodburner and the pipes so I took his word for it.  He gave me a quote and as long as his work is excellent I shan't have a problem with coughing up but I hope it lives up to expectations.  I've not used him before so I'll give him a try.  He's agreed to start work on Thursday at seven thirty in the morning so I better set my alarm.

Now the problem with the downstairs bedroom is that I haven't had any guests this year so the winter clothes, boots etc have remained downstairs.  Normally if I'm expecting anyone I transfer my stuff out and their stuff in so I set to.  The clothes including the hanging rail are upstairs and the bed moved to the centre of the room, everything is out or can be covered with polythene.  By lunchtime I'd hoovered, washed round the skirting areas rejigged furniture and it's all ready for Thursday.  I had a brief respite with potato salad from Lidl and a can of tuna, watched some tennis and then started on the lounge and the only thing left to do is move the books out and the bookcase and take down a couple of pictures.  The clay pots went out to the terrace along with the big red one that I purchased last year and I finally finished at seven.  Only job left tonight is to have a bonfire and lock up the little house and workshop.

Supper was a couple of yogurts with several glasses of water and I'm guessing I shall sleep well tonight or ought to.  As for the weather, the clouds rolled over at one thirty more or less, we had a few bursts of thunder, high winds that subsided almost as quickly has they'd sprung up and a few minutes of heavy rain which forced me to leg it quickly up the stairs and bring in the chair cushions from the balcony and I was just in time.  I briefly caught sight of Rosy ambling down the grass towards the bottom of the garden, Blue is still AWOL and as for Sandy, not a peep.  Tomorrow it's a trip to the garage with the Beast for it's pre-MOT check and then I might as well carry on to Kardjali and get it done and while I'm in Kardjali I might as well try to get my updated Covid Passport.  If England is opening up, I might even start looking at flights.  LN.....Bonfire, shower and bed....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 6, 2021, 5:55pm; Reply: 5
Tuesday 6th July

Six thirty start and after the first escape on to the balcony with my coffee it was all systems go.  I washed and dressed straightaway and dressed for town, put a load of washing into the machine, got my documents together and packed my handbag and moved the Nipper so that I could bring the Beast down into the yard and give it a bit of a belated spring clean before I took it down for its pre-MOT inspection before the real thing later on.  I used the hosepipe on it and the watering can, that done I went to find the blackboard and easel that I had to deliver to my student's home.  There would be no one at home so I agreed to leave it on the terrace.  Washing pegged out, easel loaded. documents sorted and the remainder of the bread was thrown out for the birds, or the cats or anyone that wants it.

I dropped the blackboard off first and had to stop and have a word with the neighbours...I haven't seen them for ages due to Covid and they wondered what I was up to.  I went to the garage and the checks were done and fully valeted for ten lev and I think I'm getting family rates after all this time.  Lots of traffic going into and out of Kardjali but I went to the MOT garage,  was welcomed by the owner since I've been going there for ten years or so and we talk about his daughter, pigeons and Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones and how his keyboard skills are coming along.  Documents and windscreen sticker obtained and sited, it has gone up by ten leva thanks to Europe bringing in new systems but still not bad at forty five leva.  Over to the hospital and I couldn't find room 200 but there was a huge queue at room 201 so I didn't wait to ask...I went down to my doctor in the basement and she printed two copies of the new European Covid Certificate for me.  Back to Djebel with a brief stop at Lidl and home for three thirty, shopping away and I spent the afternoon crying and laughing my way through a film that I found on Netflix.  It was so good that I've already recommended it to Princess.  Got the washing in and that's ready to put away....not a drop of rain at all.

A flurry of activity tonight. ....I was writing the blog when there was terrific thump on the window and my normal response is to remind the birds that it's a window.  I went to look from the stairs and it was a young woodpecker and it didn't look very good at all.  I went outside and with the shovel tried to lift it and it fluttered and stood upright but still looked extremely dazed so I put some water in a shallow dish and then decided to jerk it into life with the gentle spray of garden hose and it did the trick.  He immediately came round and took off for the hillside and no one was more surprised than I was...I thought he was a goner.  So pretty good day, everything achieved and a life saved.  LN.....A perfect day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 7, 2021, 6:13pm; Reply: 6
Wednesday 7th July

Seven start, sun up but it had been another silly night.  I was awake at three and playing games until four thirty so there wasn't much of a spring in my step this morning. I also made the mistake of having two cups of coffee without my tablet or breakfast and felt a little light headed, took my blood pressure so settled for another half tablet and stabilised.  It's my own fault....I should go back to the hot water without additives.  Washed and dressed for Djebel, my house funds were running low and with a workman coming tomorrow I wanted to have the money ready for him and it meant not having to go out and leave him here on his own.  Sally and Bekir were here for years as you know, this one it's his first time here.  I made a couple of ham sandwiches and walked the garden eating them.  Cat was out so she got some of them but it didn't stop her painful call...she doesn't even sound like a cat....perhaps her mother hadn't got good parenting skills and as for the father, like most cases in the animal kingdom in Bulgaria, never to be seen again until it wants to mate with the daughter.

Both of the vehicles were in the yard and I wanted to put the Beast back in the garage but I'd spotted Rosy emerging from there earlier this morning and currently I didn't know where she was.  I swept the old leaves that had blown into it out and on to the area between the wall and the garage wall but still no sign of her so I went inside and decided to carry on with preparing for the onslaught tomorrow morning.  I had five minutes on the sofa and saw her walking towards the little house from the direction of the garage so went out to try to head her off but she went under the Nipper so again my trip into Djebel was delayed.  Eventually I tracked her down so took advantage of the moment and put the Beast into the cleaned out garage, the Nipper went out on the the grass outside the wall and I could make my escape as and when without running over a tortoise....the hardships we endure.

Eventually I set off for Djebel at twelve thirty remembering to take some sticks of bees wax that I'd promised my student's mum.  I parked up outside and she hadn't much to do apart from the odd customers since Wednesday is a slow day so we were able to have conversations about a lot of things.  She told me that the Kardjali football team that her son plays for had won the championship at the weekend and she was over the moon about it and rightly so.  I think that anything that get's the face away from a screen deserves attention and recognition.  Well done Kardjali.  I was surprised, two hours went by really quickly, the cashpoint that I normally use wasn't in action so I found another one and got the jackpot, arrived home, checked the area for roaming tortoise and managed to get the Nipper safely back in the drive without incident.

Tennis this afternoon until I got the urge to get the carpets up in the corridor area, the log basket is now cleaned out and in the little house ready for winter. the floor was hoovered and washed over and very little furniture to move round for the man.  I settled for an early supper of local corned beef, cold baked beans and potato salad and that will see me through until morning with maybe a few peanuts later.  Federer is out, the one that knocked out Andy Murray is still in and his match was really exciting going to five sets.  Calm night, a few clouds over to the west as the sun was setting, I've just finished watering the pots and old vegetable garden...I think the plants have got used to the rain unlike's been a funny old summer so far.  LN.....Early night...early start....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 8, 2021, 4:42pm; Reply: 7
Thursday 8th July

So six o'clock start and I was very aware of the fact that my workman was coming today so didn't linger long over Sudoku,,,it's an easy thing to do.  I watched the sun come up from the balcony and it makes me realise how much the acacia has grown this year, I had to move to the one side of the balcony to get the really red ball.  I settled for hot water instead of coffee to see if that was making me feel funny in the morning, took my reading and I was pretty much back to a youngster's level but I wished I felt it now.  

I went out a did a circuit of the garden and I saw all three of the beauties at different times.  Rosy was first and I was just about to throw out an oldish apple so I went in and got a knife and sliced it up for her.  She had some of it but then went on her way back towards the yard, I heard a rustle and was surprised to see Sandy, the little one heading towards the apple, he took some of it and then carried on into the undergrowth,  Blue was next and was on a mission to get round to the yard and I've worked out why, I didn't realise but my other big tree in the yard is a mulberry so they're all coming for goodies.  My painter arrived at a quarter to eight, I was beginning to think that he was a no show, but I heard his car and he parked up outside.  I asked him if you wanted to bring it into the yard, he seemed to have lots of stuff, but he declined.  I'd stripped out the bedroom and lounge so he was straight to it and worked steadily and at eleven thirty he said that he was going home for breakfast since he didn't like eating early and came back half an hour later bearing gifts of tomatoes from his garden and cucumbers.  I hadn't the heart to tell him that I 'don't do green' so I thanked him and put them in the kitchen.  It's a good job that I mentioned that I had three tortoise, when he came back from his break, he'd discovered Rosy shell side down with little legs going ten to the dozen.  He called me over and turned her over and off she went towards the grave garden chasing after Blue who was also making his escape,  He's doing a good job, a little bit messy but lime wash is like that and let's the wall breathe...much better than paint with latex in it.  Bedroom and lounge complete and I've made a start of putting it all back together and today has been interspersed with weeding, washing curtains and beating rugs.  I'm absolutely knacked.

He put the first layer on the bathroom ceiling and has repaired a little bit of damp plasterwork on the ceiling.  That will require another coat tomorrow, the woodburner pipes run through the bathroom to get to the chimney.  At four I made coffee and we both sat down to drink it and I think it was the first time that we'd both stopped.  Tools away for him, he'd covered them with polythene so when he left I moved them all into the workshop just in case the rain comes down.  We had a few really heavy spots from one dark cloud but that was it and the weather report states that all is OK for tomorrow....but it said that about today.

Seven thirty my time and I've just put the boiler on for a's been a hot sticky day and it might freshen me up before bedtime.  Cream cheese for supper with breadsticks, I'm much to tired to thing about going the whole hog in the kitchen.  LN....We're in for a seven thirty start again.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 9, 2021, 6:10pm; Reply: 8
Friday 9th July

So I woke up at six and was fully awake and waiting for my workman to appear.  It think it was closer to eight when he did but I'd sorted out the hosepipes, watered most of the garden deciding that there was too much to do inside and he was going to make more work to do today and he was wondering where I'd got to.  He saw that the hose was connected so I advised him in future that if it's going, I'm probably on the other end of it.

I didn't bother with breakfast, he started in the bathroom, moved on to the hall and I left him to it.  I busied myself collecting seeds from the sweet peas, more from the purple humped flowers that currently remain nameless and took the broad beans from the dried up pods, they'll be going in about September. I sorted out the covers for the outside furniture, it looks like the weather has settled down so it's worth risking it.  I removed the dried lavender from the little house, it had been hanging around for a couple of years so it was time it went...the new is flowering profusely so I'll have fresh.  I also found five containers of old glass jars and I'm going to wash them and put them down by the containers, the ladies are the ones that bottle everything in sight and somebody will find a use for them.  

He was now moving to the kitchen so the freezer came out, we moved the table and benches and I'd already stripped off the window sill, washed the curtains and the table cloth.  The central island was cleared and I suggested that he put the plastic sheeting from the wall cupboards to the other side of the island and it should have kept most of the white stuff on the plastic.  It's easy enough to clean down the tiles and there's not much to do in the kitchen mainly one wall and that's got a window in it  After the kitchen he went for his late breakfast - early lunch and he called me to show me a rather large tortoise on the inside of the front gate.  It wasn't one of mine and we noticed that there appeared to be dried blood on the shell and it retreated under the Nipper.  I went to look for it and it was trying to get back onto the road and freedom so I opened the gate and let it go....and after a while it set off up the road.  I'm thinking somebody thought that they were rescuing and pooped it inside my gate.  it I kept busy and brought the swinging bench out and washed it down and when he came he checked on the work he'd done and there were one or two patches that he had to go over, it's difficult to spot until it dries.  Looking at it now I think the bathroom ceiling wants another coat...but I can do that.

He finished, I paid him, he left his tools and picked them up later and I set to putting the kitchen back together again.  I'd noticed a screwdriver on the worktop and though nothing of it but when I came to put the curtains up in the kitchen one of the holding rings wasn't holding in the wall.  A flash of brilliance from me, I slimmed down a dowel, hammered it home and screwed the support back in...a proud's stronger than it was before.  I've cleaned down the tiles in the bathroom but need to get the ladder out tomorrow and clean the tiles properly from the top down...white doesn't show up on white until you get close.

Too hot to eat, watching the tennis now and then a quick bath and bed.  The concrete near the outside sink has got lots of white stuff around so I'll need to give that a good wash down....not that I'm's done and dusted and generally looks much better.  LN.....And now back to the tennis.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 10, 2021, 7:08pm; Reply: 9
Saturday 10th July

Seven start, I had nothing to get up for but it didn't stop me.  I did sit out in the sun with my coffee until the marauding new martins were getting too close for comfort so I did come inside but went out again with the camera when I saw a pair of woodpeckers flitting between the trees and the grass.  I tried really hard to get a photo but it didn't work.   When the sun is really out it's very difficult to see the screen and I have marvellous pictures of the grass and fallen leaves but nothing worth committing to the update.

Washed and dressed and set out to water the garden before the sun really got some heat in it, the flowers seem to want a lot especially the sunflowers in the pots.  I didn't bother with breakfast, spent twenty minutes trying to kick start the Lenovo Yoga that didn't want to boot and eventually got it going.  I use that mainly to keep track of my Fitbit achievements or none achievements and eventually I got it up and running using one of the methods from Google.  That said I decided not to waste the day.  I washed both of the carpets out on the washing line with the hose pipe, it was such a beautiful day, hot and with a fairly stiff breeze and after turning them a few times they were dry..  I washed the tiles down in the bathroom and put that back together again, washed down the doors, tiles and tile surrounds in the corridor and by this time it was time for the Women's final so I stretched out on the cane chair with a footstool and settled down to watch.  I didn't think it was very exciting, they both played reasonable games with the odd spells of genius but that's only my opinion.  

I carried on with the furniture removals and now I've only the lounge to do and I was more or less clearing that as he was making his mess so there's not so much to do.  I had a phone call from the UK that took up half an hour or so, brought the carpet it and laid it, replaced the sofa and cushions, watered the garden and noticed that the sun was going down so went out on to the road to take a photo.  I looked over towards my Avatar's house and she's back.  She came with her daughter from Germany today, neither has been vaccinated and I'm not sure of the status when they arrive from Germany.  I asked if they needed anything, they'd just put the electric on but the water was very slow from the tap so I mentioned that I'd a spare eleven litre bottle.  I took it over with bred, tomatoes, cucumbers and a tin of local corned beef and thought at least they could have something to eat.  I'll probably take the little strimmer round tomorrow and give the grass the once over especially from the gate to the house to make life easier for them.  

Again I've done too much today.....but one last push and it will be finished.  LN.....Why do I start these things?......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 11, 2021, 5:29pm; Reply: 10
Sunday 11th July

Five thirty start and for goodness sake, it's Sunday, the day of rest and it's been anything but.  I thought about phoning my friends in the next village, my little Chuwi computer kept telling me that it was running out of space and so much so that it stopped working.  This machine I keep on the desk downstairs and only do emails, FB and keep track of my Fitbit reports and I couldn't understand why I was having problems with storage so I was going to ask if I could take the machine over so that he could delete anything that needed deleting.  

I made bacon and egg for breakfast, it is Sunday after all, washed and tidied the Kitchen. washed my under quilt from my bed thinking any minute either it was going to be too heavy for the drum but the machine managed it.  I was just pegging it out when I heard a car pull up and the latch on the gate go and lo and behold, my friend was paying me a visit so my first words were that the message had got through the ether and it saved me a phone call/  I told him that I was about to phone him and he gave me that quizzical look that says a thousand words and it's not the first time that it's happened.  Spooky....

I made coffee and we sat on the terrace for a catch=up and then we moved inside so that he could check out the machine and he couldn't find anything that could be deleted.  It's a duel boot machine and he reckons that it's due to the requirement of Windows and despite the fact that there's a card in it, it's just not seeing it so time to buy a new one next time I'm in town.  He offered to help with moving some of the furniture for me in the lounge but I really wasn't sure that I wanted to do it and needed to measure things point in trying to get a quart into a pint pot.  Off he went, my Avatar came round asking me if I would take her DIL into Djebel for some shopping and I agreed that I would be ready at two fifteen.  Five minutes later she was back, her DIL didn't want to go but could I take her tomorrow and I said no.....I don't like Djebel on market day, there's nowhere to park and we do have a bus on a Monday so she wasn't exactly stuck.

Left on my own I started to move the furniture to where I wanted it to go and I like the result.  The old shutters that I used as shelving are now in an 'L' shape as are the two sofas and I've moved the TV in there and settled down to watch the men's final.  Again I got disappointed in the play so I cleaned the lounge windows, liberally applied shoe polish to the old shutters and by then the standard of play had improved so I went back to watching the tennis.  Suddenly there was a loud bang on the stairwell windows so I went to see shat it was but it was too late, I saw the black cat running off with it in its mouth so not sure what it was but I consider now that it's more like a takeaway around here.  Hoover moved into the downstairs bedroom, mop and bucket in the porch, polish back in the box and I'm just about to find something for supper before I settle down to the football. LN....Too busy for pickies.....lounge ones to follow when it's finished.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 12, 2021, 5:14pm; Reply: 11
Monday 12th July

Another five thirty start and maybe it was the excitement of the tennis and the football.  I must admit I get very disgruntled when they seem to be taking a long time to win anything when I've seen them play better.  I even decided to take time out and have a bath getting back to the tv at the extra time stage and then when it came to the penalties, I almost switched off....I almost knew the outcome.  Yes they've done very well to get as far as they did...'nuf said.

I made my coffee and woke up for real on the balcony, toyed with the idea of having a shower and washing my hair but it looked like it was going to be a sweaty old day and a I had a few things still to do in the house.  I went out looking for the 'family' but nothing spotted so walked down the road to see Avatar to see if she was setting in.  DIL came out from the house carrying coffee and said that she'd resorted to Turkish coffee and needed Nescafe so I offered to give her some, went home and got it and it was duly delivered.  Avatar opened up and said that because the trap door to the attic had been closed there was no air to circulate and the house was damp and smelly.  The roof had also leaked and come through into the rooms to the right of the entry door and clothes were ruined.  Poor woman, she gets scooped off to Germany for the winter with the family then comes back to sorting the place out and she's not a spring chicken.  I do make her laugh though, she understands my Bulgarian 'speak 'and I tease her.  DIL said that Avatar's bank car had expired and she had no money so I suggested that she looked under the mattress where she normally keeps it... ;) ;) ;)

I came back and made a bacon and cheese omelette for breakfast, washed and dressed for a day 'doing' and set about finishing off the lounge.  I made a few adjustments, moved a table between the wall with pictures on it and the end of the one sofa and it looks more balanced.  I then tackled the three containers of ornaments that I've collected over the years including around ten tea-light holders and now they're put away until the next power cut....they don't need to be on display.  I repotted the giant flowering cactus that sits on one of the low shelves and that was a bugger...the thorns are lethal but that's now done and into a new container with new compost.  It was at this point that the television went on and I nodded off the an hour or so...and I felt much better for it.

Tittivating most of the afternoon, it's been quite a hard slog getting to this point, it's been almost a week since I started preparing for the decorator to arrive.  Too much at my age but at least it's done.  Ice-cream and blackcurrant juice this afternoon and there's a possibility of peanuts for supper.  Tomorrow I'm going to look through my cache of  material to see if I have anything suitable for covering both of the sofa otherwise it might be a trip to Kardjali to my favourite material shop and they can make them for me to save the aggro.  I also need a new cover for the sunbed so if I go I'll take the original so that it can be used as a pattern.  And then maybe a day at the pool is on the cards.  LN....A successful day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 13, 2021, 6:23pm; Reply: 12
Tuesday 13th July

Another early start but I'm getting very used to them by now.  Coffee, more coffee and I was out watering the garden to top up from last night.  It really looked like it was going to be a hot one and I wasn't wrong.  I didn't bother with breakfast, dressed for Djebel and walked the garden to see if there was any activity from the family.  I haven't seen Rosy for a couple of days or so and I do like to check up on them.  I noticed a tortoise that I didn't recognise and without nail varnish and I believe that someone is donating to what they perceive to be a good cause.  It was by the gate, had a cracked shell was trying desperately to get out so I opened the gate and off it toddled.  I have enough.  I looked towards the garage and noticed another one heading between the front wall and the garage door and then Blue appeared from inside the garage and was in hot pursuit of the newby.  He tried to mount it from the side, she moved and he slid off, she went under the greenery at the bottom of the tree and he tried again, headbutting her shell and again she was having none of it and shot under the leaves in the gap between the front wall and the garage. At this point I was still organising my hose pipes so I'd already unlocked the wood store and had used the back door on to the terrace and low and behold there was another one, without nail varnish and now I'm really convinced that someone is putting them in my yard for safety when they find them on the road.

I'd had enough of tortoises so went over to check if Avatar wanted anything from Djebel but she'd already left for Kardjali, obviously going to get her cash card sorted with the bank.  I was in the Nipper around ten thirty, had written my shopping list and my main task was to get two connectors to add another hosepipe to the collection so that I could water the bottom of the garden and to sort out the insurance for the Beast. it was about to run out. First things first and I handed my documents to my student's mum so that she could make a start on it, I went to the hardware shop and got a couple of connectors which are in fact the wrong ones.  I wanted to join the pipes using eh end pieces but she gave me inline ones which meant taking the end pieces off which I've done as a temporary measure so the shrubs have had a good drowning.  I had to walk to the cash point, three in Djebel, one not working so there was a long queue at the second so I headed to the third.  Back to the shop and the documents are done and the money handed over, I stopped off at the little supermarket for more bottled water and a few more things and I was home for two thirty.  I'd see the water repair van around and I'd given my spare bottle to Avatar so had to add to my supplies.

Had a nap this afternoon after lunch, it has been well up in the thirties and woke at five, garden sorted and watered, I heard a rustle in the leaves under the low wall and saw that it was Rosy so I know she's OK.  So now I think I have two more in the garden making a total of five.  I asked my student's mum to write out a notice in Bulgarian and Turkish to tell my neighbours to put the tortoises somewhere hotel is full.  Lunch was pretty filling so I'll be picking later.  LN.....Tortoise watch in the morning to see who slept where.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 14, 2021, 5:43pm; Reply: 13
Wednesday 14th July

Silly four start and I have to thank the dog in the next village....noisy critter.  Why do they have dogs tied up outside?  I didn't managed to get off to sleep again and it has seemed a long day....well it was until I fell asleep this afternoon after working in the garden this morning.  I was making breakfast at seven, bacon sandwiches with brown sauce, messing around with hose pipe connectors and realised that I had a box of bits but not the ones that I needed.  I soon got bored with that even though it was very pleasant sitting on the terrace with the umbrella keeping the sun off the sofa and the breeze from the hillside was wafting the aroma of honeysuckle over to where I sat.  

I moved the hosepipe with its temporary fix to the larger buddleia and gave it a good soaking and then moved it to the little garden near the woodstore and attached the spray sunk into the garden after I'd trimmed back the wild plums that seem to have put on so much growth and removed the grass that had sprung up.  As I walked under the cranberry I kept hitting my head so that got a hair cut as did the wisteria, event though the seed pods were very pretty.  It was rampant and smothering everything else which is great if you have a place for it to go wild, I reckon I put it in the wrong place to start with, I should have put it down the bottom of the garden where it could have roamed at will.  I did managed to catch sight of Rosy and Blue heading down the garden but in opposite directions,  Maybe they have arranged it that way to confuse me but as for the others, none spotted.

I came in at twelve and settled down on the sofa, slept for a couple of hours.  It was still too hot to go outside and work so I put Netflix on and found something to watch which was passible but not enough to keep me glued to the next episode.  At six I headed out and got the mower into action and the main lawn is finished.  I started on the second lawn, came in for a drink and left the mower going and because there was no air circulating, by the time I got back to it the thing had stopped.  I tried to get it going again but without success so I put it away for the night, tidied the tools and packed up for the night.  

Fried spicy sausage with onions and boiled potatoes with mayo for supper and I couldn't manage it all.  Mrs Cat is in for a treat in the morning, she's got the remains of tonight's supper, the skins from the sausages and a cheap pizza that I bought yesterday from Djebel, put it in the fridge and promptly forgot all about.  I'm now going for a shower and to wash my hair, it's been such a sweaty old day.  LN....Grass to finish in the morning then possibly swimming pool.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 15, 2021, 4:48pm; Reply: 14
Thursday 15th July

Six thirty start this morning so getting better.  I was out to the garden for seven thirty and had finished the grass by nine and had accomplished almost seven thousand steps on the Fitbit.  I stopped for a breakfast of fried tomatoes on toast which was really appreciated and then moved outside and finished the strimming of the road side and the lane...somehow today I felt energised and I was doing it before the heat took over.

I moved inside and did some tidying of the porch and found six pairs of lightweight slippers that I used for guests so they went in the washing machine and  pegged out and I've just fetched them in now.  I didn't really bother with lunch and it's just as well, my garage friends have just phoned to go out for supper tonight and I'm meeting them at eight thirty so this is quick and getting ready will be even quicker.  I didn't made the swimming pool today, it was one by the time that I thought about it so I settled in to my new lounge that I absolutely love, found something on Netflix and binged and would be still there now except for the phone call for supper.

The new water features in Djebel are lit up at night so I'm taking the camera with me and will be posting them later.  It's supposed to be quite modern for Djebel.  LN...I'll update you later.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 15, 2021, 8:27pm; Reply: 15
And the pickies

Lovely evening with the family....the restaurant was busy with lots of people that are not living here but visiting locally....gearing up for the next festival.  Home for eleven, where did the time go?  LN...And now to bed.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 16, 2021, 5:03pm; Reply: 16
Friday 16th July

Another six thirty start and it was out on to the terrace with a coffee, Rosy was out early and munching on a wild plum and Blue was down the bottom of the garden taking the sun.  As for the other one I didn't see it until around twelve when heard a rustle of leaves behind the compost bin and thought it had got into an impossible position so had to move one or two large stones from the area and I checked to make sure it hadn't fallen in it's back escaping from the cul-de-sac but no sign so it must have negotiated it well.

Again I was messing around with hose=pipes and the linking thereof and managed to find a short piece that I bought last year so that it's not trailing all over the terrace and onto the grass.  This one just takes it down the steps so with my new jointer....I jointed it and one hose will now do the garden by the workshop terrace.  I watered the rest of the garden, didn't bother with breakfast and settled down to sort emails on the little computer and somehow  found myself on my ancestry program and checking out the relatives of my sister's husband's family and took them back a hundred years or so.  At this point I hadn't even got dressed and was still in my night attire, toyed with the idea of getting stuck into something but instead made the decision to get my backside into gear and head for the swimming pool.

It was now half twelve so I took the back lane down to the main Greece road and it was a race-track.  Fortunately most of it was going in the opposite direction but the queues on the border crossing must be ginormous...there didn't seem to be a lull in it at all.  Kardjali was jammed both ways, in and out and I had to get to the other side of it for the swimming pool but once I turned off it was a pleasant journey.  I parked up and there were lots of sunbeds free so I paid my fees and settled myself at the far end of the pool in the shade.  I can get sun on my balcony so I stripped off, carefully laid out my things enjoying the space round me and got in the water.  Surprisingly it wasn't that cold just refreshingly so and I must have been in there going backwards and forwards along the width for a good forty minutes and I only think of the health benefits.  It loosens up the joints and keeps things moving.  It was really quiet until two with a three year old girl turned up and while the little one was no problem, mum had one of those voices which sounded like a cat scratching down glass.....I think you get the picture. A few more people arrived and the two beds after the table under my umbrella were now occupied and the older man was one who insisted on taking phone calls away from his ear and if I'd have understood Turkish, I would have got both sides of the it was time for another swim,

Leisurely going backwards and forwards allows you to watch the rest of the sun worshippers.  The majority were all young and most of them were  on their phones....they just can't be away from it and relax.  The family left at four with the child, I packed up and left at five thirty, had a word with the owners and confirmed that the other road ot of the pool wasn't in use.  I'd seen a taxi take the long road so I thought there was something going on.  Filled up with food from Lidl and gas for the Nipper and home for six thirty.  I'd bought a bag of onions and I didn't realise how big it was until I got home so Avatar is now the owner of half a bag of onions.  Not in the mood for supper...too hot to eat, I'll still to fruit juice.  LN....Love my swim relaxing.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 17, 2021, 6:12pm; Reply: 17
Saturday 17th July

Seven start. coffee on the balcony and then it was back to bed with silly games until eight thirty and I've been playing catch-up all day.  I cooked poached eggs with ham on toast for breakfast to set me up for the day and it did me through until supper time.  I was out with the hose-pipe, it is so dry.  We complain about the amount of rain we get and about the amount of rain that we don't get.  Still, it's not so expensive here unlike the UK.

So the rules have changed day we're on the green list and now we're not.  I've tried to keep on top of them so that I can think about a trip to the UK but the last thing I want to think about is a fourteen day holiday with ten days quarantine even though I've had my vaccine and have my European certificate.  Having to think about having tests is such a put off for me...I like things simple.

Washed up from breakfast and yesterday, well there is only me, general tidy round and decided to put the curtains back up in the downstairs bedroom.  All the curtains came down when the decorator was in and now they're back up again.  It was so hot this afternoon that I decided to settle in and carry on watching the series that I'd watched yesterday and I was just about to fetch the washing in when there were cars pulling up outside and I there were people at my gate.  Fortunately one spoke English and it was the son of the couple that used to live in my house so I said that they could come inside the garden and have a look.  They were all from Turkey and were staying in Krumovgrad with his mother in law and they were over for the holiday and had come up to see his old home.  He surprised me by saying that his mother looked at my blog every night and was keeping tabs on the house.  I found that quite flattering.

Off they went, I put chicken with vegetables to roast in the oven, I'd promised to supply my Avatar with food for the night since most of her house is undergoing renovation and not much in the way of cooking was being done.  I delivered it at seven thirty and she invited me for pancakes in her garden but I hadn't eaten my own at that point so I thanked her and carried on home.  It's turned into a very sultry sticky night so I might be running another bath and lying there in the cool water before bedtime. It worked well last night, I didn't put any bath stuff in, just washed down with lavender soap and there was no itching from the bites.  Two nights before I'd more or less scratched holes in my legs and though about wearing gloves to sleep in.

Just after nine my time, these updates are getting later.  Haven't seen hide nor shell of the family today...they must have found dark places to hide in.  LN.....Time to relax.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 18, 2021, 4:52pm; Reply: 18
Sunday 18th July

Seven start this morning so I made coffee and went back to is Sunday after all.  There were a few clouds about this morning and it made a pleasant change from searing heat and a cool breeze helping it along.  I somehow forgot about breakfast, the thought came into my head but I took a few things out to the workshop and found myself picking up the old carpet that I put down to keep the dust at bay and hanging it on the washing line....and that was the story of my day.  On the upside it's been quite productive though not everything done in the correct sequence but there again...what is the correct sequence..

Avatar paid me a visit to return the dishes that I'd taken over last night with food in and later in the day to see if I had any red pepper that I could let her have.  The only packet that I had was unopened and I must have had it about five years and she complained that it was brown.  I opened it up, she tasted it and found it to be OK so I told her to take it, I never use it anyway.  I looked over to the wall and there was Blue attacking the fallen wild plums that he was making quick work of and as a treat, I went in the house and found a couple of apricots that were just going over.  I put them down in front of him and again he demolished them pretty quickly...not quite hand fed but am I spoiling them?...not sure but does it matter.

It had got hot outside so I came in and settled on the sofa and watched Netflix for an hour or so and then went out and dug the grass and weeds from the under the garden of the main terrace and rescued the fuchsia.  Unfortunately it was getting attacked by the weeds and I've now got a problem with the mole that is determined to undermine some of the plants.  The mole smokes are coming out tomorrow and the mothball powder to see if that will help.  More weeding done and then back inside for a drink and more TV and back out again and this time I attacked the old veg bed.  The poppies have really gone over and there didn't seem much life in them so they're now over the hillside and those beds have also been weeded.  As I was putting my tools away, I noticed another tortoise this time by the old toilet on the other side of the garden....and it was Rosy so I went back in the house and brought out another couple of apricots.  She hadn't quite got the hang of eating them, Blue stuck his claws into them and she just kept trying to break through the skin and eventually managed it.

It's settled into a beautiful evening, we had a session this afternoon when things were flying about in the garden but it's dropped now.  The carpet is still on the line fortunately  and will hopefully stay there until tomorrow when I'll have a go at washing it.  Again I've not done anything for supper, it's just too hot to eat so I'll have a cool bath and see how I feel later.  LN....Another day of gardening if the weather is good.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 19, 2021, 3:31pm; Reply: 19
Monday 19th July

Six start and I was drawn to the sun that was about to be swallowed by the clouds so I had to grab the was about to disappear....  and it was missing until lunchtime more or less.  I went out and walked the garden with my coffee cup in my hand, spotted Blue near the mulberry and he was on a mission to find food or a female and I shall never know which.  The sheep were out and about early with the dogs protecting them and several of them had bells on which added to the peaceful morning.

I made a bacon sandwich for breakfast throwing the old sliced bread out to the birds and carving up to find the soft bits in the one that my Avatar had given me on Saturday.  It was unsliced hard as nail on the outside but with a relatively soft inside so it did the job admirably.  I dipped the bread in the bacon fat to make it even more tasty and added brown sauce to finish it off and sat in the stairwell at the table checking out my Fitbit statistics from yesterday.  I'd knocked up around six thousand steps pottering but today wasn't going to be a record breaker, I could feel it in my bones.  I'd slept OK but I felt stiff in my joints so I was going to have a really leisurely day.  I did the usual emails and FB updates and had a shower and washed my hair at twelve.  Instead of letting it dry naturally I got the hair dryer out and that was after I cut about three inches from the length.  I toyed with making a trip to the local hairdresser but it was Monday and busy in Djebel so it will do until I manage to make an appointment.  It looks so much better anyway, I've been lazy with it of late, swimming at the pool and not rinsing it off so today it was conditioner, conditioner.

I settled for white blouse and local patterned trousers, scooped my hair up into a chignon and settled on the sofa for a Netflix binge.  I've come across a new series to me called Blacklist and you know what it's become comfortable with the main characters and it's easy to press the 'Watch next episode' button and the afternoon has gone.  It's probably done me a power of good and relaxed me.  My mental list of things that need to be achieved bugs me occasionally and I start putting timings on them.  I have a lot of jobs that won't take too long to do, imagine myself doing them and then beat myself up for not doing stops now.

England seems much further away than it did before....I wish that the European vaccine certificate could be acknowledged and that a journey to the UK would be simple...but it's not.  I've also got another beef.....I consider UK to be in Europe but no it supposedly isn't.  If I make a phone call to the UK it's classed as an international call and in my humble opinion it shouldn't be.  Has Brexit changed everything?

So now into the evening, I should sleep well tonight, today has done me good.  LN.....Peanuts and an ice-cream will suffice for supper.... LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 20, 2021, 5:10pm; Reply: 20
Tuesday 20th July

Seven start this morning and a blissful night's sleep.  Made coffee and sat out on the balcony, this morning just a few fluffy clouds in the sky but nothing to write home about.  There were a few jets screaming around but too high to see what they were and so I took the camera out on to the balcony, put the umbrella up so that I could see the screen but everything happened very quickly, it came towards me and I snapped away and thought that I didn't get anything until I put it on the scree and low and behold, I got it.  Not very detailed and looks like a fly in the distance or something on the lens but no....I got it.  I didn't stop there, black cat was rolling in the dusty patches on the lawn and then strolled down the garden as if it owned the joint and  I guess it does.  It sat down by the mulberry and contemplated what to do next and then found a very shady spot near to the acacia and stretched out and just chilled despite the heat.

I'd been down to the bread van earlier and walked down with Haciber who's just returned with her daughter from Chanakale this side of Istanbul and a couple of times she almost fell over.  She made her way to Zelinger's house and while we waited for the van several from the village congregated and there were some new faces that are here for the holiday.  Haciber still wasn't back when the van arrived so I called out to her and one of the sons went to find her but she didn't want anything so I walked with her back to her gate.  She's really not well at all and shouldn't be on her own and I believe her daughter goes back tomorrow to Turkey.

I made breakfast of toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and sat in the stairwell eating them and then decided to sort out my money change pot so that I can sell it back to the chemists and I was surprised to find that I'd got thirty leva in bits and pieces.  I was intending to go into Djebel and change it up and I had a few more things to buy including some hose pipe ends and a new pump for the water bottles.  The springy bit of plastic that makes it 'pump' had cracked and I need a new one.  By now it had got very hot and knocking on for two o'clock so I tidied round a little and settled on the sofa for another session of sort of drew me in and it's a little obsessive.

At six I'd made my mind up to go out and water the garden and just managed to bring in the cushions from the balcony and the umbrella, the cushions from the terrace and the carpet from the line before the heavens opened.  Nature has watered the garden for me and given it a good soaking.  There was a rumble of thunder but nothing to write home about and the clouds look as if they've lightened their load but still more to come.  Saves me paying for it.  Pizza out for supper and mince out to thaw for tomorrow....and hopefully we'll be back to normal tomorrow.  LN...Need full zoom on for the aircraft I think....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 21, 2021, 5:42pm; Reply: 21
Wednesday 21st July

I couldn't manage to get off to sleep last night for reasons unknown and was still playing silly games at one this morning.  Eventually I dropped off and it was six thirty when I woke so not much sleep was had at all and I didn't even manage a catch=up this afternoon despite taking up position on the sofa.  Just nothing doing.  I made coffee and had it inside, nothing to see out there wall to wall mist and fog after yesterday's rain and it took a good time to burn off.  I meandered around a bit, sorted out a few things on the terrace, no need to water the garden and my goodness, Noah didn't it rain yesterday.  There was still water in the bases of the flower pots so I had nothing to do so went inside and made breakfast.  More coffee and toasted cheese sandwich and then decided to go on a tortoise hunt to see if any were about.  The mist had burnt off, I took a large cucumber that I'd been given out with me as a 'treat' and starting in the grave garden did the circuit and it was half way up the long wall that I spotted what I thought was Blu but which could have equally been Rosy since she needs another coat of nail varnish.  I dropped half of the cucumber and there was investigation and an attempt to conquer it and eventually it got the hang of managing the monstrosity which as a fair size portion of the whole.

I carried on to the cranberry towards the workshop terrace and heard strange noises coming from a pile of wood leaning against the house wall.  There are two old polythene garden protectors that I use for new seeds and the sound was like claws on polythene so I moved the wood and what turned out to be Blue had obviously got itself stuck and couldn't get a foothold on the polythene to extricate itself and was unable to turn round due to the narrow gap....doh.  I moved the wood away, pulled the polythene covered object away from it so that it could slide back onto the concrete...goodness knows how long it had been trying to get out.  I put the other half of the cucumber down near to it and it manoeuvred it against the wall so that it couldn't get a way and got stuck in.  Having fed what I thought was Blue earlier I went back to check and there was the cucumber. no tortoise and it wasn't to be found.  The temperature was rising by this time so it was time for me to come in and for them to find safe places to hide in the shade.

I opened up the computer on the desk and started to look for a few names on ancestry to confirm death dates and children of relatives of my grandfather and kept hitting brick walls.  I've confirmed one date of birth for a female and it was out by seven years from the date that was given to me by her relatives. This is all in my hunt for the Canadian relatives, pubs in Birmingham and retirements in Falmouth in Cornwall.  I seemed to be going round in circles so I gave up at two, too hot to go outside and nothing really to do without I started a new project and my get up and go for this week has got up and gone.  My Blacklist on Netflix looked like an easy option for the afternoon so I took it.  The clouds came over at five and are still with us, the breeze has picked up and the temperature has gone down a little and no sign of rain so I'm off to water the pots on the terrace.  LN.....A lazy old day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 22, 2021, 5:31pm; Reply: 22
Thursday 22nd July

Seven start and really funny sensation.  I've had it before, my bottom lip swells up, feels like it's been injected with something and makes me dribble my coffee.  I'm obviously allergic to something in something that I'm eating and I'm trying to narrow it down.  It takes about two hours to get back to normal so I shall have to start making notes on what passes my lips.  I did have peanuts last night with a suspicious coating of some thing orange and a bowl of yogurt before bedtime...who knows!!

I spotted one of the tortoise out and about this morning as I had my coffee on the balcony and even got the binoculars out to spot who it was but to no avail.  The nail varnish is fading rapidly in this heat so another coat called for.  I went out to check and it was Blue and while I was out there I did some weeding on the old veg patch and took photos of the sunflowers that are just coming into bloom.  Unfortunately I also had a couple of casualties of the winds from yesterday. two gladioli are now sitting in a vase decorating the place so not totally gone to waste.  Toasted cheese sandwiches for breakfast and so I continued in the kitchen and put some cubed meat into the slow cooker with onions, pasata and red pepper and that should be ready any time soon and I'll serve it with rice.

I was aware that there was a police siren going off and I'm just wondering if they were out to catch non-quarantineers which wouldn't surprise me at all.  It seems to be a free-for-all due to the Muslim holiday...the world and all it's friends seem to be zooming up and down the village.  I'll hear about it from my Avatar later I'm sure.  Spend some of the day clearing out the wooden trug on the terrace, topped it up with new compost and bird droppings from the nest under the eaves,  moved a few plants from various pots and generally made the area look tidier.  There's only me to see it but it still matters.  Lots of humming moths out around the lavender but they're just too quick to catch, better success on the zinnia or tobacco in the evening.   Did manage a photograph of a really big ugly really wouldn't want that nesting in you knickers in the words of Roald Dahl.  A little TV this afternoon, eight thirty now and it's time to start the rice.  I was destined to go into Djebel but never made it...too much like hard work..  LN....Kitchen time....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 23, 2021, 6:31pm; Reply: 23
Friday 23rd July

Seven start this morning so I made my coffee and took it out on to the balcony to enjoy the start of day.  The sun was having a bit of a battle with some low lying clouds and I stuck it out until I realised that I was's nearly August for goodness sake,,,it feels more like Autumn.  I fiddled around a bit, for some reason I was on the hunt for some leather trousers that I'd planned on making into a handbag and not only did I find them but another couple of waistcoats that I'd bought from my cheapy shops when I was caught up and inspired to start making stuff from them.  It also reminded me that I was going to ask Avatar if I could borrow her hand sewing machine that's sitting in her loft/  She's got workmen there at the moment and I'm sure they could get it down or I could at least go up there to see if it would do what I want it to do.....otherwise, hand sewing and I need to order tools from the internet to punch out the holes.

I didn't bother with breakfast mainly because I'd thrown the last of the bread out yesterday intending to go into Djebel which I hadn't managed to do.  I prepared my list which included the hose connectors and new ends, water pump for the large water bottle, see if the chemist wanted the 30 leva of change that I'd taken from my dumping pot and I now wanted bread.  My first problem was finding a parking space.....I'd forgotten that it was Friday, a holiday to boot and Djebel was full.  I eventually found a space away from the centre behind the mosque and had to pass the leva shop so make my first purchase of the water pumps.  I headed towards the chemist and one of the assistants left the shop and was having a ciggy and a cup of coffee and I approached her and asked if she was interested in change and she was.  I opened the yogurt pot, explained that it was all in different denominations, was list and told her there was thirty leva's worth.  She said that she was went inside the chemist, brought me out the notes and I carried on to my student's mum's shop. I sat for a while putting the world to rights. the yogurt pot was returned to me, the shop got busy so I went on the hunt for the hose connectors.  Found some in the second shop and walking back to the Nipper I had to pass the place where I order my wood and asked how much a ton was this year.  Unexpectedly it had reduced in price so I drove down to the woodyard to see what the quality was like and to tell the man which pile to take it from and a bill of sale was printed in the shop.  I ordered three tons just in case it's a hard never know Norman.  I stopped off for the bread, headed home with all tasks complete, fixed the hose connectors, bread into the freezer, watered the garden, a little television, tuna mayo sandwiches for a late lunch and the next thing was a man ringing my outside bell with my delivery.  

I'd left the Nipper outside so that he could revers into the yard, he tipped his load and I paid him and then thought of my plan of attack. I stacked the old wood from last year to one side so that gets used first, swept the woodstore, moved a few things round and I was ready for action.  I use the log carrier, much easier that a wheel barrow, worked until six, came in for water and set myself a target of finishing at eight which I did.  Watered the garden, in my eight thirty and I know what I'm doing in the first preparation for winter, the wood's so dry now that you get more for your money so thereby a saving,  

Sitting wiring this and I was amazed to see a blood red moon rising , couldn't see it from the balcony because of the trees so went outside and it's such an amazing colour,  I need to think about something to eat, don't want much but I think I've worked the tuna mayo sandwiches off.  Need to have a bath and a good soak to ease out the shoulder muscles.  LN.....Boiler on......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 24, 2021, 5:18pm; Reply: 24
Saturday 24th July

So it was a seven start...I stopped up to watch the Amy Winehouse programme and it didn't start until eleven my time.  It was interesting and such a shame, on a self destructive path and not able to bring herself back and gain control.  So I made my coffee, took it downstairs, toasted cheese sandwiches for breakfast and I' set myself a target of eight to be outside and carry on where I'd left off last night...the wood wasn't going to move itself.  I was a little late and it was eight thirty when I got out, first job was to unload the two log carriers that I'd left last night and then to start the process of loading and unloading,  I stayed with it until ten and decided to have water and a little television and found that the Olympics Road race was on and in my youth, I was introduced to this sport by a boyfriend and find the tactics fascinating,  Such a good ride by the cappie from Ecuador winning only the second gold medal they've achieved in their Olympic journey.  At eleven I had visitors from my village, my neighbour from the next garden was standing with two young men and I was unsure why they were there so I tried Bulgarian and one said that he didn't understand Bulgarian but spoke English and it transpired that he had a restaurant in Eastbourne and I asked him to leave the name of it with his aunt and I'd look him up when I was next in the UK.   I then accepted a joint of meat from my neighbour and she said that the animal that was sacrificed was a gift from her nephew.  

Off they went and out I went and got stuck in and had finished stacking by one thirty more or less and only had the yard to tidy.  At that there was a screech of brakes and my Fotinovo buddy had turned up bearing beetroot.  I told him he'd timed it perfectly...the last load was stacked and he did the same last year.  I'd thought that he might be round and hoped it was when I'd's my work and I did it.  I made coffee , we put the world to rights as best we could, we moved on to the terrace so that he could smoke, more coffee and it was about two hours later he went.  I finished the yard dumping the bark and dust on the garden at the bottom of the garden and I'll soak it tomorrow and dig the garden over.  All that's left to do is to move the starter wood from the garage, tidy up the rest of the timber and get the logs that need splitting under cover just in case we have lightening storms.  

Tools away at six thirty and into the bath and now feeling very much cleaner and smelling much better.  It was good honest sweat but it's not to be encouraged.  I haven't thought about supper yet....I need to get my cooking head on.  LN....Another item off my winter checklist.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 25, 2021, 5:32pm; Reply: 25
Sunday 25th July

A very silly night for me.  I was watching my Netflix programme until two thirty this morning, had not an ounce of sleep in me when I went to bed, ended up watching the Olympics skate board, a newly added sport and eventually got my head down around four this morning.  I was awake at the normal time seven, coffee, washing in, washing out on the line, toast for breakfast and the day was all mine.  I put the Olympics on for an overnight catch-up and started to watch the women's cycle race and got hooked.  Just as it was coming to a conclusion my phone went and decided not to answer it, the next thing my house phone was going and I left that to ring too.  The race concluded and Guljan was at the door, she was over from Germany for the holiday and came bearing gift...she was allowed in.

She told me how busy she had been since she got here, the family had killed two calves which they had processed, I had a bag of frozen mince which is sitting in my freezer and she also brought me a box of chocolates and a very pretty sun top for the beach.  They've just bought an apartment in Kardjali and we were supposed to go and visit it this time but didn't manage to get there.  There's supposedly lots of old furniture that is not to her liking but likely to mine or stuff that can be renovated for time, since she flew from Sofia this evening.  Another reason for coming was to get her documents printed out for the flight and when it was time to leave she asked if I could possibly take her home.  It's about a five minute walk but the sheep farmer's dogs guard the flock and the main road and are very nasty so I had no problem getting the Nipper out and dropped her off around one thirty.

I decided it was time to get washed and dressed, the starter wood was beckoning but it didn't shout very loudly so I took to the sofa in the lounge and went back to the Olympics and watched the gymnastics with the young English team doing very well.  I must have nodded off for an hour or so catching up on my lack of sleep last night, woke up and put Netflix on and my program and noticed the box of chocolates on the sofa next to me and it had to be done.  There are a few left, not many and very probably will go this evening.  I'm not one who can have one chocolate and meter them out, too tempting to indulge myself.

The washing came in at seven thirty and I gave the garden a good watering since a few of the flowers were looking crispy around the edges.  The wood will still be there tomorrow so it's now on my mental list but not that pressing.  August I have to sort out my insurance for the Nipper and get it MOT'd so that's also on the mental list but for tonight, back to the Olympics and Netflix.  LN....Good to catch up with friends......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 26, 2021, 6:06pm; Reply: 26
Monday 26th July

Seven start this morning and saying I went to bed at eleven, what a brilliant night I had.  I think getting three tons of wood into store took more out of me that I thought it did.  As some point I must remember that I'm not a spring chicken.  I made the mistake of putting on the Olympics and watched the three gold medals that were issued this morning and well done to all of them.  Determination is a character asset that cannot be denied when it works out.  Some times it can be classed as bloody mindedness which damages the soul;  I made a bacon sandwich for breakfast, prepared a stew from the meat that I'd been given by my neighbour from the next garden and put it in the slow cooker with carrots and potatoes ready for this evening.

The Olympics went on for so much longer than I intended and it was lunchtime before I set my mind to anything else.  It was much to hot to go outside and work, I'd watered the garden well last night and knew that it would be alright until the eventing so played around with ancestry for a while and then on to Netflix.  There was only one real job on my list and that was to have a bonfire but the wind off the hillside was just too strong, the grass is so dry that it would just catch and run and can't have that.  I had an early supper and the taste was good but the meat a little tough despite having cooked it on low in the slow cooker for around six hours.  The trouble is that no one here sees to hang meat unlike the UK and t doesn't seem to have much chance to rest before it's cooked and eaten.

I went out to water the garden and managed to get connectors on each of the three hosepipes and can now easily reach the bottom of the garden.  I was just walking towards the grave garden when I heard squeaking and clattering and at first I didn't understand what it was and then I saw Rosy and the one I'd painted with the green nail varnish in a bit of a battle.  I know it's nature and it is what it is but she obviously didn't want it and he was too enraged or dumb to realise it.  He kept trying to mount her and she walked away and he dropped off the back and this must have gone on for about five minutes. enough time for me to get my camera and get out on my bedroom balcony.  The next I saw was that the green one was on his back and trying desperately to get back on his feet and he managed it.  The squared up again and she became really aggressive towards him, making it clear that she wasn't interested and started to eat one of the apricots that I'd put out last night,  Thinking that he was on to a good thing while she was busy he tried once more but she swiftly turned round and saw him off.  By not one of the shrubs was almost drowning, Id left the hose on it so I sauntered down the garden to move the hose on to the next and as I walked back I saw green one walking towards the bottom of the garden and Rosy was no where to be seen  I think the passion had ebbed away.

I finished watering the garden, washing-up is done and the kitchen is tidy.  I've had another restful day and with another two weeks of the Olympics, it's a good job that the wood is in and not sitting in the yard.  Just gone nine my time, I'm late this evening and it won't be long before I'm hitting the sack.  LN...Such a relaxing day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 27, 2021, 5:25pm; Reply: 27
Tuesday 27th July

Funny old day....I slept through until seven so another good night's sleep, I washed and dressed for the garden and first job was to get the garden watered.  It was going to be another really hot day.  I came in and put the Olympics on and watched the mornings events catch-up and congrats to the double swimming medals, last time we had gold and silver in the same event was nineteen o' eight so the boys did well.  I made bacon sandwich for breakfast and topped up with more coffee and managed to start the sort out of the winter starter wood by cleaning out the other half oil drum with kitchen grease remover, lots of water and left it to dry in the sun.  The barrel is now full of the old wood from the garage and tomorrow I'll be sawing it either with the reciprocating saw or manually, depends how I feel and then I'll chop it ready for the winter.  The plan is good but I need to move the old screen that I used to put near the entrance door so that the garage internal wall is clear and I can stack the logs that still need chopping in the garage.  I'm ahead this year, I normally don't make a start on wood until September but at least if I manage to get to the UK, I shan't have a panic on.

By now it was around two in the afternoon and it was thirty two out and thirty four in but at least there was a breeze blowing through the house.  I stationed myself on the sofa and settled in to Blocklist on Netflix and watched a few episodes until the heat started to go out of the day.  It was back to watering for the evening and I had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish, the wind had dropped and it was a very still evening.  Had a bit of confusion set in...I noticed a couple of tortoise in the garden near the bonfire and did a double take.  They both had blue nail varnish on their shells and I can only guess that the one that I refreshed the paint on was in fact Green Goddess not Blue Boy so now I have two Blues, no old green but the new one that was ravaging Rosy the other night.  I think I need to get some purple varnish out, the other one get's blamed for such a lot.

So I'd packed up for the night and just settled in to the Olympics' afternoon roundup and I spotted a child in the garden and so switched off the television and not only one there one but several and adults.  They are friends from Turkey and are visiting relatives here and one of the sisters from Ankara has three children and the other sister has one boy.  Lovely children but investigated the garden, the tortoise, inside and outside the house which I didn't mind at all.  They are a delightful family and mother was with them.  Off they went after taking lots of photos of the garden and each other and I was really surprised to receive a couple of presents from my friend...a table runner that she has block printed and a shopping bag block printed up with 'present from Ankara'.

I'm not wanting's too hot to eat at the moment, maybe cheese and biscuits later.  A successful day but I need a bit of brute force to help me move the screen so that I can get on with stacking the logs.  I might be phoning my painter later for some held.  LN   I good day and a really well watered garden.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 28, 2021, 5:01pm; Reply: 28
Wednesday 28th July

Well it's been a pretty quiet day after yesterday.  I slept through again until seven so by the time I'd had coffee, got washed and dressed and made toast for breakfast it was time to put on the overnight results from Tokyo...More success in the swimming in the relay and this year it looks they they're going to be the stream that comes out on top.  Sport took priority yet again and it was close to eleven before I put my nose out and thought about getting on with things.  I'd done a late watering last night so left them to their own devices but I really should be out there now.

So I managed to get three large containers of starter wood chopped and ready for winter and tidied out the porch to the little house.  Tomorrow's job is going to throw away old wood that nothing has been done to for the last five years, I can put a lot of it at the bottom of the garden to rot away making it a perfect spot for buglies.  I'd rather they were down the bottom of the garden than in the little house or wood store.  This seems to be the year where I have more time to get on with things like this so Covid has it's upside.  I did hear today that it will be possible to go to the UK without having to isolate providing you are in possession of a recognised vaccination certificate...still have to check out though if it's necessary to have PCR tests here and there.

I came in at two. despite working in the shade it was really quite humid and I've already got the boiler on so that I can ease out the aches and pains of moving heavy logs and clean out the pores......another sweaty old day.  Another problem that's raised its head is my Sony camera.....every photo that I take seems to be unable to write to the card and a message the it's trying to retrieve data appears.  I've found the manual out and think I might have to refer to the on-line help...or find a man who can.  I wanted a point and shoot and it pointed and shot until it developed the last problem. It's been a picky day food wise, so I think the trend might continue into the evening.  LN....Garden needs water......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 29, 2021, 6:05pm; Reply: 29
Thursday 29th July

Another late start and so I made coffee, moved down to the lounge and put on the Olympics to see breaking news and any events that I'd missed over night.  It's really in the wrong time zone but at least I have a two hour advantage over viewers from the UK.  I made toast for breakfast and with another top-up of coffee, I settled in and just enjoyed the morning.  I did have my bath last night but it's so humid that it's time for a shower tonight despite the fact that I've done very little.  I also have to admit that I've binged somewhat on Blacklist my Netflix serial but too hot to work in the garden and really too hot to be sawing and chopping wood.

A lot of my morning was also taken up with trying to sort out my camera.  I eventually came out with an error code which was recognised by Google and there was a tutorial on how to fix it.  Of course like most tutorials they're of use to initiates of the dark arts but for some one like me I really need easy solutions.  I was getting to the stage of resetting the phone and formatting the data disk since I'd copied the files from the camera to the computer but for some obscure reason, there's no way to delete the photos from the camera from the computer.....Before I use drastic measures, I'm going to consult my guru who may be able to help and if not then I might even resort to a hammer and just buy a new one.    Agh....why can't things be simple????

I put my nose out of the door to see who was making a commotion on the street and noticed that there was a carrier bag of goodies but the front gate.  I anticipated potatoes and was really surprised when I had a mixed bag of red and normal onions and I'm assuming that they came from my neighbour with the next door garden.  She's such a sweetie.  I made a Plougman's lunch for supper using up the rest of the Cheddar cheese so I'll have to make a trip to Lidl at some point for another batch.  It really does have a much better flavour that the local hard cheese.  Today has also been a day for keeping fluids up and I must have had around three litres of water today.  I'm staying off the fruit juices for the time being...they're loaded with sugar.    So the only photos that I got today was of a woodpecker knocking seven bells out of my lonesome pine but it was well up inside the canopy...much too hot for even woodpeckers to be out.  One of the tortoise was out mid morning but by the time I got out to check which one it was it had done a Houdini on me and just wasn't to be found.  It the weather is good tomorrow, it might very well be swimming and shopping to top up on a few things and another layer of sun tan wouldn't go amiss.  LN...It's hard work living here.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 30, 2021, 4:55pm; Reply: 30
Friday 30th July

I was awake really early this morning so took advantage of the Olympic coverage and it's been like that for pretty much all of the day.  It's been up to thirty four degrees inside and out and I've pretty much melted all day.  Never mind the heat and humidity of Japan and the Olympics, it's been pretty much the same here.  I took a break and went out to water the garden including the maple that I didn't want to get stressed out.  It was a seedling from the UK and it's now six feet tall...slow and steady and will be here hopefully much longer that I shall.  I've not seen many others especially the red ones so I take care of it.  The giant sunflowers were looking a little sad but soon perked up as did the zinnias in the old bonfire pit.  Three tortoise out this morning and I had Rosy, Blue Boy and my new green one so I filled up the bucket lids with water and left them around the garden for them to find.  The grass is still green so I know they get moisture from what they eat but it's a safety measure.

Having sorted the garden and the family I made toast and spread it with cheese triangles.  I fond some frozen spare ribs in the freezer and took them out for tonight but I've now put them in the fridge and they will live to fight another day.  It's just too hot to eat, thee temperature has gone up again, we had a brief respite when the wind picked up, the clouds rolled over and it started to thunder but it was over in a flash.  I did take the precaution of using the bungy cords on the chairs on the balcony, the last thing I want is to have them crashing through the windows into my bedroom.

I had a phone call from the UK and spent time on a catch-up and then showered to wash off the heat of the day, washed my hair and dressed very sensibly in white forgetting that I was anticipating having spare ribs...messy spare ribs and that was partly the decision to save them for tomorrow.  It's settled into a very calm evening, I didn't go for a swim and shopping was just too much effort....maybe tomorrow,  LN.....I'm off to find something easy to prepare for supper......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, July 31, 2021, 4:50pm; Reply: 31
Saturday 31st July

Somehow I found myself awake at silly o'clock this morning and managed to catch the triathlon mixed relay and it was fascinating.  We played a blinder and came away with an exciting gold medal and achieved with such conviction.  There are some things that we done with style, persistence and determination with no drama in the winning, for people who have trained hard with an objective in mind, wo win at the Olympics and those dreams might have been conceived from someone else's achievement in their youth.  Well done team GB. As you've gathered I've watched a lot of the different sports and have learnt a lot about the rules of some that I've never come into contact with before.  The boxing brought back memories of me trying to box my father as a child, he'd put his hand on my head and no way did I have the reach to even get near him and him telling me that I couldn't even box kippers.  A cherished memory brought to the mind.....magic.

I was still awake at eight despite not getting my head down until three thirty and I made coffee and put the television back on and caught a rerun of the mixed swimming relay where again we took gold.  There's a new vision, lots more mixed events which some like and others don't but as long as they are complementary to the main events I see nothing wrong in it.  Seeing the camaraderie makes it more human.  Toast for breakfast using the last of the bread, I watered the garden which seemed to take ages and was still wondering around in my night attire until I washed and dressed for the day with the intention of going shopping.....and I didn't make it.  I put a load of washing into the machine, pegged it out thinking that it would be dry more or less as I'd finished getting it on the line and went back into the house.  Settling down again I suddenly realised that the stiff breeze was now blowing the clothes horizontal on the line so I shut the door to the lounge and the door to the balcony from my bedroom and when I went back to the lounge I heard a strange noise that I couldn't put my finger on and then realised that there was a bird in the woodburner banging furiously on the glass trying to escape.  The usual routine is to close the curtains between the corridor and the stairwell so that it can't get upstairs and I realised that I'd taken the curtains down and washed them not bothering to put them back. Next plan of action was to remove the cover from the sofa, fortunately it was large enough to cover the space and I pegged it to the curtain rail with garden plant support clips and it worked.  I closed all the doors to the other rooms, opened the fly screen from the porch, opened the woodburner and out it came, resting on the curtain rail to get it's bearings, it headed out to the conservatory and after a couple of bashes on the windows went out of the door.....a life saved.  

I put the spare ribs into the oven at five, fetched the washing in, made potato salad and am now replete.  Another shower is on the cards, thirty five degrees again today and even the wind was no benefit for cooling down.  Time to go out and give everything a good watering so that overnight it can recover and as for me, I think a bowl of ice-cream might be on the cards with another litre of water.  I might be developing gills at this rate and will have to keep checking behind my ears.  This heatwave has been predicted until Thursday and it was thirty six today.  LN....And I was complaining that summer hadn't arrived!!.....LN
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