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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  SEPTEMBER 2021
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 1, 2021, 3:33pm
Wednesday 1st September

So last night my autumn weight PJ's went, I'd closed the door to the balcony. left the window on tilt and turn but brought up the lightweight quilt when I snuggled down.  It's not that it's cold but it's such a change in the weather that makes it feel colder than it actually is.  Autumn is here.  I had a good night's sleep and woke up feeling fairly refreshed, it was another dull old start to the day with mist and despite opening the balcony door I stationed myself on the chair inside with my coffee.  

I'm not sure what I did this morning apart from washing up, tidying and moving 'stuff' but it was ten before I got round to making breakfast of buttered toast and at eleven I was joining up the hoses in the garden and was about to start a bonfire.  Despite the recent rain, everything is still dry so it's a precaution that you have to take out here.  There's a fine if you have to call out the fire brigade or if someone else calls it out because they think you need the service.  While the hose was on I watered the buddlieh which after taking off the old flowerheads has decided to give another show.  I did a walk of the garden and managed to find four of the tortoise along the long wall and down the bottom of the garden and later today I had to remove Rosy and Blue from the garage and put them back in the garden but blow me down, Rosy was back in the garage this afternoon trying to attack a box.....and I know not why so i left her to her own devices.

I had visitors today delivering a bunch of grapes, be it a small one.  It was a daughter who normally only comes at weekends and wants cutting of everything from my garden and I was surprised to see her.  She came with her mother, I invited them in to the lounge and she immediately spotted my houseplant that's just coming into flower and was about to take a cutting when I told her to leave it alone and instead promised to get her one of the pretty Greek pink flowers from Djebel next time I'm in.  

The electricity went off again this afternoon, came on again pretty quickly but internet didn't want to load and my UK television site was deemed to be not a safe site.  I switched it off and checked on the computer and it was loading correctly so went back and this time it was asking me to log in to the program which is a complete pain with an on-screen keyboard that you have to navigate.  I did manage it first time and the program opened without problems although I'm not seeing any programs on Netflix so maybe my service provider has issues.

I didn't make it to Kardjali, the new offers in Kaufland start tomorrow and there's something I want to check out so it looks like I'll be going tomorrow.  I also have to pick up items from my stationery shop and the picture from the framers and Haskovo could still be on the cards.  So now to find something for supper.  LN.....Now what do I fancy for a change......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 2, 2021, 5:53pm; Reply: 1
Thursday 2nd September

Silly four thirty start this morning and there was no way I was getting back to sleep so I played silly games for an hour or so until it was a reasonable time to wake up.  There was mist covering the garden and hillside, no sign of dawn at all and it was getting on for nine before there was a glimmer of that thing we've taken for granted for the last few weeks.  I threw out the stale bread for the cats, birds and whoever else in the garden wanted it and there weren't many takers.  I made toast and was searching for something to go on it from the plethora of odd pots accumulated from various neighbours over the years and it made me realise that I really should go through them.  I opened a pot of strawberry from the village, stuck a knife in it to taste it and it's now over the wall along with some little peppers that I found lingering and tomorrow is the day for doing it.  I wash and save the jars but the ladies of the village are not doing so much as they used to do.  Avatar came back from Germany when the growing season was underway and didn't catch up and with supermarkets in Djebel carrying a reasonable range at reasonable prices now that the basic pension has gone up, there's less urgency to bottle everything in sight.

I did a tour of the garden and didn't manage to find any of the tortoise but it was a damp morning so they were probably well hidden until the sun came out when they would take up their body temperatures.  I washed and dressed for Kardjali, putting jeans and a long sleeve shirt on and ankle boots, autumn is upon us.  I opened the gates to get the Nipper out and spotted Rosy on the concrete infront of the garage sunning herself and was just hoping that she didn't try to make a run for freedom as I manoeuvred the Nipper on to the grass on the other side of the wall.  She was on her marks but that was Houdini antics.  I went down the back lane and first stop was Kaufland to get the storage boxes that I'd seen advertised, they were pretty difficult to locate but once found I loaded seven into the trolley.  The shelving units weren't worth bothering with so I didn't and I picked up six grow bags ready for next year.  They've got a pocket in the sides so you can harvest without disturbing them...neat and next year that's how I'll grow my beetroot and thereby a saving of water since it's contained.  At three for ten leva not a bad deal so I bought six.  It was obviously silly purchase day.  

Back in the Nipper and managed to find a parking space right outside the phone shop that I wanted to pay my house phone bill and did so and for some reason had to renew my contract with the company and it required around seven signatures.  The printed document was handed to me and it will probably take me until the end of this contract to translate it.  Tova e Bulgaria.  I carried on to my stationery shop and they didn't have nibs for my Parker even though they could offer me a good range of Parker pens and also didn't have none shiny A2 paper for the family charts.  Back to the art picture framers and there was a notice in the window that they were on holiday until the sixth of September so back to the Nipper and as I was unlocking my friends from another village were just looking for a parking spot so I suggested a coffee, they parked up and we settled for our usual one that 'got nice toilets'.  Over Cappuccinos we put the world to rights, a quick walk round one or two of the shops by the market and back to our cars.  Back to Lidl, I picked up a few items, drove home, unpacked the shopping settled down in the lounge and promptly went to sleep for an hour or so.  It's a strange feeling when you wake up you're never sure of how long you've been out for the count and wonder if it's morning.  I checked on the curry that I'd put in the slow cooker this morning and that's ready to be served now, just got the rice to do.  

Pleasant day, it was good to be out and about.  The sun eventually broke through this afternoon, the boots were a mistake but the jeans and shirt were just about right.  I've got storage boxes to fill tomorrow and it could be a throw aside day and someone will benefit.  LN.....'Stuff has to go'..... LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 3, 2021, 5:43pm; Reply: 2
Friday 3rd September

So bed last night at about half eleven and asleep by twelve, awake by two and played silly games until five, didn't managed to get off again so signed on to the computer and started chasing dates on ancestry.  I watched the morning come awake and the moon was lazily lying on it's back, a few morning starts visible but I didn't wait to see the sun come up, started my day, saw one of the tortoise so went out to investigate which one it was.  I took some grapes out with me, it was Blue who nosed them a few times and then settled in devouring one after the other but didn't manage them all.  I carried on down the garden and saw Cracked Shell in one of the little beds down the bottom, went to check on Blue and Sandy was up against the wall just warming up in a patch of sunlight.  I found my way in front of the computer again and remembered that I'd promised Jaylan's son that I would deliver a photo of his son on his trials bike so printed it and framed it and suddenly remembered that I'd taken a picture of Semile's daughter at the last wedding I went to and one of the photos was really lovely of them on the first dance.  I printed this off and framed both of them to deliver later in Djebel.

I made breakfast of toast and sour cherry jam, washed and dressed for Djebel, load of washing in the machine and by the time that it had finished I'd washed up and tidied the kitchen so pegged the washing out, pictures in a strong envelope and left around ten.  Unfortunately  Friday is mosque day and lots of visitors from the rest of Europe are here and also from Turkey.  Eventually I found a parking place near my student's home, a little walk from the centre and saw the trials bike son boning out meat in their butchers shop, he's a boy of many talents.  Semile his uncle was there so I handed over the envelope, he called the boy over and he was so pleased with the photo and I showed his uncle the one taken of his daughter at the wedding and he was in raptures.  He asked how much and I said nothing, they were gift so we settled that he would deliver a tractor of sheep shite for my garden....fair trade I though.  

I went to the next flower shop and bought a new shrub for the garden, very pretty with pink flowers and a yellow centre that's supposed to develop into a tree eventually.  Onwards to the car parts shop and had a few words with my student's mum who said that they'd be on holiday for a few days to Velingrad to a fabulous spa hotel, expensive but worth it so she said.  They'd closed the garage and the son had held the fort in the shop and I suddenly remembered that I needed aerosol glue and did they have it and yes, normally they do but the son had obviously sold it and not written down that it was to be will be there on Tuesday so another job done or will be when I get the glue.  Home for two and I'd put the curry on to carry on cooking in the slow cooker while I was out so made rice and had an early evening meal followed by a couple of yogurts, remembered to get the washing in just in case we had the afternoon thunder storm, stuck Netflix on and promptly went into shut-down mode and caught up on my sleep.   Just had a visit from Avatar with some goodies, I told her about the offer of shite for photos and we both thought it was a good deal struck.  Tomorrow I'm going over to see if her old treadle sewing machine will work on leather or at least put holes in the side seams so that I can work the thread by hand....I love experiments.  LN....Bad night but good day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 4, 2021, 2:40pm; Reply: 3
Saturday 4th September

So a much better night last night though I didn't expect it.  I'd slept through Monty Don on the sofa and expected that I was in credit with sleep so would have another disturbed night but I was wrong.....straight through until seven ten, sun was up, cool out but the balcony was still a very pleasant place to enjoy my morning coffee.  The birds were out if force, woodies headbanging, the finches were attacking what was left of the sunflowers and blackies were out foraging  for whatever might be available despite the dry conditions.

I walked the garden and found Blue lingering where Cracked Shell should be but no evidence of any others.  I threw some old dry biscuit type thingies over the wall for anything that wanted it and notice that the cornflakes that I'd put over yesterday were still there but the remains of the curry and rice had gone.  The ants were clearing up the remains of the old jam and I'm sure if anyone is really hungry, it will all go eventually, cows are not really fussy.  Toast for breakfast with sliced cheese followed by a yogurt and it's been a pickie day ever since.  I put the Para Olympics on and watched part of the wheelchair tennis, didn't get the drift of blindfolder football and the badminton was the best bet.  I watched some of the athletics taking part in torrential rain and as for the shotput, the poor chap was sliding everywhere yet still managed to come home with a gold medal.  I found myself a bunch of grapes to eat while I was watching but came unstuck...I normally buy them without seeds and this time hadn't so had a very fiddly time and unfortunately when I bit down on one, part ofthe pip wedged between a couple of top teeth and gave me such a jar that I was up from the sofa, on to the top landing and digging about with my large needle and eventually managed to dislodge it.  When I did, it was only part of the seed but felt huge when in situ.  I'll check the labels better next time.

I didn't make it over to Avatar's house for a sewing lesson.  I did manage to get out to the garden and cut back the dead flowers from the cream daisies and the seeds are now ready to plant up before the winter to have more plants for the spring.  I went back inside and started to tidy out the drawers in the cabinet next to the computer and have dumped a load of 'bits', sorted the rest and have installed cut down boxes to separate out 'stuff'  It's amazing how many bits one collects in ten years or so, it creeps up an you while you're not noticing.  Lovely calm evening and it hasn't been too hot today.  I was almost tempted to get the mower out to take off the seed heads and collect the fallen leaves but it can wait until tomorrow.  The idea came in but was soon dispelled and put on the waiting list.  Chicken cutlet tonight so not a lot of work to do.  LN,,,,A really pleasant day with results....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 5, 2021, 4:49pm; Reply: 4
Sunday 5th September

Mush colder last night and I was really snuggled down.  Almost time to put a heavier quilt on.  I opened the door to the balcony at seven, the sun was already up but I went back to bed with my coffee and played games until eight rush to do anything.  Washed and dressed, spotted a tortoise from the landing so headed down to see which one it was and it was Blue/  Further down the garden I spotted Cracked Shell and later on this afternoon I saw Rosy on the grass between the hose and the front wall.  She seemed happy enough and was chewing on green grass so there really is enough food for them.  Looking at the hillside I think they would be worse off.  I made toast and more coffee and slathered it with sour cherry jam following it with a yogurt.  First job was to empty out the bonfire burning pit and I was going to light the bonfire but the wind got up so it was saved for another day.  Next on the list was to remove the sunflowers from the veg garden and dig the small bed over...I need to get all the beds cleared so that when the tractor arrives with its load I can spread it over the beds to 'process' over winter.  I need to put nourishment back into the soil.  Coming back to the house I saw my painter but he was in the shade of the Linden tree and I didn't notice him at first.  He's not working at the moment and so tomorrow he's going to chop the rest of my wood and I can get that put away.  There are other jobs to do so I'm make a list and I've insisted that I pay him this time...he's reluctant to take anything but I feel better when I pay.

That done I went over to Avatar's house and three of the other women from the village were sitting in the garden.  Avatar was busy slicing up apples into a bowl and she intended drying them in the loft ready for winter.  They were from her trees and she still has lots of them and offered me some but today wasn't the day.  The party was brought to a half t when the bread van arrived, three of the ladies went down to make purchases, I remained for a while with Avatar and then went home.  It was now getting on for twelve, I watched some of the para Olympics, switched it off, got the mower out and filled it up with petrol and then set about collecting the dead grass and seed heads and it looks much better for it.  I had a brief sojourn after the big house lawn and then out again and did the second. the top of the little house grass and all that's left to do is the yard and between the house and the wall.  I came in at three after putting the machine away, sank around a litre of water and went straight in the shower and washed my hair,  I was covered in dust and my hair was full of grit that was blown up by the mower so had a shower and washed my hair and felt so much better  for it.  I went straight into my towelling lounger top and bottoms which also double as autumn PJ's and lazed away the afternoon watching one of my series from Netflix.  

I managed to stay awake probably because I was grazing on cheese and breadsticks, yogurt and grapes and should sleep well tonight.  I checked on the Fitbit and have managed fifteen thousand steps today but had to put link it to the computer to find out.  Now  I have two Fitbits that the back lights don't work any more and I can't even see what time it is so not much use except for recording 'happenings'.  I really must invest in another but it definitely won't be a Fitbit.  I think that when it only lasts two years. it's a very expensive object and you can't even get them serviced.

So my painter is coming tomorrow at some stage and we'll get the wood done and see what else he wants to get up to.  I've asked him to check out the cooker and pipework to the gas bottle to see if it needs replacing and if so I'll pop into Djebel to get new tubing,  No supper, I've picked enough, the wind has dropped and it's a very gentle sunset.  LN...Another day of activity.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 6, 2021, 5:25pm; Reply: 5
Monday 6th September

So another silly night, awake at two, games for a couple of hours and then back to sleep with the final resurrection coming in a flurry when I realised it was just before eight and my painter was supposed to be coming to chop the rest of the logs.  Bathroom, washed, dressed, coffee made, door unlocked to the world and I waited, and waited and waited and am still waiting now,,,well not quite, it's dark.  I thought I'd fill my time with a bonfire especially since I'd cleared out the container but the wind has been blowing a gale for most of the day and it just wasn't safe to do so.  The sun's been shining intermittently but two trips round the garden with a knife and a couple of 'on the turn pears and not a tortoise was spotted so I scattered them round the garden.  I guess they're all digging holes somewhere now that they've recognised that the weather's on the turn.

I settled for some corn wafers for breakfast that I'd picked up on my last shopping trip.  They're only seventeen calories each but I suppose the butter took up the count a little and the fact that I had five of them meant that I could have had toast with jam.  I swapped the water bottle over in the conservatory, cleaned off the buddleia that I'd put in water to pot up, found a bucket of old soil and took a couple of inches of compost from the composter and dug it in to it.  I've now ten cuttings in the bucket and I've put them in the little house already, the sun and the wind wouldn't have done them any good at all.

I was drawn to the kitchen for today's activity and noticed that I had stored several boxes of glasses under the worktop to the right of the cooker.  My glass cupboard is fair overflowing so I removed several of them, transferred them to the appropriate boxes from whence they'd been removed and now they can go as gift.  I don't have many visitors, am not likely to have a frantic party where people start throwing things and the pesky virus means that few come over and most of my friends in the UK are too old to travel.  I also removed some bottled cherries from my tree  that must have been lingering in the cupboard for several years, I'll open one up tomorrow to see if they're worth using up. The cooker glass dropdown lid was also looking grubby and if I've a workman coming in to check out the gas connections I thought I'd clean the cooker to save embarrassment on my part and it's now gleaming.  I've just got to find a man to check out the connections.  

I did another circuit of the garden and the wind was still gale force and breaking bit of trees and removing fir cones from my lonesome pine so the tidy up that I did on the grass all appears to have been in vain.  I settled at four on the sofa and promptly nodded off for an hour or so catching up on lost sleep, Tipping Point and The Chase, cheese and biscuits so no supper for me.  Let's see if my painter appears tomorrow, if not I'm off to Kardjali to get my picture that's been framed, my spray glue from the car parts shop in Djebel and a pot plant that I'd asked the owner to keep for me.  LN......An unsettling day....I like things to happen when they're supposed to......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 7, 2021, 4:40pm; Reply: 6
Tuesday 7th September

At last a good night's was twelve when I went to bed, snuggled down and seven when I awoke...result.  I made coffee and played a couple of games but didn't linger long just in case my painter turned up but it wasn't to be.  I guess he's got other fish to fry as they say.  I washed and dressed and gathered the washing that needed putting through the machine making up a full load with things that could have waited but it was ready to peg out at eight thirty.  The wind had picked up so I secured everything well, the clouds had come over and I had this image in my head of just finishing getting it out and the first drops would start to fall but I was in luck.  

I went back inside, made another coffee, toasted a couple of slices of bread and had it with butter and jam.  I decided I wasn't going into Kardjali and was determined to finish cleaning and sorting the kitchen and I have.  It was quite a morning of the depths of one of the shelves I found covered soup bowls that I'd bought in my early years here and I'd forgotten all about them.  They're all washed and put where I know that I can find them should I need them...well that's a start.  Another box contained plastic lids for boxes that had gone to the great beyond and it reminded me of the joke about Tupperware lids and how long it takes to find one when it's needed.  I think they might be on a trip down to the bonfire when I next get it going.  The old jars were emptied over the wall, the cat approached the pile, took one look and sauntered off and later I found wasps busily buzzing around.  There was old jam that I'd made again in my first years here and there was the occasional 'pop' of a lid that hadn't remained airtight so they all had to go and the empty jars are now in the container at the bottom square.

Everything has been washed and sorted, all the tiles from the shelving cleaned and put back and now I can pick out every tree in the wood.  I also found an egg poacher that I'd acquired from somewhere and a mincer that I'd forgotten about so now I'll be able to make my own mincemeat...well it's a thought.  Eventually everything put back by five thirty and I was absolutely knacked.  My back aches and so does my wrist and I'm not sure what I did to deserve it but the elastic bandage is going on overnight to help sort it out.  Washing in and put away, pork rack in the oven with some sort of potatoes and it should be ready any time now.  LN......Busy day but a job well done.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 8, 2021, 4:30pm; Reply: 7
Wednesday 8th September

Just before seven start so I opened up the drawbridge or in other words the door to the balcony, grabbed a cushion for the chair and a coffee plus my half tablet for my BP and got myself settled.  After a minute or so I was back inside for a fleece jacket, the wind was pretty brisk and it was a tad on the cold side.  Out I went again with the Kindle  and knocked off a couple of Sudoku and realised I was chilled to the bone so came in. shut the balcony door, got back into bed with a fresh cup of coffee.  At eight I was getting washed and dressed and had made my mind up to go into Kardjali to get my picture from the framers and come back to Djebel and pick up the spray glue that the shop had ordered for me.  I made beans on toast for breakfast heating them up in the microwave, settled in the stairwell at the table to eat it, the remains of last night's supper out for the cat and in the Nipper by ten twenty.  I seemed to spend an awful lot of time deciding what to wear today.  It was cold so it was jeans with a sweater with a blouse underneath and then all change to just the sweater with an oversweater and winter ankle boots to complete the outfit.

Back lane down to the Makaza road or the 'Highway to Hell' as it's known by the kamikaze drivers that one encounters.  Fortunately they were all going in the opposite direction so it was a pretty smooth run.  I managed to park up in the free parking near the shops, went to the framers and they've made a really good job of it, back to Lidl for a few items, stopped for gas and then home run managing to park up outside the chemist near my student's mums shop.  Into the chemist for my tablets, over to the flower shop and she hadn't got the plants that I wanted but had text me this morning and I'm missed it.  She wanted to know if I wanted to go into Kardjali so I told her that it was too late, I was on my way home...another time.  Back to the shop and picked up two cannisters of the glue so tomorrow should I feel like it I can get creative with empty boxes and material to make storage boxes.

Home for three thirty, shopping away and settled down to watch Netflix while I was have cheese and breadsticks and surprise, surprise ....I managed to stay awake.  I've just finished watering the pots, the dry wind has made most of the leaves crispy, I thought I'd finished watering for this season. Chicken cutlet for tonight and I'm about to fry it off and make a sandwich of it and tomorrow it's a home day unless someone famous phones with an interesting proposition.  LN....At least I achieved what I set out to do.....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 9, 2021, 3:48pm; Reply: 8
Thursday 0th September

So it was another snuggle down night and seven when I woke up.  I opened the door to the balcony but didn't venture out, t was dull, wasn't raining but looked as if it would any time soon so took to my bed with a coffee and enjoyed the fresh air.  I was home bound today so got dressed and top of my list was a bonfire so I emptied everything that needed emptying and headed down to the bottom of the garden armed with the rubbish, the fire lighter and the garden fork.  The burning pit was empty but it was still slow to get started, there was a bit of a breeze coming up from the ground through the holes but eventually I got flames to catch.  I topped it right up, waited for it to catch properly then put the lid on the top of it leaving a slight air gap and left it to its own devices.

I went to check on the tortoise and Cracked Shell had moved position but I spotted Rosy towards the bottom of the garden so went back to the house and found a peach that looked a little worse for wear and with a knife sliced her some off and she soon put her head out and started tearing it apart.  I left more where Cracked shell hangs out and checking tonight that's gone already and there was little left of Rosy's hoard.  By this time it had started to come down so my outside activity was curtailed.  I did move some of the logs into the garage guessing that my painter wouldn't be out and about in this weather....and I was right.  I did have a phone call this afternoon saying that he had work to do and was sorry that he hadn't contacted me earlier.  My work doesn't have time restraints on it so I said it wasn't a problem, and it isn't.

So this afternoon I set about sorting out ten years of old manuals, receipts, rubbish and ancestry documentation and it's now in the relevant folders and the important legal 'stuff' is altogether in one place so that anyone could find their way through it if needs be.  I remember my mother saying through a medium in church that she was sorry that she didn't sort everything out before she passed over and it sort of struck a chord with me so now I've got on with it.  I'm not anticipating going any time soon but who knows!!  Having finished that task I though I'd check out the airflow up the chimney using a lit candle and as I opened the door to the flue box in the bathroom some soot fell out so it was a good excuse to get the hoover out, clear up the bathroom and hoover through the downstairs and that's another job off the list.  

Cheese and biscuits in front of the TV this afternoon to stave off the hunger once I'd put the hoover away, the cos cows are looking decidedly bedraggled and I had to verbally chase one from down the old lane having a good feel from my japonica Kerria.  I shall have to put more of a barricade up when I give the trees a final trim for winter.  Caught three of my ladies taking a walk when I was taking the pickies of the roses, I didn't take a picture of them for privacy reasons.  At lst it's stopped raining and at last the garden is taking on a tinge of green.  LN.....Supper and relax......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 10, 2021, 6:18pm; Reply: 9
Friday 10th September

Five start just because I went to sleep at the end of the Diamond League and woke up in the middle of something else.  Trouble with my new look lounge is that it's so easy to go to sleep on the sofa but I had to make adjustments and put a dressing gown on and make use of the blanket that sits on the stool.  It was twenty degrees in the house but obviously my body had cooled down due to the clouds and rain over the last two days and I had to do something.  I was toasty when I woke up so made my way up the stairs to bed, snuggled down and that we me out for the count until as I said, five this morning.  I opened the door to the balcony, went out eventually and took a photo of the morning sun thinking that I might not see it again today but I was wrong.  Rain dried up, sun came out, wind died down and it was quite hot this afternoon as I slogged in the garden.

Unfortunately I had a lazy time this morning into early afternoon and only after my afternoon nap did I head out intent on doing something.  I cleared the old wood  bark from round the compost bin and a plastic bag that contained more of the same.  It was all destined for under the wall at the bottom of the garden but just hadn't made it...and now it has.  I took a selection of tools down the garden with me in my wood carrier, eyed up the situation and got going on the beds.  There was lots of dried grass on the surface but with the onset of rain the couch grass had started to send out its root system and it had to be stopped.  I raked it first, got the fork and dug it over, cut back the very spiky bush close to the wall and threw the debris over for the animals.  I also renewed the wooden surround, not pretty but functional and I really must order a few lengths of timber to complete other surrounds that need doing.  I found Cracked Shell in a bush hunkered down and under I pile of old grass I noticed that there was another tortoise and it was Rosy.  Not enough sun to come out for I suppose.  After clattering around near to another bush another one shot out and headed for the other side of the garden at great haste....only two more to find.

I cleared some of the smaller beds and cut back the weigela and now I've got around twenty cuttings sitting in water and they'll be potted up tomorrow.  Finished off this afternoon with a saunter over to my Avatar's house and sat in the garden with her for thirty minutes or so.  Of course we were joined by Haciber who can't be seen to miss a trick but fortunately she doesn't speak a lot of Bulgarian....and can't spread stuff round the village because she doesn't understand me.  I came back and put tools away, found a chicken thingy in the freezer, microwaved it to thaw it, fried it off and had it with potato salad which filled a gap admirably.  More of the same tomorrow if the weather holds and I was surprised when my Fitbit sent off fireworks on my wrist...I'd done my ten thousand steps.   LN......Not so lazy as I though.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 11, 2021, 5:22pm; Reply: 10
Saturday 11th September

I managed to stay awake last night so slept through until seven without interruptions....result and realised when I woke up that I'd not shut the balcony door, it had blown to and I hadn't realised it was ajar.  I made coffee and took it back to bed for an hour of emails and games, washed and dressed, toast for breakfast and was out tortoise spotting by eight fifteen.  By this time the sun was warming up so I sat on the bench and did a review of my life out here and it's not so bad.  The garden is looking OK, I was feeling OK, the bank balance is OK so what's there to grumble about and no one to hear me if I did except the tortoise and they only squeak when rear ended by another one.

I had a bonfire making sure that the lid was on and somehow was tackling about three jobs at once and moving from one to the next very fluidly.  I set about tidying the little house, found a carpet that normally sits under the one that's down now in the winter lounge so put it down ready for the winter.  I moved the chair that was sitting by the toilet door next to the table in the stairwell, put the sturdy table where the chair was and that takes the fire getting prepared.  The mat went down for the log basket to sit on and I filled it up so I can strike up whenever I want to....all is prepared except for the chimney that potentially needs sweeping or a metal ball dropping down it which is what they do here.  I went back into the little house and swept the dust and debris off the floor, removed the old dried lavender and that's for burning, I'll be bringing in the new lot to be dried in the next day or two.  I've thrown the seeds on the old veg patch and we'll see if any germinate in the spring.  Avatar came over to bring me a plant pot that I'd let her have when I gave her a lavender that I'd bought and i showed her the bags of coal that I'd got and suggested that she takes them out of my way.  I loaded one up in the log carrier and trundled it across the road, she insisted on bringing her wheelbarrow over so I loaded the second one into the carrier and we put the other two in the wheelbarrow and we off loaded them in her wood store.  We had the usual argument about money and I said that I wanted fresh yogurt for the next two years to cover it and we shook on it.

By this time I was peckish so I had potato salad and tuna and watched a few episodes of my Netflix programme.  I was good, I only binged on two, switched it off and decided to stack the rest of the uncut wood in the garage and split what I could using the head of the old axe, the lump hammer and my big lump hammer.  I was at it for about an hour, quite a bit achieved, the rest is stacked, the garage is swept and the yard cleared of leaves.  I've just been over to see Avatar to ask her where she bought the wheelbarrow, my two have been worn out and are only suitable for growing flowers in so I need a new one.  She's had hers twenty years so she took me to Haciber's woodstore and showed me the one that she's just got but I'll do my research in Kardjali and see what they have to offer.  Back home at seven thirty and now to find something to eat....not that I'm too hungry at the moment despite my active day.   LN......Nibbles, bath and bed......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 12, 2021, 8:49pm; Reply: 11
Sunday 12th September

Silly night again.  I was awake at three, playing silly games until five and back off to sleep until eight so caught up on a few zzz's.  Coffee on the balcony, walked the garden when I thought I saw one of the tortoise at the bottom of the garden and it was a branch hanging down from the Medlar tree....should have gone to Specsavers.  I didn't bother getting dressed, I was out for a barbecue later so made cheese on toast for breakfast, more coffee and settled in to ancestry to fill in a few gaps on the chart that I've been doing for a friend and writing up another rough draft,    I was surprised where the day had gone, it was two this afternoon when my friends daughter arrived asking me why I hadn't gone to the 'mevlit' and I said I didn't know anything about it and no other neighbours had gone either.  I had my statutory portion of rice and meat, a soft drink and  a couple of small chocolate bars and off she went to deliver to the other ladies of the village.  It's a shame I missed it, I really like the hour of meditation and to catch up with the other ladies from the village,,,but it wasn't to be.

I had my shower and washed my hair and left at three thirty for a village around fifteen kilometres away taking the back lane to the Makaza Highway.  The idiots were all out so I kept my speed down and was warned by the other drivers that there was a police radar trap ahead but I was within the limits so it was mainly for the others.  I arrived on time, we sat chatting for a n hour or so, steak, sausages, chippies and salad followed by chocolate biscuits....all good food, good conversation and good company.  I left around ten thirty and was making for the back lane but missed the turning so did a quick turn around at the next junction and retraced my tyre prints and found the turning onto the back lane.  It's scarier at night and the uneven surface looks even more uneven by headlights and eventually I made it onto my road.  Brought the Nipper into the drive, car unpacked and I came back with beetroot and that is in the conservatory until tomorrow when it will get processed.

It was nice to be out and about, sorry for the late posting but I shall just make it before the bewitching hour,  LN.....And so to bed.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 13, 2021, 6:39pm; Reply: 12
Monday 13th September

Lovely morning to wake up to except that the water was off this morning so I'm assuming it was off yesterday and I never noticed last night.  It put paid to my getting the washing underway and so it will stay for another day or two...according to when they get their finger out and get the supply re-established.  I've got two bottles of bought water though so cooking and coffee making is not an issue and even got five bottles of the spring water from the next village so all's good here.  It's amazing how many times you still turn on the tap and then the realisation hits you but it's good exercise upending an eleven litre bottle to tip into the loo.  I was startled this morning by my Avatar when I went out to put something in the Nipper.  At first I couldn't see where she was but she was over the road hiding behind a wild rose bush collecting the hips before the cows came and finished them off and it wasn't too long before they appeared bellowing to let us know that we were on their territory.  I went back inside my gate...cow are pretty big.

I started sorting out a few untidy areas and thought I'd give the hoover a trip round.  I was having a visitor this afternoon and made sure that he would wipe his feet before coming in not as he was leaving.  It wasn't so bad but guests keep you on your toes.  Did a trip down the garden fairly early on.  I spotted one of the tortoise so took a tomato down to give it a change of diet and it was Green Goddess who is rarely seen and then I went to check on Rosy but the lazy shell was still in her hollow so I tempted her with tomato and she sort of raised her head and I left the rest of the tomato on the grass just behind her.  Walking back I spotted yet another one so I legged it back to Rosy's abode and took one of the lumps of tomato and have it to Cracked Shell who walked straight over it and was obviously fed and watered.  The joys of living in the country.

I was soon back at it and finished the work by eleven.  I should really do it more often and even the hoover got emptied.  I sat in the stairwell at the table checking on a few dates on ancestry desperately trying to track down my Canadian relatives but still no joy.  Bored with that I put Netflix on and carried on with my series and took to the breadsticks and cheese for a late breakfast or early afternoon snack and then went back to ancestry when I was bored with Netflix.  I think it's like that when you're waiting for guests to arrive, it's filling in time and not really starting anything seriously.  The arrived, coffee on the terrace, quick guided tour of the residence and little house and after a catch-up off they went.  I decided that the weigela that I'd cut the other day and left in water needed to be planted as cuttings and now I have twelve that hopefully will take root.  The forsythia that I put in the other day which I rooted in water seem to be doing OK putting on new growth already.

More TV this afternoon and I must admit I shall have to rewatch the last episode and maybe more of my series...the eyelids went south for about an hour or so.  More gardening tomorrow, I've started sorting out the pots that even loads of water will not resuscitate....and I might even be tempted to go to Haskovo to pick up some compost.   I'll see how I feel in the morning.  And now to thing about supper but looking at the time, nine thirty this end, it won't be very exotic.  LN.....The house really does look better.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 14, 2021, 4:42pm; Reply: 13
Tuesday 14th September

So another of those silly nights.  Monday night is my night for Just Connect and University Challenge and then I'm not sure what was on after that but I woke up at two fifteen, made my way upstairs and not an ounce of sleep in me so played silly games until five and eventually managed to get off until eight.  The water was still off This morning so I was filling the kettle from downstairs but eventually made coffee and sat out on the terrace watching the birds mainly coming down to feed. There were about seven pied fly catchers that didn't bother taking to the air but fed from the grass, a pair of wood pigeons settled in the lonesome pine, came down to feed but as I got up to fetch the cameral they took off and haven't been seen since.  It was almost ten when I made my way downstairs, lowered the drawbridge and walked the garden.  Every thing was so crunchy underfoot, it's so dry and I was forced to take drastic measures with one or two of the plants. One of the shrubs in the veg patch now has a bottle that goes down to its roots so that should be a little happier.  The yucca that has sat on the terrace is now in the grave garden, compost under its roots and well watered in.  The forsythia are showing signs of growth so they had a good dousing from the roof water store but I must have gone to the outside tap a few times and kicked myself every time that I did....habit is very good when the situation is's a buggar when things change.

I came in at one thirty, washed my hands in paid for water and made another coffee for myself.  I also stuck two slices of bread in the toaster, I'd now worked up an appetite, took it in the lounge, put the TV on for my series on Netflix and then spent the next half hour bobbing backwards and forwards to the kitchen for more to nibble at.  The rest of the cream cheese went with breadsticks, a chocolate mousse and a choc-ice and I was still looking round for more.  I watched about three episodes and then made my way outside again and watered the rest of the pots that were looking crispy, the sunflowers have gone, I've collected more seeds from the yellow and red little daisies that I'll start off when I get the compost and the  Echinacea plants that were gifted yesterday were watered but it's too early to put them in my soil and I don't want them to whither and die.

The water came on around four thirty so I ran a rinse cycle in the washing machine and then managed two loads after each other.  I pegged the first one out and then walked over to my Avatar's garden where three other ladies of the village were taking the evening shade.  I have one willing participant who I speak English to and she repeats it and so with Bulgarian, Turkish and English lessons going on at the same time, we managed to pass an hour or so until one of the other ladies from the lower end of the village was seen walking in out direction and the party immediately broke up.  Avatar decided to come back with me telling the others that she had some work to help me with and we, along with the cows, legged it back to mine.  You get a different view of the next village from my garden and Avatar was amazed how much building work has taken place and how much more is in progress.  I saw her back to the road and off she went to collect more rosehips for making tea.

When I went in the house the water was off but while I've been writing this it's come back on again but there's not much pressure.  Not sure what's wrong but they might call it a 'service improvement' but we'll wait and see.  I'm out of my favourite bread so I might be having and early morning trip into Djebel and come back with some cheesy breads for the other ladies....I'll see what time I wake up but I certainly won't be doing the first few hours on the sofa.  LN....Yet more gurgling going on....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 15, 2021, 5:30pm; Reply: 14
Wednesday 15th September

Really good night again, seven when my little eyes opened, made my way to the bathroom and filled up the kettle.  Coffee made, balcony door open and time for me to survey the estate and check out on the birds.  Not many to report today and not a tortoise in sight....I think they're digging and making winter hideaways.  I was pretty slow off the mark and didn't make the kitchen until nine, I put the washing away, made my bed and decided to go into Djebel to get fresh bread for the freezer, pay my next year's internet and deliver a sample of Badedas to my student's mum.

I checked with my Avatar to see if she wanted anything from Djebel and she declined, the ladies had not appeared to make the banichka so I assumed it was off for today but it all happened while I was in Djebel.  As I tried to park near the cash point I noticed that the normal parking spots had been outlined with parking distances and everyone was full.  The normal parking in the near by streets now had bays marked out at forty five degrees to the pavement and there were a lot more 'no-parking areas' have been warned.  I managed to park in a little layby on my way to the dentist but I was soon at the cash-point so that I could go to pay my yearly internet...I feel much better when it's paid and I shan't have to think about it until October of next year.  I've just worked it out, that's roughly nine pounds a month for unlimited.

I rescued my car and stopped off and had five minutes with my student's mum in the little supermarket, declined the offer of coffee and biscuits but did put out an offer for them to join me for a pizza one evening that they deem suitable.   Back into the Nipper, down to my other student's car parts shop, school had started back and at eleven they were all sent home and left to their own devices.  Apparently the first day is to find out the new classrooms and welcome the new starters and then it's over for the day.  Into the supermarket on my way home and bought bread, eggs and a big bag of Joocy sweets, to stop me picking on more expensive and calorific goodies, set off for the village and when I arrived I noticed Avatar sitting in the garden with her outside oven going and she was finishing off the banichke and I went home and was told to go back later but no time was stated.  Around an hour later Haciber was shouting me from the garden and my presence was requested, six of us sat down in quite a formal setting in the garden and attacked the thirty centimetre wide dish and it's contents and boy, can they put it away.  We had juice and a toffee cake that we all laid into and off they went, I helped tidy away, put one of the tables back into the garage and we sat watching as the clouds started rolling in suggesting rain.  Suddenly a car pulled up and out jumped two ladies and they delivered meat and rice, sweet cakes and a pair of socks each...another mevlit in the village.

I came home at three, put my goodies away, television on and after about thirty minutes I was off with the fairies so again I shall have retrace my footsteps on the series I'm watching.  Turned over to BBC2 and caught 'Who do you think you are' and a very interesting programme about India, Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh and the woman was walking in the footsteps of her great, great grandfather.  She was born in Liverpool, had denied her Indian heritage but this had brought it home to her and given her a different perspective.  Supper is potentially the rest of the banichka warmed up in the microwave, nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far but the cushions are in, it looks like we might have rain.  LN....I really hope so.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 16, 2021, 5:57pm; Reply: 15
Thursday 16th September

Early to bed and as the saying goes, early to rise but two a.m. was a little too early for me.  Another session of silly games, eventually four of the clock I managed to settle down again until seven thirty.  More games on the balcony, more coffee on the balcony and it was down hill after that.  I eventually made it outside by ten, watered a few of the pots but didn't do a full scale service to the garden.  I've done the ones that matter and went into the little house and soaked the new cuttings and all are there for the remaining really hot days and they won't dry out and whither.  

It was too hot for me out there so I came in and did ancestry for an hour or so, walked over to Avatar's hour to return the dish from yesterday but she was having her beauty treatment and the doors were all closed.  I didn't bother going back, I left the bowl on the table knowing that she'll find it.  I went back to ancestry and managed to find a news cutting about my grandmother reported in the local press when a coalman's horse bolted and the horse and cart had crashed though the shop window.  I printed off the report, I knew about it already since my mother had kept the original article from the press but it was a challenge to find it from ancestry.

Next task was to order more cartridges for my Lamy pen and I went back to the 'Penshop' in Sofia that keeps a good supply of sundries and I noticed that there was a thirty percent reduction on pens and cartridges so I ordered more than I needed.  I was really tempted by a Calligraphy set but managed to keep myself in check but did order one pen as a gift for a friend.  Delivery is free and should take two to three working days and you pay for the items when they're pay the driver either by card or cash....very civilised.  Chicken fillet for supper so not a lot of work to achieve it.  Nine my time and I'm hoping for a better night tonight.  LN.....To shop or not to shop tomorrow?  That's the question....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 17, 2021, 6:18pm; Reply: 16
Friday 17th September

Thank goodness, a good night's sleep at last and it was six thirty when I woke up.  The normal routine of opening the balcony door, making coffee and taking up position waiting for the sun to arrive.  It was quite elusive this morning and first spotted a red dot through the tree which then got brighter and eventually it came up about the top branches.  There wasn't much redness to the sunrise, there was a strange yellow glow that was almost silvery in appearance.  Very gentle start to the day.

I didn't stay out there long, there was a fly or mosquito that was buzzing around, I couldn't see it but could hear it so I came inside and settled on the chair just inside the door after I'd made my second cup of coffee.  I checked the electronic post since there's no other these days, all letters seem to get lost in transit.  The morning slipped away from me and it was ten before I was making scrambled eggs on toast.  At the last count I had twenty two eggs, after buying some in Djebel my Avatar gave me ten from my garden neighbour so I had to do something with them.  Tomorrow I'm going to hard boil some and put them in the fridge and make egg mayonnaise later probably with tuna in and that's my food sorted for the weekend.

Washed and dressed and I had a bonfire and really careful, there was a gusty wind blowing.  I spotted a couple of the tortoise briefly, Cracked Shell and Blue were both out but by the time I'd got the fire going they'd both shot off never to be seen again.  I sat out in the sun for a while on the wall at the bottom of the garden and it's quite a good vantage point.  I tracked the night-time barking dog to the Kmet's brothers house and I might have to be having a word at some point.  It kicks off at midnight normally, starts other dogs off and while I appreciate that something might be disturbing the sheep that are penned up down there, it's no longer a joke.  

I had a phone call regarding the order placed at the Penshop in Sofia confirming my address, it wasn't obvious to them that I'd given them the name of the village and the hose number and she thought that the village name was the street, which in effect it is.  I suggested that if the courier didn't know where to deliver, the local courier office in Djebel should phone me and I'd pick it up from the office.  The order was being processed and  would soon be on its way.  I'm still tempted with the Calligraphy set and with a thirty percent discount, it's a good price for it.  It was the sofa this afternoon and I managed to stay awake so should be OK tonight.  I made barbecue pork with roasted potatoes and onions  for tonight's supper.  It's all eaten and the roasting tins are all soaking and will be sorted tomorrow.  LN...A little TV and bed....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 18, 2021, 3:47pm; Reply: 17
Saturday 18th September

Slow start this morning, I was having a dream that I couldn't get out of despite fighting like crazy.  Eventually I surfaced, made coffee, opened the door to the balcony and didn't even have time to sit down, my painter shouted a good morning to me and half asleep, I made my way to the door, opened the drawbridge, he was here to work.  I unlocked the wood store while still in my PJ's, found him the axe and the chuck hammer and made my way upstairs, washed, dressed, grabbed my coffee and went out to join him in the yard.  My job was to remove the logs from the garage and his job was to chop them into suitable lengths for the woodburner and then to remove them from the yard into the woodstore and stack them.

We work well together, I stopped for more coffee and he drank water and only had two cigarettes insisting that he went out into the middle of the road so that I didn't inhale any smoke.  I think by the time that it got to me it would have been so diluted by the fresh air from the hillside that it really didn't matter but that's what he does.  The chopping block got demolished and is now fire wood, I found another one that he used and found a metal band to hold it together when it started to disintegrate....the outcome was though, all of the logs have been chopped and I'm ready for winter.  A by-product was that I cleared out the wood store, removed a box of old wood and it's ready to be sorted into 'usable' or 'rubbish' but that's for another day.

Off he went at one thirty and I made myself an omelette with the remains of the roasted potatoes and onions from last night with a couple of cheese triangles and sat in the stairwell and ate it drinking yet more water.  He's back tomorrow to clear the chimney with a suitable metal ball from the top down and to check out the connectors on my gas bottle and cooker just in case the pipe wants has been ten years.  I carried on in the yard and cleared some of the suckers from the big tree, raked it prepared to throw the leaves to the cows but then came the rain and I was quick to get everything away and get myself in doors.  As for the storm, we had rain, thunder and lightening and horrendous winds that brought down lots of leaves from the trees and blew others over the hillside.  Eventually it cleared and now we are back to normal, the sun is shining and all is calm on my hillside.  Everything has dried up so all being well he'll be able to perch on the roof and clear the chimney with the ball on a rope, he's also going to clear Avatar's chimney so we shall be able to puff onto the hillside without setting fire to our chimneys.  

Just after six thirty and it's the first week of Strictly so I now know that we are on the downward slope to Christmas.  Now there's a thought.  LN....No supper required, I'm still stuffed....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 19, 2021, 4:17pm; Reply: 18
Sunday 19th September

I woke up at seven thirty with a start remembering that my painter was coming at eight, supposedly by it was still wet after last night's storm that no way did I want him to go up on the roof and clean the chimney.  He eventually arrived at eight twenty just as I was lowering the drawbridge complete with what he considered tools for the job.  We agreed though that we would need a different task for today, his reason was that once the tiles are wet they're more likely to crack with his weight and I'd never considered that we live and learn.  I set him to work on the gas bottle, apparently the gas pipe was OK, special for the job which I knew it was so goodness knows what other people use.  The reason that it was leaking a little was that the hose pipe connector needed tightening up and now everything appears to be OK and there's no smell of gas at all.  I can now start using the gas for cooking again, I find electric just so slow after using gas.  

We were now looking for things to do and my painter was waiting for Avatar's son and they were going into Djebel by car to doe something which I didn't investigate.  The son was still asleep, confirmed my Avatar listening at the door so now we were waiting or rather he was and I was still hoping for a chimney clean.  Eventually it had dried up enough so we found one of the wooden ladders to lift on to the guest bedroom balcony and he could use that to get to the chimney which he did.  He wasn't using the usual ball on a rope but some strange contraption that looked like a metal dog's bone with a little metal brush attached.  I had misgivings, the round ball does its job and doesn't get stuck but anyway he removed the tiled 'umbrella'  and down went the bone on the rope.  I stationed myself in the bathroom where the soot ends up, opened the trap and heard the metal biting into the dross up the chimney.  He shouted down to me asking if I could see the metal yet but somehow it managed to get stuck in the chimney.  I get a plastic pipe and try to unblock it from my end, He gets a metal rod from the top and tries to do it from the roof and eventually, Avatar's son arrives and puts another brain to it, goes home and comes back with a thicker plastic pipe.  I go back and station myself in the bathroom and low and behold, there's a clunk and it appears.....'jobs a guddun' but never again will I let him use the bone shaped metal.  

He washed up and set off for Djebel as planned, I set about cleaning the bathroom and woodburner where I'd removed the pipes just in case they were blocking anything, everything back to normal except I was smelling like a chimney sweep so I cleared the outside and eventually had a shower.  While I was out I noticed Rosy and Blue in different parts of the lawn, Cracked Shell that will now be known as Crack head was trying to climb the flyscreen into the wood store.  Eventually she took off and my next sighting was in the middle of the lawn towards the top steps so I rewarded her with one of the peaches that Avatar had given me earlier and since they were windfalls, definitely not Class A.  I had my shower, washed my hair, dressed and left my hair in a towel and settled myself in the lounge and woke up in the middle of an horrendous thunderstorm which was a little too close for comfort.  It seemed to settle down again but we now have the heavy rain which is great for the garden but please, no more thunder.  After only managing two slices of toast for the whole day, the kitchen beckons.  LN.....Another eventful, but productive day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 20, 2021, 3:49pm; Reply: 19
Monday 20th September

Well after last night's storms. the moon came out with a fantastic halo round it.....I don't think it rained again in the night but this morning your couldn't even see the bottom of the garden at six thirty and it remained very misty until it burnt off later in the day.  I washed and dressed, opened the door to the balcony but didn't sit out , took my coffee to bed, got out of said bed, made said bed and was downstairs for eight.  I didn't bother with breakfast but by eight fifteen I was opening the gate to get the Nipper out of the yard when my next door neighbour asked me where I was going.  This one isn't slow to come forward so I said Djebel and she said that the normal nine bus had already left and could I take her in.  No problem, I'm going anyway and at that she found her mask out of her bag and put it on.  I brought the car out and parked it on the opposite side of the road which is the normal routine to close the gates after me.  She stood and watched me do it, little effort on her part to help and then she got in.  She asked me what I was doing in Djebel so I said I had a parcel to pick up, a little shopping to do and she asked me what time I was returning to the village.  Now I don't like being a taxi for anyone so I said that I didn't know and probably would be going on to Kardjali.  We parked up and off she went, I went to the parcel office and picked up my parcel, then over to the cash machine and stopped off for a coffee so that I could put the contents of the parcel into the gift bag for my student's mum.    I changed some of the cartridges round taking out blue and inserting red and black so that she can have a change of ink in the pen when she really get's to play with it.

On the way from the cafe I stopped and chatted to the lady who used to run my favourite restaurant when I first came out here and I hadn't seen her for ages.  She gave me a face mask that she'd made and I thanked her but unlike most of the ladies here, she's not had the vaccine.  Over to the car part shop, I handed over the present and she was thrilled to bits and her son said that she would be producing good flower drawings when she was bored so I suggested that I sent off for some green cartridges for the leaves and we joked about if.  He went down to the garage to help his father, I took the Nipper down and had the tyres pumped up and then carried on to Kardjali.

First stop was Kaufland for a pit-stop, a little shopping there and then to the free parking in the centre of town, walked to my cheapy shop and bought a lightweight top and a knitted jacket and found a pair of shoes that I thought would do for my painter so telephoned him and still waiting for him to come round.  They are very strong brown suede boots and cost twelve lev and if they're no use to him. someone else in the village will make use of them.  Lidl for a few goodies and home for two thirty more or less.  I'd bought two lots of chicken legs from Kaufland, four in one packet and six in the other and I asked Avatar how many she wanted and she took the six and for seven lev they are worth having for the freezer.  Shopping away, television on and then on to Netflix for my latest series...The Fall...a psychological murder.  Chicken leg is now ready for supper so that's all from me.  LN....It's been a pleasant, enjoyable day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 21, 2021, 4:22pm; Reply: 20
Tuesday 21st September

Bit of a cloudy start to the day but eventually it cheered up, clouded over again when I hung the washing out but the breeze picked up and it's all now dry, the bed remade and the rest folded and put away.  And that really sums up my day.

After coffee I eventually made it down stairs by nine after getting washed and dressed putting the same sweater on as yesterday since there was a chill in the air.  I'd bought my Avatar a hairbrush yesterday from Lidl so I walked over and my painter was over there and there was a tray of goodies from the bread van on the table so I managed a free breakfast in pleasant company.  Today they were heading into Djebel, Avatars brothers wife is not well so they were visiting and my painter was going to Djebel with them but catching up on jobs that he had to do.  I came back, pegged out the washing that I'd put in and it had done itself while I was breakfasting over the road and then the day was mine.  He's still not been over to try the shoes on that I bought for him yesterday but said that if they're too big he will put serviettes in the toes....Solution and result.

I was in a picky mood so had a yogurt, half a packet of mixed nuts and raisins and watched Netflix again getting engrossed in my series.  Eventually I switched it off, got the washing in and made the bed up, played around with ancestry for an hour or so and gave in to temptation and ordered my Calligraphy set from the shop in Sofia.  I had a phone call from my daughter and told her about the Lamy pen set and she said that she'd got the set and that the nibs were so smooth to write with and that swayed me.  She said that she was on her way to Argos to pick up a new kettle that she'd ordered and it reminded me that I have thirty pounds of old gift cards from Argos and I suggested trying to pay with them but she'd already paid.  I really don't remember how they came into my possession, in fact they might belong to one of the children but apparently, checking the internet, as long as the pin codes are OK and intact, they can still be used.  I'll put them in my luggage next time I go to England....if I ever get there again.

Tuna mayo for supper mixed with potato's after seven and cooking is not on my list for things to achieve.  It's clouded over again and the air is very still.  LN.....No moon to be seen tonight......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 22, 2021, 5:07pm; Reply: 21
Wednesday 22nd September

Silly night again, I stopped up to finish the series I was watching on Netflix and now I have to find something else to keep my interest going.  It was very dark, very psychological. extremely well acted and now on to the next.  I opened the door to the balcony, hung out the cushion to dry and came back inside.  The sun was just making its way up to the clouds and out again but it was ccccooooolllddd and it's much too early, it's only September.  Coffee, washed and dressed in a fleece and jeans and guest correctly that it was going to be a house day.  I made toast for breakfast with the last scraping of butter and it's on the list for Lidl and it might very well be tomorrow.  

Decided to do a little more ancestry and write out the chart that I've been doing for a friend.  It's very difficult to get the spacing right and on the second attempt it got thrown in the bin, I'd missed out one of the children and I've tried very hard to keep them in date order especially when they have ten of them and carry on to have ten can get very messy.  Eventually I thought I'd give it a try on my old computer using Excel but firstly I had to boot it up to see if it would still work.  It has been in the sewing room, back bedroom and not used for about two years but I knew that it still had the old version of Excel, I don't get on very well with the 'newly improved developed programs'.  Anyway I plugged it up together, found a new power cable that had a two pin plug on it instead of the three that I was using with a adaptor, and was about to try the other connection when there was a shout from the porch and I had a visitor.  It was his chart I was working on and I mentioned that I was having problems and it was as I suspected, I'd used the wrong connector not the VGA connector.  Problem solved, I made coffee for both of us and we sat in the lounge for a catch-up regarding his trip to Greece with his brother.  I wasn't sure whether two would be coming back instead of the three and I think it got close but now he's back home and settling in to his routine.  

Off he went and I'm pleased to say that I've managed to achieve what I set out to do, an Excel version of the family chart going back approximately seven generations and more to follow now that I can see it plainly in front of me.  I know the dates that I still have to chase and now that it's electronic it's so much easier to manipulate and make changes to dates.  I managed to get a version on to a memory stick, brought it up on my main computer, printed off four copies as worksheets and what a good day's work.

At about six I put my toys away, realised I was hungry so boiled up diced potatoes with peas from the freezer, opened a tin of tuna, diced an onion, added beetroot to the bowl, strained the potatoes and peas and added those to the mix with mayo.  I cleaned the kitchen as I went and took the bowl with me into the lounge to watch Tipping Point, finished off with a chocolate pudding and now I'm stuffed to the gills.  I had a phone call this afternoon to advise me that my order for the pens plus the cartridges will be in Djebel in the morning so I might very well carry on to Kardjali to pick up the things that I forgot on Monday.  Some weeks it's like that.

It started raining around six and now it's cold, wet and miserable and I almost lit the fire but thought better of it.  After all I've only got four tons of wood to last me for the winter and spring.... ;)  LN.....I've had a good day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 23, 2021, 4:38pm; Reply: 22
Thursday 23rd September

So last night when I was getting into bed I realised that I was cold so I found the feather quilt from the guest room and snuggled down under that as well as the rest of the bedding that was in there.  The result!!  I slept very well until seven this morning, opened the door to the balcony and upended the plastic table to drain the water from it, made coffee and went back to bed to check emails and play a few silly games.  My morning in a nutshell.

I'd filled the kettle last night so didn't realise that the water was off or about to go off until I heard the gurgling around nine thirty in the boiler and remembered that there was a digger in the field near the pond and that Avatar had mentioned that work was being done on the water supply.  I looked out over the hillside but no men were visible but it was still only nine of the clock so it was a little early to expect them to start, but then they rolled, around ten of them and it the water came back on around five this evening.  I made fried tomatoes on toast for breakfast and followed it with a yogurt and that's done me through until now except for a few breadsticks and cream cheese and a few Joucy sweets.  I'm never sure how to spell it but that's what's written on the bag.

My plans went to the wall today...I was expecting my pen to be delivered to the courier office and then I would have been off to Djebel and followed it up with a trip to Kardjali. I need butter from Lidl, fire lighters and potting compost....and what a shopping list that is.  If I'd had an early start I might have carried on to Haskovo for the compost but it wasn't be.  I'll probably get the phone call in the morning from the courier and see how I feel.  I've carried on with my friend's ancestry chart and I'm pleased with how it's turning out.  I'm following up on the gaps in the dates and now the chart is on the computer I can make the changes as I go and now it's time to put mine on in Excel.  I did the original in PowerPoint. it was very fiddly to change and make edits so I have lots to do as the winter sets in.

At five thirty this evening I realised that it was going to be a cold night so I lit the wood burner to make sure that the pump and everything was working correctly and that there was no smoke coming out of the pipes from the wood burner to the chimney and everything is OK.  The only fire lighter I had was from last year so it was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard so I made twisters out of paper, the wood was dry and it caught easily.  The temperature in the house is twenty four so that extra quilt might have to come off tonight but outside has dropped to fourteen, the sun's just gone down so let's see what the final temperature goes down to.  No supper tonight, the boiler has stopped gurgling so most of the air is out of the system.  LN....Spotted Blue filling up on the new grass...the others appear to have gone AWOL..... LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 24, 2021, 5:42pm; Reply: 23
Friday 24th September

Another silly night, I thought It was time to get up but it was only three, no sleep in me and I spent the next few hours playing games.  I was to Haskovo today if the plan worked out so when I felt sleepy just before six I was concerned that I would sleep through the departure time except that hadn't yet been set....I was waiting for a confirmation.  As it happened the second awakening was at seven thirty, washed and dressed and the departure time was set at ten more or less so I made toast and was ready for lift off.  I also had a text from the courier, my pen set had arrived so we built that into the equation and stopped in Djebel, paid my money and got my parcel...and it's beautiful.

A uneventful journey into Haskovo and first stop was at the market garden for the potting compost but that is now on the back burner.  The only one that they had was fifty lev, over priced so all I bought were two red weigela, a fire bush and my Christmas tree with roots that will come in nearer the time.  The prices have actually gone down since the last time I was there and I think they're struggling like everyone else.  We stopped off at another out of town store that we like and I bought a rack for my boots so I can actually see what I've got and a few early Christmas presents.....they had a sale on so I struck while the iron was hot.  Pizza at our favourite restaurant and it wouldn't have been complete without an ice-cream from the stall near the restaurant.  

By now time was marching on so we set off for home looking like Kew Gardens on the move.  We hit a bit of a traffic jam as we hit Kardjali but were still home for about four thirty, the car was unpacked and I have work to do tomorrow, I made coffee and we sat in the late afternoon sun enjoying the end to the day.  Off they went, I checked my emails and FB messages, sorted out my boots and put them on the new rack and tomorrow I'll finish the job.  I shan't need supper tonight, the pizza was a big one, I've taken off the sheet from the bed and have now a quilt cover to see if that's why I was unable to sleep last night.  Lovely skies tonight, absolutely beautiful.  LN....I've had a lovely day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 25, 2021, 5:44pm; Reply: 24
Saturday 25th September

So I had a late bath last night and didn't find my Kindle floating when I woke up.  I'd put it on the basin support next to the bath thank goodness.  I woke up around midnight, dried off and went to bed and slept through until seven thirty this morning and felt much better for it.  I sat out on the balcony, the sun was already up and it was just a calm beautiful morning with pied fly catchers taking their breakfasts from the air and then finding a place to devour said beasties.  I made toast for my breakfast, found the remains of some ham and gave that to my black cat, made another coffee and was then unsure what to do for the day and as it happened I did very little until later this afternoon.  

I heard the bell being rung and my painter was there.  Avatar had sent him round to collect his boots that I'd bought for him, telling him how good they were.  I fetched them from the Nipper, opened up the bag and he was seriously impressed and so he should be.  I asked him to try them on but he said that his sock needed changing and that before he tried them he was going to spray the inside because of 'mushrooms' and my eyes must have shot to the heavens.  I showed him the sole and it was obvious that some one had worn them only once and decided that they weren't for him.  There was no charge for them, I said he can come and clean out my guttering before winter and that seemed a fair swap to me.  He said that he was going to clean Avatar's chimney but apparently her son had gone off to Kardjali and so his plans were scuppered.

I planned to plant up the shrubs that I'd bought yesterday but really wasn't in the mood.  The day was creeping on, I checked a few more details of the chart that I'm doing and then decided to go into Djebel for the items that I'd not managed to get yesterday, namely firelighters, insect spray, drain cleaner and floor cleaner.  I also wanted to take a purple and a green cartridge for my student's mum for the new pen that I got her.  It was still on the desk and she's using it so I'll have to make a sleeve for it over the next couple of days.  Next stop was the supermarket, I bought another supply of chicken wings for tonight, mayo and carrots to go with the potatoes and onions for the roasted veg, drove home around four and went over to Avatar's house to see if she wanted me to cook supper for her.  She had three of the ladies from the village sitting in her garden while she was working in the garage and she said that she would love me to cook enough for us both.  She said that the ladies had come round and sat there for a couple of hours while she went about her business and I would have to have said something...there again...she's so much nicer than me.

Supper in and everything ready for five thirty.  I watched the end of the World cycling championship and the Italian girls played a blinder and squeezed the Netherlands out of first place and into second in the sprint with an Italian coming in third.  What a result for the Italians.  My supper was devoured during the programme 'History of a house' which I love and it seems to fit in with my heritage chasing and family charts.  Washing up done, kitchen tidy for tomorrow morning, Strictly tonight and the first individual dances of each couple.  Just about to get washed and into my PJ's.    LN....The evening is mine.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 26, 2021, 3:38pm; Reply: 25
Sunday 26th September

A bit of a disturbed night, more of a restless sleep and felt jaded for most of the morning.  I really couldn't get my teeth into anything and get anything off the ground if you know what I mean.  I made coffee and sat out on the balcony enjoying the warmth of the sun, just a few chainsaws buzzing around but that's winter for you in BG.  I got a load of washing into the machine fairly early on and was pegging out by eight thirty.  I walked the garden and spotted Blue in the garden by the long wall and that's where I found it last spring and where it had made its winter hideaway.  Maybe its thinking about this already but it would have been early, apparently we have twenty five degrees plus for the rest of the week so that can't be bad.  Lovely array of Michaelmas daisies by the steps going down to the garden and they're covered in butterflies and the bees love them.  Unfortunately the camera doesn't pick them up very well so I thought about running a competition to see how many we could spot......(joke).

I eventually made toast for breakfast and tried out the butter that I'd bought in Djebel yesterday since I wasn't up for a Kardjali trip.  It was OK and as good as that from Lidl so that's another reason for not making the journey to the great beyond.  I finished off with Greek yogurt that supposed to include berries according to the pot and so far not one has been found.  I'll delve again tomorrow, trade's description and all that but I shan't get round to reporting them.  I made my way into the little house to check on the cuttings that are in buckets and noticed that a hoover that had given up the ghost was sitting on the table so I took it apart.  The on/off switch ha been playing up for about a year but it seemed to be OK so maybe there's a problem with the board to the switch.  Anyway, it was nothing that I could mend so I put the lid back on it and replaced the screws.  I've got another one so no real problem.

I took to the sofa and watched some of the golf and yes, my eyelids went southwards and I felt much better for it.  Washing in and put away , a tinkle on my cow bell and my garden neighbour delivered me a bag of potatoes from her garden and this year they look small but good.  I think she's clearing up her garden for the winter and only has cabbages for her cows growing there now.   About an hour ago she came round again and brought me about two litres of home made yogurt that I've added to the collection in the fridge....who's going to be a healthy bunny for the winter.  It was all go at my abode, I looked down the garden and spotted one of the tortoise legging it across the garden so I went down to see which one it was and it was Green Goddess that I haven't seen for ages.  I took a photo for posterity and two seconds later, Rosy was heading down the garden and two seconds later, Avatar appeared with last night's food containers, washed and ready for another time so I took her into the little house and showed her the buddleia cutting that seem to have taken and she's put in an order.

It's almost six thirty my time, the balcony door is still open and the sun has warmth in it, I'm beginning to think that putting the winter weight quilt on the bed was not such a good idea.  Off to get potting compost tomorrow, a new supply has been found at a reasonable rate so probably going to get about five bags of the stuff....the post definitely need it.  Not sure about supper, about to put my thinking cap on but I did see a recipe for Jerusalem artichoke roots, oven baked like jackets so might be giving them ago.  They make the garden look lovely at this time of year but are very invasive.  And now kitchen bound and on to other things.  LN.....Good day once I got started....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 27, 2021, 3:31pm; Reply: 26
Monday 27th September

Six thirty start but then back to bed until seven thirty and felt much better for it.  Coffee but didn't sit out, washed and dressed and intending to leave just before nine to meet up before going to the next major town in the opposite direction to get the potting compost and as it happened, some pigeon food ready for the birds for winter.  If I get mice in the little house it will probably be gone so I better find a different container that the plastic bag it came in....bin with lid springs to mind.  Before I left I'd promised to take over some self set oak trees that have spring up in the bottom garden by the long wall, day lilies and iris so I dug up some of each and put the oak into a plastic bottle since it was very dry where I'd dug them from.  I nipped over to see Avatar, the last time I'd asked if she wanted anything from the supermarket she balked and didn't respond so I went and drilled it out of her this morning, she wanted garlic cloves.

So into the Nipper just before nine and headed down the rough road and was at their house by nine fifteen so not too late.  We had coffee, chatted for a while and set off for Kirkovo and made the purchase of six bags of compost, some broad bean seeds and plastic sacks so that I can go manure stealing at a venue yet to be identified.  We came back the scenic route and it brought back memories of my house and school search and some are still unoccupied but no...I'm happy with where I'm at.  Back to theirs and we sat in the garden with yet more coffee, I decline lunch and went to one of the shops in the village that I used to go to years ago and bought brread, grapes and the garlic for my neighbour and the total cost....two leva thirty stotinki.  I'm not sure if she weighted the garlic, they were nicely formed cloves not like the giant things that you get in nets and on my way back to the Nipper I met a lady that I hadn't seen for several years.  She lives in the same village as Bekir and Sally so I suppose my news will be doing the rounds by the end of the day.

I decided not to risk the rough road coming back, I don't like that you have to cross over the traffic and the junction that I use is not signposted and it is the road of death so instead I came back through another scenic route through the village on the ridge further south than my village.  I parked up, took the garlic over and told her it was one hundred leva or nothing so we settled for nothing and we sat in the garden in the sun spreading more gossip as per normal.  Walked home and unpacked the car, potting compost in the little house and not having any breakfast a cooked a late lunch of chicken cutlet and had it on a sandwich and that should do me for the day.  Half six my time, I've been watching the woodpeckers on the Lonesome pine and eventually they settled for ground feeding.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far and that's a nice thought...the day is all mine.  LN....Splendid day and ticked off a few boxes.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 28, 2021, 3:29pm; Reply: 27
Tuesday 28th September

Another silly night, I fell asleep and missed most of my Monday night quiz programmes, went to bed at midnight and was awake by three and never to go off again until eleven on the sofa.  I did receive a few messages on Messenger from other insomniacs and answered a few others that I'd neglected and eventually settled down to Sudoku getting out of bed at eight.  I'd decided against Kardjali, nothing really to go for apart from my cheapy clothes shop but I could take some back to them...I have enough, in fact too many.

Washed and dressed and made a cheese and ham omelette for breakfast.  I used three eggs but it still didn't seem to touch the sides and I was then in a picky mood for the rest of the morning until I fell asleep on the sofa.  I woke up at  twelve, took the gardening tools out and set about the day lilies that had really dried off and then started to get some life back into them.  I've now moved some of them into other places in the garden, they're so prolific and look good even when they're not in flower.  I planted the bay tree in the big grave garden bed, cut back the rose bush and trimmed the lavender.  More lilies went in this bed along with Echinacea that was a gift and one of the weigela that I bought from the market garden the other day.  I cleared lost of couch grass from all of the beds, it just has such long root runs on it and it's very satisfying when you pull out a long thread of root.  

I put my tools away at around four, the temperature has dropped and it's very still and threatening rain which would be good for the plants that I've just planted.  I popped over to see my Avatar but her son said that she's not in the house so has gone AWOL which for her is not heard of.  A search party might have to be organised.... ;) ;)  I've just made a bowl of tuna mayo with potato, carrot and peas and that's cooling off and ready for supper.  One step ahead of the game....I should have restless nights more often.  I have managed to knock off ten thousand steps today and I really wasn't aware of doing them.  LN...My supper calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 29, 2021, 4:29pm; Reply: 28
Wednesday 29th September

So I went to sleep watching TV last night but managed to wake up in time for the programme following the people that have lived in a certain house.  It was twelve when it finished but I really wasn't ready for bed so I settled for ancestry and to the old lady that we bought the house from in nineteen seventy four.  She had two maid servants living with her, she was living on her on means and I was just curious what happened to her when she moved out and we moved in.  I found the household on the nineteen thirty-nine census and a marriage date for the owner which I never knew about.  The two maids who were sisters had been with the lady and her mother since nineteen twenty four but only found them in the previous house, not in the one we bought.  One of the sisters died not long before we bought the house and the remaining sister stayed with the old lady.  When we moved in the house gave me terrific headaches, the children were only two and three and slept in the room that the maids had used and my daughter would wake up at two every morning and tell me that a 'lady that looked like Polly put the kettle on' woke her up.  Of course with both of the children in the same room, they were both awake so I asked the neighbours and she told me the story and the names of the maids and confirmed that they used to wear mob-caps.  It made sense to me, the sister that had died was looking for her sister who had moved out so I stood on the landing, told her where her sister had gone to live, that we now lived in the house so she should move on and find her.  That night and ever after, the children didn't have disturbed nights...result.

So after this research I looked at the clock and it was four in the morning so I went to bed, slept well until seven, washed and dressed by eight, made poached eggs on toast for breakfast and meandered through the morning.  I don't know how it started but I found myself in the little house tidying up the pots and getting everything sorted for taking cuttings from the plants on the terrace.  I'm not really sure how the next stage happened, the shelves in the porch are now tidy, the yogurt pots have been moved, some of the old plastic pots have been put for burning, the floor has been hoovered and the carpet put on the line and beaten.  What a day and I even cleaned out the hoover and it goes like a dream.  

It was six thirty when I finished and locked up the photos today, I really haven't had the time. Supper time has come round again so now it's down to the kitchen with a quick scratch of the head and waiting for inspiration.  LN.....It might even be beans on toast......LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, September 30, 2021, 3:15pm; Reply: 29
Thursday 30th September

So...a good night's sleep and it was seven thirty when I woke up...result.  I tried sitting out with my coffee but much too cold to be bearing my assets to the elements so I didn't stay out there long, straight into breakfast of buttered toast.  I checked out the plants that I'd put in the other day and they seem to be OK, I ignored the black cat with it's pitiful  screech that passes for a meow, went back inside and started to clear out the shoe containers that have been unsorted for a couple of years or so.  My socks have been sorted into winter and summer, I'd found a few items that needed washing and I took them downstairs to put in the washing machine, headed out to the porch and decided to tackle the sinter hats and everything went into the washing machine.  There was a fair wind blowing so everything went out on the line and was dry in quick sticks..

By now I'd found myself in the porch so I put everything that needed taking to the little house in a container and that's where I spent the next two hours shifting stuff around.  The seeds are all ready for sorting, the yogurt pots and cheese containers are on the window sill along with the flower pots all ready for when I start planting my seeds giving them a start on next year.  A lot of work was going on at Avatar's house, they were patching the roof to the woodstore and garage, her wood burner is installed and ready to go and she decided not to buy a new one and go with the old model.  I'm still toying with the idea of taking out the old one from the kitchen and replacing it with one that shows the firebox but it is only in case the electricity goes off and I can't run the central heating.

So tonight I'm organised, supper is in the oven and should be ready anytime now.  I've lit the fire, brought in a bucket of starter wood and thinking that it's not that cold but it's for comfort factor tonight.  LN....I might even put the boiler on and have a long bath......LN  
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