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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  MARCH 2022
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 1, 2022, 7:35pm
Tuesday 1st March

So seven o'clock start and by nine this morning I'd done all the usual chores, fire going well, bacon and egg breakfast enjoyed while I watched the birds pecking up the newly delivered seeds.  I'd had trouble with my Kindle last night in that it wouldn't shut down so I checked out the internet and decided what action to take.  Overnight I'd left it without a charging cable, the battery was flat so I put it on charge again and after two hours I managed to switch it on and everything was back to normal.  I'm not sure what caused it but at least I know the solution going forward.

I settled at the computer and started to check out a few loose ends with my family chart and yet again I started to see if I could get a lead to confirm my Canada breakaway group...and still no joy, in fact not even a glimmer.  One day I'll fall on it, but not today.  I prepared a text for my student and sorted out the present for my student's sister's baby who is one today and intended delivering it to grandma's house after my lesson.

I drove into Djebel for three and my student had just arrived from school.  I normally have to wait while he gets sorted but this time I told him that I wanted to start the lesson more or less straightaway just in case snow arrived later.  I sat down to chat with his mother and she gave me a baba Marta band and I said that she was a day early since I thought it was the 29th February.  She looked oddly at me and said that it was definitely the first and i realised that the old calendar that I'd brought back from the UK was wrong.  The days and dates were correct up until now, but leap years are every four years and the calendar was eight years was obsolete as of now.  I accepted the band and my student gave me another one that he put on my wrist.  I hadn't got any with me so I'd have to sort it before I went home.

We had the lesson and I was there for about two hours and he just wanted to talk.  For a small boy he has remarkable knowledge on day to day topics.  I suppose I give him the opportunity to give his take on subjects without any criticism.  I think that using the technology that is available today, they look at things that maybe they shouldn't and maybe my role is to offer an opinion that puts things into perspective.  He's concerned about the war in Ukraine and it makes me wonder how many more children are.  Watching interviews with children who are now orphaned has got to affect youngsters.  So from the shop into the supermarket and I bought wrist bands for my family, went back to the shop and handed them over.  So into the Nipper and over to my other student's home, the light was on but there was no one at home.  It's the first grand-daughter's birthday today so I shall have to pop the present round at another time.

I arrived home by six thirty and so far so good, no snow has arrived yet.  I lit the fire, drew the curtains, reheated the bolognaise sauce and pasta left over from yesterday and that was my supper sorted. The fire is at last warming the house up, with a forecast of minus seven tonight, I better throw another log on.  LN....Round the village tomorrow with baba Marta bands for my ladies......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 2, 2022, 3:56pm; Reply: 1
Wednesday 2nd March

I woke at five and felt much better than I've felt for a while.  I sudokued until seven, attacked the kitchen, fed the birds and waited for them to arrive to take a few pickies.  The noisy jays were waiting in the wild plum tree, well apart from each other and they eventually descended but the one was determined to chase the other off.  There's plenty for both of them but I suppose when there's not much food around, they think they have to protect their own ends.  I put a load of washing in, it was going to be a much better day and there was a fair wind blowing so everything pegged securely.  Toast for breakfast and the bird food was supplemented by the very thin pasta that I'd cooked in error but they weren't interested and neither were the cats so it's over the wall.  

I pegged the washing out and put my boots on and headed over to Avatar's house.  I decided to walk round the village and hand out the Baba Marta bands and her house was the first port of call.  She invited me in, I put the band on her wrist, sat down for a while and then told her I was off round the village to see the other ladies.  She elected to come with me for a little walk, I think we've all been holed up because of the snow.  We walked down to Zelinger's house and where I would knock and wait, she walked in so I followed and into the bedroom come lounge where she has the woodburner going.  It's very hot inside this room but as soon as the door to the rest of the house is open, boy is it cold.  The ladies had gathered, Haciber was sitting on the floor and Beyser on the bed so while I had a captive audience I handed the bands out to the three of them.  I'd picked bands that had the blue and white eye on them for protection and thought it was appropriate and they were thrilled to receive them....they feel that some one cares.  They've all got children but don't get visited very often...some of the families live in Turkey and Covid has made things difficult.  I was offered fluffy pancakes and coffee but since it was only eleven fifteen it was too soon after my breakfast so neither Avatar and myself wanted any so we left them to it.  

Avatar went back to her house and I carried on to mine, collected the washing from the line since it was soon dry enough to bring into the house and put on the airer in the bathroom and is probably ready to put away.  I filled up the log containers and the log basket and finished off with a bonfire to get rid of the household rubbish.  All my chores done I settled down to Netflix and my programme, had a little snooze, replayed the last session that I'd slept through and at three turned over to Steph's Lunchbox and Countdown.  

The clouds are gathering  but the sun on the mountains this evening was really beautiful.  The temperature is really dropping and that wind has a heck of a chill factor but as for the woodburner, it just didn't want to warm up this evening had I had to coax the flames out of it, the wind is just in the wrong direction.  So now I'm kitchen bound..,,,haven't a clue what to make for supper.  LN....I'm sure I can find something.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 3, 2022, 5:22pm; Reply: 2
Thursday 3rd March

So another early start for me and at five thirty I was lighting the big petchka and when I was sweeping up the debris from emptying the ask can I noticed that there was water on the floor.  I'd spotted what appeared to be dried water the day before but thought nothing of it but now it was time to investigate.  The floor was very wet so now it was time to empty the burner which had now started to catch.  I brought in the big metal bucket that had been on standby in case we lost electricity and I had to jump to pretty quickly and first emptied out the kindling and the put it in the burner of the little petchka in the kitchen.  I prepared by taking everything from the top of it so that it was ready to receive the burning wood, there was smoke everywhere and now I had to remove the large log that I'd put in to last me the day.  I'd had to maneuver it into the petchka and now I had to maneuver it out and again into the bucket so that went straight outside to go out in its own was minus three so it didn't take too long.  I cleaned the back of the woodburner and mopped up the water, investigated the position of the leak and took a photo of the offending pipework and it was an elbow from the thermostat and the water inlet pipe.  I took photos, emailed the company who I thought would be able to fix it and eventually phoned them at ten o'clock to be told that it was a holiday today so nothing doing.  To catch the water I put in a metal bowl and the only annoyance is that I have to keep emptying it but better than a wet floor.  I phoned Bekir and for some reason his phone wasn't working and eventually he phoned me back at six this evening and I'm picking him up at eight thirty at his village.

The rest of the day has been quite uneventful.  I made a bacon sandwich for breakfast and put a curry in the slow cooker and my next job is to boil the rice for supper.  I'm hoping that Bekir can fix it, it should be quite straightforward but we'll see.  Television for the rest of the day fluctuating between Netflix and Countdown.  It's not so cold tonight, I've kept the little woodburner topped up and it gives some warmth to the rest of the house.  LN.....Time for the rice to go on.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 4, 2022, 5:33pm; Reply: 3
Friday 4th March

Up out of bed by six thirty this morning after going to bed at ten last night.  Without the woodburner it was a little cold in the house, I did have a pork curry for supper that had been in the slow cooker day and I sat in the lounge after struggling making the rice as near to 'fluffy' as I could manage, and ate every bit of it.  I'd kept the little woodburner going all day and it did its best but not quite good enough to replace the biggie.  

So last night I'd put a new tall jug in place of the metal bowl so it didn't hear the water drip into it and first thing I checked it and it was about half full so I emptied it and put it back under the drip.  I didn't bother with coffee and left the house at seven forty five to pick him up from his village.  I wasn't sure of the condition of the roads, we'd had snow and cold nights so I took the lane through Velikdenche thinking this would be the best option and carried on the main road to Greece until I came to the rough road to Bekir's village.  I took it very slowly, it was muddy and very slippery but I managed it and was there ten minutes early and he was ready to get into the chariot and away.  We took a different road to the Greek road through another village, it was very twisty but in much better condition that the one I'd used earlier and we were soon on our way to Kardjali to get the parts needed for the repair.  We found the shop, picked up the parts and new binding tape and the total was just under seven lev, carried on to Lidl carpark so that I could buy new printer cartridges and had a very interesting discussion with an English speaker about joining the HP cartridge off where you take out a cartridge and they send you a delivery to your door.  The cost is only between two and six lev and I'm going to investigate the offer tomorrow.

Back home and Bekir tightened the fixing of the elbow to the main water pipe supplying the pump and it was fixed and I could have done it but I wasn't sure if that was the only problem,  Job done in two minutes, he also cleaned the plastic pipe on the boiler that shows me if the system needs a water top up and we'd finished as well as having a coffee by eleven thirty.  Before we left I messaged my friends in Fotinovo to see if it was OK to call in after I'd taken Bekir home and he said that it was but that he would prefer to see Bekir to fix a single wonky roof tile for him.  I checked it with Bekir and he said that was OK but after investigation, Bekir is going back on Monday to do a proper job on it.  My friend took Bekir home saying that it was the least he could do after I'd set up a solution to a problem and I stayed for lunch and was home for around three thirty.  I parked up and the first visitor was Haciber with mevlit goodies from one of the villagers and not long afterwards more gifts from the daughter of my lady at the bottom of the village.  No supper for me tonight, I had a good lunch, the fire is going well and at last the house is the temperature that I like it.  It's started raining and it's supposed to turn to sleet and then snow tonight so it might be white over again.  I think it's a day for getting holed up by the fire.  LN....That's the beauty of winter.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 5, 2022, 6:52pm; Reply: 4
Saturday 5th March

Five thirty start and no nap this there's a first.  I stayed in bed playing Sudoku until I started my day with a fire, it was a cold damp morning.  I checked emails and FB and I am getting really tired of 'you'll like to see this' and my ancestry company are sending me hints for people who are already in my family tree.  I've got the right people with the right relatives with the correct dates and they still keep sending 'hints'......six over the last two days....desist.

Washing up by seven thirty, washed and dressed by eight and Netflix on by eight thirty.  Unfortunately I've finished my series so I decided to check when the next one is due to be released and it's on the ninth of March and I feel a binge coming on.  I payed my home phone bill just to stop the messages that they send with a very annoying ring tone, I fed the birds and took a few pickies but the rest of the day has been pretty slow.  I had a touch of the munchies so made toast and a dish of tuna mayo and sat at the table in the stairwell to eat it, washed up the dishes and then I worked on the mini carpet and for about an hour or so actual pegging and another thirty minutes cutting up the wool for the next onslaught.

At five I got the urge to cook egg and chips for supper, peeled a potato and put fresh oil in the saucepan guessing that the original chip pan contained old oil so I emptied the oil into a glass bottle and decided to clean out the chip pan.  I took a brillo pad to it and it really didn't take too long, it was only old oil not dirty oil.  After cleaning it out I transferred the oil from the saucepan to the chip pan and supper was underway.  I can't remember the last time I made chips, it must have been a year or so ago but they were delicious.  The oil could have been a little deeper in the pan but they were OK, browned up nicely and then fried a couple of eggs to have with them.  My vision of dippy eggs went out of the window, I left them in the frying pan for too long so I took the yellows out and the whites are for the birds tomorrow.

Just after eight thirty my time and where has the evening gone?  I shan't be too late for my bed, I'm feeling lethargic....too wet to go out and sort the garden and the inclination wasn't there.  LN.....I need a good night's sleep.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 6, 2022, 5:46pm; Reply: 5
Sunday 6th March

First awakening this morning at six thirty and I decided to rest my weary head once again and it was almost eight when I decided to face the world.  So I was into my normal routine, ashes sorted, fire lit, coffee, washed and dressed and it was sleeting this morning but nothing was sticking on the terraces.  I filled up the log basket so thought had enough for the day but at ten thirty Avatar was at my window checking to see if I wanted milk or did I want her to make me some yogurt.  I settled for the mild, decided to fill up two log carriers, the sleet was turning to snow and then I went over to her house to collect the milk that was still warm after she'd brought it up to temperature to kill the bugs.  We sat talking for a while and then she had a telephone call come through so I made a rapid exit telling her that I'd be making supper tonight for both of us.
I pulled a couple of chicken legs from the freezer and a packet of puff pastry from the fridge and deiced to make a pudding for tonight.  

I went up to the computer on the landing and found a recipe for apples and cinnamon with brown sugar for the sauce and the idea was to case them in the puff pastry, a little like a strudel but not quite.  I sat for about an hour or so working on my mini-carpet and watching television on my little computer and all was well in my part of the world.  The snow got heavier and the flakes much bigger but still nothing was sticking on the terraces but with the temperature dropping as we speak and more snow supposed to fall tonight, it could all change.  I was planning on going into Djebel tomorrow, I want mince meat from my sheep farmer's shop and flowers for my ladies for International Women's day on the eighth.  At the moment it all depends on the the lap of the gods so to speak.

I made the filling for the pastry using sweet apples and muscovado sugar since I didn't have any ordinary brown sugar, filled up the puff pastry and put the lid on it and into the oven it went.  Pudding out and at three fifteen the chicken went in with the potatoes and onions and between events in the kitchen I was still working on my carpet.  I was surprised by a telephone call from the UK from one of my dear friends for a catch-up and I followed it up with a message on Messenger, she'd tried to find me and couldn't so now communications are established once more.

Supper finished and delivered at five fifteen to Avatar, by now the snow was falling heavily so I didn't stay long.  I'd popped my supper back in the oven and that was a wrong move, my potatoes were 'well cooked' and 'very crispy'.  Pudding was delicious and had it with 'squirty' cream, washing up done and dusted and just as I was sitting down to start the blog, yet another telephone call for a catch-up.  So tomorrow is weather dependent, Avatar wants to go into Djebel and visit the cash machine but I've suggested that Wednesday or Thursday might be a better bed.....the world and all it's friends will be pulling pensions from the cash points on market day on Monday.  There probably won't be any left.

Peaky Blinders tonight and let's hope the electricity stays up this week.  Last week it failed me but didn't stay off for long so hoping everything is good for tonight.  LN....Winter is still hanging about.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 7, 2022, 5:01pm; Reply: 6
Monday 7th March

So the snow set in overnight but it had stopped this morning.  It was wet sloppy stuff and the temperature had only dropped to minus one and it was melting despite the low grey clouds that promised more snow but didn't delivery.  I'd woken up at silly o'clock and no way could I get off again so ended up playing sudoku, I did brave it outside, cleared the snow from the feeding stone and topped up the heap but the tits seemed to go for the hanging nets from the bird table.  I lit the fire, cleared up the kitchen, made bacon and egg for breakfast and sat at the table in the stairwell enjoying it and watching the birds.  

I was unsure what to do this morning, the road was very slushy but I was unsure if there was any ice underneath it.  I sat working on my mini-mat for a while with the television working away and I really thing that Breakfast television asks questions that they really shouldn't when there is the likelihood of a third world war about to start.  Loose words take lives.  Not got the brains that they're born with.

So at eleven I cleared the snow from the Nipper, checked with Avatar what she needed and all she wanted were clemantines, she likes her vitamin C update each day.  I put my heavy boots on in case I ended up in a ditch and my thick jacket but by now the temperature was rising and the sun was breaking though by the time I got to Djebel.  First stop was the cash point but as I suspected and predicted, the machine was empty and a queue was forming so I moved on to the next on the list.  I found flowers in my little wool shop and bought enough primulas for the ladies, one sun daisy for my student's mum and trailing geranium from the red cross counter in the square.  I checked on the seed stall on the market and found Nicotina  and the lady recognised me from Benkovski market from a few years ago.  Over to deliver the first geranium for my other student's mum, I offered her one of the seed packet but she said that she would only kill them so I offered to grow them for her and they'll go in tomorrow.  I was making my deliveries early, we're supposed to have more snow overnight and tomorrow so I'm getting prepared.  I did stop off at the market and bought a pomegranate tree and last stop was the supermarket for bread and the clemantines and home.  

I unpacked the car, delivered the clemantines. relit the fire and sat down with a coffee watching a Netflix film and then found a new series that was recommended this morning on FB,  Every thing is weather dependent tomorrow except walking round the village delivering to my ladies.  I might even abandon the lesson for tomorrow it it's snowing.  LN.....International Women's Day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 8, 2022, 5:41pm; Reply: 7
Tuesday 8th March

So the snow that was forecast didn't turn up but it's been bitterly cold all day.  I slept well and was out f bed by six thirty but didn't do much this morning.  I did put a load of washing in ad that's on the airer in the bathroom and should be ready to put away any time soon.  Yesterday the lightbulb in the winter lounge went bang so one of today's jobs was to change it for a new one so taking the ladder from the conservatory I took stance under the light and headed upwards trying not to look up.  The glass covering the lightbulb is held in place by three screw and removing two allows the glass and the bulb to be removed.  Lid off, bulb out, new bulb in, glass under the first screw, the second screw with maneuvering went in and the third screw was a real problem but eventually I got there.   Step ladder went back where it came from and no damage had been done to all those that took part....thankfully.  By this time for some reason unknown to myself or the medical profession, I'd noticed that my bottom lip had swollen up again so in the next few days I think I need another trip to the doctor.

Buttered toast for breakfast and then I took up stance in the lounge watching the series that had been recommended.  I hadn't bothered to get dressed, was snugged up in my red reindeer dressing gown and there was a ding-dong from the radio controlled doorbell that I'd given to my Avatar and she'd brought round my dish with a cheesy bread that she'd bought from the bread-van.  She noticed the flowers that I'd bought yesterday in the conservatory so I gave her the choice of colours, it was damp out, slightly snowing and didn't want to come in so I didn't keep her long and then she was on her way.  I washed and dressed through shame put some fancy paper round the rest of the flower pots...I was off round the village to hand out the flowers to my ladies.  As I headed up the road, Avatar stopped me and told me that Zelinger was not well so not to bother going in.  She'd tried it earlier and had decided to to go in the house so I didn't.  I dropped off first at Haciber's house, she' heard me talking to Avatar and was soon out to see what was happening so she had hers first and then on to Beyser.  Further down the road and I saw one of my other neighbours pushing a wheelbarrow and one of the plants was meant for her mother.  She chose the one that she wanted, took another one that she was handing over to another neighbour and I finished off at Zelinger's house, handed the final offering to her and started to walk home.  Passing Avatar's house she invited me in so in I went and we chatted for a while and home James and on to stoking up the woodburner...that wind was cruel.

This afternoon kept the home fires burning and sat at the table in the stairwell and worked steadily on my mini-Axminster.....and I'm nearly finished with the surrounds and then I can concentrate on the middle pattern.  I did managed to get out to the little house and put some sunflower seeds in compost, I'd tried to start them off in damp kitchen paper but no signs of life so back to the drawing board Cecil.  I'm pleased to see that the cornflowers have germinated and tomorrow the nicotina seeds go in.

Beans on toast for supper, the washing up can wait until tomorrow and forgot to mention that I cancelled my student for today...the lip was just too embarrassing.  LN...Another annual event celebrated with flowers for my ladies...I know they appreciate it......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 9, 2022, 4:34pm; Reply: 8
Wednesday 9th March

Funny night last night.  I'd watched Netflix and woke up at twelve having slept through the last episode of the series I was watching and switched off and went to bed.  I was straight to sleep and didn't wake until seven this morning, lit the fire and then thought that I'd made a mistake, the sun was up.  The thermometer was showing minus one outside, there was a little wind whipping around so I just got on with my morning and made bacon and egg and warmed up the cheesy bread that I hadn't finished for the day before.  I washed and dressed, got settled in the stairwell and carried on with my mini-mat and managed to finish the one section of the taupe colour and have only half of the rest of the white to finish leaving the centre which to date needs designing.  I moved into the lounge and managed to find my series again and went back two episodes to see what I'd slept though, the fire was ticking along beautifully.  After watching the end of the series, I'm still not sure what I missed but I've got the feeling that it's going to be continued in series two so it could go in any direction.

I topped up the log basket and went out to the workshop and wood store to fill up two log carriers, one from the old wood and the other from the last lot purchased.  I decided to have a bonfire but that wind was evil and we had snow showers so I came in could wait.  Eventually by around three the sun came out and we had blue sky so I headed down to the bottom of the garden with the household rubbish and got the fire going.  I went back to the little house and found the saw, I'd noticed that the wind had broken a fair slzed branch from a tree near the workshop terrace so I took it off and dragged it down to the burning drum.  I cleared most of the side branches from it but at this point we were having snow showers, it was very windy and cold so I put the tools away, locked up and went  inside just minutes before it started in earnest, it was blizzarding and it was soon white over.  The snow's stopped, it's still white over but the temperature is supposed to go down to minus five tonight so it could be very icy in the morning.  

Time to pay a visit to the kitchen, I've yet to decide on something for supper.  LN.....Time to throw a log on......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 10, 2022, 4:44pm; Reply: 9
Thursday 10th March

I was in bed by eleven last night after searching for the release of the next season of The Last  Kingdom and having found it rationed myself to one episode and then bed.  I slept really well, it was seven when I woke up and the sun was shining, completely white over, minus five outside but the house temperature rose up really quickly with the sun out.  I washed and dressed and was about to settle for toast when I remembered that I had half a can of beans in the fridge so thought that they could be added to so I found a packet of bacon in the freezer, half in the microwave and the rest in the fridge for tomorrow.  Into the frying pan with it, cracked an egg and then threw the half can of beans in the pan as well. Bread to fill it out and that was my breakfast sorted.

I went upstairs to check emails and suddenly there was Avatar on the terrace tapping with her stick.  I went down and she moved from the porch door to half way across the yard.  I've mentioned that I delivered Zelinger's ladies day plant and dropped it in the hall not lingering long since she was showing flue like symptoms.  According to Avatar. both Beyser and Zelinger have Covid like flu. sons have been informed and apparently the police came down this morning to warn everyone.  The are still at home, no one's been taken to the hospital and Avatar also told me where her key to the house was just in case.  She is worried to death that she's might have contracted it and of course, no one in my village believes that it exist, no one has been jabbed and not a mask in sight.  Guest arrive from Turkey and everyone visits....this cookie prefers solitude.  I didn't bother taking a test although I have some in the house, I'll just keep on keeping myself to myself...even Avatar is out of bounds for the moment.

I moved the tv into the winter lounge today, the wind was whistling round the terraces so I shut up the rest of the house, worked at the table in the stairwell in the sun.  That's the nice thing about WIFI tv, it can be anywhere.  I rationed myself to  one more episode of TLK and then the little computer has been churning out various programmes while I've worked on my mini-mat.

Tuna mayo and potato salad for supper tonight, it's nice and easy to prepare.  I've been invited over to my student's house for supper on Saturday but I'm going to give it a miss....I don't want to take more to the house that just a birthday present for the little one.  LN.....Time to close the curtains and shut out the world......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 11, 2022, 4:47pm; Reply: 10
Friday 11th March

I ended up playing silly games in bed last night switching the light off at two.  Unfortunately I didn't manage to sleep in any later than six thirty so I was up and at 'em, getting the fire going again eventually.  I hadn't got any small tinder to start it off so I went out to the wood store and found some of the smaller logs but it was evil outside.  The thermometer inside showed that the outside temperature was minus six and with the wind whipping round, it sure felt like it.  I filled up the log carrier brought it inside and it didn't take long before the hot water was belting around the radiators and with the sun coming up it felt very good very quickly.  I opened up the curtains to bring in what the sun was offering and settled down on the little sofa and put on Netflix and my series but rationing myself to one episode.  

I made a decision to go into Djebel to buy a few items since the snow was very light and it wasn't going to deposit much today.  I dressed for the outside and put another sweater over my fleece, padded trousers and I was good to go.  I went over to see Avatar to see if she was OK, put my mask on, she had seen me walking towards her house and opened the door.  I didn't go in, asked her if there was anything she wanted from Djebel and she said clemantines and I thought she was joking.  I'd bought her about two kilograms the other day but she wasn't.  I also suggested that she came in to Djebel if she wanted money from the cash-point or alternatively I could get the money out for her, with receipt showing her balance and telephone notification that money has been withdrawn, it's common practice in Bulgaria.  

Off I went to Djebel, first stop cash-point for the pair of us, onwards to the supermarket and I first got her clemantines, got them weighed up, paid for them and put the change with the receipt into the bag with the fruit.  Next my shopping and I was homeward bound within twenty minutes of arriving in town.  I parked up, unloaded my shopping to the porch, and walked over the road with the clemantines, card and receipt and kept my mask on and went into the house.  We sat at opposite ends of the room and she updated me on the saga of Beyser from the other day.  She'd got drawn into it by Beyser's grandson, who drives the bread wagon and firstly they had to break sin since the key was on the inside and once in she ended up helping Beyser to get dressed and only realised what a predicament she could have put herself in afterwards.  Hence my mask.  We sorted out the finance. I took ten leva to cover the last two lots of clemantines and I went home, put my shopping away, made some local type corned beef sandwiches for lunch, promptly had an afternoon nap and have had a very lazy afternoon.  

Chicken wings and veg in the oven for tonight and are more or less ready now, the temperature has not got above minus three point five all day and tonight it's destined to go down to minus eleven.  At least the wind has dropped and it's been dry all day.  I've just been out and filled up the starter wood bin, supper is ready and I'm settled in for the night.  LN.....Spring seems so far away.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 12, 2022, 4:40pm; Reply: 11
Saturday 12th March

Well another surprise at seven this was white over again, snowed in the night and the temperature was minus six.  I noticed that the feeding stone was covered in snow and the birds waiting in the forsythia so I went out and put the bird seed down and they were soon after it.  I didn't linger long, it was cold and that wind was icy.  The jay was making several visits but I had other fish to fry, lit the fire from last night embers, cooked spicy sausage and fried egg for breakfast, toyed with the idea of a bath but instead settled for a shower.  It only means that I can wash my hair in comfort and not have to angle myself in the bath to rinse the soap out of it.  I dried and dressed quickly, dried my hair and the day was all mine and stretched before me.  What did I do with it?  Very little.

I caught up on the news from Ukraine and noticed that Bulgaria is advertising for properties that might be used for refugees.  Full details of the properties have to be submitted to the government and I wonder what response they will have.  I haven't seen Avatar today....I think we all feel safer in our own houses until this threat is over, I know I do and even though I can take a test and confirm that I'm're not sure if the others are.

I finished off 'The Last Kingdom' and it didn't really follow the books so now I've got about three books to go to retrace the actual story.  Utred has been returned to his family seat in Northumberland much sooner that the author intended and I thought his daughter died but now she's established in her father's castle.  Apparently there are no more series planned, just a film to wrap it up for the followers believing that #destiny is everything'.

Not a clue what is on the menu tonight, the fire is already stoked up and when I went out to take photos of the sunset, there were snowflakes in the wind.  That's probably how it started last night.  LN.....More photo's if it's white over tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 13, 2022, 5:15pm; Reply: 12
Sunday 13th March

Slept through until seven this morning, minus seven outside and needed to start the fire straight away which was easy since it was still going from last night.  I didn't bother with breakfast, emails and Facebook and nothing much going on.  I fed the birds outside and they were soon round especially the jays and sparrows, blackie was hopping it's way round the garden foraging for anything it might find.

I'd washed up from last night and decided to dirty the kitchen again and put sliced onions in a pan with spicy sausage and fry it off.  I opened a tin of cannelloni beans, threw everything into the slow cooker and set it to high......supper was in.  I set off to see Avatar to let her know not to put anything on for supper, there was enough for both of us and outside Haciber's house sat an ambulance. I was wearing my mask and pointed my finger towards Beyser's house to check on the news and he said that she was already in Djebel as was Zelinger.  Apparently the ambulance had taken Haciber to the doctor in Djebel, he'd confirmed that she had Covid and had to stay in the house and not go round the village.  So that's three down and that's all because Zelinger had a visitor from Turkey and since no one is jabbed, it doesn't take long.  And since they're all or heading towards their eighties....vulnerable to say the least.

I chopped more starter wood and filled up the log carriers and the log basket.  I had another go at the old wood sitting in the old house and only came in when I got cold despite extra layers.  I intended having a bonfire but instead dug up some of the chickweed from the little bed between the steps, moved into the little house and planted up some tobacco seeds that I'd bought.  By now the temperature was dropping yet again so I sat in the sun in the stairwell and carried on with my little carpet and I've managed to finish the outside and now can concentrate on the pattern for the inside square.  The pasta went on to cook around four this afternoon and at four thirty I was walking over the road with Avatar's supper and came back and had mine, washing up done and everything locked up for the night.  Productive day but it would have been better if it had been a little warmer but apparently the temperature is on the up according to Accuweather.  LN.....Thank goodness for that.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 14, 2022, 5:00pm; Reply: 13
Monday 14th March

Seven start, fire rescued from last nights ashes and I settled for hot water not coffee this morning.  I feel been having too much caffeine and we'll see how long that mood lasts.  Washed dressed fairly early on, minus four degrees outside and that only managed to get up to four degrees during the day.  It's been another day of cold winds, the sun's been out but I didn't really venture out until late this afternoon for a bonfire.

I had an hour of breakfast television until they dragged out the mayor of London who seems to always be willing to comment on anything and so I switched him off and went on to Netflix and another Norse tale of Valhalla, just for a couple of episodes.  I had a brief period of activity, log basket filled up and I watered the plants in the little house and then topped up the log carrier and suddenly remembered that I'd not had breakfast and since the clock was moving towards eleven thirty I had bacon and egg with fried bread for brunch.  A full tummy deservers rest so I settled down for another episode of Valhalla and promptly nodded off for about an hour or so and felt much better for it.  I haven't been sleeping well, my arms have again come out with red blotches that have been itchy and that's disturbed my nights.  Another visit to the doctor my be on the cards so I better look up the phrase 'I think you're poisoning me' and see how she reacts to that.  Alternatively I can ask for a full MOT, we're entitled to one each year so I might go for it insisting that we definitely do blood tests, something must show up.

Countdown this afternoon and Rachel Riley is returning thank goodness.....I'm not sure who was dressing the other lady and sorting out her hairstyles but let's go back to normal and now the television is playing to itself while I finish the update.  Jays were out in force today but the bully definitely doesn't like compatriots while he/she/it is filling it's beak.  Student tomorrow so really should sort out an interesting text and homework for him......we missed last week because of the snow.  I shan't be bothering with supper, my brunch seems to have lingered along with a half packet of biscuits this afternoon.  LN.....Time to pull up the drawbridge.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 15, 2022, 6:13pm; Reply: 14
Tuesday 15th March

So last night I was having problems with my Fitbit and getting it to communicate with my phone and was about to throw it in the bin citing Fitbit as 'rubbish' and why did I bother again.  Eventually I restarted my phone and 'bingo' it not sure who to blame, the machine or me.  Good night's sleep and woke at seven and again we'd had a heavy frost over night and it was white over.

I'd had a bit of a soot fall in the emptying hole in the bathroom so decided this morning to take the pipes out of the petchka and clean everything out only this time I was doing it in two sections so I didn't dither putting them back in....and it worked.  Everything out, everything cleaned and everything back in and lit it to check that there was no smoke escaping and all worked well.  I hadn't bothered to get dressed before I started to clean the pipes outside, PJ's aren't much protection but I'm sure I got it done quicker.  Up to the bathroom, washed and dressed for my student's lesson this afternoon, clothes into the washing machine and soon pegged out on the line.  I popped over to see Avatar and to check if she wanted anything from Djebel and she said that she's got the sniffles and I was so pleased I was wearing my mask as I sat the other side of the room.  So on the shopping list were some Analgesics and cough mixture so that was my first stop when I drove into Djebel.  I told the assistants that the items weren't for me so not to give me the expensive ones or ones that they get commission on so they searched the shelves and came out with the cheaper items.  

Student lesson about the polar bear and how well it's suited to where it lives and the nearest thing that I came up with for the word 'traction' concerning its feet was likening it to winter tyres verses summer tyres....his dad owns a garage!!  I chatted to his mother after the lesson and the sun was just setting as I drove home.  The temperature was dropping pretty rapidly so I parked up, delivered the medication, opened the door, collected the washing from the line, lit the fire and all that in fifteen minutes.  Clothes on the airer in the bathroom and should be able to put it away in the morning.  I was originally going to try for the doctor tomorrow but I think I'll leave it until later in the week, I need to write down what I need to say to her, I need a diagnosis of why I keep coming up in these red bumps and if it's down to the tablets, I need an expert opinion on tablets that really are for me.

Not really wanting supper again.....I had a fry up of spicy sausage and egg for brunch before I left for my student and that's still sitting towards the top.  Fire duties and I need a coffee.  LN.....Time to switch off and ralax......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 16, 2022, 5:01pm; Reply: 15
Wednesday 16th March

Another silly night and eventually got to sleep around two this morning.  My internal alarm went off at seven, it was a dull morning threatening rain but we avoided it all day but it was damp cold, not biting cold that we've had for the last few days.  I put the washing away from yesterday, did a general tidy round, found my cheapy ring that had fallen off my finger yesterday but wasn't obvious when I looked for it at the time but now it's back where it belongs.  I lit the fire, not quite sure of what I was going to get up to but while looking through FB I came across an article concerning the rates for electricity for residents who'd had to have a company when they originally purchased the properties.  A ruling was obtained that bought properties this way would be expected to pay business rates and this concerned me, I'd had no notification that my tariff was changing but I wanted confirmation that I wasn't sitting on a timebomb so I found my original contract with the company, got dressed, cooked breakfast and headed into Djebel to discuss it with my student's mum.  Before she viewed the contract, her advice was not to go to the electricity offices to discuss it reckoning that I would come out paying more but after reading the contract, it was made out to me in my name only confirming the company name....the tick box for 'private person' was ticked.  No visits to the company for me.

I carried on to Kardjali and to the hospital and managed to make an appointment to see the doctor on Friday at eight forty which is much better than fighting for an appointment on the day.  I moved car parks and went to pay my home phone bill but apparently there was no bill outstanding and thinking about it, I vaguely remember paying it online...that's age for you.  Next stop Kaufland for potatoes and a few more things but there were no offers on chicken legs and wings so I wasn't able to but the items on Avatar's list.  I moved on to Lidl and filled up on forbidden dairy foods and ice-creams, loaded up the car and headed home, put everything away, lit the fire that had gone out, had some of the cream cheese with breadsticks, a chocolate pudding and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.  Popped over to see Avatar to let her know that the offers weren't available but that I'll have another go on Friday after I've see the doctor.  She also told me that the police had come to the village to check that Haciber was isolating in her house.....they are taking it seriously.

It's been a day of sorting things and I like it when I get the answer to something that's been on my mind such as the electricity charges.  It's not that it would be a problem, Bulgaria has the lowest electricity charges in Europe......and now I don't have to worry about it.  Next hurdle.....visit to the doctor on Friday....let's hope that goes as well as today.  LN.....Fire duty calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 17, 2022, 4:24pm; Reply: 16
Thursday 17th March

Seven thirty start this morning, two degrees outside but another of those cold damp mornings that chill you through to the bone.  Having said that, it didn't take long for me to get the fire going, get into some warm clothing and do very little for the rest of the day.  Breakfast was some vanilla flavoured breakfast 'pillows' that I'd found in the supermarket with milk and they filled me up until lunch time more or less.  I settled down to watch Netflix after swearing yet again at Good Morning Britain at the opinions and interpretation of the news of the day and I fell upon a series of a clairvoyant and predictions that he made.  I'd watched the first one and there was a face at the window and I got up to unlock the door and it was my friend from the next village.  He'd taken his car into the local garage for an overhaul, paid his dues and was on his way home.  

We moved into the lounge since I'd set myself up on the sofa close to the fire, he made the first coffee and I made the second and we chewed over the fat.  We got round to talking about the new parking system in Kardjali and since it had concerned me yesterday that I didn't know how it worked so I asked him to download the app for me and he did and set me up.  All I have to do is put my card details against it and when I park up in future, if I'm in one of the pay zones it will automatically take one lev from my bank.  It's a little cheaper than getting it towed away or clamped.  Another problem solved.  Off he went around one thirty and I went back to my Netflix, slept through one of the episodes and at four thirty put chicken wings and veg to roast in the oven.  Supper was underway.....and now it's ready.

Just need to get a load of logs in to warm up in the conservatory overnight ready for tomorrow although having said that I have an early morning appointment with the doctor so need to leave just after seven thirty.  LN...Let's see what she comes out with this time....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 18, 2022, 6:17pm; Reply: 17
Friday 18th March

I went to bed fairly early so that I would make sure of waking up in good time to get to the doctor's surgery on time.  Seven start, looked out of the window and it was white over, we'd had a sprinkling of snow in the night and there was ice on the terrace with the temperature showing minus two.  Now it was more important to be on the road so that I didn't have to rush.  I washed, dressed, didn't bother with coffee in case she wanted me to have a blood test and was in the Nipper for just after seven thirty remembering to take my old tablets with me and this visit was going to be a 'look...where do we go with this?'....

I managed to park up near the hospital and arrived in time to check in for my appointment, I was asked if I normally paid and replied that one time I did and one time I didn't so I offered up one lev and carried on to the waiting area and was first in.  She asked me how I was so I related the story of the problems with the last lot of tablets she'd given me before I went to England for Christmas and told her that I wasn't taking any at the moment.  I took them until I got the bad reaction, stopped taking them and only started when my blood pressure went up.  It's a vicious circle.....she managed to find another packet of tablets that I think must be a sample and I'm to take them for two weeks and if there is no reaction they will be continued, if there is I'm off to Plovdiv for tests.  I have a result of sorts.

Back to the Nipper and over to Kaufland and did mine and Avatar's shopping, I didn't bother stopping anywhere else until I got to Djebel and my local supermarket for cinnamon since the doctor recommended it in yogurt for blood pressure.  Parked up in the drive and unpacked the car, put my shopping away and calculated Avatar's bill and delivered it to her.  That icy wind was still blowing so I lit the fire when I got back home, cooked a breaded chicken fillet and had it with Russian salad watching the television, cleared away, got settled again and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.  I popped back to Avatar's house, she'd mentioned that she thought her blood pressure wasn't behaving as it should so I took my little monitor over and confirmed that she was OK and had nothing to worry about.  I came back and got in a load of logs and watered the plants and emerging seeds in the little house, I'm surprised that they've bothered to put there first leaves out.  Time to switch off, nothing on the agenda for tomorrow especially if it remains this cold, I've just checked the weather and we're supposed to be down to minus six again tonight with real feel around minus ten....come on it's nearly April.  LN.....Full moon tonight and starry starry night....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 19, 2022, 5:12pm; Reply: 18
Saturday 19th March

Another early start which set me up for a snooze later in the morning.  It was another cold start to the day, the sun came up but the wind stayed on its path from the north and has chilled me to the bone most of the day when I was outside.  The moral of the story is....don't go out.  I didn't light the fire. the house soon warmed up when the sun lifted in the sky and there was a lot of residual warmth from last night's fire.  I could have rescued it this morning but chose not to and that log would burn later in the day.  I took my first of the new tablets and my blood pressure was down to a very respectable level and I've got another one to take tonight so I'll see how I go with this one.  

I'd taken out a packet of cooking bacon from the freezer last night that looked like it had been in there for too long and I needed room for something else.  It had thawed overnight so I took some of it and fried it off intending to made a sandwich, tried it, didn't like it so it went for the cats.  The rest of it went into the slow cooker with two onions and a can of peas and that's potentially supper for me or breakfast for the cats...the proof of the pudding will be in the eating later this evening.  That was about the height of my activity for this morning, I watched the indoor athletics where the English seemed to put up a pretty poor show and then finished my Netflix clairvoyant series.  There wasn't a second one so I jumped around a little and found that one series that I'd been watching towards the end of last year had acquired new episodes, obviously a weekly series on an American channel.  I watched one then saved the rest....and went out to have a bonfire.

I'd got lots of layers on but chose to put a hooded sweatshirt on before I set sail for the bottom of the garden.  The sun was still up but it was still blowing a gale out there so I didn't longer long, the lid was soon back on the burning barrel and I'll tend to it when the weather warms up a little.  It's getting pretty full and needs clearing out completely and the residue dumping against the wall in the corner of the garden.  It's pretty stony down there so needs a layer of something resembling soil and I'll put sheep shite on it when I get round to having some delivered.  Came back inside for the camera and took a few shots from the bottom of the garden to post tonight and loaded up the log carrier so that I've got plenty ready.  Having said that I've only got through two so far today and I've plenty left so no panic.  Had a slight panic when I got back inside, I'd got too many clothes on and the top hooded sweatshirt was very reluctant to release itself from the body and I almost thought I'd be legging it over the road so that my Avatar could give it a tug.  Eventually I secured my release from my straightjacket, breathed a sigh of relief, stirred the 'soup' and switched off the slow cooker, got the fire going again and now it's time to draw the curtains and get settled for the evening.  LN.....Now what's on TV?......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 20, 2022, 5:56pm; Reply: 19
Sunday 20th March

It was another early start but not a lot of activity for the day.  Nice morning, the sun came up and I thought I was in for a day in the garden but I was in for a disappointment.  I put my nose out to throw the remains of the slow cooker over the wall for the cats, spotted Blackie huddled under the terrace against the lavender bush and it promptly ignored me.  It didn't take long though for it to slink up to the wall, leap over it and tuck in to the booty.  I never went back to check how it was doing, that wind was too cold to stay out there, twenty degrees in the house and minus one outside so it was obvious where I would be.

I made a cheese omelet for breakfast and sat at the table in the stairwell eating it.  It didn't really fill the gap so I ended up buttering a chunk of fruit loaf and then cleared the kitchen and got dressed.  I tidied round and realised that today wasn't going to set the world alight so I put the TV on and settled down to watch the World indoor athletics and at last we have won our first bronze medal and the Union Jack was on display for the first time.  Once they stopped transmission I put Netflix on and settled for the 'Black list' and eventually got into the story.  There were such a lot of flashbacks from the previous series that it was rather disorientating at first, it was a few months ago when I saturated myself with it.  I lit the fire at four thirty, drew the curtains to retain the heat and at five I cooked a couple of hamburgers, sliced up a potato very thinly, made crisps and I really enjoyed supper.  I'm now back with the athletics and am watching the women's long jump and the British girl has just jumped into third place so fingers crossed for another medal.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far, it's supposed to be minus four overnight and once six degrees and breezy in the morning.  There's supposed to be more snow on the way for Tuesday morning and evening.....come on...we're all rather sick of it.  If that wind would drop, it would be really pleasant.  LN....Roll on the real spring....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 21, 2022, 5:39pm; Reply: 20
Monday 21st March

Ridiculous night last night.  I just couldn't go to sleep, tried playing sudoku until two, tried again and ended up moving to the lounge, rekindling the fire and watching Netflix eventually going to bed at half five this morning.  Absolutely wide awake and only managed to sleep through until seven thirty and no sleep during today so should sleep well tonight...hopefully.  I cleared the fire out, the house was warm and the sun was up, minus three outside but soon rose to zero but again the wind was icy cold.  Checking up on Accuweather, there was and still is a red warning out for wind and tomorrow we have snow forecast for the rest of the day so I might not be visiting Djebel and my student.

I settled for flakes and fruit for breakfast and went back for a second helping....unfortunately it didn't fill the gap so ended up having buttered fruit loaf.  I set a load of washing off, put the light items to dry on the clothes airer in the bathroom and the heavier ones I put out on the line but with extra pegs in each was really blowing a gale.  I filled up the log basket from the carrier and filled up the carrier from the supply in the little house.  I'd intended doing some work on the pot plants, trimming and repotting but it was just too cold to be out there.  I tidied up the large water bottles, watered some of the plants and brought the log carrier into the conservatory...I was stocked up for the evening.  By this time the washing out on the line wanted rescuing, one jumper had escaped but hadn't travelled far down the garden, all was safely gathered in and put to dry with the work for the day was done.

Quiz night tonight and it's getting towards the end of University Challenge,  A few of the teams stand out but this year I've not managed to get favourites but it still amazes me how much some of the youngsters know.  I might even have to set my alarm so that I stay awake for the program and fingers crossed that I get a good night tonight.  LN....Let's see how much the weather hampers me tomorrow.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 22, 2022, 6:02pm; Reply: 21
Tuesday 23rd March

Better night's sleep thank goodness, awake at seven and my only commitment today was to get to Djebel for three for my student's lesson.  Very cloudy start to the day, the snow didn't materialise but the 'yellow warning' for wind was bang on.  I made coffee, sat at the table in the stairwell drinking it and swearing at the Good Morning programme until eventually switched over.  I was slow to get dressed, more coffee but eventually the hunger bugs started nibbling so I made poached eggs on toast.  I tried to lift them from the base of the pan and managed to break one of the yolks in the process.....they still tasted OK though, I cleared the kitchen and washed up.  

Dressed in a thin and thick sweater, I hadn't bothered to light the fire since I was out this afternoon and fortunately that sun came through the clouds and the temperature in the house went up but outside it remained the same.  I checked my phone and noticed that my daughter had phoned me twice yesterday and I'd missed the calls.  It was before school time so I phoned her back and there was no reply and at this point I was a little bit stressed as to why two phone calls in one day.  She phoned me back after an hour, was in the doctor's surgery hence that's why she didn't answer when I phoned.  She's down with Covid, is working her way through the protocol to get her back to school and it sounds really complicated to me.  So we giggled our way through forty minutes and the old jokes are always the best and somehow we got on to how things have changed with regard to 'politically correct' speech and I reckoned that I wouldn't pass the test....much too old.

So popped over to see Avatar to check if she needed anything from Djebel and we joked about clemantines and she showed me that she had only got one bag left of the ones that I got her on Friday.  Got to Djebel just before three, my student got back from school, went up to the apartment and I joined him after twenty minutes.  Firstly we checked over his last English test from school and I've never seen such silly question and with spelling mistakes from the teacher on the paper.  We talked through it and somehow he'd missed three questions that overwrapped two pages and were easy to miss except that if he had ready the paper properly he would have been OK.....and I told him so.  So today we change the format and followed one of the books that I'd bought from Lidl and it worked well.  It was soon five fifteen, we'd overrun again and I was itching to get back home to light my fire,,,,,that wind that was still batting around was very cold and I had a drive through the forest to negotiate.  I stopped off for bread, clemantines and a few packets of biscuits, journey home was OK, parked up, shopping unpacked, curtains drawn, fire lit and it was six fifteen, I had a blog to write,

Time to hit kitchen and find something for supper, it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow so fingers crossed, I need to be more active outside,  LN.....And another early night......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 23, 2022, 6:38pm; Reply: 22
Wednesday 23rd March

Just after six thirty this morning when I woke up and I got on with the normal routine tasks.  Emptied the ash can, laid the fire but I didn't light it, the sun was up, it was sixteen degrees in the house and it got better.  I didn't make coffee, I've decided to give it up for a while and settled for hot lemon and honey and added cinnamon to it, it's supposed to reduce blood pressure and I'll give anything a try.  As for the new tablets, blood pressure is reduced, so far no red spots indicating an allergic reaction to them but the pulse rate has increased slightly.  Perhaps the cinnamon and no coffee might ultimately mean I can forego the tablets which would be really good and more exercise with the summer coming on...eventually.  I made tuna potato salad last night for supper but put aside some cooked potatoes and I used them up with a potato omelette adding some cheese before I served it and it did me through until this evening.

I went upstairs to get washed and dressed and changed my mind and went back down for a shower instead and to wash my hair.  Back up to dry off, get dressed and dry my hair and I was ready for the day.  I popped over to Avatar's house to deliver the clemantines that I'd bought for her yesterday and sat with her until twelve with general chit-chat and it's amazing how many topics we cover remembering that I'm speaking in Bulgarian and so is she but she's more used to speaking in Turkish as are my neighbours.  Somehow we manage!!.

I settled on the sofa and put Netflix on and started watching a series that my daughter had put on my playlist when I was over in the UK.  It was OK but I found that Bridgerton Series to is airing on Friday and I must let my daughter know since we're both fans of it. I put the washing that I'd done on the airer, went back to the sofa and got my head down for an hour or so....the temperature had shot up with the sun being out but if only the wind hat dropped it would have been a brilliant day for gardening but the sofa proved a veritable substitute.

Countdown, Tipping Point and The Chase to keep the brain active and I shall be settling for an early night tonight.  The weather report for tomorrow indicates that we shall be still hanging on to our hats if out and about, not many of the birds were in flight just scrabbling around for food at the base of the plants and keeping watchful eyes out for the patrolling cats.  Nothing on so far for tomorrow...I'll see how I feel in the morning.  LN.....I just feel so lazy, just too cold outside to do anything.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 24, 2022, 6:52pm; Reply: 23
Thursday 24th March

Just before seven start, sun was already up and I managed to open a few windows since that wind has dropped. I washed and dressed quickly, made toast for breakfast and a lemon and honey drink with cinnamon but unfortunately I tipped the pot too quickly and it was horrible so poured half into another glass and topped them both up to the brim....much more palatable.  Tele went on and I watched it until I got fed up of opinions and turned it off.  Not many birds about this morning only sparrows and not many of those.  As I mentioned the wind had dropped so I waited for the sun to do its stuff before I headed out to see what I could get up to.  

I filled up the log carrier from the ones stored in the little house and sorted out some of the plants.  I've got quite a few weigela cuttings that have taken and they will be going in soon but the first job is to remove the weeds from the flower beds before I start putting anything else in except that I did plant the pomegranate bush that I bought.  It has sat in the wood store for a week or so so in it went into the shrub bed in the grave garden.....and hopefully it's not a fitting place for it but there do not seem to be many signs of life on it.  I cleared one of the beds near the well and moved down to the old vegetable garden and cleared two of the six sections.  Unfortunately there were some poppies that had germinated that I didn't notice in the weeds, I've put some back but I'll have to wait and see.  

I stood for quite some time watching a beautiful calf while it patiently waited for its mother to stop feeding until it eventually took to the grass and waited in comfort.  I think it actually nodded off, it can only be a couple of weeks old and amazing what they do in such a short time.  Eventually she'd finished and headed towards it, it got up had a little nuzzle and then off they went toward the bottom of the field.  At four I noticed that the wind had left several large piles of oak leaves on the little house and woodstore terraces so I  used the snow scoop to put them in the log carrier and take them down to the bottom of the garden and tipped them against the wall.  Around four I tidied tools away, popped over to see Avatar to tell her that I'd seen photographs on FB of her family and I thought it was a wedding but I was wrong.  One of her grandsons has got engaged and it's customary in Turkey to make a big thing of it and it was a lead up to the wedding.  I offered to show her the pickies if she comes over and she said that she might.  Haciber's daughter is over from Turkey so we have another chance of re-infection, Beyser is back home and so is Zelinger so it looks as if Avatar and myself will remain in our bubble and won't be paying much interest in the returnees.....safest plan Batman.

Fire lit by five thirty, chicken breast and potato and onion put to roast in the oven and supper was ready for six thirty.  I had a visit from two of my neighbors wanting to borrow the car tyre pump, I managed to find it in the woodstore, handed it to them and they set off returning five minutes later saying that the woven hose had worn so I took it back and off they went.  I spend fifteen minutes trying to mend it and now it's sitting in the porch awaiting attention.  Looks like it might be another good day tomorrow so it might be another gardening day.....those weeds have certainly got their roots down.  LN.....Nine thousand plus steps today....that's more like it......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 25, 2022, 6:44pm; Reply: 24
Friday 25th March

Seven start and it was a silly evening.  I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up to Question Time which is a programme I used to watch but it's normally too late with the two hours difference but since I was awake anyway I carried on watching it.  I was really impressed by one of the panel who was representing a news paper/ journal who took a very balance view where others were slagging off the government for all sort of things from the latest mini-budget to the lack of delivery of Ukrainian migrants and also making them responsible for the sacking of the P&O workers.  I was surprised that Lisa Nandy didn't blame Conservative for the pandemic.....

I slept well despite the input and started my day with a mug of tea, still wishing to refrain from the several mugs of coffee.  I found bacon in the freezer so fried it off with an egg and that did me through until I started on the biscuits around three this afternoon.  It was a beautiful morning, the wind had dropped and round the back of the woodstore on the terrace it was very warm and calm.  I had in my head to carry on with the gardening but instead thought I'd turn my hand to getting the mower going.  I'd tried to fire it up when I put it away last year and there was no life in it, I'd looked at a new one in the local shop and was thinking that was going to be my option but thought I'd give it a go.  I emptied out the old fuel and the oil and took the filter out and used kitchen grease cleaner in boiling water, soaking it well.  I did this twice, out it to dry in the sun and it didn't take long and it was ready to be replaced.  I turned the mower upside down and gave the blade housing a good soaking in machine oil and I could turn it without any problem but I'm thinking that a new blade would make it work more efficiently.  So new fuel, oil, filter replaced and the moment of truth was here....I fired it up and it started first time so that's another item to add to my CV.  Having started it I decided to take it for a stroll down the bottom of the garden and on some of the new grass and it confirmed that I really do need a new blade so I shall be doing that probably tomorrow of I go into town.

Having done one job I set to to remove the leaves from the back terrace.  The wind has brought them down from the oak tree in next doors garden and this lot went over the wall for the cows.  I also swept the log store and moved a few thing round, one of the benches has gone outside ready for sanding down and the cloches have to have new polythene stretched over them.  I have lots of seedlings that need to go outside but they do need protections so the cloches are on the list for this weekend.

I came in at three and flicked through Netflix to find that Bridgerton was airing so I watched the first episode of the new series and disciplined myself to turn over to Transponder and then I had a visitor so Countdown was switched off.  I made coffee and we sat in the lounge catching up on the news and off he went at five.  I tidied the tools away and locked up the shop, not decided on supper yet but I probably shan't bother considering it's half eight at my end.  I've just had my mother's day cards delivered by Moonpig and Funky Pigeon and nice as they are, the companies don't make it a simple process to print them off which is a shame.  I eventually managed it by saving the images and text, putting it into Open Office and with some jiggery pockery managed to print both off.  My daughter has posted it but goodness knows when that will arrive, I'm still waiting for a birthday card that was due in the middle of February.  That's Bulgarian postal service for you.

Weather for next week looks promising and no more frosts forecast after tonight.  LN.....Spring might have arrived.....better late than never.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 26, 2022, 5:19pm; Reply: 25
Saturday 26th March

Another beautiful day and what I thought was a six thirty start turned out to be five thirty.  Having said that I went round and tilt opened the windows upstairs and in the bathroom, I needed air throughout the place.  I managed to go back to bed with a cup of tea and sudoku for an hour or so, was eating bacon and baked beans on toast at eight and felt it was going to be a long day.  I washed up from yesterday and this morning and generally tidied round, not much to do when you live on your own, it was only a matter of folding the blanket that I used last night on the sofa and putting it back in the lounge.

I watched a little morning tele to catch up on the news and it seems to be getting more desperate for the refugees, what a horrible position the world is in.  I decided to wash the table cloths, it was such a lovely day with a gentle breeze but I still made sure that I pegged them on well just in case the breeze got up later and went into the little house to take some of the stored plants out on to the terrace.  The other plan was to set to clearing the weeds from the flower beds but that must wait for another day.  I did manage to get round to putting new polythene on the garden cold frames, armed with hammer, flat headed nails and large nails I repaired the frames as best I could but they really need some of the wood replacing.

Working away on the back terrace and I heard my name being called and found my neighbour from the bottom of the village clutching a 'mevlit bag' of rice and meat, halva and a drink in memory of her aunts passing.  It was round about lunch time so I sat on the bench on the little house terrace, picked the meat out of it, ate some of the rice and the rest went to the cats.  She's now given up work to look after her mother and I've been invited for coffee but with the Covid thread still in the village, I think I'll stick to my own garden, I've lots to do anyway.  So washing in and toys away by five thirty, logs in and fire lit and I settled down to watch a couple of episodes of Bridgeton and not sure if I'm enjoying it as much as the last series.....I'll wait and see how it pans out.

So tomorrow I'm off to Greece for the Sunday market and the fabulous fish restaurant.  I must remember to 'spring my clocks' forward so that I'm not late for lift off.  LN.....Passport and Vaxpass at the ready.....and camera......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 27, 2022, 5:12pm; Reply: 26
Sunday 27th March

So this morning I managed to turn my clocks back, the rest of the stuff updated automatically apart from the temperature station that is supposed to be remote controlled from Germany so I'll have to get round to that.  I even managed to change the time in the Nipper with the aid of a twig to depress the button.  I was awake at six thirty so there was not rush on until it got to seven fifteen and then I was looking as to what to wear, it was going to be sunny but there was a frost last night, the Nipper was white over so | needed something warm over the sweater that was easy to take off.....and I found it.  My leather waistcoat covered everything and kept the wind out.

I set off just before eight, very little traffic around and arrived at my destination in Fotinovo at twenty after eight,  We were all set, we were testing out the new vehicle and it was so comfortable compared with the other one that once in it I had difficulty getting out of it.  Both the Nipper and the Beast are quite off the ground and easy to get in to and out of....this is of the same design.  There were three cars in front of us at the border, passports handed over on the Bulgarian side and delivered back to us on the Greek window complete with entry stamp.  We also had to show out booster certificates and poor chap ahead of us didn't have one so had to be turned round and he was heading back to Bulgaria.  First stop the market in Porto Largos, lots of stalls, fresh vegetables, clothes that were obviously from display windows or unsold stock and I had a field day.  I bought a cotton gardening top and an evening jacket at two euros each, a pair of sunglasses that I absolutely loved from the moment that I put them on and that's nor usual for me, I never feel comfortable in them.  Last purchase for me was a shrub that has red new leaves and for the life of me I can't remember what it's called.  Shopping done we headed towards Xanthi and to the market garden and I found a very large jasmine with lots of flowers on it and it was mine.

Back to Fanari to a fish restaurant for lunch and then on to the beach but no way was I going to dip my toes in.  The wind off the land to the sea was brisk but once down at sea level in a sheltered spot, we sat on the stones and relaxed, collected shells and generally had a very pleasant afternoon.  Packed up at five and back to the border, we were stamped in again to Bulgaria, had the boot checked for goodness knows but we were allowed in and the rest is history.  It was good to be back in Greece...the bug has certainly but restrictions on travelling but at least with having the vaccines and booster, we face no problems.  LN.....Very chilled after a lovely day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 28, 2022, 6:16pm; Reply: 27
Monday 28th March

Reasonable night's sleep considering that I stayed up to watch Peaky Blinders, not an ounce of sleep in me after that and it must have been two before I switched off the light and headed to the land of Nod.  I was awake just before seven, the sun was up just over the mountains and a fiery ball but I didn't take any photographs today, I really must get myself another small camera, the other one seems to be out of focus.  I spotted another Sony in Teknomarket about a month ago and must check out if it's made it to the 'offer' status.  I used up the bacon that was in the fridge and fried an egg, the bread went in the frying pan as well since it was 'fresh' out of the freezer, washing up done and looking for things to do by around eight thirty.  

I washed and dressed, opened up the shop. looked over to Avatar's house and noticed some chickens in her yard.  She didn't have them before I left for Greece and at this point I didn't know if they were strays or not so I decided to go over and find out.  She was just about to sit down and have her breakfast so I said that I would go back later but she insisted I stayed.  Her brother had delivered six hens and a little grey rooster plus food for a few months on Sunday and she was pleased as Punch that they were already laying eggs.  She'd had four each day so far and when we went out to look at them, we checked out the woodstore and there were four more eggs there already and we struck a bargain that if she gets more than she needs, I'm first on the purchasing list.  It's income for her and helps with the food bill for them and I do enjoy free range eggs at battery hen prices.  I also noticed that her clock was still showing the old time and hadn't 'sprung' forward so must take my glasses round tomorrow and sort it for her.

At twelve I headed out and my mission today was to have a bonfire, sort out the bed between the steps and plant out some of the stock that is ready for planting.  Unfortunately I got into other things and spray pained the one tall container that I have for terrace plants and a giant water bottle in green and blue for the new jasmine that's sitting on the stairs.  I also dug up a large clump of day lilies that have really gelled together and needed splitting and now they're split and replanted in the steps garden and the old vegetable garden.  They were so congested that I had to use the garden spade to cut through them and fingers crossed they will do better in their new homes.  I appear to have lost the tall pink swaying Greek flower that was in the middle of the steps garden, the frost was just too much for it and now there is a yucca where it used to be.  I'd noticed that my yucca in the Frog garden had produced two babies and now I've separated them from the parent and I'm not sure yet where to put the second.  I worked outside until four thirty, collected the washing, lit the fire, started to watch Tipping Point lying on the sofa and woke up towards the end of The Chase.  The fire was still red so threw another log on and I'm not really in the mood for supper and at nine fifteen, might have to wait for breakfast.  LN....Photos required tomorrow of hens and gardens and spray pots.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 29, 2022, 5:39pm; Reply: 28
Tuesday 29th March

Woke up to another bright morning at seven thirty, washed and dressed and settled for buttered toast.  I toyed with the idea of cheese omelette but couldn't raise the effort to make it.  I went out for a photo opportunity, the chickens were out so I went over to my Avatar's garden, didn't bother to tell her that I was in the garden but waved when I went by the window where she normally sits,  She spotted me, came out and we watched the antics and worked out the female boss who was chasing one of the others that had a very large worm in her beak and didn't want to relinquish if but was fought into submission.  It seemed to go round the group and eventually one managed to swallow it so claim possession.  I checked out the woodstore and there were already two eggs in there so I should be able to make a purchase soon.

I came home and as I closed my gate I noticed that the top bolt attaching the smaller gate to the pillar had come loose and the gate had fallen down a little.  My thinking cap went on, I needed to put some more wood where the dowel went into the wall so I grabbed some toothpicks, raised the gate on a brick, removed the bolt, rammed in three toothpicks, replaced the bolt and it held perfectly.  Job done.  The water butt is in back under the downpipe, it's supposed to rain a couple of days this week so I might as well start collecting it instead of paying for it.  The rest of the day was taken up with repotting plants from the little house, clearing the table and bench site underneath the two big trees and removing the branches that have blown off during the breezy days.  That's still sitting in the yard, I ran out of time, I had my student this afternoon.  

The homework that was set wasn't  such a good was in a workbook that we should have worked out together as a guide.  We settled for a text that he read and we talked through together and his homework is to make sentences including the difficult words from the text,  He has a sheet of paper explaining the meaning of the words so he's got to use his imagination and he should be able to manage it.  I bought more spray paint from his mother's shop to clean up the pots on the terrace that I sprayed last year and to make a few more.  Stopped to shop and bought bread, chicken legs and biscuits for me and frozen mackerel for my Avatar.  They were sitting in a freezer and you had to pick them up and put them in a polythene bag and I just hated the smell of them.  Drove home, parked up, delivered fish, unpacked the car, lit the fire, chicken legs with a jacket potato in the oven, made a coffee and ate an ├ęclair all within ten minutes of arriving home.  Tomorrow is another gardening day looking at the weather...taking the opportunity providing the wind drops a little...we have another warning for high winds but at least the temperature is on the plus side.  LN.....My chicken is ready and I'm ready for it......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 30, 2022, 5:11pm; Reply: 29
Wednesday 30th March

Not a bad night, watched the sun come up from my upstairs bedroom balcony but I didn't stay long out there, it was a cold morning.  I went down to the downstairs terrace and took a few more pickies and it was warmer down there out of the wind. I settled for hot water without the addition of coffee and went back to bed with the Kindle and played sudoku until eight thirty and then thought it was about time to start my day.  I stripped the bed and put the duvet cover and bottom sheets into the washing machine and set it to go, boiled the kettle and had more hot water and decided to take my blood pressure.  I was surprised, it was very presentable and well before I'd taken my tablet.

I made a cheese omelette for breakfast, found out the receipt for yesterday's shopping and went over to Avatar's so that she didn't worry about the fact that she owed me for the fish that I bought her yesterday, two large mackerel point eight of a kilogram for six leva.  I might even take to eating fish.  I mentioned that I'd bought chicken drumsticks from the same supermarket and four of them amounted to two leva forty and did she want some next time I was in and she did.  She needs to get to the cash point after paying for the chickens so we've arranged that we go in on Sunday early....she wants to wait for her pension to go in.  I asked about the chickens, she said that they're still laying and did I want eggs.  I replied that if she let me pay for them I'd have some but she got quite irate and said that there was no way I would have to pay, she appreciates what I do for her especially the shopping otherwise she'd be stuck to buying everything from the van.

I came back and settled into the garden clearing the central bed, putting fertilizer on the soil and tipping a bag of potting compost on it.  The poppies that were growing there are now in the old veg garden and fingers crossed they'll transplant.  Next step was to move the seedlings from the little house to harden them off on the terrace.  I brought the washing in, came in for water, went on to the upstairs computer to check out the side effects of my tablets, had a late lunch, watched a little television and promptly nodded off and woke up at almost five this afternoon.  First job was to collect the tools up from outside, tip the weeds over the wall, put the seeds back in the little house and lock up the shop.  Next task was to make up my bed for tonight and put Eli back where he belonged.  

I lit the fire, don't think I'll need supper since my late lunch was very substantial and the boiler is on for a bath tonight.  The temperature has dropped tonight, the sky has clouded over and it looks like the forecast of rain for tomorrow might be on the cards and it if rains I'll be going into Kardjali for a shopping run and maybe a trip to the furniture warehouse, I haven't been there for a while.  LN.......I've had a good day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, March 31, 2022, 4:02pm; Reply: 30
Thursday 31st March

A dull old morning, lots of wind in the night, that's the weather not me and it's remained the same all day.  I was out of bed by six, hot water and sudoku, up and at 'em at seven, washed and dressed for town.  Breakfast this morning was buttered toast and I was putting on my make-up or rather eye shadow at seven thirty and more or less ready to go by eight.  I felt it was a little early so I put breakfast tv on and got the Nipper out of the yard by nine and on the road by nine ten.  I'd noticed yesterday that I'd had a call from the Posta, I knew that she had something for me since I was still expecting a birthday card and a Mother's day card from my daughter.  I drove to the post office in the village on the main road and the posta hadn't arrived at twenty past the hour so I set off back to the main road and I met her on the junction so I turned round and followed her to the post office.  She opened up shop, I followed her in and I had three, two cards and one letter from the pensions people and a form to fill in to confirm that I'm still alive.  It has to be countersigned by a 'qualified person' confirming that I'm still breathing.

I carried on to  Kardjali and my first stop was Kaufland where I bought more flowers and a fir tree and more potting compost that was on offer.  I was toying with the furniture warehouse but since I was in the Nipper I reckoned that I would probably spot something and have to go back to get in so instead went into Lidl and did a fair shop including giant water bottles since the one in the kitchen gave up the ghost this morning.  I stopped for gas and it cost me forty leva to fill up, the price has really gone up, drove on to Djebel and to the little supermarket and bought more chicken legs for Avatar and myself.  Parked up outside and delivered the chicken legs and since they were only three leva and she gave me eggs I call it quits.  She doesn't but that's a discussion for another day.  Unpacked the car and put the shopping away and the chicken legs in the freezer, lit the fire and settled down to Netflix, a new series and I watch around four of the episodes.  Cheese and biscuits at five so maybe it will be like last night and I'll forego supper.

Seven my time, the serious gusty wind seems to have dissipated and now we just have a steady flow.  LN......Just realised that that's another month gone......LN
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