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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  AUGUST 2022
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 1, 2022, 5:53pm
Monday 1st August

Seven start and I meandered through the morning.  I'd done a late wash load yesterday so that was pegged out, the last of the handmade mates went in the machine  and somehow I managed to be cleaning the top of the cooker, it wasn't intended but it just happened.  I was about to set off on tortoise watch and realised that I'd taken my Fitbit off last night when I had a shower so I retraced my steps to find it, no point in not recording effort.  As it happened, no tortoise, they were having a late start too.

I noticed the old metal sunbed on the little house terrace and got really annoyed every time I tried to pull it by one of the upper bars, the bold fastening had come apart and the frame came apart.  Now the bit that the bolt went in to was part of the original design on inside the tube so I decided to put a new bolt in from the inside but it was difficult to hold it in place especially when the second part of the tune closed over the hole and the bolt had to secure the two parts of the tubular frame,  Thinking cap on.  I found a new bolt, washer and nut, threaded some very tine wire round the shank of the bolt, threaded the thin wire into the tube from the inside and got the bolt in the correct position, put the thin wire through the hole in the second part of the frame, covered the first tube of the frame with the second tugging gently on the wire and 'bingo' the screw came out of the hole securing the frame.  I quickly  wound the rest of the wire around the bolt before it disappeared again and screwed on the nut,  I found some silver spray paint and it looks as good as new....just got a new cover to make or get made.

Flushed with success I tested out the seat pan of the swinging bench and low and behold, my hand went through it so my task now was to get the frame in the position where I could removed the seat cover and back comer since it's all one piece.  I've managed it and now I have another seat cover to make or have made....I'm out tomorrow so it's a Wednesday job.  Tools away, found a text for my student  and was in the Nipper for just after half two for his lesson.  Bought some more spray paint for touch up while they still have it in stock from my student's mums shop, I bought a few cans of fly spray for those that forget to close the fly screens over the newt few weeks, was given ten free gifts from the chickens down at the garage.  I went to my gift shop and managed to find something original for the birthday bash tomorrow and I'm also catching up with Ms A of Samodiva who's over for a holiday for two weeks. It's a hot sticky night with lots of noise from the bottom village for the pre-bash for the wedding party on Wednesday. I thought about joining in but the noise still coming over the is making my head hurt .  LN.....The windows will be closed very soon.......LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 1, 2022, 6:31pm; Reply: 1
Monday update

Update:  Some idiot decided to let off fireworks from Avatar's garden and I heard a thud on my roof.  I obviously went out to check and found the remains of a firework around eight inches long glowing under the Lindon tree so quickly stamped it out.  Every where is so dry.....what are they thinking....numbskulls.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 2, 2022, 6:42pm; Reply: 2
Tuesday 2nd August

So this morning I did my investigation into where the fireworks were set off and by whom.  I found the site in Avatar's garden and apparently it was three men associated with the wedding party, she was concerned that it might not be safe but was assured that there would be no fall out.  Thank goodness I heard part of the rocket fall on the roof and went out to investigate and found the glowing embers near to the garage under the tree and was able to stamp out the threat.  I really didn't sleep well last night, it was the stupidity of it all, everywhere is tinder dry and I was just lucky that I heard it and could eliminate the threat.  I went back a little later and spoke to Avatar and related the incident and that done, she'd managed to get some cheesy bread from the bread van and we sat in her garden eating it with tomatoes and that was breakfast done and dusted.  

I returned home and took lots of photos of my garden this morning the light was just so good. I got my swimming gear ready, I was off to a pool for lunch with Ms A of Samodiva, the little one and the birthday girl and was ready to leave at ten after wrapping a present and writing on a card.  Into the Nipper and it was only when I got to Rogosche that I realised I had the present but no swim bag with me so turned round, retraced my steps and set off again.  I thought about it and should have realised that I was wearing my swim suit so should have carried on and borrowed a towel instead of going back.  All into the Nipper, managed to get a good umbrella and beds a day of lots of swimming, good food and a lovely day with friends.  We left at four, dropped off the others and I was home for five more or less feeling a little 'pink' in places and very sleepy after a lousy night but far more relaxed than when I'd set off.  Swim gear in the machine, I settled on the sofa and it wasn't long before my eyelids went south and I've not long woken up.  Tomorrow is a sewing day, I've found the strong material for both seat cover and new top for the sunbed and it shouldn't be too difficult to achieve...she said.  LN...Wish me luck.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 3, 2022, 5:26pm; Reply: 3
Wednesday 3rd August

Six thirty start and since I didn't water the garden last night I was very generous with the water.  It was a bit of a cloudy start but they soon burnt off and at seven thirty I was cutting the material to make the cover for the swinging bench to replace the one I'd put my fist through to test its strength.  I used the existing one as a template but decided to put the old one inside the new one for added strength and I'd made it double sided.  I've fitted it, using Allen keys and spanners I've put the frame back together and all that's left to do is to finish off with hand sewing which I can to later.  It does look so much better and now it can be used where before it couldn't.  I also stitched some of the new fabric on to the old sunbed cover and that also needs some hand stitching...I've done half of it but ran out of steam and decided to start something else.

Avatar popped over around twelve and apologised saying that she had forgotten all about helping me with the sewing.  I knew she's had visitors yesterday and thought they'd stayed over night so hadn't bothered to go and prompt her.  I told her that there was no need, that most of it was finished and she said what a good job I'd done....and I think it will be when I've finished it off.  After she went I made tuna, mayo with onions, beetroot and potatoes and took her a bowl over for her saying that if she wanted to add peppers and tomatoes to make it personal to her she could.  Later she told me that she'd made a sandwich out of it and had had a good sleep this afternoon after her guests yesterday, she was whacked.

And then it kicked off, cars parading down the street to the wedding house, horns blaring and apparently some from the village went round to the house.  I'd decided to boycott the wedding, I don't know the family or the daughter that's getting married so gave it a miss.  Normally they're very noisy drawn out occasions and because it was in the week, most of the ones that I'd sit with were working.  So on with the sorting, I decided that the carpet on the landing had to come up and unfortunately it was under the heavy computer desk so it took longer than I anticipated but it's done.  The floor's washed over, the computer still works and only one container of 'bits' to sort.  Another full on day but I feel that I've achieved a lot today.  Avatar's daughter in law arrives tonight or tomorrow, I know the flight was delayed and now Avatar is on the countdown to spending the winter in Germany, she'll go back with her.    LN.....Nice long bath for me....probably with Badedas.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 4, 2022, 6:22pm; Reply: 4
Thursday 4th August

Seven start, watered the pots and moved a few around, weeded others, threw the carpet that I'd moved to the balcony last night over the parapet and there it stayed until this evening. They don't miss much in this village though, talking to my neighbour that's over from Turkey she asked what the carpet was doing by the door to the porch and I mentioned that I wanted everything clear for when my children come over, it's much easier with mop and bucket than getting the hoover out and just putting the dust in a different place.  I'm not sure she saw the logic but maybe it got lost in translation...she's much better in Turkish than Bulgarian with no English at all.  I asked her if she went to the wedding yesterday and she turned her nose up so I gathered that she didn't.  She was also surprised at the letting off of fireworks so close to our houses and I related the story of my incident to her...we were both lucky.

I made the mistake of having two cups of coffee this morning and instantly regretted head felt quite squiffy. I checked my blood pressure and it was fine so that's why I put it down to the coffee along with the fact that I hadn't stopped for breakfast.  I found myself on the wrong end of an iron and it took me back to Sunday nights when the children were small getting their school uniforms ready and work shirts for my husband.  I attempted to iron the sheet to go on my bed for when my daughter comes next week and gave up, it was easier to put it in the washing machine again, stiff breeze and it's not in situ without any effort.  At twelve thirty I opened a can of tuna, hard boiled four eggs, a few spoonsful of chopped beetroot and some silver skin onions and that was breakfast...belated but very welcome.  As they say a full stomach requires rest so I settled on the sofa to watch the cycling time trial.....I just love all sport....and promptly fell asleep but felt much better for it.  The thought did come into my head that I could clean the windows and quickly left again.  Instead I finished the last of the washing putting in two pillows and it started alright and suddenly there was a strange message on the display and the machine turned itself off.  I immediately drained the outlet and found a few coins in there and note to self...should check pockets more thoroughly.....put some of the clothes back in and started the programme from the beginning and it sailed through.  Earlier in the day I thought that the machine had done a good job, eleven years and no problems and thought that it was 'sod's' law that it was due to pack up on me and was relieved when it got to the end.

Avatar's daughter has arrived safely and has managed to get the car out of the garage.  I suppose she'll have to tax and insure it and maybe an MOT, will use it for a month and then set off for Germany with Avatar in tow.  Nine thirty my time, really late tonight and it won't be long before I'm off to the land of nod.  LN....Windows tomorrow and then I'm done.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 5, 2022, 7:20pm; Reply: 5
Friday 5th August

Seven start an after watering myself and the garden it was time for a bonfire.  No coffee for me and I noticed the difference by just sticking to water.  I collected everything together that needed burning, took the hosepipe down with me and watered well round the burning barrel and then put the hose on to the hose with the holes in it going round the shrubs at the bottom of the garden.  One of the little kerrias was flowering but looking a little jaded but after a good soaking looked better for it.  I got the fire underway and kept if fed putting the lid on it so no sparks could escape.  That's all very well but it does stop the air so dulls down the fire so a quick lift off with the lid to get it going again and this time it was fine.  I checked out the garden next to the fire pit and noticed that there were now two big branches that had broken and were hanging on other shrubs so I found the saw from the little house and took them off and levered them over the wall.  It was the weight of the fruit that had brought them down but now the underneath shrubs could at least get some light.  I moved the hose from the shrub bed and put it on the kerria, went back to the little house and brought down the loppers and took out some of the other wild plum suckers so that a yucca and ground plants got more air and light.  

Two hours gardening and it was only half nine so time for more hot water and toast for breakfast.  I cleared the kitchen, checked Avatar's garden to see if she was out and about but there was lots of activity with her daughter in law so I decided to leave the visit until later and it was much later when I got over there.  I pottered for a couple of hours and at twelve came in and put the CW games on and promptly fell asleep.  I woke up and went on the munchies, raiding the fridge and the goody box but felt much better for my much so that I decided to tackle the job that I'd allocated for today....the windows.  The double storey stair well outside were the first to get done and I hate those but not bad, I'll check them out tomorrow and see if they need doing again.  The rest of the outside are completed and only the inside of the downstairs to finish the job.  I failed to do them post winter so I'm really on catch-up.

Went over to see Avatar around seven, came back with fresh bread and tomatoes and she'd been busy too.  With the car not being on the garage she'd put the table and chairs in there so that they can eat in there when it's too hot outside.  I've already donated mosquito coils to keep the flies down and the nibblers...I hope she remembers to use them.  I remembered that I'd taken a steak from the freezer this morning so fried off an onion in the skillet, more butter went in the pan and the steak followed, two slices of bread soaked with butter juice from the pan and that was supper.  I was really surprised, I'd bought two in a pack reduced for quick sale at sixty percent off....bargain and delicious.  I'll be looking for them again or even at full price...butchers steak in BG is normally tough, expensive and difficult to find.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far.....I just might have a day off and go swimming and shopping in that order.  LN.....Commonwealth games calls.....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 6, 2022, 4:39pm; Reply: 6
Saturday 6th August

A good night's sleep until five thirty this morning...I'd slept through one or two programmes last night so it was to be expected.  I made my morning brew or rather I boiled the kettle and filled up the glass,  did a couple of Sudoku before anything else and went outside and worked out how to reach the outside windows.  I found my telescopic window rod which is great but the hose pipe gets attached to it and you get soaked to the skin so I was looking to find another method.  L left the hose pipe off and soaked the brush with diluted floor cleaner, applied the brush to the windows and hoisted the small hose up to the balconies in turn and it seemed to work.  To dry them off, I folded a cleaning cloth over the brush using what they call a rubber scraper and they're not perfect but much better than they were.  So four top ones done I carried on and did the four lower ones, went inside for a sit down, put Netflix on and fell upon a limited series, Keep Breathing, and I watched the six episodes straight off lying on the sofa eating breakfast.

I'd worked up the energy to start again and used more or less the same process except that I used the cleaning cloth to go over the windows first and a dryer one to give them a final going over.  I was on the third one when Avatar appeared and she started laughing when she saw what I was doing.  She came bearing gifts, her daughter in law had bought some chocolate for me, a chocolate biscuit bar and a champagne flavored croissant.  I think it's a little thank you for helping out Avatar but there again, she helps me out so it's swings and roundabouts.  Off she went, I finished the windows inside and settled down for the hockey that we won, the cricket that we lost and the netball that we lost to the Australians.  

My attempts to go into Kardjali failed and it was just as well.  I'll go into Djebel on Monday and get the insurance sorted for another year and carry on to Kardjali and get the Nipper MOT'd.  Tonight I have an evening of diving, Jack Law is going for his third gold of the tournament and we have some track will be over soon so it will be all back to normal.  LN......Too hot and clammy to bother finding food tonight so far....maybe later.....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 7, 2022, 6:03pm; Reply: 7
Sunday 7th August

Five thirty start and I watched a Hard Talk interview with someone who was attached to Shakespeare productions and wanted to make them more authentic by using disabled actors to play roles of disabled characters in the play.  Very forward thinking...not sure who he was but very interesting.  Toast for breakfast and I settled on Netflix, I was feeling a little bit under the weather so stretched out and lazed for about three hours until the urge to do something overtook me.  It was all interspersed with the AW games, I was particularly interested in the athletics and the relays and we took medals in both and the women's hockey this afternoon was superb with England beating Australia 2-1 and made off with the gold.  The Australian goal came in the last few minutes with Australia throwing everything at it but England stayed with the format and fought them off valiantly.  

My effort and cleaning the windows yesterday was put to the started to rain but fortunately only lasted a few minutes.  We've had gale force winds all day and things have been flying around, now it's all calmed down and time to put everything back in place.   It's a gentle sunset tonight, just a few clouds showing up against the pink sky in the failing light.   I've used lots of hot water today cleaning the kitchen, didn't bother putting the boiler on and decided to have a shower and it was cold by the time I'd finished...not so good but my dressing gown was hanging in the bathroom and I've snuggled up.  I need to go and make supper, I've picked most of the day and not had anything substantial since breakfast toast.....and I'm in need of something.  LN.......Let me go and dirty the kitchen again.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 8, 2022, 5:06pm; Reply: 8
Monday 8th August

Silly five thirty start, sudoku, back to sleep and out of bed by seven thirty.  Watered the garden and the pots, that few 'drops' that we had yesterday did nothing for the flowers but the grass has started to go green again so will soon need mowing.  I did notice Blue having breakfast on one of the weeds shooting from the bottom of the plant so maybe I'll have to leave the bottom of the garden for the tortoise and concentrate on the middle.  The top end near both walls is covered with wild plums that have fallen and middle , high long wall now has the pears falling so I shall have to collect those up and lob them over the wall for the animals.   The wind was pretty brisk again this morning and it's been fresh in the sun but very hot but very humid inside. Pegged out a line of washing including the covers for the sofa in the winter lounge just to freshen it up.

Toast for breakfast, washed and dressed for Kardjali, the Nipper was having it's MOT to day and I had a sudden relapse on the date and when things expired.  I had in my head that it was the tenth today so drove into Djebel carefully, had to park up on the main central car-park, Monday is horrendous and the world and all it's friends were in town this morning.  They behave as if it's still before car's were invented.  Despite having new pavements no one seems to use them, indicators aren't used and when they park up in the heat because they're waiting for someone, the door away from the pavement is always left open to get as much air as possible inside the car.  I did a fair amount of muttering and signing as I drove in this morning.  So into the car shop, my insurance doesn't run out until the twelfth so she was able to take a photograph of my car document and complete it without me being there.  For some reason the computer wants to charge me more because I'm English post Brexit but a phone call sorts it out...but this happens each year.  Over to the local council offices and paid my local car tax of just under fifty pounds for the year, back to the Nipper, down to the garage for a wash and brush up but only on the outside and then on the Kardjali.  The roads were very busy with lots Romanians heading back home after having a holiday in Greece and I don't think they have solid lines in Romania, they certainly ignore them here!!

I arrived at the MOT centre that I always use but there were about four cars waiting so I went to my lighting and electrical shop to check out some new lamps.  I was surprised to see that the electrical shop wasn't in operation any morel but the lamp shop was.  I parked up was checking out the lamps and an assistant that I didn't know appeared and offered to help me and mentioned that I'd noticed that the other shop wasn't there.  She replied that it had moved to the back of the lamp shop and I mentioned that I used to come here for all the materials that I needed for my renovations.  I was deep in thought over what I wanted and the original lady that used to serve me appeared and we caught up.  I think it's a family business and she's keeping it going, I picked what I wanted and she selected the lamps for me, totted up the bill and took a bit chunk off it.  I must have looked really surprised, she said that it was OK and I suggested that I went once a week so that she could improve her English and she cold help me with my Bulgarian.  We both had a chuckle and we worked out that my first time in the shop was eleven years ago,

Back to T-Max and I bought another mirror for my bedroom to replace the cheap one that I've put up with for the last ten, Kaufland for a few items, Lidl for a few more and back to Djebel for my insurance documents and to settle my bill.  Final stop at the local supermarket for bread, mayo and Coca-Cola, two Angus steak burgers for supper on bread, stuffed to the gills and have had too much cola already.   Washing in, sofa hoovered and is now on its side and I'll be renovating it tomorrow so it's now so saggy.   Student tomorrow afternoon and I promised him a decent text, I've been lazy over the last two weeks.  He wants one on football, he's football mad and I'll do my best.  LN..... Brilliant day today, I've enjoyed being out and about....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 10, 2022, 3:20am; Reply: 9
Tuesday 9th August

Late posting, sorry.  For those that follow just to see if the gods are still with me and I'm still on my hillside...everything is fine.  I started to watch t.v., fell asleep, woke up at eleven, went to bed and it was only this morning that I remembered, no update.  The intention was good, there was just no follow through.

Same old, same old, but somehow found myself with a new task yesterday morning.  My little sofa in the winter lounge was getting very saggy, cushions were sliding off so I decided to investigate.  The foam was getting old and unsupportive and so I went to my store room on the top floor of the little house to look for some hardboard that would support the foam on the webbing.  I found some but I also came up with the idea that an insulation tile would be a better problem solver and it is.  All back together again by ten thirty and as proof, slept soundly on it last night.

Wild and windy yesterday, it was another hot one but I had cushions flying every where and some of the plant are looking quite bedraggled.  It will be a quick run round with the secateurs this morning, all the fruit that was hanging down is now lying down on the ground so before it turns to mush, that's my job for the morning sorted.  Off t see my student at three and we had a good lesson, he's a bright boy and my obligatory goal keeper job while he practices his skill with magic feet.  I sat with his mother in the shop after the lesson and at six thirty, his brother appeared after helping his father in the garage after he's finished his final year in university and it just reminded me that I've known this family for quite some years.  His brother was my student almost nine years ago, now speaks English well and little brother is on the same track.  We build memories, that's what life is about.  

Home and cooked a barbecued pork rib for supper. followed by a cluster of seedless grapes followed by a black cherry yogurt.  No wonder I crashed, a full tummy requires rest.  I think the grass might get done today, house is virtually finished just the conservatory to sort out.  It's been the last staging post.  LS......Time to start my day......LS
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 10, 2022, 6:11pm; Reply: 10
Wednesday 10th August

The grass did get done, the mower fired up first time and I thought that I'd get out there before the sun really decided to hot up but even at ten it was very hot out there.  The other problem was that the ground is so dry that it was collecting all the dust as well as the seed head so the mower got really heavy to push.  I came in for water at eleven and was surprised to see that I'd done ten thousand steps already, didn't longer long inside and in a very higgledy-piggledy fashion I managed to do the second section completing it by around twelve o'clock.  More liquid required, I was hot, sweaty and very dusty so decided that my best bet was to get in the shower, wash my hair and at least feel clean again.  I put my toweling dressing gown on, settled on the sofa and watch 'The Hobbit' film on Netflix and thought there ought to be a sequel.  I did sleep through some of it and maybe missed the punchline but thought the animation was good for something made that long ago.

I realised that I hadn't had breakfast so settled for a couple of ham sandwiches and yet more fluids finishing off a bottle of fizzy water in quicksticks and congratulating myself after a giant burp.  That's the nice thing about living on your own, you can say 'good girl' and no one tells you to shut up.  I got dressed again, did my last hoover and mop through and I've finished except that I remembered that I'd dragged the top landing carpet from the grass to the workshop terrace and wanted to put it over the repaired sunbed just incase the rain came tonight.  It's going to be easier to clean it if it's off the ground and more chance of it drying.  Everything locked up for the night, the outside cushions are all in the chest on the terrace, by work is done and according to my Fitbit I've done twenty and a half thousand steps so not bad.  

There's a bright yellow moon that's sneaked up on me and it's looking almost full so maybe we won't have rain tonight....better go and check the forecast.  LN....Now to find something for supper......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 11, 2022, 6:07pm; Reply: 11
Thursday 11th August

By seven I was out in the garden having a bonfire.  I took the precaution of having the hose pipe on standby and once the burning bucket was fully loaded I put the lid on and attached the hose with the holes in to the one with water in and watered the shrubs at the bottom of the garden,  The were looking really sad and hopefully it's seen them through this hot sultry day.  I detached the holy hose and started to move the main hose round the garden so at least the buddlieh had a chance of the flowers coming to something.  The sumac had a good watering and I moved up the garden putting the sprinkler on the flower bed near the workshop terrace, moving it to the old veg bed and getting very drenched in the process, the maple was next, the berberis and finally the choisya, that was really looking sad.  I'm guessing that my bill might be a little higher than last month but what the's certainly not on a par with English prices.  While I was at it I got out the garden fork and removed the dead grass and the newly shooting grass from the rose bed in the side garden.  I'd been looking at it for days and at last it's done.  The acacia was also bugging me, it's got very tall and the side branches are scratching on the side of the house and I've put a stop to that.  I got the long handled extendable pruner and it's done, the cows were waiting in line to see what was coming over next,  Some of the cows are looking extremely boney, they're having to forage really hard for anything with nourishment in it,  I only hope the farmer is adding to the diet.

I hoovered out the Nipper ready for my pick-up tomorrow to get rid of the flakey pastry that seems to get everywhere and stick.  It's normally on the menu when I come back from shopping trips to Kardjali.  I even washed the rubber mats and that's a first for me and it's looking really ship-shape, I had the outside done by the garage.  Slight problem with the hoover though, I couldn't managed to get the main hose off yet again and couldn't remove the blockage so I heard the workmen in Avatar's garden so trundled over the road carrying the hoover.  It took a while for the message to get through, one of the men does like a drink while he's working but eventually he managed to remove the hose.  You have to press two plastic buttons on either side of a rather fat pipe and my poor hands can't manage it these days and then pull to release it from the machine.  Avatar invited me to look at the work that's taking place inside the house and I think that there's a lot to do.  New bathroom with a wall coming down, inside toilet going in, outside cesspit needs to be dug and lined and kitchen to be fitted out.  I did make a couple of suggestions regarding the height of the socket in the kitchen but it fell on deaf ears and also suggested overhead worktop lighting for the prep area on a different switch next to the main overhead light but I forgot, local men don't know kitchens but only build them.  I suggested that Avatar's daughter in law came to look at mine and Avatar seconded the idea and I explained it to her and she immediately got it/  She will tell them what needs to be done, I have no doubt.

So hoovering complete, I emptied what little there is of the boot area in the Nipper and it's all ready to go at around five thirty in the morning.  The flight arrives at around eleven so I should be fine and should miss the morning rush and be out of Sofia before the Friday exit begins.  Bath, hair wash and early night for me and alarms set.  LN......Wish me safe journey......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 12, 2022, 8:37pm; Reply: 12
Friday 12th August

What a day and a half.  I couldn't sleep knowing that I had to get up to leave for Sofia Airport and was out of bed at four thirty, in the Nipper for five thirty, cash machine for soon after and filled up with petrol and gas in Kardjali and ready for the journey at six.  It was going so well, Asenovgrad for seven and it all went wrong in Plovdiv.  There was a diversion sign because of roadworks, but only one and nothing to follow the trail and I seem to have covered one piece of road around three times before I saw a sign for Pazardik.  This town I knew and thought that I could join the motorway there but no signs were evident and now I was wasting time.  I found a road sign to Sofia so followed it and that took me the scenic route and eventually I ended up on a very bumpy road, followed it and low and behold a motorway and I thanked the lord because otherwise I wouldn't have made it in time for the flight.  I was there with time to spare and waited until the flight landed and when my daughter and her hubby came through from arrivals, tears were shed.  

So we negotiated the further road works on the way back but this time with the help of a satnav.....I just hate Plovdiv.  On to Asenovgrad and about a quarter of the way through the mountain pass we stopped at my favourite little restaurant and settled for burgers, salad and cokes and soon we were on out way again.  Kardjali and Kaufland for a few items for tonight, the main shop will be done over the weekend.  We've had a lovely evening, lots of memories of people, places and things.  It's been good for me.  I've driven Sofia and back and the old skills are still there.  LN.....And the Nipper did at half the price on fuel thanks to the gas.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 13, 2022, 8:28pm; Reply: 13
Saturday 13th August

So I was out watering the garden at seven this morning and my guests surfaced after a good night's sleep.  I had a hug with my daughter, we found cracked shell in the garden and no trace of any others to join the party.  Breakfast was fresh fruit and yogurt and eventually we moved back inside and finished off with toast and jam.  Washing up finished we did the tour of the little house and discussed the changes we might make and it was surprising how the ideas differed but interesting to explore the changes.

We sat around outside and made plans to go into Kardjali but again we started silly lightweight conversations and eventually we left at one thirty heading for the lea shop where we made some funny purchases including local underwear that I've threatened my daughter that no way does she wear them outside the confines of the perimeter fence.  The locals wear them under their baggy trousers where my daughter wears them as shorts and very fetching they look too. Over to the hardware shop and I had a premonition that the patio umbrellas had been reduced for quick sale and guess what, they had so I purchased a dark red one, it was boxed but we realised that it wouldn't fit in the Nipper so it's paid for and we'll collect it tomorrow in the Beast.  We shopped at Lidl, bought salad stuff and more fruit for supper.

We arrived home at five, sat around talking again, made potato salad, boiled eggs, tomato and onion salad with cheese and we've just got up from the table now and was surprised to see what the time was.  Full moon tonight but there are dark clouds looming and there have been a few flashes of lightning.  Maybe a storm on the horizon, we'll have to wait and see.  LN.....Maybe a swimming day's all weather dependent.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 14, 2022, 8:24pm; Reply: 14
Sunday 14th August

Seven start and I was out watering the pots, watering round the burning bin and finally setting fire to the rubbish.  It was a pretty cool morning, washing done and pegged out by eight and I really should have put it on the airer instead.  It was a help yourself breakfast and I settled for hard boiled eggs, ham and toast followed by fresh fruit salad....I like having guests, mornings are varied.

We were fairly quick out of the yard this morning and my SIL was driving the jeep...we had the umbrella to pick up from the shop in Kardjali which got loaded into the Beast and I was tempted to by an air fryer after being sold the benefits and managed to find one on my second trip round the store.  I didn't make the decision but carried on to Kaufland, there were two different models in there but they were both much too big.  They would be great for a family but most times there's only me so I went back and bought the first on which was a bargain at around sixty pounds.  All I needed was a few driving lessons and the test was to come later in the day.

On the way home the heavens opened up, thunder, lightning and really heavy rain.  I remembered that I had washing out but rationalised it,,,,it was wet already so might as well leave it where it was, it would dry at some point and I'm still waiting.  Also came home to the big umbrella being forced under the balcony so I had to drag it back from under and tomorrow I have the new one to go up in it's place.

Lovely rest of the day....a little TV until 'Songs of Praise' came on, much to wet to be outside but songs sung by people with immense passion wasn't for me so the tv. went off.  Djebel market day and we're probably going to visit to give them another taste of my chosen area.  They both love it here because it's so peaceful with no schedule to run to or up against.  The air cooker worked a treat and I'm sure will become a firm favourite, lots of salads to go with pork steaks which was in fact my bargain .

Time to wind up and get to bed, both my guests are settled for the night and now it's my turn.  LN.....time for me to get my head down....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 15, 2022, 6:52pm; Reply: 15
Monday 15th August

It was a late start this morning but at seven I jumped out of bed with cramp in my leg and I could have almost screamed with the pain.  Hopping around the bedroom it eventually subsided and I reckon it's got something to do with the cold air after such hot days and nights, the rest of the house was sleeping peacefully so I went outside in my PJ's put the cushions from the outside furniture out to dry, yesterday's rain had saturated everything.  I popped over to see Avatar and came back with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and chilies and to a daughter that thought that she'd been abandoned.  I walked down the garden and spotted CS (Cracked Shell) hiding under one of the bushes but there were no other sightings until later in the day when we encountered Blue, Rosy, Green God at various bits of the garden with Rosy still trying to get under the gate and off to freedom but just a little too bid for the gap.

We were going to stay at home today, my washing from yesterday was still drying, one more load was completed and that went on to the clothes airers on the terrace and on a whim we decided to go to the market to get potatoes and instead came back with a new dress each, a couple of t-shirts, two new plants for the pot that's had a hard time in this hot spell.  We went to the soup kitchen for lunch and the waiter got the order a little wrong and we ended up with two plates of chicken meat balls in tomato sauce and two plates of chicken with rice but we made short shift of it and with cokes it only came to twenty four leva and there wasn't much left. From there we popped into my car shop so that might family could renew the friendship with the owner and they could meet my new student who was only three years old the last time they visited.  From there we went down to the garage to meet the older student who's just finished university who they first met when I took him to England for his fifteenth birthday and had accompanied us to London on a couple of our trips.  A stop off at the supermarket bringing back jelly sweets and more coca cola. washing came in and the cushions from the chairs have been put away just in case and we sat out until the mosquitos forced us in.  

We've made a list of the things that we want to achieve tomorrow so it's a day at home.  They both love it here and I love having them   It's been a very relaxing pleasant day and no rain.  It's threatened for tomorrow but hopefully it will avoid us.  LN.....Either way, it won't affect the good humour of my hillside....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 16, 2022, 7:09pm; Reply: 16
Tuesday 16th August

Up fairly early and managed to clean the carpet that's been sitting on the sunbed on the workshop terrace but forgot to bring it in before the storm started.  I swept the terrace, cleaned the steps to the basement under the little house and my guests slept soundly and it was eight thirty and my daughter was walking towards me with a cup and I was looking forward to a coffee and then realised it wasn't mine but her morning brew.  Fortunately an instruction was sent up the line and mine was ready in quicksticks.  Breakfast was down to me...poached eggs and ham on toast and some even came with cheese, sliced tomatoes and salad, we eat well.  Washing up done and kitchen finished and then the work began.  

My wooden chest that's been topless since it was constructed now has a top on it, the suckers round the little picnic area have been removed and the casual bench and table would have been repaired except that we found a wasp's nest under the concrete base and part of this morning's effort was to get rid of the beasties so the work was abandoned.  My intruder light has been reassigned and now lights up when I reverse my car in the drive instead of lighting up when tractors and buses go by and we sat in the sun and watched it slowly disappear as the clouds gathered.  We'd moved inside when the first thunder started and the winds got up.  Things started flying across the garden, pots tipped over and then the rain came, belting down and the rain drops were huge.  It was only then that I remembered the carpet.

We set up in the lounge and watched the storm burn itself out, turn around and it came back towards up, not so much wind but still a lot of rain.  We were all on the verge of falling asleep so I got up, we went on a tortoise hung and managed to find Blue down the bottom of the garden under the juniper horizontalis but no luck with the others.  We came back in when it started again and I went into the freezer to find some thing for supper removing three steaks and putting them to thaw.  We made salad to go with them and then it was showers for the guests, I cooked the steaks with onions and potato wedges went in the new air fryer.  Supper was served, all washed up and I headed to the bathroom and lingered in the bath for half an hour or so.  Just after ten our end, the thunder is still rattling around and hopefully it will clear up for tomorrow,  Found a beautiful butterfly but just couldn't get the camera to focus on it properly so the photo has been abandoned.  The sky over Smolyan was stunning but again don't think I did it justice. LN.....Just taken my anti-histamine tablet so stop my mosquito bites itching...never seen so many about....horrid beasties....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 17, 2022, 8:19pm; Reply: 17
Wednesday 17th August

So I woke up this morning with the light on,  my glasses on the bed and the Kindle on the floor.  I'd obviously nodded off last night trying to get my last game of Sudoku on before I went to sleep...and I didn't manage it.  Light off and back to sleep again and it was seven thirty when I became compos mentis again, switched the light off and settled down once more.

I'd sorted out the landing carpet so that it would dry off after last night's storm, had a bonfire and eventually the family surfaced with coffee.  I put everything back where it should have been, opened up the umbrellas to dry them off and got my first load of washing out.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and a very lazy morning and we arrived in Djebel at one  and hit the shops for some electrical cabling to make a new kitchen light and more goodies for the snack box.  

Back home for three and really we haven't done much, finished preparing for the new arrivals on Friday,  I cooked pork steaks with sweet and sour sauce together with some barbecued ribs out of a packet all served with air fried chips.  I did manage to paint the lid of the old/new box for the terrace pots, not sure it's the correct colour but it wil soon fade in the sun.  We've just been advised that there's a change to the inbound and outbound flights frim Stanstead.....both to our advantage unfortunately they are still very anti-social flight times.

Sleepy now so signing off.  More in and then exiting ....going to be very busy. LN...... That's family for you.........LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 18, 2022, 6:20pm; Reply: 18
Thursday 18th August

Another sticky hot day in paradise.....the mosquitoes this year have been a real problem causing me to buy tablets to take to stop the blasted damage itching at night.  I was alright by the bonfire this morning, I worked up a full head of steam, everything caught first time but it burnt well when I put the lid on for safety and allowed me to get on with other things.  The family were still sleeping and to fill time I trimmed the new shoots from the rounded bushes and neatened them all up.  I got into a bit of a pickle though, the slow bushes that I was trimming had very sharp thorns and as the trimmings fell I made the mistake of treading on one of them and one of the thorns went straight through the sole of the silly shoes I was wearing and as I hopped out of it and put more pressure on the other, another thorn went through that one.  Eventually I sorted myself out, picked up the branches as they fell and gained control of the situation, sending every thing over the wall for the animals.  I does look much neater out there and shows off the others that grow naturally in other shapes.

The family came to around nine, breakfast of cheese, ham and boiled eggs that my daughter had done perfectly, soft but not runny in the centre, yogurts for afters and that did me through until we went out for a meal tonight.  I finished off the cover on the sunbed sitting in the shade on the terrace. put it back on the frame, returned to my perching spot and promptly went to sleep for about an hour or so and felt much better for it.  Beautiful day again and fortunately the breeze got up this afternoon, the two umbrellas had been secured to the balcony so stayed intact.  Shower and hair washed this afternoon so it was a steady procession between the bathrooms and the lounge watching television in dressing gowns until we got ready for the restaurant tonight.  

We tried the central restaurant, I've been there before but now they have a menu that has a rough translation of almost anything on there.  One or two things you have to have a stab at but generally we got what we wanted, too much of everything but we all came away feeling full as little ticks.  A quick stop off at the supermarket for a top up for the beers and lemonade.....and I still remain t-total and able to drive while the others will be able to drink.  LN....Ready for my bed tonight...late pick up at the airport tomorrow in Plovdiv for the rest of the crew......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 20, 2022, 7:12pm; Reply: 19
Saturday 20th August

So firstly, sorry about last night, the flight was delayed and we didn't get back to base until one in the morning, the children were hungry.  We eventually made it to our beds at three after toast, bread, ham, cheese, biscuits and crisps and lots of liquid to wash it down.  I woke up at the normal time and was having a bonfire at seven thirty and left the rest of the family to come round eventually, we breakfasted at ten and they were so surprised by the views from the house, it's the first time my son and his family have been here and they love it.  We did a search for the tortoise, I spotted Blue on the little house terrace and later Green God was seen chasing Rosy round and she was having none of it, it got quite vicious, Green God was snapping at Rosy so I know that nature should take its course but my grandson removed Green God and left Rosy to recover in the shrubbery.

I made the suggestion that we went to the swimming pool and this was immediately taken up and at eleven we were in the Beast and heading into Kardjali and the Residentia Hotel.  It was quite busy but we managed to get six beds under a large square umbrella, my daughter's objective was to darken her tan, mine was to get in the water and do a few widths for exercise.  We left at five, Kaufland for a few items, home for six, chicken, pork and jacket potatoes in the oven and salads were made, we've all stuffed well and there was a moment of entertainment when one of the new comers left the fly screen open to the terrace and it was open house for a while.  We managed to get everything out that should be, everything out that should be in was rescued and now everything is calm again.  A tin of fly spray has been dutifully sprayed as a precaution and let's hope for a peaceful night.

No plans for tomorrow so far, it might be a stroll to Ustra which should keep the energy levels of our twelve year old to a decent height.  LN.....A lovely day with the family and delicious food......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 21, 2022, 7:58pm; Reply: 20
Sunday 21st August

Another busy day and also night.  The thunder thundered and the lightning flashed and one of the upstairs door banged to so I went upstairs to investigate what was happening.  I went into my upstairs bedroom that's allocated to my daughter and her husband, the little window was wide open and the fan was creating quite a breeze as the wind got up with the storm.  Both were stretched out so I thought I didn't disturb them and as I got back to the middle of the landing, the bathroom door opened and my daughter-in-law was just exiting and I'm not sure who frightened each other more and so much so that we ended up hugging and off we went to our respective bedrooms.  I played sudoku until I got very sleepy and slept through until seven thirty and woke to a very dull morning, it wasn't raining but everything was very wet.  I sorted the cushions from the outside furniture, collected the washing that had been left out, rinsed it and gave it another spin and put it on the airer to dry inside the house.

We breakfasted well, got in the Beast and headed to Ustra, an old Byzantine fort from the tenth century.  We parked up, were told by a cyclist coming down that it was about a two kilometer hike and in retrospect I think he meant that the distance to the lodge was about that...he never mentioned that it was a very stony trek to the fort itself and when we got there the views were amazing.  There was a little pushing and shoving from the men of the outfit to get granny up to the top but well worth it.  The downward descent was almost as harrowing and some of it was done on my bottom but we reached ground zero safely.  Back to the Beast and returned home and around five there was a deputation from the ladies of the village bringing gifts and the family were all paraded and I thank the ladies from the bottom of my heart.  It's good for my family to see that I live in a village where not only am I accepted but am part of the community.

Everyone showered before we went out to eat at the pizza restaurant.  The waitress was frightened to speak English when we arrived but soon started to practice her English and was doing very well.  Back home all stuffed to the gills.  I've put the cushions away all ready just in case it rains tonight, the washing that's waiting will go on the airer instead of the line and now I'm off to bed.  We have lots of photos from today but it's going to take time to get them off phones and the booze was flowing well tonight and being chauffeur....I was booze for me thank you.  Tomorrow we're off to sun and his family are leaving but in the afternoon we shall be looking at the old town and leaving them at the airport around seven for the plane.  LN.....Pictures I promise tomorrow......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 23, 2022, 5:46pm; Reply: 21
Tuesday 23rd August

What a busy day yesterday and sorry there was no update.  I was up bright and early, usual trek round the garden looking for tortoise and joined by the grand-children armed with cherry tomatoes and melon, back in the house for a family breakfast and eventually everyone was packed up, son, wife and grandchildren and heading off towards Plovdiv.  Their plane wasn't until ten at night but we were hoping to get to the Old Town in Plovdiv.  We didn't get off as quickly as planned, I took my son over to see Avatar and she was so pleased to meet him, my daughter met her about five years ago so will catch up with her before she leaves on Saturday evening but this time from Sofia.

We must have eventually got away by one thirty and was passing Plovdiv airport around four.  I'd suggested to the boys that one drove and the other navigated and there was no enthusiasm for the driving so I said I would do it.  I've got this aversions to Plovdiv, don't know the roads, ring roads etc but said to number one son that he had to give me direct instruction to the Old Town and we were very fortunate to find a free parking spot in the centre.  We found the underground excavations and the mosque in the centre, my DIL Googled restaurants and found a Turkish one near to the where the car was parked, dinner was good and the only draw back was that they didn't take cards and fortunately I had enough cash to cover it until my son went to the cash point in the Airport.  We left the airport around eight o'clock and left them to it, we drove home and by the time we arrived were all knacked and ready for bed.  It was a long day.

Today as been leisurely, I was walking the garden , putting out the cushions on the terrace, setting me up with What's App, feeding tortoise and we eventually set off for Kardjali around eleven.  We did the shoe shop but it hadn't got the ones that my daughter wanted. the chemist for Repairil Gel for my SIL.s bad back, coffee break, cheapy clothes shop and hardware shop to see if I could get a new plug for the kitchen sink.  I'd made a silicon seal this morning and it sort of worked but wanted to get a new one if possible.  We did but it didn't fit but does now after modification with a Stanley knife.  We decided to have supper in the Pizza restaurant in town, all too lazy to cook and eventually drove home via the supermarket in Djebel.  

We're now in the middle of a thunderstorm so I shall be wrapping this up soon.  It's been forecast rain and thunderstorms for the next few days.  LN.....Now lets see if I can find some photos from the last few days......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 24, 2022, 8:47pm; Reply: 22
Wednesday 24th August

This morning was a day for sorting out the rest of the bed linen and two wash loads done, pegged out before breakfast.  That too was a less chaotic affair catering for three instead of seven.  I had a bonfire to clear the debris, the clouds were gathering and it's been that was all day.  Around eleven the first rain drops appeared and the three of us ran out and brought in the almost dry washing, on to the clothes airer and doors upstairs and now everything is put away.  

As for the rest of the day, we have done very little except try to reconnect my wifi printer and get it to print.  We cleaned it several times, it's the one that went back to the shop since it was only printing green and not the other colours, supposedly fixed yet is still doing the same thing.  The plan was to print off a difficult sudoku, each have a copy to see how we would do and in the end I created a template, the numbers that we had from my daughter's phone were copied over and we copied one for each of us from the Brother printer.  Lots of crisps were eaten this afternoon while watching films, the threatened thunder didn't appear until this evening and the flashes have appeared in the sky with very little noise to accompany them.  We cooked pork chops with spicy sauce that we'd bought the other day for supper, chippies in the air-fryer and mashed potatoes with baked beans was an option but the crisps had put me out of kilter and I really didn't do the food justice.

We went back to a little more TV, I was nodding off and I decided that I might as well take the kindle into the bathroom with me and settle down in the bath to catch up on my beauty sleep as per normal which I did but I did remember to put the kindle on the side table. I went back downstairs and have started watching from episode three a series that I've already watched and fortunately it must have been a while ago, I've forgotten most of it.  The rest of the house have taken to their bed, I'm about to go downstairs and take to mine, out for supper tomorrow if it can be arranged.   LN.....And the thunder continues......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 25, 2022, 10:16pm; Reply: 23
Thursday 26th August

Woke up this morning to grim weather.  You could hardly see the hillsides, the rain did stay away for time and we managed to get a couple of loads from the machine on to the line and it came in just before the rain came down this afternoon.  Breakfast was the usual bean feast, ham, eggs, toast and yogurt and Mrs Cat benefitted, the ham was on the cusp and despite the limp she managed to make her way over towards me but shot off when I approached her.  I also took to weeding the old vegetable bed and only one section of it for the job to be completed and I felt quite pleased with myself.

This afternoon we had another sudoku challenge but this time it wasn't against each other.  I used the kindle, my daughter used her phone as did her husband and the challenge came when we progressed from intermediate to hard as you like against the clock.  The more I looked at some of them the more difficult it got until I decided I'd had enough.  We quit at around five, I showered and washed my hair and we took it in turns and were all squeaky clean for going out for supper with the garage owner and family including my old and new student.  We met them at the restaurant at seven, my older student was sitting with his friends outside and they were all wrapped in grey fleece blankets provided by the restaurant to stave off the cold and damp. He joined us as we went inside and his parents and the younger student appeared and we pushed two tables together and settled down with the menus.

We ordered lots of food, cheesy chips and salad and Turkish kebabs, beer for the lads and soft drinks for the rest of us.  The conversation round the table was interesting, as for my twelve year old student he kept up with the conversation well, he's a joy to teach.  Food over I settled the bill, there was opposition from the family but since I'd invited them, no way were they paying.  We stopped off at the supermarket and bought fresh bread for breakfast and a few more goodies and again, I'm late with the update but at least I managed to do it.  Kardjali tomorrow and a final run round the shops to see if there are a few things that my daughter finds impossible to return to the UK without. Tomorrow we have another supper date and the diet will start for me after my daughter has left and they are under strict instructions that everything in the 'goody box' has to be devoured.  LN......Time I went to bed......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 26, 2022, 8:23pm; Reply: 24
Friday 26th August

It's been another busy old day.  Cleared up the terraces and put everything back in its place.  The wind had moved a few things and I needed to open the umbrellas to dry them off.  I put one of the cushions out on the bench and that was fine until it started raining again soon afterwards so it all had to go back into the box.  The weather picked up again, we managed breakfast without any problems, tried target practice with a few of the tomatoes that had gone slightly over just as my neighbour stopped me at the gate and gave me more.  I started up the Nipper to go into Kardjali and it was making a funny noise, didn't sound right so I investigated under the bonnet and could see nothing odd.  The tail end of the exhaust pipe was rattling against the back cill so I made the decision that we would go into Kardjali with the Beast and we stopped off at the garage and asked for a few hints or tips as to what it could be.  It was a pretty vague request and their advice was to drive it into the garage and I wasn't happy with doing that so I phoned the garage after Kardjali and arranged for the car to be picked up and delivered to them.  Worth forty lev of anyone's money.

So in Kardjali my daughter bought a few things and we stopped off at a cake shop and enjoyed very rich fruit and cream cakes with coffee, Lidl for a few things and I complained about my printer in the electrical shop and was told to take it back and they would look at it.  I mentioned that I'd spent another two hours trying to get it to work and thought it should be returned to the manufacturers yet again.  Home and the Nipper was picked up at three thirty and delivered to the garage, we watched Countdown until the television started to play up and not lock on to the programme and then got ready, we were out for supper tonight at a new restaurant.  We arrived at the friend's house at just after six, a quick view of the house and over to the restaurant by seven and had a fabulous meal and the bill was picked up for us despite my offer to go halves.  I dropped the friends off, drove to Momchilgrad to put some fuel in for tomorrow for the trip to the airport and got home by ten thirty.  My daughter is still packing trying to get a quart into a pint pot but has time until tomorrow to bin things or just leave them here for the next time.    Now it's time for me to get my head down, I'm feeling jaded today and I'm going to miss them both when they go, the house will be so empty.  LN......Come back soon my loverlies......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 27, 2022, 5:45pm; Reply: 25
Saturday27th August

The alarm brought me into the world at seven thirty and it was all go and action stations for the whole crew.  The bed was stripped, washing went in and two loads pegged out before we left. Eggs boiled for breakfast and served with ham, cheese and sliced tomato, very continental, dishes washed and put away, Gemski's bag packed, unpacked and finally packed and the dress I'd given her was folded and put to the bottom of the bag not rolled and making a nuisance of itself.  We went round the village, found the ladies and handed out the goody bags, make a special effort with Avatar and she was very close to tears, I told her that I was coming back and that made her cry even more.

Into the Beast just before eleven and we decided to take the Haskovo route but it's the first and last time for me, I much prefer going over the mountain route, not so much traffic and not so boring.  Once we got on the A! it's two lane, lorries and cars and idiots of every nationality that really do speed with very little thought for anyone else.  I didn't push the Beast too much, one toilet break and to  shake out my shoulders and we managed to park up at the airport in Sofia at around three thirty.  I didn't stay long, they wanted me to get back in the daylight, flashed the parking ticket at the machine and it said that I could leave without payment.  I drove to the checkpoint, asked the man to help me since the scanner is on the opposite side from the drivers, told him there was nothing to pay and he said that it was four lev.  I said that the machine indicated that there was nothing to pay but I obviously wasn.t quick enough getting to the car-park barrier.  So drove through a no-entry, managed to find the payment machine, paid the four lev, drove back to the barrier but by this time my help-mate was inside the cubicle.  I held up the ticket and from inside he upped the barrier and I escaped...I think he took pity on me.

Everything was fine with the journey back until I got to Plovdiv and got totally lost again because of the road works.  Eventually stumbled on a place I recognised, followed my nose and entered Ascenovgrad from a different road but found my way to the centre of town and I was back on the open road. I didn't stop off at my favourite restaurant along the route, just kept going and arrived home just before eight so not bad going.  I've had a shower and into my PJ's and it won't be long before my little head hits the pillow.  The goody box had been raided already and I've got bacon snacks for supper and on my second glass of fizzy water.  As expected the house seems deserted, it's been all systems go for the last three weeks and tomorrow if the weather is good I'm off to the pool.  LN.....Now to What's App the family.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 28, 2022, 5:19pm; Reply: 26
Sunday 28th August

So Sunday is the day of rest and it has been.  Back to the normal toast for breakfast, walked the garden in my dressing gown and was in it until about twelve.  I was in the house around ten thirty and I heard a strange knocking, realised it was close to the building but not on a door of the house so went to investigate and there was a young man there who spoke perfect English.  He said that he had heard that there was an English lady living in the village and he'd come to investigate. I was rather surprised by this and curious so I opened the gate and let him in and we sat on the terrace.  He wanted to know why I was here, how long I had been here and how did I get on with the language because everyone speaks Turkish here.  I answered most of his questions and he had to answer mine as well.  He was born in Sweden when his family moved there from Bulgaria when the troubles began.  Some of his uncles went to Turkey, his grandfather has a house in the next village and he was over visiting and doesn't speak any Bulgarian at all.  He loved my house, the garden and we managed to find Blue, my tortoise and he was intrigued that I considered it to be a pet.  He stayed for about thirty minutes, I wished him well and off he went.  I popped over to my Avatar not long after he'd left and she had clocked him already.  They certainly don't miss much here.

I came back and fixed the gate, the top bolt had become loose and last time I mended it by stuffing cocktail sticks into the hole.  This time I put in part of a dowel, replaced the bolt and it seems to have held.  I really should empty the hole, put new wood in but's fixed.  I had intended going to the pool today but instead started moving stuff to the place where it lived not existed for the last three weeks.  I didn't managed to make my bed up upstairs but maybe later and my nomadic lifestyle, downstairs for the winter and upstairs for the summer could begin.  I ws pretty lazy this year, we had such a bad start with weather that I never made the move and then the children were coming so I just didn't bother.  Now I can.

The goody box has been well and truly hit this afternoon and cashew nuts gone, jelly babies gone, chocolates gone but not the peanut ones.  That would have meant getting up and I was installed in front of the TV with Netflix.  I had a programme running but slept through most of it and feel much better for it.  Yesterday's four hour driving had taken its toll and after a good night's sleep tonight, I shall be fine.  I did have an update on the Nipper, the exhaust section will be delivered and fitted tomorrow so should be ready to pick up after lunch.  I'll phone them around lunchtime and probably catch the Monday one o'clock bus or drive the Beast in and get them to check out the squeaky brakes.  So no supper required tonight, I might manage another packet of crisps later/  I also spotted a few cans and a bottle of beer in the little house today and several bottles of fizzy water and pop.....I'll take some over to Avatar's, they drink the fizzy orange and lemonade, I just prefer the water.  Very hot this afternoon but gusty wind leaving the umbrella jammed between the window and the balcony but soon removed and back to normal.  LN.....Back to Netflix and Kleo.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 29, 2022, 4:56pm; Reply: 27
Monday 29th August

So up really early this morning but there's been very little activity for the rest of the day.  I watered the pots on the terrace to keep them going, collected the rubbish and had a bonfire and while it was burning with the lid on the bucket I went on a tortoise hunt.  I found Blue first, started to walk back towards the top of the garden and heard funny squeaking noises coming from the bed near the walnut tree so went to investigate.  Green god was really attacking Rosy and se was valiantly fighting him off, there was lots of biting going on so I went back to the house to get the camera but by the time I got back, the fun was over, Rosy was in the recovery position and Green god was making his escape back along the short wall.  I do know that if the males successfully 'lock in, it can take a long while for the mating to be successful but I don't think she gave him the opportunity.  Good girl, I have enough tortoise in my garden.

I went back to the house and decided to clear out the rest of the bottles of fizzy and beer from the workshop and took them over to Avatar's house.  I thought the bottle of beer would do for the workmen with it being so hot and the fizzy I know she would drink.  She was over with the other women when I went into her garden but came back, I sat down and waited for her and then there was some confusion that she wanted a long stick and eventually I found out it was to shake the walnuts off the tree, I thought it was early but she's preparing to leave for Germany.  I mentioned that I had cans of beer that was left from my visitors and she announced that her son was coming unexpectedly from Germany tomorrow so at least there'll be an outlet for them.  Next minute she was up the ladder and picking white grapes from the vine in the yard, she said that the ladder wasn't very stable so maybe I've got to go over with mine.  As I was leaving with my grapes, my painter was walking towards me and stopped for a chat, he said that if I needed anything to let him know but he had lots of work on his house, inside and out and that was now his occupation.

The rest of the afternoon I've been watching Netflix and doing very little else.  I did pass on a snippet to my daughter that I picked up from Loose Women that mayonnaise will remove the sticky patch from the skin left by the HRT patches.  She sent me back a Bob Square Pants meme with a thank you note....Almost eight my time and I've been picking from the goody box all day so no supper for me.  I didn't phone about the Nipper....didn't want to rush them.  I have a lesson with my student tomorrow so probably go up in the Beast, leave it at the garage and come back in the Nipper......I'll see how the land lies.  LN......Bath tonight, sudoku and kindle......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 30, 2022, 5:32pm; Reply: 28
Tuesday 30th August

So nearly another month gone and what a busy one it's been.  Children and grandchildren been and gone and it's almost as if it didn't happen, it was just too quick, conversations that should have happened didn't, no time to just 'be'.....we did a lot but I'm still processing the few days that we had the house full.  

Seven start this morning, stripped my downstairs bed, washed the bedding and have made it up for tonight.  I'm still not sure whether or not I've got more visitors this week or the beginning of next so I've not moved upstairs which I intended doing.  Some of the clothes have made it upstairs and the bathroom is back to normal so getting there.  I made a cheese and ham omelette for breakfast, the news on the Nipper is that the plug and injectors have been replaced but they're still waiting for the exhaust part to arrive and I cancelled my lesson with my student.  Instead I took to the sofa and watched the end of the series I started watching yesterday and then slept for a couple of hours.  

Avatar has been busy.  Her son arrived from Germany yesterday so I have an outlet for the beer that was left and I took them over tonight.  My present from him was a Union Jack flag but I couldn't thank him, he's taken off for four days to a spa resort with the family and poor mother is left with a bathroom half finished, the boiler isn't working so she has no hot water and the electrics in the living area don't work so she's no lights or television.  Undeterred she finished mowing the grass tonight after I left, she looks really tired but determined to finish everything before she goes to Germany on the seventh.  I've just finished supper and cooked it in my new air fryer....chicken bread crumbed fillet and chippies and I was trying out the machine unsupervised and without glasses I couldn't tell which was the temperature control or the timer so out came the manual and tasted good.  

Grass tomorrow if the weather is OK.....I've got so many mole hills that I should get a mini-roller to go over them to flatten them out, there are a few really bare patches and others where the weeds have really taken off but the mower should sort them out.  LN......It's all go in my neck of the woods......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, August 31, 2022, 5:14pm; Reply: 29
Wednesday 31st August

Funny old day weatherwise.  It was a descent start to the day, I had bun loaf for breakfast as I must have missed the van this morning, Avatar's sought me out, she'd taken up the Zinnias from her garden in preparation for her departure to Germany for the winter and offered me the seed heads.  I followed her over the road, she was up to her eyes in work since her son and family have gone off to the spa leaving her to prepare the house for departure.  She looked absolutely knacked.  When the other ladies saw me in the garden they came over and took up positions on the outside chairs, Avatar got more from the garage and suddenly there was an upheaval and they two of them made their way into the house to see what the workmen had been up to.  Beyser added her two stotinki's worth asking why the toilet was under the window and not up the corner and couldn't understand that a shower cubicle was going in at a later date so Avatar gave up.  I noticed that there was completed load of washing in the machine in the bathroom so I suggested that we empty it since she had another load waiting, I took it outside and began pegging it out, she brought the rest and we worked together and the other ladies went on their way.  We sat down for ten minutes or so, I grabbed my bucket with the seed heads and came home and worked up to starting with the mowing machine with very little enthusiasm,

Eventually I went out and the machine was picking up more dust than cutting grass and three quarters down the big house grass I'd had enough and needed a drink.  This stretched to eating a packet of crisps and some biscuits, Netflix went on as the clouds rolled over, the sky went dark and the thunder and lightning started so I just carried on watching more episodes.  Eventually I went out again, the mower was parked up under the walnut tree but the primer on the machine just wouldn't prime the fuel.  It must have done around seven years service and I remembered I had a new one filed with the manual so I found it in the filing system and replace the old one that had no whoomph left in it.  By this time the will to carry on had dissipated completely so I put the machine away, had a visit from my neighbours over the field delivering a bag of pears from their garden.  I offered to pay, they told me it was a gift and that all the village ladies had had some.  The wife admired my garden and invited me over to see hers since she loves flowers too.

Beast back in the garage, update on Nipper repairs, apparently the part was order, was expected but has gone AWOL between its departure and arrival and it's under investigation.....and further update expected tomorrow.  I've told the garage that there's no rush, I've got plenty of food in and I might as well catch the bus in on Friday's market day.  After a quick phone call to my daughter I now know how to remove the tray from the air cooker for was just a matter of finding the switch and pressing it....old dog and new tricks.  LN......Grass awaits for tomorrow.......LN
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