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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  APRIL 2023
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 1, 2023, 8:13pm
Saturday 1st April

Well I've seen no April 1st jokes here in the newspapers and I'm what the UK had to offer.  I slept well but woke up in good time to fetch my painter who was starting work with me over the next few days.  I was just getting the car out to fetch him and he arrived with one of his friends.  It was good that he did, I'd put most of the things that I thought we would need in a storage container, found out the old paint that we were going to get more of and generally started to get organised.  I don't think he understood that I was quite used to getting these sorts of things, not your average type so we set off for Kardjali and off to Basmar, the DIY shop.  He insisted that we put the half can of paint in the car so that we could identify colour and type but I went straight to the shelf, without the half can and found the one that we needed.  It had got a huge dark brown sticker on the lid but he was trying to find the printed word that it was 'dark brown' and despite his desperate searching, he didn't find it but I knew it was the right one. We picked up rollers, brushes and thinners and headed home.  He changed into his work clothes in the little house and I set about clearing the shrubs from the railings over the wall so that he could have a clear run at it, sanding it down and then painting it.  He's finished from the garage to the gate and also half of the second section from the gate towards the grave garden.  

I'm absolutely knacked.  I cleared the roses and the rest of the shrubs but the biggest problem was the honeysuckle.  It had threaded itself round the railings and was difficult to remove.  I started off burning what I was removing but in the end I threw it over the wall and time will rot it down I'm sure.  I carried on along the wall and it got worse not better and where the wild rose was, it is no more but not much more to do and then I start on the side railings but those shrubs are not so heavy so I can pull them forward and hopefully they will spring back into place.  I took him back to his home, put my tools away and dressed quickly to go over to Fotinovo, we were out to supper tonight and I was more or less on time.  We were first into the restaurant, ordered food and sat over it for about two and half hours talking about how our lives have crossed since they moved to Bulgaria.  Situations change but friendships remain.  There was an almighty storm while we were in the restaurant, I've just dropped her home and some big puddles and lots of fog on the way back.  Home safe and sound, not often that I'm out this late....passed the bewitching hour for me.  LN.....Pictures time to take them today.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 2, 2023, 5:54pm; Reply: 1
Sunday 2nd April

So the rain from last night must have drenched everywhere and the result was that I couldn't see the bottom of the garden.  The patchy fog from last night had turned into a dense on this morning and so my painter who was supposed to arrive at nine eventually turned up at twelve.  I appreciate that it's not his fault that it rained and it's difficult to paint when it's raining but I'm sure I could have found him other work to chopping logs.  I did manage to fill my time with poached eggs for breakfast and what a surprise it was when there was a double yolker...not seen one of those for years.  So breakfast over and washing up done, the sun was now breaking through so I went out and started clearing the debris that I'd left when I was removing shrubs from the railings.  I anticipated that he would carry on where he left off but I made an executive decision, the railings on the balconies were completely dry when he arrived so I set him to work on those and I'm pleased to say that they are both done.  

As for me I've had a day of activity.  The debris from the railing clearout is either burnt or over the bottom wall to disintegrate with time.  I can't see it, it's not a problem.  I'd thought about using the new burning barrel, got it down the bottom of the garden but had half emptied the old one so carried on and decided that there was still some wear in it so it's still in play.  The cans are waiting in the log carrier for me to wheel it to the container at the bottom of the village but that's not crucial.  I dug up the old elderberry roots from near the little garden at the back of the terrace and made a surround for it and will plant it up later.  This prompted the old engine oil and paint brush coming out and the wood surround on everything in the main garden has been saturated in the stuff and I watched the insects leave their hidey holes and head for fresh pastures...sorry bugs.  As I said it's been a busy day but I did almost fall over my painter as he made his peace with his head guy a couple of times this afternoon.  I hope he was asking that we'd have no rain tomorrow!!

I drove him home, chicken winds and jacket potatoes into the oven for supper, lit the fire, ran a bath all in the space of about ten minutes.  Stretched out and enjoyed the brief moment and now to get supper underway...just need butter for the potatoes.  LN......Only six thousand steps feels like more......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 3, 2023, 7:42pm; Reply: 2
Monday 3rd Apiol

So I was a awake really early, five thirty and it was all go this morning.  The fire was still going so I loaded it up and kept it going all day today, it was cold, threatened rain but it managed to stay off until around lunch time.  My painter chappie arrived at nine, mixed his paint and started work and was able to finish the next two panels so now my railings over the wall are completed to where the lane starts and two balconies are done.  By half twelve he was ready to hang up his paint brush, there were a few spots of rain around eleven so he was sanding down some of the other railings towards the final corner but then it came, not heavy enough to call rain but too damp to continue.  Meanwhile I carried on clearing the shrubs and honeysuckle from the wall so that he could get to the railings and now the garden looks bare but I've left untwined honeysuckle so that I can put it back onto the fence when it's eventually finished and it should come back again fairly easily.

I offered to take him home but he was off to his friends house.  There were other jobs that he could have done, one of the metal and slat benches needs sanding down and repainting but he didn't spot that and neither did I until he'd left and let's see what tomorrow brings weatherwise.  I think we're in for more of the same.  I finished putting my tools away and was quite pleased that I could come down from the pace that I'd been keeping up to clear the site for him.  I snuggled down by the fire this afternoon and put my feet up and at five went into Djebel to put some petrol in the Nipper, I had a couple of days running on petrol when the gas ran out and now everything is topped up.  I also went to the cash point and took out the money to pay the man if he turns up tomorrow and it probably wont be for work looking at the weather now.  Shame it wasn't finished but it is what it is, a quick stop at the supermarket for fresh bread and some nibbles for when my daughter arrives, topped up the fire and that was me settled.

I made supper when I got home.  The intention was to put a pork shop in the oven with barbecue sauce but that didn't happen.  I put it on the griddle on top of the cooker  and had it as a sandwich.  I looked around for a film to watch and settled on 'Irishman' which had rave reviews and was more of an historic piece about American politics pre and post Kennedy and the strength of the unions at that time.  Eye opening but long.  Almost eleven my time and time for bed.  LN.......Soon to welcome arrivals......better start making beds up......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 4, 2023, 6:28pm; Reply: 3
Tuesday 4th April

And it started so well!!  Last night I slept through part of the film I was watching, woke up and went to bed and not an ounce of sleep in me and at one I was still wondering  whether I would sleep or not.  I went into a strange dream state, this continued on and off most of the night and I woke up suddenly and still dreaming.  It was only five thirty.  The fire was still going so I coaxed it into life, the house wasn't cold but I didn't want it to get cool.  I had washing to do and intended drying it inside and it was as well that I'd made a plan.

Toast for breakfast, cleaned the corners of the kitchen and was surprised to see my painter chappie so opened up the workshop and the little house for him.  He gets ready for work in the little house and keeps the paint and all the 'gubbins' that goes with his job in the woodstore.  It had rained over night but had stopped and the sky was quite bright at nine.  He started on the little house terrace and I helped him to sort out the two fir trees at the base of the wall using a sheet of hardboard and some blocks of wood.  He mainly wanted it out of the way when he was painting and we had quite a lot of time to go before he got to that stage.  So I finished cleaning downstairs, shower room done, my bedroom done, kitchen done, winter lounge and main lounge done.  Just the TV to more rooms tomorrow and the porch to clear out.  Next job was to make up the bed upstairs and as I sorted through the linen chest I realised that some of it wanted freshening up.  I also made the mistake of washing one of the quilts, it was difficult to get in the machine and made a horrible sound as it was rotating in the drum so much so that I stopped it mid-cycle and before it would let me open the door I had to put it on a 'drain' program and then it finished and tinkled at me.  I emptied the quilt into one of the large containers and it's still on the line and getting re-rinsed but the rain.  Just got to hoover upstairs and that won't take long at all.

The painter painted and we decided that there was nothing for it but for him to put his brush away around one thirty.  I offered to take him home when the heavens opened, we had a very sudden hailstorm which soon changed to heavy rain so I grabbed the keys and took him home leaving the Nipper outside the gate with the intention of going into Kardjali and my bank.  The Nipper is still sitting outside the yard, I got consumed with washing and drying the stuff that I didn't make the trip but I managed to get my head down for an hour or so and felt much better for it.  The fire is still going strong, the guest bedroom is made up and I'll do the bank and shopping in the morning, the flight gets in around eleven thirty so I can expect visitors around four thirty tomorrow afternoon...plenty of time.  Not really into much supper and nine thirty my time...where's the day gone.  LN......It was a very sudden heavy storm....not nice for the serious gardeners.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 5, 2023, 8:33pm; Reply: 4
Wednesday 5th April

Full on day, more rain so no painter today.  I set about the house with the hoover, mop and bucket at the ready, made up the spare room since my son-in-law has gone down with a hacking cough and sore throat.  The move ensures that my daughter gets all the sleep she needs and deserves.  I didn't stop for breakfast and eventually headed for the shower and hair wash around ten thirty and in the Nipper by eleven heading to the shops to fill up the fridge and the goody box with goodies.....we thrive on goodies and treats when we all get together.  Shopping over in Kardjali and just a few things to get in Djebel, everything put away so I made coffee waiting for my guests and eventually they arrived at five.

It was lovely to see them both....they came armed with more goodies for the box and an alcoholic selection for the ailing son in law who has taken to a honey, lemon, rum mixture and he went to bed happy around ten after we'd finished supper.  I sat chatting to my daughter, the older we both get the more we realise that she definitely is a chip off the old block and we are proud of each other which is lovely.  She's off to bed. it's eleven thirty my time so time I should be getting my head down too.  Sorry it's late tonight and no photos of the miserable weather but who wants to look at pictures of rain clouds.  LN.....Nothing planned for tomorrow so far, we'll see how the patient is in the morning.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 6, 2023, 7:13pm; Reply: 5
Thursday 6th April

So I woke up at five, realised it was too early to disturb the house so I managed to get back to sleep until eight...late for me but good for the household.  I made coffee for myself, being downstairs I'm out of everybody's way but was aware of my SIL coughing really badly so I made a lemon and honey drink and took it up to him in the spare room.  He wasn't ostracised but at least both of them had a peaceful night despite his coughing and the drink was very welcoming.  I'd used an old lemon and that was the last so I decided to head into Djebel early and was in the Nipper by nine buying throat tablets that had been prescribed for me. more for throat and temperature, lemons from the supermarket and back home just before ten and could tend to the ailing.  We didn't do much this morning just had a pleasant catch up and came up with a plan to go into Kardjali so that my Princess could by more legging identical to the ones that she'd bought last year and fortunately they had them in stock.  She's so pleased with them that she bought two pairs and more will be bought the next time we go in....half price to the ones that you get in the UK and much better quality.

A quick trip to Lidl to find something for supper and we settled for burgers. chips and beans...not exactly Michelin but the company was brilliant.  Nothing on the agenda so far for depends on the weather.  Today it was a cloudy start. it didn't really pick up until late this afternoon and we had the most amazing views of the sun on the mountains at close of play.  They've just had showers and into gym-jams for a last hour of Netflix before we head for the wooden hills.  LN......Let's see what tomorrow brings...I'm equally excited about what we get up to........LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 7, 2023, 5:05pm; Reply: 6
Friday 7th April

The days with my daughter and SIL seem to be passing very quickly but at least he had a better morning's sleep even though he had a disturbed night coughing his little socks off.  I was up at seven thirty, load of washing in, and lighting a bonfire by eight.  I didn't remember that I'd filled up the burning bucket with debris from my wall cleaning so that the painter could apply his paint to the railings and had to clear the rubbish so that I could get it started.  Eventually I got a good burn up, filled it up with the household rubbish, put the lid on it and left it to its own devices.  The smoke appeared to be blowing in all directions but it was far away from the washing line not to be a problem.  I was just walking back up the garden when I saw Princess coming towards me with the washing and pegs so together we pegged it out, it wasn't a brilliant morning but it eventually cleared a little, the wind picked up and I eventually brought it in around three this afternoon.

Princess and I made breakfast, my SIL was catching up on lost sleep and he eventually appeared around lunch time, we dosed him up with more tablets, he sat in the lounge until he had repaired his throat enough to start answering our unending questions as to how he was feeling.  He didn't needs to tell us to go away, we got the vibes.  I'd lit the fire early that morning and I've kept it going all day.  Inside the house twenty four degrees, outside it peaked at ten degrees so the washing came in and was put on the airer in front of the woodburner, we were all comfortable in the lounge, I sat doing an 'very difficult' Sudoku and Princess attacking the Telegraph crossword and soon the clock raced round to three thirty....where was the day and holiday going.

I've just put supper in the oven. spiced pork and home made wedges and we've got loads of salad stuff to have with it.  Coffee and cake took up most of the afternoon and at the moment I'm really not hungry....but by time supper is ready I should be ready for it.  We cancelled going out for supper with my family in Djebel....SIL is still not well enough to be out and about so it's been rearranged for Monday.  LN......Now to attend to supper.....I have guests to feed.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 8, 2023, 7:03pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 8th April

I was awake at seven this morning, I'd taken to my virtuous couch around twelve last night, taken a very difficult Sudoku to bed, fallen asleep over it and woke up with the light on.  Ah well!!  I ended up rubbing out the numbers, I didn't managed to do it so had another attempt this morning but still not managed it.  Princess printed off another one for the three of us and I managed to do that before breakfast...not easy but interesting.  We all sat down to breakfast together which was a first...normally the day moves on and we suddenly realise it's going to be renamed 'Brunch'.  We even got to have three meals today.

The rest of the morning was taken up with more Sudoku and Bulgarian lessons for my daughter.  We worked our way through various crib sheets and half the fun of it is remembering hot to write the letters and how to say them.  The thing about Bulgarian is that you always pronounce the letter the same way whereas in England it can be pronounced differently and it becomes very confusing.  She's doing well and even writing down English words using Bulgarian letters so that she gets used to the sounds.  I'm very proud of her.  So we went through the usual morning pattern, logs in but I didn't bother lighting the fire.  We'd had a frost overnight and the mist had to burn off before there was anything resembling a sun up in the sky and as it happened, it didn't stay long.  Around one Princess was pegging out washing and we were walking the garden and naming shrubs as we went and out of the blue the man who'd painted my railings appeared to finish the job since rain had stopped play before.  He asked if it was convenient to finish the job so I said yes and now I'd given myself more work by having to clear the rest of the shrubs from the wall down the long side.  He got changed and prepared himself for work, I found the long rope to virtually lasso the bushes and pull them away from the wall and railings so that he could paint them.  Princess gave me a hand and we left the man in peace to get on with the job.  Princess went back in the house after getting the washing in from the line to put it on the had little chance of drying.  It wasn't quite raining but miserable but not enough to stop the painter doing his stuff.  He finished around five, I got the Nipper out and loaded up the rubbish to go into the container and then paid the man and took him home.  Another job off the list.

Outside tidied and everything locked away, I put supper into the oven and we had home made chippies, steak, pork chops and oven roast tomatoes and I've just remembered I forgot to oven bake the garlic bread....It's for another day.  Princess was in charge of lighting and keeping the home fire burning and she'sits own done a good job of it.  Time to go downstairs and settle in front of the television with a's been another good day.  LN.....See what the weather is like tomorrow and we might find a restaurant for lunch........LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 9, 2023, 7:23pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 9th April

Happy Easter, eggs for breakfast and chocolate Easter eggs for pudding.  It's been a very lazy day. Sudoku challenges. crossword puzzles, logs in, fire going, a little gardening and then back to the lounge.  Just a few emails to sort but nothing major with less junk emails batting around and why do people send them with no content.....what's that all about.

It's been a fairly sunny day but it's been a cold wind so I wasn't out for long and one o'clock came round really quickly so as I said there's not much to tell you except that I contacted a friend who has her son staying and asked if they'd like to go out to one of the local restaurants tonight and we picked them up at six.  We went to the one that I'd been to last week, ordered, hamburgers came with cheesy chips and a very pleasant night was had by all.  Home for ten and I relit the fire to keep it toasty overnight, it's going to be another damp day tomorrow by the looks of it.  LN.....Final full day tomorrow of my Princess and SIL, Kardjali and final shopping.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 10, 2023, 7:06pm; Reply: 9
Monday 10th April

Well I thought we were in for a super spring day, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and then it all changed.  The clouds came over, the temperature dropped, I managed to peg out a load of washing only to bring it in around an hour later to dry on the airer.  I was awake at seven, my daughter appeared eight thirty and my SIL eventually surfaced around eleven....he needed a good sleep after his racking cough has kept given him disturbed sleep for the last few nights.  We breakfasted without him, boiled eggs, mayo, cheese and toast, we were very continental this morning, lashing of coffee for me and biscuit tea for my daughter.  SIL went settled for little yogurts. The rest of the morning we were finishing off the sudoku and attempting a Telegraph cryptic crossword which my daughter downloads's fun to work on something like that together.

So at one we set off for Kardjali, the shopping list said leggings, cheap shop and anything else we couldn't live without.  The leggings we got, from the cheapy shop we got a cycling jersey as a silly present for SIL's brother and a dress for Princess.  As for anything else, we went into Kaufland and filled up with a load of crisps, sweets, chocolates for their journey back to Sofia tomorrow.  They are staying in an hotel tomorrow night, the hire car has to be back and the flight out is at approximate eleven fifteen and then sweet home and back to reality.  Princess is still on school holidays so doesn't go back until next week so has time to settle in to the routine.  Back home we dived into the chocolates, crisps and more nonsense filling time until we due to go out to the local restaurant with my student's parents, his brother and girlfriend...eight of us all together.  We booked an early table, arrived at the restaurant in pouring rain at six thirty and I phoned to let them know that we were there already.

Lovely meal and lots of food for all of us including cheesy chips and a shepherd's salad that I'd not had before.  There was lots of laughter round the table. my young student behaved perfectly and confidently spoke to Princess in English, my star pupil.  His elder brother was also my student and I did take him to England back in the day so he knows my family well.  All paid up, we said goodbyes and by now the rain was really coming down, a careful drive home, car away and the first job was to relight the fire and that's a job that Princess has taken to.  It reminds me of when I would get up early and try to beat my dad to making the fire for the house and I used to get told off if I didn't empty the ashes properly or clear the ashes from the grate.  That was a really long time ago but it's a memory of my father I cherish.  Fire going Princess made me a hot chocolate drink and she's told me to write that it's the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted.  Firstly she blew it up in the microwave and i had to add extra chocolate but yes, it was excellent.

Tomorrow they leave and I'll be sad to see them go.  I shall move up to the upstairs bedroom when they go, re-organise my clothes and clear the downstairs bedroom ready for whoever comes next.  I've got two potentials....let's see who makes it.  LN.....And now to find the fire and sit with them on their last night.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 11, 2023, 5:23pm; Reply: 10
Tuesday 11th April

Another cold miserable start to the day, it looked like the sun might break through but it was all a didn't really get going.  My neighbour from down the lower square had promised to bring round fluffy pancakes for breakfast for all of us for ten, I woke at seven thirty, the rest of the house was round and about by nine and then the morning slipped by and it was a rush to the finishing post to get washed and dressed by the allotted hour and I didn't manage it.  I was still in my reindeer dressing cow and cow print pyjama bottoms when she arrived and behind her came Zelinger, my favourite other lady from the village.  The two ladies entered with hugs all round, the pancakes were taken into the kitchen and deposited in a dish, Zelinger sat on the sofa while I went to the kitchen to find some pine tip honey for the pancakes.  Two seconds later the door went again and Haciber had seen the two ladies walking towards my house and had followed on behind not to be outdone bringing with her a box of chocolates to my guest.  We had a few giggles trying to open the jar of syrup, my young friend was trying to prize the top off and hitting the lid on the worktop so I wrestled it from her and did my usual trick of hitting the lid with the handle of the knife to break the seal and it immediately released much to the amusement of my ladies.  They've obviously not used that trick every time.  Off they went, we settled down so that my daughter could try the pancakes and they were a success.  She didn't go much for the pine tip honey but I really like it.

The rest of the morning was spent finishing off the packing, doing Sudoku and crosswords and they were ready at the pre-determined time of twelve to be in the car and heading for Sofia.  I waved them off, sad to see them go and it was at that point that I decided I really didn't want to head into Djebel and have the English lesson with my student.  I suddenly felt lost, the house was empty so I concentrated on the full washing basket and got that underway and onto the airer in the bathroom with it, the wind was cold, the air was damp and it was the best place for it.  I did manage to get out though and remove the restraining rope from the shrubs under the wall and twist the climbers back onto the railings.  I've finished most of the half bags of crisps from the goody box and the marshmallows took a hammering while I was watching 'The Gilmore Girls' on Netflix.  I'd lit the fire earlier so the house was comfortable and so much so that I got my head down for an hour or so and since the programme is all individual stories, I didn't miss anything.

It's eight thirty my time, I don't need supper I've filled up on rubbish, the fire needs another log and I shall have an early night.  My visitors will spend the night in Sofia and fly out tomorrow morning...they can have some time together before the flight and get back to being a couple.  LN.....It was really good to see them.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 12, 2023, 5:50pm; Reply: 11
Wednesday 12th April

I woke at eight this morning and found two hard boiled eggs in the fridge, made toast and had them with mayo.  A brown loaf went over the wall for the animals along with the heel of the white loaf, Cat was looking longingly but obviously not that hungry that it invested in the bread.  It sat on the grass for quite some time and then moved on to more lucrative pastures and not been spotted for the rest of the day.  I answered a few emails and messaged a few people then put the television on and did nothing for the next couple of hours or so...I'm still getting used to an  empty house so to speak with nothing pressing to do so I had to find something.  At twelve I stripped the bed in my upstairs bedroom and put the sheet and duvet cover in the machine, emptied the washing machine filter and gave it a good clean before I set it into motion, remembered to replace all the parts I'd removed and then pressed the button.  

I got dressed in warm clothes, that wind was still blowing a gale despite the fact that the sun was out with rolling clouds.  I found the strimmer and the apparently charged battery for it and set it into motion and it lasted all of twenty minutes before it had to go on charge again.  Having the bee in my bonnet that the grass had to be done, I brought out the petrol mower from the workshop, primed it and after a few attempts it came to life.  I did it in stages, firstly around the terrace to the big house, then the grave garden and eventually down to the mulberry tree.  I stopped for a chocolate bar and a bottle of water and forced myself to go back to it and managed to get down to the bottom of the garden, it was quite long in patches, the moles had had a field day down there so I was avoiding the lumps and bumps but hey...I did it.  At this point the clouds really came over and I thought we were in for a real storm so mower away under the balcony in the little house, everything locked away and I came in for something more substantial to eat settling for toasted bun loaf with butter.  The washing went on the airer in the bathroom, I lit the fire and settled down with tv and promptly went to sleep for an hour or so......the grass cutting had taken it out of me.

Not  a bad sunset tonight and in fact it didn't rain despite several warning signs.  Princess and SIL are home and nothing much on the agenda so far but things might change.  I've earmarked the Porto Largos market in Greece for Sunday if the weather is good and have a partner in crime ready lined up......I do like going there and so does she and we'll find a restaurant in Fanari further down the coast.  LN......Spring might have arrived.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 13, 2023, 6:17pm; Reply: 12
Thursday 13th April

Another seven's getting to be the norm.  I was a little bit slow off the mark this morning, I knew what the challenge was, the rest of the grass, the weather was in my favour but the enthusiasm to get out there and get on with it was slow to surface.  I made boiled eggs for breakfast with ham, mayo amd toast and the cat got the trimmings.  It obviously wasn't enough, cat sat on the terrace looking in the window but eventually decided that there wasn't any more forthcoming so went scouring the village for more.  I managed to wash up the dishes from yesterday and today, wiped down the units, folded the washing from yesterday and lay on the sofa and put on seemed like the right thing to do.  Just before twelve I switched it off and headed outside on a mission to finish the grass.

I finished half of it and again felt so tired that I came in at three when the petrol ran out, grabbed a bottle of water, again headed for the sofa and Netflix and didn't go out again until four thirty, finished the grass, cleaned the machine and put it away and I was back in the house by six thirty.  It's been a funny old day weatherwise, sunny with a very cold wind and putting out so much energy brought me out in a sweat and so a bath was the next thing on the menu.  I knew I had to switch on the boiler override and couldn't raise the effort to walk up the stairs so left it for thirty minutes, went up to the bathroom, changed the switch position and half filled the bath,  I found a Badedas shower and hair shampoo gel so in the absence of any other shampoo it did the job and I emerged about fifteen minutes ago.

It's nine fifteen my time, it wont be long before I'm heading for my bed and hopefully for a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow I shall be out with the strimmer to reach the parts that the lawn mower didn't and if the weather is good, some gentle weeding.  I did managed to empty the plants that have overwintered in the little house onto the terrace, they need trimming back, weeding and watering and should fill the terraces all summer.  I'm hoping that we've see the last of the frosts for this year.  LN......A good day despite the lack lustre start.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 14, 2023, 5:20pm; Reply: 13
Friday 14th April

Good news and bad news today on the bird front.  I heard my first cuckoos and I know there are two because I got a normal one and my one with the hiccups that comes back every year or at least one of its offsprings with the same affliction.  It was just a joy to listen to them.....the harbingers of spring.  My sad story is that I was in bed at seven thirty and I heard a thump on the window on the landing but from the outside so I got out of bed to see what was the damage and noticed a very pretty woodpecker that had obviously got full tilt into the glass and black cat was looking longingly at it.  I went out in my pyjamas, the cat shot off towards the wall, I checked the bird out and there was no life in it at all.  It looked like its neck was broken, its eyes were glazed over and not even a little twitch.  I used the shovel to pick it up and put it into a plastic crate and lifted it from the terrace to the top of the chest leaving it there to that the cat didn't get it and it was going to get its own little pyre once I'd gathered the household rubbish together.

It was a funny old looked like it should be raining but wasn't, there was some red in the sky but it didn't amount to much and the sun was up eventually and didn't last long.  So burning material sorted I headed down to the burning pit carrying the rubbish and the bird in the box, removed the old paint cans that I'd set fire to yesterday and put them ready for the container.  I lit the rubbish, the bird went on top and I set fire to it and the first thing that came into my mind was that such a lot of effort had gone into its birth and growth.  Such a shame but better the way it was going than being taken apart by a cat.    That job finished I moved on to the next.  I'd threatened to take the petchka pipes out and give them a clean and also give the petchka a good clean too.  I started around eleven and the job was finished by twelve fifteen so not a bad time to complete it in.  That also included sweeping and washing the floor over, putting everything back where it should be.

I had a few messenger conversations and have invited my friend from Fotinovo for a pizza tomorrow evening in Djebel and she can stay over if she wants to.  Family have left and an empty house can be difficult when you're not used to it.  I'd stripped down my upstairs bedroom yesterday and washed everything so today I did the second bedroom and washed the quilt cover.  The cover is brushed cotton and is warm to get in to and with a brushed cotton under sheet she should be very least my daughter and SIL didn't have any complaints.  Unfortunately I was just going to peg out the quilt when the rain started so it went on the stair rail at the top of the landing and it's now dry.  I did light the fire, the sun came out but that's sod's law.  

Just after eight my time, I've picked at rubbishy food most of the afternoon so not really in the mood for anything sensible this evening.  LN......Perhaps need to put some bird stickers on the windows to stop them crashing into them.......LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 15, 2023, 6:31pm; Reply: 14
Saturday 15th April

Lots of clouds around at seven this morning but they soon disappeared and we were left with a lovely day.  I had a boiled egg for breakfast with toast and mayo which seems to be an idea left over from Princess and Co. being out here, lots of coffee and then it was a very steady morning getting ready for my guest this evening.  I laid the fire, put a load of washing into the machine, washed up from breakfast, cleaned the bathroom, ran the hoover over, pegged out the washing and it was still only ten thirty. I was on a roll this morning.  The apples and bananas went over the wall and there was target practice with one egg that had a damages shell but i didn't hit the target.  Cat was no where to be seen and nothing much happening in the village.

I showered and washed my hair and realised that the dryer I prefer was downstairs but I managed with the newer one, dressed for tonight although it was early, watched Netflix for an hour or so and drifted into the afternoon.  I was in the Nipper by one thirty and heading for Djebel, I stopped at the supermarket and topped up on essentials and non-essentials like chocolate, some for my student's mum for Easter and some for me for the sheer hell of it.  I fetched the washing in from the line so that it didn't appear later in Greece, that wind was strong and was ready for my guest at four and she was right on time.  We drank coffee, chatted, didn't attack the chocolates but might later and set off for the restaurant at six thirty, pizza for both of us and we've just arrived home now at nine thirty.  

More coffee on the go and the chocolates are coming out for an airing, nothing on the agenda so far for tomorrow, we might have a lazy morning and then see what the rest of the day brings.  LN.......A very restful day.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 16, 2023, 5:17pm; Reply: 15
Sunday 16th April

So last nights sleep over went well and we stayed up watching the television until it was time for Cinderella to lose her slipper and it was guest room turned down and me snuggled up in my downstairs nest.  I woke up early. crept around for a while and went down to make coffee, threw some old spicy sausages that I'd forgotten about for the cat and subsequently I reckon that it did not have to eat for the rest of the day.  I made my clicking noises to wake it up and eventually it appeared but is still extremely tentative grabbing a piece of the sausage and taking it near the wall and turning its back on me....ungrateful being.  I checked out the weeks and made a mental note that that's what I should be doing for the rest of the day despite the fact that it was a dull old morning and really it didn't pick up all day.  I took the wisteria plants that I've grown from seed outside and investigated why one of them had failed miserably, the roots were there but not particularly robust but one of them had roots appearing outside the bottom of the pot so I found a larger pot and settled it inside,  Fingers crossed it succeeds.  At that point there was a tap on the window, my guest was circulating so time to wash, dress and make breakfast.

She got showered and we settled for toast and whatever for breakfast and she settled for Marmite that she'd brought over yesterday from her reserves.  You're not able to buy it from the shops here.  We chatted for a while, I suggested Haskovo and the plant shop but since it's Easter Sunday here, we thought that we might be out of luck,,,,,Kardjali internet was full of 'Christ is Risen' and with that comes that 'Everything is closed'.  She was on her way around twelve, I lit the fire around one, chopped a few logs to have smaller ones to get the fire going and settled on the sofa, ignoring the gnawing mind to get on with the weeding.  I settled down to watch TV, promptly went to sleep for an hour or so, woke up and turned to new episode of a series that I've been following earlier in the year.  

The cold is still lingering and the sore throat is beginning to develop along with an annoying cough.....I shall be on the honey and lemon drink soon with aspirin to soothe the troubled brow.  The chocolates have taken a hammering this afternoon so supper is not really at the top of the list and at eight twenty, it might not even be on the agenda, I'm still yawning so an early night is on the cards.  LN.....Boiler is on for a lengthy bath.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 17, 2023, 6:09pm; Reply: 16
Monday 17th April

Another damp and miserable day, not cold though so the fire hasn't been lit tonight.  I was awake at six thirty again, tried frantically all day to work up the enthusiasm to get on with the weeding and applying mole bombs to the garden but just couldn't get going.  My net achievement for today appears to be nothing except that I did cook an exceedingly good breakfast with amazing fried bread and washed up immediately the plate was cleared away.  I also managed a giant packet of crisps and so for supper, nothing so far and since it's nine my time, there'll be no further kitchen activity tonight.

I did have one lovely surprise thought.  When I was over just before Christmas I took a photograph for Yvonne, a girl friend I worked with over sixty years ago and she wanted the photo to go to one of her friends near Blackpool.  I suggested how we could achieve this my sending the friend my email address and then I could add the photo in the return mail.  I'd looked for the lady in the internet, thought I'd found her but decided that it would come better from her to me which it did....just over three months later.  So I received it today and responded to it immediately and she should now have it.  Job done and off the list and I've suggested that she send the photo to Yvonne in snail mail.

Nothing else to report, food did go out this morning for the cat and the birds and hopefully never the twain did meet.  Student tomorrow, this cold is still lingering so I'm getting the Vick out for tonight and liberally applying it to chest and back to see if I can break up the congestion, otherwise I might even cancel again.  He's still on holiday from school so it would be giving him another week of freedom.  LN......Almost time for me to snuggle up for the night.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 18, 2023, 6:33pm; Reply: 17
Tuesday 18th April

So another seven start, cold, wet and miserable.  It looked like it was going to clear up but no joy, we had more rain and this afternoon we even had thunder but I didn't see any flashes.  I had a very lazy start and didn't get dressed until twelve, watched more rubbish on Netflix and eventually went to get washed and dressed, printed off the text for today's lesson and the questions to go with the text.  I skipped around a bit, managed to find my driving glasses, put make-up on and extra warm clothing on before I set off at just after two.

The thunder was still rumbling around as I left the yard and as I pulled up outside the shop my student gave me a super big smile and a wave.  He was off to the local supermarket to by chip sticks for his mother and an afterthought for lunch.  It was at this point that I realised I'd left the folder with today's lesson on the desk in the stairwell.  Today would have to be an improvisation, we'd find something to work through, he carried on upstairs and I followed him to the apartment just before three for the lesson.  He was still lingering in the bathroom when I arrived so I left him to it, settled myself on the sofa and eventually he emerged and in the absence of anything else we found the BBC learning site and worked our way through a couple of online texts and then some quizzes around the use of certain words within sentences.  We got eight out of eight for the first two and as for the third, it was a toss-up as to which of two of them was was the same response phrased differently dependent on the question being asked.  We picked the wrong on, ruining our run of success but when we checked the answers, it mentioned that the response was in American English and where the heck did that come from.  That wasn't stated in the beginning.  At this point we lost interest and decided that football would be a good alternative to study, we'd done enough.

We exercised for around twenty minutes and now we've stopped recording the scores, it's the game that matters without the competitive edge.  At four fifteen I called a halt to the game and went downstairs to the shop and sat with his mother reporting on the lesson, talking plants and making lotions and potions from pork fat and dandelions using different techniques and tomorrow might well be the day for carrying them out.  I just have to find the dandelions, most of the ones in the garden appear to be bedraggled clock stalks and no flowers in sight.  Home for six thirty, fire lit, I made a ham sandwich to keep the bugs at bay and put chicken wings and a jacket potato into the oven for supper.  The potato was super, the wings were suffering from freezer burn so they go out for cat tomorrow morning.  The fire's going well and the house warmed up enough for watching Netflix so that's where I'm heading for, the TV is now back in the winter lounge until summer arrives.  LN.....Thank goodness for portable TV's and WiFi......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 19, 2023, 6:44pm; Reply: 18
Wednesday 19th April

Silly night, I fell asleep watching Netflix, woke up and continued watching it until four this sleep tank was full.  I went to bed and was still awake at seven ready to face the day.  I think the weather and the lack of activity is instigating inertia, please bring the sun back into my life.  I settled for toast and Marmite for breakfast, did the usual chores, the fire was set and the log basket was topped up for the evening but the washing up is still waiting for me in the kitchen.  The chicken wings went out for the cat, I made my clicking noise but no joy, it remained hidden so I put it under the wild plum tree and when I checked later the cat was head down and face stuffing.

The weather picked up around lunch time and I took tools out to make an impression on the weed population.  I also took out the remaining two wisteria that needed repotting and one is done but I didn't get round to the second one.  I attacked the shrubbery that used to hang on the railings and removed the restricting rope twining the plants back into the railings especially the honeysuckle.  The vicious juniper has been scooped up from the ground and tied back into the railings, there's lots of new growth on it and at least it looks happier vertical over horizontal.  Digging around the base of the wall by the Bridal Wreath shrub I spotted a tortoise shell and at last a little head but not much other movement.  I saw the remains of green nail varnish on its shell so Green God, who used to be Green Goddess until he became the terror of the neighbourhood chasing Rose and the other females.  He looks like the first to emerge or at least his hiding place has been uncovered.  I'm just hoping that the painter managed to avoid putting a very large foot on his shell but no sign of damage from the photo.

More clouds came over so it was tools away, little house locked up and I settled myself on the sofa with a ham sandwich and a bottle of water and left the outside world to its own devices.  I made a couple of phone calls to the UK and found that what I thought was a birthday tomorrow was in fact not until the twenty ninth so present and car arrived early and my friend confirmed that she had had other early cards.  I suggested that she check her birth certificate to ensure that she'd got it right and the rest of us wrong.  Obviously I fell asleep this afternoon catching up on the lack of zzzz's last night, and I've just realised that it's just after nine thirty my time and tonight I'm in bed more binging on Netflix.  Back to the garden tomorrow if the weather looks anything like, I now have to carry out daily checks on Green God and be careful when I set sail with the strimmer tomorrow if it dries up.  LN.....I hear the washing up calling me from the kitchen.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 20, 2023, 6:24pm; Reply: 19
Thursday 20th April

A restful night's sleep, a seven start and the washing up that was in the kitchen didn't should loudly enough last night and was waiting for me this morning.....knocked off in quick sticks.  It threatened rain but hadn't started, you couldn't see the bottom of the garden for the mist and the mountains had disappeared.  I made coffee and settled down on the sofa, no chance of working outside it was too early and too cold so I put a load of washing in the machine.  The sun was up by now and so I pegged it out when it had finished, there was quite a stiff breeze but those clouds were gathering.  I went to warm up my coffee in the microwave and found another one lingering from yesterday so I switched the kettle on and made one likes reheated out of choice.  Toast and apricot jam for breakfast, fire set since I guessed that the washing would be in soon and the clothes would be put on the upstairs airer and I was right.  

I went out to check on my tortoise and found him in the same place.  I started to weed the top garden and do a little more repair work to the shrubs against the railings, my heart wasn't in the weeding so I didn't stay out there long.  Netflix went on and fortunately I've finished the series I was watching so now have to go on the hunt.  This cold seems to have taken purchase, my throat is sore and my head hurts and my blood pressure seems to be up slightly so I was on the hunt for the last lot of tablets that I was prescribed and found them.  I've not been needing them since before Christmas, I've probably been eating rubbish again so now really time to get that healthy diet underway.  I had a sleep which did me good, the headache has eased, not coughing so much but my throat is still sore.

So now to have a bath and then to bed, I need a good night's sleep again and to get my strength up.  I've noticed that the grass is growing really fast and I've worked out that the quickest was to cure the weeds is to strim them or mow up to the base of the wall between the shrubs.  LN.....Drastic measures need to be taken......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 21, 2023, 5:44pm; Reply: 20
Friday 21st April

Well the weather promised so much this morning and delivered so little. The sun was coming up, the terraces were damp but not wet and very few clouds in the sky.  It was also eight o'clock, late off the mark but I felt OK. still coughing well but the head felt less fuzzy.  I cleared the kitchen, decided that coffee wasn't on the menu for the next few days, my blood pressure was a little high and something needed to be done and coffee was the first thing to go.  I also settled for one slice of barely buttered toast, without jam and worked my way through the usual chores.  

I settled myself on the sofa and started to plan my day, if the weather held there was a strong possibility of sorting out the electric strimmer and putting it to good use down the bottom of the garden.  The weeds are really taking a hold down there,  At around ten thirty I decided it was time to get dressed, I'd moved into my bedroom to carry on with the thought. had just sorted the top and bottom half out minus the jeans when there was a knocking on the window near the stairs,  I stuck my head out of the bedroom door and it was my young neighbour, I was still minus jeans but I went out anyway and let her in and she was asking what had happened to my phone.  I asked her to wait, went back to the bedroom and found jeans. put them on and they we were seeing what the problem was with the phone.  She told me that she'd phoned me and sure enough the call was registered and she said that she'd tried to phone me because the post office had letters for me......and now I was interested.  I got my English phone and called my Bulgarian phone, no ringing from my Bulgarian phone but call received so I fiddled with the volume and this required that I went into settings.  She's very helpful and kept telling me that her son was good with phones and I said that if she would just keep quiet I could sort it.  I said that I wasn't feeling well so hence the late start, she noticed the rash on my arm and said that I should go to see the doctor or at least the pharmacist in Djebel.  I promised her that I would go collect the mail, sort my phone out which I was very capable of doing and take a rain check on the visit to both the doctor and the pharmacist......I had tablets already.....just needed to start to take them.

I drove to the post office, the postmaster was speaking on the phone to my student's father so I shouted hello to him.  He works at the post office in Djebel.  He handed me the letter, informative junk mail from Pensions UK with goodwill tidings of joy announcing a raise in pension payments.  On my way back home I saw a lady with what could have been a long walk ahead of her so I stopped and asked her if she wanted a lift, she got in and we set off towards my village.  She was quite willing to get out at my stop point but I carried on to her end point in the next village, out she got and I doubled back to my friendly neighbour's house, told her that my phone was OK, that it was the 'Do not disturb' setting, all sorted and she could phone me at any time which she insisted doing straightaway......almost as if she didn't believe me.....and it rang. I was exonerated.  By now the clouds had rolled over. there was thunder yet again and heavy rain so I thought food was on the cards and so chunked up two large potatoes, put them in the microwave with a little salt, transferred them to the air-fryer and had them with Bulgarian white cheese and a little mayo.  A full tummy requires rest so they say so I lit the fire, got my head down on the sofa and slept until six tonight.  Still avoiding coffee, loaded the fire up with logs and it's dark, wet and miserable outside and warm and cosy in.  Not much to report today, it's been a day of rest for me and hopefully, the tablets that I've self-prescribed will do the trick and the rash will disappear.  I'm obviously allergic to something and really not sure what it is.  I have changed the strap on my Fitbit to a leather one from a silicon one....that seemed to be causing problems in the wrist area and I'll await the outcome.  Just found the 'Good Doctor' on Netflix to pass rainy days.  LN......And dark evenings without my access to British television.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 22, 2023, 5:11pm; Reply: 21
Saturday 22nd April

Silly four in the morning start, not an ounce of sleep in me and lots of time before the sun came up.  I made some hot lemon and took it back to bed, I was playing Sudoku but my heart wasn't in it.  This raised blood pressure has left me a little fuzzy and the cough has been intermittent and to be honest, not sure how I'm feeling and I know that torturing myself with Sudoku wasn't the answer.  I noticed that the sky was pinking up a little so I took the camera and got a few shots of morning and then transferred myself to the sofa.  I switched on to my current placebo, settled down and promptly went to sleep for a couple of hours and I'm wondering why I couldn't do that in the bedroom.

Eight o'clock and I had a burst of activity.  The washing up got done, curtain and windows opened, the sun had made more of an appearance enough for me to take the rubbish down to the bottom of the garden and have a bonfire.  I walked the garden, I noticed from the balcony that Green God had moved from by the wall and was drying off in the sun.  His shell was exceptionally dusty with only a feint green mark on there but it wasn't the day to get the nail varnish out.  At this point I was thinking that I could be working outside but it didn't take long for the clouds to roll over from the west, then continued to build so I got logs in before the inevitable happened.  The thunder and lightning started, so much so that I unplugged the internet, and with it came the hail stones and they were quite sizeable.....not car damaging but enough to stay inside given the choice.  I decided that I needed to eat so made tuna and potato salad and that should see me through until morning.  It's still raining, the clouds are still very low and lots of mist between the mountains.  I had another sleep this afternoon and am hoping that it's not going to interfere with my night-time slumbers, the fire is going well, the house warm and comfortable, no hunger grubs nibbling and all's well with my world.  LN......Fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 23, 2023, 4:28pm; Reply: 22
Sunday 23rd April

So no rain so far today.  We've had the dark clouds roll in and roll out again and at seven my far so good.  This morning I knew I was out of bread but the mobile shop doesn't appear on a Sunday...I thought I had enough to manage but the last few slices developed that green tinge that I hate so went out for the birds.  They're snot so fussy as I am.  I did manage to clear out some of the 'end of' jars, you know the ones that you can't find so open another and forget about the first and one or two out of date ones.  I should throw them into the container at the bottom of the road but my neighbours collect them for their next years preserves so I wash them and hand them over when requested.  Other than that I've not had a very productive day...again I've not been feeling too well so I lingered in front of Netflix absorbing nothing interesting, I should probably be watching lonely planet or something like that.  I've started to watch 'Good Doctor' and it reminds me of the other doctor series where you imagine that you've got a disease that you've never heard of.....thank goodness I slept through a lot of it.

At six I checked my heart rate and inadvertently fell on the number of steps I'd done and had a pang or two of guilt.  I got up from the sofa, sank a litre of water and headed for the little house remembering to pick up the battery for the strimmer that's on charge in the porch.  Unfortunately it doesn't last that long and is not meant for gardens like mine but I managed to do the drive and the grass between the house and the wall before it ran out.  Back on charge it went, I collected the sweeping brush and cleared the trimmings and remembered that I'd bought a new electric mower when it was on offer at Lidl and it was still in the box.  I dragged it onto the workshop terrace, opened the box, found the instructions that are in every language on the planet except English.....thank you Brexit.  It did have pictures and was fairly self explanatory, I tried for twenty minutes to connect both halves of the grass box, I think it had gone out of shape sitting in the box for over year so I put it to one side and concentrated on the machine itself.  That was done and dusted in minutes, only the handle to install and sections to be clamped together and one part that I need to take it all apart to put on but  it's only to keep the cable out of the way.  So machine done I went back to the grass catcher and with brute force and ignorance it was assembled, I found the extension lead. connected everything up and it works.  I tried it with the grass box on and it soon filled up, I emptied it and managed to keep the flap from the grass to box exit point and did the top half of the little house grass.  It was difficult, everything is so damp so everything packed away and tomorrow is another day.  At least I know it works, it's more like a strimmer with wheels and should do the job that I want it to do.  

Now to think about supper, I'm not really that hungry but know that if I don't have anything I shall be snooping around later and graze on rubbish.  At least the biscuits and chocolates have all gone...still some crisps though.  LN......Might do Kardjali tomorrow...I have a phone bill to pay and the yearly rates for the Beast......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 24, 2023, 5:39pm; Reply: 23
Monday 24th April

Seven start and within quicksticks I got the washing into the machine and was pegging it out just after seven thirty.  The sky looked good, I felt that we could e in for a good day and that the washing wouldn't take long to dry.  Three chicken legs went into the slow cooker, I'd removed them from the freezer and they'd thawed overnight. I made a curry sauce with tomatoes and onions and it would have the day to cook.  I walked the garden and found Green God sunning himself at the base of the low wall in the grave garden, I checked for the others and no sign at all in the bonfire garden near the high wall.  Checked the weeds out down there though and they are getting high, I was tempted with getting the little mower out but the grass was still wet from the overnight dew so decided to leave to dry off.  I did find that my white lilac bush had three flowers on it, it's the first time it's flowered so I took one off the bush and it's sitting in the lounge in a bottle.

I went in the house and found cereals for breakfast and a fresh box of milk and decided to switch the Tv on which was a bad move.  I'd had my breakfast when my neighbour from down the way asked me if I was going to Djebel, I'd changed my mind about Kardjali and it was market day and too many people around.  She wanted to take a carpet to the man that cleans them so I said that I can take her in tomorrow if she wants.....just not today.  I showed her my white lilac and of course she had to find the bush to see if there were any 'babies' growing next to it and there were.  I told her it was too early to dig anything up but she earmarked a few that she needs cuttings from or tulips that she needs digging up and since I was in my jamas, it was too early for me too.  I did send her off with a honeysuckle and a piece that she'd pinched off the geranium in the porch....that woman has no shame when it comes to plants.  Joy of joy, Rosy, my first tortoise has come out of hibernation and was sunning herself half way down the garden near the low wall.  Again she had a very sandy shell but the nail varnish was confirmed that it was definitely her.  Off she went, I got dressed and then a burst of activity set in, out came the petrol mower, a carried on where I'd left off last night with the electric mower and managed to do the top half of the main house grass and the other garden is down just beyond the lonesome pine.  It was hard going, the grass was still very wet underneath but I managed it but by now it was getting on for four in the afternoon, there was thunder rumbling and the clouds were gathering so I put tools away, locked up and went to check on supper.  I suddenly remembered that I had washing out, quickly got it in and then the rain came down...timed it perfectly.

I lit the fire and it went first time even though the logs were pretty big that I'd used, the rice went on and I finished it off on the woodburner leaving it to absorb the rest of the water.  I served it with apricot jam in the absence of lime pickle and I should really get down to making a few jars since I do love it.  The terraces have dried up but not sure what the weather will do tomorrow.  It seems to have formed a pattern, fine in the mornings and lousy in the afternoons.  Student tomorrow and I have my text ready for this week since I arrived at the lesson without one last week...doh.  LN......Now it's bath and then bedtime, grass cutting knacks me.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 25, 2023, 5:56pm; Reply: 24
Tuesday 25th April

Early to bed and early to rise...much too early for me even though it was six thirty.  I did my chores, had a shower and washed my hair and at eight phoned my neighbour to find out if she still wanted to go into Kardjali this morning, she decided that she didn't so since I was dressed for town I had to replan my day.  I'd not got a lot that I was going in for, I heard the bread van and couldn't get my backside into gear to go down to the square to buy bread so made an omelette for breakfast and ate it watching the television.  I picked up a message from Princess, sent one off to my grandson who'd managed to finish the London Marathon on Sunday and had a replay.  I was in a dilemma....the sun was shining, blue sky and bright but the grass was too wet to get started on.  I thought about a late start on the grass but the clouds were rolling in again, storm clouds were gathering so I took a few photographs of the garden, located Rosy and came back into the house.  I settled down in front of the tv and caught up on sleep that I hadn't had for a few days and I must have needed it.  As for following the programme I think I shall have to replay the last four episodes...another day another time.

At two I shook my feathers, took the text that I'd prepared for last week and headed into Djebel but remembering to fill up the log basket before I left so that I could effect a quick pyrotechnic  miracle when I arrived home....and I did.  By now the clouds had really gathered, I went up to the apartment at three thirty and at four the rain started along with the thunder and lightning.  Suddenly there was hail, torrential rain, the main street was awash, the hail was fairly big chips and now there was a river running down main street.  The Nipper was parked outside the shop and my student's mother had put cardboard on my windscreen to protect it from the hail while I watched from the apartment window with my student.  It subsided around five, I returned to the shop with my student and we decided that we would go for a pizza after work, his father had already closed the garage, no one was around wanting cars servicing,  As we were leaving the shop around one of the neighbours from the garage approached and said that one of the perimeter walls to the garage had come down.  We carried on to the restaurant and the father upped and left, he wanted to see what had happened so we ordered our meals.  Father arrived, we made an order for another pizza and he said that the wall was about one hundred meters in length and toppled over into the property opposite.  The meal was rather subdued after that so just before seven we paid up and went back to the shop, the temperature was dropping so i wanted to get home and light a fire, which I did and checked out the property, all walls intact.  There's lots of water outside the porch door though...must sort the gutters out...but not tonight.

So I'll make a decision whether to go to Kardjali or not tomorrow...there'll definitely be no gardening here and the petrol that I invested in today for the lawnmower will last a little longer.  Hot chocolate for supper and now to attempt to get the photos from my phone to my computer....need to find another cable for it.  LN.....What an exciting day, white over with hailstones.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 25, 2023, 6:24pm; Reply: 25
Late Pickie of the storm today

The white streaks are the hailstones on the road.....
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 26, 2023, 5:00pm; Reply: 26
Wednesday 26th April

Very cloudy start, mist covering everything and it took for ages to burn off.  I'd made the call just before eight that I wouldn't be going into Kardjali so telephoned my neighbour and let her know and she agreed that the weather just wasn't good enough for a browse round the shops.  My day was now mine, I'd had a disturbed night taking allergy tablets at four this morning when I noticed that my lip was swelling up again.....I'd only had pizza and a drink of cherry juice when I got back so I've put it down to the juice.  I'd had pizza last week and no strange effects.

I made toast for breakfast after buying fresh bread yesterday and thought about supper early digging a pork spare rib chop from the freezer to allow it to thaw.  The fire was still going from last night so I forced it into submission and got it burning brightly with a couple of starter woods, it was so miserable outside that I was planning a day doing nothing and wanted to do it in the warm......and I did just that, television, Netflix, a film this afternoon, a load of washing to break up the mix and that's now dry and ready to put away.  The sun did come out briefly and then the thunder set in again early afternoon and lightning but fortunately no hail, the rain was much gentler.  The chop went into the oven at four, I made from scratch a barbecue sauce, turned the chop over and then slathered it with the sauce and back into the oven with it.  I put chips into the air fryer, buttered two slices of bread, added one to the dish, served up the chop and tipped the chips on top of the sliced bread and put the other one on top of them.  Feast of feasts.....and I probably shan't move until morning.

Todays work has been taking photos of the starlings going into and out of the tree trunk on the wall.  Babies have obviously hatched and both parents have been very busy going backwards and in and poop out.  I also noticed my very bedraggled cuckoo on the walnut at the bottom of the garden, they're much larger birds than you imagine.  Looks like a Lidl trip tomorrow, I'm out of eleven litre bottles of water, butter, mayo and cream cheese, most of the things that are bad for me.  LN    Now where did that diet sheet go?.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 27, 2023, 7:02pm; Reply: 27
Thursday 27th April

So last night I was tired at nine thirty so I was nestled down by ten and decided to go with it.  Lights off and slept very soundly until two this morning and not another ounce of sleep left in me.  Kindle out, Sudoku and I played that for a couple of hours, posted a video of Tuesday's storm in Djebel and got lots of hits from friends that I'd thought had forgotten all about me.  The video was pretty dramatic with a screech of 'that's my car' so I turned the sound off, they didn't all need to hear it.  I also found a message on messenger about arrangements for today, my friend from Fotinovo wanted to take a trip to Kardjali so I suggested an early start for this morning, not too early though and she arrived around nine thirty, a quick coffee and we were off in the Nipper.  I managed toast before she arrived so was set up for the point in going food shopping when you're hungry.

I'd written my list but mine was a day of admin.  First stop was the cash point to take out money for the annual road tax for the Beast and it came in at not too bad a figure.  There's normally a long queue and today was no different except that they had three pay points open and a single queue formed and people peeled off as required.  Normally there's on and it's a fight to the finishing post and despite the queue I was in and out in ten minutes.  My friend had to go to pick up a card and she was greeted at the door, the man went inside and found her card within a couple of minutes and handed it to her so she was waiting in the café when I got there.  Two Cappuccinos later, we were back at the Nipper and on our way to Lidl.  I bought lots of goodies that I felt I needed, I stopped for gas on the way home and she was on her way home by twelve fifteen.  I invited her in but she'd bought meat and wanted to get it home and the fridge.  I unpacked my shopping except for the three eleven litre bottles of water which I'd bring in later when I parked in the drive and then I doubled back to Djebel to pay the tax on the Nipper and also my house tax for the last two years.  If it was desperate they knew where I  lived....and no one came after me.  That done I went to the café and had chicken soup for lunch at the grand cost of four BGN which amounts to just under two pounds...the last of the big spenders me.  I sat with my student's mum in the car shop for an hour or so chewing over the fat, joked with my student who was trying to get me to take him to Greece on Sunday but I had the perfect excuse.  I can't take him out of the country without a declaration for the notary giving me permission from his parents so he got a little grumpy but eventually accepted it.

Home for five, chicken wings and a jacket potato in the oven and I was having supper at six with a chocolate and cream pudding to follow.  Stuffed to the gills I carried on watching my latest Netflix and that's why I'm late doing the update.  The weather was a little better today, only twelve degrees out, coldish wind but no thunder, lightning or hail.  Tomorrow if it's still dry, the mower will come out and first job is to try and get Avatar's grass down around the house.  She's not come back from Germany yet and is due next week, I'd have done it before but have struggled to keep my grass down due to the rain every afternoon.  No pickies today...been far too busy 'doing'...will do better tomorrow.  LN.....I'm in for a busy few days with sleep-overs to be in the right place at the right time.....takes me back to my youth......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 28, 2023, 6:20pm; Reply: 28
Friday 28th April

Six start and I seemed to be up and at it from the off.  I collected up the household waste ready for a bonfire, made toast for breakfast and abstained from putting Netflix on.  Instead I played Sudoku until I'd had enough of that and began to get ahead of my day.  As the sun came up it burnt off the mist and it looked like it could be good weatherwise.  After the rubbish we've been having it was a welcome change.  I'd made the decision that I would try to find someone to clear Avatar's garden, was out in the yard opening up the little house and noticed a car pulling up on the road opposite.  I don't get many visitors and he got out and approached the gate so I went to speak with him and he was inviting me to a baby party in Kardjali tomorrow and he was letting me know that there would be a coach to take us to the event at eleven at the bottom square in the village.  I thanked him and asked him if he knew anyone who would be able to cut Avatar's grass, he suggested Emula one of the younger ones so I said goodbye to him and went down to see my young neighbour to see if she had a phone number for him.  Yes she had but unfortunately he was working ten days in Sofia so no go there then.  I phoned my painter to see if he was able to do it and there was no reply, he phoned me later and said that he would call on his way back from Djebel which he did but his machine is being repaired apparently so he's going to phone me over the weekend.

My young neighbour came back with me, she was on the hunt for mushrooms and I said that I had lots in my garden.  I'm always very suspicious if they don't come in a pack from Lidl but she seemed to know what she was doing and collect a medium sized bag from the grass.  She'll manage to made some delicacy from them and she said that she wasn't going to tell the other ladies where she'd got them from, it was going to be our secret.  I don't think she wants to share the treasure trove.  She was still collecting so I got out the new little electric mower and fixed the cable so that it reached the bottom of the garden and set about the first cut of the grass down there.  She was amazed by the machine and in true Bulgarian fashion asked me how much I'd paid for it.  I'd cleared half of the ground by the wall, off she went and looks like we're both off to the baby party in the morning.  I found two more tortoise, Blue is out and one more that I think is Little Purple but no nail varnish on its back.  The only one missing now is Cracked Shell, no varnish but easy to recognise.

The grass is now complete, only strimming and beds to be weeded and it was a hard slog towards the end.  I put the machines away at four, felt absolutely knacked, found a small bird on the little house terrace and that's now waiting for the next burnup.  Not sure what it is but probably a victim of sun on glass window. The log carrier was filled up and I put it in the porch,  I took my boots off outside and there was lots of grass in them, socks came off as well, I didn't want that in the house or the porch.  Fire lit, I made a drink and sat on the sofa, intending to get straight in the bath but fell asleep for an hour and a half.  I remembered that I'd bought steak yesterday from Lidl so fried off some onions, cremated the steak and had it in a sandwich watching my Netflix series cleared the kitchen and did the washing up, hot water boiler on, TV off and I'm about to have that bath to ease the aches and pains.  So tomorrow baby party if I choose to go, staying in Fotinovo tomorrow night and Greece if the weather is good on Sunday.  LN......I've achieved a lot to day and for the next few days I'll watch the grass grow ready for the next onslaught......LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 29, 2023, 7:23pm; Reply: 29
Saturday 29th April

This is going to be a very short update.  Had a mare of a day trying to set up my new laptop to take with me for my night away and I've just managed to get into it.  Password changes from one computer to the next, forgotten passwords, making scribbled notes and forgetting which one belongs to which....don't you hate it.  I understand the rules and regulations and that it's for my own safety but when you're tired the rules don't seem to matter much.  

I decided not to go to the baby party....I did too much yesterday in the garden, slept too well and so I lazed the morning away, did my packing after I'd finished with the laptop and was in the Nipper and arrived on time at the venue.  She had cooked a very good beef slow cooker dish and a French plum pudding with cream.....stuffed to the gills and it will soon be time for bed for a fairly early start tomorrow.....Greece and the local market to see what goodies we can come up with.  LN......New laptops...who'd have 'em.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, April 30, 2023, 2:47pm; Reply: 30
Sunday 30th April

So slept OK in a strange bed.....unfortunately I've been used to central heating heating and furry sheets in my nest and it took me ages to settle.  The other disturbing factor was a nightingale that didn't know when to call it a night and kept going until roughly six this morning but it was almost time to start my day.  I eventually got out at seven, made coffee, washed and dressed in my on-suite accommodation, activity was in progress, cats fed and we were in the Nipper in good time and heading down to the delights of Greece.  The border crossing had only four cars in front of us and we sailed through the check-point....being early had stood us in good stead.

The plan was to get down to Porto Largos that has a very lively Sunday Market.  First stop was the coffee shop for breakfast and we settled for cheese in flaky pastry and it kept us going all day.  My companion was under strict instructions that she wasn't to let me buy any clothes, I have plenty but I was allowed one beach cover-up for one euro....rude not to.  I also was tempted by two well priced fuschia plants that are now sitting outside on the terrace at my friends house....I'll try one of them in the garden and the other shall remain in its pot when I get back tomorrow.  Back in the Nipper and we drove to Fanari, a quaint fishing village and managed to park up in a car-park near the sea wall.  The beach was deserted and children were throwing stones in the sea, a couple of fishermen were casting lines and the restaurant was busy with Sunday church goers now that the service was over.  We managed to get rid of the small change we had, the man didn't come to get payment so I went inside, dumped it on the counter and said that there was seven euro and was that enough.  It obviously was....and we left without anyone chasing after us.  

We drove on to our favourite beach, parked up and settled ourselves again on a deserted beach and occupied ourselves throwing stones trying to hit a post in the sand.  One direct hit on the top of it by my friend, I came a close second but since there were only two of us....not much competition.  Around three there were a few raindrops and we made the decision to head back to Bulgaria, the clouds were gathering and I didn't fancy a thunderstorm over the pass.  As it happened, it didn't materialise and we were home for four thirty more or less.  We were going to have a meal in Greece but neither of us were really hungry so we're coming up with something to keep us going until morning.  I'm staying another night so that she can close the house up tomorrow, she can stay at mine and it cuts down the distance to the airport.  

We have lots of photos of today but since I've not got the program on this laptop to reduce the'll have to wait until tomorrow.  LN....I feel like I've had a lovely day in the sun and feel better for it.....April and sitting on the beach in the Greece......LN
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