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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JUNE 2023
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 1, 2023, 5:26pm
Thursday 1st June

Welcome June, welcome the sun and giving me the opportunity to manage twenty two thousand plus steps today on the Fitbit.  Not quite my record but pretty close.  Another early start, it was five when I was awake and ready for action, I made coffee, back to bed with the little Kindle for a spot of games and Sudoku, washed and dressed ready for the garden and waited for the overnight rain to be dried off by the sun so that I could burst into action.   I fried off the remaining spicy sausage and had it with two eggs and it was still only eight o'clock so I meandered into the workshop, found the two strimmers that needed the spools rewinding and managed to find a sping to replace the one that I'd lost when I took it apart.  I found the cover that holds it all together for the big strimmer and then couldn't find the reel that holds the chord and joy of joy, it all came together.  I tested them out and they both work, I went back in the house and it was still only nine so more coffee and I positioneed myself infront of the television forgetting that I'd removed plugs last night and unplugged the internet......that storm was overhead and I didn't want any catastrophes.  I watched the one the programme that I'd started last night...still not sure of it three episodes in but I'll stick with it for another one and then flick through to see if anything else catches my eye.

And so it began.  I left the grass box off the biggie, the machine wanted cleaning underneath but there was too much fuel in it to tip it on to it's side so I just went with it.  It didn't run out until I'd finished the side grass and half way down everything so I grabbed the chisel from the workshop and more fuel to replenish the machine, tipped it on its side and cleaned it thoroughtly.  By now it was one o'clock so I filled up with squash and water and went out again at two and carried on where I'd left off completing the rest of the grass.  I came in again for more refreshments and without realising it attacked the small bed outside of my downstairs bedroom window.  The poor plants in there were being swamped my clover, grass and sticky willy so I made a start on it and now the bed is more or less clear.  The yucca that is in there can now breathe and tomorrow I'll find a few plants to fill it out again.  So you know what it's like when you start something that you think to yourself...'just a bit more' so I started the rose bed in the grave garden and tomorrow I shall finish it.  I feel that this years rain had slowed everything down except for the weeds and they've had the best season ever.  

Tools away at six, mower away and I'm in the same predicament.  I only put a little fuel in hoping that it would run out so that I could clean it before I put it away but it wasn't to be.  I'll have to use the same tactic next time.  Supper was tuna with onions. betroot and mayo and now I'm about to take another squash to the bathroom and linger in the bath for an hour or so to avoid aches and pains.  I't a very calm night and hopefully it will stay that was until's a bit late but I've got the weeding bug.  LN....And over the wall with them for the cows......LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 2, 2023, 5:24pm; Reply: 1
Friday 2nd June

Very early start and yet again...I even changed into my summer-weight PJ's last night but it made no difference at all.  Ah least I had a start on the day.  Coffee and back to bed and a few games on the tablet, washed and dressed by seven and first load of washing in and second wasn't far behind.  Somehow I started putting winter stuff away in the chest and bringing out summer trousers, one fine day and the mood changes.  That's how I came to have two loads of washing....I pulled out t-shirts and thought I'd freshen them up a little.  I think the cruise is still on my mind so I've been finding out potentials and the problem is, I have too many clothes and I forget what I've got...every season is full of surprises.

Two boiled eggs for breakfast with toast and I forget that the eggs that I get from the garage are four minute ones, not five.  Any way...they are super yellow and very tasty so just need to learn how to cook them so I get perfection every time.  Kitchen cleared, washing pegged out so next move was on to the rose garden to finish what I'd started yesterday.  I was doing really well until I broke the handle off my old wooden English fork....I was tuggiing at a particularly large bundle of clover and I suppose it was my fault.  I'd repaired it before but unfortunately my guest had a go at it last time and the bolt holding the handle on had sheared off and there was no getting it out.  I gave it a good shot, I think he'd used lots of glue so now I have thetwo peices and I've got to try to get the remains of the bolt out but today wasn't the day.  I must have spent a couple of hours on it so let my brain work on it tonight while I'm asleep and maybe a solution will pop into my head...fingers crossed.

I worked on the garden until three, came in and had a cheese sandwich with silverskin onions as a side, watched another episode of the one that I'm not quite sure about and I'm still not.  It seems too complicated and I have the feeling that I'll get to the end and wonder what that was all about and you can't get time back.  So out again and worked my way down the garden, removed one of the garden - lawn dividers that had seen better days and had a bonfire.  Tools away at seven, had a quick shower and one more day on the garden to cut back some of the shrubs that have already flowered and that will be it....maintenance and structure more or less complete,,,until the next time.  Hopefully the grass will slowdown a little and fingers crossed...another day without rain will suit me fine.  No supper for me tonight, not hungry after a late lunch unless I get the munchies later.  LN.....Another good day......except for the garden fork......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 3, 2023, 5:04pm; Reply: 2
Saturday 3rd June

Silly night again.....I woke up at four with the light still on and I'd obviously fallen asleep while playing games.  I made a pit stop and went back to bed but this time I switched off the light, snuggled down and it was nine fifteen when I woke up...result.  This doesn't happen to me, I can't remember the last time that I woke up so late and I've been playing catch up for the rest of the day.

Breakfast of toast, I was tempted with boiled eggs but didn't want the responsibility of under acheiving and having hard ones again.  I made more coffee and wnt out into the yard with the intention of getting the strimmer out and giving it the once over but my attention was drawn to the sheep, using my tree for shade and the four huge sheep dogs splayed out on the road.  I made a movement towards the gate and up they jumped, going berserk and barking like made, if I was going to go into Djebel it would have been impossible to get the Nipper out onto the road.  I carried on into the little house and continued the repair on the garden fork.  I knew it was going to be difficult to do, it's old and the shaaft is made out of oak so hard to chisel but fortune favours the brave.  I found a piece of wood that I could shape into a square that would go between the handle and the shaft and that was the easy bit.  It was complicated but the last repair, the bollt that had held the handle in place had sheered off and in the end I cut the handle down to expose more of the bolt and managed to get it out.  So far so good.  I knocked a nail through the square that was going to sit between the handle and the shaft, removed it, line everything up and inserted the new bolt finding tools that I don't think I've seen before and obviously bought for other workers.  Slow and steady wins the race,,,I'd screwed the bolt into the shaft before I assembeled everthing  so that I could create a path, removed it and with everything in place started the assembly.  It took a while, I now have a useable fork again and so it had to be tested out and the little bed in the grave garden is now cleared of bindweed, grass and clover.  I live on the edge of a field so I get everything when the wind blows.

I came into the house feeling very pleased with myself, put Netflix on and watched two new episodes of the 'Blacklist', wnt out again with the hedge trimmer and cleared the briar roses growing proud of the terrace, moved to the garden and created more balls out of the baby plum trees and the quince in the grave garden,  It does make the garden more ornimental.  Did a check on the tortoise, Avatar had given me some strawberries that her friend had given her, they'd gone over slightly so this morning they'd gone out for tortoise.  At ten this morning they weren't really interested but at five this evening, Green God was all on his lonesome finishing off one huge one...they'd been other things on his mind with Rosie earlier....I meant to take a picture but forgot.

Belly pork in the oven with potatos and onions for supper.  It smells like it's doing OK and should be ready in about twenty minutes.  Morre of the same tomorrow if the weather holds, wehad a few drops of rain today but nothing more that high clouds releasing moisture on the thermals.  LN.....The light will be off tonight, no games on the tablet and hopefully the sleep of the just.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 4, 2023, 4:02pm; Reply: 3
Sunday 4th June

What a night and what a day.  I was awake at two this morning, couldn't sleep, played silly games until five, had another shot at sleeping and was out of bed at six making coffee.  I'm getting enough exercise to make me sleep but it's just not happening.  At seven I was making toast for breakfast, the water was still off and that trickle that I had yesterday was no more so it's back to bottled water and I shall have to go and get another few bottles if it goes on for much longer.  

I was out in the garden for eight, it was a slow start weatherwise, it clouded over and again we had just a few drops of rain so I thought I better get going early.  First job was to dig up the three babies from the Sumac tree which I did.  I gave one to Avatar for by the fence between her and next door, the second one is for my older student's father who liked it when he came to visit and the third one I'm not sure.  There's still two more in the garden, it's been prolific this year but those I'll get rid of with the mower.  Next I used the hedge trimmer to tidy up the trimmed shrubs and self sets, it just adds another dimention to the garden...points of interest which the neighbours don't really understand....'She has an English garden!!'.  I popped round to see Avatar and deliver her Sumac and I'd left it in the soil that I'd dug it up with and it was about eight inches square.  The grass was still on it, she'll sort it out when she comes to plant it.  She then force fed me with eggy bread and even though I resisted saying that I'd fed already she insisted.

Back to my garden and because she said that rain was forecast I set about the bottom of the garden with the mower and thinking about it I should be providing my tortoise with new road maps. I've been clearing flower beds, mown behind the fire bucket bed and cleared a lot of the clover and hiding places but still left five feet or so of rough ground under the wall so that they can get out of the sun and away from me.  They were all out and about this morning and they crop up in odd places.  It's tempting to put a Fitbit on one of them to see how far they really do go or little tracking monitors...that would be fun. So all the grass is cut now, most of the bushes are trimmed but still a few left to keep me occupied.  After mowing I got out both electric strimmers, the little on worked for a while and then the cable snapped so I put the other one on and I'm obviously doing something wrong with loading the cable but today wasn't the day for sorting it.  Avatar popped over around two this afternoon and sat on the bench for a while to check up on what I'd been doing.  Jokingly she said that she was moving in so I offered her, in jest, the little house and said that I'd get builders on it immediately.  No way did she mean it...her garden looks on to the road, because I'm on the opposite side of the street mine looks to the mountains with unobstructed views....very private.

Tools away at four, I'd done twelve and a half thousand steps so called it a day.  I filled up with orange squash in the absense of water, settled on the sofa and went to sleep for an hour or so.  I woke up sweaty and cold at the same time so boiled a kettle, stripped off and had a top to toe wash.  My hair which has been scrunched up, I've saturated with conditioning oil, plaited it and put it back up out of the way with a hair clip.  I've put on a lounger top and bottoms and socks, it's not cold but the sun clouded over and I feel so much better after my scrub down with hot water.  Not sure what I'm having for supper, the cupbourd is bare Mother Hubbard and the tin supplies are low so might need a trip into Kardjali to restock.  It's been a good day, next year I promise myself that I'll remove the clover and other rubbish earlier in the year and not allow it to take hold.  Of course the weather didn't help but that's been the same for all of Europe.  LN.....I'm on the hunt for food......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 5, 2023, 5:52pm; Reply: 4
Monday 5th June

Six start and it looked like it was going to be a good day. Mist in the valley and once it had burnt off the sun shone for the whole day, but the wind didn't drop until around two this afternoon.  I made coffee, again we have no water and I'm down to my last half bottle of bought water but I just couldn't raise the energy to go into the supermarket.  Around nine when I went up to get washed and dressed there were a few gurgling noises from the boiler and I thought that they was lift off fact it was nothing of the kind just hot air.  I imangined the scene, one digger, about five men leaning on shovel and at the end of the day....ah well, there's always tomorrow.  I made breakfast and managed to get both the eggs with soft centres and I think it was more by luck than judgement.  However I got there, they were delicious and hot buttered 'soldiers' to go with them.

So what else did I do today?  I stripped the guest room bed and got it ready for my visitor on Wednesday, put everything ready for washing and that turned out to be a useless big pile and no water to wash it with.  I also removed my sweaters from my downstairs bedroom and put them in the upstairs chest, put coats away now that it appears the weather has changed for the better.  I also put winter PJ's, tight and Bulgarian vests away ready for the coming winter remembering 'Ne're cast a clout until May is out' and I didn't and now I have.  I walked the garden to check on the livestock and how much of the garden was still to do.  I wasn't doing it today though, I've had a grueling few days on the wrong end of a grass cutter and today wasn't going to be another one.  My biggest problem was finding my swimsuits from last year.  I checked the swim bag and there was nothing in it, checked upstairs and downstairs and was giving up all hope when I fell upon the last folding storage box with 'bits' in and there they were.  By now it was three in the afternoon so Netflix went on and I watched a film that I really enjoyed and whats more, I didn't go to sleep....result.

I did another swoop of the garden to get some steps on my Fitbit, with the last few days being a hard act to follow.  I've managed almost six thousand and now it's on charge and I think those six were on the swimsuit hunt.  Nothing required for supper and I've just noticed that it's almost nine my time so soon be time to take to my virtuous couch and relax.  LN.....Note to waterboard...please bring back the supply to our hair wants washing.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 6, 2023, 6:42pm; Reply: 5
Tuesday 6th June

I take back everything I said about the water board, the water came on late last night and apparently there is a problem with the reservoir...the water is going somewhere and they know not where and one place it wasn't coming to was my village.  I watched a good film on Netflix last night and it was a happy ending ,,,,no sex and a love story, now that makes a change.  

I went to bed at twelve thirty, slept like a babe and woke up at six.  My first thought was the water and whether last night's appearance was for keeps or maybe they had further work to do on it today.  Having accumulated a fair load of washing, the first load went in six o'five and I was pegging it out by six fourty five and the second load was aready in.  I did four in total, everything is up to date and then I was looking for other things to do.....and I found them.  There has always been a gap between the fly screen and the outer door to the porch and I should have complained at the time but never did.  Last year I'd bought some sort of tape from Lidl that gets fixed to the frame, thus solving the problem.  I carefully measured how much I needed, got the step ladder out so that I could reach the top, stuck the said tape perfectly aligned, got down from my ladder, closed the door and fly screen and it was perfect....nothing could get through,  I opened the fly screen to get back into the house and as I did, the newly position tape fell slowly to the floor and I just burst out laughing.  It wasn't to be, the sticky obviously isn't sticky enough I'll have to look out for a new batch in Lidl.

Next job was to mend the stimmers feed lines which was a disaster so I gave up and used the little electric to complete the yard, the gap between the house and the wall and the outside verge and parking outside my wall for guests.  I finished it at one, photocopied the book for today's lesson with my student, swept and tidied the little house workshop, watered the plants on the terrace and was getting ready to set off for Djebel for the lesson.  We started at three thirty and it was only when he was reading the text that I realised, because the book is falling apart, I'd missed out one page completely but my bright spark added that the mice must have escaped, it made sense so we ran with that. Roal obviosly described it in more detail but we went with the edited version.   Lesson over at five fifteen, I decided to head into Karjali to update the contents of the fridge and goody box and add to Lidl trading figues.  Stopped off at the little supermarket for bread and a few other things and heading homeward in a fifty zone, one of the local constabulary sprinted across to my side of the road and pulled me over.  As I saw him I threw the packet of crisps that I was eating to the floor, reached for my purse for the documents that I assumed he would require, he greated me, asked me how I was, gave me a beaming smle and said that there wasn't any need for him to see anything, that everything was OK and I carried on home.  .

Car in the drive, shopping unpacked, freezer stuff split and in the freezer, goody box brimming over, washing in from the line and folded, hamburgers in the frying pan and chippies in the air fryer, served at almost nine and finished at nine thirty.  I'm absolutely's been a full on day and just over ten thousand steps registered on the energy tank is on empty, the washing up can wait for tomorrow.  LN.....It's been one of those days that you feel blessed to be able to achieve at my age......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 7, 2023, 9:13pm; Reply: 6
Wednesday 7th June

It's late, I've had a drive to Plovdiv and back to pick up a friend from the airport.  I'd spent the morning ironing the sheets and generally tidying the house up but at eleven, I decided I'd had enough, the sun was shining so I ladeled out the suntan lotion and settled down on the easy chair on the terrace from my balcony with nothing more than underwear on.  I was puttiing down the base coat for hopefully more days in the sun.  I had thought about running the mower over the grass but fortunately that didn't materialise and after an hour and a half baking myself, I had a shower and washed my hair and tried on several outifts for the airport visit.  

By now the day was moving on and I wanted to avoid the Kardjali exodus so I left a little too early.  As I approached Assenovgrad, the traffic coming the other way proved to me that I'd made the right choices.  I stopped off at Lidl on my way to the airport, on my list that I'd forgotten on Tuesday when I was filling up Mother Hubbard's cupboard were baked beans and horror of all horrors, Lidl in Plovdiv didn't have any.  What they did have were extra large Cornetto ice-creams, jelly sweets and potato salad that I've just  remembered I left in the boot of the Nipper.

The flight was more or less on time, we found each other, toilet stops for both of us, parking at the airport was three lev and then we set off for home.  On the way back through the mountains we stopped off at an old favourite restaurant of mine for cheesy chips and refreshments, the man apparently was closed for the early evening but opened it up for us all for a bill of ten leva.  Uneventful rest of the journey home, we stopped off at the supermarket in Djebel so that my guest could buy basics for her return to her home.  She elected to stay in the downstairs bedroom saying that she had too much luggage to cart upstairs.  LN.....I'm looking forward to my bed tonight, I'm tired and hopefully should sleep well......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 8, 2023, 5:09pm; Reply: 7
Thursday 8th June

So much for me thinking that I would fall asleep easily last night.....I didn't.  Games until one, tried to settle down and couldn't, the tops of my feet started to itch like mad and I though I would scratch holes in them.  My friend was tucked up in the downstairs bedroom and that's where the 'itchy foot cream is kept' and there was nothing in the bathroom cabinet.  On my bedside table I had some Vick to clear blocked noses so in desparation I tried a liberal dose of the said methol salve to both feet and low and behold it worked.  I went straight to sleep until six this morning, no smell on the feet but I must remember it works for most things.  There was no movement from the downstairs bedroom, I had a kettle on the landing so made my coffee, took it to bed with me, it was a beautiul morning and looked to be a promising day.  I made my second cup, washed and dressed, heard noises from downstairs so made her coffee, knocked and she was sitting up in bed looking really relaxed after the day that she'd had yesterday.  She'd already made coffee for herself so now she had two to go at.  The curtains were open so I opened the dividing curtain from the lounge so that she could see out to the hillside and then I went about the rest of my morning,

Washing in the machine, she didn't want breakfast so I made toast for myself with sour cherry jam.  We sat in the kitchen, she has things to work through so I left the talking to her and by now the washing had finished and I was on to the next stage of pegging it out.  By ten I was ready to drive her home, she'd been in England for six weeks so there would be a few things to do.  So electricity switched on, we tried to remove the cover from the water entry point but some bright spark had made it out of four inch thick concrete and it was just too heavy to lift off so I found a crow bar in the yard and started to lift and wedge underneath. She disappeared and came back with a policman have a morning coffee at the local cafe, complete with pistol in is belt, I think he though he was in for something easy to do, his whole demeanour changed when he saw the requirement.  He stood back, thought about it and I was on the right track...he used the crow bar to move it away from the opening so that the water could be turned on.  Number two task complete.   Freezer and fridge turned on, kettle for more coffee, and it was then that I said we should go and try her car to make sure that it would fire up...and it didn't.  I went to the workshop, found a battery charger, so took it out to the car and noticed that the red cable had come apart from the connector so it was back to the workshop and I repaired it.  So connected up the charger and and left it for about two hours and no go, put it back on charge while she strimmed the grass and I removed the stickly willy that was stuck to everything in sight and then we sat in the sun.

Eventually we went to the local shops, I've not been there for about three years and caught up with lots of old friends.  I bought apricots, chocolate and a pot of strawberry jam for a change, and then back to the benches in the garden for more chinwags.  I was ready to leave around five thirty and suggested that we tried the car one more time and success, it fired up.  I said farewells, refused the offer to stay for supper I wanted to get home, I'd got washing to get in and tomorrow I've got to do the grass again.  Almost seven my time, I've demolished a bar of chocolate and I think that could be supper unless I get the urge to be creative.  LN.....It's good to help friends out and we achieved quite a lot......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 9, 2023, 5:07pm; Reply: 8
Friday 9th June

Started watch Netflx and the Body Guard while I was having a late supper of tuna with Lidl prepared potato salad that I bought in Plovdiv.  It managed to survive staying in the Nipper all night.  I put some bottled beetroot in it, finished off with a chocolate pudding and slept like a log.  I'd fallen asleep downstairs in front of the TV, woke up suddenly, straight up to bed and asleep in quicksticks.  Bank on six when I came to this's getting to be a habit, I had nothing pressing to do this morning so was enjoying playing games, drinking coffee and just enjoying the morning.  Another beautiful day in BG.....toast with strawberry jam for breakfast followed by a yogurt, watched what I slept through last night of the Body Guard and then out with the mower and tackled the grass.  

I was out there until one when it was getting pretty hot out there, I was chugging up the steps on the Fitbit so I came in for a little rest and recouperation.  I hit the cream cheese with bread sticks, lots of sour cherry squash to keep me hydrated and I eventually went out there again just before three and finished off the grass.  Cracked Shell was almost caught betwen the devil and the deep blue and didn't know which way to go to avoid me but I avoided him or her instead and it eventually toddled off down the bottom of the garden.  Tools away and I went to check on my Fitbit to see how many steps I'd recorded and the only thing on the display were five dots with the middle one lit.  I couldn't remeber when this was was replaced by Fitbit for a previous faulty one so back to my virtual assistant and my daughter opened her last communication with them and confirmed that this was replaced in December 22.  We tried jarring it into life again and the teckies must have tried their end while it was on charge and eventually it sprung to life after much to-ing and fro-ing.  Fitbit had agreed with my daughter to keep the case open so if there were any more problems we'd be ready for it but instead, when they passed it over to the next department I received an email offering me a replacement or fifty percent off a new model.  My daughter says to accept it, only problem is getting it to me in Bulgaria.....I'll start conversations with them tomorrow when I'm more in the mood.  The last thing I want is for it to land up in customs and have to pay to get it released.

Now to 'hunt the supper', have a shower or possibly a bath this evening.  Good day, a little fraught towards the end with the Fitbit but I so expect things to last a little longer than six months. My daughter reckons I cooked it in the sun.  The company don't exactly get rave reviews from me.  LN.....I know them so well...and so does my daughter....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 10, 2023, 10:32pm; Reply: 9
Saturday 10th June

Very late....I've been with a friend to the Jazz night in a hotel in Kardjali and try as I might no way could I get the photos that she took and sent to me ready for posting....It will happen tomorrow.

I've had a very quiet day after yesterday's grass cutting, Avatar came round with some cheesy bread for breakfast but I'd already poached egss and was having them on toast when she arrived.  Hair wash and shower at around three, found something to wear for tonight and she arrived at four.  I was unsure whether she was bringing food over, we'd talked about it so I hadn't prepared anythng so I suggested we stopped for pizza in Djebel, I wasn't drinking because I was driving but she was so a solid base was required.  We stopped off at Kaufland on the way through Kardjali, Lidl were out of baked beans and I'd heard that Kaufland had them so I now have four tins and one with chilli flavouring...It should make a change for supper one night,

Lots of different sorts of jazz was played by various bands, the disco started at eleven, my friend took to the floor, I didn't since I was on water.  We left just before twelve and got stopped by the police as we drove through one of the villages outsde Djebel.  I recognised the officer, he recognised me and I asked him if he reqiired documents and he said that he didn't and we were soon on our way.  

I enjoyed the evening, music was good and next time I shall be boogie-ing away I'm sure.  LN....Photos to follow tomorrow or rather today......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 11, 2023, 10:40am; Reply: 10
Add on from last night
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 11, 2023, 6:00pm; Reply: 11
Sunday 11th June

By the time that I'd done the update last night it was very late. I slept through until six as per normal, had a bathroom break and then got my head down again and it was nine fifteen when I woke for the second time.  I felt pretty jaded, I'm not used to being out late at night. in a smoke filled, noisy atmosphere, drink is being consumed eagerly, young girls with older men and so this is Bulgaria at night.  I consumed one bottle of water all night, happy enough watching my passenger go back to the stamping ground from previous days and enjoying herself while I'm a voyeur.  I'm a little too old for that my quiet life, I did enjoy the music though.

We were circulating around ten thirty, my compatriot in crime stayed the night, coffee was consumed and I prepared poached egg on toast for breakfast and sent her on her way around twelve.  Cracked Shell appeared on the terrace so was air-lifted on to the grass and was last seen near the low wall at the bottom of the garden.  They certainly cover a lot of ground and very quickly.  The weather has been mixed today.  It clouded over, the wind which had been quite strong this morning dropped this afternoon but I felt cold, probably the tiredness.  I settled on the sofa this afternoon and managed to get my head down for an hour or so and I shan't be too late tonight.  Trouble is that I didn't have an early start and the day just rushes along, it's almost nine now and I've done nothing today at all.  I've just checked the weather for tomorrow and we are supposed to have clouds and sunshine with a high of twenty four degrees so if there's more sunshine than cloud I'm off to find a swimming pool.  There's not much to do in the garden and a day relaxing by a pool would be just right.  LN.....Camera charged so will update you with what I get up to.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 12, 2023, 4:47pm; Reply: 12
Monday 12th June

So my plans for today were blown to smithereens when the clouds started to roll over around twelve today.  I saw the sun rise at six more or less. there were a few clouds in the sky, it came out, hid itself, clouds dissipated and so I made breakfast of beans on toast with a view to going to the pool if the clouds rolled away.  Instead I settled on the balcony in a body, lashed on the sunscreen and baked for a couple of hours or so until the clouds came over again....only this time it seemed more serious.  The thunder started around one this afternoon so the pool was out, more clouds gathered and they got very black so I brought the chair and cushions in and settled on a film on Netflix to fill my afternoon.  I suddenly realised that I'd left my camera on the box outside so rushed out and came back very sodden, wiped it down and took a picture to make sure that it was working OK.  

Along with the rain it also got very cold so at five I lit the fire, it seems silly to be doing this in June but I still find it very comforting.  So after I'd lit it I pan-fried a couple of pork chops that I'd taken out of the freezer this morning, used the rest of the can of beans and served it up with the prepared potato salad from Lidl, eaten with the plate balanced on my knee watching a Barbara Streisand film,  I checked my ready to watch list and it was on there....maybe my daughter added it.  So this morning's efforts have left me with 'redness' on the tops of my legs which as I always used to tell the children....'it will be brown tomorrow' but in this case it might just disappear.  I've just checked out the weather for tomorrow and again it's predicting that we'll have another stray thunderstorm in the afternoon....this is getting a little boring now.  What's happened to those long sunny days?

Student tomorrow so have to print out a text and must make sure that I have all pages covered.  I think also some questions for him to work on for his homework.  It will be gardening for me tomorrow morning or another couple of hours in the sun to build up the tan gradually if it shows its face.  LN......Might even start watching Last Kingdom again or start reading the books.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 13, 2023, 5:48pm; Reply: 13
Tuesday 13th June

Five thirty start and it could have something to do with the fact that I went to bed early for me.  The weather had really closed in and I could hear the drip. drip of the rain onto the balcony railing.  It's only in one place and there used to be an old sock there but obviously removed when I had the railings painted.  Note to sock required.  I played a few games, out of bed by seven thirty, washed and dressed, washing into the machine and put on the clothes airer in the guest room.  I finished the beans off on toast for breakfast, washing up done and my day was mine.

The terraces were drying off but the mist was really slow to lift.  The sun did break through so at around ten thirty I did a walk round the garden to see if any of the tortoise had made it out from the proximity of the wall and I found all five of them.  Rosy was the first one just below the mulberry and Little Purple was very near to her.  Blue was near the walnut tree bed, Cracked Shell was near to the bonfire pit and Green God half way near the base of the high wall and they were all trying to find a little patch of sun.  Too cold and they freeze, too hot and they cook in their shells and I suppose the garden is perfect, there are many places to hide away.  Avatar popped over mid morning with two cards and she couldn't work out which was the bank card.  I looked at them and spotted that, yes one was a bank card but the other was her health insurance card for when she's in Germany.  I told her that I had my student this afternoon and did she want anything from Djebel, se mentioned tomatoes so I gave her two of the four that I had in the fridge and said we'd settle up later.  She did say that if I could get any spicy sausage that she liked, would I, so it was added to the list along with the tomatoes that I knew she wanted more of.  I printed off the lesson planner and when I got to the shop he was in deep conversation with his mum.  Apparently he'd had his final assessment to see if he was changing school and going to Kardjali next term which he wants to do.  I asked if they'd had a mock exam to prepare for the final and nothing, absolute tosh and he felt quite disappointed with how he'd performed in the written Bulgarian and there is only a maths paper to do...that's all they are measured on.

We did the lesson, another chapter of the book and it was another funny one.  There weren't many difficult words in it and he does read with such feeling that it makes me smile.  We finished up fairly quickly, went downstairs to the shop and he fetched ice-creams for both of us and I sat with his mother for a catch-up.  I stopped off at the shop on the way home and bought bread for the freezer, spicy sausage for Avatar and myself and tomatoes for her.  I took them over with the bill so that she can see what I spent and I told her we'd settle up in the morning.  I walked home, cooked a spicy sausage with onions and had it with the prepared potato salad and I'm hoping that Lidl have more when I go there next time.  It's turned into a very pleasant eventing, not a breath of wind and hopefully we will restore the June sunshine and fingers crossed for a pool sometime this week.  LN.....Time to  switch off and work is done for this week......only need to track my Fitbit replacement sent today......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 14, 2023, 5:12pm; Reply: 14
Wednesday 14th June

Another five thirty start, load of washing in the machine, things to take with me for my weekend away with the ladies from Djebel.  I played silly games but managed to get out of bed by seven, washed and dressed, washing pegged out, it looked like it could be a good day but it didn't turn out that way.  I had self suggested the swimming pool but as the day wore on the clouds gathered and althoug threatening rain, it hasn't so far but that doesn't meam that it won't.

Breakfast was a tomato sliced and fried in the pan from last night.  I had used it for a spicy sausage with onions and there was a slight tinge remaining but, salt, pepper I managed to cover two slices of toast with the tomato and I sat at the table in the stairwell to eat it.  I looked up and there was Avatar lingering on the terrace, she'd come to pay me for the shopping that I got yesterday but since I didn't have any change and only a twenty note myself, she went home with her money intact.  I'll catch her another time.

I settled down and watched what I'd slept though last night on Netflix, made a call to the UK around one and then felt that I should do something constructive or destructive so I unravelled the cable, connected it to the supply and found the man-sized hedge trimmer from the workshop and it was a day for cutting back the shrubs that had finished flowering or put on spurt growths.  I'd been looking at them for a few days, the forsythia in the little garden had shot up and so had the one near the lonesom pine and the lavetera behind it was going to have a rough time so now it has more light as does the potentilla next to it.  And it didn't stop there...the hydraenger has more light, the lilac and its mate next to it have lost around two feet and the cows over the wall have lots of new stuff to go at.  It's quite a heavy machine, I tried the hand held battery trimmer but it just didn't cope with the thickness of the branches.  Around four it really looked like rain so the washing came in but the heavy clouds disappeared, I think Avatar tacking her grass has frightened them away.  Tools away by seven and now I'm thinking about supper and I think it's going to be chicken dippers with chippies...the diet can start after the weekend away.  It's just hit me that the lily season is upon me....I have white ones, yellow ones, apricot and the orange day liles that are scattered round the garden.  Note to self....must transplant more of those to the rest of the garden and also the hypericum to the bottom beds as ground cover.  LN.....Late start but I achieved more than I set out to do....even bringing into play the stepladder at one point......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 15, 2023, 5:56pm; Reply: 15
Thursday 15th June

Early start again and I'm beginning to get tired of waking up at five thirty on the dot and instead of going back to sleep, I start my day.  Coffee, games, down to tidy the kitchen from last night, washed and dressed and at eight thirty I was going into Djebel to raid the cash machine.  There were only two people in the queue this morning so not long to wait and I dumped my car and hoped that nobody needed to go in or out and I was in luck.  I cleared the road for other users and drove to my student's mum's shop and she was surprised to see me so early in the morning.  She had a few customers but the streets weren't really aired and after fifteen minutes I made my move to the hardware shop next door but it didn't have what I wanted and then I remembered lightbulbs for the porch light.  It had pinged last night, I had forties but no sixties and I can't understand why I'm out of them.  The supermarket had them so I bought two and drove home, I had nothing else to buy or do.

I popped over to see Avatar who was sitting in her garden, she hadn't looked too good last night when I'd delivered supper, shattered from doing the grass yesterday.  I looked at mine this morning and decided that it can probably wait until Monday since I'm away this weekend with the 'ladies' from Djebel.  I sat down and on the table she had cheesy bread and told me that it was for me.  I'd had toast before I'd left for Djebel, now it was ten thirty.....heading up for elevenses.  It was a pleasant morning, I apologised that supper wasn't all that interesting but she said when you've not prepared anything yourself, anything is better than nothing so I agreed with her and we laughed about it.  

I came home and changed the lightbulb in the porch, made coffee and settled down on the sofa and put Netflix on and it wasn't long before my eyelids had gone southwards and I was out for the count for about an hour.  The next hour I was half asleep and half awake and eventually I get myself back together again and went out to work on the garden.  I took the branch cutter from the little house and cut some fairly big branched off the acacia that's near the well in the grave garden.  The poor acer that came from England was in the shade so now it's not and can see sunlight....that's when it's not raining.  It's gong to be a beautiful tree in about ten yeasrs and hopefully I'll see it.  I chopped the heads off the iris, tried to clear the brambles from the honeysuckle but it's in flower so didn't really want to disturb it too much.  I also took the honeysuckle away from the one lavender bush that's got really purple flowers on it, the others are more old English and grey tinged.  I sprayed a few pots with blue and green paint, took seedlings from pots and put them into other pots to make decent displays and another day, it will be finished.  No need to water tonight, we've just had a few spots of rain while I was putting everything away and as for supper, not really interested at the moment, bath and bed.

Avatar is having a few of us round for lunch tomorrow and then I have packing to do.  I have to be in Djebel by seven on Saturday morning so everything needs to be ready for lift off from here around six thirty.  LN......I'm going to run the bath, soak and relax.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 16, 2023, 6:19pm; Reply: 16
Friday 16th June

Another early start but I was slow getting off the mark and up and at it.I eventually got washed and dressed by eight thirty, cooked the remaining spicy sausage and had it with a couple of eggs, tidied the kitchen and remembered that I had apricots that were going over so the boys and girls were in for a treat this morning.  I walked the garden carrying the bowl and first job was to find my tortoise and first in line was Little Purple who showed no interest at all, I found Blue chasing Cracked Shell and an apricot took his mind off other things, Rosy was next and she had two of them leaving on in the bowl.  I went back to see how the others were doing and Green God must have been hiding so found half an apricot and moved it towards Green and he scoffed it down and all I found of the others were the stones.  

I didn't do much this morning, I had a lunch date for eleven thirty at Avatar's house so headed over and landed a job furniture removing to the back of the house for more privacy.  We also had to borrow chairs from Haciber's house, the lamb had been cooked with rice and I remembered to take my camera, it needed a photo for the relatives back in Germany.  The lamb was tender, the rice cooked to perfection, ice-cream to follow with a chocolate cake to take home.  It had been a while since I'd seen some of the ladies and today was an event for them but in some ways a shepherd's pie might have been easier for them to eat.  I'll probably do that later in the year, there aren't many teeth left.  I helped tidy away when the ladies had left, they don't sit around chatting like at an English is the priority and I was home for about three.  I was right, the photo had to go to Avatar's daughter in law.

Home for three, nodded off and was awakened by my friend from Fotinovo for a catch-up on the legal side of her life and everything is going swimmingly.  She had messaged me and because I was asleep hadn't picked up the message, she stayed for an hour or so and then I was determined to get my packing underway and now it's done.  I'm only taking my leather rucksack, just need something to keep the rain out and that's ready to go.  Apparently Sunday is going to be fine, Saturday showers but that seems to be par for the course at the moment.  Lunch fortunately was in the middle of two showers.  LN.....Early night for me...I have to be in the Nipper and away to Djebel by six fifteen, the coach leaves at seven.....switch on Bulgarian brain......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 17, 2023, 5:29pm; Reply: 17
Saturday 17th June

So much for my two days away seeing the sights.  I set both of the alarms on the phones last night so that I could get up in time and have realised that going away for two days is almost as difficult as packing for a two week cruise.  I hadn't been given the information as to what happening when only that I was to be in Djebel by the school by seven and I was there for ten two so well in time.  The journey was OK, it was a small minibus and I had a singel seat which meant that I didn't have to disturb anybody for anything.  The weather didn't look very promising but I was prepared with a fully waterproof jacket which I didn't manage to get wet, and somehow I managed to stay out of most of it but missed one of the highlights apparently while sheltering with other people in the holy place.  

First pit stop was at eight fifteen and I managed to get a cheesy whirl but I think they forgot the cheese and a bottle of water that's kept me going for  the  rest of  the day and will do tomorrow.  The first place  that  we really stopped was Tryavna, I'd been there before, lots of dinky doo shops and we all seemed to go in different directions.  There was some confusion as to when we had to be back at the bus, at first it was two hours but some were told two and a half so some headed back early and moaned about it.  Unfortunately the heavens opened as we were walking back, I just got back in time so managed to stay dry.  Eventually all were assembled and  we set of for Dryanova and it was decided that we would check into the hotel first before we set off for the  monastery and this took some time booking us all in and paying upfront so by the time we got going it was late, the weather was really setting in and again splinter groups were established and I joined the  one that didn't see the caves that were also something you should not miss.

All back to the bus, no plan for supper and no breakfast served in the hotel so it's going to be a buy what you can locally.  I joined up with a lady and her grand-daugher and we settled for hamburgers that were food but not to be raved about, left that group and found more of the  group drinking near to the hotel, stuck it out for a while but am now esconced in my double  room, it's only half past eight and I suppose I've got Angry Birds and Sudoku for company.  I didn't manage to get the  program installed for resizing photos in bulk so you will have those to look forward to tomorrow.  I've asked for the  program for tomorrow but apparently there isn't one so I'm on a mystery tour.  LN.....I think it  might  be the first and last of my away days with the ladies......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 18, 2023, 5:57pm; Reply: 18
Sunday 18th June

So bed followed shortly and I was awake at three thirty.  Unfortuantely the bed had got one of those waterproof covers on and I was in a wet patch so moved sides and settled down again.  The room was warm, I'd opened the window because I'm used to fresh air but it had been closed by mine host, there was 'climatic' but I don't like the noise.  I was out of bed by seven and by eight was buying a coffee at a coffee bar near to the hotel, the others appered in dribs and drabs and having done my packing was able to deliver it to the loading bay in good time for lift off.  Today seemed a little more planned but no sooner had we set off that someone must have told the driver that there were things to see where we were staying and we were offloaded and heading for the old school and the church with myriads of icons on show so lots were purchased and we climbed the stairs to the school.  It was set out in the ages that the education developed starting with sand trays, blackboards, paper and fountain pens on the last desk.  It was fascinating for the locals, the blackboard had old Bulgarian written on it and since most of the ladies were teachers, the visit went down well.

We visited Gaborvo and a craft village that had been specially created to show the work of the area.  There were lots of school children about and it was very interesting seeing the artisans at work.  A lot of work was looked at, they didn't look particularly happy perhaps they weren't selling enough,  After that we went to see another monastery and ended up at Shipka and the Shipka Pass.  I've been there a few times before so made the steps but not the tower but still happy to be making the one hundred and forty steps thereabouts.  We missed out on Kazanluc which I really love especially the Shipka Memorial Church but maybe next time and carried on to Stara Zagora which I really must pay a visit to.  Apparently it's the sixth largest city in Bulgaria and worth a look in its own rights.  

It was now getting on for five thirty so we headed back to Djebel and arrived at seven.  I filled up the car with the luggage and headed for home and by seven thirty I'd unlacked, the washing was in, I'd delivered buffalo yogurt to my Avatar as a present and watering my pots around eight.  Washing is on the airer and if it's a good day tomorrow, I'm destined for the swimming pool in Kardjali.  LN.....It's been a good two days and I'd join the ladies again.....Bodrum has been mentioned for September....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 19, 2023, 5:23pm; Reply: 19
Monday 19th June

So my early night did me no favours at all, I was awake at three, managed to get off eventually and woke up at not so bad after all.  I didn't bother with breakfast, put yesterday's washing away, washed and dressed and ready to go places by eight but just a little too early to go anywhere.  I watered the pot plants, they're not used to being without water with all the rain that we've been getting and they perked up immediately.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it made my decision for me...I was off to the pool for a day in the sun.

I drove to Djebel and had a few words with my student's mum and delivered her a small present from the holiday.  She was over the moon with it, I'd bought some wind chimes thinking that she could put them in their sun house in the garage where they have their barbecues but instead she said that she was going to hang them in the shop and give them the occasional knock.  They've got a very pleasant ring to them...almost like a Buddhist chime.  I carried on to the swimming pool and was there for about ten thirty and there was no one swimming or even lying on was empty.  The owner gave me a friendly greeting as did the other two that help him out, one of their grandchildren was swimming in the pool, it appears to be grandad's way of baby sitting.

I had the pick of the sunbeds, stretched out for a while and then slowly but surely got into the four foot end and started doing widths.  I managed to keep it up for about thirty minutes, went back to the sunbed, stretched out and just let the warmth get through to the bones.  It's such a nice feeling and nobody watching or competing,,,,just me ladling on the suncream.  I had my next swim around two thirty and did around the same length of time in the pool.  Last year it was taking me twenty five strokes to get across the pool and I counted them and I was still takiing the same stroke pattern.  Another stretch to dry off, more suntan cream and eventually left the pool at three thirty and headed into Kardjali to do a little shopping.  I paid my phone bill, bought a pair of Bulgarian shoes for pool days and hanging about, moved the Nipper to a new location and went to check with DHL as to why my package from Fitbit was, according to my tracking number, stuck in Sofia and when he checked it out he said that they had it in the office.  I confirmed my identity, he said that they only did runs to Djebel on Tuesdays and Fridays so I had it there and then...saved them a trip out to the sticks.

Shoping on the way back at Lidl, filled up with gas so that if I choose I can head down to Greece one day this week, stopped in Djebel for a few items and then tomato delivery to Avatar.  I cooked a couple of hamburger for supper and only fancied one so I put the other between two slices of bread, wrapped it in foil and took that over for her supper.  Share and share alike is our motto.  Grass cutting tomorrow morning while it still remains dry and student tomorrow afternoon, then my calendar is clear for the rest of the week.  LN.....Not a bad life egh and it's supposed to be sunny all week.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 20, 2023, 5:19pm; Reply: 20
Tuesday 20th June

So the rain last night put a stop to my grass cutting this morning.  I heard water, thought I'd left a tap running, switched on the outside spot light and it was chucking it much for the prediction that it would be sunny for the rest of the week.  The mountains were missing this morning hidden by the morning mist and it was pretty dull up until lunchtime.  I took my morning stroll around the garden and noticed a solitary tortoise near the mulberry tree and it was Rosy so I picked a handful of mulberries and dropped them in front of her and they were gone in quicksticks.  She was also enjoying the clover flowers, they were very near the ground so were obviously new ones.  The grass isn't that long but there are a few long stalks that need to be chopped back but no way was it happening this can wait until tomorrow.  I stripped the bed and into the washing machine it went and by now it was OK to put it out.  Avatar came round and paid her dues for the tomatoes and brought me round cheesy bread but unfortunately I'd just demolished poached eggs and ham on toast so no room but will have it later with the chicken that I'm cooking.

I printed off the next two chapters of the book for my lesson today and headed to Djebel for two thirty, sat with his mother for a while in the shop and then went upstairs where he was waiting for me with the football.  Five minutes of letting him score and beat me and then down to business.  I do love the little chap, he reads with such enthusiasm and intonation, it's The Witches and in lots of places the High Priestess rolls her 'r's' and this amuses him so we giggle about it.  We managed to do the two chapters and then we discussed what we think will happen next and I had to promise not to read the book before him.  He said that it's fun when we find out together.  Tomorrow he's going away with twenty other footballers to the Black Sea, the under fifteen Kardjali team that he plays for has come top of the junior league so this is a reward for them.  He's done well to get in the must be all the practicing we do!!

Home for six thirty, I sliced my chicken up the backbone and put it in the oven and added a jacket potato so cook at the same time.  I've just turned it over and the smell from the kitchen is making me feel very hungry, just after eight my time so should be ready soon.  Just made my bed up so a clean bed to get into tonight and despite the clouds, I think we should have a dry night so it will definitely be mowing and strimming tomorrow.  LN.....Better get an early night to build up my strength....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 21, 2023, 4:13pm; Reply: 21
Wednesday 21st June

Early to bed, early to rise....means that by the ends of the day you're knacked.  Clear blue skies all day, too hot to be doing the grass but a woman's work is never done.  Breakfast was the cheesy bread from yesterday made into sandwiches with the boiled ham.  I was a little concerned about Avatar.  I'd taken chicken over last night but all was locked up and noticed that there appeared to be a light on in the room facing the road which is not where she sleeps and I wondered if she had guests.  The front gate was locked so there was no getting in there so I toddled back over the road and put the chicken in the oven with the remains of mine, it was too hot to put into the fridge.  So at eight this morning I toddled back over the road and still the gate was locked, no sign of anyone about so I went back home still carrying the chicken leg and breast,  Around nine I looked over at the house from the guest room and noticed that the garage door was open, so neighbourhood watch could rest assured and I went about my day.  I did pop over and chastise her for not being available and she said that she'd not slept well last night so had overslept this morning and I told her that she had chicken for tonight and I'd drop it over later.

First job was to cut back the spherical bushes that I'd created, nature had done its thing and they had lost the shape.  I used the small hand trimmer and worked on them until the rechargeable battery was exhausted and also lopped off a couple of branches from the Acacia against the back wall,  It was completely shading the little bed and the shrub under it so now it has light.  Over the wall it went for the cows and then the hard task was about to begin.  I checked the mower and the petrol was empty so I turned the machine over and gave it a good clean underneath.  I was going to use it without the grass box so wanted a clean start.  I was surprised how long and thick it had become but I worked on it from twelve to one thirty and the big house grass was complete and it was time for a break.  I sank around two litres of water, a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar and started to watch Netflix and found an interesting series.  I watched two episodes, went outside again and started on the little house grass.  

It was a hard slog, I ran out of petrol and thought about finishing it off tomorrow but bit the bullet and managed to do all of it.  Tools away, hose pipes out of the little house, I noticed that some of the shrubs need watering so that my job for tomorrow along with some hand weeding.  I've managed to knock off over twenty one thousand steps today on the Fitbit and don't I know it.  Chicken delivered and I'll have mine with bread and mayo,,,nothing exotic tonight and then I'll go back to Netflix and continue watching the new series.  I'm thinking I must have picked it up from my SIL's wasn't presented against my listings.  LN.....And now for supper, hopefully I shall sleep well tonight......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 22, 2023, 6:29pm; Reply: 22
Thursday 22nd June

Half six when I woke up this improvement but I still felt jaded....I'd done lots in the garden yesterday and today was the day for getting over it.  I made coffee and took it out on to the was a beautiful morning, birds chattering away, swifts swooping and fly catchers taking up position on the lonesome pine.  What's not to like about the start of the day in my neck of the woods.  I brushed out my hair and put it back into a scrunchie....I'd gone to bed with it wet and when it dries naturally, nature takes over and since I wasn't going to show my face outside my gate, it would do for today.  I dressed casually, was drawn to a tortoise strolling across the grass and stopping under the doesn't take long for word to get round....they probably do it by telepathy or a few squeaks....but I didn't stop around to look to see if it was joined by others.

I cleared the kitchen from yesterday's debris, made toast for breakfast and remembered that I had some ham left so finished it off.  I went outside and sorted out the garden hoses that I'd brought out from the woodstore yesterday and also the sprinkler and set it up to water the garden near the wild plum with a couple of shrubs that needed a good soaking.  Also a few of the pots wanted watering so that was the next job on the list.  The bench from the little house terrace was put back in its normal place, I'd cut back the shrubbery and found the paving slabs that it had rested on last year and I strimmed the yard to get rid of the plantain bobbles that smack against ankles.  The battery lasted out for the gap between the house and the front wall but I went out to strim the grass on the outside and then it packed up....rechargeable batteries...pah.

By now it was becoming too hot to be out so I made coffee and settled on the sofa for a Netflix film and woke up after an hour or so.  Hunger had got the better of me so I made tuna mayo sandwiches and not it's supper time and I don't feel like eating anything.  It must be the weather.  I did a final walk of the garden this evening and it's amazing how many flowers are out, coming out or going over.  I've tried to have flowers that come up each year, my days of nurturing seedlings ended last year but I have found a patch of zinnia that need to go into the old fire pit and since I watered it well today, they should transplant well.  Just after nine, the sunset that was supposed to be spectacular was a let down, the setting sun went down behind a bank of clouds so that doesn't bode well for tomorrow.  LN......Be good for my transplanted seedlings though......LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 23, 2023, 5:10pm; Reply: 23
Friday 23rd June

Awake at three thirty and managed to get back off but only until five....I obviously didn't do enough yesterday to make me want to sleep longer.  I made coffee and sat out on the balcony enjoying the morning and saw one of the tortoise under the mulberry and guessed it was Rosy....I'm not sure that the others have found that it bears fruit yet.  I spotted CS a little further down the garden warming up in the sun, it was promising to be a good day and one that I was going to take advantage of.  I thought about the pool but couldn't raise the effort, I would do my sunbathing on the balcony putting up a modesty screen in case I had visitors.  I made toast for breakfast, put some washing into the machine, checked on the rest of the tortoise and nothing doing, noticed that the moles are having a field day and I think I'm going to have to bring in the big guns in the shape of Mole Smokes.  I tried the all singing, all dancing, buzzing and gyrating mole scare but it appears to do seems to provide a back drop to the digging and tunnelling....aaaahhhhh.

By eleven thirty I was on the balcony in my swimsuit and suitable oiled down.  I'd charged up my little kindle that's easier to read in any light and settled on a book that I'd started reading about the search for the magnetic South Pole.   It's easy reading, historic and written by Michael Paylin and entitled 'Erybus- the story of a ship'.  That kept me occupied and at twelve thirty I heard my name called out and one of the ladies of the village was delivering fluffy pancakes made my one of the ladies further down the village and that was my lunch sorted.  I had to oil down again it was really hot out there an only came in at one thirty because I was being bothered by a wasp that obviously liked the smell of the sunscreen and then I gave up.  I had a shower and washed my hair, dried it, got dressed, fiddled around trying to sort out a connector issue with my large ipod but nothing doing.  I might take it in to the PC repair shop, it might be a matter of taking the old one out and replacing it with a new one so that I can plug in a charger.  I thought I'd fixed it once before but it's not working now.  On to the sofa and back to my book, washing in at five, supper of the remains of the chicken with mayo and there are new episodes of New Amsterdam on Netflix so that kept me occupied until now.  I'm pleased to say that at long last I have started to develop a healthy looking summer glow and will have no problem at the swimming pool.  I mentioned that they had put the prices up to fifteen leva at my favourite pool but I was surprised to hear from my student that the same entrance fee is being charged locally and the pool is not so good so maybe I shall stick to the one that I know.  Washing in but still not put away, one last trip round the garden but I guess that they little beauties have already gone to bed.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far, I'll see how I feel in the morning.  LN.......I might even make it down to Greece......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 24, 2023, 6:17pm; Reply: 24
Saturday 24th June

Another early morning start, got settled into my book from yesterday taking away my focus on games on the tablet.  It was another beautiful day but I decided that I wouldn't spend another day in the sun, I'll let the rays from yesterday get the 'brown' cells rising to the surface, no need to overload the process and I certainly don't want to burn the skin.  I sat out on the balcony for a while and noticed one of the family heading over the grass so thought I'd go down and check up on all of them.  I only managed to find two of them yesterday and morning is the best time when they come out in pebble dashed hot spots to warm up.  CS was the one searching for food under the mulberry so I found a few fruits that had fallen and put them in front of its nose and they were devoured instantly.  In the bottom garden near the buddleia I found Green God and Blue far enough apart and near the bonfire I came across Rosy.  Only little Purple left and that was near the wall in the dappled shade.  All present and correct.

I noticed that my Pyrex dish was on the cushion chest on the terrace so went over to see Avatar and take over two tomatoes that I'd promised her yesterday.  She'd managed to cut her grass yesterday, it looked good but she didn't.  We're both getting on and it takes a lot of effort to stand on the wrong end of a lawn mower for around three hours so I know how she felt.  I'd had my down day yesterday and it turned out that I had another today.  The height of may day's activity was to manoeuvre the sun lounger from the little house, wash down the cover with detergent and hose it down, drag underneath the wild plum tree, test that the repairs I'd done last year would support my weight and they did.  I'd made a new cover but attached it to the existing one and it worked.  

I was reading most of the day, slept through the hot afternoon and started to cook supper around five.  I'd found some turkey burgers with a cheese filling so I put three in the frying pay and slowly cooked them so the cheese stayed inside not splattered everywhere, cooked chips in the air fryer, some for Avatar and some for me and I took hers over to her house just after six.  She looked what I taken over and said that she was going to eat it straightaway and I was going to do the same thing.  Everything locked up and put away except for the sunbed that's now found its place in the garden.  I was tempted to bring out the terrace umbrella but I'll move inside if I get too hot, the house is always cool with the amount of windows that I have open.  LN.....Another restful day, Monday seems like a good day for the tourists.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 25, 2023, 4:56pm; Reply: 25
Sunday 25th June

Seven start so not so bad this morning.  It looked like it was going to be another scorcher and the day was full of possibilities but all that I managed to get up to was giving myself a pedicure and shave my legs and prepare myself for the pool tomorrow if the weather is good.  I did cook breakfast finding a pack of smoked bacon in the freezer and I fried it off and had it with beans on toast but not quite like the smoked bacon that we have in England.  It almost went for the cat but instead went back in the fridge and I'll fry it up with tomatoes tomorrow and see if it's any better.

By lunchtime it had clouded over and looked very much as though we might have rain and it stayed that way all afternoon so at five I dug up the seedlings that are growing in the wrong place.  I set about clearing the weeds from the old fire pit bed, several out and one in but it was the one that I wanted there.  That took longer than I thought it would but it's done.  I also strimmed round the wooden surrounds to the beds to make them look tidier and while there was still battery power available I did the rest of the beds in the grave garden.  By seven most of the clouds had gone and as I looked out at the road I saw a van in Avatar's garden so I had to have a walk over there to see what was going on.  She is having a new kitchen fitted, it's ultra-modern and hopefully she will cope.  She's not very tall and even for me the units look high and hope she'll manage.  There's an oven going in with bells and whistles on it, lots of wall units and I only hope she can reach them.  

I left at seven fifteen with the empty dish from yesterday and the workmen made a comment.  I joked and said that I bring food over and all I get in return is an empty dish, let's hope things improve when the kitchen is finished and we laughed about it.  LN.....Swimming and a food run tomorrow if the weather is good.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 26, 2023, 7:16pm; Reply: 26
Monday 26th June

So it's not  pool day, I was rescuing cushions and hanging them over the balcony to dry.  Unfortunately The wind blew them down to the garden so another rescue mission was required.  I'd looked out at Avatar's house last night around midnight and there were lights on everywhere so I checked this morning to see if the van was still in the garden but it had gone.  I walked over around nine to see if she wanted any help, she was on her own but apparently the men working on the installation were there until one thirty this morning finishing off.  She invited me in and I expected to see everything ready but unfortunately they hadn't connected the electricity plugs to the cabling, there was no water connected or waste water pipes in place, the gas pipe was in but not connected to the gas bottle.  I felt really sorry for her, she said that she'd not eaten anything so we adjourned to the garage where she is able to cook and she set about making pancakes, I went home and returned about thirty minutes later to join her in breakfast.  I did managed to replace the yard gate back on its hinges, she hadn't managed it but now the cows couldn't force it open.  She didn't need any more help but I suggested that she contacted her son to find her some experts who could finish the work that the kitchen fitters had left.  He's in Germany but sure to know someone he can phone locally.

I had a morning of cutting back trees that have self set in the garden and lobbing them over the wall.  Tortoises were out and about with only Little Purple not able to be tracked down but everyone was in the wrong place.  Green was actually under the bench on the workshop terrace facing the wall but I left him to work it out...he needed a one eight rotation to find grass.  Last night's rain had watered the garden well, the zinnias that I planted yesterday are looking really settled in but I did plant them very deep to make sure. I came in from the garden around two, the sky unsettled so I took to the sofa, put on Netflix and had myself forty winks waking up around three thirty sleeping through the series I was watching.  At four I went back to see Avatar, she'd just woken up too and I'd taken over some empty clean coffee jars that she can use as storage jars when she come to start sorting things out.  I'd been given a small shopping list for the next time that I was going in to town but at four thirty I decided that I would go in this afternoon and what a mistake that was.  Djebel was heaving, lots of people are over from Turkey or back from abroad for the 'meat' Byram, a festive time for the locals.  I didn't manage to park up at my little supermarket so went to the other one further up and went to the main car park, bought everything I needed, chicken wings and onions, I already had potatoes and I would do supper for both of us.  I dropped her shopping off at six and warned her that supper would be ready for seven and when I returned, she was making a salad for herself to go with the meal.

I came home and had my supper, put my Netflix back on and recapped what I'd slept through, tidied the kitchen and again nodded off for half an hour so need another recap.  I've just looked out and it's raining again so I'll be drying things out tomorrow by the looks of it.  The upside, I shan't have to water the garden, the downside, not much chance of me getting in another swimming day.....those extra winter kilos are never going to come off at this rate.  Almost time for bed, nothing else on the agenda so far for tomorrow, most things are weather dependent these days.  LN.....It's in the lap of the gods......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 27, 2023, 5:12pm; Reply: 27
Tuesday 27th June

Not much to report in on today.  It was a very misty start, no clouds in the sky and looking as if the mist might burn off and leave us with a beautiful day.  I had a half neglected tomato that I took out for the tortoise, nothing to be seen under the mulberry where I dropped it but then I scooped half of it up and decided to walk the garden to see if there was anyone that I could find that might be interested.  I found Green down near the walnut and put it down in front of him but he was too busy warming up in the sun.  We'd had rain again overnight so obviously they'd hidden away and needed to warm up before they became at all active.  I caught sight of Rosy and gave her the rest of the tomato but didn't hang around to see what she did with it.

I cooked fried tomatoes and had them on toast for breakfast, washed up, tidied the kitchen and went outside to plant up some zinnias that I'd left in water overnight.  I removed a very large dandelion from one of the pots and slung it over the wall and from another on I took out last years sun daisy that hadn't made it through the winter and I'd been ignoring it but now it's sorted.  In it's place I planted the zinnias, the soil was very wet so I didn't have to water them in and they'd been sitting in water overnight so felt they were able to face the day.  I dressed for the pool, there were a few clouds gathering  but I just had the feeling that it would be OK and it was.  I arrived around eleven fifteen, there were a few sunbeds occupied and noticed that they'd now post a sign to say that the entrance fee was twelve leva where last week I'd paid fifteen.  The man behind the counter said that it was all down to me, he'd discussed it with the owner and they agreed that weekdays would be at the reduced price.  I paid my dues, received my swim band and settled myself on a sunbed, worked out how to register my swim time on my Fitbit without me wearing it in the water and had a very pleasant day topping up my suntan.  

I left at five, straight to Lidl to buy bottled water just in case the house supply goes off, potatoes, carrots and beetroot and I've decided that I'm going to try salad stuff apart from if it's green and try to wean myself off the night-time biscuits.  It's easier when the weather is hot, a good breakfast and you're set up for the day.  I really do need to take off a few kilos...but just a few.  I bought another whole chicken, they are good value and once cooked easy to pick at.  Beautiful evening, the cows are wending their way home, calling up wayward calves and all's good in my corner of the world.  LN....Supposed to rain tomorrow so I'm informed, I'll wait and see.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 28, 2023, 4:27pm; Reply: 28
Wednesday 28th June

Went to bed at twelve and woke up at six thirty so not a bad night.  It was another glorious morning but having the warning of rain from the man at the pool yesterday I thought he'd got it completely wrong but he was didn't come until much later.  I put the washing away from yesterday, the beauty of drying it inside the house is that you don't bring in buglies from outside.  I poached eggs and had them on ham on toast but didn't do that until around nine...I was too busy playing games and just enjoying the morning.

At eleven Avatar came over to pay her dues, all two leva and she handed me her purse to take what I wanted so I took the purse and shoved it down my t-shirt.  I was only teasing her and I managed to get her to sit down on the terrace and she looked at the garden and said how lovely it was.  Their gardens are mainly functional, I suggested that we cut a flower garden in the middle of her extended lawn where she used to grow tobacco but she commented that she doesn't want to do anything with it.  I handed back her purse and as I tried to zip it together, the zipper came off in my hand, it needed stitching but she said that she would fix it.  I tried to get out of her how much rice they normally put in the bottom of the dish and how much water when they cook chicken and rice in the oven.  She decided to demonstrate and into the oven went half a chicken on the bed of rice and water, she put red pepper on the top of the chicken, a little oil and salt to cover everything and into the oven it went.  I asked her what temperature but she said she didn't know, I took a guess at it and it appears I was out.  She came back around one and it wanted much longer but by this time I'd found her a new purse and she went away happy.  I said that I would deliver food when it was ready so now I upped the temperature, removed the chicken from the top, added more water and put a lid on the container.  I put the chicken back on top after around half an hour and left it for the same amount of time and then delivered it to her home.  She was very apologetic, saying that she'd got it wrong and I'd spent two hours sorting it but I think it was down to me and the temperature of the oven.

At two I was eating it, OK but not as good as chicken and jacket potatoes in my neck of the woods, the washing up is yet to be done but we've had the mother of all storms, very loud thunder, lightning and torrential rain and now we have rainbows at seven and I had to wait for the storm to finish before I put the internet on.    The end of the rainbow is just too far away to go out with the bucket and spade to bring back the pot of gold, there's bound to be a nearer one at some point.  Don't need any supper due to a late lunch, I think I'll stick to my method of cooking, it did us well when I lived in England.  Nothing on the  agenda for tomorrow so far, fortunately it will be too wet to mow the grass.  LN..... Looking at the mole hills that have appeared, I think I need to do work in that direction...the moles might take up 'smoking'.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 29, 2023, 7:03pm; Reply: 29
Thursday 29th June

So after more rain last night, the lavender bushes are flattened and everything was looking very sad and sodden.  It was only thirteen degrees outside this morning, such a change but there again, this year's weather hasn't followed a pattern.  We had no snow at all in the winter, spring was up and down temperature wise and everything was slow to grow and flower and still the plants aren't sure what to do.

I didn't wake up until six and then went back to sleep until seven thirty, coffee, games on the tablet and eventually I got washed and dressed at nine.  The kitchen was tidy, I'd done my household chores last night, the chicken and rice from last night went out for the cat and the tortoise had a peach that was going over but I only saw Blue to give it to.  I caught up later with CS and Green God in the bonfire garden but there wasn't much activity out of them, it was just to cold for them.  Avatar came over to bring back the dish from last night and we agreed that the rice was rubbish so she's going to do the rice dishes and I'm going to stick to the potatoes and vegetables.  I had thoughts of getting out the long hedge cutter but the mood soon passed.....and as for mowing the grass, far too wet, so I came inside and checked the car schedules for MOT's, insurance policies and the Beast is up for both this month and Beauty next.  

One thing off my mind I looked on Netflix for something to watch and came across 'Ann with an E' based on 'Anne of Green Gables' book and started to watch the first episode.  After the second one I was hooked, tears in my eyes like a true old softie and finished watching the first series.  I did have a brief moment of activity when I put jacket potatoes and chicken wings in the oven and delivered the takeout across the road to Avatar at six this evening.  The kitchen needs sorting, clouds are racing across the sky and it wouldn't surprise me if we get more of the wet stuff tonight.  If this keeps up and the grass keeps growing, I might have to invest in some sheep at this rate. LN...... I think it's time to start the second series......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 30, 2023, 4:36pm; Reply: 30
Friday 30th June

Silly me....watching Netflix until one this morning and slowly made my way up the wooden hills to bed.  I was quickly into night clothes and straight to sleep waking at six thirty this morning.  Not much of a sunrise, there was lots of mist round since the ground is so wet but once it burnt off, we've had a lovely day.  I played silly games waiting for the sun to warm up, made my way on the balcony and sat in one of the chairs with my coffee enjoying the warmth and watching birds come and go.  I took the big camera outside but was finding nothing worth taking so switched it off and that's when the woodpecker landed on the lonesome pine.  By the time I'd got it fired up and the zoom on it was ready for the next feeding station and only just managed to catch it on camera.

I made ham sandwiches for breakfast and took it outside to eat on the terrace and Avatar came round.  She was having problems with her telephone and couldn't get the internet working but my problem was that the screens were all in Turkish so I was going where I'd not gone before.  I phone another friend in the village who speaks Turkish and understands phones and I sent Avatar down to get it sorted.  By now again the day was full of possibilities but none that I wanted to participate in, the grass was still damp underfoot so I had the perfect excuse for not doing anything involving machinery.  She came back a while later and it hadn't been fixed and this time she came bearing rice with meat that she'd cooked for guests who hadn't arrived so I had a prepared lunch.  I was going to save it for later but since it was now half twelve I decided to have it while it was hot in front of the television...yes I was back binge watching.  At four she was back again, and she now had the password for the internet.  I took my phone with me and played with my screen and managed to pick up the internet address and could have connected so I knew there was nothing wrong with the WIFI.  I pressed various buttons on the screen and eventually Networks and WIFI opened up so I had the internet address and noticed that the WIFI slide button was set to OFF so I slid it across to ON and low and behold we had lift off.  About twelve messages came in on WhatsApp and it was buzzing like fury, eventually it stopped and everything was working.  The difference is, the family set her up with these things and don't explain what to check if anything goes wrong so I went through it with her in a training run and now she should be OK.

We sat in her garden for an hour or so in the sun and at seven I came home.  We did made twenty four degrees today but there's a chill in the air now the sun's on it's way down and it's time to go round shutting doors and windows to maintain the heat.  Gardening day tomorrow, the problem isn't the grass, it's the long stalks from the weeds that need to be cropped.  Not going to be such a late night for me tonight...only two episodes left in the second series and not starting on the third unless I get carried away again and if I do I should be carried away. The things become addictive.  LN.....I've given up cigarettes and booze and now it looks like Netflix is to be added to the list.....LN
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