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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JUNE 2024
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 1, 2024, 6:35pm
Saturday 1st June

I've just come in from the garden at nine o'clock and what a day it's been.  I was up and about early as per usual and first job was to make toast, clear the kitchen and think about cutting the grass.  I realised that I would have to wait for it to dry off which in fact it didn't do so I took the little hedge trimmer and cut back the shrubs in the grave garden and gave a rounded shape to a couple of the others that had become straggly.  While I was in the mood I decided to cut the sprouting linden tree, it puts up so many root-lings and should really have dug them up but instead took them all down to ground level and saved the leaves for my neighbour's cows.  Into a big garden container and into the wheelbarrow for her to take back to her garden and I wandered over the road to Avatar's house and we sat in the garden for an hour or so generally sorting out the village...the world is too big a problem for the likes of us.  My neighbour eventually headed down pushing the wheelbarrow to her house and my friend who wants a cutting of everything in my garden was visiting her mother so we had another half hour, I pushed the wheelbarrow home ready for the next time.

It was by now too hot to work outside so I thought I'd settle down with my book but instead, I held the book and went to sleep for an hour or so.....such is life.  I looked out at the grass, my heart wasn't really in it but I went out anyway and stuck up the machine at four thirty and wasn't sure where my day had gone.  I have a slight problem with the grass box and a very big problem with moles leaving humps everywhere .  The grass box has sprung apart where it connects to the grass outlet so I set about cleaning the grooves that the lugs are supposed to fit in but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it to connect up so that's a job for another day.  As for the mole hills, I managed to avoid most of them but I think that's going to be a chemical solution, or mole smokes which I've used before.  It was so wet earlier in the year that they've not tunnelled deep, so I can flatten them out but  I need to take back control.  The main house grass is finished, the cows had a field day so to speak finishing off the cuttings that I put over the wall and tomorrow I shall do the other after lunch.  Avatar's nephew is thinking of moving her from Turkey, speaks English quite well and Avatar sent a breakfast invitation for nine thirty for crispy pancakes at her house.  

So before I came up to write this epistle, I put a couple of chicken breast in the air-fryer and it's about to ping anytime now.  It's been a productive day and I feel that I'm going to sleep well tonight and hopefully a little longer that six in the morning.  Better draw my curtains tonight.  Sorry no pictures, they'll be better anyway when the garden is finished and I might take some at out gathering in the morning.  LN......I've just heard that ping...supper is almost there.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 2, 2024, 4:40pm; Reply: 1
Sunday 2nd June

Not a good night's sleep. I awoke at four and six but then managed to sleep in until eight thirty...disturbed but lengthy.  Unfortunately I've felt tired all day, I'm putting it down to the weather, I had high hopes of finishing the grass but instead I watched it grow for most of the afternoon.  Thunder has been hanging around since twelve, no lightning just rumbling thunder which is like promising a performance that never happens.

I went for my allotted breakfast gathering but there was only the four of us there.  I took the camera but it seemed rather intrusive to take pictures so I didn't.  Avatar's nephew had introduced himself to me yesterday and had delivered the invitation and since I was five minutes late was on his way to fetch me and in the hurry to leave I'd forgotten to take the pine-tip honey that I love with fluffy pancakes......another time.  We finished the meal and sat out in the garden, the daughter and cousin were off to find the daughter's old house in one of the local villages, I was invited but left them to it.  I was going back to finish the grass but then realised it was much too hot to be pushing a lawn mower for a couple of hours so settled down with my book and that's when the thunder started and the afternoon descended into reading and nodding off, waking and munching biscuits...not very productive at all.

Eventually the rain came, one of the yucca flowers is now on the grass, the other two have made it so far but there again, the flowers are so heavy and the weight of the rain on the stem just couldn't take it I guess.  The sun is out for a last fling and hopefully the ground is warm enough to try out the grass so that I can finish it tomorrow.  Some very bedraggled looking cows are wending their way up to the hill and lots of bellowing is going on from the calves to find the mothers and from the mothers to the calves to follow them home. I might go to Kardjali tomorrow and leave the grass until Tuesday morning before my student's lesson.  LN.....It's all weather dependent.....in the lap of the gods......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 3, 2024, 5:04pm; Reply: 2
Monday 3rd June

Yesterday wasn't a good day for me, I was in bed by around ten but the temperature had climbed and the air was muggy.  I read for a while, switched off the light and fell asleep but woke around two thirty with no sleep left in me.  The light went on, I reached for my book and read until around four, back to sleep until six realising that I might as well get up there were a few things I could do.  I removed the seat pads from the bench on the balcony and tide them to the balcony rail to drip and hopefully dry which they did  and now they're secured to the bench until the next downpour.  I also remembered that this was the morning that the seven planets were aligned but no chance of seeing anything, it was a dull cloudy morning and having read up on the event, you needed powerful equipment to actually see it.  I made coffee, went out and sat on the bench enjoying the early morning.

I was going to stick to my plan and go into Kardjali and Djebel to pay my outstanding taxes for the year for both cars and the house tax.  I had a shower and washed my hair, put a load of washing in the machine including the towels, put on a kaftan that I'd discovered in the chest downstairs and went back out onto the balcony.  The day was full of promises and was warming up nicely.  I dried my hair, got dressed and it was still only eight o'clock so I had toast, more coffee and was ready to leave around nine remembering to take my car documents and company card with me, I would need both. Easy journey in, there was very little traffic, I parked up near the office and fortunately there was no queue, I waited until the assistant had finished dealing with the man in front of me and handed over my company card that had seen better days.  The girl was having problems finding the number and I suddenly remembered that the same details were on the car document so handed that over and she was soon asking me for the money, I paid up so one job done.  I walked down to my cheapy clothes shop and found a pink cotton shirt and an oversized shirt for a total price of five leva.  Next stop was the bank to sort out my internet pin code, I'd forgotten all about it so went in and asked if I could see the second in command, security waved me through and she managed to sort it for me.  She questioned why I was using the Momchilgrad bank and I replied that there are very few customers, I'm normally seen quickly and now they know me....it makes life easier.  By now I'd had to send a text and add more time on my parking so took advantage of it.  I went into one of the larger shoe shops, found a style I liked, couldn't decide if I wanted the brown or grey ones so I bought both spending only forty leva on both of them.  Back to the car, I gave Lidl and Kaufland a miss, drove back to Djebel, paid car and house taxes, caught up with my flower shop lady and went to the car-shop to return the rucksack that I'd borrowed for my holiday and hand over the presents.  My older student was there, apparently it was his old school rucksack and he said I could keep it.  I said that I would buy it from him so the fee was one lev, I offered him ten, he said to put it in the bag which meant I would still pay nothing.  His response was that he was pleased to be able to give me something.

Drove home, tempted to cut the grass but the temperature was still pretty high so I fell asleep reading my book making up for the sleep that I'd lost last night.  I washed the shirts, hung them to dry upstairs and now ready to wear, not too bothered about supper, it's a very still night so perhaps it's going to settle down for a while.  LN....I've had a very relaxing day, fully paid up member, sorted out my bank and grabbed a few bargains as well......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 4, 2024, 6:12pm; Reply: 3
Tuesday 4th June

Another five thirty start and at seven I was outside with the mower to finish off what I'd started.  It was still a little damp underneath but I did it anyway, well most of it. I've still got under the big pear tree and to finish off around the bonfire but instead I chose to do the yard, the area between the wall and the house and outside the wall.  The strimmer behaved itself for a change and I didn't end up cursing the thing, the little electric mower needs a new blade and I really must mend the grass box on the biggie.  It was throwing out most of what was being cut.  I went over at nine to sit with my Avatar, her daughter had gone into Kardjali with her nephew so she was home alone, she produced a cheesy bread and the Fanta so that was my breakfast before I went back to the grindstone.  I came back and trimmed the bushes that have finished flowering on the low wall and did some weeding throwing it all over for the cows and by one I'd had enough, it was getting a tad hot and I had my student lesson this afternoon.

Showered and slathered myself in coconut cream, dressed in jeans and a white blouse and decided to try out one of the pairs of shoes I'd got yesterday.  Getting things ready to go I went on the hunt for my driving glasses and searched high and low.  I decided to forget about them, I had another pair and I'm not into the dog and white stick stage yet.  I parked up outside the shop at three, went up shortly after to the apartment, fifteen minutes of football and then thirty pages of the book and we have only about fifteen left to read but that's for next time.  He had more studying to do with a German test tomorrow and really keen to do well.  I mentioned that I'd mislaid my glasses and he asked me where I'd lost them.  My reply was that if I knew where I'd lost them they wouldn't be lost and we smiled at each other...we have a good relationship and I'm introducing him to British humour.  I went down to the shop and had an hour with his mother since the shop wasn't busy, home and the search began for the glasses.  I was about to give up but something told me to check my downstairs bedroom and I opened the shoe box from the pair that I was now wearing and there they were.  Don't ask...I don't know.

I've just finished watering the outside plants since it's been really hot for the last couple of days, I'm about to think of supper but that's after I've put the fruit through the juicer.  A couple of the lemons had mould on the skins so I've washed it all and I'll put the juice in the freezer, much more convenient.  LN.....Greece tomorrow and need to be at the meeting point by eight thirty......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 5, 2024, 7:33pm; Reply: 4
Wednesday 5th June

In the Nipper by eight this morning, bag and car packed for a day at Fanari beach in Greece and it looked like a very promising day weatherwise.  The journey over to the pickup point was uneventful and very little traffic on the way over and after everything was loaded the road to the border crossing was even emptier.  There was a few cars waiting but the new regulations mean that we don't have to have our passports stamped any more the residency card gives in right to travel anywhere in the EU so guard it well.

We stopped off at the usual breakfast place but settled for only coffee, the cakes looked very enticing but we took a firm stand and denied ourselves goodies.  Back in the car and found our usual parking place next to the rubbish containers, walked down to our secret beach, no one in sight and set up camp.  It didn't take long for my passenger to start her usual walk of the beach finding interesting coloured stones.  I covered myself in suntan lotion since it;s the first time this year that some of the bits had seen the sun and I shall be looking at the outcome a little later before I get into bed.  I don't feel any sore bits at the moment so that's a good sign.  I ventured into the water and although it's a beautiful and secluded spot there is quite a bit of weed growing and you go from sandy patch to sandy patch and I ended up lying on the small stones and just letting the water go over me.  It was obviously cold to get in but once in there it was really refreshing, out to dry up and apply more sun lotion, bit more sun and then back in the water.  

We stayed there until four thirty, packed up and found our usual restaurant and ordered only a few dishes but it was huge when it got to the table.  We managed to work our way through it, the bill was very reasonable and back in the Nipper and heading back to the border by eight.  Again no stamps in the passport, went in for a coffee when we arrived at the drop off point, set off for home at around nine arriving home at nine thirty after a cracking drive over the mountains and home.  The only traffic was on the home straight when four cars were going in the opposite direction and out of the village, maybe going to paint somewhere pink.  LN....Nice to be away but nice to be home....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 6, 2024, 4:44pm; Reply: 5
Thursday 6th June

So after the day of sun and high temperatures yesterday, this morning was dull, not cold but for most of the day has been threatening rain.  It didn't rain and would have been a pleasant day for gardening but my heart wasn't really in it.  I'd had too much sun yesterday, I had a really late bath to wash off the suntan spray, didn't manage to find the aftersun and today my ankles had somehow got affected more than anywhere else and had itched like fury and they both felt stiff so there wasn't much activity out of me today.

I'd unpacked my bag last night and put the clothes in the machine and when the machine finished they went straight on to the airer in the upstairs bedroom.  I put those away next to the bag for the next time and loaded the machine with other clothes and once the machine was finished they went on to the airer and they're now ready to be put away too.  Next job was to sort out the hanging space in my bedroom, a few jumpers hadn't managed to find a summer home in the chest and now I've put them away and have more hanging space.  The contents have now been sorted into light summer cardigans and jackets, shirts and tops and long t-shirts making them easier to find.  The freeing up of coathangers means that I have more in the guest bedroom for hanging washing to dry and they're already on hangers to put in the wardrobe....method in my madness!!

I hadn't bothered with breakfast, put four boiled eggs into cold water and hard boiled them.  Two of these I mixed with mayonnaise and that was lunch over and done with.  For most of the day I've been reading the first Game of Thrones book on the Kindle and at one stage it was almost necessary to put on the lamp, the clouds were so dark, but then the clouds rolled over to Turkey so that was OK.  At five I watered the pots and the garden and this year I'm using the long hose instead and ready for when I have to do selective watering of garden shrubs.  I've still got seedlings to put out and move to other beds, and hopefully tomorrow I'll have a bit more enthusiasm for weeding and finishing the mowing near the bottom wall.  Another job on the list is to repaint the tortoise.  I think it's been so rainy that they've been going into their winter holes scraping off the nail varnish.... I even mixed up Rosy and Red although Red is much bigger, Green and Cracked Shell are still obvious but Blue and Little Purple look the same so there might be some name changing going on.  I don't think they'll notice.  LN.....Supper time calls although egg mayo is still sitting heavily......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 7, 2024, 5:47pm; Reply: 6
Friday 7th June

Another six start and it promised to be a reasonable day.  There were a few clouds about but nothing that wouldn't burn off, the sunrise really looked promising and I really do love the way that the clouds form in the valleys.  I'd got lots on my agenda for today but wasn't all that optimistic about getting round to them and it was a very late start probably around four this afternoon when it was starting to cool down a little.  I dressed for the garden which was a start, watered some of the pots and ended up cleaning the Nipper.  There was quite a lot of seagull poop splattered on the bonnet and just general dust.  I found an old brush that the men use for applying whitewash to the inside walls of the house, washed it out and it worked a treat.  The Beast really needs doing but that seemed like really hard work so I'll take that down the garage tomorrow morning if the mood takes me.  It could really do with a run, hopefully there'll be enough charge left in the battery to start it in the morning.  

I popped over to see Avatar and now she is on her own.  Her daughter left yesterday and she has no more visitors planned until her granddaughter comes in a month's time, we can get back to normal with me cooking the odd meal and taking it over the road to her.  I work on the principle that if I've cooking one I might as well cook two, it's no more effort.  She was just getting to the juicy bit of a local story when I heard the door go, we thought it was the next door neighbour and waited for the other door to open and it was her grandson.  He had a small job to do in the next village and had stopped off to see her so I left them to it and came home settling on the sofa with my book.  It was now getting to the stage where it was too hot to work outside so I didn't.  Instead I had a late brunch of two hard boiled eggs, potato salad that I'd got from Lidl and I added a small tin of tuna to the mix following it with ice-cream.  I was just about to start the ice=cream when Avatar appeared, I thought she was having trouble with the grass mower so went back with her and it wasn't.  They'd left her with a dishwasher which no one had really explained to her and somehow she had set the delay on it so I cancelled the delay and switched it off.  There was very little in it so I offered to help her do it by hand and we came to the opinion that it wouldn't be used until the family arrive in a month's time.

I've sorted out some of the stray pots.  The long wooden trug that I made now has more petunias in it and another unknown plant that I got given, the sunflowers are in the large sectioned bed and the wisteria that I grew from seed is now in its own pot in new compost so should do better until I find a spot for it or give it away.  I've topped up the compost on some of the beds and weeded others and tomorrow I'll put in the rest of the marigolds so they're not hanging about.    Lots of noise tonight when it was time for the cows and calves to head home.  I reckon some of them are only a couple of days home and as they were herded home, there were frantic cries from mothers and calves.  I think in the UK the husbandry is better, I don't think they get shoved out on a hillside at two days old and there must have been around fifty cows, some calves are older but lots of newborns and it was twenty eight degrees this afternoon.  Maybe me being a softie..  LN...Now to think about supper but can't say I'm really serious about it....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 8, 2024, 6:20pm; Reply: 7
Saturday 8th May

I was almost in Greece again today, I was invited to Samothraki but it meant that I had to be in Djebel for six this morning to catch the eight o'clock ferry from Alexandroupolis and to be honest, I just couldn't raise the effort.  The invite was to go with a friend and her husband, with a car, her boys didn't want to go and I don't like playing tag which is what I was afraid of.  Instead I found plenty to do here, the wet spring has made everything very enthusiastic about spreading into any space that is available, especially the weeds, sticky willy and vetch, although pretty covers everything else.  The plus side is that the plant is easy to remove but the roots are adventurous.

Seven start this morning, coffee and yet more coffee as I read my book in bed.  At around eight thirty I moved my 'bed' onto a chair with a footstool on to the balcony, put on some sun gear, applied sun cream and baked for about an hour and a half until the sun got really hot and I came in and drank lots of water.  Breakfast was on the agenda so I scrambled a couple of eggs, did them in the microwave and had them on toast, washed up, tidied round and moved to the sofa....it was just too hot to be outside and working and I'd had enough sun.  Game of Thrones book was has bitten the dust, I found book two on the Kindle and decided to leave it, I had work to do.  First job was to tidy the space round the outside sink.  I'd put cuttings into water in containers, hadn't looked after them so nothing had rooted so I emptied them all away.  The garden is pretty full and I only give them away.  Everything to do with garden hoses is all in the same place so no hunting round for connectors and joiners, I repotted three of the same species that I've been given but in different colours, two had outgrown their pots and the other one just needed love and attention.  I've cut back the wild plum offshoots, rounded them off with a little topiary and the bottom four have all joined to make a hedge between the grass and the rocky grass near the bottom wall.  Hose pipes connected, both buddleias have had a good drink and have lots of flower heads.  The lavender at the bottom of the garden is beautiful this year and such a vivid colour.
The sunflowers that I put in last night seem to be settling down, I did water them in well and gave them more this evening.  

Today has just flown by, Avatar was just finishing off her grass, I walked home and suddenly realised that it was just after eight.  I'm thinking about supper but I don't think there's going to be any movement in that direction.  Everything locked away, spotted three tortoise putting themselves to bed on my last tour of the garden and I shan't be long but first a bath.  Hedge trimmer on charge for tomorrow, today's debris is waiting to be collected and put over the wall but I'll wait until it's all finished, the cows will soon appreciate the change from grass.  LN.....Finish the garden tomorrow...swimming pool on Monday if the weather is good...first this year......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 9, 2024, 6:30pm; Reply: 8
Sunday 9th June

So it was late this morning....six thirty and woke up to a swollen lip again and haven't a clue what caused it.  I took an antihistamine tablet, drank lots of water, took my blood pressure and that was up so have decided to take the tablets for a month or so until it settles down again.  I made toast but with just butter, lay on the sofa and promptly went to sleep again while trying to read my book.  It was eleven when I came round, unlocked the little house and the wood store and took my extension cable reel out and strimmer and a few more toys to play with.  Today's mission was to to establish the bench back in its old position against the high wall between the garden and the tree and objective achieved.  It didn't stop there, the path behind the flower bed is clear and next thing is to cut the trees down to around three meters and put a fancy bed behind the flower bed.

I came in around one for water, finished off the pot of Lidl potato salad, had a bowl of ice-cream, settled down with my book, it was too hot to be outside.  Yes, you've guessed and it was three when I woke this time but straight back to it after more water.  I was out there until seven, Avatar came round and asked if she could borrow my heavy duty pruner so I went over to her house and when we got there, she hadn't any  steps.  She wanted the grape vine trimming where it's attached itself to the pear tree and is worried about the electricity cables.  I managed to get a hand hold on the pear tree, got on top of the wall and with the cutters managed to trim enough of the long branches off so that she was a happy lady.  I tidied her up and threw the branches over the wall for the cows, went howe and was finishing off a putting things away when my  direct neighbour who is over from Turkey came into the garden obviously to look around.  She's never really been over the threshold before and was impressed, just like I am every day.

Half nine my time, it's a long hard slog when you start something like the long wall but I'm half way down it.  I suppose sleeping is healing, I feel fine now and didn't have anything yesterday that should have brought that on.  I'm going to stick to water until the morning, not so hungry when it's hot.  I might just might have a day off and go to the pool tomorrow for a little more exercise, it should be quiet on a Monday.  LN.....Let's see what the weather looks like when I wake up....and how I feel.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 10, 2024, 6:10pm; Reply: 9
Monday 10th June

Up at six thirty and spent most of the morning reading on the balcony.  It was a very hazy morning, not much heat in the sun and would have been perfect for gardening but the enthusiasm wasn't there.  I'd done lots yesterday and felt I deserved a day off so I took one.  I was humming and aghring as tp whether is would be open. it's late in the season and not very good in May but I decided to risk it.  I settled for toast for breakfast, gathered my things together and was in the Nipper at eleven and heading for Kardjali.  Lots of traffic on the road and probably most of them returning from a long weekend in Greece and I was heading out of Kardjali and up into the hill and my favourite swimming pool by about half eleven.

On the way up I was looking for umbrellas round the pool but didn't see any.  I carried on up the lane through the forest and when I got there there was only one other car parked up and only knew it was open when I saw a couple of teenagers at the far end of the pool.  I approached the bar area where the money is taken and had a very warm welcome from the owner.  He said this year was pretty slow off the mark because of the weather and he had no ice-cream or drinks in yet, I guess he was slowing down the launch so that he only paid bills when there was income from the pool and who can blame him.  I settled myself down the shallow end of the pool albeit four feet six deep, didn't bother with an umbrella, my legs wanted a coating of the brown stuff, I wear trousers in the garden.  The only others in the pool were three teenagers.  I soaked up the sun for about half an hour then braced myself and took to the water.  It wasn't too bad getting in the first time, the surface was warm despite a cool breeze, underneath it was cold but pleasantly so and I must have been swimming backwards and forwards for thirty minutes or so.....really good exercise especially for the joints.

I got out, put up the umbrella, firstly dried off in the sun then moved into the shade with the Kindle and carried on reading my book.  I realised I was about to nod off, checked the time and it was two thirty so thought it was about time I had another dip in the pool, the air had got very muggy and there were a few peels of thunder in the distance.  Another spell at drying off before the clouds spoiled the day and at four I packed up, said goodbye to the owner and headed to Lidl.  I'd got a short list for myself, tomatoes to get for Avatar, bought a face washing product for my other student and decided to deliver it on the way home.  I stopped for gas since it had run out on the way into Kardjali.  My student was home, she insisted that I had a bulgur and chicken concoction that she'd made for supper and I sat while her mother and herself stuffed vine leaves for the Muslim festival this weekend.  Apparently the sisters take it in turn to host the event and they have thirty people turning up this weekend. some local and others from Turkey requiring accommodation.  I've been invited for lunch tomorrow with her and her sister and we'll have change to discuss plans for Cappadocia, Varna and Greece.  

Home for seven thirty, tomatoes to Avatar, shopping unpacked, washing in the machine and hopefully will sleep well tonight after a very active day.  It didn't rain in the end, it's a funny evening, muggy yet there's quite a cool wind blowing.  As I said lunch out and then student tomorrow afternoon. LN......The gardening will have to wait until the end of the week.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 11, 2024, 6:40pm; Reply: 10
Tuesday 11th June

It was a little chilly on the balcony at six thirty this morning but it seeon warmed up.  I took my little Kindle out with me, I had nothing much to do today, my lunch appointment was for twelve in Djebel and then my student at three this afternoon.  I made scrambled eggs for breakfast and then set about making the bolognaise sauce to stuff the cannelloni for this evening but the sauce was made but the rest didn't happen.  It's now sitting in the fridge and it will be served up tomorrow with white sauce and it's going to be my treat for Avatar.

I popped over to see her this morning and she offered me breakfast but I'd already eaten.  I asked her if she wanted anything from Djebel since I was going in this afternoon and she apologised saying that she'd forgotten to ask me yesterday to get her some yogurt and I asked her if she wanted twenty percent fat or thirty and she said ....'percent. percent...what is that?' and we laughed about it together.  I had a shower and washed my hair and set off at eleven thirty for Djebel and had to park away from the house, the local council had closed all the roads off and I ended up at the new car-park and dirt tracked it to the other entrance to the house.  The sister was there, the younger one made me an omelette, mother appeared and then father and they were over the moon that I'd taken found a set of electric lights to pretty the garden up for their festival this weekend.  

I left at two thirty, retrieved my car and drove to the shop, we started the lesson at three fifteen and finished it early since we'd finished the book, I went down to the shop and sat talking to the mother and the older son's girlfriend, didn't get home until seven after dropping off the yogurt at Avatar's house   hence the lack of interest in cooking anything.  It's been so hot today and is still up in the top twenties at the moment....quick shower and then bed.  LN.....The day is all mine tomorrow...I'll let you know what I get up to.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 12, 2024, 6:22pm; Reply: 11
Wednesday 12th June

Five thirty start this morning so I made coffee and went back to bed....this was too early for me but it had been a sleepless night.  It was very hot last night and not much air movement despite having windows and connecting doors open.  I was down to only a sheet covering me. tried to concentrate on my book but unfortunately didn't manage it.  I'd raced through the Last Kingdom books with a sense of achievement as each one was finished but Game of Thrones is a different kettle of fish.  The books are so long with lots of descriptive passages and I find that I'm skipping some of them and only going for the story line.  I've got the series on a computer somewhere. maybe I'll have to look it out and see if I can get it to play on the television...worth a try.

I took to the balcony, the sun was already up and there were lots of delicate clouds in the sky but when the sun broke through, even at six thirty this morning it was  hot, hot,hot and so much so that I went inside I didn't want anymore sun on my legs.  They've been itching like fury and applying aftersun after washing them seems to work at night but I think that I need to see a pharmacist,  Vinegar works but you end up smelling like a chip shop.  Bananas, chocolate breakfast cereal and 'smetana', which is a sour cream, started me off for the day. I went out and opened up the workshop and the log store showing good intentions but that's as far as it got and I've just locked them both up without even going inside.  Not sleeping well last night had left me lethargic and I really couldn't drum up the enthusiasm to feel guilty about it.  Instead I took to the sofa with my book, went off into the land of nod, woke up with my legs itching like fury and stupidly I'd put my jeans on ready for the garden so I took them off, found a pair that had split above the knee, cut them off and that eased the itching somewhat.  I now have a new pair of shorts which I'm sporting with pride.  More sleep this afternoon and woke up at four thirty and started to prepare the cannelloni which all went belly up.  The flour was old so I couldn't make a white sauce so instead heated up the bolognaise. opened a new bag of pasta, one portion for me and another for Avatar, slapped smetana on both and walked over the road to deliver supper for her.  I came back and had mine, finished clearing the kitchen and found a letter on my computer in response to a letter I send back in April with the message from them, 'Sorry for the delay' and I think it needs a carefully penned response which I will do tomorrow.  I know doctors are supposedly overworked but two months to forward a letter that was written as an update to me in April which apparently only needed forwarding.  I have the feeling that it's not overstretched....it's thoroughly broken and needs a complete overhaul.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow so far and I might keep it that way.......LN.....Another day at the pool might be on the cards.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 13, 2024, 5:34pm; Reply: 12
Thursday 13th June

Dull start to the day and that was OK for me, I wanted to do the grass.  I had a late start for me, it was seven o'clock but that was to be expected, I didn't get to bed until one, I had a late bath, fell asleep for must have been a couple of hours but I was soon off again.  I went out with my coffee and book to the terrace but it was not very pleasant so decided to get on with the plan, tool out and prepared for action around eight thirty.  I started off clearing the area around the rubbish container, the grass had grown and dried and it had put a stop to my bonfires so now the area is more or less clear.  Unfortunately the bin is full so that another job added to my list.  

I started off with the strimmer and had unwound enough cable to clear the bottom area.  The little mower came into play to get rid of the plantain stalks but I really wasn't making much headway so the big mower came out and now I was on a roll.  I'd finished the big house grass by one, noticed that Avatar was sitting out so went and had about half an hour with her and eventually went out again to tackle the rest and one or two dust clouds were flying as I went over a few mole humps and one or two ants nests have been severely upset.  I also managed a minor repair on the grass bucket, I dug out the channels that the lugs fit in with a very narrow screwdriver, overtime they'd filled up with dust and grass cuttings.  I managed to get it all together and secured the tow halves with metal wire and tightening it with the pliers....jobs a guddun and it seems to work.

Tools away by six and popped over to Avatars to have ten minutes in the evening sun, Haciber decided to join up so we moved the chairs into the shade and she promptly fell asleep but one of those that wakes up, adds a few words to a conversation, surprises everyone and then goes back to sleep.  I put a stop to it by putting my chair back in the garage, Avatar went into the house and brought out my dish with a cheesy bread that she'd bought that morning for breakfast, I came home and I'm now having it for supper since we've just had a mini-cyclone come through, pots overturned, plastic containers all over the garden, bird table is down so I moved everything that was tall into the protection of the wall. The wind was hitting the gate with full force so I went out and put the padlock that I normally put on when I go away so make it more resistant to the force.  The furniture from my balcony is in the bedroom, cushions are in, both up and down, and the terrace umbrella is down and tied up.  It was just so sudden and looking at the jet streams overhead, I bet those passengers experienced some turbulence.  It's still blowing but not quite a gale and hopefully it will calm down before nightfall.  No need for supper now that I've had the cheesy bread, I should last until morning but I've still got room for ice-cream.  The hot water boiler is on, I had to remember to change the time on the clock, the electricity has been up and down all day so they must be working on it.  LN.....Let's hope for a quiet night......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 14, 2024, 5:32pm; Reply: 13
Friday 14th June

I woke up at six, it wasn't a bad morning so put the chair back out and the cushions but maybe it was a little premature.  The clouds built up, I came inside I brought the cushions in from the metal chair, the table came in but I forgot to bring in the ones from the bench......wrong, the heavens opened and some you win and some you lose.  According to the news though, we've not had it so bad as 'up north', they've had hailstones the size of golfballs breaking car and house windows and damaging crops.  My bird feeding station still lies on the ground, it needs a repair so it can wait until I feel like going out into the workshop and doing a proper job on it.

As for the rest of my day, I felt really zonked this morning after working so much in the garden yesterday but at least the grass is all the same length now and it's not made up of nodding plantain seeds.  I should really go out there with a weed killer but I'm concerned that there won't be much grass left and I do have tortoise to think about.  Looks like I'll be digging them out then.  I popped over to see Avatar, she was last spotted trying to attach the plastic over her outside cooking stove in the middle of the storm and I wanted to make sure she'd not got blown away.  I was tempted to go out and help her last night but she'd given up, done the best that she could and probably wouldn't have wanted to start again.  She said that the wind and rain really worried her, her roof is an old one and it was really blowing a gale out there.

I didn't do much today, the rain came over again and we had a torrential downpour.  I was tempted to bring the Pagero out for a soaking and give it a clean but that idea soon went out of my head as soon as it had come in.  I settled on the sofa and stated to read my book and the next thing it was two thirty and I felt much better for it.  The clouds by now were sitting on the horizon over the mountains, I walked the garden and found two of the tortoise risking it and bot were drying themselves off in the sun.  I decided to feed Avatar and myself this evening, brought two chicken legs out of the freezer, peeled potatoes and skinned an onion and that would be enough.  This morning Avatar had given me pancakes that she'd made so decided to heat up some cherries, stuff the pancakes and put some cream on them and by six everything was ready so over the road I went, stood and delivered and came home to have mine.  Everything washed up, while supper was cooking I found a book of Sudoku and that kept me off the computer this afternoon.  The wind has dropped, I should stop watering my shrubs and check the weather reports first.  LN.....Freecell, book and bedtime.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 15, 2024, 4:24pm; Reply: 14
Saturday 15th June

Up early again, bed stripped and everything washed, it was so warm last night.  I hate it when the bed gets sticky round me so now I have a pristine bed to get into.  That was my first burst of activity, the second didn't happen until later, I settled down to read my Kindle.  Washed and dressed and went out to feed the cat with last night's chicken leftovers, ham that was past its sell by date and the remains of the spaghetti bolognaise from the other night but I see that that wasn't to its liking.  I saw Avatar sitting in her garden so I went over to wish her good morning and 'Chestit Byram', we sat in the garden and the first lot of pancakes arrived....and that was the start of many.  We took these inside and had them with honey and yogurt followed by Fanta orange and I came away with yet more pancakes....for later.

So another load of washing into the machine and on to the clothes airer to dry, it's been a beautiful day but I still prefer to dry clothes inside...too many little bugglies about.  I'd noticed a couple of the tortoise out this morning sunbathing and warming up so I did the rounds to see how many I could find and I managed to find four.  Rosie was attacking the wild plums, Blue was munching away at the remaining weeds and grass, CS was looking very sleepy under the weeds at the bottom of the garden and Green was looking very perky and going morning exercises.  As for Red and the other Blue, not even a sniff of those two.  The bird table is re-established, knocked into shape with a hammer and one of the supports that had split in the fall was secured with the help of a hammer and medium sized nail.  It's quite a heavy thing with a concrete base on it but that wind came through at a heck of a pelt, tobacco were broken off and one of my Gaia has lost one of the long spikes.  The geraniums have had a tidy up and I managed to find some more water containers for the bottom of some of the clay pots and that should help to retain the water.  

By three I'd settled upstairs on the comfy chairs, Kindle in hand and yes, you've guessed it, I had my afternoon siesta.  The washing is dry and put away, kitchen is tidy and after all the fat intake with the pancakes I shall be starving myself tonight and probably settled for yogurt and that will see me through until tomorrow.  Gardening tomorrow if the weather is like this, there are some weeds that want removing from the flower beds and I have petunias and more marigolds that need to go in.  There are a few clouds about so I won't say that summer is finally here, don't want to make rash predictions.  LN.....Bath, book and bedtime....and I'll draw the curtains tonight, six starts are getting to be the norm......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 16, 2024, 6:01pm; Reply: 15
Sunday 16th June

Very sleepless night...I was awake at two, no sleep in me so read until five and eventually I was out until eight so in fact a very slow start to the morning.  I did my morning admin which consisted of getting rid of the junk mail...do these people or machines have nothing better to do?  I gave Princess a call, I hadn't spoken to her for a while and do miss her dulcet tones and sense of humour.  I made breakfast of yogurt, cherries and an apple that my Avatar had given me yesterday and that set me up for trying to sort out the very full bonfire bucket but I gave up and found something else to play with which included cutting off the branches from the tree that had come down, putting the wild plums and foliage over the wall for the cows.

By now it was heading towards twelve and was too hot to be outside so took to the sofa with my book and you know the rest.  I woke up around four, tidied tools away from this morning, had another attempt at trying to reattach the handle to my trusty old garden fork and this time I managed it.  I screwed in a very long bolt and filled the gap with cord which I'll cover with strong glue when I get round to it.  I also whipped the handle so it stays in the same position, inline with the prongs, and I'll give it a whirl.  Last time I went to the trouble of creating a square plug on the handle to stop it turning in the stem but the wood's that old that it wasn't possible to attempt that again...but at least it's done and will do until Lidl have a special offer on garden forks.  I carried on by watering the garden, watched the men bringing the very reluctant cows home ...it was too hot for them to move and notice Avatar walking along the road so went for a catch-up.  She was off to see her nephew and had been invited for a Byram supper but she insisted on giving me two mini=chocolate biscuit bars and wouldn't take no for an answer.  I finished off outside and locked up, we've got red sky at night so hopefully it will be good tomorrow and if so I'm off to the pool.  It's much quieter on a Monday, I can get a few items on my way back through Kardjali and I have an invite to my other student's house for supper.  LN.....I've had a good day, still need to sort out the bonfire before I can set fire to any rubbish.....it's on the list.....LN  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 17, 2024, 4:24pm; Reply: 16
Monday 17th June

Seven start for me and felt much better for it.  Breakfast was toast with marmalade and despite the day being full of 'potentials' I did nothing that I can really write about.  I've had a very lazy day.  I did manage to clean a kitchen rug that I'd spilt something on.....it was already out on the terrace so I picked it up and put it over the wooden box, sprayed it with water and washing up liquid and gave it a good scrub, rinsed it off and put it on the bench to dry and now it's back in the kitchen.  I also put up a new string of solar lights from the fir tree to the bird table, not sure it's in the right place but I'll check them out tonight or tomorrow night if I didn't get the on switch on...it's one of those funny press button thingies.  The rubbish is still waiting for me for me to wheel it down to the container but I'll run it down in the Nipper tomorrow.  

By now it was approaching eleven and very, very hot and decided against the pool and I have enough food to last if I did deep enough.  I went out on to the balcony for a spot of sunbathing but I was in for one, it was much to hot so I took to my bed with a bowl of Greek style fruity yogurt with chocolate breakfast cereal on it and had it while reading my book.  The second book of Game of Thrones has ten percent left but considering the number of pages, it's going to take me until tomorrow.  I did put the book down and go to sleep but only for a short while and then back to my book for another one percent.  

I was going to my student's house this evening but decided against it.  I'd had an invitation from her mother last time I was there but was waiting for a follow up that never came.  I know they've been very busy with thirty guests over the two day holiday and didn't want to put any more work on them.  There'll be other times.  I did a photo shoot round the garden and I never realised until I was trying to get it the photo just how tall the gaia had grown this year and also the orange lilies.  Maybe it was die to the amount of rain we had and are still having to some extent, the white daisies are doing well too.  I noticed that I also have a gladiola flowering with more to come.  Pots are all watered, garden watered, I've been well watered all day and my rack of pork ribs is cooked and ready to be eaten.  LN......I've had a very pleasant meandering day......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 18, 2024, 5:38pm; Reply: 17
Tuesday 18th June

I woke at seven this morning and noticed CS munching away at the fallen wild plums getting a start on everyone else.  I did the tour but nothing was stirring and they'd probably found better things to munch on that the dried up grass.  The solar lights that I'd put up yesterday shined brightly through the night, not sure they're in the right place but they'll do for now until the mood comes over me to put them somewhere else.  Toast for breakfast followed by yogurt and breakfast cereal, probably should have had the toast  first but no real need to stand on ceremony when you're the only one in residence.  Ms cat was hiding in the shade of the mulberry and I suddenly remembered that I had bones left over from last night so I went back to the house and fed her and they didn't last long.  The baking dish went into the outside sink and I only remembered about it tonight when I was watering the pots but it's now pristine and ready for the next time.

I spent the majority of the morning on the balcony with my book and I needed to find the small umbrella to get myself into the shade.  I rescued it from the boot of the Nipper, attached the pole to the railings of the balcony next to the bench and securing well.  I didn't want it to end up in Turkey.  I really do need to buy a new one or make a new cotton cover for it, this one was very cheap but it has one or two small tares in it,,,adequate for where it is but I should do a proper job and do some railing curtains as well.  It wasn't a job for today though, just a relaxing morning  with the third book of Game of Thrones until I had a shower and washed my hair, I had my student lesson this afternoon.  At one I suddenly realised that we'd finished the book so I needed to find something for us to fill an hour with, found PDF's of Roald Dahl books, tried to print out a few pages for today and remembered that I'd had problems with the printer after I'd put the scan program on to the machine.  The scan works perfectly but as for printing, the printer keeps asking me for the network password and today wasn't the day for messing around with it.  I'll put more effort into it tomorrow.

I put the container rubbish in the car, moved it onto the grass and Avatar was walking towards me.  I went to meet her she asked me if I was going into Djebel, I said yes and she asked me to get her money from the Bancomat.  I said I was driving down to the container and that I'd stop on the way back, I pulled up and she had her bankomat card in her hand.  She was having work done to finish off her flooring, the materials were already delivered and the man was coming tomorrow.  I drove to Djebel, parked up outside the shop, had ten minutes with his mother and then went upstairs for football and we went through a text that I'd found in my study.  It wasn't brilliant but we worked our way through it and between us managed to answer the questions.  Down to the shop for ice-cream time, I came away with ten eggs from their chickens, wnt to the bancomat and raided it for Avatar and drove home.  There are just too many visitors from Turkey around at the moment.  Home for six thirty, delivered the loot and suggested that she put it under the mattress for safety which is our little joke.  Watered the garden, Rosie was munching at the green areas of the yard but had found her night spot when I went to move her on to the grass area at the back of the house.  No supper for me tonight, it's just too warm to eat.....maybe later.  LN....Tossing the idea of swimming around in my head at the moment....all weather dependent.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 19, 2024, 5:53pm; Reply: 18
Wednesday 19th June

Another six start but then back to sleep again until seven.  I was thinking about the pool but that's as far as it went, I noticed one of the tortoise away from the wall in the shade so went to investigate.  It was CS and as I walked down along the short wall I heard some screeching and a few bangs and realised it was one to one tortoise signalling an attempted coupling.  I couldn't see which ones they were, they were moving more or less against the wall behind the dried weeds, more squeaks and clattering so I waited until they both emerged and it was little Blue trying it on with Red.....the biggest in my collection.  I didn't stay any longer, it was nature and since it was very hot in the garden, very early on, I went back inside my curiosity satisfied.  

I was finishing my container of yogurt and not enough to put into a bowl and sat at the table in the stairwell eating it.  Suddenly there a thump on the window and another bird had been caught out and tried to fly through it fluttering down to the bench that the outside sink sits on.  It was up on its legs, obviously a little stunned and I saw the cat walk across the grass up the steps and I was just hoping that he wouldn't spot it and it didn't.  The bird sat there a while, took off and landed  in front of the pine garden, obviously having difficulty flying and the next minute, the cat shot towards it, picked it up and ran off with it.  There was nothing I could do, told myself that this was nature and that it was all being presented to me this morning.

I popped over to see Avatar to see if she wanted anything from Djebel, her workmen were busy fitting tiles to the surrounds of the hallway to finish off the job.  She was in the kitchen and had cooked chicken, sliced tomatoes laid out for the men, she invited me to join them but it was around half eleven so too early for lunch and too late for breakfast.  She asked if I could bring her a bottle of Fanta so I added it to my list, I only wanted Coke, mayo and plain white candles and more cloves.  I'd found a reel on FB and it required the candles to be melted, cloves added and ground coffee and it's supposed to deter mosquitoes and other beasties.    I drove too Djebel, returned three egg carton, delivered sixty five leva of change to the chemist so bought the things I needed for my candles, managed to find a large umbrella for the terrace to replace the existing, bought supplies from the supermarket all on money that I'd saved up in loose change.    Avatar has just made it over the road with a five litre pack of ice-cream that she had given to her and I've got no room for it in the freezer so I filled up a container and sent her back with remainder.  She also wanted to pay for the Fanta, so I said that we'd trade ice-cream for Fanta but she was having none of it and off she went.  The cows are still making a row in the field, they don't want to go home or have lost calves along the way and are very reluctant.  No supper for me, I had a packet of crackers about an hour ago and that will manage me until the morning.  LN....The fan is at the ready....it might be needed tonight......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 20, 2024, 4:28pm; Reply: 19
[b]Thursday 20th June[b]

So yesterday I found that I'd slept more than I should during the day so when I came to night-time no sleep in me so at eleven I was running a bath and emerged from it at twelve thirty.  I'd put the fan to whirl before I went into the bath but stupidly I'd left the little window in the bedroom open so it did no good whatsoever....doh.  I switched it off, left the window open and lights out at one thirty but I forgot to draw the curtains and that moon was bright.  At six I was awake again but this time managed to snuggle down again and it was eight for the second revival and this time I was ready to face the day.  

I gave the garden a good watering, had my second cup of coffee, packed my bag, took too long to decide what to where which is very silly, I put clothes on, my swimsuit is under my outdoor clothes, get to the pool, take off outdoor clothes, fold them up, finish swimming, hope swimsuit is dry before I put said outdoor clothes on before I drive to Lidle for a top-up shop.  I arrived at the pool around ten thirty, I'd phoned a friend to see if she wanted to join me but she wasn't feeling too good so we put it off for another day.  I went to my usual place above Kardjali and there were a few more people there than last time but still plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to be had,  The water was cool to get into but when I'd put on a brave face on it, it was beautiful and I stayed in there for quite a long time just going backwards and forwards, on my front and then on my back just enjoying it.  Lots of swimming interspersed by reading my Kindle and at four I decided to make a move.  I'd had my last swim about half an hour earlier so had dried off more or less so just put my long shorts and top on.

The roads were so busy, lots of Turkish number plates in evidence and as I pulled into Lidl carpark, a car was just pulling out of a space on the front row and I slotted straight into it.  The rest of the carpark was jammed.   I did a very basic shop,mainly butter and the things I can't get locally, tomatoes were on offer so I got a pack for Avatar, she get's through them pretty rapidly.  Home for six, shopping put away, clothes in the washing machine and ready to run, tomato delivery made and now the evening is mine.  LN......I really enjoy a day at the pool and the exercise has got to be doing some good.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 21, 2024, 4:38pm; Reply: 20
Friday 21st June

Well there's not been a lot of activity today.....it's been much too hot to do any work in the garden and too hot to sit in the sun without there's a pool to cool off in.  Maybe I should invest in one.  I was awake at five thirty, put the washing away from yesterday, did another load to sit on the airer in the guest room, washed up from yesterday and did emails and it was still only eight and wondered what to do for the rest of my day.  I had breakfast of eggs with mayo on toast only because I'd boiled six and they were sitting in the fridge.  I sat at the table in the stairwell eating breakfast and watched the temperature rise knowing that my work outside would be very limited.  

I did a walk of the garden and saw none of my dependents.  I filled up the dustbin lids with water for them, there are four around the garden and either they'd stayed out of the sun or found a cool place under the soil in their winter homes.  I put the old umbrella up on the balcony, went down to get a bottle of water and came back to find it inside out but still standing.  I was tempted to put the new one up that I bought the other day but I didn't want the same thing to happen to this one.  There was quite a breeze coming off the mountains from the north-east so I mended the old one with hair bands, took my book outside and settled down on the bench for an hour or so but soon came in.  I'd already made my bed so I thought why not lie on it so I did, picked up my book and it was one when I woke up.  Advantages of the Kindle, it closes down when it spots inactivity, the pages don't get bent if you sleep on it and it remembers what page you were on.

I toyed with the idea of making the candles this afternoon but in fact I did nothing again, back to my book, watered the garden when the temperature dropped, filled up the watering holes and yet again, it's been up in the thirties today and still no signs of the 'gang'.  Garden and pots are watered, favourites for me are the oleanders, lots of flowers and not demanding and the honeysuckle perfuming the balcony.  Made tuna mayo for supper with carrots, onions, potatoes,and beetroot and one dish to go over the road for Avatar which is sitting in her fridge.  Mine is now devoured.  LN.....I think a nice long cooling bath is called for......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 22, 2024, 4:04pm; Reply: 21
Saturday 22nd June

Six start again this morning and it was threatening to be another scorching day...and that's what it turned out to be.  I'd thrown a bit of a wobbly last night, the dogs in the next village were barking for all they were worth and it was around ten last night so I stood on my balcony and shouted 'shut up' to any one that might hear me.  They were also talking very loudly, the talking stopped but the dogs didn't but to add insult to injury, one of my other neighbours had the strimmer out at eleven.  It's one thing to wait until the sun has gone down but it's another to wait until the moon is fully established. Some people are just inconsiderate and it seems to be the ones that are new to the village.  I'd taken lots of pictures of what appears to be called the strawberry moon but my camera hadn't picked up the colours.  To the naked eye it was more like orange than strawberry coloured ...I'll have another go tonight with my little camera or maybe I need to adjust the colour settings on the big Sony.  

Another warm night but having said that I didn't sleep badly, I had a late tepid bath last night and felt much better for it settling off quite quickly.  I could have a shower but the bath lasts longer, it's upstairs so I can tumble into bed when I've dried off.  I read for a while but it wasn't long before I my head hit the pillow....this heat saps the strength from you and I notice it now that I'm older.  Nothing much about this morning, sheep coming along the roads with the guard dogs, car horns hooting for them to get out of the way and the cows being released on to the hillside.  I'm sounding really grumpy which is very unlike me  and I'm putting it down to the weather.

I didn't bother with breakfast and settled for ham sandwiches around eleven.  Delving in the fridge I noticed that I'd bought chicken sings from the local supermarket the other day and had done nothing with them.  I washed them, put them into the frying pan to brown off and then into the slow cooker and I have supper ready prepared and accompanied by a slice of bread, no need to stand on ceremony, it's only me this evening.  I watered the pots and noticed two male lizards obviously rooting out the insect from the terrace and taking water from the bases of the flower pots....you're very welcome boys. I also gave the Nipper the once over, there are a few birds that appear to use it as target practice.

The was candles are still sitting on the worktop but I really couldn't be bothered to make them into insect deterrents...as we say in Bulgarian....drug put...another day.  LN.....Now for supper and back to my book and then another bath before bedtime.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 23, 2024, 6:23pm; Reply: 22
Sunday 23rd June

Five thirty start and another sweaty night and day time temperature today was thirty three outside and thirty two in.  I was drinking my second cup of coffee at eight, decided to walk the garden and feed the cat with the bones and scraps left over from last night...I was on the hunt for tortoise.  I spotted Green first in the Grave garden and realised that it was tracking Blue and I've really given up trying to sex them.  I found Blue clattering shells with Red the other morning and it's by far the smallest of the group and Red the biggest.  They'll be using pronouns next!!  Red this morning was between the front wall and the garage so I put another dustbin lid out with water in it so now we have them sited over all the garden.  I also managed to clear the cobwebs from the outside of the upper large windows on the stairwell, I'd found a brush and in the woodstore found a long handle that screwed into it or so I thought but managed to join the brush and handle with elastic and it did the job.  I also removed two of the hanging wasps nest from the stalks to the annoyance of the wasps but they were catching on the door fly-screens anyway.  Much safer out of the equation.

On my garden walk I found that I'd lost another fairly large branch from the garden against the long wall so I twisted and turned it, used the long loppers to get the majority down and the rest came away quite easily.  The whole lot of them need to come down, I could do it with the reciprocating saw but I need someone else to be here to pick up the pieces if it goes wrong.  Alternatively we have lots of chainsaws in the village and it would only take around twenty minutes to fell them and I could do the tidying up...no change there then.  I was drawn today to the cornflower bed, they appear to have gone over and are crowding out the shrubs that I planted there.  I've now thinned them out considerably and have put the wood chips from last year over three sections and really watered the area well.  I've got some advanced seedlings that I could do with moving and it might be on for tomorrow after the water has soaked in and the wood topping saturated.  

About eleven thirty I went into the house, it was getting really hot out there, settled on the sofa and got stuck into my book.  I snoozed for a while but settled for cake and ice-cream to revive me and carried on reading....there was really nothing else to do and there was quite a through draft in the house.  I went out again around six, watered the garden again, lobbed the faded cornflowers over the wall and a few down the bottom of the garden to seed under the wall ready for a second flowering this year or starters for next.  I had a mishap with the garden spade.  It's an adjustable one and only about four years old but for some reason the handle adjusted itself of the spade and I couldn't see how it went back together again so I found a hole in the hande and one on the lower part of the spade, lined them up and added the screw.  It's not longer adjustable but there again, I never adjusted it anyway.

I came in at eight, tools away, hose pipe switched off, pots dead-headed and flowers to transplant all watered ready for tomorrow.  Not interested in food, it's still too hot to be thinking about food so it's going to be another coolish bath, more reading and then to bed.  I've just noticed the time, I'm late tonight.  LN......Despite the weather I feel I've achieved more than I have in the last couple of days......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 24, 2024, 5:44pm; Reply: 23
Monday 24th June

Eight start this morning but I must mention that I woke at one thirty and was reading until three.  I'm not sure if it was because it was so warm last night but I think it had something to do with it.  I did the usual chores, emails etc and nothing very exiting there, less junk than usual but the permanent delete button works really well.  I fed the birds, filled up the water bowls for the tortoise and anything else that wants them, forgot to put out the chicken bits for the cat but since they're in the fridge it can have them tomorrow.  I watered a a few things but most still had water in the underneath bowls but did do the little gardens that have the shredded wood round them to make sure that when I come to move the seedlings from one bed to the next, probably tomorrow, they'll have a reasonable start. No student tomorrow, the day is all mine.  I stripped the bed and got the first load in the machine and they'll be a second load to follow.  No effort here though, on to the clothes airer and I'll be using the same bedding to make it up for tonight.

It's my first student's birthday, he's twenty six and it reinforces how long I've been here.  It was eleven years ago that I took him to the UK for a holiday, first time on an aeroplane and we both have lots of memories of that.  I sent him a message wishing a happy day, he responded and I told him to not enjoy himself too much since he has work tomorrow.  His response was that he has work everyday and I replied 'normal', he replied 'that's life' and my final comment was 'tochno'...or 'exactly'.  It's nice to have that sort of bond. I went over to sit with Avatar in her garden under the grapevine.  I mentioned how well they were doing this year, she looked up and hadn't realised how many there are.  She goes back to Germany at the end of August so I said that I'm going to put a stall up and sell them and keep the proceeds.  Of course I'll do not of it but I do like to tease her.  One of the locals is selling tomatoes and she said that she'd have a few from him but that I normally get them for her.  He delivered three kilograms, charged her for them and I must take a few of them off her hands.  They do taste much better that those from the supermarket.  I came home again, had a yogurt for breakfast and have dropped a couple of pounds so want to keep going.  I then set about making a clove and coffee candle that's supposed to keep the mozzies away, I finished it but made more mess that enough and it took me ages to clean up after myself.  I'll see if it works before I make any more.

I took to the sofa around one thirty, read until I fell asleep and woke up around four, made up the bed and put the rest of the washing away and back to my book.  I had a phone call from the UK which finished after an hour, I phoned back but said that I'd just seen Red trying to climb the steps to the little house terrace so ended the call and lifted it back down to the grass with it's little legs going ten to the dozen.  I've taken to wearing gloves, they have so many ticks on their feet, best avoided.  As for supper, again not really interested but must go and put something in the air fryer.  Eight thirty my time so must get this posted.  Nothing on the agenda so far, swimming on Wednesday already on the calendar.  LN.....Might meander into Kardjali tomorrow.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 25, 2024, 5:42pm; Reply: 24
Tuesday 25th June

Five thirty start again and it seems to be following a trend.  I didn't bother with coffee this morning, I seem to be having more of these red blotches appear and this is one thing that I want to eliminate to see if that's the culprit.  At first the doctor and I thought it was the blood pressure tablets but since I'm not taking them any longer that one's been put to bed.  I've changed my washing powder more times than I can remember and I'm running out of new 'varieties' now and that doesn't seem to make any difference.  I think it's time for another session with my doctor and probably the specialist in Plovdiv that she recommended.

I did my usual walk of the garden and found Rosy tucking into one of the bread roles that I'd put out yesterday for the birds so I drenched them with water so at least they were soft and found her a huge bunch of dandelion leaves that she could tuck into.  Blue and CS were canoodling under one of the bushes in the Grave garden and I'm not sure if it was pre or post nuptials and which one was the perpetrator.  There were a few clouds around this morning and there was a wind blowing so I confirmed the old trees hadn't come down as I did my morning check on the garden and filled up the lids with water for the tortoise.  Ay seven thirty I was boiling eggs and making toast for breakfast and that has seen me through until now.  The washing up still waits for me to burst into action but it's not been a very active day....the idea of Kardjali came and went and the only thing I'm lacking is bottled water but the local water is just as good and colder when it comes out of the tap.

I've finished book three of Game of Thrones and started book four but I skipped through the first two chapters.  I might regret it later but reading about the character that I'd become acquainted with was more interesting....back on to old territory.  Of course, you've guessed it, I woke up on the sofa with the little Kindle on my lap, checked my phone for the first time today, it had been on charge and I hadn't got round and went back to my book.  I've just done the evening walkabout, the gardens that I've been adding the shredding to look better for it now that it appears to be holding the water instead of sending goodness know where.  The flower beds will all get saturated with cow droppings in the autumn, there is no body in the soil and it really needs improving.  Most of my flowers are flowering despite of my tending them this year and fortunately the shrubs take care of themselves since lots of them are taken from the forest anyway.  My favourite is lavender.....no problems at all and useful for the bees.  I did move a few Iris bulbs into the newly covered little garden, it started off that I was pulling the dried leaves up and inadvertently pulled a few bulbs up as well...I call it unintentional gardening.  I had to spray myself with anti-mosquito this evening, they were really out in force when I was watering the pots and there were a couple of lizards avoiding the spray.

The mosquito plus have gone into use in the bedroom, the fly screens do an excellent job at keeping them at bay but the odd ones have been known to disturb my sleep.  Eight thirty my time, time to look for something quick for supper, have a shower to wash my hair and ready for bed and yes...back to my book. LN..... I really must work out a Netflix subscription......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 26, 2024, 6:03pm; Reply: 25
Wednesday 26th June

Another early start, I didn't have to be anywhere until ten this morning so I played it cool Rodney.  Washed, dressed, plaited my hair with style, packed bag for the pool, found the list of shopping that I had to do for Avatar when I'd finished my swim and that was my morning done.  I did go out and fill up the water bowls for the tortoise, I only saw Blue with the white tip to its shell vert near the front gate munching away happily at a very reen patch.  I had to move it since it was very near the Nipper, more frantic leg movements, little feet full of ticks so it was a good job that I was wearing my gloves again.  I was in the Nipper for nine-thirty and arrived in the target village at one minute after ten....I was a minute late, refused coffee and settled for water....I'm sticking to my plan.

We had a choice of venues but chose the Encheve which only charges four for a swim if you're having lunch so that was a win-win.  There was a very varied menu, I settled for a cheese omelette which could have been cooked better and we shared a plate of chips and a Shopska salad.  So lots of swimming before lunch for me and lots after for both of us, we sat in a shaded area and around an hour on the sunbeds and were both surprised when we realised that it was almost five o'clock,  Back to Kirkovo village and to the supermarket and I managed to get everything that was on Avatar's list, back to Fotinovo and saw Bekir and his son working on the house next to the drop off point.  Bekir was up on the roof so I didn't have chance to speak to him properly and when I left he was nowhere to be seen.  Another time.

Quick journey home, shopping delivered and debts settled, garden and pots watered and outside the wall I spotted another tortoise which wasn't mine so I left it outside.  Too late to bring another one into the group at this stage of summer.  Washing done and drying for my next pool day, showered, shampooed and in my pj's and shall be taking to my bed pretty soon with my book.  There were a few clouds about today but that didn't interfere with what was planned. LN.....I think I need a shopping trip, goody box empty and tonight I fancy something salty like crisps and don't have any so looks like I;m continuing the weight loss programme.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 27, 2024, 6:32pm; Reply: 26
Thursday 27th June

And another disturbed night, I fell asleep early, woke up at one, read until three, managed to go off again and woke at five thirty.It's left me feeling jaded all day so I didn't get up to much.  It's been another scorching day, I did see three tortoise this morning but I've not managed to track down Rosy......CS was the first near the garden by the long wall, Red was behind the pipe and in the shade of the honeysuckle again my the long wall and Little Blue in the Grave garden.  I pulled off cherries remaining on the tree and fed them decent ones, there didn't seem much interest when I put them in front of their noses but I noticed as I went to top up the watering bowls today that most of the cherries have gone.  

I changed the bottom sheet since I've had a few sweaty nights and into the washing machine with it and was putting it away at three this afternoon....all to wall sunshine and thirty two degrees inside and out.  With the doors and windows open there was quite a bit of air flow but the breeze fell away this afternoon and the air became stifling.  My only meal of the day has been breakfast at eight thirty this morning, I used the fresh bread to make toast and poached a couple of eggs and that went down well and that's been it for today.  I put music on the computer on random play and listened to songs that I've not heard for a long time.  I've had most of my CD's that I managed to copy over from my original Apple iPod to my computer so I'm going back twenty if not more years and some when they started to play I had to check back to see which album they were from and who was singing them.  I felt it was a bit like 'I'll name that tune' and in some cases, I couldn't.  

I went over to give Avatar her change from the shopping and watching Turkish television for a time until I could stand it no longer and came home.  I checked my emails and came across one from the ancestry company I use giving me yet another 'hint' so I logged into the programme and realised that I have the information already in my tree.  Even though I've marked my tree as 'Private', I'm sure that the way that you can now search other trees that my information has got out there and this hint was back from sixteen fifty six.  With a little bit of backdooring I managed to find out that this hint has been generated from an offshoot of the family in America that I was in contact with around eight years ago,  It did cause me to look at a few reports and follow a few enquiries and it kept me busy for the afternoon and out of the sun.

I watered the garden this evening, moved one of the oleanders that's not flowering into the sun and gave it a good watering.  The rest of them both in the garden and in pots are doing superbly.  I did remember to put on a thick pair of socks and tuck my trousers into them and change to a long sleeved thin top before I went watering to stop the mossies having an early supper at my expense.  Back to my book and yes, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until eight thirty hence the late post.  Sorry no photos, I'm falling down on the job and promise to do better next time.  LN.....I think it's going to be a pool day tomorrow not long now before the children finish school and then the pools get crammed ......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 28, 2024, 4:39pm; Reply: 27
Friday 28th June

Five thirty start and stayed in bed reading until six thirty and then it was all systems go.  It was a dull old day so I reckoned that the pool was out and it was also blowing a gale and it seemed like a good day for taking the talk stalks from the grass so that less weeds would get settled.  I set myself up, was outside with the mower at seven and firstly tackled the yard, not much grass but things that bash into your legs when you walk across it but it's a problem no longer.  From there it was the grass between the house and the wall and when I reached the Grave garden I ran out of cable so I moved the reel from the tard to the workshop terrace, left the mower where it was and set it up to go by the cherry tree.  I was doing well, I spotted Green by the old rose under the grass but then it struck me how much dried grass there was from the rose to the wild plum tree at the end of the Grave garden.  I cleared the rubbish from the little beds, Green moved over to the back wall so I had a clear run at it but it took me until six this evening to clear the old weeds, trim back the iris and clear out the grass from the stone circles.  Normally these have flowers in them so I've watered them well, put some compost on them and will dig them over tomorrow and I have plants that I can put in.  The problem was that we had so much rain at the beginning of the year and thought that summer would never come and when the sun came it came with a vengeance and turned it all to dried grass.  The upside is it's easy to remove but just slow.  

I did have one or two breaks and the first was to go to see Avatar and see if she could spare some natural yogurt.  I knew that she had plenty, I'd brought her 2225 grams of it yesterday and even she doesn't get through it that quickly.  I took my chocolate breakfast cereal over with me and had breakfast with her, she offered me more to bring home but that's the way that I shall be buying it in future.  The large pot is only eight leva where the small pots that I normally get are about two and I can finish one off in a sitting.  I think I'd got it in my head that it wouldn't taste so good but it's much better and local, not brought from Germany.  So back to it until two, in for a read and water, fell asleep until four, went out again and finished it throwing the rubbish over the wall for the cows, everything packed away and I feel that I've had a good day and just need to plant a few things out in the spaces after I've dug it over.

It turned out to be a very hot day but the wind made it bearable out there and most of the time I was working under the trees.  The pots are watered as are the plants that I shall be moving to the forked over beds tomorrow, the hibiscus had had a good watering as did the big choisya that was looking a little wilted.  Djebel in the morning, I'll be doing the rest of the grass with the petrol and there's very little left in the can.  I also need to put some in the Nipper....I think I accidentally hit the gas button and switched it on to petrol and before I do anything I need money from the cash machine.  I also need to buy more of the Arnica cream, since I've been using it I've had no more of the red lumps and my skin has not been itching at night.  First time I used it, it was by accident but now it's slapped on each night.  LN.....Depends on the weather, it might be Kardjali before Djebel, I'll see how the mood akes me.......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 29, 2024, 6:20pm; Reply: 28
Saturday 29th June

So last night I took a late evening ride in the Nipper.  There was a heck of a racket coming from dogs somewhere along the road to the next village so I drove down to investigate what it was all about.  I soon found the field, it contained about thirty bee-hives and one enclosure with a wild boar in it and around five or six dogs going frantic, a lady with a baby and a gentleman with a car and so I parked up, put my window down and made it very plain that I was listening and watching what was going on.  At this point the man took off one of his shoes and laid into one of the dogs not that it had much impact on the others.  I didn't want to be the one to started anything so I just sat there, they were obviously confused as to why I was just sitting in my car, they were joined by another youth from the first house in the next village and at this point I drove off.  I turned round at the bottom of the next village and drove home.  The dogs have been exceptionally quiet today so I think they got the message.

I had a bath last night, applied the Arnica cream and slept soundly until seven this morning when a couple of rooks were fighting to gain the top position on my lonesome pine.  It was going to be a hot one today. I couldn't make my mind up what I wanted to do so I wrote a list and realised that if I started the grass I'd probably run out of petrol so that was the first thing I needed to do and also get some for the Nipper.  Before that I needed money from the cash point so everything flowed beautifully.  Cash point, went to see my student who lives near the bank and she was off to Greece for the day with a friend, petrol, turned round and popped into my student's mum's shop and my ex older student was manning the fort, mother and father had gone away for a couple of days while the youngest is on the Black Sea with his football colleagues.  We chatted for a while, I happened to mention that I'd had trouble connecting to Netflix because I didn't live in the same household and he said that he had a subscription and he added me to his.  I finished my chopping, drove home, car and shopping away, too hot to work outside so tried my Netflix and for some reason it didn't let me sign-in to the new subscription but allowed me into the old one as Mummy P so I settled in and watched a six-part series, slept through some of it but I didn't miss much.  

Over to see Avatar tonight to relate the story of me spying on the livestock and she said that one of our neighbour's daughters was going to complain to the local council about the noise from the dogs so next visit I'll take my camera to provide photographic proof.  Chicken wings for supper with bread and mayo and that now provides breakfast for my cat.  Nine fifteen my time, pots and garden watered, water bowls filled for the tortoise and all's good in my neck of the woods.  I might see if I can get back into Netflix but it will soon be time to get settled.  LN..... Gardening tomorrow if the weather clouds over......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 30, 2024, 5:05pm; Reply: 29
Sunday 3oth June

Early start to the day, I was up and about at five thirty, out on the balcony at six with my coffee and book.  I toyed with the idea of starting the grass really early but it did take until seven thirty before I was trying to fire it up.  First job was to clean the air filter, I knew everything was dusty the last time I'd used it, I'd filled up the machine and emptied the can before I went into Djebel to get more but as I pressed the impeller to bring fuel through to start it, all I got was air.  Next step was to empty out the fuel, I needed to put it upside down to see underneath where the impeller sits and there was the little hose, floating in mid air and not doing what it was supposed to do.  I reconnected it, filled the mower up with fuel yet again, pumped the impeller and I had fuel to the spark plug and and behold, a working machine....let the work begin.

I did the little house grass first, all backwards to how I normally go about it but with the temperature climbing rapidly, I didn't want to be out there long.  I'd wasted enough time already.  The machine was only cutting off the flower heads from the weeds and I was following the weed heads more that I was following the cut of the mower.  I did up to the pine and then moved over to the other grass and again worked up to the mulberry and then had to stop for water intake.  There was a breeze this morning but nothing that was cooling.  I put the umbrella up on the terrace and sat down for a while in the shade but realised that it was all down to me so went out there again and finished to where I'd left off the other day when I'd been distracted by removing the old grass and clearing the flower beds. I move back to the lonesome pine and after half an hour or so had finished the rest of the little house garden.  Tools away by eleven, fuel container away in the wood-store, I swept the wood-store terrace and the little house terrace but have yet to get it into a wheelbarrow and over the wall or over onto the field opposite.

At eleven thirty I popped over to see Avatar and she was just coming back from the mobile shop with quite a full bag.  We sat in the garden, she offered me breakfast which I refused and then threw me over a shop bought chocolate filled croissant that she bought from the shop.  I thanked her, ate it, she threw another one at me and I threw it back, she thought one wasn't enough and threatened to throw it again and I said that it would still come back her way and we both laughed about it and she didn't throw it.  I set off back home, had lots of water, stripped off and put my clothes in the washing machine and set it going and had a shower and washed my hair.  So much dust from the garden and I didn't was any more than was necessary in the house.  

I settled on the sofa and thought I try my hand at Netflix again and unfortunately, the troops had been out and Mummy 'P' wasn't having any of it.  I gave my students log in and password a go and again it said that the password wasn't recognised so I switched it off and went back to me book consoling myself with a bowl of natural yogurt and honey and why not.  I found some tomatoes in the fridge and decided that they were passed human consumption so put them out for the tortoise and filled up their water bowls but I'd not seen scrawny neck or shell of them all morning and only spotted Rosy around five this evening at the water site by the wild plum but she left the tomatoes alone and off she went towards the bottom of the garden along the low wall.  That sun has been vicious today.

Eight o'clock my time and I've not had a sleep today so should sleep well tonight.  Swimming tomorrow and I might have the company of my old student's girlfriend if she remembers if not, I'll be doing it on my own just for the sheer hell of it.  Once my grass is done, nothing else much to do, too dry to move plants from one place to the next.  LN.....Let's see how it pans out.....LN
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