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Elsa Peters
July 1, 2019, 8:20pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 1st July

Well that's half the year gone and thank you Linda for your message last night and so pleased you enjoy the pickies.  I send love back to all of you in OZ but it's time that you started thinking about a trip to Europe....Austria, here and the UK...what could be better...

So today has been busy.  The Nipper was delivered to the garage for a wash and brush up and potentially and oil change which in the end it didn't need.  I went with the garage owner to take his son for a swimming lesson in the council pool and what a good time he had.  His father went off to get his car MOT'd and I sat watching the little one and I was filled with pride when this ten year old met with the other members of the group and introduced himself by name to all of them and shook their hand as he did it.  How many in England would have that approach?  Such mature behaviour in a ten yer old.

They all had to lie down on their towels at the beginning of the lesson and they went through the exercises...it was almost like a Pilates class but they were down to their swimwear.  After five minutes of exercises they were allowed to go into the water but they were a little reluctant...the water was cold but he soon warmed them up with lots of to-ing and fro-ing...the instructor is pretty good and keeping them at it.  I sat in the sun watching and taking lots of photos for his mum to look at and she was as proud as could be when I told her about how he introduced himself to the group.  It's nice when your children are praised by an outsider.  So around forty minutes into the lesson, they were all shepherded in to the little pool for a game of water polo and two teams slugged it out and there was only one goal so no one was really counting but they had fun.  Father arrived eventually and we headed home, I picked up the Nipper, went to the shop to show mum the photos and I was home for three.  

I toyed with the rest of the grass but it was much too hot so I got my head down for an hour or so, got changed and headed out to my other family for supper and a catch up.  Really relaxing time and I've been allowed to see wedding dresses before any of the others and sister's dress that she seems to have overspent on....so much so that I took the remains of a packet of biscuits from my bag and gave them to her so that she would have something to eat at work tomorrow.  Done in jest but we all found it funny.  Lovely relaxing day...tomorrow dentist and I think I'm having to take out a mortgage for payment.  LN...prices have risen alarmingly....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 2, 2019, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 2nd July

Eleven into bed and straight through until six thirty and a very lazy morning.  Well it started off that way but once I was out of bed it was all systems go.  I washed up from yesterday and it's a good job that I did....the water is off again tonight and I managed to get my bed stripped and two loads of washing on the line before nine...not bad going.  I'd more or less worked it out down to the wire to get to my appointment at the dentist on time but I delayed myself with a visit to my Avatar at about ten.  I'd seen several of the ladies from the village outside Avatar's house yesterday when I came back for the swimming lesson and went to find out what it was all about.  It's not very often that they gather in their best clothes with the long coats on.  I transpires that my sheep farmer's mother wasn't well at all.  I saw her at the mevlit on Saturday but I think she went down hill after that and the Kardjali doctor has sent her to Plovdiv ...I wish her well.

So a quick wash and brush up especially of the teeth and I headed into Djebel to see the dentist via the cash machine.  First one wasn't working and neither was the second and now I was really pushing it for time.  I went back to the first one and the security guard was outside and he mentioned that there was another one at the shop near the restaurant on one of the side roads and sure enough it was there...and working.  I managed to get to the dentist with ten minutes to spare and I was in the chair by eleven and undergoing treatment.  He's good, not got what I would call a very good bedside manner and a little rough with it but the end result is perfect if a little expensive.  At the end of the treatment I mentioned a couple of implants and was told that before any decisions were made I had to go to the Polyclinic dental department and have a 'panorama x-ray' and then we would see the treatments available.  

Back home for one after a visit to my student's home, watched tennis for most of the afternoon and at six thirty I got the urge to finish mowing the grass.  I'd done half of it the other day but it was much to hot to do the remainder earlier in the day.  Fifty minutes later I'd finished it and no flowers to water....there is no water....except for my roof catchings from last week.  

Tomorrow I take the little one to his swimming lesson and I've decided that I might as well go prepared and do an hour's exercise myself ....it sort of makes sense and my only problem was finding my swim costume and where else would ....in the bag from last year behind the kitchen door.  Hey there you go.  It will be boots blacked by nine thirty, at the shop for ten , swimming from eleven to twelve and I believe they serve big fat pizza portions and it will be rude no to.  Lunch with the boy.  LN....Calories out...calories in....LN
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Elsa Peters
July 3, 2019, 5:25pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 3rd July

Brilliant night's sleep, woke up at six thirty and was ready to face the day.  The water was still off so it was back to bottled water for teeth and wash but when I went down stairs to make the coffee, there was a funny rattling sound coming from the pipes over the central heating boiler.  I guess what had happened...a bird had found its way down the chimney but because I have a piece of wood to half close the flue, it was trapped in the pipe.  I took the wood away, there was  loads of dust kicked up and a small bird was frantically pecking at the glass of the burner box trying to escape.  As you know my stairs are open so I imagined this poor thing trying to find his escape route without putting much thought into it and bashing against the long windows in the stair well so first course of action was to close the curtains and shut the rest of the doors leading from the hallway.  I opened the main door to the house, opened the conservatory door, left the fly screen intact so that I wasn't inundated with flying insects and opened the door to the wood burner.  It took it a while and suddenly out it came, headed for the sunlight so I had to make a quick dash to open the conservatory fly screen so that it could escape. and off it went.  Now I don't really like things that flap about which includes butterflies, moths and birds but I managed it.  Curtain open, move along, nothing to see here folks.

So out I went onto the terrace and watched the rest of the birds but at first minus the camera.  Two woodies headed for the lonesome pine but by the time I came back with the super zoom attached they had gone to find food elsewhere.  The sparrows settled in the usual resting spots, a huge crow landed on the electricity cables telling all the rest to keep away and the starlings were out but not in force.  The martins were hanging around the nest under the eaves of the little house and I'm still not sure if we have a hatching in progress.

So with swim suit on, towel in the bag along with sunscreen I headed into Djebel to pick up my charge at ten fifteen.  He must have been watching from their apartment and appeared as I more or less went in to the shop.  He jumped in the back, said goodbye to his mother about ten times and we were off and in his limited English we had sort of a conversation.  I reminded him that I took his brother as a student when his brother was fourteen so he's doing well at ten to be using words and the more he hears, the better his understanding and it's teaching him listening skills.  The teacher here do it from a book and really don't speak the language at all.

We parked up and the swim teacher was waiting outside to take in the boys so I carried on, paid my four lev and headed for the concrete seating at the deep end of the pool away from the instructor's area.  I sat for a while and decided to brave it, tried the steps and gave up, sat on the side for five minutes or so, realised I was being a bit of a coward and tried the steps again.  Where I was going in it must be three meters deep, the surface is warm, the rest is cold and the pool is very wide but hey....I managed forty minutes of swimming more or less once I'd started.  I didn't want to get out, it would have been too cold to get back in,  Eventually I'd had enough and moved my belongings down to where the lesson was taking place and watched my charge.  The lesson finished, he played for a while with one of the other boys but eventually he'd had enough so quick change, over to Lidl and we played granny and grandson and it so reminded me of my grandson and the fun we used to have.  I teased him at the cash desk asking him if he had money for his drink and hamburger and his eyes shot up and I laughed at him and eventually he saw that I didn't mean it.  Safely deposited home to his mother and same again tomorrow....but no lessons next week.  I was told that the instructor is the coach for the Bulgarian water polo team and they are off to Italy for competitions.  I'm mixing with the famous.....

Washing done, the water's back on, slept for the afternoon and I think I've used muscles that thought they wouldn't be needed again...fooled you.  A little light relief with Wimbledon when I woke up and now it's kitchen time to find something to stop the bugs from gnawing away tonight.  Sports filled day and enjoyable and I should sleep well tonight...hopefully.  LN...Pizza or fish fingers or a ham baguette...that is the question....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 4, 2019, 4:48pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 4th July

Six start and the sun was just up.  I managed to get a shot of it, down for coffee and back to bed with my book.  I've started a 'new to me' Scarpetto by Joanna Cornwell and not sure yet if I've read it but time will tell.  The birds were very active this morning and I noticed a pair of wagtails but didn't managed to get a good enough zoom on them.  Washed and dressed bu seven thirty, nothing much to do this morning except be at the shop to pick up my charge by tenish.  Breakfast was the remains of the ham from yesterday on the remains of the baguette so that's two things tidied away....the washing was put away making it three and I indulged myself with breakfast tv until it was more or less time to go.  I did spot my tortoise romping across the grass the speed of torchlight heading for the bottom left corner and he was munching away on grass cuttings when I went for a close-up.

My charge was ready when I arrived and having the final things shoved into his rucksack and we headed out.  Now I've not yet managed to get my radio to tune in to the popular music radio stations and really must get round to it since the first thing he asks for is music.  His father always has it on quite loudly and I suppose he's used to it.  I've got a week to do it though....no swimming next week as I mentioned yesterday.  So we arrived at the venue, he found his friend so went to sit on the bench with him waiting for the trainer to arrive and gather them up.  I went to the cash desk and asked for a ticket to swim and I'd put four lev on the counter which confused him.  He thought that I was paying for my charge as well so I explained that he was having lessons and he gave me a ticket and pushed two lev back towards me.  Yesterday when I'd asked for a pensioner discount the lady had ignored my request so it was bargain basement today.  I carried on inside and indicated to the lad where I would be sitting, he was quite happy with his friend and they waited together.  I spotted him as he came in, waved and he was set and so was I.  Stripped down to the swim suit and oiled up, got my book out and was bracing myself for the entry into the water.  Eventually I plucked up the courage and once in, which did take a time, it was worth the effort and I swam around for about thirty minutes.  The instructor came up and spoke to me and I told him to ignore my technique....I was taught as a young girl to swim but as an old girl I can please myself how I get around in the water...no rules any longer.  

The lesson was finished and I let him play for a little longer with his friend and he went to get changed and I told him I'd wait at the gate.  The first thing he said to me was that he was very hungry and yesterday we'd stopped off at Lidl and he'd had a couple of hamburgers.  I'm not sure that his mother approved having told me that she was encouraging him to take off a couple or so of kilos so today I wasn't going to indulge him, he could wait until we got back to Djebel and then it was her decision what he had to eat.  As it is he ended up with a couple of long sausages in rolls but that was nothing to do with me.

I stopped to chat to her for a while and when the shop got busy I made my excuses and left, washing done and out on the line and I watched Dan Evans go through to the third round which he did in three straight sets and it stopped me from going to sleep.  The thunder was rolling around and dark clouds came over so I went to get the washing in, just in case and looking round the garden there were a few casualties of the dry conditions for the last few days.  I watered the little Buddleia near to the wall and the hydrangea in the long wall garden was looking sad so I fixed up the three garden hoses and managed to get the sprinkler onto the bed.  I left it for about half an hour and then moved it to the new little garden along the long wall and got very wet in the process...ah well...I soon dried.  Suddenly I noticed something moving on the path behind the bed and it's another tortoise but this one is much smaller so either there's a super highway between the outside world and my garden or someone is sending me a message that the wall won't keep everything out.  I'll wait for the next.

I've just noticed the time, the hose is turned off and again I should think about supper but it's been so hot that it cuts my appetite.  I tend to drink a lot of water and I've been on apple juice so I suppose that's just as good.  Nothing at all on the agenda for tomorrow...I'll see how I feel in the morning and if the weather's good I might head up to my hotel above Kardjali.  LN...Very relaxing day again today....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 5, 2019, 4:29pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 5th July

So last night I went out to take a photo of the sunset or the evening sky as it turned out and I saw what I thought was a strange object in the sky which turned out to be a kite, with string attached being flown by Avatar's son with his grandson.  Strange sight in BG...didn't realise that they'd got this far and hadn't seen any in the shops.

Bed at eleven thirty and went through until six this morning and it must have been the exercise yesterday.  Fitbit's having a field day and my results are stacking up quite nicely against the totals recorded by Princess.  Fortunately it's not tracking my grandson's results...I think he was out on manoevers last week...   I went out into the garden to throw the old bread out for the birds and almost stepped on my big tortoise and he made me jump...I didn't expect him there.  I thought it would be quite good fun to put a tracker on it but I've given up that idea now as you will read later.  Instead I set to watering the rest of the garden starting off with the long wall side bed and suddenly I saw my little one heading down the other side of the stack of roof tiles and I'm not sure if it's the same small one or another.  As I said they must have a super highway or the man from next doors garden has decided to trap them in mine so they don't eat his vegetables....well he's potentially got them back.  I pottered in the garden, saw that there were roots had developed on one of the plants that Avatar had given me and so that went into a plastic bottle that I sprayed blue and I have the blue circle on the grass to prove it.  It'll be gone the next time I mow the meadow.  I came in at twelve and I'm wondering why I bothered watering the garden, the weather closed in by about one, the thunder started and it's been raining steadily all afternoon and it still is now.

Wimbledon this afternoon for me and I cooked the pizza which was supposed to be a four cheese on but I didn't taste any.  It's the first from Lidl and it will be the last...not enjoyable at all.  I retrieved a chicken leg from the freezer this morning but alas it will be going into the fridge for tomorrow.  I don't have the hunger pains yet and aren't really expecting them after the pizza....it's sitting very heavily.  

The garden looks good for the rain nd I think I upset one of the moles this morning.  I shoved the hose pipe down one of the holes and it just seemed to go on for ever without filling up which hopefully will deter it...but I doubt it.  As for Little and Large my two tortoise...I saw Large walking by the fly screen and heading for the main terrace so he had to go.  I had a brainwave of using the snow shovel to pick it up...I'm not really in to wildlife...so I scooped it up and put it on the grass outside the front wall towards my neighbour's garden.  Not content with that I went looking for Little and found it munching plants of the little side bed so it was also scooped up and was in the same place.  Now the race was on....Large was off closely followed by Little and into the shrubbery they went.  If they find their way back in...there will be questions asked in the village.  

I've just checked out the weather for the next couple of days and it looks fine....the garden won't need watering so we'll see how things look in the morning.  LN....Another gentle day....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 6, 2019, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 6th July

Lane night and early morning left me feeling pretty jaded.  I made it down to the bread van and came back with a fresh loaf and a cheesy bread...and that was breakfast.  I took my Kindle out on to the terrace and settled down on the sofa.  The morning mist had lifted and I needed the umbrella up to keep the sun out of my eyes but I seemed to be plagued with little flies so I tried to think about how to get rid of them.  I went in the house and came out with a Citronella infused wooden candle thingy but the thing wouldn't light despite my best efforts.  Back in the house and came back with some joss sticks, managed to light a couple of them and ...nothing....the flies still lingered so I went back in the house, settled on the sofa and got so comfortable that within the house I was asleep catching up with last night.

I settled in with Wimbledon and was surprised by a car pulling up outside around two this afternoon and it was my Fotinovo friends and was surprised that they both were visiting.  She normally has too much to do in the garden so kettle on, coffee made and we settled on the terrace.  I hadn't seem them for a while so there was quite a bit to catch up on including Bulgarian citizenship and how difficult the test might be in the Bulgarian language.  We discussed jam making and whether or not they wanted some of the wild plums from my garden and since they've invited me for a swim and a meal tomorrow, I'll cut off a few branches and take some for them.  I did get him to do one job for me...I just want to use a phone as a phone and not as anything else...I have tablets for that....so he change a few settings for me, deleted a few programs and now I should not get the message that I'm running short of space....result.

Off they went and I settled down to watch the Konti match and how good was that.  She's now made it to the second week and fingers crossed, the British number one will carry on the good work.  The chicken leg went in the oven along with potatoes, onions and newly lifted beetroot and after one and a half hours they were served with mayo.  When the chicken etc. came out, I sliced an apple, added a little water, sugar and cinnamon and I served that with cream.  The washing up can wait, I'm watching Federer and he seems to be steamrolling through his game.  The Voice Kids tonight...it's good to see the judges respecting the feelings of the contestants...it makes a change in this day and age.  

So it's been a lovely day, a very calm and peaceful evening and I've had a very chilled day.  LN..And not a sighting of a tortoise...so far...LN

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Elsa Peters
July 7, 2019, 7:09pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 7th July

Six thirty start and I bet I'm having a better morning than Dan Evans who got knocked out of Wimbledon last night.  Such a talent with too much to prove which makes him into an arrogant young man...in my personal opinion.  It was a good game though and it could have gone either man...but the best or most consistent man won.

Washing up done, washing in the machine to set to 'on' when my pj's were in it, breakfast of toast and Marmite, shower and hair washed, washing machine started and it was at that point it started to unravel.  I decided to sit out on my bedroom balcony to dry my hair 'au naturel' and I spotted a woodpecker that had obviously collided with my bedroom window earlier.  I'd heard the thud, not thought much about it so on seeing it I got the shovel from downstairs to remove it and put it over the wall. As I lifted it up on the shovel.it sort of disintegrated and lots of tiny worms fell out of it so I carried on and threw it on to the grass and threw the shovel in the other direction..I went down to the kitchen and boiled up a kettle of water, back to the balcony and swabbed the area pretty thoroughly and lay on the bed with the Kindle.  I chose Soda Crush...Angry Birds didn't seem right.  Unfortunately I appeared to be on a winning streak and I knocked off about twelve programs on the trot and I was given extra time and bonus counters and by now the time was moving on.  I hadn't got a set time to be at the venue this lunchtime but I'd set myself a target of two and it was now one fifteen.

I burst into action, dried my hair, pegged out the washing, moved the woodie to over the wall, took the loppers and severed several large branches from my wild plum and put them into one of the garden recuse containers that i have.  This went onto the back seat and at ten to two I set off.  I arrived for just after five past spotting D of S in Fotinovo and I was remembered by the little one as 'mummy's friend'.  I carried on, we didn't linger long and set off for the first hotel with a pool but there were far too many people swimming so we only stayed for a coffee...and on to the next.  This one was better and we found a table, more cold drinks, lots of children jumping in the pool but I managed a swim despite the activity surrounding me.  Very hot yet very relaxing...nothing beats a day in the sun and a swim...makes you feel good.

So back to their house for savoury pulled lamp and salad with fresh bread, followed by ice-cream.  We toured the garden and she has done wonders with it for the first year and has grown unusual vegetables...Coffee to follow....in the Nipper just before nine and came the Greek road home and up the back lane which is a very rough road now that it's baked hard.  Home for nine ten, washing in and put away and now relax...I have nothing to do.  Ten my time and soon be time for bed.  LN....Very pleasant day with friends....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 8, 2019, 4:54pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 8th July

Absolutely ridiculous night last night...and even more stupid morning and I've suffered for it all day.

I went to sleep at a reasonable hour but was awake at two ten according to my Fitbit and not an ounce of sleep left in me...so I took to Soda Crush .  So many games and first time winners and I think it's trying to recompense me for losing all my data from my first registration...and I kept playing until six, still wide awake and raring to go.  Coffee and energised, I was heaving the lawnmower round the big house grass at seven thirty and completed it by nine ten so not bad going..... and just over nine thousand Fitbit steps so I should reach my target today but not if this afternoon had anything to do with it.

I stopped for breakfast and had toast and Marmite and buttered bun loaf, settled for more coffee and time with the new book on the Kindle and promptly went to sleep and was nodding on and off until two this afternoon...obviously catching up on what I'd missed out on.  It didn't help that the weather closed in, the thunder started and the lightening was pretty near and then yes, you've guessed, the electricity went off and it took a while for it to be restored...a person probably just had to press a button.  It's now sodded up the internet and it's freezing at every opportunity so I've abandoned the thought of watching anything today.  I shall probably finish my book this evening.  Am I enjoying it?...Hard to say.  I've not read this writer for a while but she seems to be getting much more technical and referring to the history of the supporting characters but in the absence of anything else I'll stick with it.

The clouds have rolled over, the sun's come out again, about to set over Smolyan and looking at the forecast, it could be like this all week.  Jacket potato tonight....I need a light supper....and hopefully a good night's sleep.  I've just found a video about what to do with Iris when they've finished flowering and intend putting it into practice tomorrow so they don't look so untidy.  LN....Never too old to learn....LN  

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Elsa Peters
July 9, 2019, 4:54pm Report to Moderator

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Location: Mobile!
Tuesday 9th July

Better night last night.  I woke up at six thirty, opened the door to the balcony even though there was mist or should we call it fog obstructing the view.  I went back to bed after I'd made coffee but had to shut the door, there was no sun and it was cold.  Eventually it lifted and I went out with my second cup and walked the garden planning the activity for the day but not much was achieved.  I undid the umbrella from the balcony, the rain yesterday had left bit all over it so I got the hose going and cleaned everything off.  I left it half open so that it would dry off but in retrospect it was the wrong decision.  

I made toast for breakfast and toyed with taking outside but as I approached the sofa on the terrace one of the visiting cats shot off it and so I removed the cushions, they were wet from yesterday and put them on the bench to dry off.  I picked up the book and carried on with the story, the weather started to close in and just  poured down.  It seemed like only one big cloud up there which just dropped its load but hey... was it heavy.  When that drifted over to Greece, it seemed to dry up pretty quickly and the thirty degrees made every thing muggy.  

I'd made the decision that there would be very little activity today and then it started again but this time the wind was howling and the umbrella on the terrace was almost horizontal so I went out on to the bedroom balcony to try to secure the umbrella getting soaked in the process.  I didn't have much success out there so I went out to the terrace, shut the umbrella completely and wedged the top of it under the balcony and I was soaked.  I made my way back to the bedroom balcony, go down on my knees and ran the bungee chord round the frame made surer it was secured to the balcony rails.  Job done.  I came inside and dripped my way to the bathroom and realised that the solution was to have a shower, wash my hair and have the rest of the afternoon off, I ran the washing machine to get rid of the wet clothes and Wimbledon was calling.  

The rain has stopped now and everything looks very green and I suppose the grass is getting up its strength and I shall be having to get out with the grass mower...it does mean that I get a good step score on the Fitbit.  Jacket potato is in the oven along with two schnitzels so it's time for me to wind this up and concentrate on supper.  The doubles match is about to start, Murray and Williams so that's my evening sorted.  LN....Looks like this has set in for the week.....LN

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Elsa Peters
July 10, 2019, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Location: Mobile!
Wednesday 10th July

Silly night again...two hours in the middle with my book...back to sleep at around six and woke up at eight.  Perhaps I should take up a night shift...I'd do OK.  So I made use of my coffee making facilities and only had last night's water glass to have it in but it did the job.  I made the second and decided that despite the fact that it was a bit of a cloudy start to the day I'd take my book outside and read it on the bench.  I 'pillowed up' got settled and despite the off drop of rain I was doing fine until a rather persistent little fly began to bother me to the point that I came in, got the bedroom chair and using the small table as a footstool, for myself settled and finished my book.  No flies on me inside.  Eventually I made it downstairs at roughly ten thirty and made toast and Marmite for breakfast and by now it looked like it could be a good day in the garden.

Firstly I collected the different pots up from the terrace where the wind had left them, the gladioli near to the mulberry on the right hand side of the garden was at a precarious angle and needed a support to help it to stay vertical so I got the lump hammer and sorted that out.  I'd also noticed that there were escaping Zinnias when I'd mown the lawn and I think life has to be protected.  They are not in the border by the gladioli, I cleared the border, cut back the white pom-pom thingies that the wind had really bashed down and now the zinnias have new homes and they have two chances but a better chance than where they were.  I got out the electricity reel and the hedge trimmer and tackled the forsythia that has put on tremendous growth this year and I'm in a similar position to the beginning of summer...I couldn't see the bottom of the garden from the terrace so it had to go.  As I trimmed the other bush I noticed that 'Little', well I think it's 'Little' has reinstated itself in the garden...well it had....it's now the other side of the wall...we take no prisoners....liberty for everyone.

I was doing OK and then my neighbours came round and I think they were bored.  I made coffee, the daughter wanted a tour of the house so I obliged despite the untidiness...and they left about an hour later with fresh lavender and two bunches of dried from last year.  Off they went so I went back to my gardening and tied up and trimmed my tomatoes and gherkins and as the weather closed in and the thunder started, it was time to put my toys away.  It was almost four o'clock.  Time for Wimbledon and caught the end of the Murray/ Williams match, promptly fell asleep watching the next double match and despite the fact that it's torturous with the program freezing and having to reload the page, I kept at it.  Nadal can do as he will..I've turned it off.

As for the weather, we had deluge after deluge, the plans for the ark out on the desk and I'll order the wood tomorrow....and they call this summer.  LN....Food and bed....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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