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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  AUGUST 2019
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Elsa Peters
August 1, 2019, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st August

Not a bad morning to wake up to but it was a very hot and steamy night and that was due to the temperature.  I meandered through the morning with pickies, garden walks and old bread over the wall for the animals and scrambled eggs on toast for me.  A little morning television and an extra cup of coffee and I went to get washed looking forward to my hot water and guess what....there was no water to the village.  The kitchen didn't get tidied, the toilet got 'flushed' with water from the outside water collection barrel and I got a wash with bottled drinking water.  I met my painter when I went out to get the water from the barrel and he said that he'd already reported it and they were coming out to fix it.  My Avatar was out with her electric mower taking down the grass so I said that she could do mine when she'd finished hers and that went down like a lead balloon and then she noticed the smile on my face.

I took the Nipper out of the drive and went to pick up the boy and we headed into Kardjali.  I think the world and all it's friends were on the road this morning and what normally takes me around twenty minutes was more like thirty.  I think the Romanians were giving Greece back to the natives.  I managed to find a parking place at the pool, delivered the boy to the instructor and moved a bench into the shade to do some reading.  He was happy, I was happy but at twelve he was ready to get change.  I think a lot of his friends hadn't turned up this morning and he was eager to be away.  While he was getting changed I took some pickies of the old communist structures which are obviously no longer in use and spoke with the old pool attendant who told me how good it was when it was all up and running.  It appears he's had the job for all that time even managing to say thank to me in Russian which I managed to recognise much to his surprise.

Into the Nipper and Djebel via Lidl and we happened to bump into the boys grandmother that I know quite well,  As with most young lads they don't like being fussed over and we made out escape to the car avoiding the coffee that was offered at her apartment.  I made him get out of the car and give her a proper before letting him get back to his chocolate donut.......

Dropped him home and I carried on unpacked the shopping from the car and Avatar was still doing the grass but the village had had a shower and the machine kept getting clogged up.  I suggested that she pack up but she was determined and eventually she had to...the thunder started and the rain really came down.  I settled on the sofa and had an afternoon nap disguised as time with my Kindle and I've not made it to the Pilates class.  The weather has cheered up a little, I've not managed to sort out the moles...that's now tomorrow morning's job weather permitting.  The water is back on and the boiler switched on for hot water, it's too late to cook the chicken I bought from Lidl so I'll be microwaving a jacket instead.  Nothing to do tomorrow...so far...so good and no where to be and people to see.  LN...I like days like that.....LN

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Elsa Peters
August 2, 2019, 4:02pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd August

What a storm last night.  The water came on, the electricity went off and it was a good job I'd got the blog done early.  I don't think there's a danger of it going off tonight...it was dull as ditch water this morning, mist hanging everywhere and I couldn't even see the bottom of the garden.  It took until about ten thirty before  ti cleared and I did a load of washing anticipating that it would clear up eventually and I was right.

Toast for breakfast with spread cheese, I got the Marmite out and then changed my mind, cleared the kitchen since I couldn't do it last night by candlelight .  It eventually came on at around nine thirty and I was in bed by eleven remembering to blow out the candles before I closed up last night.  I pegged out the washing, cleared some of the weeds from the pots, cut back the box that had been attacked by something and hooked the bougainvillea up to the garden umbrella.  The white one is OK but the purple one has got very leggy inside so I'm giving it a chance to make a name for itself and put on new leaves.  Next job was to head down to the mole hills at the bottom of the lawn armed with the garden spade, the gas lighter and one of the mole smokes.  I wasn't quite sure how they would react so I dug a hole and found the tunnels, lit the firework that fizzed like futy so I dropped it in the hole and covered it up as per instructions.  Maybe it was a bit too damp today to be doing it, I tried a second one in one of the other holes and we'll see tomorrow if it or they are still at it.

It was pretty warm out there so I've been reading all afternoon but no sleep for me and feel OK.  The chicken went in at five thirty, I dug up carrots and beetroot from the garden and they followed the chicken into the oven with potatoes and onions.  There's enough for my Avatar and it should be ready by seven thirty.  I was surprised how big the one carrot was...the others are two bitesize.  Lovely evening but I've noticed that the grass has taken on some growth after the rain of the last week....roll on summer and days of sun but I suppose the upside is that I don't have to water the garden....only weed it.  LN...Supper needs attention...LN

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Elsa Peters
August 3, 2019, 6:00pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd August

Early to bed and yet again. I left the door to the balcony open it was a hot steamy night again but at three thirty this morning I was running around closing windows and doors, there was another mother of all storms that was directly overhead so better safe than sorry.  Lashing rain and pretty loud thunder and big flashes of fork lightning and I felt happier when the door was closed.  It didn't take me long to get back off again and I was awake around seven. There was no sitting out on the balcony, the bench was sodden yet there was the pale glimmer of the sun coming up.  It was a warm old morning yet again and no sooner the shower than the perspiration flowing so I didn't rush anywhere.  The big mole volcanoes seem to have stayed down, I've got a couple of smaller ones around ten feet away and on the other lawn there are a couple that have yet to be tackled.  I took one of the smokes over to Avatar but it's just been too wet to do anything.  I caught her in the middle of making cheesy filo banitchka so I put the smoke down int he kitchen...you dono't want to get any contamination.  

I got back and had toast for breakfast followed by half a melon and as Avatar arrived at my door with my portion of her morning work that became my brunch so it was a running buffet today.  I settled on the sofa with the Kindle for a while, went upstairs to make the bed and the tomato fairy has been and gone.  The tomatoes were left in the porch and I don't know who the benefactor is...I'll make enquiries tomorrow...nobody has been out and about today.

And so the thunder rumbled round, strong winds blew up and then it subsided and I thought it had blown over....and then it doubled back.  Exactly the same but then suddenly it came with a rush.  Really loud bangs, gale force winds, lashing rain, pots flying everywhere, flowers leaving the stalks and gigantic hail stones.  There'd been stories of car windows being smashed in Sofia due to the hail and I had visions of moving the Nipper under the tree in the yard instead of it being out in the open but if the tree was struck....things that go through your mind.  The hail was large and there was so much of it...at one point the garden was white over and then the electricity went off.  I settled into Candy Crush on the sofa, realised I had to weather the storm so to speak so did nothing.  The electricity came on...went off...came on again and now it seems a little more stable.  It's been up for half an hour so I shan't linger long over this.  There's more lightening now...I'm supposing that Greece didn't want it so it's sent it back.

Cold chicken for supper so not a lot of effort will be involved.  LN...Let's see what tonight brings....LN

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Elsa Peters
August 4, 2019, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th August

It was a dull old day, the mountains were obscured by the cloud base and the mist with a very grey sky.  The electricity stayed up last night but it was a different story this morning.  I'd gone to bed with the lightning flashing over the Greek mountains but not too many bangs and crashes.  I woke up at four, hadn't got a lot of sleep in me so read the Kindle until five and then managed to sleep until seven and eventually went down to make coffee and only then noticed that the electricity was off.  I carried on reading the Joanna Cornwall - Kay Scarpetta book , washed and dressed, the boiler was up to temperature so it hadn't been off long and my task was to get fresh bread from the van.

The weather was clearing up at this point and it looked a perfect day for getting the strimmer out and maybe the electric mower to take off the long stalks of the plantains and then I remembered that there was no electricity....so to plan B.  I came back from the bread van with fresh bread and eggs and the lack of power was not the entire village.  This is what happened when it was off for eleven days a few years back but in winter...some houses had it and others didn't.  Beyser did, Avatar didn't and there was no telling who had or hadn't...must be the different supply cables.

So for breakfast I used up the old eggs in an omelette with cheese portions to add flavour and then back to the sofa to continue with the book.  The electricity didn't come on again until three this afternoon and promptly went off again until four so I'm now into the next book except that I don't appear to be reading them in sequence.  I'll have to find out the original order listing....there are about eighteen books in the series.  I've read them before but with most series, you can get stuck in to them without actually reading them thoroughly...and it has been years since I read them for the first time.

Two lazy to do anything for the rest of the day...the ground is pretty damp under foot so another day of sun if that's possible will make the grass easier to mow.  Eight my time more or less and so far so good.  It's a cloudy but calm night and fingers crossed that it stays that way.  Kardjali tomorrow with the Librarian and if the rain stays away we'll head  to my favourite restaurant/pool above the town and get some sun.  I did catch a programme on the internet about the hotel in the rain forest canopy above Quito in Ecuador.  The owner bought goodness knows how many hectares, saved the rain forest from the logger and built a glass hotel.  He's employed local people and an environmental specialist that went to work on a four month contract and is still there eight years later keeping track of the wild life and what has been saved because the rain forest has been retained.

Only a couple of pickies of the sunset...and I thought there wasn't going to be one.  LN....A very lazy day....LN

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Elsa Peters
August 5, 2019, 5:31pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th August

Midnight to bed and not a sound from the pavement and that's because we don't have any....only grass verges for the cows.  I read for a while, woke up at six and I was before the sun and eventually the lazy thing appeared, I took a couple of pickies and then it was up for the day except for a gathering of clouds around lunch time which fortunately dissipated leaving us with mountain to mountain blue sky.

I washed up from yesterday and make fried tomatoes on toast for breakfast and cleared all those pans away and I have a clean frying pan for tomorrow morning.  I shan't be cooking tonight...I had a late lunch out and that will suffice. So the Librarian arrived at nine and we set off in the Nipper at nine thirty using the bumpy back lane to get on to the Greek Road.  It takes around twelve kilometres off the Djebel route.  Unfortunately I'd forgotten about the torrential downpours that removes the silt from between the stones so as I said...a bumpy ride.  We parked up in our usual central car park, headed for the cheapy shops and I found a pair of trousers for the Librarian for silly money and they fit Cinderella.  Back to the central car park to offload the loot, shoe shop, another two cheapy shops and I bought a brand new swim suit and our work was done, over to my favourite swimming pool and only two couples were there.  We spread ourselves over four sunbeds and two table, some in shade and others in full sun and headed for the pool.  It was a little cold to get in but once it it was brilliant and I must have spent about half an hour counting how many stokes it took to do a length and trying to beat it next time.  A little sun, a little shade, more sun, more swimming, more counting, changed for two thirty and Kaufland for three.  We intended to have lunch from the outside stand but they had nothing left so we went to Lidl, topped up on a few essentials including jam donuts and over to my fuel stop but this time for a chicken and a cheese burger, fries and coke...six lev for the two meal deals.  

We came back via the back lane, I made coffee and we sat and had the donuts with it and off she went.  I've done a load of washing and it's pegged out and had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish.  Not sure what tomorrow is going to bring yet...in...gardening....out....more fun in the sun.  The grass is desperately in need of mowing but I'm sure it will keep.  I think I've just acquired a homing pigeon...and I think I've spotted number 24601 on its leg....I'll call it Jean.  LN...The grass is a problem for another day....LN

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Elsa Peters
August 6, 2019, 6:38pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th August

Another silly night.  I woke at two this morning and was reading until four.  There was a couple of dogs barking their little heads off but obviously not enough for the heads to become separated from their little bodies and I need to find out who owns the noisy blighters.  Eventually I was tired enough to get back off but six seemed very quick to come round.  Now i appreciate that 'something' must have set them off and in a rural area 'something' could have been 'anything' but I blame the owners.  There have been a few guns going off this evening so maybe that'something' might have been sorted.  So at seven this morning I thought about getting the grass cutter out but fortunately I convinced myself that it would be too wet under foot and the blades would struggle with it and after another internal dialogue this evening where sleep overcame me yet again...it still remains uncut.

More tomatoes on toast for breakfast...I must get the juicer out to use them up.  My own tomatoes remain on the plants while I use up the donated ones but village...I don't want anymore of yours...just grow less.  Fortunately the neighbours know that I don't like cucumbers and most things coloured green so there are not many footsteps heading to my door.  Arrangements were made last night that the girls were out to play today so I showered and shampooed and was ready when the Librarian arrived at just after eleven.  We headed for Djebel and made the agreed deadline at twelve in Djebel and with the Nipper fully laden we set off for Kardjali.  We were off to a restaurant that three of us didn't know and on the way we were all contributing to where we could park but not knowing where the restaurant was I suggested that we got to Kardjali and we took  it from thee.  It all became clear as we drove the high street, I took a side road and found a place to park immediately and we crossed the road and found the Turkish restaurant.  An English speaking guy was assigned to our table not realising that we could manage a menu in Bulgarian and he apologised at his waiter's skills as cutlery clattered around us.  The food was enjoyable and worth another visit at a date yet to be agreed, reasonable value and the service good in such a busy restaurant.

All back in the Nipper, two dropped off in Djebel and the Librarian an myself stopped off at the local supermarket and I needed to buy a bottle of coke, there must have been lots of salt in the meal which I hadn't noticed as it went down but needed attention when I got home.  We sat around at at four the Librarian set off for home, I got changed ready to tackle the  grass but lay on the bed supposedly for an hour until the heat went out of the sun but by the time I woke up, the sun had decided to get to bed until hopefully tomorrow.  The grass is on the list as a 'carried forward' on the blank page that is tomorrow.  No food for me, lunch is still lingering and it was better at going down than making it's way through.  I did take the camera with me but never had the opportunity to take it out today....promise I'll do better tomorrow.  I haven't see 24601 today...maybe its found its way home.  LN...Sleep could be sporadic tonight...LN
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Elsa Peters
August 7, 2019, 6:51pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th August

So after my mega sleep yesterday afternoon, I didn't get to sleep until around two this morning and was awake at six and watched the sun come up.  Down for coffee and back to bed for internet, emails and scrolling through Facebook and looking at the holidays on offer.  I checked messenger and my student has sent a photo through of the blackboard and easel and the boxes that she wants to go with them and I delayed going out to the grass and throwing the lawnmower around,  I calculated the wood that's required for the boxes using a template of fifteen centimetres for the width of the plant but when that was done I could not delay my work for the day any longer.....Toast for breakfast with my second coffee and then it was out to the garden with a purpose.

I was outside by nine and started the grass but it was a little early.  The grass was wet and stuck to the blade so I carried on until I ran out of fuel and left the mower upside down in the sun with the empty box facing the sun.  I'd been out there for just over an hour and managed to do about a quarter of the grass but came in to give it a change to dry off and at this point the strimmer came into play.  I edged round the flower beds, cleared the bits where I hadn't used the mower because of the tree roots and cut the grass between the house and the front wall.  As I went out I noticed that there was a new mole hill starting on the bit that I'd just cut so I headed back to the house and fetched a mole smoke and the matches.....and I hope another one bites the dust.  There is another one starting up on the bank between the two lawns but that's a job for another day.  I finished the grass in front of my house and by now it was really warm out there so I put the mower underneath the tree and again emptied the box and dried it off in the sun.  I had another hour in the house and went out again and decided to tackle the weeds in the bottom left hand corner of the garden.  I've got some pretty nasty bushes growing by the wall and I've ousted them.  The  weeds have been lobbed over the wall for the sheep but every time I threw a weed over, they scattered...animals of little brains.  Next step is too put a wooden raised bed which will form a path behind the existing beds to make it easier to keep the area tidy....it had just got very overgrown.  It was half three by the time so I had another hour in the house and then out again and I started on the little house grass.  I kept at it and had almost finished it by six and decided to leave the rest for tomorrow morning but then enthusiasm kicked in again...I went out at seven and finished it by seven thirty and my Fitbit has logged well over twenty thousand steps today...and I'm well and truly knacked.

I've showered, not sure if I want supper or not or just something to pick at, I'm about to head down to the kitchen to see what I can find.  Tomorrow I'm woodworking, bench mending and following the photo that my student sent me.  Wish me luck.  LN....Pickies tomorrow.....LN
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Elsa Peters
August 8, 2019, 7:44pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 8th August

Lovely at six this morning and I beat the sun.  It was an amazing red sky and the shepherd's didn't have to take heed....it was up in the thirties and stayed that way.  Washed dressed and thought I'd take myself for a spin round the garden at seven thirty to admire my handy work from yesterday and as I looked over the low wall by the walnut I noticed water cascading down the bank about thirty meters from the wall.  I realised that if I phoned the waterboard I would have to really concentrate to explain so I took the easy option and phoned my painter and he was by my house about ten minutes later and we viewed the scene together.  He said the water company was aware of the problem so I left it alone.

Just after eight I went down to the bread van and followed my Avatar up the road, she'd jumped the queue down at the van and she invited me into the garden for a sit down.  As I sat she told me that the water company had sent the van with workers and a digger and it had made its way over the rough ground and when I got back I saw the van parked more or less next to the wall and the digger close to where the water was coming out.  I went down to have a few words with them and left them to it.  He'd mentioned that I should have a gate put into the wall and why wasn't there one already and I said that I didn't know that they had a pipe going across my garden.  The said that if they didn't find it they would have to come into the garden and carry on searching and that would mean the digger would be in and the more I thought about it, I suggested that they dig another channel outside the wall and relay the pipe. At this point there was total uproar saying how expensive it was and I countered with it would be expensive for me to rebuild two walls and re do the garden.  A figure was quoted as to how much it would cost and I said that it would be almost worth me paying half to change the run of the pipe that to knock down my walls and rebuild and then I walked away and carried on in the garden.

I answered a telephone call and noticed that the van was driving away, the hole was filled in be it very roughly and the digger went too.  Water was restored to the house even though my supply didn't come from this pipe and I've heard nothing since.  I don't know if they've taken my suggestion on board, found the leak or rerouted the supply to the lower village bypassing the pipe through my garden.  I'm now going to let sleeping dogs lie.  Half an hour later I was in the car to sort out my insurance for the Nipper so that all my ducks are in place for the MOT later this month.  My student's mum does my insurance at the shop and we arranged to go to Pilates this evening which was a laugh in itself.  There's lots of crunching coming from these old bones but I try...I really do.  Her husband met us when we finished at eight and we popped into the restaurant next door to the Pilates venue and rewarded ourselves with pizza.  Home for ten and I feel nicely tired tonight and am hoping for a good night.  LN...I'll keep you updated on the wall....LN

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Elsa Peters
August 9, 2019, 5:12pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 9th August

What a good night's sleep last night....it was seven when I woke up.  Coffee and bed to get the technology bits out of the way, down for my second cup and bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast.  Tidied the kitchen, my washing was still on the line from last night so nobody had taken a shine to my selection of goodies.  There was no sign of water on the hillside or waterboard transport so I'm assuming that they must have found or fixed the break in the pipe but nobody mentioned that yesterday.  I have water, the rest of my village have water and I've heard no rumblings from anyone else.

I was intending to go out there and work my little socks off but instead I settled down on the sofa with my book and finished it later this afternoon.  I was tempted and succumbed to a bag of chocolate toffees that I'd bought for the children's goody bag day at the weekend and Haciber delivered three pancakes and I handed over some of my chocolates.  I didn't feel so bad after that.  The pancakes have been put into the freezer...I was going to have them with lemon juice and sugar but my lemons were beyond redemption are now in the compost bin.  Haciber was round again at around five...she delivered a chocolate croissant and a chocolate milk drink, the croissant got eaten immediately...it was my supper.

After I finished the book, I took the camera down to the buddliea bush and grabbed some shots of the humming moths and the butterflies that were flitting about.  The trouble is, the moths move very quickly and it's difficult to catch them but I think I did OK.  Since there's been very little activity today, I'm going to be out there early with the strimmer to finish what I started before my brain was addled at the thought of my walls coming down.  And now it's hose pipe at the ready....some of the zinnias are looking a little crispy.  LN....And then to find a new book....LN

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Elsa Peters
August 10, 2019, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 10th August

It was a lovely start to the morning.  Since I didn't water the pots last night I decided to do it straightway so that they had a fair chance to get some sucked up before the sun really came into its own...and it certainly did.  I had the usual issues with hoses and connectors but eventually managed to get my curly yellow hose half way down the garden and the two other long ones in place so that I could even water the beds down the bottom of the garden.  Eventually I spotted the hydrangea that was hiding in the little garden shrub bed and left the hose nozzle wedged in the trunk of one of the trees in the adjacent bed and gave it a really long drink.  It's now rewarded me with flowers that are holding themselves proudly upwards but it might require the same again tomorrow.

I sat out on the terrace with a coffee and watched the mother feeding the little one in the nest below the eaves of the little house.  It was a surprise when eventually we had a family move it....I thought it had been abandoned but I have proof and lots of poo on the terrace under the nest and it is good for feeding the plants.  The birds were having a lovely time in the garden and suddenly there was a bang of a bird against one of the windows near the entrance hall and I responded with my usual quip....no...it's a window.  As I walked in to make my second coffee I saw a bird looking really shell shocked so I got my garden broom and gently nudged it and it seemed to come round and started blinking.  I nudged it again and it flew near the bench and into the shade so I left it to recover and about ten minutes later I went out to check and as I got near it it flew into one of the trees in the yard.  Down but certainly not out.

I made bacon, egg and fried bread for breakfast and had just finished when Haciber appeared with my first fluffy pancakes and I've had a steady stream of them all day.  I've also had meat given to me and now my freezer is full...my neighbours are so generous.  Next the children arrived with their bags expecting sweets since it's their special time and then eldest boy who is one of my favourite characters asked if they could go and look at the garden.  I obviously said yes and there was an ...ooohhh as they spotted the swinging chair in the cherry tree and it was put to good use.  And then they were on to the next house.  My next visitor arrived by van and there was a lot of car horn hooting and his wife was at the gate with a bag containing meat which I thanked them for.  It's the first year since his mother died so hence the slaughtered animal.  

By the time the activity had ceased for a time....the sun was up and no way was I going out there with the strimmer so I settled down on the sofa with one of the new books I'd downloaded this morning from Amazon offers and made sure that I'd got them downloaded on to all my devices that I use for reading.  Then I heard the latch on the gate so I went out and was surprised to see one of the old ladies from the bottom square who had another packed of meat to give me.  It was very difficult to communicate because she only speaks Turkish but I managed to get her to sit down for a while and when I walked her to the gate she stopped and pulled some of the petals from the roses so I went and got the scissors and cut off several buds for her to take home with her as a little thank you.  Back inside and on to the sofa and I started to read the first one of the series of six and yes you've guessed it and at around three I had my next visitor, Zelinger's son with more pancakes closely followed by my neighbour from the garden next door who delivered more.  As for my work...just too warm and far too busy to settle into the mundane work of gardening.  

At four thirty I tuned in to the European Team Championship from Poland and it was good to see unfamiliar names in the English squad...we have more talent in the pipeline.  I watered the pots tonight....I'd done a little weeding this morning and moved things around and they obviously needed more love and attention than I'd given them all day.  No supper for me...I've had a couple of those pancakes and unfortunately the bag of sweets that I'd opened for the children was conveniently placed near the sofa as I settled down to the athletics.  LN....Let's see what tomorrow brings.....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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