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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  SEPTEMBER 2019
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Elsa Peters
September 21, 2019, 7:36pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 21st September

Six thirty start to the day, down for a coffee, washed up from last night and upstairs and in bed for the sunrise.  Lots of mist hanging about in the valleys and it's quite fairy-tale when it happens.  I was pretty slow off the mark today despite my early start, I'd checked my emails and ended up buying the  Patricia Cornwell twentieth book in the Scarpetta series and spent time searching for book nineteen to no avail.  The one that I bought was on offer for ninety nine pence so a bargain and that's the only time that I buy them.  So I headed down at about eight thirty and breakfasted on boiled eggs with soldiers and again washed up those dishes by nine thirty so instead of doing something constructive, I settled into my new book for a time but then took my coffee outside and ended up chasing butterflies.  Two of the yellow ones were chasing around and just wouldn't settle enough to get good pickies so you'll have to make do,  They were much prettier in flight.

Out to the garden and ended up digging around the escalonia on the long wall and found a couple of self rooted babies and now they're potted up until I decide where they're going to spend the rest of their lives.  I turned my attention to the little terrace bed and weeded it, dug  out four self set hypericom and two of those are now in situ and the other two in water until I decided again where they'll go.  The two Greek small trees that look like mimosa have been repotted in ten litre cut off water bottles, they had good root systems but needed more depth so that done and will spend the winter in the little house and fingers crossed they like their new homes.  I'm not sure they can withstand a Bulgarian winter.

I tried for a rest this afternoon knowing I was out and about tonight but it wasn't happening so I went out and did a little more digging and clearing and at five came in for a shower and to wash my hair.  I was ready for six and in the car by five past and heading out to Samodiva for a goat roast as a good bye offering for D and A of Samodiva , they are heading back to the UK for a while.  R and K of Fortinovo were there as well along with lots of locals at the bar in the village and the goat arrived courtesy of one of the farmers and boy was it a big one.  It was hacked apart and around sixteen of us settled in to it, very tasty, a little chewy and I spent the next hour or so trying to get it out discretely from the gaps between my teeth.  I stayed until nine and walked back to my car with A and the little one who by this time was getting very sleepy and I was frozen despite putting a jacket on.  

It was a very cold night and eleven degrees when I got home.  The first thing I did when I got in the car was to put the heater on to full power and get warmed up and when I got home I undressed and found a fleece jumper and some thick trousers....and I;m still cold now.  The house is in the lower twenties but I've just got chilled to the bone and soon to bed fwith a hot drink....no ice-cream for me tonight.

Tomorrow it's a baby party in Djebel and the coach leaves at eleven thirty... I shall be there with the ladies from the village...what a social life I have.  LN....A hot drink is called for....LN

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Elsa Peters
September 22, 2019, 5:41pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 22nd September

Lousy night...as you know I came back cold...put on thick PJ's, double shot of coffee before bed and that must have been the one that threw out the rhythm of the night.  So at three I was reading my new book that I downloaded yesterday, eventually decided to get my head down again at five but nothing doing so I put the washing machine on and was pegging it out at six thirty this morning before the sun was up.  I checked the outside thermometer and it had gone down to five overnight but the house retained twenty two.  I did go back to bed again though and again got stuck into my book.

The sun was up and the temperature rising and I thought I'd have breakfast before I settled into tidying the garden.  I sniffed the bread and it was just on the turn so it was over the wall with it and the breakfast would have to wait for the bread van.  So to fill in the time I took out my hedge trimmer and cut the lavender back stacking the lavender in the log carrier and exposing the plants.  The lavender has die-back in the centre so I'll have to sort it out tomorrow and decide how much I cut back.  Bread van came so headed down the road and lots of ladies were already there.  I walked back with my Avatar and confirmed that the bus to take us to the baby party would be arriving at eleven thirty so I managed three slices of toast with strawberry jam and that saw me through until the lunch.  Quickly got changed, my neighbour arrived and was insisting on lavender so I told her to come back after the baby party and probably when the other neighbours weren't looking at what she was going back with. They would all want some.

So off we set, it's our usual driver that seems to spend time half looking at the road, twenty five percent on his phone and the rest of the time talking to passengers sitting near.  We walked to the restaurant, my neighbour from the next garden lost the heel from her shoe on the way and we managed to cobble it together to get her there.  My student's mum from last week's wedding was there and came over to speak to me.  Apparently she is on the house on her own...one married and other daughter has gone to Turkey with her father and she must me having a lovely time with nothing to do but relax.  The baby was paraded, we coughed up the baby party tariff , had a lunch and then walked back to the pickup point and waited for the bus for the return journey.  A lot of the ladies decided to do their weekly shopping early and came back with bags of goodies.  Home for three, sofa with the book and head down for a couple of hours of catch up.  I was woken by my neighbour who'd  come round earlier in the day wanting lavender seeds, plant and anything that wasn't nailed down.  She went away happy.  Washing in, I swept the lavender seeds from the terrace on to the garden, cleared the steps down to the garden and tomorrow I will attack the third lavender and remove the bullying honeysuckle from it.  

Tomorrow I'm off to see Mrs D of Samodiva to collect the loot that she can't manage to take with her including a rocking chair.  I've got the label already for the bottom of the chair to make sure it does back where it belongs eventually should anything untoward happen to me before they return.  I've also lined up more work for me...I've asked my neighbour to ask one of my other farmers from the village for a load of manure...and that could be happening from Tuesday onwards.  LN....Why do I do it to myself.!!!...LN

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Elsa Peters
September 23, 2019, 5:23pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 23rd September

Lovely rested sleep, sun was up before me but it was still a little cold when I took my first coffee outside.  I didn't have to be anywhere until eleven so I wasn't in a hurry to do anything.  I put on morning television with Piers Morgan and they were interviewing Joan Armatrading.  Now my concept was that she was American and I'd never really listened to any of her music  and I was over the moon when she handled Piers as he tried to ask her a political question and she was having none of it..Good girl.  I took my camera outside and again I had the problem that the automatic flash wouldn't pop up.  I ended up checking with in Internet and using a Q-tip and screen cleaner I cleaned the appropriate areas and fixed it.  I can now add this to my CV.....

I'd settled for a cardigan over a long sleeved t-shirt...the sun was strong but the wind was cold and it's been around five degrees for the last two morning.  I remembered to take with me the dress that II'd borrowed from K of F as a standby for the wedding but as it happened I didn't use it and also a copy of a photograph that I'd taken of a painting that I'd seen in one of the first houses that I view with Princess and her husband when we were all looking to more here.  The picture wasn't for sale but K has offered to recreate it form....it a mixture of rural communism and Picasso and I fell in love with it.  I was over to Mrs D of S's by eleven  sat with her and the little one and what a poppet she is.  Her vocabulary for a three year old is superb and I'm going to miss them all.  I loaded up with bulbs from their garden, we carried the rocking chair to the car and managed to get it in and also the log carrier that I'd left with her two years ago to make her winter life easier.  I was full to the gunnels with lute plus some wax and wicks for candle making and that should keep me quiet for the winter.  

I carried of to see R of F and we sat in the garden with coffee after I'd handed K's dress over.  Their garden is coming on in leaps and bounds...it's a challenge taking a garden from scratch and the vegetable garden has almost everything in it and the load of sheep shite that they spread over it was very productive and they're now looking for topsoil for the rest of the beds.

Driving home I came across an accident that had just happened.  A white van was across the white line as I came round the bend and a small black car was further along my lane and glass and debris was scattered on the road.  I stopped in plenty of time and threaded my way slowly through the debris and carried on my way.  I flashed the next car coming towards me as a warning and carried on home.  I unloaded the car, managed to get the rocking chair up the stairs and to my bedroom taking care that the rocker base wasn't too near the window to the balcony...that would be an expensive error.  The bulbs were put in the log carrier and will be sorted in the morning...I wasn't in the mood tonight....and are sitting in the  conservatory for the morrow.

Avatar came round and tomorrow there is a rice feast that I've been invited to and apparently the sheep farmer has provided the meat free of charge so it should taste really good.  I might be expecting my sheep droppings tomorrow...I've heard nothing from the lady that was organising it so it's a wait and see moment.  I've had supper already...hamburgers and chippies with lots of tomato sauce and coke....my own version of McDonald.  LN.....Active or inactive....I'll wait and see......LN

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Elsa Peters
September 24, 2019, 6:24pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 24th September

Silly night again...I woke up at two and went back to sleep at six....carried on with my book and only managed to sleep until seven thirty.  I washed up the dishes from the yesterday and took my coffee outside and watched the birds in the garden.  There were some very noisy magpies out there trying to scare everything else off but the blue tits flitted backwards and forwards...very busy they were.  I didn't managed to get washed and dressed until eleven and I was out there in my PJ's which didn't really look anything like PJ's and sorted out the bulbs after I'd had a bonfire.  I'd put the house rubbish out and added the weeds from the old fridge flower container and the failing petunias from the tyres on the terrace.  I popped over to Avatar's house to take something back and while I was there Byser came over and a request came to fetch some water from the spring so that she could start on the rice and meat bucket that was going to feed the ladies of the village and their respective spouses.  I went back and fetched the car putting in a clean eleven litre empty bottle that would be filled for somebody.

Avatar came with me and we'd loaded another five empty bottles and we headed down to the 'cold water' spring about two kilometres from the village.  There are two spouts that permanently spew out waster but they were flowing very slowly and I'd filled up five while Avatar's chosen spout filled up only one bottle.  We've had no rain for about two months so there's bound to be less in the reservoir.  Back we came and I delivered two to the village square where the food was to be prepared, one was taken to Haciber's house for her personal use, two to Beyser's house and the last one went to Avatar.  We'd missed the bread van but caught up with the van as he reversed out the lane into the square so I have to pay for bread tomorrow but I think my credit's good.  I parked up outside my front wall and went in and made poached eggs on toast and then I concentrated on planting up the tyres and the fridge with the bulbs that I'd be given.  At around eleven fifteen Avatar came round and asked if I was ready to go down to the square for the feast so I asked for ten minutes to get out of my PJ's and get ready to face the village.

The rest of the ladies arrived in dribs and drabs and eventually there were fourteen assembled but by now the clock was ticking and Avatar and myself were eager to be off and back to the jobs we had to do.  The rice oversized pot was uncovered, the individual pots surrounded it and it was dished out and I joke that I had enough for a couple of weeks or so.  We were the first to leave, I took some of the rice and meat and put it into a smaller dish and loaded it with soy sauce, lay on the sofa and caught up with the sleep that I'd missed over night.  It was four thirty when I woke up....I was going to carry on with the bulb planting but it started to rain so I stayed inside.  It's around twenty degrees outside but having been used to thirty degree days, I'm feeling cold tonight and toyed with lighting the fire but at nine thirty...it's a little late.

Hoping for better weather tomorrow...I've still got lots of bulbs to put in and I'm tempted to go down to my neighbours to get a few barrow loads of manure since the cart didn't arrive today and then plant a lot of the bulbs up in the vegetable patch just to see what the bulbs are.  I've got various types of tulips and lilies and I'm not sure which are which....I didn't get photos with them.  Ice-cream for supper...the rice will live to fight another day.  LN....Bath and bed.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 25, 2019, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 25th September

Not a bad night and woke up at six this morning.  Down for coffee, back to bed, read more of my book and was down to the kitchen and starting on my day by eight.  I didn't want bread but owed for yesterday's so legged it over to Avatar's house with my one leva so that she could settle my bill.  She'd been working in the garden again and is finishing everything off before she leaves on Monday.  She came over later and was on her way to her husband's grave so I asked her if she would like a few bulbs to put round it and I explained that I had a few left over after saturating my garden with them and she said that she would love them.  I offered her my plastic planting tool and she said that she didn't need it and had her walking stick.  I suggested that she took mine, I knew how hard the ground was despite yesterday's light rain.  She came back about an hour later and thanked me...I was right, the soil was very solid.

I made toast for breakfast and finished up the last of my strawberry jam.  I went out tidying some more of the pots but the state of the conservatory was niggling me.  I started off by potting up another wandering jew that I might have to give away seeing how quickly they grow.  I emptied the shelves of the old stair case and decided that it needed a coat of bezir and that's how it all started.   The shelves have been painted and everything tidied and put into storage boxes, old shoes have been thrown out, coats have been sorted and old work gloves thrown out.  The floor has been vacuumed, the carpet shaken and the floor washed over...it's now ready for winter.  Even the wind chimes have had a coating of bezir. ...and now I'm knacked.

I finished tonight off with a bonfire and I was surprised when I got down to the burning bin....there was a cat sitting on the remains of this morning's fire.  I suppose it was a warm spot.  It didn't jump out immediately and I reckon it could have been stuck in there so I took the lid off and that's when it took off at a great rate of knots over the wall.  The fire started quickly, I went back to the house to get more ammunition and by this time it had really taken off and I was tempted to take a bucket of water with me but didn't.  I did put the lid back on it and it chugged along nicely and not a cat in sight.

I'm hungry and about to head down to the kitchen to see what I can find...and this might include the microwave.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far but things change quite quickly in this village.  LN...Hunt for food is on....LN

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Elsa Peters
September 26, 2019, 4:57pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 26th September

Up at the same time as the sun this morning.  Only a few light clouds in the sky and it's been a reasonable day all round.  I made it down stairs by seven thirty and I was finding jobs to do, starting them and moving on to the next so I had to give myself a strict talking to.  The pottery balloon from Capadokia had taken a bit of a tumble yesterday while I was clearing out the conservatory.  I'd managed to catch the balloon, the basket had fell to the floor and last night I couldn't find the clapper but this morning I found it under the starter wood bucket.  The next problem was to put it back together again....it was too narrow to get fingers up it to tie knots and things to hold the clapper in place.  Eventually I decided to use new ribbon and not mess around with the existing and using a needle I managed to put it all back together again and you'd never know that I'd played around with it.  It's now back in place.

Settled for toast and Marmite this morning and took to the sofa with the book,  I was on seventy percent and it was at last warming up.  I toyed with the idea of getting the old fence wood from by the burning pit but pushed it to the back of my mind.  The day was moving on but my work arrived in the form of a horse and cart loaded with dry manure.  I move the Nipper so that the horse could be led into the yard and the poor thing had poor pickings from the grass...there was very little.  The cart was unloaded, together we turned the cart round as he led the horse and off he went and it's the same again tomorrow.  I started more or less straight away, wheelbarrow and small snow shovel from the workshop, secateurs to clear the path through to the graveyard garden and it was all systems go.  I covered the beds and got down to the mulberry more or less and kept on load back for the pots when it comes time to get them into new compost.  I was tempted to take to the sofa again but I decided to split a few of the larger logs with the wedge and lump hammer and managed to fill the log carrier twice.  My work was done.  

Back to the sofa, finished the book and it was one of those where they bring in the villain in the last chapter.  I'll have to go back and read that again.  I might have more manure tomorrow if Hassan feels in the mood otherwise I think I might be heading in to Kardjali...I have work at the bank.  LN....Boiler on for a bath....LN

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Elsa Peters
September 27, 2019, 4:25pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 27th September

Very restful night again, washing in at seven and back to bed with a new book.  I was a little concerned with the boiler this morning.  The water temperature hadn't gone up as much as it should and I thought it might be the boiler thermostat or maybe the timer device that restricts the power to the boiler.  Inspector Cludo to the rescue....and found that there might be a problem with the timing device...it was shutting off and stopping the functioning.  I suddenly remembered that I had another timer in the conservatory that I'd used on the Christmas lights so plugged it in and raised up the notches to regulate the length of time that the power flowed to the boiler.  I gave it a try and even though the notches were down the power still flowed....and this is where the brain kicked in....the notches were opposite than the previous one....and had to be up when not in use not down so I switched it over and Eureka.....it works.  I don't have a problem with the boiler.

Beans on toast eventually, washed up and cleared the kitchen and it was back to the bulbs, pots and I planted the tamarisk which I've since found out that it's very invasive and the red hot poker which has been in the pot for too long.  I actually found three in the pot and have put them all in.  The old Beast tyres are i the yard and the bowl is in awaiting filling and placing....

Back to the book...I didn't head out to Kardjali just in case my manure arrived...but it didn't...maybe tomorrow.  I might risk it tomorrow...my list is growing longer.  I got steak out of the freezer last night and now have to think of something to do with it.  I seem to remember that the last lot was tough so I might bash it to death or cut it into strips.  LN...Another winter preparation day...LN

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Elsa Peters
September 28, 2019, 4:51pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 28th September

Six thirty start, coffee, back to bed and read my book until the sun came up and glared me out.  At this point I was forced out of bed, shook the duvet, put yesterday's washing away, washed and dressed and walked the garden and had a chat with the new plants that went in yesterday.  They appear to be doing OK...they were watered in well yesterday so should have enough to survive until tomorrow and they'll get a good drink in the morning,

I didn't bother with breakfast and was in the Nipper by nine and heading to Kardjali via the back lane.  I was pleased to see that they've had a digger or tractor to level out the humps and bumps and have filled in the holes with clinker.  I was slipping and sliding a little but managed to get down without anything coming up to meet me.  There was quite a lot of traffic on the Greek road and the roat tax vehicle was pulling in a few card from Greece that were obviously without paying the road tax.  Greeks are kicking off about it....we don't have to pay to use their roads since they don't rn a temporary road tax system so maybe they'll be introducing one.

First stop at the hardware shop and bought the timer to replace the one that went to the great electrical heaven in the sky.  I drove on to central Kardjali and my car park attendant wasn't obvious today so it was a cheap visit.  I went to the cheapy clothes shop and picked up a few things including a fully waterproof coat that will spend the winter in the Nipper or the Beast depending  which one is in use, a long curtain only because it has the aluminium pole circles in the header and a pair of jeans which fit Cinderella and me.  I went to Kaufland and bought vegetables a large pack of coffee beans...for my guest to take back or for me to transport.  Moved to Lidl and spent a small fortune on nothing including a bag of hyacinth bulbs as if I don't have enough work to do.  I stopped off and filled up with gas and headed home via the back lane and that's when it became interesting.   I was slipping and sliding everywhere and did it all in first...the Beast would have managed it with no trouble at all.  Home for just after one and I was amazed....it seemed much later and by two I'd unpacked the car, got the frozen in the freezer and the rest of the shopping away, the clothes were in the washing machine and out onto the line.  Four chicken legs into a  lidded casserole dish with water into the oven, I prepared enough vegetables for Avatar and myself and into the oven with them and I reckoned that all would be ready by six.  I'd put the oven on a lower temperature than normal.  My work was done...coffee, sofa and book.  

The world athletics are being shown and so I started to watch it and food has been worked in around it.  Food delivered to Avatar on schedule and she said that she didn't want it, I said I would take it home and she more or less snatched it from me.  We do have our little jokes.  I also took over a bunch of white grapes that were down to  one leva twenty for a kilo...not very sweet but I'll keep them for a day to see if they get any better.  Kitchen tidied, two more legs of chicken in the cooker to cool down and they'll be curried tomorrow.  More athletics and Strictly tonight...let's see who's the first to go out but not really been following it so far...it was a goat roast last Saturday.

Gardening tomorrow ....I've got three more shrubs that I bought today plus the hyacinth bulbs to go it.  The lawn could do with a trim if only to clean it up to get rid of the leaves.  LN....Another good day.....LN
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Elsa Peters
September 29, 2019, 7:16pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 29th September

I appeared to have a good night's sleep but my memories of last night was that I was scratching itching ankles for the last two hours.  I can only think that they are old insect bites....the little things that live in the grass might have jumped up and nibbled a bit....little bastards.

Up before the sun this morning again, it was normal routine. washed up from last night, made my coffee but then made my bed....I didn't go back there but sat out on the terrace and enjoyed the morning.  The mist was hanging in the valley, I had fresh eggs and thought about poached on toast with ham but the thought went to the back of my mind.  I realised that I only had the Lidl bread that overnight had toughened up a little so went over to see Avatar aimed with two lev and we sat in the garden watching a parade of Turkish visitors walking up and down the street and lots of cars bearing Turkish number plates.  It was a quick update from Avatar....today was our village fete worse than death.  The gypsies were out with their horses galloping up and down the street but no brad wagon.  We reckoned that with the fete going on, he thought there wouldn't be much trade.  I toyed with going and then decided against it....I would have met people that I know up there but my brain wasn't in the right place for it...I wasn't up to the effort involved....instead I left Avatar, went home and I ended up with toasted ham and cheese sandwiches out in the sun on the terrace.  

The rest of the day was spent in the garden....I dug holes and planted the three plants that I'd bought yesterday and planted up more bulbs.  I then set out and tackled the bed by the old roof tiles that I'd ignored totally this year.  I knew there were lots of flags in there and so I firstly raked over it to get rid of the old leaves and grass, tidied up the old leave from the flags and uncovered the rhizomes and the new buds.  I chopped back the bushes, planted a forsythia and another plant from Haskovo that's doing nothing in the pot and dug in bulbs around the bed.  I came in for forty minutes rest and obviously the eyes went southwards and when I surfaced I went out and tidied away the tools watering everything well before I gave up for the night.

Cold chicken and roast veg for supper tonight and ice-cream to follow.  As for tomorrow...nothing set in stone so if the weather is good, it might be more gardening to knock the rest of the bed into shape and might even edge it,  LN....Shower and bed...LN
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Elsa Peters
September 30, 2019, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 30th September

So last night at twelve thirty I went over to sway goodbye to Avatar.  The taxi was coming to pick her up and take her to the airport at one thirty and off to Germany for the winter she goes.  She's sad to be going but it takes the strain off her....no fires to sort out, wood to chop and she's with the family.  It's going to be strange without her but I wish her well for the winter...

It didn't take me long to get into bed and asleep in quicksticks and through until five thirty this morning.  I made coffee, went back to bed, got out my tablet and clutching my coffee woke up when I felt it tip over and some went on the quilt and duvet cover.  Thee quilt was washed and the duvet put in the sun to dry...it didn't take long.  The washing was out on the line by seven and fortunately I'd pegged it well.  The wind got up and everything was at ninety degrees to the line.  This morning was a kitchen real tidy...both frying pans washed and put away, the chip pan was emptied and the old oil ready to go on the bonfire, the final chicken leg is now curried and is tonight's supper and the temporary chip pan is now back to its original status.  As for breakfast, I found a couple of kidneys that I'd bought on Saturday so I chopped them and had them on toast for breakfast....made a change.

Out to the garden and I was drawn to the third lavender original bushes under the main terrace wall.  It had suffered greatly from the onslaught of the honeysuckle and it was very dead in the centre so I set to and dug it out, hacking away at the honeysuckle to knock it into shape.  It now gives me the chance to edge the bed properly so I'll be up in the little house loft to see what's up there and suitable to use.  It could be a woodworking day tomorrow.  I came in two and my feet fairly slipped out of my gardening clogs and I realised they were in need of a great deal of attention.  I soaked them, cut the nails, poked them and cleaned them up and painted my toe-nails.  Then the effort got too much, head down and went to the land of nod for an hour or so, woke up and tidied away the tools, washing in, bed made up, athletics on the computer and I'm about to have a shower and admire my toes.  LN....More of the same tomorrow....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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