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Elsa Peters
May 20, 2020, 3:48pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th May

First night in the cotton sheets and it seemed to work but I went to bed so early that I was awake at five thirty...Soda Crush felt pity for me and delivered the solution to a puzzle that's kept me busy for a day or so, the next two were easy, I ate all the chocolates and found the bears but then it presented me with another super hard one.  I haven't bothered with it all day, I've just been too busy.

Ham and cheese omelette for breakfast and at eight it was all ship shape and Bristol fashion, I settled with a Sudoku and set off with the Beast to take it for a check-up and to get it spruced up.  It's not really been out since Christmas but tomorrow I'm off to get two bales of potting compost and it will be easier in the biggie.  I stopped off in Djebel to buy a mask, I'd forgotten to pick mine up when I left the house and since you're not supposed to go into a chemist without one decided to go to my little chemist instead and at the same time picked up some more insect bite gel...they're getting active.  I was down to fifteen leva when I left the chemist so headed to the cashpoint leaving the car in the high street but as I walked towards the bank I was struggling to remember the sequence on the keypad.  I just don't remember numbers very well.  Three attempts and the messages were in Bulgarian so I hadn't got a clue so I cancelled the transaction, went back to the Beast and moved on to the next cash point having referred to my memory jogger and cash was delivered.  

I moved down to the garage and was asked why I hadn't been down the the Nipper to change from winter to summer tyres.  It was only then that I remembered about it...the virus has upset a whole lot of things.  Oil was checked, tyre pressures OK and then three of them set about giving it a shampoo and polish but only on the outside.  The muck inside is mine all mine.  I didn't pay up, I arranged to take the Nipper in for tyre change and another spruce up and again it was a quiet afternoon so the three of them worked on it.  The bill came to eighty leva but that included repair to the rims for my summer tyres, I'd knacked them going down the back lane and they'd had to be taken to Kardjali where apparently the guy looked very disapprovingly at the damage. I said he would have said that it was unfortunately due to an aged English person taking the lane faster than she should.

I heard on the radio driving back that we are supposed to have hailstones tomorrow, the temperature today has reached thirty and tomorrow it's going down to fifteen with showers.  I suppose I should have come back and sorted the grass out but didn't.  Instead I've put chicken wings and veg to roast in the oven and it's smelling as if it will soon be ready.  No bee-eaters again, maybe the patrolling cats have put them off.  LN....Another day out tomorrow....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 21, 2020, 5:41pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 21st May

Best night's sleep for ages according to my Fitbit...eight-one percent.  I think that's best ever.  It was early when I went to bed so early to rise and at five thirty I really didn't believe what showed up on the screen when I synced it with the tablet.  I'm sure it lies to me!!  I didn't have to leave until ten and I had lots to do and lots of time to fill.  I did play silly games for an hour or so, decided to have a shower and wash my hair and then it was out to the garden to dig up some gifts to take with me.  Lily of the Valley, Michaelmas Daisies, more Iris, tobacco plants and a baby shrub all freshly dug and watered well.  There really was no need, the rain arrived at around two today, with the wind and the thunder and lightening.  I loaded the plants into the Beast and off I set at around ten and it was a pleasure to be driving the biggie again on a journey.

I did the circular tour of the garden, offered coffee and chose water instead and we set off for Kirkovo.  Today's journey was to pick up potting compost, I'm tired of buying rubbish and my soil is so poor that I need to put something back.  Lovely journey down to the town. it's like driving through the bowl of a volcano and lots of sandstone shapes and hillocks.  The main river sweeps through the valley and where was my camera?  It was in my bag but I was driving.  We stopped off first at the market and I bought more petunias, snapdragons. sun daisies, red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers so I have work to do tomorrow.  The market was very quiet with only fruit and veg stalls there and I also bought potatoes and cherries that I left half with my host and hostess when I set off for home.  On to the agricultural merchants and I got two huge bags of potting compost and the man lifted them into the back of the Beast...and they're still there...they are heavy and not a job to be tackled when it's persisting down with rain.  We went back to the house and lunch arrived and we sat chewing the fat for the afternoon and were all convinced that we'd done the right thing by moving here...it isn't the England that we loved and adored.

Home for three thirty and pulled up outside since the cows were coming up the street and waited for them to go by before I opened the gate..the last thing I wanted was to have to chase cows out and by this time it was bucketing down.  I maneuvered the Beast into the garage, went back to close the gate and a car pulled up asking me direction for somebody's house and I said that I didn't know my neighbours and told him that I was English.  He then tried to explain in English who he was looking for and I apologised but said I was leaving, I was wet, he was in the dry.  I left and he left so I unloaded the purchases and went in and lit a fire and very welcome it was too and suddenly my neighbour was there delivering a pot of home made yogurt and some eggs so I gave her some of the cherries as a thank you.  Cold chicken wings for supper followed by fresh cherries for me and for six leva...they've gone a long way between lots of people and I still have some left for tomorrow.  

Gardening tomorrow if the weather clears up a little but it will be good to get them in, better that they're water in not dried out in the temperatures we had earlier in the week.  LN......Good day...a lot achieved....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 22, 2020, 5:45pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 22nd May

Another funny night.  I woke up at two, a trip to the little room and tried to get back off to sleep and nothing doing so I played Soda Crush for an hour or so.  It was five thirty when I came to for the second time so not much of a night's sleep for me.  It left me a little jaded for the rest of the day and I felt I was having to push myself and I did.  Toasted ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast and then it was 'let the day begin'.

It started in the kitchen when I cleaned three roasting tins that had been used for wings and things and I'd been a bit lazy so last night put them with washing up liquid, Cif and hot water to soak overnight and I use a washing up bowl so that I don't get grease in the sink drain.  That done I emptied the dirty water over the wall and was coming back into the house when my painter was walking the village delivering the lunches to those less fortunate in the village.  He asked how I was and I said fine and remembered that I had two two hundred and fifty litre bales of potting compost in the back of the Beast and he could help with that.  I said to come back after he'd finished his delivery, it wasn't urgent and we agreed that would be OK.  I finished the kitchen and then thought about the bales and made a start on it.  I moved the Beast forward so that I could open the back door making it more or less level with the door to the wood store.  The calculation is fifty litres of potting compost weighs approximately twenty two kilograms and fortunately I didn't make the calculation before I attempted moving it to the wood store.

I pulled the first bale forward sliding it against the one underneath and it fell to the garage floor and I managed to avoid the exhaust and the ball hitch.  I dragged it towards the door and couldn't lift it over the door sill so used my garden spade to raise it over the sill and edged it forward on the spade sitting on the handle to keep it raised against the weight of the bale, slow but effective.  I dragged it clear of the door and it was in...one down and one to go and now that the technique was tested and successful, the second one was easier and stored on its small end so easy to use.  I phoned my painter telling him not to rush back because I didn't need him any more but he eventually turned up, saying that he was sorry he got held up by an old lady, a stray dog and some chickens....he does find them.

I checked out what I'd bought yesterday and decided that it was time to sort out the veg garden.  I picked the overwintered broad beans, dug up the ones that needed digging up and left only two standing with two giant poppy plants, dug over the next beds, constructed the support for the tomatoes and then planted up six tomato plants, two cucumber plants and moved on to the next bed.  I removed the winter protector, dug over that bed and put in the peppers, moved on to the next and Haciber was in the garden delivering pancakes to celebrate the end of byram.  She looked at the plants on the table so I told her to pick one which she did, I picked a lemon, took the pancakes and lemon into the kitchen, warmed them up again and had them with sugar and lemon...all three of them and felt stuffed.  I forced myself out again and sorted out two other beds planting beetroot, parsnip and celeriac.  Tools away, I headed in at four, I'd had enough and promptly settled down on the sofa, remembered that the flower pots were sitting out in the sun so went out again, put them into a deep plastic tray and gave them a good water until tomorrow, now that I have my compost I can get them sorted.

Back to the sofa and I fell asleep and didn't wake up until just after seven, catching up on the lack of sleep overnight and restoring myself from the efforts of the day.  I woke up cold and immediately set about lighting the fire, not really necessary but comforting, no need for supper, the pancakes are sitting heavily on my digestion and at eight thirty, it will soon be time for bed.  What a day...more gardening tomorrow and then the grass needs cutting and more strimming to be done...never ending, sun, rain is good for the garden but not for me.  LN.....And now relax....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 23, 2020, 5:40pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 23rd May

So I woke up this morning at five thirty, everything seemed to be moving pretty rapidly, I was washed, dressed for the garden, the bread was not the best so I thought I'd wait and take bread from the van.  I haven't done this for several weeks.  I was pleased to see that he was wearing a mask and we did maintain distance.  Before I went for the bread I set about the vegetable garden, lifted the tulips and dug over the rest of the beds ready for the seeds.  I'd done all of this before I breakfasted on poached egg on toast.  After breakfast I planted out some cabbage thingies that were growing form the seeds that I'd put out for the birds for winter.  I don't like greens but the village can have them.  I was putting off cutting the grass, eventually I decided to take the challenge and I succeeded.  It was still damp underneath I should have probably left it but with the rain heading our way next week and a cloudy day tomorrow, I took the opportunity.

I came in for a break around twelve and was surprised by one of the children from the village.  I'd forgotten it was the day that the children collect sweets from the villagers and fortunately I had the bag of chocolate caramels so opened it and handed them over.  I asked her why she was the only one and she said that she didn't know but they came round later.  Haciber also paid me a visit and brought the other type of pancake, I had three of the frothy ones and managed two with jam on for lunch.  Back to it again and it took me until four this afternoon to finish it.  I came in and checked my Fitbit and I've done twenty three thousand plus steps today and decided to update the results on the tablet since I hadn't Blue-toothed it since Thursday and that's when the fun began.  The tablet just couldn't see it and since I'm in competition with my daughter, I wanted this recording.  She beats me most weeks and this week I might just stand a chance.  Managed it in the end, tools away and all locked up and came up to watch a little tv on the computer and that's when I spotted the bee-eaters and was surprised by a woodpecker on my tree.

Tuna for supper tonight, the boiler is on for a bath, Saturday nights are not what they used to be on the tv so it will be another early night for me.  Strimming tomorrow and then I'm going to be filling the pots with the new compost and planting out the oleander and repotting the fuschias..the last compost that I bought was rubbish and I have got two huge bags of it to use up.  The new pots will be filled with petunias and so will the snapdragons.  I need to get them settled in before the weather changes.  LN....Another good day.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 24, 2020, 4:56pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 24th May

Early start again but I've kept going all day so should sleep OK...fingers crossed.  Black tea again and back to bed with the Soda Crush and sure enough, the game gave up and I moved on to the next and then the next....washed, dressed and put on the same clothes from yesterday, it was a cold start to the day.  I was undecided what to have for breakfast but I settled on bacon and egg and as I'd had such an early start that I had washed up and it was still only eight thirty and the day was in front of me.

I opened up one of the bales of potting compost and was really impressed with it.  I started on the oleander that I'd grown from seed and were now desperately in need of a homes of their own and now they have.  They're in fairly big pots and are now sitting on the terrace, watered in and fingers crossed, they should settle in nicely and look very healthy.  The new concrete containers are completed with sun daisies and petunias and the rest of the re-potting can happen to morrow weather permitting.  I moved on to the grave garden which was definitely in need of love and attention and it got it today.  There was a lot of clover that had grown through the shrubs along with grass that I'd not really seen before but living next to a field has advantages in that it's very quiet but when the wind blows, I do get all sorts over the wall.  Battling with the weeds, planting up the cleared patches and removing the fir tree that was hanging on took me through to four thirty and I came in for a coffee and a small packet of biscuits.  I didn't go out again until five thirty and really to tidy things away, I'd done enough for today and as I went out it started to rain, the forecasters were right, they said we would have showers today, but it was short and sweet and now it's turned into a very settled evening.  

So if it does rain tomorrow I'm going in to Kardjali to deposit my company documentation in the appropriate box at the Statistics Office.  If it's fine I'll carry on with the gardening now that I'm in the mood for weeding and finishing off what I started a few weeks ago.  I'm really pleased with the garden...it's looking good.  LN.....Now to find something for supper.....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 25, 2020, 4:10pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 25th May

Early morning again but I played games for a while and then got up to watch the sun come up and put the washing away.  I went out on my bedroom balcony and there were cuckoos all over the show this morning. One almost dived at me on the balcony, we didn't expect each other and then it took off for the electricity line near to the pylon and joined two mates.  It was a pretty cool start to the day, the clouds lit up with the sunrise but the sun wasn't out for long and that's been the story of today.  Hot at times and then a cold wind for the rest of it and tonight there's a chill about me that a bath will sort out later.  

Beans on toast for breakfast, they were left over from last night's supper.  I decided not to go into Kardjali, the garden between the steps to the garden and the terrace had a bad attack of weeds...and since rain has been predicted for the next few days,it had to be done.  It was a slow process, there were lots of baby poppies but they're OK living in the rough ground but I didn't want them there. Once it was cleared, I dug up about fifteen zinnias from the fire pit bed  and planted them up, tried to water them but the spray attachment on the end of the hose had lost it's clip so was spraying everywhere except where I wanted it.  It's on the list when I head to the hardware store.  I also cut the geraniums back and took about ten cuttings and planted them up.  I should have done it sooner, last year's wood doesn't produce very good blooms.  More old pots emptied and the tulip bulbs put in the little house to dry off, new compost added and delphinium seeds planted.  I had a visit from two of the village ladies and they were in the gate before I new it and on to the terrace.  One of them wanted one of my roses from the front gate, they were going over so I cut her a spray from the pink rose near the other gate and they went away happy.

I tidied up as the weather was deteriorating, it had clouded over, it was cold and now it's started to rain.  This is supposed to be lingering for a few day so I might very well go to Kardjali tomorrow.  LN....Decisions, decisions....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 26, 2020, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 26th May

Silly night last night...I went to bed at eleven thirty, settled down to sleep and on with the light at twelve and Soda Crush until two.  According to the Fitbit I only had seven percent deep sleep...not enough but I managed the day without having an afternoon nap.  I forgot to mention that I woke just before seven so not much sleep at all.  I looked out at the terrace and there was compost all around the new concrete pot that I planted up yesterday....blasted cats.  Apparently the secret is not to leave too much soil exposed and they leave it alone.  That was going to be the first job, clean up and then plant some more in the container.

There was half a packet of bacon that needed doing something with so I did and popped an egg in the pan and half a slice of bread and that was breakfast.  I followed it with a slice of toast with apricot jam...I was planning a day of strimming which didn't happen.  Washed, dressed for the garden and got out the Sudoku book and knocked off a few puzzles and didn't get out to the garden until eleven.  It was pretty cloudy out there and cold so I sorted out the container first, repotted the fuchsia cutting that I'd brought from England into the new compost.  The one that I'd used was retaining too much water and it was suffering so maybe it will do better.  I potted up several new shrubs that I'd got from the market garden, emptied the tulip bulbs from others, planted up more tobacco babies and upset a giant ants nest in the process and removed the couch grass from the bed.  The weather deteriorated and got really cold, thunder rattled around and it eventually started to rain so I packed up and came in around two.  I made a cup of coffee and opened a small packet of biscuits and demolished them dipping them in the coffee and worked up the energy to get in to town for a new tap for the water barrel, a spray head for the garden hose and some more ant powder.  I also remembered a couple of drill bits...the bench is still on the list of 'to-do's'.

I drove into town, bought the items I'd gone in for, popped into the car shop and sat with my student's mum for about an hour for a town update.  I related the story of getting the bags of potting compost from the Beast into workshop and was told to be careful and I promised I would in future with a smile on my face.  My student was home from university because of the virus and we tapped feet, the new handshake.  His little brother came in and was trying to get money from his mum for a Donner kebab but it wasn't happening.  His lip dropped and we laughed..cruel aren't we.  Down to the little supermarket for water, biscuits, a tin of tuna and a packet of ham and coming out of the shop I met up with Emula, one of the lads from the village that I hadn't seen for some time, we chatted for a time about the old Cleo of all things and he asked if it was for sale and too late, it's been de-registered and is only suitable for scrap.

Home James, I fitted the tap to the outside water barrel, not sure that the spray will fit the hose but it was too cold outside to play around with it, chicken and veg in the oven and it should be ready soon.  Rain clouds are coming in again and it looks like we've got this for a while...come on it's May and nearly June.  LN....Morre of the same tomorrow or strimming if the mood takes me....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 27, 2020, 3:59pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 27th May

Reasonable night's sleep but it was an early start. I made a guess at six thirty but it was five thirty....to early and too late to try again.  I made tea and took it back to bed and settled in to Soda Crush until I ran out of lives and then moved on to Judge Rinder on Transponder.  I made more tea, washed and dressed and watched the rain come down.  I toyed with the idea of going in to Kardjali but the cold, wet weather put me off.  I made toast and jam for breakfast, threw the old bread over the wall for the animals and a few slices on the lawn for the sparrows.

There's not been a lot of activity today.  I did managed to complete the form for the Statistics Department, in Bulgarian and that's now awaiting delivery to the office.  Chances are that there's still the unattended desk and the form just needs posting in the box so because of the weather...it can wait for another day or so.  Around lunchtime it really threw it down, very heavy rain, trees bending in the wind and lots of new branches ending up on the grass.  I suppose it's good for the seeds I've planted as long as the ants haven't secreted them away already, but the rain needs to be followed by sun to encourage them.

It's been a tele day.  I've just lit the fire, had cold chicken which was supposed to be transformed into a curry for supper which never materialised.  It was just too much like hard work.  I'm following it with the top of a packet of chocolate biscuits which I'm hoping remains that I'm just eating the top few.  A very bedraggled cuckoo settled on the walnut, a few 'cucks' and not many 'oos' and the bee-eaters must be having a hard time of it...not many bees about.  LN...Time to put the biscuits back down stairs....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 28, 2020, 3:08pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 28th May

So last night there was a change in the views over the hillside.  There was a complete rainbow between us and the next village and it was so dramatic.  I tried to take a video with my camera to catch it all but it seemed to be taking too long to work it out.  There's another button on the front of the camera and using the wheel on the top didn't seem to work but for some reason it didn't work so I took photos instead.  I was just to close too the whole thing to take a picture of all of it.  I'll get it sorted for next time.

I went to bed around midnight and put my head down around one and was awake again at six so not a lot of sleep last night.  The usual morning routine of tea, back to bed, the weather looked quite promising but it was lying to me....it was all downhill after that.  I found a packet of bacon in the freezer and used up the last four eggs on an omelette so that I could start on the new ones before they went out of date.  I've got this phobia about eggs and freshness.  I put a couple of cheese triangles on it and it went down well and it's done me through until now.  

Another inactive day....no chance of getting out there, it's very wet underfoot, too wet for the strimmer and definitely too wet for me.  I'm not doing well in this sort of weather, my step rate has gone down and I've got no inclination to push it up.  I went out and filled up the log basket, there is the possibility of another fire this evening and despite the fact that it is appearing to clear up with yet another rainbow, the temperature has not gone up greatly.  I did venture out into the garden to take a few photographs, the last one of the red hot pokers showed that they were just peaking through...and now...check them out.  One thing struck me that the flowers on the cultivated philadelphus has many more flowers but they are smaller than the wild ones but both smell divine.

So I move into the evening, I've not thought about supper yet but as I said, that omelette has not moved very far down the food chain.  As for the days...I've been ahead of myself all week, marked up yesterday as Thursday which now has been amended and thought today was Friday and couldn't understand this morning why my bank hadn't sent a text of monies going in to the account and I hadn't received an email that I normally get every week on a Friday.  I put it down to the virus....it's upset my state of mind I think, I'm fed up of the coverage, there's not the normal balance of life and there's no future plans made.  By now I've normally thought about going to the UK, arranging a holiday in Turkey, booked a cruise or been for the Saturday markets to Greece. One day, fingers crossed, it might sort itself out.  LN....Time to get that fire going...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 29, 2020, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 29th May

Another rubbishy day weatherwise....rain, rain, go away.  To be fair, it wasn't too bad this morning but by lunchtime the clouds were coming over and by five thirty, there was one heck of a front that came over along with thunder and lightening...dramatic.

As for my morning, it was very leisurely and it took me until ten thirty to get dressed.  I fried the rest bacon from the fridge and had a couple of bacon sandwiches for breakfast and ate them watching them while I checked my emails on the computer.  I'd tried to get through to the provider on the Kindle and it couldn't find the server so that's why I moved to the biggie.  I was only spurred into action by a phone call from the post office to tell me that I had a 'cartichka' and that seemed very interesting.  I'm still waiting for cards for mother's day and my daughter said she'd sent something else for me and at twelve I set off for the post office before the lady went for her lunch.  I recognised the handwriting straightaway and it was from the friend that I sent the birthday flowers to, to say thank you.  She described how beautiful the flowers were so I'll be tempted to use the company again.

Back home and settled on the sofa with my Kindle and got stuck into a new book that so far I'd ignored.  I think my eyes were just heading south when my Fotinovo friend arrived with a pot of homemade strawberry jam so it was on with the kettle, updates all round and I said that I had thought of phoning him, I'd had a message from the Librarian's son, they hadn't managed to contact her and were beginning to get worried.  I'd thought of going over since she wasn't answering any of her phones and my friend suggested that we took off, straightaway and checked it out.  It's quite a way from me so I offered to drive over leaving his car at his house and we could carry on together but he insisted that he had nothing else to do, he would drive me back.  On the way he spotted a bird on the road that he'd seen on his way over and stopped to pick it up and put it on the verge.  It was a very dazed shrike so I just had to take a photo.  We parked up, both of the gates were padlocked but there was washing out and the dogs were about so I moved to the bottom gate and shouted for her to come out.  It took a time but out she came so I passed on the message from her son and daughter-in-law.  Duty done.

On to my friends house for coffee and a walk round the garden, he drove me home and we walked my garden and off he went with some good strong cuttings and another climber with very good roots that I'd pulled off my front wall.  We both took some good photos of the very black sky that had appeared and we've earmarked plants that he wants from my garden.  Off he went, I had fish finger sandwiches for supper, too lazy to do anything else.  I've just had a message from the Librarian's family thanking me, she's phoned.  LN....Fire going and now into the evening....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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