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Elsa Peters
June 1, 2020, 5:20pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 1st June

Woke up fairly refreshed at six, tea and back to bed and Soda Crush to chill me out.  I knocked off a couple of games fairly swiftly and then hit the brick wall...and ran out of games.  I looked down the garden and there was this strange lump by the walnut so I went down to investigate and it turned out to be a very wet cat that jumped up and ran off.  I didn't bother with breakfast, I had a shower and washed my hair, dried it and had a bit of a shock with my new toothpaste.  I squeeze it on to the brush and instead of blue it was grey and then I read the tube...it had an additive of ...charcoal. There was a bit of a strange taste with it but later my daughter said that it is supposed to make your teeth look whiter.  We'll see.

I was in the Nipper by nine thirty and headed for my student's mum's shop to collect my mail and there were three of them.  Yesterday there was one, they must have had a search round the house, two from the bank and one from Princess.  I sat down in the shop after a sort of elbow rub but still maintaining two meters.  I haven't seen the family for about seven weeks so it was good to catch up a little but soon Kardjali was calling me, I had that form to put into the Statistics Department.  I managed to park up, walked up to the third floor and we were still down to a table and forms so I posted mine in the box and back to the car.  I tried to park up in the free car-park but the world and all its friends were out today so I moved to the pay-park and booked for one hour.  I went down to my cheapy shop and what a disappointment,  They no longer have special cheap days, they just have a thirty percent discount.  My allegiance to this shop is over.  I did buy a long white cotton blouse for just over one lev so I did get a bargain but it didn't feel like it.  I made a quick call to Princess to thank her, told her I was wearing a mask, pistol in my pocket, I was off to do a bank and she suggested a pop sock as a disguise.  I promised to  send her the details of visiting hours...

I carried on to Kaufland and bought Gold Blend which was on offer, some outside cushions, meat for the freezer, onions and I did manage to pick up two pairs of swimming shoes for when we can manage to get to Greece....one pair for me and one for my guest, when he manages to get over here without needing to be put into isolation.  Lots of people around and I couldn't wait to get out and the same in Lidl, I forgot Monday is a busy day with few people working.  I was surprised when my local phone rand and it was a Bulgarian number...it was the Statistics office and they are not known for their communication skills at the best of time and I tried to answer the questions but I was on a hide into nothing.  I tried to ask her if there was a problem with my form but they only use big long words for something that could be so simple and she finished the conversation saying that everything was OK and while she might have been happy, I wasn't.  I filled up with gas and drove to Djebel and went into the garage shop.    I asked my friend if she would phone the Statistics office on my behalf to find out what the real problem was.  Now last year I submitted the form and the lady in the office completed it for me and now the issue was whether I was a foreigner or living here.  I'd given my address so my friend explained that yes, I was English but had lived here for around ten years so yes, I could be considered a local and what was her problem.  She ended this conversation just as quickly saying that she would treat me as a 'local' and I think they must have a new computer program and I wasn't fitting into a box.

Home for three thirty, I unpacked my shopping, washed my blouse, made a coffee and sat out on the bench watching the clouds gather.  The blouse came in and is now in the lounge finishing off, the spare rib chop went in with a jacket potato but the chop was ready before the potato so it was sentenced to six minutes in the microwave and then back into the oven along with the chop.  The washing up can wait, I've had enough for today, legalities in Bulgaria can be very testing.  Apparently we have only two days of this weather remaining and then we get back to summer.  LN...More seeds to put in tomorrow, weather permitting....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 2, 2020, 6:00pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 2nd June

Good night's sleep according to my Fitbit but it was a bit disjointed.  I wanted to watch the programme of discovering the foundlings background and I promptly went to sleep just as the programme was about to start, woke up, managed to turn over to the other channel and caught the last forty minutes of it....fascinating...not knowing where you came from obviously would affect you and so would finding out.  What sadness when you have to leave a child to be found...heartbreaking.

So just before seven when I woke up, coffee this morning and back to bed and it's been a funny old day.  Toasted cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast and then it was a none day.  It was too cold to go out there straightway and I eventually decided it was warmer outside than in the house so ventured out and started weeding, moving plants, planting up the newbies and putting them in the  nursery area on the little house terrace.  At this point I went down to look at the red hot poker and cleared round the bottom of it and it's doing well.  I also managed to find the second plant, no flowers on it this year but it was just a very small plant when it went in.  At this point the sun went in, the thunder started and so did the rain.  I put the tools away thinking that that was probably the end of my day outside but then it stopped, the sun came out so I went and settled down on the bench and enjoyed the sun.  I came in for a coffee when the flies drove me inside, took out a gardening book and looked at what I should be doing.

I eventually went out again with the intention of a bonfire,  I got it going, sort of, everything was damp so I'll give it another go to finish it off tomorrow.  While I was watching it I decided to carry on weeding the bottom high wall bed and managed to find the clematis that I'd put in last year, no flowers but it looks very healthy so I pointed it in the right direction, upwards and tomorrow I'll secure it to the tree.  I came in at six fifteen when the rain was getting through the top I was wearing so I took it off and PJ top when on...I'm half ready for bed.  Cold chicken wings for supper followed by a very small chocolate cake and that will do until tomorrow morning.  Friday we go up to twenty two degrees and the rain stops on Friday according to the weather reports.  LN...Roll on next week....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 3, 2020, 6:06pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 3rd June

Seven start, coffee only this time I didn't take it back to bed.  I sat in the chair in the stairwell and watched the birds playing and the jays heading to the cherry tree, thieving birds.  There aren't many this year, the late snow that we had put paid to that, the few that are there are beginning to ripen but this year I'm leaving them to it.  They can have them.  Noisy birds though.  I also heard a call from the hoepoo so I went down to the bottom of the garden and managed to look over the wall near the bonfire pit but didn't manage to spot it.  It also stopped calling so must have moved.  Hey ho...I'll keep looking out for it...they are beautiful birds but very hard to see.  The cuckoo was performing on the electricity wires again but flew off when it spotted me.

It was pretty cold out there and damp under foot, it had obviously been raining overnight.  I came in and grabbed my coffee and went out again taking up position of the bench on the terrace until I got cold and came back into what warmth there was.  It was only twelve outside and nineteen in but you would think that I would have got used to it but my body does say summer so I made a ham and cheese omelette and sat inside in the sun eating it.  I tidied the kitchen, washed, dressed and it was back to tights and joggy bottoms for a day of gardening for as long as the good weather lasted.

I planted up more cosmos and took zinnias from old fire pit and spread them around the garden, emptied out the weeds from more pots and they now have zinnias in them.  I've also dug up a walnut that was growing in the wrong place and that's now in a ten litre plastic bottle and is due for delivery once I know when it's a happy where it is.  I came in for a coffee, got settle on the sofa for an hour or so and had tuna mayo and toast, decided to go out and do a bit more but it was raining so came in and lit the fire...I don't suffer, I took action.

There was nothing to do outside that didn't require a wet-suit so I decided to have a bath, had a thirty minute snooze, put on my PJ's and am just about to go and check up on the fire.  It's clouded over again and we had a few peels of thunder....Friday is supposed to be...'the day it all changes'.  No supper required, soon be time for bed.  LN....I've put the winter quilt back on....call me chicken.....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 4, 2020, 5:55pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 4th June

Just before seven start, coffee and back to bed with the Kindle and Soda Crush and very successful it was too.  The minutes were ticking away.  At eight my lives were up so I made more and went out to walk the garden.  The sun was up, it was a beautiful morning except for the wind that was whipping around bending new plantings to ninety degrees forcing me to move some of them.  I sat out on the bench for a time but came in, I was getting cold out there despite the sun so it was straight up to the bathroom to get ready for the day. I put on a short sleeved t-shirt, then changed my mind and put another one on, I intended doing something today....I hadn't decided what so referred to list of 'things to do'.

Breakfast was poached eggs on ham, I tidied the kitchen and promptly took up position of the sofa and started reading a book that I'd left alone for a while and tried to get back into it again but at eleven thirty, I picked up the hedge trimmer and headed out to attack the forsythia on the frog garden.  I also grabbed the battery for the strimmer...I meant business.  I took at least about two feet from the top of the forsythia, used the strimmer to clear round the stones that edge the bed and missed all of the lilies of which there are so many different types, the day lilies being most prominent.  I cleared up the trimmings and lobbed them over the wall, moved to the rose garden and cut back the spirea that had finished flowering and at the same time took the honeysuckle back...it really is a bully.  Moving down the wall the lilac was cut back although it might stop it flowering next year, did a little topiary on the wild plums and the round trimmed bush under the acacia missing the two spikes on the red hot poker.  At this point I'd had enough so came in, the clouds were gathering and there was thunder rattling around so I was back to my book until I suddenly remembered I'd left tools out.  Toys away, battery back on charge and hedge trimmer back on its charger.  

I passed the afternoon watch a Disney musical on BBC2 and at that point it was five so gave supper a passing thought but it went out of my head as quickly as it came in.  I've just realised what the time is, my neighbour has just appeared on the terrace and delivered a pot of her home made yogurt so a dish of that with a spoonful of strawberry jam in it will probably do for me.  It's almost nine here and I've just noticed the moon.....stunning.  LN...Soon be time for bed.....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 5, 2020, 3:58pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 5th June

So I confirmed it was Friday when I checked my email and my usual Friday email that was missing from last week because of an issue with their systems, was there.  They'd only missed one in nine years but now back to normal.  Coffee and back to bed and I was really lazy this morning, I was still in my PJ's at ten, I'd breakfasted on toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and walked the garden, sat on the bench but the wind drove me back in.  Sun was shining, a beautiful morning but that wind was vicious blowing flower pots around and whistling through the trees.

I had my egg delivery, I'd asked the lady who brought me the yogurt if she had any to spare and obviously she did so I paid her for them, offered to pay for the yogurt and she replied that that was from her heart.  She's one of the few in the village that keeps herself very much to herself, works extremely hard in the garden and looking after her cows and hasn't much time for some of the others in the village.  She hasn't time to sit and chew the fat going from house to house.  I tidied up the flyaway pots and put the bots on the lower level of the benches, remembered that I'd looked at an Escalonia that I planted in at the bottom of the garden and had decided that it needed an new place to rest...it wasn't doing well.  I dug it up, it had rooted OK but it was trying to make its way through the shale and having difficulty so now it's in the bed against the long wall at the bottom of the garden where it has more depth of soil.  I watered it, gave it some fertilizer and wished it well.  I also remembered that there was a sucker from the Sumac tree that I'd promised to a friend so I dug it out and it's now planted up and fingers crossed, it will increase its root ball.

I went back into the house and had just settled down when I heard the gate latch and my neighbour was back again only this time with cherries, a tomato and a cucumber.  I declined the cucumber but welcomed the others and off she went.  It was now getting on for three and I felt hungry so found a can of tuna, boiled a potato, shredded a carrot and added beetroot and a diced onion and mayonnaise.  This was now a late lunch that could also take the place of supper and it probably will.

Not much on the camera front today, only the red hot poker that took my fancy and it's its first year.  If the wind drops I'll be attacking the grass tomorrow, if not I might be heading to Kardjali.  I'm sure there's something in Lidl or Kaufland that I can't live without.  LN.....And now relax.....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 6, 2020, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 6th June

So last night it was supposed to be a Strawberry Moon...the best I could do was one with a tinge of apricot about it and even that was with clouds covering its face.  As the sky got darker, the full moon got brighter but the clouds remained.  A reasonable night's sleep and I woke up just before seven, coffee and Soda Crush and it was another lazy day.  It was fairly cloudy but at least it was dry...and that lawn was on the agenda.  I made a ham and cheese omelette, the washing up is still waiting but the grass is done.

I cleared out a few more pots and moved more zinnia and was putting off starting the grass....delay tactics but at twelve I started and gave myself until five to get it finished.  It was damp in places and pretty hard going but I came in at one thirty, settled for water to get me going again and was out again at two and finished the big house grass by three thirty.  I came in again, a couple of bananas and more water and out I went again, determined and at five it was finished.  I was more or less praying for the machine to run out of petrol but no luck.  Machine away, more water and I went in, synced my Fitbit and not quite a record but eighteen thousand steps and almost twelve kilometres.... I'm feeling virtuous and probably will undo the hard work with lashing of butter on a jacket potato.

I haven't really mentioned this but for the last few years, a pine martin has settled in the eaves of the little house gaining access from near the garage.  My guest has tried various methods to stop them having access but I've sort of given up and they normally disappear when they are big enough to leave the nest.  I hear them skittering around and haven't really caught sight of them but today I heard a rumpus outside, went into the conservatory with the camera and tried to take a photo but the sun was shining on the window so I unlatched the fly screen and they were happily playing between the garage and the front wall where it's quite overgrown.  There's also a concrete pipe and they were having great fun going through it.  At one point two of them stood watching me watching them and they played on the bricks on the inside of the garage running in and out of them...they were so quick and I was just trying to take pictures, I couldn't see much because of the sun and I was quite a way from them but I managed it. They look big enough to leave and when they've gone, the cladding from the roof is going to come down and get the area cleared out and sealed up properly.  It's their last year.  They have to go....they make too much noise.

Well the garden looks tidy and I'll finish off by strimming the boundaries tomorrow.  It's a heck of a job but it's worth it.  As for my luck with the residents of the eaves of the little house...cheeky little nippers..caught on camera.  LN...What a good day....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 7, 2020, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 7th June

So I had my jacket potato and I was right, the calories I'd burnt off yesterday I put them back on for sure with the butter I added.  Bath followed on and then I got settled in front of the computer and ended up watching the Eric Clapton story and because we're two hours on from the UK, it finished at one thirty..what a story it was and fortunately his life appears to have turned out alright.  I went to bed, woke up at four and just couldn't managed to get off again so I ended up doing two loads of washing which was pegged on the line at seven.  I was way ahead of myself.  Breakfast was four Riveta to take away some of the extra calories that the butter had added last night and two Sudoku later, I was ready for the garden.  

The original plan was to get the strimmer out but I'd forgotten to put the battery on charge the last time I'd used it.  There was enough charge to make a start on it though but for some reason, two of the plastic strimmer heads broke up so not sure if I've got plastic fatigue so it went back into the workshop to be looked at later.  The grass in the yard was really in need of love and attention, as was the grass on the ditch outside the front wall and the grass on the other side. The electric mower came out and the grass box was filled up in around twenty seconds so I removed the box, using the end of a bungy chord, I managed to raise the flap at the back of the mower by around three inches which made it perfect.  The grass could come out but the shrapnel, i.e. stones that the mower picked up would head to the ground not be aimed at my legs as I lugged the mower around.  Yard and front of property complete and the debris swept up, I moved on to the path between the house and the front wall and another success.  I sat down on the bench in the sun and worked out where to go next so I moved the cable to the patio on the workshop terrace and finished the grass along the back of the long wall and round the bench moving down to the bonfire pit.  Lots of stones were thrown up, I was a little worried about the mower at one point but...it managed it and I was wearing my wellies for protection.  I carried on along the stone wall at the bottom but I really do need to bring out the electric strimmer to finish off directly beneath the wall...it was getting dangerous and that can wait for another day.

I'd made a decision to get in the sun this afternoon only the weather had other ideas.  The clouds gathered and it looked like we were in for a thundery afternoon so I got the washing in and tools away, I did leave the small battery hedge trimmer out with the intention of a little garden topiary but instead, I settled down on the sofa with a coffee and a packet of biscuits, moved upstairs to look at the pictures I'd taken of the wild life that I'd encountered this morning and promptly fell asleep in front of the computer.  I slept really deeply so must have caught up on the zzz's that I missed out on last night.

Chinese pork ribs are in the oven and that will be supper, washing needs to be put away and again, another good day.  Tomorrow I have to put a water hose in the vegetable garden so that I can hitch it up to the hose pipe and gently water the new plants not give them a deluge.  I'm out of bread so need to go into Djebel, there is no bread van tomorrow and I might see what's left of the market now that lock-down is over more or less here.  LN...Another good day....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 8, 2020, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 8th June

Five start again, two hours of messing around on the Kindle, walked the garden in my PJ's in the morning mist and really wasn't sure what the weather would do today.  I made more coffee, made my bed and decided not to go into Kardjali, I had enough of the essentials that I normally traveled in for.  I went into the kitchen and saw that the bread had feint spots of green on it so it was pt out for the birds.  I took a packet of bacon from the freezer for breakfast and fried it off with an egg and some fruit loaf and for tonight I took out some hamburgers which had the day to thaw out.  I reclined after breakfast with Sudoku and nodded off having a very weird dream that I put down to the fried bun loaf.  That should teach me a lesson..get a loaf of bread when it's available...no deliveries to the village on a Monday...it's market day when the village empties and Djebel is buzzing.  

I set off at eleven and noticed that Avatar's window was open which meant that she was either back from Germany or she'd been burgled.  She came out of the house so I shouted a welcome and asked if she wanted anything from Djebel, she said she didn't and I asked her if she had everything she needed and she said that she did.  Apparently her grand-daughter has come over with her and they have to isolate together....I shan't be venturing over there until the fourteen  days are up.  I put the petrol container into the Nipper to fill it at the garage and plants for my student's mum and one for the lady in the hardware shop.  I'd asked them for tobacco seeds and they hadn't delivered so I gave her one that I'd grown from last year's seeds since I'd promised her one.  I told her it was ready to go out into the garden, had a beautiful perfume at night and would produce lots of seeds.  I walked the market and didn't buy anything, went into the leva shop and bought a few items including some more hair clips. I find that they're upstairs when I want them down and vice-versa....so I invested two leva.  I went back to the shop and unpacked the flower pots from the carrying back and my little student asked me if I wanted any help...so sweet....his mother was amazed.  I did joke with him that I'd come to give him and English lesson, his eyebrows shot up and I told him I was teasing him and off he went to play.  On my drive in there were two sets of police officers out and apparently they're having a purge on seat-belts and anything else they can get you for.  I wasn't stopped, they know the car and only those that want to practice English pull me over.

I remembered to have the petrol can filled, called into the little supermarket at the bottom of town and bought cherries, mayonnaise, bread and biscuits and more cans of tuna.  Not a bad little haul and I couldn't wait to get out...no social distancing there.  When I pulled in I noticed that my painter was strimming Avatar's garden so he's not worried....and now he's banned from mine.  Nipper away, shopping away, sat in the sun until I'd had enough and came into the cool house.  It was a very lazy afternoon, cooked my hamburgers and made a couple of sandwiches, the cherries are ready for washing and eating and I topped off supper with some chocolate caramels.  The shop had been restocked after the Bayram festivities.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow,  I might get the strimmer out and attack the bottom wall and get that topiary done, it depends how I feel.  I think I needed a quiet day today, the last two days have been pretty frantic.  LN.... And chill....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 9, 2020, 6:09pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 9th June

Normal morning, six start, coffee and back to bed and used up a couple of hours with Soda Crush and Judge Rinder.  Washed and dressed and today was a gardening day but first job was to strip the bed and get the washing under way...I put it on the banister to dry, it was going back on the bed and I didn't want to bring in any little flies and things from outside.   We have some very small critters.  I noticed a very pretty moth on the window as I came down stairs so took one picture of its underside from inside and one from the outside.   Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, more coffee on the go and I sat outside until I was ready to start the bonfire and that's been going all day.

Avatar came round around ten and I said that she was to go home or run the risk of a fine if she was out of her house.  She only came back from Germany yesterday.  She replied that she'd had her temperature taken at the airport and nobody mentioned having to 'isolate' but I kept my distance.  She'd had the garden strimmed yesterday by my painter but she wanted to use the electric mower that she has to take it nearer to the ground so that they could sit and the baby could play on it.  She's tried her mower, it didn't work so she wanted to borrow mine so we distanced ourselves to the wood store and I got it out for her.  

I got the battery hedge trimmer out and set about my topiary and at two I had my Fotinovo friends drop by so it was kettle on, coffee made, cushions out of the storage box, ash tray filled and we say down and enjoyed the view and I enjoyed the company.  Two offers on the table, there is a jazz club that they've been invited to, I've been invited to tag along and next Wednesday we might be heading for our first trip to Greece if the queues are not too long on the border.  I'll be trying out my new beach shoes...fingers crossed.  Off they went, Avatar returned the mower and she's off to Kardjali tomorrow to buy a new mower, she asked me if I still had the geranium that she'd left with me for the winter and I gave it back to her along with three other cuttings that I've taken from it.   I went back to my gardening, tidied up the cuttings and tried to get the bonfire going but no joy and then the rain came.  I put the tools away and came in....more hamburgers for supper but I just haven't got round to cooking them yet.  More of the same tomorrow....I've got the beds at the bottom to finish off and flowers to put in.  LN...All go in my neck of the woods....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 10, 2020, 4:03pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 10th June

Brilliant night's sleep but I did spend the first hour in front of the computer trying hard to watch Armstrong's trip across the snow plains, and failed miserably.  I put the computer to bed, put me to bed and woke up at six this morning.  Usual routine of coffee and back to bed, washed and dressed early and was intending to carry on with the garden but the weather got the better of me, eventually.

I somehow got into searching again for my great, great, great grandfather's birth record which has proved elusive for the last year or so.  Speaking to another strain of the family, it has the same problem and can't get beyond 1798 so I thought I'd give it one more shot.....and failed.  It was now heading up to mid-day so that was the morning gone.  I did managed to walk the garden, take photos of the grasshopper that was determined to stay on the window, the lilies that are at last coming into bloom and the cow that was happily munching until I heard it and then spotted it so it moved off and viewed me from afar.  I went back to the computer and noticed that there was a recent release from Bernard Cornwell in the Last Kingdom series.  I'd read to book five but this was now book twelve so I decided to go on to Amazon and find out how much the Kindle versions would cost.  I now have all books downloaded to the Kindle, took advantage of one of the offers that if you buy three books you gain a credit of three pounds and the offer was applied.  Another was on special offer for just over a pound so the update came to a grand total of twenty pounds.  It was then that the rot set in....I thought I'd signed out so tried to sign in again and this time it was asking for authentication and Amazon were supposed to send me a text message with the code.  I waited and waited, asked for it to be sent again...and nothing.  On to their helpline and someone tried to guide me through it, I was put on to his supervisor and was recommended to remove the phone number and go for the email option.....I still don't know why and neither did they.  They only see the first numbers and the last ones so it was suggested that I remove the phone number and add it again at my leisure....it can wait for another day...it was now half passed three and the storm was taking hold.

Thunder, lightening, high winds and things rattling around, the electricity went off so I got settled into my first book and after the first chapter I'm getting back into the story.    I managed to put the lawnmower into the garage to keep it dry and noticed that the cows were sheltering under my trees near the front wall and standing in the road looking very bored.  It's cleared up as quickly as came and it's a beautiful evening...time to walk the garden I think.  LN....It's been a funny old day....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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