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Elsa Peters
November 11, 2020, 5:09pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 11th November

Another miserable day weatherwise and I was unsure what to get up to today.  I made my usual trip to the bathroom, flushed the loo and ...the water was off.  That put paid to washing and cleaning so I used Micellar water to clear away the cobwebs and face the day.  I cleaned my teeth, had used all the bottles water in the kettle to make coffee and all that was upstairs was the black currant cordial drink that was left over from last night and I don't recommend it.  I dressed and went down and made breakfast straightaway,  bacon and eggs in the frying pan and as I was eating it sitting in the stairwell I noticed my robin was back.  I took pity on it and put out some cornflakes with the fat from the frying pan covering them and the dish was totally ignored,  Later in the day I threw them onto the veg patch, the black cat was sitting hopefully but wasn't tempted to try them and there was nothing else doing today.

I couldn't wash up...no water and I sat down and tried to sort out what I wanted to do.   The decision was...to bring the outside table into the conservatory, spray it generously with insect killer so that the earwigs that had made it their home for the winter were a little more than deterred....and it worked.  I did get wedged in the doorway so had to go out of the lounge, walk round and manoeuvre it in, managed to squeeze through the gap and it was in.   The newly acquired cane chair was put into the downstairs bedroom, the table came in, I found the tablecloth that I normally use in the chest in the downstairs bedroom and all that was left was to find a chair that would fit, Cinderella.  I wrestled the metal chair from my upstairs bedroom down the stairs and it was a tight fit between the table and the back of the sofa so back upstairs it went and I settled for one of the cane chairs.  All this took some time and it was almost two before I realised it but I did spend time sorting out pens that have stopped working and throwing them.....I just seem to gather them.

A little bit of ancestry this afternoon.  The relative of mine in New Zealand went off on a tangent and we have totally different results before seventeen fifty two.  He found another father for Thomas and found an Edward and I went with John backing up my dredging with a will that left money to his grandchildren.  You can begin to doubt yourself but I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track.  I've only had dealings with his mother to date so I'll have to pen an email and see what he has to say.  I tried to watch Transponder TV on the Chuwi to test it out and it kept freezing so I decided to get my old Dell out to see how that stood up to it.  I do need to sort out the anti-virus, I've got a five account subscription to I'll do that tomorrow.

I lit the fire, it's cold and damp outside and it's comforting when it going.  I did managed to see the sun go down and it cast lovely shadows on he hillside and gave everything a rosy glow.  The Beast is going in tomorrow for its winter check and I might even drive it back and take the Nipper in and that's another thing off the list.  We've avoided frosts so far but it won't be long before we get one.  LN.....But plans can change....LN



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Elsa Peters
November 12, 2020, 6:12pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 12th November[b][/b]

So I've just checked something else on my computer and deleted the update that I was working on so now I have to dredge the memory banks as to what I wrote first time around...arrrggg...don't you hate it when that happens.

Late bath last night and woke up in cold water, situation normal and I toyed with the idea of reheating it from the tank that was now full or just getting out, dried off and slipping into something a little warmer such as PJ's from the radiators.  This first winter wood that I bought gives out tremendous heat but it needs feeding often.  I'm going to have to start using the second lot that I bought and mix it up a little otherwise it could turn into 'jack in the box evenings'...up and down like a jack in the box to keep it going...'Feed me Seymour;.....Straight to sleep and woke at six thirty, it had rained overnight but was starting to dry up.  Cold, damp and miserable and not my sort of weather at all.  I did get washed and dressed, the fire was still going but I left it to its own devices, I was going to the garage today with the Beast.  I went down to the little laptop that I'd put on the table last night and when I came to turn it off last night it had started to do some updates so I let them run on this morning.  I thought that support for Windows 7 had stopped and I'm not sure that I'm going to upgrade it..I'll probably get something to replace it since it's a pretty slow machine at the best of times but I will put an anti-virus on it.   Breakfast was toasted Brioche for a change and then it was out into the cold damp morning and the Beast started first time so I moved it into the yard and left it running while I moved the Nipper back towards the compost heap so that I could get the Beast out on to the road,  

I set off and it was good driving the Beast again.  I would drive it all the time but the cost of Diesel makes it expensive to run, it's just not economical.  I know that I've saved quite a bit by using the Nipper.  I stopped off at the Car shop and had a few words with my student's mum, asked her how busy the garage was but she had no idea.  We had a discussion on how she was going to teach the little one the English Past Perfect tense and I said not to bother because few people speak it.  Apparently they have to learn it here....so I must get my thinking head screwed on.  I drove to the garage and was seen immediately.  The anti-freeze was still OK, I asked him to put the winter screen wash in which he did, checked my oil and gave it a clean bill of health.  I'd noticed that it was a little warm when I started it up and at the garage, I lifted the bonnet and it had dried leaves on the heater pad....I must check it more often.  I stopped off at the little supermarket and bought a small cauliflower and red cabbage...normally they sell them by item not by weight and I decided I would make cauliflower cheese for supper.  I topped up with a few more items, parked up and managed to get the Beast back into its home on one reverse, toyed with the idea of taking the Nipper in but thought better of it.  It was an afternoon for lighting the fire and settling down which I did and even nodded off.  Four thirty when I woke up and made my cauliflower cheese and it was more effort than I remembered.  It was also much bigger than it looked in the shop so I'll turn it into soup tomorrow with a spicy sausage thrown in.

Friday the thirteenth tomorrow so I'll probably be staying home...nothing to go out for......the Nipper can wait for Saturday since no frost has been forecast so far. The fire is ticking away nicely with old and new wood on there, it seems to be slowing it down mixing the two.  LN....Post autumn and pre winter....not my favourite time of year....LN



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Elsa Peters
November 13, 2020, 6:37pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 13th November

Silly old night, woke up at six this morning with the light on and the Kindle on the bed so I must have gone to sleep playing Sudoku....despite having a nap yesterday afternoon.  I'd shut the curtains last night but from the side window I noticed as the light came up that we were covered in fog.  I went down to make coffee and checked on the outside thermometer and it was showing three degrees out and seventeen in so there was no way I was going out until it had warmed up.  Breakfast was a bacon and egg sandwich and I switched on the laptop on the downstairs table and caught sight of the wood pecker easing its way up the corner of the little house and pecking at insects under the eaves.  I was just hoping that it didn't start knocking seven bells out of wood under the roof.  

I was really slow off the mark this morning and waiting for it to warm up.  I threw the old bread out, the black cat sniffed it, walked by it and went for better pickings.  Even the sheep were slow as they meandered down to the watering hole, the dogs were trying to move them on and so was the shepherd but they did it at their own pace.  At around twelve the sun looked as if it might break through and at one it did.  I'd filled the time with laying the fire and getting in more wood, emptying the ash can and washing up from breakfast.  I did toy with the idea of driving in and getting the Nipper winter checked but I really couldn't be bothered.  It was Friday and there would be lots of men around because it was mosque day and the garage might be busy so best left until tomorrow.

Once I got out there I was very productive.  I pulled the long bench from under the conservative window and put it into the little house, cleared the leaves from under the other bench and swept off the terrace.  Some of the leaves went over the wall when there was no more room in the compost bin.  The cuttings that I'd taken from the weigela a couple of days ago and were sitting in a bucket are now planted alongside the broad beans.  They have two chances...they will or they wont survive....only time will tell.  I filled up seven large water bottles from the water container that collects from the roof so that I have water in the little house for the plants over winter.  I emptied the rest on to the yard and used the hose pipe to clean it out before I put it away and then put both hoses away.  The covers came off the foam on the sofa on the terrace and it was obviously chosen as a safe place for lots of little beetles to spend the winter and now they'll have to find somewhere else.  The cover is in the little house to dry, I didn't want the beetles finding their way into the washing machine.  The yard is now tidy, I collected up the leaves and a lot have gone down the lane, I managed to find a little more room in the compost container and the remainder went between the garage and the front wall.  

Tools away and all locked up at five, fire lit and I headed straight for the kitchen and made the soup with the rest of the cauliflower cheese from last night.  I found the blender out and blitzed the cauliflower with more milk and cheese and put what looked like wall paper past in a saucepan, the spicy sausage was sliced and put into the frying pan, added to the soup and I made croutons.  It wasn't bad but quite a lot of washing up so won't be a weekly thing.  Fire is going well, I've just put another log on it and the temperature is up to twenty one in the house and very comfortable.  LN.....Another productive day although it was a late start.....LN



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Elsa Peters
November 14, 2020, 3:04pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 14th November

Bit of a panic on last night. I went to bed at around ten thirty with the light on and was playing games.  I obviously nodded off, woke up suddenly, no lights on not even from the screens on the computer and from a dazed state didn't understand at first.  I went on to the landing and went to put on the landing light and it was at that point that I realised we were having a power cut and my first thought was to the central heating system and the fact that the pump needs power and the UPS last for two hours.  I wasn't rrelly clculating at this point but I had visions of doing everything by candle light so I found one of the larger tea-lights and lit it and the fire wasn't raging but I needed to think bucket and spade to empty out the fire box and lo and behold, the lights came back on.  I checked the time and it was only eleven so I must have only just missed the going down of the electricity but joy oh joy,,,,panic over....so I went back to bed, lights out and straight to sleep until seven this morning.

It was another cold start but there was a hint of what sort of day I might expect and I wasn't disappointed. Washing done by eight, the light stuff went on the clothes airer in the bathroom and the heavier trousers went out on the line.  I fetched them in around four, the light stuff has been put away and the outside stuff has taken its place in the bathroom.  Ham and cheese omelette for breakfast, the rest of the soup went over the wall along with some bread, washing up done and it's waiting to be put away.  I phoned Princess for an update on her father and all's good and phoned my guest to see if I'd left a cropped sweater there from the last time I was in UK. I'd searched for it this morning to wear with a new to me pair of trousers, couldn't lay my hands on it and before I took the house apart thought I would check with him.....it's in the UK so I had to find another one. I finished getting ready and drove in to get the Nipper's anti-freeze checked out and poor man was busy.  Eventually he got to me, told him what I wanted, he got the machine out, checked it and it was perfect so serviced without charge.  Back to the hardware shop and I bought six meters of sandpaper of various textures, a packet of mice and rat stuff to put in the little house and was home for two.  I settled down to start to watch a series that my daughter had recommended on Netflix, had just finished the second episode when there was an almighty roar outside so I grabbed the camera and went out to the balcony and thought we were under invasion.....two very low helicopters and this time I have proof.

Liver and onions tonight for supper with mash and carrots, I'm torn between Strictly and the Voice final tonight and tomorrow I'm on a fun run down to the local spring to fill up bottles for the locals so see them through the winter.  At this point I'm not sure if I should be taking the Beast and borrowing a trailer...these women can be quite demanding as to how many bottles they want.  I've asked the one who asked me to check round the rest of the women....she can explain it better than I can since few of them speak Bulgarian.  So kitchen bound, I lit the fire about an hour ago and that's chugging along nicely and am about to peel the potatoes and the carrots.  LN....Maybe a spot of gardening tomorrow.....LN



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Elsa Peters
November 15, 2020, 5:51pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 15th November

Another dull start to the day which cleared up early despite the fact that the temperature didn't get up to much.  I managed to get out of bed by eight thirty, beans on toast for breakfast and was selecting empty eleven litre water bottles to take with me to pick up my neighbour.  We were off to the spring a little further on from the next village.  I parked up and she came out to meet me carrying only one large and one small bottle, the small one for her knowing that I was bringing bottles with me and the small one for Zelinger.   She mentioned that Zellinger's brother had died on Friday and that we would call in to take the water so that I could pay my respects.  So we set off and filled the water bottles from the spring but it was flowing very slowly due to the lack of rain.  I found a carrier bag in the boot and off she went to collect pine cones for her friend...apparently she want to spray them for New Year decorations....no Christmas in this neck of the woods despite the shops being full of it already.

So back to the village with the water bottles, all of them went to her house except for the one large one that was going to Zellinger.  I went with her and she came to the door along with Haciber and she was in tears,  It's still very raw, it's the third day and I was invited in but didn't want to go.  She has the photo of them together that I took around three years ago and I'm going to look it up and make a large one for her, the other one was quite small.  Home by eleven thirty and had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish and then sat out on the terrace on the bench enjoying the heat of the sun.  I was still wearing a thick hoodie though and sporting a hat, went in for a bottle of water but decided that I would get active and continue with the vegetable garden and get the rest of it dug over and section if off.  All done, all painted with old engine oil and all section dug over.  I've cleared away the wood that's not been used and that's sitting on the back terrace of the wood store and I'll chop it for starter wood tomorrow.....or whenever.  

I came in at five and lit the fire, peeled potatoes and onions since I didn't get round to the liver last night so I had if for tonight.  I fried the onions, then the liver and had enough Bisto left to make the gravy, mashed the potatoes and I really enjoyed it.  Kitchen tided and washing up done, post blog and relax.  LN.....Another productive day....LN


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Elsa Peters
November 16, 2020, 4:25pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 16th November

So I had a late bath last night, dried off to watch Strictly departure bus go out and then went back into the bath.  I'd forgotten to switch off the boiler so it was going to be a waste of hot water so topped up and enjoyed the good soak after a hard day in the garden.  I remember waking up at round five, then off again until eight and lingered playing games until nine.  Nothing to do and nowhere to go today so no worries in any direction...no pressure.

I made breakfast around nine thirty and watched the sun break through the morning mist.  It turned out to be a glorious day and I didn't make the most of it and I did enjoy it.  I somehow found my way to the computer and watched a little bit of breakfast television and Pier taking apart the Health Secretary and asking him stupid questions about the departure of DC which no way could he answer....he knew the answer but why should he share it with Piers Morgan.  He'd be the last one to break it to the nation.  I then started looking for a photo I'd taken of Zelinger, managed to find it and printed it out as an A4 and framed it and will take it down to her when the emotion is not so raw.  I also thought about taking her a solar light to focus on...it might make her connect to his soul while it's shining in the garden.  While I was looking for the photograph I found a copy of a nineteen eleven census relating to my great grandfather on my maternal side of the family.  I've gone down my paternal line and now seems the right time to continue...makes things fair.  I've managed to get back to eighteen twenty three already with birth dates but not death dates but the skeleton is there and a few marriage dates as well.  I've charted it out and have decided to colour code the sections, this one is 'red' and keep the printout colour coded to match.  My research is more structured this time round.

I gave that up and walked the garden.  I intended taking a picture of the veg patch but forgot so I went out on the balcony tonight and used the flash.  I had my afternoon nap and woke up at four thirty and for some reason I had it in my head that it was half six until I checked on the clock.  I lit the fire using the the logs that hadn't burnt overnight and for some reason it's still not belting out the heat.  As for taking that photograph, I had a desperate search for the camera and suddenly remembered that I'd put it on charge in my downstairs bedroom so up on to the balcony and the deed was done.  Not sure about supper tonight, I was going to throw the remains of half a can of beans into the onion gravy with potatoes from last night but it doesn't seem so appetising as it did at the conception.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far but I've promised myself a more constructive day...I've got benches that need sanding and staining and the table top need finishing.  LN.....Monday is quiz night....LN



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Elsa Peters
November 17, 2020, 5:50pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 17th November

Would have been happy birthday to my sister today...gone but not forgotten.  

It was down to two degrees overnight, cold out but not in but the morning fog was very slow to lift.  I stayed in bed until eight thirty playing games, nothing to get up for especially with all that fog around.  I washed and dressed, cleaned the bathroom and went down to make breakfast.  I checked out the bread before I started to make breakfast and it was a beautiful shade of green in patches so out it went over the wall.  The black cat was meowing at me longingly but it was bread or nothing but I didn't stop to watch whether she went over the wall or not.  I'd watched her earlier eying up the bird table but now that  the wire is round it she would have difficulty grazing on the contents but the birds cold be a target.  I've also dangled the solar lights from it so those are an added obstacle.

So back to the kitchen and breakfast and I spotted a spicy sausage lingering so I skinned it and sliced it, into the frying pan with it and made an omelette finishing it over with a couple of cheese triangles.  It was very filling and probably better than the cat was getting over the wall.  The dishes are in sink, I didn't wash them up and turned my attention to the fire, cleaning it out and setting it for tonight.  I'd put a large log on last night and it was still there, not sure the first lot of wood is very good.  The small stuff burns very hot but the larger logs are very dense.  Anyway breakfast over I took the wood carrier out to the wood store and filled it up with some of the smaller stuff and it seems to be OK tonight.  On the way back from the wood store I noticed how many more leaves had fallen from the big tree in the yard so I collected the leaf rake and the snow shovel.  The two tools work in conjunction and I cleared the yard and then moved outside the gate and cleared the stream run so that it doesn't stop the water draining away down the lane.  

By this time it was getting on for two o'clock so I came in and used the downstairs laptop to do a little research on my grandmother's line...got thoroughly frustrated so powered down and took to the sofa with a book.  It produced the require result and I went to sleep for an hour or so.  The chocolates took a bashing when I woke up, I sorted the fire out, put the tools away that I'd left out in the yard and locked up outside.  Not sure about supper, I think it will be a jacket potato and I'll be starting it off in the microwave otherwise it won't be ready until midnight.  LN....Kitchen calls....LN



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Elsa Peters
November 18, 2020, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 18th November

Another late night and I'm not really sure why it happened .  I was playing games and it was one before I put the light out and my head on the pillow.  It was seven when I woke up and it was another dreary morning and I think we'd had rain overnight so I got ready even though I'd got nowhere to go and it was too wet anyway as the day wore on....drizzly rain.  The birds were out in force despite the weather....the japonica was favoured by the blackies and the woodies stuck to my special fir tree and there seemed to be decent pickings.  

I had no bread for breakfast so I didn't bother making anything.  I laid the fire thinking that it would be lit before long, it was a damp old morning. not especially cold but the sort of damp that gets into bones.  I settled into ancestry and still didn't manage to sort it out.  I was on the laptop at the table in the stairwell and I couldn't stand it any longer, the fire was lit at around twelve and at the same time more or less the huger bugs kicked in and I boiled a couple of potatoes and settled for tuna mayo, with onions and beetroot.  I made too much even though I only put half the potatoes into it and I still feel full up to the gills even now.  We had a surprise failure in the electricity supply and I was sorting out the little burner in the kitchen ready to accept the burning logs from the wood burner when my visitor arrived. Between us we devised a way of using the little laptop with the monitor from my old computer and now I just have to find the best place to site it so that I can watch Netflix from the comfort of the sofa.  I need to get some more speakers, the ones from the Poundshop that I bought ten years ago if not more, work, but I think updating them won't go amiss.  Two coffees later and a couple of roll-ups and off he went, it was good to have company.  

I needs to get up a little earlier tomorrow and not linger in bed playing games...I need bread and eggs from the morning van.  Looks like out first frost of the winter is on Friday night, four degrees tonight and climbing to eight during the day....looks like my fire is on for the next few days.  LN.....Looks like being home-based.....LN




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Elsa Peters
November 19, 2020, 3:18pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 19th November

Early start mainly due to the fact that I had an early night last night.  My body seemed to require the same number of zzzz's.  I made coffee and went back to bed, my only challenge today was to get down to the van and buy eggs and bread and I was up, dressed and ready for the off more or less as soon as I heard the toot, toot of the horn.  I put on my huge sailing jacket and woolly hat...it was blowing a gale out there and I noticed that most of the leaves have left the tree and are now scattered on the big house terrace and outside in the river run outside the property but looking at the leaves that are still up there, I refuse to do anything until after tonight's predicted frost and I'll see how many are left.  The story goes that after the first heavy frost, every leaf falls....I'll tell you tomorrow.

So by the time that I got down to the bottom of the village, I'd had a few words with Haciber and the van had gone down the lane to the houses at the back so I sat in the bus shelter with another of my old ladies.  She was talking in Turkish, I was in the native to some (Bulgarian) and we managed to keep the conversation going until the van arrived.  I skipped up to the van leaving the other oldies behind and got served first, a sliced loaf, six eggs and a cheesy bun...joy oh joy.  That was my breakfast sorted, bacon, fried egg on half of the cheesy bun and the rest is for tomorrow,  I was salivating while I was cooking it and once ready I headed to the table in the stairwell and devoured the lot in quicksticks and I've had indigestion for most of the day.  It would have been OK but I fried off the bottom half to crisp it up and I think it just absorbed too much fat and added to its own fat content.  I threw out the contents of the slow cooker over the wall for the cats, came back in, washed up and then decided to use the cold potatoes to top off a opened tin of local corned beef and a half can of beans for tonight's supper and that's in the oven and should be ready by around five thirty.  Miss Efficient or what,,,,I know though that it won't last.

Ancestry until I decided that I needed to do something and with the predicted frost tonight, the pots from the terrace are all safely gathered in and won't come out again until next spring.  Harold Hare has to find a place in the house, I had to stick his ear back on last year and the pottery animals will live in the conservatory and they come in when I'm sure that the frost has killed off the woodlice that seem to be lingering in the bases of them.  More logs in for tonight, I've just lit the fire and I can feel the warmth already making its way to the upper level.  I'm just watching the stray sheep realising that they've been left behind on their way home and they're at a fair gallop up the opposite  hill.  Lovely light on the mountains tonight when the sun was going down....it's been a funny old day, the temperature has lingered at around six but the wind was exceptionally cold and biting but we did have patches of sun so for mid November. nothing to moan about.  

Supper smells good so I'm about to serve up.  It's in the dish that I cooked it in so no much washing up to do tomorrow morning.  LN....Productive day and another step closer to winter now the terraces are cleared....LN



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Friday 20th November

Silly night. I had a late bath and was still reading at three this morning and was still awake at seven.  I toyed with the idea of trying to go back to sleep but it was no use so it was coffee. more games, washed and dressed and cooking breakfast at eight thirty, finished and was washing up at nine.  It was cold outside, not a bad morning but I wasn't ready to start collecting leaves.  The frost hadn't happened so there are still leaves on the trees but I'd remembered that I've got one of these blower, sucker leaf collectors so thought I'd give it a try.  I used it for the first time about three years ago and even bought a spare since they were on offer at a ridiculous price but hadn't got on well with it but this time I stuck with it.  I didn't realise that it chopped up the leaves and I was doing OK until the bag was full and it is a most stupid design for removing the bag from the machine.  You need to press very hard on two plastic lugs and then pull at the bag.  I ended up pressing the body of the machine against the outside table and managed eventually so decided to put oil round the inside of the pipe and the connecting section and that seemed to do the trick...slow but effective.  

Terrace done, yard done, the little house terrace done, little electric lawnmower came out and I cleared the little house lawn and chopped up the remaining leaves.  I'd dumped the chopped up leaves from the machine on to the vegetable patch but the rest went down to the bottom of the garden and added an extra level near the wall and it should give added protection if I have the tortoise overwintering down there.  I put the tools away and the petrol lawnmower...that won't be coming out again this year.  I need to give it a good clean before it's finally put to bed but that can happen anytime now that it's inside.  

The temperature was dropping and the light fading but I had to take a few of the sunset and the red glow on my mountains,  I've decided that I have my own pyramids and with the zoom on it really shortened the distance to them, they look so close.  I came in and lit the fire that I'd laid this morning, headed for the freezer and found three 'somethings' that I remember buying but didn't manage to translate.  I put one of them and put a jacket potato in the oven, had to resort to the microwave to give the potato a chance of finishing at the same time as the meat 'thing'.  Supper served, very tasty Turkish flavoured seasoned meat, really tasty red potato with mayo.

Really productive day and another one like that tomorrow leaves me only one job to do before winter.....my kitchen gas bottle needs replenishing.  LN....Tired but happy.....LN




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