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Elsa Peters
May 10, 2022, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 10th May

Six start, washed and dressed by six thirty, first walk of the garden at seven, did a bit of weeding at the bottom wall and in again for seven thirty.....the sun was up but the air was cold.  I went out again at eight, had a bonfire and again weeded more of the same on the tortoise run and came in at nine to cook breakfast.  I'd just plated up when I heard a call from the terrace and my friend was there with a proposition.....I was to drive him to the garage where his car was booked in for some minor maintenance and he would come back with me and mow the grass.  Inviting proposition but it's my discipline to do as much as I can for as long as I can so off he went to the garage and I said that I would follow him in and bring him back to mine.  I decided that I would take the Beast to the garage, it needed a run to keep the battery topped up and when I got to the garage. his car was up in the air so he could have a good look at it.  The work had been agreed on so back into the Beast and parked up and he noticed that I'd bought a new rubber mat that needed fitting in the back of the Beast so with a Stanley knife and a screw driver it was done Cinderella and I was given a crash course in the rear seats and how to drop them down properly which will come in useful when the family are all here.......and wow....what a difference it makes so now I have to get the cockpit shine out and do the rest of it.

I made more coffee and we sat in the sun enjoying the rest of the morning.  We'd been given an estimate as to when the car would be ready but how long is a piece of string.  At one I suggested that we went for lunch in Djebel, I dropped the garage owner's wife a message to say that I may or may not be there for the lesson for my student depending on when the car was ready for collection and could she contact me when it was.  So I prepared a  text for the lesson, suggested that we went to Djebel for lunch and we set off just after one and went to the soup kitchen......good food at amazingly cheap prices.  Two chicken legs with rice. water and iran came to ten leva more or less and a tip on top for my tip-top waiter.  The phone rang and it was my student's mum, the car was ready for collection so we were at the shop for two thirty and ready for the lesson for three, except that my student stretched it out until four.  

The lesson went well, he's getting far more confident and the text was gobbled up but at the end I had to agree with him, there was no conclusion and it was almost as if part two should be on it's way.  This site that I used does give good support for question papers, crosswords etc so his homework is to complete three more sheets of questions about the text which suited him well.  I went down to the shop from the apartment, the boy went off to football training to Kardjali and the father took him in the car and I sat with his mother in the shop until around seven, we suggested to each other that we go for a coffee but neither of us could raise the energy or enthusiasm.  Back home just before eight, supper was the cold beef burger that I didn't managed to eat last night followed by a chocolate pudding. Not the day that I expected but the grass will wait for another day and this was a very relaxing day.  I enjoyed taking the Beast out for a spin, it's just so easy to drive with a solid feel....you point and it goes, brake and it responds and considering I've now had it for a good few years, it's better than it was when I bought it all that time ago.  LN.....Gardening day tomorrow........LN
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Elsa Peters
May 11, 2022, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 11th May

Another early start and slept well after having a really late bath, falling asleep and just managing to stop my Kindle falling in the water.  Fortunately the water wasn't deep and it landed on my tummy but it spurred me on to get out, get dry and get to bed.  I boiled the kettle and had my pint of hot water instead of coffee and went back to bed and wasted an hour with Sudoku....maybe bit wasted but 'passed a little time'.  Out of bed for the second time at seven thirty, walked the garden and didn't see a single tortoise and thought of things that I could do to delay the 'long march' with the lawnmower...the grass would get done but I was leaving it to dry out a little first but breakfast was calling me so I skinned the remaining two mushrooms, found a pack of chopped bacon in the fridge that I'd picked up cheap on Monday. fried both off, whipped up a couple of eggs and made an omelette and it was huge but I managed it and it kept me going all day.  Washed up and tidied the kitchen, washed and dressed in a pair of old trousers, no point in getting grass stains when doing the grass.

So this morning I sorted out the pot plants.  I remembered that I'd bought five petunias yesterday, rescued them from the Beast and planted three up for the terrace and the other two are waiting in the wings.  The four albizzias that  I'd grown from see last year survived the winter so now they've been put in larger posts, two in each and well fertilized and I'll see how they do this year.  I also topped up the existing pots with more compost and plant food and again let's see what happens.  Yesterday one of my neighbours was complaining that she had no flowers in her garden and was poaching seedlings from Avatar's garden.  I've got spare of cornflowers and lupins so I put some in a pot and at that point Avatar was standing by the gate so together we walked down to Zelinger's house and nearly all the village ladies were out in force.  The problem is that if you give to one, they all wanted some but unfortunately I don't have enough for all of them and Avatar joined in saying that even she hadn't got any of the lupins.  I skipped back up the road and by this time it was getting on for two o'clock so I challenged myself to have the grass finished by six.  I didn't check the time but put some lupins into a pot with the compost and walked over to Avatar's house to deliver them.  The outer gate had the key in the lock but there was no key in the house door so I left the plants by the door and was just leaving the garden when she called me back and invited me in.  I stopped for around ten minutes, back to the task in progress, slogged through it and when I went in the house it was just before six...I'd managed it and had clocked up nineteen thousand steps...a new record for me.

Tomorrow it's tidying up the margins with the strimmer and the hedge cutter is coming in to play...the three lilacs have to be cut back now they've finished flowering and the rest of the round bushes will be done with the litter trimmer.  LN      Tuna salad for supper so better get the potatoes on....... LN



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Elsa Peters
May 12, 2022, 7:00pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 12th May

Silly night last night....woke up at four, no sleep in me so played Sudoku for an hour, head down again and no way so I was up and making coffee at six.  I took it back to bed, the morning was fresh so I snuggled down in the nest and watched morning television on the Kindle.  Washed and dressed, today's task should I choose to accept it was to cut back the lilacs since they've finished flowering, the forsythia in the frog garden is getting tall so that needs a haircut too.  

Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and followed it with apricot jam on toast....a bit piggy but I did see me through until two this afternoon.  I ran the water to wash up and tidy the kitchen but it's still sitting in the sink awaiting my attention instead I set about the shrub on the little house terrace and cut it down to size.....and I didn't stop there.  The other shrub on the main hours terrace and uncovered the hydrangea that was getting smothered.  I cleared away the debris and then unreeled the extension lead, took out the large hedge trimmer....this was serious stuff.  First to go was the white lilac and then I moved along to the run of lime that appeared once the tree was taken down.  Unfortunately I've neglected cutting it back and this year I noticed that it's really taken over and not giving anything else a chance.  I started off my cutting the long stems at the base so that I could get to the wall, it had got very woods and only leafing at the top so I decided to really hack it back and will probably end up  digging out the roots but not today.  I also cleared the weeds from behind the berberis all the way to the acacia and tomorrow I'll strim the area.  The temperature had really gone up so went inside at one, Philadelphia cheese with biscuits for a snack, Netflix on and started watching 'The English Game' and managed one episode before I nodded off catching up on the sleep I'd missed overnight.  

Back out at four and attacked the big lilac but I had to bring more tools into play namely the long handled pruner.  Everything went over the wall today and the cows had a field day on a running buffet.  It was hard work and I was feeling the strain, I finished off with another small lilac and that was me done for the day and I had no idea of the time and when I checked it was eight o'clock.....it's been a long day.  Cable reeled up, all tools away, I haven't cleared all the debris away but I'll do that tomorrow morning, frog garden forsythia and another lilac yet to do and then it's time to strim the areas cleared.  It's been a long day and I've achieved loads, fourteen thousand steps to day on the Fitbit...this could be a record week.  LN......Soon be time for bed......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 13, 2022, 5:46pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 13th May

Another early start but I felt like rubbish this morning...I think I did too much yesterday, in fact over the last two days so I didn't really get going until after mid-day.  I walked the garden and found three of the tortoise around the upturned lid that I'd filled up with water and Blue decided to make use of the facilities.  I went back inside and did jobs around the house such as yesterday's washing up and two loads of washing but it wasn't with much enthusiasm.  Netflix went on, I finished watching the English Game and enjoyed it but the new offers weren't that good and didn't find anything so switched off and went back to my garden.  

I trimmed back the last of the lilac and intended doing the forsythia but it lives on for another day.  I also noticed that the lime tree is dropping yellow catkins on the concrete in front of the Beast so swept them up and put them into the compost bin but noticed tonight that lots more have dropped so maybe I should leave that job until they finished.  So back to the big lilac that was chopped back and decided to investigate what was in front of it.  I dug up around ten little ones from runners and they're now sitting in a bucket and I'll offer them to the neighbours tomorrow.  I cleared the weeds, dug the bed over and removed the roots and added some manure, dug up some iris and buried them into the new bed and planted around six lupins and watered them in well.  I walked back to the house and heard a high pitched noise coming from somewhere and went to the gate to investigate.  I suddenly realised that it was coming from my water clock area so removed the covers and the winter protection, lots of spiders and insects shot out so I waited for a while, put down a rubber mat, turned the water off and on again and the noise stopped.  Bit like computer maintenance.....turn it off and turn it on again.

I cleared up and put the tools away, locked up the little house, washing in and put away and am now ready to relax.  Nothing prepared so far for supper so it will probably to something that needs little preparation such as tuna salad, just need to get the potatoes on.  LN.....Kitchen calls.....LN  



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Elsa Peters
May 14, 2022, 8:47pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 14th May

Early start and yet again but was out there at seven having a bonfire to clear the rubbish.  I decided that a cooked breakfast was order of the day so I fried bacon and an egg, microwaved some baked beans and sat at the table in the sun and demolished the lot and felt much better for it.  I meandered down the garden to check on the bonfire and to feed it I removed the old wood from round one of the bottom garden beds and neatened up the area, planted a lilac and one of the privet that I'd bought from Kaufland.  I then moved on to the little bed in the middle of the garden with the stone surround and made it smaller, moving them in towards the tree in the centre, cleared the weeds and got rid of some of the stone chips and old tiles that were inside the bed.  It just needs a little more work and I might try to terrace it but it's good enough for now.  

I came in for a drink and noticed that I had a message from my student's mum inviting me to the open evening at Kardjali museum and since I hadn't been before I thought I'd take the opportunity since it was free.  I arrived at the apartment at seven and we were in the car by seven thirty and heading to Kardjali and managed to park up very near the museum.  There was a talk being given and since it was in Bulgarian I decided to take in some of the exhibits, lots of people were listening to him but I find it difficult to translate that quickly and so did my student.  

We left and went to find a restaurant in Kardjali and eventually ended up at a Turkish one that I've been to before.  The service wasn't so good this time round and the prices have gone up but we all had enough to eat and I was surprised how late it was when we were heading back to Djebel.  The Nipper was parked outside the shop so I was soon on my way and only stopped at the little supermarket on the way out to buy fresh bread for the morning.  Picked out some of the photos from tonight, lovely evening with my student's family and a good time was had by all.  It's amazing how comfortable the boy feels in his effort to speak English, I correct him and he remembers.  LN...Time I was in bed, Cinderella has to put her glad rags away and check on the footwear......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2022, 5:01pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 15th May

Six thirty start, lots of clouds in the sky and it looked to be threatening rain.  I made my hot water system cleanout, topped it up and had a second and settled down to watch an episode of The Royals that I'd started watching yesterday.  I switched off after one episode and at eight was making bacon and egg for breakfast and followed it with apricot jam on toast, really piggy, but necessary, it was a cold morning and miserable to boot.  By this time I'd decided to watch Beeb 2 and it was the gardening programmes, and several chanted the mantra 'it's all down to climate change but I did hear one presenter say that 'we've probably had them before' and I supposed he's been sacked by now.

At around eleven I heard a car door slam but didn't think much of it.  I'd not bothered to get out of my nightclothes which could be worn as day clothes and was surprised when a couple of visitors arrived.  I put the kettle on, they settled themselves on the terrace and by now the rain had stopped but the thunder was rattling in the distance.  The young lady had arrived last night and I accused her of bringing the rain with her and she confirmed that it was situation normal but informed me that England was having a cracking day.  I did the house tour since she'd not been here before, we chewed the fat in the delicate sun and then went on a tortoise hunt.  First one to surface was Cracked Shell who was hiding near the buddliea, a couple of steps on and we came across Blue, swing round towards the low wall and there was Green God in the long weeds and there was Rosy in all her glory...little Blue shimmer was no where to be seen.  I'd got some more lilac babies and they're now heading for a new garden and some of the lupins that are still hanging around.  

Off they went and by now I realised I was cold in the house so went round and closed the windows, back to the sofa and this time cooking programmes and decided I would suffer no more and lit the fire.  I could have put more clothes on and suffered in silence but why suffer when I've still got lots of wood left.  I found a new series on Netflix and settled down to that, turned over and watched the Women's football final and from what I saw some of them played as dirty as the men.  I've picked on food most of the day so not really interested in supper so far.  The rain has appeared to have stopped and the sky is blueish, pinkish, greyish and there's mist hanging in the valleys....let's hope tomorrow is better.  I'm going to Djebel market to see if they have any more plants that I need and am very tempted to go up to Kardjali to get more potting compost, I'm running short.  It depends on the weather.....it it's throwing it down, I might even find something to do here.....there's always something.  LN.....A very relaxing day.....LN



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Elsa Peters
May 16, 2022, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 16th May

Another dull old day and couldn't see the bottom of the garden, lots of rain and the garden looks good for having it.  The downside is the grass will come on in leaps and bounds and I shall be gearing up for another four hours on the wrong end of the lawn mower.  Another twenty thousand steps in the pipeline I'm guessing.  A morning of sudoku, television news updates, toast, hot water and eventually coffee and it definitely seems to work better having my one tablet and night instead of the morning.  I washed and dressed for Djebel, I was still unsure whether to go or not but my neighbour wanted money from the cash point and some soft cheese so I made an effort on her part and was ready to leave at nine thirty.  I was lucky to find a parking spot outside my student's parents shop and went in to have a chat to her before I started shopping.

Djebel was heaving, lots of visitors over from Turkey and it's Djebel fair this weekend so part of the central car-park was blocked off where they put up rides for the children.  There was a lot of activity centered around the new municipality market square and as I walked towards the cash-point I was approached by the mayor and his entourage...a gang of about twelve looking very important and it appears to be the same all over the world.  This one however does seem to be doing a lot for the town and has invested in tidying up the town centre, filling the flower beds and this years fair looks like it could be well worth going to and I might even manage to make the effort.  I stopped off at my friends flower shop and bought several from her and left them there while I went to the cashpoint.  I was about fifth in the queue and had to wait about fifteen minutes since one person probably collects the pensions for several old people in the villages.  Some of the old people just can't managed to get in by themselves and a lot of the families are working away.  Walking back through the market I bought more flowers from one of my favourite stall holders from Benkovski and four cucumber plants and these will go into one of my growing containers along with my tomatoes.  

Back to my student's mums shop by twelve and her elders, who used to be my student, has come home from Sofia and now working at the garage.  He'd also come to look after the shop while his mother went to the school to have an update on my student and she invited me along.  I'm used to parent's evenings where you discuss your child with the teacher on a one to one basis but this seem like a free for all.  Good students were praised and named, disruptive ones were criticised and the teacher laid down the rules that should be adhered to in class.  She was saying that it was all down to discipline and I wouldn't agree, it's all down to her to control the students, send the disruptive ones home or keep them in for detention after school to get them to comply.  I think in some cases maybe teachers need to have further training on how to control a classroom.....only my two pennyworth.....but Bulgarians don't complain.

Left for home around two and stopped off at the supermarket to spend my neighbours cash and a few items for me.  Bread I noticed has now doubled in price since I first came out her and has risen to one leva fifty today, still cheaper than the UK but the wages and pensions are much less here.  Unpacked the shopping and put it away, Avatar was mowing her grass when I came back and it had started to rain so I didn't disturb her, she could have her money and cheese later.  I settled on the sofa, I could do nothing outside, made coffee and demolished a small pack of biscuits and promptly fell asleep waking up at four thirty.  Armed with card, money and cheese I headed over to Avatar's house since rain had stopped play for her, handed over the loot and explained the cash-point receipt to her and I think she understood.  Despite taking money out she had more in the bank comparing the new withdrawal slip with the last one and I think she's now understanding  the balancing of her account.  It's all new technology for the old people.    

Came home and boiled potatoes, opened a tin of tuna, peeled an onion and made a tuna salad with beetroot for supper.  I found a couple of small yogurts in the fridge that had to be devoured instantly.  Washed up and tidied the kitchen so that it's OK for tomorrow morning.  Gardening in the morning, I bought a Salix and this is the third one so hopefully this one will survive and student in the afternoon.  Feel really good after my afternoon nap, the last few days have been restful. I think almost eighty thousand steps last week knocked me about a bit.  LN.....Need to take it easier at my age.......LN



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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2022, 6:28pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 17th May

Late start this morning, the sun was shining, clear as a bell out there and wasn't sure what I was getting up to today.  I had my student at three this afternoon but before that, the day was mine.  I started with breakfast...I'd got another pack of diced bacon so I fried it off, added the remains of last nights potatoes and then added two beaten eggs and made an omelette.  I took my seat at the table in the stairwell and while watching breakfast television I devoured the  omelette with sparks flying from the utensils.  Kitchen tidied, covers from the outside furniture into the washing machine and pegged out.  I removed some of the water collected yesterday in several containers due to a very heavy downpour and decided to plant up the specimens that I'd bought yesterday from the market, some went in the garden and others in terrace pots.  

It was much too wet to get the mower out and I toyed with the idea of strimming round the borders but the idea came and went.  In fact it was much too hot to day to be out there, Avatar came round to bring me back one of the jars that I'd taken something over in but I didn't want it and told her to keep it.  She had the idea to go to the forest and collect pine tips from the new growth to make syrup and I might even offer to take her tomorrow, she can make the syrup, I'll provide the jars and the encouragement.

Student this afternoon at three and the lesson was about Petra and its discovery.  He'd not heard about it before so after the text we looked it up on the internet and he was fascinated as to how it was built and they had some really good photos of it on there.  The text also mentioned that a bust of Nike, the goddess of victory was found and he immediately thought of sportswear and I guessed that the sports brand might have got its name from her. This then took us on to sports shoes and the astronomical cost of some of the specials and a discussion as to whether or not it was worth paying over the top for anything.  I know where I sit on this one.  We were late finishing the lesson and I left at five but we'd forgotten the text and had interesting discussions.  I don't teach him grammar but to give the language a fair bash and correct him with the tenses as we go and the more he uses them the easier it will be for him to get the confidence together to communicate.  Everyone likes a tryer....

Bought some carrots on the way home and on the menu tonight ....chicken wings and roasted vegetables.  I had a fight with the chicken and the freezer, the middle drawer wouldn't budge and I ended up emptying most of it and moving stuff until I could open the drawer fully.  The into the oven with it and despite the effort, it was worthwhile and very tasty.  The washing up can wait....there's nothing on for tomorrow so far, Djebel fair starts on Thursday so tomorrow is all mine except that it's supposed t start raining at twelve so I'll have to get the lawn and borders done before then.  LN.....Better set the alarm...LN.
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Elsa Peters
May 18, 2022, 4:23pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 18th May

As predicted the rain came at lunch-time and rain stopped play with regards to the grass.  I'd had an early start, out into the garden for seven thirty and set about the outside of the property with the little electric mower but the power kept going off intermittently so I finished off outside and started to recheck the connections.  So one hour later I still hadn't identified the one that was playing up and they've got these weird rubber plugs on that seem to be more trouble than they're worth.  The problem was compounded because I'd used a hose pipe stand to wind the cable round and it's great when it works and a bugger when it doesn't.  At this point I decided that I could do that when it was raining and not waste time doing it immediately so I got out the trusty petrol mower and set about the grass.  Hunger grubs were nibbling so I settled for toast for breakfast before the challenge began, went like crazy to see how much I could get done before the storm set in, and I managed to do more or less to the bottom of the main house grass apart from a strip in the middle...that was when rain, thunder and lightening set in and as it turned out, set in for the day.  It further deteriorated with hail storms, high winds and I'm guessing that the fete became worse than death for Djebel.  I might even take a 'rain check' as to whether I go to meet up with my student family tomorrow evening, my old student has put his name down for the chess competition in the square and I was looking forward to watching him play.  It's now in the lap of the weather gods.

I could have gone into the workshop and mended the cable but instead I stretched out on the sofa and started watchin my Netflix next find until that was terminated when the power went off.  So on to the little kindle and played a few games of Sudoku but I couldn't even get my head round some of those...it must be a weather thing.  Coffee and biscuits this afternoon, chicken wings in for supper and I've just lit the fire so that the washing that I was hoping to get dry this morning will dry in the bathroom instead.
Come on...it's the middle of May for goodness sake...we need a few days of sunshine together to believe that summer is on it's way.  

The power is back on and hopefully will stay that way now that the fire is lit.  At least I don't have to water the plants on the terrace or the garden, nature has done it for me.    and watching the clouds scurrying towards Greece, that's probably upset a few plans for some people.  LN....My chicken wings are ready....LN



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May 19, 2022, 7:53pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 19th May

Late tonight, I've just got back from an evening of fun and frivolity in Djebel, it's the Djebel annual fare.  I've had a lovely evening with my students' family, chicken supper with bread in the square and coffee afterwards at a very quiet restaurant away from the 'hurley burley' and the music at several decibels higher than my ears can take.  Very busy, lots of singing and dancing in the square and the normal amount of inebriates joining in both activities.

As for the rest of the day, the sun was shining this morning but that wind was pretty chill.  It was good though in that it dried off some of the water from the grass and I was able to finish the rest of the mowing but that was after I demolished poached eggs on toast for breakfast.  I also tidied out the fridge, washed up from this morning and yesterday, put the washing away and it was still only nine thirty.  So out with my trusty mower and managed to do the rest of the main house grass and half of the little house grass but I ran out of steam and called it a day.  The grass was sticking to the blade making it really hard going and clinging to the grass box making it difficult to empty.  Mower away and I turned my attention to putting in some of the seedling into the garden, most of the marigolds are planted in the old veg bed along with yet more of the lupins.  The downpour over the last day has really brought them on and I've about three pots of zinnia that I have to find homes for,  Still more urgent are the cucumber and tomato plants and they are jobs for Saturday.

I was in the Nipper just before five and headed into Djebel where I'd arranged to meet the family.  The shop was closed when I got there so I phoned and they gave me rough directions where they were, I found them and they were near where the chess tournament taking place and my older ex-student was taking part.  Thirty people played each other and the one with the most wins won the tournament and the cup and despite the competition being open to members of chess masters from other towns, my student finished twentieth out of thirty so not a bad result.  He's not used to playing speed chess but he'll be defending his position next year I'm led to believe.  

Home for ten thirty, a very pleasant evening with a very special family.  LN.....Out for the day tomorrow so off to bed for a town I've only been to once before......LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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