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Elsa Peters
June 1, 2024, 6:35pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st June

I've just come in from the garden at nine o'clock and what a day it's been.  I was up and about early as per usual and first job was to make toast, clear the kitchen and think about cutting the grass.  I realised that I would have to wait for it to dry off which in fact it didn't do so I took the little hedge trimmer and cut back the shrubs in the grave garden and gave a rounded shape to a couple of the others that had become straggly.  While I was in the mood I decided to cut the sprouting linden tree, it puts up so many root-lings and should really have dug them up but instead took them all down to ground level and saved the leaves for my neighbour's cows.  Into a big garden container and into the wheelbarrow for her to take back to her garden and I wandered over the road to Avatar's house and we sat in the garden for an hour or so generally sorting out the village...the world is too big a problem for the likes of us.  My neighbour eventually headed down pushing the wheelbarrow to her house and my friend who wants a cutting of everything in my garden was visiting her mother so we had another half hour, I pushed the wheelbarrow home ready for the next time.

It was by now too hot to work outside so I thought I'd settle down with my book but instead, I held the book and went to sleep for an hour or so.....such is life.  I looked out at the grass, my heart wasn't really in it but I went out anyway and stuck up the machine at four thirty and wasn't sure where my day had gone.  I have a slight problem with the grass box and a very big problem with moles leaving humps everywhere .  The grass box has sprung apart where it connects to the grass outlet so I set about cleaning the grooves that the lugs are supposed to fit in but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it to connect up so that's a job for another day.  As for the mole hills, I managed to avoid most of them but I think that's going to be a chemical solution, or mole smokes which I've used before.  It was so wet earlier in the year that they've not tunnelled deep, so I can flatten them out but  I need to take back control.  The main house grass is finished, the cows had a field day so to speak finishing off the cuttings that I put over the wall and tomorrow I shall do the other after lunch.  Avatar's nephew is thinking of moving her from Turkey, speaks English quite well and Avatar sent a breakfast invitation for nine thirty for crispy pancakes at her house.  

So before I came up to write this epistle, I put a couple of chicken breast in the air-fryer and it's about to ping anytime now.  It's been a productive day and I feel that I'm going to sleep well tonight and hopefully a little longer that six in the morning.  Better draw my curtains tonight.  Sorry no pictures, they'll be better anyway when the garden is finished and I might take some at out gathering in the morning.  LN......I've just heard that ping...supper is almost there.....LN
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Elsa Peters
June 2, 2024, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd June

Not a good night's sleep. I awoke at four and six but then managed to sleep in until eight thirty...disturbed but lengthy.  Unfortunately I've felt tired all day, I'm putting it down to the weather, I had high hopes of finishing the grass but instead I watched it grow for most of the afternoon.  Thunder has been hanging around since twelve, no lightning just rumbling thunder which is like promising a performance that never happens.

I went for my allotted breakfast gathering but there was only the four of us there.  I took the camera but it seemed rather intrusive to take pictures so I didn't.  Avatar's nephew had introduced himself to me yesterday and had delivered the invitation and since I was five minutes late was on his way to fetch me and in the hurry to leave I'd forgotten to take the pine-tip honey that I love with fluffy pancakes......another time.  We finished the meal and sat out in the garden, the daughter and cousin were off to find the daughter's old house in one of the local villages, I was invited but left them to it.  I was going back to finish the grass but then realised it was much too hot to be pushing a lawn mower for a couple of hours so settled down with my book and that's when the thunder started and the afternoon descended into reading and nodding off, waking and munching biscuits...not very productive at all.

Eventually the rain came, one of the yucca flowers is now on the grass, the other two have made it so far but there again, the flowers are so heavy and the weight of the rain on the stem just couldn't take it I guess.  The sun is out for a last fling and hopefully the ground is warm enough to try out the grass so that I can finish it tomorrow.  Some very bedraggled looking cows are wending their way up to the hill and lots of bellowing is going on from the calves to find the mothers and from the mothers to the calves to follow them home. I might go to Kardjali tomorrow and leave the grass until Tuesday morning before my student's lesson.  LN.....It's all weather dependent.....in the lap of the gods......LN



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Elsa Peters
June 3, 2024, 5:04pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd June

Yesterday wasn't a good day for me, I was in bed by around ten but the temperature had climbed and the air was muggy.  I read for a while, switched off the light and fell asleep but woke around two thirty with no sleep left in me.  The light went on, I reached for my book and read until around four, back to sleep until six realising that I might as well get up there were a few things I could do.  I removed the seat pads from the bench on the balcony and tide them to the balcony rail to drip and hopefully dry which they did  and now they're secured to the bench until the next downpour.  I also remembered that this was the morning that the seven planets were aligned but no chance of seeing anything, it was a dull cloudy morning and having read up on the event, you needed powerful equipment to actually see it.  I made coffee, went out and sat on the bench enjoying the early morning.

I was going to stick to my plan and go into Kardjali and Djebel to pay my outstanding taxes for the year for both cars and the house tax.  I had a shower and washed my hair, put a load of washing in the machine including the towels, put on a kaftan that I'd discovered in the chest downstairs and went back out onto the balcony.  The day was full of promises and was warming up nicely.  I dried my hair, got dressed and it was still only eight o'clock so I had toast, more coffee and was ready to leave around nine remembering to take my car documents and company card with me, I would need both. Easy journey in, there was very little traffic, I parked up near the office and fortunately there was no queue, I waited until the assistant had finished dealing with the man in front of me and handed over my company card that had seen better days.  The girl was having problems finding the number and I suddenly remembered that the same details were on the car document so handed that over and she was soon asking me for the money, I paid up so one job done.  I walked down to my cheapy clothes shop and found a pink cotton shirt and an oversized shirt for a total price of five leva.  Next stop was the bank to sort out my internet pin code, I'd forgotten all about it so went in and asked if I could see the second in command, security waved me through and she managed to sort it for me.  She questioned why I was using the Momchilgrad bank and I replied that there are very few customers, I'm normally seen quickly and now they know me....it makes life easier.  By now I'd had to send a text and add more time on my parking so took advantage of it.  I went into one of the larger shoe shops, found a style I liked, couldn't decide if I wanted the brown or grey ones so I bought both spending only forty leva on both of them.  Back to the car, I gave Lidl and Kaufland a miss, drove back to Djebel, paid car and house taxes, caught up with my flower shop lady and went to the car-shop to return the rucksack that I'd borrowed for my holiday and hand over the presents.  My older student was there, apparently it was his old school rucksack and he said I could keep it.  I said that I would buy it from him so the fee was one lev, I offered him ten, he said to put it in the bag which meant I would still pay nothing.  His response was that he was pleased to be able to give me something.

Drove home, tempted to cut the grass but the temperature was still pretty high so I fell asleep reading my book making up for the sleep that I'd lost last night.  I washed the shirts, hung them to dry upstairs and now ready to wear, not too bothered about supper, it's a very still night so perhaps it's going to settle down for a while.  LN....I've had a very relaxing day, fully paid up member, sorted out my bank and grabbed a few bargains as well......LN



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Elsa Peters
June 4, 2024, 6:12pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th June

Another five thirty start and at seven I was outside with the mower to finish off what I'd started.  It was still a little damp underneath but I did it anyway, well most of it. I've still got under the big pear tree and to finish off around the bonfire but instead I chose to do the yard, the area between the wall and the house and outside the wall.  The strimmer behaved itself for a change and I didn't end up cursing the thing, the little electric mower needs a new blade and I really must mend the grass box on the biggie.  It was throwing out most of what was being cut.  I went over at nine to sit with my Avatar, her daughter had gone into Kardjali with her nephew so she was home alone, she produced a cheesy bread and the Fanta so that was my breakfast before I went back to the grindstone.  I came back and trimmed the bushes that have finished flowering on the low wall and did some weeding throwing it all over for the cows and by one I'd had enough, it was getting a tad hot and I had my student lesson this afternoon.

Showered and slathered myself in coconut cream, dressed in jeans and a white blouse and decided to try out one of the pairs of shoes I'd got yesterday.  Getting things ready to go I went on the hunt for my driving glasses and searched high and low.  I decided to forget about them, I had another pair and I'm not into the dog and white stick stage yet.  I parked up outside the shop at three, went up shortly after to the apartment, fifteen minutes of football and then thirty pages of the book and we have only about fifteen left to read but that's for next time.  He had more studying to do with a German test tomorrow and really keen to do well.  I mentioned that I'd mislaid my glasses and he asked me where I'd lost them.  My reply was that if I knew where I'd lost them they wouldn't be lost and we smiled at each other...we have a good relationship and I'm introducing him to British humour.  I went down to the shop and had an hour with his mother since the shop wasn't busy, home and the search began for the glasses.  I was about to give up but something told me to check my downstairs bedroom and I opened the shoe box from the pair that I was now wearing and there they were.  Don't ask...I don't know.

I've just finished watering the outside plants since it's been really hot for the last couple of days, I'm about to think of supper but that's after I've put the fruit through the juicer.  A couple of the lemons had mould on the skins so I've washed it all and I'll put the juice in the freezer, much more convenient.  LN.....Greece tomorrow and need to be at the meeting point by eight thirty......LN



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Elsa Peters
June 5, 2024, 7:33pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th June

In the Nipper by eight this morning, bag and car packed for a day at Fanari beach in Greece and it looked like a very promising day weatherwise.  The journey over to the pickup point was uneventful and very little traffic on the way over and after everything was loaded the road to the border crossing was even emptier.  There was a few cars waiting but the new regulations mean that we don't have to have our passports stamped any more the residency card gives in right to travel anywhere in the EU so guard it well.

We stopped off at the usual breakfast place but settled for only coffee, the cakes looked very enticing but we took a firm stand and denied ourselves goodies.  Back in the car and found our usual parking place next to the rubbish containers, walked down to our secret beach, no one in sight and set up camp.  It didn't take long for my passenger to start her usual walk of the beach finding interesting coloured stones.  I covered myself in suntan lotion since it;s the first time this year that some of the bits had seen the sun and I shall be looking at the outcome a little later before I get into bed.  I don't feel any sore bits at the moment so that's a good sign.  I ventured into the water and although it's a beautiful and secluded spot there is quite a bit of weed growing and you go from sandy patch to sandy patch and I ended up lying on the small stones and just letting the water go over me.  It was obviously cold to get in but once in there it was really refreshing, out to dry up and apply more sun lotion, bit more sun and then back in the water.  

We stayed there until four thirty, packed up and found our usual restaurant and ordered only a few dishes but it was huge when it got to the table.  We managed to work our way through it, the bill was very reasonable and back in the Nipper and heading back to the border by eight.  Again no stamps in the passport, went in for a coffee when we arrived at the drop off point, set off for home at around nine arriving home at nine thirty after a cracking drive over the mountains and home.  The only traffic was on the home straight when four cars were going in the opposite direction and out of the village, maybe going to paint somewhere pink.  LN....Nice to be away but nice to be home....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 6, 2024, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th June

So after the day of sun and high temperatures yesterday, this morning was dull, not cold but for most of the day has been threatening rain.  It didn't rain and would have been a pleasant day for gardening but my heart wasn't really in it.  I'd had too much sun yesterday, I had a really late bath to wash off the suntan spray, didn't manage to find the aftersun and today my ankles had somehow got affected more than anywhere else and had itched like fury and they both felt stiff so there wasn't much activity out of me today.

I'd unpacked my bag last night and put the clothes in the machine and when the machine finished they went straight on to the airer in the upstairs bedroom.  I put those away next to the bag for the next time and loaded the machine with other clothes and once the machine was finished they went on to the airer and they're now ready to be put away too.  Next job was to sort out the hanging space in my bedroom, a few jumpers hadn't managed to find a summer home in the chest and now I've put them away and have more hanging space.  The contents have now been sorted into light summer cardigans and jackets, shirts and tops and long t-shirts making them easier to find.  The freeing up of coathangers means that I have more in the guest bedroom for hanging washing to dry and they're already on hangers to put in the wardrobe....method in my madness!!

I hadn't bothered with breakfast, put four boiled eggs into cold water and hard boiled them.  Two of these I mixed with mayonnaise and that was lunch over and done with.  For most of the day I've been reading the first Game of Thrones book on the Kindle and at one stage it was almost necessary to put on the lamp, the clouds were so dark, but then the clouds rolled over to Turkey so that was OK.  At five I watered the pots and the garden and this year I'm using the long hose instead and ready for when I have to do selective watering of garden shrubs.  I've still got seedlings to put out and move to other beds, and hopefully tomorrow I'll have a bit more enthusiasm for weeding and finishing the mowing near the bottom wall.  Another job on the list is to repaint the tortoise.  I think it's been so rainy that they've been going into their winter holes scraping off the nail varnish.... I even mixed up Rosy and Red although Red is much bigger, Green and Cracked Shell are still obvious but Blue and Little Purple look the same so there might be some name changing going on.  I don't think they'll notice.  LN.....Supper time calls although egg mayo is still sitting heavily......LN



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Elsa Peters
June 7, 2024, 5:47pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th June

Another six start and it promised to be a reasonable day.  There were a few clouds about but nothing that wouldn't burn off, the sunrise really looked promising and I really do love the way that the clouds form in the valleys.  I'd got lots on my agenda for today but wasn't all that optimistic about getting round to them and it was a very late start probably around four this afternoon when it was starting to cool down a little.  I dressed for the garden which was a start, watered some of the pots and ended up cleaning the Nipper.  There was quite a lot of seagull poop splattered on the bonnet and just general dust.  I found an old brush that the men use for applying whitewash to the inside walls of the house, washed it out and it worked a treat.  The Beast really needs doing but that seemed like really hard work so I'll take that down the garage tomorrow morning if the mood takes me.  It could really do with a run, hopefully there'll be enough charge left in the battery to start it in the morning.  

I popped over to see Avatar and now she is on her own.  Her daughter left yesterday and she has no more visitors planned until her granddaughter comes in a month's time, we can get back to normal with me cooking the odd meal and taking it over the road to her.  I work on the principle that if I've cooking one I might as well cook two, it's no more effort.  She was just getting to the juicy bit of a local story when I heard the door go, we thought it was the next door neighbour and waited for the other door to open and it was her grandson.  He had a small job to do in the next village and had stopped off to see her so I left them to it and came home settling on the sofa with my book.  It was now getting to the stage where it was too hot to work outside so I didn't.  Instead I had a late brunch of two hard boiled eggs, potato salad that I'd got from Lidl and I added a small tin of tuna to the mix following it with ice-cream.  I was just about to start the ice=cream when Avatar appeared, I thought she was having trouble with the grass mower so went back with her and it wasn't.  They'd left her with a dishwasher which no one had really explained to her and somehow she had set the delay on it so I cancelled the delay and switched it off.  There was very little in it so I offered to help her do it by hand and we came to the opinion that it wouldn't be used until the family arrive in a month's time.

I've sorted out some of the stray pots.  The long wooden trug that I made now has more petunias in it and another unknown plant that I got given, the sunflowers are in the large sectioned bed and the wisteria that I grew from seed is now in its own pot in new compost so should do better until I find a spot for it or give it away.  I've topped up the compost on some of the beds and weeded others and tomorrow I'll put in the rest of the marigolds so they're not hanging about.    Lots of noise tonight when it was time for the cows and calves to head home.  I reckon some of them are only a couple of days home and as they were herded home, there were frantic cries from mothers and calves.  I think in the UK the husbandry is better, I don't think they get shoved out on a hillside at two days old and there must have been around fifty cows, some calves are older but lots of newborns and it was twenty eight degrees this afternoon.  Maybe me being a softie..  LN...Now to think about supper but can't say I'm really serious about it....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 8, 2024, 6:20pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th May

I was almost in Greece again today, I was invited to Samothraki but it meant that I had to be in Djebel for six this morning to catch the eight o'clock ferry from Alexandroupolis and to be honest, I just couldn't raise the effort.  The invite was to go with a friend and her husband, with a car, her boys didn't want to go and I don't like playing tag which is what I was afraid of.  Instead I found plenty to do here, the wet spring has made everything very enthusiastic about spreading into any space that is available, especially the weeds, sticky willy and vetch, although pretty covers everything else.  The plus side is that the plant is easy to remove but the roots are adventurous.

Seven start this morning, coffee and yet more coffee as I read my book in bed.  At around eight thirty I moved my 'bed' onto a chair with a footstool on to the balcony, put on some sun gear, applied sun cream and baked for about an hour and a half until the sun got really hot and I came in and drank lots of water.  Breakfast was on the agenda so I scrambled a couple of eggs, did them in the microwave and had them on toast, washed up, tidied round and moved to the sofa....it was just too hot to be outside and working and I'd had enough sun.  Game of Thrones book was has bitten the dust, I found book two on the Kindle and decided to leave it, I had work to do.  First job was to tidy the space round the outside sink.  I'd put cuttings into water in containers, hadn't looked after them so nothing had rooted so I emptied them all away.  The garden is pretty full and I only give them away.  Everything to do with garden hoses is all in the same place so no hunting round for connectors and joiners, I repotted three of the same species that I've been given but in different colours, two had outgrown their pots and the other one just needed love and attention.  I've cut back the wild plum offshoots, rounded them off with a little topiary and the bottom four have all joined to make a hedge between the grass and the rocky grass near the bottom wall.  Hose pipes connected, both buddleias have had a good drink and have lots of flower heads.  The lavender at the bottom of the garden is beautiful this year and such a vivid colour.
The sunflowers that I put in last night seem to be settling down, I did water them in well and gave them more this evening.  

Today has just flown by, Avatar was just finishing off her grass, I walked home and suddenly realised that it was just after eight.  I'm thinking about supper but I don't think there's going to be any movement in that direction.  Everything locked away, spotted three tortoise putting themselves to bed on my last tour of the garden and I shan't be long but first a bath.  Hedge trimmer on charge for tomorrow, today's debris is waiting to be collected and put over the wall but I'll wait until it's all finished, the cows will soon appreciate the change from grass.  LN.....Finish the garden tomorrow...swimming pool on Monday if the weather is good...first this year......LN



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Elsa Peters
June 9, 2024, 6:30pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th June

So it was late this morning....six thirty and woke up to a swollen lip again and haven't a clue what caused it.  I took an antihistamine tablet, drank lots of water, took my blood pressure and that was up so have decided to take the tablets for a month or so until it settles down again.  I made toast but with just butter, lay on the sofa and promptly went to sleep again while trying to read my book.  It was eleven when I came round, unlocked the little house and the wood store and took my extension cable reel out and strimmer and a few more toys to play with.  Today's mission was to to establish the bench back in its old position against the high wall between the garden and the tree and objective achieved.  It didn't stop there, the path behind the flower bed is clear and next thing is to cut the trees down to around three meters and put a fancy bed behind the flower bed.

I came in around one for water, finished off the pot of Lidl potato salad, had a bowl of ice-cream, settled down with my book, it was too hot to be outside.  Yes, you've guessed and it was three when I woke this time but straight back to it after more water.  I was out there until seven, Avatar came round and asked if she could borrow my heavy duty pruner so I went over to her house and when we got there, she hadn't any  steps.  She wanted the grape vine trimming where it's attached itself to the pear tree and is worried about the electricity cables.  I managed to get a hand hold on the pear tree, got on top of the wall and with the cutters managed to trim enough of the long branches off so that she was a happy lady.  I tidied her up and threw the branches over the wall for the cows, went howe and was finishing off a putting things away when my  direct neighbour who is over from Turkey came into the garden obviously to look around.  She's never really been over the threshold before and was impressed, just like I am every day.

Half nine my time, it's a long hard slog when you start something like the long wall but I'm half way down it.  I suppose sleeping is healing, I feel fine now and didn't have anything yesterday that should have brought that on.  I'm going to stick to water until the morning, not so hungry when it's hot.  I might just might have a day off and go to the pool tomorrow for a little more exercise, it should be quiet on a Monday.  LN.....Let's see what the weather looks like when I wake up....and how I feel.....LN



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Elsa Peters
June 10, 2024, 6:10pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th June

Up at six thirty and spent most of the morning reading on the balcony.  It was a very hazy morning, not much heat in the sun and would have been perfect for gardening but the enthusiasm wasn't there.  I'd done lots yesterday and felt I deserved a day off so I took one.  I was humming and aghring as tp whether is would be open. it's late in the season and not very good in May but I decided to risk it.  I settled for toast for breakfast, gathered my things together and was in the Nipper at eleven and heading for Kardjali.  Lots of traffic on the road and probably most of them returning from a long weekend in Greece and I was heading out of Kardjali and up into the hill and my favourite swimming pool by about half eleven.

On the way up I was looking for umbrellas round the pool but didn't see any.  I carried on up the lane through the forest and when I got there there was only one other car parked up and only knew it was open when I saw a couple of teenagers at the far end of the pool.  I approached the bar area where the money is taken and had a very warm welcome from the owner.  He said this year was pretty slow off the mark because of the weather and he had no ice-cream or drinks in yet, I guess he was slowing down the launch so that he only paid bills when there was income from the pool and who can blame him.  I settled myself down the shallow end of the pool albeit four feet six deep, didn't bother with an umbrella, my legs wanted a coating of the brown stuff, I wear trousers in the garden.  The only others in the pool were three teenagers.  I soaked up the sun for about half an hour then braced myself and took to the water.  It wasn't too bad getting in the first time, the surface was warm despite a cool breeze, underneath it was cold but pleasantly so and I must have been swimming backwards and forwards for thirty minutes or so.....really good exercise especially for the joints.

I got out, put up the umbrella, firstly dried off in the sun then moved into the shade with the Kindle and carried on reading my book.  I realised I was about to nod off, checked the time and it was two thirty so thought it was about time I had another dip in the pool, the air had got very muggy and there were a few peels of thunder in the distance.  Another spell at drying off before the clouds spoiled the day and at four I packed up, said goodbye to the owner and headed to Lidl.  I'd got a short list for myself, tomatoes to get for Avatar, bought a face washing product for my other student and decided to deliver it on the way home.  I stopped for gas since it had run out on the way into Kardjali.  My student was home, she insisted that I had a bulgur and chicken concoction that she'd made for supper and I sat while her mother and herself stuffed vine leaves for the Muslim festival this weekend.  Apparently the sisters take it in turn to host the event and they have thirty people turning up this weekend. some local and others from Turkey requiring accommodation.  I've been invited for lunch tomorrow with her and her sister and we'll have change to discuss plans for Cappadocia, Varna and Greece.  

Home for seven thirty, tomatoes to Avatar, shopping unpacked, washing in the machine and hopefully will sleep well tonight after a very active day.  It didn't rain in the end, it's a funny evening, muggy yet there's quite a cool wind blowing.  As I said lunch out and then student tomorrow afternoon. LN......The gardening will have to wait until the end of the week.....LN



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