They came and started the transformation of my garden today. The existing large and, sadly, defunct pond will be moved and the shrubs flanking it on one side have been taken away as, alas, have the extraneous conifers along the back fence. Don’t worry. We’ll place them with something nicer when we change the fence which si going to be made (hopefully) Raffles-proof. The things we do to accommodate our dogs!

The second picture is the floor by the door in my kitchen. Horrendous, isn’t it? It’s the result of the garden being, yet again, churned up. This will be my main job tomorrow: cleaning the clay mud off this floor while the others go off to Howarth’s in search of clarinet goodies. I can only give thanks that this isn’t carpet in this year of ever-present mud. I know that the mud eventually dries enough to vacuum it up but I’m remembering how much becomes ingrained into the carpet fibres. Incidentally, we were warned about riven slate floors shredding our tights and socks, and that does seem to be happening.

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My singing teacher tells me I must take a day off to rest my voice which, even to my tin ear, does sound frazzled. That’s fine but how on earth am I going to address the outstanding issues, and there are many of them, in a week, without a pop-up tame accompanist? If I fail it won’t be through lack of hard work, apparently, which is a comfort. To a degree.

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My cousin Winky sent me a bouquet to thank me for a “memorable,” week in India, which is nice. Unfortunately the hand-tied posy contained some lilies to which, I think, I’m pretty allergic. A hot tip for anyone in the situation is to cut off the stamens as they are unveiled by the opening flower. I have been too late to do this today and I’m very allergic and sniffly tonight as well as STILL exhausted. Lilies are also very toxic to cats, by the way. Did you know that?