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8th December

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I managed to get the day right this morning and picked up my neighbour at the appropriate time to go to our weekly French lesson It was a rather stressful lesson, the French teacher gets very angry about the political situation and kept breaking into tirades against UK government policies, saying how bankers should be locked up and putting forward her theories on how to save the world. It was remarkably warm in her conservatory; we even had to open the doors. I do so wish our chap would come and do ours. He did say before Christmas, which might mean a building site for Christmas. After lunch I thought I’d join the cats and have a bit of a siesta, but was woken after a few minutes by the builder who had come upstairs to check the chimney. He seemed to think it entirely appropriate to shake my hand and wish me bonjour while I was half under a duvet. I decided to give up on the siesta idea and took the wheelbarrow to collect logs for the fire, it is amazing that it can burn for days on end as long as we throw logs on regularly, we only need to empty the ash once a week. Yesterday’s wind stripped the leaves from the oak trees, huge piles of leaves have accumulated in various corners around the barn and garage, I spent the afternoon scooping them up and filling all the garden bins. Philip was still painting, this time with the window open to avoid poisoning from fumes.
Our ex neighbour was back for a few days to show some clients her house which has been on the market for ages, mainly because she can’t bring herself to sell it, it has such a lovely setting and they did so much work on it. She popped round for a glass of wine in the evening, and will send any more potential buyers to me first so I can show them round and vet any future neighbours. Philip converted the big pile of leeks our French neighbours gave us into leek and potato soup, we have rows of unlabelled Tupperware containers of soup in the freezer now, in the unlit garage, so when I pick out soup for supper we never know which variety it is till it’s in the saucepan. I struggled with the latest tutorial exercise after supper, it was like a child's game of making up a story, but in reverse, instead of thinking of the next sentence, a dozen unrelated sentences were given and had to be joined to make a story.

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