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4th April

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Whew, I have just had a blitz working on my OU module and submitted the Tma. I found it very difficult, probably because I had not studied the course material thoroughly enough or done all the activities. I don’t even work for a living in the conventional sense or watch any TV so I have no excuse.  But the last few weeks since we returned from Turkey have been a bit frenetic. We have had visitors, a son and friend which required lots of organising, we skied with them on day one, but then handed over the car keys and let them find their own way a couple more days, which they did, with some difficulty, it was a relief when they returned unscathed.  Cycling 40kms to a nearby restaurant is always a good activity for fit and able visitors. The route took them along single track roads through pretty villages and rolling hills. I drove the support vehicle, useful when the chain of one of the bikes broke. Son arrived at the restaurant covered in black bicycle grease after his attempted repair but no one seemed to mind. We had wonderful sunny weather for the whole week, and even managed to swim in the pool, albeit a little cold at 15 degrees. Sadly the weather is changing in time for the arrival of the extended family this evening. Rain and below average temperatures are forecast, but maybe another fall of snow in the mountains will mean it will still be possible for them to go skiing.

My 720 seedlings in the polytunnel require careful monitoring. I was very worried about the tomato seeds, which after 10 days showed no signs of activity but today small pairs of leaves are poking above the soil level in several of the pots. The pool needed various bits of the pump and filter replacing so there were numerous trips to pool maintenance shops, we are determined to do it ourselves rather than pay someone. The paving outside was all grimy after being covered with dead leaves for most of the winter and needed pressure hosing, always a satisfying but rather wet activity. The grass is growing fast and like the surrounding fields is a beautiful rich green. We all compete to have a go on the sit and ride mower, but picking up all the fallen bits of tree beforehand is less popular. The pond is full of unrecognisable bits of vegetation and needs cleaning out but there are so many resident fish and tadpoles I am not sure how to go about it. The house could really do with a spring clean but I’ll wait till the visitors are gone. Young people, especially students don’t notice dirt, so sparkling clean windows and cobweb free beams would be wasted on them. The worse is that since the advent of the conservatory the cats are moulting clumps of fur throughout the house and I’ve had to put covers on all the sofas so I can shake off accumulated hair. But we love the conservatory. All meals are now eaten there, and any spare time spent on the sofa with the cats reading or bird watching. It is wonderfully warm even when cool outside.

Friends have returned from faraway places, so there is catching up to do, we are back to our regular Thursday lunches plus we have made new friends with people who have moved into the village.

I am so relieved I have managed to send off the Tma, two days ago I was thinking I would have to give up, I won’t get a good mark but at least I am back on schedule. I was hugely encouraged by the postings of other laggards on the student forum!

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