The first into our calendar wins, at this moment. Monica’s off to the Sierra Nevada in a week’s time with Kevin and a couple of school friends. A spur-of-the-moment jaunt to take advantage of an offer of accommodation there. The cycle-touring guy in Warland Gate End has offered me his house in Tuscany, any time. Perhaps I’ll go there to sulk about missing out on Spain, twice.

Remembering Bodmin with Neil is timely because his lump of it, plus the remains of our holiday whisky have just found there way back to me. Monica left them with southern relatives in the hope they’d get to him but I won! I’ll save the rock for him but I don’t know how long the booze will last.

I’ve got caught up in buying old blacksmiths’ tools on eBay and Tiny the Truck and I are off to Stafford today to collect a grinding wheel and, maybe, some bellows. I had an anvil and swage block in my sights, in nearby Castleton but, when I stabbed in my last-minute, killer bid eBay announced that such items couldn’t be mailed to Australia! The air was blue for half an hour: I had changed my address and had the eBay emails to prove it. Hey ho.

Carmel and Dave, who are up from Reading and brought the Bodmin bit, stayed overnight and will take water samples before they leave this morning (it’s their line of work) and submit them for analysis. At least then we’ll have objective information upon which to make decisions, so that’s good.

I feel remiss in not making contact with Jill since getting back here. I suppose I should visit Margaret, too, but I haven’t got the same bond with her, yet.

The Aga’s chuffing away in the corner and the dogs happily asleep on her bed, here, but I feel chilly because my body clock’s telling me I’ve missed sleep. Must go find a blanket.

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