The whole thing, almost!

The panorama shows the "estate" (I learnt that off Domenic Cummings) with the little yellow cabin in the bottom left, our yellow house half way up the hill, my "work-house", Betty's on the next level up, and the red house on the same level as our house. Beyond Betty's is another hill, the sheds are half way up that and further up, out of sight there's a three sided wood store. There is very little flat earth in my world!

I was down the bottom of the garden, dumping two barrowloads of dead grass and rubbish from the long slope above the big green area. From down there I wondered if I could capture the feeling of where I live, The houses are all the wrong size somehow, but they are in the right places! The little cabin has beds for three and no conveniences apart from electricity if we drag a cable down there. That's for teenage visitors.

Our house is basically 2 up 2 down with a built on bathroom, plus the cellar which is a marvel: laundry, earth cellar and boiler room. Betty's houses me and my stash of creative stuff, soon I will make the back room into my sewing room and relieve the pressure on our front room. Betty's has a toilet and a sink and cold running water - I mean! Luxury! It is also the only place that has air conditioning (because we have a heat exchange unit for heating) so I go and sit in there if it gets stupidly hot. The red house can sleep 5 guests in proper beds and is a little home with everything you would need as long as you are happy with a fairly simple standard. Most of our visitors love it, and they all seem to think it is their house now. We were thinking of trying to do air BnB there, mostly to meet interesting people - but then came Corona. Blippers are always welcome, so far none have taken us up on the offer but I know some who want to!

The garden is really a bit massive, cheap land, out of town, etc etc the bottom bit is what Robbie mowed yesterday! I did the rest this afternoon, and I also dragged all of last year's grass off that slope, a bit of a killer in the end! But I love jobs that have a beginning and an end, where you can see the result of your labour. In the extra there's a before and after shot. Mostly for me, but fun to show off with!

This morning we did our yoga session, ate breakfast, listened to some lovely music Spell Songs (thank you GreenGirl) and instead of getting stuck into the gardening we took some time off and went for a walk through the forest. 7 kilometres, so more of a stroll than a hike, but pleasant, full of birdsong everywhere and we saw morell mushrooms growing in a sandy ditch. Finns eat them after boiling and throwing away the water twice, Swedes say they are poisonous, we left them where they were. Keith has more details and a photo.We picnicked on a banana and some water and headed home to garden. 

Or in Keith's case try to stabilise the garden furniture since we have invited friends for scones and jam and cream and tea, sourdough bread and cheese and chutney, wine and suchlike on Sunday. It was going to be on my birthday but the weather is going to be lovely at the weekend so we decided it was better, as everyone will want to be outdoors and at a distance. It's rather short notice so we might be eating the scones ourselves!

As we ate our bananas we counted our blessings, listing all the good things in our lives - including legs that carry us out walking, and a home that suits us so nicely, and can accommodate others. We also spent ages speaking about where racism comes from and how neither of us understands how it works. I am intrigued that I grew up not seeing a black, or brown face till Iw as a teenager, and knowing no-one from a different country - and still, somehow the message I got was that everyone is worthy, everyone is your equal, everyone has to be respected. We thought about church, and Socialism - how both prime you to hold a set of egalitarian values, and how strongly influenced we both were by our families. 

The protests, marching and sadly the rioting in America, after the horrible murder of George Floyd, suffocated by a policeman as he kept saying "I can't breathe" - and as other police were watching, has of course set me off. How can you do anything about the colour of your skin? How can a person of colour protect themselves in a racist society?  What does it take before we all wake up and DO something? If life is precious, which it is, why is it taken away so lightly when it is the life of certain people? George Floyd had only 46 years on planet Earth, he could have had twice as many. He might have been passing forged bills, or not. But that's not a hanging offence, even in the US. And it's enough to be a black man jogging, just running, that's enough to put you in deadly danger. 

So, counting my blessings, and wishing every member of the human race was doing the same, and with good reason. Back to the beautiful music! here is the goldfinch.

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