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today I find that there are only two things left on the to do list that I can do anything about myself, and they are not at all essential. it has been hard work, over three weeks I have done the following;
bought kitchen cupboard and peg rail for the downstairs bedroom
put up peg rail and living room mirror
put up loo roll holders
put up big paintings, with Mís help
put up hangings in bedrooms
put up curtain between kitchen and bathroom
put up mirror and shelf in upstairs bathroom
put up block of photos
sealed all of terracotta tiles, including windowsills
painted stair rail
painted porch rail
painted sliding shutter

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bought plants
downstairs bedroom finished
upstairs bedroom finished
bought outdoor furniture + cutlery + more kitchen equipment + photo frames and a lot of other bits and bobs from Ikea Ė† which took going through check-out twice.
teak-oiled the outdoor furniture
put up bedroom blinds
big sliding shutter tongue and groove wood bought, protected and inserted

p1040365.JPGthe gardener, Juanjo, planted four honeysuckles, 2 evergreen jasmines, two wisterias, to climb over the porch railings and the outside stairs. and rosemary, lavender, thyme and a few other herbs, around the swimming pool, and installed automatic watering systems for both.

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today I ascertained that the skimmers are in fact part of the pump system, and having enquired, was able to turn them on. rather silly chaps who work for the Pool Guy had not done so after they located the leaking pipe below one of the skimmers. however we have lost too much water for them to work properly. there should be more water tomorrow.

I have asked Mencho to adapt the bar at the west end of the porch so that two more wood slat blinds can be hung there to keep out the sun when it is really hot, and to make a pedestrian gate for the old gateway. then M can have his hurdle back.
now all that is left is to pack away what I want to leave here, pack the car, and clean up.

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these little iris-like plants flower for half a day, on dry sandy parts of the path to Arroyomolinas. I have been wanting to get a photo for the whole three weeks and never had my camera when I saw them, but on Saturday there was more luck and I found several. They are the Barbary Nut, the only member of a mainly South African genus, gynandiris, in Europe, says the field guide to wild flowers of southern Europe.
A wonderful bird-watcherís tale yesterday; a short-toed eagle snatched up a snake in Mís pasture on the flank of the sierra here, flew up with it, and grabbed it with its beak as it flew. Bonelliís eagle is common here too.

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This is the gate along the camino to Arroyomolinos that I want Mencho to copy. It is crude, but has a certain bendy elegance. the only problem is that Mencho will no doubt make it too perfect.