Mark came to help today and I gave him some brambles on the back wall of the orchard to clear. There are lots of distractions this morning and it is noticeably cooler - the evenings are now quite chilly. I get on with the watering and finally return to the potato quarter and tidy up the courgette and zinnia beds, removing a lot of borage (borage is a great companion plant but can get out of hand). There is also masses of dead heading, hard for me to keep up with, without help ( Meave and Diane are at work and Aideen is painting the kitchen when she is not practising). I dead head most of the cosmos (such a lovely plant!), dahlias and zinnias, and I make a start on the calendula. I occupy my mind with thoughts of the benefits of no longer teaching in school on a Wednesday. It also occurs to me that now I only have Aideen left in full time education (for one more year), which will be considerably less stressful than the last few years, which have not been easy. I feel very happy that soon the girls will all be free and so will I!