I am sorry to say that nothing has helped my cold and I shall have to “sit it out” as they say. It seems to me that I have been using more idioms than usual lately, perhaps because they are so colourful and expressive. I was touched to hear Ekaterina say yesterday that she reads the diary faithfully in Russia, although I know that there are also readers in Georgia, Serbia, Romania and other countries. What can I tell you about today’s events? Well, I actually took a basket of laundry to use the washing machine that had been given to us. Mind you, it is not just a simple one, but has numerous settings and “bells and whistles” that had me quite confused. Nevertheless, I managed to accomplish the washing and to put everything into the matching dryer. What bothered me most was that others who have used it and, not knowing English very well, did an excellent job, while I, who supposedly am good in this language, find it difficult to follow instructions even if they are simple. Virgil and Valentina dropped in for a visit, bringing us sushi, not the usual type but deep fried and most tasty and, since it was accompanied with pickled ginger and wasabi sauce, I felt that it might help in my struggle with the cold. I brought out the chop sticks and tackled the sushi, finishing it in a matter of a few minutes. Perhaps it was greed on my part, but I felt that maybe the wasabi could help fight against the cold.