The leaves of the big linden tree in the center of our yard are turning yellow in a peculiar pattern, like a separate splash in the middle.

I like autumn, especially its first calm and sunny part, but I am somewhat annoyed when its signs start showing while it is still summer. Especially this year when summer seems to be so short: for most of June it was too chilly for the season, and now it has been cooling since mid-August.

My pink siningia recovered after I saved it from the mites and the tiny slugs, and it started blooming.

Soon after I took this picture, I accidentally broke the fragile flowering stem while moving the pot. I put it in water, hoping that maybe it could grow roots. At least, in this way the blooms could be preserved for some time.

Some of my friends often cut flowers from their gardens to decorate their homes. I don’t understand this; to me, living flowers are precious as they are, so I would never cut them on purpose if they were healthy.

Krasivcho keeps showing up for breakfast almost every morning. Yesterday he even came a second time, just a couple of hours later – it happens very rarely. I’ve noticed that he does this when the weather gets chillier; I guess it is normal, I feel hungrier too when temperatures start to drop.

Our daily chess games go on. Boris keeps finding out about new unusual ways to play (or he makes them up himself); he always wants to try them out but I resist. It is hard enough for me to play standard chess with him now, as he is getting better all the time. I still managed to win once on Thursday, for the first time in a long while. I generally do not mind losing, but if it happens all the time (in a crushing way) I start losing motivation altogether, so it gave me some hope that it was even possible for me to defeat him. Of course, Boris was not happy, and he soon got his revenge.

He often achieves promotion; when he gets a second queen, he takes a pebble out of the fountain to signify it instead of the pawn, to avoid confusion (darker pebble for a black queen or lighter for a white one).

When I complained once again about feeling hopeless about the play, he suggested that if I surrendered we might switch places and keep playing. So we did; it turned out interesting, and it makes me feel better after all.

I have a new fascinating read, “The Henna Artist” – a novel set in Jaipur, India, in the middle of the last century.

It has been a long time since I found a book that was hard to put down. A curious coincidence: at the same time, I was talking to Mani, a friend who is a henna artist, arranging a joint photoshoot of a model adorned with her designs, styled with my jewelry and some clothes from my selection.

We bonded with Mani seven years ago while we all stayed at Villa Incognito, an incredible place at the seaside which unfortunately no longer exists (at least not in this form). She painted me with her designs, I made love beads necklaces for her and for/with her two little girls, and Nick made cool photos. We all just chilled out together, enjoying each other’s company… Magical times!

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