Annie has been waiting patiently for news about the boxes she has sent to us of woollens for the children in the orphanage in Ghor. Today I got news from Ghor that five of the boxes have arrived, filled with hats and socks and gloves and scarves. We've just had a very cold snap, bringing lot of snow to Ghor (some of my colleagues have been stuck up there for almost a week). So these woollies have arrived in time to make a real difference. If you made a contribution to Annie's boxes then know that they are now in situ and will be ably distributed (no doubt more efficiently than I managed) by Magnea and Julija (of Iceland and Lithuania respectively). For those of you who made financial contributions, I am planning to use that money for school supplies. I think that Annie pulled together nine boxes of woollens, so that ground should be well covered. The Director of the orphanage specifically asked me for notebooks and pencils/pens etc. I feel pretty sure that you would all be happy with that, no? Also on the theme of patience rewarded, I have been patiently popping into Jolissa's blog (Busytown) over recent months waiting for her to decide it is time to return to the screen. This week I found her there in vintage Jolissa form. If you haven't read Busytown before then I recommend a visit. Jolissa is the older sister of a dear friend, and when I met her in person during a visit to New York four years ago (to celebrate my 30th birthday) I discovered a woman of intelligence, warmth, and wit. Her blog covers the many facets of the life of a writer and scholar with two small children, living far from her home country and family. All that with a sense of humour, curiosity and fun. Oh yes, my patience has been rewarded. I've been indulging in lots of blog exploration this morning, it is a little bit like my equivalent of strolling through town, stopping into inspiring independent art galleries and bookstores. Also this morning I started playing with my new pencils, in my new journal. I have never in my life tried drawing, but with the Commander's encouragement and the help of a book from his mother, I'm having a go. So far, so much fun!