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China Girl blog 11th October 2018

Mother says she thinks in heaven everything lasts forever, but not in the garden, for as the glorious hot summer passes, a mild autumn has begun and Team Cothay starts to put the garden to bed. Ma says the garden instils in you a sense of discipline and organisation as the seasons follow each other, so do the tasks.

This week we had two charming Australians to stay for the night. All went well until the boiler went out during the night, so no hot water for their morning ablutions. We said “Please God, don’t let anything else go wrong”, but of course these things always happen in threes. The breakfast sausages slid onto the floor and Ma dropped the last box of eggs, much to the delight of Billy the Labrador, who helped Ma clean up!

On Saturday amongst our dinner guests were our new neighbours from across the fields. They have bought Greenham Barton, said to be the last endangered medieval house in the West Country. They say it will take over a year to make the lovely old house, dating back in parts to the 12th century, habitable. Arabella, Ma’s eldest daughter did all the cooking, as Ma says she has forgotten how to cook; living alone she browses like a goose.

At this time of year, the glory of the gardens are the many beautiful trees; as the sugar level in the leaves drop, the process known as senescence begins, which is preparing the tree for dormancy. The leaves turn beautiful colours and fall to the ground, whirling and dancing, buffeted by the October winds. This autumn is said to be gloriously colourful due to last winter’s cold and the following hot summer- already the swamp Cyprus, the parrotias and the tulip tree are turning to amber and russet as the season marches on.

The golden days roll on like a whirligig of time as we snuggle down, preparing for winter.

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