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China Girl blog 15th May 2020

The countryside in May is an explosion of glorious green, and the May Queen is the personification of this moment. From one day to the next, suddenly everything has come to life, and once more hope for the future is everywhere. May weather is fickle and changeable; a glorious premonition of true summer for a spell, followed by a chilly blanket of cloud and cold wind.

Life here at Cothay drifts on day by day with little change. Mathew and Saskia never stop working – Saskia teaches on-line yoga, cooks wonderful lunches and helps in the garden in the afternoon, whilst Mathew makes delicious suppers, cuts down trees, mows and gardens. He set about clearing out the potting shed for the first time in nearly three decades and has left a sign on the wall which says ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’. Mother hardly dares enter! Next, he is going to start on the garage, and then the house… God help us!

A summer gale brought down a huge rotten elder on the river bank, luckily missing the more exotic specimens, laying as if with its back to the river, which for some reason reminded mother of when the last Moorish King was finally expelled from Spain after 500 years. As he crossed the Great Pass he looked back and wept, such was his love for his adopted country. Some say the shadow of sorrow is still felt across the pass.

Flowering in all their glory are the magnificent tree peonies. A huge double-blousy-pink one, reminiscent of an overblown barmaid; a pure white one like an ice maiden, a charming pale pink one like shot-silk, and the small wild yellow form, the colour of buttercups with  small delicate flowers half the size of the voluptuous hybrids.

We all wonder what will happen now lockdown is being eased. Will the whole world change their habits, or will we gradually drift back to our bad old ways.? We have no crystal ball, and so only time will tell.