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China Girl blog 17th October 2019

What a melancholy time of year it is. October is usually a beautiful month, but this year the gulf stream has brought rain day after day; the pearl grey sky a giant shadow across the land.

As a result, little progress has been made on the yew hedges as they are too wet to cut; it is all very frustrating. Team Cothay, Chris, David, Marcus and Wesley brought in the heavy pots which contain half-hardy plants to the shelter of the greenhouse, all of which needed weeding before they were put to bed until the spring.

Last night Mother dreamed that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson came to tea with his dog, which turned out to be a black and white goat! All of this reminded Ma of when some years ago, Margaret Thatcher came to tea, brought by neighbours with whom she was staying. She arrived with two detectives, who had previously been to inspect us for security. We walked around the garden and Ma was a little nervous in case she tripped as she had high-heeled shoes on. Inside in the Great Hall, my Great Uncle Darlingboi, the resident Pekingese was ensconsed on the sofa. Mrs T sat down beside him and proceeded to feed him expensive biscuits which Ma had bought from Fortnum & Mason. Mother said the dog had not long been fed, to which Mrs T replied “You can see he’s very hungry” and carried on feeding him with the Fortnams biscuits! Ma remarked that she thought Mrs T had stayed at Cothay when the previous owner, an MP lived here, to which she replied “Certainly not, he was a dreadful man!” Ma felt sad when Mrs T said how lonely she was without her husband. He was, she said, the golden thread that ran through her life.

Flowering are the autumn crocus, their lovely pale blue petals like the summer butterflies Holly blue, drifting in the breeze.

What a secure possession the past is, so many memories which run through our lives, an echo of the past, these joyful memories cannot be spoilt or impaired, they are with us forever…