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China Girl blog 18th October 2018

Barely a ripple disturbs these autumn days. A sense of poignancy lingers in the still air, as the leaves silently drift to the ground.

This week has been pretty uneventful, cutting back the border and digging up plants which have outgrown their space. The Achillea grandiflora has gone, making room for some new plants. The tall six-foot achillea had spread imperceptibly over the years, and when removed it left a huge gap; Ma felt quite bereft without this beautiful thing.

For most of the week it rained on and off; Chris and Ma spent a day in the greenhouse potting on and sowing seeds, whilst I basked in my basket under the staging.

Owing to the rain, David couldn’t cut the yew hedges; he is set on clearing the barn of huge old rotten logs, which have been there for thirty years or more, taking up precious space. He and Rose laboured all day. At least everyone was in the dry including Shirley, who finished putting the tearoom to bed for winter.

On Saturday we had two people for the night; it was a birthday treat for one of the couple. Ma showed them round the house and when they left, they told Ma it was the best birthday they had ever had.

Poor Jan is away unwell; Ma dodges in and out of the office answering the phone, but as she is computer illiterate, we hope Jan won’t find a muddle when she returns.

From the continent we have had a swarm of European ladybirds, apparently blown off-course by the gale. We are told they kill our charming native ladybirds. In the middle ages, there was a swarm of aphids which decimated many plants and people prayed to the Mother of Jesus, Our Lady for help. Miraculously, the lovely little red-spotted insect appeared, eating all the aphids. Ever after they were known as Ladybirds, or so the ancient myth is told.

The October sunlight comes and goes, lighting  the grey days, leaving whisps of mist hanging in the damp air, like the spun silk of spiders’ webs.