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China Girl blog 19th April 2017

The past is a powerful sentiment. These old houses which have stood for hundreds of years have a timeless universal appeal; like old moss-covered grave stones, their chiselled lettering faintly visible. As time goes on and slowly passes, we who live here will also become invisible and mute, like the wingless angels carved high in the timbered roof of the Great Hall, watching over future generations.

As all events these April days have defied the usual pattern of April showers, with no rain and no wind, the glorious tulips in the meadow are still in full bloom. In the containers, the flowers are yellow and white, the colours of Easter vestments.

Dearest Mother was visited by a bulb specialist from Holland; they discussed the wonder of tulip breeding. It takes some twenty years to produce a new tulip from seed. Tulips have been grown in Holland for hundreds of years on the reclaimed land. From the sea almost pure sand, which emulates the soil in which they naturally grow in central Asia, the Transcaucasia, Iran, Turkey and other far-off places on the other side of the world. The Dutch are the largest growers in the world of these charismatic bulbs, producing 95% of the world’s tulips.

As we went about our Easter duties, the church bells rang out across the valley. We prayed in the small Oratory, which sits above the front door, for our friends and for peace in far-off lands.