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China Girl blog 20th February 2019

 Shaking off the echoes of centuries of travellers that have passed through the old house, they leave no footprints, no sign is left of their passage but a faint sense of their once lives lingers in the air, like the passing of winter.

As the days grow longer, life in the garden begins to stir. Rose and Ma worked in the herbaceous border, Ma under the yew hedge on her hands and knees trying to pull out all the ivy, whilst Rose dug and weeded.

David worked in the arboretum, determined to rid the trees of the ivy, which spoils the look of the trees. We hope that with all the work done over the past year, the summer visitors will enjoy walking in the area now that you can see the lovely specimen trees.

Chris and Wesley pruned the wisteria using the cherry picker; Ma has only been up in it once, and said never again!

The illustrator Leo Hartas came over to take pictures of the garden; he is going to draw a fun map with all his joyous drawings, rather like Winnie the Poo’s map of The Hundred Acre Wood.

Ma panicked last week when she turned the hot tap on and no water came out; she immediately called Guy, her most favourite plumber with a magic touch. Guy walked into the kitchen, turned on the tap and lo and behold, hot water gushed out!

Coming into flower under the tulip trees is a white & purple mass of crocus, originating from as far away as central Asia and many parts of Europe; they are much-loved by our sparrows, who love to eat them.

Ma and I stayed the weekend in Warwickshire at Hatton, where Ma’s daughter Arabella lives with Johnny, her husband. Stacey Dooley, the TV presenter was making a documentary about people who live and work in the country. I was filmed dozens of times sitting on Ma’s knees. They seemed to think I was cute, we didn’t think they had ever seen a dog from China before. The film crew stayed for four days; Arabella kicked Ma under the table when Stacey Dooley asked Ma what she had been like as a child!

The only movement in the mild February air is the rustle of the tall poplar, Populus tremula as they gently sway in the breeze