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China Girl blog 20th June 2018

As the June days drift by, the still June air is full of the sound of bees; summer is passing as swiftly as a dream, how lovely are these fragile days.

Flora, one of Ma’s grandchildren, stayed for a week whilst her mother was in Scotland with James, her new handsome husband. They spent all their days fishing; in Scotland there is a law dictating that all the salmon caught must be put back into the river. Ma is too impatient to fish; she says she must give off some pheromones, as every midge within miles comes to bite her.

Last week, preparation for the Plant and Food Fair took up much of everyone’s waking hours, together with the endless watering of the turf laid by the film company. The great day arrived, along with a mild drizzle and some sunshine. Most of the forty stand holders seemed to have a successful day, especially Ma’s favourite nursery, Hidden Valley from Devon.  Ma bought six glorious new plants from them which she couldn’t resist, despite having no room for them, or so she said! Dearest also bought a cardigan from Mary Davis; she really is weak-minded when it comes to Mary’s lovely knitwear.

Vivien collected all the left-over plants used in the Dr Dolittle film. She cut them back and cared for them and her small grandsons sold them at the fair, taking over £200, which will be used for the staff Christmas party.

The sadness of the weekend was Nutmeg, the lovely terrier, who at 16 years of age, was finding life a struggle. She belonged to Ma’s number two son Mathew, but lived here at Cothay. At all events, she is now in dog heaven, above the bright blue sky; we mourn her passing.

As the summer days draw on, Midsummer Day is a blink away. When in early medieval times, on this day, which is the Feast of St John the Baptist, the rent payable for Cothay’s land was a rose and a pair of silver spurs. How life has changed from hundreds of years ago.