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China Girl blog 23rd January 2019

Mother says we are a product of our past, and the restless blood which runs in our veins influences what we do and what we are. The sweat and blood of history makes us constantly reach for new goals. But life it seems is a constant compromise; we dreamed that life is beauty only, and woke to find that life is duty.

This week has as usual, been a mixed bag. Cold weather, wet weather with hardly any sun; really the only plus Ma says, is that she is glad she is not in Mrs May’s shoes.

Surprisingly, the pruning of the climbing roses has sped along, thanks mostly to Chris as Rose is expecting her first baby so cannot climb ladders, and Ma’s sciatica makes climbing ladders slow progress. David and Shirley have finished pruning the Unicorn Avenue, lovely to have it looking so smart, The next big job is the oxbow, which we are all dreading. This means all hands on deck, or rather all Team Cothay on the steep banks.

Charlie’s husband James looked in on his way to a five-day course in Devon to learn how to fly his drone. Somewhat to our surprise, he showed us his new toy, which was no larger than a dinner plate and looked like a huge spider. He then demonstrated how to operate it but to Mother’s horror, he suggested the Great Hall would be an ideal place. We were very worried that it might hit some porcelain. However, all went well, it just landed in error on an ancient chair! To fly a drone commercially you are required to have a licence and know a great deal about air space. We hope he will pass the end of course exam.

On Saturday Mother and I went to Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair. A dealer had two cold-painted bronze insects for Mother’s collection, one tiny fly and an insect. They are about a hundred years old, rare and made in Austria. When one was on show at Christie’s in London, a bluebottle fly, so life-like that a porter brushed the tiny fly into a trash can.

Despite our biomass boiler, the cold manages to penetrate through the thick old walls; the north wind batters at the casements as we all put on our thermals and long johns. Whilst all over the garden, the snowdrops bow their lovely heads, waiting for the sun to shine.