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China Girl blog 25th September 2019

Time runs on as the scent of early autumn lingers in the air, with the warm wind scattering the falling leaves. We look back with nostalgia at past months and past years.

With the rain beating down, Chris, Mother and I retired to the shelter of the greenhouse to pot on the cuttings. Chris and Mother talked of their childhoods, and how life had changed. Those were the days before television, penicillin, Polio shots, frozen foods, contact lenses, videos and the Pill. We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent and a Big Mac was an oversized raincoat. We existed before house husbands and computer dating; sheltered accommodation was where you waited for a bus and ‘Going all the way’ meant staying on a double decker bus to the terminus! Grass was mown, coke was kept in the coalhouse and a joint was a piece of meat you ate on Sundays. All of these and more, Mother has written up on a tea towel in her kitchen. How quickly life has changed.

Still in flower are the Cimicifuga simplex bug bane, native of Japan; the word cimicifuga means bug repellent. Flowering in a pot, the charming myrtle; in Greek and Roman antiquity, it was held to be sacred and was used as an emblem of love in wreaths and decorations.

Chris discovered that there is a hedgehog in the garden. Apparently, you can tell if you are lucky enough to have this enchanting animal in the garden, by its very distinctive droppings. At all events, Mother got very excited and puts out a plate of special hog food each night. Despite walking with a torch around midnight, she has failed to see this prickly little night wanderer; however, food is always gone by dawn.

Thinking again at the speed of change, we wondered if although life is easier than it was a hundred years ago? As I have said before, whether we are any happier, for we are never as happy as we would like to be, and never as unhappy as we think we are.