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China Girl blog 26th July 2017

After the storm of last week, the garden is enfolded in light as we restore order. The worst destruction occurs when the trees are in full leaf, heavy with moisture from the rain. A great bough came off the Gymnocladus, which crashed onto the plants in the small garden below; yet another great part of the tulip tree was torn away. It took three days to restore order.

Rummaging through her memories, Ma told me of the time some years ago before I was even a twinkle in my Father’s eye about her parrot called Sophie and Ma wasn’t sure of this great bird’s gender. So she took it to the vet, who even when wearing gauntlets, was bitten; as his blood dripped down his shirt, he said “don’t bring it in here again!”  At all events, Sophie continued to live in the kitchen on top of her cage, flying in and out of the window at will. On one occasions she swooped down onto the shoulder of a visitor on the Tearoom terrace who was eating chocolate cake, which the parrot loved, refusing to leave him alone. Ma was summoned by his wife, who said “there is a seagull on my husband’s shoulder which every time he tries to shake her off, nips his ear!”  Ma, arrived to help as soon as Sophie saw her, she flew off, cackling like a demon with glee!  My Dearest Mother says I am a much more biddable companion.

We have a collection of Viticella clematis, a charming species of nodding flowers, flowering in late summer. Their charm lies in their delicate small flowers, scrambling throughout the garden.

What pleasures are memories, which like light and shade, flit through the passing years.