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China Girl blog 30th August 2017

The days of pure delight have passed; the fleeting perfection and tantalising ability to delight of the summer garden lingers gently on. With the fading of beauty, summer passes, the golden days are over. Silken petals are still faintly visible, retaining their past glory, evoking their glorious perfection.

With Rose and Chris away on their summer break, Mother has been hard-pushed to keep her head above water; there is always so much to do.

We had a surprise visitor to the Reflection Pool in front of the house when a cormorant with its great webbed feet, sat down on a rock for some hours. I kept well away, for fear I might be a snack as these voracious large-beaked reptilian birds can consume more than their weight in fish in one day. I saw it was twice my size and kept my distance. Another rare bird, a hobby, a bird of prey came swooping over the lower lake, taking its favourite food of dragonflies. Hobbies seem to fly for sheer joy, tumbling and gliding upside down, and amazing bird which can take an unaware swallow on the wing. Again I spent most of the day in safety in the greenhouse.

Two architects spent Thursday and Friday measuring and drawing to scale the house, in readiness for filming Dr Doolittle next year. Perhaps I will be given a part in the film as Dr Dolittle’s friends were mostly animals. Mother said “dream on” as I never seem to do what I am told!

In late summer, as you walk up the old stone path to the front door, the scent of the late-flowering Lavender Hidcote giant fills the air as you brush against its pale blue spikes, scattering the busy bees gathering nectar. When the flowers fade, we cut the lavender; putting it on the Great Hall fire, the air is scented with its sweet scent as it burns.

Ma’s favourite single rose Rosa Chinensis mutalilis is again in flower; as the flower changes from pink to apricot, a glorious sight almost dream-like in it ethereal beauty.

The past is a force in our lives, how lovely life can be when all goes well

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