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China Girl blog 5th September 2018

There is a sadness about the last time of everything, especially summer leaving behind a collage of memories and colour. September is a lovely month; the warmth lingers on as we strive to keep pace with early autumn. Glowing here and there and popping up in unexpected places are the white Japanese anemone, native to China and Japan; extremely hardy and once they are established, difficult to get rid of. At this time of year, they remind Mother of her lovely Japanese student Masaco, whose aim in life was to have an English garden in Japan, and to marry a handsome Englishman. One day she said to Ma, “You know we Japanese are the most sensitive people in the world.” Ma was astounded, replying “How do you account for all the atrocities committed during the last world war, the Burma Road, the terrible prison Changra, and many other atrocities?” To Ma’s amazement, the Second World War had been completely written out of Japanese education and Masaco, who was a graduate, knew nothing of the horrors committed during the war. One evening, Masaco, who took photographs of plants each day, showed Ma a plant. Ma replied “That is a Japanese anemone.” Much to her surprise, Masaco burst into tears, replying “We Japanese are not your enemies!” Darling Masaco would squat for hours weeding, and when anyone passed, would stand up and bow, saying “My name is Masaco, I am Japanese.” We all loved her and when she returned to her homeland, we missed her greatly. With her, she took many of our strange English habits!

Last week we had quite a few for bed & breakfast; two of the men arrived on enormous motorcycles, whilst their wives came in a vast electric car, which none of us had come across before.

Dearest and I went to stay with Ma’s number one son for the weekend. The M5 was choked with traffic, it took us four hours to do the normal journey of one and a half hours.  I spent most of Saturday sitting by our car just in case Ma forgot to take me home.

The fading summer beauty of nature wraps itself around Cothay, as the magic of the old house lingers in the September air, beguiling and ever present