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China Girl blog 8th August 2019

Dearest Mother has been away for a week in Italy. When she came home yesterday evening, she felt that the house enfolded her in its arms, and all once more was peace, the long dead of the past welcoming her back. I was cross that Ma had been away for six days, so she let me sleep on her bed. All is now well in our world.

Ma said her return was fraught with trials. Having flown to Birmingham from Italy with the Arwrights who had been lent a lovely house in the hills south of Florence; it was a farm house, converted with great charm. Nothing though could lessen the intense heat, which made it hard to move; luckily there was a beautiful swimming pool.

Arriving at Birmingham station, Ma discovered that for some reason all the trains travelling past Bristol had been cancelled and people were then being bussed to their final destination. The guard on the train (who looked like The Fat Controller) took pity on Ma when she said she was ill, nearly a hundred years old and would be unable to get home if she went on a coach. To her complete amazement, he phoned Bristol and when Ma arrived, she was met by the Station Master, who had arranged for a taxi to take her to Tiverton Parkway station. When she alighted from the train she discovered that she had been travelling first class! At all events, the kind taxi man took her home – Ma gave him a huge tip!

August, Ma always thinks of as the beginning of Autumn, which it was in the old Julien calendar. The birds are moulting and have stopped singing, the garden slowly fades, its former glory but a memory. At this time of year a few plants come into their own. The Indian bean tree, the Catalpa, is a show-stopper in the garden. Whilst the shy unusual yellow Nepeta govaniana, native of the Himalayas which grows in open woodland, is a sweetly-scented aromatic plant of great beauty. Here it grows in Emily’s Garden, where all the plants are yellow and white.

The annuals are a must for August. Many people don’t bother with them, but here they fill the gaps when the perennials have faded. One of Ma’s favourites are the Cleomes, native of Brazil and Argentina. A tall annual of many lovely colours popped in here and there, which gives interest; known as the Spider plant. In the wild they will grow to two metres, but sadly in England they don’t seem to make half of that.

The dreamy August days drift by, as we start to cut the yew hedges. How fast the months fly by, the wind whispering softly as the summer days fade in the shimmering heat.

Dearest Mother has been away for a week in Italy. When she came home yesterday evening, she felt that the house enfolded her in its arms, and all once more was peace; the long dead of the past welcoming her back. I was cross that Ma had been away for six days, so she let me sleep on her bed. All is now well in our world.
Ma said her return was fraught with trials. Having flown to Birmingham from Italy with the Arwrights who had been lent a lovely house in the hills south of Florence; it was a farm house, converted with great charm. Nothing though could lessen the intense heat, which made it hard to move; luckily there was a beautiful swimming pool.
Arriving at Birmingham station, Ma discovered that for some reason all the trains travelling past Bristol had been cancelled and people were then being bussed to their final destination. The guard on the train (who looked like The Fat Controller) took pity on Ma when she said she was ill, nearly a hundred years old and would be unable to get home if she went on a coach. To her complete amazement, he phoned Bristol and when Ma arrived, she was met by the Station Master, who had arranged for a taxi to take her to Tiverton Parkway station. When she alighted from the train she discovered that she had been travelling first class! At all events, the kind taxi man took her home – Ma gave him a huge tip!
August, Ma always thinks of as the beginning of Autumn, which it was in the old Julien calendar. The birds are moulting and have stopped singing, the garden slowly fades, its former glory but a memory. At this time of year a few plants come into their own. The Indian bean tree, the Catalpa, is a show-stopper in the garden. Whilst the shy unusual yellow Nepeta govaniana, native of the Himalayas which grows in open woodland, is a sweetly-scented aromatic plant of great beauty. Here it grows in Emily’s Garden, where all the plants are yellow and white.
The annuals are a must for August. Many people don’t bother with them, but here they fill the gaps when the perennials have faded. One of Ma’s favourites are the Cleomes, native of Brazil and Argentina. A tall annual of many lovely colours popped in here and there, which gives interest; known as the Spider plant. In the wild they will grow to two metres, but sadly in England they don’t seem to make half of that.
The dreamy August days drift by, as we start to cut the yew hedges. How fast the months fly by, the wind whispering softly as the summer days fade in the shimmering heat.

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