Friday, 11 April 2008


I can't wait to be able to get my photos onto my computer - am still waiting for the computer to be returned to normal.

When we arrived in Shaoxing it was only weeks after they had had a snow and very cold winter, and all the trees were without leaves, and the place looked brown, barren and boring. Even then though, there was colour as the gardeners who work from a small plot near the foreign teachers apartments, kept bringing out pots of colour as I have described previously. And they worked laboriously to ensure that all was taken care.

They weeded, they changed the pots and the colours changed. When the weather started to warm up green shoots appeared on the trees and hedges, and not long after rainbows of colour from the various trees and shrubs. The college now looks spectacular, but I know in a few weeks time it will be even more so when the gardenias, and the azaleas are in full bloom. I can see the buds. It is exciting.

Overnight there are great changes - trees are removed and replaced, and the lawn grass around the tree is returned to it is hard to know that there was ever any activity. I have a photo of 7 men and women weeding between the pavers of the car park opposite the apartments.

Down below a "horse" has appeared. Four bushes have been planted and trimmed - and it looks like a horse or donkey eating the lawn. It is a bit spindly yet, but the form of the animal is quite clear. I am sure when the leaves grow and fill in the spaces it will be fantastic. I don't know the reason for the horse to be there, but that is the way it is!

Looking out from the fourth floor of the number eight building there is a spectacular view. Several hundred cherry trees are in bloom, with the green foliage appearing to grow as one watches. Oh, to be able to show you some photographs!

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