Spring is definitely on its way, at last. In the last week, we’ve had some very misty mornings followed by cold, bright days. The earth is beginning to warm up; flowers are pushing their way to the light, and trees are beginning to bud.
I’m finally able to breathe a little; the last few weeks have been very, very hard work. I don’t mind working long hours when it’s constructive; I definitely object when it’s to clear up someone else’s mess, with no thanks for it.
Still, this afternoon I got out into the garden. I’ve got two more fruit trees on the way to me for planting – heritage Welsh strains of a damson plum and an ordinary plum – as well as two fragrant climbing roses for hedging.
I managed to get a few minutes with my new shashka – yes, I gave in and bought one! It’ll take a while to get back to the fluency I had in Beijing, and more to get to the standard of the woman in the video I posted, but I’ll get there. This Weaponedge shashka handles very well, I have to say. I suspect I’ll wind up with a second, to train double-handed.
In the late afternoon I walked to a nearby village (the one with the church dedicated to Hilarion). It was a beautiful day, with warm sunshine causing me to sweat as I walked along the Roman road, and through ancient sunken lanes. I had a couple of pints as I read the Times, and then came back the same way, the road illuminated by stars and a waxing moon in the cloudless sky. I found that yiquan’s mo ca bu worked rather better than bagua tang ni bu on the broken ground in the half-light…