Sunday, 10 February 2013

China and the year of the snake


Today is the start of the Chinese Year of the Snake. There are several different snakes, Metal Snakes, Water Snakes, Wood Snakes, Fire Snakes and Earth Snakes. 2013 is the year of the Water Snake. Water Snakes are influential and insightful. They are motivated and intellectual. Very determined and resolute about success. They are affectionate with their families and friends but do not show this side of their personalty to colleagues or business partners. The last Water Snake year was 1953.
Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve.
The only snake we have in the house is this one on a Portuguese Palissy Majolica tobacco jar made around 1860. I am not keen on snakes so this one spends his time looking at the wall, I prefer to view the other side of the jar....
....showing a frog and a moth.
China Town, London via wikipedia
The top London auction houses are doing very well, thank you, even though we have a credit crunch. The shops on Bond Street could be struggling, but are not. Designer gear and luxury handbags are flying out of the doors. All of this is as a result of the mighty tiger’s roar from China.
Huge tourist groups are arriving in this year of the snake to snap up anything, the sky is the limit.
I am finding it difficult to comprehend. H and I visited China in the early 1980s, before tourism had gained a foothold. H was invited by the Chinese Government to advise them on their maritime shipping and environment problems.
Chairman Mao had only been dead a few years, and his crystal coffin could be seen in his mausoleum in Tiananmen Square.
Everyone still wore little Chairman Mao suits in various shades of navy blue, or khaki green, pudding basin haircuts were de’rigueur, and the most common form of travel was on a bicycle.
There was absolutely no private car ownership, all taxis and cars belonged to the Government. The official cars were rather quaint with sets of curtains all around the back and side windows, so that no one could see you.
my snapshot taken in Beijing
We were there for a month, and during that time they looked after us kindly and graciously, but if H had been a chicken he would have been plucked bare, they wanted every single bit of knowledge he could give them. They were consummate absorbers of his expertise and squeezed him dry.
Whilst H was working, the government would send a young student learning English to accompany me on outings along with a government driver. They kindly took me all over Beijing and the surrounding area - I saw Peking man, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Beihai Park, and the Lama Temple.
A bust of Peking Man on display at Zhoukoudian via wikipedia
When H had a free day, a leading Government official in the Environment field took us to the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall. As we talked to him we began to realise how little we actually understood what life in China then was really like. He was married to a scientist whom he had not seen for four years. She had been delegated to work in Baghdad by the government - no choice was given - you had to do as you were commanded. His two children, I think the one child policy did not apply to high officials, were living in the country with grandparents, and he very rarely saw them. I learnt that one of the students who accompanied me had grown up in the countryside where his parents kept pigs who shared their small accommodation with them. I really admired the fact that he had succeeded in getting to university, and was learning to be a translator. I couldn't help but compare him with my sons who both had their own rooms in which to do their studies. He lived in a dormitory with other workers, and everything, his welfare, health, food, etc were all courtesy of the particular government department he worked for. In China, if you did not work you were excluded from everything.
I snapped these little toddlers all strung up together with their minder in the grounds of the Summer Palace. Their care would come with their parents job - part of the package. Just after this I saw something that really shocked me. A group of old ladies came down the palace steps with bound feet. Their feet were about 15 cms long, they must have been the last of their generation to have bound feet.
We travelled many miles on an overnight steam train to Qingdao, a hair raising plane flight to Shanghai, then on to Hangzhou before finally returning to Beijing. Everywhere we went we were treated like royalty - shown all of the sites, treated with kindness, and given some wonderful banquets.
It is very difficult for us to envisage the huge changes that have occurred in China since our visit less than 30 years ago. The China that we saw is already history.
At some stage, I will do another post on a few of our adventures in Qingdao, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.
Tree banners

74 comments:

  1. Hi Rosemary. Very interesting to hear your impressions of China. I visited 6 years ago when my ex husband worked there. We spent time with a local family and it was fascinating to get an insight into their lives.
    I hate snakes but love frogs. My mum collected frog ornaments. She said it was because she had mistakenly put one through the wringer of the washing machine and always felt guilty! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is funny that we like frogs because they have a similar type of skin to snakes, however, I do not like to touch frogs either. I do, because I pop them in my pond if they seem to be having trouble getting in.
      There is so much more to learn about China in the "under-layers" which we are not necessarily privy to.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful post and insight! Happy Year of the Snake to you! We went into London yesterday to ride the London Eye at night - we hadn't done that before & it was breathtaking. But now I am kicking myself that we didn't pop over to Chinatown as well - that would have been a wonderful sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Chinese Year to you to.
      I shall look forward to seeing your reflections and photos of your London Eye night time experience.
      You can add Chinatown to your list for another day, however, today I expect there will be dragons etc cavorting around.

      Delete
  3. Such a beautiful post Rosemary. Overhere chinees new year was celebrated in Den Haag. It's always a beautiful parade with lots of colors.
    Have a wonderful sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marijke - my best wishes to you and your family at this Chinese New Year period.
      I wonder if you saw the parade, and have some photos, love to see them if you have.
      Take care Marijke.

      Delete
  4. An interesting post today Rosemary !You tell us yours experiences 30 years before .
    But now the changes are different . That the way that they called "Chinese Tiger".
    They were developed very quickly at all levels, particularly in the conquest of the world market. I have visited the China Town in London, it has its own character. And I hate the snakes, I have never seen closed by me !
    Have a wonderful Sunday !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olympia - yes, the mighty roar of the Chinese tiger has changed the country, and possibly the world forever. When I see Beijing and Shanghai on the TV now with streets full of leading stores from Europe and people driving big expensive cars, it is difficult for me to comprehend how things could have changed so quickly.
      Take care and thank you for your visit.

      Delete
  5. What a fascinating post. My husband, born in South Africa, is visiting there now - for the first time in 50 years, and of course is finding immense changes! The world changes faster than we can keep up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be interesting to learn his reaction when he returns.

      Delete
    2. Hello Rosemary, I very much like your Palissy tobacco jar. If it were mine, I would alternate the visible side on display. I once came upon an entire display of Palissy-type majolica, and it appealed to my sense of fun. I was going to add a couple of their snake platters to my last post, but decided to wait for another day.

      You were lucky to get such a good look at China in that crossroads period, as well as to have had such privileged access. It is hard to imagine living in a society where such basic liberties are so restricted.
      --Road to Parnassus

      Delete
    3. Hello Jim -I wrote about the majolica tobacco jar here, you might be interested to read about it.
      http://wherefivevalleysmeet.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/darwin-tobacco-jar.html
      As a result of that post I was contacted by someone doing research into majolica who is working with the curator of the Ceramics Museum of Caldas da Rainha where my pot was made. There may or may not be some interesting news about it in the future. It was made by the artist Manuel Mafra who was the most well known ceramicist in Portugal in the mid 19th century.
      We were fortunate to visit China when we did, but we had no idea at that time that it would change so rapidly. People were very eager to ask us questions and hear our opinions, and also to have the opportunity of speaking to us in English.

      Delete
  6. Great post of your stay in China. Wonderful memories to have of such a different China of today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - we never imagined that it would change so quickly and rapidly.

      Delete
  7. Can't help it but when I think of China, the Tienanmen Square massacre always comes in mind. It made such an impression on me at that time, maybe because I was a last year student myself then. Just terrible what happened there then.
    The experience you had 30 years ago must have been overwhelming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiananmen Square invokes terrible images and yet another tragic footnote in China's history. I remembering watching it too and being gripped by fear for the lives of those brave students.

      Delete
  8. These are fantastic vases. Unique designs.

    Greetings,
    Filip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The vase is an inherited family piece.

      Delete
  9. Your post of a China long since gone is fascinating! Amazing to think how much it has changed... thank you for sharing your experience. Would you go back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you have put me on the spot Nat, I have not even thought about returning. Probably not, as I wouldn't want to make the long journey again, and also the comparisons would probably be too big. I am glad I saw it when I did, but I assume that life for the average Chinese must be better now. They couldn't travel anywhere then and the world outside China was an unknown quantity. H and I had a 'minder' with us for the entire time we were there.

      Delete
  10. What a great post. Thanks very much for sharing this. Just a pleasure.

    We studied Bernard Palissy when in Art College so I was pleased I recognized the style after all these years ;-) A family heirloom to cherish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is really interesting that you recognised the majolica ware. It is considered by some to be gross and others think it is wonderful. To me it is a piece that I treasure because of the family heritage.

      Delete
  11. I will watch this space in anticipation of more blogs on China as I have put a deposit on a trip there for two weeks in October.
    This year we will have three little snake grandchildren born into our family - auspicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is exciting - everyone needs to visit China if they can. I feel the same about India too, but have not managed it myself so far. I am getting to the stage when long flights are not to my liking.
      I remember you saying that you had three new grandchildren arriving this year, how exciting is that. They are an absolute joy - happy days ahead for you.

      Delete
  12. I'm not sure I'd be happy about seeing a snake in my house, mind you if it goes in the pot them the wisdom proves itself. Snake soup anyone?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You wont find a snake recipe in the average cookbook. Apparently it tastes somewhere between chicken and fish in texture and flavour. Fortunately we were not offered snake, but we were offered sea slug - I think I would rather have snake!!!

      Delete
  13. Every new years eve I take out my little red book with chinese astrology to find out about the coming year. I don't believe in astrology, western or eastern, but it's a cozy tradition from my younth when I might believed or wanted to belive in it. China for me is like Mars. I know nothing about the country, except from small bits and pieces here and there, like everybody else I suppose. How exiting to have been there Rosemary! So many unique impressions and memories!

    Let's hope the year of the Water Snake will be a good year : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You sum up the feelings about visiting China very well Demie - it is out there somewhere, we know a bit about it, but as you mention it might as well be Mars.
      I do not particularly like snakes but lets hope it is a good year anyway Demie♥

      Delete
  14. I think there can be few countries which have changed so massively in the past 30 years, Rosemary. thanks for this fascinating glimpse of the biggest country in the world and its amazing history and culture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post started life as a Happy Chinese New Year greeting but along the journey lots of memories came flooding back.

      Delete
  15. dear Rosemary! thank you so much for this insightful and informative entry (I really liked your intro to the new Chinese year) and I have enjoyed your story about your Chinese people encounters; wishing you a great new week, sunny greetings from tulipland!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jana - I wonder if you have sun or snow in tulipland at the moment? The snow seems to have passed us by although I think there is plenty of it still settling in some countries.
      I am pleased that you enjoyed the post about our trip to China, although it was many years ago. It was a journey that is still as vivid as when we made it.

      Delete
  16. Interesting post, Rosemary. China has changed a lot over the years and it somehow seems to have been able to create a new empire, by being able to balance Communism and Capitalism! How did they do that? How I would like to have a chat with Carl Marx about this subject!

    There are a lot of Chinese people living all over Italy. They work very hard, love family life, and keep to themselves.

    Your photos are very colourful, Rosemary. I remember being in NY for the Chinese New Year: so colourful! Whereas China Town in Manhattan is touristy, Brooklyn China Town is really like a little China: no English spoken, lots of food shops and fishmongers (They even sell live frogs!) So wonderful, being able to plunge yourself into another world, just like that!

    I sometimes see snakes at my house in Cilento, Italy. They scare me, but not as much as mice! Good to know snakes bring luck!

    CIAO!

    ANNA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anna - my impression is that Beijing today is pretty much like any of the other big cities of the world, who would believe that things could change so rapidly. I have pictures of the centre of Shanghai that would be unrecognisable to the young men and women walking around there today. The Chinese as a nation are hardworking and industrious, and look how quickly they managed to perfect sports in the Olympics that were new to them. Even people that we met in the countryside well away from the big towns were able to speak English.
      I don't mind snakes really or mice for that matter, but would not want them in the house - that would be too awful to contemplate.
      Thanks Anna glad that you found the post interesting.
      Ciao♥
      I wonder if you will be seeing Val whilst she is in Norwich?

      Delete
    2. I will see Val if she comes this way, as her course has been moved to another venue, in Yarmouth. I think Val will come to see the really pretty part of Norfolk, and Norwich, in which case we will surely meet up.

      She has my number and will contact me, I'm sure!

      PS: How about the Pope resigning? Why couldn't it have been Lego man head Berlusconi? The idiot never gives up!


      CIAO!

      ANNA

      Delete
    3. Dear Anna - I personally think that it was wise for the Pope to resign, he is obviously not up to the job anymore. In fact he has looked pretty weak for a while. A more robust character must be needed to lead their flock.
      Berlusconi is the come back kid, come back, come back and come back again!!! Some people never learn that they are not wanted.
      If you do see Val say hello to her from me.
      Cheers Anna and take care.

      Delete
  17. An interesting post, Rosemary. As you can imagine we see a lot of Chinese buyers at antiques fairs in the UK. My friend visited China last year & noticed that there is a young population in the cities, growing richer, but still a poor peasant population, and also few people will talk openly about the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Nilly - when we were there it had not been so many years since the writing on the wall protest known as the Beijing Spring. Young men were particularly eager to talk us. They wanted to know how things were done in the outside world, and to have our opinions. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the young people today do not know fully their history and what happened under Mao. It is something that has been buried. It is still necessary for the population to be careful what they say and do, people still disappear. Look what happened as recently as 2011 to the artist Ai Weiwei who made the pile of ceramic sunflower seeds.

      Delete
  18. Fascinating. My husband went in 1997 and even then the China he saw was beginning to disappear. He was most struck by how totally "foreign" it was. He was endlessly intrigued but found that he had none of the landmarks and insights which you find travelling in Europe as a result of a shared culture. These even bleed out into other parts of the world because I suppose of colonialism. China was a different world to him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a really interesting observation Elizabeth. Your preconceived ideas, opinions and values are confronted daily whilst travelling in China. When we went the word 'holiday' did not exist but I did not realise before we arrived. I wondered what they thought of me travelling around with my husband for a month. Even little things like climbing up a mountain was completely different. We were told one Sunday that they would take us walking up a mountain, and I remarked that I had not bought any walking boots. They waved their hands and said my shoes were fine. Walking up mountains in China consists of following a good stone path and steps from the bottom of the mountain to the top and then down the other side in the same fashion.

      Delete
  19. Very interesting post! It seems that half the articles in Women's Wear Daily now are about the Chinese market, and what the Chinese are buying, and who's opening new stores in Beijing. How things change. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I visited they had no interest in buying anything apart from getting enough food for themselves and their families to eat.

      Delete
  20. Dear Rosemary,
    What an interesting post. A way of life in Beijing that is now for the most part a thing of the past.
    I wonder whether some people miss those days?
    My grandfather lives in China in the 1900s and later in the 1920s - mostly in Hong Kong and in Shanghai. It was a completely different world back then too - exciting but often rather dangerous!
    I would love to visit those Ming tombs.
    Kirk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Kirk - I think Shanghai is also unrecognisable. When we were there it was still possible to see old men walking along the main streets wheeling old bikes which held their cages containing singing birds and crickets.
      The Ming tombs are certainly a big attraction, situated in an incredible site a good distance away from Beijing. They take a whole day to visit with an early start. Two of the 13 tombs are open, the Dingling tomb of the 13th Ming emperor which took 600,000 labourers six years to complete, and the Changling tomb - the first and largest of the Ming tombs which took 28 years to complete.

      Delete
  21. Hello, Rosemary! My second and third grandchild are going to be born into the year of snake. I hope they’d be blessed with the luck of water snake as you introduced here. Though I get the creeps to see a real snake, I’m okay with sanke design or hearing about a snake. It would be shocking to witness the reality of China. In ancient times, Japan absorbed a lot from China, but for today I can only wonder if communism and capitalism can coexist in one country.

    I’m back to blogging again for about two weeks. During my absence, you posted a lot! I really liked “An Arts and Crafts church.”

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Yoko - I am pleased that you liked the post on the Arts and Crafts church, it really is a little gem and sits in such a pretty spot.
      I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding communism and capitalism coexisting in one country - the philosophies and ideologies surrounding each do not sit comfortably with on another.
      How lovely to be expecting two more grandchildren, what a lot of pleasure and delight for you to look forward to this year.

      Delete
  22. Hello Rosemary:
    How absolutely amazing to have spent time in China, as you did, all those years ago and to have those experiences to draw upon. It is indeed one of the most mysterious of countries, even today, and to have had the opportunity of seeing so much of it as it was is something which will never leave you. We have a Norwegian friend here, of about our age, who grew up in China where her parents were missionaries.

    AS it happened we celebrated the Chinese New Year with friend Richard in some style last Saturday night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jane and Lance - I realise with hindsight that we were fortunate to visit China when we did - little did we realise how quickly everything would change. Our perceptions were confronted daily having grown up in such a different culture - that was a big revelation to us. We had a young interpreter with us when we were in Qingdao whom I spoke to in private. She told me that she had wanted to be a language school teacher, but no, she was directed hundreds of miles from her community to live in Qingdao as an interpreter. That is just one example of how controlling the State is and how there was no freedom of choice.
      However, we were lucky to see so much and have such wonderful experiences to remember.

      Delete
  23. Dear Rosemary - I very much appreciate the sharing of your interesting experiences. It's so special to have memories of places that have since undergone such complete evolution and change. I visited Taiwan in the early 1960's, but was before the United States had relations with China. American tourists were not only restricted from visiting mainland China, we were also restricted from buying anything in Taiwan that may have come from China, and that included especially antiques.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mark - your trip to Taiwan must have been very interesting too - perhaps you could tell us about it sometime. Remembering and thinking about our trip to China has reminded me of so many unusual and at times strange experiences we had, which I have enjoyed reflecting on. I must get out my old photo albums and see what else I can put together.

      Delete
  24. Your post has reminded me of how thankful I am to have been born in Canada, where I enjoy and celebrate so much freedom; as a woman, as a person, as a parent, as a nature lover and the list goes on. Your description of the memories of your trip sound as if they had a strong impact on you just as China's changes and its future will have a huge impact on all our lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really admire the Chinese peoples resilience and the way they strive as individuals. When you think about their history they have been dominated always - life was not so different for them under the Emperors.
      We should be thankful for our freedom to do as we wish within the law, be grateful that we live in comfortable warm homes, and have medical care and education for all at our disposal. We have choice and are fortunate.

      Delete
  25. Your account of your month in China in the 1980s is most interesting and I hope you will write some more about that time. I have made friends with some Chinese families in this city. The young women are here with their husbands who are usually doing research at the university for a short time. They make the most of their time here because they will return to a more restricted society. It's usually difficult to keep up the contact when they return.
    I find your majolica piece fascinating despite the snake ornamentation. It's interesting to know that other cultures view the snake in a different way as I'm not keen on snakes.
    (Excuse my original attempt at commenting, which I have deleted).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Linda - I am so pleased that you came back as I thought I might have deleted you by mistake. I answered your comment and then deleted it to change some wording and when I came back your comment had gone.
      What I was saying is that in the 1980s these young women would not have been allowed to accompany their husbands so that is some improvement for them.
      If you look at my reply to Parnassus near the beginning of comments, I have given details of a post I did regarding the majolica tobacco jar which you might be interested to read.
      I will write some more about China in due course.

      Delete
  26. A most interesting post about the China of then. What a wonderful experience that was to go and see all the sights and experience the culture. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sanda - I am pleased that you found it interesting - thank you.

      Delete
  27. Happy Chinese New Year, Rosemary!

    To spend a month in China during those early days.....how special and rare! I'd love very much to hear more about that trip.

    Many foreign visitors see a very different China. Even when my parents, born in Fujian Province, return home they do not have access to certain "things." But, they are treated much better than local Chinese tourists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very happy Chinese New Year to you to Loi - it must be strange for you to see me writing about your homeland. However, it sounds as if you have not actually lived there yourself.
      On reflection, I think perhaps we were in a very privileged position being the guests of the Government. They were extremely anxious to have as much knowledge as they could get at that stage and they saw H as a means of helping them with some of their environment problems.
      We saw a different China in the 1980s than visitors see today. We also saw a China that most tourist do not see, and even local Chinese do not come into contact with. We were not with a tourist guide but were looked after everywhere we went by Government officials who were anxious to make sure that we were not only well accommodated but made sure that we saw as much as possible.
      When I have time I will put some more memories down which you might find of interest.

      Delete
  28. It was so interesting reading about your experiences in China. Their lives them sounded so different to ours. I will look forward to read more about it in future posts.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sarah - I will try to do another post at some stage as several people have mentioned that they would like to hear more. It is funny now once you start writing down memories they all come flooding back.
      Hope all is well with you and especially your husband.

      Delete
  29. It was nice to read this posting. I've never been to China. Thank you for sharing your memories with us, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we visited China all of those years ago it was a bit of an adventure for us. Glad you enjoyed reading the post.

      Delete
  30. such an interesting and informative post!! my good friends son is studying now in China and 2 of my friends husband practically live their for their jobs...
    love the history and photos here too..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your visit and comment - China has opened up enormously since our visit in the 1980s then very little was known about the country.

      Delete
  31. Some years ago my husband worked with a student from China. The student was already in his late thirties and obviously had some difficult experiences earlier in his life. My heart squeezes for him and all people who are not allowed to manage their own lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan - do we really realise how fortunate we are. People complain about the weather, the credit crunch, but they are as nothing compared with the way a good deal of the world lives. We have freedom to choose, and live as you want.

      Delete
  32. Hi Rosemary, I must congratulate you on this very interesting and insightful post. Like you, I made a trip to Chengdu to present a paper. Two specialist from the University were my escorts for several days and I was treated like royalty too. Btw I'm coveting your Portuguese Palissy Majolica tobacco jar :) It is such a lovely piece and steeped with the years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pleased that you found it interesting - I wonder how long ago it is that you visited China?
      The tobacco jar is an inherited family piece. This type of Palissy ware is something that people tend to either love or hate.

      Delete
  33. This was really, really interesting, Rosemary! We were to China in 2000, as a family. We visited Beijing, and the great wall. Already there were a lot of cars around, but I think visiting Beijing now would be quite different. My husband got a scholarship in China in 1988, he was to stay in Shanghai. Our daughter was only 2 years, and we had a brand new house, that I did not want to let to strangers. When asking what I was supposed to do there, both my husband and his professor answered, you will always find something. That was not enough for me, so I said no! We did not go. I do not know if I regret it or not. We cannot start from the beginning again, that is sure! Rosemary, I really love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Lise - I understand why you did not go. You were a young mum with a young child, and that makes it difficult to go half way around the world.
      My sons were grown up when I went and we were only there for a month. However, we did not realise that things in China would change so rapidly after our visit. I am pleased that we saw China before the changes, although I suspect that in the remote regions things may still be much the same as they were.
      Glad you found the post interesting thank you.

      Delete
  34. I am glad that I only discovered these posts now. So I could read it all in one go! It is too interesting to wait for the next post! I honestly think you should write a book! Thanks so very, very much! Christa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christa for reading all of these posts - I am delighted that you have enjoyed them - we saw a little bit of China which is no more but could never have imagined how things would change so much and in so few years. I appreciate your kind comments very much♥

      Delete

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them too.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh