Sunday 19 July

Feels like a much more productive day, although my plans to paint in the Herb Garden before it got too hot were a bit of a pipe dream as it’s “too hot” before it’s light enough to paint.

I tried a few more interesting items for breakfast but most things are either too dry or far too greasy. So I gave up and headed into the Botanical Gardens to take photos. They have the largest collection of Lotus plants – all full sun loving. I was rather glad of the sun umbrella I bought on the steaming tip down town yesterday to pick up some things before heading off to the cooler hills tomorrow morning.

Lei Jhang, who was summoned as my initial translator when I landed in the Prof’s office last Tuesday afternoon, has been enormously helpful. She hooked me up with Tao Shi “Scotty” who will be my guide for the next week or so, and has allowed me to use her computer station in the Graduate Office. I finally cancelled my Spam Blocker and was overjoyed to find a couple of messages in my Tiscali account. So just as long as I can find somewhere to log on, I’m now back in communication.

To top it all, I finally had a text message from England. It’s the standard 00 and China code of 86 followed by my new mobile phone number, so I don’t know why there have been problems. Hopefully a few more people will “check in” to see how I am – because I’m still unable to get onto my Blog.

But I’ve found a cunning way around that one, which I hope very much is a temporary solution! If I send my updates as a word doc attachment to an e-mail, I can ask someone else to log on for me and up load them. Not ideal by any means, but perhaps a creative way around the problem,

I managed to get a little painting done back at the hotel this evening. I’d drawn the flower days ago and of course when I returned it had withered away. But I did a colour reference and took a photo, so felt I could have a stab at it: Gynura bicolour (Willd) DC. Looks very much like a Day Lily… But even that was maddening as the light fades quickly, and early, around this latitude.