Last night I had a lovely surprise when my eldest daughter Amy, called from Nepal where she is on a teaching assignment for nearly a year. She has just returned from a two week trek which she had scheduled into a break from teaching while the children are on holiday.
Amongst the many interesting and exciting things she related to me, was her description of seeing shohin size cotoneasters with beautiful craggy bark growing at 4,000 metres near Annapurna base camp. That's my girl!
However she took no photo's for her old Dad and there are non boxed up and in the post. So I will have to hold off posting her Christmas hamper just to teach her a lesson. You just can't get the staff nowadays!
But readers of my blog fear not. I am in the process of organising a 50 man Sherpa led expedition just like the old orchid collectors of the 1800's put together, to attempt to find and collect some specimens from my local garden centre. I am just waiting for my altitude sickness pills to arrive!
I had some more good news in the form of an email confirming that the new yamadori trees from Spain were in transit and well on their way. I am really looking forward to receiving them later this week.
Well I am well and truly on wind down now for Christmas and the New Year. I have one more One to One workshop booked and then I am downing tools so to speak and taking some time to reflect on this past year, the good the bad and the ugly. (That would be a good title for a film, Ummm).
I have a number of styling projects in the pipeline for myself, both Japanese imported trees and yamadori, and I am going to work my way through some of them slowly at my pace without having to watch the clock.
We had horrendous winds here yesterday and two shohin were blown off the benches but fortunately they were fine, no damage done. We have had three mornings of really good frost, then high winds and mild and now today it is hammering down with more rain. Still I guess it keeps us guessing!
I have just bought three nice stones. One is a Furuya Ishi from Japan, and then one is a really nice Red River stone from China. The final stone is a Lingbi stone also from China. I will try to post some photo's tomorrow when I have more time. At the moment I am experimenting with some new photo back lights for the studio as I want to be able to take good quality studio shots to illustrate my work better. I also have two different back ground cloths as well so I am playing around at the moment to get things right.
It's great fun!