Saturday, 10 November 2007


My devoted old retainer, my taxi driver Robert (Huat)returned my Bonsai tree that I smuggled back from Viet Nam last trip. It had been in care with him for the last few months. Dear Robert. I was so touched. It had been magnificently tended, re potted from its ugly plastic container into a handsome pottery dish. He can ill afford to buy ME things! Behind the little tree a pretty low growing shrub had appeared from somewhere which looked wonderful, framing the tree in a very convincing way, giving the whole thing some depth. In front of the tree, also a new planting, a tiny slender shoot with about seven broad leaves on it, standing about five inches high. A heavenly little spot had been created.. EXCEPT ..Ah! under the tree in a sort of lunatic 'dejeuner sur l'herbe' were seated, not a languorous nude and her louche companions, or even some bearded seer in serene contemplation but a blue ceramic dog in a red Santa Claus pom pom hat and and a small yellow duck in a blue yachting cap. They looked extremely contented and happy with their lot. One can only imagine the conversation. Santa " Look it's Christmas, you know what I mean? You're a duck. Don't take the boat out for a couple of weeks. Stay in the house. Believe me you'll thank me"
I picked them gently of the knoll and stuffed them at the back of my desk.
in the middle of the night I seemed to hear their plaintive cries. I got up, retrieved them and settled them back under the tree and went back to bed and slept peacefully.
Dear, dear Robert. How fond I am of the jug eared old Chink

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