Mouse-ville mandala

20180807-Mouse-ville
Mouse-ville (9″x 9″ ink and watercolour)

This mandala started with mouse-like shapes around the centre and evolved from there. I had fun with the houses which are similar but all different. I hope you enjoy looking at all the little details – I know I enjoyed drawing them!

Tom’s poem is playful and whimsical like the mandala!

We are the mice of Plimsoll Close
and we will keep you on your toes
rustling through your drawers at night
searching for a crumb that might
satisfy our search for tastes
that delight our palates. Haste
is not our way, we’re patient mice
who will pass up a grain of rice
in hope sincere that we will find
a candied walnut, orange rind,
or some such savory delight
before the end of this fine night.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

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China trip – Southern Anhui Province – Nanping

rustic charm
rustic charm

Our intention was to head back to Tunxi and then catch a bus to some interesting villages slightly to the east. However, we just missed a bus and would have had to wait 3 hours for the next one so… quick change of plans and we were off (without delay) to Nanping instead. Far fewer tourists and generally more rustic, the village has been the backdrop for many a Chinese period film.

alley of Nanping
alley of Nanping

Even narrow alleys had interesting patterns in the stone.

elaborate roof lines
elaborate roof lines

There were three main family names in this village and each had a large ancestral hall for – family reunions?

mossy formal ancestral hall courtyard
mossy formal ancestral hall courtyard

These ancestral halls were quite elaborate and the courtyards and interior halls were grand and spacious.

tiny alley with signs of modern life
tiny alley with signs of modern life

Fire hydrants and electrical cables are fairly well tucked out or sight. Like the other villages, Nanping seemed to have most modern conveniences.

hall used for the filming of  the Zhang Yimou directed "Ju Dou"
hall used for the filming of the Zhang Yimou directed “Ju Dou”

The colourful fabric still left from the filming of Ju Dou animates the courtyard and gives a small glimpse into the imagined past.

feng shui rules applied...
feng shui rules applied…

The doorways are deliberately staggered so that bad energy can’t rush into the house.

Ming dynasty kitchen!
Ming dynasty kitchen!

Now this kitchen that is really out of date! The house actually had four different eras of kitchens intact – above just the Ming dynasty part. Nanping was the only village we had a guide for and this was one of the interesting tidbits gleaned from her commentary .

winding alley in Nanping
winding alley in Nanping

Another alley curves off to somewhere…

looking back at Nanping
looking back at Nanping

Time to go. While heading out to the main road to catch the bus back to Tunxi, the view back shows Nanping’s beautiful setting with rice paddies and mountains.

water buffalo
water buffalo

Further along the road towards the slightly larger road… a water buffalo and her calf watch somewhat warily from the rice paddy as we pass by.

photos (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer