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After having had a small stroke whilst working in Prague, and during my recovery period, my secretary and friend Zdenka persuaded me to go along to a major bonsai exhibition, being held in the gardens of one of the many palaces in Prague. I was completely enthralled by the bonsais, some of which were over 150 years old. This started me on my voyage of discovery. I bought around ten bonsais and the tools, pots and materials which I needed.
| jasmine orange bonsai|
According to the neurologist treating me, my small stroke was incompatible with the stressful business life I was leading, and I ended up retiring at the age of 58. Already having a house in Xàbia, we moved from Prague to Spain in February 1999. However, my bonsai collection did not take kindly to the move from the cold winter of Prague to the heat of an exceptionally warm and dry Spanish winter that year. During the course of the year, progressively all but one of my bonsais died, probably because most of them were species more suited to northern European climes. My only survivor was a jasmine orange (murraya paniculata),which 14 years later is still growing healthily.
Undeterred, I started creating bonsais from scratch, mostly by buying small trees from garden centers, cutting them down drastically and developing them as bonsais. I improved my techniques by joining a local Spanish bonsai club, and today I have around fifty bonsais and am a member of the Asociación Española de Bonsais. But I digress.
Next Week: Excerpt from Promise Me You Won’t Go To Beirut! Part 3
Last Week: Excerpt from Promise Me You Won’t Go To Beirut! Part 1
|George J. Thomas is an author/artist|
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Originally, from Glasgow, Scotland, my business career enabled me to travel extensively internationally over many years, especially in Europe, Russia, the countries of the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.
Have lived in Saudi Arabia, the British Virgin Islands, Spain and the Czech Republic. Now I live in Xàbia, Spain.
-George J. Thomas