Start Chatchinese girl

Chatchinese girl

In an attempt to find an answer to this mystery it was thought that some publicity would help.

The family had a Norwegian au pair, Modil Wigg, and their young daughter, Jill, then aged nine, went to Jaeren in Norway for a holiday with the Wigg family, who gave the girl a small specimen of the plant to bring back to England.

This valuable piece of information provided what turned out to be the all important link with Scandinavia, to where the line of enquiry then moved.

Although Kew possessed no specimens in its herbarium, Forrest's collections are preserved in Edinburgh and confirmation was quickly obtained from there of the identifications, also incidentally enabling Edinburgh to answer a number of its own enquiries about the same plant.

Over the next few years, further specimens from various parts of the British Isles were sent in for identification and it became apparent that many people were growing this unusual species as a houseplant, passing it on to their friends as cuttings from the readily produced basal shoots, selling them at church bazaars and fetes and so on.

Why would she ever imagine I could pull off such a complex hoax, including guessing entire conversations and making up answers in Mandarin, all while having no idea what I am saying? I think she falls into the category of Chinese people who simply don’t believe it is possible to speak or understand Chinese if you are a “Big Noser” (Chinese slang for the ethnically non-Chinese).

I can never guess who will be a person who eases into a conversation, briefly complimenting my level in Mandarin, but immediately accepting the concept of a Big Noser actually conversing in Mandarin. I have interviewed Mandarin teachers, people whose profession it is to look at big noses and try to get them to learn Mandarin, who cannot accept speaking in Mandarin with someone sporting a schnoz larger than their own.

It was easy to grow and I propagated several new plants for a few years before trying to find out what it was.

The search led me to the Royal Horticultural Society, who sent me a copy of an article which told the plant's story and gave information about its care.

This may be true, but I also think some of these people actually don’t believe it can be done.

No matter if you have been conversing with the person on a weekly basis for two years.

Progress on its identification was first made in 1978 when Mrs D.