On a recent cycle up tea mountain I met this chap, Mr Tang, who was selling handcrafted wooden items from a makeshift craft stall. We got chatting and promised to make a trip out to their wood yard one day. True to our promise we travelled to San Jia Cun, a small village on the outskirts of Simao that's slowly being gobbled up by tower blocks. After a tour of the woodwork studio, kilns and art studio we rummaged through the reject piles, returning with a few boxes and tea caddies. After hanging about the house these rainy days it was great to get out of town and have a small wander. Needless to say, San Jia Cun has changed a lot since we were last there. Half the older red brick houses have been replaced by white-tiled, concrete monstrosities double the size. I understand people want larger, newer houses, but why not build larger brick ones, and just stay off the ceramics? There's no accounting for taste I suppose.

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