The International Steam Pages


Oh, to be in England..., the Mitcheldean Garden 2017

This is the 2017 index of the pages describing our very dull life in the UK since arriving in 2011. Having negotiated the maze of regulations designed to frustrate those wanting to bring a non-EU spouse into the UK, Yuehong has been the proud owner of a UK passport since late 2014 which means we can have a near perfect balance of the best 8 months of the year in the UK and the best 4 months of the year in Penang. We don't run a car in either place, public transport suffices for most of our needs, but during the UK summer we frequently hire a car for a weekend and get out and about in the countryside, much of it is not worth recording formally but the tip of the iceberg is represented by our visits to steam fairs, something we continued in 2016 (and no doubt will continue on 2017).

Click here for the main 'Life in the UK' index page.


For most people in the UK the prospect of taking on a property built up 33 steps on a 30 degree slope would be a nightmare. For us, it's proved both a challenge and a delight. This is our seventh summer (2017). The first started late for us in June 2011 and was spent cutting away the growth of two years near total neglect. It was dry as the seasons go in these parts by which I mean the moss had trouble making any progress. 2012 was the most miserable summer imaginable, it was cold and wet almost continuously. 2013 had as bad a start as can be imagined, but this set up the later months very nicely, 2014 was a year of sunshine and consolidation and 2015 allowed us a little bit of time to sit back and enjoy the spectacle. After a very mild winter, garden maintenance occupied most of our time in 2016, although as usual Yuehong's output from her greenhouse and the endless supply of bargain buys necessitated more areas of the lawns being sacrificed. Expect more of the same in 2017 not least because the garden got a flying start again.

Oh, to be in England..
April 2017
The Merrie Month of May 2017 

Camborne Trevithick Day
April 2017

Kew Gardens May 2017
Six Years On Highnam Court Gardens
June 2017
Where did that Summer Go? Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Our garden history 2011-16

Our Cup Runneth Over

Summer 2016

The Best Garden in Mitcheldean?

Summer 2015

The Best Garden in Mitcheldean?

Summer 2014

How does Your Garden Grow?

Summer 2013

Holding back the deluge

Summer 2012

Getting started:

Summer 2011


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk