My marvellous Kent Claret vine ... I bought it from Victoriana Nursery to keep my ever-faithful calendulas company. Friend Wendy recommends the grapes for grape jelly.

Happy harvesting … my Great Auntie Bee's watercolour of farming life as it used to be, painted in 1950.

The creative mind in action … Coppicing days, Pheasants Coppice, Bishopsbourne.

History …In the garden of Serre de la Madonne, Menton. Seems I wasn’t the only admirer.

Happy birthday! ... My 50th Birthday Party 9th September 2010 at Jenny's, also with Hilda, Becca, Vittorio, Robin and Yvonne and Bianca - Caprese Michelangelo, Toscana. A very special day.

Birthday girl ... Mrs G picking flowers on the morning of her 80th Birthday, a few seconds before she realised that I had arrived.

The west window in the church here in Wye was destroyed by a landmine (on a parachute) in the Second World War and was replaced by these wonderful panels showing the agricultural seasons, a plough-team vanishing, a red tractor - a moment in time, with much unchanged.

This poem celebrates the beauty of these windows and the college Cardinal Kempe founded in 1447 that has helped many people in many lands. I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you a peace-filled Advent. - Roberto

West window

SINCE ancient saints went flying,
When the landmine shattered glass,
A brave new western window,
Shows Wye present and Wye past.

As every ploughman vanished,
When the round, red tractors came,
Adams all, are still recalled,
In this quiet sunset pane.

Our Eden's apples ripen,
As hired from hungry lands,
Now climb those shrinking ladders,
With our food held in their hands.

Small single sails of oast house,
Riding rounded, tiling tops,
Now sail the stranger seasons,
Over home and vanished hop.

Red squirrel, crocus, magpie,
Below oak where sheep still graze,
By guarding shade and sheepdog,
And the ageless shepherd’s gaze.

Since fourteen forty-seven,
Close to heart, in unrobed hands,
John holds his college casket
The jewels sown, in many lands.

These clouds will journey always,
Over fields and chalky crown,
This kingless, Kentish kingdom,
Of Wye Valley and Wye Downs.

- 01 xii 2015






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