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.

Our Poet went off to see English Heritage's restaging of the Battle of Hastings. The re-enactment of the 950-year-old battle by a thousand soldiers drew lots of applause. Our Roberto saw it, and was inspired.

The Guardian was there, too. 'Swords clashed, arrows flew and maces swung on Saturday as a group of chainmail-clad participants played out the 1066 Battle of Hastings – a conflict that changed the face of England,' the Guardian's correspondent wrote.

'There were falconry and weaponry displays, historical lectures and living history camps for 8,000 people attending the event, which also runs on Sunday.'

Roberto took part on the side of peace - no swords, chainmail nor arrows for our man - and his impression of what came across strongly comes in this really attractive verse, and his photo, above.


Image of part of a HealingGardens co dot uk webpage to illustrate the article.
Bayeux history ... By Unknown, believed to have been commissioned by Matilda of Flanders, Odo of Bayeux or Edith of
Wessex. Bayeux Tapestry, Public Domain, Wikimedia

14th October 2016.
950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Lives truer

Milk-fed, soft, round Saxons sit about their warm, plump pots,
Dressed in costume, contentment and colours that come from living close to the earth.
Their sharp weapons lie stacked nearby, like their firewood, dry and ready.

They fight to forget - their overpriced rents and underpriced labour,
And live as best they can between the cracks of the twenty-first century,
Behind the protection of the Saxon shield-wall.

The French cavalry, elegant, intent and serious,
Choreograph Norman horsemanship for the weekend events.
Rubber-tipped spears the only concession allowed.
They practice-attack one another,
That hides distant and not so distant defeats further away from their proud selves.

All live lives truer to their real selves here.
Until Monday morning, when the re-enacting begins, again.

14 x 2016

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