Friday, September 30, 2011


Stuart is an English poet his wife Lesley a 'retired'teacher of dance. I stayed with them in Chipping Sodbury, a beautiful English town near Bristol. Their idea of being retired is they now have time to help their community. As well as being a prize winning poet Stuart is an official starter for athletics. He was on duty for the Bristol Half Marathon when I was there. He and Lesley are very much involved with encouraging athletics. Lesley is one of those unassuming, but enormously capable people who make everything easier for other people. I saw her welcoming some shy newcomers to the Yate Athletic Club, making them feel welcome, without appearing to make any effort. It's a rare gift.
Thanks to the3m I have seen Bath, Bristol. the Forest of Dean, the Saracen's Head on the river Wye and Tintern Abbey. This picture was taken at an arboretum near where they live, planted two centuries ago and now a breathtaking place of forested walks.(The name escapes me and my notes are in my suitcase. I shall get back to it).

And they have a beautiful garden, full of interesting flowers and plants, in particular a David Austen scented rambler named 'Jude the Obscure' the perfume is wonderful.

Next time anyone makes comments about 'Poms' I shall think of Stuart and Lesley, or Jim Bennet who gives enormous amounts of time to the Poetry Kit website and its attendant magazines, Poetry Kite and Caught in the Net, Angela Keaton, experimental poet who drops everything to show me around Liverpool, and dozens of other wonderful people who made my latest journey memorable.

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