A Month in the (very English) Country

5th JUNE 2022


I have just returned from spending the month of May based in this picturesque English town, on the banks of Shakespeare’s Avon as it makes its way to the sea. I am thrilled to be able to announce that in Fordingbridge Book Shop – thanks to its owner, David, and manager, Rosemary – copies of BITS OF STRING & THREAD can now be purchased or ordered!

+44 1425 653725

Many of the English-themed narrative poems in the anthology refer to the iconic landscapes and landmarks surrounding Fordingbridge, and so I have captioned the photographs I took, to give you some images to go with your reading of my poems.

Salisbury Cathedral, Breamore House, my aunt’s house at Donhead St Andrew, the Chalke Valley, Alderholt Mill and working water wheel, the gardens of Wilton House, the New Forest, Kingston Lacey House, the chalk downland villages of Martin and Damerham, St George’s church and interior, marquee at a village fete and families building sandcastles by the seaside at Christchurch (all photos by cemwinstanley)

I was in England as preparations for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations were getting underway. In one such extravaganza I was lucky enough to attend, the cavernous interior of Salisbury Cathedral was filled with towering flower decorations and installations including one featuring the ermine-trimmed purple robe worn by the Queen at her Coronation – but made entirely of flowers!

My head is still filled with the sensations of my days there – inspiration for many pieces of writing yet to come.

It was also beyond wonderful to see family and friends whom like many people I had been prevented from being with for two and a half years due to Covid travel restrictions.