I just came across this photo.
'Old Mo' was my parents' neighbour in West Chiltington, Sussex. He, and his wife, were a tad eccentric, to say the least.
Prior to his retirement, Mo had been the senior scientist at The East Malling Research Station; specialising in the development of fruit trees. He and I became firm friends very quickly.
He loved France, and when I told him that I was moving here he promised to visit a.s.a.p.
We're not quite sure how he reached our house, but I do know that it involved some hitchhiking, as well as bus and train rides.
The above photo shows him with Lady Magnon, our two kittens King and Barnes (named after a Sussex brewery), and Hamlet the dog, at our first home here..
In West Chiltington, Old Mo had a separate orchard about a mile away from his beautiful thatched home. Called 'Kings and Princes', it contained row upon row of espaliered Apples and Pears, all beautifully pruned into exquisite shapes; reminiscent of The Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
Mo was an exceptional man. Whilst with us here we benefitted from his huge knowledge. He advised about fruit trees etc, he also took a particular interest in the local Walnut trees and their products; he loved the area and everything that it represented. It was Mo who gave me Philip Oyler's book 'The Generous Earth', that led to my move.
I often think of him; his permanent smile, his eccentric ways, and his vast knowledge.
He was a 'one-off'. RIP Old Mo.