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.
So cool that we are all the result of the people who influence us.ReplyDelete
I suppose he was exactly that; a man who's influence changed our lives (for the better).Delete
Who's the guy in the background?ReplyDelete
Caesar? Or his brother maybe?Delete
It looks like the ghost of me at that age.Delete
All that remains is the head, the torso didn't survive.Delete
Our lives are always enriched by people like Mo. Great story, Cro.ReplyDelete
He was a very special person. I'm pleased that I came across the photo.Delete
Great post Cro. He definitely has a part in the making of your enriched life.ReplyDelete
He was a lovely man, I think you can see that by his smile.Delete
If you've still got that book Cro, hang on to it, its going on Amazon for around £30.ReplyDelete
Mo sounds like the kind of person I would love to meet.
I do still have it, and look at it often. Unfortunately it's been lent to so many people over the years that it's falling to bits. My copy is probably worth sixpence.Delete
He looks kind .... lovely to have had him in your life.ReplyDelete
I am very au fait with King and Barnes ..... my sister and brother-in-law have lived in Sussex for over forty years !!!!! XXXX
The kittens eventually both went mad, and came to sticky ends. I think they must have had some 'brain parasites'. It was a bizarre episode.Delete
Nice for you to have known him. Although he doesn't look like him particularly, he makes me think of John Betjeman.ReplyDelete
He had that same 'comfortable' feeling about him.Delete
Nice tribute to a deserving friend.ReplyDelete
I don't suppose he's remembered much elsewhere.Delete
Great tribute in remembrance. Reminds me of what my mother told me when I was eight: "As long as we remember someone they are not dead". (I had just lost the then most important person in my life).ReplyDelete
The so very young Lady Cro. Oh my god. Brings back so many memories. If I remember correctly, you moved to France ca 1972. Long may she live.
Yes, I was 25, and Lady M was 8 (if her current age is correct!).Delete
I love characters like this.ReplyDelete
Sadly I know few these days. Old Mo was certainly one of the best.Delete
Reading about Old Mo has been a treat. I immediately thought how happy he would be to know that you plant a tree for each grandchild.ReplyDelete
Thank you also for the newest veg curry recipe. I will try it, and probably made some further adaptations depending on what's available.
That's the nice thing about curries, as long as the basics are right, one can add whatever is available; just as they do in India.Delete