In praise of the peasant poet

Happy summer solstice!

John Clare

Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats – what a bunch of ponces. Or at least they were in comparison with the peasant poet John Clare, who really suffered for his art, and was celebrated in song last night by Faversham’s finest, Chris Wood, at a tiny pub in Cowden Pound.

It was an intimate folk club setting, with a couple of dozen punters watching Chris perform three short sets interspersed with their own songs and tunes. All washed down with hoppy Adnams bitter and a few sausage rolls. A wonderful evening.

Chris agreed to a request for my favourite love song, One in a million, which he co-wrote with Hugh Lupton. Very emotional.

Just a couple of hours after returning to the ranch it was time to ascend Shooters Hill with a few friends and watch the sunrise on the longest day of the year. Clouds obscured the disk as it rose over Essex across the River Thames, but the light was nonetheless fantastic, and the birds whooped with joy as they spun around the sky over Shrewsbury Park.