I was born and raised in Sussex. My father was an ordained clergyman and writer, my mother once accompanied the American singer Paul Robeson, on the piano. I have two older sisters and a younger brother.
We were brought up both in a Sussex country parish and within an organisation first founded by our father in South London in the 1930’s.
This was The Community of Saint Hilda, which was transplanted to Sussex before the Second World War.
When the Community was thriving most fully, there was a farm of 100 acres, run on what are now termed ‘organic’ lines, and a unique school at Gaveston Hall.
My secondary education was at the Durham School, where I was a King’s Scholar.
Before I took a degree, I had two spells in Africa: a year in Southern Africa, and two years in Sierra Leone, where I taught in Freetown. I took a General Batchelor of Arts Degree of the London University in English Literature, Psychology and Aesthetics. While still at college, I married. We had two children.
After a few years teaching in Colleges of Further Education – mainly in Wormwood Scrubs Prison – I became a gardener and landscape gardener.
At this time the marriage was dissolved.
The last thirty years have been spent on the land as a gardener, and for ten years, something of a smallholder. While I was living an increasingly simple and self-sufficient life, I pursued my interests in English poetry, with particular regard to its rhythms and performance. I also began to play a tin whistle and wrote tunes.
I worked to the roots of English poetry in the earliest stuff written. I had help with the Old English at Manchester University as I sought an answer to the question: ‘What is the rhythm of Beowulf?’
I have found the key; and I have a special insight into the rhythmical nature of all English poetry which I am developing and demonstrating through performance.