My wife, Jane, always supportive of my writing, is herself an accomplished writer with an impressive track record and some excellent poems to her name.
Writing under her professional name, Jane Mosse, she's achieved considerable recognition both locally and abroad.
Some years ago, Jane's success in an international poetry competition provided us with an opportunity to attend the Poetry on the Lake Festival at Lake Orta in Italy and to read alongside Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
During that visit, we managed to persuade Carol Ann to come to Guernsey to take part in our own local literary festival.
Italy was virtually unexplored territory for me at that time but I caught the bug and we've returned many times.
The photograph below is of Jane in the gardens of a beautiful Tuscan property we rented for a few months. It was an idyllic time.
Jane's poem, Cabo Verde Christmas, speaks of somewhere rather further afield, which she visited whilst on holiday and wrote eloquently about.
CABO VERDE CHRISTMAS
As red hibiscus trumpets sound
Cicadas cheery carols sing
While from the acacia’s drooping branch
The egret flaps on angel wings
The ocean beats its rhythmic drum
As whales rear up to humble men
And turtles lumber through the sand
To set their course for Bethlehem
For here the sun awakes in man
A love of life, an energy
So oft forgot in colder climes
Where it becomes but memory
And I new brothers greet with smiles
With laughing eyes and warm embrace
Their open hearts and dancing feet
A message for the human race
This day unites us black with white
As arm in arm we sway in time
To music, which one language speaks
Like sacrament of bread and wine.
To listen to Jane being interviewed by BBC's Jenny Kendal Tobias, click here then scroll forward 2 hours 53 minutes into the programme..