I received an email from a friend of mine in the Bentley Drivers Club and as we are not able to use our cars at the moment, he described a walk taken in the countryside together with a portion of the wonderful Robert Browning poem Home Thoughts from Abroad, (with its often miss quoted first line!) which I think summed up the spirit needed to get us through the current situation, I hope you enjoy his letter.

Hi Joe

Hope you like this musings from a 87 year old window cleaner down to just one Bentley. Please feel free to send it on if it stirs you.


Since the lock down Margaret and I have been taking the opportunity to explore the wonderful surrounding Hertfordshire countryside by walking as far as two oldies can.

Today it was North Mymms Park with its untold acres of Greenfields surrounded by Woods not far removed and untouched since pre Norman times. Numerous coppices and complimented by the pleasure of being able to hear the seemingly inexhaustible rich clear sound of bird song without the noise and fumes of the A1M. Was this really Good Friday 2020?

With this thought, and while taking a moment to rest and trying to maintain this magical moment of tranquillity we noticed the 400-year-old plus North Mymms Tower of St Marys Church peeping through the tops of the trees. On further exploring we noticed the memorial erected in 1920 to all those brave souls who gave their all in the dreadful wars of WW1 and WW2 resisting tyranny and the very reason I am able to write this.

North Mymms History Project: Virtual tour of St Mary's Church ...

Memories of my boyhood of the dark days in Finsbury Park North London and the 40s blitz came hastening back of the time, when just as all seemed hopelessly lost, somewhere in this old brainbox Robert Browning’s epic poem that also sustained fellow countrymen and women in WW1 and WW2 came back.

***Oh, to be in England Now that April’s there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!! ***

This is the England I knew and remembered when we alone stood against Nazi tyranny and so proudly wore our Cubs and Scouts uniforms freely giving our allegiance to the King/Queen.

I have tried to savour and hold on to the moment and record it as very soon we will be back to normal (what is normal) and instants like this will be lost for ever.

Future generations will never know the pride of being English. The World should be on its knee’s thanking this tiny Island, Waterloo 1815, WW1, WW2, alone, we gave our all.

Please Think On This and Thanks for your time

Grumpy, but proud Old Roy


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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3 Responses to OH,TO BE IN ENGLAND.

  1. Jane Rosebery says:

    This truly cheered me up. Thank you! I had hoped to be able to reschedule our cancelled March England trip to later this year but I fear that there will be no travel for us in 2020 after all.

  2. I have four trips booked and have cancelled another already, I’m hoping the last one in November might be on but I won’t hold my breath waiting, if not it will make next year all the better when we do get out and about again.

  3. SueW says:

    That was so thought provoking, absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing.

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