Saturday 1 August 2020


I sent out my Mailchimp newsletter for July a week ago and 40 of my sixty-five subscribers opened - that's only slightly below the average. In case you missed it - and for those who are not subscribers - here are the contents again:

This MailChimp newsletter is an opportunity for me to show you the latest images of Jago Stone watercolours that have come my way through cyberspace - and to tell you about what I am now writing.

First, news of the latest Jago painting to arrive on my screen. It came in a Facebook message from Christine EH, on July 13 or 14 depending on which side of the Pond you were:

'Hi Rob. I have one of Jago Stone's watercolors. We were an American military family stationed at Upper Heyford in the 1970s. When I was six years old I answered a knock at the door (Bell Cottage, Ledwell, Oxon), and Jago Stone introduced himself and asked if he could paint our house and if I could ask my parents to come speak with him.'

I replied: '
Wonderful way to start the day! Thank you so much for this image and the story. I will create a blogpost around it very soon'

There were some issues of clarity in the image; I could not read some of the inscriptions.

So Christine sent me this improved image of the family home and explained that the family name was Hurd and that Jago had misspelled it as Hurde on the painting. 

Bell Cottage, Ledwell, Oxfordshire - Jago Stone (1975)

Thank you, Christine, for gifting this fine Jago watercolour.

My thanks also to Mark A. Donohoe who had sent me an image in late June from the collection of his brother Chris. Mark features in my biography of Jago so it's worth looking there for the rest of the story but here is the tale about Hanwell Castle as told by Mark in our correspondence last month:

Can’t remember if I sent you this one before. This one is hanging in
my brother Chris’s house. This is Hanwell Castle in Oxfordshire. We
actually had the fortune to rent this place, and for only 100 pounds a
month, which at the time was equivalent to US$240.  We rented it from
a professor John L Buxton who was away and just wanted somebody to
watch the place while he was gone. Wow my brother has the painting, I
have the original lease.
The only requirement was that we washed the linens which were pretty
substantial hanging in the great Hall. That and we weren’t allowed up
in the turrets, I guess for safety reasons.
We actually have stories about it being haunted that were corroborated
by the groundskeeper as well as a young couple, Barry and Nicki, who
were staying in the stable houses there. But the main property, the 30
rooms, that was us.

And here is the image: 

Hanwell Castle - Jago Stone (c.1976)

Now for news of my latest literary venture.

As February turned to March this year, the Covid-19 pandemic appeared. My inspiration had arrived. 'Dying To Know' began to take shape. My first three chapters have been drafted and now I am working on chapter 4. Eleven thousand words written. I have two critical readers to help me, one in the States and one in the Netherlands - both friends made in the course of the writing and publication of the Jago story. They are very good at their job; chapter two has been rejigged in the light of their critique.

Whatever I write has to satisfy two criteria: Is it readable?  Is it worth the reading - will the reader be enlightened? 'Dying to Know' is passing those tests.

My aim is to have the book complete by the summer of next year to coincide with the arrival of a vaccination schedule.

If you would like to read in advance the first chapter in order to get a taste of the book and its direction, I'm happy to send you a personal copy if you contact me using my email address: If you then leave me feedback, that would be cool.

As for Jago's biography, please, please - add your own reviews on line on Amazon or Waterstones  or send to me by personal email when you finish reading. This is hardly the best time to have a book published and sales will, to some extent,  depend on word-of-mouth recommendation. If you can help advertise the virtues of a cracking good read, Unicorn and I will be very grateful.    

 Kenneth Griffith and Jago in the Notley Arms, Exmoor - 5 February 1969

Here are the links for ordering copies of the biography of Jago Stone:




If you know anyone you think might be interested in these mailings about 'Jago' and/or 'Dying To Know' please encourage them to follow the link to my website. Here it is: They can join you as subscribers - 65 to date. 

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