I've learned from today's BBC Internet news service that Sir Kyffin Williams has left £50,000 to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. I have recently taken over as President of the CPRW, and greatly appreciate Sir Kyffin's generosity. It is very good news for us. When a man with Sir Kyffin's love of rural Wales entrusts a significant part of his legacy to us, it puts a great responsibility on us to ensure that the money is used to good effect.
Mrs D was a fan of Sir Kyffin's work - and felt some affinity with him as a result of an unusual meeting. It was one of my best surprises. I told her one morning that we were going for a drive, to meet someone she admired. We drove to the small property under the Brittania Bridge that he rented, and walked up to his front door (protected by sandbags) and knocked. Mrs D was floored when Sir Kyffin opened the door. ( I had telephoned him to fix it). She recognised him immediately - even though he had only recently emerged from one of his bouts of depression.
It was a wonderful visit. We sat down and enjoyed tea and conversation. He was at his best, laying into contemporary painters as 'con artists' who couldn't even draw. He really enjoyed being a reactionary. He then led us up to his studio in his garden, where he showed us his recent paintings, in the raw - before framing etc.. We were stunned by the casual way he was tossing works of art, that we would love to own, around his cold and draughty studio, as if they were cheap and cheerful Ikea prints. Mrs D puts up with a lot - but I stored up a few 'brownie points' that day.