Philip first fell in love at the age of ten.
The fresh exciting sharp pain of love that cut, not through his heart, but into his right foot.
He had stood on a piece of glass that washed ashore and lay hidden in the pale yellow sand.
Cobalt blue with a hint of amber sparkled in the soft orange sun as he studied the bloodied glass.
He was told it was a fragment from a pirate ship that once plundered the seven seas and for days on end he would spend hours, twisting and turning the piece like a small kaleidoscope, mesmerised with the tumbling colours.
Unaware that his future was to become entwined with glass in all its silent beauty.
Philip aged twenty-nine, a master craftsman working with stained glass, is gainfully employed in the cathedrals restoration department.
Responsible for the repair and maintenance of every inch of precious medieval leaded window throughout the vast building.
He views every piece of glass as if it has a life of it's own.
An authority on the material he knows everything that there is to know about glass, optic dispersion, specular and diffuse reflection, transmissivity and more.
In Philips eyes the cathedral is never still, always alive in candle light or choral music, medieval heads from aloft appear to turn following his every step.
Today he had been summoned to step into the East wing conservatory that housed the new restaurant.
'Damage to the Scozentanelli...hurry !' came the urgent call.
An errant clamp had fallen from the tiers of scaffolding that surrounded the building and struck the centre of the magnificent fourteenth century rectangular panel depicting Scozentanelli's Fall to Earth
On a small table he set up a light box containing a selection of stained glass, a camera, drawing paper, assorted pencils and a brass scope and begins the process by scrutinising the damaged glass with the aid of the scope and noting the sections for repair.
Below the window a young woman sits, a drink cupped to her lips watches him.
Above her the courtyard poplars sway slowly in the breeze, their thin branches tap tapping against the glass.
Philips attention is drawn to her as the bright afternoon sun filters through the dancing twigs to play a flickering heraldic scene that falls over her white quilted jacket.
Muted orange seeps in over a coat of arms resplendent with a shield held in a three headed dragons claws.
A spear impales her tiny red lantern style earring.
Flames from a dragons gaping mouth pour on to her shoulder.
An epaulette of black, red and yellow forms then melts away to lie shimmering on the table.
Her face is touched by falling leaves as peacocks and doves momentarily hover above her head.
The birds are set aside by an ornate jewelled goblet spilling the suns rays into the conservatory.
Arrows and swords entwine, royal standards with gold crowns and a dancing bear fall to the floor.
A kneeling knight beside a throne yields to flagstone.
Shining armour and flashing sword dull and disappear as clouds float past closing the scene.
She smiles and gestures to a piece of glass Philip holds high.
'That's beautiful, I like the colours, cobalt blue and amber,
am I correct...?' she enquires.
'Yes...indeed...you are correct...a piece from a pirate ship!'
'Mmm, a pirate ship, does that mean I have to walk the plank...?'
Philip blushed, feeling a fresh and exciting sharp pain of love that cuts, not through his right foot, but into his heart.