January 2009

January 2009

The days leading up to Christmas were not the happiest for me or our olive farm. I had spent November in Africa, visiting the magical rainforests of Madagascar before travelling briefly through Kenya and then on to South Africa. Before leaving for this trip, which was to keep me away from the farm for almost…

September 2008

September 2008

I feel that silent shift, the interstices between the changing seasons, when the burning heat of the sun has lessened, before the trees change colour, before leaves begin to drift earthwards, when the grapes and figs are fat and ripe and juicy and the olive harvest lies ahead. On my rambling walks over the land…

April 2008

April 2008

Close to midnight last night I strolled out onto our top terrace to stretch my legs after a long day in front of the computer, completing the very final touches to my new book, The Olive Tree. It had been raining heavily and the air was hanging damp and misty in the valley between the…

May 2007

May 2007

The final days of May are upon us and the south of France, the Midi, is buzzing with the prospect of summer while those who have crewed the 60th Cannes Film Festival are rolling up the famous red carpet for another year. It has been fun to catch up with friends who stayed with us…

Autumn 2006

Autumn 2006

Summer is over. The tourists have all returned home and the south of France is settling back into a more familial rhythm. We, like most other olive farmers, are beginning a venerable annual ritual, preparations for our upcoming late-November harvest, which looks set to be a reasonable one. While all this autumnal activity is taking…

Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Spring is here. Its arrival is always uplifting yet I cannot help feeling that this year it is more lovely than any that has preceded it, but when I say to my husband, ‘Is it always this beautiful or are we blessed with particularly glorious displays this time?’ He laughs and replies: ‘Chérie, you eulogise…