Hello dear readers and friends,
My sincere apologies. I am so very late with this short Newsletter. I seem to have been running behind myself for months. I have not sent out cards so please don’t worry if mine didn’t arrive with you. I have donated my modest pot to the Trident Reach Foodbank in the UK. https://tridentreach.org.uk
There are a worrying number of families living below the poverty line so if, while you are at your local supermarket, you can spare an item or two, there is almost sure to be a box or donation area where you can add your offering. Women’s toiletries or toiletries in general usually seem to be in short supply. I have made my donation in memory of my mother, Phyllis Drinkwater. I know she would have made a similar gesture. And in a way, it helps me feel close to her at this difficult time.
We are at the farm now and happy to be here for rest and recuperation. It has been a turbulent year for us. Michel faced a six-hour heart operation, successfully, thank God, while I have been dealing with some pretty ghastly family issues. I want to thank those of you who lent so much support during those weeks before Michel’s operation. Your letters and cards and messages meant so much to us both. When he came round and read the extent of the prayers and notes he had been sent, he wept just a little bit. And that set me off, which is not difficult.
Our olive harvest has been completed. We had SO MANY olives and not sufficient time to pick them all but those we pressed have given us a very delicious if diminished vintage. I look forward to enjoying the oil with guests over the Christmas period. Mostly, we are going to be on our own this year, which is our choice. A time of reflection and reconstruction.
2017 has been, not only on a personal level but also politically, a turbulent and rather depressing year. I am genuinely praying for a wave of generosity and forgiveness to ride over us all. This year, here in France, we elected Macron as our President and, so far, he seems to be showing signs of real leadership with his interests for the people rather than self. Alas, the same cannot be said everywhere else.
I continue to add my voice in our fight for the planet, for the bees and nature. I have signed every petition available to speak out against the use of neonicotinoid pesticides – see here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonicotinoid – which, whatever the chemical giants are claiming to the contrary, have been proven to damage both plant and insect life, never mind the effects on our own systems. Please take a look at my Bee page and join us in this battle for awareness and more sustainable methods of farming.
THE LOST GIRL was voted one of Lovereading’s Books of the Year. I was thrilled. Thank you to Liz Robinson and the excellent team of readers and reviewers on the LoveReading site. Yes, of course, I think they are excellent because they picked my novel. Aside from that though, they ARE excellent.
The paperback with the same lovely jacket will be published on 8th March 2018. Until then it is available as an e-book and hardback and it will surely fit into all those stockings not yet filled …
I am now hard at work on my next novel. Watch this space!
If you want to curl up on your sofa for a few quiet hours over the holidays and be transported to summer days in the south of France, my latest Kindle Single, THE LOVE OF A STRANGER, can be downloaded at Amazon UK or Amazon USA.
If you are outside these territories, you may have to find these links for yourself. Sincere apologies, that I cannot track them from here for you.
In the meantime, I am posting a couple of photos from the farm and sending you blue skies, warmth, proximity to loved ones and Peace on Earth.
Have a really joyous end of year and I look forward to meeting you or hearing from you in 2018