It is lunchtime and I have just completed my first event in New York at the New York Olive Oil Competition down in the trendy district of Tribeca. Farmers, olive producers from all over the world have converged on the city to learn more about the mysteries of this magical fruit and its juice. I read an extract from The Olive Route and showed clips from the five films of The Olive Route. It was, as they say here in NY, ‘awesome’. The meeting of the Old World and the New. Seven hundred producers of olive oil from twenty-five countries have submitted their oils into the competition and an international panel of sixteen are spending three days tasting and assessing the oils.
I spoke of our own small enterprise and about the challenges of going organic. I feel it is important in these big and burgeoning new olive markets and farmlands to remind ourselves that the world needs to be cared for. It is too easy to be bowled over by statistics and the financial gains of production. I was relieved when my words were so well received.
I have been having a wonderful time since I last wrote. The event last week at Barnsdall Theatre in LA was also really special and I had the opportunity to meet up with several dear friends living in Hollywood and to make new ones. This is the best part of touring. Connecting, making connections with others of like-mind, with readers, farmers and those who are interested in our films and it is so rewarding for me to see the audience reactions to the films.
I discovered San Francisco for the first time in my life – everyone says it, but what a beautiful city. I had an event up at UCDavis, part of the Californian university network. I was inspired by the work they are doing there. It is cutting edge. They even have a small department for Honey and Pollination and I managed to talk briefly with its director. This, as everyone who reads these website pages knows, is a subject close to my heart. I hope she and I will be able to exchange links and information and between us help build more awareness for the plight of the honey bee and the dangers for pollinators in general. I dined in the lovely town of Sacramento and I gave a talk up in Sonoma at a fundraising event for the Wine Country’s annual autumn film festival. We showed one of the films there, too.
At all these events, Facebook friends have been attending and that has also been very pleasurable: to meet my readers, to hear what they/you are enjoying about my work and to thank them/you for ongoing support.
More is to come. I will be in New York all this week with another four events to go and then on to Ohio where I will spend my birthday, give a lecture, show film clips and give a Creative Writing session for students at Ohio Northern university. Then, finally, to Chicago.
Lots of travelling but so worthwhile.
Two sad US events that I will mention: my heart goes out to the families in Boston who have been hurt and traumatised by the senseless bombings at the marathon. Violence achieves nothing. Prayers and thoughts of healing…
The second is the news just in that President Obama has signed the Monsanto Protection Act. I am posting a link here if you feel this needs to be addressed and turned over. PLEASE contact the White House and let him hear your voice. This is a crucial issue for the planet’s future. This is an issue that goes way beyond America. Please speak out.
So now I have the rest of today free and there is such a wealth of choice of things to do here in NYC that I am off out to simply enjoy the rest of my day and to celebrate the fact that I am here in America.
To those of you who have been attending my events or will be coming over the next two weeks, buying the books, buying the films, a huge Thank You. YOU are who make these occasions so vital and so uplifting.
More soon from this big continent