Provence. Provence-Alpes-Maritimes is my home, and it has also become my work. I never fail to remind myself how fortunate I am. When I first came here to this southern coast of France I was looking for a ‘house by the sea’. I had circumnavigated the world several times over, both as an actress and traveller, looking for this mythical house I dreamed of. Of course, I found many and some were to die for, frequently outside my price range, requiring too much work for a totally impractical woman or, for one reason or another, they were just not ‘it’, not ‘the one’. I could not have said why.
Until I fell in love with a Frenchman (while filming in Australia!) and together we found an abandoned, way-too-expensive property set back from the Bay of Cannes. The Olive Farm series of books was born.
The jungle of land and ruined jumble of stones that constituted The Olive Farm (my title for this hillside property) was never to become the chill-out holiday place I had envisaged. The Olive Farm has become my destiny. It is a very unexpected shift that has taken place. I came here as a youngish actress with lots of energy and I find myself now someone who is invited to universities and schools and various other organisations to talk about olive trees, the history of the olive tree, the plight of the honeybee, the dangers of pesticides. How did this come about, I continually ask myself.
Provence, its nature, its colours, its perfumes has…