Wood smoke scents the air

lunchA robin has flown into the house through a set of open French doors and is sitting in the corner by one of the antique lamps I picked up from a château sale near St Tropez.  Michel is in the kitchen chopping up a mushroom he collected from the hillside this morning after yesterday’s rain. Rain, much needed after months and months of hot dry weather. There is a sense of anticipation in the air; we are olive harvesting this weekend. We have three friends flying to help us: two from Finland and one from Berlin and we will work for five or six days flat out. It is a small crop this year so we should get through it and deliver up fine olives for a single-estate, organic pressing.

I wonder that, after all these years this Mediterranean work and tradition still excites me, but it does. It gives a sense of meaning to this hillside and to all the efforts that go into keeping this place going. I will let you know next time what the results of the harvest have been. One thing is sure, it is organic oil we are producing and I am proud about that.

The bees are fairly quiet although they have had a very fruitful summer here with so much hot weather and an abundance of flowers for them to forage. We hope to take off some honey from them, if there is sufficient, within the next few weeks.

I am at work on a new Kindle Single, which is entitled Hotel Paradise. Once it is nearer completion I will send word so that those of you who are interested in buying it can look out for it on their Amazon website.

If you haven’t read The Girl In Room Fourteen, here are the links for it:

US | 

 | http://www.amazon.co.uk

The programme for the France Show in January  is being put together now. Those who are attending my talk at the France Show and then the OLIVE FARM LUNCH on Saturday 18th January are giving their names now to Olive Farm Friends, Sandra and Ali, who are very kindly offering their time for the organisation of the lunch. The Facebook link for Friends of the Olive Farm is


It is a great site and we have fun there and there are people from all walks of life and from all over the world supporting one another and learning from one another and sometimes we fight for what we believe is fair. If you are interested, please go to the page and join us.

My talk this year is going to be France As An Inspiration.

Here is the link for the France Show if you want to buy tickets:


Living here in France has given me so many opportunities to find stories.

Next year in April, If You Were The Only Girl in the World will be published by Scholastic. It is a young adult love story set in 1916 in the Valley of the Somme River, northern France.  I spent some time up there last month and have also written a travel article for the Mail on Sunday. I was quite taken aback by the beauty of the region. Do look out for the book and for the article in the newspaper although I am not yet sure when MoS Travel will be running it.

So, now I must dash. There are olive crates to clean, nets to lay and shopping to buy for meals for hungry olive pickers. And then there is my writing!

Wishing you all well and thank you for popping by here to read this.



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