Sunday, 3 August 2014

My Love Affair with France!



Bienvenus, mes amis! Welcome back, everyone. Apologies for a longer than normal interval between posts, but sometimes life just gets in the way. This particular upheaval, involved moving all my books to a new venue and it was during this mammoth task, I found myself sitting on the floor in the middle of a pile of packing cases, holding the book that initially sparked my love affair with France.

Carol Drinkwater is the author of a trilogy of books, The Olive Farm, The Olive Season, The Olive harvest and later, Return to the Olive Farm. All of which I consumed voraciously, but the crowning glory of my enjoyment of Carol's works, is the treasured book I hold in my hands today. The Illustrated Olive Farm, a companion to her best selling series. What a joy, after reading of this beautiful life changing place, that the author should be so generous as to share with her readers this collection of newly written prose and pictures, putting flesh to the bones of what we, the reader, can only have imagined.

Inspired by Carol's writing of her love affair with the handsome French film and television  producer, Michel and their discovery together, of an old villa, high in the hills above the bay of Cannes, I was later to follow in her footsteps and purchase the old presbytery, of which you are perhaps now familiar, from my recent blogposts.

If you dream of a life in the South of France, I highly recommend that you get hold of Carol's books. She writes beautifully, with a great love of nature that flows effortlessly from her pen. Originally an actor, you may remember her from her role as Helen Herriot in the television series, 'All Creatures Great and Small'. It was after she met her husband, Michel,who proposed over dinner on their first date that her life was to drift further away from acting.

Michel invited her to join him in the south of France, where he was attending the Cannes film festival. While he was caught up in the hurly burly of the festival, Carol passed her time swimming, sauntering the streets of the old town, daydreaming and gazing in local estate agents' windows. It had always been her dream to live by the sea.  Little did she know, she was about to discover the house of her dreams, that would change her life forever.

The villa, built by Italians at the turn of the century was named 'Appassionata', a musical term meaning, 'with passion'. Sitting high above the bay of Cannes, its terraced slopes fell steeply towards the Mediterranean. An old olive farm, well off the beaten track, it was completely overgrown and lay derelict, but Carol and Michel fell in love with its faded grandeur. Leaving England and setting up life with the man she loved, her story is filled with passion, for the handsome Frenchman, a beautiful old olive farm and the Provencal life in all its splendour. We follow her through an evolution that sees her become a best selling author, film maker and a successful olive producer.

Readers, I urge you to dive into this trilogy and surface in the glittering sun of the Mediterranean. It could change your life forever, the way it changed mine!
Appassionata 
The old presbytery

        




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