Joni Mitchell – Blue

Blue –  Joni Mitchell Blue is in my top three albums of all time. It was not always that way, in fact it was a slow burner to say the least. I bought this album quite early on in my collection compiling. I gave that first copy away at the local record exchange. I justContinue reading “Joni Mitchell – Blue”

Claude Monet and his House at Giverny

The story goes that Monet in his search for a house to accommodate his growing family set out one day by train from Paris and spotted what was then the tiny hamlet of Giverny. Standing out amongst the cluster of properties along Giverny’s long main street he saw from his carriage a long but lowContinue reading “Claude Monet and his House at Giverny”

St Paul de Vence a beautiful French perched village

St Paul de Vence is felt by many to be the loveliest of the perched villages in the south of France. Perhaps, but I do love Bonnieux! St Paul de Vence, an attractive, compact village became a magnet for artists and art lovers in the 1920’s, when a group of impressionist painters rediscovered this sleeping neglected village.Continue reading “St Paul de Vence a beautiful French perched village”

My Vinyl LP Record Collection – reviewing a life through Music

Today, as I listen to the Bruce Springsteen ‘River’ album, I am wondering what it is that shapes our love of music and particularly a genre that we seem to stay with for life. To be fair I did come to Springsteen a little later in life although the seeds were already there for him to step into my collection. My reason for starting this journey through my past, to paraphrase Neil Young, was my father’s vinyl collection. My father died recently, and he left a vast collection of vinyl including 78’s which I suppose are technically shellac. His CD collection was even more extensive, but it was the vinyl that fascinated me.

Cordes Sur Ciel and a whole Lot of rain

This excerpt is from my French travel book – OFF THE AUTOROUTE, the fifth in my Series of French travel memoirs. Please enjoy on Amazon including Kindle Unlimited. It will take you on a tour of France from Calais to the South and back through Brittany and Normandy. It is time to move on, andContinue reading “Cordes Sur Ciel and a whole Lot of rain”

Normandy – First Impressions of Touring France

The dawn chorus was just thinking about making an appearance when we started our approach to the ferry terminal at Portsmouth. It was then that I realized why my mouth had gone so dry and my hands were shaking. I had not got the faintest idea of how to proceed to the ferry and an embarrassed fear set in. Where on earth do I go – what lane do I take?

Jackson Browne – Late for the Sky

It would be fair to say that Jackson Browne has for me brought out more feelings about life and all that it can throw at you than any other writer. He is my go to songwriter if I want to feel better about just about anything. That may seem strange as he is to some perhaps viewed as a melancholic, slightly cynical writer. True in part, but for me no one captures the human spirit and condition better than he does. For a writer to do that from such an early age is astonishing, as shown with his mature writing of ‘These Days’, one of his first compositions.

‘Late for the Sky’, released in 1974, actually the day prior to me seeing CSNY at Wembley Stadium, a concert that opened for me by hearing ‘Take it Easy’ blasting out over the sound system as I entered the arena. That song would be my first introduction to his work.

A NEW French Journey by Photography – Take a tour

All the photography was taken by myself on our visits to Paris and the French regions. I hope you enjoy them and please look up my stories of our travels on Amazon.

My new book is a tour around France starting in Normandy. I hope you will come with me and be inspired to travel a similar path. I hope it will inspire you to travel to France or at least enjoy it in your imagination from home.

Paris the 7th Arrondissement – or life beyond Rue Cler

This chapter is from my book A DREAM OF PARIS available on Amazon At the outset I have to make it clear that some of my best friends are American, as indeed are a good number of my wife Niamh’s extended family – the Irish get everywhere. However it seems to me that even youContinue reading “Paris the 7th Arrondissement – or life beyond Rue Cler”

Lavender in Provence – Where to find the best views

I appreciate that there are many people for whom a visit to Provence must be made in the lavender season as it is crucial to their experience of the region. My wife Niamh is one of those people. Our old friend the village of Banon is a good starting point for a lavender tour. Around the village are some magnificent lavender fields and a climb to the church at the top of the village will reveal them in all their stupendous glory. If you briefly go out of the village on the D950 in the direction of Forcalquier you can turn off to go down one of the minor roads on your left, experiencing driving as if through a lavender field. There are some glorious photo opportunities. After that you can then go back through Banon and take the D950 in the opposite direction to Revest du Bion