My passion is writing about travel and particularly French travel. I have traveled extensively in France and wine and food has always featured on my travels and now in my books. My friends always await our return from France with the latest new finds from the vineyards and I was more than happy to keep sampling. I am from Lancashire in the north of England but have now relocated to Somerset (nearer to France) and able to enjoy devoting my time to writing and new discoveries.
France came late to me as a destination, in fact so conservative was my travel upbringing that it was a long time before I even ventured to Cornwall. My travel plans always ended before the car reached the sea. I have more than made up for the slow start and have enjoyed helping many others with their travel plans to France and especially to Paris and Provence.
I have written a series of four books on France – All are now on Amazon
The experiences are varied and many and please come with me as I retell the stories and my footsteps are there to follow.
I am also writing about ancestry and genealogy and my first book about our incredible family story themed around war and the military is now on Amazon – A BULLET FOR LIFE.
I love the English game of cricket, golf, soccer, photography, walking and cooking. Oh, and travel of course
Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : https://bit.ly/bookneal
Writing a new French Travel Book from Home
Sadly, travel to France is still not possible. However, I still want to enjoy writing. So, my current project involves some new writing about regions I have so far not covered. These include Normandy and Brittany, parts of Burgundy and Beaujolais and the Lot et Garonne. I have decided to make this a larger book – a tour de France by using some excepts from my four book serious on France. This give the opportunity for readers who have not read all my books to get a flavour of them but also offer lots of new writing also. Hopefully, I can travel again soon and write about post Covid France where I am sure there are some great new adventures awaiting the traveller.
In search of Hemingway – Midnight in Paris & Restaurant La Maison de Verlaine
One of the most evocative books about Paris could be considered to be Ernest Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’. If ever I need inspiration to write about Paris or to make plans for another visit then that is the book that clinches my mood and motivation. It works every time for me even though you do have to take some of his Paris memoir writing with a large pinch of salt.
Tour de France, Tommy Simpson and a strange tale of Mont Ventoux
From early in my life I always had a fascination about the career and death of the British cyclist Tommy Simpson. In my youth I was a keen cyclist but I never cycled competitively. I had one of those ‘can you remember where you were when JFK was shot’ moments in 1967 when Simpson died that July day during the Tour de France on his ascent of Mt Ventoux. I do remember exactly where I was when Kennedy died; I was in a Fish and Chip shop in Darwen, Lancashire, my home town. I clearly remember my parents and everyone around being very shocked.
Victorian Soccer Star, a tragedy and a mystery
This is my Great Grandfather John Richard Parker – Johnny Parker revisiting his footballing days.
He was a local celebrity as a fine player but tragically his career was ended early.
He also left a mystery …..
Lunch in Brittany – French Style
I was reminded of an experience we had in Southern Ireland in Wicklow south of Dublin a few years earlier. We were briefly in a rural village that had a circular green around an old monument and around this green there came a battered old Volvo car with an equally battered radio blaring out from the passenger seat, home-made wiring leading into the cars electrical system. The car hit the kerb several times before attempting a docking manoeuvre worthy of NASA as he aimed the car at the Pub doorway just beyond us.
Wine Bar Les Vins au Vert Banon Provence France
Lower down from the market square of Banon village we had previously walked past a small wine bar, Les Vins Au Vert, opposite the tabac. We decided to check it out because it had seemed to hint that there was food to be had for lunch as well as a glass of wine. It turned out that we would be very happy that we had made this choice as the service was warm and friendly and prompt. We thoroughly enjoyed a plate of local charcuterie, onion, tomato and courgette tart, three local goats’ cheeses and a couscous salad. Continue Reading…
Springsteen, French Travels, Cricket and Brief Encounters
I note that recently ‘The Boss’ was 71. I have seen Springsteen many times over the years and had the pleasure of meeting him on one occasion. It made me recall the number of times I have met well known people on my travels – right place, right time. Hope you enjoy this recollection centered around my favourite sport, the mysterious English game of Cricket.
Justly famed as one of the most beautiful villages in the Luberon, Roussillon is a place we have loved from the early days of our travels in Provence. Perched high like so many of the Luberon villages, Roussillon is surrounded by the most beautiful countryside and from the very top of the village it gives extensive panoramic views that are difficult to beat in any other village in the Luberon.
Wine Touring in Southern France Rhône Valley Gigondas
I wanted to compare the wines of the Rhone just to the north of Châteauneuf to see how they compared in quality to the expensive wines we had tried in this famous wine village. We would only have time for a short trip and so we decided on a name that we were aware of – the village of Gigondas. Continue Reading…
I confess that I have a love of history and especially in the period of time in France that covers the occupation and the D-Day landings. It is not my intention to go over all that the story encompasses. That has been well told many times by far better historians and been reviewed extensively quite recently with the fascination of the 75th anniversary of the landings. All my writings are done with a desire to inspire you to visit the places we have loved over the years. What I hope to achieve is to convey a sense of the atmosphere to you and the way these sites have an impact on us as visitors. Continue Reading
I am happy to be contacted about my writing: