Impressions of Provence a Landcape for my French Travel Books

A lovely watercolour artwork from an original idea by my book illustrator – so looking forward to being back in this landscape. I do love to mix up my illustrations in my French travel books with photography and some original artwork. I think an artists impression allows your imagination to take you into the sceneContinue reading “Impressions of Provence a Landcape for my French Travel Books”

Emmylou Harris – Pieces of the Sky

The first thing that strikes you about this album is the cover. It is loaded with sentiment. Emmylou looks pensive, alone, wistful on the front. She is lost in thought – what would Gram think of this album and why isn’t he here? Above the photo is maybe a nod to Gram – an angel looking over her as she starts on her musical path alone. On the reverse she is dreamlike in a flowing light dress. Emmylou is in the desert, the scene of her unhappiness and the loss of her dreams. Was she there as the fire raged in the canyon? As James Taylor said ‘This is not a time for levity’. It is a heart-breaking cover, but does she move on with the music?

NEW French Travel Book out NOW – Photography from the Book

Please enjoy this selection of photography from my new book They are taken on Fuji print film and Nikon & Olympus Digital Cameras My fifth book about our twenty five years of French travel is due out in the summer of 2022, early July. It is mainly new writing and sets out to tour FranceContinue reading “NEW French Travel Book out NOW – Photography from the Book”

My Vinyl LP Record Collection – 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.

My Vinyl : Carole King – Tapestry

Carole King – Tapestry       1971

I was not one for spending money, of which I had little, on music. Music came in and out of my life, but sport was my main interest. I do recall though cycling around the whole town, visiting every newsagent, to try to buy a copy of a music magazine that was offering full lyrics of the latest hits. A girl I adored as a ten-year-old loved the Walker Brothers and I thought she would be truly impressed if I knew the lyrics. I failed to get a copy as all were sold out – so back to football instead.

Lavender Fields at their best in a Provencal Summer

Travellers have their own favourite areas of Provence where they appreciate the vast fields of lavender. For me the finest spot is close to Banon. In fact anywhere around that village whether you head towards Forqualquier, as in this shot, or north of the village back across towards the famous area around Sault, you willContinue reading “Lavender Fields at their best in a Provencal Summer”

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 travelContinue reading “A NEW French Journey by Photography – Take a tour”

NEW FRENCH TRAVEL BOOK OUT NOW – D-Day and the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach

Please enjoy this excerpt from my New Book – these are my thoughts from a poignant visit to the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. It is poignant especially because of being situated where these young men fell. I hope you enjoy this recollection but sadly we still today are filling places like this as youngContinue reading “NEW FRENCH TRAVEL BOOK OUT NOW – D-Day and the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach”

Tommy Simpson and our Ascent of Mont Ventoux

From early on in my life I have 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 hometown. I clearly remember my parents and everyone around being very shocked.

NEW FRENCH TRAVEL BOOK – Out Today – Cordes Sur Ciel and a whole Lot of rain

This excerpt is from my forthcoming French travel book, the fifth in my Series of French travel memoirs. Please enjoy and the book will be released in the spring. 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,Continue reading “NEW FRENCH TRAVEL BOOK – Out Today – Cordes Sur Ciel and a whole Lot of rain”