Lavender starting to ‘show’ – near Villars


Up on way to the Sault plateau. For lavender-watchers, this is probably the best place to be



Simple and effective. Seen on a restaurant table in Monieux, close to Sault.


Leotard. The Story of Jazz Ballet Rodney (JBR), is the remarkable story of two young women, one English, one Canadian, both with rather genteel upbringings, who joined a European travelling dance company in the early 1960’s.

Leotard is a warming tale and one that is a must for anyone interested in the arts, culture, dancing and is a tale of friendship that has stood the test of time over 50 years. The authors kept all the letters and diaries from those years and thus, in alternating chapters, have been able to present a detailed account of their travels and adventures.

The Swinging 60s was known as the decade when culturally the world turned on its head. Post-WW2 depression had ended and the era heralded music, dance, fashion and fun.

As the Beatles and the Rolling Stones cut a swathe through the clubs, pubs and dance halls of Europe and the USA, so did other forms of entertainment challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of art and culture.

Jazz Ballet Rodney seemed to operate on a wing and a prayer, but it travelled all over Europe and the Middle East giving performances in many strange and exotic places to enthusiastic audiences. A performance to the young Shah of Iran is a particular highlight.

At various times The JBR supported stars such as Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, Sacha Distel, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Becaud, as well as a very young Rolling Stones in an early “Ready, Steady, Go” television programme.

The style of writing is breezy, easy going and funny. They seem to accept with equanimity all the crises, the foibles, lack of money and the hellholes where they were sometimes billeted. Their love affairs are treated discreetly and this seems entirely appropriate.

The excitement of their adventure is palpable: their friends, the cafés, the rehearsals, the uncomplicated time before life becomes, well, life. Just simple joys of being young when everything is possible and everything is new and exciting.  As Mary says: ‘Have you ever had the feeling that you may never, ever have such fun again in all your life?’

The ending is poignant, very moving indeed, after all the adventures and times spent together – a fascinating and entertaining read.

Leotard. The Story of Jazz Ballet Rodney – by Sally Faverot de Kerbrech and Mary Spilsbury Ross. Available from Amazon sites world-wide and selected bookshops.


Do you feel that you could write a book? Need help, need an editor/mentor/guide? It’s not as difficult as you think and the self-publishing phenomenon makes it even easier.

For more information, and a competitive quote to get YOU published, click here. Or, simply, leave a comment on this post.



“Work is a sideline, Live the holiday”

 A Guide to making money on the Internet, by Seth Rotherham

Cape Town identity Seth Rotherham, founder and editor-in-chief of 2Oceansvibe, has released his first book entitled “Work is a sideline, Live the holiday” – a Guide to making money on the Internet.

The irreverent Rotherham has taken his readers into the more serious side of his personality and shared some tips and hints on how he manages to “Live the Holiday”. He has used a personal case study of spotting an opportunity in cane furniture being sold on the side of the road in Camps Bay and trading it successfully on the web.

The book is a marriage of an Emerging Economy activity and High-Tech. The formula – which is given to the reader in and amongst Rotherham’s usual colourful language and hilarious anecdotes – is easy to follow.  A quick read, Rotherham gets to the point and judicious use of screen shots will make it easy for the reader to follow.

This is an important book at this time for the youth and oldies alike. A book that let’s you test any product/service on the Internet with an investment of only R250. That money is spent as you follow the instructions to create an e-commerce solution, accepting credit cards and generating traffic.

A nice touch is Seth’s handy ‘life hacking’ tips to living an easier life!
In keeping with Seth’s unconventional approach to life, he has chosen to self-publish rather than hawk the book around traditional publishers.

To purchase the book, click here.

 For more check out



The TGV. The Pride of France. Treine Grande Vitesse (Train of Great Journeys).

The special TGV railway lines criss-cross France and are a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the countryside quickly and comfortably. It’s always on time, to the minute (except when they strike!!). It travels at speeds of up to 300kmph and the ride is smoothness personified.

However, a few reminders or else your trip could turn into a bit of a nightmare:

* Book early. Try, this is their ‘Easyjet’ type booking site and you can get great deals – especially off-peak.

* When you get your ticket, note the train no, the carriage no and your seat no. When you reach the station, go to the platform allocated to your train no. NB: Disregard your destination on the ticket, often the TGV goes on to other destinations after yours and that is what is listed on the board. Work with the numbers! Approximately 15 min before your train, an LED screen on the platform will tell you what ‘zone’ your carriage will stop at – go there! Remember to go to the little yellow machine on the platform and ‘verify’ your ticket : a fine awaits if you do not.

* The TGV WAITS FOR NO-ONE! 3 minutes or 180 seconds is what you get – off-loading other passengers, and loading yourself with your luggage! Travel so that you can carry. Porters? No…..

* Drop your luggage in your carriage entrance luggage compartment and find your seat – quickly.

* The TGV snack bar is poor and expensive. We take a picnic…bread, cheese, cold cuts, wine, ice, glasses. Beats an airplane anytime.

* Always make sure what station you are getting off at and leave your seat with a full 5 minutes to go, collect your bags and join the other French people at the door. When the doors open…GO!!

* Cities like Avignon and Aix-en-Provence have two stattions – the SNCF (‘normal’ railway) and TGV station. Make sure you know which one you’re leaving from and arriving at. Both are about 8km from each other.

* Disabled/Elderly/Limited mobility passengers: The TGV is excellent as long as you pre-warn them when you book. An official in a red jacket will meet you at your car, load you on the train and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Enjoy one of life’s great rail adventures – the TGV!




The Ménerbes blazon (badge) has two keys on it. Why? Tourists wonder.

Simple. In medieval times, Ménerbes had two entrances, necessary for a village besieged for 30 years during the Religious Wars of the 1700s (Ménerbes and nearby Lacoste were both Protestant), also a village which housed members of the French Resistance during WW2.

Both entrances are now ‘more modern’ – one is the tar road into Ménerbes bnear the Resistance Monument and the other is shown below, near to the Church Eglise de St Luc.

Legend has it that the blackened stone on the left hand pillar is the blood from an intruder’s hand which was cut off and pinned to the wall to deter other attackers.


On a Spring morning


A lion statue watches over the Ménerbes Chateau

Sitting right behind the poppies in the queue is the lavender. Looking good right now, the next two weeks will reveal how good the season will be.

As we approach the summer solstice, the poppies make their way off for another year. Not a vintage year 2014, but not bad nevertheless

Usually, it is a set of gates but the M´nerbes Town Hall Clock qualifies too.

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