Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Welcome to the all new Extremely Pale Rosé website.

Just to update those who have read Extremely Pale Rosé, Tanya and I are now running our own wine business in the south of France. We live near the village of Lourmarin and our shop front is the local markets. When we started trading in October last year one of the locals observed that we would be "living on love and cold water." They were right. We survived a long cold winter and sold practically no wine. But we made friends with the other market traders and secured our pitches in three local villages for the summer and now at last the tourists and the sun have arrived.

As I write this I am just back from the market in Cuceron, where I was approached - or should I say interogated by a middle-aged English lady. As well as wine we sell my book on the stand. The lady flicked through it and looked up. I prepared to explain the story. Instead of asking a polite question she pointed the spine into my face: "Why isn't it translated into French?"

I replied that we had recently found a Dutch publisher and that we were searching for a French one.

"People like you are wrecking this place. It's an English invasion," she said and stalked off.

I wish I'd had the opportunity to continue the conversation. I sat there thinking over her (un) righteous indignation. The honey lady next to us makes her own honey and the potter his own pottery and they both sell it. But for some reason a writer is unable to sell his own books. Had she been French I could have understood her ire, but from a Brit it was the worse kind of snobbery - for some reason she believed she had a right to live here and yet none of her fellow country men did.

Where was she in January when the fountains in the village were frozen and our clients were just the locals? Back in England?