Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In the middle of January I had a revelation. There I was looking into the lovely eyes of my daughter considering how I was going to bring her up on the meagre income of a Provencal market trader, fattening her up on the summer season’s bounty and scraping together enough money to survive the winter.

Then came the revelation - rather than standing with the other traders for the next three months bemoaning the emptiness of the markets and harking back to the halcyon pre 9/11 time when every cobbled street glistened with the sweat of overweight tourists, I had to do something else for a few months.

So what does a former lawyer turned market trader do to earn a living in the quiet winter months? Well I’ve become a travelling salesman and Elodie (because we couldn’t bear to be parted and more to the point because she sleeps well in the car) has become a travelling sales baby. The idea is for advertising to fund the production of a new magazine about the region - inspired by the glorious winter weather it’s going to be called “Blue Sky Living.” We’re going to cover the Luberon and Les Alpilles and this summer everybody will be reading it.
So rather than the usual missives from the markets for the next few months I am going to be writing about the trials and tribulations of an Englishman trying to sell advertising to the French.

So far I have been assaulted by a Doberman, driven from a goat’s cheese farm by the overpowering stench and mistakenly visited a factory which I thought made boiled sweets but in fact turned out to boil the discarded bones of dead animals. It’s all in a days work.

In the meantime there are a few related new features on this blog. Firstly because every travelling salesman needs a good lunch I am instituting a search for Provence’s best steak frite and secondly because I am going into the magazine business I am going to start posting some of the more quirky and amusing news stories from the region. There are two new links to click on at the top of the page which take you through to these new pages.

And finally - if anybody would like to receive a copy of the magazine, could they please email me with their name and address and I will be in touch nearer publication time in June.

Ps. Cousin Big Nick…next time you leave a comment, post your email as well and then I can get in touch!