Olive Picking in France

At this time of year I keep seeing references to olive picking (in warmer climes than the north of England, granted) and it always brings back happy memories of the time we spent living in the South of France, when one of our last tasks before heading back to England was harvesting the olive trees in the grounds of where we were living!

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We set about the task on a late October weekend in 2011, which started bitterly cold but we were soon in shorts and t-shirts as the sun burned through.

We used various methods of removing the olives from the trees, little rake type things, a good old shake, and then climbing up the branches like ten year old boys when we couldn’t reach the best crops!

All, well most, of the olives would land on to giant nets that we’d spread around the trunk of the tree, which we’d then gather together when the tree had been harvested.

The nets were then emptied into a homemade contraption borrowed from the next door neighbour, to remove any leaves and stalks from the olives as they were loaded into crates.

The crates were then emptied out on to cloths in the garage for the olives to dry out a bit, before being crated up again and taken to the local olive press!

Of course it would be rude not to indulge in the french way of life whilst we were undertaking this quite laborious task, so a good Provencal lunch was laid on every day, and we celebrated our achievements at a local restaurant which is a converted olive mill!

Unfortunately we returned to the UK before the local olive press opened for the season so we weren’t able to see our harvest being processed, however the other members of our team sent us photos of the occasion!

To see more photos from our adventures in France, check out this post

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Around the World in 80 Words – Moustiers Ste. Marie

I spotted this idea on Sam Cleasby’s Pretty Little Peculiar blog, Sam was originally inspired by another blogger  and after reading Sam’s and a few other posts, I felt inspired to join in!

So here we go, and actually it’s not as easy as it seems, my first entry about one of my favourite places in the world, but somewhere not many people will have visited.

Moustiers Sainte Marie is nestled among lavender fields and amazing scenery in the Gorges Du Verdon in the South of France. It’s built into the side of a rock face with a river running down it that turns into the most dramatic waterfall right in the centre of the village. There’s a star strung between two of the peaks of rock above the village, not sure why… It’s a fair climb to the church but worth it for the views!

Star strung between two peaks
Steps up to the church
Waterfall in the centre of the village
Moustiers Sainte Marie – note the church half way up

Happy Days

As you’ve probably guessed by now if you’re friends with either of us on Facebook or Twitter, we’re now back in the North of England after a wonderful summer living in the South of France. Here’s a little photo gallery selected from the 1,657 photos we took over the last 5 months!

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During the summer we came across the Zac Brown Band, and this song seems to sum up our time in France. Listen to it while you’re browsing through the slideshow 🙂

We’ve had a wonderful summer in France and we’re now back in England with family and friends, looking forward to Christmas.

As for next year, who knows! Our house is still up for sale and we’re hopeful that it will sell in the new year, which will signal the start of a whole new adventure!

But we know one thing for sure, wherever we are, we’ll be living Happily Ever After.

Helen & Rich xxx