Misty mornings give way to clear blue skies, warm days and noise as village farmers make the most of spring to prepare soil for this year's plantings; it's great to be back.
We have travelled from New Zealand to say thank you to all the artisans and people of this area who helped me write my book, Recipes from my French Kitchen, during our year in France. I am taken aback at the reception.
Hidden in the very south-west of France, tucked beneath the formidable Pyrenees, lies the Haute-Pyrenees, a small department of age-old beauty and long held tradition. Mercifully, it has been discounted by the incessant tourist mill, no doubt in part due to its isolation and distance from the more romantic day-tripper haunts of Paris and Provence.