Patricia Sands' love of Provence is contagious. I think I'm in love with Provence now too!
Guest: Patricia Sands
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Patricia Sands is a wonderfully warm and engaging woman. I loved chatting to her and could have kept talking with her over a cuppa for the rest of the day (probably swapping to wine at some stage and chatting on through the night!) The more Francophile women I meet the more I realise, through the Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles podcast I have found my people…
Patricia was a teacher, was widowed a couple of decades ago, remarried and was living a very full life by all accounts. She had through all that time a group of girlfriends who came together to play Bridge. Now they don’t live so closely but still zoom at least once a month and are a great support for each other through life’s ups and downs. Patricia wrote a book about the friendships she made with that group of women called “The Bridge Club”. After self-publishing and a few books further on, this time with wonderfully complex characters set in Provence, Patricia was picked up by a publisher and now has many more books to her name. She is passionate about writing with mature women as the protagonist and also about the setting, Provence.
Talking to Patricia about Provence, I just want to jump on a plane and head there immediately! She has a way of painting a picture that evokes an emotional response. She now takes tours of women to Provence staying in both Nice and Arles. I imagine it would be a fortnight of laughing, sipping rosé and making lifelong friends.
I was fascinated about the way Patricia has facilitated her long stays in France over many, many years. Patricia and her husband connected with people in France through homelink.org to work out home exchanges. So a household in France would go to stay in Patricia’s home and vice versa. Through this process Patricia made some amazing lifelong friends and really felt at times that she got to experience France “living like a local”!
Patricia chatted so freely about the way COVID affected her, about her very personal experience looking for her uncle’s grave who was killed during WW2, as well as her ongoing connection to France.
I loved most of all Patricia’s response to my request for her to describe her perfect French day. Her response, “I can answer this easily as I have lived my perfect French day so many times!” How wonderful to know then, that dreams can actually come true.
There is hope for all of us.
Patricia’s 2023 Provence Tour
Patricia adds a dash of honey to the dressing of this recipe. Even though the article is long, Patricia says the recipe at the end is perfect.