Author: Robin Squire
Published by Greenwave Editions 2015
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A real-life romance between an Englishman and an American woman inspired Lavender Days. Robin Squire set his novella in Provence, with the heady aroma of lavender in the summer air. The story of Lavender Days hinges on a section of diary rediscovered in a dusty attic after 20 years. Incredibly, some stalks of lavender found with this little record of events still retain their fragrance after two decades, aromatically evoking those dazzling days. But why had the Englishman completely blotted these musty handwritten pages, and the little bag of memorabilia from his mind? Perhaps not for the reasons that might be assumed.
Rob explains: “Back in 1993 I hopped on a coach from London to Avignon in the south of France, for what amounted to a blind date with Kathryn, an American lady. She had read an article I had written about my negative experiences with dating agencies in England, and had responded via the magazine which had published it. We enjoyed a magical, unforgettable two weeks together, in and around the beautiful village of Jonquerettes in Provence’s lavender country.
I explore the reasons I had to leave Provence in the story. When I went, Kathryn and her sweet 10-year-old daughter gave me what they described as a ‘care bundle’: a plastic bag of little goodies. The treasures in the bag included sprigs of the lavender which grew in profusion in the sun-drenched garden of the house in Jonquerettes. Astonishingly, when I now put my nose inside that recently rediscovered bag those lavender stalks are still giving off a delicate fragrance which makes my mind swim at the memories evoked of love in Provence. That the scent of that long-ago lavender is still here in the present day, after 21 years, almost as potent as on the day it was picked, seems to me not only marvellous but virtually supernatural. But it’s true.”
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