Meet the Writers : The Riviera Reporter editorial team
A glance at the faces and profiles of the people behind the bylines in the Riviera Reporter Magazine and on this site.
Mike Meade Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Canadian by birth, British by naturalisation and professional photographer by trade, Mike has lived in Europe and the Riviera for most of his life. Specialised in marine photography he was affected by the slump in the yachting sector that followed the arrival of the Mitterrand political era in France, and went on to found the first regular English language publication in the South of France since the Victorian period (when there were several daily and weekly papers on the Promenade des Anglais!). With Patrick Middleton’s editorial help from the first issue, the Riviera Reporter
became a success and has been published six times a year ever since. Originally a text-heavy information magazine, it’s only in recent years that photography has been used in the magazine. A fan of F1 racing and aero-modelling, Mike now divides his time between Mougins and rural Buckinghamshire.
Nancy (Wilson) Heslin Editor
Nancy has been editor of the Riviera Reporter
since 2001 when she left the cold of Canada for the Côte d'Azur. She has taken the TGV with Tom Cruise to Marseille, lunched with Prince Albert in Monaco and sipped champagne with Paris Hilton in St Tropez as part of her contributions to leading celeb glossies. And her travel portfolio stretches from Ireland to Italy, Romania to Russia, and the Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert. Nancy writes for Random House’s Fodor’s France
and Fodor’s Provenceand theFrench Riviera
). She became a French citizen in 2010; her biggest passion is the triathlon.
CONTRIBUTORS AND DEPUTY EDITORS
In alphabetical order by first name:
Colette Kent Riviera Fit
Colette is a native of Ireland and started her fitness career in the USA where she taught Yoga, Spin, and Strength classes and personal training. Upon moving to Nice, Colette worked as a Personal Trainer before launching FitHub (http://fithub.net
) – an English-speaking Fitness Studio where exercise is inclusive, enjoyed and social. Practising what she preaches, Colette competes regularly in triathlons, running and cycling events including Nice Ironman, Nice-Cannes marathon and the Etape du Tour Mondovelo, a stage of the famed Tour de France.
Huw Williams Technology and IT
With over 15 years experience working in IT with a focus on IP networking and Video over IP, Huw now runs an IT services company (www.wirelessandweb.co.uk
) on the Cote d'Azur specialising in IP Networking, WiFi deployments and business IT services. An avid hiker, Huw also set up Riviera Rambling (www.rivierarambling.fr
), a site dedicated to walkers, hikers and ramblers who would like to discover or get to know better the beautiful landscape of the French Riviera.
James Hartley Garden and Landscape Design
James qualified in Horticulture at Wye before moving to France over 15 years ago to start a nursery here in the south. Today that enterprise has flourished to become the English Garden Group (http://englishgardengroup.com
) with the nursery, construction department and landscape design divisions providing services to clients across the Riviera and beyond. His interests are somewhat diverse, being fascinated by all things artistic, musical, architectural, technical, mechanical and electrical. A fan of science fiction with a penchant for playing the piano late at night, he’s perpetually full of new ideas and usually has a well-founded on most things. A generally optimistic, easy-going and happy individual – his days are always filled with designing and building beautiful gardens.
Katie Bills Food
Katie Bills trained and worked as a sous chef at the top Toulouse restaurant, "J'go", where she developed a love of French cuisine. Having lived beside the Mediterranean, she came to appreciate the abundant and healthy fresh produce of the area, both from land and sea, which is readily available. Don’t be fooled though. She’s a devotee of good food right around the world, from the café where she worked in Sydney, Australia to cooking typical dishes in Cape Town, South Africa. Katie recently started a gourmet dinner service, both in the South of France and also in London, where she has studied interior and spacial design at Chelsea College of Art. She hopes to specialise in restaurant design once fully qualified.
Lisa Pepin Luberon Diary
Lisa worked in public relations before moving to Provence from Chicago with her French husband ten years ago, trading her collection of high heels for a now well-worn pair of Hunter boots. Today they run the Pepin family's organic farm, Les Pastras (www.lespastras.com
), which produces grapes, peaches, plums, pears, apricots, cherries, olives, almonds, figs, and even honey. They offer truffle-hunting tours of the property followed by a generous selection of truffle hors d'oeuvres and Champagne. They also sell Les Pastras brand organic olive and truffle oil, with 50% of the profits going to the One Family Orphanage in Haiti. When not digging in the dirt, Lisa enjoys painting, hiking and traveling to her favourite place in the world: anyplace she hasn't yet seen.
Michael Healy Nautical
Following a career in the Royal Navy, Michael retired from the Senior Service with the rank of Commander and lived for a while in Monaco before moving to Beaulieu sur Mer with his German wife Regina. A sailboat owner and lover of all things nautical he founded the local "Admiralty Charts" business which he sold and which continues to this day in Antibes. Very active in the Royal British Legion, Michael organises the local Poppy Drive and participates in various ceremonial events with British, American and French comrades-in-arms. He has received an MBE for his services.
Molly Brown Monaco Murmurs
Born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, a lover of books, music and rambling across the Derbyshire moors, with a grandmother, aunt and uncle in education, Molly inevitably became a teacher, but only because ‘nice girls did not go on the stage or be dancers’ … or even journalists. Married with two young children, she accompanied her husband to a British Army posting to an independent, peaceful Tripoli Libya in the 1960s, and whilst teaching at the new oil company school she began writing for a weekly English newspaper, then became its assistant editor and stringer for PIW, UPI, Time
and New York Time
. Moving to the U.S. after Ghaddafi’s takeover, she worked as a freelance journalist and edited an expat newsletter for some years before returning to Europe. Lured to Monaco by its international flavour, cultural life and sunny climate, she writes about life in the Principality.
Nathalie Giraud Relationships
Born in the South of France, Nathalie is a professional Sex Therapist, Sex Coach and Relationship Coach, who speaks excellent English. With a private office on the Riviera and a shared practice in Paris, she also runs fun, practical and empowering private workshops and seminars on sexuality, relationships and Tantra, as well as for specific issues (health related and disability). For the past 10 years, she’s helped both individuals and couples to rediscover a love life in tune with themselves and each other. Frequently interviewed for TV, radio and magazine media, she’s also a guest 3 times a week on the daily evening Parisian radio show "Voltage".
Nick Kent Features & Golf
Nick lives in Cannes. A journalist, he worked for the Daily Mirror
in London before spending the latter half of his career in book publishing. His passions include walking and golf. Nick is a volunteer for the Association des Paralysés de France (http://dd06.blogs.apf.asso.fr
for the Alpes-Maritimes, http://dd83.blogs.apf.asso.fr
for the Var), which is always on the lookout for more folk to lend a hand with this rewarding work. Another warm welcome awaits any English-speaker who would like to experience the glory of our mountains and valleys with the Club Alpin Français (www.clubalpin.com
), the best way to walk on the Riviera. Contact Nick for further details of either organisation.
PJ Heslin American Notes
PJ was a stand up comic in New York and LA before moving to France where he swapped a mic for a chalkboard to teach at the ISP Tennis Academy (www.isptennisacademy.com
) and Skema (www.skema.edu
) in Sophia Antipolis. Wanting to fully integrate (and keep up with his French wife), PJ studied immersion at Alliance Française Nice, joined the AVF in Nice and watched endless episodes of Agence Tous Risques. These days he practices his French at the local boxing and jiu jitsu gyms. When not training for an endurance race—he recently completed Ironman Nice and the Millau 100km run — he enjoys his dog, eating and the slow pace of Mediterranean living.
Peter Johnson Business
Peter has been living in the South of France for over 25 years and is a fully registered and regulated independent financial advisor. Peter is THE person you want to go to for business & financial services if you need advice on French taxation, business set-up and more. He knows new French laws before Hollande.
Our writers also consult experts in various fields : medicine, travel, law, finance, health, wine, cooking, sport, sociology, the French language and many other subjects relevant to expats in France and on the Riviera.