The chateau is the most beautiful place that I know of anywhere in the world, lost in time and cut off from the world still today. It hasn't been lived in properly since 1914 and yet a hundred years ago, was a fun, joyful family home. It was built in the late eighteenth century and is privately owned. It's hidden away in a secret part of the French countryside where very few tourists go to (as there is literally very little to do apart from unwind, eat, drink, sleep and rest). You never hear traffic apart from the odd tractor and you want to stay there forever.
I went there every year as a child (as did my father in 1953, aged just ten, on an exchange with a French boy Dominique whose father owned the chateau, and they have stayed friends ever since) and I then started organising an annual holiday to the chateau in 2007. Over the past twelve years, hundreds of different people have come (nearly 250 people up to now). With late breakfasts, lazy lunches and long dinners, open air cinema and night-time poetry, treasure hunts, adventures aplenty and days by the beach, real community is created, lifelong friendships are formed, romance happens and people come back recharged and reinvigorated.
It’s also where a lot of the magic and inspiration for my photography comes from and where many of my ideas about community have been formed. It’s all about love and acceptance.