Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia

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9780141801841: Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia

At 17, the author retired from his schoolboy band, Genesis, and became a sheep shearer and travel writer. He moved with his wife to a remote mountain farm in the Alpujarras, south of Granada, and writes about his life on a mountain with no access road, water supply or electricity.

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All Provenced out? Then head further south this year, to the breathtaking mountainous climes of Andalucia. Just don't be squeamish about driving over lemons.

Chris Stewart, skilled sheep-shearer and sometime Genesis drummer, took one look at the Alpujarr´s, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and decided that's where he wanted to be. This is the story of his adventures coming to terms with the terrain, the lifestyle and, of course, the locals, who possess all the rugged, homespun charm you'd expect. Stewart soon discovers all the hidden foibles of his bargain purchase, and spends the following year(rendered here in detail) installing the little luxuries of life like, say, water.

However, just when you're worrying that all this might degenerate into a rose-tinted "Englishman finds nature" idyll, Chris's wife enters the fray. Nonsense-free, straight-talking and relentlessly unsentimental, Ada should be a required resource for all travel writers. Ada gets bored with the fake machismo of pig-killing, Ada sees through the selfless "help" of the natives, Ada calls a peasant a peasant. With her on board, Stewart has the perfect counterbalance to his declared optimism, and Driving Over Lemons becomes a loving but clear-sighted encomium, economically and wittily written, to a wonderful part of the world. -- Alan Stewart


When an author is as modest and humorous as this, his story cannot be told too often. (Elizabeth Buchan The Times)

Exquisite ... in Driving Over Lemons the anecdote flourishes once more. (Penelope Lively Daily Telegraph)

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