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Chris, eternal optimist and itinerant sheep shearer, moves with his wife Ana to a mountain farm in Las Alpujarras, an oddball region in the south of Spain. Misadventures gleefully unfold as Chris discovers that the owner has no intention of leaving and meets their neighbours, an engaging mix of peasant farmers and shepherds, New Age travellers and ex-pats. Their daughter Chloë is born, linking them irrevocably to their new life. The hero of the piece, however, is the farm itself - a patch of mountain studded with olive, almond and lemon groves, sited on the wrong side of a river, with no access road, water supply or electricity.
Could life offer much better than that?
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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 Review:
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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