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The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society

The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society finds Chris and his family still at El Valero, their farm on the wrong side of the river in rural Andalucia. And life there continues in decidedly oddball fashion...When Chris arrived in the Alpujarras, fifteen years ago, he could never have imagined the locals would invite him to join an Almond Blossom Appreciation Society, or that his daughter Chloe would be teaching him about teenage Spanish social life; nor that he would be spending time shepherding Bostonian art trustees around Seville, or working in an immigrants' advice centre in Granada, spurred into action by the arrival of four young Moroccan 'boat people' at El Valero. In this sequel to "Lemons" and "Parrot", Chris Stewart's optimism and zest for life is as infectious as ever.

 

A Parrot in the Pepper Tree: A Sort of Sequel to "Driving Over Lemons"

Chris Stewart turns another leaf on his life in southern Spain in this "Sort Of" sequel to his biography, "Driving Over Lemons". It is in fact part sequel - further (mis)adventures of Chris and his family on their remote Andalusian farm - and part prequel, looking back on Chris's previous lives, drumming with the teenage Genesis and in a circus, shearing sheep in midwinter Sweden and heading off to Spain to learn flamenco guitar.

About the Author
Chris Stewart prepared for life on a mountain farm in Spain with jobs of doubtful relevance. After leaving Genesis (he drummed on the first single), he joined a circus, learnt how to shear sheep, crewed a yacht in Greece, went to China for the Rough Guides, gained a pilot's license in Los Angeles, and completed a course in French cooking. Since writing the bestselling Driving Over Lemons, Chris, Ana and their daughter Chlöe continue to live on their farm, with their dogs, cats, chicken and sheep, and to Ana's regret, a brand new guitar.

 

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia

All Provenced out? Then head further south, 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 Alpujarrás, 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

Reviews

Elisabeth Luard. Daily Mail. May 28th 1999.
"A wonderful book: funny, affectionate, no hint of patronage, a true portrait of place and people, reaching deep into the flesh and bones beneath the skin. Tuck it into your holiday luggage and dream"

The Observer (Travel) - 27th June 1999
"A delight".

 

More books to follow.......

 
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