Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía PDF/EPUB

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía PDF/EPUB
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía
  • Chris Stewart
  • English
  • 16 January 2019
  • 0953522709

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía❮KINDLE❯ ✽ Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía Author Chris Stewart – Essayreview.co.uk No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife, that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpuja No sooner had Chris Stewart set Lemons: An PDF/EPUB ✓ eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife, that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain That was the easy partLush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, Driving Over PDF/EPUB or the farm lacks a few essentials running water, electricity, an access road And then there s the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entr e into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can Over Lemons: An PDF É diminish Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way among them farmers, including the ever resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.


About the Author: Chris Stewart

Christopher Chris Stewart born , Lemons: An PDF/EPUB ✓ was the original drummer and a founding member of Genesis He is now a farmer and an author A classmate of Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel at Charterhouse School, Stewart joined them in a school band called The Garden Wall, and they later formed another band with schoolmates Mike Rutherford and Driving Over PDF/EPUB or Anthony Phillips, called Anon This band eventually became Genesis in January Stewart appears on the band s first two singles, The Silent Sun That s Me and A Winter s Tale One Eyed Hound Although several demos from Stewart s time with Genesis appear on the Genesis Archive box set, he is not credited with Over Lemons: An PDF É playing on any of them Peter Gabriel seems to have played drums on a couple, and the rest do not feature drums At the recommendation of Jonathan King, Stewart was asked to leave the band in the summer of due to poor technique He was replaced by John Silver After travelling and working throughout Europe, Stewart settled and bought a farm named El Valero in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia, Spain where he lives and works with his wife Ana Exton and daughter Chlo He came in last place for the position of local councillor in the May local elections in rgiva representing the Green Party, where he received votes roughly %He is now better known for his autobiographical books, Driving Over Lemons An Optimist in Andalucia , ISBN and the sequels, A Parrot In The Pepper Tree ISBN X and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society , ISBN , about his work farming in Spain All three are also available as audiobooks Lemons ISBN Parrot ISBN , and Almond ISBN , narrated by StewartStewart s publisher, Sort of Books, announced plans to release yet another Stewart memoir in , this one focused on sailing, entitled Three Ways to Capsize a Boat An Optimist AfloatStewart has also contributed to two books in the Rough Guides series the Rough Guide to Andalucia and the Rough Guide to China.


10 thoughts on “Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía

  1. says:

    This really is my favourite kind of light reading what I like to think of as the expat sub genre of travel writing You know the drill Someone decides to opt out of their normal life bonus points if it s a bit humdrum , goes to foreign countrybonus points if non English speaking and encounters a whole range of amusing misunderstandings and challenges as they establish a new life even MORE bonus points if they buy a dilapidated house to renovate Generally they accumulate a small ha This really is my favourite kind of light reading what I like to think of as the expat sub genre of travel writing You know the drill Someone decides to opt out of their normal life bonus points if it s a bit humdrum , goes to foreign countrybonus points if non English speaking and encounters a whole range of amusing misunderstandings and challenges as they establish a new life even MORE bonus points if they buy a dilapidated house to renovate Generally they accumulate a small handful of precious new friendships, maybe even a new relationship, and at the end they live happily ever after I m not knocking it I love it Just check out my expat bookshelf and you will seeThis particular specimen was published in the 90s and was so successful that it has developed into a trilogy in four parts , but I hadn t heard of it until a couple of years ago I m glad I ve read it now, and will continue with the series over time I feel like I ve been spending time with some slightly uncool older friends as they establish themselves in the Alpujarra region of Anadalucia yes I want to go there , doing the house thing and turning their Spanish farm around Chris Stewart has given me a very clear picture of the valley and their farm, and the charming and or eccentric characters that enter his new Spanish life

  2. says:

    I have admit I came to this book with low expectations The story of an Englishman s escape into rural Spain seemed to promise only the same endlessly repeated tropes the hapless foreigner making their way in a strange land, the contrast of dreary modern life with the pure traditions of the unlettered, the isolation of cities compared with the communality of the country you ve heard it all before But I was pleasantly surprised by the book indeed, by the end I was thoroughly charmed Stewart I have admit I came to this book with low expectations The story of an Englishman s escape into rural Spain seemed to promise only the same endlessly repeated tropes the hapless foreigner making their way in a strange land, the contrast of dreary modern life with the pure traditions of the unlettered, the isolation of cities compared with the communality of the country you ve heard it all before But I was pleasantly surprised by the book indeed, by the end I was thoroughly charmed Stewart does not idealize the inhabitants Andalucia for him, they are individuals, not bearers of ancient tradition He enjoys farming and herding, but he knows it can be rough, tedious, and thankless work Certainly he plays the role of the inept foreigner this is inevitable if you re moving someplace new but he does not dwell on this overmuch For somebody who began writing fairly late in life, he is a tasteful and skillful author He is capable of rich prose, he has a good ear for dialogue, and best of all he does not stretch any subject beyond interest I was especially pleased with this book because it had a lot of what I missed from Gerald Brenan s South From Granada, another book written by an Englishman living in the Alpujarra mountains of Andalucia Whereas I got the impression from Brenan that he spent most of his time locked in his house, reading and writing, Stewart became thoroughly integrated with the community Whereas Brenan is abstract, telling us of his routines and his dilettantish studies of wildflowers and archaeology, Stewart is concrete, telling us of specific events in his life This book won t change your life It is a quick read, and an easy one, but it will leave a pleasant aftertaste when you put it down Recommended for your bedside or your bathroom

  3. says:

    My ability to relate to the author got off to a poor start, wore thinner under his gendering of food, and finally broke down over his willingness to associate with and admiration for a taciturn domestic abuser I might have got further if the writing seemed really fantastic, but it seemed just like other civilised man on the wild passionate continent books with the usual wife ignoring, romanticising tropes.

  4. says:

    What a wonderfully witty, charming and heart warming story I knew nothing of Chris Stewart before I read this, and only after did I realise that he was the lead drummer in Genesis which is rather impressive At the beginning of the book, Chris embarks on a scary but overall fulfilling journey to El Valero, a peasant region in Andalucia where he buys a farm on a whim with no running water, no obvious access to a road, no electricity and no sheep to boot His wife Ana begrudgingly joins him, and th What a wonderfully witty, charming and heart warming story I knew nothing of Chris Stewart before I read this, and only after did I realise that he was the lead drummer in Genesis which is rather impressive At the beginning of the book, Chris embarks on a scary but overall fulfilling journey to El Valero, a peasant region in Andalucia where he buys a farm on a whim with no running water, no obvious access to a road, no electricity and no sheep to boot His wife Ana begrudgingly joins him, and the pair attempt to do up the farmhouse and plunge the rest of their money into buying a flock of sheep The writing is sharp and observant and throughout the book Chris and Ana begin to accept that less isand that they are in fact, deliriously happy with their chosen home Lovely book, i have put the sequel on my TBR list

  5. says:

    Makes you want to quit your crappy job, sell your pricey house and move to a pile of rocks in Spain Reminds you of the importance and joy to be found in relationships with neighbors, and the lack of importance in sticking to a tight schedule I gave this to my Mom soon after I read it, and she loved it as well The writing style is natural, conversational Great book.

  6. says:

    Man I should have loved this book When I pulled the off the shelf at Half Price Books I knew I had to have it It was perfect for me Not only was it a travel memoir, one of my great weaknesses, but it was a travel memoir about Spain Add onto that a quirky story and I m sold.So what happened Why am I not head over heels for this story The writing was quite good, the descriptions were also nicely done There is nothing glaringly obvious throughout the entire length.The problem is that I just Man I should have loved this book When I pulled the off the shelf at Half Price Books I knew I had to have it It was perfect for me Not only was it a travel memoir, one of my great weaknesses, but it was a travel memoir about Spain Add onto that a quirky story and I m sold.So what happened Why am I not head over heels for this story The writing was quite good, the descriptions were also nicely done There is nothing glaringly obvious throughout the entire length.The problem is that I just don t care Stewart, whether he meant to or not, kept me at arms length I felt no suspense nor any struggle All of the characters, especially his wife, weresupporting cast than ever having real personalities of their own except maybe Romero At times he hinted at disappointment or challenges but I never felt it Everything that was hard seemed easy something which moving to a falling down farm in the middle of rural Andalucia should never seem.Maybe I should have known After all, the title says an optimist in Andalucia That optimism definitely permeated the book The problem was it wasn t just over Stewart You could feel it over every moment and every character It watered it down and even though he was writing about an area of the world near and dear to my heart, I found myself just not caring.This may be a bold statement, but I feel while Stewart didn t do anything wrong, he also didn t do anything right with this book Though maybe that s harsh There was one piece that touched me, toward the end Stewart mentioned how he didn t feel like he fit in until he let himself be an outsider Those are his exact words, but they are close enough I understand that completely My first time in Spain I tried so hard to fit in I bought all European clothes, did European things, etc Of course, it didn t work Everyone spotted me as American, and treated me as such When I went back years later and lived in Salamanca, I did nothing to hide my foreignness, and somehow I just fit better It s funny how it all works.So, Stewart, I do thank you for the one spark of inspiration in the whole of the book However, even with that, I just can t lay my recommendation to it.Readof my reviews

  7. says:

    I live surrounded by lemon trees, none of them mine In fact, everywhere I have lived, there has been at least one collection of lemons, be they Meyer, Eureka, Lisbon, or Sweet Italian So this book title grabbed me quickly, as I may not drive over lemons but I certainly do walk over them.Chris Stewart, early drummer of the rock band Genesis and an itinerant sheep shearer, decides impulsively to purchase a run down farm in Spain El Valero is owned by a savvy farmer who really wants to move to t I live surrounded by lemon trees, none of them mine In fact, everywhere I have lived, there has been at least one collection of lemons, be they Meyer, Eureka, Lisbon, or Sweet Italian So this book title grabbed me quickly, as I may not drive over lemons but I certainly do walk over them.Chris Stewart, early drummer of the rock band Genesis and an itinerant sheep shearer, decides impulsively to purchase a run down farm in Spain El Valero is owned by a savvy farmer who really wants to move to town so he and his family can have the good things electricity, running water, warmth, modern appliances that the author takes for granted and which are not available at the old farm Needless to say, upon taking ownership and finally getting the previous owner off the land, Stewart realizes he has a mighty task ahead of him The biggest concern is water If it rains, it comes through the dilapidated roof If it rains, it also floods and demolishes the frail bridge connecting him to his neighbours If it rains, the water must be contained so it can be used later in the year when drought takes hold Water is king on a farm Watering is a measure of manhood in the Alpujarras.Bit by bit, the farm gets itself together, rain water is controlled and the life the newfound owner expected starts to come together He and his wife learn about the area and about the quirky residents of the nearby farms, some of whom are also foreigners The lemons and the olives and the unexpected travails of owning any property become an enjoyable read, especially for those of us who take the travel ride in our safe armchairs Pedro had left us two cats You don t move cats they take root.This is an easy read The author has had an amazing life in that along with buying a farm in a strange land, he also goes off for a few months each year to shear sheep in other parts of Europe, in order to earn money When I travel, the urge to purchase a home and put down new roots always seems fun until I realize I have pets that must be moved and quarantined and that puts an end to the urge So it s always nice to let someone else do the work and write about it Especially when it concerns lemons.Book Season Summer stockpile of projects

  8. says:

    Chris Stewart, formerly of Genesis, relocates his family to Andalucia They embrace a very peasant lifestyle, and seem to love it I loved reading about the farm the seasons, the beauty, the locals, and the little customs of the locals like planting on saints days I would have liked a lotabout Andalucia in general, beyond the farm If you ve ever wished for a simpler, pastoral life, you would probably enjoy this a bitthan I did.

  9. says:

    It s unavoidable making the comparison between this book and Peter Mayle s A Year in Provence. Both are memoirs by ex Pat Brits of their relocation to bucolic parts of Southern Europe, both to be found in my neighborhood book store almost side by side under Travel Essays A blurb from the Daily Telegraph even says Stewart is being talked up as the new Peter Mayle Fortunately Stewart compared well in fact I liked his book quite a bitthan Mayle s.A lot of that is that I just plain liked It s unavoidable making the comparison between this book and Peter Mayle s A Year in Provence. Both are memoirs by ex Pat Brits of their relocation to bucolic parts of Southern Europe, both to be found in my neighborhood book store almost side by side under Travel Essays A blurb from the Daily Telegraph even says Stewart is being talked up as the new Peter Mayle Fortunately Stewart compared well in fact I liked his book quite a bitthan Mayle s.A lot of that is that I just plain liked Stewart a lotthan Mayle Where Mayle comes across as privileged, condescending and effete, Stewart comes across as self effacing, down to earth, and as another blurb put it, speaks of his neighbors with no hint of patronage Mayle s wife had no real presence in his book, whilel Stewart s Ana definitely makes her personality felt While Mayle s biggest worry was getting an over sized stone table into his home, Stewart and his wife plowed their life savings and work hard to make their sheep farm a going concern It was a fast, pleasant and entertaining read I don t rate this as high as Bill Bryson s In a Sunburned Country another author Stewart is compared to because this book didn t make me laugh out loud, and it arguably isn t as informative about the history and nature surrounding them But I certainly found this worth the read a charmer

  10. says:

    My wife bought this book about ten years ago having heard a review on Radio 2 She enjoyed reading it and so did I More than that, it inspired us to move to Spain I must admit, though, that we didn t entirely follow in Chris Stewart s footsteps working a farm in the Alpujarras sounded like much too much hard work so we relocated to the coast instead However, intrigued by Chris Stewart s book we began to explore the Alpujarras and during the last eight years have spent many enjoyable days in My wife bought this book about ten years ago having heard a review on Radio 2 She enjoyed reading it and so did I More than that, it inspired us to move to Spain I must admit, though, that we didn t entirely follow in Chris Stewart s footsteps working a farm in the Alpujarras sounded like much too much hard work so we relocated to the coast instead However, intrigued by Chris Stewart s book we began to explore the Alpujarras and during the last eight years have spent many enjoyable days in that delightful region.Recently, I reread Driving Over Lemons and still found it a funny, heartwarming book In fact I enjoyed itthe second time around because I have visited some of the places and seen some of the things described hillsides covered with olive and almond trees the Moorish influenced houses that appear to cling precariously to the mountainsides the acequias designed to bring water from the high Sierra to irrigate the crops and muchHowever, this book isn t your normal travelogue it is an autobiography of an eternally optimistic Englishman starting a new life in Andaluc a It is a great read that describes both the highs and the lows of starting a new life in Spain

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