The first book is about a lost way
of life when Spain was still a medieval country under the
iron grip of the Franco re gime.
Soldiers accompanied the country
buses to discourage bandits. The author
joins in the fiestas, and serenades the seņoritas on their
balconies. He is taken in by peasants, fed and befriended,
and eventually comes to live in a village where he is the
only person besides the priest who can read and write, and
so becomes the village ears and eyes on the outside world,
before the television and a less repressive education system
make him redundant.
This is the
story of a life lived a mile from the sea-shore in the Algarve
at the beginning of this century, with all that foreign
strangeness of local habits and customs woven around an
Englishman's attempts to join in and settle down. I chronicle
the highs, the lows, the dreams, and the reality.
This is part of a whole series of books about life in Spain
and Portugal reaching right back to the dark days of the