18 April 2013

Spanish Journals: The Posthumous Diary of an Expat - Reading recommendation

This is the time of year when we're almost at the cusp of catching summer days - the odd glorious sunny day bookended by rain, beginning to imagine and book summer holidays and the perfect time to dream about living in sunny Spain or broodingly beautiful Italy. This diary journals the imagined move of an English couple who did more than dream about it - upon retirement they made it a reality.


It's an account of a person a little out of their depth - knowing where to buy things, how to ask for things and generally how to be - added to the newness of being a retiree.

I loved this as an idea. Written as an English expat who made the move to retire early, sell the English home, and buy a piece of the Spanish dream, Mr Postlethwaite and his wife are on a mission. They give up the commuter life to embed themselves in rural Spanish life - but not, you understand, in the more touristy beachy warm Spain, but after excessive Googling in rural small town Spain where it's cold and the neighbours have rusting cars in their backyards and grow wacky-bakky.


After living in the UK for such long time, I know this stereotype. He's dryly funny, has a rather unique take on the world, very stubborn, knows his values and likes a wee tipple. He certainly doesn't like proper Spanish food, but can't bring himself to be a quintessential English interloper.

It was so funny - written from the intellectual heart (the journals were initially written to be published) it is full of accounts of great characters, and some fantastic self-edit bracket comments almost a la Terry Pratchett footnotes. It only ended too soon - I can't wait for the next in the series.

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