December 3, 2017
FINALLY it seems that winter is coming to Spain after one of the longest summers on record. Finally the ski slopes, from the Sierra Nevada to the Pyrenees, are being groomed for what promises to be a memorable season.
Along the country’s southern coast, however, sun-worshippers from northern climes are still stretching out on the beaches.
It recalls the the time, so long ago, when my wife and I fled the British winter by taking a train across Europe to the coast that some bright spark had dubbed “the Costa del Sol”. Read the rest of this entry »
September 9, 2016
“East of Malaga – Your guide to the Axarquia and Costa Tropical is full of useful information and thoughtful advice. It contains everything you need to know about fiestas, sights, wine and food, places to stay and much more.” — The Mail on Sunday
Until recently there was no decent guide in English to the sub-tropical area to the east of Málaga. But that’s all changed thanks to a totally updated guide published by Maroma Press.
Here is all the info you need to find delightful small hotels and good-quality restaurants as well as facilities for all manner of outdoor activities, from mountain biking to hiking, scuba-diving to canyoning. Read the rest of this entry »
June 11, 2016
Sunny Side Up is David Baird’s ironic look at rural life, reflecting the dramatic changes in southern Spain since he went to live there more than 30 years ago. And now it’s part of a school curriculum — making it required reading in Spanish schools.
“This is a bit daunting,” admitted David, a journalist and author long based in the Axarquía (the eastern corner of Málaga province), when he heard that Sunny Side Up Up — The 21st century hits a Spanish village had been selected as a set book for Fifth Grade students at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas in Motril, Granada province.
“I have to give presentations to the students and I’m used to asking questions rather than answering them.
“Fielding questions from a bunch of critical students is a different game — especially for somebody who until recently had never made a public speech in his life!”
Hilarious, nostalgic and moving, his book inspired the Sunday Times to comment: “Recommended reading for anybody who ever wondered what happened to the ‘real Spain’.”
After working around the world as a journalist, David has been based for some years in Spain, reporting for international publications on everything from earthquakes to wine festivals.
Sunny Side Up is published by Maroma Press (www.maromapress.wordpress.com) and is available from English-language bookshops in Spain or from Amazon.
January 30, 2016
Lonely Planet, the leading guide book on Spain, has heaped praise on the Maroma Press publication Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras.
It comments: “A few communists and republicans continued their struggle after the Civil War in small guerrilla units in Andalucia’s mountains. David Baird’s book Between Two Fires fascinatingly documents the struggle between the guerrillas and the Guardia Civil around the village of Frigiliana in the 1940s and ’50s.”.
The fruit of years of investigation, Between Two Fires is the only book in English that relates what happened AFTER Spain’s Civil War, when rural communities were torn apart as rebels fought to undermine the Franco dictatorship.
To research what happened in those years when tight censorship sealed off Spain from the rest of the world author Baird interviewed former guerrillas, Civil Guards, villagers and their families.
He checked official files all over Spain and as far apart as London and Washington to find out just what happened in a war that went virtually unreported.
In the process he uncovered details about a brutal crime that was covered up for more than 50 years and about the clandestine training of Spanish guerrillas by members of the American secret service.
Between Two Fires is on sale at English bookshops in Spain and from Amazon and other online outlets.
February 14, 2015
WE’RE ALL ESCAPISTS AT HEART, dreaming of another life in another place without the nagging worries that go with our daily routine.
However, if you take the big step and launch yourself into a new life, a “simple life” in a totally different environment, it can turn out rather more complicated than you expected.
In the case of one not-so-innocent Britisher, his escapist dream turn turns into a dramatic adventure with sinister surprises lying in wait.
Don’t Miss The Fiesta!, a thriller set in a Spanish village, takes the lid off the surprises that could await a stranger in an outwardly tranquil Andalusian pueblo. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27, 2014
WANDER along the seafront of a certain lesser-known Spanish resort and you will find a phallic-looking structure bearing a small plaque.
It honours a penniless youth whose writings helped put the town, Almuñecar in Granada province, on the tourist map.
“Laurie Lee? Who he?” Spanish visitors may ask.
But in his native England Lee is a celebrity — and this year the centenary of his birth has been celebrated with special events and the publishing of new editions of his books. Read the rest of this entry »
June 30, 2013
Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras, a poignant account of how a village was trapped in a brutal conflict for years after the Civil War, has been setting sales records in the United States.
Since it became available in the Lightning Source edition, which can be ordered through Amazon online, it has been selling steadily to American readers keen to know more about this forgotten war — a war which went virtually unreported due to strict censorship.
The book has won critical praise from across the world. “As exciting as any thriller yet deeply moving, it deserves to be read by everyone concerned with the history of contemporary Spain,”says historian Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War and Franco – A Biography. Read the rest of this entry »