June 29, 2018
Have you seen the huge crowds in Málaga airport? Oh my gosh! And all heading for resorts on the Costa del Sol!
But wait! You don’t have to join the mob on the crowded beaches of Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Marbella. Just turn left instead of right and head east, to the Other Costa — that’s the stretch of coast that runs from Málaga to Nerja, Almuñecar and Salobreña.
Until recently there was no decent guide in English to this sub-tropical area which enjoys 3,000 hours of sunshine every year. But that’s all changed! Pick up a copy of “East of Malaga – Your guide to the Axarquía and Costa Tropical”. Read the rest of this entry »
February 19, 2018
SE TRATA DE UNA GUERRA OLVIDADA — la lucha de unos guerrilleros en los años 1940 contra el regimen de Franco. Una guerra de que el público no fue informada, ni dentro del país ni afuera. Ahora hay una nueva edición en castellano del libro de David Baird, La gente de la sierra — Lucha sin cuartel contra las fuerzas franquistas.
Cada día hay menos gente que vivío en su propia carne aquella lucha. Uno por uno, los testigos se van desapareciendo. Pero el libro La gente de la sierra deja constancia del impacto terrible de aquella guerra desconocida en las sierras de Málaga y Granada.
Recoge el testimonio — apasionante, espeluznante y emocionante — de los campesinos de la Axarquía. Y también de los guerrilleros y de la Guardia Civil. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
March 31, 2017
AUSTRALIA’S OUTBACK IS A ROUGH, TOUGH PLACE. And nobody knows that better than the world’s leading media tycoon: Rupert Murdoch, dubbed the Dirty Digger.
He controls scores of newspapers and television channels from Tasmania to New York City. But he has not had it all his own way.
Way back in the 1960s, before Murdoch set out to conquer the world, he learned a useful lesson: before going into battle, carefully check the opposition.
He blundered by starting a circulation war in the wrong place: the Outback. And ended up making a humiliating retreat. The scene was Mount Isa, a tough mining town lost in the red rock desert of northwest Queensland. 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.
October 31, 2015
ANY DAY NOW the first snows will blanket the summit of one of southern Spain’s highest mountains — just a short distance from the Mediterranean beaches where (hardier) folk swim all year around.
La Maroma, soaring 2,068 metres, is the highest peak in Málaga province — and probably the closest thing to a holy mountain in these parts.
In the days before refrigeration the neveros (literally, “snowmen”) would trek to the top of Maroma to seek snow and ice. This they would pack hard in straw and load it in esparto baskets on the backs of mules. Transported to the coast, the ice was used to cool drinks or make ice-cream. Read the rest of this entry »