LIFE, DEATH AND HUMOUR IN A SPANISH VILLAGE

December 28, 2018

EVER MEET A WOMAN cured of disease by visions of the Virgin, a blind beggar who rides a motor-bike, a phantom who terrorises a whole community? You’ll find them all and much more in Sunny Side Up, David Baird’s nostalgic — often humorous, always moving — book about life in rural Spain.

It may read like fiction, but it’s all fact. It’s the Spain that Hemingway never saw and never wrote about.

“Baird’s ironic glance back over the past 30 years is recommended reading for anybody who has ever wondered what happened to ‘the real Spain’,” according to the Sunday Times.

When you travel the back roads of Spain, it’s easy to imagine that nothing ever happens in those whitewashed villages you pass, slumbering in the sun, forgotten by the world, far from the rat race…

Dream on. Behind those white walls you will find more drama and passion than you could ever imagine. All human life is here, in all its varieties.

British journalist David Baird and his Dutch wife found that out fast enough when — after travelling the world — they settled in an Andalusian village, seeking “the simple life”.

Soon they found that things were not so simple. The sub-title of Baird’s book is The 21st century hits a Spanish village. It’s the tale of  a rural community as its shifts from a medieval way of life into the computer age.

There’s passion and pathos, humour and tragedy. And also an insightful dissection of local ways, as well as a wicked glance at expatriate eccentricities.

Baird’s other books include Between Two Fires, a highly acclaimed account of a largely unreported guerrilla war in Spain in the 1940s, as well as travel books and two works of fiction (Don’t Miss The Fiesta! and Typhoon Season).

Sunny Side Up, distributed by Maroma Press, is on sale through English bookshops in Spain and via Amazon and other Internet sellers. It has been selected by several Spanish schools as a set book for its pupils.

The German edition, Leben im Pueblo, translated by Uwe W. Paulsen, is available from the publisher, Verlag Winfried Jenior, Lassallestr. 15, D-34119 Kassel, Germany. Tel.: 0561-7391621, Fax 0561-774148. E-Mail: Jenior@aol.com. Homepage: http://www.jenior.de

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TITLE IT RIGHT — HOW TO GRAB READERS

June 23, 2015

Picking the right title can make all the difference when your book goes on sale. But how do you find it? The possibilities are endless, as David Baird discovered.

What do these phrases have in common?

Sunstruck, Fiesta fever, Follow that mule!, Whitewash and olives, The vintage years, Is there a Spaniard in the pueblo?, Everything under the sun, The blossoms of spring, The sunshine life, The donkey that roared…

Answer: they are all suggested titles for a new book. Read the rest of this entry »


AN ESCAPIST FINDS A NIGHTMARE IN SPAIN!

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.Fiesta frontcover
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 »


SPOOKY WEEKEND INSPIRES A BOOK

August 8, 2012

One night was enough for me (writes David Baird). Friends invited my wife and myself to stay the weekend at their new-found shangri-la, a remote cortijo in the countryside of southern Spain.

The idea was to enjoy the rural tranquillity. Tranquillity? Madre mía! Throughout the night it seemed we were under siege as a pack of wild dogs stormed around the isolated farmhouse, baying like the hound of the Baskervilles multiplied a hundredfold.

At breakfast our friends joked about neighbours dropping in at all hours, moody, taciturn types who would sit at the kitchen table gazing at them in a strange fashion. Read the rest of this entry »


Libro presentado en Frigiliana

April 27, 2012

El periodista, historiador y escritor británico David Baird, ha presentado su libro Sunny Side Up, The 21st century hits a Spanish village (El siglo 21 llega a un pueblo español) en Frigiliana (Málaga). Esta obra se ha editado en inglés y alemán.

En este libro el autor relata la evolución de un pueblo axárquico, que no nombra, en los últimos 40 años. Intercala el tono humorístico y el serio para contarnos una serie de anécdotas que pueden ir desde un mendigo ciego que circulaba en moto, hasta un fantasma que aterrorizaba al pueblo. Read the rest of this entry »


FINDING THE SIMPLE LIFE IN RURAL SPAIN

December 20, 2011

SOMETIMES, says David Baird, he dreams about garbanzos.

“Yes, chick-peas, those little bullet-like beans which have to be soaked for days and boiled for hours so that finally you can add some flavouring and create a fine stew — fine that is if you like bullet-like beans.”

He claims that’s what he lived on most of the time when he and his wife first settled in a Spanish village. He describes his efforts to live “the simple life” in Sunny Side Up — The 21st century hits a Spanish village.

Hilarious, nostalgic and moving, his book inspired the Sunday Times of London to comment: “Recommended reading for anybody who ever wondered what happened to the ‘real Spain’.”

Anther angle on that ‘real Spain’ is contained in Between Two Fires, Baird’s book about the guerrilla war that raged in the 1940s. Read the rest of this entry »


Sunny Side — German edition

September 9, 2010

LEBEN IM PUEBLO — Das 21. Jahrhundert hält Einzug in ein andalusisches Dorf
German edition of Sunny Side Up, by David Baird
Idyllisch eingebettet in eine grandiose Berglandschaft von unvergleichlicher Schönheit reihen sich die “Weißen Dörfer” aneinander, scheinbar unberührt von den umwälzenden Veränderungen unserer Zeit. Oberflächlich betrachtet machen die noch verbliebenen einheimischen Bewohner einen beneidenswert glücklichen, ausgeglichenen Eindruck. Sie strahlen Ruhe und Zufriedenheit aus. Aber der Schein trügt. Read the rest of this entry »