A Spanish adventure


I’ve got quite into travel lit recently and have just finished ‘A Parrot in the Pepper Tree’ by Chris Stewart.  It’s actually the sequel to a book called ‘Driving over lemons’, which a flatmate lent me a few years ago.  The first book charts Chris and his family’s move to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain and it’s hilarious reading about all the trials and tribulations they have along the way.  They upped sticks and left Sussex in a Land Rover and trailer with all their possessions and headed out to El Valero, a remote farm that didn’t have electricity, running water or even a road! It is, however, like paradise with beautiful sunsets, orange blossom and stupendous views of the mountains.  Chris recounts how they battle away, tackle hurdles, befriend the locals and in the end, create an incredible life for themselves.  I’ll tell you about the second book next week….


  • lit  (noun informal) 

An abbreviation of literature

  • a sequel (noun)

A book/film/play etc that continues the story of an earlier one.

  • flatmate (noun)

Someone that you share a flat with

  • to chart (verb)

To follow the development of something

  • foothills (noun)

Low hills next to a mountain

  • hilarious (adj.)

Very funny

  • the trials and tribulations (phrase)

Troubles and difficulties

  • to up sticks (phrase)

To move from one place to another

  • a Land Rover (noun)

A large car that is usually used in the countryside

  • a trailer (noun)

Something that has two wheels and is used to carry goods. It is pulled by another vehicle.

  • remote (adj.)

In the countryside, far from a town or city

  • blossom (noun)

The flowers on a tree

  • stupendous (adj.)


  • to recount (verb)

To tell someone something e.g a story or an incident

  • to battle away (phrasal verb)

To keep doing something that is difficult

  • to tackle (verb)

To try and often manage to solve a problem

  • a hurdle (noun)

A problem

  • to befriend (verb)

To make friends with

  • locals (noun)

People that live nearby