When I went to the latest edition of the Book Fair held in Retiro Park in Madrid, I was close to a stand of an English writer (you don’t know it yet but I have to say that everything that it's British attracts me strongly) and one book (“Driving over lemons”) held my attention because I had heard somewhere about it so I stopped in front of the stand and took that book to have a look on the back and I came to the conclusion that it could be quite fun for a light summer reading and finally I bought his most recent book: “Three ways to capsize a boat: an optimist afloat”.
Then I discovered that this English man, called Chris Stewart, was the first drummer of the band Genesis (whose lead singer has always been my favorite singer, Phil Collins) and that he had settled in Las Alpujarras (Granada-Andalucia region), after having a very eventful and adventurous life, where he has been living for 19 years, with his wife and daughter and where in the town of Orgiva was presented even in the last election by the group of the Green Party and says he feels very proud to be Spanish and very happy living there.
And this story of an English man living in Granada and writing in this country have inspired in me the curiosity to know more about how many writers have written about Spain and have led me to create this new tag (foreign writers in Spain) which I am starting today with Chris Stewart.
Christopher Stewart (born in 1950 in England), was the original drummer and one of the founding members of Genesis. He was a classmate of Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel at Charterhouse School and joined them in a school band called The Garden Wall, though later they formed another band (Anon) with more schoolmates, This band eventually became Genesis in 1967, where Chris appeared on the band’s first two singles.
Later on he leaved the band and travelled and worked throughout Europe and Asia, doing things as diverse as working in a circus, shear sheeps in Sweeden, touring China to write a travelguide book, getting a fly licence or taking a French cooking course…….
But finally he decided to start a new life as a farmer in Andalucia, so he bought a farm called “El Valero” with no access, no running water and no electricity, where he started a new life to live his Spanish dream and writing autobiographical books (*) and he is still living there with his wife Anne, his daughter Chloe and several dogs, cats, chickens, sheeps…. and a very special carrot! Really an adventurous life indeed!
Chris Stewart crossing a river near his home
in a photo taken by Anne Exton
(*) Books written by Chris Stewart:
- Driving over lemons
- A parrot in the pepper tree
- The almond blossom appreciation society
- Three ways to capsize a boat: an optimist afloat
- The rough guide to Andalucia
- The rough guide to China