Old Fools Blog

Victoria Twead nagged her long-suffering partner, Joe, into moving from England to Spain in 2004. They settled into a tiny mountain village in Andalucía, became reluctant chicken farmers and ended up owning probably the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. Victoria’s hilarious record of their culture shock and life with the villagers is told in her book, ‘Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools’ and the sequels.

Two Old Fools and a Delivery

It’s an uncomfortable feeling being without passports. We applied a month ago, and paid a hefty fee to have them delivered by courier. Had we filled out the forms correctly? Were our photographs acceptable? Had the passports got lost in the Christmas mail? Were they destroyed in the terrible floods that the UK suffered recently? Receiving mail has always been a bit of a problem in El Hoyo, as it often arrives on the fish van or needs collecting from the Repsol garage at the bottom of the mountain.

Spanish Garlic Prawns with Paprika

This is one of our favourite tapas dishes that goes well with a cold beer, or as a supper snack. It combines some beautiful, authentic Spanish flavours, like prawns from the Mediterranean, Fino sherry from Jerez, and smoked paprika. It’s a combination that can be enjoyed at any time and is particularly delicious eaten outdoors.

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Spanish Oranges


At the bottom of our mountain, an elderly farmer sits on an upturned crate beside his ancient car at the side of the road. The wind is cold, and the old man wears woollen gloves and a scarf, his shoulders hunched in a heavy coat. Under his flat cap, he watches the traffic pass, waiting for people like us who can’t resist his wares.

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Ever play chicken?

SubmergedToday’s special guest is Cheryl Kaye Tardif, an international bestselling author from Edmonton, Alberta, who has just released her terrifying new thriller, SUBMERGED. I’ve invited her to drop by and share something chicken-related during her official SUBMERGED Blog Tour…

You’re probably all familiar with the deadly game of “Playing Chicken.” Usually this is a teen thing; drive towards oncoming traffic and the most cowardly veers off at the last minute—hence, he’s the “chicken.” Why would someone do this? For the adrenaline rush, some say. Or for the honor of being thought of as the bravest. Or because they think they have something to prove to others.

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Wildfires in Spain

We don’t seem to have had a regular winter here in Spain this year. February is usually the coldest, wettest month of the year, but this February has been glorious. It’s been wall-to-wall blue skies and sunshine, very little rain, and not a single snow-flake. (I’m not complaining, although Paco next door shakes his head and says it’s not good for the olive and grape harvest this year.) The lack of rain probably explains this unusual event…

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Caterpillars can kill you

It’s that time of year again, and I don’t mean Valentine’s Day. I mean the time when Spain’s most dangerous creatures appear.

I’m talking about the Pine Processionary caterpillars that make nests in the pine trees of Spain. Don’t underestimate them, they are deadly. Keep your pets away from them, and don’t try to destroy them yourself. 

If you are holidaying in Spain at this time of year, BEWARE.

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Two Old Fools and the Colour Red

I like the colour red. I thought about the significance of that colour as I gave my latest book, ‘Two Old Fools on a Camel’, which describes our year in the Bahrain, a final check before publishing. We’ve enjoyed eight Christmases in El Hoyo, our village in the Spanish mountains, and one in the Middle East.

Of course they differ hugely, but the colour red is significant in both.

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Horizon Fever

Well, we’ve finished sorting through all the scrapbooks and photos, and my son has designed a fabulous cover…

Horizon Fever is finished and published on Amazon. Whew!

It’s now available both in Paperback and eBook editions from Amazon and all the other usual outlets. Continue reading

Two Old Fools & Memory Loss


Long before we moved to El Hoyo in 2004, Joe’s been forgetful. Before now, he’s  put the phone in his sock drawer, and he’s locked the keys in the boot of the car countless times.

Once he left the engine running in our parked car the whole time we were shopping, around two hours. He’s left the chickens’ gate open, allowing them to range freely through my precious raised flower beds, leaving nothing but stalks. Get the idea?

Security in Spain

On the other side of our valley, there’s a holiday house owned by Brits. They rarely use it and most of the time it stands locked and unused.

In the last week of August, Geronimo and his mule passed our house and stopped to bang on our door. Continue reading

Royal Flush – By Scott Bartlett

I first came across Scott Bartlett and his wacky book, ‘Royal Flush’, back in 2009. The writing made me laugh then, and so did the author, a charming young Canadian. The novel is finished and published now, collecting a prestigious award along the way. If you like quirky, well-written humour, you’ll love this!

Victoria Twead Continue reading

Two Old Fools and Pink

Hurrah! All the decorating is finished, inside and out. We’ve splashed white paint into every nook and cranny and everything looks fresh and clean. Joe’s bad back is better, although he still complains about his scraped knees (from kneeling on the roof), his bruised thumb (trapped under a plank of wood) and gashed finger (changing a light bulb). Continue reading

Two sides of the Spanish coin – part 1

When Joe and I decided to move to Spain, we knew we wanted to live in the country and were determined to leave the rat-race behind. We wanted mountain views, wildlife, big open spaces and the experience of fitting into Spanish village life. So, for us, El Hoyo was the perfect choice, if full of surprises…

Karen McCann is a fellow expat living in Spain and author of a very witty, engaging book called Dancing in the Fountain. Unlike Joe and I, she and her husband chose city life and are extremely happy in Seville. This is how they found their house… Continue reading

Keeping chickens – 10 facts I didn’t know

When Joe and I moved to a tiny Spanish mountain village, we weren’t planning to keep chickens. Our next-door neighbour insisted we should, and eight years later, we still have chickens.

There are plenty of ‘How to Keep Chickens’ books, but we’re still learning… Here are 10  more unusual things I’ve learned about keeping chickens: Continue reading

Decorating, bad backs and cuckoos

Spring has most definitely sprung. In our valley, Joe and I can see and hear the frantic activity all around us. The birds are at their noisiest and busiest, building nests, finding mates and packing as much as they can into each day. Sparrows, bee-eaters, a pair of kestrels, swallows, cuckoos, owls, all in our valley, all in over-drive.

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My uncle was a famous explorer

Joe and I were sorting out boxes, unopened and stored since my parents died in 1993. 

Imagine our astonishment when we came across a complete manuscript called ‘Horizon Fever’ written by A E Filby, my uncle. It describes his 37,000-mile journey from London to Cape Town, and back again, in various motor cars, including an Austin 20 which is now displayed by the British Motor Museum (see pic below). Continue reading

RJ on Twitter:
@VictoriaTwead Am on train now, got 8 hours to kill. Book in hand, am at 9 & half dogs..LOL!