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.

Easy Strawberry Mice

Hard to believe it, but it’s true. My granddaughter Indy will be 4 years old on Monday. Her mum organised a cat theme birthday party, and all the food and activities had something to do with cats. My contribution was strawberry mice, recipe below. Continue reading

A baby secret

I have a confession. I’ve been keeping a very big secret. The reason for my silence was just that I couldn’t bear it if something went wrong. But, thank heavens, nothing did.

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Puppy problems and papier mâché

I didn’t know much about Spoodle puppies before, but since Lola came into my life, I have become quite an authority. I now know that Spoodles are very bright, very affectionate and have limitless energy. So I set about finding toys that would occupy her.

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Italian Chickens

Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools has now been translated into Italian. I love the title – Polli, muli e due vecchi pazzi… Italian has such a ring to it, doesn’t it? Chickens was sold to Polish and Hungarian publishing houses a couple of years ago, and is currently being translated into Spanish, French and Chinese.

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Sit!

VT thinks I’m super smart!

It’s only my first full day away from my mum and sisters, and I cried a lot last night, but today VT discovered that I’m a very intelligent little dog. I can’t understand why she’s so surprised.

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A secret

How lucky am I? I’ve skipped winter again and I’m embarking on yet another summer. Spring has sprung, but this time not in Spain, but in Australia.

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The creation of Sixpenny Cross

The notes for the next Old Fools book are all set up, and I even have a title, but events have been so intense these past months, I haven’t actually started writing it yet.

Instead, I’ve taken my mind off things by doing something I’ve never tried before.

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Old fools on the move

At last! My latest book, One Young Fool in Dorset, is published. Thank you to the hundreds of you who pre-ordered it. By now it should have appeared magically on your Kindles, iPads, Nooks, or Kobos. It’s also available in Paperback and Large Print. I do hope you enjoy it!

So, what else has been happening?

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Naked in Public

Writing a memoir and publishing it, exposing yourself and your innermost thoughts to the scrutiny of strangers is very hard. It’s like taking all your clothes off and walking around in public.

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The Lost Suitcase

So my Australian visit came to an end. After three wonderful months, I was looking forward to being back with Joe in our little Spanish mountain village. While I’d been enjoying an Australian summer, he’d been in chilly Britain getting various medical tests done.

The bad luck began in the plane at Sydney airport. As the hostesses checked seat belts and locked the doors, black clouds obscured the sky and the captain’s voice crackled into life.

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Australian hazards

I’ve spent three wonderful, sun and laughter-filled months in Australia with my daughter, son-in-law and gorgeous granddaughter, two-year-old Indy. Poor old Joe missed out as he needed some medical stuff checked out in the UK. Meanwhile, I’ve enjoyed another summer.

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Chili Rubbed Steak

If you enjoy a ‘kick’ of chili, (or chilli) then this chili rubbed steak recipe is for you! It offers a great flavour and takes on hints of smoky paprika. This simple recipe for Spanish steak served with fresh salad and thick potato chips or wedges will never disappoint.

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Two Old Fools and another Fiesta

When we moved to our Spanish mountain village ten years ago, we soon became familiar with the families who lived here. All of them were friendly and charming and we enjoyed watching the kids grow as the years passed. Little Paco next door had a friend, Miguel, who once tapped on our door, eager to show us his white rabbit. The rabbit hopped around our living room and was only evicted when it threatened to nibble through the TV cable.

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Behind the scenes with Victoria Twead

Does Joe really scratch that much? What do the villagers think about the Old Fools books? What do I miss from England? What do I regret about moving to Spain? Would we ever leave El Hoyo? This chat filled a whole day and more, so grab a coffee before you read on…

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Two Old Fools and Wildlife Photography

After 10 years in our Spanish mountain village, we know what to expect in summer. The village fills up with people we haven’t seen for a year as families arrive to escape the heat of the cities. Children, a foot taller than last year,  run wild in the streets and the jasmine-scented air is heavy with the sound of our neighbours’ guitar music.

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Two Old Fools and Jellyfish

With all my thoughts and energies channelled into the launch of Two Old Fools in Spain Again, I haven’t taken much time off this summer. However the book is out now and, with the temperatures still soaring, Joe and I long for a swim.

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Cat after cat after cat

Until the Spanish begin to neuter their cats, there will always be a huge feral population. When we moved to El Hoyo in 2004, we were surprised at how many cats roamed the village, but I guess we’re used to it now. Although not domesticated, they all seem healthy and manage to exist on a diet of lizards, birds and anything else they can catch or scrounge.

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Old Fool’s Blog – My baby is born

I feel as though I’ve given birth to an elephant. I’m exhausted. In the very early hours of the morning of Friday, 25th of July, 2014, after a long painful labour, Two Old Fools in Spain Again was born, weighing just one pound. That’s the paperback, of course, the Kindle edition weighs nothing at all.

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Two Old Fools and Queueing

At loooong long, last – I have written the final words of the last chapter of Book #4, Two Old Fools in Spain Again. Now Joe is wielding his red pen, editing it before it flies off to the advance readers and proofreader.

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Two Old Fools and the Gas Scam

Spring has arrived here in Spain. The birds are frantically nest-building, bright green leaves are unfurling and the sky is clear and blue. Unfortunately, just one dark cloud hovered above us this month. I’ll tell the story here in the hopes that fellow expats avoid being caught in the same way. Continue reading

Two Old Fools and Expat TV

One could almost hear the howls of anguish from expats across Europe this month, and Joe’s was probably the loudest. We’d been warned, although I don’t think anybody really believed it was going to happen. But it did. One day all the BBC channels simply vanished from our screens.

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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. Continue reading

Two Old Fools and Builders

Winter has arrived, but we’re very cosy and the log shed is full. Although we yearn to take another trip to Australia to see family, Spain is beautiful at the moment with some wonderful winter sun and truly spectacular sunsets.

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Two Old Fools and Spots

Nobody likes being covered from head to toe in big red blotches, and I’m no exception.Unfortunately, that is what happened to me this month. Some kind of allergy maybe? I felt fine but looked like I’d been stung by a swarm of bees.

And, of course, it had to happen when our village was holding its annual fiesta.

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Two Old Fools and Rubbish

Here in El Hoyo summer is dying, as are the leaves on our vine.  Our garden needs tidying constantly and we always seem to have rubbish to throw away. Rubbish, garbage, trash, whatever you call it, it all needs disposing of…

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Two Old Fools and Homesickness

Another season is drawing to a close, can you believe it? Joe and I have never once suffered from homesickness since we left England in 2004. We adore everything about our life in El Hoyo; the people, the weather, the food and the slow pace of life centred around families. If only our family weren’t so far away…

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Feral Cats in Spain

We’ve lived in El Hoyo for ten years now and love nearly everything about Spain; the weather, the food, our village, our neighbours. Even so, there is one thing that is difficult to come to terms with.

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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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camel Two Old Fools in Spain Again One Young Fool in Dorset One Young Fool in South Africa