Your questions

Have a question? Please ask it at the bottom of this page and I'll do my best to answer. Then I'll add it to the others.
Thank you!

Q: Hi! I tried to find El Hoyo on Google Earth but the only one that came up is a village near Madrid. Is that it?
No. I made up a name for the village to protect the villagers’ privacy. The real village is in the Almería region, in the mountains.

Q: Hi Vicky, I’ve just finished One Young Fool, and I know you started writing when you were very young, but WHY do you write?
I think it’s an addiction, haha! Whenever I finish a book, I’m exhausted and I say to Joe, “Never again. That’s the last.” But I’m soon ready to start again. I can’t take life very seriously, and when I see people smiling, or better still, laughing out loud as they read my stuff, that absolutely floats my boat.

Q: A friend of mine recommended your book Chickens, and I loved it.  I laughed all the way through, even more at the end than at the beginning! Did they really call you ‘Schindler’ at work because you’re always writing lists?
Yes. I’m afraid so.

Q: Did you really knock over the village fountain?
Yes. Unfortunately. 

Q: Hi there! Your characters are a hoot! Do they know you’ve written about them?
Some do, others don’t. Nobody in the village speaks English so I’ve never mentioned the books. As far as I know, they don’t know I’ve written about them, but of course my friends and family are fully aware.

Q: What did your sister and her husband say when they read about themselves in the book?
Ah, the Eco-Warriors… I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about showing them those chapters… But they were fine about it. They said in real life they’re much worse than I’d described, so that was okay…phew!

Q: Hello Vicky, how difficult did you find it settling into such a small Spanish village? You didn’t speak any Spanish, did you?
Hello there, not difficult at all, everyone made us so welcome. But we had to get by in Spanish very quickly or life would have been much harder.

Q: What was most different from life in England?
Gosh, where do I start? Little children playing outside at 2 or 3 in the morning. Shops all closing at 2 in the afternoon. Crocuses flowering in November. The Fiestas – which are totally crazy! The lovely Spanish attitude towards the elderly and families. I could go on and on…

Q: Hi Beaky! I have to ask about the chickens. I can’t use the words here, but were those REALLY their names? If so, why?
Sadly, those were their real names, yes. I blame Joe. They were black chickens, very curious - much more so than their brown and white sisters. They were always investigating our shoelaces, (probably thought they were worms) so Joe kept tripping over them. Hence the names. Not intentional, but they kind of stuck.

Q: Hi Victoria, I’ve always kept chickens and I fully understand why you had to part with Cocky. Was he as bad as you described?
He was much, much worse. He was the most ferocious little creature I have ever come across, except perhaps for Tasmanian Devils which have pretty bad reputations. We really missed him though.

Q:  Those little matchstick-men you use as scene breaks. What are they?
Ah, the Indalo, the Rainbow Man. That’s the emblem for the region, you’ll see it everywhere in the Almería region; as statues on roundabouts, on car bumpers, on tourist souvenirs and in people’s houses. indaloAs I explain in the book, if you buy one and give it to someone else – it’s supposed to bring them luck. But if you buy one for yourself, that’s VERY bad luck. I’m not superstitious, or I wasn’t until I came across the Rainbow Man. You read in the book what happened to us when I bought one for myself! I won’t be doing that again in a hurry!

Q: Hi, I love your recipes. Where did they come from?
A variety of places, mostly the village ladies. Many came from Gayle at Orce Serrano Hams. They are superb cooks and test-drive each recipe before they are posted on their blog. Other recipes came from characters in the book, and in Two Old Fools on a Camel, Nadia Sawalha donated a lot.

Q: I tried the Crispy Potatoes – Patatas Bravas recipe. Have to say, it was delicious and I’ve added it to my own recipe collection.
Good, we like that one, too. I just love the whole Spanish Tapas idea. Little bits of this and that – yum!

Q: Have you ever regretted moving to Spain?
Never. Not for a moment.

Q: Do you have plans for any more books in the future?
Oh yes. The Old Fools series hasn’t finished yet.  Every day I gather more material, and I jot things down. Also, the Sixpenny Cross series keeps growing.

Q: Hi Victoria, I’ve just discovered that you’ve written another series, apart from the Old Fools. Is the Sixpenny Cross series based on where you grew up as a child?
Hi! Sixpenny Cross is a fictional village in Dorset, but many of the characters are inspired by people I have met during my life.

21 Responses to Your questions

  • Hi Victoria I don’t havnt recieved your monthly for quite some time. Would love to keep up to date with your antics in Australia. Can you check for me please. Thanks Vivien

    • Hi Vivien! I haven’t sent a newsletter out for a couple of months, so you haven’t missed any. I’ve checked, and you are still on the mailing list, thank you for asking. 🙂

  • Ok, loving this new website and all the fun insights. Can’t wait for the B book.

  • Victoria,

    I have bought and thoroughly enjoyed every book in the “Old Fools” but am so disappointed that I cannot get the Spanish Recipe book or your latest stories in proper book form. I prefer to have a sheet of paper to all this kindle,malarchy. sorry call me old fashioned if you must but I’m sure I’m not the only non-technophobe.

    • Hello Lorraine, everything I have written is in ebook form and also in paperback,

        except

      for the recipe book… We decided against offering it in print because of the many full colour photographs which would have made the book crazily expensive. I do have the recipe book as a PDF which I’ll happily send you, if you like? Then you can print off any recipes you fancy. 🙂 Let me know if that’d be helpful 🙂

  • Hi Vicky, I’ve just finished reading your books for the second time. When will Two Old Fools in Tutmoil be out?

  • Hi Vicky,

    Is the ordinary Sussex town (where you move from to Spain) real place? Or it was made up location for pivacy reasons? Can’t wait to read second book 🙂

  • HI Vick and Joe
    We have not read book in ten years. (not for ourselves anway). I read these 4 book aloud and all of us enjoyed. BUT where at a loss when Felix passed . Did you leave Spain for good, do we find out in the other books.

    • Hello Janet, thank you for getting in touch. The story continues, and all will be revealed in the next book, Two Old Fools in Turmoil. Unfortunately I’m a slow writer, but if you join me on Facebook, I try to keep people updated much more regularly there. Or subscribe to our newsletter which comes out every couple of months. 🙂

  • Dear Victoria,

    Just love your books. I also love your recipes for Spanish food. Try as I may, I cannot find your recipe for a Spanish stew with either some sausage or chorizo added. Could you please send me the recipe via email? Also don’t remember whether the main ingredient was meat or chicken.

    • Hello Sonia, was it this one?

      Chicken and Iberico Chorizo
      Pollo con chorizo Iberico
      ~Meat~
      Serves 4 to 6
      ~ 15 minutes preparation ~ ~ 1 hour 35 minutes cooking ~
      Gayle: Chicken and chorizo is a typically Spanish combination, and this recipe uses Iberico chorizo as a key ingredient in this Spanish casserole. The dish is cooked in a large terracotta cazuela (or casserole dish), combining tomatoes, plenty of garlic, peppers and herbs. There is also the addition of split marinated olives, providing an Andalucian flavour.
      Victoria: This is a warming dish at any time of the year, but especially good as a winter meal on a cold evening.
      Ingredients:
      1 large chicken, parted
      200g (7 oz) Iberico chorizo
      200g (7 oz) split olives
      1 red pepper, sliced
      500g (171⁄2 oz) tinned plum tomatoes 8 garlic cloves, crushed
      Teaspoon dried thyme
      12 black peppercorns, crushed
      Salt to season
      Equipment: 37cm (15 inch) terracotta cazuela or large casserole
      Method:
      1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
      2) Part the chicken into thighs, drummers, wings and breasts. 3) Cut the breast in half and place into the cazuela.
      137
      4) Drain the juice (from the tin of tomatoes) into the cazuela.
      5) Roughly chop the tomatoes (using a blunt/serrated knife, or squeeze with your hand).
      6) Remove the stones from the split olives. Tear the olives in half and add to the casserole.
      7) Add the rest of the ingredients to the cazuela and thoroughly hand-mix. Ensure all the chicken is covered.
      8) Season and cook in the oven for 1 hour 35 minutes.
      9) Serve, Spanish style, by placing the cazuela on the table centre, together with seasonal vegetables or mashed potatoes.

  • I’ve just started reading One Young Fool in South Africa and there is a mention of a Leslie and his brother Martin at Johannesburg Children’s Home. I’m pretty sure that is me and my brother.

  • Hi Vicky
    Over the last couple of days I have read and thoroughly enjoyed “A for Abigail” and “B for Bella”. I loved them both and the style in which they were written.
    Do you have an idea when the next one ( C for Captain) is coming out?

    • Hi Sandra – that’s very kind of you, I’m delighted you enjoyed Abigail and Bella. C is for the Captain is a work in progress. The story is there, but I’m concentrating on the next Old Fools book, (2 O F in Turmoil) first. I think it’ll be out in late 2017. 🙂

  • Just discovered Chickens, Mules and Two old fools and i had to get in touch to say what a wonderful book i read it in Two Days. Me and my Wife love Spain and you did what we would love to do …Very Brave…..Cant wait to get my hands on the next book.

    A big Thank you
    Regards…Ron

  • Hi Vicky, sorry – it’s an IT problem here. I was receiving the email updates but nothng for months..and certianlly not the one last week. Have tried to re-subscribe..but it keeps telling me I am already subscribed..any thoughts? Apologies of ths is not the correct place to ask.

    • Hello Nell, I checked and it seems I have three Hirsts on my list. Would you mind sending me an email, (TopHen@VictoriaTwead.com) and I’ll investigate further. *puts on Sherlock Holmes hat and finds magnifying glass* Thanks for letting me know, and here is a great place to do it! I imagine your spam filter has been over-enthusiastic and you may need to tell it I’m not a spammer. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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