Last month, I reviewed The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide to Raising the Happiest Kids in the World by Jessica Alexander and Iben Sandahl.. I'm following up this review with an interview. As I quiz co-author Jessica Alexander about the issues raised by the book.
Many of this collection are love stories. Invariably, they have a happy ending. However, there's one where the relationship is put on hold and is more romantic tragedy than comedy. Don't worry, I won't spoil the surprise by telling you which one it is.
The Danes have a very common-sense approach to educating their children at home. And Alexander and Sandahl advocate unstructured free time. In other countries, there's a pressure on parents to fill their children's time with after-school activities, whether it be in a sports club or something more musical.
The book begins with a daunting contents section. Perhaps this is meant as a metaphor. As Sadleir advises any family planning on relocating to Spain to research, research, and then go and research some more.
Considering myself to be a reasonably well-read connoisseur of Spanish literature, I looked forward to "Q is for Quixote: Great classic writers." With good reason, as it turned out. Yet I discovered that I didn't know quite as much about Spain's literary world as I thought with Orti introducing me to some authors I'd never heard of.
Where does a free society end and a police state begin? It's a question which vexed one of the world's finest political commentators, George Orwell, during his six months' service in the Spanish Civil War. And a question which remains just as relevant today, a whole millennium later.
Denmark and Gran Canaria are both pretty insular. On Gran Canaria, the gene pool's more of a dipping pond. Mellish refers to the blue-eyed boys and girls of monoculture Denmark where between 5 and 10 percent of the population aren't derived from Danish stock.
Of mice and men. Best-laid plans. And all that. Murphy's stroll, lovingly illustrated on the front cover by a Fran Ford painting, isn't a walk in the park. Expect detours and derailments. In a travelogue which is, astonishingly, this writer's full-length debut.
The Canary Islands are not famous for their cities. With good reason, generally. Although there are exceptions to the rule, however. One thinks of Tenerife's San Cristóbal de Laguna, for example, which you'll fall for on first sight.
When you tell people you live on Gran Canaria, they immediately think you're sunning yourself on a beach 24/7. But whilst we might live on a holiday island, we've still got to work to earn a living. Plus there's interesting turf to match GC's surf. A great outdoors to explore at our leisure.
Edward alluded to a Smog-era London, where we'd brave an old, grey peasouper engulfing the capital to meet up at a secret hostelry of a venue. The true destination was a more prosaic Covent Garden chain boozer, but I much preferred Higgins' mythical version.
If you've ever read any of my back catalogue, you probably won't have me pegged as a business traveller. Check the profile pic if my work's totally new to you. Yes, I've got an economy-class mugshot, haven't I?
Arribes: Everything Else Is Noise focuses on the Arribes del Duero region within the province of Castilla y León. This is Spain's north-west and it's every bit as gritty as NW England, mirroring the hard-knock life experienced by inner-city Manchester and Liverpool residents. Except the setting is rural rather than urban.
The Alentejo stretches from the southern banks of the mighty Tejo river to the northern mountains of the Algarve. It's a land of myth; of mystery. Which feels more Moorish then Portuguese; more Al-Andaluz than Andalucia. As I further discover as we drive to the starting point of the hike the following morning.
El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, and Tenerife. Count 'em. Yes, seven islands. Three may well be the magic number, but seven conjures up images of magnificence and, indeed, wonder.
12/12/2012 15:01 GMT
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