books > The Last Days of the Bus Club
240pp Original paperback
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the last days of the bus club
It’s two decades since Chris Stewart moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in the mountains of southern Spain and his daughter Chlöe is preparing to fly the nest for university. In this latest, typically hilarious dispatch from El Valero we find Chris, now a local literary celebrity, using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; discovering the pitfalls of Spanish public speaking; and recalling his own first foray into the adult world of work.
Yet it’s at El Valero, his beloved sheep farm, that Chris remains in his element as he, his wife Ana and their assorted dogs, cats and sheep weather a near calamitous flood and emerge as newly certified organic farmers. His cash crop? The lemons and oranges he once so blithely drove over, of course.
Nat Jansz of Sort Of Books says: Unlike the rest of us, Chris Stewart’s irrepressible wit, inclusive spirit, even his wild optimism seem to strengthen as he gets older. His latest crop of anecdotes had us laughing out loud and wishing we were at El Valero picking oranges. Last Days of the Bus Club’s an unqualified hoot.’
Chris Stewart says: ‘I know it’s taken a long time, but these books are natural hand-reared products. You have to let the things happen to you, masticate and digest them. This has to be done properly in order to get them into regurgitatable form; and then the regurgitation – well, as the Spanish would have it – ‘No es moco de pavo’, or it’s not turkey-snot (or, more delicately, no picnic). In this case, our daughter, Chloé, leaving home for the greater world outside the Alpujarra proved the rite of passage that got me thinking. Now there’s just the two of us, Ana and me, making a go of the farm at last and taking stock of all the stories. Here are some of them; I hope you enjoy them.’