Chris Stewart TOGETHER
Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart, one-time member of rock band Genesis, acclaimed author, sheep farmer and star attraction of our popular 'Walking Weeks with Chris Stewart', is a raconteur par excellence. We managed to get a word in edgeways to ask him ten questions...

Q: SPANISH GUITAR OR ELECTRIC GUITAR?
CHRIS: The incomparable Paco de Lucia died this year. If you want to hear just what can be done with a Spanish guitar, listen to Paco. An electric guitar is a wonderful piece of wizardry, but to be truthful there’s nothing quite like the sound of fine timber and cat-gut. Also I have fat fingers (though not as pork sausage-like as Andrés Segovia’s) so I can’t play electric.

Q: LORCA’S BLOOD WEDDING OR DAPHNE DU MAURIER’S REBECCA?
CHRIS: I’ve not read Rebecca. Lorca I love. The story of Blood Wedding came from an actual event that happened over in Almería. Real rural Spain.

Q: HEALTHY LIVING OR FADDY DIET?
CHRIS: I believe that one has a responsibility – insofar as one can – to look after one’s own health, and not be a burden to family and society. It’s hard work though, needs constant effort… but hey it’s worth some effort to preserve health and sanity, n’est-ce pas?

Q: WALKING BOOTS OR DESERT BOOTS?
CHRIS: I’m a walker but go everywhere in sandals. I hate hot heavy feet.

Q: OPERA STARS OR ROCK STARS?
CHRIS: Well it has to be rock stars. I have never liked the sound of the trained human voice. And although people probably won’t listen to rock music in five hundred years, it sure does a good job of filling the gap, keeping you on your toes and filling you with that mad euphoria.

Articles by Chris Stewart

Last Days of the Bus Club

The latest book from Chris Stewart, author of “Driving Over Lemons”, is full of hilarious tales from his sheep farm in Andalucia, where he has been cooking for Rick Stein, getting his own back on a wild boar, and chomping through plate after plate of fish as judge of a tuna cookery competition. In this extract from from “Last Days of the Bus Club” a local farmer spins him a yarn...

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Q: WATER OR WINE?
CHRIS: O God… never be tempted by water; it dulls the senses, dilutes acuity, weakens the passions, oxidises the emotions… OK I know it’s good for you and you don’t want to get dehydrated. Now wine, there is a thing… and I’m not talking about crap wine here. Good wine is the very quintessence of the ancient earth, and operates on those supremely delicate triggers that activate joy, love, wisdom and wit. Speaking of which… it’s nearly that time now…

Q: MOUNTAIN WALKING OR BEACH STROLLING?
CHRIS: I’m off to the mountains tomorrow, to climb fifteen of the peaks in the Sierra Nevada. Bonkers; it’ll probably be the end of me, but at least I can go down with a bang. I have a passion for mountains, the vastness, the silence and solitude and the infinitesimal tininess that is me. Beaches don’t really do it for me. I once found myself on a travel-poster-type beach in Barbados. I was the only person there. The sea was turquoise, the sand white, and there were a couple of coconut palms framing the view. I lasted fifteen minutes, then I got back on my bike and pedalled away.

Q: SLOW ROASTED ANDALUCIAN LAMB OR TRADITIONAL ENGLISH ROAST?
CHRIS: Lot to be said for both of them. Lamb is my thing though; we keep sheep… and if you keep sheep you eat lamb. Given the ghastly conditions that most animals are kept in, and then the gruesome manner of their demise, I feel it a great relief – and privilege – to eat home-reared meat.

Q: NIGHT IN OR NIGHT OUT?
CHRIS: It’s got to be pretty good to get me away from the farm; I’ve got everything I need here: good books, good food, wine, my guitar and the Wife.

Q: I COULDN’T GET THROUGH THE WEEK WITHOUT …
CHRIS: An inspiring view to wake up to.

[Photo © Luna Vandoorne.]