Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free
Insurance, FX and international movers
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!
From our tax, investment and FX partners
Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.
Columnists > Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead

Tales from a Spanish Village - Two Old Fools and Melons

  Posted Wednesday January 04, 2012 (09:52:08)   (1115 Reads)

Victoria Twead

Temperatures in the village are soaring, so, like the Spanish, Joe and I rarely venture outside in the middle of the day. However, last weekend I needed a letter posted, so I sent Joe to the postbox in the square.

A few minutes later he returned, letter in one hand, a bulging plastic carrier bag in the other. He looked hot and bothered.

‘You’re back already?’ I said, surprised. ‘What’s in the bag, and why didn’t you post the letter?’

‘Paco saw me pass by and gave me all these melons,’ Joe explained. ‘They’re so heavy I thought I’d bring them home first, then go out again to post the letter.’ He mopped his forehead and again ventured out into the hot street.

Five minutes later, Joe still hadn’t returned. I stuck my head out of the window, glanced up and down the street and saw Joe approaching, carrying two heavy-looking bags.

‘More melons,’ he panted, sweat dripping off his nose. ‘Antonio, in the end house, called me in. I said we already had loads, but he insisted.’

‘What are we going to do with all these melons?’ I asked. ‘And did you post my letter?’

‘No, let me just catch my breath and have a cold drink, then I’ll try again.’

I dragged all the melons into the kitchen, and off Joe went for the third time, this time successfully posting the letter and returning empty-handed.

‘Well, the chickens are in for a treat,’ I said as we sat at the kitchen table, eyeing the melon mountain. ‘There’s no way we can eat all those melons ourselves.’

Just then, the phone rang. It was Marcia, the elderly lady who runs our village ‘shop’. The word ‘shop’ is a little euphemistic as there is very little stock for sale. Cigarettes, beer and a few sweets are on offer, but little else.

‘Come to the shop,’ said Marcia. ‘I have a surprise for you.’

Obediently, we retraced Joe’s steps back down to the square, in the searing heat, to find Marcia waiting for us, hairpins escaping from her silver hair. There was a large plastic crate on the counter.

‘Melons!’ she smiled, patting the crate. ‘For you, from my son. He grew them himself. The English supermarkets are buying all the melons he grows. Imagine! Your friends in England are probably eating my son´s melons grown here in El Hoyo!’

We put in an Oscar-deserving performance of thanking her, and lugged the crate home. Then we feasted on melons. The chickens feasted on melons. All our English friends in the next village feasted on melons. Even my hairdresser feasted on melons, and we still have plenty left...

So, when you buy your melon from Tesco, or Sainsbury’s, just check. Is it Spanish? If so, it may have come from El Hoyo.

My Recipe of the Month - Melon Soup with Serrano Ham

(Recipe courtesy of

Melon and serrano ham are a popular Spanish tapas combination. The sweetness of the melon and slight saltiness of the ham complement each other very well. Here we have a cold melon soup topped with crispy fried slices of serrano ham, very refreshing in the summer and tremendously healthy.

You will need:

1 Cantaloupe melon
6 - 8 slices of serrano ham
1 large cucumber
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Zest of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
200ml extra virgin olive oil


• Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and cut of the skin, chop the melon into cubes.
• Peel the cucumber and chop into cubes then place these into a blender along with the melon.
• Blend for 2 minutes then add the lemon zest, vinegar and salt. Blend for a further minute then gradually add the olive oil (add more for the desired consistency if required)
• Place in the fridge for an hour.
• When the soup is cold carve your serrano ham and fry gently in olive oil until crispy.
• Serve the soup in wine glasses and garnish with the ham.
• Serve immediately.

Victoria is the author of 'Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools' (available at Amazon UK or Amazon USA) and 'Two Old Fools - Olé' (also available at Amazon UK or Amazon USA)

“a charming and funny expat tale” The Telegraph (UK)
“Weeks later you will be doing the dishes and recall some fleeting scene with chickens or mules or two old fools and laugh out loud all over again.” The Catalunya Chronicle

Contact Victoria by email on or via her website at

Victoria Twead
Victoria is a New York Times bestselling author. In 2004 she nagged poor, long-suffering Joe into leaving Britain and relocating to a tiny, remote mountain village in Andalucía where they became reluctant chicken farmers and owned the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. Village life inspired Victoria’s first book, 'Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools', which was quickly followed by two more in the Old Fools series, all of which fast became Amazon bestsellers. Victoria and Joe continue to enjoy life keeping chickens, writing, sampling the local wine and living alongside their colourful neighbours.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Cigna Global

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

Copyright © 2019 Expat Focus. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy. Comments are property of their posters.
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy