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Hidden Valley

On sale

4th January 2024

Price: £10.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349144795

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The story of the real ‘good life’ of an off-grid existence in rural Spain

Paul Richardson fled the city to live on the land in a rough-and-tumble village on the edge of Europe. Immersing himself in the culture of his remote Spanish community, he learned the traditional arts of animal husbandry and vegetable growing, wine-making and home distilling, and made bread from the rye he sowed on the stone-walled terraces of his twelve-acre farm.

In prose that shimmers with wit and sensuality, the author charts his personal route-map along a road less travelled – from urban pressures to rural tranquility, and from insecurity to fulfilment. Along the way he pays tribute to the influences that have shaped his progress – from The Good Life to Henry David Thoreau, from the 1970s pioneers to self-sufficiency to his farming neighbours in the far-flung region of Extremadura.

In Richardson’s hands, off-grid living both becomes an act of rebellion and a heartening proof that a simpler, better life is possible, if only we can remove ourselves from the ethos in which conspicuous consumption is a duty and success/failure the wheel on which society turns.

Hidden Valley is a glorious narrative of one man’s journey towards self-reliance. Original and thought-provoking, it is also hugely entertaining.

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Reviews

Daily Mail
A beguiling book about a lifestyle that many of us dream about, but few achieve