Author Topic: Laurie Lee  (Read 16317 times)


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Laurie Lee
« on: July 06, 2010, 06:04:48 AM »
I was strolling along the seafront of Almuñecar and I found a monument to Laurie Lee.

I remember studying Cider with Rosie but what does he have to do with Almuñecar?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 09:05:36 AM by John »

Steven Wellington

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Re: Laurie Lee
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 07:09:57 AM »
Laurie Lee wrote a travel book about Spain called "As I woke up one Midsummer Morning".

The book starts with him labouring on a London building site.
He catches a boat to Vigo and walks around Spain and visits such places as Zamora, Valladolid, Toledo, Madrid etc.

The last 2 chapters of the book he recounts his experience of living in Almuñecar.

He gives Almuñecar the pseudonym Castillo and he calls Nerja Altofaro.

This was in 1935/1936. In those days Almuñecar was a small fishing village.
There were only 2 hotels.  Even the fishing was very basic, a rowing boat would take a net
in an arc away from the beach and then about 40 fishermen would haul the net back in.
It was normal for the catch to be very small. Almuñecar was very poor, the only way for the men
to make a living was in fishing or working in the sugar cane harvest which did not provide all year round work.

He states:
"The only people with jobs seemed to be the village girls,
 most of them in service to the richer families, where for a bed in a cupboard and a couple of pounds
a year they were expected to run the whole house and keep the men from the brothels."

He worked in a Hotel which was on the beach both as a waiter and as a fiddle player.
The time spent in Almuñecar is just before the civil war and everything is pervaded by a sense of impending doom.
There is a brief period of optimisim after the "The Popular Front" which was a coalition pact of left wing parties signed in January 1936
but the civil war draws close and towards the end of the book it is obvious that Nerja is in the hands of the rebels.
The only way to delay inevitable defeat is by blowing up the bridges between Almuñecar and Nerja.

Laurie Lee is eventually rescued by a British destroyer sent out from Gibraltar to pick up stranded British subjects.

The Almuñecar of today is unrecognisable from the Almuñecar of 1936.
The only similarities are the lightening storms that light up the whole bay in winter, the grey sand and the description of the swollen river after heavy rains.

The Spanish Civil War must have been horrendousness.  

Laurie Lee is a good writer follow the link to see other books by him.]Click here for books by Laurie Lee



« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 07:24:30 AM by John »