Simon Prichard fell in love with Spain when he was 17, only to spurn it in favour of a career, a serious relationship and a precarious foothold on the London property ladder. Twenty years later, when he lost his job, left his wife and started living in his car, he decided to try and patch things up with his old flame.
He cashed his redundancy cheque and bought a one-way ticket in search of a better way of living. He followed the fiesta trail, which seemed to epitomise the Spanish appetite for collective ritual and unbridled celebration. Over the next six months Simon sought out the quirkiest local festivals in the country. Among many others, he took part in a smoke procession, witnessed a drunken pole climbing contest, saw young men whip themselves with medieval scourges, joined a parade of cross-dressing soldiers and was beaten with burning torches by an entire village.
This book is part escape story and part immersion into Spain's rich cultural history. It also takes us on Simon's personal journey to a new understanding of his place in the world.
"Simon Prichard's unique quest in search of 'fiesta forever' takes him to the soul of Spain: pious, arcane, profoundly odd and richly comic." Tim Adams, The Observer