Getting to Manana is a book written by Miranda Innes on her move from London to Andalucia and all of the ups and downs that went with it.
I ordered this book from Amazon, not long after M got offered his new job in Gibraltar and I finished it while flying out to Andalucia to see him last week!
Miranda is a former garden editor of Country Living, as well as an accomplished author on home furnishings and travel related books, such as this book and another on her Riad in Marrakesh. She now has a blog at http://mirandainnes.com/ which describes her move from Spain to Italy.
In 1997, tired of her life and work in the UK, Miranda set her heart on moving abroad, settling on owning a finca in Andalucia. After being shown numerous battered, tiny old houses, none of which quite living up to her dream home, she found the property that would become “Casa Miranda” high up in the hills and needing an awful lot of tlc. With her new partner she set about transforming the shell of a building she had purchased into something completely unrecognisable from what it had once been, yet still inkeeping with the original look and feel of the building.
She negotiated the famous Spanish red tape with the aid of some newly found friends in the area and her beginners Spanish, with lots of mishaps and laughs along the way. (Although that was me laughing not her!)
In between the goings on in Spain, Miranda continued to write articles for magazines, managed to sell her house in Highbury, cultivate her relationship with her partner Dan, who is a fantastic artist and his drawings are featured in the book, make new friends and become a grandmother.
I enjoyed this book, especially as I will be making the same move from London to Andalucia in the summer months if all goes to plan. Not only did it explain how hard it can be to start again in a new country, it also showed how rewarding it can be and with the underlying story of love, friends and family it makes a great read.