This year-long series of columns was the brainchild of Karen Robinson at the Sunday Times, who wanted a warts-and-all account of what really happens when someone buys a ‘dream house’ overseas. She sent a round-robin email to several publishers’ publicity departments seeking authors who had recently taken this step – and Penguin suggested me.
The brief was to be factual and witty; Karen insisted on frequent references to the actual prices of everything, and was quick to pounce on my occasional philosophical musings. My column, published in the ‘Home’ section of the Sunday Times, was accompanied by a full-length photo of me in a straw hat and a series of rather excruciating headlines (not of my devising, I should add). Below is how the saga begins – it will be continued over the coming months.
(The photo shows the original interior of one of the rooms in the house.)