Walking in the Pyrenees, twenty years ago, Matthew Parris and his sister came upon a magnificent medieval house. It had crests and a date 1559 chiselled into the stone: its walls and foundations were intact but the ancient oak ridge timber supporting the roof had split and was ready to collapse into the rotten floors beneath. Renovation would be an epic undertaking a massive investment of time, money and emotion. And, the locals warned, nobody ever left L'Avenc with any money. A few years ago, Matthew (with his family's help) went back and bought the place. Astonishing and arguably idiot, his decision resulted in a phenomenal amount of hard work, and this hugely enjoyable book. Inspirational, instructional and utterly irresistible, this is the story of one man's dream to turn a forgotten ruin into his very own Castle in Spain.