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on 6 July 2009
Selina conjours up a colourful and enchanting picture of a very private corner of her own Majorca .We discover she is a woman of great fortitude and compassion, comfortable in her own skin in a home we see her transform from a shelter of dubious possibilities into a comfortable retreat.
We are with her through every joy and set back along the way -there is an ample supply of both,from tree rats on the roof to narrowly escaping perishing in a forest fire ,whilst planning a wonderful garden and the addition of a swimming pool all the time battling with a dodgy generator and lack of mains water. A formidable woman and a wonderful read
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on 24 July 2009
I am a fan of Ms Scott and yes do find her fanciable which may well have contributed to my reading her book. However in my defence I read widely and have enjoyed other accounts of Brits moving abroad like the wonderful series by Dirk Bogarde. Her book is quite short and the storyline charming but a trifle lightweight. The biggest criticism I have though is with the publishers' decision to make us rely entirely on Selina's words as there is not a single photograph of the island, her house undergoing its many improvements nor the famous writer herself. I find this amazingly inept and Amazon compounds this by not mentioning this omission in their blurb. If I'd picked up the book in Wartestones not online, I would not have bought it. If you do another book Selina have it illustrated please!!
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on 25 October 2010
I bought both books by Selina Scott, assuming (wrongly!) that one was followed by the other! Wrong! They are identical despite different titles. However it is a pleasant little tale of life in my beloved Mallorca though I did find myself ploughing through it somewhat. The books I really love are those which I race through and can't wait to get to the end!
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on 28 May 2012
Superb book about rural life in Mallorca it was so good that I purchased another by Selina Scott

a hardback book entitled " A LONG WALK IN THE HIGH HILLS " only to find to my amazement

that this was exactly the same book as the one I had already read but with a different title

I find this to be a little deceitful and it does flaunter the Trades Description Act
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on 12 November 2010
Beware that this book is the paper back version of 'A Long Walk In The High Hills'. A good read but don't buy both!
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on 24 August 2010
Selina Scott's book is easy reading, and more in the style of a blog/narrative rather than a story as it details her life and work rather than the story of finding/buying/renovating a foreign property which is the usual format of 'brits buying a property abroad' books.
She is however, an absolute animal lover, and much of the book is about a neighbour's dog she takes pity on, as, being British her views on animal husbandry are very different from those of Continental Europeans, and the struggle that she has to befriend the dog and ease its plight.
I would have preferred more detail about the finca itself, but the chapters on the forest fire and the building of the swimming pool were quite entertaining, and there are some nice photographs to help visualise the surroundings as her tale unfolds.
Good, but not brilliant.
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on 23 July 2014
I enjoyed this book very much. I had wondered what happened to Selina Scott and was glad to learn that far from vanishing from public life she has gone on to do many high profile things. I don't know how I missed the epic documentary on Spain and would love to watch it.
The book fluctuates between the usual trials and tribulations of house renovation in remote places and her working life in the media which is interesting. It also has an animal lover theme running through it as she is appalled by the attitude towards stray and pet cats and dogs in Spain and tries to help at least a few.
Balance of factual stuff and idyllic living in Mallorca.
Nice reading.
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on 7 September 2014
Having read other books about experiences lived while renovating old stonehouses in remote beautiful places, this narrative trails quite far from the best in the category. What comes across in the story is not a witty, sensitive, humorous or open minded main character but instead the author portrays herself as a tense workalcoholic who is unable to loosen up, much less stop worrying about work. Instead of taking the reader through the romantic and fantasy world of a dreamlike adventure, the author spends precious text space boasting about her mingling with Spain's King Juan Carlos in a job assignment, sprinkling the text with judgemental criticisms about local Mallorca's residents attitudes, behaviors and way of life, and remaining peripherical, shallow and affectively distant from other people and neighbors living in the island, perhaps, in the best tradition of a foreigner who becomes a seasonal tourist in a community with an inability to flow. Miss Scott memories of Mallorca are not those of someone who is relaxed and enjoying her new encounters with another culture but rather of someone who insists in the need to educate and change the lifepatterns and habits of locals. She is primarily descriptive and emotionally aloof in her depiction of the nuances and subtlelties of social encounters. The only big contrast is shown with the animals that appear as part in the text: they are really the main characters of her storyplot. It is not farfetched to consider the author's narrative style as cold and lacking in empathy and joy in her endeavor. After reading the book one is left with the impression that Miss Scott was not truly involved with her project. We a really left with the sensation that she needed to fulfill another goal as if to prove to herself and others that she could accomplish anything she decides to tackle as a demonstration of sheer firmness and resolution rather than as a healthy expansion of her selfviews.
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on 23 April 2016
A fan of Majorca, especially the places Selina talks about, I loved this book. I know quite a few people she was referring to also and Selina offended many. They opened their hearts and homes to her and felt let down by her book and the way they were portrayed and ridiculed.
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on 4 July 2013
Although I expected this to be another 'We bought a run-down property in France/Italy/Spain and did it up in spite of the local indolence/opposition etc., I decided to read it because it would not be too taxing. And because, although I don't know Mallorca, I am familiar with Spain.

The narrative began weel, was interesting and I read on at quite a pace. I don't know Selina Scott: I don't have t.v. but nonetheless it was interesting. But gradually the book became a diatribe about badly cared for pets, and the narrative became less and less gripping.
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