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Life Stories with Ian Rutter
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Life Stories with Ian Rutter

Author: Ian Rutter

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Life Stories is a programme I present for Talk Radio Europe in southern Spain, where I live. In Life Stories, I chat to non-Spanish guests about their lives here in Spain. We discuss their lives here, what brought them here and what they did before they moved to Spain. Each guest can choose 6 pieces of music that best represent periods in their Life Stories. Each of my guests has a fascinating tale to tell, and each has that one common denominator - they all decided to come and live in Spain.If you enjoy this podcast, do please take a moment to review it in Apple Podcasts and subscribe for future episodes. No de Licencia SGAE: SGAERRDD/4/1317/1018
64 Episodes
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Hannah Murray moved to Spain in 2003 and after a couple of years she was offered the opportunity to work at Talk Radio Europe. Hannah now hosts the Breakfast Show and the Book Show on the radio station. In addition to her radio work, Hannah has been hosting a weekly Quiz Night on the Costa del Sol for over 10 years and, with her husband and Manifesto Design Company, she produces the San Pedro Guide. Having trained in Performing Arts, it is understandable that Hannah also sings and acts locally, on the Costa del Sol. Hannah chats about her career in radio, what first brought her to Spain and how fortunate she feels to have found so many outlets for her creative talents. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Lisa Francesca Nand is a journalist, broadcaster, podcaster and travel expert who divides her time between homes in the UK and in Fuengirola on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Lisa’s family moved to Spain when Lisa was 7, and the Costa del Sol became their home. Lisa’s first love was music, but a series of events resulted in a change of direction and Lisa became the first female presenter on the UK radio station, TalkSport. Lisa has been published widely online and in the UK press and is a regular expert guest on national radio and television as well as being known for creating and presenting online travel videos. Lisa is the producer and host of The Big Travel Podcast, has made a documentary of her own experiences of miscarriage and is a trustee of the charity, Thyroid UK. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Rowena Alderson and her husband moved to Estepona, on the Costa del Sol, in January 2019. Meeting her husband in a pub turned Rowena’s life around, as she followed him to some of the world’s most turbulent corners, both as an aide worker and as a contracts manager. Rowena worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the Rwandan refugee crisis, where she was held up at gunpoint on more than one occasion, and she and her husband were the last couple to get married in Bosnia in the last millennium. Rowena chats about her life travelling and working in the Middle East, Rwanda and Bosnia and what brought her to Spain. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Charles Hutchinson is one of the founding partners of Spectrum IFA, a company offering independent financial advice across 7 countries in Europe and with headquarters in Barcelona. Charles initially joined the British army in the hope of undertaking pilot training, but as his commission came to an end, Charles decided to move into the world of finance. A slightly inauspicious start provided Charles with a second opportunity to become a pilot, this time on hovercrafts, and he spent some years in Oil Exploration in Saudi Arabia before dipping back into finance. A spell as a DJ in the United States, training as a Commodities Broker and a return to the UK culminated in the decision to move to Spain. Charles chats about his varied and interesting career that saw him travel around the world, the UK weather that prompted his move to Spain and how he went about setting up his business here. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Andrew Linn has been living in Spain for nearly 50 years, coming over as a very young man. He is a respected wine journalist, writer on Spanish culture including Flamenco and Saint Fermin. He has a regular column in both local Spanish and English publications sharing his knowledge and passion for Spain, its wine and the places that he has visited over the years on his Wine Trail. Andrew is also involved with charities caring for the mistreatment and abandonment of animals. After a successful business career in the UK in wine shipping and publishing he moved to Spain to pursue his love of all things Spanish. He is well known on the Costa del Sol as someone who has long been involved in the expat business community as well as encouraging the integration of our hosts and their guests. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Kim Chandler is one of the UK’s most successful session singers and industry vocal coaches. During her 30 year career to date, Kim has recorded thousands of jingles, songs for Disney movies, backing vocals for performers such as The BeeGees, Bjork, Leo Sayer, Rick Astley and much more. As an industry-leading vocal coach, Kim has worked with Jess Glynne, Birdy, Paloma Faith and Sarah Brightman among others. Performing at the Seville Expo in 1992 began a long affair with Spain and, 5 years ago, Kim and her husband bought a property in Marbella on the Costa del Sol and it is here that they couple run their various business ventures from their two recording studios. Kim chats about her childhood in her native Australia, the fortuitous start of her career at the age of 7, moving to London to fulfil her ambitions and how she came to live in Spain. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Estelle de Courcy Mitchell is recognised as one of Spain’s leading consultant Physiotherapists, and she runs the Bodyworks Clinic in San Pedro de Alcantara on the Costa del Sol. Estelle was born in Malaysia and for the first 12 years of her life, this was the place she called home. Boarding school in Ireland was something of a culture shock as well as being far too cold and providing ghastly food - the latter being partly to blame for Estelle’s exclusion from the school. Not really keen on becoming a secretary or a teacher, Estelle was drawn to Physiotherapy as a career as she was told it involved spending time in a pool, and swimming was something at which she excelled. After training with the RAF, Estelle then spent time with the NHS in England before moving with her husband to Jersey where she ran a very successful clinic. Following her divorce, the warmth of Spain seemed attractive and, although the idea was to work part-time, Estelle found herself building up another successful physiotherapy clinic which she runs with her daughter, son-in-law and with her grand-daughter’s frequent assistance. This episode of Life Stories with Ian Rutter is sponsored by Granada Concierge (granadaconcierge.com), GC Property Consultants (GCPropertyConsultants.com) and Casa Higueras Bed & Breakfast (Casa-Higueras.com).Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Peter Barron is a journalist and writer. Starting his career writing for and editing The Algarve News in Portugal, Peter then joined the BBC as a News Trainee working his way up to become Editor of Newsnight. Over a 20 years period, Peter worked for Channel 4 and ITN, and returning to the BBC before moving to Google as Head of Communications for the UK and EMEA. Peter remained at Google for 10 years before deciding on a change of life in Extremadura. Peter and his wife spend half the year here in Spain, currently restoring a barn on their finca in Extremadura with a view to running retreats. Peter has been one of the main contributors to the Frommers Guide to Spain, the latest edition of which has just been published. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Gary Mairs was born in Scotland and brought up in Cheshire. Having had what he describes as an idyllic childhood, Gary became addicted to alcohol while he was studying at university, and it took several years before he was able to shake off that addiction. Now, Gary lives in Granada and works all over Spain teaching English as a foreign language. He has recently established a social media-based support group for young people who may be feeling lost, depressed or lacking in direction and Gary uses his own experiences to help give confidence to struggling young adults. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Jesse Lynn-Dean describes himself as a punk rocker-turned publican-turned punk rocker. Now aged 72, Jesse was born and brought up in Islington of London-Welsh parents, went to a good grammar school, was expelled and then started writing music. Armed with a cassette and a lot of nerve, Jesse marched into the offices of EMI and came away with a contract and his career in music took off, along with the rise of Punk Rock. After 5 years of successes, and rubbing shoulders with the big names in the Punk Rock music scene, Jesse felt burnt-out and decided to take a break in southern Spain where his parents owned a villa. He bought and pub and spent the next 40 years in that business before selling his then two pubs in early 2019. Coming full circle, instead of a quiet retirement Jesse is enjoying something of a come- back with his band, The Wasps. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Sue Wilson lives in Alcossebre, Spain, with her husband and five cats. She is a part time Project Manager, hoping to retire in the near future. Since the Brexit referendum, she has become better known as the Chair of Bremain in Spain, the pro-EU campaign group with over 5000 members, which represents British citizens living in Spain who will be affected by Brexit. Sue had no interest in politics before the referendum but now devotes 50-70 hours per week to what she calls her ‘obsession’ – fighting to stop Brexit and protect the rights of British citizens living in Spain. Sue says she is an optimist by nature and firmly believes that Brexit – ‘the worst crisis to affect the UK for decades’ – can be stopped. She says ‘it’ll be painful, damaging and expensive, but common sense must prevail in the end.’ Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Nina Plapp is an improvisational cellist and composer from the UK, who studied classical cello at Trinity College of Music, London. She has performed with major international artists including Rox, Angie Brown (Fatboy Slim, Bizarre inc.), and Alison David (Red Snapper), and has supported The Charlatans. A seasoned traveller, Nina has worked with performers all around the world, from Cantopop stars and Irish folk bands in China to flamenco gypsies in Spain and a range of actors, artists and dancers. She has recently completed a radio documentary for the BBC charting her recent adventure exploring the musical heritage of the gypsy community in Rajasthan. Nina and her husband now live in the city of Granada where they have formed a piano/cello duo and they compose and perform together. Nina is also a freelance writer. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Born and raised in Yorkshire, Sarah Donohue has enjoyed over 25 years competing as a powerboat racer and is currently the most successful female competitors in the sport. As well as racing, Sarah is a qualified personal trainer, international Tri-Fitness champion and created and ran the annual Miss Galaxy Universe fitness competitions. In June 2018, Sarah published her first book, The World is Never Enough in which she recounts her own exploits as a racer, a powerboat stuntwoman on the James Bond movie, ‘The World is Not Enough’ and her near-fatal accident during one of the races. Sarah and her husband, Lee, now line in Murcia, but Sarah is still competing as the face of the Asia Powerboat Series which has seen her back in Hong Kong. Sarah’s fascinating career has seen her subjected to vicious cyber-bullying as well as a legal run-in with none other than Donald Trump. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Emma Plunkett is a London born practicing fine artist, videographer and graphic designer. Emma’s creativity includes stoneware sculptures, cyanotype prints, watercolours, oil paintings, poetry, photographic montages, video art, illustrations and vector designs. Emma’s work is uplifting and expresses something beyond words. Emma creates art which is intended to be lived with, art that can enhance your everyday home and work life. She also provides original content for film, web and print and she is happy to come up with ideas for you projects. Take your time to look around the site and feel free to make a comment or start a discussion. Emma believes that art is not finished until it is publicly displayed, where it goes on to live a life of its own, beyond its creator’s imagination. Emma exhibits her art regularly and sells directly to the public from various shops, galleries, her studio and online. She lives in Velez de Benaudalla, Granada, and is the project leader for Acompalia Artistica. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Alan Field bought a property as a holiday home in Olvera, Cádiz Province, some 16 years ago. 3 years ago Alan and his husband decided to make the move permanently from the UK to Spain with a view to retirement. Having spent a career in corporate travel, telecommunications and then working on the UK railways, Alan has had plenty of opportunity to travel and is now enjoying taking the time to cook and travel around mainland Europe and explore as much of Spain as he can. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Elizah Handley is young singer who lives with her family in Cútar, not far from Velez- Malaga on the Costa del Sol. From an early age, Elizah wanted to be a singer and a performer. Growing up in Kent, Elizah attended a performers’ college before getting a break in a West End production of Chicago. The relentless hard work and poor pay forced Elizah to turn to busking as a way of supplementing her income, but playing gigs in towns around the UK resulted in an increasing amount of work as an events performer. Five years ago, looking for a new challenge, Elizah moved to Spain and started to sing in pubs and clubs across the Costa del Sol and she has forged a successful career signing her own blend of West End, Opera, Jazz and pop music in venues and for events. However, Elizah still harbours the dream of one day returning to the West End. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Colin Gausden set up and runs Jive Spain, a series of dance classes across the Costa del Sol. Despite having moved to Spain in the early 2000s with a view to retirement, Colin is quite possibly busier than he has ever been. As well as the dance school, he operates Marbella Cruisers, organising cruise holidays each year for a growing number of mature clients, and he has a dance/exercise club, again catering for the older client wanting to keep fit. Not particularly academic as a child, Colin got his first taste of life on the ocean wave when he was 15 working as a dishwasher in the merchant navy for 3 years. He spent the best part of his career in marketing. A marriage and subsequent divorce, and three children later, Colin fell in love with Spain and he now lives in Duquesa, overlooking the harbour. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
James Sobers, also known as Blurum13, is a rapper and producer, born in New York City and raised in Maryland. From 1998 to 2006, BluRum13 was closely associated with London-based DJ Vadim and the Ninja Tune record label when he toured as emcee for Vadim’s live group The Russian Percussion (also featuring beatboxer Killa Kela and DJ Mr Thing). The group was created to promote the album Life From the Other Side (Ninja Tune, 1999), for which BluRum contributed the track “It’s Obvious.” Vadim and BluRum went on to form the hip hop group One Self in 2005 with MC Yarah Bravo, releasing the album Children of Possibility, also released on Ninja Tune. BluRum13 has been a member of several bands, including Montreal-based Bullfrog (featuring Kid Koala, released on Ropeadope/Atlantic Records), and is a member of the London-based collective the True Ingredients. BluRum has also been a featured emcee and live front-man for several other groups, including US3, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Reverse Engineering, Resin Dogs, Aquasky, and many more. In 2012, BluRum13 released a joint project with Manchester artist Matt Brewer, a.k.a. Frameworks, entitled "The Brickbuilders EP." That same year, BluRum13 began a live show collaboration with acclaimed Spanish jazz drummer Mark Ayza, and also founded the dub-hop/electro step group Indigenous Invaders with DJ Toner (Granada). Indigenous Invaders appeared live at the world’s first YouTube music festival “YouFest” in Madrid on September 28, 2012. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Mark Koopmans was born in the Republic of Ireland of Irish and Dutch parents. At the age of 18, realising that employment prospects were not great at that time in Ireland, Mark went to the Netherlands and started working in the hospitality business. An opportunity arose that allowed Mark to apply for his green card to work in the United States and so began a love affair with that country; a life that resulted in marriage and children. Mark’s career included a period as a print journalist, a real estate agent and writer of a biography, Revival: The Donald Braswell Story. Divorce and the subsequent meeting of his new fiancée resulted in Mark’s loving behind the US and moving to Spain, He now lives in Albolote, near Granada. Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
Many years ago Steffi Goddard and her husband stumbled upon a large old farmhouse in Andalucia, Southern Spain called Cortijo Las Salinas and from there on a love affair with the house, the country, the traditions and the people of Spain began.A major restoration project was necessary to turn the former run down rural farmhouse into the exceptional and spectacular rural villa it is today.  Steffi can often be seen out on location complete with paint, brushes and canvas and her studio doubles up as her gallery where her paintings of the local landscape are displayed and are for sale.  Steffi writes a blog about art, yoga, Marmite and living in rural Spain.  Throughout the year, Cortijo las Salinas hosts creative and wellbeing courses and holidays - painting, yoga and much more.Steffi continues to paint and has an amazing art studio and most of her paintings are created in the studio or out on location. Steffi’s career in art now spans over 30 years, and she has an accomplished list of private and corporate collectors. Steffi has also collaborated on corporate installations, organised many art projects for schools, art groups and has led fundraising art projects for charity events, in particular the British Heart Foundation and The Eve Appeal. Now she paints on a daily basis and creates art workshops for anyone who wants to experience the freedom of painting and the joy of creativity nourishing the soul in the warm sunshine.Support the show (http://patreon.com/IanRutter)
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