Interview – Cate Baum
This week we chat Cate Baum. Cate has lived in various parts of Spain, but is currently settled in the centre of Malaga city with her husband.
We are always looking for more people to sit in our hotseat. If you live in Spain but were not born here – scroll down and click the relevant link under this article.
Your full name
When did you move to Spain, and where from?
I was living in London when I had an opportunity to visit Ibiza in 2001. I fell in love with the light in Spain, and the wildlife, and wanted to come back immediately.
Who came with you?
I came to Malaga with my Spanish boyfriend in 2006. Although he’s long gone, I have lived in El Palo, Ibiza, and Malaga since then and never left, except for a year in Los Angeles when I got married!
Where in Spain do you live now?
I now live with my American novelist husband in the centre of Malaga, where we have our offices. We run our publishing business for independent authors from here.
What things (apart from loved ones) do you miss from your country of birth?
I don’t eat meat, so I only missed Quorn, the vegetarian meat, but now Wolf have started doing veggie sausages in Carrefour! Where you can also buy Marmite! Sometimes I miss the BBC programmes, but now my Spanish is OK I can watch Spanish TV too. Also, I do have cravings for Scotland and the West Country sometimes when watching Outlander! But really, nothing much.
Do you work? As what?
We run a publishing, reviewing, and editing business online for English-speaking authors all over the world. We also have launched a book to screenplay services with some really good Hollywood screenwriters involved, where authors can get a quality screenplay adaptation of their book. My husband’s parents both work in the higher echelons of Hollywood, his mum is a producer and his dad a screenwriter. They have worked with many famous people such as Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Aniston, Anna Paquin, Jodi Foster, and John Carpenter. My husband Henry grew up surrounded by film stars and Hollywood movers and shakers.
How are you with speaking Spanish?
I took lessons in 2009 in the UK. I advise everyone to take an intensive course. I think it is very rude when expats refuse to learn Spanish, and just speak English wherever they go! I can speak more or less fluent Spanish now. I can also speak French and German. I learned Spanish when I was 35, so when people say “oh but you are young!” it’s really no excuse! It takes about two years of immersing yourself in Spain to understand it.
If you could change anything about Spain… what would that be? And why?
I would like to see the government take steps to protect animals. There is no proper body like there is in the UK, like the RSPCA. I have worked with rescue homes and the animals are in terrible shape. I think most people would immediately adopt an animal if they saw how bad the pounds are here. Puppies and kittens are dumped in bins. There should be laws to prosecute more strongly for this terrible behaviour. I just adopted a ten-year-old dog kicked out for being old after his entire life with one owner. It’s awful.
What are the best things about living in Spain?
Not the summer weather, really! It’s too muggy and hot! But the winters here are lovely. A winter beach in Spain is the best. The food is great, even as a vegetarian. The housing is great, so much better than the UK.
What are your favourite Spanish dishes?
Red peppers with garlic and onions, Russian salad, adobo, and of course, the coffee! My friends in Valencia just turned me on to cafe al tiempo, iced coffee with lemon. Weirdly nice.
What is the predominant nationality of your friends in Spain?
I have friends from all over the world – Russia, US, Spain, Italy, Scotland, UK. I would encourage anyone living here to make Spanish friends, and practice Spanish.
If you won the Euromilliones – would you still live where you currently are? Why / why not?
I would still live here. It’s the best country in the world on balance.
If a movie was made about your life – who would play you? Why?
I think Emily Watson the actress would be suitable. She looks a bit like me and I’ve always thought she was a fantastic actress.
If you had to describe yourself as a cocktail… what would you be, and why?
I don’t drink, so a glass of water! I always prefer that. Water solves everything. A bit like me!
Right – now is the chance to tell us all about your business/website/blog if you have one (or more of course).
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If you would like to get involved and be featured on the website… we would love to hear from you! The only criteria is that you are a non-Spanish national and that you either live in Spain… or have a very strong connection to it. You must also have a good photograph (your head and shoulders) You can submit your own answers via the following link: www.spainbuddy.com/interview.