Debbie Rodgers


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Smashwords book reviews by Debbie Rodgers

  • Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools on April 16, 2012
    (no rating)
    Subtitled Tuck into a slice of Andalucían Life, Chickens, Mules & Two Old Fools is a personal memoir written by (former) UK resident Victoria Twead. Tired of the dreary British climate as she and her husband Joe neared retirement, they decided to sell in Britain and move to sunny Spain. The book begins with (Victoria’s) discontent with England, the process of their decision to make the move, and their search for the ideal piece of Spanish real estate (“The House”). Finding a reliable real estate agent was aided greatly by their serendipitous meeting with another ex-pat who had lived in Spain for some time. The Tweads found a run-down terrace house with rudimentary bathroom facilities and less-than-that kitchen amenities, in a small village tucked into the mountains. They set about making (extensive) renovations and moving their worldly possessions. They made friends with their neighbours and became acquainted with the villagers and village life, all the while receiving what seems a steady stream of visitors from England. With a fresh perspective and laugh-out-loud humour, Victoria shares all of this with us. I tremendously enjoyed reading Chickens & Mules because • Victoria’s voice is down-to-earth. She finds the humour in village life and is not afraid to laugh at herself too. There are also no judgements as to superiorities of one culture over another. I believe this is a key reason the Tweads were successful and happy in their move. • It was well-written and edited. There are no bumpy repetitions, badly constructed sentences, or annoying typos. • There are photos! On my Kindle, they are in black and white. On a Kindle Fire , Nook Color, iPad, or other reading device with color graphics, you’ll see them in their full glory. BUT. Only a few of the books on my Kindle have a desk-top component – I’m not familiar enough with the technology to know why or why not—and Chickens & Mules is one that does. THAT desk-top copy of the book has colour photos. The paperback version of the book also has b&w pictures, but you can also view them (and MANY others) in colour on Victoria’s web-site. • Victoria includes three dozen yummy-sounding recipes for everything from Spanish Spinach to English Sticky Toffee pudding, with the emphasis on Mediterranean dishes. I recommend Chickens, Mules & Two Old Fools to anyone who’s ever dreamed of moving someplace sunny (and who hasn’t it?!), anyone contemplating moving to another country and culture, and to arm-chair travellers, no matter how house-bound; in fact, to anyone wno’d like to share a few laughs and a few dreams with a charming couple. P.S. You can subscribe to a free Village Updates newsletter on Victoria’s web-site. P.P.S. After spending this time getting to know Victoria and Joe, and having viewed the photo of their renovated guestroom, I’d visit too!