On Wednesday, a post on Facebook, caught my eye. Alan Parks, one of the members of a Writers’ and Bloggers’ group that I am a member of, was announcing the launch of his book, “Bloody Hell What’s an Alpaca?” I dropped him a line and asked if I could help with the launch. Within the hour his book was in my Inbox, ready to transfer to my Kindle.
“If you could read it by Saturday and do a review on your website then, that would be great. It’s not that long,” he said. Yeah, well I’ve heard that said before. My other half (another Alan) is known for his claims that things are “two minute jobs”, when in reality we are talking four to six hours. But I had said that I would read it and so I did. He was right – it’s not a mammoth of a book… although I have to say that it is still a substantial book and certainly great value for money.
It tells the story of how he and his good lady, Lorna, moved from the UK to Spain and opened up an Alpaca farm.
By page three or four, I was hooked… and had already declared to my Alan that we would follow suit and open our own alpaca farm. Of course he knew I was joking – I’m far too lazy to be running around after farm animals – our three dogs are bad enough. I also was thinking “Are they mental?!” After all… they had never done anything like this before. Lorna, for example, was a dance teacher in her former life… and although dancing dogs can win talent shows, I couldn’t picture a troop of Alpacas doing the cha-cha-cha across the stage of “Spain’s Got Talent”, accompanying Lorna in a top hat and tails.
Of course, I knew that the book would take us on a journey that would put things in perspective… so on I read.
I didn’t get far before the tears began to fall. Lorna’s children had joined them for a while… and when it was time to say “Goodbye” at the airport, I felt their pain… and was sobbing like a goodun. Not much longer and Carlos, a little ginger and white stray had turned up at their new home… begging to be adopted. Yeah… show me a puppy and I’m next to useless. Alan has written so poignantly about the trials and tribulations throughout the book. Everything from collapsing bridges to alpaca births, sick animals, more adopted dogs… Oh and don’t forget the pig and the chickens.
There is plenty of laughter too – just wait until you get to the passage where a feisty chicken is loose in the car on the way back from a night out. I roared!
Alan is very honest in the book… and really does take you with them on the journey. I found it very cathartic… and thoroughly enjoyed every single page. It’s really emotive, and I have to say that I cried more than I laughed… but that made it perfect for me.
We wish Alan and Lorna all the very best of luck with the alpacas – they deserve every success.
You can purchase the paperback here: Feed a Read
And the digital version here: Amazon.com