Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

Biographies & Memoirs, Cooking, Food & Wine, Travel

By Victoria Twead

Publisher : New Generation Publishing

ABOUT Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead
About Victoria Twead:    Victoria Twead nagged her long-suffering partner, Joe, into moving from England to Spain in 2004. They settled into a tiny mountain village in Andalucía, became reluctant chicken farmers and ended up owning probably the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. 


Perhaps if Joe and Vicky had known what relocating to a tiny village tucked in the Alpujarra mountains would really be like, they might have hesitated... 

They have no idea of the culture shock in store. No idea they will become reluctant chicken farmers and own the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. No idea they will be befriended by an 85 year old spliff-smoking sex-kitten or rescued by a mule. 

Life is never dull as they embark on their Five Year Plan.

At the end of five years they must decide. Will they stay or return to the relative sanity of England?

Vicky and Joe’s story is packed with irreverent humour, animals, eccentric characters and sunshine. 

A truly hilarious page-turner.

How ‘Chickens’ Was Hatched. I’m famous for my lists and records. I can’t help myself; I think I inherited the record-keeping gene from my father. Every day I make a note of the weather, the temperature, the first snowdrop, the day the ants fly, the exchange rate of the euro, everything. I make packing lists, holiday lists, ‘To Do’ lists and ‘Joe, Will You Please’ lists. I even make lists of lists. My nickname at work was Schindler. Also, I have terrible difficulty throwing anything away. I find my heart racing and my fingers clamp possessively on the object in question. After all, a rusty hostess trolley, or broken watch, or a 1996 calendar, or whatever, may come in useful some day… So I rarely delete old emails and have diaries dating back years. Both these dubious character traits of mine, for a pleasant change, proved really useful and helped ‘Chickens’ to hatch. Moving to Spain was undeniably a culture shock. Every new day produced events either hilarious or heart-warming. Food suddenly tasted better, human behaviour was more fascinating, local events more interesting. It was like seeing in colour for the first time, and the book began bubbling in my head. Of course, Joe often lost patience with me, and rightly so. ‘Stop dreaming, and concentrate! Hold that ladder steady or I’m going to break a leg in a minute!’ But the book was relentless. As soon as I could, I unearthed all my records, notes, old emails to friends, and began to write. It’s funny where life takes you… When I was a little girl and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered, ‘A zoo-keeper.’ No, I never realised that ambition, but life in Spain has not been that far removed. Okay, I agree, chickens, mules and all the other animals (including humans) I wrote about may not be very exotic. But their behaviour was just as riveting as that of any grizzly bear or meerkat. As I wrote, the book made me laugh and cry. When, reluctantly, I showed it to other people, I was astonished to see them react the same way. One may easily imagine my delight when ‘Chickens’ was awarded the HarperCollins Authonomy ‘Gold Star’, and is still today the only non-fiction book to claim that distinction. I love Spain. I love the Spanish people. I love Spanish food. I hope all this shines through in my writing, even when I’m describing some of the less savoury things that happened to us. Victoria Twead

HarperCollins wrote:

‘laugh-out-loud funny...especially the Spanish women heckling over eggs from “The English”...hilarious...engaging...the interspersion of recipes is charming’  

Lucy Fox, author of The Keeper of the Enchanted Pool wrote:

‘Oh, I love it! It’s one of the funniest things I have read in a long while. It reminds me a lot of one of Billy Hopkins’ books.
Your recollections of everything that happens on your venture into a new life are brilliant and extremely well told. The people you met were real characters, especially Dick and Dale.
And the trotter, how could you have done that to your poor husband! Evil, but hilariously priceless.’

Danny Gillan, author of  ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ wrote:

'I love the relaxed writing style and easy humour of this. Great stuff!'

Robin Bayley, author of ‘The Mango Orchard’ wrote:

‘Victoria Twead is a natural storyteller with a knack for charm and wit.’  

Aleck Loker author of  18 books including ‘Ancient Explorers of America’ wrote:

'This is wonderful. I have tears in my eyes...the humor, the warmth, the joy...I love this book...the two of you sitting on the sofa in that dusty street listening to Spanish tunes on the crackly radio. What a sight you must have been...'