Monday, January 9, 2012

Tales of the Migratory human

I was rushing two books over the weekend (I am consumed by too many activities outside of work and having two homes make me displace books at a greater frequency), "Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools - Tuck into a slice of Andalusian life" and "A Table in the Tarn".

"Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools - Tuck into a slice of Andalusian life" is an drolly-written adorable account by Victoria Twead on her Five-Year planned life with her retired military husband in a remote village, tucked away in Alpujarra mountains, Spain. 
The book is full of fleshed out characters, even the chickens she ended up rearing for the benefit of the village (everyone appreciates fresh eggs straight from the chicken's ass) had decided personalities like ahem Cocky the bantam cock which reared his harem like a dictator and made love to them like Pepe Le Pew. My favorite part has to be about the Equators (read the book to see who she means). "As for me, I had the added bonus of watching Eduardo who posssessed buttockes like two golf balls in a sock. Joe cottoned on to what I was transfixed by and got very huffy wtih me, desptie my inistence that I was just watching the work in progress.Soon after catching me gazing at Eduardo, I noticed Joe was suddenly keen to show his strength... Joe ran to help them and shouldered the beams, ignoring the fact that the Equators were half his age and possessed double his strength. The result? Joe's back seized and he was forced to rest in bed for several days. I consoled myself by watching Eduardo from behind, uninterrupted." 

Despite being a very thin book, Chickens, Mules and two old Fools was entertaining from cover to cover. Not an easy task to accomplish as I am a fussy reader.Googling for the book cover made me discover that the author actually had some archived articles about her life in Spain, something like Michael Wright and c'est la folie.
A Table in the Tarn is more of a cookbook rather than a jolly recount of French rural life, though Orlando and his partner, Peter, bought the building from a farming family and converted it into a elegant B&B or Maison d'Hôte, Manoir De Raynaudes.

The book is très elegant and sophisticated, totally different from the other book. Orlando described briefly the work he and Peter put into acquiring the Manoir and touched on a typical day at the maison and its kitchen, focusing the work they put into giving every customer a unique and wonderful experience. On hindsight I would say that this book is more like a narrative advertisement for the B&B. Lets face it, the book, with its beautifully taken photos, is an excellent souvenir for the obviously affluent guests to buy at the Manoir's gift shop as a memento of their visit.

I would say read the first book for amusement and the second book for envy of a better life. 

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