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Leaving England and moving to Spain to set up an alpaca breeding farm was never going to be easy…'Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca?’ is the frank and charming story of a brave couple who risk everything to move to Spain to breed alpacas. Their intention is to make a living, but first they must negotiate their way through the Spanish property market, local characters, rogueLeaving England and moving to Spain to set up an alpaca breeding farm was never going to be easy…'Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca?’ is the frank and charming story of a brave couple who risk everything to move to Spain to breed alpacas. Their intention is to make a living, but first they must negotiate their way through the Spanish property market, local characters, rogue builders and the worst weather Andalucía has seen for 100 years.Alan and Lorna experience the joy, but also the heartbreak of alpaca breeding, picking up an assortment of stray animals on the way....

Title : seriously mum what s an alpaca
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18885718
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 188 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

seriously mum what s an alpaca Reviews

  • Petra X
    2018-10-18 20:14

    Can a book be described as 'cute'? If so, this is a cute book. This would be the rating scale5 star - beeee-ooo-tiful, we're in de movies man4 star - pretty2 star - kinda plain, but ok1 star - u-g-l-y. Hide it's face, me ain wan see de cover cos it remin' me of de time I done waste reading dis t'ing (view spoiler)[Excuse the dialect. Me live in de Wes' Indies far too long an sometimes it more easy express self so (hide spoiler)]But 3 is cute. What does cute imply? Of anything? It implies not a permanent state, not anything of any importance, but for now it's pleasing and you'll have forgotten about it, whatever it is in five minutes.That just about sums up the book.The book is far too much about the business and the people, none of which is more than passingly interesting unless, probably you are either in the alpaca business or thinking of moving to Spain for any kind of farm. What I wanted to read about were the alpacas. Alpacas seem to be really beautiful, interesting, unusual and cuddly. But they aren't cuddly at all. The adults don't like it. If you cuddle the babies (how could you not?), you risk letting them think as they grow, especially the males, that they are dominant and can do what they want and since they are big they can push and be a bit violent if you don't recognise their dominance so then you have to have them put down. That's a good reason for summoning up superhuman strength and not stroking the babies (much). See how interested I was in the alpacas? If the book had been 75% about them and only 25% about the not-very-interesting people and their even-less-interesting trials and tribulations of trying to do business in a different culture, it would have been a better read. But still, what with the nuggets of alpaca-lore, it was an ok read, a kind of cute book.Finished end of Dec. 2014

  • Frank Kusy
    2018-09-21 15:14

    This is the second book I've read recently about a British couple moving from Britain to rural Spain and not knowing what they are letting themselves in for! 'Chapeau' once again for such a brave decision, and hey, the alpacas, I loved those! Plus the expanding menagerie which includes Mary Belle the huge Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, four sweaty goats, and Miliko, the happiest dog in the world. The writing is both easy and straightforward, and in addition to lots of cuddly alpacas there are some very dramatic events - notably Alan being shot by a "Bermuda Triangle" of not-so-cuddly alpaca spit-balls to the back, chest and face! Though there are some truly tragic bits later on in the book (don't want to give too much away) that had me snuffling into my soup, I'm a real softie when it comes to animals!I received a copy of this book as a competition prize, and would happily recommend it to anyone

  • Ila
    2018-09-29 15:00

    I really enjoyed this book. As an alpaca farmer myself, and only on the beginning of my own alpaca adventure, I related to Alan and Lorna's ups and downs during their first years of farming. Truly, it isn't always fun and the losses are very difficult, but there is so much joy in it, too! I think people expect it to be easy and this book shows that it is sometimes very, very hard. And I'm not even talking about moving to a foreign country with a language barrier to boot! The stories of country life and it's highs and lows are well told and enchanting. I listened to this book on audiobook, and it was well read and very high quality.

  • Jennifer
    2018-09-27 19:58

    Quick and mostly enjoyable read. I say mostly because there are some heartbreaking moments with the animals but overall, I found the book very entertaining and enlightening about the ups and downs of selling everything in your old life and embarking on a new one. The trials and tribulations of having everything you could possibly need while living in a city (Brighton, Eng) and then moving out to the very rustic Andalusian hills of Spain, not speaking the language (which isn't proper Spanish, you would need to move to Madrid for that he was told by a local), living only on electricity from their solar panels and learning how to rear animals was pretty eye-opening but it also kind of makes you think about what that would be like. He often mentions that in the UK they live to work whereas in Spain they work to live and even with fewer of what we often think of the necessities in life, they actually enjoyed their lives more in Spain on little to nothing. The writing is in a very conversational style: you feel like the writer Alan is telling you the story firsthand. Another Bookbub recommendation that worked out very well!

  • Fran Bott
    2018-10-13 20:10

    Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca? By Alan Parks is the true story of Alan and his family’s adventures moving from England to Spain and getting started raising Alpacas.You know, when the feral cat writes the introduction to a story, you are in for a treat. In fact many of the animals speak throughout the book. I found this an enjoyable look from another prospective.Life changes are never easy, the unknown can be challenging and this change would prove to be no exception. The author weaves you through the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows that change can make. Along the way they meet many characters – some colorful, some unsavory. They end up with a host of animals that now call their farm home, including those adorable Alpacas.If you love animals and real life adventure, you will enjoy Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca?"Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review."

  • Victoria Twead
    2018-09-25 18:11

    What an engrossing read! Leaving England and moving to rural Andalucía, I know from personal experience, is tough and certainly life-changing. But this brave couple not only uprooted themselves, but set up an alpaca breeding farm in the 'frying pan of Spain'. I laughed and cried, sharing their highs and lows, willing them to succeed. An inspiring and fascinating story.Victoria Twead, Chickens, Mules And Two Old Fools: Tuck Into A Slice Of Andalucían Life

  • Lua
    2018-09-20 21:48

    A quick and enjoyable read about the author's adventures - moving, along with his wife, from Great Britain to sunny Spain and starting a new life raising alpacas. They don't speak much Spanish, and things do not always go smoothly, but Alan and his wife persevere with good humor throughout. Their menagerie of animals grows and grows, as there are lots of stray dogs and cats in Spain, not to mention the occasional gifts of chickens and such, which get added to the family. If you dream of moving to Spain, and/or you love animals, this is the book for you!

  • Karen
    2018-09-22 17:04

    A fantastic read, ideal for a holiday read, the ups and downs of moving from Brighton to Spain. The joys and sadness of breeding Alpachas. I highly recommend this book. Its one of those rare books that you just cant put down. Five star rating xxx

  • Julie
    2018-10-17 19:58

    A very enjoyable read. Alan and his partner, Lorna, decide for various reasons to quit their jobs and leave their home in England and move to Spain to raise alpacas. Lorna was a dance teacher in Brighton, and I'm not sure what Alan did for a living, but they were definitely not farmers or animal breeders, so this was a huge change and huge risk. This book tells about the joys of finding a beautiful home and piece of land, the challenges of a new culture, and the risks and excitement involved in the raising of alpaca. I appreciated the honesty of the book - everything does not go well all the time. Some of the stories are heart-breaking. However, I also really appreciated Alan's willingness to laugh at himself and give new things a try. The story of his being attacked by an angry mama alpaca had me laughing so hard that I woke up my husband (yes, it's one of those books that made me think "one more chapter and then I'll go to sleep"). The book left me wanting more and the good news is that there is a sequel.I don't think this is a spoiler - more of a warning ... some very sad things happen to animals. This is a real book about raising livestock and as is the case in the real world, animals don't always survive. Also, animal welfare does not appear to be a high priority amongst many of those living near the alpaca farm and so there are sad stories of suffering animals. Alan and Lorna help where they can, but it can be occasionally be hard reading for animals lovers.

  • Diane Ziomek
    2018-09-22 22:53

    As a fellow alpaca owner and author, I can relate to some of the challenges Alan and Lorna faced in their decision and journey. Making the decision to raise alpacas is a challenge and big undertaking in itself; I personally couldn't imagine doing so in a new country (not to mention one where there was a language barrier). Alan and Lorna were very brave and sacrificed a lot for the unknown. They had many hurdles to cross just to get their little farm started, and they crossed many more as the years went on. Alan writes from his heart (and the hearts of the animals) when he speaks of the various antics and heartbreak they endured. I found myself tearing up in one part and would be laughing in another. The book is based on their personal experiences with an adventure which has very much become a way of life for them. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel, and am curious to see where the story goes. I was sad when I got to the end, because I didn't want it to be over.I bought the book in March 2013 so I would have some reading material in between games at a sporting event (turned out I couldn't put it down so read it during the games as well).

  • Colleen Davis
    2018-09-20 17:56

    Sit down and enjoy a nicely written story of a couple who chase their dream to Spain to raise alpacas. You feel like you are their close friend and they are sharing the journey just for you. Even the furry members of the family help tell the tale. It's a great read for those of us who dream of heading to a foreign land to change our life. If you are an animal lover, you'll love the story even more. It left me with a smile on my face when I finished it and now I have to patiently wait for a sequel.

  • Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
    2018-10-09 20:07

    I received a free copy of this book in return for reviewing it.I first came across author Alan Parks on Twitter as he is from the Eastbourne area where I used to live. Spotting his tweet offering a copy of his first book Seriously Mum, What's An Alpaca? in return for a review, I volunteered. Dave and I are currently touring Spain for the winter so reading about an English couple who have taken the plunge to actually live out here seemed appropriate.Seriously Mum recounts various incidents during the first months of Alan and Lorna Parks' new life as they set themselves up as alpaca breeders in a disused olive mill in Andalucia. Their proposed lifestyle is meant to be idyllic, but unfortunately a lack of preparation and animal husbandry experience leads to a series of disasters that threaten their dream almost before it has become established.We don't really get to know Lorna through this book as it is written solely by Alan as a series of sketches rather than an in-depth view of their life. The decision to uproot and change career comes across as being a whim that gained a momentum of its own. Neither has experience of livestock care and at several points this ignorance has sad consequences, not enough to prevent more animals being added to their menagerie though. The couple admit to still being completely inept in Spanish over a year after arriving and I found it odd that, despite their insistence on living in a Spanish community rather than with ex-pats, they shun social opportunities such as the Feria week. Many of Alan's written asides criticise Spanish culture from a strongly English perspective and I wonder whether they will ever assimilate or always remain the English outsiders.With regards to the book itself, Alan does successfully avoid the indie author curse of poor spelling/grammar etc, but Seriously Mum feels very superficial throughout. I would have preferred deeper writing allowing me to get to know Alan and Lorna and understand their choices and decisions. Instead, brief sentences describe serious events such as the day a particular animal dies and is buried which is solely covered as 'a sad day'. I learned next to nothing about alpaca care and even the rich Andalucian culture is mostly bypassed. Overall I found this book disappointing and thought it a missed opportunity.

  • Ralph
    2018-10-12 21:56

    This is a lovely little memoir of an English family that pulls up roots and trundles off to Spain with an eye toward alpaca ranching. There’s nothing in the world quite like an English ex-pat. Certainly they’re not immigrants in the usual sense of the word for they never quite take up the role of victim or beggar, but rather become strangers in a strange land, workers amongst alien corn. Wherever they go, whatever they do, they never lose the humor and confidence that makes them British, and such is the case with Alan Parks and his family.As one might expect in a memoir set in foreign climes, there are misunderstandings with the locals, both linguistic and cultural, but they are always told with an eye toward humor and optimism, self-effacing as only a traditional Brit can be. One of my favorite parts of the book was when the Brits were trying to explain to the locals exactly what they intended to do, at a point when the alpacas of the title were yet unseen by the farmers and olive growers. After long explanations in phrasebook Spanish and many drawings by Alan, the Spanish finally got the idea—these crazy Brits were going to let herds of giraffes cavort among their olive trees! When the true nature of the alpacas became known I’m quite sure the reputation of the English for eccentricity was not diminished one whit.The author takes you through the joys and tragedies of becoming alpaca ranchers when you have little going for you other than good intentions, enthusiasm and boundless optimism. It is a tale about making dreams come true, but also a chronicle of the travails that are sometimes necessary in making those dreams manifest. It is well-written, engaging, and told in a narrative laced with equal parts of hubris, humor, humility and naivety. If you enjoy memoirs or autobiographies, you’ll probably like this one. And it won’t hurt if, like me, you’re also something of an Anglophile…an aficionado of an England that used to be.

  • Bryan D.
    2018-09-21 20:56

    6 of 75 for 2015. I'm a sucker for books about people throwing over their lives and moving off to some remote location, preferably in another country where they don't speak the language. Throw in a change in livelihood--especially if the new work is something with which they have absolutely no experience--and I'm right there. You got me hook, line and sinker. Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca? is just such a story. Alan Parks and his partner Lorna give up their home in Brighton, leave England behind, and buy a place in Andalucia, despite the fact that neither of them speaks Spanish, and go into the business of raising Alpaca, even though Lorna is a dance teacher and I have absolutely no idea what Alan did for work. The author and his partner saw alpaca in a nearby petting zoo and thought it would be fun to raise them. In Spain. Off the grid. Of course. The book is the first in a series, and if the rest are as much fun as the first, I look forward to reading them all. Suffice it to say that it's not all wool and cuddles. The alpaca Al and Lorna take on apparently haven't read the book about just how alpaca are supposed to behave. My one quibble about the book is the lack of a timetable. By the end, I was completely in the dark as to just how long the couple had been in Spain. Had to be at least four years, but could have been much more. I just don't know. That aside, Seriously Mum is a fun read, and now I know for sure that I don't want to raise alpaca, much as I love weaving with alpaca yarn.

  • Elainedav
    2018-10-08 17:53

    Wow what a great book! I started reading it yesterday, couldn't put it down and finished it today! I really enjoyed the way the book opens with some prose from the cat and then that every chapter starts with an animal count, which gradually increases as the book progresses. It's not all happy though, there are plenty of sad 'real life' stories - the author uses a phrase along the lines of 'if you raise livestock, you also have to deal with the deadstock' which I thought put things in perspective very succinctly.I had the kindle version and my only frustration with this is that there were no pictures - which probably exist in the hard copy book. However, I easily found my way to the authors website http://whats-an-alpaca.com/meet-the-a... and there were lots of pictures here to satisfy my curiosity. I also found my way to the facebook page and am very pleased to see the author is working on a sequel. Great news! I would already like to read an update. I'm not sure really when the first book finished, but browsing the website and facebook page, things have clearly moved on since the end of book one.This is a good book for anyone interested in moving to another country, changing their lifestyle and definitely one for animal lovers.I received this book for free through Librarything member giveaways.

  • Pat Ellis
    2018-10-10 21:01

    Great, just great - I so enjoyed this Memoir. It's hard to adequately put into words all the different aspects but : From Brighton, UK to Rural Spain to set-up a new home and a business is no easy ask... Alan Parks manages to take you on this part of his journey with his wife Lorna in such an easy readable way - you don't get lost (unlike Alan & Lorna on a couple of occasions).. Home/Olive Mill found - the 'fun' begins... Loved the menagerie of animals (a pot bellied pig came with the house - Mary-Belle)... as well as the dogs, cats & chickens were the main reason for this new life - the Alpacas... who can blame Alan & Lorna for continuing on their 'quest' to breed these fantastic animals even with the trials & tribulations along the way... This memoir had me laughing out loud with some of the antics the neighbours had them involved in... so truely rural ... Yes, of course, there are some sad moments.... as well as life there's also loss... I cannot wait to read the next instalment of this journey and I would highly recommend this Memoir.

  • Teressa
    2018-10-09 19:11

    I thought this audiobook was awesomely cute. I love the way Alan and Lorna decided to pick up from Brighton and move to Spain to raise alpacas. What a neat thing to do. This was also a fairly short listen. But adorable!It was cute how they kept gathering animals and named two of their chickens Beyonce and Jay-Lo because of their butt wiggling. They lived in a town filled with mostly ex-pats and their Spanish was formal while the locals spoke slang making for somewhat of a language barrier.Overall I would recommend giving this a listen as it was a neat glimpse into what it would be like to make such a huge decision as this. Along the way, the story goes over the trials they endure along with their always growing animal family.Nigel Patterson did a wonderful job voicing this audiobook. He was perfect with great accents. I found it a relaxing and enjoyable listen. I hope to hear more from both him and Alan Parks.Audiobook gifted in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Heather Pearson
    2018-09-23 23:07

    When you move to another country, it's hard to explain your new life to those at home. Author Alan Parks has done a wonderful job of sharing the non-fiction story of his family's move to rural Spain to raise alpacas. His easy going writing style made me feel as though I was reading a personal letter from him. He talks about the language challenges, the difference in cultures and the significance of the large expat community. I particularly enjoyed the tales of his adventures with his Spanish neighbours.When I was a teen, my family moved to an island in the Caribbean, and my father and his partners started a scuba diving business. Mr. Parks had me reliving many of our experiences, some I had long forgotten.I highly recommend this book to anyone considering such a move or who is curious about moving to a foreign country. The armchair traveller will also enjoy the stories and still be happy to remain safely at home

  • Meghan
    2018-10-03 19:50

    A quick read about a family moving to Adalusia to follow a slightly crazy dream to raise alpacas. The tone of the book is conversational, which fits well, and by the end you're rooting for Alan and Lorna and their motley crew of alpacas, dogs, cats, and chickens. Everything is cute and folksy, although a few times Alan and Lorna are a bit too naive to be completely believable. A run through with a professional editor would get rid of some of the kinks (there are a lot of exclamation marks and sometimes the threads of the story aren't interwoven very deftly) and probably make this book more marketable. But, overall, it's a decently written, engaging story, and shows promise for Alan Park's first book.

  • Caryl Williams
    2018-10-16 19:14

    What a wonderful book to sink into. A thoroughly enjoyable read about a couple from Brighton who bought an old Olive Mill in the Spanish region of Andalucia and decided to keep Alpacas of all things! How they did this is told in this highly entertaining memoir that made me laugh out loud on many occasions. I also felt as if I wanted to move into the Olive Mill right away!!!. Alan and his wife Lorna also aquired and adopted more animals to add to their menagerie. The whole tale in this first book of a very delightful series is narrated with Alan's gentle and self-effacing humour. Loved it. Highly recommended.

  • Julie Watson
    2018-09-23 20:47

    A very light hearted, easy read. At times a humorous account of a move to Spain and a new life breeding alpacas. I say humorous as the trials and challenges that Alan and Lorna face would make you either laugh or cry and yes, sometimes the tears flowed. I am not a great animal lover but the story of this courageous couple's move to Spain held my interest throughout, as they navigate a culture and way of life so vastly different from England. The reason for the move resonates with a lot of us who find as we get older, we have to adapt and sometimes take the plunge to make a life other than what we have been doing. An enjoyable read.

  • Dorothy Pfeifer
    2018-09-22 19:07

    Realistic and hopeful story of starting over on a new adventure.When Alan And Lorna decide to leave their English city life for the Spanish countryside to raise Alpacas, they discover that their plans are challenged by the failing economy, the language and culture of their chosen locale, and most of all the challenge of raising animals they know very little about. Can they persevere through deaths and births and all that comes with a menagerie of animals to thrive in this new land?

  • Sanhita
    2018-10-07 14:55

    Well, let me admit, I know nothing about alpacas, barring that it's an animal from whom comes lovely soft yarn (thanks to me being a knitter who drools over such novelty yarn!). Thankfully, the book doesn't only talk about alpaca but other animals too and is a collection of some funny and some hilarious anecdotes of the author and his partner, who decide to settle in Andalucia and manage an alpaca farm. They shift to Spain and don't know the language, which causes a number of problems and a source of hilarity.Light hearted and fun to read.

  • Nicola Atkinson
    2018-09-27 20:10

    I received a free copy of this book for an honest review. What a great book, upping sticks and moving to Spain to breed Alpacas, a wonderful, heartbreaking in places, story which shows you that we take far too much for granted! Alan and Lorna decided to take a chance with a new life and I think they made a great decision and Struggling at times but worth all the hard work! Can't wait to read the next chapter in their adventures breeding Alpacas!

  • Odette
    2018-09-27 18:56

    I really enjoyed reading this bood, and found it hard to put down until I found out what happened. The decision to move to Spain to start a new life, purchasing alpacas, all the animals and of course the interesting local people all make for a good story. I can really identify with what the author went through with his first alpacas. I hope there will be a sequel to this book and we can hear more about the alpacas and life in Spain.

  • Lillian Guillot
    2018-10-11 16:09

    Love these bios. I have always been a fiction reader but lately I have come across a couple of biographies written by what I would consider "regular" people. Just interesting stories about average people no major drama or intrigue. Just life lived. This book was a great look into the life of someone who finally decided that "some day" was today and took the leap. Great quick read.

  • Sue
    2018-10-09 16:48

    I put this on my travel shelf because I didn't have a shelf it would fit. I enjoyed this from the aspect that if you've ever wanted to move somewhere else and live a totally different life this gives you a glimpse. I reveled in their simplistic lifestyle, wish they had a language app for Spanish that would help, cried when their animals died, and learned a bit about another culture. What a nice breather from usual stuff.

  • Stacey V
    2018-09-28 18:08

    As a writer, zoologist and traveler who has experienced both the UK and Spain as well as the ex-pat life, I greatly appreciate the candid writing in this book. While the writing is basic, the story-line is cute and for me, relatable. It seems like a book by someone who wanted to share his story, maybe doesn't possess the skills of a writer, but tells a good narrative. In all honesty, I want to meet these people.

  • Janet
    2018-09-27 15:08

    Alan Parks - a dreamer and a realist. Who in their right mind would move to a country they don't know, to start breeding animals that they have only ever seen before in a petting zoo? Cue Alan Parks and his wife Lorna - and what a steep learning curve they endure! Alan Parks leads us through his voyage of discovery as their dreams move ever closer to reality, at times funny, sometimes heartbreakingly traumatic, but always real. Alan keep writing, after all things can only get better!

  • Nicola Atkinson
    2018-10-19 20:51

    I received a free copy of this book for an honest review. What a great book, upping sticks and moving to Spain to breed Alpacas, a wonderful, heartbreaking in places, story which shows you that we take far too much for granted! Alan and Lorna decided to take a chance with a new life and I think they made a great decision and Struggling at times but worth all the hard work! Can't wait to read the next chapter in their adventures breeding Alpacas!