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The Funny Farm [Paperback]

Jackie Moffat
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2004

How often have you thought you might like to chuck it all in, leave the steaming metropolis and its noise and dirt behind and make for pastures new, to begin your life again?

We often talk about it but people rarely do it. Jackie Moffat is one of those who did. In 1982 she and her family - armed with a bucketload of optimism, stout boots and a highly developed sense of the ridiculous - upped sticks from London (where she'd lived all her life) and went North, to Cumbria. Their destination was the Eden Valley, and a small stock-rearing and dairy farm called Rowfoot, and there they have spent the past twenty years getting to grips with the practice of running a working farm, keeping sheep, cattle, pigs and horses, becoming part of the (often eccentric) community, coping with the ups and downs (Foot and Mouth devastated them) of farming life.

For the past ten years, the author's written a regular column for the Cumbria and Lake District Life magazine, and it was this that inspired her to write about her life in rural England and the trials, tribulations and pleasures of running a farm.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New Ed edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553816551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553816556
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Amusing, affecting and endearing account of one woman upping sticks and heading North to live the 'Good Life' on her very own farm...

From the Back Cover

We often talk about leaving the bustle of metropolitan life behind and going in search of pastures new but rarely do so. Jackie Moffat is one of those who did.

It was in 1982 that she and her family, armed with a bucketload of optimism, stout boots and a highly developed sense of the ridiculous, bade farewell to the London suburbs and headed north up the M6 to Cumbria. Their destination was Rowfoot, a small, dairy and stockrearing farm (although mice seemed to be the only stock in evidence on their arrival) nestling in the idyllic Eden Valley. Their intention was to start leading 'The Good Life' and get to grips with the reality of running a working farm. After over twenty years of learning the rural ropes - and especially the vagaries of the farm's four-legged residents: the sheep, cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, not forgetting Millie the goat - Jackie and her farm are each going strong, concentrating on rearing Manx Loghtans, a rare breed of sheep originating from the Isle of Man.

Inspired by her column in the Cumbria and Lake District Life magazine, The Funny Farm is Jackie Moffat's funny, wise, heart-warming and at times moving account of the day-to-day trials, tribulations and triumphs she's experienced - the story of a woman at one with her life even if, on occasions, she feels completely at odds with the rest of the world!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 16 May 2004
What a joy this book was. I found it by accident when browsing Amazon but it is one of my best ever buys, a book I delighted in reading from cover to cover and will return to time and again to dip into. A selection of articles from the author's column in a Cumbrian magazine, (and how I wish I had access to that and had read everthing Jackie Moffat had written!), these are snapshots of life for someone who took the brave, and some would say mad step, of chucking in the rat race and moving to the tranquil beauty of the Eden Valley. Jackie Moffat writes of her life, her animals and her neighbours with a wit and turn of phrase that had me laughing out loud most of the way through. She has warmth and a special ability to draw you in and make you feel you are living the dream along with her. Magical stuff. And the few entries that touch upon the horrors of the foot and mouth outbreak and the devastation that brought to so many people's lives, are written with understanding and poignancy. This is a book I shall be giving my friends for birthday and Christmas presents. It is a fabulous read and I hope to goodness there will be a second volume of tales about life at the Funny Farm very soon.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funnny! 10 May 2004
By A Customer
This is a great read. It is written in the form of short chapters, as the author originally wrote for a column in a local newspaper. As a result is it good for those of us who can only snatch a few minutes to read every now and again. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the author's style of writing - she has a brilliantly dry sense of humour which took some getting used to. This is one of the few books that has actually made me laugh out loud. There are sad moments - it was very difficult to read about the impact of foot and mouth on the farm, but Jackie Moffat doesn't focus on these - she is obviously a survivor and it shows.
I highly recommend this book - especially if you have ever thought about leaving city life and moving to the country!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I have just about managed to stop laughing long enough to type thisreview. What a fantastic, interesting and humurous book. Jackie's styleof writing is like listening to her in conversation. Her descriptionsconjure up hysterical pictures which will leave you chuckling forhours.
This is a no holds barred account of some of Jackie's experiences whilstrunning her Cumbrian Farm. Her comments are down to earth, and shedoesn't hold back with her own opinions. In fact some of her rants, hersoap box moments, are some of the funniest pieces in the book.
If you feel any connection with farming, working with animals and rurallife this is a book worth reading. If you don't but want to read a bookabout an inspirational and slightly eccentric (her own word) person thenthis is still worth a look.
I'd love to see her do another book. I would certainly be in the queuewith my money in hand.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read About Life On The Farm 7 Dec 2006
The subtitle of the book sums it up, really. The laughter and tears of one woman's farm in Cumbria.

This is a very entertaining book, written by a lady with a very entertaining style. There are a lot of laughs all the way through this book, which is chock-a-blck with tales of the people and animals around the farm. The animals steal the show though, as usual, and the author's easy style makes you feel you know these little, and not so little, characters. It comes through very plainly that she is also very fond of her animals. The sad bits of farming are not glossed over, and my heart bled for her as I read the account of the foot and mouth disease debacle, and the loss of her beloved Milly Goat (Yes, that's an "M" not a "B" !). The sad bits, however, are heavily outweighed by the fun bits, so it is not at all morbid. For lovers of the countryside this is a book well worth a read. You'll enjoy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter through tears. 23 Jan 2006
This is one of those books you cannot put down. As someone who has pets, including a manxie & a horse, I identified with every chapter. This is perhaps the only book that has moved me to tears as I read about the foot & mouth outbreak. You can share her anger at the MAFF & how it was handled. But her fighting spirit gets her through it. A fantastic book. This is a perfect gift for anyone who has animals of any kind. When's the next one due?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great! 21 Sep 2009
very enjoyable read, heartbreaking account of the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth and the chapter about Millie goat had me in tears. God bless Millie xxxx
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a GREAT read... 24 Aug 2009
This really is just a great read - if you like witty, amusing and highly engaging subject-matter grab this book while you can... Ideal to digest straight-off, or pick up when the fancy takes you... Well-observed comments and highly astute understanding of the human condition...particularly as we relate to animals and two-leggers on the planet... Poignant, funny and moving all at the same time...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 29 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book, easy to pick up and put down, and follow the story. Really enjoyed it, what a wonderful life she has.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars More like 'slightly amusing' farm.
Found this book quite tedious, and to be honest I'd forgot that I still haven't finished it. The author is likeable enough, but the series of short anecdotes just aren't that funny... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny farm
I saw this book and thought it sounded like my kind of thing. The book arroved in good time and was like new. Lovely and clean and crisp. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lesley ann
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Paperback book as described . Blah Blah Blah fed up with writing this review
Blah blah Blah blah blah blah
Published 15 months ago by Nigel Patrick Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as chas griffin imo
bought because i love chas's books and wanted more, but not as good for me, but some may like these books better, its a matter of taste.
Published 15 months ago by unky
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read
I have not managed to read this yet. Bought it on holiday when in the Lake District as the book interested me with someone from the city deciding to take on the "Good Life"... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Margaret C. Geddes
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatly entertaining book!
I'm a big animal lover, so right away this book caught my eye. I was not disappointed. The writer has a real way with words and coming off hilarious. Read more
Published on 25 May 2011 by Drummer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent buy
hi...bought this book advertised as 'used in good condition'....actually it should have read...'used, in excellent condition'....very pleased with this purchase... Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2010 by F. Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars The Funny Farm
A friend gave me the sequal so I just had to get the first one. funny and poiniant all in one
Published on 9 April 2009 by J. Arnold
1.0 out of 5 stars very disappointing
to call this a book i found very misleading, its a mish mash of the authors articles from her newspaper column, and not even apparently arranged in the order in which they... Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2006 by ryalto
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