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on 17 November 2013
but not as normal, new challenges face Alan and Lorna, but as usual they face up to them with true resilience determination. There is the usual tales of the animals they already have and the new ones they have met, (for whom they have an obvious connection and passion). The simple life in Spain can sound romantic, but as the Alan expresses through the book, reality is a bit different from the dream. This is a lovely read about a couple who have changed their lives and although the adventure has not developed as they first thought when they initially embarked on Alpaca farming, one thing is for sure, it certainly has not ended.

I read Alan's first book Seriously Mum, Whats and Alpaca and looked forward to reading the next chapter in their lives, I was not disappointed. Well worth a look at.
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on 22 July 2016
Alan and Lorna are still trying to scrape a living from their alpaca farm in Andalucia. The weather is still extreme to say the least and their menagerie of dogs, cats and , chickens are ever the source of consternation and humour, often at once!

Moving to warmer climes for Lorna’s health they have settled in and despite some terrible mortalities for some of the babies, the Alpaca family appear to be starting to adjust. Written as a series of short chapters about events in and around the plot of land for their Alpaca venture and the Friendster have garnered around the locality, this book is light and frothy, so a perfect summer read.

This is much the same territory as “ Seriously Mum , What’s an Alpaca” we stray not a jot from the style or format of the former book in the series, but that is no bad thing. The animals still get a little voice over at the end of every chapter, rather like Arkwright at the end of “open All Hours”. There contribution is always endearing.

This is not high drama or high farce, but normal lives being lived out in a extraordinary locale. It is but a tiny casement window into the life in that area of Spain where olive growing and stray dogs are part of everyday life! But it is nice to peek in every once in a while.

This is a gentle book that does not try to be anything more than a personal story of anecdotal vignettes, but it is wonderful to read with a glass of something chilly and crisp as light starts to fade on a summer evening as you sit and wonder if the solar panels at the mill have managed to store enough residual power to allow Alan to turn on the washing machine!?

A thoroughly enjoyable little read.
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on 28 January 2015
Seriously Mum, Where's that Donkey? is the second of Alan Parks' Memoirs that enable you to 'belong' just for a while to the life he and Lorna lead at their Olive Mill is rural Spain with the Alpaca's, the Dog & Cats... (not to mention certain holidays makers that visit the Olive Mill e-hem!!) It never fails to amaze me that Authors can make you feel as though you're actually 'there'.. Yes, I am biased, as I love Memoirs that depict Spanish Rural Life. This one did not disappoint - It continues their story following the first Memoir Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca? - Some of the 'events' will have you laughing out loud... some you're left thinking Noooo Whyyyy - ouch.. and some are pretty sad - but it's definitely all part of 'life'. Despite living in a beautiful part of Southern Spain 'stuff' still happens - and it's waring when you're not fluent in the local language (some of the mis-understandings/using slightly the wrong words - just hilarious) - this does bring challenges but they do get by & get on with it - this Memoir is written with honesty and, well, it's just great. I could go on and on, but, I must resist giving too much away - you really do need to read this one for yourself - I highly recommend it. ps: it leaves you wanting 'more' and yey there is more... in the third in this series....
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on 2 February 2014
After reading Alan's first book, I couldn't wait to receive this book, & I wasn't disappointed.If your a fan of animals, or of Spain, then this book is just for you.I love reading about Manuel & his adventure with the alpacas. This book is funny & compelling & when you think you can read a chapter then put the book down, you are mistaken, you can't put it down until you've finished the book! Really hope Alan does another to make it a trilogy.
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on 27 May 2014
Seriously Mum, Where's That Donkey is the long awaited sequel to "Seriously Mum, What's an Alpaca". Alan and Lorna's The Olive Mill is now open for paying guests, they are still farming alpacas and integrating themselves into the local culture and way of life. Join them in their remote and beautiful home high in the mountains near Montoro in Southern Spain, as they ride the highs and lows of running a holiday let business during the credit crisis, along with farming their beloved but rather delicate alpacas. Well written and edited, full of anecdotes and larger than life characters, make yourself comfortable, settle down and be prepared to be caught up in comings and going of The Olive Mill.
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on 31 December 2014
The very enjoyable second book in the series and a follow-up to 'Seriously mum, what's an Alpaca'. I was fortunate enough to be able to read this book straight after the first one, so didn't have the unbearable wait to read more about life in at the Olive Mill in Andalucia. Once more Alan writes in his own style of gentle, self-effacing humour. Laugh out loud humour at times but written with honesty concerning the difficulties faced. Full of anecdotes about the ups and downs of integrating with the locals, keeping alpacas and living in a remote part of Spain, complete with their menagerie of other animals. Very funny, interesting and highly recommended. (And I'd still like to live there!!)
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on 5 January 2014
This book continues the story of Alan and Lorna's life at the olive mill near Montoro, Cordoba where they live off-grid with several alpacas, dogs and cats. For me it is Alan's obvious love and care for all creatures that makes this book shine. At the ends of chapters he even lets some of the animals tell their own story! For anyone who has read and enjoyed Alan's first book, 'Donkey' has to be a must-read.
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on 4 January 2014
I enjoyed this well written novel as much as the first book in the series. I love learning about alpacas. I could visualize Alan cramming Santa, the sickly alpaca, in the back of the car to rush it to the vet after it ate too many figs. I was relieved when the little guy was okay.

Since I am a dog lover, I especially liked the dog stories. Owning multiple dogs and trying to walk them all can be challenging, as Alan and Lorna found out one day when the big dogs took off and visited the neighbors.

I learned Spanish in high school, and it was interesting to read about all of the "problems" Alan and Lorna had when they used the wrong word. Some of the words in the book were not familiar to me, since my Spanish teacher only taught us the "nice" words. I learned some new Spanish words while reading this book.

Reading about the salsa classes was entertaining. I don't know much about salsa, but it seemed to be very popular in Spain - so popular that another instructor attempted to steal Lorna's idea to start a class.

My favorite parts of the book were the chapters where one of the animals told their version of the events that had just taken place. It is always nice to read about things from a different perspective.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good animal story, especially a story set in Spain. I will be anxiously waiting for the third book in the series!
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on 2 January 2014
Another easy read and a the 2nd gentle tale of Alan and Lorna's on going new way of life and trials and triumphs in the campo of Cordoba. I really enjoyed hearing about all their animals and the countryside surrounding them and I was interested to hear about their integration into Spanish culture albeit still without mastering the language. It was heartening to hear how the Spanish locals and other expats were helpful and welcoming to them as I'm not sure if the same would have happened in this country. It was also an informative book for anyone considering a visit to Cordoba. We stayed in Cordoba a few years ago and loved it although it was at the hottest time of the year. so I could relate somewhat to his descriptions of the City. Now he has inspired me to want to go back and visit again. Also, I wouldn't mind taking Alan and Lorna up on visiting their Alpaca farm - as a paying guest of course - if we can find it ! (we won't turn up unannounced though so Lorna can make sure she's not caught sunbathing au naturel !)

They work so hard and so I do hope that they succeed in their business venture with the alpaca's and it would be nice to think they will earn enough money to live a little more comfortably in the future. - Paula
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on 17 March 2014
An on going story of trials and tribulations, sadness and happiness. revolving around Alpacas. If you the reader have spent time in Spain setting up a country home you will appreciate and identify with this book.
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