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Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools: Tuck into a Slice of Andalucían Life (Old Fools, #1)
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Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools: Tuck into a Slice of Andalucían Life

(Old Fools #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,293 ratings  ·  292 reviews
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-kitt ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 3rd 2009 by New Generation Publishing
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4.01  · 
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 ·  2,293 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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This is truly a memoir that inspires a trouble-less joie de vivre in the reader.

Most British expats in Spain have a story to tell of cultural clashes, dodgy estate agents, derelict, over-priced houses and a spirit of the conqueror to get themselves acclimatized in a new country with the British culture thriving and intact. After all, they did not leave their culture behind, only their weather.

This book does not differ from any others in this genre in that regard. But Vicky and Joe integrate in E
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-i-won
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book. It's non-fiction, the true tale of a couple who decide to leave England to retire to Spain. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, and generally the book made me smile. The author made a decision to leave the UK one rainy day. Joe, the author's husband, was not sure about the move, so they compromised, agreeing a 5-year plan. They would move to the remote village of El Hoyo in Andalucía for 5 years and if it didn't work out they would return to the ...more
Paul E. Morph
Part memoir, part recipe book, this was an easy read; perfect for on the beach or beside the pool. It was, perhaps, a little twee in places for my tastes but I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy it. I'm sure I'll be reading the rest of the series.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who appreciates an enjoyable read
Shelves: memoir, humor, expatriats
Highly enjoyable read. Review to follow when I have a bit more time.

I, definitely, want to read the sequel(s)--also when I have a bit more time.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
This book would get 3.5 stars if there was a half star system ! Anyway, a light easy read, a bit repetitive for me though, the mention of her husband scratching his "nethers" must score very highly here, if she wrote it once she wrote it tens of times!
I enjoyed the escapades with the chickens and Judith was a hoot, however I feel the author tried too hard for laughs and it just didn't quite work for me.
Brett Williams
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended
I can understand totally why this book got an award. The hilarious characters and the scrapes that Vicky and Joe got themselves into just had me laughing right to the final chapters. If you liked the James Herriot series, you'll like Victoria Twead's take on Spanish life in an Andalucian village. Highly recommended, 5 stars!
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
My original review must have been lost when I had Goodreads technical problems. I thought this was a very charming memoir of the life of a British expat living in Spain. I am an American expat doing the same (although in a different part of Spain) so I could relate to many of the things Twead was saying. And those things she said she said well and with humor. The inclusion of several recipes enhanced the book even more. I have recommended it to others, especially my expat friends here (a couple ...more
Apr 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Adventures Galore
Sent to 24.04.10

‘Chickens, Mules and two old fools’ is the apt title of Victoria Twead’s, autobiographical novel about her and her husband Joe’s retirement in Andalucia, Spain. When Vicky first proposed it, Joe was not so sure. The bargain, wrung from a few anxious moments, was they would return to the colder climes of England in five year’s time if it didn’t work out.

I loved the light hearted, amusing atmosphere, the sense of adventure and of beating adversity as th
Tejas Janet
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
My Rating: Solid 3.5 Stars

While I enjoyed this book, I thought it fell victim to the malaise that often strikes memoirs of the cookbook variety. The narrative, while light and quite readable, felt overly skimpy and repetitive by book's end. The recipes were presented in a separate section in an effort to not disrupt the narrative. However, the result was that the recipes felt almost like an after thought, just tacked on at the end rather than truly integrated into the telling of events. Such is
Erma Odrach
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goodreads-author
If you're looking to experience sunny Spain, and maybe even life in a tiny village tucked in the Alpujarra Mountains, and without leaving home, then Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools is for you.

Approaching retirement, Vicky and her husband, Joe, one day decide to pack up their bags and leave their comfortable Sussex, England home and settle in the village El Hoya, Spain. It is not long before they come to learn village life is full of surprises and mishaps, with hilarious culture clashes at ever
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools proves once again that moving to a foreign country and fixing up an old house never works out quite as you planned. This time the setting is the Spanish Alpujarra mountains and the naive couple are Joe and Vicky, a British couple looking for a place where the sun always shines.

At first the writing struck me as a bit unedited and rough around the edges, but as the book progressed the style grew on me until I wouldn't have had it any other way. Vicky comes across
Karen McCann
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a total charmer about the adventures of a British couple who retire to southern Spain, buy a rural ruin and start raising chickens. I first heard about it as I was finishing my own book about living in southern Spain, Dancing in the Fountain. Victoria's book is the flip side of mine: rural vs urban, chickens vs late night flamenco bars, etc. Yet we share an abiding love and appreciation for the zaniness of the Spanish culture. Her book is very funny. After reading it, I began corres ...more
I must have been expecting too much, but I did enjoy the story. Parts were very endearing and some just a little boring for me. I cannot imagine doing this myself. Moving into a house that was crumbling around them and looking forward??? to fixing it up. Total immersion into a country where you barely speak the language? For this couple, it all worked out well in the end.

The view of the little village and the life lived by all was well described as were all of the people, places and events. My
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It's packed with humour and 'feel good' factor, and if you have ever undertaken moving house to a foreign country this will ring true on so many levels.

Vicky decided that she and her husband, Joe, would move house and live in Spain because she was fed up of the grey days and rain of England. After a little persuasion, Joe agreed to a five year plan of living in Spain with a clause to return to England if they didn't settle for any reason at the end of the agreed ter
Could very much relate to a lot that went on especially as we start thinking about where we're going to retire to - Spain just a little bit to far from Australia though!!!
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Subtitled Tuck into a slice of Andalucían Life, Chickens, Mules & Two Old Fools is a personal memoir written by (former) UK resident Victoria Twead.

Tired of the dreary British climate as she and her husband Joe neared retirement, they decided to sell in Britain and move to sunny Spain. The book begins with (Victoria’s) discontent with England, the process of their decision to make the move, and their search for the ideal piece of Spanish real estate (“The House”). Finding a reliable real es
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, memoir
I read this book on my e-reader. this was a fun book. a memoir with humor by Victoria Twead. Vicky is tired of living in her home in England. she yearns to live somewhere else. She is especially interested in living in Spain. she want to live where the weather is more sunny and warmer. It takes a bit to talk her husband Joe in moving so she strikes a proposal: Rent their home in England move to Spain for five years. They would try it out and in five years if Joe did not want to stay, they would ...more
Christopher Spalding
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I would liken this book to an episode of Dr Who from the nineteen seventies: the sets were wobbly, the rocks polystyrene and the monsters were made of washing-up gloves and sackcloth, but I still loved it.

To expand on that, the niggles were mostly technical - some formatting problems on the Kindle and the writing wasn't quite as polished as (IMHO) it could have been. I think that just goes to show the story is always king.

I have, I suppose, a vested interest as I am probably as much of an españ
Maria Mcmahon
Oct 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book! I enjoyed every page from start to finish which I reached much too quickly and would have loved if were three times longer! Vicky writes with a wonderful perspective - she and her husband have moved to an idyllic location in Spain, not of course without its trials and tribulations which are most often hilarious - I laughed out loud many times during the book! She has a lovely eye for detail and characterisation born of respect, fascination and the ever present humour th ...more
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm so glad I found this little treasure of a book!! It is Victoria Twead's memoir of her and her husband's retirement in Spain. It was her idea and desire to move out of cold, dreary, rainy, foggy England...and to move to a warmer climate (and many additional "pros"). Her husband Joe was not overly excited about the prospect of moving, but they agreed to make it a "Five-Year Plan." After this time, if Joe wasn't happy they would move back to England. While reading this book I felt as though I w ...more
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a dream of dropping out to live a "simpler" life
If you have ever dreamed of getting away from the rat race and claiming a simpler life anywhere but where you currently are, then you need to read this book. It's funny, insightful, and it has authentic Spanish recipes in it. A recounting of a nearing retirement UK couple's journey through facing the unexpected in implementing such a plan is extremely entertaining so far... I am about half way through the book. I'm not sure why reason or common sense did not march in and take control of the situ ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very fun book about a couple from the UK who, after (early) retirement, take 5 year 'trial' move to a town/village in southern Spain to experience the adventure, the food and wine, the peace and quiet, the warmer weather. They get all that and much, much more. Lots of misadventures too. Will they stay or shall they return to Britain after the 5 year trial?
Enjoyable read, along the lines of "Under the Tuscan Sun," or "A Year in Provence." An added treat-recipes after each chapter-and they're yumm
Fran Macilvey
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools - by Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead, I take my hat off to you. Not only have you made me care about 'yet another expat story' but your tender and honest account has given me the most laughs I have had for a long, long time. Real belly laughs.

You have a keen eye, and a gentle pen, which translates almost lovingly into easy, perceptive prose. Thank you. I recommend your writing unreservedly.

I notice that you have a recipe book - good. I loved the recipes, but wou
Alan Parks
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having wanted to read this book for ages, I finally got around to reading it.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and found myself laughing out loud on many occasions, and I have to say I felt a particular empathy for Joe and his mindless scratching. Myself, being an expat, living away from the thronging masses I also noticed a lot of similarities and characters that could be picked up and placed in to any village in Spain, such is their personality.
If you are looking for an easy to
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous light-hearted, feel good read! Following the hard work, trials and tribulations of Vicky and Joe's move to Andalucian Spain and their new life in a tiny mountain village with new and old friends and an expanding family of chickens. Fun from cover to cover and many laugh out loud moments.

I have just started reading Vicky's second book, Two Old Fools - Ole! and noticed in the foreword that some Americans (presumably self-righteous religious types) took offence from Vicky and Joe n
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Victoria Twead is a great storyteller! She and her husband Joe decide to move from England to sunny Spain and end up in the small village of El Hoyo. I chuckled my way through the move, the initial language barrier, the new neighbors, the construction crew and especially the chickens! There were quite a few times I even laughed out loud. (I’m sure people wondered WHAT I was reading) I hope to try a few of the recipes because they all sounded delicious. This was a fun read and I felt so connected ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I had no idea when I won this book that it was a non-fiction. What a pleasant surprise! I loved the quaint village (so glad the 5 year plan went your way, Victoria), and all the folk living there. Once I got into reading it, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. (One disclaimer: loved the chickens, but wish one of them wouldn't have been listed by name. Didn't like having to read that over and over.) At the end, I found myself hoping for a sequel to see what new adventure happens next.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book by chance while researching the formatting of e-book previews on Smashwords. I was accidentally and completely hooked by the second paragraph and just had to buy it!

I loved this book. It was witty, charming, funny, and thought provoking. Victoria Twead has a naturally graceful writing style that kept me reading late in the night on many occasions. I laughed and vicariously ate my way through the telling of her Andalucían experiences.

Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a charming account of the trials and tribulations a couple face when relocating to Spain, with the added challenge of a building project and a new language to learn.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this - there are some great laugh out loud moments but most of all this is an excellent feel good book that has left me with a smile on my face, as well as some new recipes to try!!
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this tale of two Brits who decide to go live in Spain for awhile, to see if they might want to live there permanently. I admired their adventurous spirit, moving into a fixer-upper in a small village despite not knowing anyone there, and not speaking Spanish all that well, either. They acquire new friends, and chickens, and have a fine time. If you like ex-pat stories, give it a try!
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Victoria Twead is a New York Times bestselling author. In 2004 she nagged poor, long-suffering Joe into leaving Britain and relocating to a tiny, remote mountain village in Andalucía, where they became reluctant chicken farmers and owned the most dangerous cockerel in Spain.

Village life inspired Victoria’s first book, Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools, which was quickly followed by more in the Ol

Other books in the series

Old Fools (8 books)
  • Two Old Fools - Olé: Another Slice of Andalucian Life (Old Fools, #2)
  • Two Old Fools on a Camel: From Spain to Bahrain and Back Again (Old Fools, #3)
  • Two Old Fools in Spain Again (Old Fools, #4)
  • One Young Fool in Dorset
  • One Young Fool in South Africa
  • Two Old Fools in Turmoil
  • Two Old Fools Down Under
“and grabbed Great Aunt Elsa and my passport. I stood in” 1 likes
“So one Sunday night, as the church-bells chimed 24 times, we were not especially surprised when a fist hammered on our door. What was surprising, however, was the fact that the fist belonged to Pancho the Mayor. Beside him stood his assistant, Felipe Frog.” 0 likes
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