Todd and Jeff have had enough of the city. Sick of the daily grind and workaday corporate shenanigans, they throw caution to the wind and buy 100 acres in the renowned Hunter Valley wine region, intent on living a golden bucolic life and building a fabulous B&B, where they can offer the joys of country life to heart-weary souls.
Todd will cook, Jeff will renovate. They have a vineyard, they can make wine. They have space, they can grow their own food. They have everything they need to make their dreams come true.
How hard can it be?
`This joyously honest account will make you laugh till it hurts, and you'll shed more than a few tears . . . it's The Birdcage meets A Country Practice'
Bradley Trevor Greive AM, internationally bestselling author of The Blue Day Book and Penguin Bloom
`Every man, woman and child on earth has toyed with this fantasy. Todd and Jeff are living the dream. And have not murdered each other . . . yet'
Stephan Elliott, writer and director of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
`This book has it all - humour, heart, wine and crazy animals . . . A rollicking read for anyone looking to shake things up a little in their lives'
Rachael Johns, internationally bestselling author
Buy Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga: A not-so-perfect tree change by Todd Alexander from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781925791334
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Book Review: Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga: A not-so-perfect tree change by Todd Alexander - Reviewed by CloggieA (23 Feb 2019)
4.5?s Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga is a memoir by Australian bookseller and author, Todd Alexander. Dissatisfaction with the corporate world having led to the desire for a tree change (providing accommodation and living self-sufficient), Todd and his partner, Jeff fall in love with the 100 acres in the Hunter Valley simply titled “Block Eight”.
Properties are sold, work situations are altered and the bank comes to the party. The thousand olive trees might be a good investment; the 1200 grape vines, they are ready to scrap until they taste a Semillon previously produced from them; they naively utter the famous last words: “How hard can it be?” Todd will become the Hunter Valley’s Maggie Beer!
Alexander relates, with complete candour, the successes and failures of their venture. The poor decisions and their outcomes, sometimes involving financial losses, sometimes leading to tears and heartbreak, are described uncensored. But the unfailing support of family and friends, the generous advice of professionals and the help of local tradies attest to the pair’s universal appeal.
Plenty of joy and fun is also included, with stories of the antics of pet pigs, goats, chickens and pea fowl all providing laugh-out-loud moments. Tales of unneutered male pigs pleasuring themselves, leading to semen shoe, Leroy the cat, potential star of “Claws”, massage of an egg-bound chook, a confrontation with an aggressive kangaroo, of net curtains and failed verjuice and a dead ‘roo in the dam, all add to the humour.
The descriptor “Australia’s answer to David Sedaris” is quite valid except that Alexander generally does not use his family for comic fodder. His occasional vanity is offset by an abundance of self-deprecating anecdotes, including his confessions of fears, some rational and some less so. In the final 41 pages, Alexander shares twenty of his own Easy Vegan Recipes, which all sound delicious.
Alexander summarises: “Two urban yuppies who could barely grow a pot of herbs have thrown in ludicrously lucrative careers to try their hand at farming, building, hotel-running, animal husbandry and everything in between.” Very entertaining! This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Simon and Schuster Australia
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