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review 2014-03-29 10:39
How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics by Valerie Poore
How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics - Valerie Poore


How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics

Author:  Valerie Poore

Published:  January 8, 2014

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction


This is without a doubt one of my favourite books - it is a real charmer, and I loved it.


There is a whole host of truly wonderful characters and supporting characters that helped shape this story and paint it in bright multi-coloured layers, and they all had me laughing out loud at their antics.


Maisie, our heroine, armed with a hard-earned university degree decides to rather try her hand at farming instead, and sets out to do so with hilarious consequences.  Her eccentric mother, who lives in a world of her own thinks nothing of wearing her ancient wedding dress to help mend fences on the farm or to wear her moth eaten cocktail dresses or ball gowns around the house.  I adored her.


Maisie’s photographer boyfriend started off as quite a bland character, but he is proof that if you hang around people who are eccentric, or even just slightly eccentric, it may just rub off on you.  He is as clueless as Maisie is about farming and doesn’t show much interest, but between the two of them they came up with the most bizarre of all schemes involving runaway sheep. So funny :)


What is a farm without animals?  This farm had the best animals ever.  There is Emily, the ewe, who was constantly scheming and leading everyone else astray, to Wellington the charming little ram ......... who rammed, and Miss Gee, the goose who terrorises everyone – there was enough craziness on this farm to keep you entertained forever.


This was an excellent read, and is one of those books that will stay with me for a very long time.  Great characters, and great story.  I loved it.

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review 2014-03-25 13:03
Harbour Ways by Valerie Poore
Harbour Ways - Valerie Poore


Harbour Ways

Author:  Valerie Poore

Published:  February 16, 2014

Genre: True Life


I loved this book.  It was a lot of fun, but it was also very interesting to read about life on a barge, and what it takes to turn a historical working barge into a comfortable home.  


It must have been incredibly daunting as a single woman living in a foreign country to go out and buy a barge.  Not just any barge, but a historical barge that needed a lot of work, and a lot of money.  Add to this the fact that she would be doing all the work herself, and the fact that she was still learning the language.  Daunting, yes I am sure it was, but for me the reader, it had its very funny moments, as well as its wow moments.


Living on the water is certainly not for everyone, simply because of the ‘hardships’ associated with it.  But, after reading this book the hardships seem to pale in comparison to what you actually get out of it.  I think the feeling of freedom, and the friendships forged on the water will make the hardships, while not insignificant, seem more manageable because they are in a way, a shared experienced. 


I was continually amazed at the author’s courage, and her willingness to do all the work herself.  Her carpentry skills were amazing and her power tools impressive, but I would have run a mile before crawling into a 500l water tank to attach the necessary fittings.  Never, ever *shudder*. 


Other than being a great read, I think there is an important lesson to be learned.  Never give up.  Know your limitations, but push them ...... hard.  It was great to see how much Valerie Poore was able to achieve because she believed in herself and her abilities.


I especially enjoyed the photographs which accompanied the story.  I would have loved a lot more, but was thankful for the glimpses of what the author was working on at the time.  The kitchen and the bathroom were amazing.  They are tiny, and yet so perfect.

The photos of the barge moving serenely along the rivers/canals were awesome.


This is a great book.  It is beautifully written and I loved it.

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text 2014-03-18 09:29
Currently Reading - Harbour Ways by Valerie Poore
Harbour Ways - Valerie Poore

This is such a good read.  Valerie Poore is an author living on a barge in Rotterdam and tells the story about how she bought her historical barge and how she painstakingly restored it and converted it into a home.


She is braver than I am - my studio has a lot of power tools, but some of the tools she has mastered scare the heck out of me.  It is a great read so far




I have also read another two book by this author - I love her style :)


The first one is African Ways


This book is about Valerie Poore's life in South Africa and how she adapted and fell in love with the country and its people. She is British, and one line in her book still makes me smile - she said ‘I don’t mind being poor, but I do mind being cold as well as poor!’ …. so they moved to South Africa.  A good read :)  





The second was How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics


This book was also a fun read - it is about a young woman and her mother who is 'a tad eccentric' lol. They live on a farm and the daughter decides to actually try and farm - with hilarious consequences. I loved this book, but just realized that I have never written a review for it.  I will rectify that - it deserves a review of its own :) 






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review 2013-09-03 11:50
African Ways
African Ways - Valerie Poore



African Ways

By Valerie Poore

Published:May 15, 2011

Genre: Real Life


I bought African Ways on the recommendation of a friend, and I am so glad I did as it is a great story.


The book is the true life story of a family who moved from England to South Africa – looking for the sun.  The author wrote ‘I don’t mind being poor, but I do mind being cold as well as poor!’ .... so they moved.  I loved that, I wish I had that kind of courage.


It tells the story of the family’s first three years in the country and is told with humor and warmth.  The author weaves a tapestry of words that describes the country perfectly, and the love she has for South Africa and its people shines through.  Her views on some of the customs and the people she met, is really funny and is told in a rich and colourful way.

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