The Right Colour (a novel about a cow) by Andy Frazier
Andy Frazier has been writing books for two years now, from his base in South West France. He started life farming with his father and brother at Coningswick farm in the English Midlands, which in those days specialised in quality beef and pork. After a string of successes exhibiting commercial cattle and pedigree Bleu du Maine sheep, Andy left the family farm to set up a livestock supplies business dealing specifically in grooming products as well as supplying services to the pedigree cattle industry. Over the next 10 years his achievements in dressing and preparing show animals saw him being twice in charge of the supreme champion at the Royal Smithfield show, as well as cattle and sheep breed champions in a variety of pedigree breeds at just about every national and county show. He has also judged cattle and sheep at many of these events. For a 12 year spell Andy successfully bred pedigree Texel sheep under the prefix Menithwood until the flock was dispersed in 2004. In addition to this he continued to help and advise with the prominent Coningswick flock of Beltex sheep run at the family farm. After selling his grooming business to Ritchey Tagg in the mid nineties and progressing into the IT industry, Andy’s career somehow evolved into that of a freelance business analyst. For a number of years he then worked for blue chip clients such as Barclays Bank, Cable & Wireless and Cisco Systems, mostly writing detailed and highly technical documentation that few people ever read!
In 2006 Andy opted for a lifestyle change and moved to South West France with the objective of one day becoming an author. For a while he ran a small building business alongside renovating a large old farmhouse until, with the support of his partner Wendy, he started writing novels some two years ago. During that period he has now written no less than nine books, many of which are targeted at children and most of which feature farm animals of some kind or other. He shares the smallholding with Wendy, two dogs, half a dozen sheep and a small collection of wines.
The Right Colour
Andy completed his first novel called The Right Colour in November 2010. Set in the mid nineteen eighties, the book tells a highly entertaining story of Princess, a calf born in north Scotland in a pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd but by a Limousin sire. The tale follows the calf as she tells her own story of growing up in hard times which include her being subjected to bullying and racism. As the Princess overcomes these problems, she sets her sights on the winning the greatest accolade a cross-bred animal could ever win, to be champion at the Royal Smithfield Show. She also develops a bizarre desire to meet the Queen herself. The book is written with sharp humour and there are some laugh-out-loud moments as Princess gets into some quite unusual situations and engages in some curious dialogue with a few other animals.
Drawing from the author’s own cattle experience, many of the settings and the people that this animal encounters are recalled with extreme accuracy, including the sights, sounds and smells of those great December days in Earls Court, London. Some of the characters even bear an uncanny resemblance to people involved in the industry at that time. However, the passion with which this tale is told provides its real appeal. That appeal is not just to cattlemen young and old but to a whole cross-section of the public, many of whom are blissfully unaware that the languid world of livestock showing could be quite so exciting.
The Right Colour has developed a cult following through the British livestock world and has had some fantastic reviews. One review in a Scottish national paper said “The book is littered with colourful characters…..It could only have been written by someone with a great deal of knowledge in the industry…. The tale is also a great insight into animal psychology!”
The Right Colour is now being made available through a selection of agricultural traders throughout the UK as well as online in paperback or e-book form from www.andyfrazier.co.uk, published through Lulu Press.
Here at farmingfriends we are a fan of Katie Thear’s books on keeping poultry and home incubation.
Katie Thear, who sadly died earlier this year, wrote 22 non fiction books about smallholding and keeping poultry and livestock. Katie wrote from first hand experience and her books are packed with tips and advice for the smallholder and poultry keeper.
Here are some of Katie Thear’s books about keeping poultry.
I love reading and this book is a perfect gift for a book worm, a food lover and anyone with a dream for starting a new life. This book was a joy to read as Victoria brings the characters that we meet in her book to life so that you feel like you know them yourself. The characters you meet along the way are colourful and loveable.Victoria’s description of the Andalucian village where Vicky and her husband relocate to are so goo that you feel like you are there with them every step of the way!
Victoria writes with humour and pathos making this a funny book with laugh out loud moments as well as bring tears to my eyes as I read some of the events occurring in the book.
I really didn’t want the book to end I was enjoying living the Andulcian life along with Vicky, Joe & the hens and reading about all the events and encounters they had in the first few years in the village.
I found the book very inspirational as it shows a dream coming true. Anyone dreaming of starting a new life, a simpler life or a life abroad should read this book. It made me want to move abroad but it really made me want to move to the same village in Spain and meet the characters of the book and enjoy the village events like Vicky and Joe did.
The stories of the acquisition of the hens, the egg sales and meeting the cockerel were highlights of the book for me.
Not only is Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools a great, entertaining read but it is also interspersed with wonderful Spanish recipes which help to bring the true flavour of Spain to life.
I highly recommend this book – it would make a great gift.
Farming Friends is delighted to announce that we now have books about chickens in stock. If you are a hen enthusiast, if you keep chickens and hens or are thinking of keeping hens and chickens then Chickens At Home by Michael Roberts or Starting With Chickens by Katie Thear are books that are sure to delight and inform you. Great for those whoare just thinking of starting with chickens or beginners to hen keeping as well as those who have been keeping hens and chickens for some years as they are a good reference. Another useful book for every hen keeper is the book Poultry & Waterfowl Problems by Michael Roberts as this is a great reference book if your hens are not well.
As a former teacher and now a farmer’s wife and farmer/smallholder myself, I love books that are fun but still manage to educate children about food, animals or farming. I was delighted to come across The Foodies set of books written by Joanne Roach.
The Foodies Books By Joanne Roach
“The Foodies Books are a series of 12 illustrated stories for children aged under eight. The books are set in a veggie patch with a different story for each month of the year. In each story the fruit and vegetable characters are in season in the UK during that month. They are a gentle, fun way to get children more used to how basic British fruits and vegetables look and grow, and how the seasons affect our food. Each book also contains some factual information (written by children) and a seasonal recipe which your child can tackle with very little adult help.” Source: The Foodies.org
When I visited the site I was delighted by the video previewing September’s book, “Blackberry’s Sunbathing Day.” I found the story amusing, the language used was interesting and the illustrations are bright and fun.
I am definately going to be buying my nephew this set of books for Christmas or the family package so that he can receive a certificate, badge and membership card, and a personally addressed pack every month with the Book Of The Month plus veggie gardening tips, seasonal foods list, colouring sheet, puzzle and activity idea.
Organic Places To Stay In The UK & Ireland by Linda Moss
Linda has written a book about organic places to stay in the UK and Ireland. The book includes 588 accommodation entries and is now in it’s third edition, testiment to it’s ever growing popularlity. The contents of the book include:
Bed and breakfasts, guest houses and small hotels offering organic, local and sometimes home-grown produce.
Self-catering accommodation on organic farms, generally in renovated farm buildings.
Camp sites on organic farms and smallholdings, ranging from those where you pitch your own tent to more luxurious camping.
This book gives you all the information you need for an ‘organic holiday’.