In his very relaxed style, Todd Alexander brings us his somewhat lengthy thoughts on the process of aging, or rather learning to cope with aging parents and ponders just when is it that children become the careers of their parents, rather than the other way around, in his latest book Over the Hill and Up The Wall
Todd and his partner Jeff left corporate life to move to the Hunter Valley taking up the challenge of a vineyard and Air B&B establishment; I mean how hard could it be, as well as collecting a menagerie of animals amongst which is Todd’s beloved Helga, the very spoilt pig.
Covid saw them rethinking what they want to do, stay or go and as the market post-Covid for rural properties was booming to incredible heights they decided it was time to move again to something a little less busy.
They eventually discover a new property, not all that far from the community they have come to know and love, but they have to convince Todd’s parents that this is the right thing to do, for all of them.
We meet Todd and Jeff on a sweltering summers day, getting Jude and Pete into the van for a drive to deliver some wine, have lunch at a pub loved by them all and sneakily show Mum and Dad the new property. They have not left the drive of Pete and Jude’s and already the stress levels are mounting and the tension sizzles.
Many who have lived with and looked after older parents, will relate to the pondering and tales told by Todd as he struggles to cope with parents who are past masters of manipulation, are definitely growing older, getting somewhat more forgetful and simple know how to create mayhem without really trying. It is s skill learned from their children over many years.
Funny, irreverent, filled with love for his parents delivered with a somewhat wry commentary, life in the Alexander family is anything but dull as they set out on a small journey, taken via a longer route, to eventually get to the new property and show Jude and Pete that it is not far from their home and they don’t need to move again.
Readers who enjoyed Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga will remember the trauma caused when they moved to a new home not far from Todd and Jeff. If it could be avoided no one wanted to have a rerun of the experience if it could be avoided.
Funny, irreverent and very true to life, Over the Hill and Up The Wall provides amongst the trials and tribulations of the Alexander family, much to ponder such as why family Christmas traditions exist and when can you safely let them go and so very much more.
|Publisher||Harper Collins Publishers Australia|
|Distributor||HarperCollins Publishers Australia|