Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds written by Nick Albert, publisher Ant Press, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited, audiobook and paperback format.
Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?
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I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Nick Albert’s debut novel: Fresh Eggs & Dog Beds. I have the pleasure of sharing an extract.
An exclusive excerpt from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds book 1 for Kraftireader.
This scene occurred a few days after we moved to our new home in Ireland. It involves our little Lhasa Apso dog Romany.
Shortly after moving into Glenmadrie, we realised there was a problem with our drains. The water flowed slowly from the bath and sinks, and there was a pervading smell of bad eggs whenever we ran a tap. I soon figured out there was a blockage somewhere in the confusion of old drainpipes that took the wastewater from the bathroom, via the kitchen sink, and out through the wall towards the cesspit.
Even though I had plans to replace the pipework as a part of the renovations, that task was still many months away and in the meantime, we needed to get rid of the blockage. A drain auger would not work as the pipe was 40 feet long with several branches. We had tried using a toilet plunger without success, and even the strongest drain cleaning chemicals had done nothing more than add to the smell. However, a little research and a trip to the hardware superstore in Limerick resulted in me purchasing an air-bust drain cleaner. This handy toy is a tall can of compressed air, with an attachment rather like a sink plunger, which sends a rapid blast of carbon dioxide gas down the drain, instantly clearing any obstruction. To ensure the gas drives the blockage safely outside, and not back up the nearest sink, all intermediate plugholes and overflows must be firmly sealed before letting fly with the explosive blast.
Early the next morning, Lesley and I began preparations for our drain clearing extravaganza. It was a lovely morning, warm and sunny, so Romany soon lost interest in what we were doing. In an effort to keep out from under our feet, she wandered off into the garden to do some sunbathing.
With a little twisting, a skinned knuckle, and the careful application of some swear words, I removed the downwards section of the outside drainpipe, to permit the blockage an unrestricted path to freedom. Indoors, I had used duct tape to cover all of the overflows and all but two of the plugholes. Lesley would block one with half a tennis ball and the other would be the recipient for the air-blast. Hopefully, the violent rush of gas would follow the path of least resistance, along the 40 feet of drainpipe and out through the wall, taking along with it the foul crud that had accumulated during the previous 50 years.
After a final check to ensure everything was sealed, we moved to our allotted stations. I was in the upstairs bathroom ready to fire the gas down the bathtub plughole and Lesley was blocking the kitchen sink plughole, by leaning as hard as possible on her half-tennis ball. I shouted down to check she was ready, and, after an overly dramatic countdown, I braced myself and released the gas.
At my end the results were disappointingly anticlimactic. In the space of two seconds, the gas went down the plughole with a sound like a geriatric steam engine whispering, ‘CHEW’. Further along the pipe, Lesley heard something that sounded like a subway train rushing by. She was delighted when it continued along the drainpipe, rather than attempting to escape around her half-tennis ball. A moment later, we both heard what sounded like an overfed elephant with dysentery, failing to make it to the toilet in time. I ran some water into the sink and was delighted to see it disappear down the plughole, without the usual smell or sluggishness. Downstairs, I proudly gave Lesley a high-five. Result! Or so we thought.
A few moments later, as I stepped outside ready to sweep up the mess, I was mortified to discover our once-white dog, sitting miserably in a pool of foul water and covered in the most obnoxious grey filth one can imagine. Unfortunately, Romany had heard the approaching commotion and decided to investigate the source of the noise by sticking her nose into the open drainpipe – which was conveniently situated at exactly the right height for our little dog. A moment later, her curiosity was rewarded when she was hit by the full contents of the 50 year old blocked drain, containing a combination of toothpaste, lost hair, toenail clippings, kitchen grease, and God knows what else. The dirt and smell was almost unbearable, but it soon washed away. However, for many weeks after, Romany continued to glower at me in the unwavering certainty I had deliberately showered her in filth.
Author Bio –
Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020.
Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.
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