Saturday, July 22, 2017

The arrival of Rasputin

When Rin Tin Tin was poisoned not only was it very sad but we had also lost our only real guard dog, as the huskies would lick any burglar to death before biting them. Danilo contacted the breeder of Rin Tin Tin and asked if he had any the same as Rin Tin Tin, and as luck had it the mother had just given birth. She, the mother, is the daughter of Meg and Lobo and the father is a Belgian Shepherd.

Last week the puppy arrived. Danilo wanted to call him Rin Tin Tin again, but I said no, so in the end he settled on Rasputin. When I asked him if he knew who he was he said he was a merengue singer in San Pedro de Macoris. I explained that he was a Russian Sanky and played him the song by British group ( I think) Boney M.

He won't stop singing it.

When Rasputin arrived he was in a dreadful state and appears that the watchyman who was supposed to be feeding the puppies had left for a week, leaving them with no food and no water. This is what he looked like.

To be honest I wasn't sure he would survive and in addition to being painfully thin, he was covered in fleas

A week later, a diet of chicken and rice three times a day mixed with evaporated milk and water, a bath, a flea treatment and worming meds, he is a different dog.

He still has amazing green eyes but has no ribs showing and is acting like a proper puppy.

The new book is going well, sales are steady and the reviews are fabulous which is a big relief to me as I wasn't sure it was as interesting as the first one. The publisher had assured me it was much better, and luckily it appears she was right. Here is a selection of this week's reviews.

"OK... I loved this book!!! I read it almost without stopping and before I knew it it was 5 am. I had read all through the night. It transported me INTO the story bc of the detail Lindsay described in her stories. I felt like I was a fly on the wall so to speak and watching it unfold. I also had a wide range of emotions whist reading. I teared up a few times, I laughed out loud, a lot. Having been a frequent traveler to the DR I could completely relate to a lot of the story. I've often asked myself if I COULD relocate there would I- after having read BOTH of Lindsay's books and went on the wild ride that IS her life I would say, YES... yes I would live there if I could. Her love of the island, the people, as a reader I FELT it. When I read I want to be taken away and I was. If you want a fun summer read, get this book and be prepared to be taken on an adventure full of ups and downs. I can hardly wait for book number 3. So glad to read you Lindsay."

"Life After My Saucepans captivated me, few expats have assimilated into Dominican life the way Lindsay has, and she takes us on a trip with her while she walks the life of a gringa in the Dominican campo. As someone who has been traveling to DR since 1975 and owns a home there, I can tell you that this book will open your eyes as to the "real" Dominican Republic, the one that tourists and snowbirds aren't privy to, especially if they haven't spent time outside the resorts and big cities or north coast of DR. Lindsay has the gift of painting a picture with her words, sweeping us along with her "Perils of Pauline" life in a mountain town.
I enjoyed the book, and wholly recommend it to anyone with any interest in the Dominican Republic, whether you are a resident, a potential or actual tourist, married to a Dominican, or just love non-fiction Caribbean life stories.
Do read What About My Saucepans first, if you haven't already done so!"

"Lindsay's new book is a wonderful story telling of the sometimes difficult, sometimes sad, but always joyful love story of an English woman and Dominican man. Her story telling ability reminds me of Junot Diaz in the humorous manner of explaining the cultural clash between two cultures and Lindsay's attempt to adjust to Dominican country life. This is a must read for anyone who knows Dominican culture or is thinking about moving internationally. Just a good book for anyone, absorbing and hilarious!"

I do hope those of you who enjoy the blog will also enjoy the book.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The new book has arrived - Life After My Saucepans

At last the new book as arrived. Years in the writing, which was not easy. Many people, having read What About Your Saucepans? asked me when I was going to write a new book, as they wanted to know the rest of the story. I put off starting it as I wasn't sure it would be very interesting - given we were not being hunted by gun toting crazy folk, and I hadn't been shot, but in the end I decided to give in to the pressure and give it a go.

When I write, for me it is like going to the toilet. I think about something for days, and wait till I am bursting to write it down, and put finger to keyboard and then the words just fly across the page. It is as much relief as when you are dying to go for a pee and you have to wait and wait and wait, and then the relief is indescribable. It took a while, as sometimes it took a while to get inspiration and some things were hard to write about, and in fact I cannot re-read some parts of it, even now.

So what is the book about? 

It starts where the first book left off, and goes up to the current day - well about 6 weeks ago! It is about me, and Danilo and life off the grid in the mountains - which is very different to life in the town or a tourist area. For the fans of Chivirico he stars throughout.

There is more information on sanky pankies and relationships with Dominican men, and more about Dominican culture.

Who should read it?

Well, those who enjoyed the first book should enjoy this one I hope, and anyone who wants to know more about the Dominican Republic, either who is thinking of moving here, or who lives here already and wants to expand their knowledge about the country, the people and the places. For those married to, or in a relationship with a Dominican I think you will enjoy reading it together, and laughing as the Dominican remembers days in the campo and can tell you all about them. Those thinking of living off the grid may also enjoy it, and those frustrated with first world living and all the stress that brings.

What do people say about it?

There were three pre-production reviews - all by fellow authors, for which I am very grateful.

Jack Scott, author of Turkey Street and Perking the Pansies.

“As Lindsay de Feliz explains with unflinching honesty in her gutsy follow-up to What About Your Saucepans?, the Dominican Republic takes no prisoners. From the outset, we find the author ensconced in her dusty roadside house with Danilo, her Dominican husband, two stepsons, a dwindling back account, a growing menagerie of cats and dogs and swarms of voracious mosquitos. Things start to look up when they move lock, stock and barrel to the superior sounding ‘Pink House’, even if the cooker has to be wheeled round to the new house in a wonky wheelbarrow. But when blocked showers, troublesome septic tanks, a stroppy local ‘witch’ and an unscrupulous vet who moonlights as a taxidermist all take their toll, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary tale about living the dream.
Life After My Saucepans is packed with warmth and infectious humour, even when the clan moves to a pile in the mountains that needs pretty much everything: walls, windows, doors and gates – not to mention an emergency wasp fumigator. We witness in full technicolour the ups and downs of life in Wasp House, the drama and corruption of Dominican politics, the expat women suffering at the hands of their polygamous ‘sankies’, the lush, mountainous landscapes, the pig-roasts, the traditional Noche Buena feasts and a succession of madcap, local eccentrics. In Chivirico, a five-year-old barefooted boy who proudly announces he will be the author’s bodyguard, we get a touching and poignant relationship that tugs at the heartstrings from the outset. And in the end, it’s the life-affirming human interest stories that make this book special. Lindsay de Feliz tells it as it is, warts and all, but it’s her affection for her adopted country and the people around her that shines through.”

IlanaBenady, co-author of Expat FAQs: Moving to and Living in the Dominican Republic, Culture Smart: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture in the Dominican Republic, and Aunt Clara’s Dominican Cookbook

“Fans of What About Your Saucepans? – the book and the blog – won’t be disappointed. Life After My Saucepans is another enjoyable and engaging glimpse into life in the Dominican Republic as seen through Lindsay’s sympathetic eyes. The setting, the story and the people will come alive in your imagination whether or not you know the country. The simple pleasures and niggling irritations, and the tragedies and triumphs, both great and small, are described with the honesty, empathy and deadpan humour that Lindsay’s readers have come to know and love.”

And Margarita Vallazza, author of El FrutoMezclado – Mixed Fruit

“Lindsay’s new book is a combination of amusing adventures and sorrowful occurrences. The book carries forward the story of her new life in the Dominican Republic. All is not a ‘live happily ever after’ fairy tale in the Caribbean paradise as there is always something or someone to trip up our Happy family to try to prevent them from fulfilling their destiny. In the end, though, Love triumphs in the de Feliz (aka Happy) family.”

“Read this book to learn what has happened to the Happy (Feliz) family in their new location. Lindsay’s personality comes through in her writing. I’ve never been to the Dominican Republic and, thanks to the realism of Lindsay’s writing, I want to visit and see the places she’s told us about.”

Since publication there has been one published review on

"For anyone remotely curious about life in the DR 'off the beaten track' please start here! Lindsay de Feliz reveals her personal experience with honesty, compassion and unrelenting love for the island."

Where to buy it

The book is available on all of the Amazon sites in Kindle and paperback versions. It has only just been published so it may take a couple of days for the paperback versions to arrive. It is also available in other digital versions such as iPad, Kobo, Nook on Smashwords. It should soon also be available in Barnes and Noble and Waterstones.

I am arranging for some books to be sent to me here, which could take a month or so and then will do a countrywide tour to sign them and meet people. Once that is sorted I will let you know.

In the meantime, I do hope you buy it and even more, I really hope you enjoy it. As blog readers you will know some of the events, but the book delves much deeper into what happened.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Update on the goats and chicks

The chicks were really not expected to survive, but around 25 did. They are now getting feathers and the little boy chicks have bright red combs on their heads - they look really sweet, apart from this one who we call Grumpy.

They have been living in the cellar as it is nice and warm and dry but we have just moved them out into their own chick apartment which has more light and they are doing well.

The goats are another story. First we had to build them a house as apparently goats need a house to sleep in and hate the rain, so they need a shelter.

Next stage was to moved them into a small area around their house, so they didn't need to be tied up and they were very happy campers, coming to the fence every morning for a carrot. Here is Oregano

And here is Picante

The stepsons and their mates came over most days to put up fencing around the whole area and split the large back field into three so we could move them as they finished eating everything in one field and so when the herd gets much bigger (haha) we can split up boys from girl and nursing mothers.

So all is well, the goats are very happy in their big field and take themselves off to bed at night and snuggle down in their masses of hay and I decide I love goats.

Then I go off goats. Last week was sitting in my normal place at the computer when I hear a tapping at the back patio door. I look up and there are the goats, knocking to come in. Not a good idea, I thought and it took Danilo and I an hour to get them back in the field, and it took them 5 minutes to get out again. This performance carried on all day and the following morning Danilo called Dany to fix the fence, which he did and that night Danilo left for Santo Domingo.

The following morning no goats to be seen. I tracked them down to a neighbour's field which was full of his goats, and mine had just gone to visit. Neighbour (aged 90 something with one one tooth and called Niño meaning child) sat on his front porch laughing as I tried to round up the goats while avoiding a particularly evil looking billy goat who followed me around. Niño told me to lassoo the goats and laughed even more at my pathetic attempts. In the end I got them back home again and into their paddock.

Twenty minutes later Niño was at my front gate, demanding I go and collect my goats again. This time I enlisted the help of Miguel, another neighbour and it was much quicker between the two of us to get them into their paddock, Miguel spotted where they were escaping so I called Dany and back he came to fix it. As he was fixing it, the goats watched closely and then went to another part of the fence and escaped through there, and the more places Dany fixed, the more they found to escape! Anyway to cut a long story short they haven't escaped for the last week - thank goodness and I can now add goat herding to my list of skills.

In the meantime we have our very first grapefruit which I am overjoyed about as you have not lived if you haven't eaten a grapefruit straight from the tree.

And the war between Canguru and the cats continues. She doesn't attack them, she washes them which they are not impressed with, and has now decided to stop them coming in through their Dominican cat flap.

Next blog should not be long coming and will have some exciting news about my new book!