While many tree-changers move to the country to seek a change of pace, Todd Alexander's move from Sydney to the Hunter Valley has been far from that.
Todd and his partner Jeff bought Block Eight vineyard at Belford in 2012, escaping the rat race and corporate life.
But the past eight-and-a-half years has been anything but slow for the former city slickers.
They have built a successful boutique accommodation and winery business and rescued countless farm animals, all while battling drought, fire, flood and broken machinery on their 100-acre property.
"We're always busy, there's about 1000 things to do," Todd said.
"You have to feed the animals, water the crops, it's never-ending.
"With nine-to-five jobs you can leave work at the office, but farm life keeps you constantly on the go - something will break, or an animal will get sick and you have to do a run to the vet."
Todd documented their rural adventures in his best-selling 2019 memoir Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga.
His follow-up book, You've Got To Be Kidding: A Shedload of Wine & A Farm Full Of Goats, is officially released on Wednesday.
Celebrated author Di Morrissey has described Todd's new book as "an unvarnished, hilarious peep behind the scenes of country life from Australia's favourite tree-changer".
Todd says the book will open readers' eyes to the reality of farm life.
"From drought to flood, it switches on a dime," he said.
"You don't know what will hit you next, but that's the beauty of it."
While he started writing the book prior to the pandemic, he says the exodus of city-dwellers to regional areas has "exponentially grown" his potential readership.
To anyone considering a tree-change, he says: "Bring your sense of humour".
Todd will present an author talk about his new book at Cessnock Library on Thursday, February 11.
He said he's looking forward to meeting with the locals after his first talk in 2019 was a great success.
"It was really nice to speak to a truly local audience; they got all the jokes and really related to it," he said.
"And it will be great to interact with people instead of over video!"
The free talk will start at 6pm. Copies of Todd's book will be available for sale and signing.
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 4993 4399, online at libraries.cessnock.nsw.gov.au or at the library desk.
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