It is an absolutely fantastic read where Algarve author Monty Plumb fantastically brings farm animals to life, through vivid descriptions and cleverly funny dialogue, which are aided brilliantly by its delightful illustrations.
About the author
I will never forget meeting the author. Monty Plumb is hilariously funny and so down to earth, so it came as no surprise when I read his book that it matched up perfectly. Monty became a professional actor at the age of 48 and has starred in Casualty, Surprise Surprise, the Terry Wogan Show and Doomwatch. The author revealed it is where the name Monty Plumb came from, “I did some extra work and all the extras were fighting for position in front of the camera and people just remember that name Monty so I really emphasised it then, even though I had used the name for years.”
Monty now has a travelling theatre company which works in the Netherlands, which I thought was brilliant called The Phileas Fogg Theatre Company. “I love what we do because we help Dutch kids and teach them about drama, theatre and English and they become more confident in speaking a foreign language and most importantly, more confident in themselves.”
Monty shared that he moved to the Algarve 19 years ago, humorously adding that “My Portuguese should be better. I mean I order everything in Portuguese and massacre the language.” When asked what brought him to the Algarve, Monty replied “I was getting sick of the politics in England at the time but I had never been to the Algarve. I had been to Portugal quite a lot, we had visited Porto, Braga and Lisboa but we thought why not go and look at the Algarve. We came down to the Algarve on the 1st of January 2004 and stayed in Albufeira, jokingly adding because we didn’t know any better. I got a car and did about 1200kms in a week, so my wife and I went everywhere and I fell in love with Loulé, it had that incredible vibe and I love Loulé to this day, it is such a beautiful city. On the 14th of July we moved in! I have seen a lot of Brits come over here who can’t make it work but we did.”
Inspiration behind brilliance
Monty told The Portugal News “I used to write pantomimes which were performed and comedy shows and I have written all the scripts for my theatre company shows and the workshops. I knew a girl, she was talking to me one day and said “I was driving home one night and there was this owl in the middle of the road that would not move, would not shift and she was a great artist so she drew this picture of an owl with all the military gear and rounds of bullets. As soon as I saw it, I thought Merrydown Farm.”
Monty kindly shared the book’s synopsis, “A ruthless property developer wants to buy Merrydown Farm. His plan is to change it from a working farm into a bungalow park with golf courses and a spa hotel. This would destroy the natural habitat of all the wild animals. All the farm animals would have to leave as well.
Cornelius, a wise old owl, contacts his distant relative Horatio. Horatio is a military expert. (Well, he hatched in the grounds of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.) Under their leadership the animals fight back.”
The basic concept, is that Merrydown farm is a quintessential English farm and American wants turn into a bungalow park with golf courses so that means the whole eco structure will be devastated and there is a part in there where Cornelius, the leader of the animals says “Do any of you remember Periwinkle Farm?”, in which "A lot of paws went up” and it was another developer had done the same thing, and their natural habitat was destroyed because someone was going to play golf.” In my opinion that the story unwinds effortlessly as the animals fight back to protect their home, with every page being entertaining and gripping but I don’t want to give too much away so I hope some of you will pick up a copy.
Monty revealed that all of the book’s illustrations were done by fantastic local artist Liliam. “She creates things as well from all sorts of bits and pieces just magical art and I commissioned her in lockdown as we had this 10-metre white wall so I asked her to do a seaside theme from like a 1960s post-Garde style. The effect is just unbelievable and her attention to detail is incredible so I asked her to illustrate my book.”
Monty plans to continue writing and shared “I am working on at the moment an eclectic mix of comedies, science fiction, historical, all sorts of genres which I have called a Kettle of Fish. I even have one story, which was a challenge to write which is 100 words, no more.” Monty also shared ideas for a novel but I am not going to spoil them but I have no doubt it will be great once it comes out! When asked if he is writing a sequel to Merrydown Farm, he said “Maybe when the film rights come through, I think when you read it you will find that it will make a great cartoon. There are lots of visuals in it but most of all I hope it makes readers smile.”
If any local businesses would like to support the author and stock his book, please email . Readers living in the Algarve can purchase a copy from The Algarve Book Cellar in Carvoeiro, The Owl Story Book Store in Lagos and then at stall in the Loulé Municipal indoor Food Market. Alternatively, you can purchase a copy on Amazon including or .