For those of you who are not familiar with the 1975 British TV series The Good Life, it was basically about a couple, Tom Good (who gives up his job working at a company that makes plastic toys for breakfast cereal packets) and his wife Barbara, who decide to get back to nature and start living a self-sufficient lifestyle while staying put in their home in the London suburbs. They grow fruits and vegetables in their garden as well as keeping chickens, pigs (Pinky and Perky), a goat (Geraldine) and a cockerel (Lenin). They also make their own electricity, using methane from animal waste, and attempt to make their own clothes with disastrous attempts. They sell or barter surplus crops for essentials they cannot make themselves.
The comedy revolves firstly around the fact they are knee deep in horse manure in the middle of the city and how horrified their very conventional neighbours, Margo and Jerry Leadbetter are at their antics. The main thrust of the show is that Tom and Barbara are nuttier than squirrel shit to be attempting this when they can easily get their chops from the local butcher. Still, it was a great show, and it was fun to watch the two couples regularly getting bladdered on the Goods' homemade wine, flirtations accruing and mercifully stopping one hair short of them becoming suburban swingers.
What's so funny is that these days you couldn't actually do a piss take out of someone trying to 'go natural' in the city - as there are countless serious programs about trying the sustainable lifestyle as if it is somehow fun. Well my inlaws who live in Ireland and do live in the countryside basically were hard up for money in the current economy and started to keep chickens and now all the neighbours barter vegetables for eggs and bread etc. - it is quite sweet to someone observing it all, but basically it came about because of economic hardship not via some idea of trying a new sustainable lifestyle. And while I adore their hens let me just say that chickens really stink, even when well cared for, so anyone who says they want to have two pigs in their garden, well, they're just telling porkers!
And what about you? Do you do anything sustainable? I can understand it if you're living in the countryside but what if you are in the city? I'm not even sure you're allowed to keep livestock in a city garden these days.
As for me I do love those mini pigs and horses you see at the County Fair but I wouldn't want to trip over one on my way to the car, you know?
And if you did watch this show as a child did you want to be Margo or Barbara? Tom or Jerry?
I know Barbara is cute as a button but I always always wanted to be Margo, immaculately decked out in designer outfits, lying on a sofa and quaffing Pimms. Luckily my dream has now become reality!
This blog is part of the AMB May Carnival. Check out the rest of the posts here: