With a wealth of TV programmes dedicated to encouraging us to switching from the noise, grime and crime of the big city to seek out the tranquility of life in the countryside it is a refreshing and at times eye opening relief to read Richard Craze’s irreverent look at life out in the green, but without the rose tinted spectacles.
Do you long for that old community spirit that our parents may have waxed lyrical about? Well, have you ever thought that what some call community generally means that everyone knows just what you’re doing, what you’re eating, who you are, well, you know, kissing.
Do you crave the proper local where the old boys bring there faithful terriers in that then sit obedient at their feet? While the bigoted old bastards rant against the slightly fey bloke who dared open a new shop in the next village and they plan their campaign of hatred against him.
Have you thought how your desire to live a greener life is completely shot when the nearest shop is a few miles away and shuts just before you finish work meaning that you’ll have to drive ten miles to the big beastly Tesco that you thought you had eschewed, just for a pint of milk, but then because you feel guilty you buy a load of stuff that you don’t need, only to throw it onto your compost patch where the rats will love it?
Craze, despite the rants against the idyll, isn’t out to put us off the countryside, just to help us go into the country with our eyes wide open and our Tods shoes neatly packed away. Gum boots, strong character and an acceptance of rain are what’s needed.