Pre-destined for ‘the good life’ … (or how 1970s British TV comedies may have written my future)

Perhaps like many people around my age, I watched a lot of old-school British comedies when I was growing up. The entire list of programs would run very long indeed (and probably stretch my memory too far), but off the top of my head I remember diligently watching Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served?, George & Mildred, Man About the House, The Goodies, and Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em …

However, there was one show in particular that always seemed to hold a place near and dear to my heart, ‘The Good Life’. I’m not sure whether it was because of the animals, the plot, the contrasting couples or whether I found the show genuinely amusing … whatever the reason it’s a program I always look back at fondly.

I was wondering whether this early education in ‘The Good Life’ set me on a particular path to dream myself towards a lifestyle lived in somewhat similar vein??

This may be the reason why I’ve been craving once more the means to grow things, to live more simply, to be a little more self-sufficient and to surround myself with lots and lots of warm, cuddly, living things. The first project in mind is to tackle the dreaded back garden which I’ve been meaning to transform (with a lot of hard work) into a vegetable, herb and fruit growing paradise … as you can see for the present moment I’m still very much in the planning phase.

While it’s likely true that I’ll always be a city girl, from time to time I dream about running away to the country, far away from most everyone and everything. There’s still every chance that one day those dreamy thoughts will be realised (Tom and Barbara would be so very proud!).


  1. Dan

    That’s a pretty impressive back yard, you could fit a lot of vegetables on that one!

    And chickens. You have to have some chickens.

    It’s 5am here and I’m up reading about goats on the internet, trying to persuade myself that it would be foolish to buy one. I’ve managed it, but this is the fourth time I’ve done this. I worry that there is a goat in our future.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Dan – I certainly agree that we have a fair amount of space to work with in the back yard. The only trouble with that is that we’ll need to do a lot of work to get all that space ‘up to speed’. I’m picturing lots of vegetables, herbs, a few fruiting trees … and some flowers … every garden needs lots of flowers.

      Lee and I have long been talking about getting some chickens … they are such interesting little creatures (and so very useful). We’re considering going with some ex-battery hen chooks once we get ourselves organised, as we’d like to give them a second chance at being ‘real chooks’.

      Ohhh…. goats hey? That sounds like a very cool plan. You should DEFINITELY buy a goat – I’d love to have one, but I suspect they’d spend all their days trying to knock over Lee or the dog! 😉

  2. Andrew Emmett

    Loved the The Good Life and it still influences us also. We don’t have a garden currently, but when we do we also plan to grow fruit, veg and herbs.

    In our last garden we grew lots of herbs and when I was a child I grew fruit and veg. It’s so rewarding.

    ‘The Good Life’ mindset also feeds into maximizing what you have and not caring what others think, being yourself and following your own goals.

    It was a great show and good luck with your garden plans. Look forward to related posts. 🙂

    Best Regards

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrew – YAY! It’s so nice to hear we aren’t the only ones who long for growing fruit, veges and herbs … there’s something so wondrous and magical about something coming to life out of bare earth – amazing! (it’s also nice to know I’m not alone in thinking on The Good Life with fondness!).

      We’ve been a bit up and down with our gardening over the years, but at the very least we always manage to have a few pots and plants about the place. I think now though we really need to get ourselves much more organised and instead of growing within pots, grow within the garden proper. I agree that growing food is a really rewarding thing to do! 🙂

      Thanks for the good luck wishes – based on how our garden currently is, I think we’ll need it! 🙂

  3. Rol

    Louise and I were discussing something similar recently. Since moving to our new home we’ve both become obsessed with nature – from identifying the birds in our garden to watching the lambs in the field across the hill. Without sounding too hippyish, there’s a kind of inner peace you get from the natural world that really can’t be found anywhere else.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Rol – Oh how lovely … I adore hearing about other people’s passion for nature (though I am jealous that you’re able to watch lambs in the field … ADORABLE!). I enjoy spotting birds about the place too – it’s amazing how many different species you have visit once you start to pay attention to them.

      I wholeheartedly agree that an appreciation and enjoyment of all things natural provides a certain kind of peace and calmness – spending time amongst the green and living world is surely a basic human need (at least I know it is for me).

  4. Teresa

    Love the last photo — tis “a lot of hard yard work”! 🙂

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Teresa – Yes, some hard work involved for sure … but knowing us, I’m sure we’ll find some short cuts! 😉

  5. Lisa

    I imagine your back garden well past the planning phase, and being transformed into your very own Garden of Eden! I can just see Baxter now, at the height of some stunning summer, chasing the butterflies and the bees in a place that is altogether favorable, harmonious and timeless. There’s a great sense of satisfaction in creating something real, that’s overflowing with integrity, endurance and value. It’s a deserving project waiting for the realization of Tracey’s dream of natural alternatives. Promise all the energy and commitment will be worth it, especially since a touch of happiness is always found in the journey.

    “I can’t help it if luxury and I are mutually attracted.” Jerry Leadbetter (The Good Life)

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lisa – I very much like your vision of my future garden … what a wonderful place that will be to wander about and enjoy some dreams within. You conjure up a most lovely image of summer sensations – sight, sounds and textures … I shall hold these in my dreams tonight!

      Baxter is ever the faithful garden companion, and I have no doubt he will enjoy a spot of play amongst the bugs and blooms of such a garden! I shall look forward to summer to experience such days of beauty.

      … thanks for The Good Life quote … a smile was brought to my face! 🙂

  6. Gabrielle Bryden

    Hahahaha! I watched all those shows when I was a kid, plus ‘Porridge’ and ‘Dad’s Army’ – the British have the best comedies by far. Bill Oddie from the Goodies stayed with my family when I was really young – he came out from England to do some bird watching (of the feathered variety) and needed a place for a few days. ‘The good life’ was one of my favourites and I’d love to be self sufficient, but I’m too lazy 🙂 I do try but (got the chickens and the fruit trees). Good luck with your vege patch (they can be a lot of fun).

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Haha, I’m very glad to hear I’m not alone in growing up with these kinds of British comedies … and how could I forget ‘Porridge’, I also remember that one! 🙂
      Oh my goodness, I adore the goodies … I can’t believe you had Bill Oddie stay with you … he was always my favourite (talk about a brush with fame!). I really love how he was in Australia to do some wildlife watching.

      I’m a little worried that I’ll be too lazy to see through the ‘self sufficiency’ dream, but I’ll keep you posted! You’re definitely doing better than me already, with your chickens and your fruit trees – that’s great! 🙂

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