Monday, 24 September 2012
Today, folks, I am not feeling the love. Work is driving me insane, it’s been grey and drizzly all day and, quite honestly, I’m fed up. It’s enough to make me run to the hills, literally – preferably one with a nice cottage with a roaring fire, a goofy mutt at my heels and a nice bit of self-employment which, preferably, I can practise from the comfort of my sofa.
But, let’s face it, it isn’t gonna happen. It’s pure fantasy. Right?
Well, maybe not. Maybe my pie-in-the-sky dream of opening a creative café somewhere on the coast isn’t really that unachievable? I think it’s easy to forget the opportunities that there are outside of the big city. Take tourism for example – in the current financial climate, “staycations” are all the rage. Plus, more and more people seem to be quitting the rat race for a more simple life – and not just the over sixties either. Mothers are looking for a better start for their kids, fathers are searching for a healthier lifestyle, and everyone else is just looking for a bit of meaning to their lives, especially now that the pursuit of material wealth has become so untenable.
And people do it – and do quite well out of it, too. Only ten days ago I was sat in a pot painting shop in the middle of North Yorkshire chatting to the owner as my other half painstakingly finished decorating his mug (NB: it’s a great way to keep your man quiet for a couple of hours). I asked her how things were going and, although she admitted that there were peaks and troughs, she had kept her business afloat for five years – and had been able to create her own artwork at the same time. Okay, so it might not have the same footfall as similar places in a city, but with locals and tourists looking for something to do on a rainy day, things were going quite nicely for her.
And that isn’t all. Whilst up in’t moors, I listened with interest to a conversation between two locals about an on-going case of anti-social behaviour. My ears pricked up. What was it? Drug dealers? A crime wave? Prostitutes infiltrating the countryside? No. It was someone using an electric saw early in the morning. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; time to call in the army. In the five days I was there, I only heard one siren – and, as the offending ambulance zoomed through the village, it struck me how noticeable the sound was after three days of hearing nothing louder and a dog bark.
So, maybe life in the country is achievable. Maybe it is better for us. And maybe we would all be a lot healthier and happier if we jacked in our jobs in the city and put down roots in the sticks. And maybe, just maybe, life would be so good we’d have nothing to complain about.
And maybe all that peace and quiet might send us all a bit crazy too…