The Good Life?

Tom and Barbara If you’ve never seen it (possibly you’re American, or come from some other odd country where Felicity Kendal isn’t a sex symbol for ‘men of a certain age’), the Good Life is an old sitcom about a married couple who abandon the rat race to try their hand at self-sufficiency in a quiet residential street in the London suburb of Surbiton*. “Why bring this up?” I hear you moan in bored desperation, well, I’ll tell you: there’s a bit in the show where Tom Good (our hero, though without a beard, so you have to suspend belief a bit) goes out gardening in his dinner suit, as he’s no longer invited to anything where he’d need to wear a dinner suit. As far as he’s concerned, it’s just clothes now. This is where our rambling narrative coincides with real life: I spent yesterday out in the garden** digging out dirty big weeds from the vegetable patch, wearing a nice, white work shirt, so as not to get sunburnt. Didn’t go so far as putting on a tie (after all, the mice and shrews don’t stand on formality around here, they’re too busy scampering off in fear of the furry-monster-cat), but I don’t really need work shirts anymore, do I? Nope, not for me. I can work wearing whatever I want. And I’m not going to tell you about what I’ve got on as I type this, as I don’t want you getting all excited and making a mess of your keyboard.

Only trouble with this gardening malarkey is that it bores the living pants off me. I can’t stand it. But we’ve got nothing in the way of vegetables this year and if I don’t get my finger out and finish digging the bloody garden there’s no chance of any either. So all day yesterday and probably most of today as well, spent with fork in hand, fighting my way through a jungle of weeds. Tomorrow will be reserved for lying on the lounge floor in agony, unable to move.

Gardening always seemed so much more fun when Felicity Kendal was doing it…

* Incidentally, I bought the complete four series boxed set on DVD for She Who Must Be Bought Pretties From Time To Time for our tenth wedding anniversary. Mucho brownie points for me. What did I get in return? Good question…
** No edit back yet, so still killing time.