Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Fork in the road…….

I’ve been navel gazing recently. I’ve found a few bits and pieces down there amongst the fluffy detritus of belly-buttondom. Looking for old spanners and fondue sets isn’t the main reason for my contemplative melancholia. The introspection imp usually sits on my shoulder every New Year, but it just seems to be a lot more ‘weighty’ this time. So I’ve been wondering, should I go in a new direction – in life – in blogworld – incommunicado - in women’s clothing?

The reason for my disquiet? Channel 4 programmes over Christmas. ‘Relocation, Relocation’ – ‘No turning back’ – ‘Escape to the country’ to name but a few.

I think ‘No turning back’ had a bigger impact than all the others did though. This concentrates on young British couples who sell up and move to a new life in a new Country – usually France, Italy or Spain. This family flogged their poky semi in Welwyn Garden City and headed for Brittany and 30 wooded acres of le God’s own le country – along with a massive carp lake thrown in.

He was a jobbing builder, she did beauty treatment, they had 2 teenage kids and another on the way…. After a sterling amount of work from the builder geezer, he and his family had a really great house, they then shoved 40 grand’s worth of fish into the lake – hey presto! A thriving carp fishing business is born - and enough land potential to get a viable camping holiday business going.

What they had achieved was frontier stuff – and all from the proceeds of the sale of their cruddy semi. The point is – you just couldn’t do that in this Country. How much would a British 30-acre country lake estate with bloody big ancient farmhouse, huge barn and myriad out buildings cost? I doubt you could buy it for a whole street of semis’ – never mind one.

Living the dream costs just too much over here, the only way is if you are willing to go native in France or Spain or wherever…… The land that these people bought was not scrubland, or poor agricultural land, it was prime, mature deciduous woodland – in Brittany.

So, should I start out and live the dream? And if I don’t is there something wrong with me? I’ve said it often enough "I bloody hate this Country" – or rather, thanks to the facile body we call a Government, I hate what it’s become. It’s obvious lots of other people feel the same, a veritable stampede is underway to go east towards the continent and a whole new life.

It’s my second day back and I can only think of Tuscany, Brittany and The Carmargue …. Not web sites, brochures and marketing initiatives.

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