Whew! I needed to get last week’s rant off my chest. I’ve been keeping it bottled up for a while. Time for some deep breathing and the kind of mental cleansing you can only get from a pint of Enlightened Vanilla Bean ice cream, a glass–oh, who am I kidding, a bottle–of cheap red, and a television tuned to the British reality show “Escape to the Country.” A friend recommended it and she was right. If a dollhouse was a television show, this would be the one.
The premise is a couple has decided to give up city life for a move to the UK countryside. (As I write this, the theme song to Green Acres starts playing in my head.) Similar to other house hunting shows, the couple meet with one of the show’s hosts to discuss their lifestyle, and hopes and expectations for a new house, as well as their budget. Then, they view three prospective homes, including one “mystery house,” which is a bit of a wildcard, just to pull them out of their box. Along the way, the couple spend some time with a local craftsperson, who offers an even more intimate perspective on the region to which they hope to relocate.
I have to admit I don’t often love the interiors of the homes they tour, but the exteriors, the nearby villages, the gardens, and the local craft experience make me swoon. They launch fantasies about country living, but without the chores. Like farm animals that don’t have to be tended at dawn, and gardens that produce without any actual effort on my part.
I wake with the sun, walk my acreage–coffee in hand–and gaze across the lush gardens toward a village that is just starting its day, too.
But would I actually escape to the country? In my mind, yes. In reality, not so much. I don’t like to be too far from a grocery store that carries black turnips and pomegranates and nutritional yeast. And by “too far,” I mean across the street. I also need my thrift store. I’m old, so I require a doctor close by, but not so close that I see him/her professionally and then again at the lunch counter in the local diner.
So, here I sit, glass in one hand, bottle in the other, cheering folks braver than I, and enjoying country life from the safe distance of my favorite recliner. “Reality” shows are best lived vicariously.
(In the greater Los Angeles area, catch “Escape to the Country,” as well as some other fun programming, on KCBS-TV/DAB, channel 2.3, no cable required.)