BBC'S THE Good Life DVD cover

Flashback to the ’70’s

It was the ’70’s.  I slouched on our brown and orange sofa in my flared jeans and Wurzels tee-shirt (… do you have a key for my combine harvester?).  Our living room was adorned with brown hessian coated wall-paper, and created a fitting backdrop for watching “The Good Life” with my older brother.

Image from BBC's The Good Life

Do you remember The Good Life?

It was a popular British sitcom, that ran from 1975-1978 on the BBC.  Tom and Barbara Good, lived next door to, Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.  The plot, was simple … The Goods adopt a sustainable, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle and turned their Surbiton gardens into allotments, and kept a collection of chickens, pigs and goats. Their actions horrified their kindly but very conventional neighbours, Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

I definitely identified with Felicity Kendalls character, Barbara Good – probably prompted by the fact that we lived in the Norfolk Countryside; had an allotment; and brewed our own alcohol using brew-kits from Boots the Chemist. I liked the idea of a non-conventional lifestyle, and thought it wouldn’t be long until I was living a “Good Life” of my own.

Current Day 2012

Los Angeles

It’s a good life – but not what I expected!  I’m living in the City, with a daily commute in my shiny red car to my Corporate Castle.  Where I conduct business meetings and attend business lunches, in my tailored trousers and fitted shirts.


On the other hand, my brother and his wife have recently moved to rural Spain.

Their Good Life is conducted to the soundtrack of bell-ladened goat-herds tripping lightly, but noisily, up the hillside.

An allotment has been cultivated. An almond grove has been tamed, and they’ve acquired quite a managory, which until recently included 4 chickens.

the Good Life BBC TV

Somehow I’ve become Margo Leadbetter and my brother has morphed into Tom Good!

Lines to the Good Life are Blurring

But I think the lines between conventional and sustainable are beginning to blur.  Our latest corporate weekly newsletter included a selection of upcoming events to engage and inspire the workforce:

  • Monday: Plan for your retirement, Investment solutions to sustain growth in your portfolio
  • Tuesday: The Wellness Clinic will be providing on-site hand and neck massages at your desk, 15 minute appointments available
  • Wednesday: Join our Give-Back day – Donate Blood, Become a Mentor, Donate a suit. Learn the different ways you can give back.
  • Thursday: BBQ lunch on Main Street, and Corporate Mingle Happy Hour on Thursday
  • Friday: Urban Chicken Farming Workshop

Double-take!  Urban Chicken Farming?  I clicked on the “More” link for that one, and read their sales pitch:

Save the Date: Attend a workshop offering an in-depth lesson on raising chickens in an urban setting. As the cost of food rises, and the movement towards ecological and sustainable living grows, raising backyard chickens has become a very popular trend.

Besides the obvious benefits of nutritious and organic eggs, chickens also provide chemical-free pest and weed control, as well as lovable, food recycling/fertilizer making pets with personalities!

Come and hear from urban chicken expert to learn about different zoning laws, the variety of breeds, and responsibilities that come with being part of the urban farm movement.

I’m sold!  Now I just need to convince Red that our compact, inner-city balcony is big enough for a pair of chickens, and I can begin my transition from Margo to Barbara.  Flares are back in fashion.  Right?