CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Editor’s Comment: May 2018

PUBLISHED: 11:42 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:42 23 April 2018

"No, you take your time. Waitrose doesn't close until nine..." (c) JoeDunckley / Getty Images

JoeDunckley

In this month’s comment, our editor Mike Lowe urges former city-dwellers disillusioned by the cliché Cotswold dream to stick with it – summer is coming after all!

The Cotswolds is the home of the cliché. It’s our own fault. The honey-coloured stone, the rolling green hills, the electric-gated houses with gravel drives, the black Range Rovers, the Barbours and Hunters, the tweed jackets and red trousers, the cashmere jumpers worn slung casually over the shoulders at the weekend, the Michelin-starred gastropub in every village, the country suppers, the “rather good little primary school”, the rosy-cheeked children picking buttercups in a field, the pony in the paddock, the hobby chickens at the bottom of the garden, the permanent sunshine – all contribute to the glorious image of our region as seen by outsiders. The truth, as we all know, is very different.

The problem this false vision causes is that we inevitably fail to live up to expectations.

Never a month passes by without a resentful woman – and it’s always a woman; I don’t know why – taking to the pages of one of the posher newspapers to complain bitterly about how rural life has been a wet and muddy let-down. Yes, the money you got for selling the flat in Fulham might have funded a delightful country house with a few acres, and you might lie to your metropolitan friends that “it’s only 90 minutes from London, and Daylesford is just up the road”, but when reality bites, it has teeth.

They complain that there’s no public transport and they have to take the car absolutely everywhere (the absence of a Cotswold tube network seems to have eluded them when they signed on the dotted line). They complain that there are tractors and cyclists and horses and sheep holding up the traffic, and that the roads are just muddied and pot-holed tracks. They complain that there is no pub or shop within seven miles and when they do finally get to Waitrose in Cirencester, they’ve sold out of baby leeks for that week’s featured recipe.

The children go to three different schools and have seven different after-school activities meaning 60 miles a day along those 17th-century lanes, the pony has gone lame, there are rats in the summerhouse and Mr Fox has decimated the chickens. The ancient central heating has broken down, the wi-fi is appalling so they can’t even vent their frustrations with a credit card, the cleaner has quit to go and pick strawberries at twice the money, and they were shouted at by a farmer last week for letting their Cockadoodle run round the fields off the leash.

All in all, the rural idyll has turned out to be less than idyllic.

To these poor, unfortunate, disillusioned people I say: Wait. Stick with it. The summer is coming and it’s getting warmer. The sun will soon bring that honey-coloured stone to life. Ploughing and muck-spreading are over. It’s all about having fun now – at Badminton, the festivals, the village fetes and the dog shows. The children will soon be picking those buttercups... and you can always buy some new chickens.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In this month’s issue, Katie Jarvis looks at the difficulties of trying to live a single-use plastic-free life. As she rightly points out, such is the toll on our environment and our wildlife, Something Must Be Done. But it’s not that easy, as readers will discover.

And meanwhile you’re thinking “Hang on, who’s this bloke to preach to us when his magazine comes wrapped in plastic just about every month?”

Well aware of this potential charge of hypocrisy, I took the matter up with our production chaps. Our printers, who turn out millions of magazines a month, have invested heavily in the machinery to ‘wrap’ the magazines, so any change would have an immediate impact on our printing costs. However, the leading industry bodies are well aware of this issue and are searching for sensible solutions.

It also turns out that the polythene we use to wrap the magazines is actually recyclable, it’s just that local authorities aren’t yet geared up to take it.

A solution will have to be found, and a change is gonna come. But in the meantime don’t blame me for strangling whales. Blame the Council.

PS: I see from our Jam and Jerusalem column (Page 149) that the WI are now on the case. I expect that the situation will soon improve dramatically.

For more of Mike’s musings, follow him on Twitter! @cotslifeeditor

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search