I don’t want to sound arrogant or risk entering into a duel with a fellow journalist, but I must admit to being slightly perplexed at the attitude of Mail columnist Liz Jones towards the countryside.
Each Sunday I pore over her terrific articles in the Sunday Mail’s You magazine (having already read the sport section naturally) and I regularly debate her musings about the world with my better half often with hilarious results.
Sadly, I met her latest submission with a dose of eye rolling.
Liz had, after careful consideration, decided to leave her friends and lodgings in the big city and escape with her numerous cats to enjoy the pleasures of the countryside.
Nothing wrong with that, having done this myself I know it takes time to adjust to not hearing police sirens at 3am and having to drive behind tractors more than once a year, so I was with her all the way. That is until she described her new pile in Exmoor.
“The house was filthy, and freezing. The Aga wasn’t working and they had taken the fridge, the washing machine and the butler’s sink, all the light fittings and even the log baskets.”
It got worse, much worse.
“The fields ? my fields, all 46 acres of them ? were full of sheep (I don’t agree with sheep farming), and the stables full of old bits of furniture, rotting bales of straw and pieces of wire. I then got a call from the removal men saying they couldn’t get the big truck up my lane.”
Cripes! Did Liz buy this house in exchange for a cow on the way to Pimlico station?
And her empty house, well it’s like a crime wave!
Did the urchins from the village undertake a dawn raid on the property to relieve it of its fixtures and fittings to anger the new girl?
No doubt one of her housewarming gifts will be stolen from its plinth quicker than you can say ‘the dish will run away with the spoon’ too!
How is she going to cope when the bearded serving wench at the White Hart isn’t wearing Vera Wang, and more importantly for her livelihood now that she is 1,000,000 miles from civilsation, how is she going to submit her copy from now on? Telegram or carrier pigeon?
Despite having swirled around the house in disbelief I calmed sufficiently to allow Liz to conclude?.
“I switched off my mobile and looked out at the inky sky. I can’t believe I left my immaculate Georgian house for this dump. I have never felt more scared, or more alone, in my life. Things can only get better.”
Yes, that’s right, it’s the countryside’s fault that she didn’t come prepared.
Wait until she finds out the local post office has just been boarded up and the only blackberries are the ones they put in pies for the church fete!