I fear that many urbanites reading these dispatches will still be tempted by the greener grass of the countryside and pack their young families off to a village like Purgatory. The thing is, they say, being a kid is boring and being a teenager is boringer; we spend our teens in Purgatory whatever.
Maybe. But maybe not. The Guardian publishes dispatches from the other side of the coin every Saturday from Judy Rumbold, an urbanite parent whose inflicted the countryside on her children. Inevitably the kids hate it. Judy’s forced to admit, ‘Youngsters might enjoy the moo-cow and tractor stuff for about five minutes, but…’ You can imagine the rest – kids need concrete for skateboarding.
Now I’m right in my mid-thirties – 35 last Wednesday – my contemporaries are having kids and you come across people who mistakenly yearn for the ‘safer, healthier environment’. They suddenly come over all Daily Mail or even Daily Express and talk as if their little ones are liable to gunned down on the street. Highly unlikely, unless they’ll dealing drugs… and even then.
Parents erroneously think of the countryside as a bubble, free of temptation. Yet the statistics show that rural communities have the bigger drink and drugs problem. Kids need stimulation, not relaxation. They bore easily and countryside options are short.
And if that’s not enough, remember that true country people engage in barbaric mechanised farming practises and enjoy hunting and shooting; not the stuff the former urbanite would want to see their little darlings engaged in. Still not convinced? Check out The Best of Blur for a second opinion. Specifically, Coffee and TV – ‘people there will hurt you ’cos of who you are’ – and Country House.