Country Life Today: A very 2019 take on the Good Life — Yoga classes, an art gallery and deliveries from Waitrose

This morning we take a look at how getting away from it all doesn't mean roughing it any more, how women will beat men to colonise space and the millions of giant goldfish who've bred from those which have been flushed into the sewers.

A very 2019 take on the Good Life: High-speed broadband and Waitrose deliveries while Margo and Jerry are glamping in the garden

The Sunday Times ran a fascinating feature at the weekend about a family who ‘quit the rat race to travel the world, then set up an eco campsite in the wild Welsh countryside.’

Ali and Ian Paice quit their jobs and went travelling when they both had early-onset mid-life crises in their early 30s. On returning to Britain, they sold their home in London, and bought a property in the Llyn Peninsula.

Now, they run it as a going concern — but it’s less goats in the garden shed and rotavators chewing up the front lawn, and more about selling camping countryside breaks to frazzled metropolitan visitors who want to get away while still being able to watch Killing Eve on iPlayer while eating a Gü dessert. Their campsite also offers yoga classes, an art gallery and a spa tent — but ‘don’t call it glamping’, apparently.

‘Adjusting hasn’t been all smooth. It took them several weeks — and ruined cakes — to learn how to use an Aga,’ the paper’s Hugh Graham explains.

‘It takes Ian a whole day to mow and strim the lawns. They’ve had to educate themselves about tractors. Ian taught himself how to chop wood and use a chainsaw by watching YouTube videos, and googled how to use Yorkshire boarding to keep the rain out of the barn.

‘He also had to look up how to kill a chicken. “It wasn’t a pleasant experience. There is a truth behind the saying of the headless chicken running around. I couldn’t face eating it.”‘

Full story (The Times – subscription required)


The goldfish that grew to the size of a small dog

Remember the time you came back from the funfair having won a goldfish playing darts? No doubt your mother went as mad as ours did. If she then flushed it down the toilet to offer it a new life, here’s what happened:

It’s not the size of a spaniel, or even a dachshund — we’re talking more chihuahua or a shit tzu. But still, this little whopper — a 14-inch goldfish — is certainly impressive. And there’s plenty more where it came from: naturalists claim that America’s Great Lakes have ‘tens of millions’ of them.


The wettest June ever about to turn into the hottest

Yes, it’s that time again: after spending the last three weeks grumbling about rain, you’ll now be grumbling about sunshine.

Read more in this hilariously overblown article about how the ‘heat chart is turning black’ (Daily Express)


Send this to someone you know who’s going to a festival

Abandoned tents and rubbish after the Glastonbury Festival

Abandoned tents and rubbish after the Glastonbury Festival

With Glastonbury taking place later this week, the summer music festival season has officially kicked into high gear. If you’re going to one, or you know someone who is, point them in the direction of this piece in The Guardian about the impact these events can have on the environment. Considering the demographics and environmental-awareness of the average festival-goer, it’s nothing short of horrendous.

The greatest shame is probably the tens of thousands of tents left behind at every festival, every year. A few make their way to refugee camps via charities, some can be recycled — but the sad truth is that most end up in an incinerator.

‘They are a bane for most festivals,’ says Ian Fielder of the Green Man Festival. ‘The waste is extraordinary.’

Full story (The Guardian)


And finally… why women will colonise space while men will be left behind

The answer, it turns out, is all about frozen sperm.

Full story (The Times)