Alex James: In no rush to beat this addiction

Rural Notebook

Share
Related Topics

Green shoots, they're everywhere, no word of a lie. We're reeling in the subtle but overwhelming buoyancy of spring out here, to the extent that I find myself thinking things like, who needs money anyway? Why struggle? What's the point? Surely I could happily stand here gawping at everything forever.

Suddenly there is nothing finer than to wander and dawdle in the gentle sun where everything is pretty: a forgotten blessing. Lambs in the fields, lambs everywhere in fact, and calves too.

The cheap, modern electric fences that most farmers use around here don't contain the babies at all. They run underneath the wires, spilling out of the enclosures on to the paths and tracks, bouncing high and scattering madly as I drift past. They are too small to inflict any damage on the rose bushes, and won't stray too far from their mothers anyway, a harmless and chaotic carnival of youth at the end of the garden.

It is a delicate pleasure the long kiss of spring. Initially nothing to compete with the high-octane confected thrills of city life but once felt, the spectacle of nature is quite addictive. Beyond the cultivated areas of the farm it gets even prettier and more compelling. The newborn livestock bear more resemblance to their wild cousins. These are all quicker, leaner, more acutely involved with the surroundings. A fully-grown, fattened sheep is about as practical as a fluffy bunny rabbit. Perhaps that is why they aren't given credit for much intelligence. I suppose they don't really need any. They live the carefree wandering, dawdling, why struggle existence I mentioned, eating and bleating happily all day.

I came running over the crest of the hill beyond the house, out of the brilliant afternoon sunshine into the cool woods. I've never seen so many deer: Hosts of timid, clever wild animals thronging the carpet of green. I realise now that I've settled down, but I am still wild at heart, a deer in the woods, not a sheep in the garden. The countryside is just cocaine for the pipe and slippers brigade.

On my extended jaunts I've seen llamas and peacocks, this week. They are surprisingly common in the Cotswolds – and why not? There is a big herd of ostriches nearby too, although I've never seen or been overtaken by one. I was about to buy a horse, but now I'm thinking maybe I'm more of a camel man. Why stop there? Where, I wonder, does one apply for a licence for a monkey?

The worm that churned

Actually, monkeys are probably best left to live in their natural habitat – the zoo. Anyway, I'm more than amused by my earthworms for the time being: important because behind every great cheese, there are many humble worms at work. That's where it all starts, on the worm level. They don't like lemons, worms. They're leaving the lemons. Fascinating.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum