The Real Good Life

I watched the first part of ITV’s new series, “The Real Good Life”, last night and it wasn’t half bad. Essentially, they’ve taken three families, given them a little bit of basic training and persuaded them to give up jobs etc. and attempt to become self-sufficient. Their mortgages are being paid for the year that the experiment runs and they’re also being given financial assistance until their first crops are ready but other than that they’re on their own.

So far, the couple most likely to succeed as far as I can tell are the pair who live in Hertford, whose names I have, alas, forgotten. They don’t have any children, whereas the other two couples do, and most of the kids are less than enthusiastic about giving up junk food and expensive luxuries in favour of hard graft and simplicity. They also didn’t seem to be frightened of hard work, the husband having shovelled four tons of manure onto the garden while his wife was out.

There was also the couple where the wife seemed pretty keen but the husband was more content to have his mates round to drink homebrew while she struggled in the garden. When he finally did make it outside he spent just twenty minutes with a rotavator, making a complete pig’s ear of things, before retiring for the day, claiming that the machine wasn’t the right one for the job. Lazy git.

Now I’ll freely confess that when I’ve lived in places where I had a garden I’ve been less than enthusiastic about getting out there and getting my hands dirty, but there’s a big difference between doing it for pleasure, which I really don’t understand, and doing it because it’s your living, which I do. I’d really like to see all three families succeed and I hope I will. I’ll certainly be watching.

13 thoughts on “The Real Good Life

  1. the couple whos names you have forgotten are Steve and Liza and i thought they were most likely to succeed too!!!

  2. I am the lazy git previously mentioned. a few points omitted on the programme;
    We have kept pigs and chickens for seven and six years respectively.
    We own and manage a six acre woodland, which supplies us with all our timber for log burners as well making our own charcoal.
    The rotovator used was a smaller hired in model (compulsorily hired by ITV as HSS tool hire were co sponsors). the one we ended up using was my own that was previously not allowed.
    We ended the year with a freezer full of veg. and approx. ?3000.00 of pork produce in the form of sausages, hams and pork

    Loads more to mention,

    The these points help,



  3. when is this programme on tv?we watched the first one and now we can’t find it anywhere!cheers!

  4. The Real Good Life is coming back this Sunday afternoon at 5.30 pm on ITV1. I’m looking forward to watching the families’ progress again each week. I think we should all be more self- sufficient and grow our own vegetables, and think of the environment more than most of us do!!

  5. Neil

    Sorry, I think we’ve all got the wrong end of the stick with the first programmed aired. I’m afraid they’ve cut it to make you come across badly – better viewing probably! Anyway, could you please tell me the name of the community in Wales you went to stay at. The husband and I are thinking of doing the ‘small-holding/self-sufficiency’ thing and we need some hands on experience.

  6. Dear Sir
    In this weeks T.V. magazine listings this weeks programme is the last in the series.
    However at the end of this weeks show there was reference to the next programme I should
    appreciate if you could clarify this.
    many thanks Fred Miller

  7. Mr. Miller,

    I noticed that too, but the only association I have with the programme is that I watch it, so I’m afraid that I can’t clarify anything.

  8. Hi, I was absolutely hooked on this programme and am so gutted that I missed the last one on Sunday. Does anybody know if it is to be repeated or let me kno how the families got on, who stuck. Thanks.

  9. I, too, missed the last program on Sunday and enthusiastically followed events since I live round the corner from Steve Attwell who is my builder and Lisa, the village judo instructor. Can you advise whether we are likely to have a repeat.

  10. I too have been hooked on this programme and managed to watch them all once I realised they had moved it to a sunday afternoon!
    I am pleased to say that my favorite man -Steve & his wife, have carried on and are still planning to move down south and set up a farm to carry on living the ‘Good Life’. Neil Aldridge and his wife will carry on aspects of the ‘Good Life’ by continuing to raise livestock and she has gone ‘freelance’ working from home.Neil has gone back to his old job in landscaping. The third couple, whom I appologise to as I can’t remeber their names, were able to provide for them selves fro a total of 2 months bi=oth went back to full time work which the wife didn’t relly want to do. They all felt they had benefitted from the experience and had become closer as families.
    I have been inspired by this series and have continued to persure and improve my life and our environment by recycling more and growing more now I have the land. My chickens arrive next Wednesday & I am looking to have some bees next year! I still have to work but only part time.
    I hope other people have been inspired, as I have. I have to say I loved Hugh’s series about River Cottage but found it a little extreme for the average person.
    Hope yopu enjoyed reading my comments.

  11. i loved the this programme, i think it was aired poorly though by ITV.. i found it interesting, as my family came from farmers and even though they dont any longer, they all grow and sell stuff and they all have many skills in craft.
    i would love to watch the repeats, if it is ever repeated
    or maybe even a website with updates by the families..
    it is amazing, my childern loved it too, i think my 6 yr old son has the farmers gene, he has been growing stuff on his bedroom window sill as we olny live in a flat.
    i am inspired and amazed!!
    we dont have to live in the rat race, we can, with rewarding hard work choose an different life altogether!!
    bring it back
    do another one
    repeats an on going updates please please please
    we too missed the last show!!

  12. I saw the original advert for this program and almost filled in an application but my wife wasn’t keen to do the same.
    I too was enjoying the series until I found it had been cut, I wasn’t aware it had been moved so only managed to see the first 2/3 episodes.
    Having been waiting a year for the series to be made I was very disappointed to say the least.
    Both my wife and I have since bought an 8 acre holding on Bodmin moor with the long term view of going self sufficient.
    I hope the series is brought back again so we can all watch it in full and find out the out come.
    I agree with one of the comments that the place in wales was amazing.

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