One of the surprising things about classic British sitcom The Good Life is how the basic premise has stood the test of time. Tom jumps off the corporate treadmill and tries to create a little oasis of self-sufficiency in snooty Surbiton. He and his sexy wife, Barbara, battle against prejudice, lack of funds and the challenges thrown at them by Mother Nature, but they believe in a better way of life and are determined to succeed. In many respects, as we confront runaway climate change in 2009, the ideas of the scriptwriters seem remarkably prescient.
Incidental aspects of the show are rather more dated though. I caught five minutes of one episode recently, in which a telephone engineer was working in the Good household. Margo arrives to see him removing an old-fashioned handset and asks if he's from the GPO. 'No,' he replies. 'I'm an eccentric millionaire who receives so many calls that I have to carry a phone around with me!' Cue canned laughter.
In an ironic, 21st century twist, I have decided to post this blog from my iPhone. As an aspiring millionaire, I carry it around with me for show.