Off the Page - My Own Private Utopia
How, and where, and with whom, do you want to lead your life ? Most of us don't ask ourselves this very often, preferring instead to slide along, taking what may be acceptable and conventional as enough. But what if you do pursue an answer, as one of our guests, Tobias Jones, is trying to do, in a ten acre wood ?
The full title of Thomas More's work Utopia included the words, "A truly golden little book, no less beneficial than entertaining, of a republic's best state ...." But has Utopia ever been achieved ? Rob Penn and Amanda Mitchison think definitely not. The problem is the presence of other people, and so a private Utopia is the best that can ever be achieved. Rob Penn, presenter of a recent tv documentary about building the perfect bike, outlines very clearly what it means to him.
But Tobias Jones, author of the Dark Heart of Italy and Utopian Dreams, argues very clearly that the woodland life he is now establishing with his family and guests should not be so easily dismissed. As Kurt Vonnegut said, "Human beings will be happier not when they cure cancer or get to Mars ... but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again."
Dominic Arkwright presents. The producer is Miles Warde.