At the weekend many of the newspapers do profiles of various celebrities and ask them questions. The other week somebody said that their worst nightmare would be to live in the country - they couldn't possibly manage without the bright lights of the city. Having tried both I definitely come down firmly on the side of the countryside. How about you?
I subscribe to the idea of what Ronald Blythe calls 'Doctor Nature'. He talks of a sequence of green meditations while he is gardening - he talks of the therapeutic qualities of pulling up nettles and chopping out bird-cherry stalks while at the same time listening to the linnets singing.
I had a similar experience this morning while pegging out the washing. It has been a glorious day here with pure, unbroken sunshine and only a slight breeze. As I hung the sheets on the clothes line a blackbird sat atop a telegraph pole by the gate - and sang and sang. I stood long after I had finished pegging the sheet on the line just to listen to his song. I came in feeling utterly refreshed.
When I go into the village I know almost every one I see in the street and can say hello, stop and chat, pass the time of day. There are quite a few seriously ill people in our village - at least two with Parkinsons, several in varying stages of dementia, one with MS, one seriously injured in an accident - to name but a few. I am sure they and their carers get more consideration in the village than they would in the impersonal atmosphere of a town.
And tonight there is a clear, dark sky. Two planets - Venus and Jupiter - are particularly bright at the moment and are lined up together in the night sky. How clearly would I be able to see those if I lived in a city which had street lights? As it is, I can stand and look at them to my heart's content. Outside it is clear and silent. Soon the owls will start calling to one another in the Scots pines and the bats will be coming out - just emerging from their winter sleep. So it is no hardship to take Tess out for her final utility walk down the yard.
The weather girl on our local Television tells us that tonight will be a good night for seeing the Aurora Borealis. Well the sky to the north will be dark enough. Whether we see it or not is in the lap of the gods but one thing is for sure - we have more chance here than we would have in a brightly lit city.