Monday, 12 March 2012

City versus Town Living.

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.

20 comments:

Bovey Belle said...

Country beats town hands down every time for me. Having said that, it is nice to be able to walk to a range of shops when I visit either of my city-living daughters, but I know that the novelty would soon wear off.

Mind you, some cities are better than others - I'd happily live in cathedral cities like Salisbury or Wells, or possibly Bath, and perhaps York (love York but its a long way north for this southerner). As for Birmingham, and Derby, had to go each once, and never want to go back! Sorry to any Brummies & Derby-ites out there.

mrsnesbitt said...

Agree Pat - I sat in the garden when I had pegged the washing out today too - and a couple of hens chattered away - glorious! Was considering the countryside all the way to Barnard Castle. Looks a great place to do some shopping!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I live on the edge of a big, big city. But fortunately, I have tall trees all around me, and forested paths to explore. Still.... I long for the wildness of the far away.
Country, as you say, is healing.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

The country is what I love, though I've never lived more than 35minutes drive from a city. And I live at the edge of the "ruburbs". really. At the end of my road are farms. But it isn't that dark dark of deep country at night. Also a wonderful National Park is about ten minutes away in the other direction and that is another great joy.

Heather said...

Country for me Pat, although I have never lived in a city. I went to Bristol years ago and only then to have my cataract operation. Gloucester and Wells are not too far away - both have magnificent catherdrals and are quite compact as cities go. I daresay there are benefits to living in a city but I have managed quite well without them. However, we are all different and 'each to his/her own'.

Dominic Rivron said...

I've thought about this for a long time.50:50 I reckon.

Gerry Snape said...

Pat...I think that I'm with Dominic...I love the country but grew up in a city...I used to think I would have to end up in the country possibly near the sea..but with the extra land at the back of us I sort of have the best of both worlds. Still a great post though!!

George said...

A time for everything, I suppose, a time for the city and a time for the country. The hustle and bustle of city life, seasoned with great diversity, was wonderful in youth and middle age for me. Now that I have retired, however, I much prefer the relative solitude of small towns and the surrounding countrysides.

Tom Stephenson said...

Mars is to the left of Jupiter tonight, I believe.

I have lived in both city and country and I love both equally, but for different reasons.

The planet Uranus was discovered from a back garden about 800 yards away from where I know sit in Bath.

Tom Stephenson said...

now

Tom Stephenson said...

Actually, I think Mars is to the left of Regulas - this free download below is amazing - It is a real-time (once you have set the clock and location) sky map, and you can run telescopes off it. Have a look, you will not regret it!

http://www.stellarium.org/

EB said...

The last time I lived in the country it was near a military installation that had huge lights - not very near - it was more than half a mile away, but loads of light pollution. Pity - I love the start when I'm away camping in the Lakes. I enjoy where I love now - I know my neighbours, and there are nice places to walk, but I'm about 40 minutes on the train from London, and about the same to Brighton. And the garden has no deer, no moles and no rabbits! But that is looking on the bright side, which is always good to do...

Dartford Warbler said...

I grew up in the country, lived in London as a student and then on the outskirts of two other cities, but have always been happiest in the countryside.I spent many of my free days in London escaping into the Surrey countryside to walk.

If I had to live in a city, then a cathedral city like Winchester, Salisbury or Lincoln would be my choice, but the countryside, within reach of a small town with a bookshop, is my perfect compromise.

thousandflower said...

I lived in San Francisco for 2 years, 20 years ago. I loved it, I'm glad I did it and I have absolutely no desire to do it again - been there, done that. I am a country girl. I like the quiet, I like the dark at night, I like the solitude. I like living where I can take care of myself. I always feel insecure in the city knowing that if something happened I could be out of food, fuel, light, etc. in nothing flat. Here I can last a long long time with minimal inputs.

BilboWaggins said...

Bovey Belle is quite right - there are "cities" and "cities". I've lived near Winchester which is delightful, but worked in London which is foul. Now I'm in the country I would hate to leave and on the rare occasions I do venture into the 'real world' I hate it - dirty, noisy, too many cars and people; thank Dog it's not for everyone otherwise our beloved countryside would not be so quiet and peaceful :}

H said...

I grew up living on the edge of a town (now city) but with most of my family in the country, so my childhood was full of walks and dens, brook damming and tree climbing, fetching in the cows and 'helping' make the hay.

Then, after graduation, there were the 15 years spent living in Hackney, London and (mainly) Old Trafford, Manchester - very much part of the inner city, complete with the noise and the litter, the boarded up houses and crime, but also the multi-ethnic celebrations, strong sense of community, metro-tram, leisure facilities and a much loved church family.

There are benefits to both and I loved my OT community, but I'd have to agree with you and go for country!

H said...

WOAH!! Just read Bovey Belle's comment and am wondering what's wrong with Derby??

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting replies. Nobody comes down more than fifty:fifty for city versus country, but maybe that is for two reasons - firstly age - bloggers on the whole are not young and probably we like the country more as we age and secondly - maybe the bloggers who follow my blog tend to be country lovers. See my next blog for a follow-up!

Bovey Belle said...

H - I am sorry, but it is associated with the most dreadful time in our lives and so I hope we never have to return there. I was impressed by the gigantic Bronze Age (I think) canoe in the museum, if that helps . . .

H said...

Bovey Belle - If it is associated with a dreadful time in your lives, then maybe your dislike is understandable.
As for me, I can think of a lot worse places to live :)