Being born in the country gives one a truer perspective on learning to survive and an ability to focus on the positive. As the author John Steinbeck wrote about the farmers in the U.S.A. who lived from hand to mouth during the those long dry summers of the 1930's depression : 'And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.'
From all the authors whose writing I love, Thomas Hardy will always remain a firm favourite of mine. It was through the reading of his books and his countryside characters that I learned there are no 'secondary characters' in a book anymore than there are in real life, and that everyone matters. For purpose of narrative and plot, it may be essential to have a hero or heroine to focus upon the central theme, but it is the characters who surround them which bring the story to life who I have always found the most interesting. I simply love all the country characters he fills his pages with and how he contrasts their ways, language and attitudes to the gentry and the town people.
In Great Britain today, there is undoubtedly a housing shortage which is unhealthy for the homeless and wasteful for the economy of the country. Most workers earning good salaries are pushed out of the housing market due to inflated house prices and many thirty-year-old singletons who cannot afford to get married are still waking up in the bedrooms of their childhood. Being a small overcrowded island, it must only be a matter of time before all green-belt planning laws restrictions are gradually removed and houses are erected upon green fields, meadows and any pastured land which provide eternal vista and panoramic spectacle to all nature lovers and patriots of Jerusalem.
So enjoy the countryside while ye may children before it becomes a thing of your past. Never forget that God made England and its countryside, but man made the town." William Forde: January 10th, 2016.