I have no illusions about living in the country. I don't see it through a rosy romantic glow. Who was the writer who wrote 'There is no hell like a small town'? There's the lack of privacy, the gossip, the suspicion of anything or anyone new, the unthinking clinging to tradition. You can't be considered a local unless you, and possibly one of your parents, were born there.
But we enjoy our own company, have the privacy of 200 acres, and a village within walking distance, so it works for us. And when we need help our neighbours are there for us, even if they consider us crazy mainlanders. With our bridge in bad shape one neighbour said we are welcome to park our car at her place and travel back and forward on our four wheel drive bike through her property to our house. And now our other neighbours have offered to rebuild the bridge at a fraction of the cost quoted to us by the professionals. They remember when it was first built, thirty years ago.
We have wonderful neighbours in the city too, and I'm sure they'd build bridges for us if we asked, it's just that maybe those bridges would be more metaphoric than practical.