Clearance of rural Ireland will haunt us in the future
'You can't eat scenery." That was the crisp retort I received when I expressed some surprise at the trade-off, after being introduced to a man who had moved from the Highlands of Scotland to England's home counties.
Country life isn't for everyone, no matter how glorious the landscape, with fewer jobs and amenities and an increased risk of loneliness or depression. The rural idyll, while compelling for some in the abstract, can prove far from utopian in the lived experience. It can be a place where people end up devouring themselves alive, to paraphrase the poet Ellery Channing.
His observation refers to the potential for misery springing from isolation - a sense of being forgotten.