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Covid-19 has taught us to finally appreciate life in the sticks

Bill Linnane


Bill Linnane's loving life as a culchie

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Has there ever been a better time to be a culchie? It would appear not. Back in the old days - ie, last year - being from the country somehow made you less cultured, less educated and less relevant. But look at us now, the height of fashion now that isolation and stand-offishness are en vogue. Once we were ridiculed for smelling of the land, now we revel in the simple ability to smell anything at all.

Before, estate agents would be crowing about a home's proximity to a large urban space - from here on in it will surely be a case of the most desirable homes being in 'prime locations in the middle of effing nowhere' or 'not visible on any map drawn up since the 18th century'. There has never been a better time for you to consider moving to an old pile located at the damp end of a Mass path and in Ballygonowhere, because this, my bumpkin friends, is our moment.

There were many who advised us against moving to the country - we lived in the heart of the town and my family home was a bumpy five kilometres outside it. Town, a three-bed semi, was too small for the six of us; country was big and old and needed a lot of investment. Friends and family said to sell both; financial advisors concurred, and it was only after a succession of bank staff explained the basic economics of mortgages to me that I had to agree that we had some tough choices.