Countryside
How often do you visit the countryside? What do you like to do in the countryside? Have areas of countryside in your country changed since you were a child?
Vocabulary
  • To burn out (phrasal verb) - ruin one's health or become completely exhausted through overwork.
  • Quasi- (prefix) - being partly or almost.
  • Ditch (noun) - a narrow channel dug at the side of a road or field, to hold or carry away water.
  • Moat (noun) - a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defense against attack.
  • To stroll (verb) - to walk in a leisurely way.
  • Bonfire (noun) - a large open-air fire used for burning rubbish or as part of a celebration.
  • Liberating (adj.) - providing a release from a situation which limits freedom of thought or behaviour.
  • To spring up (phrasal verb) - to grow or appear suddenly
  • Foreboding (noun) - a strong feeling that something terrible is going to happen.
Questions and answers
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Maria: Do you like going to the countryside?

Rory: I love it, the fresh air, the lack of pollution, the people I'm with, like everything, fills me with satisfaction. It's cool, although I'm glad I only do it every now and then, because I would lose all sense of being productive and just chill there all the time.

Maria: How often do you visit the countryside?

Rory: Just enough to stop myself from being burned out by the city life I currently have. Um, I think when I go back I'll be doing it more often though, since I want to reconnect with nature and the people in my life and the countryside seems to be the ideal place to do that.

Maria: Who did you visit in the countryside?

Rory: Well, now, I visit my friends, they have a house there next to a forest, and I have to say it's one of the most magical places I've ever been to. It's kind of a quasi orchard and vegetable garden in their backyard and their front yard is paved so you can soak up the sun there in the summer. There's sort of a ditch outside the house as well. It's like a moat. So it just adds to the general country atmosphere in combination with everything else. Although it's not all about the surroundings, though, it's mostly about the people and how they live and how we are together.

Maria: What do you like to do in the countryside?

Rory: Anything that involves my friends, um, we go for long strolls in the forest, throw parties, meet cool people. Um, there are some more mad things like bonfires as well sometimes.

Maria: Have you ever lived in the countryside?

Rory: Not for a long time. Um, uh, when I lived in Timor in Ghana, I spent long months and weeks in the rural areas, rural areas, sorry, in the well, just around the country, basically. And that was quite liberating and life moved at a much slower pace than in the city. I'd recommend it to ..I don't know anyone who wants to slow down for a while.

Maria: Would you like to live in the countryside in the future?

Rory: Oh, definitely. Who wouldn't want to live there? Um, I have this idea of buying a small house in a sort of village to the north of my hometown and settling down there when it's quiet.

Maria: Have areas of countryside in your country changed since you were a child?
Rory: Um, well, I think they were more relaxed rules about development and sort of greenbelt land. And there are lots of estates springing up there now, which is rather frustrating in a way, because, well, really is there's really little need for these things. If people didn't buy second homes, for example, and they were just satisfied with the accommodation that's currently there. And really, what do you need a second home for? Um, it's almost like it's eating into the legacy that I'd like my children to have. A lot of people want their children to have that legacy. Um, I suppose the counter argument is that people are more likely to look after land that they own. So it might be more manicured. But part of the fun of being in the countryside is that it's quite wild, isn't it? Um, so I have this sense of foreboding about these changes.
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