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OpryLeigh's avatar

How much do you appreciate your own surroundings?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25295points) July 27th, 2012

Compared to some of the places I have travelled to in recent years, I have often found England to be a fairly boring country. Whilst there are some pretty enough areas it usually doesn’t fill me with the same sense of awe as some of the other countries I have seen. In my eyes, England is nice and quaint but lacks the dramatic scenery that I love in Scotland and America for example.

However, the other day, I was driving home from work, the weather was glorious and I am lucky enough to be surrounded by lovely countryside. It dawned on me that I take my surroundings for granted. Where I live is summed up quite nicely by the words from Jerusalem, “England’s green and pleasant land” and I felt quite lucky.

Here on Fluther, I often find myself envious when jellies describe their own surroundings (who here hasn’t though about how nice it would be to trade places with Coloma for example?) but when I look around me at the lakes, the hills, the woodlands and even the twee little villages (that sometimes irritate me a little but they definitely have their place in English culture) I realise that, I too, am quite fortunate.

It also isn’t difficult for me to get to the more dramatic scenery that I often crave. The highlands of Scotland is only an 8 hour drive away or an hour’s (fairly cheap) flight, the sea is only an hour’s drive away and Salisbury plain and Stonehenge are about 10 minutes drive away!

Do you appreciate your own surroundings? Would you like to share what it is you love about your little corner of the world?

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15 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I do. I chose to move here though and I think I live in a beautiful country. I love to travel around Australia and to spend time locally. I work in a tourist zone. The beaches look exactly like the beaches on postcards. I think every city in Australia has some element of beauty. They are all quite different but lovely. It is a diverse and in many ways harsh country.

I have to say though I think England is a beautiful country too. There is a lovely softness to the landscape and the colours. As you know I was back there last year and I was reminded how truly beautiful some of the British landscape is and I love those twee little villages and the long history and cultural heritage.

Judi's avatar

We spent a lot of time and money (before the financial crisis) touring the world. We have been to some amazing places. When the financial crisis hit we were hit hard. My husband is a contractor. Our travel budget was the first thing to cut. (even before payroll, but we eventually had to lay people off too. )
We decided we had seen the world but had not spent much time discovering America. We took up camping and have been pretty awed by the national parks and forests of the western US. We could spend the next decade traveling right here for a fraction of the cost. The financial crisis triggered us to appreciate what we have right here.

rooeytoo's avatar

I loved the USA and have been in most states, it is beautiful. Now I have been in Australia for almost 15 years and it too is fantastic. Since it is basically a huge island, it has more outstanding beaches than I have ever seen. I have lived in the bush in the Northern Territory, north and south Queensland, Sydney and now the Victorian country side. Each is amazing in its own way. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to live in so many places and I would still like to live in SA and WA!

ucme's avatar

Lots & I wouldn’t trade places with anyone, jelly or otherwise.

anartist's avatar

I love my beautiful city, so much grandness and loveliness for me to enjoy, much of it paid for by the American taxpayer. The Botanical Gardens, the Smithsonian museums and so much more, all free and a few minutes’ walk from my home.

The Capitol and Congressional office buildings are quite nice too, and we have our cherry trees. And lesser-known treats like the Arboretum, the Aquatic Gardens. And a wide variety of other museums that are very good [even if they cost $$$] and live entertainment of all sorts and at all prices.

The city has height restrictions and lot of trees so it much brighter and airier than, say, NYC. I’d love to travel more and experience a wider range of other places, but when I do, no matter how much I enjoyed it, I can’t wait to get back home.

The only thing that has put a dent in this is the “new” security that has added slow entry lines to museums, barriers, trailers, and guard shacks to the landscape.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I live in a great place. My house is on a very quiet town road, 250 feet away, and I have 21 acres around me with no neighbors for a long way. I have woods to stroll through, a stream, wildlife, and all kinds of quiet. I love it. Only place better is my namesake.

MilkyWay's avatar

I love my city. I missed it like hell when we moved to London for a bit. It may be quiet and a bit boring to others, but to me it’s my pride and joy.
I love and adore all the old, historic buildings, the City of Coventry is very rich in it’s culture and heritage and I grew up around places most people come to visit, like the Coventry Cathedral and the Ricoh Arena , where a couple of the Olympic games are being held :D

zenvelo's avatar

I live in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Last night, driving home from a dinner at sunset, I could see how the fog came in off the ocean to hit the coastal hills, but in the bay to the north were dappled clouds lit by the fading light.

I drive over the hills to see mountains and bay backlit, or golden in the rising sun, or shrouded in fog. The views can change dramatically hour by hour. And each season is glorious in its coloring, from the deep greens of winter to the golden hills of summer.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

ucme's avatar

@MilkyWay Lady Godiva rode around Coventry, another reason to like the place.
I’ve been to the Ricoh Arena to watch my team play, needless to say I was in the away end, nice stadium though.

wundayatta's avatar

My backyard is small. Maybe 30 feet by 40 feet. But I’ve been working in it for over 20 years, and I know every plant intimately. I’ve shaped them and fed them and watered them and pruned them and planted them and transplanted them. They are an intimate expression of my living aesthetic.

My landscape is a work of my creative being. It changes colors and configurations so that there is something for every season. I will sit on my back deck and just stare at my garden like a meditation object. I will spend hours cleaning up debris and picking out the dead leaves. We just had our house painted and a lot of paint chips got into my lawn, and I’ve been spending an hour or so in evenings picking out the chips for both aesthetic and health reasons.

It is cherry season, and the giant wild cherry in my neighbor’s yard is raining down tiny black fruit on my garden. In contrast, my own ornamental cherry is raining down hard, tiny green cherries—with the difference being my tiny cherries are twice as tiny as my neighbors, which are twice as tiny as a cherry you might find in the store.

I’ve got staghorn ferns and tiger lilies from New England. Peonies and yellow grasses from other parts of my garden, a surviving rhododendron and azeleas from before I moved in.

I could go on an on, I’m sure. I could describe the lawn, and the wide variety of grasses in it, and how I weed it by hand. I could describe my compost, and how it sits beneath my deck and how I rake it around to turn it over and what kinds of materials go in it. Or shouldn’t go in it.

But this is about appreciation. I think anyone must understand intuitively that if you put a lot of work and time into something, you have to appreciate it a great deal. Otherwise why would you spend the time and effort on it? I appreciate it because I know it and I know it so well, and I have gardened it, and I have slowly transformed it, over the years, into something that pleases my eye.

My aesthetic is about naturalness and curves. It is about giving the eye everywhere something to look at, but nowhere to find something harsh and manufactured. A couple of years ago, my back neighbor put in a huge, ugly cyclone fence that totally mangled the look. I mean, it was as bad as if someone put in a toxic waste dump in my back yard.

But eventually some materials came to hand. I needed to prune a tree, and I realized that if I wove the branches through the cyclone fence, I could hide the big ugly pipes behind something that looked more natural—indeed—it looks like a grape arbor. Now I need to get something to grow on the wood and fence, and perhaps wisteria will do the trick.

There is a major problem, but I don’t know what to do about it: mosquitoes. The mosquitoes in my back yard are quite vicious, although they seem to like shins and forearms. Worse, I am allergic to their bites. My skin is a rash of welts where those mosquitoes bit me—welts that do not grow when I get bitten by mosquitoes in other parts of the world.

But even that I appreciate. They are living creatures going about their business. They are very clever. They might even bring dengue fever or other horrible diseases. I don’t know what I mean when I say I appreciate them, because I don’t like them. But I guess I appreciate that they fight to exist and are always so busy and have such a big impact. Alas.

Blackberry's avatar

I can appreciate Oregon and NJ, but MS is one of the worst places I’ve ever lived.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Ahem. Paradise.


woodcutter's avatar

I really like living so close to the mountains so It makes it much easier to go often. I can be someplace where I cant see a cell tower in 15 minutes more or less.. I think no matter where I was, I would find something to make it a good place. Of course the trick is to get out of the house and see things.

anartist's avatar

@MilkyWay what’s been happening in Coventry since Lady Godiva’s ride: to protest taxation of the people by her own husband? People are no longer literally “sent to Coventry.”

Does it torque you that people are still figurativley “sent to Coventry”?

MilkyWay's avatar

Nah. We have the Lady Godiva festival here every year, it’s something we celebrate :P

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