Living in the countryside, a lifelong privilege
During the pandemic, many families have decided to leave the city for the countryside, but how do people, who have lived in a farmhouse for years, live? We are speaking to Ramon Carrer and his mother, Ventura Vives. For them, living in the countryside is more than a privilege.
In recent times, many have taken the decision to give a second chance to the most depopulated environments, and prefer to have a river nearby rather than a cinema. But there is a group of people, either because of family tradition or because it is part of their way of life, who have never moved from the farmhouse. Ramon Carrer, 59, is one of these people. He lives in a manor house with his mother, Ventura Vives, 93, and they both explain that life in the countryside is “not an obstacle” for them, but quite the opposite.
We meet them both next to a 13th century chapel, the chapel of Sant Sebastià, in the municipality of Òdena (L’Anoia), and we feel like travelling back in time: you don’t hear too much noise, and there are no people in masks rushing up and down, as happens in the city. It’s getting dark, we can breath the smell of life, the smell of nature, and everything is right for us to start chatting.
-What do you think about young people wanting to live in rural environments? -We dare to ask.
-I think it’s perfect. There has come a point when people have realised that living in a flat is too closed in,” Ramon answers us with his gentle character.
-And how do you see rural life twenty years from now?
-I see it right and lively because people now value more what living means.
Mother and son have come out of the manor house to see us for a while, and they have done it with such a huge smile on their faces, that just by this small detail, we can guess how happy they feel at their farmhouse. Ramon explains to us, under the watchful eye of Ventura, that the house has belonged to the family for more than two hundred years, and that they do not miss anything. He also assures us that what they value most is calmness. He also admits that during the pandemic and the confinement, they have not felt isolated.
-Living here makes me feel free. Above all, it is rewarding. Because in the morning I wake up and see the forest, and to me, it makes life worth living,” Ramon explains, his eyes distracted.
-You said you’ve been living here all your life. Can you tell us something curious about the place?
-This road used to be the old N-II Barcelona-Madrid. And right here, in front of my house, was where, for the first time in my life, I saw elephants. I was seven or eight years old, and the reason I saw them is that a circus used to pass along this old road, formerly a main road.
The two of them spend the day looking after the house, without nerves, even though they start working at 9 o’clock, because in such a big house there is always a lot to do. So is Ventura and Ramon’s life. Catalonia is full of farmhouses like theirs, in villages inhabited mainly by older people, who live the way they want, which is the most important thing, says Ramon, and who hope young people will not be afraid to start their adventure in rural environments. “Don’t be afraid, go ahead,” they encourage them while saying goodbye.
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