This item should have been a ‘Happy New Year’ piece from Buckden. Too late! But there are anniversaries a plenty. Early in January we took a wonderful trip to Dubai, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong before returning to Buckden. We cannot claim that we planned our itinerary around certain events but we found ourselves in Queensland on Australia Day then, at the Bay of Islands, North Island New Zealand, on Waitangi Day. Waitangi was the venue for the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, between the Maori tribes and the British – considered to be the founding document of New Zealand. Later we moved to Hong Kong, only to discover that everyone was in full swing to celebrate the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Dog.
Now we are home, the calendar says “1st March” and proclaims the first day of Spring. Like much of the country, we are blanketed in snow, with curtains of icicles. From 35C in the tropical rain forests of Australia to the flocks of sheep wearing their woolly coats against sub-zero blasts of Siberian gales has been quite a contrast.
We are full of admiration for our local farmers; to see the dedication to the welfare of their stock and to know that this care produces the joys of lambing time – to realise their husbandry of the land gives us the wonders of the wild flower hay meadows later in the year – to marvel at the industry which created and sustains the drystone walls and field barns – gives us cause to bless our good fortune to live where we do. A place we would never swap – despite some winter chill. Small wonder that some wise person labelled Yorkshire “God’s own country”.
But don’t take our word – come and experience it for yourself.