|The bride's mother embracing Jane|
for primroses and the daffodils and narcissi in our garden.
Contra yesterday's Countryfile on BBC1. Usually it's Tom Heap who specialises in doom and gloom, and, if we've recorded it, through whose Cassandra-like reports we tend to fast-forward. However, yesterday it was the normally sanguine farmer Adam Hanson who was bemoaning the weather. Fair enough, he looked like losing his field of over-wintering oil-seed rape, but it won't actually ruin him. He had the gall to describe it as "a disaster" (originally a cosmic event of the destruction of a star). For one thing in our climate nature has a way of compensating - think of last year's transition from drought to flood. For another, it won't actually render him destitute. And for a third, did he not watch the wonderful programme also by the BBC, The Toughest Place to be a Farmer, in which Devon dairy farmer, Richard Gibson, went to work with a Samburu farmer herding cattle in the desolate northern part of Kenya?
As the write-up said,
Don't mistake me. I do not belittle the reverses that farmers have suffered this year, least of all the tragic loss of livestock that many hill-farmers have sustained. The sight of mounds of sheep carcases waiting to be disposed of from the Welsh border farm was shocking and distressing, and must have been devastating for the farmer, Errol Morris, whom we saw dragging yet another two of his decimated flock across the snow. It must take real courage to pick oneself from yet another reverse inflicted by the weather or by disease, and like Lemerigichen and Errol, never to give up. It's the farmer's territory, fate and gift. I trust and believe that better is to come. I hope so.