Jayne and I and our three sons have just returned home after five weeks spent exploring the UK. We were invited to a wedding in Carluke, Scotland, of a lad who worked for us here in Valetta 10 years ago.
Jayne and I haven’t travelled to any extent before, nor have we camped as a family previously, so travelling to the UK and camper-vanning with three children would be best described as an awesome and epic adventure.
As well as attending the wedding, it was our intention to visit as many of the lads that came to New Zealand to work for us when we were contracting as possible.
On a personal level, it was very special to see guys who came to us as bright-eyed 18- or 20-year-olds and now meet their wives or partners, parents and children and get to see what they are now doing.
All four coasts
We completed 2,800 miles in 25 days. We started in London, then headed to Somerset, then went right along the South Coast, up to Norfolk, where my wife’s grandfather served in Pathfinder and successfully courted a Norfolk lass.
After that we crossed the Midlands to complete a figure of eight of the UK, along the way taking in the Peak and Lake Districts, Yorkshire Moors, Scottish Borders and Highlands, Loch Ness, Inverness, Ellon, Perthshire and Yorkshire.
We finished the trip at the Cereals event and managed to touch the sea on all four coasts!
Many of the issues facing farmers are the same the world over. I was struck by the stark differences in land tenure between our countries and circumstances that are steeped in history dating back hundreds of years.
The most common question I was asked was how I farm without any form of government support.
We loved our trip. It was not without its challenges, but awesome for us as a family. If you saw a white camper with NZ and a KIWI on the back taking photos over your fence; that was us!
Absolutely loved our time, thank you all very much.