…. But one need not go either to Ullswater or Duddon, or even to Dora’s field at Rydal, to have one’s heart gladdened by the daffodils, for they are found in almost every farm orchard in our valleys, and hardly a child is seen going to school but has her hands full of them. As one passes the cottages the air is scented with the pink ribes, and already the walls are festooned with honey-scented alyssum. But for all the bright sun that tempts the bees from home, there is a biting in the air which keeps the hedgerows brown, and it will not be till the April rains have washed the last white patches from Skiddaw’s height that we shall see either green upon the larch or emerald on the thorn.
But Easter is coming and the Lake District is already turning in its sleep and will be wide awake for the expected visitors. Mattresses are seen at every window when the sun is warm; the sound of carpet-beating is heard in the fields; rooms at the farms and cottage homes in quiet valleys have been bespoke already, and the hostel-keeper wears a cheery look upon his face as though he knew that guests were coming. Who can wonder that guests should come? For though we have women and children in the dales, we have no ammunition works to be a prey to Zeppelins, and if there is one district in England more than another where we can for a moment forget the war it is here in this springtide paradise, where the only khaki that is seen is the khaki of the larch and Upper Fells.
In other parts of England the man in khaki seems to be a continual presence; here it is almost difficult to realize that a European war is raging. This means, that for the weary and distracted war-worker, there is still a chance of momentary rest and change of mind, and for the overwrought and the sorrowful alike the peace that breathes from all our vales and hills has power to strengthen Britain at its need.
(Times, 13 April 1916, p. 11)