It's been 3 years since I left England and started my adventure around the globe. Somehow, I've found myself living in New Zealand under the wings of Grey and Merdith.
Now, I didn't plan on staying as long as I have, I only booked a week in their adorable barn, over looking a gorgeous lake in the hills.
But, I don't know, I fell in love with them. Their quirky personalities and constant flow of laughter draws you in to a bubble of positive wellbeing and overall - happiness.
I pay my way by feeding the pigs and chasing the chickens back into their pens. Their marriage is an indestructible bond of smiles, laughter and yes corny - but actual love.
Merdith was yoga instructor and Grey a human rights lawyer who both retired on this peaceful farm in NZ. They both thrive in the worlds natural beauty and have taught me so much.
I even, very almost, convinced them both to carry on their retirement and join me on my next adventure of Asia.
But "happiness grew in their farm" Grey concluded. He always told me "a lifetime of laughter is a life spent damn well."
Laughter was a common sound in the Buckelbee farm, but, sadly it stopped.
Early on a Tuesday morning Grey's heart stopped. He drifted into a perminate sleep, right next to Merdith, with a smile and hint of laughter on his face.
That was 6 months ago, and I haven't seen Merdith laugh once..
Of course I've stayed, we both keep busy and hug each other when we get tearful.
It's so strange, the strong bond I've created with them both over a small amount of time.
If only I could keep the laugher going, keep Grey alive a little longer, to give Merdith something to laugh about again.
I've got it.
Am I mad? No. No?
"Merdith! Come on." I boast as bounce into her kitchen.
"Have the pigs escaped into next doors vegetable patch again? Come and have some tea, we will chase them after?" Her velvet voice chimes.
"Merdith. We're doing it, me and you, we're going." I reply slamming a pink backpack next to her, with - might I add - a very well placed map of Asia peeping out of the front pocket.
"Oh no. I can't possibly do that..." Merdith whispered, with a slight smile on her face and hint of hope in her gleaming eyes.
"Sell the chickens! Give next door the pigs already. A lifetime of laughter is a life well spent, and you still have a lot of laughter left in you." I gleam at her.
She looks straight at me, a smile aching to come out. She slowly puts one hand on the backpack.
Am I mad for taking a 73 year old widow back packing around Asia?
Because as soon as her hand touched the embroidery of the backpacks pocket, I could swear the wind chimes outside sounded like the faintest sound of laughter in the wind..