Oh how sophisticated we think we are these days, hauling our designer luggage through customs, boarding elegant planes and flying off to exotic places. What would our ancestors of thought of it all - when you think that two hundred years ago cars had not even been thought of, let alone planes.
But, when you really think about it, how very far we lag behind other things on our planet. I was reminded of this today in the Times when Paul Simons told us that the dust and dirt which has been arriving to make our windows and our cars filthy over the past couple of weeks is dust from a dust storm in the Sahara desert.
The birds trek around the world all the time as a matter of course. We now have two swallows, already building a nest in the barn, having made their way here from Africa. And they haven't just made their way to the UK, but to the barn where they were born last year or the year before. And already the Osprey are building a nest at Loch Garten in Scotland - a nest site they used last year and the year before having trekked half way round the world to get here.
How cleverly things find ways to move about. I read a couple of weeks ago about a plant which grew only in the South of England but which now, thanks to motorway traffic close to one of the sites where it flourishes, has moved thirty miles or so up the country and is expected to do the same next year by seedlings hitching a lift.
On Middleham Castle, the castle of King Richard III , near to where we live, the ruined walls are covered in Summer with the tiny bright pink flowers of Erinus Alpinus - and that was reputedly brought here from Italy on the boots of the Roman soldiers.
The Saharan dust from my windows has now gone, as Andrew, the window cleaner, has just been. I suppose the dust will be in his water bucket and he will throw that water into the beck when it is too dirty to use - and the dust will float downstream - all very mind-boggling I find.
Lovely day here - bitterly cold wind though.