Sunday, 12 October 2008

FROM OXFORD, UK TO PORTLAND, USA....

I am sitting in the back seat of a small plane flying from Washington to Portland, Maine to stay with Roger from Kitchen Gardeners International for a few days. This plane reminds me of flying  TAA, our local airline in Adelaide, when I was a child. In those days the planes were small and noisy, like this one, and if you were a member of the Juniors Flying Club you could go up the front and talk to the pilot.....how things have changed!

image I have had a few days off from vegetable gardens and even from taking photos.....after taking over 1000 photos in 3 weeks I needed a break! It was great to see Alex in Oxford and hear of the fun he is already having as he starts a PhD in computer science at Oxford University. image The first thing I said when he showed me the back yard of the place where he is housed is that there is heaps of room for a vegetable garden! I think he will at least get some herbs and hopefully send me some photos! I am sure Teleri (Olives and Artichokes) could offer advice as she had quite a vegetable garden in Oxford a few years ago, and even a goat that she took for walks with the dog!

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Well, I did visit something called a Herb Centre which was a bit of a flop but they had a good vegetable garden and view!

 

 

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image In an organic farm produce shop I came across they were selling all the regular vegetables and packaged organic foods like breakfast cereals and rice and so on and they had some organic seeds. I was a bit shocked to see F1 hybrids being sold there as organic. Although theoretically they could be organic I guess, it seems against the principles of organics to offer plants that have seeds that cannot be saved. I would not expect this to happen in Australia but I may be wrong.....(goodness this plane is SOOOO noisy....I wish I hadn't given up my good seat to someone whose friend was originally in this back seat!!)

I have been doing some shopping in quaint little English villages and finally found the Bronnley lemon soap my mother especially asked me to get for her! Plus I have bought a few other presents....some even for readers of this blog!

The traffic in the UK is horrendous and the motorways are groaning under the strain. In Adelaide we only have one road that you would call a motorway - the S.E.freeway and luckily it is a far cry from the hectic nature of traffic in the UK and the constant bottlenecks and noise. While I am on about numbers of people, South Australians would not believe Dulles Airport in Washington where 3 million people a day pass through! That is twice the population of our state, everyday! If you thought the Royal Adelaide Show was crowded, just walk down to any departure gate in this airport.....a solid throng of people as far as the eye can see. But the bloke making the announcements about what flights were leaving next was quite a comedian and had everyone laughing at his comments.

Anyway, here I am in the USA with my seeds all in tact..... now I wish I had brought more as I feared they would not be allowed in! It is getting on for midnight in UK time, where I left this morning, but I feel really good as the sun is shining here as it is only about 6pm..... I am looking forward to meeting Roger and I hope he has some dinner for me as this flight only has drinks....

5 comments:

Ewa said...

I am slowly catching up - I am curious how long your voyage will last? what are the plans?
Greetings from Poland,
Ewa

Maggie said...

Hi Ewa I am Kate's secretary and if you open the Adelaide site, on the right, and click on Vegetable Vagabond you will find Kate's complete itinary.
I enjoy your blog greetings to you too.

chaiselongue said...

It looks as though Alex will have plenty of room for a vegetable garden. All the leafy veg should do well in Oxford's damp climate. Maybe the university won't want him to keep a goat, though! Have a good time in the US!

Patrick said...

They let your seeds in?! I'm really surprised. It depends on the mood of the customs agent at the moment, more than anything else.

I hope you have a nice trip in the US.

Ian said...

Hi Kate,

I'm glad you got in with your seeds intact.
I really enjoyed your visit here and hope you have a great time in the US, Canada and then back in Australia, before you finally get back home to your own garden, hopefully full of new inspirations.