As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently touring the East coast of the US with Chris and our two, long-term holiday partners, Jacce and Pete Jeffreys. In fact, "Jeffrey's tours" have taken us around the West Coast of America, Spain and several other sites within the UK.
We were visiting some friends in Fredericksburg last Sunday and Nicole asked me how we'd all met up. It was all down to Jacce's boss getting married in 1980. I wanted to go and see "Hot Gossip" a very riskee dance group from the Kenny Everret show on BBC1 who were appearing in a Birmingham night club. Jacce agreed and soon afterwards, we decided to share a holiday to Scourie in the north coast of Scotland followed by a week in Balmacara near to the Kyle of Localsh where the ferry used to cross to the Isle of Skye. We survived two weeks together knitting and playing bridge and have spent every holiday together since. Between us we've produced seven children, so our holidays for over 20 years in Cornwall have been both noisy and memorable. Next year, when we're back in Cornwall, it will be a beach holiday for the next generation who will be nearing his first birthday!
Returning to America, while Chris has been taking photos of policemen's motor cycles and railroad tracks, I've been searching for herbs. Nicole said she'd been told her native dandelions were poisonous, yet I found our usual dandelions on the "grass" next to the White House in Washington. I also found some violets growing around the base of a tree in the White House grounds and an American conker which is now stashed in my suitcase!
New York was fairly devoid of green - even the trees along the street looked sick and weedy- but Central Park in the rain was wonderful. I even found a first year burdock plant - but it was too wet to take a picture!
Now we've left the cities behind for a while. Today is a family day with my cousins in Fonthill, Canada. It's strange to think that I could have been either Canadian or American if my Grandfather had not returned home to Stratford on Avon from his job as a logger in Winnipeg to fight in the Warwickshire Yeomenary during the First World War. He saw service mainly in Egypt and Galipoli, but shared something in common with my other grandfather - they had both ridden the length of the Rheine at some point during the war!
Tomorrow we shall be visiting Niagara Falls, then on Tuesday we travel south again to Boston through the Adirondacks. I shall be looking for more plants along the way.