We are heading off today on a ten-day holiday to visit the Geek's relatives in Mildura, in Victoria. Mildura is about 1000 km away so we are taking it easy: Parkes today, Goolgowi tomorrow, reaching Mildura on Friday. The return trip will be via Griffith and Canberra so we can visit some friends who have recently moved there. I am looking forward to showing more of our state to the boys and seeing Far Western NSW myself. I have never travelled west of Deniliquin on land and have only set foot in Victoria twice.
Some months ago The Sprig became particularly keen on farms. I would be pulling out of the driveway and he'd ask, "We go to the farm today?" Er, no; we're going to the shops! I have arranged two farmstays en route and I know he'll be thrilled. Our visit to the Parkes Radiotelescope tomorrow is of special interest to The Twig, who loves the movie The Dish and is proud that his Grandpa worked on some of the Dish's electronics.
The only bad aspect of going on holiday in Spring is that we are going to miss so many interesting things in the garden. Out the front, my 'Grandmere Jenny'rose is showing colour on seven plump buds, and the Naked Ladies have started to open. We will probably miss the latter altogether and while the rose will flower all summer, I'm sorry to miss the first flush. The sweet peas have barely started to flower. With 35 C forecast for Thursday and Friday, I don't expect our Spring blooms to last long! Nor am I sure about the survival of all the vegetable seedlings I have planted in the last two days. Fortunately, it is a watering day today. The weeper hoses went on straight after I woke up and I will turn them off when I leave.
In the vegetable patch, we have only harvested a handful of asparagus spears, so the plant will be covered in foliage when we come back. And I do love asparagus, especially cheap asparagus! We ate what we had of it in a vegetable frittata last night, with a side dish of young home-grown broad beans. If we're lucky, the remaining broad beans will be mature, not rotting on the ground, when we come back. There are two lovely-looking bulbs of Florence Fennel. The other winter plants have started to bolt as it was so hot on Sunday. And half the bumper crop of lemons is rotting under the tree. I have had very little chance to cook with them.
Worst of all, I haven't been able to start any new vegetable seeds for a while. That means a delay in my main tomato crop, among other things. There will be frenzied activity among the punnets when I return!