May 2020: Christine Broadway Gardening Column

April 22 2020

The evening of Monday 20th April,  20 at 7pm,  Edith my Austrian penfriend of many years and I chatted to each other on WhatsApp through a Video Call.  This was the third Video Call in the space of two weeks.

Edith is a very chatty lady and her English is exceptionally good.  On this Video Call I helped her with her English words :-  She wanted to know what the skin of the bread was called – I replied The Crust and Grapes become Sultanas.

Actually I have not corresponded with Edith since in my early twenties – you know how it is -  both  of us had good intentions  and we both got married etc – so,  it was with great surprise ,  a couple of years ago Edith found me on Face book!  There,  you know I am on Face book!  I do not go on there much and I only have a couple of photos on there.  Not very exciting really!

Anyway going back to Edith as I mentioned earlier she is a penfriend or WhatsApp friend now!  I always wanted an Austrian penfriend,  the lure of the mountains and little gems of plants.  As my regular readers know I am an avid Alpine Gardener.  When I was a teenager I wrote in to The Evening Post to Uncle Bob asking for an Austrian girl penfriend and he sent me Ediths’ details.

After sometime of writing to each other we did an exchange holiday.  Edith came over to England for a month and the following year I went to Modling in Austria.  It was all I had ever dreamed of.  Not only did I go for walks in the mountains but her parents’ took me every where and we even went to Venice except I did not know where we were going until we got there!  We travelled in her Fathers’ Volks Wagon Beetle.  Her Father used to joke about the English cars being stuck on the hills out of steam whereas his car sailed up leaving them behind!

But most of all I was enthralled by the scenery – being in Austria it was not like the winter with snow on the mountains but none the less there were mountains and seeing my first true Alpine flower,  a blue Gentian!

Best Wishes and Stay Safe in these troublesome times.

Christine Broadway