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Posted on Jun 15, 2017

First two weeks in England

Hey all, I'm having a great time on my exchange.

The first day of my trip was the biggest day of my life, I flew out of Launceston at 1:30pm on Friday the plane was late landing in Melbourne which was an issue because I only had 1 hour and 50-minute stop over with the original flight time. With a quick bit of leg work I cleared customs and 2 security checks, I had 5 minutes in the lounge and I was onto the plane to Dubai. The flight took around 14 hours. I hadn’t been able to get any sleep yet.

I landed in Dubai midnight their time, it was 28 degrees and very humid. I had another quick trip to the next terminal, once seated on the plane our flight was then delayed and we sat on the runway for 30 minutes. I managed to have a quick sleep but as soon as we took off I woke up.

Dubai to Heathrow was about 8 hours, I landed at 7:30 into Heathrow, very sleep deprived at this point. I was met in the arrival lounge by Jack Hawkins. From there we travelled to the first host family the Dickinson's. I had enough time for a shower then we were off to the point to point horse races, where we bet on the horse races. Returning to the family farm I managed to get an hour sleep before I was shook awake and informed of a trip to the pub for tea. We returned to the house at 1:00am Sunday morning this completed my first day.

Over the following week, I spent my time looking around the farm and sites, such as the Broadbalk Experiment where they have been growing wheat for the last 174 years. One strip has had no assistance and a lot of the seed fails but 3 meters away with fertilisers and assistance it has thrived for years. I also spent some time with a field vet where we did some work with dogs. I even saw an escaped kangaroo from the zoo running around a farm on our travels.

I met with the St Aubans Young Farmers who I travelled to the National Young Farmers Annual Convention in Torquay sponsored by Massey Ferguson. 5500 young farmers descended upon a small sea side town (big town for us) called Torquay, there we had three days and three nights of entertainment. During the day, the main event was a conference with guest speakers, challenges and competitions. Also, there was many pubs and clubs that were open all day and night. Of a night, the main venue was a night club with 6 bars, 2 main rooms with dance floors. One of the rooms had a band and the other with a radio 1 DJ.

On Monday, I left Torquay going past Rachel Branch family's farm, a past English exchangee. Darcy Toholke was also staying at the Branch's and we spent the week sightseeing Stonehenge, The White Horse, Bath, Wells, Chetta Gorge, The SS Great Britain and Bristol. I also got a chance to see some dairy farms, stock and cropping.

Next Monday, it was a public holiday for the Somerset show, it is very much a country show with equestrian events, stock judging, sheep shearing, cattle handling, tractor pull, livestock judging, machinery sales, craft tent and clay target shooting.

From there I continued to Derbyshire, staying on the Adams family farm. After a 2-hour train ride through the English countryside, Richard picked me up and we went out to their dairy farm where I spent the full week. A steady week of farm jobs, hedge building and site seeing. We went to the Chatsworth estate, home to the Duke of Devonshire. The place was more like a palace, it was huge. While there we got to do a tour of part of the house.

Thursday night was an event planning meeting where I got some new ideas for Rural Youth. On Saturday night, we went out for tea in Derby and then out for some drinks. Then Sunday I was on the plane heading to Ireland!