So here I am back in Manchester. See photo of me on the big boat home (as promised for Lupe and Mateo), where I got too excited about being in the middle of the sea to write up the summary of the whole trip, and instead spent a whole day on deck talking for hours and hours about it (and my whole life!), which was a really lovely ending to my journey. This has been an amazing trip for me. I have learnt loads from some truely inspirational people, who are showing that it is possible to make the changes that we want to make here in the Northwest. I have come home full of lessons, ideas and motivation - I'm so excited about getting on with it - it's probably driving everyone mad!
So the next plan is to write a summary of all of this as I realise that this blog is absolutely enormous (it was a way of not loosing everything I was learning but I realise it's too much for anyone else to read). The trouble is there's loads of great stuff going on here too! But I promise I will get it done (once I've done the 1st presentation at FeedingManchester this Wednesday) , so there is something easier to read and learn from without wading through all my ramblings.
Loads has been happening while I've been gone too. Chris and Matt have been speaking at conferences here and there and everywhere, plotting for exciting new projects and keeping the Kindling fire burning bright. Chloe has had the Land Army out and about at Manchester's local organic farms. Manchester Veg People has made it's stunning performance under Hugh's knife at the Food and Drink Festival and Alan has been doing a grand job supporting the growers and buyers getting planning started for the next year. And the Carbon Co-op is going from strength to strength getting through to finals of the energy share competition - if you haven't voted yet do it right now!
So well done Kindlers and thanks so much for being so supportive while I've been away and making it possible for me to go. And a huge thanks to everyone I visited over the last 7 weeks - can't wait to get you over here and look after you as well as you looked after me. And obviously a huge thank you to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for the travelling fellowship that funded this brilliant trip!