Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Sunday morning oats

November 23rd, 2011

Ken muses about Sunday morning oats..



Sunny side up

September 22nd, 2011

I just love the expression sunny side up. Nice ring to it. But I’d opted for poached. Found a small diner for brunch, eager to eat out in an establishment I thought resembled what I imagined it should look like. Open 24/7, there were small, comfortable booths to sit in, or a bar with stylish metal stools. I’d chosen the former, better placed to observe my fellow diners. I’d forgotten it was a Sunday, late morning, the place busy, mostly with families.

Did I want hash browns or grit? Or at least I thought that was what my server said. Grit, I enquired? Seemed it was corn of some sorts. That could wait. Plenty of time to try it. I’d plump for the safe option. Besides, thought hash browns were American enough for now. And I’d have the obligatory coffee. Generous mug, three refills included.

Bit of a wait for breakfast, but I didn’t mind. Outside it was damp. Inside warm. Chance to catch up on the blog. I’d met a fellow cyclist back in Anchorage who also sought out small cafes as much for the opportunity to write as to have a coffee. I’d often found myself being a bit surreptitious about this. Discreetly tucking myself away. Hunkering down as my fellow traveller had described it. Sometimes I’d simply rise early if I was staying with friends, so as not to appear unsociable.


When it arrived, the brunch idea had clearly been the sensible option. Fast for much of the morning to build sufficient appetite. Then little more needed for the remainder of the day. They probably hadn’t skimped on the cholesterol, but it certainly wasn’t greasy. Tasty I thought. Top up of coffee, then a little more tapping of the keys.



Last supper… in Australia

August 26th, 2011


Fitting final touch. Full English. Supper on my last evening in Australia, and the end of a few hectic but thoroughly enjoyable days in Melbourne with friends Simon and Sue. Exploring the city with a local cycling group. Concocting home made pizzas. Preparing all the kit for the lengthy on-move to Alaska.

And late night coverage of the Tour de France. Throwing my support behind Australian Cadel Evans. Delighted he’d won. Two reasons. Came across as a thoroughly decent chap, success the emotional culmination of years of hard work. And he’s not French….



Proper breakfast

June 14th, 2011

Proper breakfast from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken joins Gary for a proper breakfast. That’s Gary with one ’r’. Very important.



English breakfast Aussie style

May 18th, 2011

English breakfast Aussie style from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Introducing second cousin Ken at the barbeque. A proper – Aussie – one. No tedious coals to heat up.



Repressed souls

October 14th, 2010

Bookcase - web

Explicit imagery. Of a mostly sexual nature. Vivid. Enlightening to some, dark and deviant to others. Freud, I’d decided, must have had a very troubled childhood. Or a remarkable, if disturbed, imagination. I’d returned to Charley John’s cafe for breakfast, curious to see how their "Full English" compared to the efforts of "Fat Boy’s" back in Bishkek.

Found myself inexplicably drawn to the bookcase on the far wall. Alongside the tame travel guides, I’d found Freud’s "Interpretation of Dreams", a worn, if recent, edition of "Lolita", and a well thumbed copy of "Memoirs of a Geisha". The latter catching my eye because the author was a man. All presumably deposited by fellow travellers. Some repressed souls amongst them.


City out of sand

August 17th, 2010

A small pavement cafe. Few hours after sunrise but already quite warm, the sun bright in my face, but not yet blinding. I’d joined Zheng and his daughter for breakfast. Steamed dumplings, some filled with soybean paste, others chopped herbs. And soybean milk. Pleasant tasting, refreshing.

I’d reached the city of Shihezi the previous evening, meeting up with Mao who’d translated my map a few days earlier. We’d been joined by Zheng. He ran a local English language school, and they’d both offered to act as guides the next day.


Breakfast finished, joined once more by Mao, we wandered amongst a few of the city’s parks, some of its many open spaces, along wide boulevards. Ordered. Not just a grid layout but a city with sharply defined edges. Rectangular.

Inside the museum - one

And then a visit to the local museum. Outside a nondescript municipal building. Inside the story of the city’s creation, just sixty years earlier amongst the desert sands, retold with great aplomb. Static exhibits, audio-visual presentations, of a standard more readily associated with a national institution.

Inside the museum - two

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