Checking out

We’re off camping in Oklahoma for six days and five nights. Our tent doesn’t have wi-fi or dial-up. This means that we’ll be com– complete– completely off l-line and out of touch and will not have any updates until late Memorial Day M- M- Monday.

Of course, you’re all welcome to play in the Comments section until my return. And you can check the Habweather or study the family tree or watch the PantherCams.

By the way, the airbed is as good as new.


Charlie's Travels – One long party

Charlie is still enjoying Australia:

It has been so long since I last e-mailed but have not really had the chance as we have just been having the most amazing two weeks where we literally have not stopped. After Sydney we made the 15 hour drive up to Byron Bay which was probably the best place we have been. We were in Bondi beach one night and bored so we just decided to drive to Byron overnight. Fred and I were up front and we went until four in the morning, slept in a layby for 3 hours and then carried on through till about 1! It is very difficult to grasp just how far the distances actually are! In Byron we met up with four Stowe boys who have also got a van and we have been in convoy for two weeks now which has been such a laugh. In Byron we surfed and went out every night but the weather was really bad! Then up to Noosa for a night where it rained, went go-carting and then went to Hervey Bay which is the launch pad for Fraser Island. The weather was still appalling which was frustrating so we just waited there for three days until it cleared as we really didn’t want to do it in the rain. Fraser island was incredible and the weather was perfect. We saw tiger sharks, dingos, went to incredible lakes, dune jumped, camped and had a really good group so it was definitely worth waiting for the weather to clear. We then drove a whole day up to Airlie beach and have just come back from a three day sailing trip on the Whitsundays which was once again awesome as we stayed in a great resort did lots of snorkelling and swimming.

Tomorrow we are probably heading to Magnetic Island and then to Cairns where hopefully we will do some diving, then a week today we fly to Brisbane which we have booked and then on to New Zealand. Its going to be very strange when it is just the three of us as nine is just such a huge number and we pretty much take over anywhere we go and we all get on very well. So…we have just done so much in the past 2 weeks it is impossible to get it all down, as one of the guys said yesterday the last 2 weeks have just been a 24 hour party and we haven’t stopped!

Still here

Hey everyone. In case you’re all worried about me, I’m still here. It’s been such a busy week. And we’re now running off to a Baseball game (Cougars vs Southern Mississippi). Got lots of news. Please don’t delete your bookmark.


So . . . it’s almost time for the annual float trip in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. John wants to go up early this year, which means five whole nights in a tent. As it’s not a backpacking trip and we only pitch the tent once, I decided that this year I wanted a comfortable inflatable air mattress to sleep on. My idea met with a little resistance, but when I suggested purchasing a single one so that John could sleep on his hard pad on the cold ground again, he caved in and suggested I buy a double-size.

After much internet research, I found the perfect one on the L.L. Bean website. It arrived on Monday, and I decided that we should test it to make sure it was comfortable. Don’t you hate it when you unwrap something all excited and then find a message saying “charge pump for 24 hours before using”? As a result, we only got back to it today. I laid out the bed on the living room floor, attached the pump, and the bed inflated in less than a minute. My, was it comfortable! We decided to take a nap for a while to make sure it stayed comfortable. Then Maggie decided to join us. She crawled between us under the blanket (her favourite spot). We heard her claws dig in, followed by a loud …


I’ve been fumbling with the repair kit for the last fifteen minutes.


Another yoga breakthrough! This morning, at my 350th Bikram class, my head made it to the floor doing the fixed firm pose. There’s hope for everyone! Two years ago I couldn’t sit back on my heels for longer than five seconds.

Of course, I still have a long way to go with this pose. We’re also supposed to hold our opposite elbows above our heads and bring our knees together. That part may be at least five years down the road. Stay tuned!

Nowhere to go but up

The Astros are awful. They have just been swept by the br@ve$ in Atlanta. Every time the br@ve$ scored a run this afternoon the skies here in Houston became darker and darker. Now I can hear thunder. There have even been some tornado warnings.

They really are awful. They’ve only won one game on the road this season.

But now they can only get better. And the season’s still young.

Such an English looking cat!

It’s obvious that we should all stop mowing our lawns and let our cats enjoy the long grass. This is Chocky, The Stables (near Glastonbury) cat. Ricky writes that Chocky is a boy and was one of six born at Coleford about nine years ago. They called him “Sarah” to start with but when they took her to the vet to be spayed, the vet said (after the operation) that he had now been neutered and that Sarah was now an inappropriate name.

Their other cat Suzie died last year of old age (16 years old) and is buried under an apple tree in the garden. Chocky was quite sad for a while but has now got a girlfriend who visits regularly from the farm down the road.

Charlie's Travels – Sydney

More pictures and more news from Charlie:

We have been in Sydney for two days now and are loving the city. We are staying with friends of James at the moment who have the most amazing house in the north of Sydney. They have been feeding us, gave us a bed and like Canberra it really feels like home. Went down to the beaches yesterday and did my first surf of the trip! Dave and I rented a board for an hour and had such a good time. Forgot how tiring it was but we were absolutely buzzing after it. Even played a bit of touch rugby yesterday as well. Today we got the train into town and did the bridge and the Opera House. It was so good to see it after all the photos and tv coverage I have seen of it over the years. Tomorrow we are heading down to Bondi Beach to do the backpacking thing for a couple of days. Considering we have only spent $71 between the 5 of us on accommodation since we left Melbourne we thought we would treat ourselves! And then we will be heading up the coast probably to Byron Bay. As you can tell, we have really landed on our feet and just having the time of our lives.