An 1898 Habershon holiday

From David:

When I cleared Dad‘s desk 3 years ago, I found 4 letters written by his father, Alfred Rix Habershon, to his mother, Mary Gidley Habershon. Alfred must have still been at Rotherham Grammar School and in the summer of 1898, at the age of 17, went on holiday to Germany with his uncle (mother’s brother), Joe Rix. This must have been the first time Alfred had been abroad and the letters cover his trip in detail, clearly reflecting his excitement. Travel was by train and boat as cars and aeroplanes had yet to be invented. He and Uncle Joe clearly shared an interest in photography. This is the text of one of the four letters (pdf file).

Postcard of the Dayboat Nederland, posted from Vlissingen (Flushing) in 1904.
Narrow black funnel tops.

Alfred and Uncle Joe crossed the English Channel in this ferry, the SS NEDERLAND
(picture taken 6 years later) and sailed from Queenborough, a port close to
Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames estuary. It was one of the Zeeland
Line mail ships operating at the time.

Sky diving

TGIF. Here’s a June 22nd report from Charlie:

We have been having a pretty good time out here recently. Managed to get up to Wellington for the game which was fun. The actual game was pretty poor but the atmosphere was great, and we had a good night in Wellington. Luke was waiting at the hostel when we got back from the game. Charlie Senior was there as well and he was on good form. It was the only night when our paths crossed so it was great to see him and catch up.

After Wellington we headed up to Lake Taupo where the weather cleared. Climbed in a small plane to 15 thousand feet which is the highest commercial sky dive in the world and jumped out with a man on my back and free falled for 60 seconds at 200km per hour! It is the most incredible feeling and although you are petrified when you are about to jump the free fall is something else. Apparently your body prepares itself for death so you get this natural morphine pumped through your body and you just can’t stop smiling as you plummet through the sky!! But yeah it was unbelievable and puts a bungee jump to shame – it’s all on DVD. We then went up to Rotorua where sadly we didn’t make it to the sheep shearing show. We did however do a Hydro-Zorb which was good fun. Not sure if you saw it but you get in this 3.2 metre ball with water in,and thrown down a hill. Sounds ridiculous but actually great fun as you are being thrown around, and you go in there with someone else. Ollie and I were tripping each other over the whole time! We also treated ourselves to the Polynesian Spa. Lots of different natural baths, so we bathed for quite a long time by the lake and felt very clean after it. We are now in Auckland and looking to sell the car. Fred just got a text from someone saying they were interested so we are about to follow that up. It’s currently sitting in the Backpacker Carmarket, so fingers crossed! Definitely be heading up the Skytower soon to cash in the voucher, and then off to Fiji on Friday. New Zealand has been so much fun but we are all looking foward to a bit of sun, especially after seeing the weather at Wimbledon last night. Good to see Henman is still keeping Britain on the edge of their seats.


That word has been repeated several times in this house over the past three days. has been hit by a script kiddie. He’s hiding amongst the photo albums. I don’t have a clue as to what’s really happening, except that all the photos have disappeared. (weep). John knows a lot more than I do, but not enough to smoke out the creep. Fortunately, however, he has a good friend who is working round the clock trying to fix things. Love ya, Laz!

What do you think we should do about spammers and hackers and virus creators? Put them in front of firing squads?

Glorious fruit

They’re cherries! Have you even seen cherries packed so splendidly? They arrived in the mail on Friday, from a company called Harry and David. The sender was a friend who does things like that. Just sends them — no special occasion, no holiday. She just sends them.

The cherries were the best we’d ever tasted. They were all gone by the next morning. It was quite devastating to find that there was only one layer. However, if you click on them, you’ll see that our generous friend also sent us pears. If you haven’t tasted Harry & David pears, you’re missing out.

That was not a commercial.

Voice chat now has Voice Chat (see left-hand menu)! WOW! Now you can now talk to anyone anywhere in the world … FREE! Who will be the first Habershon to figure out how to work it?

John assures me that once you’re up and running it’s easy to use. All you need to get started is broadband (everyone has that now, don’t they?) and a microphone plugged into your laptop or desktop.

Once you have your microphone you need to download the software. Click on “Help” (below the “Connect Now” button, and follow the instructions. Oh, and ask as many questions as you like. I’m sure there will be many. Do not give up. Apparently this is all very simple once you’re up and running. John is telling me to emphasize that you must not upgrade when it asks you!

Anyway, I shall sit here patiently with my headset plugged into my laptop and wait for someone to speak to me.

UPDATE: Temporarily removed. There didn’t seem to be much interest!

News from a London Hab.

When I last reported on the Emsworth Habs, the information on Ed was a little hazy. I am now pleased to announce, however, that he has actually e-mailed me to tell me what he’s up to. He has been working for The Sunday Times as a trainee for the last three months. Trainees do “everything from playing messenger to helping out any of the sections when they need it.” So far he’s been on the news desk, the foreign desk, the travel desk, the university guide and has written an article on beach huts for the property section. He promises that if it ever gets published, will be the first to know.

He is living in Battersea with two university friends, where the trains rattle by. He’s also running in a 10k around London on Sunday, July 3rd. As well as fuelling his pride he’ll be raising money for St. Dunstan’s, the charity for blind ex-servicemen. Excellent cause! It’s easy to donate. Just click here.

So, Habershons, loyal readers and hangers-on . . . after you’ve all made your donations, perhaps you could all send a letter to the Sunday Times asking them for information on beach huts.


We gave up Peggy. It wasn’t working out. We didn’t know how long we’d have to keep her in one room. There was no way we could let her near Maggie. Maggie was even swiping and spitting at us, she was so upset. We found a good home — in the Meyerland area of Houston, with the sister of a lady from work. She’s now living in a huge house in a cul de sac with three teenagers, two adults, three large dogs, and a cat named “Precious.” I drove her there with all her stuff. Kenny, one of the sons, took an immediate liking to her and has named her “Serenity”. I understand that she’s already snuggling with one of the dogs.

We did the right thing. Life has become less stressful over the last few days. But she’s certainly taken a chunk of my heart (and John’s) with her.

I’ll add some more pictures to the album when I can bear to look at them.

Charlie's Travels – Thrillogy

More stuff from Charlie. He’s going to find life very dull when he gets home.

We are heading to Wellington tonight. We drove from Franz Joseph today after a great day on the glacier yesterday. Wanaka was good – the family was so nice and fed us unbelievably. The food and beers never stopped coming and we are about to go to their daughters’ school now in Christchurch to see them which should be quite funny! Ket the mother was very keen that we went along! Queenstown was great fun – the white water rafting was cancelled because of low water which was a great shame but that then spurred us on to do the thrillogy which is all three bungees! The 134 metre one was petrifying but I absolutely loved it, then we did one at night called The Ledge which was up by the Luge and then we did the bridge (Jim’s one which is 43m puts the big one into perspective!) where we got dunked in the river. It’s all on one DVD! We saw Yiddo, Gemma and Rosie out there which was really cool; we had a really good night out with Yiddo and he showed us all round the town which was good and really made our stay there. We also saw Pete Miles in Wanaka but literally for 10 minutes as he had been skiing all day and took the early night. Tomorrow we are meeting up with the Stowe boys who we were with in Oz which should be cool and we have got tickets for the Lions game tomorrow night which is unbelievable! 110 bucks but we didn’t blink an eye lid as it’s a once in a lifetime and we are sitting with the Barmy Army. So much to look forward to in North Island – sky dive, zorbing, maybe some white water rafting and might even do one more bungy in Auckland, and of course the Sky tower as I can’t wait to use Dad’s coupon which has come all around the world.