Watching things grow

Here are our crepe myrtles one year later.

See the townhouses going up in the distance? They’re springing up all around us. Soon our crepe myrtles will be in the shade. Notice how our street’s been dug up as well? The City’s putting in new water and sewer lines. Eventually they’ll be coming up our driveway and through our vegetable garden. YIKES! We’ve turned PantherCam #2 on the street so that you can watch all the action.


Ricky has sent some photographs of Putsborough, where some of the Stables Gang have just spent a long weekend. Non-Habershons, Putsborough is a seaside resort in North Devon where we spent most of our summer holidays as children. We’d tow the caravan up there from Somerset and pitch a tent and look longingly at the warm and inviting Putsborough Sands Hotel up the hill. Don’t be fooled by the blue sky and sunshine in the pictures — it was usually raining.

Ahhh! 99s and wooden surfboards!

UPDATE FROM RICKY: The Putsborough Sands Hotel is no longer a hotel. It has been converted into about 60 privately-owned apartments. Some of the owners rent them out for about £500 a week.

The Dog Whisperer

I’m hooked on a television show — The Dog Whisperer! It’s currently running on the National Geographic Channel. Our Replay TV is set up to record every episode, and there are about ten per week. Last Sunday I watched seven in a row. And I’m a cat person, not a dog person. Cesar Millan is fearless, authoritative, and very cute. I found a biography here. He tells off the dog owners with an adorable accent and an angelic smile on his face. They are usually to blame for their dogs’ problems. Perhaps I’m out of date, but I’d never heard of him. He’s been running a Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles for the past eight years.

Check your TV listings, Habershons, and see if he’s on in the UK yet.

Help save the Night Riviera!

David advises that the Night Riviera sleeper is to be discontinued because it’s losing money. What a tragedy! John and I made that journey in the late ’90s and had a blast. We started at Paddington around 10 p.m. and arrived in Penzance the next morning. We laughed at the time because the train had to go really slowly so that it wouldn’t arrive before sunrise — but it was a great trip. We spent the first hour in the bar and then retired to our connecting cabins, which were well stocked with goodies such as toothbrushes, soap, towels, etc. There were Somerset Maugham short stories on our pillows, and we were served breakfast in bed, along with complimentary newspapers. The only bad part was being kicked off the train onto a cold platform in Cornwall in the pouring rain at sunrise.

We took the London to Fort William sleeper on another trip. That was even better, because the journey was longer, and it was neat waking up and looking out of the window at the Scottish glens. That service may be the next to go.

Apparently the Paddington to Penzance sleeper is nearly always fully booked, but still loses a million pounds a year. Perhaps they should keep raising the prices until it’s not fully booked, and then review the situation.

Meanwhile, I hope all Habershons and non-Habershons (have I missed anyone?) will sign this petition!


Related Diary entry at


Related diary entry can be found on this page

Chicago/Milwaukee 2002

Baseball with Barn Owl September 14th, 2003