Bad Dad!

Before the hurricane I was packing some keepsakes in waterproof bags (in addition to my passports and naturalization certificate). I came across this newspaper cutting which I originally found stuffed at the bottom of mum’s jewellery box. It’s very faded so I won’t scan it, and will type it out instead. I also have no idea which newspaper it’s from:

Fined at Plympton
Lieut.-Com. Peter Habershon, of 18, Russel-avenue, Hartley, Plymouth, was fined £3 at Plympton today for exceeding the speed limit in Roborough built-up area. Albert Hooper, of Gnaton Cottages, Yealmpton, was fined £1 for failing to conform to a traffic sign, and John Henry Couch, of Brickland-road, Sparkwell, was fined £1 for a similar offence.

Tut tut!

Amazing that they used to put that kind of stuff in the newspapers, with their full addresses! Can anyone estimate the year?

Sheila's fizz

Brothers . . . remember Dad‘s expression of “getting your fizz in the way”? It was usually aimed at you, David, when you’d run in front of the cine camera while he was trying to take a picture of something else. I have to tell you about Sheila Jackson Lee. She’s our Congressional representative here in Houston. She’s been on every voting ballot since I moved to the Montrose area but I’ve never punched a hole by her name. She’s always scared me to death. has me laughing every time they mention her. They call her Queen Sheila. Whenever there’s an opportunity to be on camera, she’ll be there. She arrives hours early for the President’s State of the Union address so that she’ll be seen shaking hands with him when he arrives.

She was absent during the Hurricane Rita preparations this week until all the plans were in place and the hard work had been done. I was watching our exhausted Mayor answering questions at a press conference when she suddenly appeared (immaculately dressed and made up and not a hair out of place) and almost knocked him away from the microphone to bark orders at us.

She gets her “fizz in the way” every time. I’ve done a check on the internet for that expression and am fairly confident that Dad was the only person who ever used it. Have you passed it on to your children?

The Competent City with a Heart

That’s John‘s new slogan for Houston. Our officials really have done (and continue to do) a good job. I don’t think Mayor White or Judge Eckels have slept since Monday. They always seem to be giving press conferences.

We’ve just examined our house and taken a walk around the neighbourhood. The tree outside our kitchen window has damaged our roof in two places. Not an emergency, but something that will need to be fixed eventually. The streets around us were a mess before anyone had heard of Rita, due to the fact that the City is trying to put in new sewer lines. We saw three fallen trees (the worst of which, at Hazel and Pierce, is pictured here) and just a load of snapped-off twigs and leaves strewn around. According to reports, there’s no serious damage in the rest of the City. Many homes are without power. Ours came back on again at around 11 a.m. (Note to self: Remember to grind the coffee beans before the power goes out.)

Rita – the morning after

It’s 8:00 on Saturday morning. We definitely missed the worst of Rita here in Houston. I in fact slept through the whole thing. John is concerned about some branches that fell on the roof and we’ll go out and inspect it once the weather has cleared up. It’s still raining and blowing a gale out there. We have no power right now. How come I’m online? We have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) hooked up to the computer. It’s apparently good for about two hours. Did I ever mention what a geek John is? Of course, he’s talking about getting a generator now.

Someone just called from the Sunday Times to get a report from us. Ed had given him our number. I hope we gave him enough interesting information to get a mention 🙂

Gotta log off here. We don’t know how long we’ll be without power. Will be back with pictures later.

The long wait

John is home and I feel safer. Perhaps the fact that Rita is headed for Port Arthur instead of Galveston has also helped to make me feel safer. You should see my body English every time I watch the weatherman. I’m in a perpetual lean to the right.

We’ve done just about everything we can think of to prepare for the storm and are now just waiting. I’ve been trying to read a book but keep on going back to the television to see what’s happening. I stepped outside about ten minutes ago to take some final “before” pictures. It’s got very windy but there’s no rain yet. The air smells different — humid and salty.

Nervous? Moi?

We’re still in Houston. My Baltimore flight has been cancelled. John has had to go into work and answer phones (four operators failed to show for work yesterday). He hopes to be home before Rita hits, though. And I hope so too. If things get really bad our safest place will be in the stairwell of the house (no windows).

Until the power goes out, you can watch the weather out of our window!

Time to put some of that yoga breathing into practice.

I guess we stay put

This is our Hurricane Evacuation Map. Click on it for a better view. The middle of the yellow square is the location of our house, so we’re outside the evacuation area. Even though we’re in the middle of Houston there are still a lot of trees around our house. We’re wishing that we’d taken care of some of the branches now.

Just reading the second paragraph, shouldn’t it be “err on the side of caution” rather than “error on the side of caution”? Perhaps I should call someone at FEMA and get them to correct it. Right now.