Clare's Travel Report

Sunday afternoon, December 16th, 2001

I’m going to have to publish more of John’s papers. Look at this — another Habershon news bulletin. Here, in her own words, is Clare’s report of her trip to Genoa:

Genoa (10th- 13th December 2001 with university mates Dhana, Sarah and Fi).
Enjoy!!

I stole a moped, Dhana was rescued from the Mediterranean by helicopter, Fiona broke an Italian Stallion’s heart, and Sarah was violently ill after eating 10 pizzas in one day…OK, did you believe all that?! If so, you are welllllll gullible!! Exaggerated holiday stories are just so much more exciting! Hehe! Seriously though, we had an ace time over in Genoa. It was nice to get away from chores such as writing 3000 word essays or indeed any form of university work, even if it was only for a couple of days, and who could resist, when a £6 return flight with RyanAir was on offer??!
We had booked a cheap hostel, which turned out to be ½ hr bus-ride away from the centre of town, on top of a hill, in the middle of nowhere.hmmmmm, not exactly conveniently, but nevertheless it was clean and comfy and we got an 8-bed dormitory to ourselves. Sweet.
We spent each day being oh so cultured…shopping, shopping, eating in restaurants, shopping, drinking in cafes, shopping…you get the idea!! Dhana was the last of the big spenders in purchasing a big winter coat and a ball dress.the beauty of credit cards.! I was tempted by many a thing, but settled in the end for one quality purchase: Italian leather knee high boots. Nice! Clare however did not have enough money for these boots, so she went to the bank and Clare (being blonde) wrongly entered the pin number for her mastercard twice, did not want to risk it a third time and have her card swallowed, and so had to borrow from Dhana and live in debt for the rest of the trip!! The “I owe yous” are still hanging over me.! (Sorry Dhana, the cheque is on its way!)
As for the eating, personally I don’t want to see pizza and pasta for a while now…not that that’s likely with Christmas lunch and the leftovers coming up. In true student style, drinking was a fundamental part of our trip – one lunchtime I got particularly merry…try an adios amigos cocktail – a mixture of pure alcohol. Well, I didn’t realise that until afterwards when I tried to stand up.well, it wasn’t my fault. I can’t read menus in Italian!! Hehe! Actually, that was one thing that did annoy me, my inability to speak/read/understand Italian. I felt so ignorant and ended up speaking French most of the time to make myself understood. Congrats have to go to Fi, reading French and Italian, who was a star and got us out of a few sticky situations, like when the bus broke down and we had to walk and had no idea where we were going. (I think I had managed to infect the others with appalling senses of direction!)
Well, as proof that we weren’t just permanently attached to shops and cafes, I can inform you that Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa – we visited his house; there is also a pretty cathedral well worth visiting, and a humongous university (where Fi is thinking of going to study next year for her year abroad in Italy).
So there we have it. Genoa. FANTASTIC!!!”

Thank you, Clare.

Clare also mentioned her parking ticket. 
 
“Ahhhhh, commiserations Catherine on your parking ticket….join the club! It’s just so frustrating isn’t it. Well, my love for clothes shopping was my downfall. I paid for the maximum stay on this street (1hr for 30p) and was 20 minutes over. (I was so enthralled by bargains in River Island, I just forgot the time…easily done huh!?) I arrived back at the car to find a huge ugly yellow package on the windscreen “Penalty Charge Notice. Warning:It is an offence for any person other than the driver to remove this notice” I wish someone had done so. Inside was a £30 fine which goes up to £60 if you don’t pay within 28 days. Waste of money I know, but I’ve sent my cheque off already – rather 30 than 60 eh!? I drove off, only to be further embittered by the smug smile on the warden’s face as she stuck another huge ugly yellow package on some other poor soul’s windscreen.”

Well, Clare, mine only goes up to $50 if I don’t pay it. How blessed I am living in America. 

Weddings and Parking Tickets

Sunday morning, December 16th, 2001

Aha! I knew John’s essay would prompt outpourings of Habershon news. We have sketchy details of Kate’s wedding (from Paul, via Jean). She is marrying a certain Pat Fry on April 20th. Does anyone know him? Paul mentions that Clare also got a parking ticket on Friday but that hers was for £30. I feel better now. Mine was especially upsetting because I was running a ten-minute errand at the County Clerk’s Office downtown for my boss. The building happens to be next to the street they’re tearing up for Houston’s new light rail line and there are very few places to park. It was 8 a.m. and there were other cars on the street, so I thought there was going to be some leniency (the sign admittedly did say no meter parking until 10 a.m.). I was the only one to get a ticket. Clare, I hope you also have a good sob story.

Weekend Update

Saturday, December 15th, 2001

Well, I’ve had very little news from any Habershons this week. I could tell you about mine — let’s see, the low point was getting a $30 parking ticket yesterday, and the high point was finding out I passed Business Statistics (won’t tell you the grade). Surely someone has something more interesting than that? Your punishment for lack of news is to read one of John’s essays. HAH!

I did talk to Dad this morning. He’s still tearing up the bridge circuit, and is also playing Mahjong with three lady friends.

Clare has returned from her trip to Genoa. How about a report, Clare?

Keep those recipes rolling in!

Website Advances

Sunday, December 9th, 2001

Good morning, Habershons. I expect you’ve noticed a few new navigation bars to the left of the screen. Click away. I’m especially happy to get a picture of Coleford House from Ricky and decided to give it a page of its own. Keep sending me pictures — I’m waiting for a good one to put in the banner.

Petrol

Thursday, December 6th, 2001

Filled my car at a Shell station today for a mere 99 cents per gallon. I’ll
let you convert that into pounds per litre. Just thought I’d taunt y’all a
little. Hey, nobody’s sent me any news. What do you expect?

Habershon of the Month

Monday, December 3rd, 2001

We have a Habershon of the Month! Stay tuned for the big
announcement. Meanwhile I’m accepting nominations for January.

I heard from Nick today for the first time in about four years.
That’s okay, Nick. I’m just as bad, and your baby sister certainly
makes up for you in the communications department. Anyway, check out his
page
for all his news. I’m slowly updating everyone’s pages and
plotting as to which Habershon will be embarrassed next.

Oh, and I also heard from Sarah (for the first time in ten
years). Her e-mail address is now posted and she’s promised to write
when she gets some free time. I presume you’re working for The
Guardian
, Sarah?

George Harrison

Saturday, December 1st, 2001

It’s rare that I shed a tear when a celebrity dies. I can only think of Princess Diana and Charles Schulz in the last few years. It happened again yesterday, though.

These days, if John gets up before me in the morning the first thing I say to him is “Did we catch him?”, and if I get up first, he’ll say to me, “Did we catch him?” Yesterday I was up first and reading the news on my laptop at the kitchen table. John wandered in a few minutes later. “Did we catch him?”, he asked. “No,” I said, “but George Harrison died.” And with that, I burst into tears. Such memories I have of the Beatles. What a major part of our lives they were. I always remember (brother) Paul being extremely pleased with himself because he bought their first single, “Love me Do,” which only went to number 15 in the charts. I wonder if you still have that, Paul? It must be quite valuable. Paul also brought the Sergeant Pepper album home first and I was mortified that Mum and Dad listened to it before I did. Mum was already raving about “When I’m 64” before I’d even heard it.

I also remember receiving a letter from (brother) Paul when he went to school in America. He wrote about how everyone thought he looked like George Harrison, and when he went to Las Vegas with some friends they made him walk down the street in front of them. Within a few minutes there was a whole crowd of people following him. Incidentally, Paul, that letter you wrote was the beginning of my determination to live in America one day, even though I’d never been here. Everything you wrote about, from the “rest rooms” on the Greyhound buses to the carpets on the pavements in Las Vegas had me mesmerized.Back to George Harrison. We knew his death was imminent, but how sad it was when we actually heard the news. I’m playing all my Beatles CDs today.

Catch who? Bin Laden, stupid.