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More about Seattle…… On the Mon we all went over to cousin Andrew’s house to visit with him, it is a great old house which he has done up really nicely, we just hung out with everyone. Charlotte, very kindly, took us around to her place which is a converted church, it is spectacular inside, with an open plan living kitchen area, an upstairs open loft, which is her room mates bedroom, underneath this is another bedroom and bath. Charlotte uses the living area as her photo studio for now, she takes some wonderful shots, especially of babies and toddlers.

On Tues., early, Christina had to leave. I took her to the airport bus because traffic would have been bad for me to drive her. It was sad to see her go.

We then went off to Mount St. Helens. That was Awesome! I was compleatly fascinated by the whole place. You can drive quite far up to it and on the way stop for information. I was surprised how interested I was in it. I remember it erupting in 1980, but not too much about it. They have left a large area around the volcano to repair itself and so far it is making good progress, lots of wild flowers, some little trees and lots of animals, including elk, which are just begining to return. A very full and interesting day.

The we went to Victoria, B.C. More later.

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To Continue……..

We had a wonderful welcome when we got to Bernadette and Joseph’s house in Port Orchard. My cousins were already there: Therese, Eric, Bryan and of course Christine.

Because they had such a house full, mum and I stayed in the town of Port Orchard at a Holiday Inn Express. This was a great experience, we had a view from the veranda of the mountains and Sound. It was delightful to start everyday with this vista. The staff were great and made our stay very pleasant.

The weather the whole time we were there was lovely, mostly warm and sunny with the odd hummid day and hardly any rain.

Christina should have arrived on the Fri. eve. but couldn’t get a seat on the plane. She was flying with Air Canada and right now we are not too happy with that airline because of the way things were handled. C. arrived instead on Sat. eve., really cutting short her stay. However I was able to go pick her up all on my own (thought I was very clever getting there and back with no mishaps, including not getting lost!!!). It was great to see her again and we had a great time with her for the few days she stayed.

The dinner celebration was on the Sunday afternoon at a private room in Red Lobster restaurant. Including the family, there were about 30 people to help celebrate. It was a lovely meal and some great gifts including a beautiful photo album Therese had made of their 50 years together. It certainly made Joseph and Christina cry, if no one else! I met Darel, Andrew’s 17 yr. old son, a lovely boy, and also Charlotte, Andrew’s girlfriend, who is also a professional photographer and a really nice person.

We then went back to B. and J.’s house where Charlotte helped us take photos in the delightful garden. Some lovely memories were made that day, and I know everyone there enjoyed themselves.

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Mum and I arrived back from Seattle on 9th July and it has taken me until now to get sorted out.

Mum and dad arrived on 23rd June because we wanted to have some time for mum to rest before the 9hr flight to Seattle. Dad brought her down and we went around the area on Tues. Dad went back on the 26th, the same day as mum and I flew to Seattle. We had to get a taxi to Heathrow as Dave was busy in meetings all day.

Our flight was great, we had World Traveller Plus seats which meant more leg room, and when we checked in we were upgraded to business class! This was brilliant as they have these bed seats on British Airways, so comfortable! Also had wonderful service and food. We were spoilt for the journey out there! It was doubly appreciated because I had an hour and a half drive once we hit Seattle.

After keeping mum’s visit secret for months, I inadvertantly let it slip when I phoned Bernadette from the Airport and promptly informed her “Mum is in the toilet”. “She is?” Was the incredulus reply. *&%#$”$**, I thought and said something like “Shit”. So the secret was out. Didn’t stop us having fun though. More on this later.

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The hot hot summer is rolling on here, and all without air conditioning! It is getting to the point here where we are considering investing in something called the portable AC unit – sounds interesting, though I don’t think it’s the personal, backpack type yet? Shouldn’t complain though, as this appears to be likely one of the sunniest summers on record (our last experience like that here was in 1976, but I understand we missed a few of these while we were in Canada).

The girls all had a great time in Seattle (Christina, Trish and her mum) visiting the relatives for the 50th wedding anniversary. I was busy while they were away with a few jobs around the house. We now have an 8 x x 10 deck off the back of the house – needed for the Cdn patio set – and the Chandelier from Canada is finally hung in the living room. I usually have to undo things that I do while Trish is away, but this time I managed to perform OK, I think. Except of course “. . . . is that all you did . . ?”

It’s nice to have people in the house again though, I must admit that I was almost starting to miss the mem’sahib.

Work has continued to be overwhelming, with all the turmoil at Network Rail. We are still hoping to retain some of our business with them, but there are no guarantees in the current climate on the railways here. Workwise things will ease up a bit for the next couple of months now as the summer period is starting here, and everyone gets lots of time off, this being Europe. Once the summer is over we have about 4 months of work left on the UK projects and then we will need the new orders that the sales people are desperately trying to find. Ah well, I still have my big Taiwan contract and we have a new order in Romania just kicked off to keep me occupied. If that doesn’t do it I will have to help the sales force out eh?

I haven’t made much progress with the inside of the house since the early spring. It is amazing how much time the garden consumes. It is nice to be outside though, and the garden itself still never ceases to amaze. We are continuing to find things out there that are new to us, and of course, adding to it in our own way. We have a fabulous crop of sweet peas at present; all that we grew ourselves from seed (proud gardener talking). I finally managed to get the Hammocks (bought in Mexico when on hols from Canada) hung. The only thing now is to find time to lay in them.

Gotta go now – just had a few minutes before I buzz off to the airport for a trip to Greece to see my team out there.

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I got back from Seattle a couple of weekends ago. Yeesh, it’s already been two weeks? That went by really fast. Before I know it, I’m going to be back in school. I haven’t even done any relaxing yet, this summer!

The trip to Seattle (well, I suppose it was Manchester just outside of Seattle) was really nice. I got to see some family members I haven’t seen in years, and my great aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary party was so sweet to witness. I’m glad I got to go. Mum laughed at me as I had tears in my eyes when their daughter presented them with a carefully hand-crafted photo-album of their years together! Well, my great uncle was crying! So sweet 🙂

I got to see a little bit of the seaside, but it’s not much over there. Quite cool, but I found the weather beautiful because of that.

The only problem was with the travelling – Air Canada booted me off my Friday night flight (thus forcing something like an 8-hour travel time the next day, on me) and I (and AC) consequently lost track of my bag. So I haven’t seen it and it contains my favourite pair of jeans, not to mention other things I really want back! I hope they find it soon.

Other than that… I still find it hard to believe it is currently the middle of July. Where has time gone? This time last year, mom and I were hunting for a house (or maybe we’d found it, can’t quite recall). So strange…

I’m currently babysitting for my neighbours. It’s getting quite late and I’m exhausted, but it’s the woman’s birthday so I said to stay out as late as they want. And I’m young, I’m sure I can recover from the exhaustion by sleeping in late tomorrow 😉

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David’s visit:

We had a great time! He is a lovely kid, very loving and giving. He plays well on his own, too.

We had to go pick Gerard and Kay up from Heathrow on Tues. They stayed untill Fri and on Wed morning they took David swimming while I did a Pilates class. Gerard was impressed by David’s enthusiasm and energy. Gerard and Kay both swim and run a lot, to keep fit, and Gerard is into running in Marathons and Triathlons.

I took David to Lego Land on the Thurs and was suitably impressed. Although expensive, it is very well run and clean; the nearest I have seen, so far, to the Disney way of running things. Kerry Habberjam, Dave’s cousin, arrived in the evening so we had a party and a good time was had by all. We took David back up home on the Sun and met my sister near Birmingham, then we dropped Kerry off in Birmingham train station and came back home.

Since then, I have been cleaning and preparing for my trip to the USA for Bernadette and Joseph’s Golden wedding aniversary which takes place on July 4th. I am flying out on June 26th until July 8th. Will report back after the trip.

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I got through school all right! It’s over! Yay!!

Now I can enjoy my summer, and clean the house. I started by dusting yesterday! It was really gross. I have to do the upstairs next (computer room and my bedroom, oh and the bathroom shelves are thick with dust too).

I feel like I have a cold. No, it’s not SARS! I’ve had this for about a week, so if it was that I’d be seriously ill by now. I’m sneezing a lot and my nose is bothering me… wonder if it’s allergies? That would really suck. I’ve never really had allergies before.

Mike and I went to Ikea yesterday. There’s so many nice things there! I’d love to have an “Ikea home”. Hehehe 🙂

Oh yes, we had some Habberjams from New Zealand contact us! *waves hi to the NZ Habberjams!!* It’s so neat! I was wondering if other Habberjams would find this site and contact us through it 🙂 All so very exciting 🙂

Anyway, I must be off! I’ve got plenty to do, including finishing my trip log to England and posting photos, and re-designing the Habberjams website.

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Oops! Done it again. I guess I am busy!!!

That war again. Need I comment really? Where is Saddam’s body? Who is controlling the oil? Who is running Iraq? Who is helping the Iraqis? Enough said.

Much has happened since Christina’s visit. May in the garden was lovely. Although we had lots of rain, things really began to grow.

Dave enjoyed his birthday. I took him shopping because he forgot his worms when he went fishing. The next day he tried to go fishing but found out the fishing season here dosen’t begin until June 16th, which spoiled his birthday fun!

Our anniversay was spent at Bosworth Hall (a hotel, now) where we helped celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday. It was a lovely evening, getting together with lots of family (Dave’s), some we hadn’t seen in years. Beautiful setting near Bosworth Field – the site in, 1485, of the death of King Richard the III, putting an end to the Wars of the Roses.

Dave and I enjoyed our walk around the battle field. It is now mainly a field with an information area at one side. The Wars of the Roses, simply put, were fought between the counties of Lancashire (my county) and Yorkshire (Dave’s county), hence our interest! We had a peacful weekend!

After this weekend I went on to Mum and Dad’s to stay for a few days. It was a holiday w/e here in England. I helped finish off the stairs which mum had almost completed painting!!! Also helped look after my sister Bernadette’s zoo!!!! (My sister and family were away on a football camping trip to Holland for a week.) The animals were: a guinniepig; a hamster; a fish; and a dog called Lucky (a Jack Russel type, very lively, I took him for long walks and enjoyed it very much).

When Berndette and family returned, I brought David, the youngest member at eight, back to stay in Reading for a week as he had an extra week off school and Berndaette had to go back to work. More on this later.

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Things are going quite well at work. Have more and more to do as time goes on (a good thing!). I’m taking a summer school class (Information Design 1) so I’ll have to take less next year… it’s almost over, too, and summer’s barely begun! That’s also a good thing…

I like this course, it’s good because we only have one project (that’s because it’s only 6 weeks long) so everything we do goes into that project, and we can’t really procrastinate too much. I can’t really take more than 1 at a time though, because I have to work. I was considering taking 2 summer school classes next summer (one each “semester” – semester 1 is May-June, and semester 2 is July-August. Sounds like a joke, eh?) but I really need some time off… to just relax and NOT have to worry about homework. I’m so glad I’ve got July-August for that this year (and the last half of June, since I don’t have any exams)!

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Sorry for the downtime over the weekend! The server that hosts this website was having some problems with my account. It’s all fixed up again now though, so read and comment away!