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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!

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Geez!!!! It is ages since I was last on here and I see even my husband has updated today!!!!

Must comment on the “war”. Still no bombs of mass destruction! Yes, I know they where supposed to have been “looted”. Just a minute, who wants to run Iraq? Where is the UN? Time for Canada to take over, I think!!!!!!!

Yes, I am appreciative of the “free country” thing, just don’t think they went about the whole Iraqi thing the right way, and they are still not doing it right.

The immediate needs now are health and welfare. The oil should be used to fix up the hospitals and sort out the food situation so that proper nutrition and health checks can take place. I am thinking of the baby that was airlifted to Kuwait and will be on her way to the UK for a heart op. What about all the other Iraqi babies? I say take the help to the country, not the individuals to the help. Come on! Otherwise this regime is no better than the previous one.

On a lighter note, as Dave was saying, we just had a visit from Mike and Christina. It lasted nine nights and ten days and we did loads, as Dave has implied.

One of the highlights was a visit to Stonehenge, near Salisbury in Wiltshire. They have now made it a paying concern where you buy tickets and get a free audio guide (which is very useful) to wander around this strange, ancient group of stones. Actually, there is a path which must be followed so you cannot get too close to the stones any more.

I remember going there in the ’70’s when it was free and you could wander all over the stones. They stopped that because people where taking “souvenirs” (i.e. bits of the stones) and scrawling all over what was left.

The Audio Guide tells you all about what they think the stones where put there for (they’re even more ancient than the Druids, apparently), and all about stories connected with them. All in all, a very interesting visit. The rain and myst only added to the mystery surrounding this whole area. We all enjoyed it.

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It’s been months since I posted anything here, and I see that we are all flagging when I look at the others’ diaries. So here goes.

Christina was over here with Mike for 10 days just after Easter. We had a great time, though really hectic, as we tried to see all of England, including the Habberjam clan in Pontefract, in that 10 days. Actually it was great for me to be able to visit all the places that we went to. It’s been years since I managed to do any tourist things in the UK. Most memorable was probably the visit to the Tower of London, and the Ravens coming right up to us for “finger pie”, if you believe the Beefeaters. The weekend in Pontefract was great. Managed to do the pub crawl around the town centre with my folks, including starting off at the pub of my cousin who is the largest contributor to our clan at present (lots of boys too – just to keep the name going). We Canadians wimped out at about 1 AM and went home, but a couple of the family were out till 4:30 AM!!!

In summary, we visited Stonehenge, Salisbury, London, York and Windsor, plus other bits. No doubt the rest will tell more eventually. All in all “toute la gang” had a great time during the kids’ visit, I think.

I have had a lot of time off work over the last 3 weeks – what with Easter, then another public holiday 2 weeks later, and the days off with the visitors. Unfortunately, that’s put me a bit out of touch at work, so I now have to work my bu . . . . off to catch up. On the positive side though, I’ve built 2 sheds in my garden (garden tools and bikes) and finished off the shelves and everything in my garage-based workshops – feel good about that. I have also cut the grass twice in the last while, and it needs doing again now (when does it turn brown here?). The garden looks terrific though, and we appear to be still going through spring – it’s all the blossom trees that are giving us colour now. Stunning blooms all over the place.

I was supposed to be in Taiwan this week, but cancelled out at the last minute. Taiwan was upgraded re the SARS risk last week, to #3 hot spot in the world now. I was looking forward to going too, so I hope they solve this soon. I have been spending an increasing amount of time in Plymouth recently. That area is really nice at this time of year (as long as the sun stays out). I just wish it was good news as to why I am down there – but it’s not. My project there is in the dumper and doesn’t seem to be getting better. Still, they wouldn’t need me if all was fine?

Trish is getting busier with the Church, the Women’s Institute, and volunteer work. She also worked one day as a Poll something or other during recent local elections. That’s £100 in the bank, which will last her for years no doubt. I know the $3000 (or so) that she earned in 21 years in Canada certainly supplied her with lots of wardrobes over the years, and still left her with ” . . my own money . . “.

Ya gotta love it eh?

Well, gotta go now. Have to go out for dinner tonight, from work. It’s a lousy job, but someone’s gotta do it eh?

Byeeeee.