I want to start my last email from America to you all with a quote from an email that a friend of mine sent me. I am not mentioning names but it is the nicest thing that anyone has said to me in a long time and I wanted to share it with you.
“You are one of the most thoughtful people I know and I sincerely feel honoured to be included in your list of friends.”
You know who you are, it meant a lot, thank you.
I did manage to meet up with Leah while I was in San Francisco on the last night that we were there when we went to a German restaurant with Alesha and Scott too. It was so lovely to see her and we gossiped all night. It is such a pity that we couldn’t have spent more time together but she wanted all the time left that she was with her boyfriend which is fair enough. When she goes to Spain in October for a few months to learn Spanish and Flamenco dancing she is going to try and make it over to the UK and visit and so that should be pretty cool.
Now onto what I have been up to whilst here in the hills north east of Sacramento. We have been staying with Chloe’s grandparents, Pops and Patricia in a small town called Placerville, also known as ‘Hangman’s Town’. Of course Chloe neglected to tell us that until we saw it on the signs! It was a place where in the 19th century and before they used to hang people. There is now a bar over the exact spot and amusingly they have a dummy hanging, quite literally, outside on the wall with a nose around its neck!
The first day that we got here we went out to a Mexican restaurant. Kev has been dying to go for a Mexican as long as we can remember and so Chloe and I relented and went. It wasn’t too bad but I had little choice as everything has peppers in it and I didn’t fancy another night like in Asuncion sitting by the loo all evening waiting to chuck. I had some nachos that didn’t have peppers on them. They weren’t that bad.
We went to Lake Taho which is on the borders of the states of Nevada and California and we saw it from both sides and from a high point called Mount Rose which is 8,000 ft high. Even from there the water was amazingly clear. We went and saw a bay called Emerald Bay which was simply stunning. The waster was, as I am sure you can all work out from the name, the colour of emeralds. It was quite extraordinary and simply beautiful.
I thankfully managed to get out of going to church with Pops and Patricia as I could see that I would have got a serious case of the giggles as it is all electric guitars, dancing, backing singers and flashing disco lights. Not my scene at all I am afraid. I felt that I should have gone because of all of the tragedies of the previous weeks but I am ashamed to say that I didn’t.
On Monday we went to a place called Grass Valley where Pops used to live when he was married to Chloe’s grandmother and we went to visit the grave and it was really freaky as Pops name was on the grave too, waiting for the date that he dies to be filled in. I felt a shudder go down my spine when I saw that. We looked at all of the old places that he went to school and lived throughout his life and so on and so forth. It was more a trip down memory lance for Chloe and him but I found it fascinating. It is very weird to think that he is only 5 years older than my own father. We then went shooting in a place called the Greenhorn. It is usually a river but it is pretty much dried up and it is a mere trickle at the moment. Don’t worry readers, we were shooting at targets and I have to say I was really quite pleased with myself – I managed to hit the targets on several occasions. I shot a 22 calibre rifle and a 25 calibre pistol that was beautiful. I didn’t use the others that Pops had as I was too scared by the loud bang for starters and also by the kick back. One of the guns which was an M1 was used in WWII. That was fascinating, as the night before we had watched Saving Private Ryan which I had never seen before. They were using those guns in there and after I saw the difficulty that Chloe had in shooting it and it made me realise just how difficult it is to run and shoot at the same time. Pops was telling us all about when he used them in WWII when he was posted in Japan. It was also fascinating hearing about all his experiences during the war whilst we were watching the film.
Kev left last Wednesday and Chloe cooked a delicious supper the night before he left to bid him adieu. We were even joined by three buck at one point that were not more than 15 ft away. Quite amazing.
On Thursday it was Pop’s 75th birthday and we had a surprise party for him which went down really well and he had no idea. If he did have an idea he hid it pretty well! There were all of Patricia’s sisters and some other friends form the church and Alesha made it up from San Francisco. It was a really special day for him and he really seemed to enjoy it. The presents that he got do leave a little to be desired. One was a leopard print thong and there was talk at one point that he should model it for us or maybe just for Patricia, she was not best pleased with that idea I have to say. The look on her face was highly amusing!
Yesterday we went to a place called Apple Hill, Chloe’s heaven I have to say! I wasn’t particularly enthralled with the idea of looking at lots of apple orchards, in my book, once you have seen one, you have seen them all!! Anyway, we managed to divert after seeing one and Chloe buying 20, that’s apples not boxes! We headed towards a vineyard, more my cup of tea! We had a good hour of tasting and had a ball and even came away with a couple of bottles, 2 of which I plan to take home. Someone pointed out that they might not let me take glass on to the plane as hand luggage. ‘Oh no!’ I said well I will have to tell the people at check in that I am not leaving them behind and that I would sit there and drink them. Now that would make the flight a lot more comfortable, it would certainly calm the nerves!!
We went to the cinema last night which was hilarious. We saw a film called Rat Race which is a comedy about a race for the people to get the money that an owner of on of the casino’s in Las Vegas had hidden. I am not going to tell you any more. I doubt that it is out over there yet but I highly recommend that you all go and se it. I laughed my head off. Chloe was telling me to shut up as I was laughing so loudly at one point and no doubt embarrassing her senseless!
No it is back to Sunday again and thank the lord (no pun intended) I managed to get out of church this morning. Chelle, Chloe’s Mum brought Scott’s computer around this arvo and we have been typing away all afternoon. I can’t believe that this is it. The end, no more group emails. Back to life in the UK. Do I really want to go back? Yes and no is the answer. I am so used to life on the road and living out of a suitcase it will be quite weird to have all of my stuff in the cupboard at No 55. I bet though it will take me about a week to unpack it all!! I have got double the amount of clothes that I came out with and I have an extra bag. I am going to miss not moving on to another town every other day, we have all sorts of things going on here the whole time that I think that I will be really bored back at No 55.
What in hells name am I going to do without Chloe? For god’s sake I have been sharing a bed with the girl for the past 3 weeks. I will be glad to have covers though that she doesn’t nick in the night and I bet that she will be glad to be rid of my tossing and turning all night. It’s going to be real strange without her. 24 hours a day pretty much I have been with her and now I am leaving her in the capable (?) hands of Ross when she arrives in Japan.
As for the title, well, my beloved Reeboks that have lasted me well, I have worn them pretty much every day since I have been here, got pretty busted yesterday when Chloe caught the back of the them and the sole ripped. That solves the problem of whether I am going to take them back or not then!! Bye bye my beloved NON SMELLY Reeboks.
I am off shopping tomorrow for a final few things, I can’t fit that much more in the bag and I certainly don’t have the strength to carry it all! On Tuesday we are taking the car back. No nasty incidents although I did nearly loose the keys on Friday. I was clearing out the car as the tins of palm hearts were smelling really bad. I had the car key on my little finger and was filling up a plastic bag and chucked it in the bin by the supermarket trying to be good by tidying up. The keys must have gone in there too without my realising until I got to the checkout and looked for them. The trash can had been emptied and so I had to get the manager to look in “Jaws” the trash shute at the back of the store. Luckily they were found but my word it was a tense moment!
I am going to stay with Chloe’s cousin Alesha the night before I go as Chloe and her Mum and Scott are staying in a hotel near San Hose airport where Chloe is leaving from.
So that’s my movements. When I get home I am at my parents till Sunday morning when I am driving back to Bath for my final year. Their number is 01672563420 as my mobile won’t be working for a couple of days as it is cut off at the moment and I need to get it reconnected. Try that too though guys if you want to get a hold of me. 07866588679. Bath no 01225471575.
Friends, as pretty much all of you know the birthday is soon and so another party plan is in the making. I think that it is on a Saturday this year and I think that we will probably be painting the town pink, or what ever colour you please. All those who live further away, if you are planning on joining in the madness then let me know. There is plenty of floor space after the spare bed, the Z bed and my bed. As those who came last year will know, it is always a hoot. Ill probably do supper at mine first. Anyway keep the weekend free is the main message. (1st December for those of you those have not got it tattooed on your brain!)
Loads of love and hugs and so on and so forth. Kind of excited to speak to you and see you all again. Last email will come from No 55 once I am settled in on Sunday.
******* HERE COME THE PERSONAL BITS!********
Neddy – Yes I am going to be at home. I hope that the party goes well. I am sorry that I am not going to be there and to keep things moving and amusing! Looking forward to seeing you honeeyyyyyyyyy. Rock on Milton Lilbourne!
Mrs Mackintosh – I have got the girls little presents from over here. I thought that it would be nice if I sent them to them. Getting parcels at school is always a real excitement! Please could you send me their addresses, thank you!
Hugo – going to get the hat tomorrow, I hope that I get the right one
Farts – WESTLIFE oh my god, count me in yes, yes, yes, please, please, please!!!!!! Why did you even bother to ask me, you should have just got me one and then told me!
Kev – Hope that the bible is coming in use and that you aren’t missing our company too much. Have you caught up with Alehsa? She has your T-shirt and pen knife. I decided not to send the smelly socks with her, I think that Pops is going to make use of them! I found the Chilli Peppers CD in the car and so I will record it and send it to you on my return. Quite lucky really!
Jap – Si – are you alive?
Rowena – date for the party in London looks cool. I am not quite sure that I will bring who you recommended. He has little time for me and so I am sure that he would not spare time from his “busy schedule”
Em – I sent you a text. I am not registering this week; I am not back in time. I am going to have to pay a ridiculous £25. Please collect my timetable and so on and anything else I might need or forms I need to fill in. Check to see if SHE is there, I am not in your group if she is. Could you see if you can get my results, I want to know how my retake went? Please let me have passed! Call Mum and Dad and leave your number there.
Sam – that’s not so bad then
Andy – Yes I am still over here!
Ile – Pause woman – Don’t stress I am back in 4 days and then I will be on the phone to sort your life out. Chill woman and love to Aneta.
Erica – you will have moved onto campus today. I hope that you are settling in well. Tell me where you are and I will come and visit when I am back on campus.
Uncle John – I am worried about you, that is why I got Mum and Dad to tell you to email me.
Roy – thank you for all the photos. They look really cool.
James – hey honey, it looks like you are having a really cool time out there and are meeting loads of new people. Just don’t forget us!!! Look forward to hearing the next update.
Ed – looking forward to you coming to stay soon. Mum is getting the photos done and so I will send them to you when I get home.
Audrey – have a good time with Nannie, I wish that I was with you all, it would be such good fun but quite strange for Nannie I guess! I’ll call you soon I promise. Love to everyone.
Bob a job – Showed quite a few people the poetic genius that you wrote, they were impressed, I am not sure whether it was because it was so good or so bad!! Only kidding hun.
Bob’s Poem / Rhyme!
There were three travellers to San Francisco
As Bob and Si left, they said – “Don’t go!”
Their pain was clearly quite mighty,
But Bob and Si just had to go back to Blighty.
The first is something we all do know,
And that is that Kev’s a Gypsy – Barlow.
For sure we all know that Jap-Si too,
With all those steaks his stomach grew!
Throughout the girls were on a high
While Bob was just …………. Well aye!!!
Now it’s all over you’re like our sisters and brother
But the one we all know best is Kev’s mother
So once again I’ll say bye bye,
But don’t start again, please …… don’t cry!!
Mum, Dad and Huge – can’t wait to see you guys, Huge are you going to be there when I get home or will you be in Bristol? I hope that you will be at home so that I can see you. I love you and have missed you all. See you on Thursday at the airport. Can you remember what I look like???!!!