After Mexico 16, 19th November

Sunday the van was playing up again, the check engine light was coming on again so I Monday I phoned Tim at Kahuna's he said he would look at it again and treat it as urgent but it seemed easier to arrange for the van to go in again on Tuesday. Which it did. When I picked it up it was running fine, better than ever before, and Tim didn't charge me enough for fixing it, he said I had already paid enough. Well, if you are in Longview TX and have any problem with your vehicle, Kahuna's is the place to go. I can't recommend them strongly enough. Honest people. Just ring 903-643-0778 and ask for Tim. I don't think there is anything at all wrong with the van now they fixed it all.

The following days are a sort of blur. Sunsets can be kind of nice outside Micki's workshop.

People came and went, I hung around, helping where I could, catching up on clearing files on the computer, generally finding it great to be in one place for a while, in a way having a sort of restful holiday after being on an active holiday. It's been so restful I haven't even finished tidying and cleaning the van although I did make the annual on my balloon so the paperwork is in order, should the weather clear up enough to fly. It's been raining or windy most of the time here in East Texas. It's still a surprise to me that it rains in Texas. Just as I write at 9 pm it is 73 degrees F (23 degrees C) in the workshop, with neither heating nor air conditioning needed.

Little Cat and Lucy, Micki's cat, are beginning to make friends. I think. This is Lucy.

Lucy is older than little cat and doesn't want to play so much so Little Cat chases Lucy everywhere. Every now and then she stops and bats him. Doesn't worry Little Cat, he's soon off chasing again.

But now I've noticed, sometimes Lucy chases Little Cat. I guess it's time he was put in his place.

Last Sunday I went to visit Caddo Lake, somewhat surrealistic with the trees covered in Spanish moss,

also the museum in Jefferson, and dined, as I had the night before, at a new $3.99 (£2.50) eat as much as you like pizza spot. Great pizzas. Free soft drinks, free coffee, free starters. I better get back fast before they put the prices up.

But it's now Thursday. And what have I done this week? Not a lot. You'll have to await next year for more exciting episodes of my travels. I've ordered a new battery for my computer. English company said best prices on the Internet, £149. I actually bought for £58. Whatever you do avoid Laptop Solutions Plc. of Edgebaston who wanted the £149 for the self same battery and who also told me I was a "thicky" because I could not find the price on their web site. As a judge said recently in the US when sentencing a spammer to jail for 7 years, when you’re marketing to the world, there are enough idiots out there.

I've decided to go visit my son Daniel and family in Cyprus for Christmas. Well he did invite me! Daniel works with the British High Commission over there in the visa section. So I am trying to tie in my return trip to Manchester with an onward flight to Cyprus. At a price I can afford. There's no problem finding flights at £600 ($1000). I want to see them but I'm not going to trade in my balloon for it.

Best regards

David Barker

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