Travel Page by Planet Ranger
Free Travel Web Page at
Home search About Advice

Travel Page

My big adventure...

Welcome to my travel page. Here is my record of where, when, what and how, the sunshine and the rain (second one highly unlikely!). Please leave a message for me, and if i have a spare minute in between all the excitement and discovery, i'll reply!!

Diary Entries

Monday, 23 January 2006

Location: San Francisco, USA

Ok, so before i was rudely interupted by the computer cutting me off...Oooh, and this is my final letter to you all but keep an eye out as more pictures will be loaded on in the next few days...So,

If you have the chance to explore, go, whether in your own country, the closest to you, or the furthest you can possibly go on any amount given that you have. Take the time to see other countries, meet new people and find whoever you may be. Ok, that Aussie bloke didn't transpire (did say 8 weeks was pushing it) but i have met so many people, so many situations, from many countries. Some working, some holidays, some also trying to find if there's anything better out there.

I can't say if it's better out here in the world or not, thats a personal choice, but i can say it's full of difference and possibilities, if you look.

So, what am i going off to do...No idea...i'm going back to my family, to my friends, to my work, then who knows, only one person can tell you that, and as he's not told me yet, he sure as hell ain't telling you!!

Sunday, 22 January 2006

Location: San Francisco, USA

Oh tis a sad and awful moment in the history of me. Today, will be my very nearly last entry into this diary as you know it. From tomorrow my flight returneth me to the land of the rose. The land of the wind, rain and fleeting snow, and deadly chill factors (Mum, bring my coat to the airport...)....

BUT, we shall not dwell on this factor that the end is cometh to an amazing trip. Instead i shall tell you more...

The story beginith yesterday with Alcatraz...I walked (oh what a mistaka to maka) it wasn't so bad, took about 30 mins, unfortunatly one part was up one of the cities very large hills, why didn't i take the tram? Anyhow, after the scenic views (through the mist and drizzle) i arrived at pier 41 where i collected my ticket for the 11.15 boat ride over. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the island, so quite speedy, by that time you've taken lots of piccies, had a snack (no eating allowed on The Rock) and listened to them garbble on about the federal law infringements, yarda yarda.

So, once your on a blokie tells you what you can and can't do (again) and then the different ways to see everything - ranger tour, wander on your own and listen to an audio or just walk. Jess had told me to do the audio so, got a guide map and walked up another hill (equivelant to a 13 story building apparently) to the top where you get your audio. Then you strat your tour in the cell area. Its actually very interesting, hearing true accounts from the wardens and inmates. Seeing the cells, the dining halls (they had tear gas permanantly on the walls) the gun gallery, how people escaped, AlCapones cell, Bird Mans cell (4 years on solitary) and the better cells cause you could hear the outside world. Really good, sometimes confusing but thats possibly just me! So after that i walked outside and around the bottom, then to the recreational area, and down to the power station area. By this time the weather was clearing - thanks Jess though about the warm clothing, glad i took me wooly hat! - so the sun was coming out, Golden Gate was there but still looked muggy! Well worth a look is this place, unfortunatly due to money i would think alot of its closed off, but you get to see the main areas, very interesting - Dad, bought you a book - resisted the Jigsaw though you'll be happy to know! And for only $16.50, a bargain trip too! Once your there you can stay as long as you want, stayed a couple of hours.
After getting to the pier i headed to Pier 39 which has lots of funky little shops on it, busy being a saturday, oh, and seals. Thay go sit on the pier, well, on floaty things off the pier, but you can go see them, 3 were play fighting throwing each other in the sea!
Then headed to Lombard street for a view - up more very steep hills (the legs hurt!) this is the crookidest street in the world, very picturesque. Then i walked back to the hostel from there (12) bloks and chilled, well, collapsed...

And today, today i walked some more miles through Washington Street which has lots of picturesque houses on down to a square, tehn to Union Street. This used to be the hippie area, its full of coffee shops, people outside having brunch (Jess, thoughts of you) and funky little shops. So walked down there, then went down to the Marina area and walked toward the bridge. Beautifull sunny, warm winter day, fleece 1 came off, very nearly 2, but it was lovely walking theer. People walking, running, cycling, running with pushchairs, walking/running with dogs, dogs in sea off beach, families. Gorgoues place to be strolling. So, did a walk, photos of bridge, legs hurt, couldn't be bothered to go closer - its a bridge for heavens sake!
So headed back to Pier 39 direction. Took about 45 mins to get to Hyde street and the tram to Powell and Market. But a really peacefull walk along the water, through Fort Mason park just listening to people. All told was walking for about three and a half hours. So bought my ticket for the tram $5 one way, and did my tram ride hanging on the back and the side. Quite good fun really passing all the traffic, and not having to use your legs up the hills... Got to Market street and went to Maceys to get my cheaper makeup - fab thing about America, they make all of it, so here it's cheaper! So, got that then headed up to the 8th floor which houses the Cheescake Factory...When in get a table it was a 25-40 minute wait (yeah right) they do take out...So, i had (forget the name) but basically it was a chocolate base (surprise surprise) with a chocolate cheescake, then a thick cream layer, then a chocolatey fudge top, with cream on the side...So i sat in union square in the sun and ate my cheesecake! What a good way to end a fab day?

After my cheesecake i went and bought a book - Yes thats correct, in 10 weeks i have read 2 books, and when the Da Vinci Code comes out on film, i can actually comment on whether its like the book or not!! Ooh, darn good read i have to say! So bought another of his books for the plane. Had another squiz around the shops, then wandered back to my humble abode. The dutch girl left this morning thats been there the last 2 nights, she's going on a 3 week tour of some American cities, nice girl. The older lady ;eft too - hopefully may get some sleep tonight (snored).

So, thats about me done. Tomorrow i'm going to Golden Gate Prak and Height Street i think, then at 3.35pm i get picked up for the shuttle to the Airport.

I have had an amazing 10 weeks. Not just seeing and doing so much, but the people i have met, talked to, travelled with. Ok, so i don't know where or what, but i have found me. Can't wait to get home and start the clear out - charity shops here i come!
I think i've grown up. Found me and my style that i'm happy with. Haywards Heath here i come...right back where i strated from...but not staying...

So if you can travel, explo

Friday, 20 January 2006

Location: San Francisco, USA

Would say g'day mate but wrong country...

Today was my first day in the city. The hostel isn't badly located, nice dorm, no laundry though (got lots mum for Tuesday so hold the washing machine for me that day!!)
Left just before 10 and headed up a couple of blocks and then across a few more to reach Alamo Park, this is where the stretch of about 6 houses are that are always featured in films and tv. The brightly coloured ones you see in front of the park. While walking there passed lots of gorgeous places, lots of photos of houses, then, well, bit of a lte down really. I'm sure they look better late afternoon when the sun hits them, but, rather small, the park isn't sprawling grass, lots of concrete. Pretty, but not OTT.

So from there i wandered down Fullerton Street, more gorgeous residencies, such gorgeous houses - my type! Then to Market street - and shopping. Today was shopping day, Yep, stocked up on Abercrombie - got sale items! Then H&M for a couple of funky things and chocolates - nice american chocolate - nearly had a heart attack - not because of the chocolate, but because it was nice! Wandered round Macey's, nothing majorly exciting (not worth buying anyhow) Bloomingdales is still being built (darn, bank says good) then to the SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. NOT IMPRESSED. They had a couple of good displays, one on the 1906 earthquake in photography and one for Chuck Close - amazing work, but, what should have been the piece de resistance, the normal photographic collection of your stieglits etc, CLOSED! Closed! How can they close a whole area to redo it, redo bits, not the whole permanent collection at once! Americans, no logic at all!

Anyway, had a meal in the cafe, bought the normal postcards and wandered back through Union Square and home. Dodgy neighbourhood is Elllis street, thankfully it wasn't dark, just dusk, but lots of gangs, and the bloke dropping his knife in the street earlier didn't help! (Mum don't worry, fine, won't stay late again, knives are everywhere, they just don't all drop them in front of your clear view! Sensible is me remember) So, quick walk. Then i find they've taken my bed apart and moved all my stuff cause i apperently slept in bed 2 not 1! As i say, no logic, no commonsense, i mean, if you have 2 beds to make, 3 slept in, 1 with stuff in/on, whether the number is right or not, commonsense should say that the person staying is in the wrong bed, but no matter, tell reception, they can tell the person off for staying in the wrong numbered bed. NO. They take it apart, throw your stuff on the floor, then leave the bed you should be in with no sheets or towel!

Well. Re-made and sorted. Shopping stowed. Tired. Off to Alcatraz tomorrow - should be fun! Then wander round the pier.

So, different from Fiji etc, different to NY, but liking San Francisco, nice city. Part from the knife situation...(Don't tell nan...)

Friday, 20 January 2006

Location: Nadi, Fiji

Hello again - you can tell i have internet access!!

Day 2, hard act to follow! Anyway, after i had the boat cruise and got back to the hotel i went to the tour office - Rosie tours - and booked a 1 day arts village tour and a half day vuda lookout which i got half price - whoohoo! Must say, don't know her name, but the lady in the Mocambo on the Rosie tour desk was lovely, helped me pick the best thing to do in such a short space of time and was so lovely. Had a hug when i left - fab lady! Recomend the tour company completely.

So, arts village. Started out at 7.30am on a bus trip down to the Pacific Harbour which is about 2.5 hours away down the coral coast. Saw some stunning scenary, rolling hills, clear seas, goats, cows (with the bird on top!) Simon/Sia/Fijian name can't spell was a fab guide. We collected people from around Nadi and then the Coast hotels - i am so staying in Warwick Fiji next time, 2 5* hotels owned by 1 chinese lady, looks gorgeous (that'll be the honeymoon then) and once we had the people we carried on to the Harbour, Simon entertained us all the way, gave us the history of the Fijians, the poverty they still face - which is the wrong thing about the island, the hotels next to the tin homes of the people being paid $2 an hour ($3 = about 98p), but, they are happy to be helping you, being a tour person, working for the hotel, and its fab how their traditions have not died and the land isn't a concrete jungle. But i suppose thats the modern world.

Anyway, he was agreat guide. We got to the village about 10.30 ready for a 11.00 start. Some of us were dropped here for the day while the bus went onto Suva the capital for another tour.
So, at 11.00 we were serenaded (we had them all day which was slightly strange, annoying, bizarre, nice) into the theatre (outside) for the show and firewalking. The day was all about the Fijian custom, from hairdressing - different styles denote the rank you are in the tribe - flowers, left ear is single, right ear is married, left ear with plait is single and virgin - this poor girl, whether the plait was real or not (she was young) the whole world must know she's 'pure' as they say! White loin cloths, the longer at the back the higher the warrior, same with the bone/shell necklaces, they danced and sang traditional songs. Very interesting.

Then came the firewalkers. Now, before Christianity became the religion of Fiji bought in by missionaries, they were cannabals and worshipped various gods. So, many years ago a warrior met a God and they had a conversation (my version not quite worded correctly!) and basically the God granted him and his decendants the ability not to be harmed by fire. So, they walk on it...
It still happens, only the men from the island of Bangor can walk on hot stone and not be burnt, they must abstain from coconuts(!) and women for a whole 2 weeks else they will burn. Basically they went through the whole ritual with their priest getting the fire prepared, bringing the wood, the leafs that cpontained the elves in which carry the men over the stones (while the area is prepared the men are all entranced to this God, even though their religion is Christain, this is how the ritual is performed still - else they burn!) and off they went, one at a time over the stones. All were fine, none damaged while entertaining the tourists!

We then had lunch - i sat with an Aussie lady and her 2 boys, and we then had a river boat cruise around the village learning about their trades, how they craft their tools, pots, canoes, food, fish, the fighting tools - in which to kill or beat your wife to death - and how they use coconuts for everything! and then onto a tour of the Chiefs house and the Temple. Men were sacrificed at every turn in order to please the Gods, again thankfully due to Christainaity, no longer happens! And neither does the wife beating! The chiefs use to have up to a hundred wives, they owned everything in that tribe including the women, although they only had one wife. The others were maids, who liked to keep him amused...

We then had a demonstration of opening coconuts, tried some (not convinced) and had a hat made of leaf - which i have, they let me in America with it! Hurrah!! Although, don't think it will make it home as it's now begginning to turn brown at the edges!!
So, we left there at 4 heading back to our hotels. This time Simon sang some Fijian songs - evry Fijian can play and sing, bizarre!

Really good day, put lots into perpsective and gave a real insight into the culture of the people.

Okay, last day in Fiji and i did a half day tour of the Orchid gardens - really lovely, very pretty, underneath the valley of the sleeping giant - yes you really can see a sleeping giant! We only had about 20 mins which really wasn't long enough. We then went to the first village that the people landed on when they arrived here. They don't know where Fijians came from, they call them Polynesian-Melanysians, but this place (sorry name eludes me, begins with a V) is still a village made up of 5 tribes - Chiefs, Chief Makers, Warriors, Carpenters and Fishers. They each have their own drum - telephone - that they communicate with, to say whats going on, and it goes right through the village, one starts, the next follows and so on so everyone knows. They each have their own cemetary for the heads of the tribes - the 'commoners' have one cemetary down the end of the village, the Chief still has a traditional bure which is rethatched every 5-7 years. They have a massive church, the lady who took us round explained religion is so important to them, hence why the church is so big and well looked after - the houses are tin or brick. Their is a memorial to the missionaries outside the church commemorating them bringing Christianity to the Island. And, the people live traditionally. That sthe great thing about Fiji and you can see the comparison from yesterday, they live as they have been taught. No intrusion, but then no money?

Anyway, the lady was fab - more stalls, more shells!! We then went to Vuda lookout which looks over the village, Port Denaraeu and the mountains.

I am now here in San Francisco. One thing about Fiji - i have around 15 mosquito bites that itch like hell. Noty amused!! Time out!!

Previous Diary Entries

Choose a date from the menu below to view older diary entries in a new window.

Photos - Click Below

Leave a Message


Email (optional):


Travelling Soon?

Get Your own Planet Ranger Travel Page. Click Here

Recent Messages

From natalie
P.S No bungee jump i am very disapointed!

I dont think i would dare either.
Response: No way am i plummenting towards the ground at high velocity...its not natural, we don't have wings, we can't fly, so don't try! XX
From natalie
Nz sounds amazing just reading about it makes me want to go, i cant wait to hear the next instalment from Fiji.
It just sounds like you have had the most amazing trip ever, i want to go now.
Well i suppose i had better get on with some work it is half nine and i started half an hour ago.
Take care Love nats
Response: Then go, save the money and go!! (How responsible of me)
From Gem
sounding all very wonderful out there. No news just thought I'd say hi incase the sun had gone to your head and you had forgoten about us over here!

Gem xxx
Response: The sun would never go to my head...unless i got sunstroke then i would be horizontal on the floor in a comotozed state...then i suppose i would forget you...unless i dreamt of you...!xx
From sara
hey im bqck. couldnt resist checking on your progress writing odd qs on q french keyboqrd very confusing. hqving qn ok time no broken bones yet. hated first ay but bit better now. snow and windy here so not skiing todqy have taken your advice and booked a massage will go for hot choc too
see you when you get home where has the time gone
Response: Massgae then hot chocolate? Thouht you should be heallthy after a massage? Ah ok, just don't have the chocolate on top of the cream...
From Allie
Hey Nat,

Glad to hear that you seem to be having a really fab time, really makes me want to go away. Think you are very brave driving in a foreign country....though do they drive on the same side of the road as us?

Have a fab time in many ppl can say they are going there tomorrow?

Take care hon

Love Allie x x
Response: Same side of the road, only reason why i did it! My left hand is rubbish so would have failed miserably otherwise! xx
From Jess
Hey lovely!! This site is great - I am indeed the most useless being alive that it has taken me this long to log on! So thrilled you are having what sounds like an amazing time. Can't wait to hear these stories in person. xxxxxx
Response: Ooohh and the 50 millon photos...Remember, quiz at the end...XX
From Sara
Sounds like you've been converted from an Australia lover to an NZ lover??
Of course I think is fantastic! I knew you'd love it, every sight is a photographers paradise!
Enjoy your last week. I'm heading to France ski-ing tomorrow so won't be able to read up on your adventures till I get back. (think of me in the freezing cold trying not to break bones!) Enjoy Auckland!!
Can't wait to see you and every single photo that you took!!
Response: Leaving me! You can't do that... See you soon..
From Ann at work
Ben has gone to Guatamala,
via New York -are you near there?
Response: No. Fiji monday then San Francisco. Hope alls well.
From Liz
Hi Nat, happy new year! I've been reading all your entries at work in between my databases and spreadsheets! My jealousy has turned into massive pangs and itchy feet. Loving your style of entries, makes me smile! The church girls all miss you too. lots of love, Liz xx
Response: Happy new year to you too. I'm glad my pages lighten the day between the joys of spreadsheets! Ah, New Zealand though, and i've only been here 3 days!! Keep reading! Take care
Nat x
ps start saving!!
From gem
your chocolate intake makes me laugh!
gem xxx
Response: Oh good, glad someone else gets pleasure out of me eating copius amounts of the stuff!
From Naomi
Hey Nat! Sounds like you're having a fab time, becoming a bit of a wine connouierser (spelt wrong!)?! Can't wait to read about NZ, all the memories will come come flooding back.... Better get back to work now, not that I've got anything to do!
Happy New Year!
Love Naomi x
Response: Yeah, wouldn't quiute go that far...Don't worry, i have it in my diary to check for the chocolate pepermint stuff or whatever it was, an even bigger reminder for you - if i can find it!!
From Auntie Babs
Hi Nat,
Have enjoyed reading your diary - see you've got plans for me when you return - praps I'll teach you to sew!!!
You're obviously having a great time, glad it's so good. Ben and Emma and your Ma were here yesterday - good to see them all. Continue to have a great time and go carefully. Much love, A. Babs and U. Bob
Response: Hi
I can sew! Just not very well, buttons are about it, and just don't look at the back of anything! Yep, loving my time here, New Zealand is fabulous, all fabulous, don't want to come home!
From Lis
Hi Nat

Have just spent the last 1 and 1/2 hours reading your travel diary, whilst I should have been working my socks off, but cannot really get into the whole worky thing right now... Very interesting - me and 3 girlfriends are flying to Sydney on 11th Feb for a 2 week hol, we plan on sydney, bryon bay, brisbane - were thinking of a trip to Fraser Island to but Moreton sounds a betta bet, especially if we can get there from Brisbane!... any tips most welcome... Glad you seem to be having a most fabbie time tho... look forward to reading more about your travels... betta get on and do some work now... lazy bones I am!... Its freezing here, so make the most of the sun I say!...
take care
lotsa love
Response: Hey, if you only have 2 weeks i'd plan it carefully. Everything sounds good and you know its big, but then you find out distances - from Brisbane Fraser is a 5 hour journey away, you have to decide how much travel you're prepared to do. And i think its better to see what you want, instead of everything just so yuo can say you've been there. I decided that, lets face it, Australia's not going anywhere! Hope alls good. Nat x
From Gemma
Hello Nat,
Happy new year! Sorry for not getting in touch over christmas it was fairly busy! Your pressies arrived christmas eve, very will timed! I opened mine when I got back form my parents on Christmas day. Absolutly fab, though I think the tea towel might go on the wall rather than dry the dishes. Couldn't believe it when I opened the earringts though. My mum's friend went ont to australia a couple of years ago and brought me back a flat pack plastic handbag. She said they used all the left over plastic to make jewellery. Low and behold the earrings you bought only match exactly!!! How cool! Danny came back from Newcaslte with me on 29th, and so we had a second christmas day then. He opened his pressie and loves it. It went sraight on the wall in the living room! Sorry about the missing ingreadient in your pressie, if I had realised I would have sent it too. Your proper pressie will be waiting on your return for you second christmas.
Still all sounds wonderful. Love the pictures.

Be in touch again soon,
Best wishes for 2006
Gem and Danny xxxxx
I'm surprised they got there that quick. Glad you liked them - as soon as i saw the earings new they were you!! Tea towel on wall sounds a fab idea, thought they were great, wish i had endless money then i'd buy everyone one - including me! Glad you had a good Christmas - the globe will be made with the corn syrup when i arrive home for my second Christmas, although by the sounds of it i may not need the fake snow! Have you had lots? Is your mobile number the same?
Take care
Nat x
From Sara
Your photos of Uluru are amazing! Bought back good memories. Do you know when I went it rained and they said only 1% of visitors get rain whilst their there so you should feel "lucky" to see it in the rain!
I'm now wondering if this is just a line they use to make you feel better or if you and I are just in the "lucky" 1% ?!?!?
Love as ever.x.
Response: 1% most definately! We ARE the lucky ones.... xx
From Ann Lewis
Thank you so much for your 2nd card received this morning. It sounds like you are having a great time - why come home?
Your Mum gave me this address so hence the message.
Have a really great and Happy Christmasa day and it is just good to know that our God of love reaches down to bless you over there and also those of us who are this side. What a great God we have. Love came down at Christmas!
Lots of love to you. Ann xx
Response: Thanks. Its been hard though sometimes, but great fun. And come back? Yep, exactly, why?!
From Sara
Hi dear lovely Nat!
Thinking of you. Have a fantastic Christmas. Enjoy the sunshine.
Lots of Love.x.x
(i'm getting excited now!!)
Response: Thanks, thinking of you and everyone too. x
(in the cold)
From Everyone in Listing
Dear Nat,
It's now 9.30am on Friday 23rd December and us poor suckers left in the office are winding down for Christmas. Good things are collecting in the kitchen and we anticipate lunch being very different from last year!!!
Wherever you will be, have a really great Christmas - we are counting the days for your information, we make it 38!!)
Love from us all,
Pat, Sally, Karen, Sophie, Anne, Hils, Christine (although you haven't met her yet), Christina, Carol and Anna
Response: Thanks all - you all have a great one too - see you too soon!! x
From Sarah
Hi Nat
Been reading ypour entries ...sound's like u r having 1 great grand big adventure come and see us when u get back.....If you come
love Sarah and the KIds

ps happy XMAS and NEW year xxx
Response: Hey. I've only just realised which sarah you are!! Dope!! Thanks, hope you had a good Christmas and have a great New Year too.
From Gem
Phew... all those early mornings! I'm knackered just reading about them. Though I guess staying in bed in that heat is quite difficult.
Brrrrr....wish I could say the same. xxx
Response: When you have a fan and the windows are made of mesh - you could quite happily sleep a hec of a lot longer!!
From Jan
Hi Nat,
Bumped into yr dad at sains this morning and he gave me yr web address. I'm so envious!!! What a fantastic time you are having. You are not missing a thing here, the town of haywards heath looks as festive as it always does at this time of year (lol). I hope you will be bringing masses of pics back - would love to see them. Take care and enjoy the rest of your fabulous adventure. Have a great Xmas! See you soon. xx
Response: Masses of pics yes. Filled 5 512 cards already, and i'm still in Australia!! Will bring them round when i return, at some point. Have a fabulous Christmas and New Year too. x
From Lisa
Hi hun
Thanks for the Christmas card and postcard - penguins, very appropriate! Sounds like you're having a fab time. Saw the camel you got Bex, very funny!! Had my Christmas day on Saturday which was surreal. Looking forward to Oz, shame we can't meet up.
Take care
Response: I know. Especially now Ben will be in England for new year, so no idea what i'm doing yet. Thinking of sitting ibn the park watching the fire works - i think. So many camels, more on the way!!
From nat
Its wicked to finally read your diary i couldn't remember the web address.
You have done so much, i'm glad your having a fab time would love to be there too. Enjoy the rest of your journey my love and see you soon. Happy Christmas as well and do you have a address for a card?
Response: Sent you an email with Bens address. Yep, fab time, don't want it to end..
From Dan (from work!!)
Hi Nat, Glad to hear you're having an amazing time. Still a little concerned about the heat and your sunburn!!! Get a hat girl!! and a large tent to wear. It's the only option. I'm at work today (on a blimin' saturday) but looking forward to the Stereophonics on Monday with Soph.

Take care of yourself and have a fantastic christmas.

Loys of Love

Dan and Benson

Response: Don't panic, don't panic!! No sunburn from Uluru, Hamilton Quadblock did the trick, hurrah. And i bought arather funky funky Volcom hat, black with purple polka dots!! Looks fab - and i can just about do the large tent too - plastic rain mac for 1 pound - one size fits all - including elephants... xx
From Sara
Not working to hard? You're so kind reminding us we are working while you're swanning around enjoying yourself - soooo unfair!!
I'm sure you must have hot choc pumping round your veins not blood now the amount you're drinking!!! hehe!!
I got you a Quins ticket for the last game of the season! Can't wait to celebrate us going up (fingers x'd). Alos my pics are with Shane Williams and Gavin Henson so hopefully will be signed soon!! Hope Char church doesn't get to jealous of moi!
Miss ya loads. Love ya.x.x
Response: What happened to Merts? Have you abandened him??!!