Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 2006

HOROSCOPICAL HOLIDAYS

Hello again, my little starry-eyed skywalkers! We've reached that time of year when people of all species yearn for the traditional end-of-summer holiday (except for beings in XXXX, who have reached that time of year known as Oh No, Will This Winter Never End?! and yearn for their traditional beginning-of-Spring holiday). So once again I have consulted the celestial charts and am proud to present the most suitable package holidays - or "vacations", as some of our more whimsical Morporkians call them - for holidaymakers of each Sign, along with some useful tips and booking advice and whatnot. Enjoy yourselves, and don't forget the sunscreen (of course, for beings from Leshp, Dunmanifestin and the Dungeon Dimensions, the phrase "slip, slop, slap" takes on a whole new meaning...)



The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

YOUR HOLIDAY: Song of the Deserts

WHAT YOU GET: All the excitement of camel trekking across the Klatchian Waste, with stops in Tsort, Ephebe and - temporal anomaly permitting - Djelibeybi. Bookable extras include a side trip to the Dehydrated Ocean, though this is strictly seasonal, and a viewing of the fabulous Light Dams of the Great Nef. If you love sand, sun and smelly dromedaries, this tour won't disappoint!

WHERE TO BOOK: Harga's House of Ribs; any Desserte Waystes Tours franchise.

WHAT TO TAKE: Water; more water; extra waterbags; sunscreen; soft cushions; burnooses; camel polish; even more water.

NOTES: Your best bet for cabaret and exotic dance is Midnight at the Oasis. Any oasis. On no account should you speak to any Klatchian Foreign Legion recruiters, unless you wish to extend your holiday for a very, very long time...



Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

YOUR HOLIDAY: Dungeons and Dragons and Pubs, Oh My!

WHAT YOU GET: A fascinating tour of Ankh-Morpork's lesser known (and perhaps rightly so) attractions, including the Sunshine Sanctuary for Lost Dragons, the Old Lemonade Factory, the Patrician's Palace dungeons, Bearhugger's Whisky Distillery, shopping in Sator Square, a traditional Ankh-Morpork pub crawl ("crawl" being literal), and Open Days at various Guilds (Seamstresses and Assassins not included) plus accommodation at the YMPA and daily breakfast at Gimlet's Deli.

WHERE TO BOOK: C.M.O.T. Dibbler, Sator Square; Clacks bookings also taken internationally.

WHAT TO TAKE: Seasoned travellers to the Big Wahoonie always take nose plugs, earplugs and boot scrapers. Also, always remember - your Thieves' Guild Visitor Discount Card: don't leave home without it!

NOTES: Avoid the Shades at all costs. There's another package holiday for that, but it wouldn't suit you Gahooligans. Trust me on this.



Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

YOUR HOLIDAY: Lancre on Fifty Pence a Day

WHAT YOU GET: This charming rustic experience includes the high and, erm, less high points as listed in the Very Rough Guide to Lancre, and all the scumble you can drink (bring your own very small non-metallic cup). Tour King Verence's hydroponic gardens, watch a shoeing demonstration at Jason Ogg's forge, abseil into Lancre Gorge; visit Slice, Bad Ass and the Place Where the Sun Does Not Shine; plus tea at Lancre Castle and accommodation at the Goat & Bush.

WHERE TO BOOK: the Lancrastian Consulate (two doors down Turnwise from the Patrician's Palace); True Blue Cheese Importers.

WHAT TO TAKE: Sturdy boots; warm clothing (Lancre is in the Ramtops, after all); goat repellent; Ironheel's Guide to Morris Dancing.

NOTES: This tour is not recommended during Nanny Ogg's bathtimes, which are now listed by Royal decree in the Almanack.



The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun - 22 Jul

YOUR HOLIDAY: Death Makes a Holiday

WHAT YOU GET: Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, this tour of Death's Domain will change your Discview forever. In addition to the Beehives, Maze of Unforgetfulness and the Lawn of Eternal Wandering and Croquet, you can visit Ysabell's apartments and marvel at Albert's inimitable kitchen, where fried porridge is always on offer. Accommodation is, of course, temporary. With an option on permanent.

WHERE TO BOOK: Ask any witch or wizard, or apply at branches of the Tigerheart Misplaced Cat Sanctuary. Of course, there are also more... direct ways to book.

WHAT TO TAKE: Copper pennies; apples and carrots for Binky; antacid tablets; large amounts of mood-altering substances, as a form of mind protection; a copy of "There and Back Again" by the Abbott of the History Monks.

NOTES: DON'T TOUCH THE LIFETIMERS.



Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

YOUR HOLIDAY: Messing About in Boats

WHAT YOU GET: An unforgettable pleasure cruise around the Circle Sea and great Rim Ocean, with stops at Hersheba, Krull, Mithos and the BeTrobi Islands. Wind, waves, whirlpools, sea monsters and - on the Pleasure Option cruises - an endless round of parties and colourful alcoholic beverages with little umbrellas in them. A popular cruise is the Circumfence Fishing Fortnight (includes tea at Tethis' place). Owing to the vicissitudes of deep ocean currents, there's always the additional possibility of an unscheduled stop at Bes Pelargic!

WHERE TO BOOK: Any seaport.

WHAT TO TAKE: Motion sickness draughts; flotation kits; wetsuits; dry suits (drip dry, for preference); hangover cures; swimwear; sunscreen; harpoons; hemp.

NOTES: There is no truth to the rumour that Lady Asterisk owns numerous shares in Grabpot Thundergust's sunscreen factory.



Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

YOUR HOLIDAY: Let's Go Get Stoned

WHAT YOU GET: A visit to the quarries, dolmens, monoliths, megaliths, microliths, standing stones, leaning stones, stone circles, scree slopes, gravel pits and rain mines of far Llamedos. See the mysterious Llamedosian druids debugging their macrochips! Stand in a shower with a chamois over your head at the bullhide-tanning seminar! Test your endurance by sitting through an entire Eisteddfod! Oh, all right, it's a boring holiday, but you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about rain and rocks.

WHERE TO BOOK: Huw & Pugh, Monolith Masons, Turnwise Gate, A-M.

WHAT TO TAKE: You need rainwear. Lots and lots of rainwear. Sunscreen is not worth packing. Ever.

NOTES: Reciting humorous verse at an Eisteddfod is considered grounds for deportation, or possibly human sacrifice. Just so you know.



The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept - 23 Oct

YOUR HOLIDAY: Discovering the Last Continent

WHAT YOU GET: A whirlwind tour of fabled XXXX, the land where even Wizzards fear to tread, women glow and men chunder, and the only non-poisonous native animals are some of the sheep. Highlights include a night's drinking in Didjabringabeeralong, a night's drinking in Wigga Wagga, a night's drinking in Strongalongadonga, and a day's drinking at the Disc-famed Bugarup University; also didgeridoo lessons, possum herding, croc-wrestling, and sheep-shearing competitions. Accommodation can be had at any billabong; tin sheds are extra.

WHERE TO BOOK: Rincewind's office, Unseen University; Tim Tamm's Terrific Tours (offices in Nothingfjord, Slakki and Ecalpon).

WHAT TO TAKE: Antivenom; sunscreen; socks and sandals; Jumbuck's Guide to Carnivorous Spiders; ant repellent; a Morporkian-Ecksian phrasebook; edible foods.

NOTES: Holidaymakers of a magickal bent may wish to investigate the students' foreign exchange programme at Bugarup University.



Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

YOUR HOLIDAY: Climbing Mount Improbable

WHAT YOU GET: A guided climb up the north face of Cori Celesti, home of the Gods and seat of the best long-distance views on the Disc; includes taking tea in the laps of the Gods, assuming they find you sufficiently amusing. Survivors can revel in an exhilarating dash across the Hubland Steppes, pursued by iconographogenic Hubland barbarians. This tour guarantees thrilling iconographs for the enjoyment of your next of kin.

WHERE TO BOOK: The Street of Small Gods; any Temple of the Lady.

WHAT TO TAKE: Extreme unction; every condensed Holy Book you can lay your hands on; good running shoes; pitons; crampons; all-weather tents; Yeti repellent; lightning rods; sunscreen (hey, it gets bright up there).

NOTES: Because it's there.



Great T'Phon's Foot 23 Nov - 21 Dec

YOUR HOLIDAY: See the Elephants

WHAT YOU GET: The Disc's only supra-atmospheric tour, featuring a fly-by of Great A'Tuin and the Four Elephants, refuelling stop on the Moon, unparallelled views of the Rimfall, and thrill-a-minute splashdown on the return leg of your journey. This short but unique holiday trip is literally out of this world. Plenty of peace and quiet interspersed with moments of sheer ogodswereallgonnadie terror; be prepared to get religion, or form one.

WHERE TO BOOK: Third dungeon on the left, upper level 3, Patrician's Palace, Sator Square. Ask for Leonard.

WHAT TO TAKE: Oxygen; airtight helmets; a telescope; watertight bags; fluids-other-than-water-tight bags; airsickness bags; airlesssickness bags; thermal underwear.

NOTES: As this tour is expressly forbidden by decree of Lord Vetinari, you should be aware that questions will be asked afterwards - quite possibly over a scorpion pit.



Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

YOUR HOLIDAY: Things That Go Bonk in the Night

WHAT YOU GET: All the malevolent marvels of Uberwald, including the Bonk sausage works, Lady Margolotta's Temperance Teahouse, Dances with Werewolves, the IgorWorks "hands on (and frequently off)" museum, and a free overnight stay in Dontgonearthe Castle. The magnificently snow-capped Ramtop and Trollbone Mountains form an unforgettable background for an unforgettable holiday, and the rare delicacies of Uberwaldean cuisine will perfectly complement your stay...and there's the added thrill of knowing that the dish of the day could well be you. Daylight activities are recommended.

WHERE TO BOOK: Gimlet's Delicatessen; Biers; Goodmountain's U-Print and Travel; the Fresh Start Club.

WHAT TO TAKE: Garlic; stakes; sensible nightclothes; silver bullets; gloomy trousers; sausage tongs; Greebo.

NOTES: Nanny Ogg may not let you take Greebo, but as he's fathered most of the tomcats of Lancre, surely some of his descendants will possess the familial cattitude.



The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

YOUR HOLIDAY: The Genuan Article

WHAT YOU GET: A romantic river cruise to the Birthplace of Gumbo. Up the Smarl and down the Vieux (masculine) on a vintage paddleboat, this celebration of the Age of Steam oozes charm, not to mention its oozing mildew, sweat and swamp moss. Cruise includes onboard accommodation, nightly casino passes, Cripple Mr Onion lessons, high tea daily, and 21 tips for avoiding river pirates; also included is a voucher book for the shops and restaurants of Genua. Mrs Gogol's jambalaya alone is worth the trip! Return booking by broomstick is available for a slight extra fee.

WHERE TO BOOK: The Guild of Seamstresses; the Ankh-Morpork docks.

WHAT TO TAKE: Parasols; concealable mini-crossbows; marked cards (only if you know how to use them!); hangover cures; sunscreen; mosquito repellent; anaconda repellent; mould remover.

NOTES: Those drinks with the herbs and fruit in them are not quite as innocent as they look; in fact, one might say they pack a punch.



Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

YOUR HOLIDAY: The Week of Living Dangerously

WHAT YOU GET: A full week in the infamous Shades of Ankh-Morpork - in some ways, the most picturesque tour of all! Surely the most colourful, especially if you favourite colour is blood red. TWoLD features a tour of A-M's low life, including C.M.O.T. Dibbler's lockup cellar, the Tanty, Biers, the Troll's Head, Shamlegger Street, and a number of nameless alleys and shops of ill repute. Lodgings at Mrs Palm's, if you don't mind lively nighttime noises. It is worth noting that a rebate is on offer for anyone who lasts the entire week here...and that so far no rebates have been demanded.

WHERE TO BOOK: Sidle up to any dodgy-looking street vendor in the Morpork industrial district. Or try Dibbler's in Sator Square.

WHAT TO TAKE: Personal armour; bodyguards; blackguards; blackjacks; money belt; edged weapons; life insurance.

NOTES: You can leave your Thieves' Guild Visitor Discount Card at home for this one; it's not accepted in the Shades.

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