The former Town Hall, that once used to be a hunting lodge. I didn't take this photo, it's from Wikipedia.
I took a few photos. It's an interesting town from the perspective of architecture, with lots of huge villas where I imagine doctors used to live (there's a hospital nearby). Outside a beautiful building that I wish was the town library, which we were looking for but didn't find, and it might have been at one point, I found this cute lion.
This is a close up of an ornament adorning the fence around the same building:
I'm hoping my sister thegreenring will post about this outing too, with more photos.
From Amazon's book page:
Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices, Book 1):
London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.
At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.
When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . but sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .
I just finished reading this free e-book, and I must say I was positively surprised. Since I bought my Kindle Touch I have downloaded and started reading so many free books and most of them weren't good enough to finish. This turned out to be among the few that was well worth reading to the end. My main complaint is that the story is a little too short and seems to end sort of in the middle - not quite - there is a resolution of sorts - but it comes rather quickly and feels a bit sudden. Normally, I wouldn't buy the next book when the author leaves the reader hanging, but in this case, I might make an exception. As I mentioned above, there is a sort of ending, even if it's too sudden for my taste.
Claire is a likeable character. As the book progresses we get to know more likable characters, mainly young women. There are of course a few men - one sympathetic and another less so. Time will tell how they will develop. When the story begins Claire belongs to the upper class and is miserable that her mother won't consider letting her go to university. She is passionate about engineering and loves to drive a steam driven car, even though it's not considered 'ladylike'. Soon her circumstances change dramatically. Being a resourceful young woman, she handles her situation well and manages to save herself.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, visit Amazon as soon as you can. The book is still available for free if you hurry.
My sister recently got this book for her birthday, and since she hasn't felt up to reading for a while (she's burned out, among other things) she let me borrow it.Now that I've read it, I must say that I really liked it. It made me really keen on going to a fancon (but things are really different here in Sweden and even though there are fancons here, lack of communications out here where I live, makes it more or less impossible for me to go anywhere fun). Cosplay is out of the question after having my twins.
My sister went outside and confronted them. The woman claimed that it was 'so beautiful' here. (Which it isn't, not particularly). She also said that they'd been here yesterday and since didn't see any car, they assumed no one was at home. Like that's an excuse to trespass. We don't have a car, so there's never a car. What's a bit unnerving is that we never noticed them yesterday. I just happened to be looking out the window and caught sight of the woman on the dirt path outside.
I really don't like living here. Hopefully, we'll be able to move soon. It's not a good place to live for more than one reason.
First of all I'd like to mention my dad. He and I are very much alike in personality. I can almost hear his voice inside my head whenever something happens. I know what he would have said about whatever it is. I've posted about this before, but I'd still like to mention the many things my dad helped me with.
He always drove me anywhere I needed to go, all without complaining. He'd bring a book and read while he waited. They say my dad was born on a Sunday with a 'victory hood' meaning part of the umbilical sac, which apparently means luck. I'm not sure if any of this is true, since I have found plenty of circumstantial evidence that the woman I thought of as my grandmother (aka the wicked witch of the east) actually wasn't his real mother. Be that as it may, my dad was very lucky in his life. Once he was going to drive me to the railway station (I laugh about it now, since that short walk wouldn't have been any problem), but I had got ready too late and missed the train. I was still sleepy and told dad that we could just go back home and I'd go back to bed, but he wouldn't let me. He drove me to the next railway station on the line (a five minute drive). I told him it would be too late, since the trains are a lot fast than cars. We'll wait, he told me. And sure enough, a minute or so later the train did arrive and I got on it in time.
Secondly, he always helped me with my maths homework and he did it very well, even though he always said he wasn't any good as a teacher and much preferred to be a principal/head master. Others have tried and never managed it very well. It gave me a better grade than I would have if left to my own devices.
A third example is the time when I'd decided to stay at home instead of enduring a 'sports day' with my class. Since it was my form mistress/home room teacher who was responsible for that particular day, she called in the afternoon to check on why I didn't come. My dad had been at work and he'd left before I was up so he had no idea about what I'd done, but when I walked into the hallway, there he was, on the phone with my teacher telling her how sick I'd been. LOL. That's something I'll never forget.
Now I'd like to mention my (maternal) grandfather. He was a very honest and decent man. Very serious and reliable, but he also had a sense of humor and he was very good at appeasing angry family members. Maybe because he was one of the youngest in a family of seven children? He was a grocer and I know he was very respected both in his profession and in private.
That's pretty much the men in my family that I know and have met in person. Sure, there are mom's cousin's two sons, but I don't know them very well. They're nice and we have a bit in common, but I couldn't tell you very much more about them.
Despite never having met them, I'd still like to mention my mom's two grandfathers and my paternal grandfather.
I'll start with the latter. Unfortunately, I don't know very much about him, other than what my dad has told me. He was a business man and he was quite successful at that. I also believe he was honest in his business. My dad was in awe of him, but I can tell from the photos of the two of them together, that they loved each other.
My mother's maternal grandfather seems to have been a rather modern man for his time. In a different time, he might have been a vegetarian. He was kind and loving towards his children and loyal to his wife, even though I believe they weren't very well suited to each other. He was also quite handsome in some of the photos and he had a sense of humor. I've been told he joked a lot. He was a builder and there are still two very nice houses that he built, standing in his home town (in Sweden - he did try to emigrate to America, but his wife refused to go).
My mother's paternal grandfather was a grocer, just like his son. I've been told (not by my mother, who never met him, or even his youngest son, my grandfather, who was far too young when he lost his father) that he was a happy, cheerful man who loved his family and tried to enjoy life to the full. He loved to buy christmas presents for his children and would lead the 'long dance' around all the rooms in the house, on Christmas Eve.
Finally, even though he's not a man yet, I'd like to mention my son, who I think will grow up to be a very good dad. He's the only living male in our family today. He's talented and charming and the most wonderful son anyone could hope to have.
Here is my son considering which books to throw on the floor:
So, today I'd like to remember and thank all the wonderful women in my family who are mostly no longer with us. Some were mothers, some wanted to be but weren't.
Thank you aunt G, who was such a wonderful aunt and who had a fascinating and varied life, despite claims to the contrary. Thank you great-aunts S, M, M, A and the two E:s, for being such kind and thoughtful aunts. I'd also like to mention 'aunt' E (another E) who I never got to meet, but who according to my mom was a really funny, cheerful and inspiring woman, despite a very difficult life.
Then there's my maternal grandmother S, who I resemble a lot. I can still hear your voice in my head and I know what you would have thought or said about all kinds of things in every day life.
Also, my mom who is still alive and well and living with us. You were a wonderful mom when my sister and I were children. We've all had a difficult life and you may be a touch grumpy and harsh these days, but I can understand why.
I'd also like to thank my sister G who is not a mother yet, but hopefully will be soon. You're my best friend and my role model. I admire you so much. This family would be nothing without you.
Finally, I'd also like to thank my children P and S for letting me be their mom. You've made all the difference in the world.
Thank you, all of you wonderful women in my family, including my mother's grandmothers and everyone who came before them, and also, thank you, my unknown paternal grandmother who gave us our dad, even though we know nothing else about you. I love you all.
I've also started using my new handbag. It's pretty big and not my usual style (I'm not really a handbag person, to be honest). I've just been thinking I should develop my Moomin Mama traits. :) I'm going to be carrying around more stuff, that maybe my children will need (other than the contents of of the changing bag). What do you think? Is it too big for me? I thought it would be difficult to carry it, without a shoulder strap, but it wasn't.
Silly trivial stuff, I know. Just ignore this post if you think it's boring.
When my sister and I got curious, after the fact, as it were, about why many people were unhappy about the song that won, we decided to listen to a minute or so of each of the top ten songs. So we did, and I quickly realized that while the winning song definitely wasn't my thing, I could tell that it actually was a good quality song. The others were meh at best. To me, that is. I'm not judging the people who liked the others.
All this is just a prelude to what I really wanted to say.
I feel out of touch with the world. And considering the way the world is going, that's fine with me. But it does make me feel like some weird freak. I hate the music most people like. I hate most tv series and movies released these days. I hate the aggressive marketing strategies that most people seem to take in their stride. It makes me sound like some grumpy old 100-year-old and I hate that too. LOL.
So - what did I want to say? I'm not sure. Maybe that I want to take my family and find some out of the way place and at least be safe, if not happy. And dive into books and (probably old) movies and tv series and forget about the rest of the world.