Thursday, August 22, 2013

Forget Laboring on Labor Day - Free Reading! News of England and Top Tips

That book about which I have been blathering on about for the last year or more will be free for your Kindle (or Kindle app) over Labor Day Weekend.  To be more precise, it will be free to download  from midnight, Pacific time on August 30 to midnight September 2, 2013.

Here's a the link, for your linking convenience.


I bought a plane ticket yesterday BOS to LHR - or, for you non baggage handlers, that's Boston to London.  I'll be over in Blighty from September 15 to the 23.

This trip is a case of how a mighty oak (trip to England) may grow from a small acorn (a twitter post).
I know: Please to explain!

Sometime in July The Paris Review (which I don't read but which I do follow on Twitter) posted this picture:

I had to get a closer look at that, obviously.  

Turns out that William Gladstone left his very fabulous personal library in trust for the public.  That's it, in the picture.  The library (and his whole estate) is in Flintshire in north Wales and (are you sitting down?) you can stay there!  For not very much.  Read all about it here.

So, I booked a room the very night I ran across that twitter post.  The deposit was non refundable and I figured I would be forced thereby to actually go to England.  

Of course, my head cooled thereafter.  It's a hassle scheduling things at work and the kids (my son is away on a school trip to Maine that week), it's expensive blah blah.  But I got a shove over the Atlantic from our English friends who are visiting Vermont as we speak and who leaned on the family Chief Financial Officer (not me) to allow the visit. They held out promises of accommodations for the days when I am not in Wales, tours of Oxford, London bookshops etc. into the mix.  And so.... BOS to LHR it is.

Another big pull was exerted by the fact that G's Library is only about half an hour from Erddig Hall, in Wrexham, Wales.  Erdigg is the National Trust property on which I based the fictional Quarter Sessions in the above-mentioned book.  I spent years reading about Erddig as I was writing and I feel like I am making a kind of pilgrimage.

Here is a little bit of that magic place as well:

So, that's my big news.  I promise to report back.  


I like to provide the occasional top tip here.  My way of giving back because I am that kind of generous person.  I listen to Pandora these days when I am at my computer and have been introduced to a lot of music that I love and that I couldn't believe that I had missed (some of it is not new).

So, I am here to recommend to you Knuddlemaus by Ulrich Schnauss

(nothing to look at in this video, but you can hear the music)

and most especially, this Morrissey Song: Come Back to Camden.

This song has such a hold on me right now that I had to research it on Wikipedia.  It was written by Morrissey and Boz Boorer, (whom I probably saw when I went to that Morrissey concert in Burlington last fall though I had no idea at the time what a big deal he is, musically speaking).  I am wondering if one of them might be the reincarnation of W.H. Auden or something because this song is a work of genius.  (Thank you, Youtube fans, for posting...)