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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Penguin Cafe Waiter's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
7:56 pm
I don't seem to able to go back beyond a few weeks anymore!

It's very quiet here.

Nothing much happening. Supposedly having a short story published, but it's gone all quiet.
Saturday, November 24th, 2012
3:41 pm
When should one chuck away dreams?
Two things I always wanted in life: children & writing. The children are here and despite the hard work they entail, it is most rewarding and funny at times. Although it wasn't very funny today when Christopher threw a strop in the middle of Coventry because we wouldn't buy him and a Fireman toy and he prompted to scream and shout and had to be dragged away somewhere to be told off. Funny was last week, when, on the way to the in-laws, Talia said, "Why are we going to Nanny's?"

Mummy: "We were invited for lunch."
Talia: "Well, you could have said no and then we could have gone to Leamington instead."

The reason she wanted to go to Leamington is because there's a particularly good sweet shop there...

Writing doesn't mean Software. That's the day job, and at the moment it's stuck on a disaster of a project in which requirements changed but the hardware isn't _really_ suitable and it's a constant struggle to fix this in software. Ah well. 

I'm still writing short stories in those brief moments of time between kids going to be, meals being made and other chores being done. I finished one last night. I don't do anything with them. I really should. My problem is that I'm not really sure what they are these days. I'm not even sure what's happening to the publishing industry or short story markets. The industry appears to have fallen into the same trap that other creative industry fall into: a few people who sell a lot, and that's about it. Frankly nothing bores me more than seeing bookshops filled with the same old names churning the same old stuff. I think there's even a term for this sort of selling, where the industry is effectively reliant on a few names. Ottakars found this out a few years back when their sales of Harry Potter were poor (They probably couldn't compete with supermarkets selling at a loss) and Borders found out when they ditched the variety and went with pile 'em high bestsellers and closed down pretty shortly afterwards...

Not that I care. My last book purchase was a brilliant collection of short stories by Jonathan Carroll, published by a small press.

Even my Kindle (Great device!) mainly sits idle these days (I still buy the physical product, but occasionally get an e-book if it's cheap). These days it seems anyone can publish. Trouble is, I don't trust  myself to QA things properly. There's enough badly written crap out there!
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
2:49 pm
Holiday, Holiday!
We went to Somerset for a week, the first holiday (Apart from the odd weekend away) since we've had Christopher. We stopped in a cottage near Cheddar, which was handy as my Dad's sister and her family live around the area. They have not seen the sprogs. The farm was a working farm, and the cottage was pleasant, but previous users had been dog owners. I am not the biggest fan of dogs. In fact, they make me sneeze. So does the countryside, it seems, and the stench of manure was quite sickening. The kids seemed to like the play area more than the farm animals, although we did get to see two freshly born Alpacas... And Christopher had to be dragged away from any tractor activity.

Saw the relatives, which was good, and caught up on family history. Since my Dad died, we've been a bit out of touch with his side of the family. My Aunt gave me my Great Granddad's WWI service medals, which was a surprise. He was killed during the battle of Loos after being on the front for barely a month, probably gassed by his own side.

Of the sights we saw, Bath is perhaps the most famous, but I always find it a let down. It's a nice town with some scrumptious architecture, but I find it suffers from being too touristy, and there's nothing spectacular - the Cathedral is OK, but it's not York. Maybe I've seen too many. A new development down at the bottom end of the city is a dismal fake set of streets in pastiche Georgian style, filled with chain stores. It ay look a bit like the old stuff, but it's just as soulless as post war shopping developments that infect th UK.

Weston Super Mare is, frankly, a dismal place - despite some fine streets with a vaguely med feel about them and some decent architecture, the actual seafront is horrible. No fine frontages, but some rather dismal open spaces and horrendous 1960s monstrosities. The kids enjoyed the beach (Mud). For the next beach visit we went down to the south coast to Lyme Regis, which is far, far better. An old town with character, and a nice sandy beach. The only problem was some idiot nearby had dug a huge moat around a massive sandcastle and we couldn't keep the kids away from it. It was twice the height of Christopher, and looked as if it would cave in at any moment. It was attracting a lot of other kids and the Dad digging it was going deeper and deeper. To cap it all, the pratt was a brummie. Not that I'm a kill joy, but kids have been killed when constructions like have caved in on them. 

At one point I was watching Talia from a fair distance. She ran at a discarded sandcastle, launched herself at it and flattened it. Christopher was doing the same as well.


I wanted to visit the Jurassic coast to get some fossils, but the sprogs were getting ratty so we decided to head off back to the cottage instead.

We did a day trip to Bristol, which I enjoyed just wandering around the city's streets, and realising how much I dislike post-war Coventry with its zones, precincts and soulless road system. Bristol has streets that go places, and a lot of character, and also quite varied.

Glastonbury was OK, but not somewhere I'd ever visit again. Some decent cafes and a chilled out atmosphere, plus drunks rolling around outside the church. We visited the abbey which was good, but then the boss wanted to go to Street, which is joined to Glasto, to visit "Clark's village", a horrendous factory outlet filled with fashion stars. At least there was a Starbucks, so I could get a coffee, although it was quite mediocre without an extra shot of espresso.

We also did a trip to Wells, which is pretty nice. I've been there loads of times before, but I'd forgotten most of it. The Cathedral area is filled with gateways and old buildings, right up my street. It's quite sad seeing it's high street filling up with Starbucks and other chains, though.

Overall, a enjoyable, but utterly tiring week.  I managed to finish off a short story and a read a JG Ballard novel as well... keeping two little growing minds occupied is hard work, but ulimately highly rewarding. Certainly does put a different focus on holidays, but  I did sometimes wish I could just wander off an explore like I used to do...

Friday, June 4th, 2010
8:57 pm
Time to update
Having two fully mobile children is exhausting fun. Talia wasn't particularly destructive, but Christopher is after everything he can find, and has already managed to break a few things. We call him "Christopher Foo Foo" as he has this habit of bopping us on the head with a plastic hammer and giggling madly to himself. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a84IowoW00w which is a US version. The UK version we have came with a DVD with Kevin Whately singing the song!)

Talia sings "Little Christopher Foo Foo riding through the forest, picking up theTalias and bopping me on the head!".

The project at work is about to kick off, and I'm in charge of the software aspect. We're having to ditch Linux for QA reasons and go with an automotive embedded system. Unfortunately, it doesn't support the USB drivers we need. We had a third party supply some, but they didn't work. Third party came up with a lame excuse. I spend about an hour with it and got it working, and also managed to get a USB driver working using the native OS API... the third party had their own stack. Yadda yadda. It's a bit daunting as we're starting from a blank canvas. Our demo uses Qt, but I doubt we'll be using that - it might well end up being the GUI that comes with the OS, but we're not certain how that integrates with other aspects of the system. It's going to be a busy, busy, hectic and stressful year, I reckon. We have some hard realtime targets to meet in the S/Ware... It's a project being led directly from the UK, rather than Japan, which is a bit of a turnaround.

This leaves little time for writing. I've managed to do a few short stories, and finally managed to rework the opening of a novel that's had it's first few chapters rewritten a number of times. In the end it was a case of stepping back. Deleting. And changing the concept of the opening. I really need to get back into the swing of submitting again. After all the good feedback and near misses, it would be a shame to hang up my word processor now!

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
9:40 am
The Big 4-0

Woke up this morning and found I was 40. The only benefit so far is that I treated myself to a shiny new iPod touch as I seem to be of an age where people don't buy you presents anymore and I really needed a new MP3 player. It turns my stomach to say it, but Apple have.... done... a... fantastic job. It also connects through my Nokia phone to the Internet (Which is a bonus, as the Nokia phone is quite unusable due to its awful web browser). It's not really a mp3 player, but a re-invention of the PDA...

So... what's happened in those 40 years? 

Read more...Collapse )

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
3:27 pm
Christopher is now 8 months old and crawling. He also pulls himself up and can walk if you hold his arms. Talia is still deep in the terrible 2s and getting worse. Example: "You've got until 3 to get ready for bed." (After ten minutes chasing her around to get her in her nightclothes.)

So quickly she goes "1, 2, 3" and runs off, flashing a cheeky grin that says, "I got one over on you" (*). Trying to tell her off whilst laughing really doesn't work.

(*) I win. Toys are confiscated and not made available until she's done what she's told. Amazing how quick that works!

Work is dull. Still working on lots of high level theories & designs, a bit of POSIX on the QNX OS and about to embark (I think) on an embedded Linux based project using QT. We seem to be moving towards this platform - in fact automotive is using Linux platforms, but are running scared from the GPL. Running our apps on Linux as an OS is fine and has no obligations under GPL, but the consortium looking at building a standard wants to modify the kernel and add driver support... We're not in the consortium, so it means squat to us. We're just writing apps on it. Also need to set up a series of meetings and schedules for a group I'm heading to look at future strategies...

Have managed to finish off a short story about a village haunted by a ghostly dominatrix who sings christmas carols and hunts wrens. Still working on a novel about an archivist, but it's slowing down due to a) tiredness and b) lack of time. The tiredness is really crippling at the moment - lots of nights of broken sleep don't help, especially stacked up!
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
8:07 pm
Where has this decade gone?
Well that's a decade gone. It's been quite eventful, really. Biggest event: my Dad dying in 2003 at the age of sixty, after suffering a brain stem stoke. He was virtually unconscious in hospital for two months before he died - two days before he died, me and my Brother-in-law went to the hospital to visit him as he had been suffering nose bleeds and we watched as the doctors struggled for hours to keep him alive, and I just can't get the moaning he was making as they were sticking things up his nose to stop the bleeding and giving him blood tranfusions. The stoke had left him severly disabled, unable to move at all, and we never knew if he was awake or sleeping and he could only make moaning sounds and small gestures. We never told my Mum about that night - it was quite awful. He died 2 days later.

Had a hellish few years living in a house next door to a homeless hostel, plus an "interesting" time working for a small software company in Solihull. Witnessed my former employer (Marconi/GPT/GEC) vanish into a company that is fraction of what it was, and ended up working for a Japanese Corporation working on software for in-car infotainment systems. I hate cars, as well! Moved to our current house in Earlsdon which was a relief after the old house.

Then in 2004 I got married, and then later that year my Brother-in-law was killed in a car crash - in the space if 18 months my sister lost her Dad and then her husband. Their two daughters have done very despite this.

But it gets happier. Talia came along in 2007, and Christopher (Named after my Dad) in 2009. I continued to write novels and short stories, but seem to have lost the motivation to submit them anywhere, mainly as I don't really know who'd want to read them. Or maybe I just don't care anymore? Continued to explore music and amassed a large collection of Jazz/fusion and modern jazz, plus plenty of English folk and much more progressive rock...

Wonder what the next ten years will bring? Gosh, I hope this isn't too depressing!
Monday, December 21st, 2009
4:13 pm
Peace At Last
Got woken up at 6:00 this morning by Talia screaming "Daddy, lights off!" And then had to read stories to her for about an hour and help her do a Jigsaw before she was dispatched off to Nursery. The other one is no trouble, and is currently asleep. Peace! A rare thing these days. So I've been beavering away on a short story inspired by Carol Singing in South Yorkshire, BDSM & Clive Barker.

This year seems to have shot past - it only seems like yesterday that Christopher was born, but he's over 7 months old now. I have just bought him/me a book about pirates for Xmas... as no doubt I'll be reading a lot to him as he grows up! Talia has turned into a real bookworm and sits there trying to read books on her. She speaks the bits she remembers and them talks gibberish for the bits she doesn't. We're going to start teaching her the alphabet shortly...
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
10:31 am
The answer is YES
Last night I went to see 70s prog rockers YES in concert. An odd lineup of YES, which for the 2nd time in their history has a different vocalist. Jon Anderson is ill and can't tour, so they've hired a Canadian chap called Benoit David to sing in his place. He does a fine job, and the packed out Symphony Hall didn't seem to mind - it also gave the band a chance to perform songs from their "controversial" 1980 album DRAMA in which they they replaced Anderson and Rick Wakeman with THE BUGGLES, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. I wasn't expecting much as the core trio of Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White are, to be blunt, getting on. What a dumb assumption as they were pretty spectacular. Oddly, Rick Wakeman's son is their keyboard player. This is the 2nd time I've Wakeman Junior play with a band that his father was in (The last one was 70s folk-rockers, Strawbs, in the grounds of a mansion house about 10 years ago.)

On the job front, I have a potential interview with a large automotive firm - it's for a software team leader. I'm not I want to do that. Been there, had the T-shirt, and preferred to be more "consultant" type of role or doing R&D. I have little patience with bad software and bad software engineers (i.e. hackers) who don't fix problems but fix the symptoms and wonder why it all collapses later. I have even less time for idiot customers who can't write specifications properly! We shall see, but it seems the job market is actually not as dead as you'd think. One issue is that where I am now is pretty cushy and we have a lot of freedom to do stuff outside our normal jobs. And this other company seems to be very low level controllers, which doesn't really offer much scope for anything interesting. And I don't get a kick out of fiddling with electronics and stuff like that. In fact it bores me stupid.

I've been plugging away at the novel about the archivist on my "Hackintosh" and also just finished a short story that came to me one day while daydreaming at the office. With the two kids time is not enough anymore, and getting to the YES concert involved a lot of tears from Talia ("Can Talia come with Daddy?")... Still, it was well worth it. They just need to produce a new album. It's been a long time. It's been even longer since they produced a good album.
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
8:37 pm
I was going to say not a lot going on, but there is always something going on, usually involving the children. Talia is driving us loopy, but she's learning fast and talking a lot now and asking questions ("What's that, daddy?" and "Why?"). Christopher, meanwhile, has two teeth already and is pulling himself up to sitting and then up to standing if you hold out your hands for him! He's not even six months old. Uh-oh, I think we're in for trouble here...

Work is work. Despite the recession, we're still busy on projects, and I've submitted a fairly hefty proposal that ended up being a full blown component based system for our systems - all linked by a domain model that can be used to generate hefty amounts of code for the interface to the "Presentation Layer" (i.e Widgets)...  Bearing in mind that our department has been using a horrible "object C" type of thing, this proposal is somewhat confusing to a lot of people who still don't understand why having global variables is wrong.

On the writing side, the "archivist" novel is over 31,000K now. Progress has been slowed due to laziness. I've started another one in the meantime called "Antony and The Big" which involves time travel, nazis & chavs and redemption. Something like that. It was one of those sudden moments that happened and the whole synopsis pretty much came out in 10 minutes. It's based on real historical figures, and was originally going to feature the real characters, but I decided not to do that. I don't feel comfortable speculating on what people might have been like or might done, so I shall use biographies of the real people to formulate some fake ones!

Today I managed to watch  a film I've wanted to see for years - Land and Freedom, by Ken Loach. It's about the Spanish Civil War, a subject I find particularly interesting [And don't really know why]. It's an excellent film about a Liverpudlian who goes over to Spain to fight for the militia against the Fascists, but ends up finding that the politics is getting in the way. I notice that it was a critical success, but veterans have slated it - mainly because they feel it focuses on a small part of the work done by the foreigners, and is set in a certain battle. I don't think it's supposed to be a war film - it's more about the situation that led to the war (Landowners annoyed that the government was passing reforms to end poverty) and the desire by the militia to implement a system of collectivism. There's a fantastic scene where the militia, having taken control of a town, squabble with local people about how the land should be worked. This is what the film is about, really, and the divisions between the allies against the Fascists. It's not heavy handed in the slightest, and there's a touching framing device... 

A few years back when I went to Mum's place in Spain, we were wandering around Alicante's maze of back streets when we came to the Cathedral (It was nothing special, typical of the Arabic looking churches in Southern Spain) and town hall. It was riddled with bullet marks. Alicante was the final town to fall to the bastard Franco, and refugees assembled on the port could not get out because the bastard nazis had blockaded it. A British cargo ship took on thousands and carried them out of the port (Dodging subs) to get them across to the Algeria, where the French refused to let them in. The captain threatened to ram the port. [Although it must be pointed out that British cargo operators made money by supplying the republicans with goods, and that is why the ship was there.]

The captain of this ship was killed a few months later during WWII when his ship was torpedoed, but he is commemorated in Alicante.
Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
9:38 am
The Blitz!
Last night I watched a documentary about the blitz on Coventry in November 1940. I wasn't expecting much as I've read fairly extensively about it, but it was very good indeed and managed to touch on a whole host of other issues such as the psychological effects and how the Nazi techniques were later used on allied bombing raids on cities such as Dresden - which I'm still not certain was justified [It was perhaps a strategy more aimed at preventing the Russians from siezing a viable city.] Some of the "talking heads" had some harrowing tales about that night, including a policeman who confessed that he wanted to cry at what he was seeing but had to keep it together as his job was to help and reassure the policeman and a man who, as a nine year old, was trapped in the family air raid shelter and split up from his family with no idea as to their fate - it turned out that his Dad had died when the bomb went off near their house, but his mother and brothers and sisters survived. 

Although other UK cities experienced more bombs during the blitz, Coventry was the first to undergo an intensive raid [Really the 2nd time such tactics had been used by the Nazis, the first being Guernica] and its small size at the time and the loss of the Cathedral made it stand out more - the image of the Cathedral in ruins was used as propaganda to bring the US into the war and apparently managed to change attitudes over the pond. 

On a similar subject, I am 25,000 into a Coventry-based novel about an archivist trying to save an old building, one of the last remaining topshops (Special cottages built for weavers) in an area of the city. My plan has 25 chapters and I'm currently up to chapter 5. I was initially worried I'd not find enough to write about - I usually write "fantastical" stuff [i.e. horror, sf, weird monster stuff] - but it seems I'm finding plenty. 

Even though I have very little time to sit down and do it, those odd half hours here and there add up over the weeks... 
Sunday, September 13th, 2009
3:16 pm
Yesterday it was some sort of heritage weekend, which meant lots of old buildings were open. Nothing that I hadn't already seen was open, so we skipped that and instead took advantage of free entry to Ryton Organic Gardens, just one the outskirts of Coventry. It's apparently some sort of centre for organic things. Due to the heritage weekend it was free to get in. We've been to the restuarant there before, but not looked at the garden. Not that we're that interested in Gardens (I find them stupifying boring) but this is a sort of working garden full of foods. They use the stuff they grow in the restaurant. Well, I hope they do. I'd be pissed off if they nipped down Waitrose instead.

We didn't see much of it. I spend most of my time making sure Talia wasn't pulling things apart (Turned my back for 5 seconds and she was climbing over a greenhouse!). She was fascinated by a huge slug that she called "Christopher Slug". Christopher (The real one, not the slug) cried and had to be fed. Daddy had to make Talia fly. So we didn't see much of the organic garden, but could sure smell the herbs and spices. The have a cafe with a play area and Talia spent an hour in that with another little girl she met. Christopher cried and sucked boob in public. I had a nice organic coffee... And the weather was boiling. When we got back I noticed our garden smells of fennel.

In between all the chaos of trips around block with Talia on her bike (Which end up with her walking back and Daddy - Muggins here! - carrying bike and helmet. And sometimes Talia!) I've managed to get about 20,000 words into the novel about the archivist. The odd couple of hundred words here and there has made what feels like no progress actually into some progress. What's even better is I'm enjoying it perhaps more than the other stuff I've written.

I'm hatching another idea as well - an Afro-Caribbean immigrant who brings some joy to a city destroyed by the war, but slowly rebuilding itself, sweeping away the old for new. How does he do this? Simple, he starts selling exotic caribbean food locally... Actually based on a true story I read recently about someone in Coventry who has recently passed away. That's the basic idea. Now I need some story to hang off it!
Friday, September 11th, 2009
1:13 pm
Japanese Fun!
No,not dubious rope bondage, but one of the Japanese staff in our building arranged for JapanCentre to come up and open up a shop for the day. They brought with them a pile of Japanese Crunchy Pork curries, which after 2 minutes in the microwave were absolutely delicious. I also tried some "Melon Pan", which was a sweet bread, and something called "Curry Bread" which was a hollowed out sweet bun with Japanese curry paste in it. I also tried some Green Tea and Bean Roulade, some Hi-Chu sweets, and some delicious Wasabi Peas - all washed down with a Green Tea.

They're still in the building and there's the Sushi, but I'm not feeling in the fishy mood. In fact, I'm stuffed.

What was quite surprising that virtually everyone in the company flocked down to buy...
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
11:08 am
Musicians in Oblivion
I bought a book called "Galactic Ramble" that is a huge volume detailing albums released in the UK between (Roughly) 1965 and 1974. It's aimed at the collectors of the obscure and people who collect LPs. I don't collect LPs [My record player has just been stored in the attic] but do like to find something a bit different.

Amongst the obscurities I've so far splashed out on are bands like Spriguns, Oberon, Tudor Lodge, Jody Grind and solo artists like Simon Finn [Has to be heard to be believed!]. A lot of these albums were on small labels or even private pressings - perhaps only 50 copies exist. Most of the albums are prog, psych and folk, or a mix of all three.

My favourite so far is by a chap called Mick Stevens [Sadly, he died in 1987] who released two albums in the early 1970s. The first, See The Morning, was recorded in a bedsit in Nottingham when Stevens was a student and is a quite beautiful mix of acoustic songs with the occasional pysch guitar on top and some woodwinds - and some brilliant lyrics. Stevens had 50 copies pressed up on the "Delroy" label, which was basically a company in Lancashire that would make albums from a tape. The second album, No Savage Word, adds drums and sounds a lot more jazzy, but was recorded in the same ad-hoc way. Both albums are available on CD, along with two others he recorded in the late 1970s. It's very much like John Martyn, with good command of English & a lot of jazzy guitar riffs and snippets of flamenco guitar...

What a shame something so good spent so long on obscurity - I wonder what sort of music Mick Stevens would be making these days? No more struggling with  tape recorders and overdubbing - the whole lot could be done on a PC.


Thursday, August 6th, 2009
4:49 pm
50 Gigs

It's doing the rounds on Facebook, but I'll do it here. 

List 50 acts you've seen live in concert. Don't pick the cool ones, just the first 50 you can think of.

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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
10:18 am
The Swine Flu
Yesterday we decided to take Talia to Stratford Butterly farm to see the flutterbys and various large spiders. In the shop she picked up the biggest toy spider she could find and ran up to a random stranger, yelling, "I got spider!"

Anyway, the atmosphere inside the place was pretty humid, and I could start to feel my throat going sandpapery as we walked round. By the evening, I could barely move and then spent the night with a thumping headache and hallucinating about secret signals that were being beamed at me causing me to wake up. This morning the Boss filled in the online form with all this information (including paranoid hallucinations!) and was told to go and anti-virals straight away... I feel dismal, I've never had anything like this before, certainly not an illness that makes me hallucinate and think the bright stars in the sky are alien invaders!

The tamiflu has yet to arrive yet, but I hope it makes me feel better...
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
11:51 am
Talia has taken to waking up at 6:30 in the morning, crying out and then when I got and see what's up, she wants a toy to play with and her milk. Her current toy is a stretchable frog that she took to nursery and insisted on holding it up to everyone she saw, saying, "I got a pog!"

Work is a bit more relaxed at the moment - after 18 months of hell getting a big project finished and out in vehicles, it's time for some research. I am creating an application framework that's platform independent - which means modelling the semantics of the application using ontologies or something and also modelling abstract interfaces that can be used to generate a mapping from the presentation to the application. So far I've digested tons of papers and am about to embark on a first high level desig & some hard coded examples as a proof of principle. Oddly, people here tend to leap in with hacking code and wonder why they're endlessly rewriting the same code.

I've also been working on the "archivist" novel, but have been designing it using - don't laugh - the same method I use to design software. Start at the high level, work down the levels - gathering ideas at each level, occasionally going back - iterative novel writing? It's easier to go back a small distance than it is to go back a huge distance (Waterfall method.)  It's actually how I tend to do these things, but this time I'm actually writing down the thoughts at each level [Mainly because time is scarce, and what with children and stuff, I struggle to keep on top of the ideas!]

Wonder if UML can be used to design a novel... MMmmm.
Saturday, July 25th, 2009
4:48 pm
Saturday, July 18th, 2009
3:42 pm
A Glorious Weekend and Sapper
Shortly after my Grandma died, I ended up with some of her books. One of them was an old Bulldog Drummond novel by Sapper. In the front page was a note: To Rene, in memory of a glorious weekend! It was dated sometime during WWII. My Granddad tried to join up, but was turned down because he had flatfoot. His brother, Leonard, died in Burma [He vanished on partrol], his Dad was killed in WWI trenches and his mother died of a broken heart shortly after that. My Grandma worked in service in big houses in Buckimhamshire. I don't really know how they met, but the book and the note conjured up images of a "date" in which the book was bought... But what if my Grandma and Granddad met someone on a date, got embroiled in some wartime espionage with a mysterious "figure"... resulting in a victory for the dashing young couple of the mysterious figure (Who they presumably saved from a fate worse than death as part of the adventure.)

Anyway, shortly after the war, they're now married, and Grandad is met one day by the mysterious stranger who hands him a book... The plot of which is strangely familiar to their wartime adventure.

I'm sure this isn't what happened, but they're both long gone and you don't think to ask your grandparents questions about when they were young and how they met... So I have to let my imagination fill in the gaps.
Sunday, July 12th, 2009
5:34 pm
The Archivist and the Cottages
I decided to start the story about the cottages and the archivist, and have been frantically reading through my scarily large college of local history books to try to find some dramatic events in Coventry's history as well as some ideas of what life was like in the early 20th century and during the post-medieval decline that lasted until the early 20th century. How the creative mind sometimes works... Collapse )
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