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or, Meanderings of a Most Pernicious Nature.

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Funny how a character can lurk in your mind for so long. I still have Rothwell living there quite happily, and making a lot of activity of late. I'll have to consider making new episodes. The only thing that may prevent me is time, but we shall see...


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I got extremely frustrated with the LJ writing community I am part of, and had to walk away, cold, for a bit to keep from getting stressed and ticked off at trying to flog people into doing something that should be a fun and relaxing activity. I was tired of being one of the very few checking in and making an effort to keep people informed, and felt I should have no obligation to do it if nobody else felt they had an obligation.

Hence my disappearance for any who were curious. I'll check on the status of the comm sometime later, but I just can't let the recently massive efforts of keeping it afloat become one of my major priorities in life. I'll play again if there seems to be a real desire for people to interact with my efforts (and if I haven't totally alienated everyone by this process.)

I'm a mellow person, I'm back to my usual zen state, so read this post with a laid-back matter-of-fact tone and you'll have it about right ;)
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I've had this character and his stories in mind nearly every day, and haven't posted. Maybe it's all milling about until it falls into a particular order. Maybe I got slowed down by the block in the Tortuga community, where his future is being played out. Who knows! But I'm not gone. 

Just musing.

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Because I can, I have the time to type, and I want to remind myself that I can and have the time to type.

Stories are still waiting to be told, after all.

Stay tuned!

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My god, I can't believe how difficult life got for a short spate of time. I had a bit of hiatus from the internet and pretty much everything else I considered fun - almost a month.

Illnesses, dead computer, and the S*** hitting the fan at work with some folks getting investigated by the feds...

Yeah, I'm sorry everyone, I really didn't die. I HOPE THIS IS IT and I can be back now.

I pray to all the fates.

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I don't know why I didn't think to post these pictures and a link to my LJ. So here goes.

These were taken on a past trip to Portsmouth. I'm not a great cameraman so apologies all around for the blurriness and bad angles. But still, it's the Victory, so it's cool.

Still uploading pictures here, so check it out a few times to get them all:


I didn't take a picture of where Nelson died for two reasons: 1) They don't want you to do that  2) It seemed disrespectful. Anyway, the corner where he died is off to the right of the officers' quarters, if you were to step back and turn in that direction, you'd see the spot.

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I am definitely not bothering with the third movie. Without going into an extreme level of detail, the info given out by an official book on the market was enough to tell me all I needed to know. If you want to attend the movie with a completely blank slate, don't read under the cut.

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I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

So now I have a virginal AND a clavichord in my house.

The clavichord is about half the size of the virginal, in case the slightly under four feet of virginal was, you know, too grandiose ;)

It's tiny and quiet, so I could play it with a guest sleeping in the next room and never wake them. I can carry the thing like a long briefcase. I love old fashioned keyboards!

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So a good friend of mine who is a brilliant musician and a professional harpsichord repairer/tuner gave the little red virginal a tuneup. It sounds great and one of the sticky keys has relaxed, though it will need new strings on the upper end soon. I'm finally sounding good on it because I've practiced pretty much every day. Once I figure out how, I'll record something and put it up here. It has a few oddities in its construction that made him curse a bit, so I'm starting to get the feeling that this instrument is likely to remain with me for the remainder of its life. The oddities make it hard to sell, and the maker and my friend are glad to see it in such heavy use at my home.

I've been told my friend will be traveling at some point, for perhaps a year or more, and he needs a place to store his FANTASTIC full sized, historically crafted harpsichord. This thing has hand forged tuning pegs my friends, and something rarely put into modern harpsichords - an arpichordum - which is a bar that can be set across the strings to produce a sort of sitar-like bend in the lower notes. I'm told it's rarely made anymore because the modern ear doesn't appreciate the sound, but I say bunk, because I think it's the neatest thing I've ever heard. This harpsichord is so fantastic, several local operas have wanted to rent it for their performances.

And I get to keep it in my house! I will be awash in harpsichorditude.

I definitely need to practice a lot to be worthy of its stewardship.
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With typical Naval practicality, Rothwell was given orders to set sail past Tortuga with all speed. Having nearly all of the available squadron in one location was not a good idea, naturally, and he rather preferred getting back out to sea after all the most unpleasant time spent on shore of late.

However, he did hope to see Lt. Watts. He was just a little concerned about how it might appear if he sent word to the Valiant looking for him, now that he was aware of some of the rumors. That issue clung to him despite his good fortune; it had never been in his mind before, and now he was perhaps more concerned about it than he ought to be.

So it was that he was glad to run into him accidentally in The Wheel, a nice public house close to the docks. He had just taken a seat at a small table with some good ale and a pork and mushroom pasty, when the Lieutenant swept in through the door. Watts had always been workmanlike, very direct, but Rothwell couldn't help but notice that he'd gained quite a bit more of an officer's presence. He'd cut an impressive figure astride the quarterdeck, and that was always a tremendous asset to a Captain; he'd be shocked if his old friend wasn't First Lieutenant on the warship in a matter of months.

"George, by God it's good to see you." He didn't have to call out; the place was calm and Rothwell's voice was easily heard. Watts turned, a smile already finding his features due to the fact that only very few people called him by first name, and he knew immediately who had done so. With a somewhat breathless greeting in exchange, Watts came to his table and sat across from him, calling for his ale to be brought over.

"I am mustering to sail already," he said. "It looks like you're dressed for it as well."

Rothwell nodded. "Off to Tortuga, for the Worthy."

Then there was an awkward silence.

They both spoke at once.

"How have you been?" "So sorry about all that nonsense."

Another pause, a smile from Watts.

"I guess I wasn't surprised that the question came up," Watts said under his breath. "I'd heard the rumors about us before."

Rothwell blinked. "I bloody well hadn't," he murmured.

"You always miss those sorts of things," Watts reminded him. "Though I was surprised to hear this Lieutenant Howard implicated. Is he... are you particularly good friends?"

Missing certain things might be standard for Rothwell, but he did note a certain tension to the question which he hadn't expected.

"He's a good chap, certainly we get on well." Not sure what the tension was about, he continued on more than he otherwise might. "It has been a relief, what with the trouble with Elliot. Thank God that's over with."

"You don't have to change the subject, it's not that deadly a matter," Watts snapped.

"Change... I beg your pardon?" A note of incredulity entered his voice. Rothwell had argued with Watts before, of course, over the years; but he'd never seen his friend retort over nothing like this.

Watts briefly seemed like he was going to hold something back and let it go, but then he couldn't. Out came the words. "I knew nothing had happened... to give that charge justification. Not with us. That's why, I figured, neither of us were courtmartialed before. No evidence at all, d'you see?"

He did indeed, and understood - with a cold rush - right away what Watts was saying.

"You wondered if there was truth to the accusation about Howard?" The incredulity hadn't left his voice, it seemed.

"Why now? Why has it come up after all this time, with this fellow?" The Lieutenant's voice was a forced whisper, and the gaze he leveled at Rothwell was... angry.

A few moments passed, before Rothwell responded slowly and quietly, as if approaching a tiger one found accidentally in the back yard.

"Because... Lieutenant Elliot resented my command and wanted to invent something to remove me from it. I thought you knew that."

Rothwell's first inclination was to feel hurt that his friend would think it of him, but he reminded himself that the thought had crossed his own mind in reverse to some extent, and he had simply been more effective at wiping it from his consideration.

Watts sank back into his chair. He'd been slightly elevated from it in the heat of the conversation. "I'm sorry. I was very upset to have been singled out, to have the Valiant called all the way from Barbados because of me... you can imagine how it was. You were in the brig the whole time too, that couldn't have been a delight." He smiled apologetically and reached for his tankard of ale. "I'm glad it's over too."

Rothwell reached across the table to clasp Watts's hand in a grip of solidarity. "We can have faith in each other as the best of friends. Do not forget."

Watts sighed in relief, and smiled. "I shan't."

And that was the end of that subject. They moved on to talk about the other happenings on their ships, until the hour came for departure. They rose from the table, clasped close in an affectionate embrace, and bid each other farewell for another span of time that they could not know.

Rothwell had arrived at the Worthy early, as was planned, so that he could get his quarters in order and be present when the men began to arrive. To his surprise, they were already there, ready to sail, and they sent up a loud cheer the moment  he stepped onto the maindeck. There was no sign of Lieutenant Elliot, and Howard was already on the quarterdeck.

It really was over at last.

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