Monday, October 05, 2009

Internet . . . Argh!

We're happily in Edinburgh, but the last week I've been fighting with Internet access issues and T-mobile. Suffice it to say I'm now the owner of a T-mobile "dongle" (something like a thumb drive that lets me access internet, derivation of the term unknown). But, using the dongle is a little like using dial-up once you're used to broadband, and the silly thing only works in the morning and afternoon. I can't upload pictures and I can't use SKYPE. Sorry for the rant. But at least T-mobile recognizes that I'm over 18 now, so I can edit my blog. And we should have a better internet connection after October 12, when we switch to another apartment here in Edinburgh.

Suffice it to say that Edinburgh is beautiful. These old buildings are amazing. Right now, our 4th floor apartment looks over a close (an enclosed courtyard), with buildings dating from 1622, complete with turrets and towers. We step out of our door, and protected by stone griffins, out onto Lawnmarket Street into the heart of Old Town, near Edinburgh Castle, the streets lined with stone buildings from the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Maybe only book lovers would appreciate this: We are two blocks from two major libraries. Scotland is a most generous country. We have been given library cards in each city, including Edinburgh, and the research material for my writing project is excellent. Right now I'm reading W. J. Reader's Life in Victorian England.

Yesterday we hiked over to Newtown (about a mile away) and spent 3 hours exploring the National Trust of Scotland's restored Georgian House (18th Century), four floors. A family of 4 lived here in absolute luxury, supported by 8-10 servants.

For the first time I can literally see the distinction of class in this beautifully restored house, the upper class cossetted, with every luxury, art, books, lots of food and drink, spacious living in light-filled rooms, exquisite furniture; the servants crammed in the basement, some sleeping on the flagstone floor, others 6 to a room, yet all grateful to have employment. No romanticism here. If I believed in previous lives, I would most likely be living in the basement. No wonder the middle class in the 18th and 19th Centuries believed so strongly in self-improvement, while the upper classes had a laisse-faire view, let it be attitude.

For some pics of the Georgian House, go here:

It's early here, morning, time to go to work. May your day go well!

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