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Having spent all day trying to get my wifi interweb connection to work on my mobile devices (this is from the ethernet-connected desktop and I went for a coffee to prove that the Huawei works fine on another wifi connection), what I planned to blog about this week will now have to wait until next.

But I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my reader felicitations of the season (no, I don’t do Crimble, I mean Austen/Beethoven day this coming Saturday, when Ludwig turns 247 and our Jane 242).

Stick the Ninth Symphony on, read some Austen and be merry. Two people who make life almost seem living, sharing a birthday.

Our neighbourhood was small, for it consisted only of your mother. She may probably have already told you that, being left by her parents in indigent circumstance, she had retired into Wales on economical motives. There it was our friendship first commenced… Isabel was then one and twenty… Though pleasing both in her person and manners, between ourselves she never possessed the hundredth part of my beauty or accomplishments. Isabel had seen the world. She had passed two years at one of the first boarding-schools in London, had spent a fortnight in Bath, and had supped one night in Southampton.
“Beware, my Laura,” she would often say. “Beware of the insipid vanities and idle dissipations of the metropolis of England; beware of the unmeaning luxuries of Bath, and of the stinking fish of Southampton.”
“Alas! exclaimed I. “How am I to avoid those evils I shall never be exposed to? What probability is there of my ever tasting the dissipations of London, the luxuries of Bath, or the stinking fish of Southampton? I who am doomed to waste my days of youth and beauty in a humble cottage in the Vale of Usk.”
Ah! little did I then think I was ordained so soon to quit that humble cottage for the deceitful pleasures of the world.
[Love and Freindship]