19 October 2007

Singing for the Beagle's supper...

this evening I'm repairing aboard the frigate HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool* to dine on the with the northern chapter Patrick O'Brian fan club, and give a talk about The Beagle Project. (If you haven't read the O'Brian series of Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin novels, go and start right away with Master and Commander.)

The invitation mentioned that my hosts would be in 'period dress', and while they would understand if I didn't...well damn that, I think I will cut a very splendid Lord Nelson, albeit from the days when he had two arms and eyes, rather than the more Nelsonian one of each. Hilarious photos may be available.

* Hartlepool has its own Napoleonic war story: following a shipwreck the ship's mascot, a monkey in uniform was swept ashore. It was arrested by the locals, and unable to speak English was accused of being a French spy. It was found guilty, and hanged. Hartlepudlians are still trying to live down this event, with little success.

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