Saturday, July 10

8 am local time

Whew! What a week!

I returned from a holiday to find a mountain of reports on my desk. Okay then, maybe it was more a hill than a mountain. I do exaggerate a bit at times. But only over small things. Ha! I only exaggerate over small things. Good one!

Following up on one of these reports upon my return from the seashore, I took a leap ahead in time – but just a few decades – to a place called New Toulouse. I had visited this city long ago but it had grown quite a bit in the interim. The prime minister of the land – or “prim minister” as the locals call her, is Gabrielle Riel. Yes, the same lady behind Radio Riel. I must say if you have not yet tried this new wireless device called radio, you are missing out on such fun and enjoyment. I suppose it may have other uses but in my travels around the steamlands and related territories I have found that most people use it to receive musical broadcasts such as those originated by Miss Riel’s company.

One of my tasks on this mission was to begin to determine if the Steampunk Explorer group should place an office in New Toulouse or if it should be included in its listings at the other offices. It is not a Victorian Steampunk environment but it appears to have a similar audience.

I found New Toulouse and its neighboring towns enchanting. In fact, I found it so inviting I spent a day looking for property for myself, and found something! I am setting up a house there. After a couple of years of having Mainland property but no house of my own, I now own a handful of parcels but have four homes! Two in Winterfell and one in Caledon, now add New Toulouse. I wasn’t planning on buying any more land for my personal use but I could not resist.

The parcel is big enough that if Steampunk Explorer does decide to open an office there, I can host it for them as I do for most of our offices. Or I may put a small office there for a friend who needs one. Or start that shop I’ve been thinking about. I can fit two other small buildings on the property in addition to my house. At any rate, it will be another place to spend time and explore and to make new friends just as I have in Winterfell and Caledon.

Yesterday we officially opened the first three offices of Steampunk Explorer. I spent the morning in the Winterfell Laudanum office and the afternoon at the Caledon Tamrannoch office. Last night I arrived here at the Austral office. At each I met with visitors and members of the group who came in on Day One. It was nice to see the interest.

As for Austral itself, my gosh this small nation has burst with energy! The difference from a week ago, before my holiday, and today is astounding. The view from my office windows is superb. I can see the clock tower – it looked magnificent last night. I can see pretty yellow trees to my right and to my left the southern docks of the East Zindra shipping company. I took a quick survey of the entire island last night and there is building going on everywhere.

A report reached me here last night of changes in the air (and in the land and waters) back in Winterfell. I must take some time for a final tour of some places that, good authority has it, will soon vanish. It is hard to believe a report like that except for the knowledge that such things have happened before. No matter how things change, Winterfell goes on.

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11 pm local time

The last day of the week has also been a busy one. After office duty today in Austral, I took the late afternoon off to attend the Miss Caledon final at the Gaiety Theatre. It was quite the show!  My schedule in that other world is such that I don’t get to many events like this. Such a good time.

Just jotting this down after returning from the wedding reception of Mr. Alix Stoanes, Governor-General of Austral and citizen of Caledon and Winterfell and his new spouse, Mr. Sustani. It was a great party! Much dancing and champagne.

Off to bed now. Another full day tomorrow.

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