July 27

I was not expecting to have a home here. But the city so appealed to me that I thought its place beyond the commonly accepted time period for the Victorian Steampunk era might lead to a new avenue of exploration.

For now I have decided I will wear my Victorian clothes here. It will seem out of place to the locals but I am a time traveler after all. As a resident of Winterfell I am quite comfortable with straddling time periods in the same moment. While it may be said, “When in Rome do as the Romans do,” even a time traveler has only so many hours in a given day and there must be a limit as to how much of that time is spent rummaging through the closet and standing in front of a mirror. However, I must report that I have already had a moment with one “lady” of New Toulouse who found my attire humorous. So when time allows I may purchase a suit of clothes more suited to this time. (Yes I could say that without the pun but I have not.)

I have erected three buildings on my property here. The main house has seen better days. From the outside it looks a bit worn but it certainly is roomy after my expansion project. While it may not be the grandest home in town, it certainly is among the largest. I am quite happy with it as is. I have begun to furnish it, a task that is at times enjoyable and at others tedious. I am erecting an inside wall to separate the ground floor into two rooms. It has occurred to me that without that wall the space would be just perfect for a party with live entertainment. But when have I ever thrown a party? I must face the fact that this is simply a fantasy on my part and when I need fantasy I have Winterfell. (Ha! A joke at my own expense!) The wall will stay.

The living room is appointed with the standard furniture as well as a writing desk, a table to place my wireless sets upon and wall hangings including a portrait of Bix Biederbecke over the fireplace. Should a passerby glance upon this portrait through the window they will know that this is the home of someone in tune with the music and history of these environs. Why one needs a fireplace in these southern climes is a good question but it does seem to “bring the room together” as I have heard said in a period about a century beyond the time in New Toulouse.

As mentioned previously, the property itself is large enough for two other buildings. The Steampunk Explorer group will occupy one building. Mr. Steampunk has called it “an embassy of one time period to another.” Well put, I must say. Mr. Steampunk will likely have his private office on the 2nd floor. Up to now we have shared the private office on the top floor of the Port Laudanum building. Should we finalize this plan that spot will now be mine alone though he will have a need for it at times. I have given up the idea of a shop and will instead set aside the third building as a guest house for my friends to use when they visit. Seamus has already given his approval of the guest quarters and is planning a brief stay on his upcoming holiday. I look forward to exploring the area with him and catching up on his exploits since the relocation. I do not look forward to shopping for the furniture necessary to make his stay comfortable.

On Sunday word spread of an “impromptu” in progress in Algiers parish, to the north of the city. From what I could gather an “impromptu” is a musical event that occurs, as the name states, without warning. Although I was pressed for time I decided I must get out and meet the locals in these parts or at least show my face.

On my way a street car named Desire passed by. (I am not making this up.) While I was tempted to board the car I decided to leave that for another day.

When I arrived in Algiers I wandered until hearing strains of exotic music, I followed these sounds to Madhu’s Cafe Indien. This is where the impromptu was taking place. Several local residents, including Prim Minister Riel, were dancing to Indian music which I believe the hostess said was from the 1960s, one of the most interesting decades musically (and otherwise) that I have visited in my travels. The hostess was Carter Denja, the owner of the establishment. Her coffeehouse features music from India and hosts a weekly presentation of world music on Monday evenings. I first heard this “world music” in the 1980s and then in successive decades and, though I am not well versed in it, have always found it to be quite enjoyable. What a pity it is that my schedule prevents me from attending in the evenings. But, as luck would have it, Ms. Denja switched from the 1960s Indian sounds to a preview of the following evening’s “mix.” I danced with the others and listened to the group conversation.

They seemed a friendly and welcoming lot and, although it was certainly low key, I felt I had made my debut in these environs. It was reminiscent of my first dance at The Rabbit Hole or to the first of Miss Serra’s town meetings that I attended. Now that I have sold off my remaining holdings on the Mainland (just last week) and opened six of the seven Steampunk Explorer offices we have planned for now, I can begin to settle in here in New Toulouse and continue to do so in Winterfell, Caledon and soon Austral. As Miss Macchi has chronicled, these settlings in do not happen quickly. They take time.

Time is something I know quite a bit about.

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