Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 22 June 2003

Today was nearly a free day. Monday-Friday I'll be busy working. Next Saturday is completely free, and then Sunday I return home.

With most of the day free, we decided to go to Helsingor, better known in English as Elsinor--the castle where the action in Hamlet takes place.

Helsigor (there ought to be a slash through that 'o') is less than an hour by train from Copenhagen, and we did, in fact take the train. It was a pleasant train ride. I slept some both directions, despite having slept well last night.

The castle is actually called Kronborg. Like Copenhagen, it's way over on the east side of Denmark (it's further north). Sweden is close enough to be visible across a narrow stretch of ocean. The castle actually exists because Danish kings charged a tax on ships that came through there, and they built the castle there to provide the force necessary to collect the tax.

We did a little tour and learned a few interesting things. The guide said it was the last castle built as both a fortification and a palace--after that they built them separately, so they could be individually optimized. Also, the tax money was a personal income for the king. Some king or another wanted to refurbish the castle and the parliament wouldn't go for it, so the king doubled the tax and funded the work that way.

I'm working my way through the Hugo nominees, reading those I hadn't read already during the year. I was too sleepy to read last night, but this evening I've made some progress through Kiln People, which I'm enjoying a lot. I've always liked Brin's work.

I didn't really run this morning, except for 10 minutes on the treadmill to warmup before lifting. I did lift, though, a pretty good workout. The fitness room here has machines that let me match the exercises I do at home pretty well.


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