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Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

River Thames frozen solid.
January 24, 1684. The frost continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was planted with booths in formal streets, all sorts of trades and shops furnished and full of commodities, even to a printing press.
Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, as in the streets; sleds, sliding with skates, bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays, cooks, tippling, so that it seemed to be a carnival on the water; while it was a severe judgment on the land, the trees splitting, men and cattle perishing, and the very seas locked up with ice.
London was so filled with the fuliginous steam of the coal that hardly could one see across the streets, and this filling the lungs with its gross particles, so as one could scarcely breathe.
The Diary of John Evelyn.

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