Thursday, 16 July 2015

'The Sage of Waterloo' almost became my Waterloo!

Leona Francombe is a fellow member of the Brussels Brontë Group. She has written a book! Is it not fantastic! She is a classical pianist and now also a novelist. The book is called The Sage of Waterloo. Here is how it is described.

On June 17, 1815, the Duke of Wellington amassed his troops at Hougoumont, an anciet farmstead not far from Waterloo. The next day, the French attacked - the first shots of the Battle of Waterlo - sparking a brutal, day-long skirmish that left six thousand men either dead or wounded.
William is a white rabbit living at Hougoumont today. Under the tutelage of his mysterious and wise grandmother Old Lavender, William attunes himself to the echoes and ghosts of the battle, and through a series of adventures he comes to recognise how deeply what happened at Waterloo two hundred years before continues to reverberate. "Nature," as Old Lavender says, "never truly recovers from human cataclysm."
The Sage of Waterloo is a playful retelling of a key turning point in human history, full of vivid insights about Napoleon, Wellington, and the battle itself - and a slyly profound reflection on our place in the world.


Sounds wonderful! I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. Leona told me that they sold it at the Tourist Information Office in Waterloo. Well, last Wednesday was a beautiful, sunny day, and I thought it was a good reason to take my e-bike and bike over to Waterloo. It is about 25 km each way, but with an e-bike, no problem. The only problem was, that there were only two out of five 'squares' left on the battery. Being in a very good mood, and sure of my own, excellent, physical condition, I headed off!


I tried not to use the battery, unless necessary. Well, with me, is seems necessary quite often, but this day I had to refrain myself. Downhill to Hoelaert, through the big, wide forrest, pass Chateau de la Hulpe, and on to the main road between La Hulpe and Waterloo. Against the wind, the battery was used a little bit more than I wanted. I know that on my return there are more uphills than downhills! I reached Waterloo and biked along the very long main road when one square disappeared. Very soon, however, I had reached my destination.

I walked into the Tourist Office and found the book right away. I bought it and looked around at the small exhibition they had. At this time it was over one o'clock and my stomach complained. Took my bike and headed back. I stopped a bit further down the road and aimed for a Brasserie I had seen earlier. Stopped there in my sweaty bike clothes...yes, I know! But, luckily as it was a nice day, I could sit outside and placed myself at one end of the terrace, a little bit away from the rest of the crowd. Somehow, during my whole time there, nobody ventured to sit too close to me! I therefore had a restful lunch, eating my moules curry and reading my book.

Heading back towards Overijse at least I did not go totally against the wind. Although it seems when biking there is always a wind. Probably, because I bike so fast!!! Now you know...! I biked back the same way via the Chateau and the forrest, through the village and I still was on my last 'square'. Before reaching home I have to drive up a very, very steep hill. I put turbo in and managed to pass a very fit woman on a bike. I almost wanted to excuse myself that I had an e-bike, otherwise, I would not have been even close to her.  Just before I am about to turn into our street the battery went out! Was I lucky...and exhausted.


Almost three hours, 47 km, biking rather fast. I took a shower, through myself in the sofa and watched Wimbledon matches for the rest of the day. Could hardly get up to make some dinner.
BUT, I got the book I wanted! Can't wait to read it, but first I have to finish some books for Paris in July. In the meantime, Audrey at books as food has read it and her review is here.



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