[TS4] A Little Piece of England
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After an act of stupidity on my part, I lost the old save file for my last BACC of the same name. So I decided not to be beaten and have started a new one. I'm taking lots of pictures of this one and as a result, the updates will probably average around 20 pictures per update. So instead of clogging up the forum here, I'll post a link each time to the Wordpress blog I've created and will post random pictures from the update here.

A Little Piece of England

Round 1 ~ Harrington
We kick off the first round with the Harrington household. Read the full update here.

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Having won a most excellent game of Monopoly, I set off for home in the glorious afternoon sunshine. Indeed, it was a most beautiful day and a light snow began to fall as I strolled home, feeling rather accomplished. After all, this is something my father never said I could ever accomplish. I would be most amused to see his face if he could see me and my companions now. They all said we'd never survive these conditions but look at me now! Was there ever such a most excellent afternoon?

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I discovered a frightfully good little pastime for the evenings, when it is a little darker. Emily introduced me to the delights of yoga and I must say I'm rather partial to it. It not only keeps me warm in front of the fire during the cold evenings but it will keep me fit and healthy. Since I am rather averse to running, lifting weights and any other such exercise, this is perfection.

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My first instinct, as an honourable gentleman and a Duke, is to seek out Francis and speak with him about the possibility of my marrying his sister. However when I arrive at the Stilton house, only the lovely Alexandra is home. She and I have a variety of lovely discussions about Beckwell, our hopes for its future and the ridiculousness of my family. She is a wonderful listener and somehow, I just can't help myself around her.

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After such a night of passion, there is only one thing to do. I wish I could have asked her brother's permission but I'm afraid I cannot wait that long. I am about to go against all my principles, my beliefs and my upbringing and ask the beautiful Alexandra to be my lawful wedded wife.

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"I, George Harrington, Duke of Beckwell, take you, Alexandra Stilton, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour you all the days of my life.”

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After the wedding, Alexandra and I enjoyed some quiet time away from the house, listening to the sound of the fountain behind us and marvelling in the beauty of the night.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for celebrating the marriage between myself and Alexandra, the new Duchess of Beckwell.

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As we have no money or transportation for a honeymoon, Alexandra suggested we makeover the bedroom a little and design a more conducive atmosphere. She rounded it off with one of her own paintings. Rather fitting, don't you think? She's such a talented artist. She's going to set up her own foundation, the Arti Aestimationis Foundation, designed to help struggling artists. Now that's the sort of work I expect from a Duchess. This will be perfection.

This is a masterpiece. I lost it at "Having won a most excellent game of Monopoly"...omg you have to keep this one up Rofl

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Thanks, Alex! I really hope to, I'm enjoying it so much.  Heart 

Round 1 ~ Stanton

This is only the highlights of the Stanton week, since it was a big update. Read the full story HERE.

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William's POV
Grilled fruit? Before this venture, I had never once considered grilling fruit. Well, one wouldn't, would one? Fruit is meant to tastefully decorate a table, having been artfully arranged by a person with taste. It is for consumption, part of a delightful dessert to an exquisite dinner to which the sort of person who would actually entertain the idea of grilling fruit would not be invited.
My opinion on this matter is somewhat more positive than my dear Emily's. Having been raised in quite the household, she's not accustomed to these sorts of inconveniences.
That aside, this venture is a rather daring one, by any standards. To be completely fair, I did wholeheartedly agree with George when he suggested this scheme. After all, my own father made it more than clear that I was not welcome in the family, having gone to Cambridge instead of Oxford, like my forefathers. Stuffy lot.

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Emily's POV
If my mother had ever told me I would one day be washing my clothes by hand and hanging them on a washing line in my own back garden, I would have delicately laughed and pretended not to have heard her. This would be so vulgar, in her eyes. The end of the world, as it were.

Whilst I am not entirely enamoured with my change of circumstances, I could not, in good conscience, stay in London with my parents' attitude dripping down her expensive (if faded) damask walls.

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Of course, I recently had some fabulous news for William. The house of Stanton will continue for another generation and neither I nor William can contain our excitement. Of course, we will need to decorate a darling little nursery but as I have taken up my old hobby of photography again, I'm certain we shall do quite nicely.

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William's POV
I remember my childhood nanny talking about the importance of reading to young children and I don't think you could start too early. Emily can't quite understand why I need to read to our unborn baby but to me, it is of the greatest importance. I want this child to understand the fundamentals of life at the earliest possible age.

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Towards the latter stages of her pregnancy, Emily became more and more uncomfortable. I admit to being something of a secret expert at massages and soothed away the aches, pains, stresses and strains of her condition. Particularly as I feel more than a little responsible but equally helpless. She accomplishes so much every day she carries her precious cargo and I feel so...useless because there's very little I can do for her.

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Emily's POV
She's arrived! She's perfect. Our beautiful baby girl, Soley Stanton, arrived early this morning. This precious, tiny bundle is so beautiful. My mother never told me how strongly I would love my baby when the time came. She never prepared me for this. I am lost for words.

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In spite of his early concerns, William has turned into a super father. He talks to Soley all the time, just as he insisted he would. He's so very proud of his little daughter. If only his own father could see him now, leaning over the cot and talking to her as she drinks in her surroundings. If his father were here now, I can only hope he'd change his opinion of William.

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William's POV
My spontaneity has inspired me to try my hand at writing some day. My new passion for reading has expanded to Emily's romance novels. I find them heart-warming and so very different from the relationship my own parents had. They're a delight to read and I find myself ever more inspired to begin my own creative journey through the art of the written word.

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Emily's POV
In the midst of the raging thunder, Claudia arrived on the doorstep, to meet Soley. So far, nobody had met my baby yet. I don't quite feel ready to show her off to everybody. I've turned George down twice in the past few days but being such a wonderful friend, he has understood completely. So Claudia's arrival on our doorstep isn't quite what I was expecting, nor welcoming. However, being the ever gracious hostess, I allow her inside.

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"Are you going to buy Trafalgar Square or not?"
"I'm thinking, darling. Don't rush me."

Round 1 ~ Stilton

Summer, Week 2, Year 1

Next we spend a week with the Stilton household. The narration will be by Francis Stilton. This is a shorter update since there wasn't much happening this week.

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It's been terribly lonely in the house since Alexandra moved out and married George. I don't begrudge her, of course but it doesn't change the facts, unfortunately. So I've been busying myself with the carpentry of late. I'm determined to get electricity to this settlement as soon as possible and that won't happen without a little work from me.

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This summer's been a complete washout, really. All weekend there's been a raging thunderstorm across Beckwell and it's been none to pleasant to work in, I can tell you that. I've been working my candlelight mostly but sometimes it gets a little...monotonous, I suppose. Particularly without any company.

Reading's always been one of my favourite pastimes and I enjoy reading quietly by the light of the candles...and the occasional flash of lightening as it lights up the sky.

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Alexandra came round to visit me the other day and brought George with her. I think they might have had a row, they were both so dark and stormy; and that was without the weather which continues to be foul. I suggested Cluedo but I don't know if investigating a murder, however fictional, was necessarily a good idea. I hate to intervene because while Ally is my sister, George is one of the best friends I have ever had. He took me under his wing at boarding school after my parents died and defended me when nobody else would. I hope they're not having problems already.

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To set my mind wholly at rest, I went round to visit Alexandra on the first dry, sunny day Beckwell had seen in ages. In fact, it turned out to be a heatwave and I enjoyed a nice catch up with Ally while soaking up the sun. She seemed in a better mood and assured me it was just a little spat - nothing to worry about.

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The days just feel like one long, dark tunnel at the moment. This lack of amenities isn't something we'd planned on lasting for so long but I feel I am almost there with my work! I just need a few more days of peace, quiet and hopefully sunshine to finish off my projects.

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In the aftermath of the thunderstorms, I discovered a fascinating rock in the garden. After sending it away to the Geo Council in London, we discovered it was Selium and actually quite rare! They send me a small element of the rock to display at home. It looks so delicate and so wonderful and I feel the best I have in quite a while. It's beautiful.

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I did it! At long last I have achieved what felt impossible to begin with and I have brought electricity and plumbing to Beckwell! To test, I installed proper appliances and lighting in my own home and felt immediately cheered by the brightness of the rooms. The rest of my friends will be delighted to be rid of the hand washing by candlelight!

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It feels wonderful to be able to actually cook for myself again. No longer do we have to rely on grilling food, or eating from a cool box in the kitchen. I've installed a decent fridge and cooker and upgraded them to make them more efficient. I'm throwing a party tonight for all the settlers to celebrate this milestone moment!

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I wouldn't say the party was a roaring success but it was a start and it was lovely to get everybody together and show them the new facilities in Beckwell. I feel, for the first time in my life, like I have achieved something.

Quarterly Summary:
Francis achieved level 10 of the Handiness skill and so unlocked Electricity!
Weddings: None
Babies: None

The final household for Round 1 is the Worthingtons. The narration will be between James and Claudia.

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Claudia's POV
This is our baby daughter, Elena. You can thank James for her arrival since he insisted it would be lovely to have little ones running around. His family are obsessed with heirs and keeping the family name going. I would prefer to look after my body but nobody listens to the wife, do they?

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Now, I personally prefer the delights of fine dining and this is something I have tried to encourage with James but he rarely seems to take the hints. So I decided to throw a dinner party, now that darling Francis has set up some decent electricity and plumbing in this town. James is never keen on hosting, he would much rather mooch off somebody else but I will not stand for it. I am determined to be the best hostess in Beckwell and that will only happen if everybody in this house pulls their weight.

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James' POV
Claudia has become so very highly strung these last few weeks. I can't imagine what's got into her. I thought she'd be delighted to have a bouncy baby girl in the house but she seems so aloof. Alas, it is too late now.
I've set up a charity organisation for Less Mischief in this town. I remember London shortly before I left and it was ghastly for the amount of hooded hooligans in the streets at night. Simply frightful. I intend to develop the town council whilst I am here and I can tell you, I have no intentions of letting that sort into this town. Mark my words.

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Setting up this charitable scheme is frightfully hard work and with no extra manpower, it is exhausting attempting this on one's own. Claudia is less than sympathetic when I try to explain the intricacies of the job. She's too busy preparing mountains of food for this wretched dinner party she insists on throwing tonight. I mean, of all the times to throw a party and she picks now when we have next to no extra money lying around. She knows how I hate that.

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Claudia's POV
SILVER?!?! I was only awarded a SILVER for my dinner party? Well do excuse me, I shall have to run my wrists under the cold tap.

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James' POV
Good old George came round the day after Claudia's failure of a party.
"That dinner wasn't bad last night, was it James?" George smiled as he greeted me.
"I wish you'd tell Claudia that," I replied. "She's been in a frightful mood since last night. I can't say a thing right. She feels it was a failure because she wasn't awarded gold stars and a piece in the newspaper. The Tatler, I believe she wants."
"She'll be out of luck. I don't think they venture this far out of London," George said, chuckling. "Anyway, your Claudia might have got her gold stars if the drinks were stronger than water and orange juice. I might not have noticed the dreadful music on that piddly little iPod."
I blinked at George. "I put the music on, George," I responded drily.
"By Jove, would you look at the time? I really must dash!" George glanced at his watch and disappeared up the road.

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Claudia's POV
George, the old darling, called round to see me a few days after the party. He's such a thoughtful old dear.
"George, darling, how lovely to see you!" I exclaimed when I saw him at the door. James was working away on his charity project.
"Claudia darling, it's a pleasure. I'm only sorry I haven't seen you since that wonderful dinner of yours the other night. Truly marvellous, haven't had a dinner like that for quite a time." George spoke warmly and I appreciated his praise.
"It was awful, George. An absolute disaster."
"Nonsense! I was only saying to James how marvellous I thought it was. Damn good of you to have us all round like that, very sporting. Now listen, is James around darling? Only I wanted a word with him about this foundation of his."
I frowned at him. "He's working on it now, I believe. Surely you're not getting involved in that, are you?"
"But of course, Claudia my dear! I have agreed to be the patron of the charity. After all, we can't be seen to have hooligans in Beckwell, now can we?" George winked and pushed past into the house, in search of James.

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Has it really been that long since I gave birth? Why does it feel so much more recent that that?
Anyway, this is Elena. James is positively thrilled she's inherited his hair and eyes. Quite the little Worthington, as it happens. And quite the independent little soul, she is. Such good news.

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In fact, she's so independent that she enjoys playing with her little blocks all by herself. I'm warming to her more all the time. Such a precious little girl and so very like her father.
Oh well. One cannot have everything I suppose.

To Be Continued...

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James' POV
Just look at my beautiful girl! Isn't she grown up already? Such an affectionate child. I know my mother always sang the praises of my nanny but in my opinion, there is nothing like a little hands on work with one's own children. No point messing about with all that once they're older, of course.

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Our first dinner as a family! Claudia's been practicing with new dishes and tonight we had the delights of her new recipe, garlic noodles. My mother had such an aversion to garlic so I never had any as a child. In fact my father used to joke that my mother must be a vampire, her dislike of the stuff was so strong.

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Elena is so full of mischief, it's in fact ironic. I have set up a foundation for less mischief in Beckwell and I have a daughter at home, tipping paint on the beige carpet in the guest bedroom. She does have a particular charm that is so frequently found in the Worthington family. In fact, it's uncanny.

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I am sorry to say motherhood doesn't appear to suit my Claudia. A shame really, since I plan on a good size family. I was a very lonely child, with no brothers or sisters because, like Claudia, my mother couldn't stand 'ruining' her figure. She was determined to be the belle of every ball. I don't want Elena to have a lonely childhood...

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What a beautiful baby girl my Elena is turning out to be. Goodnight, my little darling.

Quarterly Summary:
James reached level 7 Charisma and level 2 Programming and as such, didn't unlock anything this week.
Claudia reached level 5 Cooking and level 1 Gourmet Cooking and as such, didn't unlock anything this week.
Elena reached level 2 Thinking, Communication, Movement and Potty Training and as such, didn't unlock anything this week.
Weddings: None
Babies: None

I caught up with the whole story on your tumblr (thanks for putting the link) and I really enjoyed it! As a result I am ahead of this thread, so won't spoil  Tongue

The Genuine Frenchwoman. God saves the bears bear
Thank you!  Heart I haven't forgotten the story, I just haven't got this save game copied over to the new laptop yet! It's all still in tact on my external drive though!

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