We stayed with my cousin and his boyfriend. That was good. They're very low-hassle, and always glad to see us. It's a shame we live a bit too far away to see much more of each other. One good point of staying with them was that purely by chance they live 20 minutes' drive away from the primary setting for Ranulf, so we drove there so I could get some location shots. There's not much left there from the late 1500s, so I'm going to have to rely more in historical imagination than facts. The local church — not the one in the book, because that burned down in the early 1800s — had a local history booklet on sale for £5, so I bought one gratefully. It didn't tell me much that I didn't already know and contradicted a couple of things that I thought I did know, but it did give me the contact address for their local history guy. I'll be writing to him to ask a few questions, particularly about the pre 14th-century Templar associations. If he doesn't know the answers, he may know to whom I need to talk.
Hopes of keeping stgpcm work-free were dashed, of course; woken by 6am alerts on Christmas Day which continued through the day were a premonition of what was to come, ending with Jus having to drive down to London to work on a mail server shortly after we'd got home from York. And the traveling hasn't been kind to my back, so there's been a lot of lying flat with painkillers. That was only to be expected, but I'd hoped it wouldn't be so bad.
So here we go. End of 2004, start of 2005.