Every time I read "Ship of the Line" I think of a moving assembly line which I just don't think is quite right for ships built 17th-19th century.
So now I've spent about an hour reading about that and the Temeraire ships on wikipedia.
And what first-, second, third and fourth rate ships means too.
And now I feel a bit dizzy.
There is a line in Black Powder War that goes something along the lines of "Laurence could follow their progress by the moon and the stars" and I just thought to myself, HOW COOL ISN'T THAT? I love to have skills like that, or look up at the sun and go "oh it's 15:38". As it is now I wouldn't be much help in an adventure at all.
Sometimes when I'm out late at night, often when taking the dog out for her finally walk of the day, I have a habit of looking up at the night sky and search out Orion's Belt and The Big Dipper/Plough/Saptarishi (Karlavagnen) because those are the only two I know. (I know how the little dipper and Cassiopeja look as well but I can never find them). I really wish I knew more, and more about the different kinds of flowers and trees and even birds. I suppose I can add it to my list of "Things I Want To Learn After I Graduated", a list that so far includes "brushing up on my French" and "Learning to play the harmonica" (and thus finally justify me owning one for about fifteen years or more).