Manuscripts, Webinars, Wills, Nominations and Peacock Dung

Well no sign of life calming down then. It has been all systems go trying to get the manuscript of Remember Then: women’s memories of 1946-1969 and how to write your own to the publishers. Yesterday really was the deadline if there was to be any chance of a pre-Christmas (Christmas 2015 that is) publication date. There are still no guarantees but it has been sent and I have given it half a chance of being available for you to put on your Christmas list. I was quite demob happy until I looked at the 3 volume novel that is the list of things I need to do before my trip to Canada. It has been a great project (the book not the to do list, despite them being similar in length) and I am so grateful to all the lovely ladies who have been helping me. My Google search history has been diverse as I finish this off. ‘Slang words for drugs 1960s’; ‘UK church attendance 1951’; ‘Mrs Dale’s Diary’ and ‘Civil Defence Corp.’ to name but a few. I have had a bit of trouble with auto-correct – why it would think I meant ‘supine’ when I actually typed ‘tuppence’, I have no idea.

On the book front I was very excited to learn that Family Historians’ Enquire Within has been nominated for the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), Information Services Group Reference Award 2015. No, I’d never heard of it either and I hope that I don’t have to be able to memorise what must be the longest award title in the world but it is flattering to have been nominated. Not that I can take any of the credit, as this volume is really the work of others. It only has my name on the front because I updated it ready for the latest edition, which was the first reprint for nearly 20 years. Apparently the award is for (deep breath) ‘outstanding works of reference in print or electronic format that are available and relevant to the library and information sector in the UK, and published in 2014.’

I have also been giving a talk to Australia. Sadly no all expenses trip round the globe for this one as my presence was virtual. It was great fun and I do hope that I might be asked again. The system used by the Australian Society of Genealogists means that participants can see my computer screen but can’t see me. Wish I’d known that before I tidied up. I could have been wearing my pyjamas, picking my nose or eating a sandwich and no one would have known. In fact I was doing none of the above and the tidying up bit was stretching the truth somewhat as well. I have though started to empty and sort the contents of my loft. I have a sneaking suspicion that most of it will be returned from whence it came but a small selection has found its way to the tip so far.

I learned this week of an exciting project to index the Principal Probate Registry wills by place. What a wonderful one-place resource that will be. There is only a very small date span available so far but I found several that interested me. Every encouragement needs to be given to those who are making this index available.

And next week? Well it is back to the seventeenth century, although I have been having a taste of that (fortunately not literally) with a medicinal recipe book that someone is transcribing with me. Well, in the interests of honesty, she is transcribing it for palaeography practice and I am ‘marking’ her excellent efforts. Peacock dung for convulsions or wax from the head of a sperm whale (what do you mean, you don’t have any in your medicine cabinet?) for bruising anyone? Oh and if anyone knows what Benjamine Laddarell is please tell. It appears to be an ingredient and is written with upper case initial letters. It is definitely Benjamine (which may refer to a form of benzoin) but I am willing to stand corrected on the second word.

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