Of Poetry, Pustules and Publicity

Well, now I have been reminded what going out to full-time work feels like. Phew – no housework has been done for a week and I was in a state of collapse most evenings (the ones when I wasn’t working that is). To be fair, that was partly due to the after effects of the accident. I am clearly not as recovered as I thought I was. It helped that we were working in a really lovely school with a staff who got involved to the extent of painting plague pustules on themselves, which got worse as the day wore on. Who else in their working day hears surreal comments such as, ‘how do my pustules look?’?

Car magnetA curious incident on our way to the school: we have to pick up a colleague in the van. Said colleague lives in a road where parking is at a premium so Chris parks the van a hundred yards up the road, where he is blocking someone’s drive and walks back to collect our colleague. I am skulking in the van, trying to keep a low profile but am being eyed very suspiciously by a couple who have just emerged from a house over the road. I am wondering if I can reach for a sword before they remonstrate with me for illegal parking and obstructing their neighbours’ drive. Chris returns and they are still staring. I had forgotten that we have our super advertising magnets affixed to the vehicle. It turns out that the people viewing our car with suspicion are Medieval re-enactors. We have a nice chat and exchange contact details before running the gauntlet of rush hour traffic.

Reviews for Remember Then are starting  to appear and we were featured in The National Archives’ newsletter, raising us in the Amazon cultural books list to number 187 at one point. I am stupidly excited by this. Sales this week have necessitated my going to the town Post Office in seventeenth century clothing after our time in school. This is always fun, as reactions vary from politely ignoring the fact that I am strangely attired, to curiosity, to barely disguised mirth.

A very interesting members’ evening at Buckland Brewer History Group as usual with several members contributing short items of an historical nature. Local author Liz Shakespeare outlined some of the research she has been doing for her forthcoming book about the postman poet Edward Capern. He was known to compose poetry in a Buckland Brewer cottage whilst waiting to continue his round. Liz has done some painstaking research to try to identify this cottage, using clues from the poetry and it turns out that it was mine!



More about Books

Well, Happy New Year to the three people who are reading this. Actually, there may be a few more than three as I have just had two of my busiest days on this site, with over 500 visitors. This is probably because my lovely volunteers who helped me to compile my latest book of memories of the 1950s and 1960s  Remember Then have been busy advertising it. Sales are going very well and I have sustained a book related injury as a result so my back is now suffering. The good news is that those who have received their copies have said some lovely things about it. There are still quite a number of books in the spare bedroom – I have visitors in March. There is no room for them and the books! For this reason, I have been encouraging people to buy directly from me rather than via Amazon or the publisher. Despite this I did, one morning, rank in the top 300 on the cultural history books sales list on Amazon. If you have Christmas money to spend …….. Another book buying opportunity – if you have been saving up for Unlock the Past publications (including mine) My History are offering a 25% discount until 15 January.

This year’s list of lectures has already begun, with Mistress Agnes making a visit to a local WI to instruct the ladies on how a seventeenth century housewife should behave. I have a frantically busy week coming up with all five days in schools (I think it is 35 years since I did a full working week outside the home) AND four evening functions the same week – if there are more blogs after 22nd January – I survived. Several new eBay purchases have been made ready for the school visits, as we have three slightly different presentations to give, as well as our regular repertoire. Watch the Swords and Spindles site for details. Talking of eBay, don’t you just love it when eBay makes suggestions ‘especially for you’. What on earth in my buying or watching history might suggest that I would be interested in a Batman DVD or a Happy Santa toilet seat?

Also coming soon is my webinar for Ontario Genealogical Society – kindly advertised for me by John Reid of Anglo Celtic Connections. I am busy working with Pharos Tutors on two online courses for later in the year so stand by for more news on those. Mistress Agnes is appearing in an official capacity at Who Do You Think You Are? Live this year and I shall also be involved in a seminar and conference for the Guild of One-Name Studies, so no signs of a quiet life on the horizon.

Thank you to everyone who enquired about my recovery from the car accident. I am currently car-less and it still hurts to laugh, cough, sneeze or exert myself (good excuse to postpone the New Year exercise regime) but I’m getting there thank you. Ridiculous conversations with the insurance company abound.
An excerpt regarding my injury:
Insurance clerk with no medical training to me: ‘You have refused physiotherapy. You would have recovered more quickly if you had had physiotherapy.’
Me: ‘My doctor has not suggested physiotherapy. I do not yet have a replacement car. I am a 32 mile round trip from the nearest hospital, there are two buses a week. How do you suggest I get there?’