Well, what a busy week it has been. Firstly, preparing my presentations for the Guild of One-Name Studies conference and Who Do You Think You Are? Live. I have come across some great websites whilst working on the former, which is entitled Ship to Shore: sources for researching coastal communities and their inhabitants but no spoilers. For those who aren’t at the conference, all will be revealed next week. Then the really exciting news that I have been allocated an additional presentation slot at Who Do You Think You Are? Live. So at 2.15pm on Thursday 6 April I shall be in the Education Zone talking about Give me a child until they are seven: young children and family history. This is a subject that is very dear to my heart and Edward has been helping me with some of the slides. This is a free, no need to book session but it hasn’t been publicised so please spread the word. It is such an important subject and I don’t want an audience of one. I have the large hall to fill for my second session at 3.15pm The Ones that got Away: tracing elusive English ancestors. There are still some spaces for that one, says she, shamelessly seeking support. Most importantly, if you are there, do come and say hello. I shall be there on all three days.
Then I’ve been writing an article for The In-depth Genealogist about the history of prostitution, well the column is about working women. It has made my internet search history look a bit dodgy. I have learned the hard way that it is best to go for ‘Prostitution in Victorian times’, rather than ‘Victorian Prostitution’. I could but won’t, give you some interesting information about shady goings on in Victoria Australia and Victoria Canada. I managed to restrain myself before searching for ‘copyright free images of prostitutes’.
Next, I attended the excellent book launch event for Liz Shakespeare’s Postman Poet and the accompanying CD by Nick and Becki (with a small contribution from a fisherman of my acquaintance). It was a brilliant evening and I have already started the log-awaited book. I even got VIP treatment and an honourable mention on the strength of providing my kitchen.
Then it was off to the ENT department for the next instalment in what has now become the ‘what Janet hasn’t got wrong with her’ saga. This time it was to determine why my voice periodically sound like a frog on steroids (one drug that has not yet been suggested). Turns out my knowledge of anatomy is more rudimentary than I thought. In order to look at my voice-box, I had a camera shoved up my nose. This is a strange sensation and not to be tried at home, particularly not if you use a Canon G7X. Allegedly all looked fine and the verdict was that I seem to have somehow learned to talk using the wrong muscles (but weirdly not all the time). Nope, I don’t understand it either. I am now being sent for speech therapy. I am viewing this as Continuing Professional Development and wondering if the travel costs to the hospital are tax deductable.
On the good news front, copies of Putting your Ancestors in their Place: a guide to one place studies are now in short supply. It must be the recent publicity. At least, I think this is good news. I hadn’t really factored working on a revised edition in to the diary. Then even more excitement as I receive a letter to say that an article that I wrote so long ago that I barely remember has been short listed for a British Association for Local History Award. I feel like I’ve been nominated for, if not quite an Oscar, at least a Brit Award. So The Impact of the Bible Christians in Rural North-West Devon: a force for unity or division? must have gone down well. Devon History Society is well represented as another article in the same edition of their journal was also nominated. There are usually about eight nominees chosen from hundreds of local history articles. Now I am just working out if I can possibly get to London to collect the certificate that all nominees are awarded. Fortunately I don’t think I need to prepare a speech that thanks my agent, my family and my dog and makes telling comments about the current political situation.