First, a warning that this post has been written with the aid of medication. I have contracted the dreaded winter lurgy, so have been overdosing on proprietary medication. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday, which is saying not a great deal but at least I seem to be able keep my eyes open. It has been a few days of madness and mayhem. Friday, before I became germ-ridden, I premiered my talk about the history of mental health at one of my favourite venues. It has been fascinating to work on; I hope it was thought provoking. It was very difficult to decide which of the many interesting case studies I have come across to include. Somehow I can’t seem to stop collecting more. Then my article on the same topic appeared on the front cover of British Connections magazine. Today, it was time to finish the penultimate chapter of Barefoot on the Cobbles; even that involved madness. I’ve vicariously given birth, nursed a sick child and then I left Aunt Matilda dangling by her nightdress from the railings of Exminster asylum, in the depths of December. No wonder I am exhausted.
Plenty of preparation too for various upcoming overseas presentations. Aside from the two (or possibly three) events this year, there are two more potential live appearances outside the UK in 2019 that I am considering and then a webinar for Australia, on researching the domestic context for our ancestors’ lives coming up shortly. The downside of overseas webinars is the time difference. I have been caught out by this before. I was greatly relieved when the scheduling of the forthcoming one was altered from 11pm to 6am. Fortunately it is sound only, so I don’t even have to look respectable. In addition, my latest cohort of Pharos Writing and Telling your Family History students have just begun the course. It is always great fun to watch their stories unfold.
What about the snow? I hear you cry – not a flake. Although I did venture out to break the inch thick ice on what I laughingly call the pond and there was settled snow just five miles away. Not that I am really in the market for snowperson building or hurtling down slopes on a sledge but with everyone avidly sharing seasonal snaps on social media, I feel quite deprived. I shall have to settle for one from a previous year.