Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Fish out of water?

The pool in which I swim is small, but the water is not so cold that I'm unable to bask a little. I admit that, after signing off on By Metes & Boundes at the end of 2010, I was feeling a little washed up. But I'm happy to report that the years spent researching it are beginning to pay off, albeit not financially! Last December Edward Martin, archaeological officer for Suffolk County Council, came to the neighbouring village of Wetherden to talk about Haughley Castle, whose site is currently being cleared and historically re-assessed. I felt my face redden slightly when one of the slides in his illustrated talk turned out to be the plan of that site in 1554 that I'd constructed for By Metes & Boundes, properly cited and analysed for the benefit of the audience!

Haughley 1554

I've also begun to be invited to give talks to local history groups – three so far, and two booked – on my work about Tudor Haughley. Uploading the text of By Metes & Boundes onto an academic website has resulted in dozens of Google hits from around the world by Early Modern historians. Unfortunately, having come out of the historical closet, however parochial, means I get asked to involve myself in a variety of projects on which I'm unqualified to speak. People now try to flatter me into saying yes to their demands, but I must try and regain some of my former control. Thrashing about in all directions will only splash the water out of my comfy pool, and I could end up floundering in the shallows! This increased activity resulted in my life becoming a bit more fragmented than usual, hence the large hiatus in my blog posts.

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