Hello everyone. <wipes down a surface> Dusty in here, isn’t it? Well, I suppose I haven’t been here for a few years. 2019, 2020 and now 2021 have all been professionally challenging and writing two blog posts a week on top of everything else burned me out – so I stopped. This has had its ups and downs. I’ve certainly managed to press on with research and – above all – with writing in the way I’ve needed to; but there was a reason I liked blogging as a research tool, and without the impetus to get new material on the blog on at least a semi-regular level things haven’t felt as fresh as they used to back when I used to update every week. Given the circumstances, it seems like a good time to start up again.
So what’s been happening with me? Well, most importantly, as of May 2021, my research fellowship came to an end. I’m not, quite, unemployed – I still have a visiting research fellowship at Leeds and I’m doing some work for the Sylloge of Coinage of the British Isles, which is keeping the money coming in – but being without a position is exactly as fun as any junior scholar will tell you, and I’m currently applying for jobs both within and without the university sector. What this means is that restarting the blog, to ensure I don’t lose touch with thinking about the tenth century even if I’m doing something else, started to look ever more appealing.
Given that the last time I tried to do that it lasted for all of two posts, it’s worth reassuring you, the audience, that lessons have been learned. This short post is just to announce the blog’s relaunch: after that we have two months of regular content written and scheduled already. Roughly speaking – this will be subject to a little bit of flux – we’ll be running research-based content every Thursday at 12:30 UTC, and translation-based content (the now misnamed but nonetheless continuing Charter A Week, mostly) every other Tuesday at the same time.
Part of the reason I’ve been able to put this together is something you might have found out already if you’ve been keeping an eye on our ‘About’ page; and indeed our new ‘Meet The Team’ page: this blog is no longer a one-man show! I’m very pleased to announce that my friend and colleague Sam Ottewill-Soulsby will be joining us as a staff writer, and you can expect posts from him every other week. As site editor, I’ve gotten to read these posts in advance, and let me tell you all, you’re in for a treat. As far as the immediate schedule goes, our first regular post will be on Thursday, talking about the earliest Norman court and whether we know anything about it. Then, next week, it’ll be Charter A Week on Tuesday, looking at a fascinating document from Provence where a bishop describes his own enthronement; and then on Thursday, it’ll be Sam’s first post on the ever-popular topic of Charlemagne’s elephant. After that, regular service will resume – hopefully we will see you there!