This week has been hard. I’m tired. Very tired. If it were just the work, it would be fine, but the added pressure of parenthood is difficult at times, and this was one of them.

I’ve been reading (yes, again). Mainly theoretical stuff on monarchical republic and oral culture. A friend pointed out that I really ought to know my monarchical republic debate inside out. I didn’t. I still don’t. But I do know it a bit better than I did a week ago! I’m struggling to see what’s so revolutionary about the concept of the Elizabethan monarchical republic. Maybe it’s because as a concept it’s been around as long as I’ve been researching.   Or maybe I just can’t really see why it’s any different to the concilliar rule of the minor.

On Tuesday I did a 10 hour day.  I started with a course on how to write for oral presentations, which was interesting.  It did rather state the obvious, but sometimes that’s just what you need to get you focussed.  All I need now is somewhere to put it into practice.  Then I went into the ‘office’ and read for a few hours (yes, you guessed it – monarchical republic) and finally at 5pm I had my last Spanish class.  Next week I have a written exam and the following week I have my oral, which rather scares me.  But I did find out the results of the listening exam I sat before Christmas, and I got 71.  I was extremely pleased, mainly because I thought I’d completely messed it up but also because I came about 5th out of a class of 20+.  It has given me a bit more confidence.  Just  a bit.

On Monday I met with my supervisor and we looked at what I need to do for my next panel meeting.  It should be in July, but had been pushed back to September because of my unusual start.  We decided to try to bring it forward to August, because my supervisor thinks that I will be ready by then and I would like to try to get back on track – I’m self funded and there will come a point when the money runs out!  As far as I’m concerned, my three year deadline for completion is exactly that.  So I’m going to start with a chapter on ballad responses to Mary.  Although I am not intending to organise my source material by genre in the long run, we think that it’s probably a reasonable way to start.  So I have to be prepared to completely re-write my work, but the idea is that there isn’t a word or idea in the chapter that won’t be used in the final draft.    I have 2000 words to write to start with, either on some of the ballads or on the historiography of the oral tradition, so I think I will go for the historiography first to get it out of the way and give myself a grounding on which to base the rest of the work I do.

This morning, as a break from the theory, I spent hours and hours looking at the catalogue of the Lancashire Record Office and searching A2A.  I have identified a couple of things that might be useful, which is jolly nice!