Desk Top Christmas Tree

The big highlight of 2015 has to have been passing my viva and becoming a doctor.  I’m still quite pleased with the way my thesis looks sitting on the shelf, even though I never got it bound (Manchester only requires electronic submission of corrected theses).  I like it the way it is.  And graduation was a lovely day – much nicer than I expected.

I’m pleased that I was appointed as an Honorary Researcher at Lancaster, which enabled me to finish a couple of articles that I’ve been working on for a long time.  One of the articles, in Notes and Queries, was published online in November, and although I’m still waiting to see a hard copy, I’m happy to count 2015 as the year I had my first peer-reviewed article published.

The year hasn’t all been great – the wilderness months in the middle with no access to any research databases were pretty rough – but it’s rounded off on a positive note.  I had plenty of A-level work for Sovereign Education and finally, I was appointed as a part time lecturer at Liverpool Hope University, a position which I will take up at the end of January 201

I’m also very proud of my involvement in The Great History Quiz: The Tudors, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve on BBC2.  I really enjoyed the programme, particularly the performance of the two ballads, which were accompanied by Jill Kemp on recorder.  Jill used to play in concerts for my late father-in-law, which was an amazing coincidence.  It’s worth watching on BBC iPlayer, I think, if you have chance, as it was very entertaining.  It will be available for few weeks yet here:

By the way, my mum took the photo, not me!

I have really only got two goals for 2016.  The first is to make a successful start to my university teaching career at Liverpool Hope.  Although I’m looking forward to it, I am a bit nervous as it’s a long, long time since I was employed to teach anyone on a regular basis.  The second goal is to complete the book of the thesis.