Juggling, I have discovered this week, isn’t easy.  I can only assume that this time last year I was so taken up with the prospect of moving house that the PhD took a back seat to packing boxes and playing with my children.  I didn’t have my summer panel meeting until the middle of August last year and I do remember being on holiday with my computer, but I don’t remember it being as exhausting as this.  I’ve given myself a long list of jobs to do, tidying up bits and pieces that need sorting out and visiting several archives, but I’m also trying to fit in with family life too, so somehow I have been spending half a day working and half a day doing things with the children.

On Tuesday I commuted to Manchester, had a breakfast supervision meeting and then spent an entire day in the John Rylands library on Deansgate reading a book about one of the manuscripts that I am going to see this summer.  Today I read a book and took notes while visiting family.

I’ve been re-writing my knowingness piece too.  Precision demanded in every word.

This is proving less than easy.

This week I’ve been looking at the ballads written about Mary and Philip, and their background.  So I’m looking into the authors and printers, and the culture of balladry in the early modern period. I’m really finding it very interesting, not least because of my background in music and my particular interest in the folk tradition.  That said, Shakespeare they aren’t, and one of them at least strays into Dr Seuss territory!  Some of them are quite well known, but others less so.  They are heavy with imagery, and a couple of them use the image of the marigold for Mary, which is a lovely play on words.

A friend put me on to the conference on Attending to Early Modern Women in May at the University of Milwaukee….  I wish!  The actual conference and accommodation isn’t that expensive, but getting there?  Well, that could be a bit of a problem.  That and the childcare!

I spent a few days typing up a sermon by John Feckenham.  It seemed like a good idea when I started.  Then I realised it was 58 pages long and it seemed like an amazingly bad idea.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief on Tuesday afternoon when I finished, but I’m glad I did it because I now have a much cleaner copy that is much easier to read.

At the end of last week I went to visit the librarians at Chetham’s and the John Rylands in Manchester, which was very interesting.  I got some interesting contacts out of it, and a lot of useful information.

I had a singing lesson yesterday.  Singing is providing a nice change from all the book work, especially as the pile of reading that needs doing seems to be expanding exponentially!