Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting for Fine Fettle and My Usual Health

Those of you who follow my blog will have noticed that I have fallen off my perch lately when it comes to posting anything much at all. In September and October when I was in Ireland, I was so focussed on my research that all else faded. If you know me well, you will also find it hard to believe that I only read something like three issues of The Guardian, and one or two issues of other papers the whole time that I was away from home. Usually, I am such a hound, that I devour at least one newspaper a day.

The reason was that I had headed out on the trip with two questions that I hoped to get closer to answering. It took all the time that I had. After ten years of doing this, all the low hanging fruit has been picked. It is needle in a haystack time.  Getting closer is as good as it gets.

The two questions – totally arcane - were:

  • Who were the JACKSONs who lived at Tullyvallen, Co. Armagh from the late 1600s until the mid 1800s? (Crazy, stupid – I know.) There was also the connected question - were they related to any other known line of JACKSONs – particularly the JACKSONs of Urker and/or Coleraine and Forkhill?
  • The second question had to do with the fact that Sir Thomas Jackson had brought a farm hand up from his farm in Co. Kildare in the mid 1890s to run the farm at Cavananore, Co. Louth. Where was this farm in Co. Kildare? The related question here was: was the land connected to JACKSONs of Kildare?
In both instances, I did get closer, in fact, by a long shot. At least I now know where to look next. Later, I will tell you why this even matters. First though, I need to get past all the coughing and schnarfing that I am still doing thanks to a flu I picked up at the tail end of this trip. For now, I am trying to obey – as best I can – my husband’s edict for rest, liquids, and then again more rest. After all, he does have to live with me, hack, spew etc..

I do find that the rest part is the hardest. These days TV is so boring that it isn’t even worthy of my sickly attention. I think I’ll have to learn to hook up my laptop to the TV screen so I can surf for more interesting material for the times when eyeballs can’t read.

In the meantime, my compromise has been to not do anything that requires heavy lifting in the thinking department. This has meant no writing – which always takes more thought than what might be visible in the end result. All that I have attempted has been short spurts of transcriptions which I have posted on my web site on the What’s New page. They are beyond arcane.

I expect that within a week – after all, this is just a wee respiratory hiccup - I will be totally back in the saddle on my blog-writing horse, and will once again be galloping off in all directions. 

I have all sorts of pictures and stories of fab places to eat and noodle around in Ireland and Boston waiting for me to write about. I also want to natter on about books that have hooked me, as well as all sorts of minor adventures which I have been up to recently. Trust me. You will hear from me - as soon as I am in, as my mother used to say, fine fettle or as my great grandmother would say, in my usual health. My usual health is a great and good thing. So is fine fettle.

1 comment:

  1. I hope all your fettles come home to rest in a very fine and lovely way :)
    Of course, the bigger question fettles actually fly?
    Perhaps a fine fettle is more of a kettle, and then one can only hope they produce a lovely soup.
    Hmmm... perhaps I'm going off on fettle-like tangents? I think there was an extra espresso shot in my cappuccino this morning.
    I guess what I really wanted to say, is that I'm wishing you back to your usual health.