Monday 19 September 2011

All 'conferenced' out

The Springfield Hilton prepares for the invasion
I'm writing this on a (very nice) train between Ottawa and Toronto, on a lovely sunny morning. I have been a bit of a blog-free zone lately, and it's nice to be back.

I was at the FGS conference in Springfield recently, where I gave three presentations, plus one at the pre-conference Librarians' Day. Then I was conveyed to Chicago, in chauffeur-driven splendour, courtesy of the magnificent Thomas McEntee. I managed to get myself sunburnt (ouch) when the weather was much hotter and sunnier than I'd been expecting. This is now fading and peeling, so I look a little less panda-like when I take off my sunglasses. Flaky and peeling isn't a great look, but it's better than red and glowing: for a while you could have used my nose to guide incoming aircraft.

After my R&R stop in Chicago, it was on to Ottawa for the BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) conference, held at Libraries and Archives Canada, where I gave another three presentations. Now I'm on my way to my final appearance, at the Toronto branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society tonight. I'm really looking forward to seeing Toronto again, after a gap of 25 years. Oddly enough, on my last visit I stayed in North York, where the society meets.

As if all this trains, planes and automobiles activity wasn't enough, I've also just finished co-writing a book, and the manuscript is finally with the publisher - for the last few weeks even my slacker conscience wouldn't let me write anything longer than a quick Facebook or Twitter post until it was all done, hence the lack of postings on the blog. As I said, it's nice to be back. I still have one conference to come, 'Celebrating the Census' day on 1 October,  part of the day job back at The National Archives.

I hope to write in more detail about the conferences, but for the moment I just want to say how much I enjoyed both the Springfield and Ottawa events. My US and Canadian hosts have been wonderful, and as always it was great to meet old friends, and make new ones. I'd like to thank the host societies for inviting to to speak, and the audiences for turning up to listen - and also for their many kind comments and positive feedback. In particular I'd like to thank David Rencher and my other friends at FamilySearch who arranged for me to use one of their projectors for my talks at Springfield, so I didn't have to bring one across the Atlantic with me, and then lug it around three other cities before going home. Guys, every time I get on or off a plane or a train I think of you with gratitude!