11.1.05

On reflection...


Today, spontaneously, I did something that I haven't done in almost a year. I went to the Library and did some research. Now, before you all collapse in disbelief, let me quickly add that it is not the first time I have been to any library in the past year. Goodness knows I have been in plenty over the past few months... well, when I say plenty, what I really mean is that I've been to the National Library in Lisbon quite a lot - plenty of times, in fact. No, what I am saying is that it is almost a year since I've been to Dundee University Library. So, today I went again. There are an awful lot more computers than I remember, but apart from that, it is largely unchanged. Well, after showing Linda how to register with the Athens journal database, I plonked myself downstairs and surrounded myself and my laptop with The Times indices for 1918 and 1919. The whole day - and I really mean the whole day - was then spent creating a database of all articles published in The Times about Portugal. This database is something that I have been working on for a couple of years now, and is not restricted to material from The Times. It is basically a searchable archive of just about every piece of primary published material from a variety of sources (Portuguese and foreign newspapers, magazine articles, speeches, etc.). The database links to copies of the actual document in PDF form. I have found it incredibly useful, as everything is hyperlinked and sortable and stored on a CD, it has been an invaluable aid to my research. It would be nice to get funding to make it more professional and more widely available... as if that's ever likely to happen. At lunchtime, I headed over to the Students' Union, and gasped in awe at its new extension. I had my usual egg mayonnaise roll with some milk, followed by an apple, all the time reading about the latest woes on the Scottish football scene, what with Celtic's Brazilian playmaker getting fed-up warming the bench and looking for a move back to more tropical climes. I looked out the window at the gathering storm, and wondered who could blame him for wanting away. Tomorrow, gale force winds permitting, Linda and her Mum are off to Amsterdam. I wish I was going. But then, on reflection as I listen to the slates rattling on the roof (which is where I sincerely hope they will stay), perhaps I would prefer not to be stepping on an aeroplane tomorrow.

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