26.3.05

Why can't the clocks go forward at 4pm on a Monday?


Ooops! Late again! This is becoming a bit of a habit lately - that and not doing my rounds of all of your work. There are two - perhaps even three - reasons for this malaise, and at least one of them is good (well I think so), while the others I'll leave for you to decide. Firstly, you may or (probably) may not have noticed that I have had to delete my CPHRC website - a labour of love of mine from its inception in September 1998, when I didn't even know how to link one page to another, and when I used all of the free websites to make horrible navigation buttons for me. Way back then, the site was manageable as a hobby - it had about 20-30 pages, and there were people who were quite willing to offer (temporary) hindrance. As the months passed, however, the site grew until it reached over 1500 pages and was receiving over 120,000 hits each month. As well as being much more difficult for me to keep it up to date and answer questions about all manner of things concerning the Portuguese Republic's history, I was also having to try to keep up to date with all the developments in HTML and XML coding. It got to the stage where I really needed to create a MySQL and PHP database just to keep the vast amount of information in easily retrievable format. Then I was getting requests from journalists and media researchers (even film producers and documentary makers) to give them free advice (soon knocked that one on the head). The strangest request I got, which in hindsight I should perhaps have accepted, was to appear on the Fred McAulay BBC Radio Scotland show last July. For those of you who don't know, McAulay's show is not the most serious on the radio and, although I am a fan, I was quite surprised to hear that they wanted me on. Ever the professional (if I say it often enough, some people might actually start to believe me!) I phoned the researcher back and asked her what kind of questions I should expect to be asked (remembering that the Portuguese prime minister had just resigned to accept appointment as EU President). I was flummoxed when she told me that they wanted me to take part in a table tennis match against a Greek person on the roof of the BBC's studios in Glasgow as their way of honouring the Portugal v. Greece European Championships final! I refused to go - not because I think that I am above such trivial pursuits: no, I refused because I can't play table tennis, and didn't want to make an arse of myself on national radio. Anyway, I digress. The reason my photos have been appearing late and without much effort or thought going into them is that after six years of being freely available to all and sundry I have to recreate the CPHRC as a paysite, as well as launch the new CPHRC services (Book Editing, Translating, Publishing, Photography and Research). The other reasons are... I was watching the Italy v. Scotland game (still lost, but at least there are signs of improvement) and... well... errr... That's it really. So, to celebrate St David's day (only 25 days late), here's a daffodil. The first that I have held in my hands this year.

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