Monday I found myself running around London this week from one event to the next. It started with a short hop to London on the Eurostar from Brussels before heading into a City archive where I have been asked to review some bullion records: a great start to the week!
Tuesday afternoon I attended a Witness Seminar that looked at the Role and Functions of British High Commission in Pretoria held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. An amazing line-up and a great insight into behind the scene operations and what it takes to get things done! I was highly impressed with Dr Sue Onslow (Institute of Commonwealth Studies) who chaired one of the sessions and also Dame Nicola Brewer, until very recently she was the British High Commissioner to South Africa since June 2009. Nicola gave a great performance and a frank and honest insight into her contribution during her time in office. I came away and having researched her achievements feel that I would put her on my list of ‘movers and shakers’ I could learn a lot from!
Wednesday saw me at King’s College London for an evening lecture by Vernon Bogdanor on ‘Britain in 1914: What would you have done?’ A great orator and it made me realise how much I already know and have retained about the origins of the Great War. This tied in nicely with the three conference paper outlines I had been asked to draft, which will take weeks of prep to prepare should I get any of the gigs next year!
Thursday I lived it up, more records to go through and some interesting bits and bobs put into the old memory box to be pulled out later. I had a nice email to say that my request to see some important closed archival papers for a Journal article I am writing had been granted, it’s not always what you know but who supports your request. PM I attended a glitzy awards ceremony at the HSBC in Canary Wharf. Lovely people, lovely venue, well deserved winner….. I meet an interesting fellow there and arranged for coffee in the New Year as I want to learn more about his research project (more to follow on this later!)
Friday after a day fingering through papers I hopped back on the Eurostar and headed back to Belgium for a well earned rest!