A Thank You to the Chawton team

Not the most flattering photo of me ever, as I give an Untour, with Ryan observing. Photo: © Chawton House Library/Darren Bevin

Well, that turned out to be be more exhausting than I had expected. It went very well though. Only one of the visitor (group)s that I approached chose not to come on an Untour, and that was just because they were short on time, having come to see the village’s open gardens as well as the “Great House”. That was on the last day, and was more than made up for by a visitor actually requesting an Untour in the final minutes before last entry. She was very effusive with her appreciation, and indeed, every participant seems to enjoy the tours, despite my pauses as I waited for the wi-fi to catch up with us.

What caught me by surprise (though it shouldn’t have) was the energy required when engaging with the public all day. I say it shouldn’t have, because I used to do that for a job at Hampton Court Palace. But I didn’t come home from that job quite as exhausted as I felt by the end of the week. Maybe I’m just that much older, and more out of shape, or maybe the extra work of limiting my interactions to what the “natom database” defined used more brainpower. But as it turned out all I wanted was to sleep through Sunday. And Monday actually, but I had to go to work.

But this post isn’t all about me. Other people devoted energy to the success of the project too. I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody involved at Chawton, all the staff of course, especially Darren Bevin the librarian, but also the volunteers William and Yvette and intern Ryan. Ryan has, moments ago, sent me his notes from observing a numbers of tours, and he also filmed a good number of tours which give me a few hours of video evidence to analyse too (just as soon as I can find somewhere to securely store all those gigs of data!). I’d also like to thank all the participants who willingly because my test subjects.

Now I have to get my head around all that analysis,which means coding the evidence with Atlas TI (which means learning Atlas TI) and start writing it up. At the same time, I need to edit/rewrite my incredibly long first chapter in my thesis into three or four chapters, plus an introduction. Which I need to have done by the end of next month. The write up of the experiment and the results I have a little longer to do, I’m thinking the end of September. So this week, I’ll make sure my data is filed property and the video stored securely and backed up a couple of times. Then I’ll leave off thinking about Chawton for a while, and go back to Scrivener to get my thesis in shape for the upgrade, which I’ll need to organise for December.

 

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