Back again – in a new way

I just couldn’t put it down.

In early 2022, my wife Geraldine suffered a severe stroke. It has turned our lives upside down and means that I need to be an ever-present carer, for she is physically disabled by it. The time involved made it really hard for me to do that and keep up with my research at a tempo and standard that I had applied for the past decade and more. I decided that I just had to stop, and I retired my business which was known as Fourteeneighteen. Bad move. It left a big hole in my life.

So I had a rethink and three things emerged.

Eureka! Epiphany!
  1. I have to limit how much of this work I take on. Sometimes I am going to have to say no.
  2. I have a problem if any project involves a need for a physical visit to an archive (which is not many these days thanks to digitisation and my accumulated library). It’s not insuperable, as I can subcontract photographing records, for example. But I will try to steer away from projects where this is a key element and may recommend an alternative researcher for a prospective client.
  3. The largest time element is in writing up the narrative. Not doing the searches for information or interpreting what they say: I can usually do those things in a short timeframe, just through experience. No, it’s the typing and the page formatting and all that stuff that goes with producing say a Word document, and then sending it all electronically to my client. But wait a moment: I write web pages all the time and find that much easier than Word, so why not present my reports that way? That is how the method of presenting via a web page came into my head.

If I do all that, then I can probably achieve a good balance between being a carer and a military researcher. And that would suit me just fine. So let’s see!

Oh, and another thing. Fourteeneighteen was structured as a legal partnership, so all my fee income came into it and it had its own tax return, etc. That has been terminated now. So I from now on am doing this on a self-employed basis.