As is normal for the addition of another 10,000 views to the blog I send out my heart felt thanks to everybody who has helped to achieve this.
In some respects, this summer has not panned out as I had hoped – perhaps stupidly I viewed the summer as an opportunity to catch up with everything that had built up regarding submitted information – of course this rather simplistic view ignored two things – one, that I would spend my summer doing nothing other than the blog and two, that the information I would be processing would be static, i.e. nothing else would arrive in my inbox.
In hindsight, I am actually pleased to say that neither of these 2 assumptions proved correct or were able to be completed.
The imminent arrival of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Lancaster ‘VeRA’ at the beginning of the summer clearly provided some travel opportunities but at the time of booking tickets for a few events to see VeRA, Thumper and Jane, I didn’t envisage what would build around these plans and the wonderful summer I would have (with Bev), driving, walking and sitting in various parts of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. The summer has now gone and I am pleased to say (perhaps as a number of you would have encouraged me to do so anyway) that I have actually spent what available time I have had, enjoying myself, rather than worrying about the blog – I observe this, certainly not in a negative way regarding the blog and those who have contacted me over the summer, but simply I suppose to recognise the fact that I too in fact have a life and at some points you need to enjoy it.
A few posts will appear in the next few weeks that add to my original post a couple of weeks back regarding our exploration of Mepal airfield and I suppose can be grouped under a common heading of ‘what I did in my summer holidays’
As I have mentioned already – I came to the summer period after a particularly busy and difficult year at work with a pile of things I wanted to do with the blog. Some of these have been done and some have still to be completed. I must confess now, that probably at a few points the stress I was beginning to create, entirely internally, turned the blog into a problem and a chore – which of course, is utterly ridiculous and to various individuals credit, the obviously sensible observation of:
‘For christ’s sake Simon – if you aren’t enjoying it why the hell are you doing this?’
finally sank in – as crazy as it sounds, perhaps in moments such as this, an individual has to truly experience the proverbial ‘waking up and smelling the coffee’ moment themselves to see the stupidity of the situation they have managed to entirely create themselves.
Walking around Mepal and Sutton, sitting on a windswept airfield, waiting to see a couple of old girls that ended up standing me up, sitting in the sun and hearing the sound of 12 Merlin engines and simply talking to people and listening to them regarding the proudness they feel for a relative, whether they flew in 75(NZ) Squadron or not was actually what I needed to do in order to remember myself, why I started this blog and why I will carry on doing it – it’s just that I can’t do everything in one go and life goes on around it………
Well thanks for listening to my public therapy session………
Regarding the blog:
Firstly, thank you to everyone who has contacted me over the last month or so with information or questions about relatives or the Squadron – I am working through things – but I am aware that some of you still have not heard back from me after your initial contact – I will touch base – I promise.
I now currently have about another 6 logbooks to present – which is utterly fantastic and certainly makes the blog the single largest resource on the web for records of this kind relating to the Squadron. In order to present these logs in the best and most appropriate manner, they need a bit of work doing on them and this, inevitably takes time. To everybody who has sent logbooks to me recently, – please bare with me – they will go up on the blog, but it will take a while to get them all done.
I note also that the blog is now running at about 10,000 views a month.
Interestingly, though perhaps not surprisingly, the contacts I am making with people seem at the moment to be moving subtly from those that are providing information to those that are asking for information. This is completely fine and it’s an aspect of the blog that I quickly realised, was a service that was required and should be provided – I appreciate myself the frustration of contacting someone for help and never getting a response – but obviously the generation of information for these inquiries takes longer than the (relatively) easier activity of receiving information and preparing it for a post on the blog (accepting that some of you that have sent information over the summer might disagree with this!)
I also want to take this opportunity to again than Hubert for his efforts and patience in single handedly transcribing the entire set of Form 540’s for 1944 – it’s a massive addition to Project ORB, which now sees us chronologically, at least, approximately half way through the activity. Having said this, I am fully aware that what remains, certainly regarding 1943, is a nightmarish task, given the significantly greater detail of information that is recorded in these documents relative to the quite succinct records of 1944 and 1945.
As always, anybody that wants to have a go, just let me know………
The database is slowly growing. I am trying to now integrate requests for aircrew/ individual information as a way of specifically adding the requested information back into the database where this data has not already been added – whilst this sometimes is time consuming, it means the data is in and thus is less to add later. I have also added more cells to each row, allowing more information to be added and thus gathered when a search is performed.
So, in summary, thanks to everyone who has viewed the blog – whether you are new or a regular reader, thank you to everyone who has contacted me with a request or information – I’ll get back to you or get the material up on the blog as soon as I can……….