Research Notes, June 2021

Somewhat Lame

I was recently encouraged to look at a computer app, Grammarly, which is popular with students looking to improve their writing skills. So, ever curious, I gave it some of my notes of a meeting to see what it might say about my style. It came back with four errors, three of which were style choices (and it was clearly wrong!) and, fair enough, one was an improvement. The software also gives the writing some overall scores, and I was given a good for style and clarity (of course!).

But the kicker was the overall judgement that my writing was “somewhat lame”. Hold my coat, we’re taking this outside chum!

I could bleat on about how committee minutes are maybe not the same as a paperback thriller story. But no, instead I’ve decided to try and up the tempo of my writing. Kerpow!

Ear to the Ground

I’m pleased to say that Anne Plumb’s book on the catalogue of her lifetime archive collection of the voices of mental health service users and survivors is working its way steadily through the drafting stage, aiming for publication in the late summer.

I continue to be struck by the humour of service users, survivors, and indeed inmates. One group of patients in a locked ward at a “special hospital” organised a sponsored bed-push as a fundraiser, and wonderfully called it, “The Great Escape”. Ker-boom!

Hulme Hippodrome

One of the nice features of being involved this year with the Save Hulme Hippodrome campaign is that there are so many very capable heritage and archive researchers already involved. And they are far better at this research lark than I am, so I’m learning lots from them. My role is more on the legal and property side, which makes a change. Splat!

Not Dead Yet UK

It seems that every five years or so some misguided politician, usually in the House of Lords, decides to take a punt and try to get Assisted Suicide (aka Assisted Dying) made legal in the UK. So, here we are again with a private members bill in the Lords doing just that. I’m doing some work in the background here. For all the campaign details please see the NDYUK website, and it’s all hands to the pumps. Wham!

What’s your app of choice?

Apparently once we reach 36 years of age we stop listening to new music. I wonder if there is something similar happening with tech. I come across younger people in various campaigns who these days use apps like Trello to help them in project management. Maybe when they too reach 36 years old they will stick with the same app they started out using? I have done so mostly, and apart from the occasional project spreadsheet I find my app of choice remains Filofax. Zap!

Keep safe, and keep campaigning,


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