Wow, what a difference a couple of months makes. Back in early March I was plodding along with usual life and now in early May I’m about to enter a sixth week of lock-down during the coronavirus.

Those more innocent and naive days of early March started with posts relating to the (very delightful) Politics class that I have taught over the past academic year. One post outlined whether or not the UK was suffering from a participation crisis, utilising examples from post-war history, whilst another post reflected on the rather forgotten about 1948 Representation of the People Act. Furthermore, before the rise of COVID-19, I also posted in the series ‘The Trail of the Wildmen’ on the confusing and conflicting records of my great-great grandfather, Henry Wildman.

Returning to family history research has been something I’ve been hankering for in recent weeks, however, a lot of time has been taken up with establishing a new method of teaching online (which has been rather frustrating at times!). In late March I mentioned the impact that COVID-19 had on the academic year, principally the abandonment of all end-of-year exams. Thankfully greater clarity has been provided on how students will obtain their grades. And although the classroom environment is indefinitely suspended, it has been encouraging to see such high engagement from my first year A-level classes via digital and online means. Hopefully when we do eventually return to college we will be able to continue with minimal disruption to their studies.

Over April I appear to have retreated into my shell away from the greater social bubble, as reflected in the posts. I posted about Nazi persecution in the 1930s, and also reflected on why Hitler declared war with the USA in December 1941 (a post that was sparked off from the classroom). There were also continuations of long-term series, such as the English Monarchs FA Cup (yes, still in its first round of fixtures!) and the War World Cup. There was also the first post in what could potentially be a new series: Obscure Football Tales. This first one focused on Burnley FC’s European Cup run in the early 1960s.

Beyond posting on here (and writing and reading), I have enjoyed the day-time walks to the beach (I am lucky to live where I am during this period of lock-down). This has raised some question marks, such as what building is what and the history of particular roads. I hope to post a few of these over the next few weeks, and have started this with a very short overview of the Goodrington Naval Hospital (on Goodrington Beach).

And finally, amongst this, I “celebrated” this blog’s second birthday in early April. I can’t believe it has made it that long and that I continue to take such pleasure in writing on here. Having reflected over the past few weeks, I believe this blog has been a saviour of sorts in allowing me some release whilst being contained inside one house. Hopefully it will be mean lots of future posts.