Today marks a couple of occasions. The first is the regular Independence Day celebrations, marking the declaration of independence when the American colonies cut the cord of their attachment to the British Empire. The second occasion is in the opening of pubs and bars up and down the country, almost fitting as if Britain was celebrating its very own “Happy Treason Day.”

In the last “monthly round-up” I wrote about what a difference two months make. Back in March we were all continuing our normal routines, whereas in early May we were in the middle of lock-down due to COVID-19. And now, here we are in early July, with a seeming return to normalcy; thankfully so with the return of a handful of face-to-face classes in college. In many ways, a return to the normal way of doing things is a victory of sorts: we can go and buy a beer in a pub, take a trip to the beach, and get our hair cut. A VE Day, of sorts. I can understand how those in 1920s Europe just wanted to retreat back to the way things were before the outbreak of the Great War: normality was the prize for sticking it out.

All of this is a round-about way to highlight on the posts from this blog over the past couple of months during the months of May and June. Back in early May the nation celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and although coronavirus prevented the planned street parties, it did not stop much back-patting and munching of cream scones. In the post I noted the possible similarity of the so-called “Blitz Spirit” within our own communities during lock-down, although I fear such goodwill may erode away during this fight to return to normality.

A number of articles over the past two months related to the series The Trail of the Wildmen. In May I outlined the theories relating to the Wildman surname, whilst in June I followed up a couple of suggested areas of research in attempting to link the Wildmen with Beaucot Manor (spoiler = there is no link!), as well as further developed the images associated with“the Wild Man” in European history. I intend to continue searching into the Wildman family tree in more detail in the summer weeks ahead.

Other posts included the ongoing series of the English Monarchs FA Cup, with the first round still being played out. In this edition Edward the Confessor beat his namesake Edward II, whilst Lady Jane Grey – an eternal victim of history –  was ousted by William III. Whilst other posts related to the blossoming series of Obscure Football Tales: focusing on Bradford City’s Intertoto Cup adventure twenty years ago.

Perhaps my most enjoyable posts of the past two months were the ones that explored an area of debate. These included the “Great Referencing Debate” between footnotes and in-text citations (a topic recently covered in a face-to-face class in college, one of the first to since lock-down); the continual errors made by mainstream publishers about the 1497 Cornish Rebellions; and an article written about the whole “Statue-Gate” with the bringing down of Colston’s statue in Bristol.

July is the traditional marking point of the end of the academic year. I hope to enjoy the summer break away from staring at the laptop so often and the completion of online lessons. This summer, perhaps more than ever, I intend to enjoy the freedom of walking on the moors, looking upon a coastal sunset, and in finding little hidden aspects of history.