Friday, 16 October 2009

Friday Coffee Morning

Good morning everyone and especially Helen who has recently stopped lurking. I have a treat for you today. It's not a very good photo but the OH wasn't in the mood to wait while I took another one, anyway there is home cured bacon in home baked bread or rolls with home made jam if you prefer. [One of my obsessions is cooking after all!!] Tea and coffee and orange juice all on the terrace if you like. Oh and brown sauce for those sarnies if anyone wants some.

Now you have probably realized that this is all a bribe as I want to pick your brains. I need some help in finding out some specific information. Now I use the internet but I don't know how to get the most from it. I mainly use Google and Wikipedia and can usually find what I want but there have been a couple of subjects recently where I have so far drawn a blank. I need to know about marriage for the working classes in 18th century England and the forensic examination of skeletons found on archaeological sites. If I lived in England I would go along to the library as I do here for the French info I need but as I can't do that can you offer advice as to other search engines that might be usefeul and also how to refine my searches so that I am more likely to succeed. I would add that I am something of a technophobe so any suggestions have to be in words of one syllable and preferably in English rather than computer speak. I will be eternally grateful as the end of my first draft beckons, so grateful that I might even offer seconds on the sarnie front, but don't tell the OH. He's a bit precious when it comes to bacon sarnies. And if you are very helpful it will be home made sausages next week. Of course this is not much of a bribe for vegetarians so I hope the fresh rolls and jam will do it for you.

Now I shall settle down to my breakfast and see you all later.


Debs said...

Can I come to your house please? I think I can smell all that delectable baking from here.

I think I'm probably on a par with you when it comes to being a technophobe, so will look forward to seeing other people's comments regarding searching for info.

Great post, by the way.

Tam said...

I'll have mayo with mine please. I think you need to get in touch with Caroline Rance here
She might be able to help?

Good luck!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Wow! Bacon sarnies!

Sorry, I can't help with the research. If I can't google something, I tend to buy a book on it instead.

Flowerpot said...

Cor that breakfast looks good! I use Google but make my requests very specific - otherwise I reword it with variations and if that fails I get a book on the subject too!

Karen said...

Ooh, lovely rolls! I agree with Tam, or find out the name of a leading figure in the field you want to research and contact them directly. People are more than happy to help with this sort of thing, providing there's a name check in it!

Good luck :o)

JJ Beattie said...

Oooh, comfort food. Just what I need. Thanks Sheepish.

If google fails to come up trumps (and it's worth being careful with the internet) I buy a book on it, or I try and contact someone. I often ask friends or family for a referral as I've found that most useful but I had great luck with a simple email to the AE Housman society who put me in touch with a wonderful man who answered lots of questions, photographed copies of a first edition from several angles so that I could describe the book that has gone missing in my story. He was all round wonderful.

Serendipity said...

A lovely start to the day - a far cry from the banana I've just eaten! Unfortunately I do not know anyone in those fields you mentioned but I shall certainly ask around... :-)

ChrisH said...

There you see, we're so busy tucking in to upmarket bacon sarnies that we've gone blank on the research. I think the answer is probably book research rather than the internet but contacting experts is a good idea. Good luck with it, it sounds fascinating.

Rowan Coleman said...

Hello! Sorry I can't help you with your research but you could do what I once read Margaret Attwood does, which is write the story first and then get the facts to fit afterwards. So far I haven't really written any historical fiction (there's a bit on my new novel, but it s a sort of novel within a novel..) ANYWAY I needed to some research for that and went to the library, which it turned out was fun and the librarian helped me find the info I needed.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Jam and bread, mmm.

If skeletons are found, whether on an archaeological site or elsewhere, the police should be notified. It is usually a courtesy, especially if the context shows the bones to be ancient and to have been formally buried. The scene is then treated as a crime scene until the police determine otherwise (although they usually call on archaeologists anyway to make a determination -

Your best bet, as I did recently whilst researching my latest, is to contact the police in the area where you are setting the story and ask them exactly what would happen and where the bones would be sent. They will probably let you know who the forensic pathologist is as well and whether they are amenable to being contacted for research. If not, try one of the universities that teaches pathology and one of the lecturers will be more than happy to help.

18th century marriage. Er. These might help or at least point you in the right direction for further research:

Hope that helps. Any follow-up questions on archaeology, museums, police procedure, etc, just e-mail me and I'll try to help.

CC Devine said...

Ooh that sounds divine!

I agree with Flowerpot that you have to be very specific when searching for stuff on google. What you're looking for can be out there but doesn't pop up in the returns.

No helpful suggestions for your research.

Lane said...

Gosh what a wonderful spread.

Great post which has spawned some helpful info for us all.

Apart from deep googling using a variety of keywords, I have no advice. Will I still qualify for a sausage next week?

Kate Lord Brown said...

Have all the bacon butties gone? I agree with Flowerpot abt asking Google specific questions. Once you find a site on your topic you can normally 'drill down' and contact the site's owner or find links to forums where you can post your queries.

Cathy said...

I read this morning and thought I don't know but I bet Graeme will do!

Graeme K Talboys said...


sheepish said...

Glad you all enjoyed breakfast. Thanks for the suggestions.
Tam: the Quack doctor site looks as if it could be useful and Graeme I shall have a look at some of the sites you suggest.
Kate always a spare sarnie for late comers.
Unfortunately I can't get to a library but it has given me the idea to ask a friend in England to go for me. Also the bones were discovered in France and I'm not sure if I fancy disturbing the Gendarmes!!!!
So sausage sarnies all round next week.

HelenMHunt said...

Mmm, fresh rolls and jam - lovely.

I'm a bit useless at the whole internet thing as well. I tend to google and come up with lots of fascinating stuff - then realise after hours of faffing that none of it is actually what I'm looking for.

I'm also inclined to go with Rowan's idea of just getting on and writing it, and then going back and doing the research later.

Fia said...

Sorry I'm late.

Fascinating subjet. Have you tried If they don't yet have an expert on this, I'm sure they soon will.

Annieye said...

I'm gutted I'm so late and missed all the goodies.

I'm lucky in that I work just a few steps away from the public library, but I do use the internet quite a lot.

I think its better to get the story down first and then do the research afterwards.

liz fenwick said...

Turning up - very late! Great topic and I have enjoyed the answers. Nothing I can add except that it does help to throw some questions up on to the NR blog or other forums as others may have the answer or at least know where to look.