I'm not much given to publishing personal stuff, but I feel I owe some explanation to the many people whose emails I've not responded to, and whose news I've appeared to have overlooked over the last six or seven weeks.
Truth is, my mother was rushed to hospital on the evening that Back To Our Past finished (she assures me the two events are unconnected) and underwent emergency surgery the following day. She then remained in hospital – 140 miles from my home – for five weeks. Only today, a fortnight after being released to the care of community nurses and yours truly at her home, has she been officially 'signed off' the hospital ward list.
That news even managed to trump yesterday's announcement from the National Library of Ireland about the Catholic Registers heading online! Nothing beats a well Mammy.
As I'm sure you'll appreciate, this has been an incredibly worrying time for the entire family, not to mention disruptive of work and normal life routines. I've been living out of a suitcase for most of this period, with only intermittent wifi connections and, with concentration levels running low, I haven't been able to follow up some news developments that deserved attention. While I was able to pass on or disown my full-time work commitments, the blog is a part-time one-woman show so delegation wasn't an option. I didn't abandon it, but I couldn't keep up with it properly, either.
So, to those who may have felt I was ignoring them, my sincerest apologies.
Fingers crossed, my mother's recovery will continue to be steady and sure, and I'll be able to gradually catch up again. If 'catching up' takes too long, I may simply draw a line, close up early for Christmas and re-emerge in the New Year. We'll see.