The year started out with a big research programme for Historic Environment Scotland on Linlithgow Palace - concentrating on how it was used rather than on structure. And there were certainly some interesting findings.
Then came another palace - this time Falkland for the National Trust for Scotland - and that has just gone in. Some new material there too - especially for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Both those will actually be used in connection with other, ongoing studies - it's when it is all put together that things get really interesting.
And meanwhile (lectures through the summer to one side) I have been asked to write 'a chapter' on farming in the Stirling area 1500 to 1750. The greatest difficulty about that is squeezing the vast mass of diverse information into the space allowed. Especially when, as I started to ponder it, I was tempted to go back to the Archives and have dug up yet more information - some of which is forcing me to revise some of the old ideas.
Of course, not use whatever just regurgitating the old ideas, what we have known for years. So, 'a challenge' - as they say!
And there will be another update, fairly soon. Some new 'news' to announce. Perhaps next week?