The Infill: 31 January 2017

The Infill: our glass is half-full… and not just of Prosecco

Last night we had the strangest dream

In January we normally like to pause to reflect on the previous 12 months, recalling the most important, earth-shattering news stories of the year and sniggering about the time when you-know-who accidentally tucked her dress into her knickers at the office Christmas party. Yet this time, as we hunkered down, stocked with provisions for an all-night session at the whiteboard and prepared to emerge triumphantly in the early hours of the following morning with an inspiring 2016 Top Ten, we lifted pen to board and drew… a collective blank. We had nothing. Just a room full of empty stares. Then a few embarrassed coughs. Followed by a lengthy and distinctly uncomfortable silence, after which we quietly re-corked the wine, packed up our belongings and wordlessly went our separate ways. Was it selective amnesia? A trip down the river of De Nile? Or just an earnest desire to put 2016 behind us and move on to better and brighter days? Perhaps all of the above. But luckily the servers at Facebook and WordPress were far more nostalgic than we were and have lifted our spirits with some happy memories from the year that was.

Your ten most favourite Facebook posts

  1. Through the Conservation Keyhole: Book Terminology Used in Conservation Documentation
  2. Recasing of RG 156 volumes – bound miscellaneous letters from The Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1915
  3. When Regular Tools Don’t Cut It, Make ‘Em Yourself
  4. Sunlight ‘destroying’ priceless specimens after Oxford University’s Natural History Museum cleans roof
  5. How Rembrandt Made His Etchings
  6. Penny Black: World’s Oldest Stamp to Be Transported from London to New York in Bomb-Proof Case
  7. ‘Minimal intervention’ equals ‘major attention’
  8. [We’re not quite sure how to describe this untitled post, to be honest. Best to take a look for yourselves.]
  9. Richard Wolbers’ ‘New Methods of Paper Bathing and Stain Removal’: Experimenting with silicone
  10. Paste-making tips with two recipes

Well, isn’t this a bit embarrassing. You know, of course, we’re not the self-promoting type. But even our modesty could not prevent us from noting that three of the top ten posts – in fact, make that three of the top four posts – were from The Gathering. Three out of four! That’s 75%! We can’t deny the fact that you like us! Right now, you like us! (Unless of course, you haven’t liked us on Facebook, in which case perhaps you merely tolerate us.)

Your five most favourite Gathering posts

  1. ‘Gel Media in Aqueous Cleaning Methods on Paper’: a lecture by Professor Richard Wolbers, University of Delaware, presented at the Wellcome Institute, London, June 19th 2013  Published in 2013 but still going strong.
  2. Adhesives and their Application  You’re nothing if not consistent in your love of adhesives articles.
  3. Paste-Making Tips with Two Recipes  Only third place? The plot, erm, thickens.
  4. Some Forwarding Techniques for Springback Bindings  Looks like 2013 was quite the vintage year.
  5. ‘Adhesives for Parchment Treatment’  That is one hell of a love affair.

In case you were wondering

We got Bolivia! And Botswana! And 28 other new countries, while we’re at it, which raises our global domination score from last year’s 66% to a whopping 81%. Not bad for a humble little website run by a band of hard-working immigrants, if we do say so ourselves. But fair warning to Burma and Burundi: you can run, but you cannot hide.

Your video treat:

has us a bit puzzled, but who are we to question you? Your second-favourite Facebook video post of the year, after the Rembrandt etchings, was 59 seconds of 1959-style gold-beating and gold-leafing. Perhaps it was simple nostalgia for the days of clear divisions between “man’s work” and “woman’s work”.

The final word…

… is actually two: thank you. Thank you to all of you for another year of subscribing, liking, reading, commenting, contributing and generally making The Gathering the finest conservation and cultural heritage website available to humanity. Here. Now.

With a googol of kisses, The Gathering

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