Frances Bell

home at last – for all the mes


Welcome to Frances Bell – home at last for all the mes

How I got here

I started blogging in 2006 with Elgg and moved to my own hosted site at when disappeared, but with enough warning for me to back up. All was well for 5 years, except that I wasn’t good at backing up and my ISP was a crook. One day, my blog disappeared and I felt bereaved – 5 years of blogging gone, and I still miss those posts.

I started again at my temporary resting place where I felt my posts were safe and it’s been really difficult to pluck up the courage to return to It’s only joining Reclaim Hosting that’s given me the confidence to make this step, and I have taken quite some time to make this site live.

The mes that are here

When I started blogging, my posts reflected my professional interests but since retiring, the balance of my life has changed.  For the first year of my retirement, I was not sure that I wanted to do anything more than spend time on knitting, sewing, gardening and visiting new places but since then and being treated for underactive thyroid, I have combined those with an identity that I saw once on a conference badge, itinerant scholar, that nicely captures my institution-free status. I was thinking about my changing identity in January 2013 before I retired and again in January 2015 when I asked my network for help in how to perform the multiple mes here at So thanks to Catherine Cronin, Kate Bowles, Pat Thomson, Bon Stewart, Doug Belshaw and Donald Clark who helped me think through what to do in conversations like this one.


At last, with great help from Jim Groom and the crew at Reclaim Hosting, I have made a start (there is more to come). So you can have any or all of the mes: slices of the blog or the whole pie; knitting pictures or academic outputs.

All that I have learned from being and working in technology and education is still with me but what has changed is my perspective.  I am now looking at the education system from the outside while experiencing learning and technology from the inside.  What grabs my attention are the (im)possibilities of learning and being on the web in the whole of life. The change of perspective has been quite a revelation for me.


francesbell • April 26, 2016

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  1. Andrew Middleton April 30, 2016 - 8:01 pm Reply

    I am inspired by your lead Frances and by the comments in the quoted tweets. As you know I am puzzling through all ideas to do with ‘in-between’ space and liminality and strangely I had not made the connection to personal (learning) networks that span those simplistic representations of personal and professional identities, especially when the ‘professional’ dynamic is altered by a change in employment status.
    I look forward to continuing to follows yous!

    • francesbell May 7, 2016 - 12:19 pm Reply

      Sorry for delay Andrew -I thought that I had replied. I hadn’t thought of this in terms of in between space and liminality – that’s interesting. I am thinking of this blog now in the light of a paper I’m presenting in a symposium at Networked Learning next week
      In that paper, I look at disconnection and paranodes ( what happens in the space between network nodes that makes sense of those nodes). In bringing together the different mes, and in a different place, I wonder if some will find that off-putting and disconnect. Time will tell

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