The two years you worked on a Master of Science degree is important both for you and yours. But without realizing it, your degree will benefit your interest in the hobby you describe as a "lovely and wonderful private scholarship", your explorations into historical scribal tools and materials. And thus it will benefit teaching your scribal readers too. Including me.
So, welcome back Ian. You were missed.
Related Prior Post:5 Inspiring History Recreation Blogs - An Internet Round-up