My feet have quite honestly, not touched the ground today. What a simply awesome event this is! Last night, I posted a photograph of a rather empty but vast room of chairs and my stage for the keynote presentation. The room was absolutely packed with people – standing room only! – listening to my stories of Naughty Maria, the amazing disappearing Whitby and my genie-gene. If you missed it, you missed out! Lots of lovely comments from attendees and the characters have formed part of many a discussion in the last 24 hours.
The reason for the very late post – UK-time – is that I have not stopped all day long. From my amazingly lovely friend, Christine Woodcock, who messaged me this morning at 7am asking if I wanted anything from Tim Hortons to now, at 6pm Canadian time as I write this blog, I have packed in a huge amount. A panel discussion kicked off the day – chaired by Thomas MacEntee – with yours truly, Richard Doherty, Dr. Maurice Gleeson and Dave Obee giving our views on various topics around the topic of ‘Tracks Through Time‘ (the conference theme). Having scheduled at 10am Skype appointment to speak to Ma & Pa FWL, I failed on a rather grand scale to manage to speak to them and just managed 5 minutes before my two Ask The Expert slots at 10:30am and 11am. Both attendees were extremely pleased with the guidance I offered and I certainly broke down a brick wall or two in their research quests.
Returning to Marketplace, the lovely Christine had been manning the DNA stand and I could tell she’d been busy as soon as I appeared. By lunchtime, we had already sold 40 kits of the 100 FTDNA kits we had ordered. A brief lull in proceedings ensued when the first afternoon lecture stream began and so, finally I managed to find some time to meet a few people who I’d met on social media but never in person – Glenna, Karen and Sandra from the British Home Child Group International – what an amazing group of ladies! And suddenly, it was 3pm and my back-to-back lecturing schedule was upon me. Who said that doing 2 hours solid would ‘be fine’!? Doh!
‘Searching for Surnames – Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous‘ is one of my favourite lectures to present and it went down very well in the largest of all the lecture venues. Follow that with a Child Migration talk and I am done in! But, no stopping allowed yet – no, no! It is now time to put the smart attire on and get ready for the banquet – Dr. Maurice Gleeson is headlining, don’t you know??
[More photographs to follow tomorrow…. Promise….]