The week has been just crazy. More crazy than ever and most weeks are pretty nuts. The major factors resulting in increased nuttiness are travel issues, weather, cases which have required more than their fair share of graft and two Society Annual General Meetings appearing in rather close view.
Since the last blog, I have travelled a not insignificant number of miles (5 of those equals 8 kilometres/kilometers for those of you who deal in different distance measures than in the UK). On Tuesday, I decided it was a mighty fine plan to start the day by heading west to Bristol for a 4N meeting in Longwell Green and then, after a brief spell in the office, to head east to Reading and then Bourne End. Having never attended Longwell Green before, I was very pleased I did as (a) the traffic wasn’t half as bad as I imagined it would be, (b) I met many new 4Ners and reacquainted with some regular networking colleagues and (c) had some very useful 1-2-1 meetings during (and also after) the meeting.
I excelled myself with my finding skills on leaving the venue as someone had left a jacket. What would you do if someone left a jacket at a meeting you attended? Most (I believe) would hand it in to a member of staff at the venue. Not me. One of my fellow 4N members was based in Bristol so he took the jacket and I made a few calls to track the owner of the jacket! We find people – for all sorts of reasons!
A few hours in the office always passes by far too quickly and before I knew it, I was heading to Reading for a meeting before my onward journey to Bourne End to lecture for Buckinghamshire Family History Society. Leaving Reading at 5:45pm, via Maidenhead to collect some maps, I had plenty of flex in the schedule to get to Bourne End for around 7:15pm. Well, I would have had plenty of flex if some **** person had not decided to crash. Seriously! How inconsiderate! It took me two hours to drive six miles. After trying to contact four different people (mobile phones, home telephone numbers and the venue), I gave up and had to just get there as soon as I could, knowing that I had tried my best to contact the organisers. Grrr…. [Cue much vented spleen prior to arrival to avoid outburst on arrival!]
I eventually managed to arrive only 15 minutes late for the start of the evening’s proceedings and my lecture was much appreciated with many questions at the end and business cards requested. A much quicker trip home (well, it could hardly have been much worse!) and a late night trying to complete some overdue tasks.
So, how is it that I am now sat here and it is Thursday evening? In some ways, it barely seems possible and in other ways, that Tuesday night fiasco of travel seems like it was months ago as we have been slaving away over a few challenging cases this week. None have been easy to solve and all have really interesting stories….. like BBC1’s Heir Hunters. If you don’t know what it’s all about, then watch it. Then talk to us. We’ll dispel the myths and tell you how we work.
[Oh and I didn’t even tell you about (what I believe is) the first fully online Surname Studies conference on Saturday (you have to be a member of The Surname Society to access it for free), or the West Middlesex Family History Society AGM on Thursday when we will be electing the new committee and the first ever Presidents of the Society!]