It is good to be home, the train and bus ride home have rested my aching legs and feet but my brain is still a little fried from day one of Who Do You Think You Are? Live.
Travel up to Olympia was pretty straight-forward, one bus and three trains (it could have been two trains, but I jumped off at Gatwick Airport for breakfast!), in reasonable comfort without any delays. I actually arrived slightly earlier than I had planned and had to join the queue running along the side of the hall. It had already started filing in through the doors so it didn’t take long for me to reach the entrance.
The good thing about the event being in the same place every year is that I know my way around the building quite well, so I headed upstairs straight away to go and get tickets for the talks and workshops. When I joined the queue for tickets I still hadn’t decided which talks I was going to attended, again the queue moved quickly and forced me to make my choices.
In the end I decided my first stop would be to go and see the celebrity interview with Monty Don and it turned out to be a good choice. He was very easy to listen to and described with enthusiasm the process of making the show and the bit of filming that were left out. It was a very gentle and relaxing way to start the day.
After that it was time for a bit of Latin with a talk by Dr Bruce Durie. I have always been meaning to learn latin, but it has always seemed rather daunting and I remember nothing from the few lessons I took whilst at school (except for one of the display boards falling off the wall and hitting me on the head). The talk made it seem a lot less daunting, although still pretty confusing.
The talk by John Hurley on The Parish Clerk concerned the parish official whose role was seemingly varied and ill-defined. Unfortunately the talk didn’t really add any clarity to the description, although there were some entertaining descriptions of parish clerks, both good and bad.
The last talk of the day for me was Preserving Family Treasures presented by Maureen Taylor. For me this talk was the highlight of the day, I wanted to go to the same (or similar) talk last year but all the seats had been taken so this I made sure I got a ticket first thing. I didn’t have many family treasures to worry about until a couple of months ago when I was given a bundle of photos, certificates and cuttings so now I really need to know how best to look after them.
The time in between talks was spent wandering around the stands. Asking a few questions and spending some money (although I fear I might be spending more tomorrow) although not as much as I expected. The range of stands was very much the same as last year (and previous years), there were a few new faces this year and a couple missing this time around. As well as spending some more time exploring the stands I will try to take advantage of the Ancestry scanning service and try to get dates for a couple of photographs.