Another lovely day at Who Do You Think You Are? Live, our journey being made easier with the absence of the trolley. I do another stint as an expert waiting to be asked. I am somewhat hampered by the computer, that to all intents and purposes is attached to mains electricity, dying for lack of battery. The brick walls come in thick and fast. I field questions about ancestors with three ‘wives’, potential Dutch immigrants, connections to Irish film stars and disappearing Scottish grandmothers.
Tickets for my talk have sold out by 10am, unfortunately my voice has given out too. Studio 3 involves competing with a great deal of background noise and a PA system that means you can’t actually hear how loud you are speaking. Nonetheless I manage to croak my way through my ‘Putting Your Ancestors in their Place’ talk and appear to have won some converts to the excitements of one place studies. I just hope that people don’t think my voice always sounds like a strangled frog. In the general enthusiasm I mange to pour a cup of water over something that looks suspiciously like some vital electrical connection. That would be because it was a vital electrical connection – not a good move but I seem to avoid electrocution.
Books sold we head back to the van. We have scrounged a trolley, a more substantial affair than our wheel-less version. Security turn out in force and try to prevent us leaving not, as last year, because they think we are breaking down a stand early but because trolleys are not allowed in the exhibition area whilst the public are still on the premises. I fail to see how a trolley is any more lethal than a buggy or wheelchair. We are escorted the twenty yards to the door and escape. The only way to get the boxes and trolley over the footbridge is to take the boxes one at a time. We ignore the tannoy’s exhortations not to leave parcels unattended and hope for the best as we play put and take with the boxes. Two kind gentlemen assist us. We are happy to surrender boxes containing hundreds of pounds worth of books to complete strangers, safe in the knowledge that no one will run off with them. In fact it is difficult to do much more than stagger drunkenly carrying a box of that weight. They can barely lift them from the ground let alone make a quick exit with one under their arm.
The next day a surprise visit (well I was surprised) to see my number one granddaughter and her lovely parents. This required us to drive through the Blackwall Tunnel. I am really not a fan of tunnels, although I cope fine with the underground. I manage to avoid a panic attack and we arrive at a new road layout near Kidbrooke. With no apparent prior warning we are met with a choice between driving down a bus lane or driving through a portion of road with a seven foot width limit. Remember we are towing a caravan. To make matters worse the seven foot wide section is not even straight. Always law abiding, we do not take the bus lane. Chris subscribes to the view that if his extending wing mirrors fit through a gap so will the caravan (isn’t there a similar theory involving cat’s whiskers?) Bit of a shame then that the caravan turns out to be seven foot one inch wide. Actually, thanks to a combination of Chris’ superior driving skills and inaccurate measuring on the part of the sign writers, we pass through the gap unscathed but it was a very close thing.