This week I was scheduled to give two talks on the same day. Not, fortunately, at the same time – sadly I have not quite yet perfected the art of being in two places at once. One was a virtual webinar for Ontario Genealogical Society, the other was a Mistress Agnes gig for a local women’s group. When the webinar was first booked I had worked out that it was due to begin at 3pm my time and began to prepare. Up came the little notice ‘this webinar has not yet started’. What passes for my brain began to whirr – Canada is behind us (in the nicest possible way) not ahead, a quick recalculation. I was due to start presenting at midnight! Midnight! In case you don’t know I just don’t do midnight, not ever, not even on New Year’s Eve; 10pm is a late night for me. Getting up at 5am, no problem at all but midnight! Had I not had the evening booking as Mistress Agnes I could have gone to sleep first but this was not going to be an option.
First then extolling the delights of seventeenth century living at a venue in a small village near me. I have to say the roads en route were realistically seventeenth century like but we made it there and back. Some of my incredulous friends had been made aware of my webinar time slot, ‘Are you really presenting at midnight?’ Well it looks like I am now. The one good thing about this sort of webinar is that it is audio only, so I only had to sound as if I was awake and it didn’t matter what I looked like. I was also competing against Rootstech sessions – the largest genealogical event in the world. Maybe I would be talking to myself anyway. It turned out that 174 people had applied for the 100 places participating in this webinar in real time and I think I manage to sound as if I was vaguely alert. The topic was ‘A to Z of less well known British sources’ and at the end my addled brain fielded diverse questions on such topics as Scottish cab drivers, non-conformists and Buckinghamshire quarter sessions records. It was fun in the end and I get to do it all again with another virtual webinar in December!