Oh dear, the last post was in September, and now it's November. I should point out perhaps that this silence is down to my being extremely busy, and I'm sure you'll appreciate that at this time of year, as the weather changes and people are less inclined to walk the streets, being busy is a good thing. Anyway, let me give you an insight into the recent experiences of this jobbing tour guide.
October saw the Footprints of London Literary London Festival offering over fifty separate tours exploring London's literary side. I had no fewer than five tours on offer, totalling nine slots, and some interesting audiences. It also garnered me a couple of five-star TripAdvisor reviews! Four of my five tours were based around site-specific readings, including the new tour 'Rumpole and the Legal Life', and it was highly satisfying to put sites into context in that way. It also prompted a new post for the Footprints of London blog: Scrooge's Lonely Rooms encourages the reader to appreciate just how alone Scrooge was on that grim Christmas Eve by considering the question of office provision - or lack of it - at the time.
I'm preparing a new literary tour for 2018, which will be another East End tour to join 'Bethnal Green in So Many Words' and which is inspired by my reading of Petr Chalupský's recent work on Peter Ackroyd's London novels.
I had the privilege recently of reviewing this work for the Literary London Society's journal, and have posted an interim review on Goodreads. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Chalupský at the Literary London Society's annual conference in 2014, so it was particularly enjoyable to be able to read this study. Talking about the conference, recently I took the time to load up to Academia my conference papers. It's a very useful site, where you can share all sorts of work. You don't have to limit yourself to full-blown academic articles; you can share a variety of items. It also allows you to establish your ownership of intellectual property, just in case!
An interesting project that came up in October through UKEDA was initiated by my friend and guiding colleague Licia Sisalli. 'Get into Guiding' saw us each teaching the basics of guiding to a group of Italian teens. Essentially it was a language exercise, but I hope they understood the benefits they were getting in terms of presentation skills. Anyway, I had sixteen teens and a charming teacher called Francesca; I did the tour for them on Monday and Tuesday (with some visits), and then on Wednesday to Friday the group did the tour for Francesca and me. Good fun, and from what Francesca told me the kids enjoyed it, including the ones who'd not liked it when they were told they were doing tour guiding rather than career development!
On which subject, the Idea Store Learning course Walkie Talkie Part One went ahead in September-October, and Part Two is currently underway. One regret I have at the moment is that more established guides aren't getting involved. It's good CPD, a low-level refresher for guiding skills (after all, we all slip into bad habits) as well as an up-close look at the East End. Still, there's Part Three scheduled for April 2018, so who knows? Talking of Part Three, it ran for the first time this year and has invigorated the Tower Hamlets Walkshop workshop initiative. We've relaunched and are working on a couple of projects at the moment, with prospects for future activity.
Anyway, that's all for now; I'm hoping to get back into the swing of blogging now that many of the big projects are under control. Look out soon for news about a project on the Island, and hopefully soon I can update you about the prospect of my next book.
Take care of yourselves, and I hope to see you on the streets again soon. Take in my schedule, why don't you?