I took a week’s leave at the beginning of September to spend some time with my oldest daughter before her first day of school. I can’t believe how quickly this has come around. Some of you, who have been following my diary for a long time, will remember me proudly announcing her birth!
“Then on the 13th of May my life changed for ever, as my wife gave birth to our beautiful little daughter Olivia Rose Cant born at 2:48 in the morning and weighing 6lbs 11oz.” June 2014
Of course with Olivia at school it was back to work for me, and straight back in at the deep end leading one of the guided walks that make up our annual events programme. This time it was our evening Owl & Bat walk down at Papercourt Meadow, where my colleague Chris and I took a group of 24 people out in the twilight in hope of spotting the resident Barn Owl. With a very bad weather forecast up until the day before we were very dubious whether anyone would turn up, let alone be lucky enough to see an owl. Thankfully as the evening approached the skies cleared and we were treated to a magnificent sunset. So after a quick session of dissecting owl pellets (the bits of indigestible food that an owl regurgitates) we set out through the mist in search of our Barn Owl, which kindly appeared and everyone got to see it which was fantastic. After dark we turned on the bat detectors and found Pipistrelles and Daubenton bats flying around Papercourt Cottage. We really couldn’t have been more fortunate and everyone had a great time, including us staff.
Events have continued to dominate my work load over the past few weeks as there was plenty to do for our biggest event of the year, the Wey River Festival. For me and my volunteers this meant things like removing low branches so that boats didn’t get caught up in the dark during the illuminated pageant, cleaning off work boats so that they looked their best, and even stringing up fairy lights to help add to the atmosphere. As with any event in September you do tend to take your chances with the weather and at 1045 on the day it started raining (the event opened at 1100) and it didn’t stop throughout the day. However nobody was going to be beaten by a bit of water and we still had a good number of visitors, which created a lovely party atmosphere. The spectacular procession of illuminated boats also went off without a hitch, lighting up the darkness on their way in to Guildford town centre and back to Dapdune. I’d just like to finish with a quote I overheard form one of the boaters, “If we minded getting wet we wouldn’t own a boat!”.
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