Learning to be a Guide……

Last week was the first time we were doing presentation all day long on Saturday. National Gallery paintings on the morning and city walk presentation in the afternoon.

In fact not only presentations. A lot of other things we should also bear in mind. I forgot about the right route to lead people from Postman’s park to Goldsmith Hall and eventually took a rather strange and uncomfortable way there. I forgot to repeat question for everybody from time to time. My hand is not nice and strong when pointing out things……

These little things seems rather trivial at first. When you are not receiving professional training as a guide, you may not realise it throughout your whole life. However, when you get into the habit of doing everything advised, you create a fabulous travel experience by making people very comfortable. They don’t realise it, and that’s it! That’s what is called a good tour. From the very beginning of a day, people receive warm smile, pre-informed plan of the day, comfort stop in between, wheelchair access if needed, safety advice which is above all important. Sometimes it is these things making a tour smooth and successful rather than the content you deliver.

London on Thames,Teasure on Avon

Coming back from Stratford-upon-Avon, I’m now sitting in front of my desk with a warm yellow reading lamp on, carefully organizing the scattered pieces of information from this long long day. I went out in the dark and come back in dark. London winter has come and my first reaction is “How to talk about Dickens in this suitable background?” My boyfriend has started to call me mad for it.

My small but cozy room is in a Victorian style terrace house with a row of huge cherry trees in front of it. The sublime bright yellow rain triggered from time to time by unmerciful wind is one of the most attracting London scenes in my mind. (by the way, in winter we have cold wind from the north and warm wet wind brought by Gulf stream from the southwest, the cold and warm meet fiercely in November, so this month is always the most unpredictable and blustery in the year.) I have told this to my boyfriend already. At first, I receive “wow! Amazing”  After having received too much, “Mad” is what I got.

Come back to my true subject, The thing I want to talk is that the real beauty of UK lies in its integrity of good things. You will see the most spectacular views in famous London sites, also lovely pictures from quiet, ordinary residential areas, just like the house where I’m living in now.

When you go to a small town with 25,000 people far away from the capital you still find the London standard theatre there, good restaurant, good pub. Rather than only having a boring museum, they have honoured their ancestor by establishing modern theatres attracting people over the world to come here and the small town is no longer small by this means. This is what amazes me after visiting there, by making a small town as exiciting as London, English people make money and make a great living and keep tradition generation after generation.

Golden Autumn, Sun kissed Windsor

Looking from the north terrace in Windsor castle at 5 o’clock yesterday, with a ray of sunlight glowing on the colourful autumn trees below and grand castle behind me, I was wondering how can I introduce and describe Windsor to my future clients without spoiling the flawless picture.

I have been on Blue Badge training course for almost two months and I find it the most useful and interesting course I have ever had. I have been a student continuously for almost 20 years and you can count on my experience!

Before I started this course, I did not think a guiding job that difficult. Our blue badge tutors showed us various customer needs we should bear in mind, little tiny corners where stories happened, logical threads linking events together meaningfully……so much to learn from the course making me feel that a blue badge standard guiding work can be really challenging for you are looking at a tour full of information, smoothly arranged and fun!

Our Windsor tour yesterday gave a very good example of it. Wendy and Babara gave us numerous stories and strategies to “deal with” your future clients until my brain was clogged up and started to play slow motion like an overheated laptop. They are being wonderful tutors trying to give us as much as possible. SO huge thanks to them all!

I still have not figured out how to do my Windsor guiding without too much damaging, but I thinks we will eventually be there with efforts put in it everyday!