We may have closed for the season, but we still have some events yet to come. A Christmas Selection Box of festive treats loom ahead of me.
Events for next year have been planned for some time. We have to plan incredibly far in advance to enable our listings to get into all the relevant publications.
We go for such saturation coverage with our events that I am continually amazed that the people who work alongside me - well, my volunteers, to be precise - appear to be oblivious of what’s planned.
The events are listed in our property leaflet, which we hand out all year. They are on our website. I send out press releases which are picked up by our local newspapers and radio stations. I put posters up on every available surface for a 10 mile radius for weeks beforehand. And I list them in the diary. Now this latter is the clincher. Our volunteers have their own, big red diary, in which they write their names on the days they will come in to do duty. I go through the diary with a big black marker and write in anything of import on the relevant day. Like events. I then go over the black marker with highlighter pen. Sometimes I draw little asterisks or arrows around it, to ensure it’s an attention-grabbing headline.
The volunteers then come in and write their names under such fluorescent declarations as “Easter Trails!” or “Halloween Event!” or "Re-Enactment Weekend!" They must see these notifications. They must. Sometimes I write my events titles so LARGE, they have to squeeze their names in around my mighty capitals.
Without fail, on the day of the event, the volunteers in question will arrive for duty, frown in perplexity at the marquee/people in historical costume/me in an Easter Bunny outfit, and ask “So, what’s going on today then?”
I use up far more than my recommended allowance of patience on event days. It leaves me with quite a deficiency, which is bad news for my friends and loved ones. The volunteers think I am smiley and pleasant, and my family thinks I am a grumpy old rat-bag. There is no justice.