Canterbury Guided Tours Are Getting Warmer

It seems to me that whenever, I am busy training new professional Blue or Green Badge Tourist Guides, to work here in Kent, something always happens ! Something, not on our Curriculum, nor in the Syllabus, where we talk of History, Geography, anecdote, food, drink, entertainment and Leisure.  All of these are, of course, important topics for our ‘would-be tourist guides’. We are prepared to walk and walk, and talk and talk, to learn how to  recognise the most ‘Visually Important Points’ and  how to protect and project our voices. We are prepared to avoid slipping on uneven surfaces, compete with Buskers and Street Entertainers, and we get to grips with ensuring that our future visitors will be welcomed, kept safe,  and informed in a thoroughly entertaining way! So what is it that happens, the minute a tourist guide training course is under way ?  What sets out to dampen the enthusiasm of excited and keen new guides ?  Well, good old Mother Nature seems to take a hand.  I think she must have a Calendar and has seen my Timetable  for our Canterbury City Guide Training Course.  Trainees, arrive looking beautiful (or handsome) smart, tidy and ready to learn and perform.  Then, within minutes of starting our tour practise,  either the heavens open and torrential rain descends upon us, reducing notes, maps and paperwork to a soggy mush, or a bitter ‘chill-factor’ turns our fingers and noses to a startling shade of blue !  We may rush for our trusty umbrellas, just to find that a sudden and totally unexpected wind, also rushes in,  speeding around the corner of an ancient cathedral to catch us in the cloisters (!) Umbrellas turn inside out, hats fly over the precincts wall, and trousers become sodden, and footwear squelchy.  Training courses start in November, and we just know we may have some 17 weeks of this ahead of us ! The  most wonderful part of practical guide training might just conceivably be the meeting in the Pub at the end of 3 hours, with steaming hot chocolates all round ! Isn’t it wonderful, then, when, we notice, that the days are gradually getting lighter, and there are signs of catkins, blossom, and even spring bulbs just poking through the snow? The ‘Garden of England’ is coming back to life, and the sun is making the city feel warmer and warmer, and Easter and a new season seems to be just around the corner. Of course, visitors to Canterbury, and Kent are always given the warmest of welcomes, all year round, and whilst Mother Nature may challenge the stamina of trainee guides, she normally manages to smile her sunniest smile on all of our visitors ! So, onwards and upwards, I think that Canterbury tours are definitely getting warmer.

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