“Would you like to hear more about the Bent Kat Group?”

In an effort to stay sane now that I work 99% from home, and branch out in my new (ish) locale of Kent I volunteered with my local bat conservation group. I was very nervous about going, but had a great time. Small steps is what it takes to improve mental health. I wrote a short peice for the group newsletter, as I am a geek and cannot help writing about everything given half a chance –

This was my first time volunteering with the Kent Bat Group, my first time even meeting any of the members. I had worn one of my cartoon bat t-shirts, the one my partner had deemed ‘most approachable’, but left my sparkly fancydress bat wings at home, as they had been deemed decidedly ‘too much’. Fellow volunteer Val, who was already at the KBG booth by the time I finally found it, listened to my tale of bat-related costume changes and asked me ‘canĀ you have too much?’. I liked her immediately. Morning volunteer Victoria and I discussed the appropriateness of situating a conservation stand next to a display of cow hides and sheep skin rugs, and then she made me feel my age when she said she’d never heard of the cartoon Batfink. (I will find a way to talk about bats in any given situation.) The show was quite busy and a steady stream of visitors stopped by to tell us where they had spotted bats, or ask for instructions on how to make their own bat box.

In the afternoon Jim took over from Victoria and played bat sounds on his phone to anyone that would listen. As Val went to buy us ice creams she made us promise to behave ourselves while unaccompanied. We assured her we would, and being grown adults we felt safe in this promise. Less then two minutes later Jim managed to rename us the ‘Bent Kat Group’, much to the delight of the couple who had asked him about local bat walks. Thankfully Val also found this hilarious and didn’t take away our Mr Whippy’s. It was a long day on our feet but, even though I am a passionate bat fan but no bat expert, I found myself chuffed to bits at talking about bats all day. The nicer thing was, that vistors to the Garden Show seemed to like talking about bats too.