This post was originally going to be short write up of the DSC 1 I did with Jelen last weekend, and would have been in the Write Ups section, but fate has turned it into something else.
Context: I wasn't too bothered about DSC, but have been given the opportunity to do some stalking where it is a mandatory requirement. My first choice would have been to do my DSC 1 with sikamalc, but my wife was due to birth to our second child in early March, which would have meant doing the course leaving my wife to cope with a 17 month old toddler and 1 month old newborn, as Malc's course runs in early April. The dates were a similar story for any of the courses closer to where I live - all too close to the due-date for comfort.
So, I signed up for Jelen's course which ran from 30 Jan-1 Feb. The short, short, short review is as follows: it was was fine, nice people, great facilities, nice food provided (unexpected bonus) and generally well organised. Whether was bloody cold in the wind, and Mike's assistant on the second day was obviously a very experienced deer manager, but to put it kindly, a less experienced trainer. On the whole, I would happily recommend taking your DSC 1 with Jelen - they do work very hard to get you up to the necessary standard, and deliver the course in a way that is genuinely informative rather than just "teaching to the exam".
I'm pretty sure I passed, got to wait for the result of the written papers though.
Bloody good thing that I took the course then though. Due to a few complications in the last few weeks, my wife was due an extra scan on Friday (6 Feb), so we happily went along to the local hospital. The sonographer was concerned as the baby's weight didn't seem right.
Upshot: wife was kept in and told the safest thing to do was get the baby delivered in the next 2-3 days. So I left her at the hospital and took number one son to Granny (my Mum). Packed wife's overnight bag and the list of luxuries she'd requested, and took them to her. I then went back to collect my son and take him home to bed.
All seemed calm, but, as I was tidying up the house and getting ready to turn in for the night, just as the clock turned to midnight, the phone rang. My wife me told they were going to theatre in an hour. Fortunately my Mum lives close enough that she could come and watch number one son, so that I was able to go to the hospital.
After a very calm, but not very fast caesarian, our second son was delivered at about 0320 yesterday morning. He came out shouting, which was good, and very small, which is less good. 1.78 Kg - don't know what that is in lbs (a little under 4 perhaps?).
Looks as though he and wife will have at least another 10-12 days in hospital - so I'll get to find out what 24 hour toddler care is like.
So, on the whole, I think I made the right decision to take my DSC1 when I did!