I have recently learnt two things about myself. The first is that I really, really like to participate in activities that I'm good at. The second is that I'm an oddly bad loser.
I was going fishing on the Cloudy Bay boat. (Cloudy Bay is a Kiwi wine-maker, and they had promised me that whatever we caught, we could eat- whilst drinking their wines, obviously).
I had quickly emailed the organiser of the trip. 'So, even if we don't catch anything,' I wrote nervously. 'We will still be fed, right?'
The organiser promised that we would be fed, no matter what happened on the boat, but I still felt a certain degree of pressure as I stepped onto the fishing boat. (I had asked, and not been permitted to bring along a bottle of Cloudy Bay). I knew the other members of the group would be looking to me to 'bring home the bacon'. I felt not unlike Jesus. (Not Jesus when he was crucified, or washing people's feet, but when he had to keep sorting out other people's catering issues, dealing with a lack of booze and working out how to feed everyone with the rising price of fish and bread).
We motored out to the middle of the sea. We were handed fishing rods, and the captain explained the importance of not getting our wires tangled. 'Oh, the trials and tribulations of modern communication,' I laughed to myself. (It is hard to hear at sea, which is why I was the only one laughing).
We spaced out along the sides of the boat, and flung our lines in. 'I've got something!' One of the other girls called out. I furiously began to reel in my line. The captain wandered over to ask politely what I was doing. 'Oh,' I asked him, perplexed. 'Is this not a team event?'
It wasn't, which is annoying as I am excellent at team sports. (It is rare to find an occasion where the ability to let others do most of the work is celebrated, but team sports revel in this).
Luckily, my chance to shine came later in the trip, when we went foraging with the Wild Food School. 'Surely,' I said as I scrambled into hedges and slipped down river banks, 'I must have done enough to earn my supper.' I had, and as we got back to the beautiful Driftwood Hotel for our Michelin starred dinner, although I noticed that everyone was given the same amount of startlingly good food. 'Perhaps it's not the winning that counts,' I thought. 'But the taking part.' It is possible I had had too much sea air and Cloudy Bay wine by that time, because that doesn't sound like something a winner would say.
Cloudy Bay Forager Weekend at The Driftwood Hotel, CornwallSuggest a correction