I recently took part in a BBC TV production that goes out soon on BBC 2 called Second Chance Summer.
The show revolves around 10 strangers, who have all reached a point in their lives where they are not sure which path to take.
I was working in a hotel in Scotland when I saw the advert for the show, I was feeling restless and I wanted to full fill my dream of living overseas and setting up my own business. Second Chance Summer and the BBC gave me the opportunity to do this.
I came to Tuscany with the blind hope that something positive would come from the experience, almost ignoring the fact that there would be 9 other people all hoping to find their little piece of happiness.
When I reached the farm I was shell shocked, I knew there would be cameras there filming, but I wasn’t prepared mentally to cope with the whole situation. If I am completely honest, I wanted to run that first day, I wanted to get in a car and go back to the comfort of my friends and family.
I do not scare easily, there is just something very discombobulating about having cameras follow your every move, and knowing you need to focus on every word that comes out of your mouth. I think the anxiety all got the better of me.
I mean, when you find yourself at 38 years old, standing in a the kitchen of a farm in rural Tuscany, cameras pointing at you, with 3 middle aged woman all drinking Limoncello at 11am, you have to start to question some of your choices in life, right?
By the end of the first day I was slightly more comfortable with everything, yet the voice in my head was saying “go easy on the wine fella, you’re still on camera.”
The first week of Second Chance Summer was everyone getting to know each other, having a tour of the farm, all the jobs we had to do being broken down and the daunting prospect of a grape harvest looming. I always remember my dad saying that when he was in the military, in the junior ranks, he would always put his hand up if anyone ever asked for a volunteer. It always stood him in good stead. So, when the conversation of a harvest manager came up, I was only too happy to take on the role. I had never done anything like that before, but I was excited to learn, I mean, what better story to tell people when you run your own wine business “I managed a grape harvest of 7 Hectares of wine in Tuscany with no experience of what I was doing, and we pulled it off!” It was a learning experience you can’t buy or learn in any classroom, something that will stay with me forever.
I hope you all enjoy the first episode. It will introduce you to all the characters, give you a taste of whats to come, and show you just how beautiful Tuscany is.
Feel free to contact me if you want to know anything about the show or what I am doing now, about the wines we are going to export, or if Jackson has been successful in his pursuit to catch a lizard….