I’m lying awake in the middle of the night having woken myself up (again) worrying about how I’m going to tackle everything I know about Bordeaux – and more significantly everything I don’t – in one day. According to my schedule that’s what I had. 8-10 hours to hit the books and come out knowing enough to answer any question the diploma awards team decided to throw at me. From soils and aspects, to chateaux and classifications, to markets and export figures.
In addition to all that, I somehow needed to read about another 5-8 Italian grape varieties to keep on track for the VIA work. I could write up the notes another time, but with two weeks until we fly and 41 grape varieties to go I couldn’t pause to rest on my Bordeaux sloshing laurels.
I somehow made it off to sleep in the early hours, my brain still whirring on the logistics of it all.
Then I stirred to bright sunshine, a cat poking his nose in my face for attention and an epiphany. I was the one setting the schedule. No one else was telling me that France had to be the first region I had to focus on. Yes, the deadlines were fixed, but how I approached them was only set by myself in a somewhat arbitrary manner one afternoon at work. Why on earth would I try and look at the biggest and potentially most complex subjects (in my mind Bordeaux and Burgundy are much harder on the brain than Italy) in the same two weeks that I needed to finalise my VIA revision?
I got up, poured myself a vat of coffee, took out my pencil and decided to try again. I may fail again, but it was a sharp reminder that I am my own worst enemy in these situations. I get caught up thinking I have to do something, when I’m the only one setting the rules, and I can break them anytime I want.