Life is funny sometimes. Actually life is usually funny. It is rare that life behaves. I have experienced a lot of serendipitous events in the past two years, I’m not sure why, I like to think that someone is watching over me and choreographing it all while I write, and travel, and travel, and write, and eat strange airplane food.
When I signed the book deal for “Girl Hunter” earlier this year I was faced with actually having to write the darn thing. I had visions of all of the places I’d go on the journey from field to stream to table, one of which was England. I wanted to write about the old school tradition of English shooting… the only problem was that I didn’t know anyone who does that sort of thing over there. All I heard was that it was a world that was hard to break into. You needed an invitation.
And since I’ve never been in the cool club, I just marched forth with my Food Heroes book tour and decided not to worry about anything other than signing books and making sure I had a sharpie with me at all times.
It was during all of this, while signing books deep in the Arkansas Delta, that I got an email from a college classmate named Mia. She and I didn’t really move in the same orbit in college, though it turns out we stood next to each other for our graduation photo. Little did we know that years later absolute, rip roaring fun would ensue in the English countryside, and we would become fast friends.
Mia invited me to her husband’s parents’ estate where they host three annual shoots per year and mostly local villagers and friends participate.
The first shoot would take place on Nov 20th followed by a date just after Christmas and again in January.
I said yes, please, and thank you and decided to spend Thanksgiving in England.
There are so many words and ways to describe the experience. Magical, inspiring, enlightening come to mind. But I’m going to save most of the waxing so you can read it in Girl Hunter next fall.
For now I’ll tell you, it is a fun day out in the woods and fields of a small village (in Cambridgeshire, which is 1 1/2 hours north of London) with lots of wool tweed, plus fours, wellies and anxious dogs.
The days were consumed with friendly socializing, multiple visits to the pub, full English brekkies and morning coffee fortified with cherry brandy to keep the belly warm in the wet cold British fields.
At elevenses were refreshments of sloegasms (sloe gin and champagne) and sausage rolls, and Scotch eggs, oh the Scotch eggs… followed by post shoot pints at the local pub and finally a late lunch for “the beaters” and “the guns” cooked and served by the farmer’s wives and Mia’s Austrian mother-in-law.
I hope you enjoy this photo slide show (be sure to click on all 4 tabs)! Just a little something to wet your appetite for the book…