Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Official Sausage Taster 2013 - It's me!

As you know, there is always something exciting going on in my life and today was no different. In fact I had a couple of excellent reasons to be cheerful today.

Firstly, someone who had bought my first book left a fantastic in-depth review of it on Amazon and gave it five stars which is really nice after a few less than enthusiastic responses recently. It makes the whole writing thing worthwhile and strengthens my resolve to stick at it.

Secondly, and this is really exciting, I won a competition!

This is only the second competition of any note I have ever won - the first one was a trip to the Champions League final four years ago. This time, it was a competition run by the "Love Pork" page on facebook.

The competition was to win the prize of being an official judge at next week's British Sausage Awards 2013, which are to be held in Telford. I'm also pleased that it was a writing competition, I was not just drawn out of a hat or something, which also inspires me greatly that whoever judged this competition really appreciated the Ayres sense of humour. Not everyone does, hence the unpleasant review on Amazon that begins, "I really tried to find it funny, but..."

A picture of some sausages

The fact is, as you know I have waxed lyrical to you all face to face, on blogs, and in books for years now about my love of all pig based products, predominantly ham and bacon of late to be fair, but anyone who spent any time with me in the glory days of the Aunt Sally teams of various pubs will recall how eagerly I devoured the post match sausages. And we used to get some fantastic ones - particularly at the Bull & Butcher in Ludgershall I recall. And I have tried all manner of other exciting varieties over time, such as the Gloucester Old Spots from the farmers market that comes to town once a month, to name but one.

Infinitely variable in quality, quantity and ingredients, from the humblest Tesco Value to a Wild Boar concoction they are so many and so varied in this country alone. And abroad there are countless others. I most humbly declare, I do so love the sausage, and it is why I think I am a most worthy and deserved recipient of this amazing prize, and I thank whoever chose me as the winner for their fine judgement.

So what have I actually won? Two nights in a 4* hotel in Telford, all expenses paid, including rail travel for two and meals, plus the whole day at this auspicious event full of celebrity chefs, media coverage etc. I don't know the full agenda for the day yet, but I do know that this is a fantastic opportunity for me to make new contacts and also to write about it. I am making more and more contacts within the press and media of late in a bid to further the writing career I aspire to, and winning this competition might just lead on to another big break, who knows?

It is so important to grab hold of one dreams and pursue them. You all know I have been doing this for quite some time now, and I've really gotten to know those of you that support and believe in me, and those that don't. To those that do - thank-you.

Unfortunately the plans for this trip have hit a snag. I am free to go, and Claire has managed to juggle her shifts to free herself up. Unfortunately it seems that she has only freed herself up at the moment to look after the children. We frequently run into these sort of problems. I have had no luck enlisting help from family to take care of the kids for a couple of days as it is too short notice - fair enough, it is, but I did not know I was going to win this competition. If it was not in term time it would not be so much of a problem as they could have gone to my parents in Eynsham, but they have to be here for school so at the moment it looks like Claire won't be able to come with me. If there were two hotel rooms it would be fine, but it is only one, and I'll be honest, if I am not with her, I would prefer to go it alone. I absolutely hate sharing rooms and avoided it at all costs when I was with Nielsen. Funnily enough this did not used to be a problem at conferences as no-one ever seemed that keen to share with me, so I usually managed to blag a single room one way or another.

Perhaps something will turn up and we will find a way for Claire to accompany me, but it looks unlikely as things stand.

Anyway - here is my winning entry for your enjoyment:

Jason Ayres My love affair with all things "pork product", especially sausages goes back over four decades. From joining pub teams of all descriptions in order to sample the many types of sausages available as part of the after match food, to carving out a career as a mobile DJ, checking out party buffets every weekend for the sausages on sticks, I am in constant contact with them. Barbecues, farmers markets, supermarkets, home & abroad, there's not a sausage out there I have not tried! In fact, in my capacity as a comedy food writer (check out my books on Amazon or my blog), I am planning the ultimate expedition next year - to go around the world and eat a sausage in every country - Eat your heart out, Palin!!!

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