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Monday 3 May 2021

The Most Frightening Experience of My Life

I guess there are many experiences that deserve reflection. 

Man puts head in a lion's mouth. 

SAS man jumps through an open window. 

However, the blog title: ''The most frightening experience of my life'' was retorted from a lady who lived at Great Yarmouth, painting a picture on a TV programme called Watercolour Challenge. The Channel 4 daytime television lifestyle show was broadcast from 5th June 1998 - 23rd November 2001. 

Now you may be thinking, what does a watercolour painting of a scene from Norwich Cathedral have to do with gambling. 

There seems little relationship. 

However, you may say a tiger doesn't have much in common with a table - but they both have four legs. 

What on earth could be so frightening about painting a picture?

It sounds quite a calm endeavour, peaceful if not therapeutic. 

You must be thinking, there's got to be more to this specific painting than meets the eye. 

You're correct. 

The painter from Great Yarmouth struggled because it was a competition! 

The competition saw artists face an unknown location, two competitors and four hours to do the business (so to speak) and paint like Rubens to win the dough. 

Those tranquil brushstrokes transformed into someone grappling with a wasps nest. As it happened, the winning prize: a new set of paints, brushes and a chance to go through to the weekly final and then there's an opportunity to compete in the grand final. Scary stuff if you aren't van Gogh. Perhaps even Vincent may have felt a twang of nerves, frustration or fright.  

The competitive nature of the challenge made the situation, even for a talented individual, very different from the norm. 

In many ways, gambling, in theory to practice, is very similar. 

Without question, we live in a competitive world. Are we naive to forget this point? Can we separate ourself from the shark tank? You may deny the fact that there's someone from the pool of talent who knows more or you may relish the challenge because you are a bigger fish in the pond. 

That's the intriguing aspect of gambling. 

Even if you bet for fun, you are still in the competition whether you like it or not. Perhaps you are betting small stakes so you consider it doesn't really matter. 

You may be correct.

However, if you are a gambler, do you really think about the layer? It may not register - if you win you win, you lose you lose. 

Do you have a hatred of the competition or a friendly revelry? 

Do I consider who is taking my bet? Yes. It intrigues me what they know.

When I lose I am fearful of the opposition and my own lacking.

The win details I know more. A loss details I know less. The latter is a problem I need to find an answer. 

Appreciating the competition is worthy of thought. It may help me work harder or have the discipline or process to contend with the competition or improve my game. 

In that sense, the most frightening experience of your life is very much about the context which may vary from pleasure to pain.

Photo: Jean Haines