I was pleased to see that the organisers had seemed to learn from the problems of last years lunches with the ripped bags and crayfish and rocket sandwiches. It was quite literally a pick and mix style lunch. You would go down to queue pick a cob out of one crate which all had very simply fillings, then a drink, bag of crisps etc. Simple, effective and everyone got they wanted for lunch.
What I hadn't banked on was how hard it was eating alone. It seemed to be everywhere I looked that people were greeting friends with grins and hugs and sitting large groups and there was me sitting by myself.
Tap dance had said to me earlier in the week after I had expressed some concerns about going by myself and she put it bluntly that if I wasn't enjoying it I could always come away early. And I did start to think of that at this point as the incident with the girl scoffing and being dismissive of me was bothering me at this point.
However if I thought that was bad it wasn't nearly as bad as what happened next.
In the afternoon there were three workshops and we had signed up to them the night before. I had decided for my first workshop to try Massage as I have done it for the past two years. When I got there the class was overcrowded as always and as the teacher was late a girl was trying to get everyone organised ready for when she arrived. Myself and another guy didn't have a partner(it was boy/girl) so asked two girls to go with us and choose who they wanted to go with. At which point they started to fight over the other guy as neither wanted to come with me. This fighting went on for a good 15-20 seconds at which point my heart seemed to sink lower with every passing second as this was beyond humilating, especially when the loosing girl decided to leave the classroom. I just sat there with no idea what to do. At which point another girl came in and the organiser pointed us towards each other. I was really ready as this point to call it quit's if this girl looked even slightly unhappy because with no friends, being scoffed at and the two girls fighting I had almost had enough even with the postive stuff that had happened. I have low self esteem at the best of times and I really didn't want what I had left to be wiped out.
However it was at these point that I was taught an important lesson about not giving up and when you need help it will come from the most unexpected places.
The girl came across with a huge grin and introduced herself and I noticed that on her tag it said her homeward was cambridge but before I could ask she beat me to the punch as she noticed my ward and asked " Do you know traveller?" which it sounds stupid but that one question made me feel a hundred times better, because if she was friends with Traveller she had to (and for want of a better term) be one of the 'good ones, because there's no way Traveller would ever choose to be friends with anyone who would be nasty, mean, thoughtless or cruel on purpose. I couldn't help but sit there and smile through the workshop as I realised that maybe none of my friends were there but one of them had still helped me (in a way) when I needed it most
After that the workshop went really, really well and on the plus side after three years I think I've finally got the hang of the hand massages.
After that workshop ended I made my way to the next workshop when I made another new aquaintance ( which was to prove important later) a recently returned RM ( returned missionary for my non LDS readers) from Preston stake. This was also a really good workshop aparts from one small incident where this guy got a bit too keen when we were practising ways to break a choke hold and I couldn't break it and he didn't break it and actually put more pressure on. Fortunately I managed to break it moments before I had to use a actual move on him to get it to break it immediately as it was realyl starting to hurt. I won't go into details of what I thought I would have to do but would have entailed me have to use my knee and trust me he would have broken the grip instantly. To this guys credit he was extremely apologetic when he realised he had gone too far. Although the coughing afterways was a big giveaway to that too.
The last workshop was capture the flag which was also a lot of fun. Some of the other workshops going on around the site included frisbee, football, an assault course, laser tag and art attack to name a few.
I returned back to my room feeling a lot more positive about things as despite having a bad start to the afternoon things had massivily improved.
I may have been knocked down twice but I was back on my feet and still swinging