I just want to say that I have never been stickier. Even when making jam in the confined area of the Kitchen caravan I was nowhere near as sticky as I am at this moment.
Me and all the clothes I am currently wearing are covered in purple splodges of grape juice.
Grapes, when ripe, are full of sugar. When one grips a ripe bunch of grapes a little too firmly some of them burst joyously open, putting one into a mini shower of sugary juice.
That's all I want to say.
I am now off to the shower.
I am also going to try and untangle my hair because it kept getting tangled up in the grape vines as I stooped to cut the bunches of grapes, and it is one hell of a mess, more than it usually is.
Today I have had a holiday. I have been in a vineyard cutting grapes all day, surrounded by French people all doing the same, and not one word of English was spoken. I felt one of the gang. It was a grand day.
I have learnt how to cut a bunch of grapes, especially those that are stuck between the stems of the vines.
I have learnt that if you cut yourself when using the secateurs lent to you for the cutting of the grapes, that any blood which is shed just goes into the general mess of juiciness, and that, curiously, within a minute or so the wound heals such that it almost disappears. Must be some chemical reaction between me and the grapes. Whatever. It works.
That vines are grown on hills......
...... for legs that are not used to up and down terrain they did go trembly half way up and half way down, as I was cutting grapes all the way along. Keep going and the trembling will go away once the legs are on flatter ground, that is what I learnt. There were, however, a few awkward moments when I thought I was going to keep on charging down the hill as my brakes seemed not to be working. As for working my way along the vines going back up the hill. Crikey. That is all I can say to that.
To hold the juicy plumpness of a bunch of grapes, and feel some of the juice flow over the hands is quite an enchanting experience. Not sure why I should be so enchanted, but I was, although after the first hour that did wear off as I became ever stickier.
I was worried in case I flaked out after half an hour, but I kept on going all the day, and even kept up with the pace of the men. My confidence in my fitness has increased, that is what I have learnt. I am not an old biddy yet, and God bless the scythe for giving me sufficient flexibility and physical stamina to help me realise this. This is another thing I have learnt today.
I have also learnt that Hubs is quite capable of raiding the freezer and finding himself something to eat for lunch, and that there is no need to worry in case he keels over through lack of food because I am not at home to look after him.
That it was lovely to have lunch cooked for me, this being done by Jean Marc's delightful wife, who looked after me out on the vines, drove me to and fro the vines, looked after me during lunch, and was patient all the while with my minimal French. I have learnt that I can make myself understood if only in a simple way, with much repetition of words and phrases though because my French vocabulary is minimal.
That our region is a lovely region to be living in. It is unspoilt and timeless, with bendy country lanes, no traffic apart from farm vehicles, few houses, no housing estates, and a rolling, rolling, landscape. It is the Gers and Haute Pyrenees region, which is the least populated area of France. I feel blessed that the Universe brought us here, this I was reminded of today.
I am now, most definitely, going to take me and my stickiness into the shower........
PS: There was no need to take my socks and shoes off because no treading of the grapes was required of my feet. Just as well really. They weren't washed before I left home due to me getting up a little later than usual, oversleeping in other words, so I had to bypass the shower.
PPS: I am not sure if they do still tread the grapes but I wasn't going to ask in case they did, but I think that they don't because no-one else took their footwear off, indeed everyone headed towards the cars homeward bound at the end of the afternoon. Nevertheless, still best not to mention the subject, I thought.