The morning side

My absence on the farm hasn’t gone unnoticed (I pretty much volunteered to look after my nephew while he visited from the Czech Republic).

‘If you want to do something today, you could go to the vineyard,’ my husband announced while we watched the last Olympic catch up at breakfast. I nodded. Apparently the leaf stripping needs to be done. The grapes are now ready to start ripening and removing the leaves around the fruit lets in more air and sun. And then he said something that made my day: ‘And can you do just the morning side?’

I have never hear anyone describe ‘east’ as ‘morning side’. It made me smile and I decided that it’s the nicest way to say ‘east’. The expression stayed with me all day. My hands were aching and my back let itself known every time I turned around. The day got hotter and the dog ended up sitting under the car to hide from the blaze.

Leaf stripping (or deleafing as we call it) is a very satisfying job because you see the work you’ve done. There is a sea of foliage before you and when you turn back, the grapes are peeping out and leaves are carpeting the ground. You work in silence because the only machine you need is you and so there is no engine, no noise.

Well except for the police helicopter suddenly hovering over the vineyard for disturbingly long time. Oh and later the huge military Chinook, big tandem rotor helicopter, flying so low that I almost saw the colour of the pilot’s eyes.

I saw the Chinoook again flying over our house while I was chasing the chickens who actually broke out of the garden.

He flew off to the morning side.

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