Saturday 1 September 2012


The time of dawdling tractors is upon us again, and the queues of irate drivers trying to overtake the grape-laden vehicles, as they make their way to the squashing plants.
Chez nous, (our house) it's a small affaire - a couple of bowls of green and purple muscat grapes. Each year Mark says: "hey we could make our own wine!" and I say, "what's the point when we are surrounded by excellent producers."
My only memories of my fellow student's efforts were bidons of foul-smelling cloudy stuff which would be brilliant for maintaining a car battery. It was often drunk at the end of some sordid party in the days when we still didn't remember what it would be like to wake up and find one's brain had been taken away in the night jumped on and put back the wrong way up.

Instead of faffing with bidons and syphons and all the other equipment, we pick the grapes, leaving some for the blackbirds who feast on them with enthusiasm, and make grape jelly, pink as a Barbi evening dress, and fantastic on toast on a cold winter morning.

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