“Red Red wine, goes to my head.” Neil Diamond.
Music is the soundtrack to your life, well I can’t argue with that. If you have read part three you know we were in Portbou Spain. We had come to fish, sadly the fish weren’t aware and hadn’t arrived yet. We discovered that our new-found friends were headed to Perpignan en France to gain employment in La vendange (an interesting read if you follow the link). The Master decided that we should join the two Aussies, four Welshmen (we picked another up since the last post) and the English boy with French girlfriend and try our hand at grape picking. So, in convoy form we returned to France and the Perpignan employment dept. They offered us ten days grape picking in a small village called Latour the requirement was for twelve pickers. We were only ten, but luckily two English girls struggling with the French language at the counter agreed to join us.
Upon arrival at said farm we were deemed suitable for ten days grape picking, given a house to live in and told to be ready at 05:30. At such a young age I was disconcerted to discover there were two 05:30’s in one day and even more shocked when the youngest Aussie nearly took a finger off with the secateurs, you mean these things are sharp? The farmer was the happiest man I ever met at 05:30 am. His bad back, his tablets and the wine made him happy. He slapped me on the back regularly shouting, “Bon.” At school I learned French with a cartoon family called the Tibou’s. All I remembered was, ‘Mme Tibou a acheté un nouveau chapeau.’ Sadly the fact that Mrs Tibou had bought a new hat was not a phrase I needed to call upon, so I nodded and smiled, which had the effect of making me look a little simple
The days were hard, mainly because the nights were long. Our employer gave us a huge cask of wine, telling us when it was empty he would fill it. We emptied the first night and when one of the Welsh boys crashed out early we carried him and his bed down two flights of stairs and put him out in the street. He was surprised upon wakening, but not quite as surprised as our employer and the local population the next morning. After ten days hard labour with approximately three hours sleep per night and money in our pockets we bid our hosts farewell and headed back to Spain, the fish were beckoning 😀