I am not sure whether it is the slight twist of the wrist as we pick the apricot, or the slight twist as I have been parting the lush Apricots in two to de-stone them before quickly disposing of them in my mouth …. but one has definately caused a bit of a strain – probably a good thing therefore, not only for my wrist, but possibly for our teeth, that it has all come to an end.
After eight weeks of mostly 5am starts, ladder climbing, scrapes and bruises on every part of exposed skin (those Apricots are heavy buggers when they fall on you) and aches and pains from bending down, our life may just start to get back to normal this week…. Normal in our world anyway, as I appreciate for most of you we are a little odd anyway 🙂
We have done our best to eat our weight in Apricots and Cherries, have experimented in cake baking for the team – since our last blog teh portfolio has expanded to incorporate enhanced Raspberry and Chocolate Muffins, Apricot Muffins, Fruit Cake (in muffin tins – can you tell that it is a newly acquired piece of kit 🙂 ) and Brownies made with Apricots – and have had our eyes opened to the work involved in maintaining a fruit farm and vineyard as well as the horrifiying price pressure that farmers have nowadays. A large quantity of the Apricots we picked were sold to the industry at just 15 centimes a kilo – just about about breaking even on their costs, without taking into consideration anything for their time and labour, we just have to hope for their sake that the vine will provide a bumper crop and a good price this year.
It has been good and despite the physical hard work and the early mornings it has definately been worth coming here and we have made some new friends along the way.
The last couple of weeks have been mainly working, with hours increasing to the afternoon as well in the last week and a half, leaving little time for much else other than eating, oh errr…. watching the football and a little sleeping. However, as many of you will know – for the wrong reasons unfortunately – last Thursday (14th) was Bastille Day, a national holiday in France. After a morning run (and some long awaited Crepes with some of the delicious Apricot Jam Teresa made last week ) we set off on the bikes along the Rhone to the North, arriving at Sarras after roughly 20km just as the skies opened. Thankfully as we had battled against the wind on the way there we managed to get ahead of the clouds on the way back with a whole 15 minutes to spare before the rain caught up…. Just about enough time to load up on a Apricot Brownie and a cup of tea 🙂
In the evening, like most of the French population, we went to the local fireworks display which was on the bridge just under a kilometre from here and it was pretty good – it even had a display where the fireworks formed the shape of hearts. It is just incredibly sad to think about all the people who were killed in Nice following their celebrations as it could have been in any town in France that night – there are some very unfortunate people in this world who believe that inflicting harm on others will make life better for themselves or their families, why – we will never know. All we can do is hope that sometime soon things will change.
On a brighter note as today is officially our first day of ‘holidays’, after a morning run, we headed off into the Ardeche hills on the bikes following the Doux river which was beautiful.
As we have a little time to ourselves now, we plan to stay in Tain de L’hermitage for another couple of days to explore the area a bit more before heading north … Hopefully resuming the blog to normal frequency from now 🙂