Mon 29 Jan 2024

The heat is killing! Another blisteringly hot day with everyone and everything looking like old flower arrangements that cannot be revived. But as usual the best part of the day is as the light starts to shed its beams towards the earth and the air is beautifully cool and still.

This morning was especially cool as we had coffee at 4.45 am as we needed to be ready to experience what it is like to pick grapes as ‘grape pickers’ by 5.30 am. It is always interesting to walk in someone else’s shoes and today by 8 am I was ready to give up. It was already hot. We had to use scissors to cut each bunch away from the closely packed stem and then inspect the bunch carefully for any blemishes or dried sections or, of course, for cheeky little bird damage.

It was much more intense than I ever expected and it was a job that I readily would say ‘It isn’t for me’. I have a totally new respect for the people who are ‘pickers’ – it is not an easy job. Twelve of us managed to pick 600kg of pinotage grapes so I am sure the wine will be delicious once Mike Neebie puts his skills and knowledge into practise. Theunis was beyond grateful to us all and it was wonderful to see someone realize his dream of growing, harvesting and then producing his own wine. His excitement was tangeable.

We headed home after delivering the grapes into town and collapsed. It was a short lived reprive as we had to head back into town with veggie deliveries and Karel and Barsted needed to get home. There is always great hilarity when Barsted is around so the drive into town in Otto’s bakkie without air conditioning was entertaining.

After delivering our veggies and getting an old table/bench for Doringboom Gedagtes we headed to the river to embrace the cool water and let the water support our tired hot bodies. It was truly rejuvenating in every sense of the word. We came home and I was accosted by a table full of overipe tomatoes that I had been planning to do something with and had not got around to it. So tonight had to be the night but what to do with them all was the million dolar question.

I scrolled through the web and eventually decided to roast them. It was a good decision as it was easy and not too time consuming. Before long the heavenly smell permeated our space. Amazing how most things that we think need to be thrown out can in fact be made into something special. I can’t wait to use it – maybe in a quiche? It was so hot that we decided to just have a simple tuna salad and that was my take home to myself. Simple is often best. I need to remember that thought.

May tomorrow please, dear Universe, be a little cooler.