beach or vines (?)

When summer hits with a bang and your parents have arrived all the way from Canada for a visit and your kids are on school holiday and your picnic basket is all packed with yummy sandwiches and frozen bottles of water you are looking forward to a day at the beach not a 'surprise' day in the vines.......
The day our tractor broke down and the vines had to be sprayed we had to do it by hand and so the kids headed off to the Mediterranean with Grandma and Grandpa and i headed off to the vines with Christophe and my father in law (thank heavens for justin). I now have a new found respect for the folk two generations ago who worked these vines totally by foot and by hand. We try to do as much as we can with out the use of machines, we harvest and prune by hand. We sowed all of our green manure by hand and all of our animal manure is spread by wheel barrows and elbow grease but we do use the tractor for spraying and we do have the luxury of getting to and from the vines by car. The world has sped up considerably since Christophe's great grandparents worked the vines with only a mule to transport themselves, there tools and the grapes when it came to harvest time. It's romantic to think of the past and the quaint ways of our ancestors and all though I don't want to spit in the soup of modern advancements (i do drive my car and use my washing machine by choice) I also think i's a shame to advance blindly into the future with no respect for the amazingly innovative and environmentally friendly habits of those who worked the land before the arrival of the machine. 
It was a hard day of back breaking work but every day I am out in the vines I learn something new, there is something special about watching them grow, getting to know them in each of their seasons and to do that you have to be there working them with your own two hands.    

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