Our first volunteer blogger is Chris.
My first thought when I opened my eyes this morning was that waking up on the first day of volunteer week with a more than slight hangover probably wasn't the brightest thing to do. Ah ...the perils of staying up (very) late with Ali B and limitless red wine.
We met with a small hiccup when Lizzie came hot footing it back from the road up to the mazet and told us that EDF had closed the road for "Le maintenence essentiel" and that we couldn't get the vehicles up there. A smart bit of sweet talking by Lizzie saved the day and they downed tools for a short while to let us pass. Fleeting thoughts of going back to bed were dashed.
By 11am were all in position. Douggie, Caroline , Paula, Marianne and Sharon were pruning and strimming the last of the vines in the amphitheatre. Sue , Jane and I were spraying the vines near the potager - I thought it best to try and avoid any sharp implements early in the day. Ali B went roaring off on the quad to try and find another route into the mazet as the road would be completely closed tomorrow.
After a quick lunch of yummy soup made by the lovely Debbi we were up and at 'em again and Sue and I pruned the olives while the others hacked, sawed, raked, sprayed and sweated. Layers of clothes were fast being discarded as the sun came out and warmed us gently.
We then all set to clearing the path around the back of the amphitheatre and I was deemed sober enough to play with the petrol strimmer. It took about two hours but it is beginning to look great. Douggie, Caroline and Sharon did a fine job recovering the stone steps up to the next level.
There were lots of hot, red faces and aching limbs by the end of the day from our exertions but also a wonderful sense of satisfaction gained from really making a difference and working in such a beautiful place. Can't wait until tomorrow. But maybe less wine for me this evening!