A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Thursday, 8 August 2019
Vines and Vineyards.
Nearly 47 years ago, when we first came to live here, there were vineyards everywhere. Most small farms grew enough grapes to make about 2000 litres of wine per annum; exclusively for their own consumption. We saw new vineyards planted, and ancient ones pulled-out. Vines were as essential to a farm as Cows, Pigs, Chickens, or Ducks.
Then all changed about 30 years ago. Almost as one, all our local farmers stopped their wine-production, grubbed-up their vines, and an important part of local culture/gastronomy instantly disappeared.
In the small painting above, our cottage can just be seen towards the top on the left. We looked out onto a distant vineyard, where every year we'd help with the harvest. Now, of course, all has gone.
I always have a glass or two of red wine with my supper, as do most households, so I really don't understand why they stopped producing their own. Having said that, there are no Cows, Pigs, Chickens, or Ducks on the farms either. No-one produces milk, and the only crops you'll see are Maize, Sunflowers, and Chestnuts. Much land is now left unproductive.
No doubt the EU is to blame for the change. It may look OK in some big Brussels accountancy book, but it's played havoc with rural society.
p.s. I shall be making wine myself this year; more anon.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 50 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live between an ancient cottage in a tiny village in perfectly tranquil French countryside, and a bijou townhouse in Brighton UK. In France we have plenty of fruit trees, all situated amongst a view that takes the breath away, in the UK we have a handkerchief sized patio. We also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!