Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh today V/8

It was the kind of day in January you dream of. A morning that starts out tinged with golden light. That’s right, golden. I could see the thin line of gold light in the east as I woke. I hit the vines just as the sun was making it’s appearance above the hills. There was ice on the puddles of water left from the last rain but all signs pointed up. There wasn’t the slightest breeze and it was so still you could hear every sound in the surrounding valley.

Yes the good days come too. It changes everything. This is the day where everywhere you go in the area you see workers in the field. The smaller producers can wait for nice days to do the taille and today was that day. It is the kind of day that when you see the workers out in the fields you think, oh that looks pleasant, I wouldn’t mind doing that. And you would be right.

We were an equipe de choc today. Humming along up and down the rows All three of us were in good form because of the happy weather. We cracked at it and finished up the field we have been working for the last two weeks. It was 5:54 when the sun set with the same golden color it rose with.

I know I said math and minimum wage work don’t go together but on the way home today I was juggling some numbers in my head. The field we just finished is 1.8 hectares (only 18 more to go) There are 4000 souche (vine stumps if you will) per hectare. That is 7200. There are roughly twenty cuts per souche. Overall I did about half the field myself. That is 72,000 squeezes on the trigger of my electro-coup 2000 pruning pistol. If you take my wage and divide it by the number of cuts I made, I earn about seven tenths of a penny per trigger pull. Ah, it’s a good life in the south of France.

I did get a good look at a Bonelli eagle today. They aren’t rare but they aren’t commonplace either. I heard it screaming before I saw it. It was on the other side of the little valley where we were working. It was floating around looking for an air current. It came within a hundred yards of us before it got what it was looking for and circled out of sight. Yes, on some days the migrant worker is just who you want to be.


  1. Just to let you know I look at "quality" and "depth" every day and think about how Chicago is a little less for not having you here.


  2. yes quality and depth, i forgot about them, old friends, thanks always good.