We are happy to say we are back home after a stay in Glasgow to help out while our daughter had her second baby. Glasgow is a very interesting city with its art nouveau style of Rennie Mackintosh. We were within walking distance of the famous Kelvingrove Museum and the University, the Transport Museum and the Botanical Gardens. There are plenty of lovely parks and riverside walks. But what a lot of traffic!
Launch of Duncan the Destroyer
We stayed near the river and on the first day we were lucky enough to see the launching of the last ship ever from the Clyde shipyards. Also the last ship anywhere that will be launched down a slipway rather than being floated out of a dry dock. ‘Duncan’ was named after the admiral at the battle of Camperdown and was the last of a series of six Destroyers with names beginning with ‘D’. A huge crowd turned out to see the launch and it was clear that the impact of the loss of shipbuilding in Govan will be cultural as well as economic.
On the third day we were presented with a lovely granddaughter, and for the next week we were busy with looking after the toddler and the dog. Here’s a photo of Mum and the two babies.
The new addition to the family
So we are now back to normality, enjoying the blue skies and sunshine. Although it is cold at night the afternoons have been very warm and it has been a pleasure to work outside in the garden.
The firemen arrive
Appelez les Pompiers! Call 18!
Early last Sunday morning we were involved in another exercise by the firemen. This time it was a practice for both our local squad and the much larger team from Cluny.
To set the scene: During a fête at the Foyer Rural a fire had suddenly broken out, completely filling the hall with thick smoke. Most of the villagers had escaped but several had not been accounted for. The local fireman appeared within minutes but were unable enter the building until the arrival of the Cluny team with their fleet of fire engines. The men donned breathing apparatus and fireproof clothing and disappeared into the choking smoke. They emerged carrying two victims.
A distraught wife could not find her husband so they went in again and again, eventually dragging out a third man who was rescusitated on the grass verge. The firemen were able to go in with the hoses and the fire was quickly extinguished.
Chris had played this poor man who had lain undiscovered in the smoke until manhandled out, bumping up the stairs and banging his head on the firemen’s oxygen cylinders. He was ‘resusitated’ until he was in a fit state to be taken away to hospital. Despite Chris’s complaints about the thick smoke and having to lie out on the wet grass he really enjoyed play-acting the victim. As the victim’s wife I could not fault the bravery and the efficiency of the firemen.
Afterwards there was a debriefing session in the hall. The whole exercise had gone very well. The chief fireman made the point that one of the victims had been rescusitated a bit too near the road and would be in danger from any driver who was distracted by the goings-on.The firemen then sat down to a well earned breakfast of ham, saucisson and bread, washed down with plenty of wine.
After all this excitement so early in the day we were free to enjoy rest of the warm sunny day that Sunday had become.
Grapes ready for harvest
The vendange is finished, the grapes are in and the local caves are beginning to transform the grapes into wine, vintage 2010.
I found that you don’t need to wait long to sample it. Yesterday we held the AGM of the Foyer Rural and afterwards we were treated to a glass or several of a delicious brew of grapes that had just begun the fermentation process. So it whilst it was still fairly sweet it had a fizziness of sparkling wine but was not too alcoholic.
It has been on the news this week that a whole vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes has been harvested by machine at night and stolen. This is a long way away from here, right down on the south coast, but it still caused a lot of surprise considering the solidarity of vineyard owners and the producers.
Here the grapes for the crémant and the really good wines are harvested by hand, and the black grapes for everyday wines by machine. The field almost next door to us was harvested last weekend (at least that’s what I assume as we missed it). After a field is harvested it is the custom for people in the village to wander in and pick whatever has been missed. This is called glanage.. The machines must be very efficient. as when I went looking for grapes I could find hardly any. I wouldn’t make a very good vineyard thief as I felt guilty just looking!