We’re very late in finishing our pruning this year, but we only have another eight long rows of Grenache to do so it shouldn’t take much longer. There’s a saying in France: ”Taille tôt, taille tard, rien ne vaut la taille de mars.” “Prune early, prune late, nothing’s better than a March pruning” So there you are. All our excuses about weather and we were doing the right thing all along.
Our new 50 year old tractor went to the garage in the village to have two new front tyres put on. Whilst it was up on the ramp Claude, the garagiste who works for M. Lafitte, showed me that an essential supporting bar was in danger of collapsing altogether. It was obviously rocking about all over the place. A break would have resulted in an immediate collapse of the front of the tractor, either on the road to the vineyard, or whilst working on the land. Both scenarios filled us with horror so we asked him if he knew someone who could fix it. He did, and his wonderful contact had the tractor back to us within ten days and at a pretty reasonable price.
Claude gave the tractor a jet-wash and a good going over with his magic high-pressure grease gun. The wheels have been set wider apart to make it more stable and everything is now in great shape. Claude and M. Lafitte obviously love this little tractor and treat it very kindly, whilst sporting beaming smiles. “Worthy of a museum”, said M. Lafitte. An accolade indeed.
In a short while our lovely volunteers arrive to help us on the land for a week. We have some good things lined up for them and I’m just praying that we don’t get the longed-for rain while they are here. I wonder if anyone would like to have a go with the V73? Ali calls it Tango, but I think I might call it Victor the V73.