Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Day 15: La Dernier
My last day of work started slowly. I had to figure out my next moves, connect with my parents, and I got to speak to my lovely Hannah who is far off in India. By about eleven, I was ready to get to work.
My first task was to oil all of the wood on the exterior of the house. Around each window, and in some random areas where a door used to be, are beautiful old pieces of wood. I brushed linseed oil on the beams, giving the wood a warm, dark tone and bringing out the details. This really pulls the exterior of the house together. I was very nearly finished when I was pulled away for tea time, and finished not long after. We then ate a quick lunch.
After lunch, Garth and I struggled to put the sculptures in the car. They are gorgeous metal sculptures, with profiles of faces that sit on top of wine glasses and bottles. The base, however, is almost solid concrete, and therefore outrageously heavy. We got them in safely, and got on the road. I had to either duck or lean forwards during the ride to avoid the sculptures. After a twenty minute drive, we arrived at Garth's friend Sophie's wine domain. She inherited the domain from her parents, and has been running it on her own for several years. All around the village are her vines, covering rolling hills, with the still snow capped Pyrenees in the distance. We met Sophie's mom as we unloaded the works of art commissioned by Sophie for the Salle de Degustation-the tasting room. Sophie came up from the vines, sweaty from setting up the wires for new growth. Sophie is lovely and sweet, and speaks little English, so we spoke almost entirely in French. She took us around, and into the cave, where the wine is made. There were six vats, each the size of a large bedroom, that, after harvest, are all filled with fermenting grape juice. She then invited us in for some grape juice, before we went on our way, two boxes of bottles of rose in hand.
Our next stop was the super market, where we had to buy provisions for the soiree tonight. We also stopped by the car mechanic, because Garth needs to replace his headlights.
We got back, unloaded the car, and I got to work welding. I first had to cut the handle at an angle, so Garth held the piece while I worked the metal chop saw. I then began to weld. It was quite easy this time, the metal was mostly thick enough, so it didn't melt too much, and my joints were strong and fairly clean. I then began work on the second, which was not so easy. After pulling my work apart several times due to the many axes I had to keep straight, Garth called me in.
I showered, and began to help him prepare dinner. Sophie came early, so she helped set things up. I lit the fire, and we opened a bottle of her rose, and we started a game of petanque, garth and me against Sophie and Cheryl. We were destroying them until Stephan rolled up on his bike. He took one ball, and began to set the girls on course for a comeback. The game ended with the guys just ahead of the girls plus Stephan.
As the massage table was still in the garden, and Sophie has been working hard in the fields, I gave her a massage. The fountains, light, and music made the garden the perfect setting for a massage. Halfway through, Alvin and Andrea showed up. When Alvin was finished trimming Garth's already short hair, and I was finished with sophie's back massage, I sat in the chair. I told him to give me a haircut that would make my mom happy, and here's what I got:
We then sat down for dinner. There was fresh baked bread by Alvin, oysters, grilled sardines, and salad. We had a wonderful time, they are a great group of close friends, and a pleasure to spend time with. After dinner, we fed the weeds from the garden to the fire to try and smoke out the mosquitoes, to everyone's amusement if not relief from the bites. After some dancing, Sophie went home, and Stephan rode out not long after her. We went inside. Andrea and Garth looked around the house, Garth taking as much helpful advice as he could from the master builder. Alvin and Andrea then headed out.
The night ended, of course, with an episode of So You Think You Can Dance, probably the last one I'll be watching for quite a long time.