Sunday, February 15, 2009

Introducing Action Man


One day after Valentine’s Day, I thought it appropriate to introduce you to Action Man, or AM for short. Here he is, in typical AM mode, sorting out nets for the vineyard.

If I think about the road we have taken to where we are today, from life in the city to living in the country, with the veggie garden, the vineyard, the fruit trees, the chooks and the sheep, AM has been the driving force. This was his dream. Initially I went along, a bit warily at first, admittedly. But over the last 10 years, his dream has become our dream.

During the week, AM wears a suit and tie to work in Corporate Australia. On the evenings and weekends, though, he wears crappy old clothes with holes in them and an old felt hat, as he goes about the business of being what our daughter calls “a pretend farmer”.

Why do I call him Action Man? He is never still. Never. Either he is working around here in the garden or on the house, or doing some woodworking, or making wine, or going fishing, or training for ocean swims. As I write, for example, he is fashioning wooden "plugs" of his own design to put into the wine barrels to reduce oxygen contact after fermentation (I think). Even when he sits down to watch the news on telly he fidgets like mad.

Anyway, AM is out in the vineyard checking out the grapes frequently this week as he is contemplating the best time to pick for this year’s winemaking. After weeks of hot, dry weather, we thought we’d be doing it this weekend, but the weather has turned cool and wet all of a sudden, so the sugars in the grapes, which you need to create alcohol, aren’t high enough. Last year, we picked too early after a very poor season and the result was wine that wasn’t worthy of the name. Very disappointing. Next weekend he is committed to doing an ocean swim as part of a team triathlon, so picking will be problematic next weekend too. Hmm, what to do? There aren’t enough hours in the day. We’ll keep you posted…..

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