Manual (adj)

Manual (adj): c.1400, from Latin manualis “of or belonging to the hand; that can be thrown by hand,” from manus “hand, strength, power over; armed force; handwriting,” from *man- (2) “hand” (cf. Old Norse mund “hand,” Old English mund “hand, protection, guardian,” German Vormund “guardian,” Greek mane “hand”).

Where were we? 

Oh! On the ferry. 

Well, we made it to our temporary home in Havelock North.

The house is really cool – basically, it has five decks. One is right outside our bedroom. 

One of the best parts of rolling (via bus) into Hastings (the town right by Havelock North) was…

We were super excited to be reunited with Luke, who was also gracious enough to pick these weary travelers up on Sunday. He delivered us to our house, where we hung out for a couple hours and got settled in. On Sunday, we did a little wine tasting at Craggy – first reaction: their wines are yummy – and found the beach about 15 minutes away.

I never used to think I was the kind of gal that needed to be near a vast body of water, but I’ll say this: it definitely felt like home as soon as we saw that oceany horizon. 

The days then got a little crazy – we met the rest of our housemates over the weekend (Matt from Australia and Jannis from Switzerland), explored the Hastings farmer’s market (yum) and had an amazing Bolognese pasta all together that night. And, of course, wine. 

Monday the guys had orientation at Craggy Range and I tried to get myself a rental car to use this week while we try to buy another means of transportation (fingers crossed). I got one just in time to zip over to Clearview for a meeting and for some paperwork.

Then, drumroll please… today was my first day working for a winery!

It was so interesting. I actually spent the entire day in the vineyard, and totally regret not snapping any pictures yet, but I kid you not: my hands were covered in sticky Gewürztraminer juice all day. I got to be one of the pickers, a group made up mostly of locals who come down the road from the nearby beach towns to get some seasonal work hours in. Everyone was super nice, and I pretended to know what I was doing until I did. 

There was something so soothing about spending the day working with my hands. I had to immediately accept a few things:

1. I was going to get dusty
2. I was going to be sticky
3. I was going to touch a lot of bugs

Then, I took my little clippers, and started hacking away at the beautiful grape vines – the poor dears. 

Note to self: never underestimate the incredible speed of the professional hand-harvesters. I was averaging about four vines in eight minutes at my fastest. Shameful. 

Slowness aside, I loved the feeling of exercising a part of my brain (and back… and legs… and hands) that I haven’t in forever, focusing on the single task of removing the grapes from their vines. Clip, clip, clip, ouch! (poked myself); clip, snip, clip, ugh! (it won’t come loose); clip, clip, snip, eek! (spider); snip, snip, clip, bleeeh (brain shutting off). Slimy, yet so, so satisfying.

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