Vineyard and Cellar

Guilt, Cabbages and Kings

I have just spent 2 weeks ‘overseas’. Back in the UK to be precise: 9 days in Cumbria and 6 days in Devon/Cornwall. I was on a self-induced guilt trip to see ‘the-grandchildren’. Those of you with grandchildren will know that feeling. Kids and grandkids do not do guilt. I think it’s only my generation – I neglected my parents …


AND – SO this is Christmas

And so this is Christmas – nearly. Actually it’s been Christmas in the malls since July – both here in SA and in the UK. It’s also been Trick or Treat – Halloween – Diwali – Guy Fawkes – Bonfire Night for ever. In the UK if I see one more flaming pumpkin or someone wearing a Zuma mask saying …


Towards Sustainability

I can save you money – trust me I’m a car salesman Out here on the farm our single greatest expense (apart from red wine!) is fuel. I continually challenge myself to find a way of reducing costs.  We could I suppose cut back on the alcohol and spend more on travel? But just supposing I chose to try and …


Dear Uncle Jackson

Late in July our good friend Dave Jackson died. My letters in the Sentinel were always written to Dave and usually (as now) addressed to ‘Uncle Jackson’. The main reason for this – although I was older than him, by a month, I always felt that he was like my kindly older Uncle Jackson Armstrong. I’ll miss his crafted surreal …


Swallow Tales – July 2012

Go on… says my supervisor.. write something interesting this month for the Sentinel. Instead of your usual drivel [nice word? – drivel]. Carol also wants you to write something about what we do out here on the farm [does she? – I sometimes wonder what we are doing out here too]. My supervisor continues her motivational address…oh, and don’t be …


Swallow Tales – The State of the Nation

We reached escape velocity and left the Greyton bubble; breached the Overberg outer limits and eventually the Western Cape comfort zone and drove the 3,500km sling shot of planet Lesotho. Greyton gravity kicked in again at Worcester with the re-entry parachute deployed at Villiersdorp.   The N1 beyond PE is being improved. Curiously – apart from the flag wavers and …


I am a crime statistic but the cow got away with it.

I am a crime statistic but the cow got away with it. During March I was fined for not having my driving licence with me whilst driving. There were 5 traffic violations in Greyton and Genadendal District and I accounted for 20% of them. The statistics for the month were published in the local rag – The Greyton Sentinel. There …


5 May 2009 Update day 183 (6 months)

We are back in UK. The remaining (in SA) vines are 183 days old – exactly 6 months. We stopped irrigation about 10 days ago and autumn is setting in. The leaves are yellowing. We’ve lost 927 vines – far more than we wanted to …but… we have a recovery plan. The statistics at the 6 month mark: 625 mm …






Hit Counter provided by orange county plumbing