Yess. I have finally finished my story/epic on the South American wine harvest. It was a combination of that, plus finally moving into house and surf lessons, that made anything else – other than lying in bed with Jilly Cooper (the ever reliable Riders) – impossible to contemplate for the last few weeks.
It was only 300 words and pretty straight forward, the harvest story, but it took ages because a) I had no contacts, b) the web kept breaking down, or at least my connection to it did and c) even when I did connect to it, there are vineyards and wine organisations in Paraguay and Venezuala that are seemingly impossible to contact other than by going there. Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and Peru are all more or less straightforward thank god.
Anyway it is done. And all the boxes are unpacked. Only a few items currently unlocatable – weird things like a coat and socks and the ‘nez du vin’ (a French kit that has all the different odours of wines in little bottles for you to sniff at). Visions of customs/moving official/person wearing lots of socks, my coat and sniffing/drinking nez du vin bottles.
And then there has been surf. I’ve done my fourth/fifth lesson by now, and I doubt very much I will ever progress beyond lessons, but that is fine. At first I got so nervous before a class my legs were literally shaking. I know because I saw one of them trembling as I was doing warm up bend overs the other day. A bit better now.
Classes are at 6am Tuesdays and Thursdays, or at 4pm when the kids go. Somehow getting up at 5.30 in the morning is easier. You stagger out of bed, into a taxi, then, before you know it, you are on the beach doing pops and stretches, and the sun is coming up.
Last week I did two afternoon lessons and that was much harder. I mean, you’re all dressed and normal and the idea of getting into a wetsuit and jumping into the briny sea seems ludicrous. Plus the place is full of children, including my own, and you are either intimidated by, or worried about, them depending on how good they are.
I’m only worried now I might chicken out tomorrow after the Ayahuasca session I did this weekend. I am still feeling a bit fragile. Must just gird loins and enter sea tomorrow morning early, without thinking too much about it.
Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic herb – or rather vine – cleansing ritual thing. You drink a potion and it helps you open your spiritual gateway, with the help of a shaman. Sting’s done it, and now me.
Was all very strange. Definitely hallucinogenic and made me cry for hours. We started at 10pm and finished at 4am and I must have spent from midnight to 3am in tears. Still feel a bit fragile, but yes, kind of cleansed. Must try and pitch article about it to someone now. More details following when I write up my notes.