Sunday 3 May
Sundays are optional work days at the packhouse. If there is work, people can elect to work or not. We tend to volunteer to make up for the hours we miss through the week. So it was with this Sunday. We worked from 7.30am to 5.30pm. Getting up early is a bit of a shock. The compensation is finishing at 5.30pm and having a normal sort of evening.
Monday morning was more paperwork including digging the printer out for some letters and to do some scanning. The weather was mostly sunny and breezy, and we managed to get two big loads of washing done and dry. Then we worked and cleaned to 10pm.
Tuesday 5th May was more of the same. I’d lost our spare o-ring for the vacuum toilet, so ended up tidying up the Useful Things drawer in search of it. Not only did I find the o-ring, but also a couple of other things we were looking for as well. We worked and cleaned to 9.15pm, from 3.30pm. On these days, the last thing we want to do when we get home is have to set to and cook and eat a big dinner. So we tend to aim for our main meal of the day at about 2pm. Then when we get back from cleaning we manage some sort of snack and unwind. We tend to be late to bed and late to rise.
Wednesday 6th May
This was a stormy day, wet and very windy. I made a start on catching up with April’s blog stuff and Wyn had a cup of tea in bed with hot cross buns, and read her book. There was no packhouse work for the evening shift, so we just had to go in to do the cleaning, which was only until 7pm.
Thursday was more of the same with another lovely lazy start to the day. We did some supermarket shopping and visited the local butchers shop. It is great to rediscover the wonders of real butchers shops. Real meat and reasonable prices. And some idea where the stuff has come from. Then it was on to our local vege stall, on the main road back near the packhouse. This is a great place. I remember one day buying three of their big plump avocados for $2.10 the same day I’d seen the supermarket selling sad ones for $2.60 each. Never mind food miles. Food at this vege place travels more like food metres. It reminds me of the great Goddards vege stall at Sawyers Bay back in the good old days when people could find local markets for the vegetables they grew locally. Supermarkets have wrecked all that, and now there is no local growing when the market wants to buy local. Dunedin is a classic case of the shortcomings of not buying local. Hopefully we’ll soon force supermarkets to state with all fruit and vegetables exactly where it comes from, so that we can make informed decisions.
We worked our usual 3.30pm – 7.30pm shift and after tea enjoyed a couple of Green Wing (series 1) episodes in bed.
Friday – A Day in The Life…
The bad weather continued, this day was overcast and cooler with heavy showers. We pottered about with things. Wyn baked Alaine’s Raisin, Ginger and Walnut Teacake in the gas oven. She’s done this one a few times already, but had used camping ground ovens up to then. It was another great success. We kept the diesel heater running in the afternoon until it was time to go to work. Wyn was on grading, which is what she does mostly these days. Grading is hard work, requiring intense concentration standing in the same position for long periods of time checking kiwifruit as it hurtles past looking for sub-standard ones. I was on packing, either packing the kiwifruit onto trays, or straight into boxes; then closing the plastic wrapping and the boxes and sending them down the line to be stacked onto pallets. Depending on the speed of things packing can involve doing just one or the other of these tasks, or both together. It can get stressful when the fruit is flying out, but generally people move around to help where it speeds up. There is a co-operative approach to packing – everyone just pitches in and does what is needed.
We finished at 7.30pm, just in time to catch Gok on TV – I’m not sure what his show is called at the moment. We enjoyed some Stones Green Ginger wine while I cooked some wedges and fish fillets for tea. As this is The Life, so this was a day in That Life.
Above: Pudong, Shanghai in 2014
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