Second day, same as the first. Wednesday 18th was another fine morning although this one was half an hour earlier. We had to start at 7.30am this time. And this day we were going for it; to try to make up for some of the lost time the previous day. This day there was a gaping container at the back of the truck and we had to carry the bottles to the back and stack them there on their sides. The stack was wall to wall and up to the roof. When each row was finished another one was started.
As the tallest person I generally got the top bits of each row. Lifting them up certainly got my wee arms going. Then again just carrying and stacking 3kgs of wine bottles in each hand/arm got enough exercise. Uninterupted the machine could spit out a bottle every 2 seconds so each 4-bottle load arrived every 8 seconds. Generally it took two people to lift the bottles off the machine down onto a platform and then three or four people to carry them and stack them into the container. For hour after hour. Sometimes we took our turns at getting the plugs into the bottle necks – this was the job to be avoided.
With the down-time from the previous day and the clock ticking, a second shift was brought in to work the rest of the daylight hours so we got to finish at 4:15pm, almost an 8 hour day. This was good as we got to go home and enjoy a bit of the sunshine and relax and contemplate having survived two days work in a row. Our tired bodies were telling us that we’re not used to it. Luckily they didn’t know what was in store for them.