Thursday morning was an even earlier start, 7am. So we had to get up at something like 5.30am to be ready. Getting there in half-hour increments was a blessing. The road crews were out sealing much of the road from Lowburn to Cromwell so a lot of the drive in had to be at 30kmph. The 2nd shift the previous day had loaded the container most of the way to the door so it wasn’t as far to carry the bottles. It didn’t take too long to warm up the complaining muscles and we soon finished the container and started back on stacking bottles in bins. It was another fine warm day – important to keep up the fluids.
A container full of wine bottles must weight 25-30 tonnes so tends to not be movable once it is full. At lunchtime the truck was repositioned to in front of another empty container and that was our job for the rest of the day. All afternoon and evening – lift, carry and stack. Or sometimes lift, carry, lift and stack. For a change we’d get to relieve on the infernal plastic plug stuffing job. It was decided that a second shift wasn’t the best idea so we became the second shift – we just carried on until the tank was empty at 8.30pm – a 13-hour day. We were tired by then – sort of on autopilot.
We’d checked out the local swimming pool and figured that a soak in the spa after work would be a good way to wind down. Trouble was the pool closed at 7.30pm so we’d missed out on that. The other trouble was a water leak in Suzi’s water heater. Not exactly a leak but a dribble from a pressure-temperature valve. The manual gave a good process for addressing this but despite trying it twice I hadn’t succeeded in fixing it. So we were reluctant to use the shower. With the pool closed we decided to call round to the local camping ground but baulked at the $5 pp charge. The other other trouble was that Suzi was almost out of water and almost full of grey water. We decided to go back to Suzi and get her ready to move and zoom back to Cromwell to the dump station where we were also able to fill up with fresh water. Then it was zoom back to our spot by the lake, baked beans for tea at 10pm and quick showers and crash into bed. Exhausted would be one word for it.
Friday was mostly a repeat of Thursday. Another 7am start. Tonnes more bottles to be carried and lifted and stacked. Warm windy weather. We finished earlier this day – 8pm rather than 8.30pm so only 12 1/2 hours. The plastic plugs started going into the bottles better – slightly different bottles obviously. So that job was more bearable now – easy in comparison. The boss provided some lovely pastry things for morning tea – always nice to be appreciated. We missed out on the swimming pool again. We got home in time to watch the final of Rove on TV – the show where he announced his retirement. Then we crashed into bed. Really really exhausted would be three words for it.