Monday of last week was get-ready-for-work day. It’s been a while since we last did a day’s work – more than I care to add up. Like any new job, we were a bit nervous – wondering what we’d let ourselves in for.
So, Tuesday 17th we were up at something awful like 6.30am. I know – that’s what sort of time most people get up. But we’d managed to avoid anything so uncivilised for a long time. It was all a bit of a novelty. We’d been lined up for a weeks work on a mobile wine bottling plant. This was based outside a wine factory/store in the industrial area of Cromwell. We got there in time for an 8am start. The machine is all housed in an 11m semi-trailer. Wine is piped in one end, bottles are added, and out the other end come full bottles.
The wine we were doing is a sparkling one so this introduced a few complications. The bottles need a plactic plug (bidule?) inserted in the neck and then they are capped with an ordinary bottle cap. They then need to be stored for years before being reprocessed. So they needed to be loaded individually into big bins and containers.. The plastic plugs didn’t go easily into the bottle necks. This was a job that required two people on the line and it rapidly wore out fingers and thumbs. Plus the capping process didn’t go well for the first day so there were a few stops and starts. This was good for us as we got to grips with our jobs; mostly carrying and stacking 4 bottles (1.5kg each) at a time into bins beside the back of the truck. Our wee arms and our old backs wondered what’d struck them by the end of the day – which came at 6.15pm. Once a tank is started it has to be finished so we just had to keep going until it was dry.
We felt good to have survived our first day. We were soon home for tea and Coro Street and bed.