On Sunday morning, locals were roused from sleep by my neighbour Eugene Monteil (aka Monsieur Monmouton) to harvest his grapes. By 5:30 that evening, I had to remind my aching back and cramped thighs that being invited to the vendange is an honour.
And it is. We were rewarded that night with the annual feast of traditional homemade fare prepared by Eugene's sister, Bertholine, a judge who recessed her court in the Comores to dish up chicken noodle soup, melon, patés, beetroot/egg salad, grilled Aveyron sausage, cassoulet, cheeses, green salad, and finally fruit salad and cakes. Ah yes, and to aid the digestion of our replete tummies, a generous glass of prune- the local firewater distilled from plums.