This weekend we went camping on a vineyard, with the wine maker, and got to drink lots of his wines too (I don't mean to sound smug...but I do feel a little smug). Sean is the wine maker for Clos de Bois, and being from New Zealand is part of Dan and Fiona's Kiwi mafia contacts. Together with Sean's family and several other wine friends (who brought various wine's they'd made for La Crema and Jordan wineries) we all packed up and headed off to a secluded field in the Clos de Bois vineyard, down by the Russian River that runs through Healdsburg.
It was your usual English-style camping weekend, except without rain, mosquitoes, and family in-fighting. Late on Saturday night I lay in a field, looking up at the stars, feeling I'd indulged perhaps a little too much, but very happy with life.
Things got even better on Sunday with the arrival of Ronald from South Africa. With so many ex-colonies represented a game of cricket spontaneously broke out (lucky that I'd brought the cricket bat then!) I felt that my fielding - i.e. running around in the long grass chasing the ball - was my standout skill. Hannah and Fiona watched from the shade of the trees, drinking Pimms and clapping politely.
And the view.
Planning the layout. Most important question: where to put the barbecue.
Fiona and Hannah, smiling the smiles of no-more-homework.
Down by the Russian River.
Turkey, basting, men.
While Fiona takes care of other needs.
Cheers from a happy Hannah.
Vines in the late afternoon sun.
The dining room. We really need to upgrade our camping equipment to keep up.
My picture of the night sky. It seemed much more impressive at the time...
Sunday morning, heading down to the river.
Hannah braves the depths.
What's this? A typical Sunday afternoon match.
Dan demonstrates the Kiwi style - smash it with no finesse.
With an English batsman at the crease, it becomes a game of blocking and attrition. True excitement for the cricket purist.