( haymaking in hungary )

Attila #8: ‘It’s Very Flexible’

Day 7. 24 July 2004

Saturday. I sleep well but for far too short a time. We stagger out tired and zombie-like to the tractor – and thence to the worksite. Jessica, who has slept for a full eight hours, is, in sharp contrast to the rest of us, wide-awake. Steven and Ewan linger at the bottom of the orchard to finish up to finish up the last bit of hay cutting, while the rest of us make for the upper, shady, part.

Remaining in our scything partnerships of the last two days, I work with Jessica and Helen, cutting swathes of grass on the upper left. We are breaking through he orchard fast now, past the hornet’s nest.

At eleven-fifteen, we have a discussion over waterbreaks versus finishing early. The group is split, and in the end it becomes an optional ten minutes of work. Zoë, Helen, Jessica, Imre and myself opt to stay on site and cut our last bits of hay, squaring off the orchard. As we finish up at the end of our first three days of work, we look up the valley at just how much more there is to do.

Back for lunch and on today’s menu we find haricot bean soup followed by chicken with sour cream, mushroom and sour cream dumpling. Over lunch we make plans for the siesta period – now that we have become acclimatised the siesta period is much less over relaxing but for choosing activities that are out of the heat of the sun. For Zoë, Jessica and myself we plan to go up to sketch the church…

( read on… )