The rain it raineth every day

Day 12. 29 July 2004

Thursday. I wake around 6.30 for a 7 o’clock breakfast. It has been raining all night, but it is beginning to ease, for the first time in four days – black clouds are giving way to lighter patches and even blue sky is growing. We begin to congregate on the veranda, and it starts to rain again.

Helen speaks with Attila – breakfast here, and then to the barn next to Csabi’s place to bail our hay. Imre has a quick breakfast, picking meat and Turkish peppers from the table and eating them on the hoof before taking the tractor to his house to collect the bailer.

In the meantime we make our way through the village, pausing at the pigs to commiserate with the survivors over Wendy’s fate, but remarking how tasty and tender she was, before beginning the preparatory work in the hay barn of forking the hay out from the side compartment into the central area and to restack some of last years bails and make room for this years; our bails!

A couple of the gang disappear off to another barn to help Gabor bottle his redcurrant wine. Back in the hay barn, in contrast to the scything where we were working in smaller groups, today, taking turns with the pitchforks, there is a greater sense of camaraderie in the whole group activity.

Eventually, Imre arrives shortily with the tractor and bailer, and after setting up we are ready; to the off! Imre forks the hay actually into the bailer but we are involved forking the hay to him, and keeping the pile stocked up, and then more still to continue moving it out of the side of the barn an onto the pile. Lastly, we have a chain to take the finished bails from the machine and pass them back into the back of the barn…

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