A special pre – Christmas treat awaits dear reader…………….another story from our guest writer, Graeme Leith. We bought you the narrative of Graeme’s life last week in 50 Faces 50 Lives and also a wonderfully funny story by this very talented writer…He’s made a good drop of wine in his life too! As founder of Passing Clouds vineyard in Musk he’s no stranger to those icy, wet, freezing, seemingly endless days of winter in this part of the world. And like so many of us, Graeme would head to Bali during our winter months. The stunning Balinese countryside, smiling people, beaches and hot weather provide a much needed escape from mid winter in Central Victoria. Here’s Graeme’s story………….
The holiday draws to a close. I suppose I will have to ask St. Peter for permission to leave heaven. He won’t understand of course. He’ll ask if the food is not satisfactory. “No, it’s not that,” I shall reply. “The ambrosia and the nectar, the capcai and the nasi goreng are as sublime as ever.”
Is it the angels then?” he shall probably ask next, “Do they not cater to your every need? Do they not smile sweetly enough as they serve your food and wine? Do they not laugh gaily enough at your little jokes? Do they not make you think that you are the most important person in heaven to them as they dance attendance on you?” “No, I shall have to reply, it’s not the angels, both Wayans and both of the Leelos are the most caring and considerate, not to say the most beautiful of God’s creatures.”
He’ll probably interrogate me further. “Then what causes you to request a leave pass from here? Is the sea not blue enough and of a perfect temperature for swimming? Do the coconut palms that shade the lagoon not protect your hairless head from the sun as you swim? Do the mingled scents of frangipani and cymbidium not delight your senses; do their brilliant colours not make you almost swoon with pleasure? Is the grass not green enough? Is the sand not white enough; do the turtle doves coo too loudly when they wake you from your slumber so that you are awake and ready for the angels to bring you your morning cup of tea?” “No,” I shall have to say, “It’s none of those things, it’s just that I have to go back to Australia.”
He’ll punch a couple of buttons on that little harp thing he keeps on his desk and look at the screen that pops up between the strings and shake his head resignedly. “To Musk, 740 metres above sea level in Central Victoria, in the middle of winter? I’ve been doing this job for a long time and I still can’t work some of you people out,” he’ll say as he tears me off a leave pass.
Graeme Leith is a regular contributor to Viva 70. Big thanks Graeme for generously contributing your stories. Graeme’s book Passing Clouds: A Winemakers Journey is published by Allen and Unwin
Thanks to Darcey Beau for the feature image.