Saturday, 06 June 2020
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

The Wrath of Grapes - Dubrovnik style

By  Mark Thomas Sep 03, 2016

The two seasons have collided, like two parallel universes. There is no way that this should, or could have happened, but yet it has. Is there no way to be safe, no way to protect myself? What strange phenomenon am I talking about? Let’s start at the beginning.

At this time of the year with the sun setting ever lower the fruit in my neighbourhood starts to yield produce. I mean tonnes and tonnes of produce. Grapes, lemons, and figs pretty much everything that contains buckets loads of Vitamin C. And as always we are absolutely inundated with generous offerings from kind neighbours. This year will probably be a great one for the wine industry of Croatia, at least if the amount of grapes we are receiving every day from a neighbour is any indicator.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, far from it, it’s just that I have consumed some many red and white berries that I feel a vine will start growing out my arse. Every day I hear a “Mike, are you home,” at the door. Yes, I know I wrote Mike and my name isn’t Mike, it’s a long story that condenses down to the fact that this neighbour has lived for most of her life in Germany and apparently the Germans don’t use Mark they use Mike. So Mike opens the door to find the neighbour hiding behind a bucket load of grapes, yes a bucket load. A small child could probably be placed inside the bucket, tread the grapes and make great wine – Chateaux La Brasina 2016!

And every day I accept the grapes with a smile and a kind word. I sit munching them like a hamster, in fact I am eating them right now, until my tongue and hands are blood red, I probably look like Hannibal Lector. At first I was spitting out the pips, like a machine gun, but now I have given up and am popping the grapes pelican style.

There is season one. Now season two also comes every year, just not when season one is around. I can pretty much catch a virus or a cold if somebody sneezes on the television. Bugs just love me; it must be my blue eyes. But not normally until around October or November, this year they have arrived at my door ahead of schedule. Blocked nose, aching bones, sore throat, headaches, yes I have got “man flu.” But as every man knows man flu is more painful than childbirth. I even have a nice rosy complexion which is probably helped by my high temperature. “I will bring some soup,” said my mother-in-law when she discovered my ailment. It seems that soup, or should I say magic soup, is the cure for everything. Broken leg – have a bowl of vegetable soup. Gunshot wound – a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup will get you back on your feet again. In fact just the other day one of our dogs was sick, and again the first reaction from my mother-in-law was to offer to send some soup!

I am pretty much spending my days lying in a pool of sweat, yes not very attractive I know. I am a mini-sauna, a one-man Turkish Bath. Even the mosquitoes are refusing to bite me probably in fear of catching the fever I have. On the bright side, for every cloud has a silver lining, I will hopefully lose some weight, or just enough fluids to fall unconscious. My mother always says - feed a cold, and starve the fever, or was it the other way around.

So I am drinking and sucking soups, along with half a bucket of grapes. And that is the mystery. As I am basically a barrel full of grapes I would have thought that I had enough Vitamins inside me to defeat even the most tenacious of bugs. Is this some super virus that isn’t afraid of Vitamins? How have these two seasons in my life overlapped? And does this then mean that I won’t get the fever later on in the year? I even started reading to make sure that grapes actually contained any vitamins. 100 grams of grapes contains 4mg of vitamin C. So that means I have approximately 20 Kilos of vitamin C inside me right now! And it still isn’t enough. I am just going to go back to bed!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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