Grapes & Goodbyes

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It was Ute’s last day last Thursday and we gatecrashed Brian & Monica’s grape harvestΒ  We were so pleased that we did. Ute worked and worked thoroughly enjoying herself. Friends from all over the valley voluntarily came and worked so hard to finish the harvest in a few hours.

Brian and Monica sent this email afterwards :

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for all your hard work on Thursday. It was a longer day than planned but the crop was HUGE. There were lots of fantastic bunches. All in all approx 2200 kilos/litres are in the 3 tanks, which are full.

We hope you’ve all recovered; no aching backs, no aching legs etc etc.

So a big thank you for 7-8 hours of cutting, carrying, grading, de-stemming & catering, to complete the harvest of the whole vineyard, some 1100 vines.

You will all receive the 2012 vintage when its ready and the 2013 in a couple of years.

With many thanks again . . .

Monica & Brian

PS: We do not have email addresses for Alex, Lola, Ute or Juan Manuel so please forward this email to them.



As they say. All good things must come to an end. So it was when I waved my last goodbye to Ute at Malaga airport.

Ute let Manny our of her bag for him to say goodbye to me at Malaga airport.
Ute let Manny out of her bag for him to say goodbye to me at Malaga airport.

So that was the last I saw of them as they disappeared through security into the departure lounge

Manny says his last goodbye
Manny says his last goodbye


Will I ever see Ute again ?? 😦


Ralph xox πŸ™‚


65 Comments on “Grapes & Goodbyes

  1. I got a feeling you’ll be seeing Ute again.


    • Hi Linda. It has only just hit home while I was drafting this post that Ute has gone home. To meet fellow bloggers in comments or emails never will supercede a real life meeting. And meeting Ute was special as she was so brave in coming to Spain into the unknown on all levels and in the end had a great time. I do hope, one day, we will meet again. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • She is indeed special and must like you very much to have done such a thing just for you. If you feel the same, don’t wait for her to make plans, but suggest it now while it’s fresh in both of your minds.


        The Matchmaker


      • Dear Matchmaker. I have done as you suggested. Yours, Tremble Knees πŸ˜‰


      • I am free to play the field. Ute and I laid our cards on the table. She has her life in London. Mine is in these mountains of Spain, Never the twain shall meet. What ever happens we will always remain friends which I treasure. There can be nothing more in our relationship than being just friends. Time to move on and have fun with you guys/gals. I can see a post coming on πŸ˜€


  2. So glad you had a good time. I hope you see Ute again. She is a great woman to know. I only spent a day with her, but I know what she is like from that.

    Thank you for sharing this with us


    • Hello Alastair. I know you will be meeting Ute very soon. Marsha wants a photo of you with Manny. So it will have to be in the next week or so.. Have a lovely Sunday. Ralph πŸ˜€


    • I agree YC. I have loads of photos and memories to treasure until, possibly, we meet again. Meanwhile I have a spare room for any other friendly (note … FRIENDLY !!) blogger who may like to visit. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  3. Well, at least, she must come back to sample the wine! What a marvellous way everyone worked together on the harvest. Great community spirit.


    • What a brilliant thought Gallivanta my friend ….. the wine !!

      I was amazed at the variety of friends in this valley who came to work. Ranging from pensioners, a millionaire, a company director, artists, holiday home hosts, builders, translators etc. All friends that chipped in, worked up a sweat and got the harvest in. Wonderful people to know and love in this backwater village in the mountains of southern Spain. I would not change these friends for the world. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  4. The wine harvest pics are interesting and educational. Ute is a good sport and hard working and I’m reasonably certain she’ll be back. I believe that she had an enjoyable vacation even if it was brief. So, I hope you are recovered from the excitement this past week. That all should have been good tonic for you. πŸ™‚


    • Hi Yvonne. I really did enjoy Ute’s company for a few days. Through her eyes I saw Spain afresh as she was here for her first time and I have lived here for 11 years. Her excitement was catching. I needed a holiday and she gave me one to remember.

      I am so pleased that you enjoyed the slideshow my friend. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  5. It is lovely to read all this, I am a bit sad to look at the pictures and think, it went too fast. I am glad my excitement went over to you a bit Ralph, as you live in such a great country with beauty and the best friends. I love to come again, sample the wine as Gallivanta says, drive those crazy roads and have fun at another party of yours. I would have never gone to Spain if you hadn’t invited me and I am so thankful you did. It was a wonderful experience and I have met great people including you. Wishing you a great Sunday and don’t forget to curl up in my favourite chair! πŸ™‚


    • Hi Ute. That is really great to read that you would love to come again. Everyone here likes you and are always asking when they will see you again. Toni is thrilled that you loved her cooking. You have made a lot of friends here, especially your biggest fan …. me !! I know it’s back to the grindstone for you tomorrow, so please concentrate on your work or you may be fired and I will see you again on Tuesday πŸ˜‰

      I will keep your favourite chair warm for you. Happy Monday. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • I have just read The Matchmaker Linda’s yourothermotherhere ‘s reply.

        So I am diving in feet first. I want you to come to Spain again as soon as you are able Ute. If it is impossible due to your work and commitments in London then I will have to reconsider my dislike of London and come and visit you. I would really prefer you to return to Spain though. Your chair awaits πŸ˜‰ xox


  6. I bet that was a lot of hard work, but it looks like a great time, too, spent with wonderful people. I’m sorry you had to say goodbye to your friend. It looks like you created many fond memories here. Thanks for sharing, Ralph.


    • It was a lot of hard work Amy. Goodbyes are always the hardest when someone special leaves. My spare room is available at the moment my friend πŸ˜‰ Big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  7. What wonderful memories you made with Ute and Manny. I hope you all meet up again. Well done to you all with the grape harvesting. It looks like a lot of work, but you have the wine to look forward too. πŸ™‚


    • Yes. The wine. Bring on the wine !! Although it was hard work we had a lot of fun while doing it. Ute and I had to leave early as we had to get to the airport. Brian and Monica gave her one of those red T shirts as a keepsake which thrilled Ute and she is wearing it today in London. Have a lovely Sunday Sylvia. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  8. My Favorite Ralph, What a sweet post, full of juicy news – hehehe! I am sad as I read this post, though. I thank you for letting me be a part of it vicariously through Manny. It was a tiny bit like being a fly on the wall! This is Manny’s and my favorite kind of post. full of sugar and information for me and Ute for Manny! πŸ™‚ He still loves her even it she’s strict. He doesn’t care! πŸ™‚ Your vacation, so long anticipated, so quickly gone, leaves me with a tear in my eye. Lots of love to you and Ute, Fanny and Stanley, too. πŸ™‚ xoxox


    • Hello my emotional friend. All these lovely comments are making me emotional as well. Group hug !!!

      I am so pleased that you had the idea of sending Manny on his adventures around the world and I was lucky to be the first of many bloggers who will love and show him the sights of whatever the blogger wants him to experience. We must wait now to see what Ute and Manny get up to in London.

      I hope you and V have a lovely September MVBF Marsha. Love Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • Thanks, my equally emotional friend. If Manny hadn’t kept nagging that he wanted to go see Ute and all her teddies, and you hadn’t invited Ute and Manny to visit you, this whole adventure would never have started. So there you go! My idea? hmmmm Thanks for the compliment, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to turn it around – right back at you! πŸ™‚ xoxox πŸ™‚


      • That’s right. Blame me !! I have broad shoulders for Manny to sit on. Good idea though. I would call it a joint effort.


      • I’m sure your shoulders are broader than mine. I have rather narrow shoulders, but I’m happy to have them. πŸ™‚


  9. So glad you were able to meet and have such a nice time. Blessings! Skye


    • Welcome to Bluefish Way Skye πŸ˜€

      I have been blessed not only to meet Ute but to be able to know such a wonderful woman. She graced my home with dignity and was the perfect guest. i could ask for no more. Take care Skye. Ralph xox πŸ˜€

      PS Thanks for the follow. I do appreciate it.


  10. Bittersweet, I’m sure. A lot of hard work but made sweet when friends labor together and have fun. Our grapes are not quite ready yet, but I tasted my first one of the season today. Almost there! Can’t wait!


    • Hi Rene. Thanks for your bittersweet comment. Do you have a lot of grapes to pick my friend ?? If so I hope you get the help in the same way that Brian and Monica received. Keep tasting. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • We do not have a vineyard, so not as many as Brian and Monica, but I have a friend who comes to pick some for herself. I have made grape jam before, but I would love to try making wine someday. πŸ™‚


      • I didn’t know how to make wine at home until I saw this video. A lot of stages and cleanliness needed. Good luck with your wine making Rene πŸ˜€


  11. I am so glad you had a lovely guest that graced your apartment with dignity. I do pray she comes back as you seem to have really enjoyed the company. Omg that was a lot of grapes harvested. That was so kind of you and all the others who participated!


    • Hi Liz, πŸ˜€

      I am honoured to have a friend like Ute. There is so much in Spain that she enjoys. How can she resist.

      It was a lot of grapes, they kept coming and coming into sorting with the words that the vineyard is only one quarter cut. An OMG moment. Big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  12. Looks like Ute got quite the vineyard experience on her visit! Niiice πŸ™‚
    xxSaludos y Abrazos xx


    • Hi RoSy. She worked very hard and she had to be dragged away to take a break. Bug higs. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  13. What a lovely sense of true “community” I get from this post. And a sense that Ute really truly had a great time enjoying all the aspects of her trip.


    • Hi Tracy. Yes we are all lucky to be surrounded by great people who always offer and help. Ute loved her holiday here in Spain. She had an insight of what the tourists get up to and also what the residents get up to. Have a lovely day. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  14. I am sure you will see her again and you build such a lovely friendship that it would be enough to see her back……… maybe already with Christmas πŸ™‚ !


    • You never know Shiro, Ute may come for Christmas. Who knows ? Ralph xox πŸ˜€


    • That would be nice my friend. It would be even better if more of my blogging friends came to visit me.
      We worked hard with a lot of fun on the way through the hours of toil.
      Remember the workers as you crack open another bottle of wine πŸ˜€
      Love Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  15. Pingback: Ola Amigos ! | Ute smile

  16. I came here from Ute’s blog and just want to say how much I enjoyed the post and the conversation. How lovely for you and Ute to spend real time together. Blogging is brilliant but nothing beats being with people. There are so many blogger friends I’d love to meet…
    I wish you and Ute all the best in your future friendship. Love the harvesting event and the party by the way! πŸ™‚


    • Yes. I saw you there MBT. Ute made a marvellous post, it must have taken her ages and a lot of work. I agree about meeting other bloggers which I hope to do soon. Take care. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


    • We had a lovely time. Thank you Patricia. I hope someday Ute will come again. Who knows ? Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  17. I didn’t know you knew Ute. How cool is that? Looks like a great time for all. Great to see the pictures.


    • 😎 Yes. We had a great time. She is a lovely lady and made friends easily with my friends. Thank you Georgia for bringing me back to this post and commenting. I enjoyed watching the slideshow again. I hope you are having a lovely day my friend. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


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