There are purple grapes dangling from Italian vines, like jewels, at my husband's parents garden in Juigne-sur-Lorie, a little village where Ardoise is the designated material for roofs and the name of the bonbon that shares the same grey-blue colour as its namesake. No Terracotta rooftops here.
But there are grapes.
So many grapes.
So, of course, I decided to be helpful (codeword for diving head first into something that I should not) and cut a few bunches. Then it was a basket, then it was two.
Won't they be happy when they get home to see all these grapes I've cut? I thought to myself.
I squeezed my hands in anticipation, munched on a few of the grapes and waited.
My father in law's face was a mix of horror and dread. Who cut all these grapes? They will not be ripe until October!
This is, of course, a loose translation. It really sounded like - what idiot in their right mind cuts two baskets of unripe grapes and seems happy that they did this horrible thing?
There was no way I could blame Charlie for this one. He is more of a blueberry dog.
Perhaps we can make jam? I offered (helpfully).
That was not the right thing to say. The right thing to say was nothing. And to look guilty. But it was really hard to do because one, it was a sunny day, two my belly was full of half-ripe grapes, and three, I was in the midst of my post Canada afterglow bliss. Visits with family, friends, being around familiar things and too many to count medium Tim Horton's coffee with a quarter French Vanilla was still doing its thing.
To be fair, I did have an inkling. After cutting a bunch, I did say out loud - maybe I shouldn't be doing this. But I had started. Then I thought, well if I'm going down, it's going to be epic.
And it was.
And if anybody wants some grapes, I'll have a few containers to share. And in the end, not all was lost for my parents in law. Luckily, there were vines in another part of the property, hidden from view of impulsive visitors who think they're doing something good but are sadly mistaken.