I slept a bit on both flights. Not my usual airborne hibernation, but enough to keep me going. I read a bit and listened to some tunes. For some reason I worried about my luggage. I worried that one or both the bottles of fine wine in my bag would be smashed on arrival or that my bag just wouldn't be there. That I would be stood alone at the baggage carousel at Perpignan Rivesaltes, waiting in vane for my blue duffel bag while my fellow travelers had long since departed.
It wasn't panic. My heart wasn't skipping beats, nor were my knuckles white gripping the armrest. I just considered all these things, following through the course of events for a few moments before snapping myself out of it and picking my book back up again.
We flew out over the great chipped sapphire that was the choppy Med and turned back again, landing 20 minutes early. My bag was there and the bottles intact.
I'm in France, on a sort of busman's holiday, here to make wine and pick grapes with an old friend. We lost no time, stopping on the way back from the airport at one of the wineries to rack some grenache gris. Racking is basically moving young, still-fermenting wine from one container to another. You read quite a bit about it in the wine trade, learning the effect it has on the final product, debating its merits and arguing its faults. The liquid we moved looked nothing to me like something I would call wine. Opaque and grey, with a thick cap of CO2 bubbles on the top, respired by the frantic yeast. At the moment the wines smell oddly of lemon iced tea, and taste of apricots. They're only at about 3% alcohol at the moment, so they've a long way to go.
Much like myself.