Wine not?

wineI’ve started making wine – it’s something of a landmark occasion for me.

The significance will not be immediately apparent, so I shall explain. Years ago, one of the recreational pursuits I used to fill my time with was making my own wine. It was a hobby that fitted well with my lifestyle – which was busy for the most part – since a significant part of winemaking is simply to let the stuff get on with the business of fermentation, and later, ageing – requiring little or no intervention and commitment. This is interspersed with short bursts of frenetic activity: Gathering ingredients, preparing and starting the wine, racking, and bottling – great for a long weekend, bank holiday or when you manage to grab a break from the normal routines. Finally, of course, there’s a reward to be had at the end of the process… A decent quantity of – hopefully palatable – cheap plonk!

It is however a hobby that requires a certain amount of space and longish periods of time when you’re going to have tubs, demijohns and bottles cluttering up kitchens, cupboards and anywhere else that you can find handy for accommodating the paraphernalia that goes with the pursuit, undisturbed and quietly going about its business – this can be anything from a few weeks, up to months, and it’s certainly not the sort of thing that you can really undertake if your circumstances are such that they don’t facilitate the process.

This has been my position for a long time: The last time I was able to indulge myself in this particular diversion was around 8 years ago, at which point, all sorts of things in life went wrong, requiring successive relocations and an extended sojourn in a temporary apartment where there simply wasn’t any space to move, let alone pursue the craft of the vintner… Besides which, all my equipment was in storage!

Now, I’ve finally reached a point where I have both the space, the time and the opportunity to rekindle my interest in winemaking – something I’ve not even really been able to consider, literally for years. More significantly, it marks another milestone in my life – after a number of years in flux, I can now confidently say, I’ve settled down! That means security, safety, long-term plans, stability, and control over the direction my life is going – it’s a weird, but welcome feeling.

2010 - A vintage year

2010 – A good vintage

The previous times when Haven Wineries was in full swing were also the halcyon days of SL for me. Back then, I wasn’t Serendipidy Haven, and whilst it possibly wasn’t the most productive and adventurous time that I was spending inworld, it was by far the most intense and prolific time for me – it was then I was spending the most time logged in, hit the highest highs and lowest lows, experienced the joys and horrors of SL partnering, experimented with RLV, spent an inordinate amount of time exploring rather dubious locations and generally attempted to suck the virtual marrow from SLife at every opportunity. Whilst it was mostly a whole lot of fun, too much of a good thing – like too many bottles of home made wine – can ultimately lead to unfortunate situations and a whole heap of trouble. I learned lots of lessons about life, myself, and other people during that period – mostly stuff that comes naturally to normal people, but somehow had passed me by for most of my life and needed a virtual equivalent to illustrate important various life lessons that I’d have otherwise remained pretty much oblivious about.

Since then, things have calmed down a great deal. It’s not been by any conscious mechanism, but over time I’ve eased off the SL throttle. My inworld exploits have become somewhat less fraught – some might say, more boring – and the amount of time that gets given over to SL has dramatically declined. I’m not exactly sure when I made the transition from logging in, come what may, to logging in when I feel in the mood, but it definitely happened at some point, and it doesn’t feel as big a deal as it once did.

As it is, things are such in RL at present that I have little spare time for SL exploits anyway – how long that will continue, I don’t know, but it’s one of those things you just have to accept and live with. Even so, I don’t think I’ve lost my mojo for SL, it’s just a matter of juggling priorities, (especially now I have to factor in time for making wine too!), and sometimes that makes things a little bit messy. I’ve no doubt that the current state is a merely temporary state of affairs – although, bearing in mind, ‘temporary’ in my world can sometimes mean years! At some point in the future you might well find me writing about how I can barely spare the time for real world activities in between the hours I’m logged in to SL… Who knows?

But, in the meantime, maybe I should just relax with a glass of plonk 😉


s. x

Red, red wine
It’s up to you
All I can do, I’ve done
But memories won’t go
Neil Diamond – Red, Red Wine

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