Fruit picking, aka SAS training

Trip Start Mar 03, 2005
Trip End Mar 31, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Oh lordy, that was a tough 4 weeks... But good fun in the end!

My first day of picking was so hard, I nearly cried! I had thought that it would be difficult, but didn't realise the fact that I was so clumsy meant that I would drop about 50% of the apples that I picked! I got absolutely covered in scratches and bruises from fighting with the trees to get the apples... And I twisted my ankle a few times and got some nasty bruises in a couple of accidents with the ladder, funny eh!

The QC guys that went round were really harsh with me at first, until I managed to get one of them around my little finger, and he was nice to me after that, even picking some apples for me!! I will never look at an apple in the same way again though. And I will probably never taste apples as nice as the ones I picked - you really can't beat a freshly picked cool apple on a hot sunny day, I tell you.

It was nice working outside, and the weather was still quite warm and sunny most days. The pay wasn't great, but I met some top people, and ate loads of lovely apples!! Towards the end of the picking the mornings and evenings were getting sooooo cold, and as I was living in a caravan, I started to get really cold... The worst day was the last but one day I was picking, there was a really bad frost and it must have been about 2degrees because some of the apples were covered in ice... It was inhumane trying to pick!! And by then my shoes had got really leaky so my toes went completely numb, so horrible. I only got through the morning by pretending it was some kind of test, like in "SAS Are You Tough Enough?"... And I found out that I'm not tough enough. But I lasted quite long in the job for a girl and picked a good load of apples, the orchard manager was impressed by my efforts and said he was sad that I wasn't staying for the last couple of days. Ha!!! Think I could become a professional apple picker now, I reckon I may do it again just before I come home next year. Then I can show you all my rippling bicep muscles and scratches all over my arms from where I fight with the trees!!!
There was a really great pub up the road from where the orchard was - something like Roosters - they sold this Haymaker beer which is about 7%, lovely stuff but don't mix it with normal beer because it will make you sick....
The main things that I will remember about these 4 weeks are: playing Presidents and @rseholes with a cup and a third of haymaker; going to sleep in the freezing caravan with my head buried under my sleeping bag; picking apples in the rain wearing a huge bright yellow raincoat and jandals; laughing at Gideon for eating sausages and nutella and then getting sick; getting rides on the tractor; and finally - always picking 3 bins of apples a day - consistently average!!
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