This Sunday, 15th November, is Martinborough’s big day – Toast Martinborough – the annual wine and food festival. This will be the 18th time 10,000 wine and food lovers have descended on our little village to enjoy wine (of course) from the participating wineries, plus food and live music. Once more, it seems the weather gods will smile on us. All week, everyone has been hard at work smartening up the place. Berms have been mowed, edges have been sprayed, gutters have been sucked clean. Banners are fluttering from lamp-posts. All the roses – which Martinborough grows so well – seem to be bursting with pride, and I swear I spent half the afternoon in Pain & Kershaw today buying groceries as everyone was in there chatting – Larrikins from Escarpment with a shopping list for his band, Farmer Stu from Hautotara, Dinny from Soeur, Sue and John who’d just returned from Jim Skerman’s funeral in Havelock North (a lovely, lovely man from whom I rented little Puruatanga cottage when I was a solo Mum in 1977), Grocer David chuckling about the Tui billboard (see end of blog entry).
Events like Toast generate excitement – both emotional and economic.
We’re not going this year, as the boss has been away all week on a fishing trip – his “boyz-own week” – and won’t be back in time. But last year we started off at Palliser Estate with whitebait fritters for breakfast – a tradition. Everyone ends up there, kicking up their heels to The Beat Girls, but I was too sozzled by that time so we walked to Paul & Rosie’s’ place, “Over The Hill”, until we could wend our way home.
Rangitira Richard, from Palliser, despite running around all week like a bluetail fly, managed to get this wonderful sign erected just outside Martinborough for all 10,000 Toast ticket-holders to see when they enter the township. We hope this will give them pause, and they will consider the damage done to future Toast celebrations by the noise and visual pollution of 45, 130-metre high wind turbines from a wind factory just six kilometres away from the town centre.