By now I’m sure many of you will have seen photos, videos and articles about this year’s wassail, and if you’ve now lost a raincoat in a blazing inferno and have singed half your beard, you may have even participated in one yourself. I’ve decided to wait until now to wax lyrical about this time-honoured tradition, as the 17th January is Old Twelvey – the true Pagan … Read More Wassail!
Hello 2017 – my, you are looking bloody cold, damp and miserable. It should be a time of refreshment and life affirmation, but mostly seems to be about penitence. Right now, it appears that everyone is focussed on ‘being good’ and banishing Christmas’s excesses. A key, and indeed highly popular, method of achieving this for many people is through alcohol abstention. Alcohol Concern … Read More #DryJanuary
Autumn 2016 marks a milestone in my cider life. 10 years ago, as a young, callow, non-furry-lipped chap, I visited Broome Farm, Ross-on-Wye, to see my friend, and legendary cider maker, Mike Johnson. I had been travelling the globe for 8 months and was in serious need of a fix of proper Herefordshire farmhouse cider. What happened next was a … Read More Whanau, Whenua & Whakapapa
Happy Apple Day people!! In celebration of this wondrous event, and to highlight the fantastic diversity of cider apples, I have compiled an A-Z, complete with some little known facts: Ashton Bitter – once lauded as a key early season bittersweet, it’s now known to produce a tree like a scarecrow, so has somewhat fallen out of favour. Ball’s Bittersweet … Read More Cider Apple A – Z
The nights are drawing in, the first hoar frosts are crystallising the mornings and there’s a nip in the air. It’s October now, so those drenching deluges of autumnal precipitation have started to hit. Woodfires are being lit, woollen jumpers are being inspected for moth holes and everyone’s generally getting a bit miserable and hunkering down. But not me. I’m gurning like an idiot – … Read More Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness