Australia doesn’t want me to leave. Quite literally. I am held up at Sydney airport whilst the most gargantuan downpour breaks the heat that has been building all day. All operations stop whilst the threat of the electrical storm passes. When we finally get into Wellington, via a mildly sphincter-relaxing, turbulence rock’n’roller, my bag is wet. Not wet, as in, … Read More Global Cider Tour Part 2: Cyclone Cook invades NZ
This time of year in The Shire is proper lush (quite literally, in fact, with the warm, wet days we’ve had). I departed the UK on the 29th March, leaving behind bare hedgerows, a nip in the air and the last of the Dymock Daffodils festooning the woodlands and hedgerows like a vivid, 1970s shag pile carpet. Upon my return, some four … Read More Global Cider Tour Part 1: Debbie & Drew
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