I really shouldn’t be writing this article. It isn’t a good idea. The reason for my disquiet should be because, like any good freelancer, I’ve hit the pommeau a little too early (come on, it’s Fri-yay!) and, sat here in my three day old undies and listening to Tears for Fears, I’ve decided to send passive aggressive emails to former clients who have abandoned me.
But, no. My perturbation stems from the fact that I have too much work to do. I know; it’s a little ridiculous. I would have scarcely believed three months ago, when The Ciderologist became a full time reality, that I would be writing those words. But amazingly, what started as a major punt on thinking that people might actually want to pay me for what is ostensibly my hobby, is paying dividends. And this last week has been of cinematically cray cray proportions.
It starts last Wednesday, at the BBC Food and Farming Awards in Bristol, where Mr Tom Oliver was (most deservedly) nominated in the Best Drinks Producer category. I was in Valhalla: an endless stream of Yarlington Mill, sumptuously amber in colour and vibrancy, and a veritable smorgasbord of the finest nibbly bits of the land. And Sheila Dillon resplendently commanding the stage. Awesome. Alas, Mr O. didn’t win, but Wild Beer Co were most deserving winners for all of their outrageous fabulousness in pursuit of bold beers. Nice one guys.
Another night, another awards ceremony – this time the Beer and Cider Marketing Awards in London. For such gadding about, my friend conferred me the title of ‘ligger’ (I know, I had to look it up, too). I quite like it. But my attendance was professionally required, honest, as I had had the privilege of being one of the judges of this event, which had embraced cider into its boozy bosom for the first time this year. It was a great event, with raucously giddy winners and equally babbling nominees. And then my name is announced and I look up to see my giant gurning face on the screen. WHAT THE FLIP?!?! I had been bestowed the most wonderful honour of being the winner of the (previously unknown to me) Outstanding Individual Contribution to Cider Award.
Cue, with exceeding rarity, speechlessness on my part. That, and arm ache, on account of the trophy weighing about 4kg (for once I’m not being hyperbolic). To be recognised by your peers is a truly wonderful thing. Suffice to say I had a good night. I’m so glad I wore my jazzy shirt! The fun continued at the weekend with another group of lovely cider enthusiasts partaking in one of my (**gratuitous plug alert**) London Cider Tasting Tours, before returning West.
To bring the last few days to a close, and to crank up the Friday Feeling all the way up to 11, yesterday I spent a few wonderful hours furtling and fossicking around the archives of the Cider Museum, before heading back to the Mothership – Dymock – to breathe in the sweet, perfumed Shire air. Bliss.
Yeah, it’s been a good week. Happy Friday, y’all.