It took 3 hrs to reach House Pologrinus on the south side - more than 2x the usual journey time. I was very very close to turning round to go home from Farringdon stn (2 hrs into the trip) when the train arrived. I hate travel on long weekends.
However, upon arrival matters improved: I was visiting to take part in this year's apple pressing towards cider-making. After guzzling Vitus' cider last year I told him to sign me up for pressing next year.
Sure enough: 250kg of apples, just from friends' backyard trees. At least 3 different varieties, plus a selection of pears too.
Apple pressing is a lot of fun. Doing nearly 6 hrs straight of apple prep is less so.
Child labour: this didn't last, but was a help while it was there. Washing apples before quartering and checking for worms.
Ozbeg grinding apples (2x through) as Vitus adjusts the press.
Very, very glad of 2 burly men to crank the grinder and the press - possibly harder than it's typically worked, to squeeze every drop out.
Kat, Isabel, Ozbeg and I were fully occupied washing, quartering and (sometimes) grinding apples, loading crushed apple into the press, and unloading post-crush mush to the composters. The composter full, we just piled it in the yard. We got a lot of wasp attention, but it was benign compared to the wasps at Raglan this year.
The juice we got was a nice middle sweet flavour, not sugary sweet like my memory of fresh pressed sweet cider from Ontario. V judged it'll give a 6% cider, and we pressed out 100L of juice into 4 containers. He set it to ferment with champagne yeast, warmed and 'started' for a few hours first.
V doesn't do anything by halves...
He fed us with homemade scones w butter and jam, and then homemade pizza made on the BBQ (lacking a pizza oven).
This was also the weekend to say goodbye to HG Daille and the kids, while Sir Jonothan stays another few weeks til after Michaelmas.
Vitus & Isabel are planning on Estrella war next year and it sounds like a household push is on.
After the morning's mess of commuting I was very grateful of a list back to the city with Kat and Ozbeg.