Thursday, 3 September 2015

Calming down with Rich's Cider.

We made it!

We actually got up at 0530 am, I got through my complicated timetable of medications, got ready and we were off in the car at 0730 am.

And even though the motorway was terrible - one jam after another, and we got stuck behind a slow motion road sweeper in Weston Super Mare - we got into Banksy's ' Dismaland' in time.

I think one of the side effects of cancer is getting drunk on things you like or that you missed out on - in my case I should have spent my life with images and I've been making up for it ever since.

I came out completely mind blown by some of the things I saw and I'm going to do the Blog backwards to get my head straight.

The whole Banksy deal was that if I got there, there was going to have to be Cheddar Cheese and Cider involved as well for Robyn.

So afterwards we had a few adventures and then we had a long search but we found a well known farm cider maker in Highbridge, just outside Burnham on Sea.

It wasn't easy to find but we got there in the end and took home a delicious gallon of smooth as silk Somerset cider;

They make a big range of bottled ciders - we saw them in various tourist shops we visited and they even distil apple brandies and vodkas but we were there for some straight 'out of the barrel' cider sold in bulk.
We had a tasting session and I went for Medium, Robyn for sweet....Robyn won.
Either way it is delicious.
There are plenty of farms selling their own cider and ideally I would probably chosen a small operation but we were late after a long day.
Last time we were here we drove past 'Thatchers' which is a very well known cider I drink occasionaly - it was like a huge factory.
So Rich's Cider was a good choice. There's a nice shop;

And a little museum full of old cider presses and huge barrels, going right up into the roof of the barn;

These days they have a long line of stainless steel holders but it's still a farmyard operation with lots of reminders of another era.

These are old cartwheels converted into chairs;

Their orchards stretch out behind the farm;

There were plenty of apples getting ready for next years cider.

They have a restaurant and toilets - it's a nice, free attraction in a county where everything costs a fortune.

But I'm sentimental - the highlight for me was hiding in this photo;

Every year a family of swallows struggles all the way from North Africa to summer here, in the barn. You can just see one here but whenever I got my camera out they hid. They would fly out - see me and be off!

Or they would swoop back into the barn as I was fumbling with my camera.

For me, no summer is complete without sight of a swallow - swooping and diving through the sky, playing chase and catch up with its friends ......for the sheer love of just flying, of just being alive.

They have elegant swept back wings and normally I marvel at them high up on the hills and cliffs I used to climb - today it was just the most happy accident I got to see them again.

And we got a rainbow over the Mendip hills as we left too;

A really special, unforgettable day.
And a nice glass of cider to finish up with.
Neil Harris
(don't stop till you drop production)

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