So Saturday was Apple Day. A day to celebrate our national apple heritage and to highlight our disappearing orchards. We have a 180 year-old orchard right here in this village that we are trying to save, so a few weeks ago I mentioned that it might be appropriate to do something.... and from this small casual mention of perhaps-we-could, suddenly an event grew.
I didn't sleep the night before worrying about the weather or no one showing up, but they came. Sixty or seventy people of all ages, some friendly faces, some we had never met before. Some spent hours manning presses, whilst others just chatted or watched. There was no expectation of what people should do, only a desire to bring the community together.
I tried to record it all on film, in words, in audio and pictures whilst talking to people, making dozens of cups of tea and trying to keep an eye on Theo. I failed in small ways in almost all sectors. Theo wandered around amongst his people with an empty cup and they answered his cries of "juice" with continual top-ups. By evening he was suffering the ill effects.
But we did it. Despite the rain and the loose ends in the planning. We started at 9:30am, we were packed up by 3pm and now we have "Tin Tin" a five gallon keg, living (yes he is very much alive) in our lobby (with his siblings scattered around the village) Now there is talk of wassailing in January. A dance, singing, a fire and of course, the village cider. I can't wait!
PS - There will be a short video to follow, in the meantime here's one of the team who organised the day talking about it...