Tag Archives: autumn

Autumn is Here

Last weekend I was still wondering what Autumn was doing. It seemed to be taking its time about arriving. After a week of feeling under the weather and labouring away in a windowless back room at the shop (where the window is concealed by blinds and the doors by chipboard) I hadn’t noticed much change.

You may ask why we have blinds on the windows – and I will tell you. It’s one of the owner’s special security features. He thinks if people can’t see in they won’t want to rob us. It’s also great if you like working in twilight, don’t mind being ambushed by people lurking outside the shop and don’t want customers to find you.

I once worked in a jewellers where the owner had a similar idea. He replaced the back door left by the previous tenant because it had a small window in it. This was a weak point in his eyes, though it deprived us of the ability to spot anyone lurking outside as we left the shop by the back door.

Imagine his surprise when the landlord asked him why he’d taken off a Post Office approved security door with bullet-proof glass window and replaced it with a lightweight household door with a bit of steel sheet screwed to it.

We are hoping to have the front doors re-glazed next week, which will make things lighter, remove the impression that we are under siege and stop people asking if we’ve been robbed.

I appreciate that they are either concerned or curious, but it’s becoming tedious have the same conversation day after day. We’ve even had several, including one who had never been in the shop before, wanting to discuss out new security measures.

Let’s just say that no robber will be able to get in and out of the shop in two minutes again.

Meanwhile, as Julia did the laundry, I went for a walk in Arnott Hill Park, had a look at the new sculpture and noticed that autumn had arrived. I’ll put the photos up now, and then I’ll go shopping.

Some Photographs

This is what happens whe you are on a mission to post every day, when your wife is going mad looking for something and you can’t concentrate because of the noise and bustle. Yes, twenty four days into the 100 day self-imposed challenge and I’m sticking in three photos to make sure I don’tmiss a day.

I really should do better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silver Birch Clumber Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clumber Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dead Trees –  Clumber Park

 

 

Apple Juice Time

The group came and the group went. They fed the chickens and  said goodbye to the ones that are going to market tomorrow. They did some tree measuring for the Woodland Trust monitoring project and some tidying too, but I hardly noticed them because I was juicing apples.

It can be a drawn out job at the best of times, but when the people who put it away last year put it away (a) dirty and (b) at random it can be a trial. I still haven’t found the siphon tube or the filter for the funnel, so we improvised. We used a kitchen sieve for a filter and when we had to transfer the contents of one barrel to another we used that old male stand-by known as brute force and ignorance. It worked.

We also suffered delays whilst I found the powdered Vitamin C – if you don’t add it you end up with brown juice. It’s still good, and it’s all natural but the oxidation makes it look unattractive. Three teaspoons in thirty litres of juice (or 52 pints if you still use them) reverses the oxidation and turns it back to a nice golden colour

We now have 40 bottles of juice and another barrel that needs bottling tomorrow.

Things would have gone better if I’d remembered how to use the steriliser, but the temperature control dial is a bit misleading – an embossed black mark on a black dial, which isn’t great for a short-sighted man in a dimly lit shed. Yes, I used the wrong end of the pointer and set the temperature far too low. By the time we’d found that out we had to wait an extra half hour to sterilise the juice in the bottle.

Of course, you can get by without sterilising the juice, as long as you either freeze it or drink it within 3-5 days. After that the natural yeast on the apples builds up enough gas to blow tops off and cause all sorts of problems. A few years ago we had a customer who had his juice put into a 10 litre bags and then went on holiday. I didn’t do the sterilising in those days. The juice fermented, blew the bag up until it started to leak and came back to find his kitchen floor covered with juice and a fine selection of insect life.

That’s why I got the sterilising job.

Towards the end we had bottle cap roulette, which is a game played with a variety of hot recycled bottles containing hot juice. Not boiling, but 80 degrees C isn’t very comfortable. The game consists of heating up the bottles and juice then finding a cap that fits, lifting the bottle out, tightening the top and laying it on its side.

It’s always a relief when you finish that bit with no spills, burns or seepage.

Oh yes, I love the apple harvest. 😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The one on the left has had Vitamin C added

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bottles in steriliser – steaming

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ready to drink!