I’m not sure what it says about him, or me for that matter
So yes he did make me some labels for my lovely luscious wine , I’m not sure what it says about him, or me for that matter,(I did not model for the label that I can assure you) but it’s bottled, and “cellared”. I may give it a try at Christmas, or perhaps I should leave it till after Lent, as I will be abstaining again in Lent next year.
Having developed a yen for hedgerow harvesting; making good things out of my wild gatherings, I have begun another wine brew.
Having developed a yen for hedgerow harvesting; making good things out of my wild gatherings, I have begun another wine brew. A chance conversation with an expert brewer of wine set me off on a mission to brew a perfect red wine. Elderberry, blackberry and something else, a secret other berry, not strictly in season but easily available frozen, in various proportions to give perfume and body and tannins, will it be awful or perfect? It’s nearly ready to bottle now but it won’t be ready to drink till Easter, or maybe I’ll store it till next Christmas.
The first thing to gather were the elderberries, back to the spot where we picked the flowers in early summer, someone had been there before us so we struggled a little to find them plentiful and ripe, and equally not wanting to strip the trees bare we spent a little longer picking a few here and a few there. Washed and picked from the stems, they were frozen, with the intention that the freezing process would help break down the cell structure of the berries to release juice, colour and tannins.
Next were the blackberries, these took two days to pick, we went out to pick and were rained off, being a hardy Northern girl a little rain does not bother me, this was torrential rain, coming down like stair rods, the kind of rain which batters your head, runs through your hair and down your neck; even I admitted defeat.
The next day was bright and breezy, a perfect picking day, we still got scratched and nettled, but the berries were beautifully ripe and juicy.
The berries were briefly boiled to break down and sterilise, then soaked in a bucket with water overnight before the wine yeast, and nutrient were added and mashed for several days. Then the liquid was strained off the berries, the grape concentrate was added, and put in a demijohn to brew. The liquid fermented vigorously for a week but slowed to a gentle tick, and will be racked off the lees this weekend, cleared and bottled.
Perhaps my Dearest will make me a label for my bottles if I ask him nicely.
He missed a wonderful view of a snow capped Ingleborough in the distance.
Here we are in the last days of March, Easter has arrived but spring is yet to be sprung. The sun was finally shining and the temperature mild so My Dearest and I went for a walk this afternoon. I took him to see the Aqueduct, a beautiful late 18th Century stone built bridge which carries the Lancaster Canal over the River Lune.
Opened in 1797 it has recently been refurbished as part of a scheme to reopen the river path which was once known as Ladies Walk, but has become unloved and surrounded by industry. New paths have been built and undergrowth cut back to allow walkers and Cyclists a better view of the river.
We walked from the Aqueduct to the Viaduct, which carries the motorway over the River. What a striking difference we were faced with, from the beauty and elegance of 18th century engineering, to the rough brutalism of the mid 20th century.
I can’t help thinking what a pity it is that beauty is less often a consideration when designing our built environment. Did no-one think “this bridge will stand for centuries let’s make it something to admire”? They did in the 18th century. But then in the 18th century the built environment was built by educated men of wealth (well that which still stands was) who wanted to make their mark and be proud of it.
We were disappointed to find very little evidence that spring is here, no fresh green leaves no spring flowers only a lonely group of colts foot pushing through the debris of last Autumn, and a solitary group of snow drops amongst the briars.
I climbed the banking from the Riverside up to the canal path with my Dearest,however he doesn’t do heights, when he saw how high it was he went back down while I walked the canal path.
He missed a wonderful view of a snow capped Ingleborough in the distance. I wish I had a better lens on my camera to capture that scene, but then my camera is heavy enough, any heavier and I wouldn’t carry it, and then none of these pictures would have been captured, there has to be a balance in life.
In the car park we found an image on the railings, it’s a copy of a work by a local Artist Chas Jacobs I have a number of prints of his work, I love the bright colours and naive images of familiar local landmarks. this one has the aqueduct in the foreground and Ingleborough in the background.