Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Watermelon Freak Show

Well, summer has certainly been and gone in Wiltshire. Strong winds and rain have been the order of the day of late. I blame the soothsayer who collared me one Saturday morning.

I’d gone to get my newspaper from one of the local shops.

To help burn some beer fueled calories, I tend to cycle each morning. In doing so, I see the same old faces, jogging, cycling, dog walking, or soothsaying. Actually, that last bit’s not true. I don’t usually see any soothsayers, she was a new face.

I wasn’t quite sure what she was about to be honest, loitering on the pavement outside the shop. At first I wondered if she was touting for business. She had quite a chest on her - a sort of watermelon freak show, but it seemed an odd place to peddle her wears. Perhaps I’d misread her completely and she was just waiting for a taxi.

In any event she caught my attention and smiled. ‘There’s a hurricane coming you know’.

 I didn’t know.

‘And there’s a satellite’.

‘A Satellite?’

‘For sure, it’s going to drop out for the sky’. ‘No one knows exactly when, but it’s coming’.

I smiled politely and suggested we all better stay indoors then, before pedalling off, at a rate my body hadn’t been used to for some time.

Sure enough, the winds came. It was the tail end of hurricane Katia.

It wreaked havoc at the allotment, with my frail hop frame succumbing to the most damage, while the subsequent rains that followed prevented me from harvesting said hops.

Thankfully the elements relented for a couple of days during the week, allowing the hops to dry a little. I managed to harvest the ‘Bramling Cross’ on Thursday. They are currently sat in the loft of my house, scattered in a single layer across a piece of net curtain which is hung between the eves.

Hopefully they will dry out nicely in about a week’s time, after which I can weigh them, and bag them, for some future brews.

I do have to go back and harvest the other variety, ‘Target’. Perhaps I'll do that at some stage during this coming week, when I go to check on the potatoes that also need to come up. I’m still a bit worried about that satellite, though. 

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