Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Bath Cider Festival

The concept is very simple and I'm sure very lucrative. Hire a big hall, bring in 100 different casks of cider and serving staff, and charge people £5 to enter and £1.30 for each half-pint of cider. You can even bring in a live band.

It was called the Bath Cider Festival, which was as good a name as any. Luckily it was indoors because it was (is) bastard cold - below freezing at the moment.

There were well over a dozen of us that went, from various circles, and I'd say it was worth the price of admission. Choosing a cider was tricky because you only had a list of names and alcohol percentages. With some you could guess their taste, like Golden Valley sweet or Thatchers Gold, but others were quite random, like Sheep Dip (drinkable), Black Rat (good enough that I had two glasses), Tricky medium (blurgh), or Raspberry Perry (disgusting).

It was probably a good thing that they weren't serving full pints. It took ages to get a drink too, because there were 12 serving staff between several hundred cider drinking folk.

The band was called the Mangledwurzels, a tribute to the famed Scrumpy and Western band, the Wurzels. Alroight? They kicked off with "Combine Harvester" (30 years old but still going strong) and went onto perform "Drink Up Thy Zider", "Threshing Machine" and "Walkin' 'Cross The Yard" (sung to the Police's "Walking on the Moon") and many, many more.

The crowd was, as you'd expect, mostly west country toiypes, including a football team modelled on the Lord of the Rings. They all had yellow shirts with the names and numbers of the players on the backs: "Gollum 14", "Arwen 17", "The Ring 26", "Boromir 23" etc.

Which reminds me of Bill Bailey being interviewed on and old episode of "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross". Mr Bailey explained that he auditioned for the part of Gimli the dwarf in the LotR movies, but he did it in his native west country accent (he was born in Bath). He was told they didn't want to cast anyone with that accent and instead the part of Gimli went to John Rhys-Davies, who was Welsh.

But when Mr Bailey saw the film he realised all the hobbits had west country accents. "'Alroight Mr Frodo?' It was like being at a bloody cider festival!" quoth Bill.

Weather: dry but bloody cold. -3.2°RĂ© in the mornings.

Riding: good. I've figured out a TT training loop up around the Kingsdown golf course. Two different 8.8km laps + one big lap of 12.5km. 400m of climbing in 40km, so it's a good primer for the hardriders courses.


Anonymous said...

"Aaaar! Vokes du saye, as ow Cunnell Pooter's gorn orrf to vurrin paaarts again"
"Aaaaaaar! More trubble with they Fuzzy Wuzzies beloike"

Anonymous said...

did you ride past a couple of cyclists standing around (eating delicious malf loaf) by kingsdown golf club last week on a shiney carbon tt bike and white tt helmet? looked very swish whoever it was

Jeff Jones said...

I did indeed, in a somewhat oxygen deprived state at the end of that hour. Well met, erm, Anonymous!

I'm normally a morning person but I took a day off last week, hence I was up there at lunchtime.

You probably had the right idea by eating malt loaf.