I decided to take a quick look and finding that some of them were on the turn I began to grade them into empty crates, the good, the bad, the ugly, etc. The team, one by one followed suit to make the job lighter. By the time we had got to the end of the third crate it had been decided what we must do.
The fruit mill and cider press, lent to us by our mutton farmer was set up in the main kitchen, the music was turned up, Caro, our sommelier, scrupulously selected the right bottles of wine for the job and we set to making cider.
The scene was, at best, unusual. Young ladies gyrated to Italo disco, tossing apples into the fruit mill. The spattering of crushed fruit mingled with the grating of iron teeth under deep disco baselines as bearded men twisted on the press to release a rich golden juice into muslin lined buckets. The fruit mill continued to spatter amidst dancing, drinking and giggling, juice pouring forth in a dionysian frenzy. I was surrounded, in the throws of some kind of Berlin meets west country electro, apple romp. But the work was conscious, methodical and precise even though we were excitable, intently impassioned and... a little pissed.
Within 90 minutes we had pressed around 70 kilos of apples into 40 litres of clear juice ready for a gentle maturation into cider. 30 more minutes and the machines were stripped and cleaned, benches scrubbed, floors mopped, eighties disco baselines still booming. As I looked on at the celebration I wondered if this is what I had really intended to create two years ago when we set up Where the Light Gets In.
Day to day we try to keep things a little more sober but the principle is still there. Everybody grab a reign, the one you feel most comfortable with, and help to steer. We try to encourage an autonomy where each individual is responsible for the whole. Cleaning, laundry and other menial duties are shared out evenly across the board to ensure there is time for creativity and progress.