Frosty Walks

I enjoy the long lazy wasted days between Christmas and New Year, for once the thought of work doesn’t tug away at me and I allow myself to watch daytime TV and eat too much cheese and chocolate.

The Phillips family do have a lively dog to walk though these days ( thanks kids ) so twice a day I have to pull on the wellies and venture out. The mornings have been gloriously cold and frosty so I took ‘Fudge’ (the dog) to Thatchers Orchards where I could make good use of the time by also taking photographs of the Orchards.

See below

Claudia at copmuter

Thatchers Cider Apple Day

Some images from the apple day

Some images from the apple day

It’s been a busy few months for me in the photo, film and cider/apple juice making world. I know it’s a strange combination, but during late summer/ autumn, my job and my favorite hobby become inextricably linked. One of my favorite clients is Thatchers Cider and at this time of year, they keep me very busy documenting the harvesting season.

As they weren’t running an open day I suggested they do an Apple juice making Day. I’ve helped run a few in the past and I know how much people love these events. Surprisingly Thatchers went for the idea and I quickly became chief organizer, equipment supplier (believe it or not I was the man with the apple press), photographer and filmmaker.

I do love a challenge though and the chance to photograph families enjoying the orchards was too good an opportunity to miss out on.

Thatchers had just finished their new Meeting rooms, the Thicket Building, a stunning thatch cottage next to a small pond and surrounded by 0rchards and they suggested holding the event there. As part of the Made in Somerset food festival 20 families attended the event, Mariet Paul and Richard from Thatchers were wonderful hosts and were on hand to impart their vast knowledge of cider making.

I arrived at 8pm with my basket apple press and the milling machine, which I put my daughter katy in charge off and spent a wonderful morning filming and photographing the families going through the process of apple juice making.

I’m a better photographer than writer so I’ll let the pictures and film do the talking,

The Day finished around 12pm ish and  I then spent a couple of hours pastuerizing the left over juice which I was able to to sale at the Wrington apple day to raise funds for our project.

The day for me wasn’t finished as i had a 3 hour shoot photographing Port Marine for a housing company.

It was a tiring day, but I love my hobbies, one became a full time job but as I generally manage every year to make pretty awful cider nobody will be offering me any money soon to make cider !

Here is my thatchers cider at Glastonbury Film

2 mins long, no bands, no faces, lots of cider :-)

Frank Naish 5/2/1924 29/11/13

Frank Naish (Oldest Cider Maker) have passed peacefully away in his sleep aged 89 5/2/1924 29/11/13

A poem for a man whom I had the pleasure to meet and photograph on a number of occasions. commiserations to all his family and friends

Frank Naish at home

After Apple Picking

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Robert Frost
in the cider room

Naish Cider

Naish Cider

Michelin, medium bitter sweet with soft tannin

Michelin, medium bitter sweet with soft tannin

Frosty Morning

Frosty morning in north Somerset, Nov 2013frosty_orchard_032 frosty_orchard_020 frosty_orchard_028frosty_orchard_005

Autumn Colour at Thatchers Orchard

Spent the morning setting up a ‘hide’ in the orchard where I optimistically intend to film Deer. Afterwards I shot some stills of apples waiting to be harvested, glowing in the last of the autumn colour._NPP4766



Happy Apple Day… !

Happy Apple Day... !

I took a break from filming the harvesting at Thatchers cider last week to take some pics. The apples were Tremlett’s I think, waiting to be scooped up to looking ripe ‘n’ rosy in the autumn Light.



A poem for apple day from Somerset poet james Crowden

Cider Haiku

The orchard first snugly
Round our shoulders –
Like an old overcoat.

Hard pressed, the stream of juice
Runs madly from the cheese –
Autumn out of control

Invisibly we merge
With the barrels –
Are sucked into their darkness

Their roundness catapults us
Beyond the common place –
A world apart.

All at once we are enveloped
By the brooding silence –
Ten thousand gallons.