Thursday, 8 October 2015

I love apples

I love apples and eat LOTS of them and cook with them regularly.   I love having my own apple trees on our plot, and being able to lay down a store of apples for the winter.  I picked the best part of this year's rather poor crop on our own trees - 4 were "resting" having given huge quantities of apples last year.  3 of them are related trees, as the two young trees are grown from seed from the parent, and give two different sorts of apples.

I love orchards and when we went to Hay-on-Wye today, I just had to stop near Glasbury and take photos of this orchard (cider apples by the look of things).  It was a bumper crop here, on old trees which are full size and not grown on dwarf rootstocks as the modern orchards are.  When we move, I still hope to have a small orchard (apples, pears, plums) in one area,  rather than just half a dozen trees growing randomly, although the young trees I am growing are slowly coming on here beside the path in the paddock.

As you can see, a good mixture of different cider apples have been grown, for a blend of sweet, sharp and bittersweet.

I am not sure if these are picked for cider - but what a shame if not.

One of the scarlet-fruited trees.

A view of part of the old orchard from across the road.

We had a wander round Hay, and a bite to eat in the Sandwich Cellar in Backfold (as always).  The Folio books above are on offer in Booths, where we sat for a little while in comfortable chairs, looking at the books we were going to purchase.

I bought a critique of Thomas Hardy's work by Trevor Johnson, and look forward to sitting down with that when my brain is functioning again (I only got 3 1/2 hours' sleep last night).

The shelves of horsey books down the road in Addeyman's, where I bought Queer Horses and Queer People by C G Fitch, written back in the days (1930s) when Queer had no undertones and a fascinating book.

A brief wander around the town: my reflected elbow and a very large Heron in a shop window.

A rather nice reflection of the town in a shabby chic shop window.

Of course, we couldn't resist a wander round the antiques shop, which is looking more and more empty.  I loved this fabric chicken and had to take a photo of him for posterity.

Without doubt, the best display in the shop, and some very desirable bakelite jewellery and similar goodies on offer.

Above and below.  At the bottom of the car park in Hay.  I loved these gorgeous amber-pink tones on the shrub below.  As we drove home, we noticed that colouration on the wild cherry trees and field maples too.

Finally, the view across the fields from the car park.  Apologies for lack of words, but I am surviving on just 3 1/2 hours' sleep last night and absolutely shattered.


  1. Lovely set of photos, especially the apple orchard, it seems to have been a bumper year there. Like the idea of crocheting round and round, this is how I like my knitting. ... repetitious but soothing.

  2. Love your photographs BB. I used to live quite close to Hay on Wye - on what a temptation those book shops are!

  3. Lovely post and photos and great to see the old Apple Orchard. I would also love a small orchard - I so regret that we have never planted fruit trees in our garden.

    Great to see Hay-on-Wye - really had hoped we might visit when we were in Herefordshire but it was not to be. Probably, for the best as I would have been very tempted by all the book shops!

    Hope you get a better night's sleep.

  4. I am so envious ! Your header photo and the next four photos look like the inspiration for my favorite Gustav Klimt paintings.
    That you could drive there and see all this beauty. How wonderful !
    Living in the desert I have never seen an apple tree. I do have a small citrus grove on my land though.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. I was just the other side of the border two weekends ago, for the Malvern Autumn show. We stayed just outside Hereford as usual. We went to the show on the Saturday, approaching from the least crowded route (keeping that a secret!). The original plan had been to head down to the Forest of Dean to explore the places pertinent to the Meek strand of my ancestry, but it was such a lovely morning, we just turned off the A49 and went exploring. The roads smelt of apples from the loads being ferried from the orchards.

    The first place we stopped was Kilpeck, to look at the church and castle. It wasn't even 9am, and the place was still asleep, bar the cattle in the field. Then, casually strolling down the road, came our tour guide for the visit - a long haired black cat! He walked round the church with us, then led us up the path to the stile at the bottom of the castle ruins. They always find us!

  6. thelma - I like crafts I can do without thinking.

    Pat - Sometimes I come away empty-handed, as I am trying to stick to the books I really want and are on my mental list. Sometimes though . . .

    R. Robin - never too late to start (ref apples). Have a weekend away in Hay, you wouldn't regret it.

    parsnip - We are so lucky. I never take this beautiful area for granted, and we travel over this way regularly. I don't think I could cope with living in a desert . . .

    Blue Shed - lovely to see you again. You must be rich if you could afford tickets for the Malvern Autumn Show!!! I hope you get a chance to explore your Meek ancestors another time. Kilpeck is an absolute gem isn't it? I have a fab book on the Herefordshire school of Romanesque sculpture. I seem to remember meeting a cat when we were there years ago, but I doubt it's the same one. Have you seen Cat Cottage lately - all covered in blue tarpaulins and surrounded by a "moat" now!!

  7. Well, I had got paid two days before our trip, having bought show tickets earlier this year with an early bird discount offer for RHS members. Set a budget for the show and stuck to it - had even made a shopping list. For the first time ever, I came away having not bought any actual plants - just bulbs and seeds. Plus cheese, sausages and Scotch eggs from the food hall, plus restocked my spice cupboard ahead of sloe gin making season.

    I have an old guide to Herefordshire I got in a book sale when the main library in Enfield closed for refurbishment. Finally put it to use. Normally we drive straight back after the show, but this time we had an extra day. The plan was to do some exploring, then drive back to London in the evening. Originally, we were going to go down to the Forest of Dean to the Heritage Centre, to get a feel for the like my ancestors had, but I wanted to also get to The Nest, a farm shop on the Ledbury Road, so decided to stay closer to Hereford. Hence the Kilpeck / Abbey Dore / Longtown route. We had considered checking out the cottage, and a trip to Hay, but time was running out. We'll be back for the Spring show, so maybe then. Will also bring empty water bottles with us next time, to fill up with Malvern water for the journey home.