Heavy mixer-action while the sun shines.
Just having a quick break with a cuppa of Earl Grey tea and a couple of slices of bread-and-dripping (oh, the savoury bliss of it all!) before going back to laying the screed over the cider-shed floor. Got about halfway so far, but had to dash back to Wickes this fine morn for more sharp-sand and cement. Does anyone else encounter black holes when doing any work with recommended quantities? How come you never have enough despite following the instructions on the packet? Where does it all go? I reckon the evil fairies that live at the bottom of my garden nick it while I'm not looking...
The original concrete floor was fine, but always intended to screed it so that we can paint it so that it's more easier to clean and keep clean. Also invested in a "Wet 'n' Dry" vacuum cleaner for same purpose. What a beast!
Getting a consistent depth, in this case 50mm, while screeding is challenging but intellectually stimulating. Using 50mm battens as when plastering is my preferred option so far.
Oh Cider Trees - Where art thou, Cider Trees?
I'm getting frustrated waiting for the newly-ordered trees to be delivered... especially when the weather is nice and dry. We've got 6 x Yarlington Mill; 6 x Tremlett's Bitter; 6 x Morgan Sweet; 6 x Harry Master's Jersey; and 6 x Dabinetts on order, all on MM106 rootstock's. This should give us a good start while we wait for the next delivery this coming Winter 09. We wanted the early-cropping Morgan Sweet to blend with the Tom Putts and other early fruit that we collect. We also have some Major on order for later in the year, another early-fruiter, our aim being to lengthen and even out our cider-making.
We've also ordered a standard Dabinett on M25 rootstock and this eventually quite large tree is to go in the front garden at home, now that we have removed one of the large conifers that was growing like a rocket and dwarfing the house; I love Deodar Cedars, but it was a mistake to plant one in the garden! After 20-odd years it showed no sign of slowing down so had to go. Anyway, the Dabinett should look pretty in blossom, give us some fruit and not block light in the winter months.
What's in a name?
Why oh why do some folks insist on pronouncing Dabinett as "Dabin-ay"? I often come across it with an "e" on the end too. Pseudo-posh Frenchness? English name not good enough? Answers on a postcard too: Mr William Dabinett was a Somerset man, and wouldn't have a poncy name like "Dabin-ay" or "Dabinette" attached to any tree discovered and named by him!