Benedict Ambrose and I spent the weekend we probably should have made the cider painting our front door and railings. Thus, we did not get to the cider until September 16, which I note in bold for future household discussions. In reality, we should probably take our cue not from the calendar but from the apples themselves.
In the end, I collected 104 apples from the tree as B.A. sterilized the equipment, and we turned them into 6.5 litres of delicious pink-brown juice. Now they are living in large fermentation bin, having been robbed of their natural yeast (and any evil bacteria) and given new yeast from a packet.
Yes, this September we have been distracted from our cider-making by many things: making apple crumble, the wear-and-tear of B.A.'s second course of radiotherapy in five years, a delayed bout of house decoration, and--of course--the Michaelmas Dance.
The rental place I consulted about tableware proposed to charge me £40 for pick up and delivery. Thus, I threw my minimalist values to the winds and bought enough wineglasses, plates, cups and saucers to refresh a squadron. I now have enough of the above to last me the rest of my life. Tablecloths, though, are still an issue.
I am also the proud possessor of many little pencils on strings and an equal number of dance cards of my own design. I picked up the latter at the printer's yesterday and did a little waltz before the counter. It has occurred to me that organizing a dance is as creative as writing a novel and probably more satisfying and definitely less work.
Before and during the design of my dance cards, I consulted many articles about--and many photographs of--them online. I noted but did not read the essay condemning them as a patriarchal tool for oppressing women. The women I have consulted think dance cards are delightful. Meanwhile, I have enough for the men, so everyone can keep track of their dance partners and have a nice souvenir afterwards. Perhaps these cards will be offered for sale on eBay or its descendent in a hundred years ("Dance cards dating from the Early Restoration--authentic and rare").