After months of making sure I get a good, new laser printer at work, a big black box with buttons arrives and I set it up. However, I’m stuck when it asks me if I want to use IPv4 of IPv6, or both. A call to I.T. guy, John, is required, just so I don’t make a wrong choice and cause a system failure and face punishment. John tells me he’s on his way anyway, to make a delivery to me.
I can’t think of what it is that we’re waiting for. I hope it’s the button that seems to be missing from my keyboard that would be labelled ‘DO IT’. Forty five minutes later, John turns up with the ‘delivery’ – a two litre bottle of scrumpy! After having done some work for Thatcher’s, he enquired about any spare good stuff, knowing there was a thirsty ciderman out there, and was duly rewarded with a flagon of Medium Traditional Somerset.
My work rate is much improved for fifteen minutes, and then it’s back to turning stuff off and on again. At least the printer works.
In the evening, I haul the vessel back home, and leave it in a cool, dark place (my flat), waiting for a suitable excuse to drink it.
A suitable excuse arrives 2 days later, Thursday evening. I reason that, as it’s too big to fit in the fridge, and this freshly-bottled nectar will only last seven days, I’d best begin the adventure.
First of all, I’d best photograph the beast. I opt for a low angle, looking up, as this is the biggest vessel of cider I’ve had since the night I fell down a lift shaft in Hampstead. The cider is a bright orange colour, completely opaque and with a film of sediment clinging to bottom. So far, so good. This looks like promising stuff.
However, it doesn’t seem to smell of anything. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to taste of anything. There’s no dry, no sweet, no oak, no septic tank or Barbie’s head, just a very mild taste of cider. I could have this for breakfast. Well, I suppose John did say it was fresh from the press, so not much chance to mature, cider normally being pressed around the autumn time, and left to ferment over winter. This one’s just a baby.
As I have 2 litres to get through, I have another small glass. It’s not unpleasant, just unremarkable, though the second glass does taste a little bit more cidery. With my third glass, the Thatcher’s becomes my best friend. After the fourth glass, I can’t remember what I was saying about the first glass. After my fifth glass, I wake up in a bus stop in Enfield. Well what the Thatcher’s lacks in taste, it makes up for in cider sense.
Verdict: 2/5, but as it’s been picked a bit too early, and it was free, I’m going to upgrade it to a 3/5