Wine

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I don’t drink much, but I used to make wine. My favourite was a sparkling plum wine. I didn’t know what I was doing so I used a yeast that makes lots of gas and fizz. The wine was brewed in demi-johns, then I put it into old beer bottles with ceramic and rubber stoppers. When we opened the bottles it was a deep orange red and had a real sparkle.

Sadly I couldn’t remember what yeast I had used and I never got the same result. I also found that I was allergic to the sulphur dioxide that is used to sterilise the equipment, so I would start sneezing uncontrollably.

I then went on to brewing beer for a few years. That was fun and less difficult but in the end I sold all my demi-johns.

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Beer

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What people used to drink in the past,

Beer was brewed to be drunk every day. Beer was made weak so that people, including children, could quench their thirst. Water was not clean and filtered like it is today in some countries. People extracted water from rivers, ponds and wells. But they had no knowledge of bacteria or viruses. In some countries in Asia people brewed things like rice wine instead. Over the centuries East and West have followed their own brewing traditions. This affects whether people can tolerate the different types of alcohol.

Nowadays some beer is far stronger. This can have a detrimental effect on people’s health as alcohol is a poison and in strong concentration or large amounts can kill.

Drinking beer and alcohol are a personal choices. There can be other reasons not to drink, including religious and health ones. Life is interesting. Moderation is the key.

Pastel workshop


I was going to have a quiet day today. But I got up and there was a bit of a disaster in our kitchen. My hubby had decided to brew some beer. But he had added some extra sugar to the brew. Then he has put the bung in upside down. Beer had turned into volcano. Half the brew was all over the kitchen. It had hit the ceiling, there were puddles of ale on the cupboard tops, it was all over the cooker. Basically half the kitchen has been inundated with beer….

After about an hour of cleaning up I decided to go to the pastel workshop with the Orme art group. Basically to escape! The workshop was run by Sandra Orme (no relation).

It’s difficult to describe what we learnt, it was complicated. I’ve added a few photos of the two pictures I did. First you lay down colours in soft pastel on fine toothed pastel paper. Once you have enough pastel on you blend them together, then build up layers using smaller more intricate marks, gradually blending and adding. Sometimes only lightly pressing on the pastel, other times blending more. The direction of the marks can make a difference to how it looks. You can use the edge of your hands, your palms, your fingers or blending tools (like a brush but with the bristles replaced with a rubber tip).

Im pleased with the results. I’m even thinking of getting them framed….

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