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An upcoming anthology which sees the second of my stories to be published this year. 2014 so far has been pretty good with a number of stories due for publication.
My 'spirit' of choice in this instance was cider in homage to my upbringing. I lived for a number of years (aged 8yrs-17yrs) in a rural pub, 'The Cider House' which, as its name suggests, sold only cider. It was managed by my parents and served a very wide community from local farmers to families that travelled across the West Midlands to pay us a visit. A bit of a surprise as this pub was in the middle of nowhere, the sort of place that bored teens are desperate to leave but which you want to return to in later years.
Just to reassure people, the cider was delivered to us, it was never produced on site and the only cider presses we had remained firmly fixed to the walls as decoration - along with the gin traps and crossbow.
You can find out more about the anthology at:
The Cider House can be found at Wootton, nr Quatt, Shropshire in the UK. It has changed a bit from when I lived there, the low old stone walls that surrounded the front outdoor seating have gone but the building itself appears the same. What you see on the left was originally a little cottage around which the pub was built. In the bar, to the right as you go in, there is an old Victorian cooking range in which my parents would sometimes roast chestnuts. The room to the left of the entrance was known as the 'Pig Room', I do not think I need to explain. My bedroom, which I shared with my younger sister, was situated above the Pig Room. It was difficult to sleep sometimes, especially when the locals decided to have a sing-along and could never remember the words and sing the whole song through. I never did find out what happened to Nelly Dean down by the stream.
Another memory which haunts me involves my forgetting to turn the lights on in the cellar - after all I knew my way around in the dark - and walking into dead pheasants that would be hanging there, a gift from local farmers.
A writer - I think that says it all.