Being as poor as a church mouse, I've become rather good at making things for myself. I bake my own bread, I grow my own seasonal veg, I brew my own beer, and my kitchen is constructed entirely of bits that friends had going spare. In many ways, Mrs Cheeseford and I are, to all intents and purposes, Tom and Barbara Good. My proudest achievement so far has been installing a Belfast sink that had been rescued from a friend's garden and then creating a worktop and surround using surplus oak from another friend's very expensive installation.
The Belfast sink proved its worth today when I began the first batch of beer since it was put in place. It replaced a nasty brown plastic sink, the shallowness of which meant I couldn't top up the fermenting vessel directly from the tap. In contrast, the new sink took the vessel without a murmur, saving me the bother of relaying the water to the bucket using a large jug. Anyone wondering why I didn't use a hose will be unaware of the sterilisation that has to be performed on all brewing equipment - tedious, but necessary if you don't want your brew to taste and smell of old socks.
Anyway, in a week or so, this lot (36 pints' worth of Woodforde's excellent Nelson's Revenge, using a kit purchased from Mr Alexander Carr's rather wonderful Market Place Wine Shop in Halesworth - 01986872563) will be ready for bottling, and I'll report back on the ale's progress.