Herefordshire Week 003: Monday 13 – Sunday 19 January 2020

Another busy week of Sorting Stuff Out.

I think we both wish this stage was done and dusted, and that we could enjoy actually living here.

In no particular order here’s what the week held.

We found someone to come and clear the gutters. Chris from Cathedral Property Services turned up on time to take a look at the job and to give us a quote. He’s coming tomorrow [today!] to do the actual gutter clean.

Dad came over on Tuesday morning, in the rain, with two more bags of garden waste, and we fixed the fridge/freezer doors. Phil and I sorted out the extension cabling on Saturday. I cleaned the f/f on Sunday. We’ll turn it on on Monday!

Work week three went OK. The relentless rain and thick, thick cloud combined – I think – to make VOIP calls unworkable. Glad I have the work BlackBerry on hand as an alternative for making those direct and conference calls. I need to get better at ‘getting out of work on time’. It’s been 8pm finishes all this week.

I joined Wine Wednesday by phone and FaceTime. And, over the weekend, lined up Hazel and Catherine for an Easter visit. Brill!

On Thursday, in all the rain, we had a visit from the Western Power Tree assessor, who’d come to check how close to the power lines our trees are. Turns out they’re close enough to warrant a trim in the next few weeks. Not as close as the ones nearby that are regularly glowing mind you….

I’ve decided pre-work walks need to wait until early morning walks become viable. i.e. sunrise is earlier, and it’s lighter and warmer. I got out on Wednesday and Thursday, but once the temperature dropped Thursday night/Friday morning, I opted for mid-morning walks instead. Much safer underfoot.

Frosty Morning at Forty Acres

Highlight of the week was a day out in Hereford on Friday. After booking in for our “entertainment system” to be activated at the Nissan garage next Friday (turns out to be a more complicated job than we’d expected), we took boxes of stuff to the St Michael’s Hospice Holmer Road Home & Living Store / Warehouse, then toured the sheds on that stretch of the A49N. B&Q supplied a plug adaptor, mastic and a mastic gun – the door/window has a series of leaks along the top, Dunelm delivered a rimless sieve and a decent pepper grinder, Halfords provided a windscreen squeegee/scraper, de-icer, ice scraper, car washing liquid and recommended protective window washing/cleaning stuff, microfibre mitt.

We lunched, late, at The Beefy Boys (VG if you’re veggie/vegan, obviously VG if you’re not), then pottered around Hereford City Centre – Chapters Charity Bookshop, The Butter Market (discovered that the Fodder has a stall there where you can buy loose dry goods, there’s also a tasty looking deli, a coffee stand, a bakers, plus Timpsons, which is why we’d gone in there!), got cash (getting better at that!!), checked out Trekkit. Then back to The Old Market (aka the new shopping development, on the site of the old cattle market), for a coffee to pass the time before heading into the Odeon to watch Little Women. Then home…. via Waitrose – mainly for yoghurt so that we would have our first go with the Lakeland Yoghurt Maker on Saturday….

… which turned out to not be as nice and simple a process as the “bung it all in and switch it on” as the breadmaker. Sadly. Saturday morning’s “quick” go at our first batch required an hour or so prep – sterilizing the container, boiling the milk, allowing the milk to cool to 34C-42C. Our delayed trying out was due to the fact that you need a food thermometer to measure this temperature range, which we don’t have – have never had – and which the Lakeland online page/info doesn’t mention. We’d eventually managed to find a non-meat / non-jam food thermometer in the excellent Philip Morris & Son, on Widemarsh Street.

It didn’t help that Saturday was our first dry and sunny day here for over a week. A relief to be able to get outside and to stretch my legs, doing the Kerry’s Gate-Bacton-Abbey Dore walk before lunching in the conservatory. The first time I’d heard birds for a while, I realised. An afternoon of jobs – putting toys, surplus saucepans and flattened packing boxes into the roof, making cardboard filing dividers for dad’s desk, putting pictures away in the guest room wardrobe, catching up on computing and paperwork. We had a technicolor sunset at the end of the day too. Magic. And Ad Astra with pizza à la Phil for Saturday film night dinner.

Forty Acres - Kerry's Gate - Bacton - Abbey Dore Walk
Robin: Forty Acres – Kerry’s Gate – Bacton – Abbey Dore Walk
Skirrid Sunset
Skirrid Sunset

The spectacular sunset presaged a cold, cold night, and another day of clear blue skies, and sunny cold. Thick frost on the grass this morning, and icy roads as we discovered walking down to the Abbey. I spent the next few hours panicking about having to drive into town this afternoon and coming back again after dark. Even as we sat roasting in the conservatory. It all worked out fine. Phew. What will it be like once we get into proper minus temperatures…..? We’d spent the morning lugging garden waste to “mower turn”, and the fallen willow tree cuttings to the bonfire. Hot work.

Settling into Forty Acres: The fallen willow tree
Settling into Forty Acres: The fallen willow tree

The ponds are frozen. More snowdrops are coming through, and daffodil spears.

Second highlight of the week – our postman delivering a parcel for us while we were out, and leaving a message telling us where to find another item of post that wouldn’t fit through the letter box.

And looking through my diary, which doubles as my To Do List, and the photos I’m just getting up onto Flickr, I see that on Monday I did more sorting out in the kitchen – cleaned the chutney and jam store cupboard, pared down the frying pan and saucepan collection, reorganised what’s where on the worktop, decided which of the books on the bookshelf I’d like to keep and took down and photographed the pictures, paintings and plates that aren’t our style …. and went through my and Tom’s joint lego collection putting it into bags of the “same sorts of stuff”.

Forty Acres Plates
Forty Acres Plates: Nana Doris’ Welsh Ladies. Play spot the difference….
Lego
Lego sorting in progress

So, we really have got through a huge amount this week. Roll on week 4 – let the enjoyment commence! I need to take a leaf out of Phil’s book and get going on joining local groups to meet people. That’s No. 1 task for today.