Herefordshire Week 009: Monday 24 February – Sunday 01 March 2020

I’m going to try to keep my weeknotes short this week as it’s a beautiful day and I’d rather be outside.

Highlights: Little Nipper Mouse kill; GV Fitness Centre; Borderlines Film Festival; Sunshine.

Telly: Snowfall, series 3


I didn’t want to give away the first of this week’s highlights last week, but before I’d even started typing weeknotes, we’d had our first Mouse Kill with the Little Nipper trap in the kitchen. Phil “dealt” with the corpse….

Third time lucky (or unlucky, if you were the mouse). Since then, no poo! I set 2 traps in the roof yesterday. They’re still scampering around up there.

Weeknotes done, we motored over to Pontrilas and joined the gym aka GV Fitness Centre and fixed up a joint induction for Tuesday.

We’d spotted the Golden Valley Community Gym was being set up in one of Pontrilas’ light industrial units when we were here in the summer, and it’s since opened. I’d been wondering whether or not to join – I’ve never been a gym person, and I don’t like not knowing how to do things (like use gym equipment, and what sort of things to do) –  but with all the rain and icy roads I’ve not been doing my early morning walks, and even getting out during the day has been pretty much impossible the past couple of weeks. So, we joined.

So far, so good. It’s genuinely friendly and relaxed, and largely frequented by “mature” people (which I suspect is a category we might fall into based on DoB), at least it is in the off peak session, which is all day up until 5pm/6pm (I forget which). We’ve joined as “gym” users, rather than “class” users, but the classes are available on PAYG. So, perhaps I shall “pilates”.

Invigorated, and keen to make the most of a dry afternoon, I did the Kerry’s Gate – Bacton – Abbey Dore square, pausing to chat to two chaps putting a flow rate float into the River Dore at Bacton (usually they’d measure by hand, but the Dore is still flowing fast and furious), and to take a photo of an oak tree that was toppled, presumably by Storm Dennis, and some of the spring flowers that are starting to emerge. From a much sunnier March Monday, that walk seems longer than a week ago.

Sunny fields and spring flowers
Sunny fields and spring flowers

Tuesday was admin, then gym induction with Malcolm, and a short sampling of the cross trainer for me, then back for lunch and a busy afternoon “at work”. My New York office visit is going ahead, so I’ll be there for few days in April in between my birthday weekend and the first Pembrokeshire Get Together of the year. Let’s hope there are no excitably volcanoes after Easter.

Wednesday was a nightmare of a wifi day – I ended up driving to dad and Jean’s to work there for the afternoon. In lieu of Wine Wednesday, and because he was heading into town to drop off Jean at a dinner, Dad took me to his favourite Indian restaurant The Taste of Raj. Very tasty and it was lovely to spend a bit of time with dad too. Thursday 4G returned, healthier than ever. Who knows.

Fridays have become the day we drive into Hereford, to tick off things from the To Do list and for a weekly supermarket shop.  After a gym visit first thing, we headed into Hereford in the pouring rain. Horrid. A damp afternoon, but we got a lot done: new key blades at Newtown Motors, dropped off books at the Hospice Shop on Holmer Road, bought mouse-proof plastic bin for the Aldi Bird Feed in B&Q plus birthday wellies for dad, parked at Merton Meadows and went to Sensory & Rye for lunch. Should have gone for the Mushroom & Goatscheese Brioche or one of the vegan “bread” options rather than the No Huevos Rancheros. It was tasty, but too light to sustain me for an afternoon. Could have done with a Huevos version!

Picked up Phil’s prescription (surprisingly straight forwards, and The System worked), bought his birthday present at Trekkit, upgraded my library membership to full by providing proof of address, AND scored two chunky novels off my To Read List: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith and Lancelot by Giles Kristian.

Jobs done, we visited the Herefordshire Life Through A Lens photo exhibitions in Hereford Library & Museum and in Hereford Cathedral, scouting out the new sushi restaurant that’s opening up on the corner of Bridge Street and Gwynne Street – YAY!  And turns out there’s another sushi /Korean place on Widemarsh Street – double YAY! Back to the car, then tea and toasted tea cake in Waitrose before heading over to The Courtyard for our first visit, and the first of the films we’ve booked in the Borderlines Film Festival. The Courtyard is also one of the venues for Herefordshire Life Through A Lens, so we mooched around that set of black & white photos before heading down to The Studio to see the Cordillera of Dreams – a documentary about the Pinochet Regime in Santiago, rather than the Chilean Andes.  I also spotted they’ve a huge costume store / hire service… that’ll be handy for June’s wedding!

The rain had stopped by the time we came out and drove back via Tesco’s and Lock’s Garage in Allensmore (local eggs). One day we’ll have one of the giant Mr Whippy ice creams we see people emerging with pretty much every time we stop there.

The weekend weather forecast promised more rain, but instead we had sunshine, after occasional snow flurries earlier on Saturday. Too windy on Leap Year Saturday to go out (but we did lunch in the conservatory), but the perfect excuse to get stuck into Lethal White. No complaints there. Polished off the Epilogue this morning [Monday]. Smashing. I set aside the non-fiction I’d been working my way through – The Secret Life of Trees. Reads a bit like a list of trees organised around taxonomic and evolutionary context. I craved some social or history detail.

Slight Snow on Hatterall's Ridge
Slight Snow on Hatterall’s Ridge

A lovely sunny Sunday was me finish off week 9 with more Lethal White and a walk down to the Abbey with Phil, and on to complete the Bacton – Kerry’s Gate square in gorgeous sunshine. Picked daffodils from the garden when I got back – Happy St David’s Day:

Sunny fields and spring flowers - Do love a Daffodil
Sunny fields and spring flowers – Do love a Daffodil