Herefordshire Week 012: Monday 16 – Tuesday 24 March 2020

Another weird week – Sunday 15 March I’d dropped off Janette at the train station after a weekend here; Sunday 22 March was the day after I’d been to see see dad and Jean for probably the last time until we’re through all this.

And, yes, another Tuesday weeknotes. Not sure I’m going to continue them – it feels like a bit of a chore, and I’m not sure who’s reading them, and I’d rather spend my screentime emailing / video chatting with friends and family. Phil suggested picking four photos a week instead – so I’m going to do that from now on, and it’ll be a Tuesday morning publication 🙂


You know that bit at the end of 28 Days Later...?
You know that bit at the end of 28 Days Later…?

Last Monday, walking the Kerrys Gate – Cockyard – Quarrels Green lanes, I saw a lone vapour trail crossing the clear blue sky, and it reminded me of the scenes at the end of 28 Days Later, and of a deserted Central London at the start. And of the 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption that kept me in HK rather than being at home to celebrate my 40th. And indeed, it looks like my 50th is going to be a similarly memorable non-event.

But it lifts the spirits to be outside with the clear blue skies overhead. The sun is shining and the birds are singing and busy building nests. We’ve had chaffinches and the red woodpecker establish themselves as nut feeder regulars, and there are greenfinches flashing between the hedgerows.


Camellia
Mum’s Camellia

Saturday was supposed to be the Annual Birthdays Party, which has been held at Forty Acres since …. I don’t know when. “Ever since we’ve been here” in my memory. It’s when my mum and dad’s crowd gather to celebrate shared March birthdays with plenty of food and drink, and a pre-dinner trip to the pub for the Rugby fans (and beer and crisp fans). Some years we’ve had snow, others we’ve been sitting outside in the sunshine. This year would have been one of the latter.

This year is the first year we’ve not The Party, so I can’t post a photo of that.

Instead, here’s Mum’s Camellia. It was a gift from Ken and Gay, with the siting carefully selected, as always, by Annette and Michael. The beautiful pink flamboyant flowers are always on show.

As are the daffodils.

Forty Acres Daffs on Mothering Sunday
Forty Acres Daffs on Mothering Sunday

Celebrating Dad's Birthday and Jean's Mothers Day
Celebrating Dad’s Birthday and Jean’s Mothers Day

Saturday night I drove down to The Old Stables Fish & Chip shop in Ewyas Harold, ordered 2 large fish and chips and a pineapple fritter, then drove FAST over to dad and Jean’s for a one day late birthday celebration for my dad and a one day early Mother’s Day celebration with Jean.

Lots of people waiting outside the chippy, and weird to see both pubs shut on the other side of the road. Thinking about it I bet some Friday regulars at The Old Stables would normally while away their wait in one of the pubs 🙂

Even at the time I wasn’t 100% sure I should be visiting dad and Jean. Today, I’m glad for the clarity of last night’s lockdown announcement. It’ll help dad understand why they can’t come round – that’s hard. And I got quite upset yesterday at the thought that there is a chance that I may never get to see them again.


No 7 sheep and lamb
No 7 sheep and lamb

Yesterday morning’s walk turned out to be my last before the lockdown. A beautiful seven miles into Ewyas Harold via Abbey Dore – Cwm Hill – Old Trout Inn – Dulas, and back via Ewyas Harold Common.

Google Maps: Abbey Dore - Cwm Hill - Old Trout Inn - Dulas - Ewyas Harold - Ewyas Harold Common - Abbey Dore walk.
Google Maps: Abbey Dore – Cwm Hill – Old Trout Inn – Dulas – Ewyas Harold – Ewyas Harold Common – Abbey Dore walk.

Lots of lambs in the fields on Cwm Hill, and the wild daffodils still filling the churchyard of  St Michael & All Angels Church, Dulas.

Churchyard full of wild daffodils, Church of St Michael & All Angels, Dulas
Churchyard full of wild daffodils, Church of St Michael & All Angels, Dulas

She's a firestarter (Phil's photo)
She’s a firestarter (Phil’s photo)

A satisfying bonfire, getting rid of the fallen willow tree cuttings.

Whilst also baking (cremating) Delia Smith’s Last-Minute Christmas Mincemeat Cake – Happy Birthday Phil!


In other news, because I don’t photograph everything:

  • Work went crazy-busy. I worked Friday. But there’s an amazing team spirit and I am glad that I’ve had a 2 month head start on getting to grips with working from home.
  • Hazel, Catherine and I will be having our first Virtual Wine Wednesday tomorrow, and I’m skyping dad and Jean this evening. My nephew and I will fit in some FaceTime Beers sometime this week too.

But I do put all my photos on Fickr.


Yes, this feels better.