Herefordshire Week 019: Tuesday 05 – Monday 11 May 2020

Shopping. Composting. Strolling. Mowing.

Falling down the Open Street Map rabbit hole…

It seems an age ago now, but last Tuesday, Phil and I walked over the Common to EH to post cards and top up milk supplies to tide us over to a Big Shop on Friday evening. Some of the cards were delivered on Wednesday – and, naturally, I’d only posted them second class…. No photos, but a lovely walk there and back.

Wednesday brought an early afternoon treat – Belated Birthday Box from Betty’s, sent by Sue! Who doesn’t want a couple of Fat Rascals turning up on their doorstep?!!!

Belated Birthday Betty's Box!
Belated Birthday Betty’s Box!

When we had a weekend in York a few years back – seems like another world – we were strolling around the city and saw the queue for the Betty’s there… 10am and it stretched all round the 2 sides of the shop …

A busy Bank Holiday on Friday.

I woke up early, to a magical misty morning. A preliminary trip to Thistly Field for photos of the dew decked dandelions and Grey Valley, then a walk along the lanes: Kerrys Gate – Riverdale – Footpath – Abbey Dore Court – Home. Then back down the hill to scoop up horse manure for the herb bed.

Misty morning, Grey Valley
Misty morning, Grey Valley
Misty morning, Grey Valley
Misty morning, Grey Valley
Dewy meadow, Riverdale
Dewy meadow, Riverdale
Morning! Sheep and birdsong, Riverdale (video, 11s)
Morning! Sheep and birdsong, Riverdale (video, 11s)

I spent the rest of the morning on the mower, and most of the early afternoon too. Splendidly satisfying. Stripes still need work….

Then Mission Shopping: this month’s tactical strike on Hereford Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Asda, then back via dad and Jean’s to drop off their essentials, and Lock’s Garage for eggs and – at last – bread flour!

Having managed to book a click & collect slot for 8pm-9pm… easily, it took most of the week for me to twig it was the VE Day Bank Holiday. That May Monday/VE 75th Anniversary Friday switcheroo caught me out. No complaints from me: Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Asda were as quiet as I’ve ever known them.

Our long awaited compost bin arrived on Wednesday, so we set that up on Saturday morning. Very satisfying!

We ARE The Good Life.

Compost pile meet compost bin
Compost pile meet compost bin

I spent most of the afternoon snoozing out on the lawn 🙂

I’m now putting the seedlings outside during the daytime but still keeping them in the conservatory overnight. This Guardian article was an interesting (and timely) read. Lots of fascinating science there.

Fingers crossed for lettuce and chillies, sunflowers and pumpkins, and marigolds.

Hardening off the seedlings
Hardening off the seedlings

Sunday was cold and very breezy. We turned on the fridge freezer, having moved all the tins / oats / nibbles etc into the kitchen cupboards. It’s been doubling up as our second larder and COVID-19 quarantine zone.

I planned to spend the rest of the day sorting through my photos from last November’s trip to Nepal and getting them up onto Flickr.

I’ve learned the hard way that the first step is always to prepare the data, polishing up my “Actual Itinerary” spreadsheet and getting the place names in English, and Nepali where possible, plus their altitude, to use for in descriptions and for tagging (I do love spreadsheets, remember). I then copy into a temporary tab where I add in some HTML columns, then copy and paste into my Photos & Notes blogpost as a basic draft.

You won’t see any new photos in my Flickr album yet though – my prep resulted in me falling headfirst in to the Open Street Map rabbit hole. The detail they have on their maps is extraordinary:

View Larger Map

So, as well as using the maps to finalise the place names (although I do have to rely more on Wikipedia and Google maps to get Nepali names)…

Nepal 2019 Trek Prep spreadsheet - Actual Itinerary tab (Screenshot)
Nepal 2019 Trek Prep spreadsheet – Actual Itinerary tab (Screenshot)

… I added a new tab into my trip spreadsheet to capture the longitude/latitude of (almost) all of the places we stopped at and many of those we passed through, and I’m going to have a go at creating a map in Excel following the instructions in this 4m video. I’ll use them to map my photos in Flickr too.

Nepal 2019 Trek Prep spreadsheet - Actual Itinerary - Map Data tab (Screenshot)
Nepal 2019 Trek Prep spreadsheet – Actual Itinerary – Map Data tab (Screenshot)

In the background, I had the BBC Radio 3 Sound Walk from Capel y Finn to Hay on Wye playing. Lovely, and  long – over 4 hours.

In the non-photo world:

COVID-19 and Sunday’s announcement on the first steps in lifting lockdown? I’m not convinced. I’m looking ahead week to week, and wondering how an office environment will function if we have to keep 2 m apart. The offices I work in, when I’m there, are on floors 7-24 of an office block. Given that people who work on the 1st floor usually take the lift to get there, rather than the stairs, how on earth the building managers will manage 2m spacing in the lifts while getting hundreds of people up to all 24 floors, I don’t know. Not that I’m planning to go into the office, and I suspect lots of others will feel the same. As for the bigger picture, the global economy, I’m not going there; I can’t influence it. I do wonder what the government will look like over the coming years. And then I shrug.

We “splashed out” on our first subscription telly service – to Now TV – and are watching Westworld. Sci Fi. VERY gory at times. The warnings make me laugh – bad language, sex but hardly ever mention the violence. Just because the violence is directed at extremely lifelike androids doesn’t make it feel any less violent to me, and it’s also extremely ironic given one of the main themes of the show – when do androids achieve consciousness? Or perhaps the US have a higher tolerance of violence? I suspect so.

Hmm, that’s a bit of a double glum tone to end on when all is well. It’s sunny and the breeze is gentle, so Phil and I are going to walk down to the Abbey. Here are the photos from week 19.