Herefordshire Week 020: Tuesday 12 – Monday 18 May 2020

Three good walks this week. I’m failing miserably to manage my morning walks, but at least when I do go out I am taking longer walks. And it is beautiful.


Tuesday morning, Phil and I strolled down to the Abbey and I decided to continue on over EH Common to see what Ewyas Harold Village Shop’s fresh bread offering looked like. Returned with a large granary loaf, TWO big bags of flour (white bread flour for Friday Night Pizza, and self raising) plus a pork and plum pork pie from Mailes Butchers. I’ll be back! Not least of all because they stock milk in 4pt bottles….

Feeling cheery, I took a new route back over the Common, turning off the road up to the Common just after Down House. VG.

First new footpath from Ewyas Harold
First new footpath from Ewyas Harold

On one of my periodic strolls around the grounds, in between mows, I spotted that we have yellow flags flowering in the small pond. Beautiful.

Yellow flags flowering in the small pond
Yellow flags flowering in the small pond

And I found a label on the box my birthday herbs came in, telling me what they are! And in other herb bed-related news, Phil made a really nice asparagus and broad bean pilau on Thursday night, with mint and thyme from the herb bed.  Two tweaks – we didn’t do the herb butter – it was MORE than buttery enough!! – just stirred them in at the end, and we used frozen beans.


Friday was busy and productive, with a trio of phone calls in the morning as I was planting out some of the dwarf green beans purchased from Sainsbury’s, and covered them in an assortment of plastic bags, as instructed by the packet.

I also transplanted the sunflowers and pumpkins into bigger pots made out of 4pt milk bottles / spare flower pots, and potted up the largest lettuce seedling to see how that goes…

Seedlings snapshot
Seedlings snapshot

… turned out fine, so on Monday I repotted some of the larger lettuce seedlings into a variety of pots.

Did a spot of reading, cleaned and stored the daffodil bulbs dug up when we’d installed the compost bin, and wrote Tom’s birthday card, which resulted in a lovely impromptu late afternoon walk: Canns Hill – Abbey Dore – Riverdale – Kerrys Gate. Started off as a stroll on the footpath from Canns Hill to Cherry Burton to our nearest postbox, and ended up as a magical hour and a half out on the local footpaths and country lanes. Peterchurch’s wonky spire, buzzards and the perennially intriguing Cockyard Tump all featured.

Dore Abbey, Abbey Dore
Dore Abbey, Abbey Dore
Buzzard, Riverdale footpath
Buzzard, Riverdale footpath
Cockyard Tump, from Kerrys Gate
Cockyard Tump, from Kerrys Gate

Frustrated by the fact that I can’t show the footpath sections on Google Maps, I edited the screenshot in Flickr to add them on.

Map of my late afternoon walk: Canns Hill - Abbey Dore - Riverdale - Kerrys Gate
Map of my late afternoon walk: Canns Hill – Abbey Dore – Riverdale – Kerrys Gate

Another irritation is the map pin labels – we are 12 miles from Hereford.


On Saturday, Phil and I did the Bacton square, picking some more wild garlic leaves en route, and on Monday I did another great late afternoon walk – Cockyard in reverse. I’d spent most of the day pottering in the garden, snipping away at new growth bramble and ivy. All very satisfying!

The hedgerow colours have shifted spectrum to whites [1, 2, 3, 4]and pinks [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] – there are even rogue sweet peas flowering down in Abbey Dore, and peonies at Black Bush. The blossom on the horse chestnut trees and apple trees is a white-and-pink combo. The frothy cow parsley that lines the lanes is a favourite.

Cow parsley lines the lanes
Cow parsley lines the lanes

Sunday early evening, I made a start on flickring photos from my 2019 Nepal trek. We are done with Dubai and are in Kathmandu.

Dancing Fountains, The Dubai Mall
Dancing Fountains, The Dubai Mall

Not sure there’ll be any trips this year…. we’d have been in Italy in a fortnight’s time, and I can’t see England’s failure to contain COVID-19 meaning Spain will want to us as tourists later this year. Half hoping there might be a chance of getting to Nepal in the early winter, but that’s doubtful – and I’m not sure I’ll want to spend N hours in the recycled air of an aeroplane before trekking somewhere remote for X weeks.

In related travel news, I got an acknowledgement of my BA refund request, and my train ticket refunds are very, very slowly materialising. I’d have been in Wasdale this weekend for the LED fundraising weekend, and the coming bank holiday weekend was due to be the St Andrews Celebration. Oh well.

There are worse places to be.

Here are the photos from week 20.


Oh yeah.. we had our first bird-meets-window casualty this week. Phil disposed…

And the scampering mice are back in the roof.

The joys of the countryside!