Herefordshire Week 022: Tuesday 26 May – Monday 01 June 2020

“Cor, what a scorcher!”

Another week of August weather. Too nice to sit at a computer working through photos from our final week in Nepal last November, so no week 22 photos yet.

Normal service will be resumed once the temperatures drop. And once I’ve done Nepal!


Tuesday morning, after we’d nipped out to Locks Garage for a fruit etc top up (and tomato plants) to tide us over until I did a bigger supermarket shop on Saturday evening, I took the strimmer out for a long overdue spin on the solarium. Very satisfying.

Solarium strimmed by a beginner strimmer
Solarium strimmed by a beginner strimmer

My working “week” is hectic. We’re seeing a lot more demand for KM support from the practice groups that don’t have a dedicated KM lawyer in place, and in those that do. It’s good to have evening commitments in place, to force me to stop. There will always be more to do at work.

As well as VWW and Family Zoom on Weds and Thurs, on Friday evening I sat on the patio with a beer and crisps catching up with a couple of London friends before Pizza à la Phil. This week, with spinach and jalapeños – TASTY!

Pizza à la Phil
Pizza à la Phil

It is GORGEOUS here at the moment, and despite the hot, dry weather, the grass is looking lush – and in need of a mow…. and gardening generally kept me busy on Friday and Saturday, and for some of Sunday. Not a chore – although Friday was a bit patchy in terms of focus and achievement (see below). I did spend a very satisfying Saturday, taking the big mower up to the solarium to pick up the grass cuttings, taking the Honda mower around the “edges” in the orchard, and pruning the wild plum at the bottom of the garden. Pottering around I noticed how much fruit is coming on the trees – apples, cherries and hazelnuts.

Apples
Apples

I am really enjoying growing things. My lettuces, sunflowers and pumpkins are already looking bigger! On Sunday, I planted the larger lettuces out in the herb bed, and on Monday, we had the first organic home grown lettuce with dinner.

Some salad seedlings, and the tomato plants
Some salad seedlings, and the tomato plants
With added lettuce
With added lettuce

Saturday morning started with great excitement, with a trio of early morning visitors…  three deer, down by the log shed. They then headed over the train tracks and reappeared down by the sweet pea. Pretty sure they use the “path” under the Yew tree to get to the road and up the other side. VERY exciting.

Deer
Deer

We also got back into our bird obsession, watching gangs of blue tits darting hither and thither, checking under leaves for bugs and seeds, with two wood peckers dominating the bird feeder devouring the peanuts (which hopefully means they’re not devouring chicks), their left overs providing nibbles for nut hatches below, as chaffinches, greenfinches and coal tits sunbathe near by. And on Monday afternoon, sat on the “love seat” by the big pond, I watched a chaffinch having a bathe / drink on a lily pad! Magical.

Blue tit in the hazelnut tree
Blue tit in the hazelnut tree

Sunday and Monday we had our first foray into making ice cream in the Le Glacier, following the “egg yolk custard” recipe. Leaving the yolks chilling in the fridge together with jersey milk, whipping cream, sugar and Lindt 85% dark chocolate, destined to become the ice cream machine’s christening batch, I – literally (ha ha) – whipped up my first ever batch of meringues, to use up the egg whites.

My first meringues
My first meringues

We did manage to relax a little in between all this activity. Breakfasting on the patio, reading in the shade, down by the big pond. I made good progress through the third Hilary Mantel / Thomas Cromwell hardback I got for my birthday.

Breakfast
Breakfast

We also got out for a stroll to Bacton on Sunday, and I did some longer walks – the Army Crossroads & Cockyard loop, and yesterday I ventured all the way to Vowchurch for the first time, returning via Gwatkins and Riverdale.

Vowchurch, and Hay Buff beyond
Vowchurch, and Hay Buff beyond

In non photo news, the big shop on Saturday evening went fine. I had hoped that Aldi and Sainsbury’s would be relatively quiet – especially if folks were making the most of the gorgeous weather to have a weekend BBQ. No one wearing a mask, and not as quiet as I would have liked, but not too bad. And I found bread flour on the shelves for the first time.

Telly: Having watched BBC Four’s Storyville series OJ: Made in America last week, it was good to change gear to The Crown season 3. Nice to have a theme tune that doesn’t go all Game of Thrones. Looking at you, Westworld.

I’m finding it difficult to shut down at the end of my working days, both mentally as well as laptop-wise, and I find it takes all of Friday not at work to feel less frazzled and to stop trying to do a million and one things a minute. This week was particularly difficult as I consciously and subconsciously fumed about Dominic Cummings’ and Boris Johnson’s absolute distain for all the difficult decisions and sacrifices everyone else has been making, and continue to make. I heard from a friend this week that her mother had died of COVID-19. My friend hadn’t been able to be there, and isn’t sure how best to travel – it would need to be by train – to be with her dad. Or even if she should.

I am still so angry about the behaviour of these two men.


Let’s close with a late afternoon shot of Skirrid, to calm me back down.

Skirrid
Skirrid

We should have been in Italy this week, for our friends’ wedding. But there are worse places to be…..


Update 14 June 2020

Here are the photos from week 22.