Herefordshire Week 027: Tuesday 30 June – Monday 06 July 2020

Ewyas Harold Shop. Asda Shop. Tesco Shop.

Nepal 2019 photobooks created and ordered.

Chainsaw lesson No. 1. Gardening.

And a good walk, in good company, up the Cats Back and along Hatterall Ridge to Hay Bluff.

Panorama, looking north from Hay Bluff
Panorama, looking north from Hay Bluff

Tuesday morning had been designated Big Shop day, but we had enough supplies to keep us going until Friday, so Phil and I walked over to Ewyas Harold to top up at the Shop (the world’s most expensive bananas, bread flour, eggs) and Mailes’ (quiche, milk). On the approach to the till, a doughnut fell into my bag too. There are two varieties on offer – St Mary’s and A. N. Other (Hay? Peterchurch?). Should have bought one of each! Next time.

The big shop was on Friday morning, making use of Asda’s Click & Collect. Frustratingly several “not availables” surfaced during the week, so, spotting Tesco’s was also now open from 7am, I went there en route to do the fruit and veg shopping, and to get the items Asda didn’t have. Not a fan of Tesco’s fruit and veg offering – limited and expensive. No queues to get in at either supermarket, once the initial early birds were allowed in.

Anyway, All Done for another month.

Oh, and Tuesday’s other highlight was getting notification emails for two of my many February flood / March onwards COVID-19 train ticket refunds. And spotting a third had already hit my bank balance without mention. That leaves five to go…

Made it to VWW on Wednesday and Family Zoom with dad and Jean on Thursday.

The rest of Friday was dedicated to creating the Nepal 2019 photobook in Blurb. I was spurred into action by their offer of 30% off plus free shipping, which is about as cheap as they get, and the offer ended Monday.

In the absence of one of Charles’ schematic maps, I had been planning to create a map with Excel’s 3D Map tool but I gave up on that. It seems more designed for displaying sales/quantities-tied-to-place data rather than trekking routes.

So, given I had all the data nicely organised in excel, I created an elevation graph instead. Yes, I LOVE SPREADSHEETS!

Mera Peak - Amphu Lapsta Pass - Island Peak: Elevation graph
Mera Peak – Amphu Lapsta Pass – Island Peak: Elevation graph

Ordered five photobooks with delivery to their respective recipients. Another “job” ticked off the To Do List.

Dad and Jean came over on Saturday morning, and I had my first lesson on the chain saw. Dad cut branches off the hazelnut tree that’s developed more of a lean since the branches on the other side were removed by Western Power, and also a couple of branches from the wild plum that were shading the red hazelnut bush. I had my lesson cutting up the plum branches. Chainsawed chunks are now drying out in the log shed, and the remnants dragged to the quarry for bonfiring, which will have to wait until it’s less windy. Hopefully next weekend as the pile is growing.

A greenfingered Kerrys Gater has put out a table of surplus aubergine, courgette, pepper, tomato and lavender plants, with a donations jar. I walked up on Saturday morning to get 1 x courgette to for me and 1 x pepper for Jean, and added a lavender on impulse. And then I walked back again as far as Hill Farm to collect horse manure 🙂

A gorgeous evening.

Golden Ale on a Golden Evening in the Golden Valley
Golden Ale on a Golden Evening in the Golden Valley

Spent the whole of Sunday gardening – mowed, strimmed, lopped and snipped. Very satisfying.

On Monday, with lockdown in Wales lifted, Steffi and Carmen made an early start from West Wales to cross the border for a day on the English side of the Brecon Beacons.

We headed over to Longtown, in the valley at the foot of Hatterall Ridge and climbed up via The Cats Back, continuing on to Hay Bluff before heading back via the Olchon Valley. Wonderful views and So Many Greens!

On The Cat's Back, looking back towards Longtown
On The Cat’s Back, looking back towards Longtown
Hay Bluff Trig Point
Hay Bluff Trig Point
Olchon Valley and Hatterall Ridge
Olchon Valley and Hatterall Ridge

We ended up walking 17 miles – a bit more than planned. We were all very grateful for Phil’s flapjack (plus a pot and a half of tea) when we got back, followed by butternut squash curry. Just right.

Photos from Herefordshire week 27. Monday’s walk has now materialised….