Herefordshire Week 028: Tuesday 07 – Monday 13 July 2020

Microwave marmalade. Potting up and pottering around. Bonfiring.

Holiday plans come to the fore.

A nice long walk on Tuesday morning before my working week began (2pm Tues, Weds & Thurs all day): Abbey Dore – Rive Dore footpath to Riverdale – Bacton – up to Tremorithic Road – along to Ewyas Harold Common – footpath down to Dore Abbey – footpath to Abbey Dore Court – Home.

Friday was busy doing lots of small jobs – emailing various friends, sorting out a card and present for my nephew, recreating our “vintage” sunflower placemats for Carmen, watching (tracking via email notifications) UPS delivering my Nepal 2019 photobook to everyone else before the Gloucester depot got mine to me!

In the orchard, picked the first of our morello cherries:

Morello cherries
Morello cherries

I like tangy, tart fruit, so these are in the fruit bowl. Disappearing rapidly.

The highlight of the morning was making grapefruit marmalade in the microwave.

Mary's Microwave Grapefruit Marmalade
Mary’s Microwave Grapefruit Marmalade

However, that highlight was outshone by my afternoon engagement, heading up to Kerrys Gate for a glass or two of Prosecco with some of the local ladies. Delighted to be invited; less delighted that I was driving to dad and Jean’s fish & chips for tea, which put paid to my partaking of the Prosecco!!

A lovely evening with dad and Jean, and bathed in the soft sunlight of early evening, Ewyas Harold was busy with both pubs open and doing a good socially distanced trade, as was The Old Stables. Drove back via a near deserted Aldi and Sainsbury’s – scored bread flour and assorted other essentials.

What wasn’t such a welcome event on Friday – I told you it was a busy day – is that EasyJet cancelled our flight out to Bilbao – Grrr. So lunchtime was spent frantically emailing between the group to work out what to do before all the alternatives – The Alternative being BA – sold out of seats. Very grateful to Steffi for handling all that. Duly blogged: El Anillo de Picos: Travel Update.

Saturday morning, on the computer, I realised that a rat-a-tat-tat coming from close by, outside around the roof somewhere, was small birds enjoying energetic baths in the guttering.

I was on the computer booking train tickets to/from London for August/September. Weird to be doing that again.

A lovely sunny day, so I didn’t linger indoors

The “sheep field” opposite got mown. Thistly Field remains empty.

Phil and I also decided to take the last week of July “off” as holiday. Possibly in Walton on the Naze. We’ll see.

Sunday was a scorcher, so having helped Phil mastic the edges of the rendered wall overlooking the hazelnut tree, we did the Bacton walk and then sat out on the patio for lunch.

Blackberry flowers, Bacton
Blackberry flowers, Bacton

Snoozed / read / pottered about potting up plants in the afternoon. Lovely. It felt like a proper holiday, relaxing. We agreed we needed to do that more.

The squirrels started feasting on the hazelnuts that morning, littering the ground with half eaten shells as dad had predicted. And the nuts aren’t even remotely ripe….


Neither are the apples. I tried one off the small tree in the orchard to check.

Ants reemerged and were duly Doffed.

Bonfired Monday morning – perfect timing as it started chucking it down at lunchtime, which sorted the embers out.

In the afternoon, we had our first conservatory casualty for a while 🙁

Reading pace has picked up to pre-Mantel levels. Raced through the first two of Lindsey Davis’ Flavia Albia series. Back in 1st Century AD Rome, solving crimes in the company of Falco and Helena’s adopted daughter. Excellent.

Telly: Babylon Berlin series 3 and Enlightened series 1 and most of series 2.

Podcasts: The Essay whilst bonfiring. History Extra – I particularly enjoyed their interview with Dr Emily Ward about Cnut and William the Conquerer and the 50 years between their two contrasting invasions. Some older material from The National Archives – you can tell podcasting has become A Thing since these talks were recorded.

Photos from Herefordshire week 28. Not many this week.