Herefordshire Week 033: Tuesday 11 – Monday 17 August 2020

“Staying” continued. Horrible humidity followed by torrential rain. APPLES!

Apple washing, drying, and stewing (panorama)
Apple washing, drying, and stewing (panorama)

Over the course of the week we both started telling folks that we’re staying and embarked on the admin associated with relocation, redecoration and rental of our London flat. I also lined  up an energy efficiency/insulation survey for here.

It makes it seem more real somehow.

Phil wrote a lovely piece about it in his weeknotes.

Moving on to more mundane matters, most of the week was horribly humid. Just too hot – I was literally melting every afternoon until the weather broke on Wednesday evening. It’s been monsoon-like since then. Sporadic torrential rain, accompanied by thunder and sheet lightning. Saves me watering the garden at least. It feels like we’ve gone from watering the lettuces etc morning / evening to letting nature soak them for hours on end, almost overnight.

AT LAST! 8 seconds of rain (video)

Thursday sported two highlights: my first chillies have sprouted, and we had the KM Summer Party via Zoom.

My first chillies!
My first chillies!

With the rain helpfully holding off for most of Friday, I drove down to Mere to spend the afternoon with Rachel and Carl, where we indulged in some totally terrible daytime TV. Navigating there and back was fine, except for the first/last 10 miles. Must do better next time.

Back at base, Phil took delivery of our apple storage rack flat pack.

Took things easy on Saturday, with a walk in the morning and reading / snoozing in the afternoon. Reserved some books to collect from Hereford Library, prompted by finishing the last of the three Flavia Albia novels I’d bought. Dad and Jean came for dinner in the evening.

On Sunday Phil and I assembled the apple rack and set it up in the utility room (aka the downstairs loo – it’s a relatively spacious room!).

From flat pack….

From flat pack to apple rack: the flat pack
From flat pack to apple rack: the flat pack

… to apple rack:

From flat pack to apple rack: All assembled!
From flat pack to apple rack: the apple rack

In the afternoon I cut back the evergreen bush and the lilac between the patio and the small pond. I hope I’ve not been too brutal…. It was very satisfying, and the rain held off (unlike Saturday).

"Pruning" in progress
“Pruning” in progress

Monday was APPLE DAY! Picking, washing, drying, racking apples from four of Forty Acres many apple trees: Discovery in the Orchard, Discovery down by the train (small pond end), Laxton’s Superb (by train, large pond end) and Bramley on the lower path.

Apples: Discovery (left), Laxton's Superb (right)
Apples: Discovery (left), Laxton’s Superb (right)

Most were stored. The manky ones and windfalls were chopped and frozen or stewed-then-frozen. Good job we have a second freezer….

In the meantime, the birds are still busy on the bird feeders, and Phil and I periodically chase off the greedy male pheasant and pesky squirrels.

Birds busy on the bird feeders
Birds busy on the bird feeders

Telly: Polished off Perry Mason (good) and started The New Pope (meh, even with John Malkovich).

Podcasts: You Must Remember This: Polly Platt and lots of History Extra.

Photos from Herefordshire week 33.