Herefordshire Week 039: Tuesday 22 – Monday 28 September 2020

A lovely late September sunny spell.

Greenhouse prep, and unpacking.

Our BJH belongings all arrived safe and sound this week and we are now once again surrounded by boxes, cleaning inches of Barbican dust off everything and channelling Marie Kondo

Montage: Removals (Part 1)
Montage: Removals (Part 1)

Dad and Jean came round Tuesday morning to cut down the 1979 Bramley Apple tree in the Orchard. Its trunk is showing signs of damage, and many of the branches are dead. Plus it was easy to rock to and fro, suggesting that the roots had rotted.

So, opportune to cut it down before it blows down, and it frees up the perfect spot for the greenhouse that dad and Jean are getting for me as a birthday / staying present.

Dad takes a breather
Dad takes a breather

One of those “getting things done” mornings that I love.

Meanwhile, back in EC2Y, Total Removals were hard at work packing all our stuff and loading up their vans ready to drive over here “tomorrow”, ie Wednesday.

Work in the afternoon.

Moved the double bed downstairs ready for pick up, and the cane sofa into the conservatory, making more room for boxes and furniture….

In the parallel COVID-19 world, the new Welsh rules appeared to put the kibosh on our Pembrokeshire weekend, but we decided to wait and see how they’re actually applied.

Wednesday was Removals Arrive Day. The day dawned damp, and then the rain arrived….

But by early afternoon the skies had cleared and by the time Total Removals Luton vans drew up on the drive, all was dry again.

With Phil and me helping, unloading our remaining BJH belongings was all done in a few hours.

A skeptical skinflint, I am a total convert to paying the extra for packing as well as removals. Everything arrived beautifully wrapped in two sizes of professional packing boxes – books in the smaller, everything else in the larger, and clothes in two larger ones taped together with a hanging rail. Far less crammed into each of the bigger boxes than I would have done made them easy to handle, and I guess reduces the risk of breakages. And consider Total Removals as highly recommended.

Removals (Part 1) - tick!
Removals (Part 1) – tick!

As Neil and his mate headed off to a well earned dinner at The Kilpeck Inn, I cleaned and Phil sorted out the TV room and by 8pm we were collapsed on the sofa with dinner, having celebrated the safe arrival of all our stuff with beer and crisps.

Whilst we are pretty much going to be able to recreate our Barbican lounge, for now the bookshelves are still stacked in the component uprights and shelves. The uprights are – literally – 1cm too tall to fit, which we knew but I was secretly hoping we might be able to bodge. But no. Luckily the Shelfstore website has a video showing how to adjust the height of an upright. Phil’s going to tackle that job.

Work on Thursday brought a temporary return to normality. Except my Zoom backdrop is now occupied by archive boxes.

We got stuck in to unpacking and sorting stuff on Friday.

But first I managed to fit in a bonfire to clear the three piles of hedge clippings, and handily the Hospice wanted to come a day early to pick up the cottage sideboard and gramophone. A bit more emotional than expected when Phil found a note from my mum in the gramophone encouraging guests to play the records….

Goodbye Gramophone
Goodbye Gramophone

And the couple who wanted the main bedroom divan came to collect that too.

We tackled the “kitchen” boxes first and worked through a myriad of deduplications, and set up the sideboard in the lounge and the dining table in the entrance hall in the afternoon.

The Evolve Home Energy consultant came in the afternoon. A bit of an anticlimax as he was focused on insulation – the cavity walls in the extension (already there) and loft (add another 200mm). We were hoping for something more comprehensive. Back to the drawing board.

Saturday we tackled the spare bedroom in advance of Hazel’s overnight stay on Thursday. Continued to have a very good clear out, channelling Marie Kondo …well, trying to. Having fun too.

UH - OH!
UH – OH!

Also, lots of washing – bedding  and other stuff that’ll go to the Hospice or friends.

Before we got stuck in, I caught up with Terry who’s going to start the BJH redecoration early October, and Phil and I moved the trundle / stowaway single beds out onto the drive ready for pick up.


  • More washing.
  • Repacked the stuff to go to the Hospice Donation Centre into the smaller “book” boxes on the basis they’ll fit better in the car and be easier to handle.
  • Finished sorting the spare bedroom. Sort of.
  • Got rid of the trundle / storabeds. That’s the last of the furniture. We’ve managed to find new homes for all the furniture the Hospice can’t take (older beds, mattresses) via Freegle.

Celebrated three days of progress and a surprise late September sunny weekend with an afternoon stroll to Kerrys Gate – Bacton – Abbey Dore, picking blackberries along the hedges near home. Not found time to bottle them as Blackberry Gin. Next year.

We took a break from unpacking on Monday, driving over to Dinedor to see dad and Jean in the morning for admin, and returning via a guided tour of the Bungalow Building Site, General Dogsbody for bird seed, B&Q, Aldi / Sainsbury’s and Allensmore where we topped up the two petrol cans in anticipation of an end of September mow.

We also sorted out trains and van hire for our October visit to Walton where we’re planning to DIY on the removals front, and hopefully get rid of triplicate items locally….

Summoned the energy to sort out the stuff assigned to the utility room, and tackled some of the “final 20%” in the rooms we’d “done” already.

Weary. Didn’t sleep well.

TV: More Prodigal Son (silly, but OK), plus The Tunnel, season 2 (much better).