Herefordshire Week 042: Tuesday 13 – Monday 19 October 2020

Blackberry gin, more boxes and a bonfire.

(I’m using my 2012 iPad to publish this week’s post, so you’ll have to wait a few days for the photos and links to materialise) <– Now done!

Felt a bit down on Tuesday morning – too much to do and all unpacking / flat renting related.

Never helps when it’s a sunny day and it felt like it’s been forever since I got out for a long walk and off the roads. So I took the morning off and went for a walk along the lanes to Cockyard and back. Beautiful morning, and felt a bit better by the time I got back, and even more so after ticking off a few jobs – including “making” blackberry gin stage 1: 300g blackberries, 100g caster sugar and 500ml gin. Stage 2 onwards is: Shake daily until the sugar has dissolved. Leave for 1 month In total. Strain / decant and drink! I think we can manage that….

Forty Acres Blackberry Gin: Stage 1
Forty Acres Blackberry Gin: Stage 1

A longer working week this week as I was running two half day team meetings over Zoom on Thursday and Friday. They went really well, but I was shattered by the end of Friday afternoon. That said, I did manage to stay for 2 hours at the Zoom social later that evening, and I’d only meant to stay an hour!

Glad I’ve got next week off, even if it is for more flat moving.

Thursday’s post brought an unexpected delivery – a belated Birthday parcel from Emma, with a whole host of lovely treats.

On Saturday we did the final bits of sorting out in the lounge, and went through the To Do Lists for WON, BJH and here. But most of the day was spent sorting out the boxes that have been taking up most of the room in my “office”, unearthing old photo albums from leaving school to turning 30. Some gems in there…. Three boxes-worth are now taking up a shelf in the TV room.

As well as photos, the boxes also held cards from key birthdays and other events, and postcards from dad and Jean’s holiday travels. Plus the souvenir pen “stolen” from the Lil Al’e Inn on the Extraterrestrial Hwy, Nevada.

"Stolen from ... Little A'le Inn" Pen - World Tour, US leg 1997
“Stolen from … Little A’le Inn” Pen – World Tour, US leg

I still have a couple of boxes of old papers to go through and to shred (it was so much easier when I could dump it all in the confidential recycling bins at work) and mouse proof plastic boxes of memories to go in the roof, once it’s had the insulation topped up and been boarded out.

We both celebrated getting through a bit more unpacking with Phil’s Pizza, the tail end of a bottle of red wine, and a film.

We decided to take the day off on Sunday, and this week’s Bacton Square was even more sociable than last week’s. We met lots of people we’d seen before, but had longer chats, which meant we found out more about the cider apple orchards and where the apples go, and how, and Ryeland sheep. We also fixed up an evening to catch up with the couple down the road.

Ryeland sheep
Ryeland sheep

When I mentioned the sheep to dad he told me that the Cistercian monks at Dore Abbey sent their wool via the Cistercian’s Monastery network all the way to Florence to be sold, where it was highly sought after because the wool is so fine. One of the ladies at Tan House a Farm had also mentioned that there’s an old document in France that recommends shearing sheep the Dore way.

After a late lunch spent the afternoon bonfiring branches that the power people had chopped down to keep the overhead cables clear. Very satisfying. Still loads left…. we may get the wood chipper chomper out….

In between leaf flare ups I dug a bag load of shredded paper and some cardboard into the grass cutting heap at Mower Turn and picked apples from Egremont and its neighbour before arming myself with the step ladder, and Phil plus bucket, to pick some of the ripe apples on the upper branches of the tree over the herb bed in the orchard. We should have armed ourselves with hard hats as I got bonked on the head when one apple gave in to gravity, and Phil’s had to dodge lots more fallers. Lesson learned, we only put the picked apples, and not the fallers, into the apple rack.

Thankfully the new COVID tier regime hadn’t ended up putting the kybosh on our plan to travel to Walton to clear the flat there, even though Brum, London and Essex are subject to tighter lockdown than Herefordshire.

We spent most of Monday on various trains making our way to Walton via Birmingham, Euston and the Barbican where we popped in to check on how things were going with the BJH redecoration: it’s looking great. We saw the lettings agent too, and got that ball rolling …. and we even had time for coffee and cake sat outside Fix before heading over to Liverpool St.

Now we just have to hope that COVID doesn’t kill the City lettings market completely. I keep telling myself: normal people who rent in London move from time to time and they might fancy renting in the Barbican. It’s not only people who work in the City who want to live there. We’ll see.

Ben Jonson House Redecoration: Final pics from Terry
Ben Jonson House Redecoration: Final pics from Terry

A windy evening in Walton. Having prepared our plan of attack for Tuesday’s packing, Facebooking and hut relocating tasks, we settled in with books, beer and crisps.

Photos: Herefordshire week 42 on Flickr.

Phil: Weeknotes for w/e 2020-10-18