Herefordshire Week 052: Tuesday 22 – Monday 28 December 2020

Christmas week at Forty Acres.

Montage: Christmas Day at Forty Acres - Presents
Montage: Christmas Day at Forty Acres – Presents

MOT, Return to Tier 2 and Snowdrops.

And – eventually, on Christmas Eve – UK and EU agree Brexit trade deal.


Spent more time than I wanted to getting the car MOTed, which took out large chunks of Monday (21st) and Tuesday, plus a return for the retest on Wednesday. Next time we’ll go local.

At least on Tuesday Phil came with me and we walked along the Hereford Greenway from Rotherwas into the City centre. It was lovely discovering older parts of Hereford, particularly the Victorian Villas of Bartonsham and Castle Green. It felt like a different city!

Tuesday’s day out in Hereford was bookended by Birthday Zooms with Hazel and friends – coffee in the morning, wine and crisps in the evening.


We woke to fog on Wednesday, then rain. Lots of rain. Reorganised my office in the afternoon – partly to be closer to the radiator 🙂

Work Desk & Play Desk
Work Desk & Play Desk

When I came to take some pics, I discovered to my dismay that my trusty 10 year old Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V had broken. When you turn it on, a vertical crack and green line appears on the display screen 🙁  I don’t know how that happened – it’s survived countless tumbles and hard use on all my treks since the Three High Passes to Everest, when I dropped it on the muddy stony trail from Trakshindo. I bought a replacement later in the week – Sony Cybershot HX90V, which is the most recent successor model that has GPS (not many cameras offer that these days), plus 4 new batteries.

And Wednesday also brought the announcement that we’re back into Tier 2 from 00.01am on Saturday 26 December aka Boxing Day. Thanks “BoJo” for the ongoing shit show.


While Phil and I had been out on Tuesday, dad and Jean had come to inspect the greenhouse, and for a stroll – during which they spotted the first snowdrops, down by the willow tree trunk and beyond the “rose garden”. Christmas Eve sunshine brought out lots more shoots from bulbs by the bird feeders.

First Snowdrops, Christmas Eve
First Snowdrops, Christmas Eve

I now have reading glasses. Sigh.


Christmas day at 40A started with coffee and croissants, then a lovely walk round via Cockyard, complete with icy stretches on the way to Kerrys Gate, then presents which turned out to contain lots of tasty treats. So we opted for cheese and biscuits for lunch, with our Festive Feast coming in a little after 6pm.

Christmas Dinner
Christmas Dinner

Our menu comprised: Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Nut Roast, roast potatoes, roast parsnips and carrots, sprouts, stuffing, pigs in blankets (40), and gravy.

There are plenty of leftovers and we didn’t have any room for Christmas pud, although we did manage some choc truffles. And cheese. Both quite a bit later in the evening.


In the week’s weather watch, Storm Bella on Saturday night managed to remove two of the big panes of glass from the greenhouse, thankfully leaving them unscathed. Not sure how we’ll get them back in – but if they came out with wind power, there has to be a way!

And on Monday mid-morning: SNOW!


My oldest friend died in the early hours of Sunday morning. She just made her 51st birthday and had been peacefully unconscious at home for the past week.

It was a beautiful sunny day so Phil and I went out for a walk up along Tremorithic Road in the morning and had a quiet afternoon. In the evening we raised a glass to family and friends and happy memories with Dad and Jean and Tom, Jo, Barney and Rosa.


Telly: We watched the final episode of We Are Who We Are which I didn’t find at all satisfying. I have enjoyed the Blood Orange series soundtrack though. Leaving Italy we returned to London and the world of Investment Banking in the City, which provided better viewing – Industry came with high production values drama plus a little bit escapist, even if they don’t seem entirely sure if Pierpoint & Co are based in The City or The Wharf. The offices to the east of Liverpool Street Station certainly seem a popular location though – they’ve featured in one of the recent Bond films too.

And because it’s Christmas week there were a few Christmas Specials – Ghosts: The Ghost of Christmas, Upstart Crow: Lockdown Christmas 1603, Worzel Gummidge: Saucy NancyVictoria Wood: The Christmas List, Being Bridget Jones, plus The Personal History of David Copperfield.

Podcasts: The usual.


Photos: Herefordshire week 52 on Flickr.

Phil: Weeknotes for w/e 2020-12-27.