Herefordshire Week 055: Tuesday 12 – Monday 18 January 2021

More snowdrops! A buzzard in the Ash tree.

A visit from the local hedge cutter tractor, and Sooty’s Chimney Sweep Services.

Camera quest conclusion.

Ticked off lots of admin on Tuesday morning and still had time for a damp drizzly walk around the Cockyard loop. Helicopters busy overhead. They’ve been absent for a while.

Then work. January always gets busy as people want to follow up on all the brainwaves they had over Christmas, work-related New Year Resolutions and the objectives agreed in end of year reviews.

We had a Winter Wellbeing seminar in the week which I joined. It was given be a psychologist who’d originally trained as a doctor. She sees a lot of patients with depression and the session blended recent findings on how people are responding to COVID as well as things like SAD and depression.

Her top tip was to get out for a half hour walk in the daylight in the first 90 mins after you get up. Daylight = emotional boost, provides Vit D and going outside first thing sets your circadian rythyms for the day so you sleep better. The walking is good for you physically and emotionally too.

So, I am going to try to do that.

She also said looking or being outside in green space was good for you too. Even having a picture of the outdoors or a pot plant in your home / office has been proven to help.

Seeing a buzzard land on the ash tree I can see from my office window provided a happy distraction on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. It sat there for a while both days. It may have been eying up the small birds at the bird feeders… or maybe just their feed.

We have a lot of buzzards around here. There’s often one that lofts up from the trees on the slope when I go to the Quarry, and there have been quite a few mornings when I’ve seen one down on the grass by the small pond, presumably looking for insects, worms etc – mice too probably!  In the summer, they circle overhead enjoying the thermals. Lovely.

A series of sociable evenings courtesy of Zoom on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, for KMCA New Year drinks, VWW and Dad and Jean respectively. And Monday evening brought another lovely Zoom catch up.

VWW starts in 15 mins....
VWW starts in 15 mins….

We had our log stove chimney swept on Friday morning. Not something we ever needed in the Barbican!

A nice clean log stove and chimney
A nice clean log stove and chimney

Nipped into Hereford to click & collect a fresh batch of books from the library….

Next batch of books
Next batch of books

….  and somehow returned home with a haul of bargains from M&S Food too. How did that happen? No marmalade oranges for love nor money. I do hope they reach Herefordshire soon. I’ve only 1 jar left from last year.

Saturday = Admin a.m. and Bacton Backwards in the afternoon followed by stripping the leaves from the dried oregano I’d picked in my herb bed, chucked out some rotten apples (lesson for this year’s apples = don’t bother with the windfalls. Yes, as my dad had told me….), made tiffin and then dinner. I don’t make dinner often. I am a very lucky lady.

Delighted to read that a Nepalese team makes first successful winter ascent of K2.

Made the most of Sunday’s early morning sun by walking the Bacton Square before picking up Phil to continue on to complete the Cockyard Loop, which proved to be very sociable. Leisurely afternoon. We lit the stove and settled down to read (and snooze).

Reading included this article in The Guardian on Finding meaning in the life of a loved one who dies is part of grief. Good conclusion (writer Joanna Moorhead quotes grief expert David Kessler):

….people who have been in the deepest depths of despair have the broadest bandwidth when it comes to enjoying life: “When you’ve travelled through the deepest valleys, you surely appreciate the views from the highest hills.”

Monday morning saw a visit from Morgan & Cuss to take a look at options for better showers in the bathrooms and removing the cold water tank in the roof. Into Hereford in the afternoon for a top up shop and B&Q click & collect: paving slabs plus bags of sand and gravel for the floor of the greenhouse. Still have the roof bar capping to do….

It turned out to be third time lucky in my quest for a new GPS camera. I’d heard from Park Cameras that they didn’t have Sony Cyber-shot HX90V in stock after all, and had tried to order one in for me from their supplier but they’d not got any left either. Top Marks to Park Cameras for their customer service throughout though. I would buy from them again.

So on Friday morning I bought an ex-display model from London Camera Exchange, partly because it was reduced, and partly because they have a shop in Hereford and the team there have been helpful. It arrived on Monday morning, and looks fine – plus the spare batteries I’d already bought fit fine, both in the camera and in the recharging unit. Now we just have to hope for a trek to use them all on, although I am starting to think that may have to wait until 2022. Yes, really. In the meantime, stand by for better quality photos from week 56.

TV: Spiral, series 8 –  Adieu, les flics! At least I’ve got a few weeks still to enjoy The Guardian‘s Episode-By-Episode Recaps, which they’re doing as the shows are broadcast. We then tried out The Fall but found episode 1 really, really unpleasant, so we moved on to the second series of His Dark Materials – just right – interspersed with more of the second series of Staged. Plus Friday night treats, Grand Designs and This Farming Life and plenty of puppies and posties on TikTok.

Podcasts: The History of England, History Extra, The Infinite Monkey Cage, The Essay and Books & Authors.

Photos: Herefordshire week 55 on Flickr.

Phil: Weeknotes for w/e 2021-01-17.