Herefordshire Week 063: Tuesday 09 – Monday 15 March 2021

COVID Jab Booked. Socially Distanced Coffee. Seeds Sown. Goodbye NOW TV, Hello Netflix.

The week started with a surprise. A good one. Out on the Cockyard circuit on Tuesday morning, I got a text message telling me I could book my COVID jab at EH Surgery, next Tuesday. When I clicked through on the link that evening everything worked like a dream and I got the 9.40am slot.

Herefordshire is really powering through the vaccinations. I think it helps that the County COVID vaccination team did make a really speedy start – most 90 year olds dad and Jean know got their jabs before Christmas, and Herefordshire is pretty sparsely populated too – especially with younger folks in the real sticks.

The roof survived gales overnight Wednesday / Thursday, but we did lose a branch from the hawthorn by the large pond. Lunched in the conservatory on Thursday with rain pattering on the roof, army guns clattering away beyond the woods. Nice and warm. Back to windy and wet on Friday.

Work week went well. VWW and Family Zoom as usual, plus a Wine Zoom with Cat on Saturday evening.

Spent a lot of Friday doing various errands in Hereford: topping up the shitty Asda delivery with a quick whizz around Aldi and a tactical peanut butter strike in Tescos, picking up click and collects from Wickes and B&Q (including bathroom paint, orchid repotting mix, compost & a tom growbag, woodworm treatment), returning my library books, paying in a cheque, collecting CHEESE from The Mousetrap Cheese Shop – and meeting Jean for – literally – a coffee on a bench, in Bishops Meadow courtesy of Coffee Spot Co by Victoria Bridge.

Back for a late lunch followed by admin, including taking over the water bill. Incredibly easy to do online. Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water could teach Scottish Power (more than) a thing or two….. Yes, STILL waiting to be set up as the new owners of the solar panels and payments. I have chased. So tedious.

Plenty of big grey clouds on Saturday morning, but that didn’t deter me from hauling out great wodges of weed from the big pond with a rake, and yanking out mint and flag from around the edges. Even a series of passing hail showers failed to deter me. It did put paid to the plan to go for a walk with Thea and Joe though.

Either side of lunchtime,  I finally got to grips with sorting out the greenhouse and the various garden-related purchases.

Planted Some Seeds and Sorted Things Out In The Greenhouse Yesterday
Planted Some Seeds and Sorted Things Out In The Greenhouse

After organising kit, plastic pots, bags of “stuff” and trays, I got to work: repotted my three orchids into larger vessels, then sorted the assorted seed packets into date order and sowed some of the “March starters”: tomatoes (in the covered container), radishes, mixed lettuce (in the larger collection of halved loo roll middles) and poppy seeds from Walton.

Planted Some Seeds and Sorted Things Out In The Greenhouse Yesterday
Planted Some Seeds and Sorted Things Out In The Greenhouse

The Rocket Micro Greens lucked out, getting sown in the posh pots liberated by the orchids:

Rocket Micro Greens
Rocket Micro Greens

In the afternoon, I converted our old King Size duvet that’s been serving as a tablecloth in the conservatory into a properly hemmed, single thickness tablecloth (one side) and a spare single duvet cover (the other side). Very satisfying.

Took things a bit easier on Sunday. Leisurely breakfast, then out for Camp Crossroads + Cockyard +  Kerrys Gate backwards before returning to polish off leftover tacos for lunch in the conservatory, with a brief interlude when Dad and Jean turned up to collect more paving blocks. Spent most of the afternoon in the conservatory intending to read Michael Wood’s The Story of China, but instead listened to a couple of Speed of Sound podcasts whilst playing Patience on my iPad – I’m not outrageously productive all the time.

Sunny Monday proved perfect for a busy day in the garden getting lots of Jobs Done: wheelbarrowed the weed round to the quarry, watered my seedlings, planted broad beans and peas in the veg patch / herb bed…..

Sowing peas and broad beans: trenches prepped with an old horse manure base
Sowing peas and broad beans: trenches prepped with an old horse manure base

…. prepared the selected spot for the blackcurrant bush dad and Jean are getting me for my birthday, pulling up all the ivy runners, which ended up extending to both sides of the fence, which then turned into “hack back all the ivy that’s grown up over the fence post and remaining wrought iron gate”. And lopping the lower branches off the wild plum tree. Ooof.

With Phil’s help I wheelbarrowed the cuttings / pullings down to the quarry bonfire, and returned with a wheelbarrow load of paving blocks for dad to pick up. A few times. And last, but not least, started dragging some of Richard’s brash up to the bonfire. But stopped when my gammy leg really started to complain…..

In the midst of all the activity we lunched outside, and then Phil ventured up the tall ladders to gaffer tape the fascia corner where we’d spotted great tits sneaking in and out on Saturday, presumably checking out the nesting site potential. NO WAY do I want birds in the loft!

But gazing out of the kitchen window waiting for the afternoon tea to brew, I’m pretty sure we’ve got either a willow tit or a marsh tit visiting the bird feeders….

Marsh Tit or Willow Tit - the Conundrum Continues
Marsh Tit or Willow Tit – the Conundrum Continues

…. to add to the female blackcap and greenfinch spotted on Saturday. The blackcap is a fairly frequent visitor, working her way round the base of the peanut feeder and chasing off any of the other small birds that try to tuck in too.

Female Blackcap Warbler
Female Blackcap Warbler

TV: Finished off Deutschland 89 during the week and then spread Hoop Dreams out over two evenings (it’s about so much more than simply school basketball). On Saturday we said Goodbye NOW TV, Hello Netflix! starting with Stranger Things that night. Uh oh. I’m renaming it Scary Things …. think it might be a bit too  much horror for me. Had to wind down with The Speed Cubers on Sunday night, which was just lovely. Humans at their best. Fell asleep to Kicking and Screaming, and didn’t warm to Superstore.

Podcasts: History Extra, The Essay, The Allusionist, The History of English, The History of England and Speed of Sound.

Photos: Herefordshire week 63 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-03-14.