Herefordshire Week 082: Tuesday 20 – Monday 26 July 2021

Holidays week two: Holiday-at-home.

Heatwave cont’d, and hailstones.

Too hot for walking, which had been something I’d planned to do this week. Instead, lots of reading including the wonderful, heartbreaking, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell.

Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell
Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

Too hot to be indoors of an evening too so dinners have been taken out on the patio with an LRB to hand. Breakfasts and lunches have been similarly al fresco, generally taken wherever we’ve been able to find a shady spot….


Broad beans and peas fresh from the orchard have started to feature in meals, including a nice brown rice, cherry tom and broad bean salad with a balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh mint dressing.

Broad Beans from the garden
Broad Beans from the garden

The buzzards are mewing more, enjoying the thermals. And the smaller birds have rediscovered the bird feeders. Phew. Phil and I tuned into our inner twitchers on Saturday morning, counting 8 young blue tits and catching a quartet of small birds contemplating the font / bird bath: a robin, a chaffinch, a blue tit and a bullfinch:

Birds at the font - robin, chaffinch, blue tit (?) and bullfinch
Birds at the font – robin, chaffinch, blue tit (?) and bullfinch

We did manage to walk to Ewyas Harold and back on Tuesday morning, indulging in ice lollies from the village shop before embarking on the return journey. I spotted a large eel in Dulas brook. Hmmm, unless it was a river lamprey – I don’t recall it having fins. It was still there, hiding in the sediment, on Monday’s walk.

We also made a couple of trips into Hereford. Wednesday’s objectives were to borrow some wooden flooring samples from Simply Stunning (we’re deciding between two Woodpecker oak flooring options: Harlech and Lynton), to return / collect library books, to have a look for new walking shoes/trainers and walking skirt, to buy a replacement bird seed feeder (Grrrr squirrel and/or woodpeckers!!!) and BBQ supplies – and to pay a visit to Steels Corner to take a look at the second hand Nissan Leaf and Mazda MX-5 that were listed on their website.

The Leaf had already sold but Thursday’s return visit to the Big City was to test drive the Mazda. Lovely, really lovely – to look at and to drive …. but …. not practical for the potholey roads I’m likely to be driving along 🙁 We’ve started looking at reviews of second hand Nissan Leaf EVs on YouTube though. For the local driving we do around here – Hereford and back, Abergavenny and back etc – the 80 mile range would be fine. And solar panels would help with the recharging at home.

Kerrys Gate Coffee on Friday morning then a mega mow in the afternoon, when it was a bit cooler. V pleased I managed to start the Honda mower on my own twice and only needed Gyford Power once. A personal best.

Pizza Fridays resumed.

Grey and overcast weekend, which was a shame as we had visitors on Saturday afternoon and a BBQ.  Decidedly down in dumps on Sunday, despite doing the Cockyard loop with Phil in the morning.

Several COVID cases in Abbey Dore – mainly via primary school kids.

Monday was beautiful, so I left Phil to take delivery of my new work laptop and the shortened curtains and headed out to do the Tremorithic Circuit.

Nettles frustrated the footpath route, so having stuck to the road I turned right at Fair Oak intending to see how long it takes to walk to Newton / St Margarets, and with half a mind to see if I could work out the road route to the Longtown road. But once the lane started to go decidedly downhill, I turned back. Determined to do a Long Walk I headed down Mill Lane and into Ewyas Harold via Dulas instead, coming back over the Common and Abbey footpath. Fab.

Late lunch in the shade of the log shed yew tree, with Dad and Jean arriving for tea and a biscuit after a funeral at the Abbey.

We were in the middle of putting up the new curtains (EXCELLENT!) when the promised thunderstorm materialised (and the forecast has featured them for days now, without any rain arriving) and treated us to a 15 minute thunderstorm featuring heavy rain and HAIL the size of mint imperials…..

Heavy rain and HAIL the size of mint imperials..... (Video, 36s)
Heavy rain and HAIL the size of mint imperials….. (Video, 36s)

And then the sun came back out.

TV:  Godless finale on Monday, then nada until Grand Designs Revisit on Friday. Enola Holmes as a bit of a pick me up on Sunday afternoon, and we started Unforgotten (albeit in the absence of season 1) in the evening.

Podcasts: History Extra 

Photos: Herefordshire week 82 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-07-25.