Herefordshire Week 085: Tuesday 10 – Monday 16 August 2021

Good walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park – Sugar Loaf and Waterfall Country.

More Mazda musing. FLIES, meet swat.

And I had to deal with a BIRD inside the CONSERVATORY!

Sugar Loaf Circular: Panorama to the north west
Sugar Loaf Circular: Panorama to the north west

On Tuesday morning I dropped off Phil at Abergavenny station then drove up to  the car park at Mynydd Llanwenarth and did Countryfile’s Walk: Sugar Loaf mountain, Monmouthshire, which I’ve christened the Sugar Loaf Circular.

Sugar Loaf Circular: National Trust Omega Sign - Sugar Loaf & Pen-y-Fal
Sugar Loaf Circular: National Trust Omega Sign – Sugar Loaf / Pen-y-Fal

It was a super 2 hour 20 mins walk summiting Sugar Loaf / Pen y Fâl (596m). Magic views all the way, especially from the top.

Sugar Loaf Circular: Sugar Loaf summit from the lower slopes
Sugar Loaf Circular: Sugar Loaf summit from the lower slopes

Tuesday afternoon brought some drama when I heard some bangs from the conservatory – and a quick look revealed a blue tit had managed to get inside and was flapping around, banging on the windows in its attempts to escape. I’d opened the windows in the morning but only a crack. Why on earth did it decide to come in, and WHY did it do it when Phil wasn’t around???? I really, really don’t like birds – or fish.

A little later, once I’d girded my loins, I crept in, opened the double doors and retreated back into the telly room, and then went outside to leave some peanuts and a dish of water on the patio by the doors in an attempt to lure it out.

Checking again at 6.30pm, it was still inside. So it was time to put an emergency call in to dad, half hoping he’d volunteer to come round to sort it out for me. But no. He did advise that my best bet was to open all the windows as wide as they can go, and hope the bird would find its way out.  So I did – after a lot more loin girding. Thankfully, when I checked before going to bed, it looked like the blue tit had finally worked out the way out. There hadn’t been any flapping or banging in the conservatory for a while and there was no bird to be seen. And so I closed all the windows and doors back up.

When he got home, I did ask Phil to check that there wasn’t an expired blue tit trapped by the flattened packing boxes behind the chairs.

My usual working week felt longer than usual, partly because I was Home Alone and partly because August is living up to its “isn’t it quiet?” tag. Sociable evenings with S&S, VWW and Family Zoom balanced things out a bit.

Picked up Phil on Thursday evening with a speedy shop in Morrisons en route.

On Friday I managed to rise and shine early enough for my morning walk – the first time this week – and then we headed up to Leominster, partly because Friday is Market Day and partly because I’d spotted another Mazda MX-5 which I wanted to take a look at.

After nice potter around Leominster, a visit to their J-Mart (most successful purchase to date – the fly swat!) we paid a visit to Leominster Motors to check out the MX5. I preferred the colour, the mileage, price and soft top were OK but I didn’t like the fact that they’d not bothered touching up the chips and scratches on the paintwork.

Back via Bridge Sollers and some of the black and white villages.

Late lunch then an afternoon mowing. The grass collector stopped working, but Phil came to the rescue raking up the grass as I did the edges with the Honda mower. Too tired for pizza so we foraged leftovers from the fridge.

Up early on Saturday to join the Excalibur Walking Club on their Waterfall Country Walk – a fabulous 12+ mile circular hike from Pontneddfechan along a connected set of the Waterfall Country Walking Trails in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Waterfall Country Walk: Waterfall Link Trail, following the Nedd Fechan upstream
Waterfall Country Walk: Waterfall Link Trail, following the Nedd Fechan upstream

Waterfalls galore. It more than lived up to its name.

Waterfall Country Walk: Sgwd yr Eira Trail - Sgwd yr Eira (Snow Waterfalls)
Waterfall Country Walk: Sgwd yr Eira Trail – Sgwd yr Eira (Snow Waterfalls)

A long day, especially given the Hereford – Neath drive at either end. Arriving home at 7.45pm (I’d left at 7am), Phil came to the rescue again, providing pizza and more of Ghosts.

Sunday was largely spent on the computer, flickring photos from yesterday’s walk and writing up this week’s walks. I’ve decided to add a new Category here – walking – and a new album on Flickr – Walks.

The teatime break was enhanced by the Abbeydore Golden Valley Tractor Run in aid of Marie Curie passing by our front door.

Finished off The Mystery of Mercy Close over coffee, toast and marmalade first thing on Monday morning, then did the Bacton Square backwards. Back at base, I hauled the bungalow’s surplus paving slabs over to the greenhouse to use as a border in place of the decking planks liberated in the dismantling of the outdoor train line. Staked up the tomatoes, picked the last of the tall lettuce (ie the ones that have bolted) and peas (5 pods). Pruned back some of the wild plum and brambles at the top of the lower path.

We had our first conservatory casualty for a while in the morning – a robin. But in better bird news I did manage to get some good shots of the green woodpecker that’s started feasting on creatures in the grass between the bird feeder pear tree and the kitchen window.

Green woodpecker
Green woodpecker

And we had a starling on the peanut bird feeder and font for the first time too. Just look at those polka dot spots!


TV: Ghosts (series 3). I have totally forgotten what I watched on Tuesday and Wednesday in Phil’s absence.

Podcasts: The History of EnglandHistory Extra, Books and Authors, Bookclub, World Book Club and SheDunnit.

Photos: Herefordshire week 85 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-08-15.