Herefordshire Week 098: Tuesday 09 – Monday 15 November 2021

Getting Things Done. Tyre trauma. Fish & chips. Apples and Cake.

Apple Picking in the Orchard
Apple Picking in the Orchard

Busy morning Tuesday, doing the Duffryn Loop and having a nice chat with P from near the farm, watching a hawk chase a buzzard and exchanging phone numbers; getting the first batch of Stuff up into the loft – mainly empty boxes and “Treasures” stored in my Office. Having hauled them up there, I think the Treasures are due for a cull. We have a bat in residence too. The mouse poo turned out to be bat poo.

Work and VWW, but not Family Zoom as dad and Jean were at the Remembrance Day Service at the Abbey. I find the “required” commemorations – 2 minutes silence, poppy-wearing – difficult. Remembrance, yes; glorifying war and nostalgia for power, no.

Friday was overcast, but Phil and I got a lot of To Dos ticked off: we took a boot-load to the recycling centre (which I realise I still refer to as The Tip, which it isn’t), bought some leather walking boots (me) / did the food shop (Phil) and paid a visit to B&Q, Dunelm and Halfords.

Late lunch, and a total blank as to how I spent the afternoon.

We had T&J round for fish & chips in the evening. Got the log stove going. Lovely.

Sunny Saturday, perfect for taking the MX-5 out for a spin and Jean to lunch in Ledbury. A lovely morning, although I did almost run out of petrol on the way home… I just made it to Locks Garage on fumes.

Back at base I spent the rest of the daylight picking windfalls from the Golden Delicious apple tree in the Orchard, which I shall remember is the one that fruits late and long, and planting out Aunty Carriage’s red camellia, which dad and Jean brought from Dinedor. It’s now sitting on the willow tree hump.

With darkness falling around 4.30pm, indoor jobs included catching up on email, making yoghurt and straining the Apple Cider Vinegar into old gin bottles. I’m not convinced I’ll be confident about using it as there were traces of mould and the vinegar is a bit cloudy. We’ll see.

Gorgeous morning on Sunday. Perfect for the Cockyard Circuit.

Fields, Camp Wood
Fields, Camp Wood

And for picking the last (almost) of the orchard apples – goodness knows what we’ll do with them all. The Apple Racks are almost full (Monday: and now are!)

Apples continued: This is about half of the day's haul
Apples continued: This is about half of the day’s haul

I planted out the second of the Dinedor donations – a hydrangea – which is now settling into its new home inside the old garden railway line near the small pond.

In less good news, whilst toing and froing from the Orchard I spotted what I thought was a hawthorn spike coming out of one of my New Tyres. Turned out to be a nail. Urgh. I started investigating the “We come to replace your tyres at your house” options as I really didn’t fancy getting a blow out driving into Hereford.

Monday was designated Christmas Cake Making Day. Delia’s Rich Fruit Cake recipe always does the job. And I always burn the top.

Christmas Cake Making Day
Christmas Cake Making Day

Dad came round mid morning to size up some of the DIY projects he and I are planning – repairing one of the old Cadbury wooden trays which is missing a foot, making a shelf to sit on top of my filing cabinet, and turning more of the old decking / railway into a planter for the sage bush.

He also took a Dad-Look at the nail and we agreed our neighbours would know more. And so it proved: C suggested taking the wheel off so that Phil and I could drive it to his preferred tyre place in town for them to look at, which he and we did. And even luckier, Bernie Jones of Bernie Jones Tyres was able to pull the wire (not nail) out and there’s no puncture. What could have been a new tyre plus call out fee turned out to be an opportunity to get to know people and places that bit better. Karma.

BJT are right next to General Dogsbody, so we bought new bags of seeds and nuts for the birds. Since Phil mended the hole in the wire mesh they’re not getting through the peanuts at quite the same rate.

Spent the early evening packing up the white china I’d sold on eBay. Such a faff packing fragile things and inevitably none of the hoarded cardboard boxes were quite the right size. I’ve still got some pieces unsold so if you want some lovely plates, bowls and cups & saucers drop me a line!

I’m getting my COVID booster tomorrow. I’d looked online on Sunday but the Hereford vaccination centre didn’t show up at all (presumably nothing available) and the nearest ones – Forest of Dean and Malvern, so not that close – were booking for late Nov / early Dec. Monday was jab 2 + 181 days and when I phoned the surgery they eventually managed to fit me in. I really want the booster plus a few weeks before my visit to the London office and our week with family / friends / holiday in WTM, WIV and WON.

I do wonder how long this mild spell will last…. A bit of me is waiting for a serious cold snap to balance it all out. We have a lot of red berries this year.

Red Holly Berries
Red Holly Berries

I spotted the first daffodil shoots too, in the planter outside the porch. Hope they’re not venturing forth too soon.

TV: The Last Dance, Master of None, Rocks, Doctor WhoWhat We Do In The Shadows (series 3). And Money Heist (season 1) – how could I forget Money Heist?!

Podcasts: History Extra.

Photos: Herefordshire week 98 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-11-14.