Herefordshire Week 101: Tuesday 30 November – Monday 06 December 2021

Essex, part 1, and London.

Back in the Barbican (Briefly)
Back in the Barbican (Briefly)

After a hectic Monday, we took things a little easier on Tuesday morning with a lovely stroll down to the Abbey, the footpath around Abbey Dore Court and across the fields there and stopping off for a quick chat with T on the way back.

Back at base, we moved the leftover loft wood into the green shed and set the rat trap by the compost bin, discovering it had already claimed one victim, a mouse from the size of the skeleton….

Justin the tiler came round on Wednesday morning to take a look at the porch and the utility room / downstairs loo, where we want to replace the Lino with red quarry tiles. All good. VWW in the evening.


We had decided over the weekend to head to Essex / London a few days earlier than originally planned so I flexed my working pattern to work Friday so that we could drive to Essex on Thursday.

Thursday turned into a long day.

Up early to discover that a cold night had meant that the raindrops on the windscreen had frozen. The drive east was a dream, clear blue skies, not too much traffic, smashing lunch at the cafe in Ampthill Great Park. ¬†First long run in the Panda, and once at P’s folks we made good use of the car driving over to Chelmsford and back.

So far, so good.

Things started to go awry with the WIV stage of the plan – I was due to drive there to spend the weekend with T and J and to work from theirs on Friday. J’s train journey out turned into a nightmare – first train cancelled due to trespassers on the line, second train broke down before Shenfield and they were marooned there for 3 hours. It all worked out in the end though, with me meeting J at Colchester and driving on to WIV. Late night though.

Worked from WIV on Friday, T arriving late afternoon and we treated ourselves to fish & chips for tea.


Saturday was a busy day – first job was to see what was in T’s boxes from the loft which had filled up most of the car. They contained some gems, including our “attick club” membership cards and several of my long forgotten school projects. I obviously had a stage where I was obsessed with Victorian fashion.

But most of the day was spent with P and his folks. Tom provided a taxi pick up service and back in WIV we tucked into a lovely lunch laid on by Jo. Morning rain had cleared to leave beautiful blue skies and another cold but sunny day. Just right for a potter along the riverfront and around old Wivenhoe and a mooch in the bookshop. After tea and cake to warm up, I drove J & J and P home, leaving the car there and catching to train back to WIV. A good day, but T, J and I were ready for a rest that evening.


Late start Sunday, then the short drive to the University of Essex to charge the car and to go for a stroll around the campus and into Hythe. We also checked out Wivenhoe House Hotel where dad and Jean are staying next weekend.

Wivenhoe / University of Essex Campus & Hythe
Wivenhoe / University of Essex Campus & Hythe

T and J headed home late afternoon and I pottered until it was time for the St Andrews Ladies Zoom. Always so lovely to catch up, and we all have our fingers crossed that it will be third time lucky for our weekend back in St Andrews next summer.


I caught the train into London on Monday morning. First up, a quick nip into work to activate my work locker and to leave most of my stuff there. All good. The first time I’d been into the London office since January 2020 – and Reception team still recognised me ūüôā

Then up to the Barbican for a long overdue coffee¬†with silver surfer Jean, followed by a wet walk to Regents Park and a nice catch up with Charles in the¬†Regent’s Bar & Kitchen. As afternoon turned into evening I walked via Chelsea to Hazel’s. I clocked up 15 miles all told on foot today.

Barbican Lakes
Barbican Lakes

A relaxing evening at Hazel’s indulging in¬†Masterchef and Made in Chelsea – and a bottle of wine with healthy dinner.


TV: at home –¬†Tick, Tick‚Ķ Boom!¬†(we only managed about 10 minutes) and¬†Hip Hop Evolution; in WIV – various YouTube videos featuring Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf and¬†Doctor Who (finished series 13); in SW11 – Masterchef (US version)¬†and Made in Chelsea.

Podcasts: The Essay, Lingthusiasm and SheDunnit.


Photos: Herefordshire week 101 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-12-05.