Herefordshire Week 103: Tuesday 14 – Monday 20 December 2021

Christmas holidays week 1.

Stollen! Sheep! Stress. Sue!

This is the life.....
This is the life…..

Tuesday was devoted to admin and generally catching up with stuff after 12 days away. Weeknotes to write up, photos to Flickr, Christmas presents to buy, washing to do…. We treated ourselves to another log fire in the evening.

Another very mild day on Wednesday, perfect for a stroll around the lanes with Phil. We picked up a bin bag of rubbish on the Camp Crossroads – Duffryn – Cockyard – Quarrels Green loop. To be fair, Phil did most of the picking up. I was spotter. A lot of Coke cans.

Spent the afternoon in the garden – cleared the last of the tomato plants from the greenhouse growbag, split and repotted the bathroom fern into 3 smaller plants, raked up the leaves down by the rose garden and railway apple trees.

December Rose
December Rose

Caught up with DF on FaceTime mid afternoon then settled in the lounge with the log stove, reading.

AND the sheep are back in Kiln Field!

The sheep are back!
The sheep are back!

Thursday was perfect for another day of outdoor jobs: hosed down Nana Helen’s bench and then washed and dried the garden railway track that had been stacked up on it. There’s a lot of track and that ended up occupying the rest of the morning.

Cleaning the Garden Railway track
Cleaning the Garden Railway track

After lunch I pruned the hanging brambles by the gas tank (partly refilled last week with a top up today – we’re now at 85%) and the rose bush and got a bonfire going in the old quarry to get rid of yesterday’s leaves and today’s prunings. I also had a go at clearing the ivy from the Solarium shrubs and the path down to the quarry. That kept me busy until tea time. We’ve started the Stollen!

Down to T & J for dinner and catch up.


Friday was a stressful day. Tricky phone call from London, which occupied my mind for the next 48 hours or so, and I overfilled the petrol tank in the Panda and the resulting petrol coming out from the underside of the car made me think there was a leak in the tank or the pipes. Thankfully a super helpful man at The Forge suggested I’d just overfilled the tank and this was the overflow, and that driving home should use up the excess petrol without any danger. The 3 mile drive home resulted in reduced drippage but it was still happening, so we took the Panda for a longer spin via Kingston where Brian W had the same reckon. And by the time we’d got home a second time the drips had ceased altogether. That’ll learn me. And all that, plus driving to Abergavenny Screwfix and back, before lunch!

We both decided we could do with an afternoon stroll to soak up some of the morning’s adrenaline, and Riverdale did the trick.

Riverdale route - Strava Map
Riverdale route – Strava Map

We got back just in time for my long overdue Zoom with E. Then opened the accumulated Christmas cards. We’re not going to score too well on sending those this year…..

Friday night pizza and film featured The Power of the Dog. Benedict Cumberbatch playing a baddie.

Didn’t sleep well. Mithering.


Saturday started with the last of the scheduled catch ups, with Steffi. Got the log stove going as it was a damp day – drizzle merging with almost-mist. Spent the rest of the morning working off the anxiety – packed up the clean garden railway track in the loft boxes, brushed down the sage container dad and I made a few weeks back, mopped / cleaned the MX5 (the drizzle brought some benefits), tied up the thorny shrub behind the garage.

Late lunch, then “creosolved” the sage container. Inside, reviewed Walton postcards and pictures with Phil – the last of our moving in boxes – then computing with a break for tea and stollen.


Woke to a solidly foggy Sunday. A morning stroll to deliver postcards turned the Bacton Square into a very sociable 2 1/2 hour stroll. Smashing.

Foggy lane and eerie Oak tree
Foggy lane and eerie Oak tree

Took a LFT in advance of dad and Jean coming over, and tried to report the negative test result. Hopelessly overcomplicated and “Try again” errors on the postcode lookup and the final ReCaptcha confirmation. AND on the feedback form. So, if you’re reading this GOV.UK, test LWT04295449 taken today was negative. And please sort out broadband installation to our part of the world. Like provide some.

Mid afternoon cups of tea with dad and Jean were accompanied by Phil’s Finest TM Marzipan Mince Pies – delicious. Our sideboard is now covered with presents and cards.


Up early to drive over to Brum to collect Sue from the airport. Omicron + London trains anxiety had resulted in a last minute change of plan over the weekend. No complaints here. No better reason for more treats!

We got back to find Richard had been to cut down the fallen apple tree and to trim the top hedges. Magic! We now have a healthy supply of cut holly, yew and other assorted greenery.

And as we were munching our lunch, a fox sauntered along the line of the old garden railway to the rose bed. Calm as you like.

Still anxious / adrenalin-filled about Friday (rest assured, it’s nothing serious in the big scheme of things), so I headed out on the Cockyard Circuit in under low grey skies and damp afternoon air. Good chat with P in Kerrys Gate and lots of waves. Returned home feeling better.


TV: Money Heist season 2 (got better towards the end), What We Do In the Shadows (series 3 & series 1 with S), The Repair Shop (Huw’s episode – Series 7, episode 32), The Power of the Dog, Bloodlands and The Outlaws.

Podcasts: Books and Authors, Bookclub, The History of Japan, History Extra.


Photos: Herefordshire week 103 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-12-19.