Herefordshire Week 104: Tuesday 21 – Monday 27 December 2021

Our second COVID Christmas.

Christmas Afternoon
Christmas Afternoon

Busy morning – into Hereford to do the Christmas food shop, back via The Forge to make the most of their cheap petrol (relatively speaking – 136.9 p/l) overfilling the Panda again which necessitated a pre lunch drive around the roads. I went for Vowchurch – Bacton – Ewyas Harold – Camp Crossroads this time. There was still a small drip after all that so I shoved cardboard underneath to soak it up, and the dripping had stopped when we checked again after lunch.

Took Sue out for a spin in the MX5 to The Forge again (trouble-free tank top up this time) and back via Duffryn and Quarrels Green. Late lunch!

Main achievement of the afternoon was putting up the two sets of battery & timer operated fairy lights outside. Phil’s went on the yew 40, mine on the gate. We now provide very festive twinkling 4pm – 10pm.

I also ordered another box of COVID lateral flow tests, and GOV.UK’s postcode look up has an extra line in our address. So now we know our lane is technically the C1223.

Thistly Field’s hedges got a cut too. Seems later than last year.

Indulged in some Telly: 14 Peaks – Nepalese unknown (according to Netflix) Nims Purja climbs all 14 8,000 metres peaks in 6 months and 6 days. Remember that photo of a long line of climbers queuing for the summit of Mt Everest? He took that en route to summiting Everest during Project Possible. Amazing.

Early evening Sue and I joined K & N and M at the Bacton Church Christmas Carol Service. Carols and readings stood outside in the churchyard, thankfully a large raised firepit provided some warmth, further enhanced by mulled wine and mince pies after the service. I’m not religious at all, but I do like a good sing. And mulled wine and mince pies. To balance out the potential excess, we tucked into lentil soup a la Phil on our return, along with another episode of The Outlaws. Top tip from Jo there.


Late start on Wednesday after the longest night. I’m definitely in hibernating mode. Did a few small jobs outside, coinciding with A&A (no M) delivering our Christmas Card in their new electric car.

Then out for a late morning walk: Abbey Dore – Cwm Hill – Ewyas Harold Common – Dore Abbey – Abbey Dore Court footpath – Wellfield – Thistly Field.

Morning Walk: Ponies, Ewyas Harold Common
Morning Walk: Ponies, Ewyas Harold Common
Morning Walk: Dore Abbey Lych Gate
Morning Walk: Dore Abbey Lych Gate

I’ve christened it Abbey Dore Dumbbells:

Morning Walk: Strava Map
Morning Walk: Strava Map

Early afternoon sunlight brought the birds, and – pah – rattus rattus, to the bird feeders. Perfect for some photos.

Coal tit
Coal tit
Great tit
Great tit
Blue tit
Blue tit

(The people searching Flickr for “tits” “perfect” “photo” are going to be sooooo disappointed.)

Dad called round at tea time, so had a chance to chat with S and enjoy a cup of tea and mince pie at the same time.


Quiet day Thursday, but last week’s stress resurfaced and the combi boiler started showing an error message that wouldn’t clear. Not what you need on Christmas Eve Eve. Anxious all day, so not at my best when I got to see T & R on Family Zoom as well as dad and Jean.

Christmas Eve itself – Friday – started with a morning walk for me and Phil down to Abbey Dore and back via T&Js. Emails and reading. Mid afternoon walk to deliver the Cockyard Christmas Card. We saw Bob both times, and had a lovely chat with A&A. Back under clear skies, Jupiter and Saturn taking centre stage as the light faded. Traditional Friday night pizza and telly, finishing up the first series of The Outlaws.


Leisurely start to Christmas Day. Dank and rainy outside so we had a lovely morning with the log stove on, opening presents accompanied by the Muppet Christmas Carol soundtrack.

It's Christmas!
It’s Christmas!

And there was a green woodpecker out on the front lawn.

Phil was Christmas Day Chef, making Anna Jones’ Celebration Celeriac and Sweet Garlic Pie as the centrepiece. Sue and I took charge of choosing gin to go with tonic. Feasted on our festive lunch mid afternoon, then read until we’d made enough room for seconds / cheese and biscuits accompanied by Morecambe & Wise.

Christmas Dinner
Christmas Dinner

Boxing Day Sunday started in heavy fog and a long lie in after a restless night. I’d ended up listening to podcasts from 4am-ish, good for snoozing on and off. Once up we all strolled to Kerrys Gate then P and I continued on to do the Bacton Square and Sue headed home. Late lunch and a lazy afternoon. Heavy rain overnight.

Up early Monday – alarm went off at 6am – to drive Sue to BHX. Motorways v quiet there, a bit busier on the way back but easy driving. Paid a visit to Temple Fields before leaving Solihull. Returned via Hereford B&Q and a speedy Sainsbury’s shop.

LFTs before lunch, then a snooze before we drove over to Dinedor for a festive meal with dad, Jean and PR. Delicious. Vegged in front of the telly on our return trying to work up space for a snack or two. No great success. And losing track of what we’ve actually been watching….


TV: 14 Peaks,  The Outlaws, What We Do In the Shadows (more of series 1 with S), Ghosts (Christmas special) and, yes, more random Christmas telly: The Invisible Woman, Shaun the Sheep, The Wife, The Morecambe and Wise Show (the 1970 Lost Tape), The Abominable Snowbaby. Plus whatever we watched on Sunday and Monday evening….. Phil’s just reminded me: A Very British Scandal aka Posh People Being Horrible To Each Other.

Podcasts: LingthusiasmHistory Extra. Great Lives. The Memory Palace, SheDunnit.


Photos: Herefordshire week 104 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-12-26.