Herefordshire Week 110: Tuesday 01 – Monday 07 February 2022

Lots of great walking.

Lot of flowers: Snowdrops and aconites in full flow. First daffodil is up, as is the first crocus. The camellia’s not far off…..

And, at last, the days really feel like they are getting longer.

Spring Flowers at Forty Acres
Spring Flowers at Forty Acres

Tuesday brought a blustery morning with dark clouds to the south west. I had a great walk under blue skies and sunshine: Camp Crossroads – Duffryn – Cockyard – Kerrys Gate – Riverdale – Abbey Dore. Adding in the Riverdale and Abbey Dore extension made it 9 miles. Warm and sunny enough to lunch outside before settling into work.

Morning walk: Trees, Greens and Blues
Morning walk: Trees, Greens and Blues

Tuesday also brought an email from Günter Seyfferth letting me (and CN1) know that he has published a new description of Dhaulagiri Himal on his website about the Himalaya – Die Berge des Himalaya – and that he has included some of our photos in sections D1 and E1. Honoured.

We had OneStick here on Wednesday and Thursday to tile the porch and utility room. The porch got tiles laid first as the uneven and sloping floor in the utility room (pre-1999 the main bathroom) needed levelling with some magic gunk. L returned to resume on Monday, tiling the utility room floor. That leaves grouting, doing the skirting (we are splashing out on bullnose tiles for that) and deciding what we need to do about the firedoor between the porch and the garage if the floor level is too high for the door.

A tiring day at work (being bubbly on many, many Zoom calls) on Thursday plus another episode of The Leftovers (sad people being horrible to one another) had left me feeling at odds with the world on Thursday night, and I was still feeling out of sorts on Friday morning.

A walk usually sorts that out, and once I’d realised that the forecast rain had arrived early and overnight, I reckoned I had just enough time to walk to Ewyas Harold and still be in time for my appointment at the Doctors. I bumped into T at the bottom of the hill and we walked and talked as far as the footpath opposite the Abbey lych gate. I got to the surgery with 20 mins to spare, and a bit of company plus a fast paced leg stretch had perked me up again.

Appointment over (and a Peter Cook Sourdough Loaf purchased from the Ewyas Harold Stores), blue skies awaited so I took the long way home – footpaths and roads to Dulas, up Mill Lane, footpaths to Tremorithic, Cwm Hill Road down to Abbey Dore. At Dorelands I took the track that leads up to Pond & Beyond and joined the footpaths leading to Riverdale. The lane up to Kerrys Gate brought me back home.

Morning Walk: Strava Map
Morning Walk: Strava Map
Tree Tunnel
Tree Tunnel

Another walk in the afternoon, this time with Phil. We headed up to Kerrys Gate, down to Riverdale and along the footpaths back to Abbey Dore. I introduced him to the Dorelands route. Made mince pies to celebrate – I needed to use up the open Apple Brandy Mincemeat and we’d finished up the Christmas Cake on Tuesday.

I’d signed up to do the Bredwardine Circular with the Golden Valley Walking Club on Saturday morning: Bredwardine – Arthur’s Stone – Merbach Hill – Bredwardine. 5.6 miles. Big group, breezy up top.

GVWC: Bredwardine Circular - Arthur's Stone
GVWC: Bredwardine Circular – Arthur’s Stone

Late lunch, then got the log stove going for a cosy afternoon reading and listening to podcasts. Made dinner (a rare enough event to merit a mention) which we ate watching the first couple of episodes of Ozark season 4. I’d found The Leftovers too depressing for words so that’s one for Phil to watch on his own. This Farming Life had provided perfect Friday night viewing.

More reading on Sunday morning (thoroughly enjoying Tessa Hadley), and a late morning stroll down to Abbey Dore and back with Phil. Windy and occasional showers. Good weather for staying inside.

Sheep and Sugar Beet
Sheep and Sugar Beet

A spot of admin, a late lunch, and a battery-preserving spin in the MX-5 to Lock’s and back via Vowchurch. Then mending, reading and crumble making. So domesticated.

Monday was a beautiful day. Lots of sunshine and blue skies, with the occasional dark cloud usually passing us by. I spent a smashing day outside: trimmed back the bits of the hedge that make it hard to open / close the Thistly Field gate, replaced the ex-garden railway decking planks with paving slabs along the last 2 sides of the greenhouse (took a long time, but very satisfying), tidied up the mint-in-the-sink and the strawberry plants and planted the allium and tulip bulbs Jean had bought us for Christmas.

Greenhouse paving - South side
Greenhouse paving – South side

I’d been waiting until autumn to plant the bulbs, as per RHS instructions, but Jean flagged that they wouldn’t last until then. So the bulbs have gone into a few different spots – the verges at our junction, around the willow tree stump, under the wisteria, by the sunset seat, in the coffin and into some terracotta / glazed pots I relocated round to the patio and filled with compost and earth.

All done, I had tea and mince pies in the conservatory finishing off Convenience Store Woman. Should really be writing birthday cards now….

TV: The Leftovers, This Farming Life, Ozark.

Podcasts: The History of England, The History of English, History Extra, The Memory Palace, The Allusionist, You Must Remember This.

Photos: Herefordshire week 110 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-02-06.