Herefordshire Week 111: Tuesday 08 – Monday 14 February 2022

A quiet week this week.

The main events: Floor tiling in the porch and utility room is finished, and we fixed the filter coffee machine.

The Camellia is in flower
The Camellia is in flower

Our porch and utility floors are finally tiled and looking fab. L was here until Friday afternoon. Now we just need J to come and plumb the downstairs loo back in, put in a join/tread between the utility tiles and hall floor, and clear all their stuff out of the garage. That’s penciled in for Tuesday.

Tiling complete
Tiling complete

The filter coffee machine saga started early on Wednesday when the machine stopped working completely. No liquid coming out at all. Limescale was swiftly identified as the most likely culprit but we had to wait until I’d been into Hereford on Friday morning to get descaler. Good job Phil is handy with the aeropress.

Leaving the machine sitting overnight with limescale removal liquid in the reservoir didn’t seem to achieve anything, and neither did turning on the machine to see if that would force some fizzing…

So on Sunday morning we decided to attempt our own DIY Repair Shop.

Phil got the base off, with a bit of brute force, and we managed to drip some distilled malt vinegar into the metal pipe which was solid with limescale. A lot of fizzing ensued! Did that a few times, leaving it an hour or so each time and gouging out the gunk with a skewer, plus overnight soak and a couple of brews with half vinegar / half water this afternoon, and it’s running fast and clear again. Running the usual brewing cycle with a full water reservoir 4 times got rid of the vinegar taint, and on Monday morning we had plenty of freshly filtered coffee in a lot less time than recent weeks.

Very Satisfying, as we say.

Clearing limescale from the coffee machine
Clearing limescale from the coffee machine

I’d had a frustrating start to the weekend courtesy of Just Giving’s 2FA implementation. PD and I finally gave up trying to add me as an authorised user and simply added me as an admin. We now have a JG campaign page for May’s LED Fundraising Weekend, plus website and Facebook posts.

I spent the rest of the morning in Hereford doing various errands in the City centre and then the food shop. Oh joy. Dad and Jean were coming over in the afternoon to admire the snowdrops and for a cup of tea, so I decided that was a good excuse to buy the first hot cross buns of the year.

It was a beautiful morning, but by the time dad and Jean arrived the cold front was making its presence felt so it was a swift tour of the snowdrops, aconites, camellia and greenhouse before adjourning inside for tea and buns. It’s a fabulous year for snowdrops, even if my photos never do them justice.

So many Snowdrops this year!
So many snowdrops this year!

A lazy weekend.

Saturday started with a groggy headache and so I spent most of the day in the lounge reading until it was time to walk down to T&J’s for pizza dinner. The day’s other main event was being able to use the washing machine for the first time in almost a fortnight.

Sunday was very wet and windy, so more lounge reading (and the log stove) beckoned. I polished off Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Although it took a while for me to get into it, I was rapt for two solid days. A beautiful – and at times brutal – novel.

A little more active on Monday.

I spent the morning pottering around the garden, digging over the veg patches, planting broad beans, taking 4 rosemary cuttings and planting them in a pot. I’d planted lettuce and tomato seedlings on Friday afternoon and they’re sitting alongside the lemongrass seedlings on my office windowsill.

I also filled up the bottom inch of the peanut bird feeder with old egg carton cardboard, so that the peanuts are safely above the broken mesh. The birds have to work a little harder for their food.

Phil and I did a short walk after lunch: a new route taking in the footpaths from Quarrels Green towards Camp Corner.

Local lunchtime stroll: Strava Map
Local lunchtime stroll: Strava Map

In the afternoon, computered and had a go at cutting back the wild plum shoots and spurs on “mountaineering corner”. Primroses emerging and some of the daffodils we planted in the autumn!

TV: Ozark, Starstruck (just lovely), Vigil.

Podcasts: LingthusiasmBooks and Authors, History Extra.

Photos: Herefordshire week 111 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-02-13.