Herefordshire Week 124: Tuesday 10 – Monday 16 May 2022

Back to the smoke.

Tuesday morning = weeknotes then a stroll. A new variation on existing routes, which I’ve named “Fair Oak roads and footpaths”: Kerrys Gate – Black Bush – Bacton – roads to Fair Oak – footpaths back to Bacton Stud – Black Bush – Kerrys Gate. My battery ran out just as I came out of “Tremorithic Wood” (stunning bluebells!), so both Strava map and data are a little off.

Strava Map: Fair Oak roads and footpaths
Strava Map: Fair Oak roads and footpaths

Another walk on Tuesday evening, catching up with Val before she heads off to Peru. We’ve penciled in Nepal in November.

Lots of helicopter activity overhead all day and terrible internet connectivity all afternoon, which made work a misery.

So I headed over to Dinedor for the working day on Weds.

Another broken night’s sleep didn’t help – stress shoulders and neck in full effect when I woke up on Thursday. Thankfully my morning was almost meeting-free and wholly free from any internet problems, and everything went smoothly on the HFD-PAD train in the afternoon.

Once in London, I felt like a real out of towner grappling with the tube delays and closures but eventually I made it to work to drop off my work stuff. I’d surfaced at Moorgate via one of the new entrances/exits – the pedestrianised bit of Moorfields by London Wall where crowds of punters were drinking pints in the early evening sunshine. Almost as if the past two years haven’t happened.

Getting to CJ proved a little bit more complicated than expected, with the key bit of the Bank branch Northern Line being closed, but Waterloo & City line and SWT came to the rescue.

Sleeping under the Heathrow flight path means there’s no need for an alarm at Hazel’s, and after coffee on Friday morning I set off to walk to the British Museum for my first visit to the Stonehenge Exhibition. My favourite exhibit was the Maesmor mace-head from North Wales. Mesmerising.

Maesmor mace-head from North Wales
Maesmor mace-head from North Wales

Lunch and a lovely catch up with RLS, then out to Surrey Quays to check out Decathlon’s winter walking / climbing trouser before returning to KX to meet CH. Signal failure at Peterborough delayed her arrival somewhat, but it was no hardship sitting in the plaza soaking up the sunshine, watching the world go by and listening to Lingthusiasm.

Drinks and Deliveroo once we’d made it to CJ.

Leisurely start to Saturday, then train and tube to London Bridge, crossing the Thames and strolling and sightseeing our way to Canary Wharf along the Thames Path, North side. Gorgeous day – hot and sunny.

London Bridge to Canary Wharf
London Bridge to Canary Wharf

Late lunch at one of the new Marketplace food halls in Canary Wharf, a speedy shop at Waitrose then tube/train back to CJ for cheese, wine and Eurovision!

After another leisurely start on Sunday and after breakfast/brunch we took the train/tube up into Bloomsbury to (re)visit the Stonehenge Exhibition. Coffee at The British Library, partly to sit somewhere dry for a bit (it was a rather wet day), then on to KX where we waved off CH. H headed home and I walked down to TRC to catch up with my lovely silver surfers. So glad they’re (almost) all still there.

I’m flexing my working pattern this week as Monday was day 1 of our in person KMCA meeting. A really good day, rounded off by rooftop bar cocktails, dinner at Ottolenghi and a night at the bling-tastic Dorsett Ciry Hotel.

High up on the 24th floor, I ogled at all the shiny new office blocks that have come free of their construction clothes since December’s visit.

Hello again, London. My, haven't you grown!
Hello again, London. My, haven’t you grown!

Meanwhile, back home, Phil’s chasing squirrels. And Stockley Coppice has been harvested.

TV: Ozark (The End), Better Call Saul (real time weekly viewing!), Eurovision, SAS: Who Dares Wins, Countryfile.

Podcasts: Lingthusiasm, History Extra.

Photos: Herefordshire week 124 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-05-15.