Herefordshire Week 136: Tuesday 02 – Monday 08 August 2022

Heatwave and scorched grass. Bacton BBQ, Kilpeck Circular and up to Manchester.

GVWC: Kilpeck Circular: Garway Hill panorama - Dave & Hugh on the path down
GVWC: Kilpeck Circular: Garway Hill panorama – Dave & Hugh on the path down

Tuesday began with a trip to Abergavenny for a filling (sort of) and a tour d’Aldi. Home for lunch then back to work. The new antenna providing a nice stable 30MB/s.

Weds was the usual day at work and a VWW with Rach. Thursday ditto with Family Zoom. It takes the first week back after a break for me to get my work ooomph back. My unpacking ooomph took longer to return.

Friday was due to be another hot day so I did the mowing first thing, sticking with the Honda mower and leaving the cuttings to mulch. Tidied up some fallen sticks, snipped the wild plum shoots on the slope to the BBQ and by the bird feeder.

Phil continued scything the front lawn – the long cut grass dries out very quickly as does the newly revealed “lawn” grass – and made a seat to sit on when sharpening his blade. (I’m endlessly surprised how swiftly scythe-speak descends into double entendre.)

Phil's Scything, Front Lawn
Phil’s Scything, Front Lawn

We spent the afternoon reading and resting ahead of the week’s major social event – Bacton BBQ. A super sociable evening with a couple of pints, veggie burgers and salad and a vast array of puddings. Caught up with the KG crowd – K&N were in charge of the coconut shy – PR and the Abbey Dore Ladies, S&M and T&J. Walked there and got a lift back. Magic.

Bacton Barbecue
Bacton Barbecue

Finally finished my unpacking (and putting away) on Saturday and did my Peaks of Ladakh trip notes and reading updates. Still got to tackle the photos mind you. At least there aren’t as many as there would usually be, Ha Ha.

Read outside in the shade down by the willow tree stump. It’s officially too hot.

Joined D and H on Sunday to recce the Kilpeck Circular ahead of next Saturday’s club walk. Walked from home to Kilpeck which added on an extra 5 miles or so. Strava says I did 17 ½ miles all in: Abbey Dore – Wormbridge – Kilpeck – Bagwyllydiart – Garway Hill – Kentchurch – Bagwyllydiart – Kilpeck.

GVWC: Kilpeck Circular - Strava Map
GVWC: Kilpeck Circular – Kilpeck Church Carvings Montage
GVWC: Kilpeck Circular - Kilpeck Church Carvings Montage
GVWC: Kilpeck Circular – Kilpeck Church Carvings Montage

Another scorcher so the post walk medical rehydration (aka 2 pints of bitter shandy plus two packets of s&v crisps) at the lovely Kilpeck Inn went down very swiftly.

Back home courtesy of Phil+Panda – and probably primed by the two pints – I hauled out some of the pond weed. That’ll go onto the compost heap next week. It’s too dry to bonfire and the hedge clippings and shrub loppings are piling up…..

In a change to my normal working pattern, I spent Monday-Wednesday in the Manchester office. Monday morning’s 8.30am TfW train from Abergavenny was a 2 carriage service, and was soon swamped by families off to Blackpool / elsewhere for their summer hols and lots of commuters. Me and the lady who sat next to me wore masks, everyone else opted for Omicron Roulette.

Weatherwise, the city of the worker bee was scorchio with blue skies.

Good day in the office – aircon! – and M&S mezze dinner in my room at The Edwardian with the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony from Brum on the box. It’s only now struck me that I’ve been in a lot of hotel rooms recently. All very, very different!

Watering the tomato plant in the greenhouse I spotted that there is an offspring?offshoot? completely unrelated? smaller tomato plant growing up between two of the paving slabs. I wonder how that happened.

The strawbs are at the “growing greenery” stage ready for next year and the lemongrass, inside and outside, has gone into overdrive. Smashing. The lettuce is on the wane – not that the slugs seemed to have got that memo.


Lots of apples on the trees. The dwarf Bramley in the orchard is laden but (thankfully) the Golden Delicious that produced so many small apples last year is taking it easy this year. Not so many wild plums.

I’m watering the big bay tree, lettuce, rhubarb and gooseberries most evenings with the hose pipe and using grey water for the hydrangeas, buddleia (yep, had to look up how to spell that), D&G’ rhododendron and my birthday Japanese Quince. I’ve topped up the pond a couple of times too. Hoping for rain soon but the forecast shows relentless sunny days and with the temperatures rising.

Everything is languid – from leaves to birds to us.

The grass is crispy, and that’s only partly due to hazelnut shells. Talking of which I thought the heatwave might have kept the squirrels at bay during the day – until I spotted two on the peanuts…

TV: For All Mankind (started season 3), Better Call SaulTed Lasso, (this starts off as “Football Man” as I can never remember the name of this show!) and the 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.

Podcasts: History Extra

Photos: Herefordshire week 136 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-08-07.