MCR continued. Nepal firms up. Heatwave. Meadow cutting marathon and clearing the small pond.
As regular readers will know, I was in Manchester for work Monday-Wednesday this week and Tuesday and Wednesday continued to be(e) hotter and sunnier than ever before. A good trip.
Not such a good journey home – my 18:31 train was cancelled so it was a slow service to Wilmslow then a wait for the train to Cardiff.
I’ve no idea of the geography, and it turned out I was joining the 19.31 departure from Manchester. If I’d waited there I might have found a glass of wine for company! Oh well. Phil and I had a cheese and wine supper once I was home.
Not working a Thursday threw my week out completely.
Took the car for its MOT first thing, and heard back with the all clear a few hours later. A came over for tea and a hot cross bun and we chatted in the shady part of the garden until gone 1pm.
Caught up with Val early afternoon, and – Trek Siren – I am officially off on a 3 week trip to Naar Phu with Val in October / November. Naar (Nar) and Phu are small villages in Nepal, north and east of the Annapurnas, Manang side. Chulu East and Himlung Himal were also mentioned. I’ve booked flights with Qatar Airways.
I’ve christened this trip Val Pitkethly’s Naar Phu Explorer.
Spent the rest of the afternoon doing admin on the computer, including trying to sort out our LPG supply for the next 2 years. It’s just Too Hot outside.
Friday was hotter.
We were both awake around 5.30am so made an early start to the day. Handy, as we needed to walk back to Ewyas to pick up the Panda post MOT. We took the Dicks Pitch route – shady and speedy – and got to the garage in less than an hour.
Just don’t ask about locking the conservatory keys in the conservatory before we set out … Thank heavens (Thank dad) for the tub of spare keys.
Raked up the strimmer grass and relocated it to the dip by the hedge (freshly cut by Richard while I was in MN). Hot and sweaty work. Dug up a few weeds – easy to spot as they’re still green against the parched yellow grass.
In the afternoon, more admin – inside, but not cool. Did online check in for our flights to Bilbao for September’s Picos trip. That’s coming up fast!
In the evening (still hot, but not quite so sweltering), our first visit to Winchester as “guests” since dad and Jean moved. A lovely BBQ.
The extreme heatwave continued on Saturday (mid-30s), so another early start.
Ray called round a bit after 7.30am and said he could clear our cut grass later in the day, so I got to work with the strimmer mower, hacking down the tougher grass and tall flowers that have grown on the slope down to the pond. Hot hard work. My blisters have blisters. Well, not quite but not far off.
Three quarters of the way through the strimmer stopped working and neither of us could work out why. So we decided that was a good reason to have our first independent outing with the Stihl strimmer. Phil did the honours while I moved the pond weed piles and weeded the drive.
We had a bit of a hiatus when he reached the end of the cable and we had to work out how to load it up with another 8 metres…. The instruction booklet, a YouTube video and a call to dad later and Phil was back in action.
We are so not having a meadow next year!
I revere Monty Don as much as the next person but he must have “help” when it comes cutting the meadow – which we don’t – and better options for making use of the cut grass.
Thank heavens for Ray who turned up a bit after midday and lifted piles of the scythed grass onto a rake/frame attachment on the back of his tractor and drove the grass up to his field.
A break for lunch – we’re eating / relaxing in the shade down by the log shed / willow tree stump – after which I decided to have a go at clearing the small pond. It’s bone dry and we figured this gives us the chance to find and fix the leak….. Even unsaturated the iris bed was too heavy, do I made do with cutting back the leaves, pulling off chunks of dried out pond bottom and clearing the weeds and ivy from the rim.
Sweated so much that when salty sweat dripped into my eyes it really stung!
In an unusual turn of events, I made dinner, and tried out the Damson Gin. Tasty!
Sunday – still hot.
Phil and I finished clearing the iris bed out of the small pond, and swept out the remaining debris. There’s a crack running from near the centre towards the railway power point, so we’re looking up ways to fix that. Liner or cement/putty?
Raked the strimmed grass into piles, then lunch. A few jobs / tidying up by the compost heap, a breather to allow the shade to reach the piles and then it was time to start wheelbarrowing the grass piles to the compost slope above the BBQ and the bigger one at the far end of the path.
Before dinner we sat outside the kitchen and watched the birds on the feeders and in the font for a while, once they’d decided we weren’t a threat.
At dusk, a bat got into the conservatory, but it managed to make its own escape through the doors.
A cooler start to Monday and – AT LAST – some rain.
A day for “indoors jobs”.
Put surplus picture frames into the roof, then did some computer admin. Tidied up recent Flickr titles, tags and descriptions, prepped tax return, caught up with Val, did some Picos prep (looked at my kitlist and tried working out how much money to take).
7pm, thunder and heavier rain arrived.
In “heatwave and extreme weather warning” news, – it’s been > 30C most of the week, with – thankfully – rain / thunder arriving on Monday.
The trees are shedding leaves by the sack load.
Apples doing OK.
My office is still hot and the patio and the walls that side of the house are still radiating heat, but the rain is cooling things down.
It’s also been a week of massive moons and a mewing buzzard.
Photos: Herefordshire week 137 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2022-08-14.