Herefordshire Week 138: Tuesday 16 – Monday 22 August 2022

Intruder cows.  Tractor run. Belated birthday celebrations at The Angel and a day boat on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

A moored narrowboat on the MonBrec
A moored narrowboat on the MonBrec

Up early on Tuesday to drive Phil to HFD to catch the 06.43 to London. Back via Asda, Tescos and The Forge “cheap” (it’s all relative…) petrol. Topped up the bird feeders, watered the greenhouse tomatoes, lemongrass and strawberries, then wheelbarrowed most of the remaining piles of strimmed meadow over to the orchard compost heap. About 8 piles left, but I had to get to Kerrys Gate for 11am to walk Cockyard Circuit / Tig’s Tump with K.

Lovely walking and talking, and I encountered two young deer on the lane by Camp Wood en route to KG.

Met Ray just as we got back here and he came over in the afternoon to take the 3 bags of scythed grass and some thank you apple chutney.

As well as being a work day, Thursday brought major excitement when, at lunchtime, one of the neighbours stopped by to let me know that some of the local cows had got out of their field, through an electric fence, along the lane and ended up in our front garden this morning, and the man whose field they escaped and the farmer whose cows they are had come in to round them up and take them back to their field.

Exciting enough in itself, but I had been oblivious to the whole thing, which must all have taken place while I was at home, most likely working in my office. The one the looks out right over the front garden.

The farmer came round early evening to let me know himself and together we checked the orchard – where one cow had gone – and the front lawn – where the other had decided to explore (sadly, it turned out there were only two escapee intruders) to look for signs of any damage. Not surprisingly (seeing as I’d not noticed anything awry all morning) given the ground’s so hard you can’t even see where they’ve been.

In fact, the only thing I’ve noticed at all was some mud on the back of the Panda – I’d wondered where that had come from! The cows must have squeezed in between the car and the gatepost.

Breakfast in the conservatory and out on the patio was a gentle start to a sunny breezy Friday morning. A few jobs around the house, then out to walk Camp Crossroads – Duffryn – Quarrells Green, with the first leg spent on the phone with a friend’s son talking about City career opportunities and paths. The social chats continued – with A out on his new bike on the Duffryn leg and with D in her garden down in Grey Valley.

Back at base, I donned wellies and got to work on the last of the grass piles, and took the secateurs to work on the damson shoots that have materialised all round the grounds. Lunch, then sewed up the burn hole in my Picos sleeping bag and some of the torn sections of the mosquito net that kept the blackcurrants safe this year. Put the hose away, possibly prematurely.

ie pottered around until it was time to head into Hereford for a leisurely supermarket shop before picking up Phil from the station.

Home for bargains and Football Man (season 1, last 2 episodes). So nice.

Spent most of Saturday on the computer, on a roll ticking things off my to do list: email admin, financial admin, photo admin, family admin (ie final plans for Sunday and Monday).

It helped that it rained on and off during the morning. I did miss out on a sunny afternoon though.

Morning cross mowing the front lawn, and a lick and a promise for most of the rest of the grounds.

Meadow no more
Meadow no more

A brief pause in between Honda mowing and ride-on mower grass collecting when Ray called by to return our grass sacks – and while we were chatting by his tractor, the Golden Valley Tractor Run passed by. Phil took this video. It’s lovely.

Then off to Abergavenny, via Crickhowell to pick up T&J who’d been to visit some friends’ exhibition at the Tower Gallery. We treated ourselves to tea and cake at Latte-Da. Highly recommended. Next time I’ll try sitting in their secluded back garden.

Back in Abergavenny we rendezvoused with dad and Jean at The Angel Hotel for a Loosemore family celebration. Lovely.

The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

A smashing dinner and luxury night’s stay at The Angel on Sunday, and a leisurely breakfast on Monday, then back towards Crickhowell for a family day out on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal courtesy of a day boat from Beacon Park Boats; my CWF photography competition prize. Cool and a bit damp, but glorious to be amidst all that green. We pottered along as far as Gilwern, stopped for a coffee at the Towpath Inn, then motored back.

Bridge 106 over the MonBrec
Bridge 106 over the MonBrec

Back home via Abergavenny to drop off T&J, Wormelow for fabric samples and The Forge for milk.

I kept thinking it was a Sunday.

I was going to say that I’ve not seen the red woodpeckers for a couple of weeks now. Not even on the bird feeders…. but then, late on Saturday afternoon, I did see one, just one, on the bird feeder.

TV: Ted Lasso, Top of the Pops: The Story of 1997, 1998 & 1999 ,The Sandman, Better Call Saul (the bitter end).

Audiobook: Alice Roberts reading her book Tamed: Ten Species that Changed Our World (excellent).

Photos: Herefordshire week 138 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-08-22.