Herefordshire Week 146: Tuesday 11 – Monday 17 October 2022

Sunny autumn days. COVID booster. Mowing. Blackberries. Damson Jam.

Admin on Tuesday morning – including placing a winning bid on a RAB Ascent jacket to take to Nepal. Val’s not sure how well the stuff I usually borrow will have survived 3 years in storage in KTM.

Then walked Duffryn – Cockyard – Quarrells Green, picking blackberries on the last leg.

Usual work week, with LED Trustee Zoom after work on Tuesday,  VWW on Weds and Family Zoom on Thurs. T called round with L and her parents on Thursday afternoon, handily when I had time to take a break from work. Lovely.

Busy day Friday – into Hereford for my COVID booster (I think all the fuss over my sodium levels put me on the “vulnerable” list). In and out in 5 mins. They were powering through. Then B&Q for kitchens and tree labels (we came away empty handed), Wren Kitchens (just mooching), DFS (on a whim, but I think we may have a winner on our conservatory sofa quest), Charity Shop Drop Off, Sainsbury’s (mainly for P to pick up a purchase from Argos, but a couple of jam doughnuts fell into the trolley too….), Tescos for Petrol, Home.

We were lunching al fresco when S & R-the-collie-pup materialised. Nice chat over coffee. R very cute, interested in everything, at the chewing everything stage – including the paint peeling off the patio table.

Did what I hope will be the final mow of the year, although leaf collection may require another. That said, not sure I’ll be able to fit that in before I head off to Nepal. Snipped some brambles out of the front hedge, pulled out some nettles by the old railway track, retied the regrowing wisteria, weed-killered the drive and ditch.

Caught up with Tom, then adjourned to the telly room – pizza for dinner. Yum.

Friday Night Pizza
Friday Night Pizza

Didn’t have a great night’s sleep – red wine or COVID jab, who’s to say – so rejigged plans for Saturday and made Damson jam in the morning (BBC Good Food recipe) and pottered in the afternoon. Rain first thing, then sunshine, then sunshine&showers (some v heavy) in the afternoon. This is when I really want a sofa to snooze on in the conservatory!

Six and a half jars of Damson Jam
Six and a half jars of Damson Jam

Took things easy on Sunday as well. Another gorgeous day. Strolled Cockyard – Kerrys Gate, four buzzards on the long field down on Stone Street, more blackberries.

Tried to find a good spot to move the rhododendron to: I’m not sure the far end of the front lawn is a good spot – too exposed overground and too rocky/rubbly underground. After trying to dig holes by the pruned shrub and the willow tree stump, I finally settled on the old garden railway line, where one of the small conifers has died due to the summer’s drought – I think the tree at the back of the garage is a goner too. Didn’t  actually move the rhododendron as clearing the ivy and digging the hole took a while.

After lunch, a zoom with the BJH folks, set up the trickle charger on the ride on mower, did a bit of joint admin with Phil then read for the rest of the afternoon before making Meera Sodha’s potato, chard and coconut curry for dinner.

Spent Monday mainly in Hereford with some local friends. Lovely! And another gorgeous sunny day.

Have spotted ripples in the small pond, and seen thrushes flying to/from it – so I think Phil’s repairing, refilling and rewilding the concrete pond is working.

Over by the bird feeders and bird bath we’ve seen the occasional long tailed tit and goldfinches, as well as the usual great tits, blue tits, coal tits, chaffinches, robins, wrens and dunnocks. There’s a red woodpecker every now and again – plus a young female pheasant and a young male pheasant, although never together.

Lilac cyclamen flourishing down by the rose garden and willow stump. Winter crocus on the wane by the bird feeders.

TV: Grand Designs, Rev., Conversations with Friends, Medici.

Podcasts: History Extra.

Photos: Herefordshire week 146 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-10-16.