Herefordshire Week 156: Tuesday 20 – Monday 26 December 2022

It’s Christ-maaaaaas!

Christmas Dinner
Christmas Dinner

Raked up the leaves forced off the trees by the freeze and the breeze on Tuesday morning. They’re on the compost heap ready for next spring. Phil scooped leaves out of the big pond – now fully unfrozen.

Admin in the afternoon, including sorting out next year’s car insurance using the excellent new Compare + tool on Money Saving Expert. Admiral (current) quoted £366.42, Co-Op Eco Insurance came in at just over £200 for broader cover – so guess who got our money….

On Wednesday morning we headed into Hereford to do the Christmas Food Shop calling in at DFS first to look at a potential sofa for the lounge. Food shop successful (and not as stressful as anticipated), sofa purchase postponed as they were waiting for a new Josefina to arrive.

Walked the Bacton Square in the sunny afternoon, catching up with JC on the walk back from Dore Abbey and belatedly realised that I’d got Saturday and Sunday as Christmas Day and Boxing Day in my head…..

LED Trustees Meeting before dinner in front of the telly.

Started Thursday by finishing up The Mermaid of Black Conch; the first book I’ve read since October. The gap is due partly to being away in Nepal, partly to reading a lot of LRBs (trying to get through the backlog. I’ve got to May 2022) and partly because I am finding it harder to read longer form works. Perhaps that’s due to the book, perhaps that’s due to the internet.

Wrote up the minutes from last night’s Trustee call, with a break when Santa arrived (in the shape of dad) bearing Christmas presents. We had a stroll around the grounds together – clouds low over the hills, drizzle/damp in the air, water lingering on leaves and grass – then a cup of tea with a piece of cake.

Made mince pies in the afternoon. Delia’s recipe (all butter instead of half lard), with my vegan apple brandy mincemeat. Phil and I tested two each with a cup of tea.

Forty Four Mince Pies
Forty Four Mince Pies

Got the log stove going. Not cold, but nice to be cosy (even if the days are now technically starting to get longer…), and all the more so as I’m feeling we’re nearing the end of the To Do List.

Foolishly decided to “pop into Hereford” on Friday morning to look at sofas and for a small Tour of Waitrose. We hit the traffic at Belmont Abbey, the car parks were full, DFS was shut, Waitrose’s shelves were almost bare (but we managed to get what we needed) and there was a queue of cars from Sainsbury’s all the way down Whitecross Road to the roundabout, which is home to the Whitecross Plague Cross I’ve just discovered.

Recovered back at base with a book, after a late lunch and an hour of London-related admin.

Settled on the sofa for some late afternoon / early evening telly (Misbehaviour, The Young Victoria) plus pistachios. Later, Pizza Philippoise and posh chocs accompanied Knives Out: Glass Onion.

Saturday – Christmas Eve – in the garden: One squirrel. Two squirrels. Three squirrels. THREE!

Out to deliver Christmas cards to Kerrys Gate, Cockyard and Wellfield Junction, a three pronged route. Late lunch, log stove on and reading (finished Piranesi) before adjourning to the Telly Room for cocktails and an evening watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Dog House at Christmas (Wood Green meets Godmanchester) and Motherland.

Commencing the Christmas Cocktails!
Commencing the Christmas Cocktails!

We started off Christmas Day with coffee and cinnamon buns followed by presents and family phone calls. Then an unplanned drive over to the bungalow for cheering up coffee and mince pies with a very poorly Jean and about to be poorly dad.

Back home to join Phil in preparing and then eating our Christmas Feast: Vegetarian Wellington, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, roast carrots, sprouts (for me), pigs in blankets (for Phil) stuffing, bread sauce and cranberry sauce.

Yum yum.

Christmas Dinner
Christmas Dinner

And plenty of leftovers to keep us going to New Year.

Look at All Those Leftovers
Look at All Those Leftovers

We then needed a lot more telly as a digestif – A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, The Sinner (yawn, but at least it’s done), Top of the Pops Review of the Year, Ghosts (Christmas Special), The Story of Film: A New Generation (part 1).

We just about had room for cheese by 9pm….

AND we used the dishwasher!!

Sunny Monday so we did the Bacton Square as our Boxing Day stroll, dropping in to Dore Abbey to check out the Christmas Trees and coming back across the field – currently home to sheep rather than cows.

Then reading in the lounge before an evening of leftovers and telly, finishing off The Story of Film: A New Generation before indulging in Detectorists Christmas Special.

In utilities news, Balfour Beatty on behalf of Herefordshire Council sent us notification that they’re going to be digging up the road down into Abbey Dore to fix the big hole where the road has collapsed into a drain. That hole has been there since before we moved – that’s three years….

At last!
At last!

And Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water notified us that they were aware of / were dealing with the no water / low water pressure situation. The shower has run dry a couple of times during the past week or so. Turns out “operational issues” had affected pretty much the whole length of the Golden Valley.

A lot of telly this week. Well, it is Christmas.

TV: Snowfall (finished season 5), The Sinner (finally finished off season 3 – meh), Misbehaviour, The Young Victoria, Knives Out: Glass Onion, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Dog House at Christmas, Motherland, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Top of the Pops Review of the Year, Ghosts, The Story of Film: A New Generation, Detectorists

Podcasts: Empire, History Extra, SheDunnit.

Photos: Herefordshire week 156 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-12-25.