Herefordshire Week 158: Tuesday 03 – Monday 09 January 2023

Snowdrops. Pruning. Christmas with dad and Jean. Hedges cut.

Last week of hols.

Tuesday morning was busy on the computer doing weeknotes and Nepal photos. Lunch then into Hereford for library, Trekkit, Christmas bargains hunt (no joy), insulation and gaffer tape, then to dad and Jean’s for tea and Christmas cake.

No more leftovers, so Nigel Slater’s butterbean mash with broccoli was a culinary delight come dinnertime.

Helicopters came back on Wednesday, Army Camp holidays must be over. More Nepal photos – we got to Phu! – then out into the high winds to walk to Ewyas Harold for a pub lunch at The Temple Bar Inn. The roadworks have started, so we took T’s tip to detour through R’s field and strolled down to the Abbey with T and L.

Disaster awaited in Ewyas – The Temple was closed for the staff Christmas Party. So we tried out The Dog for a lacklustre lunch then headed home to top up the bird feeders and to walk the grounds discussing fencing. Crunched on the tops of the tips of the daff shoots at the bird feeders and found fungi on the dead ash tree.

Fungi on the dead ash tree
Fungi on the dead ash tree

My main achievement for what remained of the afternoon was making a slaw out of half of the surplus red cabbage.

Thursday was meant to be a dry day and I had hoped to bonfire ….. but it turned out to be damp and mistily mizzly drizzly. Still a good day for jobs: descaled the coffee maker and kettle with white vinegar, swept out the log basket and around the stove and even got the hoover out to get rid of some of the ash build up in the hard to reach places. Took a surprisingly long time!

A bit of back and forth over email with FH back in London – thankfully only something we will need to do again in another couple of years.

After lunch we headed out with the step ladders and loppers to prune the pear tree. Let’s see what happens now…

Raked up some of the leaves by the log shed but the breeze kept nicking leaves from the wheelbarrow so I moved round to the old rose garden at the bottom of the slope. Easier going there and I spotted the first snowdrops were out! As you can see, they remain impossible to photograph well.

First snowdrops
First snowdrops

Decided to prune the rose bush while I was there.

Inside for tea and mince pies. Phil got the log stove going. That’s usually my domain.

I made an effort to break the Christmas and NY lie in cycle on Friday – up at 8am! Raining again so gardening and walking plans were put on hold and instead I finished off the long overdue final filing of my recipe folder and flickred my Nepal photos up and over the Kang La pass and all the way Ghyaru.

Marshyangdi River valley, looking east towards Pisang and Chame - Annapurna II on the right
Marshyangdi River valley, looking east towards Pisang and Chame – Annapurna II on the right

Got the log stove going as the rain splattered on the windows then dinner and telly. Windy outside.

Dad and Jean came over on Saturday for our much delayed Christmas Get Together: presents then lunch with dad supplying wine and Christmas Pudding (made using Vi A’s handwritten recipe) and brandy cream. We squeezed in cheese, biscuits and port too. Oh, and coffee and chocolates lounging around the log stove.

Welly Boot Rack in use
Welly Boot Rack in use

I needed a little lie down once they’d gone – watched The Good Liar. A lovely day.

Still raining on Sunday so a good opportunity to finish flickring my photos from this last year’s Nepal trek and the corresponding Photos & Notes blogpost. Took down the Christmas decorations too – a couple of days late but they were required yesterday.

Into Hereford on Monday morning – bought new sofas for the lounge and conservatory from DFS and popped into Wren Kitchen while we were there.

Recovered with a smashing coffee and giant flapjack at a new coffee shop – Dough – that’s opened in Sensory & Rye‘s old premises. V handy having two lovely coffee shop/cafes in the same part of town.

Supermarket shop then home for a late lunch in the conservatory. Sunshine and showers. The hedge cutter tractor had cut our laneside hedges while we were out.

Did a few minor garden jobs in the afternoon. Back to work tomorrow…..

TV: China’s Van Goghs: The Village That Paints Thousands Of Fakes A Year (YouTube – I found the Amsterdam part really poignant), When Motown Came to Britain2 Tone: The Sound of CoventryThe NestOur Flag Means Death, The Good Liar, Narcos (season 1), Happy Valley (series 3).

Podcasts: Empire, History Extra.

Photos: Herefordshire week 158 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-01-08.