Herefordshire Week 163: Tuesday 07 – Monday 13 February 2023

Linking up the local footpaths. Back to the cinema with the Borderlines Film Festival 2023. Pyrénées planning – flights booked!

Tuesday turned out to be another gorgeous sunny morning after a cold night – the bird bath / font frozen all day. I decided it was time to link up the local footpaths (and log a walk for my Lowland Leader qualification). Turned out to be an almost 6 mile walk along lanes, footpaths and fields.

En route: startled a hare between Upper Jury Farm and Hill Farm and a fox coming back over Thistly Hill; frosty in the shade, bright and sunny out; detours along field edges to avoid mud and baby crops; overgrown and rickety stiles between Upper Jury Farm and Hill Farm – I’ll take the secateurs and gloves next time…

Strava Map and Elevation Graph: Linking Up the Local Footpaths

Route: Thistly Field – Lane to Old Grange Farm – Footpaths to corner by The Birches – Footpaths behind Oxpasture Coppice to Duffryn Farm – Footpaths to Jury Brook Cottage – Lane to Upper Jury Farm driveway – Driveway then footpaths to Hill Farm – Lane to Canns Hill – Footpath to Wellfield – Lane to The Ark – Footpaths back up to Thistly Field and home.

Distance: 5.71 miles
Time (Active): 1h 40m
Elev Gain: 493 ft

Back home to work for the usual Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, Thursday week. Lots of lovely emails about my departure, and lots of Congrats! too. Forty working days to go….

VWW and Family Zoom.

A couple of hours admin on Friday morning, then into Hereford to see Tár at The Courtyard – our first post COVID time at the cinema and our first film in this year’s Borderlines Film Festival. Our last film together had been Bait, in the Borderlines Film Festival 2020, and I can still remember the Coronavirus Risk Assessment Announcement at the start of the film…. A foretaste of the time to come.

Home for a late pot of tea and Waitrose Genoa Fruit Cake, then upstairs to Flickr some more photos – almost up to date – and finally published last week’s weeknotes.

Dinner watching The White Lotus finished off the day.

Up early on Saturday to drive to Kerne Bridge for a morning out with the walking club. A bit of a grey day but a good route for future reference, up Coppett Hill and back round along the river and through the nature reserve woods to Goodrich and Kerne Bridge. I’d not realised Coppett Hill was the same place I’d been to on my navigation training – although I’m not sure I should admit to that. Medical rehydration outside The Inn on The Wye – a fancy mug of fancy tea (I’d give anything for a large pot of builders tea) – then home for a late lunch.

Headed back out for a quick prune of the oregano and checked up on the rhubarb – doing OK – then back inside to take the new feather duster for a comprehensive tour of the cobwebs before settling down for a few hours on the computer – finished flickring photos, made a start on these weeknotes, translated Alfonso’s outline for September’s Pyrenees Trek into a Pyrenees Prep spreadsheet and had a look at flights. Late August departure pushes the prices up but we had such a great time in the Picos I’m OK with that. And the only time I’ve been to the Pyrenees was interrailling with Tom way back when.

Our pizza plans went awry, so it was spanakopita and salad for dinner, and the last couple of episodes of season two of The White Lotus. We’d been inspired by Tár to christen a couple of Cat’s Dartington crystal wine glasses with a nice bottle of red wine.

A slow start Sunday before a day of chores – dusted and polished (don’t worry – not much, and it’s only an annual event (if that)), gave the landing orchids a good soak, and then the sideboard plants and other upstairs non-ferny plants. Watered the greenhouse lemongrass (but I think the December freeze killed that all off) and strawberries, gave my Herefordshire Russet Apple Tree a good soaking.

Seeing as I had my wellies on I headed out onto the lane and lopped the wild plum shoots and saplings on our verge, hoping to give other plants room to grow. We get a lot of primroses on this bank and I’d love them to spread. Back inside The Grounds I lopped off some of the green bush’s ever vigorous new growth, pulled the dead (frozen) geraniums out of their pots, cleared the leaves from around the other pot plants by the porch and took everything to the quarry and got a small bonfire going. It’s due to rain this week.

Then realised I’d never cleared the pond weed I’d hauled out last weekend, so I carried a Big Hands armful to the bonfire ash slope. A flash of orange hinted that I’d scooped a (by now very dead) goldfish out too – uh oh. Phil went to check later and confirmed my fears, and disposed of the small body… My hero also redistributed the remaining piles of the pond weed and checked the greenhouse for any desiccated bodies of long dead small birds. None found. In some respects – ie encounters with birds and fish, particularly dead or dying ones – I am really not cut out for country living….

I did manage to return to the large pond though and cleared the grass and other old growth from around the edges. Looks much neater now.

4pm, chores done, time for tea and cake with the log stove on…. until Pyrénées planning resurfaced with a decision on flights, resulting in a Ryanair booking and the Where next: Into the Pyrénées blogpost.

Didn’t sleep well Sunday night – I blame The Last of Us – so Monday was a slow start before driving back into Hereford to see Empire of Light at The Courtyard. I loved it.

Lunch at Wagamamas. I’ve not had a Wagas for a long time and this was my first visit to the Hereford branch. The menu is very different from what I remember from CityPoint days. Yummy though.

A bit of shopping, then home. There’d been an accident or something on the A465 approaching Allensmore so I took the back roads. Lovely sunny late afternoon.

Back at base, tea and cake, computing – more work on the Pyrénées Prep spreadsheet and updating the Where Next page.

TV: The White Lotus, The Last of Us (that theme tune is SO Game of Thrones….).

Podcasts: History Extra, The Memory Palace, The History of England.

Photos: Herefordshire week 163 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-02-12.