Early starts. Sunny days. Gardening and walks.
Tuesday, after a leisurely start, I walked Tremorithic via Kerrys Gate and Bacton along the lanes. A lovely sunny morning, spring flowers galore, lush green fields, sheep and lambs in some and three deer in one!
Distance: 7.84 miles
Time: 2h 11m
Elevation Gain: 909 ft
Back home for a stroll around the grounds – the orchids are out and there’s the swathe of bluebells below mower turn. There are cowslips everywhere – they line the lane between us and Canns Hill and beyond. The photos never do them justice.
Lunch in the conservatory – the first for a long time. It’s a cold and wet spring this year.
Usual work week, with a fair bit of catch up / follow up from last week’s Global KM Meeting in London. Cliche alert: the remaining time is going to fly by, particularly as I’ve got a long weekend in the south of France in there too.
Family Zoom on Thursday, no VWW.
On Friday, Phil and I woke early to a misty morning in Grey Valley. The air stayed damp all day, and the grass never really dried off. But there was no rain.
The early start meant I had time to start catching up on the LRB backlog (from June 2022) and to review Phil’s Apple Computer Options Analysis (and see rant below) before heading down to Kerrys Gate to rendezvous with KH to complete the Cockyard Circuit. I took a beat to film the lambs and ewes that have moved in next door:
Back home for lunch, then into Hereford to return / collect library books and for an afternoon of DIY with dad: we cut shelves for Steffi’s New Van, replaced the broken castor on the oil heater and made a ramp to get the mower on/off the patch of grass by the bins. Very satisfying.
Home for a relaxing hour or so in the conservatory before Pizza à la Phil and telly.
Saturday saw another early start, this time with the sunrise:
A beautiful day. Perfect for a morning coffee out on the patio, and the birds were singing their hearts out. And, the sun was drying off the morning mist and dew – just right for A Mow!
First job was to scour the front lawn for signs of orchids. They’ve taken a couple of weeks to emerge compared to previous years but with the warm, sunny weather yesterday there were a few more and they were a bit bigger, but it still took two pairs of eyes to find the one we *knew* was closer to the conservatory than the main patch. We staked out the perimeter and that outlier.
And an orchid seed must drifted over the hedge and into the orchard too – amazing.
To give the lawn time to dry off, I spent the morning doing other things: poured boiling water on some of the drive weeds to kill them off (that looks like it’s worked), sprayed weedkiller on the west side and around the conservatory (COVID mask came in handy), relocated the rhododendron from the end of front lawn to the slope next to the tree house, scattered the “butterfly garden” seeds there too.
In the orchard, I planted out two rows of broad beans and two rows of peas in the veg patch, and did a test transplant of one of the sweet pea strands into the orchard hedgerow which entailed moving some wild mint to the wire fencing between the never-flowered gooseberry and the in flower blackcurrant.
And I put two of the sage cutting plants back into the herb bed next to the thyme and oregano/marjoram, and potted the rhododendron branch I’d broken off during the move, hoping to propogate that too (no idea if that’s even possible).
In less good news, the tomato and lettuce seedlings didn’t thrive in the oven-like conditions inside the greenhouse….. Ooops.
After lunch, it was time to mow. First round with the ride on mower taking care to avoid the cowslips (and not mowing below the big pond at all – cowslip country). Then the trickier sections with the push mower. Hot work; a pot of tea and birthday cake sat out on the patio provided a mid-mow breather.
We’re planning to do No Mow May, but after that we’ll be cutting.
Sunday saw the cloud return for the day. We set up the hedgehog house down by the yew tree hedge and spotted a couple of newts (and tadpoles) in the small pond. Inside, we put up the new downstairs curtains we’d ordered from Dunelm. They’re just right – although we may need a longer piece of curtain track in the dining room….
I resumed LRB catch up in the afternoon (there may have been a snooze too) and in the late afternoon, dad and Jean came round for tea and cake before church.
8pm – still light! – Phil and I headed down for wine, cheese and chat with TJL.
Bank Holiday Monday was the first of three this month – Hello May!!
Plans for tea / walk with AL were rescheduled and I spent the day pottering in the orchard (planted more lettuce seeds, transplanted the sweet peas), hauled weed out of the big pond, had a bonfire, readLRBs and had a snooze.
Sad Sushi news from Tom. Sniff.
I spotted swallows this week (or maybe last). Blackbird males are sparring. No sign of the the Long-tailed tits that visited over winter; they must have found food closer to home. Buzzards and a kite soaring on thermals on the warmer days. A hawk hovering over Thistly Field.
Phil’s been researching post-retirement mac laptops for me. The second hand (2017) iMac I bought in late 2018 has been painfully slow for a long, long time. For all Apple’s “aren’t we good?” they don’t seem to spend any effort ensuring older hardware can cope with the endless stream of OS upgrades. I appreciate I’m an outlier in how long I continue to use stuff – but really, all I do is email, calendar, contacts, store photos and documents, and use the web. Nothing that really needs a powerful computer at all. And here I am, drafting this in textpad because while Backblaze is carrying out its autoback up, it’s taking minutes for anything else to respond – whether it’s webpages to load or apps to launch. Minutes of that jolly, colourful, spiraling bloody ball. Minutes (hours) of wasted time.
Oh, and the laptop question? Without buying a completely over-specced Macbook something, I can’t connect two monitors, which other than “doesn’t crawl / will cope with more than 4 years of OS upgrades” is my only requirement. And even then I need to buy a hub to be able to plug in all the various devices: iPad, iPhone, printer, camera.
So I’m probably going to get a Mac Mini and use my iPad for doing stuff not sitting at my desk instead. The main limitation is that I can’t manage my photos on the iPad.
I did seriously consider buying a Windows laptop, but the pain of transferring everything from the Apple ecosystem put me off. Trapped by Tim Apple.
Retirement Days Tracker: 6 ½ working days to go (that’s 3 working weeks, with 1 day off).
TV: Barry (finishing season 2), Looking: The Movie, Succession, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Podcasts: The Allusionist, History Extra.
Photos: Herefordshire week 174 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2023-04-30.