Herefordshire Week 178: Tuesday 23 – Monday 29 May 2023

Sunny! Bank Holiday! Retirement week 1!

May, green and lush.

This is the life….

Ewyas Harold
Ewyas Harold

Tuesday was cooler, so no excuse for not catching up on a bit of admin and doing my first weeknotes as a retiree. KMCA Drinks in the evening 🙂 Not entirely “gone” yet.

Brobury House on Wednesday morning for very nice coffee with the KG Ladies.

Brobury House Gardens - Rhododendrons in bloom
Brobury House Gardens – Rhododendrons in bloom

In the afternoon I painted the box dad and I made (slapped on some white gloss – not the most elegant finish if I’m honest), then cranked up the Honda Mower and mowed the edges. The grass is lush and damp so I left off the collector. Even so the mower cut out about a million times. At least I’ve got the knack of starting it now. I think I’ve terminally broken the base mind you….

We’re leaving the front lawn as it’s No Mow May, mainly because of the buttercups.


Woke with a headache on Thursday. With hindsight, I think it was related to yesterday’s Honda hauling.

Read for a bit (still catching up on LRBs – I’ve got to Dec 2022) then headed out to potter in the orchard. Relocated all the seedlings from my windowsill – planted out the lettuces in the herb bed (not sure how they’ll do), put the tomato seedlings outside (it was sweltering inside the greenhouse), added the courgette seedling to the old mushroom tray that’s home to the two pepper and one cucumber seedlings.

Plants old and new: tomatoes & peppers from the plant sale
Plants old and new: tomatoes & peppers from the plant sale

Planted some more lettuce seeds, watered the sunflowers, onions, leeks and sole French Dwarf Bean all of which are nestled round the base of my Herefordshire Russett apple tree.  Put up my mosquito net blackcurrant bush+berry bird protector.

Then inside for a coffee and the cool. And a bit of computer admin. I’m hanging on to see if the June Apple Keynote has any impact on the price of Mac Minis….

Still headachey on Friday, so Phil did the driving over to Gloucester to pick up a second hand Herman Miller Aeron chair I’d bought via eBay. Yes, I know, I stop working and I invest in a proper home office set up…. We drove back via an MG dealership (to check out the electric MG4s) and the excellent Over Farm for lunch and a few tasty treats…..

R came to strim in the morning. I put off ride on mower mowing for another day and spent the afternoon reading more of the LRB backlog.

Perusing the small pond in the afternoon, we spotted loads of tadpoles lazing amidst the pond weed. Some of them are sporting big back legs – almost frogs, and they’re almost as big as the newts.

Pond life!
Pond life!

And in the big pond, dragonflies and damselflies. And flags and lilies.

Damselflies laying eggs in the large pond
Damselflies laying eggs in the large pond

And not forgetting … pizza for tea:

Friday night Pizza Ă  la Phil - A Master At Work!
Friday night Pizza Ă  la Phil – A Master At Work!

Another headache groggy start to Saturday. Thankfully it cleared by the time we picked up T & L and drove on a voyage of discovery to Vowchurch aka our first visit to the famous Vowchurch Village Market.


We returned with an array of tasty baked goods from the Alex Gooch bakery stall, including focaccia which we all tucked into for lunch, sat outside on the patio with the sunshade up.

Lazy afternoon. Managed a speedy sit on mower mow of the lush grass on the west lawn and down by the old garden railway, and in the orchard. Grass collector “off”. I’ll do another sweep to pick it up once it’s dried.


The Bank Holiday Weekend Holiday At Home theme continued on Sunday, with a slow start – coffee and (Vowchurch) almond croissants for breakfast sitting out on the patio, accompanied by the birds singing exuberantly. It’s lovely.

More LRB-ing. I’ve got to Jan 2023.

Monday started off cool, so I spent the first part of the morning doing some computer admin – I had an email from Val-in-Peru with dates for the Kanchenjunga trek later this year.

Being the third Bank Holiday Monday (another next word prediction missing from the Apple universe) Phil and I thought we’d indulge in another foodie treat and headed over to Ewyas Harold for lunch at The Temple Bar Inn.

We walked there via the Deer Farm and Ewyas Harold Common, and back via The Rec, Common and Dore Abbey. I fear the lunchtime pint + the goat’s cheese and sun dried tomato sandwich (with crisp and salad garnish) + the shared skin-on skinny chips definitely amounted to more than 669 calories….

Lunch out - warming up with a pint
Lunch out – warming up with a pint

Back at base we sat outside, moving the table and chairs into the shaded grass – too breezy for the sunshade. Then a spot of podcasts and snoozing on the conservatory sofa. Then inside to look at flights….

A lot of good telly this week, with the finales of both Succession and Barry on Monday, and prior to that wrapping up the currently-last season of Perry Mason and embarking on Poker Face which sees Natasha Lyonne return with her Russian Doll vibe as a quirky fast talking fast thinking independent woman, this time able to tell when someone is lying, a skill which she puts to use solving crimes encountered driving across America on the run from a hitman, and Rian Johnson brings us another Glass Onion-y, complex-yet-cosy crime caper .

TV: Succession (finale!), Barry (finale!), Perry Mason (finished season 2), Poker Face (season 1).

Podcasts: History Extra, Anglo-Saxon England, The Forum, Empire.

Photos: Herefordshire week 178 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-05-28.