Herefordshire Week 195: Tuesday 19 – Monday 25 September 2023

A wet and windy week alternating with Indian Summer sunshine. Lost passport (found, in the nick of time). Lost dog (owner eventually tracked down). A lovely couple of days with Clan Russell.


More weeknotes backlog first thing on Tuesday, then to Ewyas for my travel jabs (Typhoid top up and Japanese Encephalitis #1) and back for tea and catch up with a friend from down the road.

More computer-ing in the afternoon as the wind and rain blew around outside…. until:

Not a good night’s sleep.

(We ended up taking the young Old English Sheepdog Bearded Collie to the vets in Ewyas Harold. The lovely lady there read the microchip and offered to take over care of the dog while they tracked down the owners. Phew. It was a very well trained dog.)

Early alarm on Wednesday to get me to the Pontrilas Post Office as soon as it opened at 7.45 to get a replacement passport form and to get that filled in, photos certified etc etc with time to drive to Liverpool for my 3pm appointment. But first both Phil and I were checking “the places I might have left it” we’d thought of overnight: dressing gown pockets, outside freezer, toiletries drawer….

And lo and behold I found it, and some Euros (!), in my bag of spare-serviettes-for-trekking.


Appointment cancelled, I channeled the adrenalin into washing my big rucksack and going to the gym.The afternoon was spent mainly on the computer printing stuff for Italy and making a start on Post Pyrenees blog posts.

A wet and windy day.

Thursday: Pyrenees photos, LBT at the gym, Hereford Garden Centre for coffee and catch up with the KG Ladies, Aldi, late lunch, Post Pyrenees Blog Post, pouring 250ml ish Algofin into small pond, tea and kitkat, admin.

Another wet day.

Friday started with bathroom door DIY at dad’s then home via various purveyors of fine foods on the Large Pork Pie quest. Mailes delivered the goods.

And Lidl delivered these (now safely stashed in a cupboard for the next 2 and a bit months):

Yes, I did
Yes, I did

Just after lunch, Val phoned and we’re back on track for our Plan A trek (Kanchenjunga & Lumba Sumba) in Nepal in November, with Mingmi. PHEW. I thought I’d mucked it all up for everyone.

Lovely sunny afternoon. Perfect for ticking off a few niggly garden jobs: transported the cut ivy from the end of the orchard to the bonfire, cut some more ivy off the hawthron tree by the small pond and took that and the hauled out blanketweed to the bonfire too, plus a third wheelbarrow of grass, weeds etc that I’d pulled up out of the willow tree stump hump. Back in the orchard I took down the bean and pea sticks and planted out the last of May Plant Sale leek “seedlings” into the space.

Pizza and This Farming Life made for a lovely evening.

The sunshine continued on Saturday, just right for welcoming 4/5 of Clan Russell for a short stay. I spent the morning mainly prepping lunch and apple crumble.

A lovely afternoon walking with Ewyas Harold and back with R & P, E & M, with a pint and crisps at the half way mark aka The Temple Bar Inn.

Back at base, a relaxing late afternoon segued into dinner followed by more chatting in the conservatory. Lovely evening too.

The weather turned on Sunday but after a relaxed breakfast starting the second of Phil’s home made loaves R, P & I set out under heavy grey clouds to walk to Kerrys Gate and back. We’d have gone further but they needed to get to Bristol for a late lunch, and so Phil and I waved them off 11.30am-ish.

A lazy afternoon, as the wind gusted to 40+mph outside and, towards the end of the afternoon, the rain arrived. Good weather for reading more of All the Light We Cannot See (belated thank you to Helen W/D for lending me that).

The sunshine was back on Monday and so while Phil cycled the correct stage 14 of La Vuelta 2023 to take him to Larra-Belagua, where we’d started and finished La Ruta de las Golondrinas just over a fortnight ago, I headed out to do Tremorithic (Road version).

I was only 7 mins over completing the 7 1/2 miles in 2 hours. I’ll walk a little faster next time. Very, very happy to have completed the whole route without getting any pain in my hip or outer thigh. The gym classes are definitely helping.

On the way down from Cwm Hill I tried out Merlin app which identified Jackdaw, Rook, Blackbird, Robin and Jay.

Tremorithic (Road version): Merlin Birds
Tremorithic (Road version): Merlin Birds

The jackdaw is new to me (although I suspect we hear and see them all the time) and I didn’t “hear” the robin.

Prompted by chats with Val and emails with S&S, I put my red Gore-tex through the machine to rewaterpoof it, and reproofed / conditioned my leather boots – the boots had been drying out since last Monday’s wet walk from Llanthony Priory, and the Gore-tex had demonstrated it could do with a reproof then too.

Then to Winchester to help move stuff into their new porch, and back via Tescos. Nepal ’23 admin, Italy ’23 admin then dinner.

Swallows and house martins, rooks high up in the sky enjoying the high winds, buzzards mewing, owls hooting and screeching.

Butterflies – Red Admirals –  feasting on the rotting apples down in the ditch that the old garden railway used to encircle.

The squirrels are steadily returning from wherever they’ve been for their summer holidays.

No sign of the woodpeckers though.

TV: Drops of God (finished it. OK but not amazing), The Tragedy of Macbeth (beautiful production and great cast, but still A Shakespeare Play – I left Phil to it), Starstruck (series 3), This Farming Life (series 6), Sensationalists: The Bad Girls and Boys of British Art (parts 2 & 3).

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

Photos: Herefordshire week 195 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-09-24.