Herefordshire Week 199: Tuesday 17 – Monday 23 October 2023

A lot of rain. A lot of Nepal prep.

I named this sheep "Robin"
I named this sheep “Robin”

Admin on Tuesday morning, weeknotes, money stuff, a bit of Nepal prep – visa application, running through the itinerary (and getting extra detail from the Mountain Company one (Kinda wish I was doing their one that goes all the way to Makalu BC….), first pass at the kit list, putting together the Kangchenjunga & Lumba Sumba: Prep blogpost.

A speedy apple pick (a bucket of Laxton Superbs from the Orchard) and chopping / freezing the windfalls and pecked ones, washing the others and putting them into the apple racks. Almost full.

In spite of the sunshine, I got stuck into Nepal prep in the afternoon. I’d been itching to do it all morning. Started sleuthing weather forecasts for our route on – got a surprisingly large number using the map and the “places nearby” feature. Weather Forecast Map for the route to Kanchenjunga Base Camp (North) Weather Forecast Map for the route to Kanchenjunga Base Camp (North)

In the evening. Pilates followed by leftovers – Maurice’s Mexican Feast.

Also, not sure if it’s coincidence, but since I’ve got back from Italy my email spam has gone bananas.

Up early on Wednesday with a bit of time to start looking at my GVWC walks for 2024 before aerobics and calisthenics-not-stretch at the gym. Back for my physio stretches then an afternoon of Kangchenjunga & Lumba Sumba prep – fine tuning my kit list, finding the final few elusive locations on, finalising my itinerary spreadsheet, printing out that plus my insurance and the etickets for our flights, finishing off my Kangchenjunga & Lumba Sumba: Prep blogpost and publishing that.

Thursday featured more early morning musing on my GVWC walks for 2024 (I’ve only got to come up with the first 3!!) before LBT at the gym. Back for physio exercises and then a dry run packing my kitbag and using my new travel scales to weight it. So far, so good… 14kg, and that’s with a shoe box of donated eye glasses and two jars of damson jam….

I’d also finally plucked up the courage to unpack last week’s eBay purchase of a second hand Mountain Equipment Annapurna down jacket. Everything seems in working order. It’s Mens, size small, and it fits perfectly as does the stuff sack I bought in KTM for last year’s Rab down jacket purchase.

All ready for packing next week .....
All ready for packing next week …..

After lunch I got sucked into OS Maps Explore and AllTrails … but did eventually finalise my walks. I’ve also plotted a few new Golden Valley routes I try out over the summer, all being well.

Tried to get back into Flickring and doing my “Photos & Notes” write up for the Pyrenees but I only managed 1 day. My mind is elsewhere…, and it seems a long time ago now what with Italy trip and the difference in the weather between those trips and this week’s relentless rain.

Made dinner (always worth a mention given it’s so infrequent).

Friday morning was another early start with time for a bit of computer admin before driving over to the gym for aerobics and stretch. Back for a bit more admin, an early lunch then into Hereford for food shopping, bird food reup, trek admin, picking up my mended chain from the super Andrew Lamputt, then over to dad and Jean’s for tea and pastries. Dad no longer yellow!

A very slow rainy rush hour drive home. Just enough time to get things ready for TJL’s arrival and a lovely early evening catch up over nachos and dips, wine and beer, with the log fire lit.

Still raining on Saturday. To Pontrilas: post office and weeknotes in the cafe for me, gym for P. Back at base we booked Premier Inn Clerkenwell for three nights in January for our anniversary, KMC dinner (honorary guest) and MMRR meet up.

Most of the afternoon and a chunk of the evening flickring my Pyrenees photos and (almost) finishing my Photos & Notes blogpost, listening to a lot of Everything But The Girl.

Sunday = giving the dining room table in the conservatory a second dose of lemon oil treatment, finishing off and publishing my Into the Pyrenees with Alfonso & Manu: Photos & Notes blogpost and apple picking in the orchard with Phil (Three buckets of Laxton Superbs). Then we walked to Ewyas via Abbey Dore and Dulas Mill for lunch with dad and Jean at The Temple Bar Inn. Lovely walk, lovely lunch.

Strava Map: Ewyas Harold via Abbey Dore and Dulas
Strava Map: Ewyas Harold via Abbey Dore and Dulas

Back to ours for coffee. Beautifully sunny. A stroll around the garden then a snooze on the corner sofa in the conservatory ….

Watched the first episode in the new series of Grand Designs – it was in Herefordshire, at Clifford near Hay on Wye!

Woke up with a bad case of the blues on Monday.

Did some computer admin, mainly finishing off my Pyrenees write up and photos and saving the blogposts as PDFs. Then doing the same for our Northern Italy holiday. Then creating my Pick of the Pics album to share my favourite photos from the Pyrenees. That took up all of the morning.

But Rach did send some lovely photos.

Me and Alfonso, Pic d'Arlas (2044m) descent
Me and Alfonso, Pic d’Arlas (2044m) descent

Mowed in the afternoon, with a quick trip to The Forge for petrol in the middle. I was only going to do the verge and the grass by the bins but ended up getting the ride on mower going to do the always-quick-growing-grass on the slope down into the Hollow and ended up doing the whole hollow, the orchard and the front lawn too.

Felt a bit better for having Done Something. But still 🙁

KMC Catch up in the evening.

We had a goldcrest bonk on one of the conservatory windows on Tuesday afternoon. They’re tiny. It sat on the outside chest looking a bit dazed but must have recovered enough to fly off. A good sign. Phil reminded me that he had two goldcrest casualties last November when I was away in Nepal. We’ve not had any at other times of the year.

Starlings materialised on the seed feeder on Wednesday, resplendent in their spotty winter plumage. I don’t think we’ve had them here before. Or if we have, it’s been a rare event.

On Sunday, a speedy sparrow hawk visit to the bird feeders and font. No casualties. And during Monday’s mow I counted 6 kites circling over Kiln Field / Quarrels Green (although Phil thinks 2 of them might have been buzzards).

TV: Fleabag, This Farming Life, The Mandalorian (wrapped up season 1), Grand Designs, What We Do In The Shadows (started season 4).

Podcasts: Shedunnit, In Our Time,  Empire.

Photos: Herefordshire week 199 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-10-22.