Herefordshire Week 212: Tuesday 16 – Monday 22 January 2024

Cold spell. Then warmer and wetter courtesy of Storm Isha. Weekend visit from JS. Oh, and buying our first electric car….

Frosty morning
Frosty morning

Cold start to my weeknotes week, below zero for a few weeknights and hovering around zero for a few days.

PT first thing Tuesday with Phil coming along to do his work out at the same time. A First. Back at base I headed out with the kettle and a couple of old tin cans to melt holes in the ice covering both ponds. Fish motionless beneath the ice.

In the afternoon we drove to We Are EV in Bristol to look at a Renault ZOE electric car. We’ve decided we could do with a second car as a run about and that a second hand EV would work for that. Having watched a lot of YouTube reviews of second hand Renault ZOEs, the battery degradation seems minimal, the 0 NCAP safety issue only arises with the newest iteration and the limited range isn’t a concern given most of the journeys will be gym and back, Hereford and back, Abergavenny and back. Watch this space.

Slow start to Wednesday. Made it to aerobics in 10 mins and that was with having met cars coming the other way that I had to wait / reverse for. Not so cold a day today – I easily broke the ice in the ponds – so I nipped into the greenhouse when I got back to repot the 4 yew seedlings into individual pots with less “lip” so they get more sun. They’re on a sliding scale of healthiness from going strong to stripped of leaves.

Admin either side of lunch. Frustratingly difficult to get a quote for a second car – surprisingly so. Rigged up a temporary seed catcher under the bird seed feeder. Operation Deter Rat continues.

DIY Seed Catcher
DIY Seed Catcher

Canns Hill – Wellfield – Thistly Field walk with P before tea and Hot Cross Buns back in the warm. Still a little light lingering at 5pm. The days are getting longer.

Forty Acres from Thistly Field
Forty Acres from Thistly Field

Minus 4C overnight Wednesday / Thursday made for a clear, crisp Thursday morning, frost sparkling on the fields and front lawn. Leisurely start then to the gym with Phil for PT. Headed into Hereford over lunch time to pick up the next Rivers of London novella from the library, a towel holder from B&Q, and a sack of peanuts for the bird from General Dogsbody, and to scour the supermarkets for marmalade oranges…. in vain.

Walked to Kerrys Gate and back with Phil before tea and a hot cross bun sitting on the sofa getting stuck into Winter’s Gifts. Made dinner and an apple crumble.

Walking to Kerrys Gate and back: To the moon and back
Walking to Kerrys Gate and back: To the moon and back

The sparkly fields reappeared overnight – temperature had dropped to -4C for most of Thursday night. To the gym first thing, returning home in glorious sunshine under blue, blue skies. Warmer weather and the rain are due to arrive tomorrow. JS arrived in time for lunch in the sunny conservatory then we headed out to walk Kerrys Gate – Riverdale – Abbey Dore / Dore Abbey – Thistly Field (with Phil from Wellfield). A good evening to get the log stove going.

Sorted out my LPAs with JS on Saturday morning, then we drove to Hay on Wye for a lovely day mooching around the shops and culminating in coffee and cake in the Castle Cafe. My first visit to the restored castle house and I can see why everyone raves about it. A leisurely evening relaxing in the lounge with the log stove lit again.

Strolled to Kerrys Gate and back on Sunday morning before JS drove us all over to Ewyas Harold for a lovely Sunday lunch at The Temple Bar Inn. We waved off JS before Storm Isha arrived in earnest.

Sunday lunch at The Temple Bar Inn
Sunday lunch at The Temple Bar Inn

A lazy late afternoon digesting on the sofa in the telly room watching the last of Pamela, a love story and the first three episodes of The Winter King.

On Monday morning Phil and I attempted to troubleshoot the dishwasher – it’s started to stop working after about 1 minute. No joy. It’s not like we use it that much, but it’s still handy when we have guests and use more stuff.

Computer admin most of the day plus a mid-afternoon video catch up with JG in CA and an M&P combined effort to haul down the broken branch from the lane-side yew tree – thanks Tall Tractor, whichever one of you broke it.


Long tailed tits are definitely back. More robins and blackbirds in evidence, and the jay when it’s feeling brave. Out on the lanes the crazy cock pheasant time of year has begun.

And I saw three – THREE – rats. Grrr.

But there are two tiny green shoots in my onion seed tray, and the first aconites are out joining the ever increasing arrays of snowdrops.


TV: Reservation Dogs (Finished. Fab. Miss you, bitches!), This Is Us (season 1), Pamela, a love story, The Winter King (based on Bernard Cornwell’s telling of the Arthurian legend).

Podcasts: Gone Mediaeval, History Extra, How to Read the News, The History of England.


Photos: Herefordshire week 212 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-01-21.