Herefordshire Week 213: Tuesday 23 – Monday 29 January 2024

Hello ZOE!

Hello ZOE!
Hello ZOE!

Quite a week, what with a trip to London for our wedding anniversary, dinner with the old LW KM crowd, the MMRR (St Andrews) meet up and brunch with K&P as well.

And not one but two marmalade making marathons…..

Tuesday’s highlight was the delivery of our “new” (second hand, 1 previous owner) Renault ZOE EV.

Big thanks to We Are EV in Bristol who drove it over to us on the same day as Storm Jocelyn arrived. Just enough time for Phil to take it for a spin before lunch.

Spent the afternoon prepping eBay posts, reading and lolling on the sofa watching more of The Winter King.

Gym first thing Wednesday then back to gather the storm debris – only small branches and twigs, which I wheelbarrowed to the bonfire.

After a late lunch I got stuck into making grapefruit marmalade, producing only a measly 2 ½ jars….  Plus I had a few minutes thinking I’d broken the new microwave (in a similar fashion to breaking the old one) but thankfully it returned to life after 15 mins or so. I reckon it must have overheated. In the meantime I’d transferred the marmalade-in-the-making into my blue enamel Le Creuset pan which did the job beautifully.

Grapefruit Marmalade prep in progress
Grapefruit Marmalade prep in progress

More of The Mullet Winter King before tea and telly.

Thursday was the start of our London mini break. Drive to Abergavenny, TfW train to Newport, GWR train to Paddington. Caught up with RLS over a late lunch in an Iraqi cafe.

No. 205 bus to Angel Islington. Walk to the Hub by Premier Inn, Clerkenwell (what a mouthful). Check in and settle in.

Walk 3 mins to Farringdon, catch up with Tom. Walk with P to Spitalfields via Fortune St and the old Waitrose. Broadgate Circle heaving with after work drinkers.

Lovely dinner with LW KM colleagues at Ottolenghi. Walk back to the Hub via Barbican Tunnel and Smithfield.

Friday started in a more leisurely fashion with a 9am breakfast at the Hub. Walked under blue skies to KX to catch the Victoria Line to Walthamstow Central and then walked to the Williams Morris Gallery. North east London still provides surprises.

William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow
William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow

No. 55 bus from Walthamstow Central to Theobalds Road – E17, E10, E5, E8, E9, E2, E1, EC1, WC1 – and to the Brunswick Centre to watch The Holdovers at the Curzon Cinema.

We walked back to the hotel as dusk fell for a bit of a rest, then headed back out again at 7 o’clock to catch the No. 19 bus to Soho for dinner at Bocca di Lupo. Surrounded by the London Rich. We walked back to Clerkenwell.

Out for dinner at Bocca Di Lupo
Out for dinner at Bocca Di Lupo

Disappointing Saturday morning breakfast at Gail’s on Exmouth Market – no marmalade option to go on toast! Strawberry jam does not cut it, people! Good size cup of coffee mind you.

Walked to Moorgate M&S to buy tasty treats for lunch before catching the No. 344 to CJ chatting with a fellow Best Seats On The Bus Bagging couple for part of the journey. Then a lovely day at the MMRR Meet Up hosted by M featuring a multitude of tasty treats, a lot of wine, a walk around Clapham Common and H joining us for the evening session.

Lovely long lie in on Sunday morning before meeting up with P&K for brunch at Caravan Exmouth Market and then walking and talking as we made our way west through the back streets. At Oxford Circus P&K headed home and we carried on to Paddington. A short sit outside in a small park, then into the station to settle in on the train and starting our journey home to Herefordshire.

Early start Monday to be ready for our 7am Sainsbury’s delivery – the three bags of marmalade oranges were all present and correct! Hurrah! Let the marmalade making begin….

Did some admin (including finally getting confirmation that HMRC had received my self assessment payment. The one I’d set up  on 19 Jan…) then drove the cars to Ewyas Harold to drop off the Panda for a service etc, and I had my first drive of the Zoe on Our Roads on the way back. So far, so good.

I dedicated the rest of the day to My Monday Marmalade Making Marathon, resulting in 25 medium size jars made using the always reliable Denton Family Recipe.

Monday Marmalade Making Marathon - Preparing Batch 1, Set 2
Monday Marmalade Making Marathon – Preparing Batch 1, Set 2
Monday Marmalade Making Marathon - Batch 1, Big Al Pan Set - Seven Medium Jars
Monday Marmalade Making Marathon – Batch 1, Big Al Pan Set – Seven Medium Jars

In the garden, the snowdrops are coming out in droves and the aconites are multiplying down by the small pond.


TV:  This Is Us, The Winter King.

Podcasts: The Today Podcast, Political Thinking with Nick Robinson, Tweet of the Day, Anglo-Saxon England , Gone Mediaeval, The Rest is Entertainment, In Our Time.

Photos: Herefordshire week 213 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-01-28.