Herefordshire Week 217: Tuesday 20 – Monday 26 February 2024

More rain, but a lovely clear and sunny weekend for H and C’s visit and our Wayward Bus + 25 years Celebrations.

Wayward Bus: Twenty Five years later
Wayward Bus: Twenty Five years later

Two fry ups; one burger. Daffodils galore and the first primrose.

Primroses on the verge
Primroses on the verge

Tuesday started with my last PT session of my initial 12 followed by planning for a second block of sessions. Home to admin, including (eventually) publishing weeknotes 216, trying to sort out getting quotes to get the block paving extended on the drive and around the side of the garage and planning GVWC routes and rendezvous for April, May and June. Had the nagging feeling I really ought to be mowing while we’ve got a short dry spell but admin nagged more. Spent the afternoon planning and plotting my GVWC walks for the rest of the year before making Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (veggie version, with a cheddar cheese topping), where my “rounding up” generated enough for two pies – result!

Took Zoe to the gym for aerobics and calisthenics on Wednesday morning, then back to spray H2O2 over the houseplants and to squash as many tiny black flies as possible. Then some admin. It was a wet day. Finished prepping my GVWC walks (route maps, blurbs, tentative recce dates).

Back to the gym on Thursday morning for LBT (KB as it turned out), roads running with rainwater and more rain and field runoff all morning.

Still that didn’t stop Jean and I getting to Gwatkins for our long awaited Christmas Present Brunch. Lovely. Back via Kerrys Gate and Cockyard to check on water levels – lanes under water in the usual places, but passable.

Home for a spot of admin and fly spraying ‘n’ squishing then a lazy afternoon on the sofa watching telly. Exhausted by last night’s emotional ending to One Day. And I knew what was coming! St As ladies Zoom then dinner.

To Abergavenny on Friday morning for some Welsh breakfasts at Cwtch Cafe then a mooch, Morrisons and a haircut – the first since Jan 2023 – as Phil headed off to Essex via London. Snow on the hills and cold under cloud.

Breakfast!
Breakfast!

Home to prepare for Hazel and Cat and a new kettle to replace the Russell Hobbs whose lid springs had finally both escaped. My directions to Tescos proved flawed in failing to mention the city centre store which is also located by a big roundabout …. so they had An Adventure getting in and out of the car park …. but at least they came away with The Kettle.

After tea and scone and a stroll along the lane to Kerrys Gate and back to stretch the legs I got the log stove going and we cracked open the Prosecco and the Thai Sweet Chilli Crisps and commenced reminiscing about our adventures on the Wayward Bus a quarter of a century ago ….

Saturday was surprisingly sunny, perfect for walking to Ewyas Harold along the lanes via Dulas. Smashing pub lunch at the Temple – a trifecta of burgers: classic temple, chicken and falafel. We returned home the same route; muddy Common avoided and sunny day fully enjoyed.

Falafel Burger lunch at The Temple
Falafel Burger lunch at The Temple

And then we vegged out in the telly room watching (snoozing) some excellent Agatha Christie classics – Kenneth Branagh’s updated film versions of A Haunting in Venice and Death on the Nile – and Enola Holmes 2 for easy escapism. Nibbles, mezze, cheese, wine, more wine. Bed.

Another lazy start on Sunday then fry up, photos and farewell to Cat.

Forty Acres Fry Up
Forty Acres Fry Up

Under grey skies, H and I walked down to Kerrys Gate and back, pottered, lunched, then into Hereford to drop H at the station for her journey home. I headed on over to dad and Jean’s (via Lidl) for tea and cake, then home – and telly: Welcome to Chippendales!

Awful night’s sleep made for a groggy Monday morning. Walked over to A&A’s for tea and super cake which sorted me out. Chatted with D&D on the walk home, arriving back at Forty Acres to find dad parked on the drive having already unloaded and wheelbarrowed all 10 loads of bricks. Hmmmm.

Early afternoon Pave-Drive came to quote for the drive extension and side path. Cold day outside with a particularly icy wind, which at 17mph was brutal. I put aside all thoughts of combining Phil pick up with Skirrid recce and spent the afternoon spraying the houseplants and squishing the Tiny Black Flies and then looking at walking holidays – and checking Phil’s progress from Paddington: a landslide between Paddington and Reading caused chaos all day. Luckily the Newport connections went smoothly for his delayed train and we were home for 6.45pm. Onion bhajis, lentil soup – and The Outfit on the telly. I really have had a Couch Potato Long Weekend.


With the relatively warm weather, and plenty of rain, the garden is blooming. Lots of flowers on the Camellia bush and plenty of daffodils. Snowdrops almost all gone. Primroses emerging on the verge. Grass going bananas but too squelchy out on the front lawn and down in the hollow for the ride on mower….

Spring flowers: Daffodils, raindrops
Spring flowers: Daffodils, raindrops

TV:  One Day (Oh the tears….), Boarders (loving it!), The Lying Life of Adults (1 ep, not hooked on this Elena Ferrante), The Killer, A Haunting in Venice, Death on the Nile, Welcome to Chippendales, The Outfit.

Podcasts: Gone Mediaeval, The History of England,  The Today Podcast, Mythical Creatures, Food for Life by Tim Spector, Reporting Russia, Books and Authors, Bookclub, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.


Photos: Herefordshire week 217 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-02-26.