Herefordshire Week 218: Tuesday 27 February – Monday 4 March 2024

Snow! Sun! Starry skies! Borderlines Film Festival fortnight = 5 film trips on the trot. Dry enough to manage a mow and some gardening.

Bacton Square: Hatterrall Ridge from Kerrys Gate
Bacton Square: Hatterrall Ridge from Kerrys Gate

Tuesday: physio follow up, PT, fuel and flickring photos from the weekend – and wrapping up weeknotes.

Two jays, thrushes and redwings tucking into the ivy berries.

Jay
Jay
Redwing
Redwing

Spent the afternoon in overalls, having a bit of a mow – inspired by our chainsaw course, I gave the Honda the once over before trying to start it and topped up oil and used today’s new fuel. Delighted and relieved that it Just Started. I did the verge (very squishy), the orchard edges including around the greenhouse, along the hedge between the front lawn and the orchard, the top of the west slope, the front lawn by the snowdrops and the patch by the bins. Too wet to get the ride on mower out or to venture further afield – the further you go down the front lawn the squelchier it gets.

First bonker of the year. A goldcrest, thankfully just sitting on the patio having a rest when I spotted it. When I walked past 30 mins later it was gone.

Mowing “done”, I tidied up the dead leaves on my outside strawberry pots, cut back some brambles peeking out of the hedge between the front  lawn and the orchard, and then got stuck in to cutting out chunks of the ivy wrapping around the oak tree at the far end of the orchard.

After tea and the last of the bakewell tart, I got stuck into the ivy in the trees at the entrance to the orchard, preparing a flat patch to set up the 220l water butt that in time will go behind the garage but I’ve decided I might as well put it to use holding water for the veg patch. Assuming we’ll need to do any watering this summer…..

KMCA Zoom briefly then back to the gym for Pilates.

Aerobics and calisthenics kicked off Wednesday then straight on to Skirrid with JP to do the recce for Saturday. Wet and misty at the top. No views. We did the 3 ¾ miles and 1135ft / 345m ascent in less than 2 hours – up through the woods, around to the west and north and then up the less steep side slope (I’d missed the turn off for the “straight up” path). Not tooooo muddy. Back to the GV Cafe for a late lunch. Just the ticket.

Back to find all the electrical jobs done, beautifully. Very pleased with our new LED panel lights on the kitchen ceiling.

New LED panel ceiling lights in the kitchen
New LED panel ceiling lights in the kitchen

Did a bit of Home Office redecoration planning in the early evening, then made dinner. Yes, AGAIN!

Admin then PT at the gym took up most of Thursday morning. In the hour before lunchtime I got stuck in digging out the earth that the rat(s) have piled up between the compost heap and the shed, keeping half an ear open for the second of this week’s drive paving people to come and take a look at what we want doing so that they can provide a quote – which they duly did.

Continued with the digging out after lunch, having first dug up the snowdrops that somehow survive at the edge of the gap where it meets the orchard grass, and wheelbarrowed 3 loads of earth round to the far end of the front lawn where I’m trying to fill in the dip with grass cuttings.

Then snipped and removed some of the ivy from the plum tree that’s also between to the shed and compost heap, and on the other side of the hedge I trimmed the new bramble growth that started sticking out above the hedgeline. More ivy removal from the yew trees by the quarry, and finally taking out new nettles and old flag leaves from the edges of the big pond.

Tea and hot cross buns to celebrate another happy few hours working in the garden on a dry day. Still very squelchy underfoot. And before dinner, we booked a summer holiday in Paris – travel by Eurostar, accommodation via AirBnB. Exciting!

Sunshine, showers and helicopters on Friday morning as well as gym and admin and spray n squish. Into Hereford for the afternoon and evening – tip, Ron Smiths (to look at chainsaws, pruners and hedge trimmers and shapers), The Courtyard for the first of this year’s Borderlines Film Festival films (Showing Up) and our first visit to Burger Shop for a late but tasty dinner.

Friday Night Dinner
Friday Night Dinner

On Saturday we woke to heavy snow. Quite a surprise. Cancelling Skirrid Circular was an easy decision but just in case anyone hadn’t checked their emails, I drove to Skirrid anyway, dropping P off at the gym en route and picking him up on the way back. Snow and sleet all the way but it didn’t settle and flooded roads proved more of a problem – we’d turned back in Abbey Dore finding the lane flooded outside Abbey Dore Court.

15 seconds of snow (video, 15s)
15 seconds of snow (video, 15s)

The snow / sleet / rain cycle continued all afternoon, so I took the opportunity to have a lazy few hours on the sofa in the telly room watching Boarders through to the end of season 1. Then out again in the Panda for our evening’s jaunt to Ross on Wye. We had an early Dal Bhat Takali at Yaks n Yetis – yummy!! – then walked to St Mary’s Church Hall for Film No. 2, Anatomy of a Fall. Long but engaging. Clear skies by the time we came out, an icy car so a slow drive back home. Stars; we’ve not seen those for so long.

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous sunny and dry day after All The Rain so we headed out for a walk along the lanes around to Bacton and back via Dore Abbey, with a stop for BYO coffee and biscuits.

Bacton Square: Coffee and biscuits, Dore Abbey
Bacton Square: Coffee and biscuits, Dore Abbey

Late lunch, sitting in the conservatory. Reading on the sofa then into Hereford for All of Us Strangers. Borderlines Film No. 3. A film that lingers. And yes, there were tears and the need for a bit of quiet time come the end.

Cold grey skies and mist in the valley on Monday morning. A green woodpecker busy out on the front lawn. Feeling a bit sad still after last night’s film, so I headed out to walk Tremorithic and then planted out the snowdrops I’d dug up before trying to dig out the rats between compost corner and the shed. Lunch in the conservatory, reading on the sofa, then into Hereford for Film No. 4: Monster. Another goo0d one. Home via Asda. Late night pizza with the first episode of Shogun.


TV: The Way (disappointingly a disappointment), Boarders (finished series 1 – not a disappointment!), Our Flag Means Death (season 2; improving), Shogun.

Podcasts: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. History Extra, Gone Mediaeval, Books and AuthorsThe Today Podcast.


Photos: Herefordshire week 218 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-03-04.