Herefordshire Week 222: Tuesday 26 March – Monday 1 April 2024

Easter, and the sun is risen. For three whole days. A miracle!

Dad’s birthday lunch – tick; drive extension – tick, tick; and a mow – tick, tick, tick!!

Mowing done!
Mowing done!

A busy day Tuesday featuring PT at the gym, lunch with AL at Timothy & Birch and my first encounter with the Harrods of Herefordshire aka Oakchurch, a lovely KMCA Zoom Catch Up – and PD calling to ask if it would be OK to do the drive extension this week.

Another busy day Wednesday starting with PD prep – moving the cars off the drive and last minute instructions to leave the excavated earth for us to reuse around the grounds then heading over to the gym leaving P digging up the daffs.

No sign of PD on my return, but a phone call confirmed they were still planning to come. In the meantime, we headed down to Ross on Wye to celebrate dad’s birthday with a meal at No 3.

Dad's birthday dessert
Dad’s birthday dessert

We returned to find PD’s team of 6 were almost done building out the drive extension. Fast work. The aggregate on the slope down to the road is a little crappy but the block paving looks great.

Drive Extension panorama
Drive Extension panorama

(Oh and it’s not curved – that’s just the panoramic setting)

Thursday morning’s treat was the news that we had a dead rat, with a partially pecked head. At least that’s one down! While P went into Hereford I wheelbarrowed two loads of Excavated Drive Earth to the end of the front lawn where we’ve been dumping grass cuttings in an attempt to iron out a dip down towards the hedge, which dad tells me is where there used to be a stile.

Lovely sunny start to Friday. Off to the gym and back under blue skies. P dutifully did some Excavated Drive Earth Relocating which made me feel guilty enough that I headed into the greenhouse and sowed four new trays with lettuce seeds and set them up on the New Shelf.

The rain arrived just in time for lunch, and brought with it a very heavy shower of surprise hail. Definitely an afternoon of sunshine and showers.

Hailstones!
Hailstones!

Dad and Jean called round to pick daffodils and to take a look at my desk stands, and for a cup of tea in the conservatory.

Saturday was a glorious sunny day. Blue skies, sunshine and a bit of cloud every now and then. This is what we’ve been missing for months. More of this please!

A lovely walk with Phil on a sunny Easter Saturday morning, doing Tremorithic Roads. Blue skies, wild garlic, chiff chaffs, cowslips and lambs. And T the Collie from BB Farm circling the sheep, just for fun.

Tremorithic Roads: Cherry Blossom at Longwood
Tremorithic Roads: Cherry Blossom at Longwood

In the afternoon – at last! – I managed A Mow. I wielded the Honda Mower rather than the ride on given how saturated the ground is still. But I managed to cut the grass in the hollow and round to the old yews that separate the garden from the quarry, the lush grass around the big pond, the slope below the pond’s yew tree hedge and the half of the front lawn that slopes down to the pond. And the fairy semicircles on the front lawn plus along the hedge.

Mowing done!
Mowing done!

Phil continued with the Excavated Drive Earth Relocation.

A good afternoon’s work.

Sunday: Happy Easter! And the clocks went forward.

A dry morning so more Excavated Drive Earth Relocating by Phil, this time with me levelling off the relocated piles and lucky dip chunks of turf with a garden fork. Hard work. I did have a brainwave though and used one of the lumps of clay to seal around the base of the compost bin in the hope that if there are any remaining rats (and I fear there are) then the clay will stop any further attempts to dig / squeeze into the bin to feast on the food contents.

Early afternoon, with grey cloud and noticeably cooler temps, we headed over to Winchester for Easter Sunday lunch with dad and Jean, EL and HC.

Back home, I’d just finished watching the final episode of Chippendales when Phil called me into the lounge to look at a “big bird on the front lawn”, which proved to be a sparrowhawk plucking the feathers off a still flapping pigeon ….

Sparrowhawk plucking pigeon
Sparrowhawk plucking pigeon

I think it’s likely to be a female sparrowhawk given it’s the larger of the male / female and big enough to catch / kill a pigeon. Thankfully all that remained when we took a look on Monday morning were the feathers….

Easter Monday was another lovely sunny day so we walked to Gwatkins and back for brunch. Lovely all around.

Brunch at Gwatkins Red Cow: Before
Brunch at Gwatkins Red Cow: Before

An afternoon in the garden – well, a couple of hours at any rate. Hung the mosquito net netting over the blackcurrant bush and planted out the mange tout seedlings Jean gave me.

An afternoon in the garden: Planted out the mange tout seedlings Jean gave me
An afternoon in the garden: Planted out the mange tout seedlings Jean gave me

Then read in the conservatory. Blue skies, sunshine, a few clouds and almost all of the rainy ones passed us by.

No sign of any April Fools in the media I consume.


TV: Shōgun, What We Do In The Shadows, 3 Body Problem (finished season 1 and annoyingly I’d not realised it wasn’t going to wrap everything up in 8 episodes. And season 2 isn’t confirmed), Welcome to Chippendales (finished), This is Us, This Farming Life (farewell series 6), Renegade Nell.

Podcasts: Gone Mediaeval, The Today Podcast, Americast, When It Hits the Fan, Anglo-Saxon England, The Rest is Entertainment.

Audiobook: The Last Devil to Die – Richard Osman (read by Fiona Shaw)


Photos: Herefordshire week 222 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-03-31.