Herefordshire Week 223: Tuesday 2 – Monday 8 April 2024

Celebrating finishing the Excavated Earth Relocation – 41 wheelbarrow loads all told. GVWC walk. More Rain – and Storm Kathleen.

Strava Elevation & Pace Graph: GVWC Abbey Dore, Ewyas Harold, Dulas, Bacton & Abbey Dore
Strava Elevation & Pace Graph: GVWC Abbey Dore, Ewyas Harold, Dulas, Bacton & Abbey Dore

Tuesday morning to the gym, then back to the Pile of Earth. I joined Phil with the second wheelbarrow, transporting turf down to the end of the lawn and our own personal levelling up project. Hard work. BUT we finished it, and drove over to Ewyas Harold to celebrate with a late lunch at The Temple Bar Inn.

Yum yum
Yum yum

Back at base I settled in on the sofa for some reading, finishing off The Vaster Wilds and starting The Saracen’s Mark.

Gym on Wednesday then into Hereford for M&S, speedy shop and a mooch around the temporary library – my enthusiasm for book reading definitely depends on having some books to hand that I actually want to read (rather than feel I ought to read). Who knew! Disappointingly the temporary library is one small room with only a handful of shelves rather than the whole main library. Still, I managed to come away with two new books to read. I’ll continue to click & collect from the Belmont branch.

Late lunch, dinner prep, then out to walk Tremorithic Roads with JP, a partial recce for Saturday’s GVWC route, sticking to the tarmac to avoid the endless mud……

Strava Map & Stats: Tremorithic Roads with JP
Strava Map & Stats: Tremorithic Roads with JP

Back home we finalised the email for Saturday’s GVWC walk then tucked into dinner.

Caught up with admin on Thursday, heavy rain overnight (again) gave way to blue skies and birdsong. PT, FloGas, visit from T & L. Rain returned. Computer-ed. Chopped the last lot of last year’s apples from the apple racks. VWW!

Felt groggy and pooped all day Friday. Managed aerobics and stretch at the gym then settled in the lounge with a book for the rest of the day. There may have been a surprise snooze too….

On Saturday thankfully Storm Kathleen delayed her arrival until early evening so my GVWC walk went ahead relatively free of wind and rain. We did the Roads version of the Ewyas Harold, Dulas, Bacton & Abbey Dore Circular, sort of. I’d walked the Dore Abbey to Ewyas Harold section – Dicks Pitch and over the Common – en route to the walk rendezvous at the Rec. It was exceeding muddy so we did a car shuttle from Dore Abbey at the end of the walk.

Back in Ewyas Harold we repaired to The Temple Bar Inn for medical rehydration: a cup of tea and a tasty Bakewell slice in my case.

Strava Map & Stats: GVWC Ewyas Harold, Dulas, Bacton & Abbey Dore
Strava Map & Stats: GVWC Ewyas Harold, Dulas, Bacton & Abbey Dore

Made mushroom risotto for dinner, wilting in half of the wild garlic we’d picked last weekend. Yummy.

Storm Kathleen hung around for most of Sunday bringing bursts of wind and heavy rain. Pottered around indoors. Sounds of gunfire from the Army camp – they’ve been busy recently. BK came to take a look at the two old bedrooms we want redecorated, and then I did another day of Nepal Photos & Notes. The half day from Sanjung Camp to Lumba Sumba Pass East High Camp was really amazing…..

Me, at the hot juice stop on the gully climb from the wide hanging valley to the upper section of the Dingsamba Khola valley
Me, at the hot juice stop on the gully climb from the wide hanging valley to the upper section of the Dingsamba Khola valley
Me and Sonia at the start of the next section of the Dingsamba Khola valley, leading to Lumba Sumba Pass East High Camp
Me and Sonia at the start of the next section of the Dingsamba Khola valley, leading to Lumba Sumba Pass East High Camp

Phil and I made the most of the dry start to Monday to walk the Bacton Square. We’ve not done that for a while. The rain held off, just about. We even saw some lambs boinging.

Strava Map & Stats: Bacton Square with Phil
Strava Map & Stats: Bacton Square with Phil

Back at base I planted out the last of the daffodils Phil had dug up ahead of the drive extension…. and it took me a while to spot that There Was A Squirrel INSIDE The Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder. GRRRRRRR. It had eaten sufficient peanuts that it couldn’t easily squeeze back out again. After a few minutes of “encouragement”, I lifted the bird feeder off the pear tree perch and took it – and The Squirrel – down into the orchard, and lay the feeder on its side. Eventually The Squirrel managed to squeeze out between the bars. Again, with some “encouragement”.

Jet training at the army camp today.

Spent the afternoon reading in the lounge – Lessons in Chemistry; good tip from RG.


In the garden, the first blossom is materialising on the pear tree and the first flowers on the waterfall clematis.

Blossom on the pear tree
Blossom on the pear tree

The grassy grounds are patterned with dandelions and daisies – and cowslips. How they cope with the saturated clay I’ve no idea. Fingers crossed for the wild orchids.

Snowdrop leaves are starting to yellow, and the daffodils on the front lawn and down by the old garden railway are turning too. Reassuring to read that Monty Don didn’t have that many daffodils flower this year either; he reckons the warm wet autumn and winter favoured greenery over flowers.

During the dry spells, kites cruise and buzzards circle. Lots of birdsong in the morning: chiff chaff, blue tit, wren, blackbird, song thrush. Out by Bacton we added goldcrest, greenfinch and blackcap. (Thank you Merlin!). A trio of goldfinches doing aerial acrobatics over the tall grass on the front lawn.

But I am so sick of the rain and the mud. The water run off from the fields means we have a permanent stream – albeit a very shallow one – flowing from the end of the ditch in the verge on the lane downhill towards the junction at Thistly Field.


TV: Shōgun, What We Do In The Shadows, Renegade Nell, Ripley (finished), This Town (meh – shame), The Assembly with Michael Sheen.

Podcasts: Shedunnit, History Extra, The Today Podcast, Americast, Gone Mediaeval.


Photos: Herefordshire week 223 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-04-07.