Herefordshire Week 225: Tuesday 16 – Monday 22 April 2024

Some sun, some rain, some walks, some nice eating out.

Lunch at Gwatkins Red Cow
Lunch at Gwatkins Red Cow

Not a great night’s sleep, so a sluggish start on Tuesday morning. PT at the gym them home to potter in the garden – a lovely sunny day. Found one more orchid out (had hoped for more, but I suppose it’s been wet and cold since I spotted and staked the first batch), watered the lettuce and tomato seed trays, weedkillered the drive and by Nora’s Rose Garden. Dug up weeds. Inside to get the indoor freezer defrosting started. And all while listening to The Rest is Entertainment.

Late lunch then more garden / freezer fun as the jets roared overhead. I wonder where they were over the weekend….?

After the gym on Wednesday Phil and I headed into Hereford. Failed to buy birthday walking socks at Trekitt but had more success with Andrew Lamputt and our first visit to The Bookshop.

Thursday was lovely and sunny, if a bit nippy. We walked to Gwatkins Red cow for lunch, and strolled back, settling into the conservatory as the random raindrops started to fall. They didn’t deter the snooze….

Strava Map & Stats: Lunch at Gwatkins Red Cow
Strava Map & Stats: Lunch at Gwatkins Red Cow

Up early on Friday, dropped P off at Abergavenny train station and back to Pontrilas for 9am gym. A busy afternoon: Bonfire, pond weed relocation, rat nest digging, nettle pulling up, weedkillering (part 2) and …. mowing with the ride on mower – first outing of the year.

Busy afternoon
Busy afternoon

I’m always a bit anxious about getting the mowers going after their winter hibernation, worried that they won’t start. The Honda Mower was resolute about not starting again after its last refusal a couple of weeks ago when it ran out of petrol, which made me even more uneasy about starting the Ride On Mower. I disconnected the trickle charger from the battery, checked the oil, checked the petrol – it looked full, which was a pain as it would be old petrol and thus Not Good. Still, I sat and turned the key but the engine wouldn’t catch. There had been a lot of dried grass under the cutter skirts, so I brushed some of that away, and then wondered if a mouse had made a house underneath and nibbled some of the wiring…. so I opened up the bonnet again and checked the wires. And realised that the petrol tank wasn’t full, it was completely empty. A Lesson To Be Learned There. I poured in half a tank of fresh petrol and it started first time. Whizzed around the hollow and west lawn, the route of the old garden railway and the large pond, a few turns across the main lawn by the conservatory, and gave the orchard a second cut. I’ve left the cut grass to dry / mulch. I didn’t get the chance to collect it once it had dried.

I finished off my Nepal 2023 Photos & Notes blogpost too, having enjoyed plotting the maps and the PulseOx graphs on Wednesday: Kangchenjunga & Lumba Sumba: Photos & Notes.

I spent most of Saturday with dad and Jean – to Timothy & Birch for coffee and cake (= quite a sugar + caffeine rush!) then on to Oakchurch where I got a new weed trowel, two cucumber seedlings and some weed preventing membrane for when I get round to digging out the ditch on the west side of the house, lining it with the membrane and then putting gravel there.

Back to Winchester for a late lunch, sat outside on the patio in the sunshine. A brief trip home with seedlings from Jean, time for a bit of weed digging (trying to get rid of the white carrot like ones, and nettles while they are easily lifted), then back to Winchester for Indian Takeaway Treat. Home via Asda.

A lovely day – sunshine and happiness.

Out with the GVWC on Sunday, walking the Pengethley Loop which takes in St Dubricius church and the Pengethley Estate, Hoarwithy and St Catherine’s Church, King’s Caple and Sellack suspension bridge. A lovely walk, starting under cold cloud and returning in glorious sunshine for a pot of tea and a scone at Pengethley Garden Centre.

Strava Map & Stats: GVWC Pengethley Loop
Strava Map & Stats: GVWC Pengethley Loop

Catch up with AL on Monday morning, then an afternoon preparing butternut squash curry, veggie chilli and home made hummus for our next Everest Trek Get Together which will feature a couple of nights / days on Skomer – island home of the Pembrokeshire Puffins!


Bloomin’ fungus gnats are back, in abundance, everywhere. I relocated all the house plants (bar the orchids) outside onto the patio table, and sprayed them with the last of the hydrogen peroxide. And ordered some more. So far the plants seem to be surviving. Hopefully the gnats aren’t.

I’ve found a few more orchids on the front lawn, and dug up a lot of “white carrot” weeds and nettles.

Spotted a pair of partridges having a dangerous dust bath on the drive! Not seen any of these cute fellas and fella-ettes for a couple of years.

Partridge Pair on the drive
Partridge Pair on the drive

TV: Shōgun, What We Do In The Shadows (finished season 5), Secret City (finished season 2), The Gone (season 1).

Podcasts: The Rest is Entertainment, AmericastEmpire.


Photos: Herefordshire week 225 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2024-04-21.