Herefordshire Week 229: Tuesday 14 – Monday 20 May 2024

Super Sunny Scotland. Essex. Home.

Hazel, Catherine and me, Loch Morlich Circular
Hazel, Catherine and me, Loch Morlich Circular

Tuesday – To the East Coast for beach walks at Findhorn and Lossiemouth, an excellent lunch (plus pints) at The Captain’s Table, Findhorn Marina, and fab ice cream from Miele’s of Lossie.

Me, Hazel and Catherine, Findhorn Estuary
Me, Hazel and Catherine, Findhorn Estuary
Catherine and Hazel, East Beach, Lossiemouth
Catherine and Hazel, East Beach, Lossiemouth

Wednesday – Into the Cairngorms via The Watchers at Corgarff Viewpoint and the Snow Roads Route towards Aviemore. Into Glenmore Forest to do the Loch Morlich Circular in the morning and An Lochan Uaine / Green Loch Return in the afternoon.

The Watchers at Corgarff Viewpoint
The Watchers at Corgarff Viewpoint
Loch Morlich panorama
Loch Morlich panorama
An Lochan Uaine / The Green Loch
An Lochan Uaine / The Green Loch

Thursday – Another gorgeous sunny day. Morning in the Spa (swam 50 lengths) then out with daypacks and sandwiches to walk the Cambus o’May circular. Hip gyp meant I got the bus back from the CoM visitor centre but we reunited for pints at The Alexandra Hotel followed by ice creams from Shorty’s. And celebrated the end of our five fab days with prosecco and crisps al fresco.

Well, it’s not raining here today!
Well, it’s not raining here today!
Cambus o'May Circular: Bridge and the River Dee
Cambus o’May Circular: Bridge and the River Dee
Celebrating our Craigendarroch Minibreak
Celebrating our Craigendarroch Minibreak

Friday – Au revoir Craigendarroch and to Newcastle via Bamburgh. LNER train to London, making it from Kings Cross to Liverpool Street station in record speed to catch the train out to Wivenhoe by the skin of my teeth. Witham-ites are in COVID quarantine….

HGV at Craigendarroch, Ballater
HGV at Craigendarroch, Ballater
Bamburgh Beach Selfie
Bamburgh Beach Selfie

Up early on Saturday for the long drive home, with a stop off in WTM for a bit of a sit on the porch steps with P, at Rugby Moto services which was full of Bolton Wanderers fans – yes, I did need to look that up 🙂 – and in  Ross for supplies. Back home to find the grass lush and green and long, and loads of buttercups and daisies. Thankfully no dead birds.

Forty Acres front lawn panorama
Forty Acres front lawn panorama

Unpacked then took it easy…aka binged on the first half of Bridgerton season 3.

Caught up with a bit of admin on Sunday morning and moved things out of my office ahead of Project Panelling, which starts on Tuesday. Lunched out on the patio then fired up the ride on mower for the mega mow…. Started easily and I set off over the new drive and towards the orchard, and there it stalled and I couldn’t get it to start. Checked the petrol – all fine – so I put it on to charge and hauled the Honda Mower around The Edges etc ….And, you guessed it, when I returned to the ride on mower a couple of hours later I looked at the petrol tank again – AND IT WAS EMPTY! Idiot. Or “Bufflehead!!” as we say in these parts. Had to drive to The Forge for more petrol, then mowed (No 6 setting). Got round everywhere except The Solarium.

Mowing part II: view from the ride on mower
Mowing part II: view from the ride on mower

Richard came to strim on Monday morning. It was overcast so I decided to give the grass longer to dry out and to see how easily the wallpaper would come off in my office instead – very easily it turned out with a sponging of water.

Panelling Prep
Panelling Prep

The sun arrived in the early afternoon so I took the ride on mower for a spin to collect the dryer grass – 15 grass collector loads in all.

Mowing part II: the second 5 piles.... and more to come
Mowing part II: the second 5 piles…. and more to come

Then to Winchester to lend a hand moving the old conservatory sofa from the kitchen to the garden room and for some party planning followed by a delicious BBQ al fresco. A lovely evening.


I almost managed a paddle a day during our Scotland (and Northumberland) jaunt:

River Dee, Balmoral

A paddle in the River Dee, Balmoral Castle
A paddle in the River Dee, Balmoral Castle

North Sea, Findhorn

Findhorn Paddle
Findhorn Paddle

North Sea, Lossiemouth

Paddling, East Beach, Lossiemouth
Paddling, East Beach, Lossiemouth

Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich Paddle
Loch Morlich Paddle

An Lochan Uaine

Seated paddle in An Lochan Uaine / The Green Loch
Seated paddle in An Lochan Uaine / The Green Loch

North Sea, Bamburgh

Not really a proper paddle .... but close!
Not really a proper paddle …. but close!

Swallows zooming, a blackbird with no tail feathers, goldfinches nipping in and out of the hedges, a robin perched atop the tall pine / fir singing loudly every morning – the dawn chorus has woken me up every morning around 4.30am since I got back (I have managed to get back to sleep mind you).

Think I might had chopped the hind leg of a toad while Honda-mowing by the small pond, which is full of tiny water boatmen / beetles, a newt or two. And gunk. The large pond is lined with yellow flag irises, and cow parsley.

Big Pond
Big Pond

In better news, we have a resident rabbit – for the first time in years.

We have a resident rabbit
We have a resident rabbit

TV: Stacey Solomon Renovation Rescue, Digging for Britain, The One Show, Location Location LocationBridgerton (season 3, part 1), Doctor Who (Gotta love Ncuti Gatwa!!!)

Podcasts: Americast, When It Hits the Fan, History Extra, Shedunnit, The Rest is Entertainment, Gone Mediaeval, Empire.


Photos: Herefordshire week 229 on Flickr.

Phil: Pause continued.