Herefordshire Week 231: Tuesday 28 May – Monday 3 June 2024

Bristol. Bagwyllydiart. Bob. Brecon. Beacons Way Day 4.

Phil’s home. And I’ve been retired for a year.

GVWC: Kilpeck - Garway Circular
GVWC: Kilpeck – Garway Circular

Tuesday – PT then down to Bristol to see Sonia to take advantage of her hip expertise, enjoy  a tasty lunch in Clifton and to plan for Beacons Way Days 4 & 5. Returned very relieved and with some bespoke exercises. Traffic on the M4 meant I missed the KMCA Social Zoom though 🙁

Busy day on Wednesday: gym first thing then home with enough time to take the ride on mower out for a spin on the “usual locations” – all done in 90 mins, and only 5 grass collector-loads!

Orchard mow
Orchard mow

Into Hereford for a routine mammogram then home to take the Honda mower round the “edges” etc. No prizes for guessing what clutz-a-tron managed to do about half way through…. Anyway, there’s still some “power” pull but not nearly as much as there was at the start. Idiot.

The birds love the freshly cut grass and the grass cuttings – there must be plenty of insects to feast on. I feasted on a pot of tea and a toasted hot cross bun.

Tea and hot cross bun
Tea and hot cross bun

Another busy day on Thursday, to the gym for hip exercises followed by Legs, Bums & Tums, then over to Kilpeck to recce Sunday’s route. Lovely D-Day 80th Anniversary crochet “hat” on the post box at Bagwyllydiart and fab views from Garway Hill.

GVWC Recce: Kilpeck - Garway Circular
GVWC Recce: Kilpeck – Garway Circular

The 8 miles I’d plotted on my OS route turned out to be closer to 10 but I survived …. the extra miles and an encounter with overly inquisitive cattle on the return leg which meant I hopped a barbed wire fence and clambered down to, along / through and back up from a brook…… so I’ve adjusted the route for Sunday. Hip was OK – tired by the end though. Mind you it’d dealt with a triple whammy.

Treated myself to a beer and two bowls of crisps to celebrate.

Medical Rehydration
Medical Rehydration

Tuned in to Radio 4 to listen to The World Tonight’s reporting on the Trump Trial verdict. May’s turned out to be a busy month in politics.

Gym classes Friday morning then home to pick some of the weeds out of the (old) drive, to trim the hedge by the bins and to collect in the orchid marker sticks. Also did a stock take of the supplies in the chutney and jam cupboard. A& A came for tea and biscuits.

Leisurely start Saturday as I’ve got a run of early mornings ahead. Sat out on the patio for a breakfast of coffee and toast and marmalade, and reading the LRB while the birds were singing.

Morning!
Morning!

Hip exercises then down to see T&L en route to Ewyas Harold Memorial Hall for the plant sale; I returned with two tomato plants and a small stripey succulent. Prepped my contributions to tomorrow’s plant sale in Abbey Dore and dropped them off en route to Abergavenny to meet Phil off the Newport train. It’s been four weeks. A lovely evening with pizza and telly.

Over to Kilpeck on Sunday to lead the GVWC on the revised, cattle free Kilpeck – Bagwyllydiart – Garway – Bagwyllydiart – Kilpeck route. Glorious Garway delivered again.

GVWC: Kilpeck - Garway Circular
GVWC: Kilpeck – Garway Circular

A speedy lime and soda from the Kilpeck Inn, then back home to walk down to Abbey Dore for Postman Bob’s Retirement Party. Lovely.

Up early on Monday to drive to Brecon. Parked the Panda in The Watton car park, caught the 43 to Tal y Bont to rendezvous with Sonia and Sara to do days 4 and 5 of the Beacons Way. Officially Day 4 is Llangynidr to Storey Arms but there’s no accommodation at Storey Arms so we walked the couple of extra miles to the Brecon Beacons YHA at Libanus. We only veered off the route once (too much chatting and the Cambrian Way was offering too obvious a track) and returning to the Beacons Way (one of the Taff Trail sections) involved hillside yomping and fence hopping.

Lunch at the Upper Blaen y glyn car park then up onto Craig y Fan Ddu, a new route over the tops and down to the Gap Road. The route skips Fan y Big and Cribyn, and we ascended to Pen y Fan in the cloud, descended out of it and ascended back up into it to get to Corn Ddu.

Beacons Way Day 4: Llangynidr to Libanus via Storey Arms
Beacons Way Day 4: Llangynidr to Libanus via Storey Arms

One lost child rescue later we were on the motorway path down the National Trust car park on the A470, and walking the overlooked additional couple of miles to the Brecon Beacons YHA at Libanus, which involved one final fence hop and a not particularly nice stint on the busy A470 due to the footpaths shown on the map not existing in reality.

Beacons Way Day 4: Llangynidr to Libanus via Storey Arms - Brecon Beacons YHA, Libanus
Beacons Way Day 4: Llangynidr to Libanus via Storey Arms – Brecon Beacons YHA, Libanus

Overnight in a Large Camping Pod at the YHA – nice “shepherds hut” type cabin. Great showers, OK food, and a Brecon Beer each.


Picked the first of the greenhouse strawberries ….

Strawberries from the Greenhouse
Strawberries from the Greenhouse

The last of the waterfall clematis flowers fell.

Spotted the first nuts on the hazelnut bush

Hazel nuts
Hazel nuts

And a dragonfly cast skin on a flag iris in the big pond

Dragonfly cast skin (exuvia), on a flag iris in the Big Pond
Dragonfly cast skin (exuvia), on a flag iris in the Big Pond

And yes, 02 June was my retirement-iversary; I’ve been officially retired for 12 months. It’s flown. No regrets, not in the slightest.

Other than by reading (and writing) these weeknotes, I couldn’t really tell you how I spend my days but every day feels busy! With a bit of thinking, I’d say I now get to go to the gym more often (aka I go. I didn’t while I was working) and I have the time to do things at a more leisurely pace rather than cramming the Must Dos into the non-working time.


TV: Doctor Who, The Ice Cream Wars, Black Ops, Snowfall (started series 6).

Podcasts: Gone Mediaeval, The Today Podcast, AmericastThe Rest is Entertainment.


Photos: Herefordshire week 231 on Flickr.

Phil: still paused.