Herefordshire Week 093: Tuesday 05 October – Monday 11 October 2021

Weekend visitors. Hot sunny days. Gin and Jam.

Hazel, Cat and me at Dore Abbey
Hazel, Cat and me at Dore Abbey

After Monday’s excitement, Tuesday morning brought a headache, most likely a mixture of stress (week away + car + flooring) plus paint and glue fumes.

Confounding the forecast, it was a lovely sunny day so weeknotes done, and having got a second batch of Blackberry Gin underway, I headed out on the Cockyard loop, which included a chat with Carl on Stone Street and a pick up from dad and Phil just above Quarrells Green. Dad had come over for coffee and to talk through his LPA.

Started off Wednesday with Damson Gin, stage 2 – aka add the gin (I’m using The Allotment Garden’s Damson Gin recipe). Stage 3 – strain and drink – is due on Christmas Eve. Perfect timing. And another headache, so no VWW for me.

Damson Gin - stage 2
Damson Gin – stage 2

Thursday we had  our visit from the Welsh Water Engineer / Plumber checking for leaks (based on the temperature of the water at our connection to the mains). None found, he agreed it was most likely the pipe to our house. We still got the water usage reducing shower head and garden hose spray kit.


Admin Friday morning, primarily sorting out things to do with the Walton flat plus trying to open a new ISA Share Dealing Account. T-e-r-r-i-b-l-e form, but a really really helpful guy on their helpline who actually filled out the form in parallel with me and worked out the precise format required for the mobile phone number field: XXXXX XXXXXX in case you come up against the same “mandatory field with no guidance” barrier.

Nipped into Hereford late morning to do the weekend food shop and for Phil to buy some new wellies. I also reluctantly returned Great Circle to the library, unfinished. It’s been reserved so I only get 2 x 2 day renewal and it’ll take me longer than that to complete. I’m really enjoying it, so I’ve reserved it again. That is one of the downsides of being a library (as opposed to buying) reader, given it’s 13 miles to the library….


Cat arrived mid-afternoon for the start of a lovely weekend, and later that night we drove into Hereford to pick Hazel up at the station.

Cue a weekend with lots of catching up, eating and drinking, walking and reminiscing about our “how we met” trip on the Wayward Bus from Adelaide to Alice Springs and meeting up again in Thailand. Happy times.

After a leisurely start on Saturday we walked to Ewyas Harold to buy papers. Our route took us down to Abbey Dore, up onto the Common via the Deer Field (and no cows in the other fields) and down into Ewyas Harold via the access road. We returned along the lanes to Dulas, the footpath through The Park to The Old Trout, up Mill Lane and footpaths across the fields to Cwm Hill Road. Lovely.

Late lunch then a relaxing afternoon in the conservatory, Mexican feast prep aided by a bottle of fizz and nachos (classy!) and an evening with the photo album.

Sunday brought beautiful blue skies, sunshine and real warmth, so after a little ‘something to put us on’ we strolled down to the Abbey and back for brunch. Phil delivered a fry up feast, which we ate sitting out on the patio. It felt more like August than October.

Sunday brunch, al fresco
Sunday brunch, al fresco

Waved Cat off, then pottered with Hazel until it was time to drop her back off at Hereford Station. Getting more used to driving the Panda. Vroom!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon outside, clearing cuttings and mowing the orchard – it’s not had a trim since before the apple tree fell down, and that fallen tree means mowing needs the Honda Mower. The grass was decidedly lush, but the Honda coped and the compost heap got a healthy top up of grass cuttings. I prepped all the edges and tricky bits too, in anticipation of a full mow tomorrow.


Monday was another glorious sunny day.

Frustratingly I had to spend the morning sorting out various insurances but I got outside for the rest of the day, picking the tomatoes from the growbag behind the greenhouse, collecting the last of the wild plums, blackerrying along the lane and in Thistly Field with Phil and planting the ‘compost bin’ daffodil bulbs in the verges at our junction (still with Phil) and finally mowing, the repaired grass collector working like A Dream.

Last of the plums
Last of the plums

The colander full of plums came in at 1.8kg, and I turned 600g of them into 3 ½ pots of Damson Jam, following the recipe in my photocopied pages of One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave – which include the much loved recipes for Anglo-Indian Apple Chutney and Apple Mincemeat (Vegan, Brandy). And – at last – I’ve managed to track down the book they come from: One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave by Sonia Allison.

Damson Jam - made in the microwave: 3½ pots
Damson Jam – made in the microwave: 3½ pots

Even if October temperatures haven’t arrived, the Autumn colours have – red berries garlanding the hedgerows, hollies and hawthorns; green leaves turning red, orange and gold. Beautiful against blue skies.

Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves

And it looks like I may have a second batch of strawberries… incredible.

October Strawberries
October Strawberries

TV: Grand Designs, Maid.

Podcasts / audiobooks: History Extra.


Photos: Herefordshire week 93 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-10-10.

Herefordshire Week 092: Tuesday 29 September – Monday 04 October 2021

An On Off On Off week in Pembs with rainy days and dry sunny days alternating. Breezy throughout.

Sunday morning stroll, Newgale Beach
Sunday morning stroll, Newgale Beach

Back home…. a couple of significant new things:

New car!

Say Hello to our New Car
Say Hello to our New Car

Wooden Floors!

The wooden flooring is laid
The wooden flooring is laid

Heavy rain overnight so Tuesday was deemed as day to spend in the van, reading and chatting until cheese on toast lunch. The afternoon held dry spells and we managed the walk around the Southwood Estate picking blackberries and sloes. We stewed the former in anticipation of a crumble on Thursday and froze the latter ready to make sloe gin. Tasty Cashew Nut Curry Risotto for dinner with cheese and biscuits after.


Wednesday was the sunny day of the week so we drove over to Marloes and walked on up to Martin’s Haven and around the headland to Marloes Sands, returning via roads and field footpaths.

Pembrokeshire Coast: Marloes Circuit
Pembrokeshire Coast: Marloes Circuit

Lots of seals and pups in the bays along the way. Lots of photos.

Seal pup perseveres (video, 20s)
Seal pup perseveres (video, 20s)

Tea and welsh cakes back at base and bit of relaxing before Maurice arrived and drove us to Nolton Haven for dinner at The Haven Brasserie. My first evening meal out for a long long time.


Back to rain on Thursday – light windswept showers and heavier spells. Leisurely start then into Narberth. A damp and drizzly potter around time with our buzzer from Ultracomida in order to get a place at their tapas table.

Worth the wait for a tasty tapas lunch then tea with Maurice, Outlet & Lidl shopping in H’west and back to base for the evening.

Rain resumed. We tucked into cheese and biscuits followed by blackberry and apple crumble.


A wet start Friday cleared to leave a breezy sunshine-filled day and so it was off to St Davids to walk the Coast Path from Caerfai to White Sands.

A smashing day, blackberry picking, seal watching and with coffee and cake at Porthclais Kiosk.

Seal pup
Seal pup
Swimming seal, St Davids Peninsula
Swimming seal, St Davids Peninsula

Steffi took the footpath route back into St Davids which cut down the long road section at the end and brings you into St Davids via the Cathedral and Bishops Palace. Lovely.

By the end we were all glowing from a day of sunshine and fresh air.

Whitesands Bay
Whitesands Bay

Back to the van for tea and a welsh cake then wine and nibbles, Lidl Deluxe pizzas, crumble and creme fraiche.

October started well.


Rain returned in the evening and continued in and off overnight and into Saturday, heavy. Lazy morning featuring bed coffee and a late breakfast, sloe gin production, reading and listening to podcasts. And a fab sunset.

Sunset from the van, Newgale
Sunset from the van, Newgale

Early rain cleared on Sunday morning and another bright and breezy day lured us down onto the beach for a low tide stroll.

Then it was packing up and off to Mayhem for one of Maurice’s slap up Sunday lunches. Well up to the usual high standard, even if the gathering was significantly smaller than usual. we’d not managed our Everest Trek Get Together as D&G had decided not to come in light of the petrol shortages and weather forecast.

Sunday lunch - veggie version
Sunday lunch – veggie version

Easy drive home dropping Hazel off at Carmarthen train station en route, returning to find the downstairs walls and skirting painted by Phil and the grass collector bit of the mower fixed by dad and Phil.

Phil managed half of the box of Sunday lunch leftovers I was sent home with…..


Quite a momentous day, Monday:

    1. We collected our new car. It’s a Fiat Panda 4×4, to cater for the icy roads and occasional floods as well as potholes, narrow country lanes and Hereford parking. We did a part-Ex on the Nissan, which made me realise how attached I’d become to it. Sniff.

      Goodby old car.... Hello new car
      Goodbye old car…. Hello new car
    2. The wooden flooring was laid in the hall, dining room and lounge.

      New flooring in the lounge, dining area and entrance hall - before, during & after
      New flooring in the lounge, dining area and entrance hall – before, during & after

TV: Grand Designs, Maid.

Podcasts / audiobooks: History Extra, Great Lives, Books and Authors.


Photos: Herefordshire week 92 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-10-03.

Herefordshire Week 091: Tuesday 21 – Monday 28 September 2021

New car! (But you’ll have to wait to find out what…)

More Chutney. Some Apple Cider Vinegar plus Damson / Wild Plum and Blackberry Gins.

Pembrokeshire with Hazel and Steffi.

Panorama: Hazel, Steffi, Rainbow
Panorama: Hazel, Steffi, Rainbow

Garden-wise we have a bumper crop of wild plums, and stacks of apples – mainly from trees that were quiet last year.

I need to remember to keep more time free at this time of year to make the most of the autumn harvest. Turning the apples etc into useful things takes an age, let along picking and washing them. There is no room left in the freezer now. On top of that, the veg patch is untended and the third bed awaiting my attention.

I’m going to try a few new things this year – Janette sent me the apple cider vinegar recipe she uses. I’ve thought about making it before as a lot of my apple chutney recipes use it, and I tend to just chuck in malt instead because it’s cheaper. I’m eying up a couple of chutney and gin options, working on the basis that our very tart wild plums are equivalent to damsons,  and I’m hoping to find time to squeeze in Blackberry Gin making too.

Anyway, Friday was set aside for all that.


Into Hereford on Tuesday morning for shopping and library, Wilko for pop top bottles and Poundland for cheap reading glasses. And General Dogsbody for more peanuts for those greedy garden birds. (We love them really.) Then coffee with dad and Jean at the bungalow, sat out on the patio, and taking receipt of a black chilli plant gifted from Annette and Michael.

After the afternoon at work, we drove to Brecon to look at a new second hand car, and settled a part-ex purchase with collection set for Monday 04 October. I can’t reveal what it is yet because Phil is taking bets soliciting guesses as to what it is.


Up early on Wednesday. Morning dew on the spider webs adorning the front gate.

Spider's Web
Spider’s Web

And enough time to collect windfalls and make apple cider vinegar following Janette’s recipe before work. VWW after.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar

The Welsh Water engineers didn’t materialise on Thursday to look for the leaks they think we have, and after Family Zoom I headed out to collect blackberries as the light faded and managed to get a jar of blackberry gin underway.  Phil is on sugar dissolving shaking duties once I’m in Pembs.


A busy day Friday.

The day’s preserving began with getting three mayo jars of Allotment Garden Damson Gin underway – handy tip to freeze the fruit so that it splits so you avoid the need to prick.

Apple Chutney, Damson Chutney & Damson Gin: Allotment Garden Damson Gin - step 1
Apple Chutney, Damson Chutney & Damson Gin: Allotment Garden Damson Gin – step 1

Next up, chutneys, apple and plum / damson:

Batch 1

  • Holly Jones’ Spiced Apple Chutney (with star anise and mustard seeds, from pickled cucumber vinegar)
  • Anglo-Indian Apple Chutney (microwave version)

Batch 2

  • Frugal Feeding Apple Chutney (with jalapeño vinegar)
  • Delia’s Spiced Damson Chutney (her favourite!)
Apple Chutney, Damson Chutney & Damson Gin: Controlled chaos in the kitchen
Apple Chutney, Damson Chutney & Damson Gin: Controlled chaos in the kitchen
Apple Chutney, Damson Chutney & Damson Gin: Delia's Spiced Damson Chutney - damsons (front), everything else (back)
Apple Chutney, Damson Chutney & Damson Gin: Delia’s Spiced Damson Chutney – damsons (front), everything else (back)

The second batch was left to cool temporarily mid-afternoon as we nipped into Hereford to test drive the Mazda again. Hot and sunny afternoon made for a lovely top down drive (even with the Friday traffic) and I remained tempted, but we reached stalemate on price. Stopped off at Asda on the way home to fill up the car and mower petrol cans – the fuel delivery crisis was starting to stick around in the headlines and lingered for a week or so. There were “Out of….” signs / covers around at Lock’s Garage and The Forge and various petrol stations in Pembs, but we were fine.

Back to base to finish simmering and bottling the chutneys. The overall tally for the day was 29 jars. That should last us a while:

Friday Chutney Lidded and Labelled: Total tally 29 jars
Friday Chutney Lidded and Labelled: Total tally 29 jars

Last job of the day was to clear the lounge and dining hall – all bar the sideboard and table – in anticipation of the new flooring being laid Monday week and for Phil to repaint the walls and skirting boards before then.

Downstairs cleared and ready for new wooden floors
Downstairs cleared and ready for new wooden floors

After all that, a well-earned evening of pizza and Grand Designs.


Out walking Saturday with the GVWC, on a 12 mile circular route around Kilpeck, Garway and Kentchurch. We arrived at the trig point on the top of Garway Hill in heavy cloud but occasional breaks gave glimpses of the views. A fast pace meant we were enjoying medical rehydration in the beer garden at The Kilpeck Inn by 3.30pm.

GVWC: Kilpeck - Garway - Kentchurch Circular
GVWC: Kilpeck – Garway – Kentchurch Circular
GVWC: Kilpeck - Garway - Kentchurch Circular: Route map
GVWC: Kilpeck – Garway – Kentchurch Circular: Route map

Deleted my Tuffmail account under Phil’s supervision then flickered photos and packed for Pembs. In the evening, collected Hazel from Hereford train station and fish and chips from The Old Stables in Ewyas Harold.


Leisurely start Sunday, breakfast in the conservatory and then off to Pembs for a week of walking (and drinking). Not quite Trekking in Nepal, but we should see seals and seal pups (you don’t get those in the mountains), and culminating in an Everest Get Together with D&G at the weekend.

A good drive – no sheep this time – and a late lunch at the van after a miscommunication on rendezvous location meant H and I surprised M and M at Mayhem, while Steffi waited for us at the van. Speedy trip back into H’west to do the food shopping and still time for a windy stroll on the beach before G&Ts and puff pastry tart for dinner.


Monday morning was cloudy but dry, so we drove to Stackpole Quay and, after waiting out a heavy shower, walked along the coast path to Barafundle Bay, Broadhaven South and Bosherton Lily Ponds, with a late lunch at Mrs Weston’s – still not serving cheese on toast.

Barafundle Bay: Rock Arches
Barafundle Bay: Rock Arches

A couple of showers early on – with a rainbow curving over the coast and into the sea – then a lovely breezy and sunny walk.


TV: Grand DesignsThe North Water, Sex Education (series 3).

Podcasts / audiobooks: History Extra, Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle.


Photos: Herefordshire week 91 on Flickr.

Phil:w/e 2021-09-26

Herefordshire Week 090: Tuesday 14 – Monday 20 September 2021

Weekend guest. Abergavenny Food Festival. Chutney. Walks wet and dry.

Hay Bluff - looking along the Beacons
Hay Bluff – looking along the Beacons

Caught up on house and money admin on Tuesday morning then eased back to work. No time for a walk or to pick any apples or plums. I managed the latter on Wednesday morning before work, and we had stewed plums, very tart, for pudding that evening. VWW and Family Zooms as usual.


I spent Friday morning gathering windfalls and easy-to-reach apples and conjuring up a jam-pan-ful of apple chutney (Cottage Smallholder recipe) and a smaller quantity of spicy plum chutney, stirring furiously for four hours, and bottling just before Janette arrived in the early afternoon.

Apple Chutney & Plum Chutney - Production Complete
Apple Chutney & Plum Chutney – Production Complete

It was a lovely afternoon so we had tea and chat out on the patio then walked to Kerrys Gate – Cockyard – Duffryn – Camp Crossroads and home for dinner.  We sat out on the patio enjoying a very civilised but slightly over indulgent bottle of rosé accompanied by crisps and canapés courtesy of Phil, then pizza à la Phil in the conservatory.

Saturday saw us drive to Abergavenny to spend the day at the Abergavenny Food Festival. Another gorgeous hot and sunny day, which was smashing for strolling around the streets visiting the various venues and checking out the stalls, samples and shows – but made for rather too many people doing the same thing in confined spaces. Fine if you could put COVID to the furthest recesses of your mind, but ……

Home for tea and biscuits, a bit of a potter around the grounds, then dinner feasting on various goodies we’d bought at the Festival, accompanied by music wafting up from the Army Camp which seemed to be hosting a fun fair.

A leisurely start on Sunday, with another hot and sunny day.

Al fresco breakfast
Al fresco breakfast

Having breakfasted al fresco, Janette and I were tempted back towards Abergavenny for the walk up Skirrid. We left 40A in blazing sunshine, emerged from the woods to see a haze of rain showers engulf Abergavenny and Sugar Loaf, and got to the ridge in light rain which swiftly developed into a downpour by the time we reached the trig point (no views!!) and stayed in situ for all the descent, easing off just as we got back to the car. Pah!

And by the time we got back to the cottage – no rain, blue skies. Double pah!! After a change of clothes and a shower – we were both sodden – and a late lunch, we were lured out again by the sunshine and blue skies. This time we were luckier and had a lovely stroll down to the Abbey and back.

Waved Janette off around 6pm, then weedkillered the drive before a relaxing evening with a bit of telly. Darkness slowly falling from 7pm these days.


Monday dawned with a gorgeous sunrise over Grey Valley.

Sunrise, Grey Valley
Sunrise, Grey Valley

… and after finishing Flickring my Pembrokeshire photos I drove over to Longtown and the Black Hill to walk the Cat’s Back Backwards: Road and bridleway into the Olchon Valley, up the valley onto Hatterrall Ridge and along to Hay Bluff, and the Red Dragon Trig Point, where I watched paragliders readying for the off. Back along Hatterall Ridge via the other Trig Point (England) and down the Cat’s Back.

Blue skies, cool, smashing views.

Olchon Valley
Olchon Valley
Hay Bluff Trig Point
Hay Bluff Trig Point
Cat's Back / Hatterrall Ridge Trig Point
Cat’s Back / Hatterrall Ridge Trig Point
Cat's Back Descent
Cat’s Back Descent

I was back home by mid afternoon, which gave me time to mow. We’ve “grass cutting swirls” on our front lawn. Need to get the grass collector fixed….


Quite a lot of conservatory casualties this week 🙁  Perhaps it’s something to do with the low angle of the light at this time of year, later in the mornings and earlier evenings, but we’ve had a lot of bonks on the windows with two fatalities. Phil’s put some post it notes up.

Flowers are in a pale purple phase: autumn crocus, cyclamen, chives.

Autumn Crocus
Autumn Crocus

And I’ve a second batch of strawberries appearing in the patio pots! The runners have set fine too.

Autumn Strawberries!
Autumn Strawberries!

Mouse Wars have entered the Garage Phase: Phil 1 : Mice 1.

Phil caught a mouse in the garage… but discovered something has eaten a hole in the plastic bin we keep the bird seed in….

Mouse Wars: Garage Edition
Mouse Wars: Garage Edition

TV: Grand DesignsThe North Water, Sex Education (series 3).

Podcasts / audiobooks: Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle.


Photos: Herefordshire week 90 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-09-19.

Herefordshire Week 089: Tuesday 07 – Monday 13 September 2021

Pembrokeshire holiday part 2. Birthday BBQ. More apples.

Sunset, Newgale Beach
Sunset, Newgale Beach

I was up early again on Tuesday, set to be the hottest day of the year according to the forecast. And it was scorchio. I drove to St Davids and walked the coast path from Caerfai to Whitesands.

Arch and red sandstone rockfall
Arch and red sandstone rockfall
Porthlysgi
Porthlysgi
St David's Head, Whitesands Bay
St David’s Head, Whitesands Bay

Jewel-like flowers, blue, pinks, yellows and purples, heather and gorse stretching over the hillsides. Beautiful. And, in the rocky coves and sheltered inlets opposite Ramsey Island, I spotted first seals, and then seals and their pups, and then a dolphin in Ramsey Sound. Magic.

Two seals
Two seals
Seal pup
Seal pup

Butterflies too.

Solva to Newgale: Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

At Whitesands I treated myself to an ice cream  for the final slog along the roads back into St Davids. Back at the van for 4 o’clock tea, sat outside on the decking again, reading more of Underland – although images of pot holing and urban explorers in the catacombs of Paris were hard to conjure up given all the sun, blue skies and occasional very welcome breeze.

Very much wishing I’d brought my swimming costume….

Late afternoon stroll on the beach with P, then Southwood Estate again or Dog Shit Estate as I fear it should be renamed. By the time I got back to the beach the tide was almost in and there was the start of a good sunset, so I nipped back to the van to get Phil, the M&S G&Ts purchased on Saturday plus crisps and peanuts, and we sat on the pebbles watching a glorious sunset, first gold then technicolour pinks and purples.

Sunset, Newgale Beach
Sunset, Newgale Beach
Sunset, Newgale Beach
Sunset, Newgale Beach

Late dinner and another instalment of The Hunt for A Killer.


Wednesday morning began with a red sky warning. Phil and I surfaced around 8am and polished off the croissants with OJ and stove top coffee. Having concluded last night that I’d probably just walk south along the coast path until I felt like turning round, the timing and the revised weather forecast combined such that it made perfect sense to get the 9.10am Puffin Shuttle to St Bride’s Haven and to walk back from there.

So I did.

… and saw a seal bobbing in Mill Haven, and a large grey seal with her pup safe on the rocks of the next inlet to the north, steep sided and inaccessible.

I got rained on a bit just after the wooded section en route to lovely Little Haven, but dried off in Broad Haven with (disappointingly weak) posh coffee and a deluxe fruit, nut and choc bar.

Lovely walk, and one we’d not done for a good few years. I’d forgotten it takes you past the dragon islands (aka Stack Rocks) and the stone with the circular hole (aka Howney Stone).

Dragon Rocks (aka Stack Rocks)
Dragon Rocks (aka Stack Rocks)
Howney Stone
Howney Stone

I’d also forgotten how many ups and down there are from Nolton Haven back to Newgale. Mind you, the beach was looking massive – it must have been a low low tide.

Tidal Pools and Newgale Beach
Tidal Pools and Newgale Beach

I was ready for a shower and late lunch by the time I got back a little after 3pm. Then settled in for a lazy afternoon of iPad and reading. No sign of the afternoon thunderstorms that were in this morning’s forecast.


Thursday – cloud and rain ad hoc throughout the day, so a lazy day reading and listening to more of Boudica. And a quick nip to Morrisons to top up the supplies.

Dad emailed us while we were away to let us know that one of the apple trees in the orchard had fallen over.

There is such a thing as too many apples....
There is such a thing as too many apples….

Friday was our last full day in Pembs. Cloudy but warm. We drove to St Davids and walked the coast path from St Justinians to Porthclais, looking out for the seals and pups (and dolphins – but there were none) en route. Sadly, one less pup than on Monday – the one on the sloping rocks has gone. To compensate, there was a very determined pup at the west end of the Sound (Porthaflod?), who was very determined to reach the water.  I took a lot of photos of that one….

Determined seal pup, Porthaflod
Determined seal pup, Porthaflod

We treated ourselves to a great coffee and dark chocolate flapjack from the Porthclais Kiosk. Five stars.

Phil with coffee and flapjack, Porthclais
Phil with coffee and flapjack, Porthclais

Should have thought to time to walk to get the Celtic Coaster from St Davids to St Jusinian’s, as that 2 1/4 miles of tarmac is hard going compared to the footpaths. We saw it again at Porthclais.

Back at the van, we did an initial pack and hoover, then iPaded / read / audiobooked until early dinner – mushroom risotto – and another Grand Designs.


Up early on Saturday, breakfast, final pack / clean, then to Steffi and Maurice’s for another coffee and chat before heading back east to Herefordshire. Phil did Carmarthen home. No sheep on the road this time.

We arrived home to an invitation to a birthday BBQ down the lane, so we spent the late afternoon and early evening drinking beers, eating BBQ burgers and salads and chatting with various neighbours. Fab.


The birds are slowly remembering where to find the peanuts and bird seed, and enjoying the washing and drinking facilities. House Martins have been bombing around overhead, gobbling flying things. Large spiders have spawned squads of small spiders (cue Charlotte’s Web) and the autumn crocus and cyclamen have brought lilac hues into the garden.


Spent Sunday morning catching up on computer things – weeknotes, reading, Strava screenshots and photos. Phil’s worked out how to get the videos off my new Sony Cyber-Shot. I’m hoping that if I change the video format I’ll be able to transfer them alongside the .jpg photos via Image Capture.

Lunched outside, which is when I finally realised Richard had been and that more of the hedges had been trimmed.

Spent the afternoon continuing to flickr photos and to finalise weeknotes. Still got a lot of photos to work through…. I was almost as snap happy as on a trek.

Made a double batch of Anglo Indian Apple Chutney before dinner. Blitzed the apples and dates in the Magimix and cooked everything up in the jam pan, which  I think may produce a different texture compared to the usual chopping + microwave approach. We’ll see.

Anglo Indian Apple Chutney, in progress
Anglo Indian Apple Chutney, in progress

Went out for the day with dad and Jean on Monday, visiting Hergest Croft Gardens. Returned with a replacement apple tree / early Christmas present – a Herefordshire Russet. Now I just have to decide where to plant it.

Handyman Sam came round to view the work we want done to the utility room in the afternoon, and we got that booked in for October. Phil and I did a speedy Sainsbury’s + Aldi shop before dinner. No salt & vinegar crisps for love nor money.


TV: Grand DesignsThe Hunt for A Killer, The North Water, Sex Education (series 2).

Podcasts / audiobooks: History Extra, Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle.


Photos: Herefordshire week 89 on Flickr.

Phil: f/e 2021-09-12.