Herefordshire Week 119: Tuesday 05 – Monday 11 April 2022

Social events in Stow on the Wold and Kerrys Gate, back to the Brecon Beacons to walk Corn Du, Pen y Fan and Cribyn, and iPhone upgrade.

Plus the spring flowers are OUT!

Cowslip
Cowslip

New joiner onboarding this week meant I was working Mon, Tues and Weds am. Rather nice to finish at lunchtime mid-week, although it did throw out the rest of the week – I kept thinking we were a day later than we really were.


Wednesday afternoon didn’t go well. I stuffed up my Indian Visa application (managed to submit without a photo, so I’m waiting to hear back from the email helpdesk as to what I should do…), and Facebook emailed to say that they’re deleting grey accounts – which the LED one is, and it’s the only account set up to run the LED Facebook page. Timely that I caught up with Val on Wednesday evening, although it did mean I was late to VWW.


It took far too much of Thursday morning to work out how to keep the LED Facebook page alive. I think I’ve managed it but we’ll know on 06 May. The help pages they’d linked to in the email tell you to do the wrong thing and it took me 4 hours just to add a new account as a page admin.  I hate having to use Facebook – it’s so unintuitive but, worse, it freaks me out, showing me people I’ve not been in contact with for years as friend suggestions. How?

Thursday had turned out to be a day of sunshine and showers, so, FB sorted, I put off my plan to walk around the lanes and tackled some admin:

  • Bought tickets for the Herefordshire Walking Festival to balance things out. And – stop press – RG is coming along for some of them too.
  • Bought train tickets for the St Andrews Ladies Weekend, at least for Crewe to Leuchars and back. I am now waiting for Transport for Wales to release their timetable/advance fares. The London ladies bought theirs weeks ago.
  • Did some Pembs Prep, including soliciting requests for chutney / jam / marmalade / sage.
  • Set up Phil’s old iPhone SE, replacing his old iPhone 4 (Tech Support from PG) (aka iPhone upgrade)
  • Caught up with Tom in lieu of Family Zoom.

Williams Water were with us all day, moling a new water pipe from the mains to the house. We’re hoping that’ll provide better water pressure inside the house.


Had a lovely day in Stow on the Wold with C and SL on Friday. Sunny weather made for a fab drive there/back in the MX5, a long lunch in the rear courtyard of The Queen’s Head and then a stroll around the town. It’s bigger than the High Street we drive along on our way to/from Essex. The clouds and raindrops held off until I was home.


Saturday brought two highlights.

I spent most of the day walking in the Brecon Beacons with the GVWC, doing the Corn Du – Pen y Fan – Cribyn Horseshoe from Neuadd Reservoir Car Park. Once up on the ridge, we could see the Bristol Channel shining in the distance.

Brecon Beacons Horseshoe: Corn Du, Pen y Fan & Cribyn panorama
Brecon Beacons Horseshoe: Corn Du, Pen y Fan & Cribyn panorama

Another sunny day and not as cold as the forecast (which had promised wind chill at -10C). Walk done, we stopped off for medical rehydration (aka a pint) at The Stag Inn, Talybont.

Brecon Beacons Horseshoe: Pen y Fan panorama
Brecon Beacons Horseshoe: Pen y Fan panorama

And in the evening, Phil and I headed up the lane for dinner with friends in Kerrys Gate. Really fab.


Took things easy on Sunday – slow start then Cockyard with Phil before a late lunch.

Cockyard Circuit: Longwood Cherry Tree Blossom
Cockyard Circuit: Longwood Cherry Tree Blossom

A pair of blue tits have taken a shine to the gap in our soffits on the corner of my office, evidenced by frequent tapping I can hear when I’m working. And on Saturday we’d spotted some moss hanging from the gaffer tape we’d used to patch up the gaps last summer, so we reckoned nesting was probably in progress. So Sunday afternoon’s main task was trying to close the gap by pushing chickenwire into the hole(s). Partially successful, but it did make us realise the whole section could do with replacing.

After all that excitement I was ready for a lazy afternoon in the conservatory, listening to Hayley Atwell reading Jessie Burton’s The Confession – thoroughly enjoying it.

I did manage one more job –  potted up the lemongrass. Doing well!


Spent Monday morning in the garden – cleared up windfall sticks, hauled some weed out of the pond, sowed the meadow flower seed, then did a Honda mow and a big mow. The ride on mower is sounding much better.

Honda mower
Honda mower

I did manage to put a trio of rips into my trousers though.

Cloudy and breezy afternoon, with smatterings on rain, so I adjourned to the computer.


Lots of blossom out on the fruit trees, and the Christmas Present tulips are about to flower – including the ones we’d planted out on the verge. More alliums are surfacing in the pots. Primroses looking lovely, cowslips are popping up everywhere. and the bluebells are out too. Beautiful.

Orchard primroses
Orchard primroses

(This morning, I spotted the first flowers on the clematis.)


TV: Friday Night Lights (finished season 5, farewell all you lovely people in Dillon, Texas), The Split (series 3, farewell Hannah Defoe & Co), This Farming LifeRussian Doll (not what I was expecting, but ep1 was OK) and back to Brum for the last series of Peaky Blinders….

Audiobook: The Confession – Jessie Burton (No Podcasts)


Photos: Herefordshire week 119 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-04-10.

Herefordshire Week 114: Tuesday 01 – Monday 07 March 2022

A couple of short and sweet week notes coming up. It’s been a busy fortnight with week 114 featuring three fab walks courtesy of the Crickhowell Walking Festival.

15 March 2022: Updated with some CWF photos

CWF 2022 Walk 01 - Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass: Pen y Fan and Cribyn - from the Rhos Dirion-Waun Fach ridge
CWF 2022 Walk 01 – Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass: Pen y Fan and Cribyn – from the Rhos Dirion-Waun Fach ridge
CWF 2022 Walk 01 - Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass: Toppled Trig Point, Pen Allt-Mawr
CWF 2022 Walk 01 – Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass: Toppled Trig Point, Pen Allt-Mawr
CWF 2022 Walk 01 - Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass: Pen Cerrig-calch descent, Skirrid (left) and Sugar Loaf (right)
CWF 2022 Walk 01 – Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass: Pen Cerrig-calch descent, Skirrid (left) and Sugar Loaf (right)
CWF Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe: me and Steffi, at the Pen Cerrig-calch Trig Point
CWF Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe: me and Steffi, at the Pen Cerrig-calch Trig Point
CWF Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe: Catkins
CWF Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe: Catkins
CWF Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe: Last light on Sugar Loaf
CWF Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe: Last light on Sugar Loaf

Admin on Tuesday morning included buying the custom cut splashback for the utility room and leaving messages with Williams Water about replacing the supply pipe from the road to the house, then a walk with Phil down to Abbey Dore and back via Thistly Field bumping into P from Kerrys Gate on our return. But the morning’s main achievement was my Bird seed feeder hack: I wired the side half of a 6pt plastic milk bottle to the base of the bird seed feeder in an attempt to catch the seed before it falls to the ground, where it attracts rattus rattus and squirrellus squirrellus.

Bird seed feeder hack
Bird seed feeder hack

Busy week at work (seems to be a common theme this spring), with VWW and Family Zoom.


Drove the MX5 down to Abergavenny on Friday morning, picking up toolstation order, groceries at Aldi and dropping off the loft collection of albums from the 1950s and 1960s – Girl, School Friend, Girl’s Crystal & Eagle for Broadleaf Books. Glad to see them given to a good home.

Annuals Montage - Girl, School Friend, Girl's Crystal & Eagle
Annuals Montage – Girl, School Friend, Girl’s Crystal & Eagle

Then to the station for the main event – collecting Steffi. Our al fresco lunch at Bean & Bread was cut short by hail, so home for an afternoon with the last of Lupin.


Saturday, Sunday and Monday were dedicated to the Crickhowell Walking Festival, with Steffi joining me for the weekend’s walks. Magic.

Here are the blurbs plus maps. Photos to follow (sometime….) now on Flickr.

Saturday: Black Mountains North to South – Gospel Pass to Crickhowell (15 ½ miles; 2,120 ft ascent; 6 hours walking)

Walk 01 Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass - Map
Walk 01 Black Mountains N-S from Gospel Pass – Map

A walk taking in the entire length of the Black Mountains, from Gospel Pass in the far north back to Crickhowell in the south. The walk starts with an ascent of Twmpa and continues over Rhos Dirion to Waun Fach (the highest point in the Black Mountains at 811m), then on to Pen Allt-mawr and Pen Cerrig-calch before descending into Crickhowell via Table Mountain.

Sunday: Llanbedr Horseshoe (18 ½ miles; 3,426 ft ascent; 7 ½ hours walking)

Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe - round the clock - Map
Walk 13 Llanbedr Horseshoe – round the clock – Map

The Llanbedr Horseshoe is one of the great challenge walks in the Black Mountains. From the village of Llanbedr it starts with a stiff climb up to Crug Hywel (Table Mountain) and then on up to Pen Cerrig-calch. A respite from climbing for a while as the route takes us to Pen Allt-Mawr and a drop down to level moorland to Mynydd Llysiau, where we start to climb to the highest point, Waun Fach (811m). Now we head south to Pen y Gadair Fawr and eventually Crug Mawr, before descending to Llanbedr across the Grwyne Fechan river.

(It was very windy and very cold: -10C windchill).

Monday: Yomp the Three Pens (12 miles; 2,470ft ascent; 4 ¾ hours walking)

Walk 24 Yomp the Three Pens - Map
Walk 24 Yomp the Three Pens – Map

Take paths less trodden – the Three Pens with a difference! After a gentle start along the River Usk, we ascend into Cwm Mawr and then take a direct line up the Bryniog ridge, which climbs in a series of sculpted steps left by the last Ice Age to reach Pen Gloch-y-pibwr; sometimes on paths, sometimes not, but nothing extreme. Main trails to Pen Allt-mawr and Pen Cerrig-calch, then down by lovely grass sheep tracks to Table Mountain and Cwm Cumbeth. Great views and quiet trails throughout.


TV:  Lupin with Steffi (finishing off season 2),  Friday Night Lights (season 2) with Phil and This Farming Life with Steffi and Phil.

Podcasts: I’ve forgotten…


Photos: Herefordshire week 114 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-03-06.

Herefordshire Week 107: Tuesday 11 – Monday 17 January 2022

Frosty!

Two big walks: Symonds Yat Circular on Saturday was topped by a gloriously sunny Monday out walking in the Black Mountains. Life doesn’t get much better.

Stand by for superlatives.

Frosty Morning Sunrise, Thistly Field Oak
Frosty Morning Sunrise, Thistly Field Oak

We were treated to a gorgeous frosty morning on Wednesday. Pink and orange hued clouds as the sun rose into a blue sky. White front lawn, grass sparkling. Not a breath of air. The blue skies and sunshine stayed all day. And I was stuck inside working.

Beautiful morning
Beautiful morning

Thursday and Friday mornings provided repeat performances. Just magical, and on Friday morning I nipped out to Thistly Field for some photos.

Frosty Morning, Thistly Field Panorama
Frosty Morning, Thistly Field Panorama

After Friday’s beautiful start and a good catch up with VP the rest of the day got hit for six. I ticked off various tasks: topped up my MX-5 antifreeze (eBay delivered), planted some of CH’s lemon grass seeds, pruned the gooseberry bush and followed Monty Don‘s directions on propagating the cuttings, raked up leaves on the mower path and made holes in the frozen pond for the fish.

We needed calm telly come the evening. This Farming Life delivered.


Out with Hereford Excalibur / GVWC on Saturday for a winter’s day walk on Saturday – Symonds Yat Circular. Smashing!

6 hours, 12-ish miles on forest trails, two short sections of road, field footpaths, Offa’s Dyke Path, Wysis Way and the Peregrine Path. Route: Symonds Yat Car Park & Cafe (above Symonds Yat East) – Christchurch to Symonds Yat Trail – Bracelands – Staunton – Birchen Wood – Kymin – Suck Stone – Peregrine Path – Symonds Yat East riverside – Car Park.

GVWC: Symonds Yat Circular - Bronze Leaves
GVWC: Symonds Yat Circular – Bronze Leaves

And at the end, a lovely mug of tea at The Saracen’s Head, Symonds Yat East watching the Wye flow by.

Back home for another cup of tea, and a mince pie. Those Sainsbury’s bargain boxes are still going!


Plans to take the MX-5 for a spin to Skirrid for a walk on Sunday were stymied by a flat battery. Thank heavens for the ancient charger and good neighbours.

An anxious day. Even a lovely morning walk around the Bacton Square and clearing some of the ivy from the Solarium Shrub didn’t help.

Grey Valley from the lane to Kerrys Gate
Grey Valley from the lane to Kerrys Gate

Monday’s weather forecast was amazing; perfect walking weather. So I took the MX-5 out for a spin into the Vale of Ewyas for a fabulous walk in the Black Mountains – a lovely 11 mile loop from Llanthony Priory: up Cwm Bwchel to Bal-Bach, north along the Ffawyddog* ridge, down to Capel-y-ffin, contouring along an old track for a bit then up to Hatterrall Ridge and back south along the Offa’s Dyke Path to Llanthony.

All under glorious blue skies and sunshine. Hot up high but still frosty and frozen in the shade, woodsmoke and mountain ponies, it made me feel like I was trekking in Nepal…..

Llanthony Loop: Up Cwm Bwchel to the ridge - Looking back at Llanthony Priory
Llanthony Loop: Up Cwm Bwchel to the ridge – Looking back at Llanthony Priory
Llanthony Loop: Ffawyddog Ridge
Llanthony Loop: Ffawyddog Ridge – looking south
Llanthony Loop: Me on Ffawyddog Ridge
Llanthony Loop: Me on Ffawyddog Ridge
Llanthony Loop: Capel-y-ffin
Llanthony Loop: Capel-y-ffin
Llanthony Loop: Climb up to Hatterrall Ridge - Capel-y-ffin waymark stone
Llanthony Loop: Climb up to Hatterrall Ridge – Capel-y-ffin waymark stone
Llanthony Loop: Along Hatterrall Ridge - HELLO HEREFORDSHIRE!
Llanthony Loop: Along Hatterrall Ridge – HELLO HEREFORDSHIRE!
Llanthony Loop: Along Hatterrall Ridge
Llanthony Loop: Along Hatterrall Ridge
Llanthony Loop: down to Llanthony Priory - the Vale of Ewyas
Llanthony Loop: down to Llanthony Priory – the Vale of Ewyas
Llanthony Loop: down to Llanthony Priory
Llanthony Loop: down to Llanthony Priory

* (You would not believe how many tries it’s taken me to spell Ffawyddog correctly. And, well I never, it means Beech Grove)

Walk 4 in Kittiwake’s excellent Walking in the Black Mountains. Plenty of signposts and waymarks and clear trails made for a straightforward route.

Returned to find the hedges had been cut – we’ve been wondering when that’d happen – news from London and a massive moon.

Hello Moon
Hello Moon

WHAT A DAY.


Talking of Nepal, on Tuesday I received an email from Günter Seyfferth who runs the wonderful Mountains of Himalaya website (www.himalaya-info.org) asking if he could use some of my photos of the Jangla Bhanjyang and views from Seri to Dhaulagiri Himal taken on 2017’s Dolpo Trek as he is updating his page on the Dhaulagiri Himal.

OMG, YES!!!! If you’ve read any of my Nepal trek blogposts, you’ll know how much I rely on Günter’s website to identify mountains etc in my photos. What an honour.

Looking at the annotated copies he’s sent in return reminded me we crossed the Jangla Bhanjyang on my birthday….

Three Nepal-y things in one week – Val chat, Günter’s emails and Monday’s walk. Now I really want to go back to Nepal. Let’s hope….


Aconites are coming up / out, snowdrops are surfacing in all the usual spots and there are daffodil shoots down by the old garden railway.

Aconites
Aconites

And on the bird feeder, a long tailed tit or two put in an appearance, as did a starling, joining the usual array of blue tits, great tits and greater spotted woodpeckers on the peanuts and chaffinches, dunnocks, blackbirds and robins foraying beneath.


TV: Succession (finished season 3), This Farming Life, Toast of Tinseltown, Mare of Easttown.

Podcasts: History Extra, SheDunnit, and a lot of The Essay.


Photos: Herefordshire week 107 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-01-16.

Herefordshire Week 096: Tuesday 26 October – Monday 01 November 2021

Home alone. Mouse-proofing the apple racks. Sunday lunch. A long walk. Torrential rain and glorious sunshine. T-shirt weather, in November.

Sunset over Hatterall Ridge, Canns Hill
Sunset over Hatterall Ridge, Canns Hill

Into Abergavenny on Tuesday morning to drop Phil off at the train station, do a top up shop and to get my flu jab. Back to 40A for the working week, with VWW and Family Zooms as usual, then back to Abergavenny in the sheeting rain to collect Phil late on Thursday evening. It’s quiet without him.


The walk back from coffee at K’s in Kerrys Gate on Friday morning provided the perfect opportunity for a spot of blackberrying along the lanes.

We were due to have the power off all morning while the electrician replaced the fuse box, installed the lights and the magic switch in the snug, LED lights in the loft plus a timer switch for the fly zapper and a few other things, but an emergency job meant he only had time to do the snug stuff. Still, having a light switch by the door in from the kitchen, without any wiring required, really is magic. Technically, it’s a wireless / kinetic light switch and receiver.

Headed back down towards Kerrys Gate in the afternoon and on round to Riverdale and back along the river. Lovely.

Back home, chopped up some of the small apples from the orchard and got them simmering with the blackberries (and then left them too long so that they burnt the bottom of the pan….) and had just enough time to start to look at car insurance before FaceTiming with S&S.

We decided Friday night pizza should be accompanied by a film but The Dead Don’t Die proved too much horror and not enough (not any) comedy for me so we switched to try out Paris Police 1900.


A very satisfying day Saturday – starting with mouse-proofing the apple racks, which have been relocated to the garage. A good morning’s work courtesy of the 6mm wire mesh, a staple gun and wire snips.

Mouse-proofing the Apple Racks ...
Mouse-proofing the Apple Racks …

Blackberrying in Thistly Field after lunch to get a replacement supply for tomorrow’s crumble, then restacked the apples into the relocated racks and then pottered in the greenhouse finally potting out the sage cuttings I’ve had growing roots in an old water-filled yoghurt pot, and applying the black, rubber nut & bolt covers dad had left over from Jean’s new greenhouse at the bungalow.

More tiny apple chopping segued into my cooking dinner (noteworthy as it’s not all that common an event) – Chetna Makan’s Black-Eyed Beans and Mushrooms – which we ate watching the first couple of episodes of Happy Valley, often recommended, and now on iPlayer.


It poured with rain overnight and all Sunday morning, with brief patches of blue sky and dry starting around midday. Very handily timed as Dad and Jean came for lunch, and they managed to get into the house with out getting drenched. A lovely lunch – leg of pork plus roast veg, all cooked by Phil. Jean brought a camellia and hydrangea from Dinedor, and some beautiful dahlias.

Washing up done, I spent a lazy late afternoon with the telly – I had completely forgotten that the clocks had gone back overnight and had got up at old time 7.15am / new time 6.15am. So that’s my excuse.

Hallowe’en Doctor Who then another episode of Hip-Hop Evolution. We’ve abandoned Paris Police 1900 and weren’t in the mood for Horrid James Norton / Happy Valley.


Out with the GVWC on Monday to recce next Saturday’s Challenge Walk: Eaton Bishop, Madley, Brampton, Cockyard, Wormbridge, Cobhall, Clehonger (17 miles).

GVWC Challenge Walk Recce: Eaton Bishop, Madley, Brampton, Cockyard, Wormbridge, Cobhall, Clehonger (17 miles)
GVWC Challenge Walk Recce: Eaton Bishop, Madley, Brampton, Cockyard, Wormbridge, Cobhall, Clehonger (17 miles)

A gorgeous day. I can hardly believe it’s 1st November. I spent most of the day in my t-shirt and got a rosy face. The only flies in the ointment were my Strava phone running out of battery – so only a partial map – and my feet / socks / boots getting absolutely sopping wet courtesy of a waterlogged farm track.

Strava Map - GVWC Challenge Walk Recce: Eaton Bishop, Madley, Brampton, Cockyard, Wormbridge, Cobhall, Clehonger (17 miles)
Strava Map

Back home for tea and Tunnocks in the conservatory, then out over Canns Hill to capture sunset over Hatterall Ridge.

Sunset over Hatterall Ridge, Canns Hill
Sunset over Hatterall Ridge, Canns Hill

TV: Four Hours at The Capitol, Nature and Us: A History through Art, The Dead Don’t Die, Paris Police 1900, Happy Valley, Effie Gray, Doctor Who, Hip-Hop Evolution.

Podcasts: History Extra, The Essay.


Photos: Herefordshire week 96 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-10-31.

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