City Slicking, part 2. Adieu, Bow Lane Wine Vaults. Birthday celebrations at The Angel Hotel postponed.
Our KMCA meeting continued on Tuesday, with a KMCA + KM MN Ops team dinner at Dishoom in Shoreditch and an al fresco nightcap back at the Dorsett City Hotel.
Most of Wednesday morning was taken up with the MN KM and ET teams. After a lovely lunch with J in Finsbury Circus the afternoon was spent on meeting follow up and catching up with LO folks.
After a full on three days Actually At Work, I was ready for Wine Wednesday – the first one In Person since December; attendees: Hazel, Catherine, FM, RG and me, so we had a full house. A good thing too, because as we were settling up at BLWV the manager came over to let us know that the business has been bought by a small pub chain from Kent, and it’s closing for a few weeks for a refurb and rebrand. The end of an era. WW started there in 2008.
After an excellent Pizza Express experience to compensate, it was south to CJ for the last night of my London visit.
Thursday began with another early wake up call, courtesy of the LHR flight path, so I was in the office by 7am and fading by lunchtime. A good day for a bit of catching up and admin, and a pre-train pint with Tom.
Delayed departure from PAD due to a trespasser on the line, but we pulled into HFD on time having made up 20 mins on the stretch from the new stop at Worcester Parkway.
So nice to be Home. I really enjoyed my week in London, reconnecting with colleagues and seeing friends – exhausting though it was (out of practice + early starts). But I was glad to be back home – and it does feel like “home” now.
Up early on Friday to drive Phil to the station for his trip back to the smoke. I underestimated the rush hour traffic – we’d allowed an hour and we made it to the station with only minutes to spare. Still, I made it to my physio appointment (assessment: the pain in my groin / inner thigh is down to super tight calves) and then on for a cup of tea with dad at the bungalow. Back into town for a Tour of Aldi and a Spin Around Sainsburys then home for a late lunch.
Shattered, so spent the rest of the afternoon in the conservatory reading, finishing off Tessa Hadley’s short stories (Bad Dreams) and starting on A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville (smashing).
DIY Friday TV Dinner was lentil soup plus Doctor Who and TOTP 1993.
I spent Saturday morning pottering in the garden – everything is so lush and green, and in flower.
I had planned to mow and/or plant out the lettuces, but I didn’t have the oomph, so settled for digging up thistles, feeding the rhododendrons and camellias, transplanting the rosemary and filling up the birds’ peanuts and seeds.
Tom arrived mid afternoon, just in time for tea and hot cross buns. Then off to the bungalow for birthday tea and cake with dad and Jean before picking up Phil from the station. Butternut squash curry in the conservatory for dinner, after an aperitif of home made Damson G&T and crisps sat out on the lawn.
Leisurely morning on Sunday, reading in the conservatory, croissants and coffee out on the patio and then a stroll down to the Abbey, back via footpaths and Thistly Field, which provided ample opportunity to check out Stockley Coppice Status. The machinery was still in situ, and most of the one remaining row of fir trees up by the fence sported a sprayed pink stripe, as did the trunks of the felled trees. And on Monday, the pink striped ones were felled by chainsaw, so we now have a new view from the front of Forty Acres.
Lunch al fresco, then waved off Tom and tackled the mowing….
The grass was green and lush – I knew it would be after all the recent sunshine and showers. Even leaving the front lawn as meadow, I filled up the ride on mower’s grass collector at least 8 times. The Honda mower just about managed the hedgerow edges but struggled with the verge and orchard, so I took the strimmer mower out for a spin – that did the job, until the strimmer cables came flying out.
It was meant to be belated Birthday Celebrations this weekend, but Jean has Covid so we’re postponing.
Having been amazed at the growth of London’s skyscrapers, I’d returned home to find equally astounding growth in the greenhouse with the lettuce seedlings (set 2) transformed into leafy baby lettuces, and set 1 practically fully grown. The broad beans are past the third string, and I have a rosy red strawberry, with plenty more on the way. In fact, the only things that hadn’t fared so well were the tomatoes. The three that were looking peaky before I left for London had disappeared completely. I suspect slugs.
So Monday morning brought more gardening – planting out the older lettuces, potting up the younger ones; transplanting the larger tomato seedling into a larger tub (I’m trying out greenhouse growing this year); planting out the sunflowers (some into the herb bed and others into an old tomato grow bag); clearing around the blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes, and installing the mosquito netting (Sue’s tip). After considering a few other options, I planted out Jean’s Dinedor gooseberry in the veg patch, which entailed moving the chard into the Coffin. Last job – unpacking the pop up netting I’d bought at Malvern RHS Spring Show and setting it up over the lettuces.
Late lunch then an afternoon catching up on Admin. So Much To Do.
Photos: Herefordshire week 125 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2022-05-22.