Herefordshire Week 001: Monday 30 December 2019 – Sunday 05 January 2020

Adieu London, Hello Herefordshire.

A week of packing, cleaning – and worrying – interspersed with socialising. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with Hazel at the new Everyman in Broadgate Circle, lunch with Simon, Susa and Jane, Troy at the British Museum and TJBR round for dinner and presents.

The worry/ies? Would the Medium Van we’ve hired from Enterprise be big enough for all the still-accumulating boxes? Would I remember how to drive? Did I need any further ID docs for our Hereford car hire on Friday? Will how we’re leaving the flat meet the expectations of our spare room renters?

Meals have been imaginative usings up of the things in the cupboards, fridge and freezer. A larger than normal number of Gs&Ts.

We welcomed in 2020 quietly. A combination of “that’s what we usually do” and post-packing/cleaning/worrying weariness. I was in bed by 10pm, finishing off Granta 85: Hidden Histories, which turned out for be my 1000th review on SparklyTrainers.

Thursday 02 January we moved to Herefordshire. The van hire went fine, as did driving back to the Barbican and packing the van. Excellent service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in both Tower Bridge and Hereford. Highly recommended. The drive west featured the A40/M40/A40/M5/M50/A49, with a late lunch stop off at The Old Prison cafe, just off the Fosse Way near Northleach.

Unpacking the van proved quicker than packing it had been (no lifts, fire doors or road crossings to contend with) and we had time to enjoy a cup of tea and some tiffin to recharge our batteries before we started to put all the boxes into roughly the right rooms.

We are here!
We are here!

Friday was designated car quest day 1. Our mission to find a second hand Honda Jazz took us to Blenheim and Stourbridge, without any joy. However, we did come to the conclusion that we should ditch the Jazz fixation, and focus on what was on offer locally. We had spent the drive back from Stourbridge contingency planning what to do if we couldn’t buy a car before the hire car goes back on Tuesday. You definitely need a car in this part of the world. That said, you would manage with supermarket shopping deliveries, taxis and the local bus services, but you’d need plenty of time (and money for those taxis) and the ability to get out into the surrounding countryside would be limited.

Car quest day 2 proved far more successful and yesterday morning we bought a 10 year old Nissan Note from M3 Auto on the Rotherwas Industrial Estate, located courtesy of AutoTrader’s excellent filtered search.  All being well we will be picking it up Tuesday morning after it’s been MOTed, had the 2 rear tyres replaced and the interior re-valeted.

Dinner at The Temple Inn with dad and Jean last night. It changes hands in a couple of weeks time. I wonder what changes that will bring. Glad we managed one last meal there from Gill and family.

Spent most of today clearing my “office” room (involving close encounters with childhood toys – the wooden garage and the Lego in its case, both made by dad, plus Patty People (aka Fisher Price Little People) and Playmobil. Also lots of dust), moving in dad’s old desk and setting up my LW office. All working perfectly. Phew. Let’s hope the wifi continues to hold up….

We did fit in the Kerry’s Gate – Bacton walk after lunch, and I sorted out car insurance this evening, and now this first set of Herefordshire Week Notes (henceforth HWN) is done it’s time to relax. More unpacking / clearing / cleaning calls tomorrow.

Evening viewing: The Trial of Christine Keeler and Dracula. Both excellent. We do have lots of flies here at the cottage however. Gulp.

An eventful 7 days. It feels longer than a week.

(With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I’d taken “before” photos of the rooms we’ve rearranged.)

 

London weekends: 06 & 07 June 2015

Saturday

A day out in London with Clan Russell, featuring the Changing the Guard and the London Transport Museum.

Sunday

Tickets

London weekend tickets: London Transport Museum, Saturday; Santander Cycles, Sunday

London weekends: 09 & 10 May 2015

Saturday

Sunday

London weekends: 25 & 26 April 2015

Not strictly London, but the earthquake in Nepal became the focus this weekend, with emails to/from/about Val.

In other news….

Saturday

  • Breakfast at Trade, near Spitalfields Market – excellent. Tasty menu, and lovely relaxed service. We’ll be back.
  • Home via Leyden St Cotswold Outdoor for a crampon-friendly-yet-trekkable boot mooch. Maybe the Women’s Rebel Lite GTX, the spec and fit are spot on…. but pink?!?! Am I supposed to dress up as a sugar plum fairy before I don crampons for the Cordillera Blanca Traverse? And ‘Rebel’ – really?
  • Curzon Mondrian (in the former Sea Containers House) for While We’re Young – 1.10pm showing ticket cost £8 in contrast to the new Curzon Bloomsbury (Renoir as was)’s £18 ticket for the same film, same(ish – still afternoon) time. Each. What on earth? Meanwhile, in the Mondrian we were the only people in their brand new cinema. Comfy seats. Decidedly non kid – perfect.
  • Across the Thames and into Covent Garden to visit Cotswold Outdoor branch there. Boots purchased. Superb service from Ca’tia.
  • Home to follow news of the awful earthquake in Nepal. Twitter #NepalEarthquake provided an invaluable source.

Sunday

  • Coffee at Bar Italia – by Boris Barclays Bike Santander Cycles (Ah, the alliteration is strong in this one)
  • Back to base for Waitrose shop and a day at the computer.
  • Marathon? What marathon?

London weekends: 18 & 19 April 2015

As Samuel Johnson said, When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

So I’ve decided to start keeping track of how I spend my London weekends.

Saturday

Sunday