Herefordshire Week 036: Tuesday 01 – Monday 07 September 2020

September already!!

We are in Walton on the Naze for a couple of weeks, enjoying a holiday on the Sunshine Coast with intermittent interruptions for admin.

Major event: Haircut!

So, yes, Tuesday morning featured a haircut. Not just any haircut… my first haircut since 19 August 2019.

Yep, over a year ago.

I am calling this one my COVID-Chop.

Haricut: Before & After
Haircut: Before & After

Locks chopped we headed down to the beach hut. Spent the afternoon reading and enjoying the soft evening light. Quieter now that the summer holiday season has come to an end. Always a lovely time of year to be in Walton.

Evening light, Hipkins Beach
Evening light, Hipkins Beach

Wednesday we walked along the prom to Frinton for coffee and cake, sat outside the Bird & Bean. Took some books to St Helena’s Charity Bookshop. Good to see both of them open.

Back home, Phil and I transferred our individual To Do Lists out of our heads and onto paper. Digital paper. We both felt better for it, for different reasons.

Thursday/Friday saw us make our flying visit back to London to meet with the removals man and two potential redecorators, and to do various other bits of house move admin. Thankfully train commuters were much more compliant with the mask wearing mandate.

We booked the removals and they’re going to do all the packing too. All being well, our stuff should be coming over to Herefordshire at the end of the month. We just have to find house room for it.

Once we have quotes from the decorators we’ll book that in for as soon after as they can manage.

Admin involved a walk over to Cheapside, where Wonder Of Wonders, Bow Lane Wine Vaults was open!! Sadly, too rainy to venture back for an early evening drink, plus we both needed to spend the time packing up a few fragile things.

But we did have wine, crisps and Waitrose pizza for dinner.

Almost Wine Wednesday #2
Almost Wine Wednesday #2

And whilst in Waitrose I bumped into one of my super Silver Surfers, which was really, really lovely. I do miss them, and that volunteering element of my life. Now I know we’re in Herefordshire for the long run, I’m going to find a replacement.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday continued the London socialising theme, with Hazel coming to stay and Catherine driving over for the day on Sunday.

Phil, Hazel and I had the long awaited fish & chips from the Tollgate Fisheries on Saturday evening, with a G&T aperitif featuring ice, gin and tonic from BJH.

Catherine arrived early on Sunday, and the three of us walked to Frinton along the beach, moving on to footpaths to Great Holland and almost into Kirby Cross (in search of a pub, I do confess) before heading back across the fields to Frinton

In Frinton we sat outside The Lock & Barrel enjoying a Sunday lunchtime pint. Not sure I’ll ever be allowed back into Frinton after such a display of wantonness.

Frinton pint with Hazel and Catherine
Frinton pint with Hazel and Catherine

Lunch back at the flat, then ice creams and a short stroll before Catherine headed home. A great day. Wonderful weather and fab friends.

Phil escaped by heading back to London for the day to do a bit more preparation at the flat and to meet up with friends for lunch.

A leisurely morning on Monday, Hazel and I strolled up to the end of the Naze and back before she took the train back to London. Phil and I spent the afternoon at the hut.

Podcasts: I subscribed to some new “listens” earlier in the week, with The History of English podcast proving a particular favourite. I think it’s mainly because I am fascinated by the centuries between the departure of the Romans and the arrival of the Normans. The centuries of invasion (or, perhaps simply “immigration”?) by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and others, and then the Vikings from various parts of Scandinavia that we don’t know much about.

TV: More of season 2 of My Brilliant Friend which covered the teenage years as Lenu and Lila’s lives really start to diverge and emotions and character emerge. Plus the next instalment in This Farming Life.

For other perspectives:

Pandora’s Boy – Lindsey Davis

Pandora's Boy - Lindsey Davis
Pandora’s Boy – Lindsey Davis

Made in Chelsea rewound to run in 1st Century Rome, as the offspring of the wealthy residents of The Quirinal Hill indulge in gossip, love affairs and love potions, expensive meals at fancy restaurants and parties.

There’s also a lettuce seller and a statue of Egyptian fertility god, Min – inspired by an evening at the Ashmolean Museum.

Author page: Pandora’s Boy – Lindsey Davis

Herefordshire Week 035: Tuesday 25 – Monday 31 August 2020

Technically, half of this week was “Walton on the Naze Summer Holiday Week 01”.

More apples.

Busy morning Tuesday, picking more windfalls and making another batch of chutney, then my final “week” at work before heading off for our hols.

Today's Batch of Apple Chutney
Today’s Batch of Apple Chutney

It’s not a bad view out of my office window….

Morning, sheep!
Morning, sheep!

Work wasn’t too hectic – laying the groundwork last week definitely helped – and taking a half day’s holiday on Thursday meant we got to WON just before 9pm on Thursday night. Having arrived just after both the fish & chip shops had closed, we treated ourselves to a dirty pizza from the takeaway in town for tea. It made up for the 6+ hour drive in torrential rain. All. The. Way.

Friday was v windy, with big rain clouds moving out to sea, and producing very localised rainstorms. Avoided downpours for a scoot around the Aisles of Aldi and a walk out to the Coop at the Triangle to stock up on ingredients for Brandy Apple Mincemeat (and bargains).

I spent Saturday morning using up some of the Forty Acres windfalls (Golden Delicious edition) to make a double batch of Brandy Apple Mincemeat.

Brandy Apple Mincemeat
Brandy Apple Mincemeat

I have a really easy microwave vegan recipe, but it’s a photocopy and I can’t remember which book it came from, or who lent it to me. It uses 1kg tart apples, of which we have many, and a morning’s chopping, microwaving and stirring produced have 9 jars, which are now maturing in readiness for Christmas mince pies.

We went to WIV on Saturday evening for lovely dinner with Tom and Jo, which involved some very nice red wine and entailed our first train journey since… January for me, and sometime last year for Phil.

Good practice for Thursday / Friday next week when we are doing the longer journey in/out of London, and stopping off at Phil’s parents on the way back. Hoping it won’t be busy with commuters. I can’t see there being loads, but I imagine there will be more over the course of Sept.

The young people heading into Colchester for a Saturday night out were not wearing masks.

Whiled away the rest of weekend reading on the window seat, devouring more of the Flavia Albia series courtesy of Hereford Library’s ‘Click & Collect’ service, with a snooze on Sunday afternoon and a stroll up to the Naze before tea and cakes from Lilly’s.

Dinner was tasty Thai Takeaway from the excellent Pearl of Samui, with more of My Brilliant Friend – we started season 2.


Monday was a gorgeous sunny day, perfect Bank Holiday weather. Spent the morning reading and soaking up the sun on the window seat, before coffee with Margaret & Richard and an afternoon at the Beach Hut.

TV: Watched the end of Watchmen plus almost all of My Brilliant Friend, season 2. And a new Tuesday night real time TV treat …. series 4 of This Farming Life.

Podcasts: Various. I am running out….

My photos from Herefordshire week 35 on Flickr.

Phil’s weeknotes for W/E 2020-08-30.