Sue Woodcock’s Wolds Diary

The heather is out in force at this time of year.  Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
The heather is out in force at this time of year. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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On one of my outings this week I went with the dogs to a walk I have not visited in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the farmer has harvested several of the fields and the whole place looks different.

It was still a very pleasant couple of hours and my ankle held up remarkably well. In the distance in several directions I could see the combine harvesters and their accompanying clouds of dust in the fields. I love harvest time. It always seems to make me realise just how wonderful our world and nature is.

On another walk I went further than usual and on the trek back just avoided a string of vehicles and a combine heading off on the track to start on another field. The weather has not been much help as frequent and heavy showers have held things up a bit.

My friend whose sheep I had kept an eye on while she was away gave me some lovely Shetland fleeces which in due course I shall enjoy turning into garments.

She mentioned a bit later on that her neighbour had some alpaca fleeces she wanted to dispose of and did not really want to sell them but would rather they went to a spinner or felter. In due course I was invited round to collect them and turned up at the appointed time at a place I can only describe as my idea of heaven on earth where the five alpacas looked curiously as I went into the barn with the lady, who pointed out not five but at least 15 bags of fleece and asked me to take them.

They just fitted into the car and she wouldn’t take a penny for them. I complimented her on a magnificent medlar tree in her grounds and she said when the fruits were ripe would I like them as she didn’t want them. She is a lovely lady and I even met her two beautiful dogs.

Early on this week one of my few remaining teeth began to ache and on the Monday it disintegrated and I was in a lot of pain. I rang my dentist but they couldn’t fit me in until the Friday. Meanwhile I took some painkillers which rather slowed me down a bit. When I made it to my dentist in Grassington I was not surprised that I had an infection and was put on antibiotics to return next week.

The journey over there was a delight. I stopped off in Knaresborough and did a bit of shopping before moving on into Nidderdale. As I went over the tops the moors were covered in the purple of heather and looked superb. I could even smell the sweetness before coming down into Wharfedale.

I had time to see a couple of friends before the dentist appointment and then I came back via Ilkley. It was a busy day as I then had to dash back and pick up some medication for one of my cats from my vets. Then I needed to visit a supermarket as a caving friend was coming up to stay for the weekend.

He was coming up from Hampshire on his motorbike and had suffered the delights of several heavy downpours. When he arrived I was glad I had cooked a hot meal. We caught up on news and the next day he spent the morning helping me put the very many fleeces I had recently acquired from my garage up into my loft.

This was quite a job and we got so enthused that we decided to have a general clear-out of the garage while we were at it. He then went off to visit friends near Selby and I went down to the tip with some of the rubbish we had sorted. The staff there are wonderful and so helpful and in no time my car was clear.

I dropped off a bag of rags at the charity shop. So elated was I at the progress made I set to once I got home and did some ironing and then some sewing and then some cleaning.

The antibiotics had started to work and I felt much better. The dogs watched this unaccustomed bout of domestic activity with great suspicion but then we managed a good game in the garden before I settled down.

I have been spinning a lamb’s fleece and it is really challenging me as I have to card it thoroughly before I can work it. The evenings are drawing in earlier.

I have not been sleeping too well because of the heat. I can’t complain though. I have not had to water the garden this week!