Wolds Diary: Pride in my hardy generation as the leaves begin to fall again

The vivid hues of autumn never fail to enchant.
The vivid hues of autumn never fail to enchant.
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THE LEAVES are starting to turn autumnal shades on the trees and are starting to drop. The vivid colours of autumn always enchant me.

The weather has started to turn as well, and it has almost been chilly on a couple of occasions. I don’t really feel the cold that much, many years of working outside in all weathers probably account for that.

Other people have asked me if I’m not freezing. They were wearing jumpers and I was still wandering around in a tee shirt and slacks.

I returned to a newly discovered walk this week with the dogs, all five of them. It is a rarely visited ancient woodland which is overgrown and tranquil, at least it was until my lot decided to explore.

They didn’t find anything alive but were having such a wonderful time investigating every nook, cranny, bower and thicket that they kept up a running commentary of excited barks for the first 20 minutes.

The woodland was so overgrown that the brambles kept tripping me up or trying to scalp me, and then I stumbled across an almighty quagmire. There was no way round it, I just had to get very wet and muddy.

There were lots of interesting fungi growing there and I took my time looking at them.

The dogs and I came back to the small car park covered in cleavers seeds, and brambles but we had a wonderful hour or so.

The only thing that I was sad about was that in the tiny, secluded car park some obnoxious person had in the previous two or three days left some quite disgusting rubbish dumped there. To say it was revolting was an understatement.

Before we left I carefully collected every item of stained clothing, a towel and bags of rotting garlic and rubbish and put them in a bin bag and when I got home consigned them to my dustbin. To dump such things in a place of such beauty is incomprehensible to me.

I also had the pleasure of visiting a friend’s field at their request where my Staffie was invited to run round the field to deter a few optimistic rabbits.

It worked. I saw a couple of bunnies rapidly vacating the field into the next door orchard when the dogs bore down on them.

I had another good walk with the dogs to a small dale named Lavender Dale. At the farmer’s request on notices on the footpath I needed to keep the dogs on leads but we went far enough to make it good exercise.

Then on another day I went to one of my favourite walks, which passes the top of Well Dale, and as we were returning I saw a group of beaters assembling on the edge of a maize field for a shoot to commence.

As I got back to the car and the dogs piled into the back I noticed two mature ladies approaching from the footpath across the road. One of the ladies fell quite heavily having lost her footing so I went to see if I could assist.

Fortunately, although she was a little shaken from the ordeal, she assured me that she was fit to continue on her way and she didn’t need a lift to her car or any first aid. People of my generation really are pretty tough you know.

It has been a week when I have been lucky enough to met some really wonderful older folk. On one day when I was in my local Co-op and met a very sprightly lady who informed me that she was a nonagenarian - a person who is between 90 and 99-years-old. I just wish I looked half as good.

We got chatting and she told me that she was a farmer, mainly of potatoes and that she always read this diary. I was most flattered.

I mowed the lawns again this week and for once my garden almost looks tidy - this is relative of course.

Later in the week I had a wonderful surprise visit from two friends of mine from Harrogate who I had not seen for ages. One of them had given me, some years ago, my little terrier, Brillo. She remembers him and was happily licking him within minutes of him coming in and sitting down... then she tried to pinch his tea. Some things really never seem to change much.