Wolds Diary: A singing honour and wildlife delights

Rudston Church in East Yorkshire has the tallest free standing monolith in Europe.
Rudston Church in East Yorkshire has the tallest free standing monolith in Europe.
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I have been out and about a bit this week. On the Sunday I assisted our church warden for the morning service and then headed home and out with the dogs, and managed to avoid any squirrels, pheasants, rabbits or other creatures that set my dogs off in a frenzy.

The next day after a short walk and a quick trip to the post office I got home and tidied the garden. I have a few fruit trees that have burst into glorious bloom, four pears a plum, a greengage and a couple of quince trees. Also in bloom are the miniature flowering cherry trees in my little remembrance garden for past pets.

The next evening I went to a village where I almost bought a house when I moved from Grassington. It is Rudston and has a wonderful huge standing stone in the churchyard. This magnificent monolith is just under eight metres high and five metres in circumference and is said to be the biggest in Europe.

Rudston Village Hall is an imposing building not far from the church and I was warmly greeted by the WI group who made a great audience. I was asked to judge a small competition, which was the best tie!

It was dark when I left to drive home and I hadn’t gone far when a little owl flew up from a hedge by the narrow country lane. I saw a badger shuffling along the verge a few minutes later and the usual rabbits. Then as I came through the village of North Dalton there was a large hedgehog ambling along and I watched it snuffle into the undergrowth at the side of the road.

I was out early the next morning and drove to Huddersfield. I made it to the magnificent town hall after a detour to a charity shop (or two) and was due to talk to The Macular Disease Society. The town hall is utterly splendid and kept beautifully. I met up with friends and gave them a short talk, and then headed up to friends of mine at Outlane, and had a cup of coffee there, and a chat, made a fuss of their two adorable dogs.

Saturday was an important day. I’d been invited to sing in the choir at the Celebratory Introduction of the Book ‘Looking for a Voice’ by Caryl Micklem, and Alison Micklem, who is the vicar at St Columba’s United Reformed Church in Priory Street, York. Caryl wrote wonderful hymns with great music and what he left unfinished has been completed by his daughter, and another did the excellent illustrations in the book. It was not just a privilege it was a pleasure, and I manged to purchase two signed copies of the book.

On the Sunday I drove to Kettlewell in the Dales. The weather was glorious and there were tourists, walkers, cyclists everywhere.

I’d been invited to the farewell bash for friends of mine, Dave and Julie, who have retired from running the Blue Bell where I worked for some years. I met their beloved dog Paddy, who used to come to me for holidays, and went in to a packed event and met up with many friends. It was quite a party and I was reluctant to leave.