Wolds Diary: Road trips in foul weather fail to ruin the majesty of nature

Millingtons pastures nestling in the Yorkshire Wolds are much loved by walkers.
Millingtons pastures nestling in the Yorkshire Wolds are much loved by walkers.
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In my garden I have two miniature flowering cherry trees, planted over the ashes of a beloved dog I lost three years ago. They have burst into the most beautiful bloom this week and remind me of my much loved Froyle, a collie, who was very dear to me. I remember her, not with sadness, but with great affection. She lived a full, and very happy life.

The fencing that I have had put up in the garden is looking good. Of course, it needs to be dog proof and I was a little startled to find my Staffie investigating how to dig under one part of it, that leads through to the front garden. This problem was solved by the placing of many bricks in a strategic place.

On Tuesday I was invited to talk at the small but delightful village hall in the nearby village of Millington. This village has many claims to fame, not least the beautiful pastures and a wonderful wood, and it is overlooked by a hill ridge along which I have walked my dogs since first coming here.

I arrived in plenty of time, and soon the hall was full, and they were a wonderful audience. I had donated three patchwork cushions for the raffle and there were many other prizes. During the talk I made reference to a very small Dame school that I had attended down south in the early 50s in a village in Berkshire, as it was then, called Harwell. To my astonishment one of the ladies in the hall had also been there and remembered my grandmother, and a girl I knew. Talk about a blast from the past. Sometimes I find that it’s a very small world.

The evening raised a respectable amount for the upkeep of the hall and I was pleased to help.

As spring progresses the countryside is beginning to come into bloom. On my travels I’ve noticed that already some fields of oil seed rape are well in flower adding a brilliant yellow to the colours of the fields. Two of the pear trees in my garden are in flower and the buds on the other fruit trees are bursting forth. My grass is growing and I hope to tackle the mowing this week.

On Thursday I went to order the things I needed to refit my kitchen. They will be delivered next week. Once that is done the house will almost look respectable, having been updated and freshened up. Considerably poorer I returned home to walk the dogs.

On the Friday I went to help move some things in the church, for the concert the next day. Then in the evening I was due to talk up in Teesside, in Stokesley. This was new territory for me and from Helmsley I drove up to the top of the North York Moors. It was stunningly beautiful and even the foul weather couldn’t hide the majesty of the valleys and the high moors.

As usual I allowed plenty of time and stopped off at an inn, which fascinated me, called The Jet Miners Inn. It had never occurred to me that jet was mined but I should have known, as Whitby Jet can be found on the coast. There I had a welcome coffee, and chatted to the lovely Latvian barman about his home country. He was surprised to find someone who had been to his home town.

I found the Masonic Hall in Stokesley and after a very good meal in excellent company gave my talk and then set off home. The weather was appalling. I was met with snow, hail and driving rain. Water covered the roads and I decided to stick to the main roads, reaching home safely at about midnight.

The concert on the Saturday evening in Pocklington was an absolute delight. In addition to the wonderful singing of Good Company, and the Methodist Circuit Choir, we were treated to the amazing talents of the youth of Pocklington, with virtuoso performances on the violin of Jessica and Harry Kneeshaw, the harp playing of Cerys Rees, and the superb singing of Emma Burke and Chloe Griggs.

Then we had piano playing by Helen Drewery, Michael Cooper and a threesome where they were joined in a trio on the piano by our vicar. Beryl Rendall and Peter Winterton played superbly, and Mike Skelton gave a wonderful rendition of ‘Reviewing the Situation’ from Oliver.

Pocklington has talent.