Wolds Diary: Super time in great company and that includes the sheep

A visit to a farm in Thirsk provided the beautiful sight of Zwartbles sheep.

A visit to a farm in Thirsk provided the beautiful sight of Zwartbles sheep.

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I’ve certainly had a very busy but also rather pleasant week which started with a speaking appointment at the Ladies Probus Club at an inn just outside the small and quite charming town of Hedon, just east of Hull.

This was a spot that was entirely new to me and I really enjoyed looking round this historic town centre which boasts a magnificent church.

At the inn the ladies were great fun and after my talk I shared a delicious lunch before heading back home in time to walk the dogs before going into choir practice.

I had to be up early the next day, to go for a blood test at the doctors, and then I headed on to another adventure.

Last month, I gave a talk to the Gentleman’s Probus Club at Thirsk, and had mentioned spinning the fleeces of coloured breeds of sheep. One lovely gentleman asked me if I’d like to raise two pet lambs for him, in jest I think, and I later asked him what sheep he had.

Last week he rang me and asked if I wanted a couple of Zwartbles sheep fleeces, as he had just had his sheep clipped. I was thrilled as their almost black fleeces are excellent quality and a rare colour.

I like Zwartbles sheep, they are a very good mothering breed and also very attractive, having a white blaze on their otherwise black or brown fleeces.

I had therefore arranged to drive up to his farm in Thirsk. I had plenty of time but worried about traffic heading for the Great Yorkshire Show I set off very early and had time to call in at Wetherby en route - a pleasing town with easy parking and some lovely shops.

Having explored there I was led, by my Sat Nav, rather a strange way round, but eventually found the farm, having taken a few interesting detours in country lanes, and was made welcome by the gentleman and his wife.

After looking at their considerable and well advanced vegetable garden, I was then invited to admire their small flock of the fittest and most beautiful flock of Zwartbles who stared back at me over the fence. Then I was invited in for a cup of tea and a lovely cake, and was treated to a trip into the garden which I think could outdo many of those at Chelsea Flower Show. It was better than superb and then I was able to watch the trains go by on the line adjacent to the farm. I used to work on the railway.

This garden was immaculate and a true delight. Having said farewell, I decided to investigate the town of Northallerton, as it wasn’t that far away. I was most impressed. The main street is handsome and there are some really interesting shops. I investigated all 11 charity shops and came away with quite a few ties for my patchwork.

I made it back home and after feeding, watering and walking the dogs, I felt I had had a fulfilling day.

A friend came to see me the next day and we had a great afternoon together, and on the Thursday I managed to finally cut my back lawns which were somewhat overgrown. I tackled some of the weeds in the overgrown parts of the garden.

I wish I could honestly say this area is set aside for wildlife, but it is just the bits I haven’t got to yet. There is a part where I know there are toads living so I don’t disturb it. Some of the birds nesting in the hedge fledged during the week. They are costing me a fortune in bird food!

I took the dogs for a walk on the Hudson Way. I had my camera and after taking a couple of wildlife shots I realized there was something sadly wrong with my camera. It had clapped out and I had lost the two good pictures that I had taken.

I had to order another camera, as my rather primitive digital one was apparently beyond repair.

I went to see and talk to the friends I made at the Centre for the Blind at Harrogate on Friday. They had kindly invited me back. They are such a great crowd.

Of course I got there early, parked in the multi-storey car park nearby and headed to the shops before having a fun afternoon. I am so lucky to meet such kind and super folk wherever I go, it makes my life so interesting.

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