Wolds Diary: Flock and family for company

Although I have only had two talks to give this week I have had plenty of other things to do as well. My brother returned with his wife for a couple of days, having been walking up in Scotland.

Sue Woodcock, pictured at her spinning wheel.

They had been in Skye, one of my favourite places, and then spent a night in Stirling before taking a couple of days with me. On the Monday, I headed over to Leven, in East Yorkshire to revisit the Methodist Chapel to speak to the ladies group there (and one gentleman). They are most welcoming and an excellent audience.

Then I rushed home and my brother arrived. Needless to say, the moment they did so, after an exuberant greeting from the dogs, the washing machine went on, and they reorganised their luggage. They kindly insisted on taking me out for a meal in the evening.

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Many places don’t do food on a Monday, so we headed up to the new Thai restaurant on the A1079. My brother knows a lot about Thai cuisine and to say he was impressed is an understatement. I certainly was. After a delicious meal, we headed home. The next morning they went off to return their hire car to York and spent most of the day there, at the Jorvik exhibition.

In the evening, we wanted to take two friends out for a meal and revisited the same restaurant, and the food was just as great then. It was a really happy evening with great company.

The next morning I took them into York to catch the train down south to my home city of Winchester, where they were starting to walk the South Downs Way.

They are, I think, the last visitors for a while and I cleared my cupboards of food items I will not now require. I walked the dogs, and then headed off to check over some friend’s sheep while they are away for a few days. I had almost forgotten just how much I like sheep and having (eventually) persuaded them to gather, managed to count all of them and then fed the feral cat that lives in the barn.

These sheep are not pets but a much-loved flock, mainly Shetland, but with a Kerry Hill and some crosses.

On the Thursday, I managed to drop off a huge bag of food at the food bank in church and took some things into a charity shop and then went for a proper walk with three of my dogs and we covered miles and saw no one else.

The countryside is looking so lovely, and even if autumn is here it is a beautiful sight. As usual I was able to watch kites, kestrels and even saw a badger snuffling along on the other side of a hedge. Thankfully none of my dogs saw it!

The next day I drove down to Cottingham to speak to the over 60s there, at the Darby and Joan Hall. I gave my talk to a charming audience and then drove back. I checked the sheep before setting off again, this time for the Cricket Club Dinner, held at our rebuilt cricket club.

It was a splendid do in great company and I was glad I had driven there because no sooner had I arrived than the heavens opened, and the rain came down in earnest.