Sue Woodcock: Wolds Diary

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THERE is something quite exquisite about the countryside at this time of year. The heather is in bloom and is covering the heathland with its purple carpet and a faint but discernible aroma of sweetness. On a ramble with the dogs I found a wild briar with what I know as Robin’s Pin Cushions on it. I know they are a disease on the plant, but their pink and green colouring and fuzzy appearance always fascinate me. This particular plant had quite a few of them.

The fungus season is just starting. Around my walks I see the many colours of the rusella fungus varying from deep read to pale cream. Someone had gone before me and had kicked most of them to pieces. This I do not understand.

A couple of days later there was a new batch. This time unharmed and they made a colourful array to delight me. The grassheads in their trillions are also colourful from very deep red, almost black, to white and incorporate purples, greens, orange, brown and shades of almost every colour of the rainbow. You do not have to look far to find beauty in the countryside, even if it is in miniature.

I took a trip into York to find a couple of specific items, mainly of the hardware variety. I had been told of this wonderful emporium that stocked everything. I found it and it was like a Tardis. Established 120 years ago, it was amazing. The staff are both knowledgeable and helpful. York was seething with tourists and I needed to weave my way through the crowds to find another item. All I wanted was a double blanket. I targeted the numerous charity shops but they only had “throws” and I got the impression that blankets are no longer in fashion. I eventually found what I wanted at one of our local charity shops in Pocklington.

On my meanderings through York I picked up a large and unwieldy item (a wine rack) at the furthest point from the bus but managed to get it back unharmed without endangering anyone else. I am not sure I am very comfortable in crowds any more and was glad to escape.

I have finally planted up most of the herbs and climbers knowing there was to be torrential rainfall that evening. Not only are my desired plants growing but so are the weeds! I am trying to get the house shipshape and have been happy to let the dogs run in the garden. That was until a knock on the door found my lovely neighbour from over the road with Brillo in her arms! The little scamp had walked into her house to play with her delightful West Highland terrier Isla. I systematically went round the perimeter trying to find where she had got out. Each time I blocked a possible escape route she disappeared again.

Five times that afternoon she escaped. We had discussions about whether she wanted to be my dog any more. I found a gap and blocked it but the next morning went in search of more robust barricades. I then got on with housework and a little later my neighbour was back with her! Brillo had destroyed the barricade and so I finally set to and did the job properly. At least I hope I have. I can do without that kind of bother.

I went into Pocklington to a rehearsal for a concert in November by the Chameleon Singers. There are some excellent voices but we need more male voices. I do not need or want to be the only tenor! Fortunately what we did was some music I knew. It is great fun so can I ask anyone interested to try it? (

I met another of my neighbours, a lady who walked past as I was repairing the barricades on the hedge. It is a small world because one of her family went to the same school as I did down south but many years after I had left.

I have found a feed store where they sell frozen dog food that my lot love. Cooking it makes the house stink but they consider tripe and dog meal is a trip to heaven. A kind motorist told me my brake lights were not working so I found a super garage who fixed it and I have booked the car in for its yearly MoT. It is close to where I walk the dogs and not too far from home.