Sue Woodcock: Wolds Diary

While I was at the event at Newton upon Derwent last week I met a very pleasant young mother and her adorable 10-week-old baby called Harry.

Bolton By Bowland in the Ribble Valley.

She asked if I knew where she could buy warm mittens for the little lad as those she’d found were all too short and wouldn’t fit. I measured his hands and realised he was going to be a tall chap so I said I would try to make some for him.

I’d completed two pairs by the Sunday afternoon and drove up and delivered them to his house to his father who had no idea who I was and looked mystified. I hope they fit.

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On my return home I had a plumbing emergency and found a joint in a pipe leading to the hot water tank was leaking. I tightened it, switched off the electricity, dried out the bathroom light switch and rewired it, and eventually got it to work. It took a chunk of the evening but it seems to be working now.

I had a wonderful walk the next day with the dogs and then it was the usual rehearsal in the evening. On the Tuesday morning my dog grooming lady arrived and clipped Fair who hates it but grudgingly puts up with it, and Brillo who basks in any attention and now looks almost respectable. After that and a good walk I devoted the rest of the day to a bit of gardening and sorting out some paperwork.

I went to a knit and natter at a village pub for the evening which was good fun until two visiting men from Swansea got incredibly drunk and wouldn’t leave us alone. I objected to having their drinks spilt all over me!

I’d been invited to talk to a group at Bolton by Bowland in Lancashire the next day. It’s quite a trip, being over 70 miles each way, but the drive was lovely. I stopped off at Ilkley to see the founder of a charity I support, West Yorkshire Animals in Need, and had a cup of coffee with him before finishing the journey. I’d allowed plenty of time and having been there before knew there was a good pub where I could get a soft drink by the village hall.

As I entered the Bowland area the sun was shining on a glorious escarpment of limestone - it was a fabulous sight. Upon arrival at the hall I was slightly disappointed as the pub had closed about three months earlier so I drove down the road to another. The talk went well but as I had a long journey home I had to go without enjoying tea and cakes. The ladies insisted on giving me a plate of cakes to take with me. Once I got home they were delicious!

I took the dogs up to the walk above Millington the next morning. The views are wonderful looking over the Vale of York. It was one of those glorious clear end of summer days when you can see every settlement and power station for miles.

Brock had designs on the pheasants but I got her on the lead in time. Unfortunately though, Boo the Labrador had seen a huge puddle full of muddy water and flung herself into it. Back at the house, I attempted to dry her off but had to take four of them to the vet for their yearly jabs. I walked them there and it was a little chaotic. The only dog not involved was Brock who was most put out at being left behind. As Boo was being inoculated Loo Roll insisted on investigating the contents of the bin in the consulting room. That evening was another rehearsal, this time for the concert on October 31 to be held in the church so we rehearsed there.

I drove into York on the Saturday evening to a concert in the Guildhall. It’s a really imposing and impressive building, steeped in history. The evening was a total delight. The York Philharmonic male voice choir were superb. Their diction, pitch and harmony were perfect. Their programme was entertaining and varied, and the balance of voices was wonderful. The young flautist soloist Michael Phillips was excellent. Their musical director Berenice Lewis led the singers in a disciplined and outstanding example of perfection.

I’ve heard some good male voice choirs in my time and this was better. It was a wonderful end to a good week.