Wolds Diary: Echoes of childhood beneath autumn leaves

Hutton Buscel is like the village where Sue Woodcock grew up.  Picture: Richard Ponter
Hutton Buscel is like the village where Sue Woodcock grew up. Picture: Richard Ponter
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On Monday, I turned up early at the vets with one of my cats, Bhur, who needed to have at least one tooth out. He is an elderly cat and no operation at that age is without risk, but it was also necessary. I have the utmost faith in my vet and her amazing team, but it did not stop me being concerned. At such times all you can do is wait.

I tried to get on with other things to occupy myself, one of which was taking the dogs on an especially muddy walk. Then I waited for my plumber to come and fit a decent and usable tap and shower head to the bath, a job that has been needed for a while.

When the plumber had finished the task in hand I headed off back to the veterinary surgery to fetch the cat who was feeling a little bit wobbly after his ordeal but seemed to have come through the removal of four teeth very well.

Once he was rested he made it quite plain that my attempts to keep him inside were not to his liking. I let him go out the next day. The operation was obviously a success as he proceeded to eat for England.

I had been invited back to the Goole Ladies Luncheon Club at The Airmyn Grange. As usual I arrived early and went to talk to the lovely horses in the fields either side of the drive.

When I was last at this spot I had admired a cute little pony but he was nowhere to be seen on this particular visit. I was to learn that some foul person had actually stolen him and his owner, a young boy, was distraught. It would be great if the boy and pony could be reunited.

The lunch was really good and the group were, as they had been before, an excellent audience and I enjoyed their company.

The following day I set off on another adventure, this time to the charming village of Hutton Buscel, not far from Scarborough. On the way I took the opportunity to pop into the farm shop and café at Sledmere for a coffee and to buy something at the shop. They have several food items I particularly like. It is a magnificent place and the trees in the car park were the most pleasing shades of autumn colours and looked lovely with the carpet of brown and orange leaves covering the grass.

When I found my destination, the village reminded me very much of one in which I had spent some of my childhood. The church of St Matthew was open and I took a tour around both the church yard and then the church itself.

I was looking at the literature and selecting some reading materials on the history of the church and manor when I rather surprised a lovely lady who had come into the church to check the flowers who had not expected to find a stranger there. We got talking and she is a reader of this column and recognised me, then it was on to the church hall.

I see a lot of such halls and this has to be one of the finest with a spectacular beamed roof that has not long since been discovered as a result of repairs, during the course of which the treasure was found hidden by a false ceiling.

I was there for the meeting of an entertaining group of ladies, who form the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association. It may be a small group but they were certainly fascinating and some of its members had come along from other villages.

Afterwards, unthinkingly, I followed the SatNav home, forgetting that one of the roads I needed was closed. I took rather a long way round but arrived in time to walk the dogs and settle down for the evening.

My cold is getting better but still means my voice is not up to its usual volume.

I did some shopping and banking the next day, and finished knitting a pair of socks for a friend, and then on the Friday the dogs and I headed out for a decent walk. We finished up in Millington Woods which, to my delight, looks quite stunning with the autumn leaves.

I recently acquired a ramp to help my Fair, the old collie, into the car. I rehearsed her, as advised, but she stalwartly refused to use it, preferring to be hoisted onto the back seat by me - I think I may need to persevere.