Wolds Diary: Elderly vulnerability to feeling isolated is not to be forgotten

The snowy weather has been a lot more acceptable.   Picture:  John Giles/PA Wire
The snowy weather has been a lot more acceptable. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire
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At last! The weather is becoming a little more acceptable, that is if you enjoy snow, frost and ice. Anything, at the moment has got to be better than more rain and mud.

The fields look lovely and clean when covered in frost, it is only when you step on a muddy puddle that you discover that underneath the ground, although a little crunchy, is still waterlogged and muddy.

At least two of my dogs hate the cold and wet and refuse to walk in them if they can get away with it, and our walks have been a bit shorter than normal because of it. I tripped and fell over something this week and shook myself up a bit and am a little sore so I haven’t wanted to go too far either.

The Pocklington Singers rehearsals started again on the Monday. We were pleased to welcome a prospective new tenor but were distressed that one of our number had had a stroke and will by recovering for some time. This time we are singing Stainer’s ‘The Crucifixion’. It is not a piece I am familiar with but from what I have heard, I like it.

On the Tuesday I drove up to Ripon, which is one my favourite places. I’d been invited to talk to a small group of mainly blind or sight impaired people and I arrived early enough to head into the centre and raid the shops first. I

had difficulty locating the venue and headed to the information office at the town hall. It only opened on two days of the week and then not until 10am, and those days were not Tuesday. Fortunately, I espied an unusual sight, a Police Officer on foot patrol and she was able to direct me.

They were a very pleasant group and when I was done they headed off to their respective homes. The organizer told me that for some of these elderly folk that is the only time they go out or meet anyone for the whole week. It made me think about how lucky I am to have the opportunity of meeting so many people and get out as much as I do.

I was talking, not long ago, to a youngster who told me he had recently got to know the old man who lived near him, and how fascinating he found the stories this old chap could tell him of his life, which the lad had always just considered to be history.

My journey back from Ripon took far less time than I had thought it would. Again, driving along the A64 the flooded areas were huge and the whole countryside glistens with surface water. It is going to take a very long time to dry out.

My handyman is redecorating and has got as far as my bedroom. I made the decision to get a more suitable bed, and ordered it off the internet. I also paid for a next day delivery. The next day came, no delivery.

I contacted the firm who said it had been sent. It did come the next day, thankfully, but I had wasted a whole day waiting for it. It will enable my dogs who sleep in my room at night to sleep under my bed not on top of or beside it. That is the plan, anyway.

Another evening I was asked to go to the Community Centre at Market Weighton to give a talk on spinning and a demonstration to the WI there. Spinning is a skill that once you have mastered you never forget, but until then it can be a little challenging. Rather like learning to ride a bike.

Several ladies from the group had a try and some were very good, and picked it up quite quickly. Others just had fun and everyone had a laugh. I loaded up and came home.

During the week I also visited Beverley. Always as I come down the A1079, the view as I come over Arras Hill is spectacular. You can see for miles all the way to the Humber estuary.

I visited a superstore there and greedily consumed some fried chicken on my way home. On the way back you get a fabulous view of the Vale of York, also very striking. I am so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

I made it to church on the Sunday morning, and there was enough of a choir to sing an anthem. Then it was home to finish the proof reading on a book I am about to send off. The perfect excuse to stay inside amid the big chill.