Wolds Diary: Feline disaster averted

AS THE end of 2014 approached I had time to reflect on what, if anything, I had achieved during the year. In terms of great personal advancement not a lot but I had managed to settle into my environment, made a lot of friends and was even able to look after a few sheep while their owner was on holiday which gave me great satisfaction.

The New Year fireworks did not seem to distress the dogs. Pic: Rob Lock

Having lost my dear dog Froyle earlier in the year I had taken on Brock in her place which has been a challenge as she is not the easiest of dogs but her obvious love for me and her happiness has given me great joy. One of my cats Ban who has serious heart problems was very poorly so after the Christmas holiday I rang the vets and took Ban there, pretty convinced that the year was going to end in sadness. But the vet thought it might have been one of the drugs and gave the cat something else.

I returned home with the creature only to be amazed at his rapid recovery. Now Ban is almost back to normal and still eating for England. He is a very friendly and loving cat, just a common or garden farm animal but very affectionate.

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On New Year’s Eve I was invited to give a talk to the villagers of Shiptonthorpe which is only about four miles from me. Always when I have been to the village before I have had great difficulty trying to cross the road which is the main A1079. The traffic is heavy especially at certain times of day and even if it is clear in one direction it isn’t in the other. What it would really benefit from is a traffic island. Anyone who cannot move fast is in considerable danger and it is a good example of “the quick or the dead” to misquote the Bible.

I arrived at the village hall which used to be the school at a little after seven and was greeted warmly by my hosts and soon the hall was filling up and I even knew some of the people.

The meal was a splendid Jacob’s join and I am afraid my diet vanished as I was presented with a delicious choice of wonderful trifles for dessert. I was on a table with some fascinating folk and we laughed a lot and I really enjoyed it.

After dinner I got up and did my talk and by this time everyone was very happy and it went well. By the time I had finished it was still a while until midnight and we were entertained by the most entrancing party games, the like of which I have not played for years and I thought it was great. I even won a small prize on the raffle.

The whole evening was a delight and we saw in the New Year, sang Auld Lang Syne and had a glass of champagne and then as most of us were well over 50 we went back to our respective homes. As I drove back I could see fireworks everywhere and worried that the dogs might be distressed. I pulled up at my place with some trepidation but I need not have fretted, they were fine.

I thought I had fixed the problem with my washing machine. I was wrong. So I went down to our wonderful white and electrical goods shop here in Pocklington and asked what I should do. They kindly told me a couple of things to check and said they would call out the engineer if that didn’t work. I hastened to explain that it was not an emergency and I didn’t demand some poor person be called out on a public holiday and I could always hand wash things if required for a few days. They laughed and said that not everyone had my attitude and that one woman had ranted at them because the engineer wasn’t answering his phone before 9am.

My machine was covered under a three-year guarantee and when I got home and discovered I still couldn’t fix it I rang the shop and they rang the engineer who arrived after the Bank Holiday, having politely told me the time to expect him. This lovely man called Mick fixed it in no time and advised me as to what I should use in the way of cleaning agents.

My lodger and I took the dogs for a different walk on the Saturday. We went up to a path on a ridge just outside Millington where the dogs had a great run. On the way back we called in at one of my favourite pubs and then at a farm shop before heading home for lunch.