Wolds Diary: Grow my own bounty brought on by verdant summer season

Pocklington canal can be especially beautiful at this time of year.Pocklington canal can be especially beautiful at this time of year.
Pocklington canal can be especially beautiful at this time of year.
Out of necessity I have had a slightly quieter week. Of course the dogs have had walks and I even managed a bit of housework.

My handyman came for a couple of days and finally finished the utility room and kitchen, which I’m very pleased with. At my request he put the cardboard tiger on the utility room wall and it looks fantastic.

The dogs and I had a lovely walk back in our favourite wood. At one point I saw Brock, my Staffie disappear and then saw she was cavorting with great enthusiasm in a nearby pond.

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She was not alone for long, as my Labrador soon cottoned on and joined her. Then the little terrier joined in and the other two dogs stood looking rather sadly at them, as if they had no idea what was going on. They don’t do water as a rule.

I’m afraid the pond was somewhat stagnant and none of the dogs smelled very good in the car coming home and I firmly washed them off and let them dry off in the garden before letting them into the sitting room.

On Tuesday I drove down to Carlton, between Selby and Goole, to speak to the WI there. They have a very good village hall in which the WI have two fine commemorative windows.

I arrived early and was about to help them set up, but then three silly teenagers decided it was great fun to come to the doors of the hall and scream senselessly at us just, I presume, for attention. To their horror I went out and invited them to come in and tell us what they wanted. They declined and hardly bothered us again.

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The talk went very well and I enjoyed it, and the cuppa afterwards. I was given some delicious cake to take home too. I honestly believe that the WI are the supreme cake bakers of the world.

The group’s members were most generous and had brought me an awful lot of ties for my craft work, for which I am most grateful. The previous day I had gone into York to collect a bag of ties the Sue Ryder shop had collected for me, so for the next couple of days any idle moment was taken up with dismantling ties, and washing and pressing them.

My vegetables are growing well in the garden. I’ve had a sort out of surplus plants and managed to donate some courgettes to one friend and some broad beans to another. I am going to be overrun with cucumbers, broad beans and runner beans when the time comes, but as they are my favourites I can freeze or use most of them.

I have also got beds of mint, herbs and nasturtiums, which I use as salad leaves together with rocket and lettuce. I ate my first crop of radishes this week, and some garlic leaves which are a treat.

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Out and about I’ve relished the verdant and beautiful countryside. We really do live in the most blessed and rich landscape. I have seen deserts and arid areas and they are magnificent in their own way but nothing can compare with the greens and other colours of the Yorkshire Landscapes, which vary so greatly from the Dales, to the Moors, to the Wolds and then to the rich fields of the Vale of York crisscrossed as it is with dykes and rivers.

Near water there are bull rushes standing proud and waterlilies showing a colourful display. The Pocklington canal is especially beautiful at this time of year, and there are thousands of damsel and dragon flies flitting like jewels over the water.

The highlight of my week was the concert given by the York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir in All Saints Church at Pocklington. There was a delightful variety of superb singing and a very amusing solo, by a father and son team.

The music varied between gospel to the songs from the shows and there were some unusual arrangements. This choir doesn’t read from music, they know it all by heart and stand, looking immaculate throughout the performance.

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The church was packed and a wonderful evening was had by all. It was in aid of Parkinson’s UK and a good sum was raised. I was privileged to give the vote of thanks at the end and arrived home with my head filled with great music.

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