There may be snowdrops everywhere and I even have some hyacinth flowers emerging in my garden but there have also been a few hefty frosts to make the world look white first thing in the morning. The hedgerows still seem pretty bare but if you look closely there are buds ready to burst into life when the time’s right.
I’ve had my lovely Staffordshire Bull Terrier bitch, Brock, a year now; a fact I was alerted to when I received a reminder from my vet to have her vaccinations renewed. It also means it is a year since I lost my other much-loved collie, Froyle. I went out and looked at the miniature flowering cherry I planted above her ashes, and it too is waiting to burst forth into beautiful blossom.
Brock is not the easiest of dogs and my little terrier Brillo, who likes to be the boss, sometimes picks a fight with her. The last time was at the weekend, and Brillo ended up with a sore foot, and so on the Monday I took both to the vet, Brock for her jabs and Brillo for some antibiotic for her sore foot. Brillo is much better now, and back to full action.
That evening was great fun, we had a good rehearsal with the singers with an enjoyable social gathering in the pub after. Despite being quite late in, the next morning I drove off to take the dogs for their normal walk. At my first stop there were others already walking their dogs so I drove on to another favourite spot.
In the field by the road were several ponies happily munching on the crop and apparently loose to wander. I decided that Brock might take exception to them so I drove to another location that I’d seen on the map but had never investigated. I pulled up on the verge of this dead end lane and parked and walked the five dogs back down to the style and footpath sign.
I helped four of the dogs over the style and then attempted to persuade my rather elderly and somewhat portly collie, Fair, over it. This took some doing as she had no intention of co-operating. After a few minutes I glanced behind me to see the first four dogs sitting happily watching this with interest and waiting for their turn again! I then noticed that the fence was down about 100 metres further on and we all used this to access what was one of the most beautiful walks I’ve found since moving to the Wolds.
This is a valley with steep grass sides and a flat if somewhat muddy floor. It stretches some way and overhead there was a pair of red kites circling and calling to each other above the wooded slopes ahead. There was no stock in the field and the dogs had a wonderful run, only marred by their finding the odd dead carcass of a bird or rabbit, which I had difficulty dissuading them from eating.
I met the keeper driving back from his rounds and had a chat with him and he was very pleasant. I explained I wouldn’t let my animals disturb any game or stock and he said that was fine.
The next afternoon I went to Stamford Bridge and gave a talk to the friendship group - a small but delightful gathering at the Methodist Church there. I’d read up about the battle of Stamford Bridge, and was interested to visit the River Derwent. As a child I was taught all about the Battle of Hastings but knew little about the equally important battle here in the North. I was a little surprised there wasn’t more about it in the village.
On the Thursday I popped into York and did a little shopping there. The next day I returned to my newly discovered walk with the dogs and explored quite a bit further, spending a delightful if chilly couple of hours as the dogs ran almost to the point of exhaustion. This mean a quiet evening once I had got them home.
The next morning I went to Bridlington, met with friends and had a look round the town, finding it to be a busy and pleasant place. I returned home via Scarborough so I could deliver a birthday present to a friend there.