I STARTED the week by driving up to one of my favourite places, Ripon. It was an afternoon talk but I made a point of gong really early so I could have a look round the city centre and also at the Cathedral, which I have passed many times but never been inside.
I was very glad I got in there this time, as having spent many happy hours as a youngster exploring Winchester Cathedral, consequently I am very happy to visit any cathedral.
Ripon is utterly magnificent, and one of the things that struck me about the exterior is that it has remarkably few frightening gargoyles. The inside is quite breath-taking.
I made it to the shop where a lovely lady and I talked about sheep, and other common interests. Then I headed into the city centre and had a good look round (especially inside the charity shops). Then it was time for the talk I was to give at the rather impressive WI facility at Alma House.
The group was lovely and great fun and after my talk I stopped for a cup of tea. Before leaving I went down to look at the nearby ford in the river. Once back in the car it did not take me that long to get home. On the way there I had called in at Monks Cross to get one or two sewing essentials.
I went up to the York hospital to see a very nice cardiologist and I cannot praise the staff at York hospital enough. Every time I have been there they have been helpful and kind. I now have to go for other tests at Leeds but the cardiologist thinks it isn’t too bad a problem. I’m not ungrateful that he has suggested I don’t run, play tennis or climb mountains for a while.
I had a wonderful and relaxed walk with the dogs the next day, and for once they all seemed to be behaving themselves.
The countryside is looking most lush at the moment and the white of the cow parsley flowers is almost mirrored by the May blossom. The ever-present yellow of oilseed rape is contrasted by a number of other colours in the hedgerows and fields.
It was positively warm for several days this week and then the rain, which was much needed for the garden, came in earnest. I had put my many indoor pot plants out for a wash and they have perked up no end.
On another day a friend and I decided to go on a little adventure. We headed off in the car not sure where we would end up.
Our first stop was to the gem of a village at Bishop Wilton and to the quite exquisite church of St Edith where I was blown away by the beautiful floor and carvings, especially of the doorway arch. The ceiling is very fine too.
We then went to Thixendale that I had heard of but never made a point of visiting. It is stunningly lovely and quite dramatic.
We travelled back through Fimber, a place that I have visited before and like very much, and on to Sledmere, where the farm shop and tea rooms were open. We sat in the afternoon sunshine admiring the large, old beech trees nearby, and after a cuppa headed home.
I went to see my own doctor the next morning who is most encouraging about my weight loss and makes me even more determined to keep to the diet. This is not very easy, especially when I am surrounded by delicious goodies that I just cannot have.
On the Sunday I was participating in a Craft Day at the nearby village of Warter. I had taken a couple of spinning wheels and some fleeces and some wool and was situated two stalls down from a cake stall, a little down from the café part of the hall and directly opposite the most delicious looking chocolate stall. Just up from there was a honey stall. This amounted to temptation of the highest order, but I was actually quite busy.
Quite a few folk wanted to try spinning and found it was not as easy as it looks, but had a lot of fun attempting it. It is a bit like learning to ride a bicycle, once you have got it, it never leaves you. Until that moment you think it is impossible. There were many talented people in the hall that day.