Wolds Diary: Song, good company and local scenery lift my festive spirits

As is the case every year, the weeks preceding Christmas tend to be busy. Thankfully I have been feeling so much better that I can cope with the things that need doing, like Christmas cards, wrapping and delivering presents, as well as all the other every day chores that are always there.

The magnificent Wolds countryside is an inspiration. Picture: Peter Watson

Christmas is meant to be joyous time but I am well aware that for some it is a lonely and sad time. We miss loved ones long gone, at this time. I certainly do, and I take the time to tell myself that all I really miss are the happy times, which is of course true.

On Monday I popped into York but not for too long, and in the evening, went to the Christmas dinner of the Pocklington Singers. It was held at the pub we use in Pocklington. When the meal was completed we began singing carols. No hymn books, no sheet music but we sang all the words in four parts of whatever was suggested, which only goes to prove that most of us know them by heart. I actually seemed to be getting my voice back, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I must be better as I started feeling sociable again.

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The next day I walked the dogs in the mist and soggy woods and then delivered a small gift for a friend in a nearby village and in the evening headed off for meeting in Bridlington. The fog was horrendous and I set off early to allow for it. The road seemed rather slippery as well, and I took extra care.

Having attended the meeting I drove back in a similarly cautious manner. I just wish I had the superhuman eyesight of some of the drivers who overtook me at speed to disappear into the fog ahead.

The next morning was cloudy and rather dismal but in the afternoon the sun came out and I took the dogs up to one of my favourite parts of the Minster Way, passing the lovely hidden valley called Well Dale.

I met one gentleman during the walk and the dogs had a great run. The view across the magnificent Wolds countryside in the afternoon sunshine with the distant hills and valleys half hidden by a light mist, the trees silhouetted on the sky line and the sound of bird song, made for a peaceful atmosphere and really lifted my spirits.

In the distance, I could hear there was a shoot going on over the valley and on my way home I passed some tired looking folk climbing into a people carrier. They looked almost as muddy as I did! I don’t shoot myself but accept it is part of country life and it is a valuable income for many land owners and their staff. It is at such times as this when I am out in the glorious countryside, I realize just how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful part of Yorkshire.

On Thursday morning I headed off to Driffield to help at a coffee morning at a hostelry there. It went quite well and I even had time to visit the excellent charity shops they have there. I’ve been making cushions with some of the ties I collect and had dispersed them as Christmas presents and raffle prizes so I’m always on the lookout for more, especially those depicting animals or flowers. I seem to have an awful lot now and need to be a bit choosey when getting any more. My loft is getting rather full.

On Friday I drove over to Outlane, near Huddersfield to visit friends there. I took them a cushion made with owl ties. She’s very fond of owls. It was great to see them and I wish I lived a lot closer.

I was given a beautiful bathroom cabinet that he had made for me.

In the evening, we had a practice for the nine lessons and carols service at the church. I’ve been asked to read one of the lessons. It’s always a wonderful service which brings Christmas sharply into focus.

After the practice, we headed over the road to refresh ourselves. What was intended to be a quick drink turned into a great laugh and social gathering.

I would like to wish all the readers of this diary a very Happy Christmas and hope that they find happiness and tranquillity in their celebrations of the birth of Christ. It is a time for families to come together and rejoice, and be happy.