Wolds Diary: Talk about seeing the county, what a busy week on the road

What a busy week. People sometimes ask me how I find the time to do all the things I do. This week my answer has to be that I just don't know!

A long walk over Allerthopre Common saw Looroll end up chasing squirrels.

It started on the Monday when I was privileged to sing, with the Pocklington Singers at the funeral service of a man I wish I had known. His wife sings with us. Grahame Sutton had been a maths teacher at Pocklington School and the church was packed out. His wonderful family were well supported.

In the evening I went to the small community centre at Bubwith where a delightful group of ladies were a super audience and laughed a lot. Their cakes were good too.

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Having had a full evening, I got home and the next morning was off to Cottingham. I needed some shopping so set off early and discovered that this is a vibrant community, with a large shopping area. I found some good charity shops and an excellent butcher, not to mention a good haberdashery shop where I found some good cottons.

There is a lovely old church there and I parked in a free car park and made my way to the magnificent Methodist Hall, and they too were and excellent audience. I really get to meet so many fascinating and interesting people on these expeditions, and this was such a time. I managed to get home in time to walk the dogs and take advantage of a free evening to relax.

I went into Pocklington the next morning and after taking the dogs for a short walk I headed south. As I was giving a talk near there I decided to visit Doncaster as on a previous visit I had found the markets and shops to be interesting. Previously I had noted there were a lot of empty commercial properties in the city centre but this time there were more. I ended up at a Polish supermarket where they were so friendly and I treated myself to some delicious meats from their deli counter. I have never had anything I didn’t like from Polish cuisine and happily loaded my basket with things. I wasn’t quite sure what some of them were, but the lady translated for me.

Once out of that shop I headed into a shopping centre. It took me a while once out of the centre to work out where I had left the car but found it eventually. Then I drove on to my ultimate destination, Badsworth.

As I approached over a hill I saw this gem of a village with a church spire, nestled in a small valley. Once there I was totally amazed at the wonderful pale sandstone buildings, a lot of which were obviously very old and kept in pristine condition. The whole village was spotlessly clean with immaculate gardens.

I found the community centre, a rather interesting but practical hut, and decided to park by the church. On the walk back two delightful dogs spotted me and ran from a huge house up the drive to bark at the gate, but when I spoke to them they gave the game away by vigorously wagging their tails.

Once at the village hall I gratefully accepted a coffee and then gave the talk after we had sung Jerusalem. I met a lady called Heather who had also been a shepherd and we chatted after the talk. It took about an hour to drive home.

The next evening, I headed off to Hull. As usual I set off allowing plenty of time, and on this occasion it was fortuitous, I was to speak at a Rotary supper right in the centre. As soon as I got near the city the traffic slowed at a sluggish crawl and this degenerated into almost total gridlock. I was held up in the most dire traffic jam for almost an hour. There was nothing obviously causing it.

I actually arrived at my destination one minute early. Only one lady had turned up. The meeting had to be delayed by nearly an hour before the group assembled. The meal - shepherd’s pie - was delicious, despite the delay, and I then spoke for about half an hour. They were a great group and I enjoyed their company.

I managed a decent long walk up at Allerthorpe Common the next morning. I tend to avoid it in summer because of the adders but it all went well until the very last stretch, when Looroll remembered what fun it was to chase squirrels. She is much too large to climb trees!