Wolds Diary: Season to be jolly should not be all about spending money

It seems there is a never-ending pressure to buy things.  Picture: Rui Vieria/PA
It seems there is a never-ending pressure to buy things. Picture: Rui Vieria/PA
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Last weekend I visited a couple more craft fairs, one here in Pocklington and another at the church at Wilberfoss. The nice thing about the latter is that they had a tombola where every ticket was a winner. I came away with a couple of things, both of which I can use. They also had a coffee morning and I delighted in a cup of coffee. The sweet aroma of the bacon buttie stall won and I departed the church with various items and a bacon buttie that I quickly consumed before driving home.

Despite the numerous delights of the week I had been feeling increasingly unwell so I gave up and went to see the doctor on Monday morning. We have a wonderful surgery here in Pocklington. I rang at 8.30am, the doctor rang me back straight away, and asked if I could be there by 8.50am. I arrived ten minutes early and was seen immediately. Now that is what I call a caring and efficient service.

I was prescribed antibiotics and almost immediately they started to work. It was not, as I had thought, some sort of virus that antibiotics can do nothing for, but a rather nasty bout of bronchitis, which responded very well.

The next day I had to pop into the church to see one of the leaders to get him my details checked to see if I am suitable to be in charge of children and vulnerable adults at church functions. While I was there I met up with a few friends and then came back, took the dogs for a walk and then started on some sewing cushions for a Christmas present. This meant, of course, that I watched the television. Quite frankly I am already fed up with the incessant hard advertising for Christmas. Nor am I at all impressed that we are adopting the American fascination for a totally artificial event called Black Friday. It seems there is a never-ending pressure to buy for things that may be important for the retailers but not for the public. I accept that Bonfire Night is a British event but Halloween and Black Friday are both things imported from over the pond and now we are expected to comply.

Nor am I terribly impressed with the countless Christmas films that are almost all that is available on the box. I have a friend who is housebound and she is driven almost to distraction by Christmas before we are even in December. I think I am noticing this more because I have had to spend a bit more time at home than I normally do.

I had a good change on the Wednesday. I was invited to go and talk to a rotary club lunch at a very posh hotel in Pickering. I love Pickering and as usual arrived early and was treated to a coffee at the hotel while I waited for my hosts to arrive.

They were such a fascinating group and the meal of haddock in a lovely sauce was absolutely delicious and just what I needed to make me feel better. The talk was not a long one as most of them had to resume work by 2pm but I had a great time and I think it went well.

I did stop off in Pickering to visit a couple of charity shops. I had been given a bag of ties but a charity shop came up with some really super ones. I then drove home.

When I have been driving about I have noticed just how spectacular the hedgerows are. The leaves may have fallen from most of the trees but what is left is the most wonderful display of red and scarlet berries which will feed the wildlife over the winter. I was told, many years ago, that a good berry crop is a harbinger of a harsh winter. I hope not. Even in my garden the hedge is bright red with rosehips, haws and even holly berries.

On the dreaded Black Friday I needed to go into York to deliver something to a lady there, at the Spurriergate Church café. I then ventured forth and soon decided that I had seen enough ‘black event’ advertisements, came home, and took the dogs for a walk instead. I will try not to head for a commercial centre unless essential from now to Christmas. Bah Humbug, but I can find more happiness in the countryside.

Christmas is not about spending a fortune on presents, it is a religious celebration of the birth of Christ.