The Wolds Diary column with Sue Woodcock

Allerthorpe Common, a great place for walking the dogs, even if it is muddy.
Allerthorpe Common, a great place for walking the dogs, even if it is muddy.

I needed to go into hospital for the day last Monday, following a scare that had occurred the week before.

Our local surgery is wonderful and very on the ball and I duly attended York Hospital first thing in the morning for a day of tests and investigations.

I’ve spent very little time in hospitals as a patient and was somewhat overawed by the thought of attending but I was seen promptly for an ultra sound scan where the operator informed me that I had two healthy looking kidneys. Then I headed up to a day unit and was briefed with what to expect.

By 10am I was told that I wouldn’t be seen until about 2pm so I could either wait in a waiting room until then or if I wished I could go for a walk.

I headed into the centre of York and had a good time going around the shops.

I stopped for a coffee and then heard music, and went into Parliament Street where I saw a parade heading towards me with a brass band playing and it was a delightful spectacle.

They passed by and it dawned on me that the date was the one on which Her Majesty ascended to the throne many years ago.

I then walked back to the hospital and went to the appointed waiting room with several other ladies and we soon got chatting and they were excellent company and whilst none of us really wanted to be there, we made the best of it and laughed a bit.

My turn came and I was examined and given the all clear, much to my relief and went back to the waiting room and soon most of us were declared fit and discharged.

A friend had kindly offered to come and take me home and I waited in the fresh air outside the hospital until she arrived.

With all the crisis that is affecting hospitals and the NHS I can only say that the staff were efficient, wonderful, kind and considerate. From the moment I arrived I was treated with courtesy and consideration.

One nurse, Cameron, was a great hit with us ladies.

The lady nurses were an example of excellence, so was the consultant.

Once home I had time to reflect on just how lucky we are in this country to have such a wonderful NHS.

I don’t usually choose to divulge matters so personal, but I know that many people suffer far more than I do, and if my experience can give hope to those worried about such matters, then I will tell them that we couldn’t be in better hands.

I did feel a bit wobbly for a day or so but I soon got out with the dogs for a decent walk, this time to one of my favourite places, Allerthorpe Common.

This Forestry Commission woodland and heath is always beautiful and even in winter there is much to be seen and enjoyed.

It was, however, excessively muddy, but that is what Wellington boots are for.

I spotted many well chewed and stripped fir cones, signs of active squirrels, and then in another area many half-eaten fungi, as well as some untouched ones. Animals know what are safe to eat.

Looking at some of the shrubs it was gratifying to see new shoots emerging from the branches, waiting to sprout when the weather improves.

Snow was forecast for the end of the week and duly arrived sporadically and for two days at least it has been intermittent, and rather unpleasant, even if it did not settle for very long.

I headed out for an early walk with my dogs, but we didn’t get far. Looroll, who hates water in any form, refused, and we came home where she was much happier.

My handyman came round to build a couple of steps in the back garden to make it easier to access the upper part of the garden, which had been tricky when I tried to climb up a very slippery muddy bank. The moment he had gone the dogs were out to inspect the new steps and Fair, my collie, has already decided they are an ideal place to sit.

The song birds that visit the hedge where I put out feed have been arriving in large numbers and I need to refill the containers more often.

I was a little surprised last week when I was out walking, to see a large skein of geese, heading south – I thought it was a bit late for that.