Wolds Diary with Sue Woodcock

The East Riding is one of the most productive sources of food for the country. Photograph by Alex McGregor.
The East Riding is one of the most productive sources of food for the country. Photograph by Alex McGregor.

I have quite enjoyed this week, although I have not been frantically busy. I have had a couple of really good long walks with the younger dogs and another couple of shorter walks with the two older ones.

On one walk on the Hudson Way I was a bit startled when a large mink ran out in front of me and darted across the path and down to where a stream flows into a pool there.

The countryside really does look wonderful at the moment.

The farmers are out in the fields harvesting the corn and other crops. Every journey I take seems to cause me to follow a farm vehicle of some sort and the accompanying chaff that blows towards my car, but I don’t mind.

What corn not yet cut is looking a deep gold colour almost with a red tinge that I was told means it is ripe, and there are fields of peas, potatoes, broad beans, the brown of a heavy oilseed rape crop and oats, barley and wheat.

It is a glorious time of year in which I revel.

The East Riding of Yorkshire is one of the most productive sources of food for the country.

I have also seen several stoats out hunting recently, and once I spotted a pair of weasels beside a hedgerow.

I went over to a meeting at Nafferton on the Tuesday evening and the drive back, always rather spectacular, as I come over the hill to be greeted with the huge expanse of view over the Vale of York is invigorating.

On a clear day you can see the Dales in the distance not to mention the Drax power station, and other landmarks.

Each time I see it I remember just how big Yorkshire is!

On Wednesday I went up to a morning session of the U3A at Bedale, who had invited me to speak. The drive up the A1(M) was remarkably clear and I went on into Bedale on a back road, following my sat nav.

I am beginning to wonder if it is developing a character of its own as it sometimes seems to feel that a less direct route is advisable.

I got to the centre of Bedale in time to have a look around and I found a wonderful ironmongery shop selling some great bird food and a selection of mugs that blew my mind.

When I next have a smashing time I will go there to replace any.

The group, at the church hall, was much larger than I expected but they were a charming audience and it went well. I do like Bedale it is a very fine town and area and I always enjoy spending time there.

My car went in first thing the next morning for its MOT, and passed with no problems and I then headed into York, stopping on the way to retrieve some Soay sheep fleeces from a friend. I make her a soft fleece rug for her elderly cat to snuggle up on every year and the rest of the fleece I spin.

Then I went into York and had a good tour round and had to pass by the railway station. Unfortunately, it was a York Races day and the street was packed.

I had already, by 10.30am, had to suffer the pompous and insufferable loud talking of a group of drunk young men boasting at the top of their voices how they would pay the next peasant £100 to take them to the racecourse, stopping off for a couple of drinks on the way.

They stopped a minibus whose driver sensibly refused to oblige them.

I left them behind loudly saying how the lower classes didn’t know the elite when they saw them.

The amused expressions of other passers-by indicate otherwise.

Back home in the afternoon I picked quite a quantity of runner beans, broad beans and peas, not to mention cucumbers and tomatoes from my vegetable patch and managed to freeze lots of the beans.

The next morning the water board man came to fix a new water meter to the house. He was not only punctual but polite and helpful.

When he had gone I headed off into the countryside with the dogs again and went on a favourite walk of mine that passes the stunning Welldale.

Suddenly I was joined by the most beautiful golden retriever and then a huge black Labrador dog, who happily played with mine for a while.

On Saturday the cricket team were away at Castleford. The cricket ground is huge and very fine and the hospitality from our hosts was second to none.