The Wolds Diary column with Sue Woodcock

During my journey to Nidderdale I saw a curlew on a dry stone wall, not concerned about me at all.
During my journey to Nidderdale I saw a curlew on a dry stone wall, not concerned about me at all.

It has been mainly a quiet Christmas period for me. A few days beforehand I was asked to go and speak at The Rotary Club of Ripon Rowels Christmas Dinner, held at Ripon City Golf Club.

It was an evening affair and I arrived a bit early, but soon the group arrived, and they were great company. The food was wonderful too.

One of the ladies has one of my terrier Brillo’s puppies from many years ago and it is now very happy with them. The drive back was wet and rather dismal and once home, I let the dogs out, told Brillo her pup was happy and crashed out for the night.

The next day I was back that way again. I had a routine check-up at my dentist in Grassington. It was due at 3pm so I was able to drive over in daylight, via Knaresborough, where I did a bit of shopping, and then across Nidderdale.

As I drove up out of Pateley Bridge to the heights, I could see for miles and miles. A curlew was sitting on a dry-stone wall as I passed close by.

It watched me with no concern at all. There were sheep grazing everywhere.

I had my check-up but needed a couple of fillings.

My dentist is wonderful and said if I cared to wait half an hour, he would fit me in and that would save another trip.

Once home it was time to sort out last minute things, cards I had forgotten to write and things needing to be wrapped.

I later had a good walk by the canal with the dogs. On Christmas Eve some of the Pocklington Singers collected at our local Sainsbury and sang carols in the foyer for an hour, and we raised quite a lot of money for a local charity.

Then I was asked to go to the midnight service at church and read the lesson.

I was up early and took the dogs for a walk. I fielded a phone call from my brother in Australia and later one from my godson in Portsmouth. I am afraid my diet stopped for a few days, and I even managed to do some tidying up in the house.

On the Thursday I got a call from a gentleman who had found my dog, Boo, wandering in the village where she lives with my friend. I drove there, thanked them profusely, and took Boo back to their house.

She had sneaked out while the front door was open. Thankfully she had the sense to hang around and had not run into any traffic. I came back home and settled down to a task I have been meaning to do for a while. I am trying to prepare my next book to submit to my publishers.

I put up a 2019 calendar in the study, sent to me by my brother. It is of wombats, of which I am very fond. While I was in Australia 20 years ago, I was allowed to bottle feed a baby wombat at a wildlife park. They christened it Sue. It was a hairy-nosed wombat and I thought it was cute.

I am now looking forward to a new year. I am so lucky to have many friends and to have my health. Not everyone is so fortunate. I have even made a resolution, but I am not sure how long I will keep it!

No chocolate is quite a big challenge!