Wolds Diary: True community spirit helps our flood victims

Members of West Midlands Fire Service look to help residents on Skeldergate in York.
Members of West Midlands Fire Service look to help residents on Skeldergate in York.

I seldom express political opinions in this diary but this time I do want to say that my opinion of the ministers who came up North, as well as the Prime Minister, is not high.

When your home is flooded and your life devastated, or your business badly hit, I doubt you are really interested in how much any particular political party spent while they were in office, just what can be done now and in the future. You then need to believe that the promises made now will not be conveniently forgotten once summer comes. I will believe the promises for real assistance when I see them carried out.

Yorkshire folk and other northerners have rallied round and done everything they can. Folk from Lincolnshire have helped.

I was luckily not much affected by the floods, but a couple of days later I did need to go up to my animal feed store just outside York, and then ventured on to Monks Cross.

Many businesses had valiantly opened, but were beset with problems as nothing requiring the use of a phone line worked, so no card payments could be accepted, and it was a cash only situation. This does rather emphasise that we are very dependent on modern technology. From the retail park I could see the Chinook helicopters hovering over York city centre, and many fire and rescue vehicles from other parts of Britain seemed to be arriving along the A64.

Having got what I needed, I drove home, and to do so I crossed the River Derwent, which was in flood and foaming like a maelstrom as it roared (just) under the bridge on the A1079.

In Pocklington, as I suspect in many other places, stores were collecting for those in trouble and huge amounts of things were piling up every hour in our local Sainsbury’s and Co-op.

The road about a mile on from where I live, towards Warter, is closed due to flooding. All around the fields are sodden and waterlogged.

Pocklington was affected but not badly so, and seems to have made a good recovery. There are still sandbags stored in front of shops in case the water rises again.

Dog walking has been a damp and muddy affair. Not only am I washing the dogs when I get home, I need to wash my clothes and their leads and anything else I or they have been in contact with. It has also been party season and I’ve gorged on delicious goodies such as pigs in blankets and the most delicious pastry items, not to mention sausage rolls and delicious cheesecakes.

I have been frantically spinning more wool for a friend for her to knit a jumper out of the wool of her own sheep. Whilst it is not difficult once you have acquired the skill, it is time consuming. Having done that and delivered it to her, I then turned my attention to making a phone case for my mobile phone. I had misplaced the last one and, of course, as soon as I finished the new one I discovered the older one. Oh well, it is always good to have a spare.

Now I am on with knitting a pair of fingerless gloves for a cycling friend of mine, and I am always knitting at least one pair of socks. I spent several days hunting for one sock, and blamed the dogs for hiding it. It turned up under my shed.

My garden is surrounded with a tall and thick hedge and I have many bird feeders in it. I love watching the birds and they sing so loud that I can hear them even through double glazed windows.

On one walk with the dogs I noticed several red kites quite close, and then realised they were hunting some small rodent that was soaked and bedraggled in a stream nearby. I think they got it because soon they flew off. They are such handsome birds.

I had an early night on New Year’s Eve, but was woken by fireworks just after midnight.

I went with the dogs up to Millington Ridge on the Saturday, and met four walkers who promptly identified me when I called the dogs by name.

The holidays have been a break but I look forward to the usual activities, and preferably without any more of this relentless rain.