Wolds Diary with Sue Woodcock

Here I am pictured during a visit to Castle Howard with my brother.
Here I am pictured during a visit to Castle Howard with my brother.

I was expecting my brother and his wife to come and stay. They live in Australia, and were over in England for a post retirement holiday.

They had booked to walk the Coast to Coast path and then come on to me. I therefore had to get the house in some semblance of order, not a small task. I even managed to make the garden look tidy and their room was fresh and nice as was the rest of the house.

After a frantic day cleaning, tidying and generally making the house look smarter, and the usual rehearsal in the evening, I drove over to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Tuesday morning to pick them up from a very pleasant B&B there.

My brother had expressed an interest in visiting Castle Howard, so we went there and although I’ve driven past it and through the roads nearby many times, I had never actually visited before.

To say we were impressed was an understatement. The grounds were perfect and looked glorious.

I had the pleasure of a ride on their people carrier pulled by a tractor, saw the lake and the boat house, where there is a fabulous children’s playground, and then returned to the gardens.

My sister-in-law was most impressed and took some good pictures, as did my brother, and we went into the gardens and admired how well they were kept and the huge variety of plants and trees.

I wanted to know what one plant was and asked a gardener lady who told me the plant in question was called a Bleeding Heart. She also told me the Latin name.

Then we went into the house, one of the most stunning buildings I have visited.

The guides throughout the house were very knowledgeable and I asked about a wonderful table made of Blue John, a mineral I’m very fond of.

Outside again I admired the statue of the boar and the exterior of the house.

Needless to say the cafes and shops were visited and we left having had a brilliant experience.

Once home, my sister-in-law had a rest while my brother and I took the dogs for a walk in Millington Woods and after that I showed him the wonderful drive up the dry chalk valleys, and the hidden beauty of Well Dale.

The countryside certainly was showing off its best facade.

Later we went to the pub at Millington where we had the best sirloin steak you can get, and a wonderful meal.

The following day the weather wasn’t quite so kind.

First thing was a trip to the Post Office, and then on to show them Burnby Hall Gardens.

It is one of the gems that Pocklington has to offer.

After that we visited another walk I do, but there is stock in there at the moment so we admired Cleaving Coombe from the roadside.

My visitors were very impressed with Pocklington; my brother was amazed at the entertainments offered at the Arts Centre.

The next visit was to the Buddhist centre at Kilnwick Percy where we enjoyed cake and tea whilst looking at the splendour of the building there.

I took them into York to catch a London train the next morning then drove down to Hull to pick up some scores of HMS Pinafore for one of the choirs I belong to.

I delivered them later in the day, having also picked up some runner bean plants from my friend. The next day I planted the beans, and some more cucumber and courgette plants.

I had to acquire some more bamboo poles and some netting, but should have sufficient vegetables to feed me for some time.

On Saturday I scored for the cricket team in Pocklington. It was a very close match against the team from Cawood. I had the company of a charming gentleman scoring for their team.

Unfortunately, somewhere on my travels I had picked up a rather nasty bug and did not feel very well.

Once home, I actually managed to remember to water the bean plants and now I just have to mow the lawns, again, which seem to be growing at an alarming rate.