Wolds Diary with Sue Woodcock

The magnificent minster that stands proud in the centre of Howden.
The magnificent minster that stands proud in the centre of Howden.

This last week has been somewhat hectic. I retrieved my car from the garage on Monday, sounding much healthier.

I had caught yet another cold but by Tuesday it had conceded defeat.

I had been invited to Rawcliffe, the one near Goole, to speak to the Yorkshire Countrywomen at their rather pleasant Gospel Hall.

It is a pretty village and has a fine green on which the church stands.

On the way, I was most impressed with the wonderful white blossom of the blackthorn all along huge stretches of the roadside.

This is interspersed with flowering cherry, and various other buds and shoots that tell me spring has sprung.

I enjoyed the evening and met some lovely ladies, who sent good wishes to my vicar here in Pocklington, who used to be theirs.

The next day I was back not far from there at the Howden and District Luncheon Club at the Masonic Hall in Howden.

I arrived early and managed to find a great pet store in the town and then had a quick look at the magnificent Minster. Then on to the luncheon, and again a great group who laughed a lot and were a super audience.

I returned home for a couple of hours and then drove to Harrogate to speak to the Harrogate Writers Circle, who were a highly intelligent bunch with great abilities and they asked some really good questions about how and why I write.

I managed to get the dogs for a short walk the next morning and then off for another talk, this time to U3A at the charming village of Swanland just outside Hull.

I’d seen signs to it, but had never visited and I was most impressed, especially by the pond and the massive carp in it.

I moved on to St Barnabas Church; an impressive modern centre and was welcomed and waited for their AGM to finish before giving a short talk.

The next day the dogs and I got out for a proper walk, along the Minster Way and we went some distance.

It was early in the morning and we met no one.

When I got back it dawned on me that I needed to do some rather urgent shopping so I sallied forth in the afternoon to my next location, hoping to find a proper supermarket en route.

My destination was to attend the tenth anniversary dinner of the Buckden Singers, of which I am proud to say I was a member, held at Threshfield.

I was reluctant to follow my satnav directions around the northern side of York and then into Harrogate during rush hour and took a considerably longer route that was infinitely more attractive.

I ended up going through Wetherby and then on to Otley where there was a huge traffic hold-up, caused as I later discovered by a nasty accident.

I was waiting in the queue right by a supermarket entrance, one I have not been to for ages, so drove in and did my shopping there.

The staff were most helpful and I was even given a coffee to take away, which I had plenty of time to consume in the traffic jam.

As soon as I hit the Pennines I also hit a horrid rain storm but arrived at Threshfield in plenty of time and was soon chatting with old friends, and catching up on news.

It made a change that on this occasion I was to be one who was entertained, not providing it.

The meal was good, the company better and the entertainment superb.

I was treated to the best rendition of the Cat Duet by Rossini that I have ever heard, and that is saying something as I have been in and listened to a lot.

After we stopped laughing we sang one of the pieces, You Raise Me Up, and then I looked at my watch and had to start the journey home. I got home well after 1am.

The next morning, after a quick walk, I frantically tidied up the house before good friends of mine arrived from Scarborough, and we went for a drink and a snack at the Buddhist café just up the road from me, and then I was able to show them some of my favourite bits of the rural countryside where I often walk with the dogs.

The Yorkshire Wolds are so stunningly beautiful and they agreed.