Over the weekend a gate on a path I use infrequently was pulled to but not properly closed, I fastened it behind me and thought no more about it. The field in question has ewes and lambs and I'm walking through bit more than usual to check that my pups (they're nearly two so how I can call them pups I'm not sure!) are still fine with stock - thankfully they are, looking at the sheep and pointedly looking away, phew. I noticed that the gate was a little stiff and slammed it shut. However, on the third occasion in a week when it wasn't properly closed I had a good look and found that it had dropped a little on its hinges which is why the bolt is not catching closed properly. That evening I phoned the farmer whose stock is in the field to ask if he knew about the gate, as it turns out he didn't and was grateful for the information, he'll check it on his way past later and no doubt do some running repairs.
This week HB's brother has been out on his first 'proper' shout as a fireman. He's been away on the training course, come home with all his gear (thanks sis for ironing it all for me), been to practice sessions and helped with one small incident but the other evening his alerter went off for the first time; he bolted out and ran from home to the station (100 yards approx) but as he started getting ready he realised he was nervous and that for all his training nothing prepares you for the real thing.
Goathland has a volunteer fire crew and they tried to get the Guinness record for the smallest fire station.
The phone has been ringing red hot with people reporting their firsts and hoping they will be the first to see / hear and that it will be their sighting that makes it into the Rural Ramblings column in the Parish Magazine, we have blackthorn, horse chestnut buds, swallows, house martins and cuckoo all recorded so far, we've had to let many people know that their first is not actually a first for the village this year. Our BTO man reports that his new owl and kestrel boxes are unoccupied but he's hoping for residents next year. The churchwarden tells us of a visiting blackcap and everyone is commenting on the number of moles throughout the village and the hares in the 'back fields'. Yesterday's Village Lunch was full of talk of the new 'Natters and Nibbles' meetup in the Village Hall and concern for a 92 year old resident who is poorly again.
So why did I phone the farmer, HB's brother volunteer to be a fireman, people phone with nature sightings, share the news about an ailing neighbour?
It's all part and parcel of living in a small slightly isolated village which adds to or sometimes even instills that sense of community, there are times when the only people you can rely on are your neighbours which is a wonderful thing but just don't expect to keep anything a secret for long!