Weekly column by Graham Chalmers
Sunday was a glorious day to walk round Ripley and Hampsthwaite and Clint as part of the 22nd annual Nidderdale Walk for charity.
The sun was beaming and the bluebells were reaching to the sky as I joined the hundreds of other people supporting this popular event expertly put together by Harrogate Rotary Club.
The route of the five-mile version I’d signed up for seemed simple enough, they’d even given me a map.
Being me, I managed to miss a crucial turn halfway along. An easy mistake to make. Rectifying my mistake wasn’t so straightforward so I elected to retrace my steps all the way back to the beginning.
For two miles I pushed against the tide of walkers still pouring from the starting line.
Even the cows lazing in the sun in the deep of the roiling hills looked bemused by my antics.
At the finish, one of the Rotarians kindly gave me a certificate for ‘completing’ the course.
Not that I deserved it.
Anyone who knows Saint Michael’s Hospice knows what a vital role it plays in our community.
Such is Saint Michael’s commitment to the cause they are now looking for volunteers to support people to live at home with their terminal illness.
No one really gets over the loss of a loved one, whether a partner, friend or family member but it means a lot to know their quality of life was as good as it could possibly be at the end.
I say this because I still think regularly of a work colleague at the Harrogate Advertiser Series who died more than 20 years ago after a prolonged illness.
He looked so bad when I and a few of the other sub-editors visited him in hospital it pained me to have to put on a brave face.
Within weeks he was in a hospice where he seemed a lot more comfortable.
It was here that I saw him smile for the only time in his final days.