This time it was for the farmer to be taught exercises to help his balance which is not good because of difficulties with his inner ear.
James Cook University Hospital is forty miles away from the farm and his appointment was for half past nine, so (much to Tess's horror) we had to set off at crack of dawn (almost before). Hitting Middlesbrough during the rush hour and the time of schools starting is not a good idea, but we were there in plenty of time, parking was easy and we were in in good time at Audiology.
He went in for his training and I repaired to the Costa Coffee Shop for an Americano and a Pain au Raisin with today's Guardian newspaper (well, one has to treat oneself on days like this).
Paying for the Guardian at a self-service till flummoxed me totally until a kindly assistant thought 'poor old dear' and came and did it for me.
Our journey took us through what I believe is the largest army garrison in Europe. There are a lot of disadvantages to living relatively near to such a place but there is one advantage and it was much in evidence today. There is not a single piece of rubbish of any kind throughout the three miles or so, all the grass verges are neatly mown, all the leaves are swept up almost as they fall, and the verges are all planted with stands of the most beautiful indigenous broadleaf trees. These are mostly beech, birch, silver birch and horse chestnut - trees which are lovely as they come in to leaf in the Spring, pleasant during the Summer, a riot of colour at this time of the year and beautiful shapes in their Winter bareness. Not an evergreen tree to be seen until we are leaving the garrison, and then here and there the everygreens are enlivened with silver birch and stands of deciduous larch. Such beauty. And sometimes in Winter, if you are really lucky, you can see Blackcock in those silver birches.
Early morning heavy mist was a great help as we were driving due East and by the time we returned it had dispersed and it was a beautiful sunny day. Instructions have been posted on the wardrobe door - exercise routine begins after tonight's shower.