Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Four Musketeers

Our ‘elite’ Probus walk this week went well. A five and a half mile circular walk from Pateley Bridge was tackled by an elite band of just four members. [It’s a tricky time to hold a walk – schools are back, grandparents are off on holiday (and there are always hospital appointments!) ]

I know that strictly there were only three musketeers in Alexandre Dumas 19th century novel, but there was a fourth ‘would be’ musketeer, D’Artagnan. I rather fancied myself to be this young, hot-headed, rakish guy, but in fact was probably a bit more like the portly Porthos!

We set off down river in beautiful dry weather, much better than predicted. A disarmingly pleasant level stroll took us to Glasshouses, then we crossed the river and struck off up the hill towards the tall mast that bears multiple devices for mobile phones and goodness knows what else.
Discarding pullovers and coats, we strove up the slope past the beautiful Guise-cliff tarn (what is the difference between a tarn and a lake?), through the beautiful autumnal woods.

We rested at the top, enjoying the remarkably clear view of the Nidd valley as far as the Menwith Hill radomes. Lovely clear sky with just some scudding clouds (and an area of rather grey cloud cover in the distance, thankfully moving away from us).

We continued with a level walk, rather too close to the edge of Guise-Cliff for comfort, and experienced a breezy welcome from over Nought Moor. After Yorke’s Folly we started descending through Skrikes Wood and Fishpond Wood towards Pateley Bridge. All the woods we strolled through were beautiful in their autumn colours. Paths were variously carpeted by silver-birch leaves or pine-needles, and we crossed swathes of tall, browning bracken. Funghi were in evidence everywhere, but none of our group showed any inclination to put their knowledge of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ funghi to the test!

A bridge over Fosse Gill (is that the same as stream?) led us to our final challenge – crossing a field where cows and their young (and a rather large brown bull!) were grazing – before proceeding down the hill to Pateley Bridge.

Actually there was still one last challenge. Our chosen pub for lunch was closed (because the road leading to it was being re-surfaced), and a number of other possibilities were also closed for one reason or another (surely word of the musketeers being in the area had not leaked out?) We settled on the Sun Inn at Norwood, with its magnificent, and huge, steak pies.

Maybe this successful trip bodes well for a future alliance between France and England, Post-Brexit, against the wicked Cardinal Richelieu (does he work for the European Parliament or the Commission?)

Revolution! It’s been Ages!

We had a fabulous talk last week by David Skillen about The Industrial Revolution. There’s my brief summary of the talk (and all our Probus talks), in the Local Clubs’ Section of The Harrogate Advertiser.
Apart from being a brilliant and informative talk it started me thinking about our own age, often hyped as the period of greatest change that the world has ever known.

According to the Web (1) the major time-periods in world history include the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Ages, then through Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, The Islamic Golden Age, The Age of Discovery, The Protestant Reformation, The Renaissance, The Enlightenment, The Age of Revolution, The Romantic Era, The Industrial Revolution, The Age of Imperialism, The First World, The Inter-war era, The Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression, The Cold War and The Information Age.

What a lot of Ages!

Some of these periods of history (Eras, Ages etc.) overlap, though increasingly our world is moving synchronously, driven by the need to know what’s going on, when and wherever it happens (like the Martini advert – Any time, Any place, Anywhere).

David’s talk made me doubt what I’d lazily taken for granted – that we are now living through the greatest changes in our World’s history. He showed that a period of just a few decades in The Industrial Revolution transformed working life radically in the 1700s, enabling incredible leaps in industrial productivity – that the UK at least seemed to have failed to reach subsequently, and we invented the Industrial Revolution!

According to the Web we’re still in the Information Age, where modern technologies are shaping our society, but I think that we are meant to have arrived by now in ‘The Age of Knowledge and Wisdom’, rather than just drowning in (fake) information.

I came across a ‘wise’ saying somewhere recently that describes the difference:

‘Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad’.