Monthly Archives: February 2019


Lovely Probus Club regular walk this week. A large turnout, with fourteen on the walk and an additional five coming along to the meal afterwards.

OK, I know we’re spoilt at the moment with the lovely weather – slightly above average at the moment …. This was highlighted for us because this walk, starting at Fewston car park, is a Probus favourite on which we have previously experienced a six foot deep snowdrift!

Bill, our walk leader, always likes to make minor adjustments to keep the walks fresh for us. This time

he reversed the direction of the walk, so that we started off with a steep climb up to the moors (!!!!), with a magnificent view behind us, and then

added a new bit at the end, just when we thought we were nearly back at the car park, that went up a steep hill, albeit with compensatingly lovely views. Some of the language among the ungrateful group was ripe, and not just focused on the views!

Seriously, as you can see from the photos, it was a wonderful, varied walk. We saw kites and buzzards soaring overhead, pheasants and grouse in the heather, and saw our first frog spawn, complete with frogs caught in the act!

The conversation while we were walking was well up to standard – diverse topics as usual, with politics playing some, but not a dominant part in our discussions.

The coffee break during our three hour walk was located in a beautiful spot by the river Washburn (pictured), and the post-walk meal at Chez la Vie was a great success, though I think our large party kept the staff on their toes!

Root and Branch!

A great talk at Probus this week. A volunteer speaker from the Woodland Trust, David Mason, talked to us about Hackfall, a wonderfully restored woodland garden next to the river Ure, near Grewelthorpe.

Created in the 1750s by Studley Royal owners the famous  Aislaby family, Hackfall, with its network of footpaths, fascinating follies and fantastic vistas between the mature trees, became first a playground for the rich and famous and later a (or THE) place to visit for the public. After falling into disrepair over the centuries it was sold in the 1930s to a lumber company who proceeded to chop down or coppice most of the trees!

A sympathetic restoration of the regrown trees (now more than 80 years old!) makes this a fabulous place to visit – indeed our Probus Walking group visited there a couple of years ago for an interesting walk – and I think we may visit again after hearing this talk!

Closer to home (Harrogate), I’ve been involved with my fly fishing club in doing our own maintenance (no restoration is required – it’s generally in very good shape) of the club’s stretch of the river Nidd. This is mostly to improve access to the river so we can catch a few more trout or grayling – so a bit of self interest at work!

Work it is, though, as you can see from the photo. A few quite large branches overhanging or actually in the river have been cut up and removed.

Every little helps!

Root and Pot

I’ve just been to the dentist to have a root canal filling – at 2.40 pm, not 2.30!

If you’re squeamish – look away now!

It’s the first time I’ve had this sort of treatment, and I’d heard all sorts of stories about the pain etc.

What a sensory experience!
• Sound (that awful high pitched whine – no, not me!),
• Smell (burning tooth?), and
• Taste (some strange unguent, or was it just fear?)

At one stage a rubbery cloth was put over my mouth – it certainly wasn’t because I was talking too much!

Apparently this has many purposes:
• keeps saliva out of the gaping hole in the tooth,
• prevents some of the nasty-tasting stuff being put into the filling from getting into the mouth, and
• is there to catch any small drills or other fitments that might fall down the gullet!

The overall effect, however, was that of a jellyfish trying to give me the kiss of life – rather unpleasant!

I’d expected a lot of drilling, but that didn’t go on for too long, nor was it painful.
There was much more pushing and shoving, with an amazing amount of instrumentation shoved into what I regard as a rather small mouth!

The nature of the procedure: take top off tooth, drill hole, ensure that hole has nice edges suitable for new filling, squirt stuff under pressure into the roots, fill, tamp down etc. made me think that dental expertise might be useful in tackling the huge number of Harrogate’s roads’ potholes!

Well, an hour later and it was all over – and I’ve had no after effects either.

Relief from someone who generally has just a routine check and a quick brush and polish, but this time got rather more than he could chew!

Well if you are ever required to have a root canal filling, at least now you know the drill!

And I’ve been toothful!