Monthly Archives: July 2021

Back Again – Face to Face!

It’s been a long hard slog – being locked down in a variety of ways for the last 18 months or so. But, as of August 4th, Probus meetings are back on the calendar!

Of course we’ve had Probus talks via Zoom during lockdown – the last as recently as July 21st when Cathy Shelbourne talked to us about Admiral Lord Nelson’s life. Nelson seemed to have had a life that wasn’t all a barrel of laughs – in fact his ships apparently always carried a barrel full of sherry or some spirit so that his body could be preserved if he died in battle far away from home.  This puts the phrase ‘being in a pickle’ in a whole new light!

Such talks will be all the more powerful for seeing the speaker ‘in the flesh’ rather than on a screen alongside small video images of all the members ‘present’ – though I found it very reassuring to ‘see’ other members regularly. Our next talk is next week , so find out about it from our website! 14.00 for 14.30!

There have also been weekly Probus ‘chats’ via Zoom, that have proved to be a mixed bag. Sometimes we’ve had a large group of members signing in, a few times we’ve struggled to get a quorum. The topics have been eclectic (I’ve always wanted to use that word, now I’ve discovered what it means). There’ve been occasions when it’s been hard to get a word in edgeways, others (few!) when we’ve struggled to get any substantive discussion going. Topics have included health (obviously including Covid), local and national politics, archaeology, how to mend a printer, what’s the best local restaurant these days and some fascinating anecdotes from many of our members’ lives. Zoom has suited some, put others off. I’m sure we’ll be glad to get back together, face to face.

Of course the walking groups have been active throughout. Sometimes it’s been limited numbers permitted walking, then limited numbers eating (not meal sizes!), but it’s been a lifeline for many of us – to get out of the house, experience the fresh air and the even fresher company! The walks, of course are continuing apace, with a walk of some sort every week nowadays!

It’ll feel strange, meeting at the clubhouse in The Oatlands again. I hope that lots of members will feel able and confident enough to meet up again.

A few, of course, have sadly departed this world during the pandemic, and we haven’t been able to say goodbye properly to them. Others have become more restricted in their abilities to move about and communicate with others. However I hope that many of us will be willing and able to come back towards the old ‘normal’, enjoying face to face conversations with friends, interesting and stimulating talks, and a cup of tea and a biscuit, again.

See you there.

Don’t forget that our social program is starting up too! Next event is the Summer Lunch at the Oakdale Golf Club on August 25th.

See you there too!

A Bridge too Far? Not for Dumas’ Heroes!

Another week, another walk! This time it’s a re-visit to the Washburn Valley, last seen BC, by four musketeers of the ERDG.

A discouraging start with conflicting weather forecasts suggesting either a wet morning, clearing up after lunch (Boo!), or a clear morning, deteriorating about lunchtime (Hurray!).

The actuality was good, with the highlights (or me) being:

The solid navigational advice provided by David P, our resident SPAD (advice but no responsibility)

Seeing a flock of Herdwick sheep – don’t they look lovely, and so hardy!

A stroll over the fields downhill towards the valley – fabulous views to get absorbed in

A few boggy streams to navigate – a leap here, a stumble there, a slightly damp boot resulting

The lovely Dob Park packhorse bridge, 17th century apparently, with some repairs in the 18th century – an example apparently followed by Harrogate Borough Council with our roads?

A true boggy bit – the first time for quite a while – when it’s touch and go whether the boot comes out or just the leg

An outstandingly messy looking farm area, with ancient, recent and modern farm equipment scattered around, steadily rusting

A Wild West encounter with a farmhand on a quad bike attempting to round up and direct a group of frisky heifers. The result, a close encounter of the herd kind, with the ‘cowboy’ commenting that ‘we must have had our lives flash in front of our eyes’. Yes!

An energy-sapping climb uphill across the largest field you’ve ever seen….

A flock of different sheep, Texels I believe, busy munching the grass, as they do

Finally, an excellent lunch at Timble Inn – a tasty and light fish platter, to round off a lovely morning.