The last meeting of 2009 was a walk followed by lunch at the George Hotel. We started
our walk from Studley Royal through Mackershaw Park, returning via the Valley of
the Seven Bridges. The weather was good though not brilliant and we generated a healthy
appetite. The cold weather and cloudy conditions did not bring out much wildlife
but there was enough in terms of geology and conservation issues to keep us busy
both physically and intellectually.
In January we managed to hold our meeting despite the disruptions produced by the
copious snowfalls. This meeting was a member’s day when members gave slide presentations
of their experiences during the year. There was a very good turnout considering the
conditions and we were entertained by talks on wildlife in the antipodes, Australia
and New Zealand then off to Canada with a minor look at some UK wildlife.
Our autumn session in 2009 covered a varied range of topics including “A city scene”
and “Sketching in a museum” We also enjoyed an interesting experiment of projecting
a landscape image onto a screen so that everyone could work on the same subject at
the same time. It must be admitted that this was not entirely successful as we found
that the image was not bright enough unless the curtains were drawn and the lights
off but then it was too dark to draw! However we will probably try this again after
our technical brains come up with an answer to the problem.
Our outside visit this session was to the Leeds City Museum – good museum, good cafeteria
but a bit on the busy side for peace-seeking sketchers. Before this visit Peter demonstrated
the materials and technique which he uses to produce exquisite on-the-spot quick
sketches when we venture out. So now we know what to use and how to use it. Lack
of ability seems to be the only excuse we have left!
A party of 14 of our members enjoyed a memorable 4-day visit to Barcelona - a city
full of interest and atmosphere and bathed in apparently perpetual sunshine, making
for exciting painting opportunities.
The highlight of our stay was being able to study the amazingly bizarre architectural
forms and mosaics that decorate the buildings of Antoni Gaudi--particularly the cathedral
of the 'Sagrada Familia'; the 'La Pedrera' apartments and the 'Parc Guell'. Some
also visited the 'Fundacio Joan Miro' and 'Museu Picasso' while others went as far
as the beautiful limestone mountains of Montserrat with its monastery cut precariously
into the rock. So, there was plenty of inspirational subject matter for our paintings
when we returned to the cold of Harrogate! The only downside of our visit was the
amazing amount of petty theft we experienced—future visitors should be warned!
The year ended with our now time-honoured day of fun, games and buffet. Never mind
if you don’t win, there’s always loads of food!
Now for the exciting news – Painting Group is on the move. After much discussion
of the pros and cons it was decided to return to our former home at the Convent in
Oatlands Drive, now called Apley Grange after its closure for building work.
We were looking forward to starting the New Year there on January 5th but the weather
and the “big freeze” decided otherwise so we had to cancel that and make a faltering
start to 2010 on January 12th instead.
The group meets each Tuesday throughout the year. For further information contact
Peter Kearney through the U3A email address email@example.com
Bill Mallinson and
The Friday Group started the new year with a general overview of the history of the
philosophy of language, from Plato to the era of Bertrand Russell and the ‘Vienna
Circle’ and the idea of logical positive-ness, which dominated philosophy at the
Oxbridge and London universities in the 20’s through to the 50’s. With Bertrand Russell
and then Wittgenstein at Cambridge and A J Ayres at London then Oxford. We also discussed
the ideas of Noam Chomsky, on the possibility of humans having an innate faculty
for language and grammar, instead of just the potential (as advocated by Aristotle).
At our next meeting Mary King will continue the theme and lead the group into the
ideas of Jacques Derrida, the French deconstructionist.
The Tuesday Group continued to look at the ideas of Aristotle, this time on ethics.
We discussed his doctrine of the ‘Mean, which advocates that most of the virtues
have an ideal place, somewhere between two extremes (which he considered to be vices)
such as bravery which lies between foolhardiness and cowardice. We shall almost
certainly end our consideration of Aristotle at the February meeting and move on
to the Epicureans. Followed in April by John Willby leading us on to the Stoics
with, in between, an ethical discussion in March led by Avril Bullus.
Both groups are very friendly and there is still some room for new members in the
Tuesday Group. We meet at 2.00 pm, on the third Tuesday in the month. If you are