Monday, 12 September 2016

Which way forward?

Fellow bloggers, The Two Blondes, just posted about a change of plan which touched on similar ideas chatted about with Mick and Gayle when they visited me on Sunday.

Backpacking can include following a recognised long distance path, or following a route of your own devising.

With the former I feel obliged to stick to the defined route as much as possible, even to the extent of returning to my finishing point from the previous day to start again in the morning rather than missing perhaps a mile by following an obviously sensible shorter route. Gayle feels less constrained and says she uses LDPs more as a general guide. Those are two personal approaches  which I have no quibble with.

My own preference is for plotting a route of my own which in my mind involves the one simple concept of walking from A to B. Unrestricted by a proprietary route I then have the freedom to alter my route to suit available accommodation or attractions and resume next day in the general direction. An example of plan alteration came for me when I planned to walk "Lowestoft to St. Bees Head" in 2010, a version of furthest east to furthest west in England. I fell coming down Nan Bield Pass in the Lakes and cut a vein in my shin. I managed to hobble out to Patterdale, but the original route was abandoned, but I was still able to name my route, "The Broads to the Lakes." I gain much satisfaction from planning and organising such trips myself.

Having said that I am off again on Saturday to walk The Northumberland Coast Path - six days walking and accommodation booked for each night. I have a much more ambitious self-plotted route planned for next year if all my bits and pieces are still holding together. 

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More English language gripes:


Different from and similar to (correct), but different to now seems to be universal with newsreaders, academics, and almost anybody else. I listen very carefully and only very rarely hear anybody say different from.


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The meaningless attachment of the words "...as you do" at the end of a sentence, for example:

I had a gin and tonic, as you do.


13 comments:

Gayle said...

Can I just clarify that I do walk every step of the way between the start and end points of a long distance path? I just have a relaxed attitude to following the exact line shown on the map and have no problem with varying the route to my own liking. So, for example, whilst I have walked every step of the way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm, I have never yet walked the Pennine Way from Alston to Greenhead, preferring instead to take the South Tyne Trail to Haltwhistle.

Regarding 'similar to' and 'different from', Mick often picks me up on getting this wrong. For someone who is as picky as me as to language, I do seem to have trouble getting this one to stick in my head, even to the extent that when I read 'different from' I always think that it doesn't look quite right.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - thanks for that. There was no way I was criticising your approach, and as I said I am comfortable with both of the examples I mentioned, and long may we both continue to pursue them.

Roderick Robinson said...

You have missed the point with "as you do". It is not meaningless but it is hard to explain concisely.

Typically it used by a commenter (let's say A) to draw attention to the lifestyle excesses apparent in the casual utterances of someone else (we'll call him B).

Thus B writes, "Having been turned away from the Royal Garden Party we hired a car and drove over to Harrods and maxed out on our American Express cards."

Commenter A quotes this statement in full and tacks on: "As you do." Which is intended to mean the exact reverse of what it appears to mean. Why? Because most normal people don't do any of this. Thus implying B is a crass, remote individual, living in an indulgent world all his own.

It is yet another example of irony and was moderately witty first time round. Even the second time round. But irony, because it is often indirect, can be misunderstood. Worst of all it can be taken at face value. There are clearly those who will read: "Having been turned away... As you do." and believe that Commenter A is not only acknowledging B's way of life but even approving of it.

This is as clear as I can make it. It is not easy.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - Yes you are right. I struggled with it myself, but only as far as trying to concoct a decent sample sentence. and I failed on the detailed analysis which even you have found tricky, but I appreciate your effort. Whatever, the phrase still remains in my "avoid" list.

Roderick Robinson said...

Addendum. I employed the phrase "Typically it is used..." because it would be difficult to distil the essence of all the occasions when it works.

The example you cited in your post required something extra to be meaningful Let me elaborate and make the tack-on phrase relevant. "I shot him in the head, hung drew and quartered the body, and burned the remains. Then I had a gin and tonic, as you do."

afootinthehills said...

RR - this is exactly as I understand the usage but I could not have explained it so clearly as you have done.

Sir Hugh - one of my gripes is the use of 'midgies' as the plural of midge. The singular is 'midge', as in 'bridge' and the plural 'midges'. The singular is not 'midgy'.

Lofty thoughts for a Tuesday morning.

afootinthehills said...

To clarify the midge comment: Lynne points out that we always pronounce midge, midgy, eg a midgy bite. The point I'm making is about the spelling of the singular and hence the plural.

Phreerunner said...

All very interesting! Luckily the midgies (sic) in Timperley are as rare as hen's (hens'?) teeth.

AlanR said...

Your post reminded me of this poem which i searched out and found.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

afootinthehills said...

Thanks for posting this Alan. I recalled the poem but could not remember who wrote it. Robert Frost Google tells me. Lovely.

AlanR said...

Thanks Gibson. I hope Conrad enjoys it as well.
I do like the way the narrator puts it across in the link below.


https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=670908392024479748&postID=3674930133899579339&isPopup=true

AlanR said...

Apologies. For some reason the link got corrupted.
It should have been:-
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/core-poems/detail/44272

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot, Phreerunner and Alan R -Well, I saw that post as just a little pot-bpiler, and both the subjects have brought forth welcome comments. I recognised the poem immediately having bought Robert Frost's collected poems quite recently. Poetry can be difficult but a good reading like that is a great help.

Afoot - I wa bitten by a few midges in my garden this afternoon, a rare event in this part of the world.