19 November 2012 (Monday) - Films, Walkies, Caching...
I spent a little while this morning trying to find a whistle. I have been blowing a whistle every time I give Fudge one of his treats, and I have this theory that he will associate the sound of the whistle with getting a treat. The idea being that when we are out and he is off the lead, if I’m having trouble getting him back again I can blow the whistle. He will think it is treat time and will come charging up to me. And so will be easy meat to be captured and put back on the lead.
However the entire plan hinges on having a whistle to blow. We’d lost it. Eventually we found one left over from last Christmas, so I took that with us and gave it a try when he was off the lead. It seemed to work. Well, there was no “seemed” about it. It worked. He was charging about fifty yards away. I blew the whistle. He came back to me, sat, and lifted his paw (which is the only trick he can do). We did this a few times, and even when he was on the lead I blew the whistle and then gave him a treat a few times. He does seem to have got the idea.
I took Fudge on a geocaching episode today. It is three days since I last did any, and withdrawal symptoms were setting in. But this wasn’t finding them. This was geocache maintenance time. One of my caches was waterlogged and needed a little bit of T.L.C. And another one had simply gone missing and needed replacing. That took half an hour, but Fudge needed more of a walk than that, so we took the scenic route to the southernmost parts of town where (until today) there have been precious few geocaches.
We spent a couple of hours setting the caches for the “Park Farm Pootle”, a series of six geocaches around the Park Farm estate. In doing so we quadrupled the geocaches on that estate. They are all relatively easy to find; aimed at beginners and families. A bit of light hearted fun. I hope that the punters have as much fun seeking them out as I did finding places to hide them. “Hide and Seek” isn’t an easy game to get just right. Some hides are just plain obvious, and some are just impossible.
It’s been asked why I chose the Park Farm estate for my third series of caches. There are quite a few reasons. Firstly the area didn’t have many, and that is a rarity in the Ashford area. Secondly they are all accessible without getting caked in mud, and that takes some doing at the moment. And thirdly (but possibly the main reason) it that it is a very transparent attempt to convert one of my loyal readers over to the dark side of geocaching. (You know who you are!)
Whilst out, I saw some old friends. They didn’t recognise me at first – it’s been some years. But they looked through the face fur and soon saw it was me. When "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "My Boy TM" were toddlers we struck up friendships with other young families. In the intervening years Debbie and Nigel moved to Maidstone, moved to America, moved all over the place. But we kept in touch through the wonders of the Internet. And it was good to catch up with them today
And also whilst out I read a very interesting notice. When I walk Fudge round and about I can never let him off the lead as much as I’d like because there are horses in lots of the fields. It seems that many of these fields belong to the local council, and the horses are there without council permission. One such notice was saying that if the horses in a particular field were still there in a few days’ time then the horses would be removed. The notice was rather vague about exactly where the horses would be removed to. Presumably to a field belonging to Folkestone or Maidstone council, and left to run riot there?
And so home where we had a spot of lunch and I then did all the logging of the caches I'd set. That took a little while. And then I watched a film I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box a few days ago. The Scouting Book for Boys looked as though it had promise, but turned out to be a disappointment.
"My Boy TM" came home and told me that Fudge looked worn out. And then I had a flurry of emails. THe series of caches I'd set had been given the thumbs-down. The reviewer thought that one was too close to a play park and had disqualified the lot. He said that if I moved the offending problem cache he'd reconsider the lot.
This reviewer boils my piss because he is inconsistent in his application of the rules. the cache I set today was quite a long way away from the play park. Certainly further away than three other caches the same chap has allowed near other play parks. So I zoomed back down to Park Farm and moved the cache. And re-submitted everything.
With "er indoors TM" out bowling for the evening I watched another film I'd recorded. Zebra Crossing was another disappointment. as was the non-publication of all the work I'd put into making the geocache trail today...