24 May 2013 (Friday) - Raining

Yesterday we walked for about fourteen miles. We were out walking for about ten hours. I finally went to bed at 1am. So why on Earth was I wide awake at 5am? I tried to get back to sleep, but it wasn't happening. After an hour I gave up and got up, made some brekkie and watched more of my Introduction to Psychology lectures. Today we were learning about how the brain (usually) perceives where things are in the world. Or sometimes doesn't. And then with it still being far too early on a day off I did the monthly accounts. They aren't too bad really. They could be a whole lot worse.

I looked out of the window at 7.30am to see it was raining hard. I had mixed feelings about that. On the one hand it didn't bode well for the day off. On the other hand I smiled. The original plan for this weekend was camping. We would have set up the tents yesterday morning and would have been camping last night waking to a very wet and cold morning. Perhaps things have turned out for the best after all?

After a bit of mucking about we made sandwiches and put Fudge's lead on. the weather forecast was against us, but a day off is not to be wasted. We collected some partners in crime and drove up to Birling where three of us and two small dogs went for a geo-walk. We started well, but after a while found ourselves stymied on a golf course. We racked our brains, solved the puzzle and found the cache. We did struggle with some others though. One was supposedly in ivy; we couldn't find it. And the presence of a nest of baby birds made us give up a search. We didn't want to disturb them.
Having found twelve out of fourteen caches in the rain we found a sheltered spot under a tree by a river where we had picnic lunch. We had a dilemma. We had done one of the circuits of the walk. We were wet through. The car was nearby. Should we carry on with the walk or should we give up and goo home. I was keen to continue -- as I said before I am on a mission to get three hundred this month. You don't get a high score by giving up and going home. er indoors TM" and Hurksy were already wet through to their pants and both proudly boasted that they couldn't get any wetter. So we decided to carry on.

It is possible that (with the benefit of hindsight) we might have made the wrong decision. By the time we got as far from the car as we were going to get we were all rather cold and wet. "Furry Face TM" looked far more like a sea-lion than he looked like a dog, and er indoors TM"'s notebook had been reduced to mulch. I think it's fair to say that we reached a low point at cache 22. Fudge was whining and grumbling; his tail was between his legs. He *never* does that on a walk. And cache 22's description was all about a trig point in a field which simply wasn't there. Resisting the urge to cry for my mother I suggested that we left this cache and moved on to the next one. As we walked I checked the clue for cache 22. I won't say what the clue said, but it described a hidey-hole. I suggested that as we walked on to cache 23 we looked for trampled down undergrowth near anything matching the clue's description. Would you believe it - just as we found something matching the description the rain stopped. And as er indoors TM" pulled the cache from the hidey-hole so the sun came out.

I won't say that he weather was glorious from then on. It wasn't. We were wet, but we started to dry out. Both dogs' tails lifted up and started wagging. We DNF'ed one more cache along the way, but despite the dreadful weather we ended up having found thirty three out of thirty six caches. The descriptions of the route had told us that the route was one of six miles; our sat-navs registered a distance of ten miles. It had been a wet walk, but it had been a good walk for the dogs with good company.

I was a little concerned about how late we had finished the walk, so abandoning the plaans to go on to more caches we set off homewards. I sent off a message of apology to the astro club. I was going to be late. I got a message back. I wasn't going to be late. I was going to be a week early. Woops! We could have gone on to have done some more caching after all. But perhaps it was for the best that we'd set off homewards. Once home we got wet waterproofs drying, and bathed Fudge. He needed a bath.
Whilst we were out postie had been. He'd brought a letter from the council telling us about refuse collection arrangements. There's going to be far fewer rubbish collections, and we will be expected to recycle a lot moire stuff. I expect that will be a good thing once everyone gets used to the idea...

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