9 June 2013 (Sunday) - Biggin Hill
Three of us and two small dogs went to Biggin Hill today. As we drove we saw a stall selling asparagus. Apparently it is in season now. Personally I wouldn't know the first thing about asparagus. I'm told that it is well regarded in posh circles. I shall consult "the Man with No Alias (patent pending)" and get his august advice on the matter.
Once in Biggin Hill we set off on a five mile guided walk. I say " five mile guided walk" - regular readers of this drivel will know that it was a series of geocaches. "Doris's Right Old Mixture" was (and is) a series of twenty three caches through some rather scenic countryside. Quite scenic views; some clever geocaching. We found all the caches, and at the end of the walk was a pub. Ideal for a pint to wash down our sandwiches. Because I'm polite I asked if they minded us having our picnic in their garden with the beer I was about to buy. The spotty young oik looked down his nose at me as though I was something Fudge had just plopped onto his carpet and patronisingly conceded that he couldn't stop us.
And they wonder why the pub trade is dying on its arse.
It was only a short walk back to the car. From there it was two minutes to Charles Darwin's house. There is an Earthcache in the grounds of that place. An Earthcache is a special type of geocache. In over two thousand finds I've only found one of those. We thought we'd go for the Earthcache. We arrived to find it was in an English Heritage site and that it would cost us ten quid (each) to get near the Earthcache.
We didn't bother, Instead we went for another series of geocaches; "Doris's Break Out". Based in the general vicinity of Jail Lane, "Doris's Break Out" is a series of seventeen caches along five more miles. We failed on a few of these I'm sorry to say. Whilst out and about we found ourselves at the back door of the gardens of Charles Darwin's house. The gates were open and unsupervised. It would have been really easy to have sneaked in, done the secret geocaching ritual, and sneaked out again. I seriously considered it (for about five seconds) but thought better of it. I shall go back at some point and do the Earthcache properly and honestly.
And then - would you believe it - I got kicked. By a horse. It &@*! hurt and still does.
We were minding our geocachical business, walking along a footpath. The footpath was clearly marked, and our GPS-enabled ordnance survey maps confirmed we were on a public right of way when a horse came up to me and kicked me on the thigh. Hard. Fudge wasn't bothering the horse in any way, nor was I. It was an unprovoked attack. The horse then seemed determined to push on at me. I hollered obscenities at it; in retrospect I wonder if I should have punched it. By now Fudge was upset, and as Hurksy distracted the horse I bundled up Furry Face and got him (and me) to safety.
When I got home I phoned Kent Police to report the incident. I had taken accurate GPS readings of the field where the incident happened and photographs of the animal in question. The police made it clear that (like with pretty much everything else) they weren't interested. I was under the impression that the landowner had a duty of care to people using the footpaths across his fields. For example one would not expect to find tigers loose in a field traversed by a public right of way. And by the same token if my small dog should playfully nip a child then he would be put down. The police explained that dogs are (apparently) unique in the animal kingdom in that the law expects them to be controlled. All other animals are by definition wild and can do whatever they like.
My piss boiled. And it still boils. Let's be quite frank here. That horse is dangerous. If I had I taken my grand-daughter caching today and if the horse had struck her at the same level it struck me, the blow to the head would probably have killed her. There is a horse loose in a field near Biggin Hill that should be put down. The police have made it clear that they don't want to know anything about it.
I might just go back there with my cooking hammer. That should do the trick...