31 October 2013 (Thursday) - Hallowe'en
I was absolutely all-in when I went to bed last night. I was wide awake and having my morning shave at 4am. My morning DVD fix of "Earth 2" was quite entertaining; featuring the bald one out of "Lost" as the latest baddie.
I then took "Furry Face TM" for his morning constitutional. It was raining, so we didn't go as far as perhaps we might have done. The rain was that annoyingly fine rain - fine enough to make you think it;'s not actually raining, but wet enough to make everything soaking wet.
Lisa came round and we set off to Maidstone. A while back Lisa had arranged to do some extreme caching. Having found myself on the verge of a milestone cache I thought I might tag along. Steve had been wonderful in offereing to get us up the tree; Joe and Ian were marvellous to offer their advice and assistance. We arrived in Madstone to find ropes already in place. Ropes - this was no amateur muck-about.
This geocache wasn't especially difficult to find. In fact I could see it from forty yards away. Trouble was those forty yards were "up". The cache was clearly visible towards the top of a tree. Fortunately for us Steve showed us how the ropes worked, and as young Jesse made his ascent (to his one hundredth cache) Lisa and I practiced (under expert supervision) on lower branches.
Pulling yourself up a tree takes some doing; in theory it is simple, in practice it is physically hard work. In retrospect those who had been up the tree before me had gone about eighteen inched too high up the rope and had not given themselves enough slack. Being last up I learned from their mistakes and once I was half a mile off the ground I found the tree-bit and cache signing relatively straight forward. I must admit that I felt I did choose a rather good cache for #2500 as I did the secret geo-ritual at the top of the tree.
I amazed myself on the descent. I shoulted down to ask for instructions. I was told to but all my weight on the rope and to get off the tree. Scary? Funnily enough it wasn't. I have been scared in trees before when I was only a few feet off the ground. But I was so high that I knew that if anything went wrong it wouldn't hurt; I'd be dead. And knowing that somehow gave me an inner calm. I just did as I was told and came down (mostly) under control. But certainly far faster than I went up.
We then went on to another cache up another tree. I went on to the tree, but not the cache. My baack was still playing up from doing the duck houses at the weekend, and my arm was still in cramps from the first tree ascent. But it was good to watch others going up. And with everyone up who was going up we adjourned to the local pub for a crafty half. Again, many grateful thanks to Steve, Joe and Ian for sharing their skills, abilities and kit. Despite the cold and the wet it was great fun.
Home, where I shaved my head and painted it silver before going round to Lacey's Hallowe'en party. Staging a Hallowe'en party for fifteen seven year old girls is a brave thing to do. Personally I quite enjoyed the performance. I was quite impressed with llittle Sasha; her mother had warned us that she was very quiet and rather shy. The child was the life and soul of the party, and on several occassions had to be restrained from showing off her "business" to all and sundry.
And then once all the fur had stopped flying we went round to the WIndmill in Hythe Road where the clans had gathered to support "Access All Areas"; a local band with whom several of us feel we have a connection Good tunes, good company. And I even scared someone in the lavatory too...