10 January 2016 (Sunday) - Hextable
Over brekkie I read something on social media which wound me up a little. Some friends are getting involved in running a "charity" event which will be raising money for a local hospital. Having raised an absolute fortune for their hospital, a cheque will then be presented to sone fat cat in a suit who will be smiling because he realises his six figure salary is now secure for a little longer. I *really* wish people wouldn't do that. People are so quick to complain about the cuts made to the budgets of schools and hospitals, and then they make those very cuts possible by subsidising the shortfall. No governments of any political party is *ever* going to fund public services (such as hospitals and schools) properly all the time they know that the public are going to fund it for them.
There are plenty of charities that need money that aren't given anything by the government that need our help. Perhaps it is ones like the RNIB or Shelter or Crisis at Christmas that we should be supporting.
As we scoffed brekkie we listened to the rain. We vaguely wondered if cancelling our plans might have been the sensible thing to do, but we rarely do sensible. So we carried on and in retrospect we did the right thing. One of our number had to cry off, but (taking ten minutes less than Google Maps had predicted) eight of us (and three small dogs) met up in Hextable to go hunt those elusive sandwich boxes. There was a minor hiccup in that having walked a quarter of a mile I realised I'd left the rucksack behind. Bearing in mind lunch was in it I nipped back to the car with some urgency. And on the way back just as I caught up with the rest of the team the elastic in my undercrackers threw in the sponge. I must admit that as I walked I wondered how many people just suffer in silence when their elastic goes. I don't.
But despite having to continually hoik up my pants we had a really good walk. We'd gone off hunting a series of caches based on the solar system; I'd actually solved the puzzles several months ago. Perhaps I should have gone out and walked this series at that time. Since solving the puzzles two of the hides had been archived, and several of those remaining were just a little in need of a little tender loving care. Perhaps the two archived ones had been pivotal in waymarking the route; we did seem to have rather a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as we went - there's no denying I was grateful to be able to use the decent map on my tablet again.
But after all is said and done there was a series of caches out there that gave us a guided walk. For that I was grateful.
As we walked we saw parakeets; they seem to be quite endemic in many parts of Kent. And the daffodils were in bloom. In January !! And talking of wildlife I feel I must say how impressed I was with Sid. For all that pugs can be delicate little blossoms, Sid kept up all the way and wasn't at all fazed by the mud. I wondered if I would end up carrying him; he held his own.
We'd set off in search of seventeen geo-targets; we found them all over the course of five miles; however there is no denying that we were rather grateful for the couple of hints we'd had from friends who'd walked in the area last weekend. After a spot of lunch we made our way back to the cars, said goodye to Aleta and drove up to the Ship. Hextable is renown for being a village with no pubs but there was a pub not too far away.
Ideally we would have walked more in the afternoon, but the weather had (to that point) been *exactly* as forecast. Heavy rain until mid-morning then a really bright day until early afternoon when heavy rain would return. Having reached the early afternoon stage we didn't want to tempt fate, and as we started the second pint so the thunder and lightning started.
I went for a tiddle and got a fit of the giggles. Every month Viz magazine has an update to its profanisaurus. This month had a new phrase: "Cubicle Clown". A "Cubicle Clown" is a person in the lavatory cubicle whose lavatorial noises sound as though he/she/it is making balloon animals in their cubicle. As I tiddled there was a real-life "Cubicle Clown" in full flow behind me.
I took a few photos as we walked. Once home I popped them on-line and had a look at simular photos from other friends who had been out geocaching in other parts of the county today.
As "er indoors TM" set off bowling I spent a little while messing about with GSAK (the prgram I use to do my geo-admin). It crashed earlier in the evening which worried me a little. I find the thing rather useful and the crash was a little worrying. It seems to be working now, but will only work with my GPS unit.
If only I could figure out what my phone or tablet do with the fieldnotes.txt file...