27 March 2016 (Sunday) - In A Hole
Yesterday evening loads of people who had been to the Easter event at Westernhanger Castle were posting on Facebook expressing their disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Overnight the organiser replied to some of the comments. It made for interesting reading. Having set themselves up as a business offering family entertainment (and having fallen flat on their faces) they had been posting some rather odd messages. Overnight they seem to have changed from being a business providing a service (set up like any other business) to being a struggling charity event to which we are supposed to be sympathetic.
They claimed they had been overwhelmed by numbers at yesterday's event. What rubbish! When you organise an event for which attendance is only by tickets bought in advance you know *exactly* how many people are going
They whinged about all the grumpy adults. Were they *really* surprised adults were grumpy when the adults were forced to queue in the cold due to the inefficient way they were checking tickets.
They didn't like all the negative comments on social media. What did they expect? Twenty quid is a lot of money to spend out to be packed like sardines into a poky room to watch a load of small children playing a few party games. There was an unused heated marquee not one hundred yards away which would have been far more suited to the event.
They took umbrage at my comments and asked me (I thought somewhat sarcastically) what I would have done differently. So this morning I sent them a list of nine ways in which they could have done things better. In the meantime someone else posted that a few less excuses and a few more apologies might go a long way to appeasing a disappointed public. To their credit they seemed to take this on board.
They responded to my suggestions in a rather civil way. I've now got the distinct impression that the organiser tried to put on a show with absolutely no experience whatsoever and has found out just how difficult this sort of thing is. In retrospect as a Scout leader I organised many such events over the years which were far cheaper and (quite frankly) far better.
As I scoffed brekkie I listened to the sound of the rain. We debated cancelling our plans for the day, but in the end decided to make a start but to be prepared to cry off once we'd got there. After all we've had many days in the past where early rain soon abated.
We collected Suzy and her associate, and took a minor detour into Pluckley to collect Cliff. We then went on to Surrey. There was an Easter geo-meet to which loads of the Kent hunters of tupperware were going. It was actually a rather good session; it is always good to meet new friends. I also met a new pug friend. Henry was dressed as an Easter chick. Pugs are such soppy dogs; they don't mind being dressed up.
From the geo-meet we walked for five minutes to a hole in the ground. Inside this hole in the ground was a disused ammunition store (from the second world war). And inside that ammo store was a geocache (no surprises there).
We crawled in (in pairs) through the mud and did the secret geo-thing in the dark. Jo lent me her head torch (for which I was very grateful) and I went first with Cliff. Having gone in and out I then took a few photos of everyone else going in and out.
We had several other geo-targets in mind for today, but as the last ones emerged from the hole so the rain started. It was torrential, and in two minutes became hail. We decided to go back to the cars and abandon our plans. Any hesitation we might have had about this went out the window when the thunder and lightening started.
We stripped out of wet clothes and drove round to a nearby pub where we sat and chatted for a couple of hours. We dried out, and so did the weather. After a leisurely two pints I looked at the map and plotted out a little walk round some nearby woods. So we went for a stroll. After one hundred yards the heavens opened and we were soaked to the skin. So we gave up and came home.
With muddy clothes in the washing machine I tried to buy some stuff on-line. It took some doing; I had terrrible problems gettng PayPal to work.
We then had a rather good bit of dinner. As we scoffed we watched the re-make of "The Day the Earth Stood Still". I'd not seen it before. It was rather good...