23 April 2017 (Sunday) - Noah's Ark
Fudge had another barking fit shortly after I went to bed last night. I went downstairs, picked him up and carried him to my bed where I dumped him with orders to keep the noise down. A couple of hours later he was crying; he’d got off the bed and couldn’t get back up again. So I got him on to the bed again and he then spent the rest of the night growling every time the puppy so much as twitched.
Over brekkie I had a look on Facebook. Being St George’s Day Facebook was awash with patriotic stuff. Perhaps I’m not that patriotic; I’ve always felt that a country is like a football team. Something of an artificial division about which people can then argue and fight for no apparent reason. Or perhaps it is working in an environment where many of my colleagues and friends feel frightened to walk the streets on St George’s Day or when the England football team lose a match. I’ve mentioned this before, and been aggressively criticised about it by those who are actually the most threatening.
I’m getting just a little bit pissed off with the constant arguments in life which are fuelled by social media in this way. I follow groups on Facebook about astronomy, local interest, dogs, Star Trek, Laurel and Hardy, blood tests, geocaching, fishing, my old home town, puzzle solving… all of which often descend into petty bickering and back biting over the most trivial incidents.
I also saw that today was the day of the London marathon. A friend of mine was running in it; I’ve been meaning to plug his sponsorship page but the virgin money giving web site has been pretty much permanently crashed for the last week. It has finally started working; you can donate by clicking here.
We got the leads on to the dogs and drove up to Kemsing where we met Tracey, Karl and Charlotte and we went for a day’s geocaching. First of all round the “Noah’s Ark” series. Did you know that there is a little village in Kent called “Noah’s Ark”? I didn’t either. We had a rather good wander across fields and along lanes. The woods were beautiful with bluebells, and as we walked we found some friendly ducks and a phone box inside which was the Easter bunny (go figure!). It was a rather good walk which brought us to the pub shortly after opening time.
The Bell in Kemsing is a rather pleasant pub. However when we arrived at lunch time we did struggle to get to the bar. The place wasn’t that busy really; but the locals had all set up at the bar and it wasn’t really that easy to get to it. But we got drinks and crisps, and spent a pleasant few minutes in the beer garden psyching ourselves for the ascent that we were about to undertake.
We’d spent the morning at the bottom of the North Downs; our afternoon’s geo-walk was at the top. With a determined effort we got up the hill. It took some doing, but he views were spectacular. Once at the top of the Downs we had our picnic lunch and looked across the countryside. In the distance we could see the motorway and the railway we’d crossed earlier this morning.
We then started on our afternoon walk… Oh dear.
In the morning we’d followed a series of geocaches which led us on a guided walk. In the afternoon the caches were seemingly random. Perhaps it didn’t help that we’d not started at the numerical beginning, but the one labelled #1 was a *long* way away. Our route did involve a lot of backtracking and at one point we were hopelessly stuck in thickets and brambles. In fact Fudge gave up attempting to find the footpaths and he forced his way through the undergrowth into a nearby field. I tried to follow him; I couldn’t do it. We had a rather worrying five minutes attempting to retrieve him.
The afternoon’s geo-series was odd. There were some really good hides, some work had gone into making bespoke boxes. But there weren’t that many caches and they were seemingly randomly dotted about.
As we walked we found a pub. A pint would have slipped down nicely. I asked the people in the garden of The Rising Sun if the place was still open. A grizzled old harridan who I can only describe as looking like Zelda from “Terrahawks” said she might be, and asked me what the time was. I told her it was twenty to four; she replied (in a “piss off” tone) that she’d closed at three o’clock.
It was shortly after here that we encountered about fifty to a hundred people having some sort of open-air ceremony around a cross on the hill. We didn’t hang about… we went back to the Bell in Kemsing where (once we’d actually got to the bar) we had a couple more pints.
We’d walked a shade under eight miles when we got back to the cars. There’s no denying I was half expecting to have given up at lunchtime but my dodgy foot held up well. Fudge’s iffy back paw seemed OK too.
I took a few photos today as we walked. With them on-line I set up in front of the telly. I’m setting up there an awful lot lately…