2 September 2017 (Saturday) - Brenchley

I slept well, I was woken at 7.15am by nice-next-door arguing with her cats. Bless.
I was pleasantly surprised to find I had no headache. Last night we had a bottle of plonk with dinner. I say “plonk”; a couple of weeks ago I splashed out on two cases of Pieroth wines. They weren’t cheap, but unlike after most red wines I didn’t wake up with a headache this morning.  I might have the rep back in a few months; do any of my loyal readers fancy a wine tasting evening? (Bearing in mind this will be for half a dozen serious contenders and you’ll be expected to buy over a hundred quid’s worth of the stuff)

Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. Facebook told me that a couple of ex-colleagues had significant birthdays today, and squabbles abounded as squabbles do. One thing the Internet has allowed is for people to fall out with other people they will never meet. Internet pages dedicated to kites, dogs, TV shows, geocaching, astronomy, cos-playing, saxophones, camping and all sorts of things were featuring endless petty bickering.

As the sun came out I had a vague thought about what might have been happening today. Earlier in the year there had been vague mutterings about going to the Faversham Hop Festival, but looking at their website I’m glad the vague mutterings came to nothing. The festival had been billed as a procession, some Morris Dancing, and over sixty live bands. Sixty! I suppose that (from the law of averages) one or two of them might be worth listening to. But the rest would be dire.
I get so annoyed with live music. Why do so many people watch a *proper* band on the telly and think they can do it? They can’t. Whilst one live band in a hundred is good, the other ninety-nine are shite and generally feel they can cover up their shite-ness by whacking up the volume.

I then spent a little while cleaning out my car. Over the last year or so I’ve used it to carry pergola ingredients and stone statues home and to take broken fence panels, knacked lawnmowers and scrap decking to the tip, The poor thing had got grubby to the extreme. I hoovered round inside as best I could, then emptied out all sorts of rubbish. (I wondered where my mole grips had gone). But despite my best efforts the car was still mucky, so I thought a proper valet-ing might be in order. I went to the carwash at Tesco. They wanted twenty-five quid. I didn’t mind the price, but they wanted me to stand around waiting for over an hour. I didn’t have the time to waste, so I got some Belgian buns and came home. I’ll get it valeted somewhere else.

With buns scoffed we got the leads on to two rather excited dogs and set off to Brenchley where we met Karl, Tracey and the girls. We had a rather good wander round the orchards and lanes hunting Tupperware. There was a rather dodgy five minutes when we lost Fudge; something in the undergrowth caught his attention and he was away. And just after we retrieved him Treacle shot off after the same thing. I wish the dogs wouldn’t do that.
And I had something of a surprise as we neared the end. Near the start the puppy unloaded. I bagged the poop and carried it with us. As we approached the second-to-last hide I realised I didn’t have the poop bag any more. I can remember hanging it on a fence near the third hide to take a photo. I think it must still be there…

Geocache-wise it was a good series to walk; the given co-ordinates for the various caches were good (so often they can be out) and there were helpful hints and route descriptions given. Personally I would have done two things differently. I would put the hides and the field puzzles at the points where there is a serious change of direction, (but we only went seriously adrift once). And I would have put out fewer tiny caches and more sandwich-box sized ones. Bigger hides give more room for swappabes and trackables and they need far less changes of the paper log.
But I’m not criticising; someone’s spent time, effort (and money) to provide us with a good afternoon. I wish more people would. If each of the people who subscribe to the Kent geocaching page on Facebook each put out one series of caches I’d have enough to keep me going for the next nineteen years.

After four hours and nearly six miles we were back at the cars. We drove down the road for two minutes to the Halfway House where we had a pint or three in the garden whilst the supposedly tired dogs ran riot. I quite like the Halfway House – we had three pints of decent ale and there were still several more we could have chosen from.

We came home; I’d taken a few photos as we walked. I put them on-line and then set about the ironing. It doesn’t iron itself you know…

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