18 April 2018 (Wednesday) - Fordcombe

The puppy woke me when she decided to walk all over me at two o’clock this morning. I didn’t really get back to sleep after that. I gave up trying just before seven o’clock, and once I’d had my morning ablutions I had a go on the scales. I was rather chuffed to see I’d shifted another three pounds. That’s over a stone shifted in the last few weeks. Weight loss is easy… *if* you can put up with feeling permanently hungry.

I had a little look-see at Facebook as I do most mornings. I’ve mentioned before that the site is nowhere near as busy as once it was. This morning I was reminded of the fact. On one of the professional groups an American blood-tester whose name I’ve seen from time to time was bemoaning how nasty one particular work-related group had become. And then on one of the geocaching groups someone else was crowing that they’d denied a geo-find having deconstructed the exif data on a photo and found the photo was supposedly taken at a different time from when the geo-find was claimed. Why are people always looking to stir squabbles?
I had an email from the BBC. A little while ago I complained to them that the weather forecasts on their website, TV and radio bear no relation to each other. They sent a generic response a few days ago, so I complained that they hadn’t read the complaint. This morning they sent another email which again didn’t address the issued I’d raised. I *could* complain again; I can’t be arsed.

We got ourselves organized, and set off to Fordcombe. There is a series of geocaches there which I’d not done. I first thought about walking round them a few weeks ago, and had posted on “Geocaching in Kent” to see if anyone fancied a walk. Sometimes people are free; sometimes they aren’t. Today seven of us (and four dogs) set off on a rather good wander. Beautiful scenery; even if it was a tad squelchy underfoot in places. Unfortunately “squelchy” is relative; what is a tad damp to me is chest deep to a small dog. Fudge was soon covered in black mud. I can cope with the black mud; it was a shame he had to do his trademark move of rolling in fox poo as well.
On the plus side we saw tadpoles swimming in the squelchy bits.
The walk was good; we had some beautiful views. It was very pretty walking along by the river. At one stage Fudge hurt his leg and was hobbling very badly. I had half a mind to carry him, but decided to just watch and wait. I know what that dog is like; he plays for sympathy. Within five minutes he’d forgotten the injury and ran up a five-feet almost vertical bank.
It was really good that the dogs were able to be off of their leads for much of the way. However we did smile when it came time to put the leads back on when we came to a road. Where was Norton’s lead? Gordon had put it down several hundred yards behind. Woops!

After four (and a bit) miles we were back at where we’d started, and (would you believe it?) there was a pub. So we had a pint and reviewed the situation. I did have a vague plan to go on for a second walk in the afternoon, but everyone else couldn’t be *too* late back, and it was getting rather warm. (Bearing in mind how awful the weather has been this year, today was excellent.)
So we had a little look at the geo-map and decided to go to Toad Rock instead.

At Toad Rock we did an Earthcache. For those uninitiated into the ways of hunting Tupperware, an Earthcache is basically doing your geology homework. You look at a rock, pretend you can see whatever feature that whoever set the homework pretended they could see. You then take a selfie at that rock, and copy and paste from what you desperately hope is the right page on Wikipedia, then submit it as your answer and hope for the best. All the time bearing in mind that no matter what drivel you write, the etiquette is that you always get a pass mark for simply having a go.
I was reliably informed that the answer today was "blah blah blah sandstone".
After the Earthcache we did a nearby virtual cache. They are rather obscure; this one was quite good fun. It has us scrambling all over the rocks looking for carvings. As we scrambled we got in the way of a young lad flying his mini-drone round an obstacle course he’d set up. And there’s no denying that the young lady sunbathing just by the third place where we needed to go hurried to put more clothes on as we arrived.

And on the way home we saw a pair of buzzards perching on the branches over Pot Kiln Lane.
Not a bad day out, really…

Once home the dogs got a bath. Partly to help them cool off; partly to remove the fox poo. We then spent a little while by the garden pond; at the moment it is rather pretty. I couldn’t help but notice that the gravel round the pond needs a little attention, the lawn edges need strimming, weeds need pulling, the acer has died, and I need to have a good tidy-up round the yard. I’ve got some time off work in a few weeks; I shall have a working day (or two) in the garden then.

"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" came to visit. SPOD (as he is known in his abbreviated state) got out the Ker-Plunk whilst announcing he wanted to “play plunk”. With “plunk” bits strewn everywhere he then attempted to make off with dog toys to take home to his Pogo.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner and we watched some stuff that the SkyPlus box had recorded for us, including the worst attempt at “The Crystal Maze” that has ever been made.
I just wish that someone other than Richard Ayoade was hosting the show…

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