13 September 2020 (Sunday) - The North Downs

As I scoffed toast I watched another episode of “Away”. Whoever made the show should sack their scientific advisors. If you watch the old footage from the Moon missions you will see there was a noticeable communication lag between the astronauts saying something and Mission Control replying. A spaceship half-way to Mars would have a communication lag of about five minutes. There wouldn’t be instantaneous replies from Earth.

And gravity – there isn’t any half-way to Mars. The show has spectacular zero-G scenes when it suits the special effects people to show off, and full earth gravity when they forget that there is no gravity in space.

I then sparked up my lap-top and chivvied specials out of the tree house and Skyland (it’s a Munzee thing) then had a look at Facebook. It was heaving with all sorts of grievances against the government. I’ve ranted against governments before, but this bunch seems to have hit an all-time low. Led by a chap who has previously been sacked twice for lying, won’t say how many children he has,  and doesn’t use his real name, this government would seem to be the worst we’ve had, and that is up against some pretty stiff competition.

Pausing only briefly to tell some half-wit to get knotted (I can do the keyboard warrior thing too!) we settled Sid, and got the other dogs and ourselves into the car and set off to Hastingleigh.

We soon met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte who’d beaten us to the Village Hall by a few minutes, and once we’d got our boots on we set off on a little walk guided by the “North Downs Discovery Trail” series of geocaches.

I must admit that I’d been a tad dubious about the walk – I’ve walked the North Downs before. But there was surprisingly little “upping” or “downing” involved really. There were some rather pretty houses, and the footpaths came rather close to them. That was fine for me to be nosey, but I’m not sure that if I had a lovely country cottage I would want me walking quite so close. One cache was very close to a farmhouse, but we cunningly hid our activities from the normal people.

As we walked we met a group of young girls doing their Duke of Edinburgh award hike. They seemed in fine spirits. We saw sheep and horses and didn’t bark at any of them, and we watched a buzzard circling as we scoffed a picnic lunch in the sunshine. As we scoffed, another hunter of Tupperware came by. The dogs charged off in full attack mode, but three short blasts of the whistle immediately brought them back. Everyone was impressed, but no one more so than me.

The whistle training worked again later when we lost Fudge. Three blasts brought him running back to us; a shame he came back carrying half of a long-dead crow, but he came back and that was the main thing.

Geocache-wise... The hides weren’t as straightforwardly easy as I would hide them, but I do put out very easy finds. Each to their own. A slightly trickier hide is never a bad thing. I did feel the three field puzzles were a tad too complicated, but again that is a matter of personal opinion. However I did think the given hints were somewhat spartan. “Tree” is of little help when you are surrounded by the things. “Multi-trunked” or “left of path” added to “tree” would have helped.

But I’m probably just being picky. It was a very good series; we found all of our targets. And (as always) I was grateful that someone had taken the time to prepare something for us to do today.

I took a few photos as we walked. You’ll see from them just what a pretty area we walked in.

We got back to the car and the little old lady in the house over the road asked if we’d like some apples. She gave us a carrier bag full from her tree. We came home and spent a little while in the garden reading. Or that is "er indoors TM" was reading. I fell asleep.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “Taskmaster” then I supervised the dogs taking turns chewing a pork bone. Little Sid’s face was a picture as I helped him; he’s only got six teeth and he’s not had a go on a bone for some time…


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