3 October 2020 (Saturday) - Sandbanks

I slept well right up to the point where I woke shivering as "er indoors TM" had grabbed all the duvet. I lay there freezing for a bit, then went downstairs, “dealt” with Sid’s deposits, and did my morning things (as I do).

Bearing in mind the garage was supposed to phone me at lunch time yesterday and I’d heard nothing I phoned them. They’d been too busy to look at the car yesterday. Oh well… The garage I use is usually busy and rarely has an appointment with less than a week’s notice, so I’m grateful that they said they would fit me in. There are those that say I should go elsewhere where I’d get seen quicker… having experienced the less popular garages I’d rather go somewhere that clearly has a good reputation and if I have to wait a bit, such is life. They said they’d phone me back later… they didn’t.

 

I had a message. Recently I’ve put out geocaches as puzzles and creating art on the geo-map. If you put out a “traditional” geocache (which is easiest to set up) this immediately tells the masses exactly what rock your film pot is under. This makes it extremely easy to find, but does attract the newbies who then take the thing home to show their mum, and put it back “in a better place” and generally tend to stuff the thing up. If you make the punters solve a puzzle to find the final location, then you generally only get the hard-core hunters of Tupperware coming out as no one else can be arsed. And consequently you don’t have endless (utterly unnecessary) maintenance runs to do.

I’d been asked how to create the geo-art that goes with many of these puzzles. I replied. Hopefully someone is looking to stick more film pots under rocks. I wish more people would. More and more geocaching is becoming something that people squabble about over the Internet and less and less something that people actually do.

 

We got ourselves and the dogs together and drove out to Sandbanks where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. What with possibly collecting the car and the weather not being that good we thought a shorter walk might suit today better, and it did.

As we got boots and gaiters on we couldn’t help but see the big sign protesting against the proposed solar farm. Projects like this get a lot of protests about them. Mostly from the locals. I suppose if I lived there I wouldn’t want something huge being built nearby. But the solar farm isn’t there yet, and we had a good walk (whilst we still could) along well marked lanes and paths. Some were rather waterlogged, but that was hardly surprising bearing in mind how much rain we’ve had recently. But the lanes weren’t busy, and the dogs could run off of their leads on the footpath, which is always good.

As we went we were amazed at how many strawberries were being grown. Strawberries – in October? A lot of them were in poly tunnels. It was a shame that the dogs had to go nosey-ing in the poly tunnels; even more of a shame that Fudge got stuck inside and had to be rescued.

 

Geocache-wise it was a good walk. Perhaps the hides were a tad trickier than the usual ones, but that is never a bad thing. Compared to some series of caches we’ve walked, this was one of the shorter ones, but for today that was ideal.

We went knowing that some of the cache weren’t there. We’d messaged with the friend who’d hidden them and had arranged to replace any that were missing. We were happy to replace to of them; the third one that eluded us had been found a week ago so we left that. But I expect that this act of helpfulness will cause a squabble. One of the missing caches had a written log from a previous didn’t-find-er saying “We don’t agree with throwdowns even with permission as they are strongly discouraged by Groundspeak” (Groundspeak being the proper name for Geo-HQ). Personally I take the line that Groundspeak would far rather people carried on promoting their livelihood rather than let it die a slow and painful death.

 

I took a few photos as we walked. Being a short walk we were back at the cars far earlier than usual. Stopping only briefly in Badlesmere for gaming points (it’s a Munzee thing) we were soon home. I washed mud from the dogs whilst "er indoors TM" drove off to Folkestone. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" needed a lift to the pet shop. Apparently I am about to become great-grandfather to a pair of rats. Bearing in mind how rough "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" can be with Pogo I can’t see these things lasting the weekend, but I am assured that all will be fine.

 

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “Taskmaster” and “House of Games” on the telly.

I’ve got guts ache now…

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