Geocaching 2010

So this weekend saw the start of the Geocaching season for me. Ok, technically it was a few weeks ago when I went mooching round Wooley Edge and bagged two caches while trying out new software. Zoe and I decided to start out with some easy ones to get us back into the swing of things.

The first trip took us to a disused railway bridge out at Hunningham near Leamington Spa. As I say, it’s been a while but it’s the little things like spotting good places to park, working out that the direct path is not always the best and if at first you can’t find the cache – look in the most obvious place.

So on getting there it became apparent that there was no easy way to get up to where I needed to be. Short of taking a good 4 mile walk to get to the cache the only other option was to scramble through undergrowth and up some rubble.

Further adventures were had trying to navigate a field of potatoes. We could either take the direct path across the crops or round the edge of the field adding about 30 minutes onto the trip. The crops were safe as we opted for the indirect approach which, fortunately, took in another cache on the way.

The glorious sunshine which graced the midlands today meant that rather than the usual slobbing out on the couch, Zoe and I would do some more geocaching. Today’s trip reminded me of why I really enjoy the hobby.

The UK is a beautiful picturesque land. There’s so much to see but often we ignore places because, on maps, there doesn’t seem to be anything there.

However Geocaching takes you to some of the most interesting places that you wouldn’t ordinarily visit.  So today’s trip took us to the lovely sleepy village of Weston Under Wetherley.

I mean look at it. It’s just gorgeous. Makes you feel British. I can just imagine poncing about the place in my blazer with service medals and being called Major or something. So this has reignited the desire to mooch about the countryside looking for bits of concealed tupperware while armed only with my HTC HD2.

Anyway, the glorious weather seems to have awoken other cachers as the travel bug – the Stegzy Gnomepants’ Badger’s Coastal Tour Travel Bug has also been on the move. So it seems the season has begun, work permitting, I intend to do many more caches this year. Maybe actually getting to places outside of the West Midlands and Yorkshire. 

And yet I still find myself wishing there was something like this when I was younger….

>Geocaching 2010

So this weekend saw the start of the Geocaching season for me. Ok, technically it was a few weeks ago when I went mooching round Wooley Edge and bagged two caches while trying out new software. Zoe and I decided to start out with some easy ones to get us back into the swing of things.

The first trip took us to a disused railway bridge out at Hunningham near Leamington Spa. As I say, it’s been a while but it’s the little things like spotting good places to park, working out that the direct path is not always the best and if at first you can’t find the cache – look in the most obvious place.

So on getting there it became apparent that there was no easy way to get up to where I needed to be. Short of taking a good 4 mile walk to get to the cache the only other option was to scramble through undergrowth and up some rubble.

Further adventures were had trying to navigate a field of potatoes. We could either take the direct path across the crops or round the edge of the field adding about 30 minutes onto the trip. The crops were safe as we opted for the indirect approach which, fortunately, took in another cache on the way.

The glorious sunshine which graced the midlands today meant that rather than the usual slobbing out on the couch, Zoe and I would do some more geocaching. Today’s trip reminded me of why I really enjoy the hobby.

The UK is a beautiful picturesque land. There’s so much to see but often we ignore places because, on maps, there doesn’t seem to be anything there.

However Geocaching takes you to some of the most interesting places that you wouldn’t ordinarily visit.  So today’s trip took us to the lovely sleepy village of Weston Under Wetherley.

I mean look at it. It’s just gorgeous. Makes you feel British. I can just imagine poncing about the place in my blazer with service medals and being called Major or something. So this has reignited the desire to mooch about the countryside looking for bits of concealed tupperware while armed only with my HTC HD2.

Anyway, the glorious weather seems to have awoken other cachers as the travel bug – the Stegzy Gnomepants’ Badger’s Coastal Tour Travel Bug has also been on the move. So it seems the season has begun, work permitting, I intend to do many more caches this year. Maybe actually getting to places outside of the West Midlands and Yorkshire.

And yet I still find myself wishing there was something like this when I was younger….

Toys

I went here as a kid nearly every weekend. I suspect Luxuryflatitis. After all the site is in a highly desirable area of Southport. Arsonists should be burnt at the stake IMO.

Today I rushed into uni after pottering about doing little jobs. I had a meeting with the people I’ve been doing 4 films for.

On the way back I stopped off at Halfords to buy a new foot pump. I looked at the digital and electric ones but couldn’t justify paying more than £10 for a load of hot air. I came away with a bargain £9 single barrel analoge foot pump. It appears that my front drivers side tyre has a slow puncture.

With the sun being glorious I decided to finish off looking for that cache I looked for yesterday. You might remember I had incompatible coordinates. Well today I discovered that I actually do have a converter built into the Geocache software. Doh!

I had a good mooch around Howell Wood. Now is it called Howell Wood because there are lots of howls from owls with towels or is it because it is a corruption of Ho’well wood, or Holy Well Wood? I doubt anyone knows. Regardless it was a lovely wood. kingdaveyKinggravy would love it. Very few people about if at all anyone. Most people, it seems, just come to walk the dog or to fish for carp at the little lake they have there. Though I would be a bit worried about flashing my bits in this area.

Yikes!

I managed to locate the it was in a plastic box wrapped in two plastic Morrisons bags. I signed my name and buggered off home.

On my return the house was empty of people. Mrs Gnomepants obviously enjoying her new found independence in her red car. Just as I was updating my Geocache logs in the tranquility of the garden this side of the lane with no name, G, he of the human dog genus, arrived asking if I knew what an orchid looked like. I said I did and he took me to his front garden to look at some plants he has growing on his lawn.

G – Does thar think tha’ is an o’kid?
stegzy – No it’s not, its a blue flower, we have some over there.
G – Ah wor thinkun ah myt ‘av’ sum new kind o’ rare flower. Save me cuttin’ lawn like.
stegzy – Well I don’t think it’s an orchid. Look we have loads here. I think you’re safe to cut the lawn

Hunger got the better of me. So I left G with his mower and thought about dinner. Should I cook enough for two? Or do I just cook for myself? I thought it diligent of me to call the wife. Turns out her new car has an alternator problem and she had broken down. Why hadn’t she called me? Well her phone then decided to lose the network and that was that. By the time I spoke to her she was bound for Rlindz’ gaff. I had cold sausage 😀

So yes, a nice day mooching about in the woods. I took some more pictures and I’m thinking this one as my desktop 😀

Bluebellz

Throw

Last night I had a fire. It was a small fire. I didn’t bother asking G the Human dog to take his washing in. More confidential waste. Fire. It’s nice is fire. Cleansing. Good way to dispose of things……..

Yesterday Mrs Gnomepants picked up her new car from the garage. It is red. I suggested putting black spots on the paint work so she would look like a ladybird. I fear she took me seriously.

Yesterday I went geocaching. Well, I tried to. I got to the cache only to find it was more coordinates but in a format I can’t use on my current GPS devices. So I had to go home.

Yesterday I had fish and chips for tea.

Mrs Gnomepants’ music is doing my head in. She has about 20 songs which she plays over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I’m tired of hearing about someone “Shaking ma titties”.

I feel slightly dispossessed.

Various points of note

Today I struggled into Barnsley. I spent 4 hours editing then thought “fuck it” and went geocaching instead.

Managed to find 1 cache out of the 4 I looked for today.

The first cache I couldn’t find, my GPS is only accurate to 4 decimal places so when you get within 6ft of the location the radar thing goes all wobbly. Regardless, it said something about being “East of the cross”. Well I found the cross, it was in a peaceful and hidden garden in the centre of Barnsley. I didn’t even know it was there and I must have walked past this garden a million times. Anyway, I poked about in the undergrowth aware that anyone coming into the hidden garden would obviously think I was billzy or some other weirdo that mooches about in bushes. Fortunately nobody did come in. I still didn’t find the cache though.

Second cache took me to the far side of tarn. I’ve not been over that side before as it looks too much like those poor areas you see in British socio-realistic movies of the 1950’s, you know, back to back houses, washing on lines across the road and fat laundry women with their hair in rollers moaning about the price of fish while waiting for their husbands to come back from the pit (and not the pit of the Quatermass variety). In the centre of this time oasis, amidst the Morris Oxfords, mangles and Jubilee banners there is a square raised up from the rest of the surroundings. Apparently this square was once a church that was demolished in the early 90’s and in the square are several graves. So I mooched about the graves in this area desperately trying not to draw attention to myself. Signed the slip and legged it.

The third cache took me to yet another part of Barnsley I’d never been before, despite it being less than 500 yards from my University. This area was overlooked by one of those horrible office blocks with the big windows. You know, the type where all the staff are sat side onto the windows so they can spend the day gawping out at the scroungers and poor students who mill about outside while wistfully dreaming of a life free from the constraints of the office photocopier or pretending to work while looking at Arsebook. It was also overlooked by a construction site populated by lots of smoking burly meat heads in hard hats. I felt too self conscious mooching about there so I left it.

Fourth site is now a car park. So I gave up. Came home.

My journey home was conducted by the cheeriest bus driver I have ever known. It must have been his first day or something. It is a British Statute that all bus drivers should be surly and gruff*. He let me off the 10p extra I would have had to pay for travelling the two stops further from the fare zone.

My last chore of the day was to pick up the wife’s prescription from the doctors after dropping off my own prescription renewal form. While there I overheard one of the village gossips gossiping with the pharmacist. I was going to write an entry about that. But I thought my adventures in geocaching would make for a much more boring entry and you know what…as it’s you…I won’t even add a ljcut. 🙂

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* = Bus Driving Act 1977 Section 5 subsection 3