I’ve been trying to write this post for a week now and the bloody thing is still evolving. Each day sees a change is its direction and emphasis. It was supposed to be a simple report of a day’s events but its ramifications went well beyond that. Life changing you could say…if you wanted to seriously over-dramatise things. But they did herald a complete about-face in my thinking as to what The Fatdog and I would be doing as regards our walking.
This may be the last time any geocachers read this blog as some of the text is nigh on blunt. It’s a shame because we did meet 2 or 3 very nice people on our geocaching day out but that was overshadowed by our perception of others of the plastic box persuasion.
Oh God, where do I start…?
I knew trying to write this one up would be tricky and I’m still mulling over what stance to adopt. Yes, as you know by now it’s our old friends the geocachers again. I know, I know, there’s been a few posts recently involving geocaching, but these have been about me and FD geocaching…not about geocachers in general. Every time I talk about geocachers I get into bother but if you report things as you find them well…
J had agreed to go along with me and The Fatdog to our first ever geocaching meet. Although considering any form of hobby somewhat “anorkish” she tolerates my hillwalking and thoroughly enjoys meeting up with the crowd from scottishhills.com when we get the chance. Geocaching is for her, however, a step too far towards the train-spotting end of the hobby spectrum and she had preconceived ideas of what type of character might attend such events. Having had more hobbies than you could possibly shake a proverbial stick at, I’m far more open minded and always reckon the human spirit will prevail. I reckon I will always find a normal intelligent life form in any extreme hobby situation. Having said that I’ve come across a few hillwalkers who would barely meet that most basic of criteria. Maybe some of them even read this blog… 😆
We timed it wrong. Just as we reached the event HQ a big group was about to leave. We got a couple of tentative nods but were mostly ignored. Being strangers we weren’t expecting fanfares of trumpets and a joyful rendition by the Heavenly Host, but I did think we might have got the odd “Howdy stranger, good to see you….here for the event?”, that sort of thing. There wasn’t even the more traditional Scottish greeting of “Who the f*** are you?”
The big group left, as did a few others, leaving us with a solitary individual and a bench of geocaching bits and pieces. Never having been at an event before I hadn’t a clue what should happen but I did know that you should sign a log book. I opted for safe territory and enquired if I signed in here. The book was passed over. Was this the event organiser? Still no idea, she wasn’t giving anything away. Should I introduce myself first? Then I thought, “Better be polite and let this person do her spiel first. Nope…wasn’t going to happen. Looks like we were never going to be on first name terms. Awkward silence. Jeez, how do I take this from here. Brainwave…look for a common denominator and see if she “bites”
“I’m on the ****** forum” I said, looking expectantly for some sort of reply that might break the ice.
“And…?” she replied oozing causticity.
I winced. I now realised I should have given up 5 minutes before.
“fatdogwalks” I squeaked hopefully, when what I was actually thinking was “For f***’s sake why me!”
We waded through treacle for a few minutes, made a couple of appropriate comments then left, still not knowing to whom we had just been talking as she still hadn’t introduced herself. By this time we couldn’t have cared less anyway. We assumed it was the organiser but maybe it was just some poor soul left in charge who really didn’t want to be there and had decided to act up. Baffled by the reception and still none the wiser for having “logged” in, we headed off after some plastic.
Later on we bumped into the main group to a couple of nods from the same people who had nodded before. Sadly we still appeared to be invisible to the majority who once again failed to acknowledge our presence. Even J’s giving some of them directions up to a viewpoint failed to encourage them to strike up a conversation. J’s somewhat jaundiced view of geocachers as “anoraks” was now revised to “anoraks requiring further development of social skills”. It was fair to say we had more communication with normal families and dog walkers around the woodland than the main group of geocachers.
I could sense gloating beside me with J’s unspoken “I told you so!”
I didn’t want to be a geocacher anymore. During the walk, which had involved a ascent of a low-ish “marilyn”, my near permanent leg aches had muted and I was moving relatively freely. FD was showing a distinct, tail wagging, enthusiasm for all things uphill. Hmm, things might not be so bad after all.
The past week has been a flurry of stretching and core exercises along with a reduced food intake. There’s been a lot of looking at maps and routes with the purpose of bagging a few hills but, at the same time, keeping down the stress on both mine and FD’s legs. It’s too early to say whether this is viable, given I might have a developing knee problem on top of the more controllable faux sciatica, but it appears that the “imperceptibly loaded dice of The Weather Thieves” may roll once again…if only to try. We have to try.