It’d been a while since my last geocaching trip, so today’s excursion was well overdue. The weather was overcast, but warm and dry which made for a very pleasant afternoon wandering around outdoors searching for treasure. After picking up our first couple of finds in a residential area; which took a bit longer than anticipated due to a dodgy GPS and a red herring; we headed off into countryside.
A small, broken bridge was a sure-fire hiding place, or so we thought, but after a good old poke around it became apparent the cache was elsewhere. The first of our next four finds was eventually located but the second one was nowhere to be seen. The only place it physically could’ve been was in the base of a large oak tree, however, bees has decided to make a nest inside the hole and there was no way that either of us was prepared to stick our hands inside for a rummage, so a disappointing DNF (did not find) was noted and we reluctantly headed off to locate the next one. Eventually, after traipsing through a large field and finding ourselves literally up to our armpits in stinging nettles, we’d completed the challenge. Hurrah! I must admit that although, at times, this can be a slightly frustrating hobby, spending an afternoon outside with a mate, discovering hidden places and sharing new experiences is actually extremely good fun.
I have to admit, that even though I spend quite a bit of time entering online competitions, due to social media creating literally thousands more entries for each one, the odds of winning are at an all time low, but since being single I appear to have had rather a good run of luck regarding prizes.
Not only have I already received a Go Pro Camera (kerching), Swarovski Binoculars (more kerching), a £50 household cleaning products e-voucher, a 3 figure sum gift voucher, Ray Ban Aviators, an expensive wooden play kitchen for children and alcohol (always welcome), I’ve accumulated numerous small wins of cash, toys, DVDs, toiletries, mugs and so on…
Not bad for a ‘hobby‘, and now I’ve just been told I’ve won a new water butt! It may be a very old cliché, but you really do have to be ‘in it to win it‘.
Well! I’m proud to say that I’ve just added another first to my list – geocaching! When I got up this morning I had absolutely no idea that I’d be spending the day being guided by GPS around several large fields, looking for small objects hidden in and around trees, in pipes, under rocks and logs and all manner of other places. Walking around woodland meant we saw lots of fabulous wildlife, including ladybirds, a giant bee and lots of different birds. We squelched our way along muddy footpaths, looked in nooks and crannies and stuck our hands into nettles and brambles on the hunt for the next cache. The weather was extremely kind to us and the sun was out for most of the day, which made a big difference.
After accomplishing a 100% success rate of finding all 13 objects, a nice sit down with a hot cappuccino, overlooking a stunning lake, late afternoon with hazy sunshine, was just the ticket. You really can’t beat a bit of fresh air, a decent walk and a good old natter with a friend, and it’s even better if you can combine it with a new and interesting hobby. I’m very grateful that I can spend quality time with such wonderful mates and I’m really looking forward to the next adventure.
When your hobby is entering online competitions, by the law of averages sooner or later you’ll win something. Of course, most of the time your ‘fabulous‘ prize will turn out to be the DVD of a movie you have little or no interest in watching, or a CD of a band you can’t stand (this is where Ebay or Cash Converters comes in handy), however, if you put the effort in and don’t lose faith you might just get something marvellous through the door.
In recent years the odds of winning anything at all have been slashed by the introduction of social media into the equation, but the old cliche still stands that “You have to be in it to win it.” If you’re prepared to accept that there are no guarantees with this pastime, and simply look upon it as a way to fill any spare time you have, you’ll eventually be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.
I now can’t wait to start spending using my new, three-figure-sum gift card – yippee!!!
When making a new life for yourself it can be quite useful to make some new friends, whether this means joining a new group or club, taking up a new hobby or just frequenting a new bar. By no means does this imply that you should immediately abandon all of your old mates; quite the opposite in fact; these people always have been and always will be a very important part of your life (although I could’ve done without the unexpected ‘chummy’ texts from my ex 9 months after he left), it simply means that you will now have a brand new group of pals who have only ever known you as ‘you’ and not as part of a couple. A few months ago, I’d have gladly stuck rusty nails in my eyes rather than join a gym class, but join I did and in all honesty it’s completely changed my attitude.
Meeting fabulous new people can lead to a variety of different and exciting experiences, including visiting places you’d never actually been before, trying out new pastimes and exploring ideas and concepts you never thought possible. It also inevitably leads onto making even more new friends, which can only be a good thing. Highly recommended for anyone trying to start afresh.