Geocaching, and visiting old friends
Well it’s been over a week since I updated the blog and in all honesty, it’s been busy but nothing to write home about.
I’ve had the kids for just over a week (Friday 10 am to Friday 10 am, so exactly a week, and then Sat 4 pm to Monday 10 am) and they were fairly good. We didn’t have any huge problems, mum and I didn’t row too much and things went ok.
When I picked the kids up on Saturday we drove straight to Sandhurst to visit Derren and his family. Derren was my first manager at Beneficial, and I’ve always gotten on well with him and his family. They have two kids, Jordan who is 11 and Bradley who is 8, and fortunately my lot seemed to get on ok with them.
We had a BBQ on Saturday night, which was fun and on Sunday we went to a huge park called Virginia Waters and spent most of the day there. Derren and Sam are into an activity called Geocaching which Wikipedia describes as
“Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually a tupperware or ammo box) containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little value.”
It was good fun, with the kids enjoying the chance to rummage around and look for treasure, and the weather was nice and warm. We only intended on staying for a couple of hours but ended up staying for four or five hours. Despite lagging towards the end, all the kids made it through without any tiredness-induced strops, though Chance and Brooke both had a few piggy backs to keep them going.
I managed to download a free program for my phone which allows me to Geocache as and when I want to, but having used it a couple of times yesterday I don’t think it’s too accurate. The whole point of geocaching is that your GPS takes you somewhere very close to where the cache is hidden.
My Nokia application gets me close, but has a habit of sending me all over the place when I get within 50 metres. Shame really, especially as I never really got to play with Derren’s GPS so I don’t know if it’s a common problem, or just a problem with my application. Seeing as GPS systems are about £70 in the shops, I’m not rushing out to buy one just in case it’s as poor.
Friday night, which was the only night I didn’t have the kids, I arranged to go for a couple of drinks with Tasha, as her other half, James, was out in Southend with his mates.
We started off at 9.30pm (an hour after we’d agreed as Tasha was late) and visited a few places in town - Pinchos Wine Bar (at the recommendation of Laurina via Facebook), Que Pasa, Saracens Head, Ancient Lights before predictably ending up in Chicagos.
I used my credit card through the night, and felt like I’d spent £20 - £25 by the end, especially as Tasha had shelled out £16 to get us both into Chicagos and then paid £10 for a taxi home. When I checked my receipts in the morning, I’d spent close to £60, and that doesn’t include anything I didn’t have receipts for.
Oh well, it was a fun night, and it’s rare that Tasha and I get to do anything together alone these days, so it was worth it. Getting in at 3.30am is not good at my age, especially when getting up early the next (same!) day and having the kids later. Still, I survived!
Once I’d dropped the kids home, I had a chance to relax. I was so tired that I literally could have come home from the school run at 9am and fallen asleep, but I figured that if I did that I’d sleep all day which is pointless.
By the end of the day I’d been to town (Starbucks, obviously!), run mum to a couple of places in the car (mainly to the shops to pay her paper bill to save her a trek), pumped up the tires on my bike and went for my first ride in 3 years (note to self: Avoid bike riding at 3pm, especially when cycling past the infant school. A sweaty and heavy-breathing man is not the most welcome of people at that place and time) and managed a couple of Geocaches in the mean time. All in all a fairly productive day.
Today has been lazy - I met Teresa, who I worked with at Beneficial in Chelmsford a few years ago, for coffee and nattered away the morning before visiting the library. I’m tempted to go for a ride again, but seeing as it’s just started raining, that can wait for now.