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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Is geocaching single minded?

Thursday walks with Pete, who had his 80th on 4th July, are being threatened, but after this week I am more optimistic.

For three months Pete has had pain in hand, knee and foot joints. The g.p. ran tests, and administered an ineffective course of pills, then referred Pete to a consultant - he had to wait six weeks for that appointment. Rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed. Pete was given a cortisone injection which has given partial relief, and he will see the specialist nurse again in six weeks for further treatment.

So, on Thursday we had a triumphal time finding nine out of ten geocaches. The first batch were around Levens only about seven kms. from home, and then we drove north to find more around the almost too-pretty-to-be-true village of Brigsteer.

Once again we found ourselves on previously untrodden footpaths. At Levens the track at SD 486 872 would be an unlikely place to visit because it doesn’t lead anywhere, but the views to the west towards Whitbarrow and The Lakes are worth a visit.

Pete was surprisingly active, and I think he actually found more of the geocaches than I did, but two of them involved climbing huge old larch trees, although the first one was only a few feet off the ground.

Searching for the second tree cache I left Pete and thrashed off through a landscape of sparse old trees, and brambles underfoot following the g.p.s. The cache was hanging from a branch  over twenty feet up in a cylindrical six inch container and I found my body threaded in an S shape, feet on one branch, body threaded through another at waist height with another branch over my shoulders.

Back on the ground I had lost all sense of direction, and I had been a long time. At first I couldn’t raise Pete by shouting and thought he may have gone off back to the car in a huff, but after taking a compass bearing, and more shouting contact was established and a pleasant walk on good paths took us back to the car and a drive to Café Ambio for tea chocolate brownie and almond tart.


I seem to find it impractical to combine geocaching  with a walk that has its own objective - something to do with time constraints, and the male inability to multi-task I think. Despite superior scenery and other possible items of interest, photography, and to some extent conversation are inhibited, so on a day that lent itself to pictures there are only a few. In the words of the old school report "...must try harder."

Levens Church - the location of our first cache is within this photo

Across to Whitbarrow from the cache on the cul-de-sac path mentioned above

All the gardens in Levens and Brigsteer were in "bright array" and their owners out in force snipping, dead heading, and toiling. Pete knows all the latin names and rattled this one off but I can't remember.


gimmer said...

Very glad to read that promising news about Pete. Your exploits in the trees must be a long deferred reward for the training in Blackhills - no knee issues reported: the long walk last Sunday loosened them up perhaps.

The Crow said...

Another enjoyable post with lovely pictures. I must say, though, that my favorite one is you up the tree - pure delight!

The Crow said...

PS: was so charmed by your elfin grin that I forgot to mention the shrub with pink blooms. It appears to be in the hollyhock family (Alcea), perhaps Malva alcea? The stems look too woody to be Alcea rosa.

(Lest you think I must really know my stuff, I know the common names of a multitude of plants, the scientific name of very few. Just so happens I knew the Alcea part of this one. Had to Google for more info.)

Roderick Robinson said...

My sympathies to Pete. Three weeks ago I went to the doctor with a range of symptoms, fearing what John Wayne called The Big C. The doctor palpated my stomach and eventually diagnosed an organ that was slowing down, given to farting rather than peristaltic action, that grumbled rather than getting on with the job. But what about the ache over here on the left-hand side? I asked.

He shrugged. "Oh, that's osteo-arthritis."

The implication being that if I'd died according to the life expectations we all had back in the fifties, I'd never have suffered from osteo-arthritis.

Thus, like Pete (and you for that matter) I have a new acquaintance who whines the message that nothing comes for nothing. Live longer and one's body takes on other roles: it becomes a busy laboratory where the effects of decay can be better studied and it acts as a sort of alarm clock which - through the medium of pain - reminds one regularly that one is still alive.

Dennis Potter, the playwright, who was suffering from The Big C, announced that he was calling his tumour Rupert, in honour of a certain Australian entrepreneur who has done so much to raise the standards of British publishing. I think that showed the right spirit. All ailments carry the possibility of intellectual diversion. Thus if Pete manages a walk with minimum discomfort he can say: I think Basil was out of sorts today. He hardly said a word.

It's called anthropomorphism. In simpler terms it's better expressed as briefly coming out on top.

Sir Hugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - There was that huge beech tree at Blackhills called the Venturer. My initials are carved right up at the top somewhere, although by now the tree will have either died, grown another fifty feet, or have been replaced by affordable housing. I try not to talk about the knees unless they start SHOUTING back at me.

The Crow - Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to think that I have charmed you. The name for the shrub rings bells with what Pete said. I will confirm with him.
RR - I went through a similar experience lasting from before Christmas until the end of January involving x-rays, a full pelvic ct. scan, and the by now familiar hand up you know where test, and all to reveal zilch. The pain in my groin has now disappeared. Before the onset of the next one I will spend some time thinking of an appropriate name. Stephen is a strong contender for me. Glad to hear your own was a more or less non-event. on Is geocaching single minded?

The Crow said...

"Nothing gives me greater pleasure..."

Hmmm - that could be taken two ways, that I can see. I choose to take it as a compliment.


Anonymous said...

Why are the church bells in a tent, and which church are they from - unusual.
Still laughing over the picture of you up a gum tree.

Sir Hugh said...

bc - The church is the same as first pic. at Levens.

The bells? Don't know - perhaps they think they are backpacking.

It's now 10:00am. I'm waiting for boiler man - supposed to be here between 8 and 9. I had an ambitious geocaching trip planned, but I have now had to work out a plan B as time has been too far eroded. The plan B looks as though it involves another tree, but I'll need to do a selfie if I want to keep you amused.

gimmer said...

in earthquake prone areas, they often have the church bells in separate structures - sometimes open frameworks somewhat like the one in the pic, sometimes in massive, architecturally elaborate towers - both to save the bells from damage from a long drop and to avoid them causing more damage to the church than the earthquake itself when they fall (and to people underneath, I suppose, although most would have run away by then)
Do the parishioners of Levens know something we do not - or do they fear what the (L)iberal dominated SLDC may do in their general wrecking campaign in south Cumbria?

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - It was meant as a compliment. I do not go in much for enigmatic stuff - that is reserved for another blog fairly close to home.
gimmer (and bc) - these bells seem to have caused a minor tintinabulation. I have Googled and information is scant - this the most I could find:

"The bells hanging in the church yard, were installed in their strangely oriental housing by Rev Sidney Swann, in 1912. It is said that they were being used as 'flower pots' such were the poor clarity of their tones. The Rev Swann said after they had been re-housed, that they sounded so much better when struck with a wooden mallet....seeing as they did not have their original clappers any more!"

Whether they were ever within the church, and if so why they were removed is still a puzzle, except for the Rev. Swann and his antagonising over perfect pitch.

Sir Hugh said...

Oh dear! Just re-read last comment - should have been "agonising"