24 Aug 2013

Streaking and Cache Tags

Again, it has been a while. Wemnog and I have been busy streaking over the last month. This blooming awful August challenge has meant us doing something that we really didn't want to get in to. Finding a cache a day.

Neither of us are enjoying it, but now that we are near the end we will continue. We have managed every day so far, but it has been a bind. I certainly admire all those who can go for long streaks of caching, but sorry, it's not for me.

The important news is that my new venture, Cache Tags is doing really well. Sales are increasing all the time. I seem to be constantly at the post office. Sales to Norway and the USA are amazing, I sent three packages to Norway a couple of days ago.

If you want to see more you can find details here http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Cache-Tags?_rdc=1 which is the Ebay shop or here http://cachetags.co.uk/ which is the website. The Ebay shop is more up to date at the moment as we are currently struggling to find time to update the site, however it should be up to date by the end of the weekend.

If you see anything on Ebay that you fancy, just email me rather than buying it through there as it will obviously save on fees.

We are off to Great Yarmouth in the next couple of weeks to visit family and hopefully get some caching done. Other destinations planned are Brecon where my eldest son is now working and possibly a trip to Anglesey.

Again, apologies for the very hit and miss nature of the blog at the moment. I will try and do better.

One last thing, my man and I passed our 2000 mark last weekend. Very chuffed about that.

Happy caching.

7 Jun 2013

It's Been A While!

Hello, well, well, well, I'm back. It's a helluva long time since I last posted. So many caches later, so much water under the bridge, so where to start? Well, let's start afresh I suppose.

Maybe I won't post as often as I used to, but I'll give it a try.

Since the last post the Facebook group GeM (Geocaching Midlands) has really taken off, we currently stand at 530 members, not bad for a group that isn't yet two years old.

Events have grown, breakfast events we get upwards of 50 people, the Summer Camping event was larger last year than ever and looks like that could be topped this year.

Wemnog and I ran our first winter camping event which ran over New Year and again had a lot of mad people staying in their vans, caravans and even tents. I had planned on that being a one off, but people have asked for it again, so the site is booked.

As for caching itself, we have found some really good ones since the last time I wrote, along with the run of the mill type. We have made a lot of new friends in the community, not just locally but nationally and internationally as well.

We have tied in with a geocache tag supplier and opened up a new Ebay shop where we sell exclusive trackable tags.

So as you can see, we haven't been lazing around since we last wrote, there's so much to tell you, so give me some time and I will try and get you up to date.

But for now........................happy caching

26 Sep 2012

Events Galore

I am sorry guys that I haven't kept up to date with the blog recently. It has been an eventful few months since I last posted. I will start writing a proper new post in the next few days.

There have been events galore that we have attended, including the Mega and only last night a D5 event. Yes you read that correctly, difficulty 5. It certainly was as well. More about that in the next full post, but needless to say each and every event that we have been too have been great fun. The next one comes up this Friday, a karaoke event, a first for us. One of the events was our own Summer's End camping event which again was well attended, not only by people camping but by visitors throughout the weekend.

As I write this brief log I have just clicked the button to add the 300th member to GeM. The Facebook group for the East Midlands and beyond. It is hard to believe that in only 11 short months the membership has grown so quickly. If you want to join, all we ask is that you are respectful to other members and accept that different points of view will sometimes occur. The link to join is here www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/groups/137568269677358/

The GeM car stickers are now available and I was able to hand quite a few out at the recent events. We have just had a banner designed by the daughter of one of our members which will be displayed at camping events throughout next year.

I was recently asked to become a member of the fundraising team for the official 2013 Midlands mega so am currently selling the merchandise for that at various events.

All in all a busy and fruitful few months which have been enjoyable for both Keith and myself.

More soon, including fuller reports on some of the events that we have attended and some news about the next camping event that will be happening in a couple of months time.

27 Jul 2012

Facebook vs Forums

Piratemania

It was a flying visit for us this year to Piratemania as we had some work booked in for the weekend. We awoke to glorious sunshine which made a change from all the bad weather we had been having. At least we knew the campers would have a better time.



We arrived on site to be greeted by a sea of tents, vans and flags. Most of our time spent there this time was with catching up with old friends. It was great to see The Imp, who we hadn't seen for far too long, plus a nice long chat with Mollyjak who was coping admirably with the registration. Tagged up and put on the red team, it was time to go for a wander.

The Red Team Wrist Band


Walking around the field we spotted a load of flying TB's. The event just gets bigger every year. We finished by having a long chat with Kathy in the UK Geocachers shop and passing on some more collie TB's which she kindly sells for us.

Unfortunately we weren't able to attend the Geolympix event down in Oxford the following day as we had three bookings on the day for work. From all reports though it was another great, well organised event.

Sunday night gave us time to finally book the campsite for the Mega up in Cumbria. We arrive the evening before the main event but there are plenty of side events going on in the days following to keep us occupied. The boys might be coming to join us as well for a few days so we are going to take the boats up as well and get on to some of the lakes.




Whilst we are up there it is International Geocaching Day 2012 so we will hopefully find a local event to go to then, if not we will be sure to grab a cache or two so that we get this years souvenir.

This Years Souvenir



Facebook

Facebook has certainly changed communication in the last few years, and none more so that the caching community. Whilst there are still some busy forums out there, I can only speak of those that I am a member of, their Facebook equivalents are busier than ever. Some forums seem to be dying a death, with very few people posting on them, whilst Facebook membership continues an upward spiral. One Facebook group that I am a member of has just hit 400 members whilst our own GeM is heading swiftly to 200 members after only 9 months of running. It should certainly have reached that number by the time our first birthday event is held in October.

 Access is so much easier, with more people having the Facebook app on their phones so that posts can be answered immediately, it has certainly made things a lot more open for people to ask questions and get replies when they are out in the field. The groups are a lot more relaxed and friendly as well.

Unless we do a lot of caching in the next couple of weeks to tell you about the next blog won't be until the middle of next month when we get home from Cumbria.

Then there will be a report on the happenings up there and some info on forthcoming events.

In the meantime, keep an eye open for the next edition of the UK Cache Mag, which should be published in the next couple of weeks. I know that Adam has been working hard on getting it all ready to get to you. Talking of Facebook, the mag has a page https://www.facebook.com/ukcachemag


Also, if you haven't listened yet, have a listen to the very entertaining UK Podcache show which is always worth spending a bit of time listening to.
http://thepodcacheshow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/podcache-show-episode-ten.html

Until next time, happy caching.

14 Jul 2012

Wet Wet Wet

The recent rain has certainly put a dampener on caching for a lot of people. Thank goodness for drive bys a lot of people have said lately. We haven't done much ourselves over the last few weeks. However we have been putting together plans for a new camping event that is going to be held next year.

The Facebook page GeM, see the link above, grows, and gets new people joining all the time. It will be a year old in October and some members are already asking what we are going to do to mark the occasion. It's a closed group, but feel free to ask to join and you can be added as soon as possible. You don't have to be from the Midlands to be a member, we currently have a member from the US and one from Australia.

A new Dragonlady event for the area has just been published. Please feel free to come to that if you are around. All are welcome. http://coord.info/GC3Q89K

Next weekend sees Piratemania and Geolympix mega events take place. Both should be good, let's hope for good weather for both of them.

Sorry it's so brief this time. Just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

2 Jul 2012

Events, Events, Events


Three Events

It has been a week of events around here. It started last Tuesday when our good friends fly2live2fly organised an event over at Burton on Trent. We arrived to be taken to a room where the table was laid for a gathering more akin to a wedding reception than a group of cachers. With white linen tablecloth and napkins we were certainly in our element. The event was a little more distant that the usual Dragonlady events but it gave everyone a chance to meet up with some faces that we don’t normally see. With Kathy from UK Geocachers also there selling her caching goodies it was a good night out with a lot of friendly banter and, of course, caching talk.
Posher than usual




Once the weekend arrived we had the Nottingham weekend events, breakfast on Saturday and then the a picnic event on Sunday. As I have said before the breakfast events get bigger each time. On this occasion we had visitors from the North West, Sheffield and Lincoln as well as our more local cachers. A rather large teddy bear also made an appearance! A head count by the waitress at the end of the event confirmed that 62 breakfasts had been served which isn’t bad going for a morning event. Of those 34 actual logs came in as having attended breakfast, so a lot of cachers went the extra mile and brought family and friends along.

Pete and Tracey from the Podcache Show www.thepodcacheshow.blogspot.com interviewed a couple of attendees so listen out for those on the next episode.

Large Teddy, demands breakfast


Breakfast and chatting over it was time for people to depart and head out for a days caching, or shopping in Nottingham in some cases. The big teddy ended up travelling home with Keith and I.

Come Sunday it was time for the Picnic In The Park event. Keith and I opened the curtains to a bright blue sky and sunshine, it was only 6.00am though! Clouds did gather though as the morning went on so we took a gazebo with us and asked some friends to do the same. As things kicked off at midday there was some cloud but nothing too much to worry about. First to arrive was Stevo185 soon followed by an ever increasing group. Rain did start but it didn’t dampen the atmosphere at all and as everyone dodged the showers by sheltering under cover conversations again turned to caching around different parts of the country.
Rain didn't stop play

 Again we had visitors from all over as well as our local crew. Another appearance by the Teddy who was then passed on to attend another event. Rob and Ian, who cache as Two Anchors, arrived with more caching goodies to sell. Have a look at Rob’s website, lots of interesting cache containers can be found there.  http://www.cache4u.co.uk/ The website is just having an update, so if you can’t get on when you look, bookmark it and go back later.
A group photograph was then on the cards behind the Podcache show banner and then people went off on their separate ways to find more caches. As the afternoon drew to a close the remaining few of us decided to go for an FTF on a cache that had been published the day before.

Group Photo
We knew that the retrieval of the container wasn’t going to be the most straightforward, but we had fun getting it. High Frequency http://coord.info/GC3P3DH as the new cache was called, stated that the cache was done at your own risk and safety equipment was required.

High Frequency ~ MFB Tracker


As the group of us arrived at GZ we could see exactly where the cache was and then the retrieval began. With a plan of action in place the container was actually in our hands quicker than we though. I will leave you to read the logs though.

We don’t have any more events in the pipeline until the end of August when the Summer’s End camp runs, ending with another breakfast event.  Summer’s End is progressing nicely http://coord.info/GC3NC0R with  a new series of caches being placed for it by some of the locals, Paneke and Goose S, whom we are grateful to.

The next lot of events that we are going to be attending are coming thick and fast with:~ 

The North West Mega http://coord.info/GC2X1TM
Then our camping and breakfast events and finally for now
Hyke Around Hykeham http://coord.info/GC3NT2H  

Summer is a great time for the number and variety of outdoor events on offer and a great way of meeting up with cachers from other areas where you can swap ideas and stories.

Finally GeM, the caching group here in the midlands, are just beginning to formulate a plan for a camping event next year which will hopefully see campers attending from different parts of the country as well. That’s in the very early stages of planning but has been an idea that has been mooted on various Facebook pages for a while. More news on that when we know.

Have a good week………and keep smiling, whatever the weather J

14 Jun 2012

Flashing and Camping

1260

Flashing

The weather wasn't perfect for rowing invisible boats in Nottingham city centre last Saturday. However we duly arrived at the market square looking around to see if we could spot any potential flashers. It was with relief that we didn't. All bode well for a successful flash mob then. Following a whistle malfunction on my part (I couldn't find ours) the job of blowing the whistle was passed on to Caroline of The Crabtrees.

As the clock struck six, the whistle blew and as if from nowhere paddles appeared (where people were hiding them upon their persons still beggars belief) People gathered at the fountain, two lines were formed, paddles raised for the group photo and the singing began. As quickly as the song finished, the group dispersed. Bemused faces from passers by as we were paddling certainly made for an amusing site, in fact I don't know who was more amused, us looking at them, or them at us. The logs have been fun to read, you can find them here. http://coord.info/GC3JAFH

Empty Square


All in all last Saturday, worldwide there were 312 events in 31 countries and the previous record for attendees was smashed. Our total on the attended list stands at 34, but with some cachers turning up with family members who also paddled I would estimate that we were nearer 70 people paddling. All in all a good bit of fun that shows the wackier side of geocaching.



Ready To Paddle

After the event some of us met up at Costa's (where else) for a coffee. As usual, talk came round to some of the caches that we had done. Conversation then turned to a puzzle cache by our caching colleague Spire67 that had had a few of us scratching our heads.

Crystal Ball http://coord.info/GC3ENDW After chatting for a while about this RoPeHe announced that he had a print out of the cache page on him so we all ended up looking at it again. This proved to be the turning point and after half an hour, and then being asked to leave as they wanted to shut up shop, we had the much needed coordinates to finally locate the cache. The puzzle and subsequent container earned another well deserved favourite point

Camping

I had been in two minds as to whether I was going to organise a camping event this year. However emails started rolling in a month ago asking if Summer's End was going to happen or not. Having held the event at two different sites in Derbyshire during the previous years I did have a site in mind to keep it in that county. However, I had been told about a site in Nottinghamshire that sounded perfect. Wemnog and I drove out and had a look at it  and it did, indeed, fit the bill nicely. Now for a name, as the county had changed, should the event name? I did toy with Camping It Up With Jacaru which would have brought a few smiles to peoples faces. In the End though we went for Summer's End. The location also ties in nicely with a breakfast event that is being held on the Sunday of the camping weekend.

Within minutes of the event being published our old friend The Imp had logged a WA which was good as he wasn't able to make last year. People from the Warrington and West Midlands forums have also stated an interest in joining us along with a rep from the 2013 Midlands Mega committee. With hundreds of caches of all types in the surrounding area it should prove to be a good weekend. Hopefully the weather will improve and be kind to us.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are busy with events over the next few weeks, with a CITO event coming up this weekend, an evening event in a couple of weeks and then the breakfast and picnic events at the end of the month things are looking good for a busy few weeks. All the events are listed below. It's great that the Nottingham caching community comes up with a diverse range of events, something to suit everyone. If you can make it, please do so, all are welcome.

CITO Colwick Woods http://coord.info/GC3KY09 16th June

The Dragonlady Invites You.....#4 http://coord.info/GC3MA0A 26th June

A Summertime Breakfast http://coord.info/GC3G58N 30th June and finally for now

Picnic In The Park http://coord.info/GC3G58J 1st July



Interview With A Cacher

If you go to the interview page you will see the latest interview, this time with Tracey of The Amasons, one quarter of the gang who broadcast the very popular Podcache Show.
Finally, as I type, I am looking out on the garden and I see sunshine. The first in quite a few days. The hens are busy pecking and scratching around and the newly acquired bees are buzzing around the hive that we have just put at the top of the garden. That sunshine just begs for us to go out and grab a few more caches. Hope that you get to do the same. Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading.