No sign of Robin Hood…

Last weekend we stayed in a cabin in a forest.

cabin in the woods

We were right next to Sherwood Forest, ancient stamping ground of the legendary outlaw and wearer of green tights*, Robin Hood. Actually, we were located in a Forestry Commission forest a few miles from Sherwood itself.

It was a very peaceful location, surrounded as we were by pines. Lots of them.

a view of the pine trees

The main purpose of the break was relaxation rather than adventure. We went for lots of walks in the forest. I even managed a couple of caches.

Firstly, we went to Sherwood Forest and did the touristy thing. In the middle of Sherwood Forest is a tree called ‘Major Oak’. I think it’s supposed to date from the time of Robin, it’s certainly extremely old and needs help to stand up.

the major oak tree

Nearby was Major Oak (GC2024), a pretty old cache placed in October 2001. While the rest of the family took photos of the big tree, I set off into the woods to locate the cache. I knew it when I saw it – what a whopper!

major oak cache

The next day, our daughters went horse riding so my OH and I drove to Cresswell Crags where there is a series of geocaches. Doing the series was never going to be on the cards but I managed to pick up CCD#2: In Memorium (GC516BW). I’m always interested in anything with an aviation connection so it was good to be able to visit this memorial to this unfortunate Royal Canadian Air Force crew who died when their Wellington crashed during a training exercise. Also commemorated on the memorial is a local RAF fighter pilot.

RCAF memorial

As for the cache, I even managed to get my OH to help with the search (she even spotted it before me!) but I haven’t been able to convert her and she resolutely remains a muggle. Oh well!

 

 

* I don’t believe the green tights bit is historically accurate.

Backups

So, the other day I deleted an App from my iPhone in an attempt to fix a bug, with the idea that I would re-install the App thus fixing the bug. I then had a bit of mild panic because I couldn’t find the App in the App Store to download. Fortunately I remembered that the iPhone ‘hides’ purchased Apps so when I looked there, there it was. Phew. Unfortunately re-installing it didn’t fix the bug but that’s a different story.

The point is, whilst I was panicking, I thought I could always restore the iPhone from the iTunes backup on my Mac. Then I remembered how old that backup was. So today I backed up my iPhone and iPad to my Mac. While I was there I backed up some other key data on the iOS devices keeping those backups independent from the catch-all iTunes one.

A word about iOS backups: although you can backup your iOS device to iCloud (and it’s great that it does this automatically if you leave your device on, locked & connected to a power source), it doesn’t  backup everything (e.g. Apps!). It’s certainly worth doing a periodic iTunes backup as well.

Hint: turn on Encryption before hitting that ‘Back Up Now’ button, that way it will save all your logon credentials, saving you loads of time if/when you come to do a restore.

itbup

One more thing. Don’t forget to backup your Mac’s HDD (using Time Machine or similar).

FTF !

These days, I normally don’t react to the new cache alerts and one I received today was no exception. This is because our local FTF champions are usually on QRA and are hard to compete against.

However…

This evening Bob contacted me suggesting that a nearby cache was still unfound, so it was that a short while later we were in his car and heading towards Berkhamstead. This was a Bus Stop nano and at 21.30 we had the place to ourselves. After a short search I found the cache, something of a rarity when I’m out with Bob. A clean logbook – Yay!

That followed on nicely from yesterday, when I’d been out with Skye for a country walk. (we are both out of practice and need to build our walking up once again). We combined the walk (We? Who am I kidding, Skye doesn’t know anything about route planning) with a few local caches. 6 found and a nice walk to boot. So I’m hoping this is the start of me getting out caching a lot more this year.

Geocaching on Leap Day

I filled my caching grid day for the 29th of Feb last time we had a leap year but I thought it would be good to pick up the 2016 souvenirs. There was an event up near Woburn that evening so I went with Bob. After the event we drove a short loop to pick up a few caches on the way home. First off was GC5VJ1F, followed by a puzzle cache  GC5X7WP. This was quite easy to solve and find. Next was GC5XJW6 and yes, we read the cache page right to the end. If you read it you’ll see the funny side too. Lastly we found GC5TB99 before rejoining the main road and heading for home.

Including the event itself that was a pleasing 5 finds, bringing my total for the 29th Feb to 38 finds. However I’ve still only found 14 this year so I’ve got a long way to go to equal my best year (as it happens that was 2012, the last leap year).

No More Than(k you)

A while back I contacted my home insurer with a view to making a claim. They were very unhelpful, bordering on obstructive – seemed that they didn’t think my problem was covered by the policy (surprise!) and it would be up to me to have the necessary work done at my expense then use the tradesman’s report to prove that it was covered.

Since then I have had several requests from them to complete a customer satisfaction survey. I ignored the first one and completed the second. When they sent me another email I thought, serve them right, and filled it in again. Today they sent me yet another email. Well I’m sorry, More Than, you are a useless bunch and I am tired of telling you how dissatisfied I was with the way you handed my ‘claim or enquiry’. Guess what I will be doing come renewal.

Spitfire bits

Recently just some sporadic work on the Spitfire build. I’ve been making up some small parts: the nose assembly and the wheels. These have been made by laminating sections and then sanded the finished article to shape. The nose had to be sanded to blend in with the front of the fuselage which was not easy as it has to be done ‘by eye’. Although the plan has a cross section this is only in one dimension and is thus more of a guide than anything. I had rediscovered a set of modelling files which I bought many years ago and these have proved very useful. I used a scalpel to remove the bulk of the unwanted material, then used the files to get the basic shape, then glass paper to complete the job.

I’ve also cut lengths of piano wire and bent them into shape, these will be the strong parts of the undercarriage. The other thing I’ve done is research the paint scheme I want to use. I’m not going to fly the Spit once I’ve completed it (I couldn’t deal with the inevitable damage from the crash landing following her first flight!) so I don’t have to worry about whether painting would add too much additional weight and cause aerodynamic problems.

One more thing. Piano wire has very sharp ends.

 

 

Today I actually went caching

Well, actually, I started to go caching yesterday. It was a lovely sunny day so Skye and I headed off to the park for our walk. While there, I remembered that a new cache had been published at the nearby church. There used to be a multi there but that has now been replaced by a new Church Micro (GC65YV7 – Church Micro 8651).

So off we went, Skye hunting the pesky squirrels whilst I sought out the required info.

Skye - 1

Once I had all the info, it was on to the final. However, when we got there we decided there was too much muggle activity for a proper, stealthy search. So this evening, under cover of darkness,  I went back to GZ. At first I confess to being a bit misled by the clue (Hmm. I know the CO is tall but the T rating is low, so…) when I realised my mistake. After that a quick search was all it took. I think it’s all connected with my somewhat sporadic geocaching outings of late. Well that’s what I’m blaming it on anyway.

And when I went to log it I found that it filled in another day on my grid. Excellent!

 

Geolympix 2016

Geolympix banner

This is a plug for ‘our’ very own local MEGA Event. Created by a dedicated team of super Beds, Bucks and Herts geocachers, this year’s Geolympix will carry on where the first Geolympix (Oxford 2012) left off.

With more than 300 ‘Will Attend’ logs, the event has already been awarded ‘MEGA’ status. It promises to be an awesome day so if you can make it I hope to see you there!

Here are a couple of very useful links:

The GC5XXYY cache page to log your ‘Will Attend’.

The official GEOLYMPIX 2016 web site – with more information, how to get involved and more.