Saturday 31 May 2014

Project 365 25th - 31st May week 22

Well that's us at the end of May, been a fairly nice month weather wise and been and out about with the children quite a bit, its much  nicer when it doesn't rain.


This clock is twenty years old this week. It was presented to me by friends when I left the urban aid project I was a volunteer in. It was a great project, offered groups to all age groups. I think the clubs we ran during the school holidays for an average of a hundred and fifty children each session staffed by an average of eight adult volunteers was the most fun. I got to compère one show that we put on dressed as Andy Pandy, and we did Thriller by Michael Jackson as one of the songs. We dressed all the children up as characters from the video, complete with the hair and make up.  We did get some funny looks when we took them to the chip shop later on still in costume, happy days.

engraved with my name and the date on top


Had taken a wander round to daughter's house. Love Dinkys hair style!!

love her shadow behind her


Today we took the geocaching experience one step further and placed our first cache. It was placed in remembrance of Shorty Dog who passed away two years ago. I did a post on the experience here if you want a read. You can follow the cache and see who has found it here if you wish

the contents of the cache


This is the day daughter brings the twins round while the other two are at Guides and Cub's. Here is Minky sat on Granddads knee playing with a toy. He has a tickly spot and if you tickle him he giggles and giggles, so cute.


On Thursday we went to place our second cache in memory of Shorty, and decided to do some caching while we were at it. The children love it and like to hunt and try and work out the location. Fifi did really well finding them. Did a blog post on our evening here. They also got chance to throw stones in the river. You can follow this cache here if you want to see who finds it.

splash, nearly at the other side


When commenting on Jenny's 365 last week I also read and commenting on another post. Her Mars Bar flapjacks  look very nice, and a great way to get oats into hubby. Oats are a great slow release carb, so go ideal with the quick release sugar in the Mars Bar. I added some sultanas for something a bit different. These were delicious, and I will make them again.

mars bar flapjacks with added sultanas.


Got a shout from Tots100 to see if I wanted a bedroom in a box from Dulux. Bob picked the jungle theme, it turned up nice and quick. My project this week will be helping to sort Bob's room so we can empty most of it out ready. Comes with the wall frieze in twelve sections, the paste to apply it with, paint for the walls and the woodwork as well as brushes. A great concept.

Friday 30 May 2014

Geocaching along the river walk.

On Thursday as usual I had the children over. We wanted to go and leave another cache in memory of Shorty Dog, we left one at the start of the week but wanted to leave a few others. So we thought we would kill two birds with one stone and collect some caches with the children while we were at it. 

The evenings are just to nice to sit in and they really are enjoying this new found hobby.

There is a whole series of them that runs round the estate, starting at one end of the river walk, up and round the estate, and back to the beginning. But this walk is over five miles, and as when we are caching we cover just over a mile an hour with the children time we stop and look and sign the log book then I thought the whole route would be too much as well as take too long. 

So we decided the easiest way to do this was to get granddad to drop us at one end, take the car to the other end, and walk towards us and meet us to join in with the fun. This meant we only had to walk the children one way, meaning we only had to cover two miles with them. 

So we got dropped off and started our walk. These photos are in no particular order as I do not want to give away the locations of the caches. 

four feet up
  I had to go in first and tread down the nettles down as some of them were nearly as high as poor Bob. This one we hunted and hunted for, but to no avail, and we had decided to give up and move on to the next one, As we turned round to go back down to the path when Fifi spotted something that didn't look quite right up the tree, and hey presto there it was, green and screwed to the tree with a tiny camouflaged test tube in. Good spot Fifi.

Fifi got stung  at this one, another small test tube, camouflaged with magnets on, and stuck to the bottom of the cable.

Here they are running off down the road towards another cache. They were so intent on getting there Fifi even ignored the horses.

I guess this tree is marked for chopping down, maybe for the refurbished bridge.

This use to be a metallic bridge, it was rusty fifteen years ago, but has now been closed for safety reasons.

Another small one in a tub up a tree

We stopped off to play throwing stones in the river. They were seeing who could get one right across to the other side.

They dug under tree roots to find this one.

We also did some bug hunting. When I was placing the cache for Shorty Dog I came out with a small green caterpillar on my sleeve so it went into the tub for inspection. They were amazed at the eyes on it.

We didn't manage to find the one at this bridge, we did find a few trolls but no cache.

When we were at the dam last night, or what was the dam until they removed it a few years back. When the children were young this was a favourite swimming hole and it had a deep bit that generations of locals have jumped into.

Had to laugh while we were at the dam a couple of people came along with their dog. The children were throwing stones in to the water and the dog was chasing the stones to retrieve them, and it was not for leaving the river and carrying on with its walk.

The children at the old toll gates in Darvel where we started our walk.

This was the cache we made up for Shorty Dog

and where we left it, hidden round here.

This tree made us chuckle, somebody has been artistic. The children had run on ahead at this point so didn't want to shout them back just for the sake of a picture.

This was another of the cache, very cleverly disguised, this one was spotted by granddad.

Two hours of fun walking two miles, a bag of chips each and then home. 

This is something every one of you can try over the school holidays. Go to and click on "find my location" and see what is available in your area. Its free and fun. 

fun as a gran
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wednesday 28 May 2014

A cache in remembrance of Shorty Dog

Today is two years since we put our little dog to sleep. We still think about her and talk about her and miss her, and so we decided it would be nice to do something to mark the occasion, and so with our new hobby taking off we decided to place a cache in one of her favourite places.

We have always lived in Ayrshire, she has had some wonderful places to live, between living either end of Lanfine Estate that runs from Darvel to Newmilns for a number if years. Where she played in the river, chased squirrels to the ends of the earth just about and ignoring us when we shouted her to come back, the attraction was just to great. She loved places like this where there was maybe one car a day on the road and she could run free.

She also loved Auchincruive Estate but there are a lot of caches already there and so much of the area she liked to play in is no longer easily accessible since the estate was bought over and fences were built across the paths and walkways.

We looked into Loudoun Kirk at Galston as she chased rabbits here, but you are not allowed to place them in churchyards or too near other existing cache so that ruled out here.

We toyed with the farm where she spent six very very happy years, but its private ground with animals on and nowhere safe to stop on the road.

The other place she loved was the beach at Greenan, not the cleanest beach, quite rocky with little pleasant sand in comparison to round the coast in either direction which was cleaner and sandier. This bit was ideal for a dog. We would walk along the shore turning over rocks looking for crabs that would nip your nose and wee fish that you would eat. At low tide we went out to the pipe and OH would pull mussels off for you and open them with a pen knife, how you would woof and woof impatiently.

We had you up the top to the castle, safely on your lead, and across the field full of rabbits that got chased. This was a happy place for you, full of memories for us.

So we decided that Greenan Shore was the place to pop your cache. We went along last week and looked at possible sites for the cache. There are strict rules and regulations where a cache can go. We knew it could not go on the beach itself, it is a SSSI. We knew it could not be in the castle as this is a listed monument.

The spot we originally chose was too near the castle boundary and could not be approved, so we found another spot nearby and placed it there.

where we were going to place it

from near the cache 16 decisions on the South Ayr loop 

Greenan Castle from the cache

from the main car park, not accessible from here at high tide 

the view from the edge of the castle

Please note this is not a safe place to be, no fence to stop you falling over so if going up please keep dogs on the lead and children under control.

looking towards the cache called Deil's dyke at low tide

a panoramic over a misty Arran taken from the cache
We were laughing yesterday as we walked back along the beach. A women was out with a few dogs, a lab for whom she was throwing stones in the water, and a wee terrier. As she threw the stones the lab was running into the water to retrieve them and the terrier was at her feet barking, just as Shorty use to do. 

This cache has already been found once by a fellow dog walker. Happy memories for us indeed. Next cache we place will be in the Lanfine Estate area.

Was a great learning curve learning the rules and regulations on where cache's can be placed.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Ooooppppsss geocaching gone wrong.

We have been doing this hobby of caching for a couple of months now, with varied success, some we find and some we don't, but such is the hobby.
When we had been out recently on one of our caching expeditions OH had spotted a tree that he wanted to photograph once the grass had grown in the field and when the sky was blue so we set off to do just that.

the photograph he took 

While we were out we could do some caching as there was one on that path we could not find the last time and a few more on along the path. So we drove to the start point, got our back packs on, phones in pocket, GPS round the neck and camera strap attached to the wrist.

There had been a lot of rain the day before, not only did this cause the river to run very brown

the brown river

it must have brought the downfall of large chunks of rock. Not a lot is left holding up the trees and bushes above.

collapsed rocks

Our first stop was the style, one we could not find the other week. I had climbed over it, lay down under it, grovelled round about it, felt for it and all to no avail. Another couple out walking looked as well. We tried in the trees and the fence posts but after about twenty five minutes we gave up and moved on. It describes itself as
We have debated long and hard about the difficulty and terrain ratings. We have chosen NOT to publish the cache size which ups the difficulty and the terrain? Well the fisherman’s path is tricky and can flood out in winter. The alternative route is along the River Ayr Walk along to ‘The Dark Oswald’ before looping down and around to GZ. This path can also be muddy before during and after rain....Its the very nature of it.

The coordinates are accurate to about 12 feet under tree cover but really, look at the name.

The cache? ‘p’ and particularly ‘t’ put a lot of time and effort into this one. Its a wee bit different. Oh no, we hear you gasp, but we hope it draws some positive comment.

So this time when we came across it I was all the more determined that it would not beat me, it had been found in the previous week so I knew it was still there. This time I laid down and took various pictures of the underneath hoping I could see it but nothing was visible. I dont want to spoil it for others who are going to look but after about ten minutes in the area we did manage to find it. Very clever it was too, no wonder I didn't find it first time

under the style

From here we carried on up the stairs

up away from river level

and were admiring the scenery as we walked.

great scenery through to the river

and eventually we came to the spot we had been aiming for, the spot to take the photograph from.

oh taking his photo

As it was such a nice day and we had plenty of time we decided to carry on and get some more of the cache on the route.

This one took a bit of spotting as it could have been in more than one place by the instructiosn

nearly concealed

and it really made us laugh time we got to the middle to sign the log book, think Russian dolls.

a Russian doll cache

From here we followed the path and the next marked cache was on a nice look out point. Well fenced off, totally safe

out to the edge

with a magnificent view, down to the drop of the river

down to the river

and a great view down stream

the view upstream

again we spent time her, shoving our hands into the base of trees, into gaps, looking round holes in fence posts, looking for magnetic ones on the original metal fencing but to no avail.

So we moved on crossed the style. I thought we should have been going up to the right, but the path didn't go up there, and it could have been that we would go round a corner further up that would point us back into the right direction.

But we walked and walked a bit more, along a muddy path. At this point the GPS seemed to be pointing us towards one that we knew was at the bridge where we had left the car. So we carried on to the end of the river path and on up to the road. was the wrong road, we did not come out where we expected to be. We had effectively walked round in a horseshoe.  We should have veered right at the style instead of carrying on the way we had.

map my walk

It was now 6km back to where we started by the river walk, or slightly more by road. Not a nice road to walk on, a very narrow country road.  So I took the easy option out and phoned Daughter No1 to come and rescue us. I knew exactly where we were, approx a ten minute drive away from the village.

Bob thought this was hilarious, rescuing Grandma and Grandad who were "lost".

Thought I would share this story with you to give you a laugh but it certainly has not put us off pursuing the hobby.

fun as a gran

Saturday 24 May 2014

Project 365 week 21 18th - 24th May

I spent most of last weekend in a totally worn out state, after our mammoth seven hour caching event on Friday, which you can read about here if you are remotely interested and with two eleven hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday then I was never so glad to see  Monday morning.


I went out into the garden after work to see how the plants are getting on. The strawberries are coming along nicely.


When we were geocaching at Gartmorn Dam a few weeks back we had noticed a bird hide that would have been interesting to use. Sadly it was locked. So we contacted the local council and they agreed to send me a key for it. But sadly on Monday the envelope turned up with a hole in it and the key missing.


The twins came round to play earlier today. It was nice so we went out in the garden to play. Have to laugh at Minky now he well at truly knows his feet belong to him and he grabs them and attempts to roll over, but doesn't realise he needs to let go of his feet first.  He can roll now and move himself about his cot.
Dinky has not quite got the idea and doesn't realise her feet belong to her. She hasn't mastered rolling yet either, but if you put her on her tummy she will try and get up on her knees.

MInky rolling and Dinky taken from an awkward angle 


We had been out geocaching earlier today, and it went slightly wrong. Not quite sure how but we ended up miles away from where we had left the car parked. It was suppose to be a three and three quarter mile walk, but once we had run out of cache to collect we must have taken a wrong turn and ended up approx four miles away from where we expected to be. We walked round in a horseshoe following the river.
Had to get daughter to come and pick us up and runs us back to the car. Bob thought it was hilarious. Here are granddad and Minky playing at boys stuff and working in the shed.


We have decided we are going to place a few cache of our own for other people to find. We are going to name these after Shorty Dog and place them in places she loved to be in. We were out deciding on the spot for our first one which will go out for her second anniversary next week. This looks like a suitable place, from afar of course, not going to show you just where it is going.  


As normal the children were over last night, Fifi had wanted to go out and play with her friends rather than go out for a walk. So Bob and I did some baking. Here he is with his fruit scones.


We realised last week that we need dedicated rucksacks to hold geocaching items so the bags can just be lifted whenever we want to go out and we have everything we need to hand. So we went and bought these, one each to share the load. Just need to buy waterproofs to go in them and walking sticks to go with them. 

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