Showing posts from 2015

Lost in the wilderness style geocaches

There is one type of geocache that I love above all others, and that's the type that gets you lost miles from the nearest road, in a beautiful piece of countryside. Now, let's get something straight here - I live in Northern Ireland, which is a fairly small country. Huge expanses of woodland are hardly our thing at all, which means that we dont really get the epic adventure style geocaches. There are a couple in my list that look worthy though. Far From The Madding Crowd is one such cache, on the spongey Antrim Plateau, or Scawt Hill (which isn't suitable for kids) with its 100ft cliffs and great views. So I'm looking forward to skipping a few roadside cache-and-dash geocaches and heading for an adventure soon.

Resurrecting my mountain bike

In a dark corner of the garage, my old mountain bike lies covered in a thin layer of dust. She hasn't been used much since I got married, but as the kids get up a bit and can now ride bikes, and I get a little soft round the middle (this may be an understatement), I'm starting to look at ways to get fit again.

I need something that doesn't necessarily take half a day (like hiking, fishing, golf, etc.) but doesn't need significant training outside the activity itself (like rugby) or a set time (five-a-side football).

When I was a teenager, several centuries ago, I loved nothing more than getting this bike out and careening down the Brustin Brae and straining everything to get up the other side, before another downhill toward Cairncastle. The way back was a major challenge, and I loved it.

So yeah I'm not really into downhill mountain biking  - more roads, with plenty of hills. I reckon I'd love the flat Coast Road as well. I'm a little conflicted on that one…

Amateur Chess

While travelling to Crete recently (more on that later), Ruth though it would be a good idea to buy one of those little magnetic travel games - the type with Ludo, Chess, and Snakes and Ladders. One afternoon I showed Charlie how to play chess. Now let's be clear, I got the rules wrong and had my bishops and knights trading movements, so I'm no chess player. The only issue is that Charlie loved chess and he managed to beat me!

This shouldn't happen. Admittedly I was going easy on him, pointing out where he might be making a mistake, but I did NOT let him win. As soon as I made a mistake he was straight in there outmanoevuring me. Checkmate.

So began my little fling with chess. I started practicing against Charlie or against a phone app. Charlie and I went off and learnt the rules together. We went to Argos and bought the Kasparov Wooden Chess Set - a smallish board and small wooden pieces that should last a lifetime.

We are addicted. And happy to be - Chess is a game that k…