Of Caches, Old People and Memories

It isn’t just that I’m obsessed with geocaching.

No really, it isn’t: I’m coming up to my 300th cache, and my chums Rob and Miche (aka Paws for Thought) are coming up to their hundredth. We’ve got a tentative arrangement that we’re going to pick a nice cache and do our landmark ones together – at the moment they only have two to go (assuming they got the ones they were hoping for today), I’ve got eleven – and I don’t want to keep them waiting. Today’s effort was Jim’s Water Works, a nice multi-cache around the little waterside village of Hamble. I enjoyed the walk, but it was a bit disappointing that what used to be the best pub for miles around (The Bugle) is now being turned into yet another block of old peoples’ flats. For me and my chums that was our first proper “local” when we were old enough to drink and started learning to drive. Each Friday night we’d nominate a driver, and Chris, Mark, Steve and I (or some subset of the group) would head for the Bugle for an evening of beer and pool – played in a pool room with a hardboard ceiling so low that it was peppered with holes where unknowing players had stood up with their cue raised after their shot. Being the nominated driver wasn’t too bad – by the end of the evening you were the only one who could throw a dart straight or play a sensible pool shot, and apart from the fuel to get there the evening wouldn’t have cost you a penny.

I’ve nothing against old people – I hope to be one myself one day – and I know they’ve got to live somewhere. But do they have to knock down what’s left of my youth to do it?

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