On Yer Bike
Time seems to have passed rather quickly since the inaugural Geolympix event in 2012. Apparently it really has been four years.
Back at the plot, as if there ever is one in my blog posts, this year’s event was to be held at the Ashridge estate, a place I’ve visited before for caching and not particularly enjoyed, if I’m honest. My memories are of poor weather and poor GPS and phone signal.
For the Geolympix weekend I’d been able to sponge a couple of days time of in lieu after working loads at the start of the year, and decided to take one of those as a full day off on the day before the event. One reason for doing that was that the caches for the event look seriously spread out, and I didn’t think there’d be any way I could get them all done in a day unless I was on my own and starting really early, which I wasn’t. Kas had a monster training run to get done and so I had to marshall the kids for a part of the day.
So on Friday I packed my bike into the back of the car and headed off to Ashridge to attack the northern end of the new caches – chiefly the Cyclerama series running from Ivinghoe Beacon down into Ashridge.
In actual fact, I started off walking rather than biking, and went to collect a few caches on the beacon, including (I assumed correctly) the recently arrived “Ye Olde Survey Monuments” cache. Not only had the YOSM moved up to Beacon Hill, but there was an opportunity also to capture it at the “Clipper Down” location too, as this is less than a mile away. In fact, it seems strange that there are two pillar trig points in such close proximity.
After this walk, during which I got roundly rained upon, I decided to have a bit of a break, so I moved my car round onto the Ashridge Estate and started off my bike ride from there. Whatever I did it was going to be an out-and-back job to do the Cyclerama series. The estate seemed a better starting point as it made for an easier duck-out if I was struggling.
So from the estate I cycled my way over relatively easy terrain almost back to where I’d been parked before. At the far end I had to hide my bike in some bushes while I walked down the hill to collect a couple of caches that I couldn’t possibly get the bike to. It was still there when I got back. I found the caches quite hard going and quite slow to do though, struggling as ever with dubious coordinates under the trees.
I headed back to the estate and decided to have a pop at a few of the series round the other side, but my heart was less-and-less in it with every pedal. A part of this was that I continued to find it hard going, and another part was that I kept getting interrupted by my telephone, including at one point a full half-hour long discussion with a recruitment agent who was giving me the great news that I was going to get a job offer from the company that had interviewed me the previous day. By this time it was also getting quite late in the afternoon, so with that news I texted Kas to say we’d be needing champagne, and I tried for one more cache (unsuccessfully) before biking back to the car and going home. It had been a fairly frustrating day, to be honest. I’d been out for over 6 hours and found fewer than 30 caches.
The Big Day
Sunday arrived with renewed enthusiasm and somewhat better weather. We set off quite early as Kas wanted to get in a long run. We dropped her off at Ivinghoe Beacon and drove round to try to park up on the main approach to the Bridgewater Monument, on the estate. I planned this because the organisers had said that parking was likely to be tricky, so turning up “well early” looked like a sound strategy. When I arrived there was practically no-one there, and I even arrived before some of the organisers.
We were well before the actual start of the event, so off we wandered into the woods to do some of the other caches in the estate, including Happy Hunter HP20’s “Big G” series of puzzles. For some reason I found these puzzles very easy to find in comparison to all the others on the estate. anyway, the girls and me walked off to the south-eastern side of the estate to do a loop around there plus half of the puzzles. We had a “running” breakfast in the bag to keep the kids going.
By the time we got back it was pretty much lunchtime and we were overdue for meeting up with Norfolk12 (by about half an hour at least. She’d been doing what she does very well at such events – accumulating useful information about nearby caches so we could go collect them in the afternoon. She’d got a few. She continued to do this while me and the girls grabbed some lunch at the cafe.
By this time I’d got a call from Kas to say she was more or less at the estate (and where were we?). We were at the cafe, obviously. So we met up and Kas began the process of replenishing her electrolytes (or something) while the kids mucked about in the play areas and N12 and myself wandered off to find a venerable old multi-cache called TrOLL FREE which I’d tried previously but not found. N12 had done it and remembered where it was, within a few feet anyway.
After this little sortie, we then went and said hello to Kas again before heading off north of the event site to finish off the rest of the “Big G” series.
When we got back from there I’d about had enough and so had the kids and Kas, so we said a few quick goodbyes at the event site and picked up a puzzle that was patently obvious on the day, and then went home. Over the course of the weekend, I logged 64 cache finds including the event, plus another 10 lab caches. It’s not all of those on the site, but it’s enough of them that I can’t be bothered with going back in a hurry.
The caches found over the course of the weekend were:
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
The plan for the weekend was to attend the interesting sounding GeoNord 2016 – Retour aux Sources mega event in Valenciennes. Why? Because it was there, and because I owed Izzy a trip after taking Ami to the Project MUNICH2014 – Mia san Giga! event in 2014 (see Munich 2014). And in honour of the Beds, Bucks & Herts Borders events, Alibags made me do it.
The trip began on Friday afternoon for me when I had to go up to Central Milton Keynes to finish off a long course of dentistry. Not studying dentistry, just visiting. In this case the nice lady dentist needed to grind off a few rough edges and bits of sticky bond stuff after she’d stuck a crown onto one of my back teeth two weeks earlier. Anyway, I digress.
After the dentist I decided to go and get the car spruced up for the weekend too. I couldn’t possibly drive halfway across Europe with a car full of muck that stuck to it in the Lake District. So I visited my favourite car washing location, and at 1 pm on a Friday afternoon it was very quiet.
Back home to finish off packing bags and then away to Stantonbury to fetch Carolynn. Oh yes, did I mention Carolynn and Alibags were coming too? And then it was time to get Izzy from school and get her home to get changed quickly.
By the time we were ready to rock, Kas said that if we could wait another five minutes then she and Ami would be ready and could they cadge a lift down the station please for their weekend away down that there London. Oh go on then. MK Station was as fun packed as it ever is, but we managed to get out and off down the M1 by about 4:15 and made surprisingly good progress down to Hemel Hempstead, where we were stopping to pick up Alibags. She was there, which was a good. She might have been somewhere else.
Having got the car up to its full headcount for the weekend it was time to brave the Friday night festivities on the M25. The M25 is always a joy to drive on. It’s very safe, normally, due to the total absence of speed while driving on it. I’d left what I thought would be a sensible amount of time between collecting Alibags and needing to be at the Channel Tunnel – 4 hours or so. It sounds a lot, but trust me, I’ve had Friday nights round there where 4 hours is a bit tight for getting from Hemel Hempstead to Folkestone.
Bizarrely though, it didn’t take 4 hours. It barely took 2. We’d planned to have tea at Maidstone Services if time allowed, but we got around the M25, over the bridge and down the M20 before you could say “Gordon Bennett”, and as we were cruising down the M20 we had a brief discussion about changing our plans. We plumped for having a go at trying to get an earlier train. We were so far ahead of time it seemed wasteful not to try, especially given that our planned transit was going to mean it would be 1 am in Valenciennes by the time we got there. Earlier would be better. So we pootled down to the tunnel terminal and were greeted once again by a total absence of traffic. We were on-site about 2 hours before our scheduled train, and we were offered trains pretty much every 20 minutes between then and now. We plumped for the 8:30 ish, which was an hour ahead of plan, and left us an hour to grab dinner at the terminal. Izzy fancied Burger King. I was happy with that, especially now they do milkshakes. You used to have to go to McDonald’s to get milkshakes. And the chips are far superior to McDonald’s fries.
By the time we’d done it was time to turn our bikes around, as it were, and then get into the car to head for our train. That proved to be a painful bit. It took ages to get through the car park as a result of someone deciding to do passport checks. They didn’t bother last time I was there, I’m sure. We would have missed our train, except that once you’re through the passport control they can’t exactly deny you a crossing.
So we trundled onto a train somewhat later than posted and picked our way up onto the top deck, where we parked up behind Les Rozzers Français. Schtum, schtum! One presumes they had been over in Blighty for the day sitting in a little hut gawping at people’s badly taken passport photos. During the crossing Alibags kept us entertained a bit with a few tunes on the ukelele
Once we made it over into France we found a series of very empty autoroutes to take us down to Valenciennes, specifically the A16, A25 and A23, and we seemed to scoot around Lille and down to our destination in less than 2 hours, including the unscheduled trip towards Paris down the A2, which involved pulling into the Aire de la Sentinelle service station to figure out where we were. Getting out of there was delayed by the strange sight of a lorry reversing into a parking space and being directed by a rather portly middle-aged gentleman dressed in nothing more than clogs and budgie smugglers.
Evidently we’re not in Kansas any more.
We got to the hotel (the Ibis Valenciennes)just before midnight and as promised, the reception was both open and manned. The man in question checked us in and then kindly grabbed Izzy a cup of cold apple juice, seeing as we’d arrived without any drinks. The bedrooms were tidy and spacious (well, our was. I don’t know about the one Alibags and Carolynn had), and Izzy and me were doing our best impression of logs a few minutes after getting into the room. We need some zzzzzzzz’s, because Saturday was going to be busy with a capital “bus”.
The Geonord “Retour aux Sources” Event
On Saturday morning we’d arranged to meet the ladies in the breakfast room at 9 am, but me and Izzy were both wide awake at 8, so we got dressed and headed downstairs to get started on the goodies. We hadn’t pre-booked breakfast, so I paid at the desk on the way in, but I got the impression we could easily have got away without paying, as no one was checking, especially not when it was so busy. It was heaving. I made Izzy go and occupy a table as soon as I saw one, while I went for drinks. Luckily, while I was farting about with the coffee machine a four-berth table came free in a prime spot, and I got Izzy to dash over and baggsie it. Sorted. Breakfast was a fairly decent affair, with lots of different types of bread, fruit, cereals, meat, cheeses, and a rather natty egg boiler. It took me two attempts to cook one properly, but it had to be tried. It took me a while to figure out what to do with the coffee machine too, and my first one came out so strong you could have stood the spoon up in it. Ahhhh!
The geocaching event site was about 20 minutes away on the other side of the town, so we had a leisurely drive up there and got on-site for about 10:30. We were directed into the car park by a very nice chap, which was just as well because it involved a tight piece of cornering between two lines of massive boulders with red-and-white stripey posts between them.
The event site was busy, so we mooched about for a while until we got our bearings. We signed the log, which was a wooden board shaped (and painted) like a tree, and also signed a couple of wooden discs that were for dropping into a contraption rather like a big Connect Four board. We found the check-in desk and picked up our geocoins and our entry packs. The pack included a lanyard with a big letter on it. There was a game whereby you had to find enough people with different letters to spell out the word “Geonord”, but this proved tricky because no one seemed to have a “G”. We also went up to the “techie tent” and got them to download a GPX file of all the event caches onto mine and Alibags’ GPSes. And we retired for a drink, because it was quite warm.
After this we decided we need a bit of a walk and a few caches. We started with the traditional Mega Event game of doing lab caches. At this event they were actually rather good – a series of little field puzzles on a watery theme, which had to be completed to get hold of the keywords needed for logging. They were spread around the event site and the nearby lake. Excellent. There was the “dangly boats” one, the “squirty water pistols” one, the “complex pipework” one, and seven others. Shame you can’t give favourite points to them.
While we were walking around we found out that they’d also put two traditional caches out in the lake and had given them a terrain 5 rating, because of the need to boat (or wade) to get them. Cool. So when we got to the relevant bit we decided we’d grab a pedalo and go fetch them. What we’d overlooked was that we couldn’t hire a pedalo that day, because we needed to have bought the “upgrade” €8 supporters pack, which came with tickets for the pedalos. D’oh! So we walked around back to the event site and bought a couple of upgrade packs and went back. The pedalo action was a bit of a laugh, especially trying to figure out how to move the seats, and how to make it go when Alibags and me were both sitting in the back (it wouldn’t). It kept us occupied for a while and Alibags cunningly steered us underneath the squirty fountain on the way home, thereby helping to cool us down a bit. Did I mention it was hot?
Meanwhile, back at the plot, we sat down for a bit of lunch (and more drinks) and Alibags entertained us for a while with some ukelele action while we decided what to do. I’m not sure there was much deciding involved. We were obviously going to go and do the series of caches placed to the east of the event site. Being British, and superstitious, we walked around them in a clockwise direction, which was going the opposite direction to everyone else. I suppose that meant we didn’t get caught in a mass hike, and a lot of the time we were actually finding the caches on our own. Rare for a mega-event day. All were easy to find, but all were field puzzles, and I think I gave a favourite point to every single one. They were excellent.
Whilst on the walk we did an Earthcache up the top of a slag heap. It doesn’t sound that impressive, but the view at the top was good. Anyway, the trip here means I can tick another off the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, because the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin is one.
Slightly further round from the Earthcache there was another terrain 5 cache. In this case, it involved climbing up an old headframe with some ropes. Now, climbing up ropes is something I’d always meant to try but never quite got around to. But it was on the walk, and we were there, and some blokes had got all the equipment set up so you could try it out, so I couldn’t really say no. Izzy had a little pop at it first but couldn’t get her head around how to lift the hand grip upwards. She gave up after about 4 attempts. Ho hum ! It wasn’t easy to figure out. It took me several attempts too, but I did get there eventually, and then I proceeded to get myself absolutely knackered trying to scale all of 5 metres or so off the floor. Blimey, it’s tiring. I got there though, and somehow I managed to grab and sign a logbook while I was up there, without once swearing or dropping my pen.
Three terrain 5’s in one day. Excellent.
Also somewhere on this walk (near the end) there was a rather dubious series of events where we couldn’t figure out a puzzle, so we sneakily unscrewed the hinge instead of opening the lock, much to the dismay of a Dutch chap we met there. But as we say in England, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The whole thing reassembled just fine, so no damage was done, and it’s the first time I’ve actually used the little multi-tool I got myself last year. I knew it would be useful at some point.
Whilst on that walk, we’d also been exposed to a particularly nasty species of French mosquito, and all of us except for Izzy had got bitten pretty badly. Ouchy, and itchy!
By the time we got back to the event site, it was getting quite late and we were very thirsty. The walk of 18 caches had taken over 3 hours to complete and we hadn’t taken drinks other than a half-empty bottle of water Izzy had grabbed earlier in the day. There was a bar that looked like they could use a bit more trade. Two problems resolved in one action. Ice creams, drinks, and solving the sudoku puzzle needed to find the bonus from that walk.
After drinking we ran up to the event site and just caught the end of the final geo-stuff stall before they packed up. Izzy bought a lizard cache. I bought some coins. Both of us are magpies really.The coins are cute though.
There were two more caches nearby on the event site, so Carolynn and me scooted off to grab them while Alibags and Izzy sat in the shade under a tree and had a rest. One was in the hands of another cacher when we arrived. The other was a monstrously huge ammo can. When we got back to the event site we made one final dash into the woods to grab the bonus for the walking series. This was possibly the best of the bunch. You had to place pins onto a pinboard in the layout of one of the pictures on the sudoku puzzle, and when you did, and then closed the doors, it made a draw drop out containing the logbook. Someone spent ages figuring out and making these field puzzles.
By now though it was getting on towards 8 pm and we needed food (and I needed beer). So we drove back into Valenciennes, and while I was farting about trying to figure out where the hotel car park was, and doing a dodgy u-turn in the street that nearly created a job vacancy with a motorcycle pizza delivery company, we spotted a little restaurant on the corner just up from our hotel. We parked up, had a quick wash, Izzy put on a dress, because she does stuff like that, and we practically ran up the road. It looked a bit expensive, but I wasn’t too bothered, because I was only paying for two, not the usual four. The food was fantastic. They did a €31 3 course menu, which all of us had apart from Izzy. We all had different (fish-based) starters, then steaks and then pudding. I had quite a few glasses of Leffe. Izzy ate most of a big steak and then went into the kitchen with the staff to do a pudding-based impression of build-a-bear workshop. After a good ten minutes, she came out carrying a big glass bowl filled with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and squirty cream. She was also smiling quite a lot. I think she’d tried several options before making her decision. Hmmm!
Anyway, once we’d all finished eating pudding too, we were chatting with the proprietor and getting him very confused by telling him that whilst Izzy is my daughter, neither Alibags nor Carolynn is either my wife or my mother. I’m not sure what he thought was going on, but he wasn’t particularly bothered. Anyway, he was trying to get us drunk, I think, because he then whipped out a bottle of Calvados with a whole apple imprisoned inside. Apparently, once the apple tree is in flower they fasten a bottle to the branch and a whole apply grows inside the bottle. Cunning, these French blokes. It was rather nice in my opinion, but not in Carolynn’s, so I had hers too. Mmmm! I was expecting to suffer some financial shock when I got the bill, but it seemed the proprietor liked us so much he didn’t bother charging us for the Calvados.
And then we walked (or staggered, in my case) back to the hotel, and Izzy was asleep before I’d finished sending text messages and entering my lab caches codes. I think I broke her.
I couldn’t sleep much, so I sat out of bed for an hour at 3 am and typed up Izzy’s lab caches too.
Sunday began in a similar way to Saturday. A busy hotel breakfast involving the usual continental breakfast fare, lots of juice and coffee, and some half-cocked planning.
The Geonord event crew had organised a “goodbye event” in the little town of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, just up the road from Valenciennes. It was one where we had to pre-book tickets, as they’d placed a headcount limit on the event. Free, but had to be pre-booked. It was a lovely little town and had a collection of Earthcaches in and around its old abbey, partly due to the interesting rocks used in construction of the abbey and the surrounding plazas. Four variations on the theme of spotting fossils and xenoliths.
After the event we were in need of a drink, so we grabbed a table outside the nearest looking decent cafe and engaged in some refreshment. There was also a brief discussion with a couple of French blokes about our the UK’s recent decision to leave the European Union, but that went unresolved as I think the majority of us didn’t understand either why we voted that way or what was likely to happen as a result of it. Funny that ! We seem to have voted to jump into totally unknown territory in the hope that it might be better than what we can already see. Time will tell, I guess.
But enough of the politics. We’d got more caching to do. The series in question was most of the way back to Calais, near the little village of Coudekerque just outside Dunkirk. The caching series was a relatively densely packed affair around paved routes in a park containing a load of old fortifications and surrounding a golf course. We found around 25 caches round there in what proved to be our last caching burst of the trip. It was warm, a bit sweaty, and a bit insect-ridden. The caches were pretty much all through woodland, and the local inhabitants were making us very aware of the fact that they didn’t like being disturbed. In fact, this was a bit of a theme for the weekend. Some of us were more tasty to the insects than others.
Back Home, Albeit Slowly
By the time we were finished it was after 5 pm and we had a train to catch at 7:30, so we decided to head for the tunnel terminal and see if we could get an early train again. We couldn’t. As we checked in we were given the option only of getting onto the train I’d booked, and when I accepted this, I was promptly presented with a boarding card for a later train. I guess it’s busy then.
We retired to the terminal building where we queued far too long for another Burger King, which turned out to be of dubious quality, and then Izzy and me ran around the shop looking for a little souvenir for Izzy. In the absence of anything especially nice, she decided on a cuddly toy rather than on keeping her money for another day.
We queued somewhat less to get up to the holding pens here than we had done on Friday night (partly because on the French side the terminal is already past the passport control, whereas on the English side it isn’t), but then the fun began. We sat in a queue and watched the projected time for our train get later and later. And later. And then a bit later. So eventually, after arriving at the terminal over 2 hours before our scheduled train, we got onto a train that left about an hour after our scheduled time. The train did what trains do, and we arrived safe and sound in England ready for a high-speed trip back home through hopefully light traffic. Until we got stuck near Maidstone. I phoned Kas to say hello and let her know where we were, and she proceeded to read to us the horror story on the Highways Agency site about the state of the M20 and how we might well still be there at Christmas. Oh, great! Just what I need. At least we could keep ourselves entertained with Alibags’ excellent suggestion that we let my iPod play through all the songs in alphabetical order and see what came up. We got stuck somewhere around the word “Absolutely” – I seem to have loads of tracks beginning with “Absolute” and “Absolutely”. Whilst queuing we started considering contingency options, but to be honest there weren’t really any as a result of the fact that we’d already passed the last exit before the problem, so we basically had to sit it out. Much to my surprise though, as we approached junction 8 and the Maidstone Services the traffic all started speeding up again. We decided to take a punt and just go for it, which proved to be a good idea because we didn’t see any more queues at all.
Hemel Hempstead was more or less where we’d left it, so we were able to drop off Alibags more or less where we’d found her, and then pootled up to Milton Keynes to drop off Carolynn and go home. It was about 11 pm when we got home, so maybe an hour after I’d thought we would. Izzy had school the following morning, but she only had two days during the week, being the end of term, and they never do much of any use in the last couple of days anyway.
So my summary of the weekend:
- Valenciennes looked like a typical northern French town, not that we saw much of it. I would like to go back again, if only to go to the restaurant and introduce the owner to my wife and other daughter.
- The hotel was about what I expected. Clean, fairly spacious, quiet and generally unspectacular, in a good way.
- The mega event was very well organised and the series of field puzzle caches they’d put out were very well done despite getting bitten to hell and back by the mozzies. I gave every one of them a favourite point.
- The Sunday morning event was also good because of the location. We didn’t do a lot of eventing there.
- The walk around the woods with the forts was the kind of caching series that I do a lot of at home. OK, but not spectacular, and suffered a little bit from variable coordinates. It was a pleasant and untaxing walk though, and it filled the afternoon with useful caching rather than coming straight home.
- I kind of enjoyed it.
- Izzy now wants to buy a ukelele.
Caches found over the weekend were :
The boy Jimmy is in the habit of buying four weekend tickets for the British GP every year. This year some of his normal companions (his family) weren’t able to go on the Friday, so he asked me, Kip and Steve if we wanted to go instead. Game on.
I’m not always the greatest fan of Formula One but it’s good to have a day out with your mates every now and then.
I volunteered to drive there, and we decided on an early start, so I picked up the geezers and we were in the circuit before 9am. As we were quite early, we were in varying states of breakfast, so first stop was to level up the playing field a bit by buying food. So we had a round of bacon rolls, breakfast rolls and veggie whatever-Steve-had followed by a round of coffees. We took the coffees up into the stands with us to await the start of the first GP practice session at 10am.
On the programme for the day were two Grand Prix practice sessions, two practice sessions for GP2 and some Porsches at the end.
The first session lasted 90 minutes, with a mandatory requirement to come in and “give back a set of tyres” at halfway. Lewis Hamilton was fastest followed by Nico Rosberg.
So at halftime we decided to progress our way around the circuit in an anti-clockwise direction. One of the good things about the practice days is that you’re allowed to walk around and sit in any of the grandstands. Seats are only reserved for the Sunday main event. It gives you the chance to try the view from different places.
Significant other changes in F1 since I last visited an event are that the cars are much, much quieter, and the structure of practice sessions has been changed to encourage drivers to spend a lot more time on the track.
During the gap between the first F1 practice and the first GP2 practice we walked around to Stowe Corner and up to Becketts. There are a lot of grandstands at Becketts and therefore also a healthy collection of food stalls. Well, it was after 12. Lunch o’clock. Lunch involved beer too. And by now, the weather had picked up a bit and the sun was coming out.
We stayed at Becketts long enough to see the first half of the second F1 practice session too. In this instance, Hamilton was fastest again but Rosberg had a bit of mare with his car and didn’t make an appearance for the whole session, which no doubt didn’t make him happy.
At halftime we again decided to move on, in this instance walking along lengths of the perimeter fence where the circuit was really close. This provided some very fast views of cars screaming by at “full welly” on the approach to the Becketts S curves. When you’re 10-15 yards away they really do seem to be going quite fast.
We mooched our way from here all the way around to the old start/finish straight (now renamed the “National Pit Straight”). At this point the boys had another beer, with me having a coke. The National Pit Straight is evidently where the GP2 cars were garaged up too, judging by the noise. We didn’t actually go and watch the GP2 second practice though.
As we were leaving here there was some chat about whether it was time for second lunch (or early tea). Steve went for chips. Jimmy nicked some.
We walked around the back of Luffield, where I got slightly distracted by a Trig Pillar which happens to be a YOSM. It’s been on my radar to do for some time, so this was the perfect opportunity to grab it, as I was inside the circuit anyway.
We ended up at a point that used to be inside the circuit but is now outside. Or inside. Or maybe not. Regardless or whether it was in or out, it did have loads of food stalls and Jimmy decided he needed a pig sandwich.
We sat up in the stands at Village, notionally watching the Porsches, but information on what we were watching was a bit lacking, so most of us drifted off into a snooze, or were playing with our phones, whilst occasionally glancing up at the cars.
This was probably a good indicator that we’d had enough, so we jacked it in and were back in the car by about 6pm.
We’d been debating what to do in the evening for a while and once we were in the car we were still debating, but eventually decided to go into Stony Stratford for a Ruby. Over our last couple of evenings out we seem to have changed our curry house of preference. Life moves on.