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The Sketch

Tuesday morning on my “busy” week of pre-Christmas matrix fillers. I needed to go out caching on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week to keep the run going. I’d taken the morning off work and planned to walk the Shelswell Loop, just the other side of Buckingham.

On Saturday I’d started (well, done half of) a big looking series near Fringford, which is within a half hour of home when the traffic isn’t bad. I set off before 8am to beat the morning rush hour and got parked up in a lay-by near Newton Purcell alongside a greasy spoon van. It was tempting to grab a bacon buttie but I resisted and got on with some caching. It was a beautiful clear, bright and sunny morning.

The plan was to walk the top of the Shelswell Loop series by gingko. It looked like about 4 miles walking, and so should be doable in a couple of hours.

Speedy Walking

The walking was indeed quite quick. About half an hour in I decided to get my camera out of my bag and take a few snaps. It would be a shame to waste such a pretty morning. The photos are shown in the photo gallery, including a few rather nice spliced-together panoramas that I made up using Microsoft ICE. Hopefully I’ve captured the beauty of a cold December morning in England, with that little bit of mist at ground level and the nice mix of textures and colours in the sky. When these first few were taken, at about 9am, it’s really only just about light. The sun was very low in the sky and produced some interesting colours. They make it look like an episode of CSI: Miami – all yellow-orange tones. It only turned blue when the sun got up a bit further, like on the fifth of these panorama shots.

About halfway round I encountered the only other person I saw on the morning (apart from the lady at the lard wagon). It was a bloke walking a dog. A little later I was walking up a hill looking for where the footpath. I couldn’t see it so I decided to ask the man at the house at the top of the hill. It turned out to be the same guy, and we had a five-minute chat about caching. It’s nice to meet a muggle who is fairly favourable towards us. He’d seen people standing on the road (which is his driveway) a few times and asked what they were doing, but in a friendly way and he seemed genuinely interested. On a lovely morning like this one, any excuse for getting outside is a good excuse.

To the Cachemobile

After finishing this walk I still had the best part of 90 minutes left, so I drove round to the other side of Fringford to attempt a handful more, having got to the car with 17 finds in the bag. This turned out to be the now traditional frustrating end to the morning, involving a few misses, some annoyance and a general feeling of hurriedness. I think this contributed to me deciding the following morning that I really couldn’t be bothered to drive far.

The caches I found on this Tuesday and the preceding Saturday were: