Can you survive the Bargain Hunter Horde?

Can you survive the Bargain Hunter Horde?

The simple Car Boot (or if you are in the US, the trunk); an area of your vehicle used for transporting suitcases and groceries, housing spare wheels and dirty kitbags.  And if you’re lacking in seat space whilst trying to drive to that all important party, perhaps a small, willing friend might be found in there too (it has happened…).

However, to many here in Old Blighty, the noun for this humble storage space has been verbed-up into a national institution, with us spending weekends ‘booting’ as ‘booters’ and…um…’bootees’…

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In America, it seems everyone loves a yard sale, a chance to offload some unwanted items and make a few extra bucks from the comfort of your own home, without having to wait for the eBay auction to end.

But us Brits would generally balk at the idea of inviting some random shoppers round to traipse through the prize petunias and churn up the freshly-cut lawn. Besides, one does not want the neighbours to see what type of tat we’ve had stashed in the attic!

So instead, we fill our car boots with precision that would make even a world-champion Tetris player envious, and trundle off to a nearby playing field before the sun comes up to do battle with…

The Bargain Hunter Horde!

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Are you brave enough to enter the Alleys? (Part 1)

Are you brave enough to enter the Alleys? (Part 1)

Riddles and Puzzles. Ciphers and cryptograms. Mysteries and folklore.

I fancy myself as being quite good at working them out but in reality, I’d be kicked out of any lectures by Robert Langdon before even being allowed through the door!

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But my lack of expertise doesn’t stop me wanting to conquer a coded challenge so when a local mystery began to unfold a few weeks ago, I was eager to get cracking.

It all started with a small news story, that gained momentum on social media, of some mysterious, ancient looking crates found in abandoned tunnels under The Land of Green Ginger.

Now, despite having a particularly magical (and therefore fictional) sounding name, this place does exist within my home town of Hull. A small street in the city centre, it is often attributed with housing the world’s smallest window, within the George Hotel.

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The tunnels, among many beneath the city streets, were once possibly used for smuggling, as much of the now paved centre was originally the docks, and some were reportedly used by monks to move items from their monasteries. So, a discovery of this nature was not completely unusual but was nevertheless exciting.

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Wednesday Lensday: New Year, New (Ca)ME(ra)

Wednesday Lensday: New Year, New (Ca)ME(ra)

I took my new little Sony CyberShot out for a walk along the beach, just after Christmas, so that I could get a first feel for it.

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Have to say, I do enjoy having an actual zooming lens back despite so far only really using it on auto settings. The camera has plenty of functions I can play around with over the next few weeks though – just have to not fall back into lazy ways!

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On yer bike, lad!

On yer bike, lad!

Cycling: I’m quite fond of venturing out on two wheels, tootling around and taking in the scenery.

But I’m certainly not an off-roader, bouncing through puddles and daubing my back in an unattractive streak of mud.

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Nor will you see me donning an aerodynamic body suit and bending at an almost 90º angle over my handle-bars.

Nope, I’m much more a baguette (or a dog) in a basket kind of cyclist.

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However, if last year is anything to go by, today will see a strange phenomenon that will survive across summer.

Much like how January seems to compel thousands into a gym, or everyone starts practising their back-hand (okay, just eating strawberries and drinking Pimms) around Wimbledon season, there is a sporting event beginning that will invoke enthusiasts to pipe themselves into colourful Lycra and ride around en masse, generally blocking the rush hour traffic.

The TOUR de YORKSHIRE!

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Cache Fever: The case of the hidden chopper…

Cache Fever: The case of the hidden chopper…

Continuing my weekend of reblogs, as promised, here’s one of my very early posts – You just never know what will turn up when you’re out for adventure!

As geocachers go, we’re beyond rubbish. Due to us generally partaking in this pastime on a whim, we are rarely adequately equipped – ‘You forgot a pen AGAIN?’ has been uttered by one or both of us far too many times. And to anyone in the know, omitting such a basic essential to help you in your quest is the equivalent of entering a desert without water, climbing a mountain without a rope or leaving my grandfather’s after 9pm and not giving three rings when you arrive home. You just don’t do it!

Recently, we’ve improved in this minor task although I’ve still been known to sign the log (carefully) with lipgloss in an emergency! But ‘real’ cachers have kits – all manner of tools and improvised bobbins – that assist their caching adventure and make life a little easier. Now, being lazy fair weather cachers, I don’t feel the need to have a full blown utility belt, but when the British summer screamed at us to leave the blanket, because it was only visiting for the weekend, I did think we should pack a few important items. So I added the following to my handbag (yes handbag… we weren’t getting that serious it needed a rucksack!):

  • Tweezers (some logs are tricky little minxes, rolled up tightly and placed in tiny tubes).
  • Disposable gloves (you are often required to scrabble around in bushes).
  • Baby wipes and a couple of tissues (see above).
  • Some small trinkets to swap.
  • A torch (I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea, we were hardly going to stay out and attempt night caching. We had a meal booked!)
  • Oh yes…a pen…

Feeling like pros, we set off to complete a series of ten hides close to our home. Little did I know just how handy our new inanimate assistants would be…

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