I met a really nice old man today.
It all started in a continued moment of ennui that found me pawing ineptly at the touch screen of the new phone. In an effort to alleviate the dirge, I was hunting for applications to download and play with, and I found a web page all about geocaching.
To save you the hassle of a google trek, geocaching is a game that makes use of the GPS systems in phones. People from all over the world hide parcels and packages in odd places, then register their co-ordinates on the geocache website for others to hunt and find. Some form parts of puzzles, such as finding a book in a library and using its ISBN to find the next clue.
So in a pique of curiosity, I decided to check what parcels were hidden near me, and it turns out there are dozens and dozens within a few miles.
Thus, I soon found myself in a field next to the M5, staring at the gnarly old hole in a tree trunk, wondering if there might be something inside. Turns out there was; an address book with one single local address in it.
Well, I had nothing else to do for a while, so I tapped the address into Google and got the directions. It was a short drive, and I parked up outside a little arts and craft style cottage in a village called Froghampton. There was a delicate little bell to ring, dangling forlornly from a rusting hook, so I gave it a tinkle. It took him a while to answer, but there came a man I now know as Neil.
He was in his 70s I’d say, and I explained that I had found his geocache, which pleased him because apparently not many people do. He invited me in, and soon he was pouring me tea from a discoloured and very chipped pot. I asked him how he had got into geocaching, and he explained that a young man from the local pub had introduced him to it. Neil has since placed half a dozen or so similar caches about the place, each one with a clue as to his residence.
That was when Neil touched me in my secret area.
I shan’t be geocaching again.