Identify interesting tree climb. Arrive at base of tree in pouring rain. Put throwline up tree. Throwline gets stuck.


Improvise using a rock, a sock and the other end of the throwline. Take umpteen tries to hit the right place, rain now torrential and can barely see through drips on glasses. Get rope up tree, still can’t reach geocache. Discover rope is now on top of stuck throwbag and own weight has crushed the thing into place, detach line from bag so will at least get that back.

Rain now even worse. Slide back down, give up, and drive back to Brum soaking wet and with climbing kit plastered with mud.

So, a fortnight later, back to the scene of the crime, this time with an escalation of kit. Lovely spring-like morning, went about things calmly and methodically, dealt with a fairly major hiccup with only a minimum of swearing. I still can’t reach the cache, but I now know what needs doing in terms of DIY-ing a particular tool … and I did get my throwbag back!

Isn’t it amazing how much difference rain makes to motivation, morale and a willingness to deal with problems?

That was Saturday. Sunday, by contrast, just involved an amble into an old adit – gentle Type 1 fun, didn’t even have to get wet feet – and spending an hour sitting in the car in a housing estate with a Rubik’s Cube, the solving instructions for said cube on my phone, and a bag of chicken wings. As you do.