[Bloganuary] Road Trip!

This post1 is part of my attempt at Bloganuary 2024.2Today’s prompt is:

Think back on your most memorable road trip.

Runners-up

It didn’t take me long to choose a most-memorable road trip, but first: here’s a trio of runners-up that I considered3:

  1. A midwinter ascent
    On the last day of 2018, Ruth‘s brother Robin and I made a winter ascent of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. But amazing as the experience was, it perhaps wasn’t as memorable as the endless car journey up there, especially for Robin who was sandwiched between our two children in the back of the car and spent the entire 12-hour journey listening to Little Baby Bum songs on loop.4 Surely a quick route to insanity.
Dan and Robin atop Ben Nevis
Probably should have wiped the snow off the lens.
  1. A childhood move
    Shortly after starting primary school my family and I moved from Aberdeen, Scotland to the North-West of England. At my young age, long car journeys – such as those we’d had to make to view prospective new houses – always seemed interminably boring, but this one was unusually full of excitement and anticipation. The car was filled to the brim with everything we needed most-imminently to start our new lives5, while the removals lorry followed a full day behind us with everything less-essential6. I’m sure that to my parents it was incredibly stressful, but for me it was the beginning of an amazing voyage into the unknown.
A partially-pebbledashed house, number 7, with an old white Ford Escort parked in the driveway.
To this house. In this car.
  1. Live on Earth
    Back in 1999 I bought tickets for myself and two friends for Craig Charles’ appearance in Aberystwyth as part of his Live on Earth tour. My two friends shared a birthday at around the date of the show and had expressed an interest in visiting me, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity. Unfortunately I hadn’t realised that at that very moment one of them was preparing to have their birthday party… 240 miles away in London. In the end all three of us (plus a fourth friend who volunteered to be and overnight/early morning post-nightclub driver) attended both events back to back! A particular highlight came at around 4am we returned from a London nightclub to the suburb where we’d left the car to discover it was boxed in by some inconsiderate parking: we were stuck! So we gathered some strong-looking fellow partygoers… and carried the culprit’s car out of the way7. By that point we decided to go one step further and get back at its owner by moving their car around the corner from where they’d parked it. I reflected on parts of this anecdote back in 2010.

The winner

At somewhere between 500 and 600 road miles each way, perhaps the single longest road journey I’ve ever made without an overnight break was to attend a wedding.

A white couple, bride and groom; she's wearing a white dress and flowers in her hair; he's in a suit with a grey waistcoat and a thistle buttonhole.
The wedding of this lovely couple, whose courtship I expressed joy over the previous year.

The wedding was of my friends Kit and Fi, and took place a long, long way up into Scotland. At the time I (and a few other wedding guests) lived on the West coast of Wales. The journey options between the two might be characterised as follows:

  • the fastest option: a train, followed by a ludicrously expensive plane, followed by a taxi
  • the public transport option: about 16 hours of travel via a variety of circuitous train routes, but at least you get to sleep some of the way
  • drive along a hundred miles of picturesque narrow roads, then three hundred of boring motorways, then another hundred and fifty of picturesque narrow roads

Guess which approach this idiot went for?

Despite having just graduated, I was still living very-much on a student-grade budget. I wasn’t confident that we could afford both the travel to and from the wedding and more than a single night’s accommodation at the other end.

But there were four of us who wanted to attend: me, my partner Claire, and our friends Bryn and Paul. Two of the four were qualified to drive and could be insured on Claire’s car8. This provided an opportunity: we’d make the entire 11-or-so-hour journey by car, with a pair of people sleeping in the back while the other pair drove or navigated!

It was long, and it was arduous, but we chatted and we sang and we saw a frankly ludicrous amount of the A9 trunk road and we made it to and from what was a wonderful wedding on our shoestring budget. It’s almost a shame that the party was so good that the memories of the road trip itself pale, or else this might be a better anecdote! But altogether, entirely a worthwhile, if crazy, exercise.

Footnotes

1 Participating in Bloganuary has now put me into my fifth-longest “daily streak” of blog posts! C-c-c-combo continues!

2 Also, wow: thanks to staying up late with my friend John drinking and mucking about with the baby grand piano in the lobby of the hotel we’re staying at, I might be first to publish a post for today’s Bloganuary!

3 Strangely, all three of the four journeys I’ve considered seem to involve Scotland. Which I suppose shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given its distance from many of the other places I’ve lived and of course its size (and sometimes-sparse road network).

4 Okay, probably not for the entire journey, but I’m certain it must’ve felt like it.

5 Our cargo included several cats who almost-immediately escaped from their cardboard enclosures and vomited throughout the vehicle.

6 This included, for example, our beds: we spent our first night in our new house camped together in sleeping bags on the floor of what would later become my bedroom, which only added to the sense of adventure in the whole enterprise.

7 It was, fortunately, only a light vehicle, plus our designated driver was at this point so pumped-up on energy drinks he might have been able to lift it by himself!

8 It wasn’t a big car, and in hindsight cramming four people into it for such a long journey might not have been the most-comfortable choice!

Dan and Robin atop Ben Nevis× A partially-pebbledashed house, number 7, with an old white Ford Escort parked in the driveway.× A white couple, bride and groom; she's wearing a white dress and flowers in her hair; he's in a suit with a grey waistcoat and a thistle buttonhole.×

It Is Only Q

The programmers at British Gas are among the many who don’t believe that a surname can be only a single character, and their customer service agents have clearly worked around their validations (or just left a note for themselves in the problematic field!)… leading to hilarious postal mail1:

Letter from British Gas addressed to "Mr Dan Q (it Is Only Q)" and opening with "Hello Mr Q (it Is Only Q)".

Update

This is getting a lot of attention, so I just wanted to add:

Footnotes

1 I’m ignoring for the moment that they’re using the wrong title for me.

Letter from British Gas addressed to "Mr Dan Q (it Is Only Q)" and opening with "Hello Mr Q (it Is Only Q)".×

FreeDeedPoll.org.uk, Punk Rock Edition

A Birmingham-based punky trio, Luxury Nan Smell, have released an EP called (Derogatory). The first track on that album? freedeedpoll.org.uk. Named in reference to my website of the same name.

Album cover art for (Derogatory), showing the title in pink cursive script over a three small white ovoid pills dissolving on the ground. The words "luxury nan smell" are carved into the pills.

Naturally, I was delighted, not least because it gives me an excuse to use the “deed poll” and “music” tags simultaneously on a post for the first time.

Don’t ask me what my “real” name is,
I’ve already told you what it was,
And I’m planning on burning my birth certificate.

The song’s about discovering and asserting self-identity through an assumed, rather than given, name. Which is fucking awesome.

Screenshot showing freedeedpoll.org.uk
The website’s basically unchanged for most of a decade and a half, and… umm… it looks it. I really ought to get around to improving and enhancing it someday.

Like virtually all of my sites, including this one, freedeedpoll.org.uk deliberately retains minimal logs and has no analytics tools. As a result, I have very little concept of how popular it is, how widely it’s used etc., except when people reach out to me.

People do: I get a few emails every month from people who’ve got questions1, or who are having trouble getting their homemade deed poll accepted by troublesome banks. I’m happy to help them, but without additional context, I can’t be sure whether these folks represent the entirety of the site’s users, a tiny fraction, or somewhere in-between.

So it’s obviously going to be a special surprise for me to have my website featured in a song.

Screengrab from a video in which a vlogger holds up their freedeedpoll.org.uk deed poll.
Out of curiosity, I searched around for a bit and discovered a surprising amount of chatter about my site on social media, like this charming guy who talked about his experience of changing his name.

I’ve been having a challenging couple of weeks2, and it was hugely uplifting for me to bump into these appreciative references to my work in the wider Internet.

Footnotes

1 Common questions I receive are about legal gender recognition, about changing the names of children, about changing one’s name while still a minor without parental consent, or about citizenship requirements. I’ve learned a lot about some fascinating bits of law.

2 I’ve been struggling with a combination of the usual challenges at this time of year and a lack of self-care and also a handful of bonus household stresses: everything seems to be breaking all at once!

It Takes Two

Lately, Ruth and I have been learning to dance Argentine Tango.

In a church hall, its walls decorated with colourful cloths, Dan and Ruth stand in a large circle of people, watching a man and a woman preparing to demonstrate some tango steps.
Stand with both feet together on the floor? Sure, I can do that one.

Let me tell you everything I know about tango1:

  1. It takes two to tango.
  2. I am not very good at tango.
Dan, wearing a black t-shirt and holding a glass of wine, looks sceptically at the camera as he stands in front of a television screen showing a couple dancing, with the title frame "La Caminata: Introduction to Walking in Tango (Core Steps)".
Our lessons started online, in our own living room, with videos from Tango Stream‘s “Tango Basics” series. It was a really good introduction and I’d recommend it, but it’s no substitute for practice!

This adventure began, in theory at least, on my birthday in January. I’ve long expressed an interest in taking a dance class together, and so when Ruth pitched me a few options for a birthday gift, I jumped on the opportunity to learn tango. My knowledge of the dance was basically limited to what I’d seen in films and television, but it had always looked like such an amazing dance: careful, controlled… synchronised, sexy.

After shopping around for a bit, Ruth decided that the best approach was for us to do a “beginners” video course in the comfort of our living room, and then take a weekend getaway to do an “improvers” class.

After all, we’d definitely have time to complete the beginners’ course and get a lot of practice in before we had to take to the dance floor with a group of other “improvers”, right?2

Dan and Ruth sat on opposite sides of a table on a train, with darkness outside the window behind, raising tumbler glasses full of prosecco and smiling.
By the time we were riding the train up to Edinburgh, we’d watched all the videos in our beginners’ course, and tried all of the steps in isolation… but we’d had barely any opportunity to combine them into an actual dance.

Okay, let me try again to enumerate you everything I actually know about tango3:

  1. Essentials. A leader and follower4 hold one another’s upper torso closely enough that, with practice, each can intuit from body position where the other’s feet are without looking. While learning, you will not manage to do this, and you will tread on one another’s toes.
  2. The embrace. In the embrace, one side – usually the leader’s left – is “open”, with the dancers’ hands held; the other side is “closed”, with the dancers holding one another’s bodies. Generally, you should be looking at one another or towards the open side. But stop looking at your feet: you should know where your own feet are by proprioception, and you know where your partners’ feet are by guesswork and prayer.
  3. The walk. You walk together, (usually) with opposite feet moving in-sync so that you can be close and not tread on one another’s toes, typically forward (from the leader’s perspective) but sometimes sideways or even backwards (though not usually for long, because it increases the already-inevitable chance that you’ll collide embarrassingly with other couples).
  4. Movement. Through magic and telepathy a good connection with one another, the pair will, under the leader’s direction, open opportunities to perform more advanced (but still apparently beginner-level) steps and therefore entirely new ways to mess things up. These steps include:
    • Forward ochos. The follower stepping through a figure-eight (ocho) on the closed side, or possibly the open side, but they probably forget which way they were supposed to turn when they get there, come out on the wrong foot, and treat on the leader’s toes.
    • Backwards ochos. The follower moves from side to side or in reverse through a series of ochos, until the leader gets confused which way they’re supposed to pivot to end the maneuver and both people become completely confused and unstuck.
    • The cross. The leader walks alongside the follower, and when the leader steps back the follower chooses to assume that the leader intended for them to cross their legs, which opens the gateway to many other steps. If the follower guesses incorrectly, they probably fall over during that step. If the follower guesses correctly but forgets which way around their feet ought to be, they probably fall over on the very next step. Either way, the leader gets confused and does the wrong thing next.
    • Giros. One or both partners perform a forwards step, then a sideways step, then a backwards step, then another sideways step, starting on the inside leg and pivoting up to 270° with each step such that the entire move rotates them some portion of a complete circle. In-sync with one another, of course.
    • Sacadas. Because none of the above are hard enough to get right together, you should start putting your leg out between your partner’s leg and try and trip them up as they go. They ought to know you’re going to do this, because they’ve got perfect predictive capabilities about where your feet are going to end, remember? Also remember to use the correct leg, which might not be the one you expect, or you’ll make a mess of the step you’ll be doing in three beats’ time. Good luck!
    • Barridas and mordidas. What, you finished the beginners’ course? Too smart to get tripped up by your partner’s sacada any more? Well now it’s time to start kicking your partner’s feet out from directly underneath them. That’ll show ’em.
  5. Style. All of the above should be done gracefully, elegantly, with perfect synchronicity and in time with the music… oh, and did I mention you should be able to improve the whole thing on the fly, without pre-communication with your partner. 😅
Photograph of a small laminated instruction sheet on a golden tablecloth. Titled "Norteña Tango", it reads: Let's make this an amazing weekend. We are all here to dance, so let's look around us and try to make sure that everyone is dancing. We'd love it if you would follow the lines of dance by moving around the floor steadily, try using the cabeceo, leave space between you and the couple in front, make use of the corners of the dance floor, stay in the same lane where possible, take care when entering the dance floor, clear the floor and change partners during the cortinas. It would be great if you could avoid overtaking other couples on the floor, walking (other than when dancing) on the floor.
Just when you think you’ve worked out the basic rules of tango, you find a leaflet on your table with some rules of the dancefloor to learn, too!

Ultimately, it was entirely our own fault we felt out-of-our-depth up in Edinburgh at the weekend. We tried to run before we could walk, or – to put it another way – to milonga before we could caminar.

A somewhat-rushed video course and a little practice on carpet in your living room is not a substitute for a more-thorough práctica on a proper-sized dance floor, no matter how often you and your partner use any excuse of coming together (in the kitchen, in an elevator, etc.) to embrace and walk a couple of steps! Getting a hang of the fluid connections and movement of tango requires time, and practice, and discipline.

Photograph of paving slabs: a glyph of a walking person, signifying "walk here", has been painted onto the flagstones, but the stones have since been lifted and replaced in slightly different locations, making the person appear "scrambled".
Got the feeling that your body and your feet aren’t moving in the same direction? That’s tango!

But, not least because of our inexperience, we did learn a lot during our weekend’s deep-dive. We got to watch (and, briefly, partner with) some much better dancers and learned some advanced lessons that we’ll doubtless reflect back upon when we’re at the point of being ready for them. Because yes: we are continuing! Our next step is a Zoom-based lesson, and then we’re going to try to find a more-local group.

Also, we enjoyed the benefits of some one-on-one time with Jenny and Ricardo, the amazingly friendly and supportive teachers whose video course got us started and whose in-person event made us feel out of our depth (again: entirely our own fault).

If you’ve any interest whatsoever in learning to dance tango, I can wholeheartedly recommend Ricardo and Jenny Oria as teachers. They run courses in Edinburgh and occasionally elsewhere in the UK as well as providing online resources, and they’re the most amazingly supportive, friendly, and approachable pair imaginable!

Just… learn from my mistake and start with a beginner course if you’re a beginner, okay? 😬

Footnotes

1 I’m exaggerating how little I know for effect. But it might not be as much of an exaggeration as you’d hope.

2 We did not.

3 Still with a hint of sarcasm, though.

4 Tango’s progressive enough that it’s come to reject describing the roles in binary gendered terms, using “leader” and “follower” in place of what was once described as “man” and “woman”, respectively. This is great for improving access to pairs of dancers who don’t consist of a man and a woman, as well as those who simply don’t want to take dance roles imposed by their gender.

In a church hall, its walls decorated with colourful cloths, Dan and Ruth stand in a large circle of people, watching a man and a woman preparing to demonstrate some tango steps.× Dan, wearing a black t-shirt and holding a glass of wine, looks sceptically at the camera as he stands in front of a television screen showing a couple dancing, with the title frame "La Caminata: Introduction to Walking in Tango (Core Steps)".× Dan and Ruth sat on opposite sides of a table on a train, with darkness outside the window behind, raising tumbler glasses full of prosecco and smiling.× Photograph of a small laminated instruction sheet on a golden tablecloth. Titled "Norteña Tango", it reads: Let's make this an amazing weekend. We are all here to dance, so let's look around us and try to make sure that everyone is dancing. We'd love it if you would follow the lines of dance by moving around the floor steadily, try using the cabeceo, leave space between you and the couple in front, make use of the corners of the dance floor, stay in the same lane where possible, take care when entering the dance floor, clear the floor and change partners during the cortinas. It would be great if you could avoid overtaking other couples on the floor, walking (other than when dancing) on the floor.× Photograph of paving slabs: a glyph of a walking person, signifying "walk here", has been painted onto the flagstones, but the stones have since been lifted and replaced in slightly different locations, making the person appear "scrambled".×

Dan Q found GC54DR7 WAG 9 – Sausages & Bacon!

This checkin to GC54DR7 WAG 9 - Sausages & Bacon! reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Worra lorra porkers! The geopup is a huge fan of sausages but I don’t think she understood that the cornucopia she was looking at across the field was the same thing, just a few years off being ripe. Great cache container too. TFTC, and let’s chuck an FP in because this series as a whole has definitely earned another one in my mind by now…

A French Bulldog looks out over a field which contains many pigsties and pigs.

A French Bulldog looks out over a field which contains many pigsties and pigs.×

Dan Q found GC54DB8 WAG 3 – Cleeve Corner

This checkin to GC54DB8 WAG 3 - Cleeve Corner reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

The time before last that I was in Goring – the first of my now-three visits – was for a birthday/garden party on 24 June 2018. My eldest – then only four years old – was getting a little bored of the grown-up conversations going on and I provided a distraction by taking her out to find GLW5FKG9 and GLW5EFV2 (the latter of which has since been archived).

I enjoyed the camoflage on this cache, but little did I know that it would be a theme throughout many of the caches in this series! FP awarded anyway, because it delighted me at the time. TFTC.

Dan Q found GC7FB9H From Canterbury to the cache

This checkin to GC7FB9H From Canterbury to the cache reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Well that was quite the adventure!

The first wayoint is right across the road from where some work colleagues and I are staying for an “away week”. I decided to dash out during a break in the weather to try and solve this multi between meetings. But I was quickly confused because… this isn’t the way I was taught to do Roman numerals. I’d always been told that you should never have four of the same letter in a row, e.g. you should say XIV, not XIIII. Once I’d worked out what I was doing wrong, though, I was okay!

The second and third waypoints had me braving some frankly scary roads. The drivers here just don’t seem to stop unless you’re super assertive when you step out!

Once I had the final numbers and ran it through geochecker I realised that the cache must be very close to where I’d had lunch earlier today! Once I got there it took me a while to get to the right floor, after which the hint made things pretty obvious.

Great trail, really loved it. And just barely made it back before the rain really started hammering down. TFTC, FP awarded, and greetings from Oxford, UK!

Dan holding an orange mint tin in a city centre.

Dan holding an orange mint tin in a city centre.×

Dan Q found GC8A40R Brockholes Stone Circle

This checkin to GC8A40R Brockholes Stone Circle reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Found with the elder geokid plus my mother and sister while on a layover in Preston to break up our journey from Aviemore to Oxford. We’re getting to visit quite a few some circles this half term, both old and new plus some old-but-restored, many of which have earthcache or virtual caches!

Thanks for the geology lessons and the interesting location. Answers sent already, FP awarded, TFTC.

In a grassy field, a 9-year-old girl in a bright coat, accompanied by two women, examines a standing rock at the edge of a small stone circle.

Dan and his mother stand in a stone circle, their arms spread wide and smiles on their faces.

In a grassy field, a 9-year-old girl in a bright coat, accompanied by two women, examines a standing rock at the edge of a small stone circle.× Dan and his mother stand in a stone circle, their arms spread wide and smiles on their faces.×

Dan Q found GC5GFNB DG – Linie

This checkin to GC5GFNB DG - Linie reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

The second spectacular cache I’ve found from this CO. Absolutely amazing. Coordinates got me close, but it was only when I started looking around that I spotted something that didn’t look quite right and found the cache. Amazing work, FP awarded.

Dan, wearing a grey hoodie, stands in front of a highly-decorated industrial chimney stack.

Dan, wearing a grey hoodie, stands in front of a highly-decorated industrial chimney stack.×

Dan Q found GC5DC7H Friedensbrücke

This checkin to GC5DC7H Friedensbrücke reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Superb cache, my favourite in Vienna so far. Love the design; I might try to make one like this back in Oxfordshire, UK upon my return! FP awarded.

Coordinates put me exactly where I needed to be. Fortunately I had exactly what I needed to retrieve the cache: it’s something I always carry when I’m caching anyway!

TFTC!

Dan Q found GCM8CB Urania

This checkin to GCM8CB Urania reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

I’ve been in Vienna for a week to meet work colleagues, and today – our meetings at an end and still with a few hours before my plane leaves – I decided to come out and find some local geocaches.

At the GZ there were lots of good hiding places so I reached over and around. In a few seconds my fingers touched the cache. Great!

But then – disaster! As others have observed, the magnets in this cache aren’t the strongest and it bounced free. It fell a long, long way! I rushed across the road and down to the lower level to grab it. Luckily the cache container was unharmed, so I signed the log as I carried it back to up its hiding place. What an adventure!

FP awarded for the cool container and hiding place, and for the fun story you helped me tell. Greetings from Oxfordshire, UK. TFTC!

Dan, wearing a grey hoodie and a purple "Woo" hat, holds a black puck-shaped geocache. Behind him, a concrete bridge support pillar is decorated with colourful graffifi.

Dan, wearing a grey hoodie and a purple "Woo" hat, holds a black puck-shaped geocache. Behind him, a concrete bridge support pillar is decorated with colourful graffifi.×

Dan Q found GC97PZV 1 BH

This checkin to GC97PZV 1 BH reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Finishing my morning walk where, perhaps, I should have started it with the first cache in this enjoyable series. Took a while for a good GPSr fix and I walked up and down the path a few times before spotting the container. But then – disaster – this replaced cache has a brand new log book… and I’ve dropped my caching pencil somewhere between the last cache and this one. Unable to sign log, but hopefully attached picture showing CO’s replacement message will suffice.

TFTC, and the series in general. So glad to be able to take this lovely walk from Fairlawns this year. FP awarded here for the series in general.

Fresh geocaching log book with a message stating that it's a replacement, added January 2023, held in a hand.

Fresh geocaching log book with a message stating that it's a replacement, added January 2023, held in a hand.×

Dan Q found GC6J5MV Church Micro 9613…West Hanney

This checkin to GC6J5MV Church Micro 9613...West Hanney reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Had to stand around looking inconspicuous for a while before the geopup and I could retrieve this cache from its hiding place. There’s a lot going on this morning, presumably in anticipation of a Remembrance Sunday service at the church later. The bench across the road provided us with a place to sit and sign while we waited for an opportunity to return it. Amazingly picturesque spot for a lovely cache. FP awarded. TFTC!

Dan Q found GC5PPFT Ssssshhhh it’s a …….

This checkin to GC5PPFT Ssssshhhh it's a ....... reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

I’ve been working in Witney one day every week or two lately, but somehow I’ve never managed to sync up my work times with the hours that this building is accessible! Or, when I do, I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to stop and hunt!

This morning, though, the stars aligned and I was able to get to the GZ. The cache was pretty much where I expected based on the coordinates and the hint, but still took a minute out two to lay hands on. Soon, though, I was quietly sitting and reading past log entries.

SL TFTC! FP awarded for sheer awesome.

Dan sits in a library, holding a small book and with his finger to his lips in a 'shush' gesture. The back cover of the book contains text identifying it as a geocache.

Dan sits in a library, holding a small book and with his finger to his lips in a 'shush' gesture. The back cover of the book contains text identifying it as a geocache.×

Dan Q archived GC90RH3 Tiny Log Book

This checkin to GC90RH3 Tiny Log Book reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

This morning two men from the council turned up at my door and asked if they could borrow my driveway to park their vehicle. We got chatting, and it turned out that they were going to be working on footpath maintenance nearby. Realising where they meant, I asked for more information about their work: their plan was to remove the footbridge which acts as the home to this geocache, and replace it with a new one a couple of metres over in order to bring the path in-line with its “correct” location!

A rugged white flatbed van with a yellow stripe and the logo of Oxfordshire County Council sits on a gravel driveway in a garden. The sun glistens off the windscreen and the driver-side window is partially ajar.

So I wandered out with them and removed the geocache before they got started on removing the bridge. I might be able to replace it after the new bridge is built, but – based on their description of the new bridge – it might need to be a different design of cache, so for now I’m archiving this one. This is perhaps my happiest cache-archiving ever.

I confirmed that this team weren’t the bridge inspection team who wrote a lovely log in a cache of mine hidden under a different bridge in this area, but they said that they do occasionally find caches as part of their work and try to return them as-they-found-them. Delightful conversation.

A rugged white flatbed van with a yellow stripe and the logo of Oxfordshire County Council sits on a gravel driveway in a garden. The sun glistens off the windscreen and the driver-side window is partially ajar.×