Good evening! Let me start with an apology, actually… let me start with a realisation… People actually read this blog and my random wafflings on (I know, I couldn’t believe it either! ;)). On Saturday I posted the blog entry ‘Geocache cycling trail – The Flitch Way‘ about our cache adventure along the Flitch way in Essex.
A lot of the caches along this trail had been laid by a “Professional” Geocacher (I am going to use this term as it’s what the job advert used, except they called it “Professional Treasurehunter”) and I had a bit of a moan about some of the containers that we found. Let me emphasize that I didn’t moan about the locations, the hides, the choice of placement, etc. my main quibble was the fact that small, white bottles had been used to contain quite a few of the micro logs. However, the way I moaned was viewed as being a bit harsh and in hindsight, yep, it probably was, but honestly guys I didn’t mean it to be. I think that some people had taken it that I was slagging off the hider. It wasn’t a personal attack and I didn’t mean to upset or offend anyone. It really came across the wrong way.
I had seen the job ad for this position on the Essex County Council website whilst researching permissions needed to hide caches in Essex. You can also view that here. Surprisingly they still haven’t removed the advert. I had also listened to an interview on the Geotalk podcast about the position. You can listen to that here. I was pretty excited!!! Several months after the position had been filled (I thought it had been, but wasn’t sure) I myself emailed to enquire if it had been filled and also volunteered my free time to help with the project for free, just because I enjoy caching and wanted to help. I had no reply. My preconceptions of what these “paid” hides would be like was obviously wrong and I had misinterpreted the job advert to pretty much be a paid Geocache hider. Clearly the position involves a lot more work than that and in reality the Geocaching part of it is only a tiny chunk of it. I just thought that as it was a funded Geocaching project that the containers and swag would be something else.
The reason for these preconceptions were that I had seen the job advert. I had read it a couple of times. I had also heard the interview. If we had done the trail without this previous knowledge then I wouldn’t have been half as critical as I was. You read that job advert and tell me it doesn’t get you excited and buzzing about what the Geocache hides may be?
So people retaliated to my comments and hit back at me. Ouch! I suppose when you leave yourself open with a “Hello World! This is me and these are my opinions” kind of blog that’s what you get! It kind of took me by surprise though that for a blog entry I had posted on Saturday I was receiving a sudden wave of comments and emails 3 days later. I approved these comments and they are still there on the original post for all to see. I also amended the original blog entry and stripped out the negatives.
Let me clarify that I wasn’t expecting custom caches or anything fancy. I was mainly concerned that a) the lack of camo (white bottles can be seen very easily) meant that the caches may get muggled easily and b) it took a bit of fiddling to retreive the log from the bottles which despite us being uber discrete attracted extra muggle attention. Luckily we pulled it off and no-one was any the wiser, but it only takes one person to wrongly hide a white container for it to get spotted and taken. It’s horrible having to DNF a cache. It was a great trail and we found them all. We would have been really bummed if we couldn’t find some.
Some people also commented that as we have only recently hidden our first trail that we are not in a position to express a view on any cache hides. If we had hidden 300 caches, would my comments have come across any different? No, I don’t think so. Either way they came across in a way I hadn’t intended. I think anyone who has found a few caches starts to know what they do and don’t like to find and are able to form an opinion. I may not know caching, but I know what I like 😉
OK, so in conclusion… I have removed the negative comments from the original post. I’m deeply sorry if anyone was offended by them. What I wrote was wrong and simply came across in the wrong way. I seriously didn’t realise that so many people (And so many locals!!!) were actually bothering to visit my blog! I have also dropped an email to SXParx explaining what had happened, appologising and expressing my concerns about the white bottles getting muggled. Rather than publicly posting my negative opinion, this is what I should have done in the first place. And finally I’ve added this apology post here. I don’t think there’s much more I can do, guys. I do seriously recommend this trail as a great day out on bike. We loved it. Sadly all my words about the fun day we had got tarnished because I went about airing my criticisms the wrong way. It won’t happen again people!
Keep on reading the blog guys, I promise to play nice! Don’t just comment when I’ve said something you disagree with. Leave me some comments to let me know who’s reading and if there’s anything else you want to see on the blog!!! Right, time for bed, night night!