Winter briefly abated for a few days and we were back to bright sunshine, although it was still pretty nippy. So we made the most of the good weather coinciding with the school and university holidays to do a spot of geocaching.

A quick snack before we start

We started off with some unfinished business. We didn’t have the correct tools with us our first time of hunting (we needed a magnet) but this time we did so we stopped by to uncover a particular cache. Then we drove on to near Sidiailles, a reservoir close to us in the Cher departement but crossed over into nearby Allier on the way. It’s kind of confusing when you live so close to the borders of as many departements as we do!

Blue skies and a dawdling Rors

The kids were full of trepidation. They remembered all too well the Sidiailles Death March that I’d taken them on pretty much six years ago exactly. It’s when Chris was still working in Ireland. Wanting to fill a Sunday morning in a healthy way, I’d taken the three of them to the reservoir armed with what turned out to be possibly the worst ever walking guide – ever, and then some. I should have known better. Other walks we’d set out on using this book had ended in disaster. But we set off optimistically with Rors in his buggy and Benj and Caiti full of joy. Seven hours later we were still walking, and I’d only brought some fruit cake and a few juice cartons with us. How we survived the day, I don’t know, but we did, despite getting horrendously lost.

Caiti resists temptation to push her brothers into the reservoir - just!

Today went better. We got off route a little but not to such disastrous proportions. We passed by a manic donkey. As we walked past a house, three little dogs shot out and began barking loudly. Then, on the other side of the road, the donkey hurtled towards us across his field braying at the top of his voice. We all laughed. This was meant to be a quiet country walk and the racket was earshattering!

Anyway, we got to the reservoir and this time discovered some ancient ruins. These are the remnants of an 11th century castle. Here are the pillars that once supported the wooden drawbridge when it was down.

Here are two cattle related objects in the village square where we’d parked for going on our walk. The first one is a cow weigher.

But what’s this? Remember, something to do with bovines. Answers please …

We didn’t get to the geocache, owing to our deviation and a couple of us being a touch short of energy. So we headed home, having our closest shave in the car by a long way. A car hurtled round a corner towards us, completely out of control, and was then veering all over the road. As Chris pulled in to the left as far as he could the damn car came over to our side of the road, heading straight at us. I was convinced this was it and Chris was within a split second of driving us into the ditch to avoid a head-on smash. But luckily the other guy got his act together in the nick of time and missed us, I’m still not sure how. I felt very wobbly the rest of the way home!

The wet and cold are back now – Friday today – and Benj is back in Limoges. The Ruadhri and Mum Cinema Club had an outing this afternoon to see Ice Age 4 at Boussac and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I tend to go on our cinema outings with a sinking heart but am usually pleasantly surprised. I was today and I even understood most of it!

And Caiti has made sausages!