Lindsay (one of my colleagues) and I went off to do some cache maintenance at lunchtime. We wanted to find out who had logged The Other Leith Walk, put a travel bug in it then come back within our lunch hour. A chance to have a nice walk, a pleasant chat, nothing much.
On our way, we passed a little girl sitting on a bench with her mother kneeling in front of her. I only noticed them because the mother was being very affectionate, stroking the girl’s hair. Their bikes were beside them.
So we get there, but there are pedestrians. We’re standing by the tree, looking up at it & trying to figure out what species it is to kill the time, when a lady stops. “Excuse me,” she says, “but is there something going on up in that tree?” She’s peering into the branches. “Some kind of rare bird nest or something? I’m sure I saw people here yesterday too, and one of them had a camera. Or maybe it was further along.”
Uh, oh, I thought. One set of cachers, who found it yesterday, had a camera. Were they indiscreet? Does she suspect?
We said that we were just trying to figure out what kind of tree it was, and that we didn’t know anything about any rare birds round there. She seemed convinced that it was just coincidence, and went on. Then I inspected the cache, found out that Silver Fox and crustyloafer found it, and left the travel bug in. Reading the log, seeing how enthusiastic the other cachers (crustyloafer and his brother), I was encouraged. Maybe we’ll get another active cacher in Edinburgh.
I’m not really that worried that the cache will be plundered. It is very well hidden, actually, despite how close it is to the path. Still, I think I shall do another visit fairly soon just to be sure.
Then we were walking back when we come across an elderly gentleman trying to hold two bikes (an adult’s and a child’s) upright while leaning on his cane, looking anxiously up and down the path. He was just past the spot where we’d seen the mother and daughter, and he stopped us and asked for help. Apparently, the daughter had fallen quite badly off her bike, and the mother had called an ambulance. He had been passing by, and had offered to take their bikes to his house for safekeeping, but his offer had been more chivalrous than practical. He would have struggled to get one home, let alone the two.
So we walked the bikes back to his house nearby, and carried them up the stairs and into the common hallway where they would be safe. We all nodded smugly at each other, conscious of how good of citizens we were, and Lindsay and I rushed off, coming toward being late back to our desks.
But there must have been something about us – some indefineable Batman-and-Robinishness. We were walking up the hill past Canonmills, debating where to get food, when a Spanish woman stopped us because she couldn’t get her key to turn in her front lock. Neither could we, though we both tried (I think she was at the wrong house).
Good things come in threes, they say. We managed to avoid that. We were just about back to work when a confused-looking Japanese woman tried to cach our eyes. But then another woman passed her, and got ensnared instead. We passed them as the local was explaining that there wasn’t a Texaco anywhere nearby, but that Tesco’s was right over there…
After all that, we were only 5 minutes late back.