April Write Ups
SPRING WALK - Rachel Buckby
Thank you to everyone who gave me a very warm welcome on attending my first event with 50+! Around 30 people attended the day, which started off from the Swan Inn in Braybrooke and the weather was glorious. Everyone enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends. We were also happy to celebrate Tony's birthday and sang "Happy Birthday" as we took a break for drinks and snacks. We strolled on through fields, over stiles, enjoying the views, eventually reaching Oxendon tunnel (thanks for the sound effects) with torches in hand to lead us through. Everyone had built up an appetite for lunch and the meal was very enjoyable, preceded by sitting out in the garden in the sunshine drinking beer. I enjoyed the day, meeting new friends and look forward to many more in the future. Finally I'd like to thank Jane on everyone's behalf for organising the event.
ORIENTEERING - Pauline Ashby
We all gathered at Brixworth Country Park on a lovely sunny Sunday morning to test our skills at observation and plaiting grass!. After sorting ourselves out into groups of four (a feat in itself), our guide issued us with instruction sheets and pens, and explained how the morning would go. We set off to find little labels with numbers and letters on and worked out the codes to find the next one. I sat with the invalids while our teams re-traced their steps several times, trying to memorise lines from the poem beautifully engraved on large, upright pieces of tree and trying to make a piece of rope from grass. Photos of our natural sculptures were taken on mobile phones and at the end of our morning our team was declared the winner. My plaiting wasn't very successful but my knotting grass together was. A very enjoyable morning concluded with tea and cake in the cafe. Thanks to Carol for organising a lovely morning and making sure the weather was good.
BIRDS OF PREY - Carol Pullen
I think that everyone on the morning session agreed that this was excellent value for money and we were very lucky with the weather as well which managed to keep fine, sunny and warm. When we arrived at the Raptor Centre we got one of our two free cups of coffee or tea and then we had a tour of all the birds. My personal favourite was the Bateleur Eagle called Captain Scarlet, a splendid female with black plumage and bright red beak, 'nose' and feet, when she is happy, but which go yellow when she is unhappy! This was followed by the flying display when we all took part flying Goliath the White Faced Skopes Owl (who belied his name and was tiny), Moth the Harris Hawk, Indie the Indian Eagle Owl and Trevor the Barn Owl who all more or less behaved themselves with us. However when their trainers flew Luna and Poppy the Lanner Falcons, Poppy flew off and did her own thing for a while, before coming back and both of them doing a stunning display to the lure. Many thanks Anne for arranging this. The centre is well worth a visit.
RIFLE SHOOTING - Geoff Simpson
A cold wet and windy morning is not the ideal setting for shooting air rifles outdoors. However the warm reception and hot coffee & biscuits provided by Ian and Co soon had the eight of us in "Dirty Harry" and"The Jackal" mode!! We split into two groups, John, Janet & John and me in the warm, pistol shooting. Paul, Marilyn, Bob and Christine out in the cold, rifle shooting. After the safety talk we donned safety glasses and started to "spray lead". We all took to it very quickly - the favourite target being empty shotgun cartridges lined up on the back wall. We only managed to break two pistols this year. John Kemp's was replaced with "The Magnum" a BB repeater and cries of "Make my day punk" and "Eat lead sucker" were soon heard as we launched lead and ball bearings down the range which returned some shots, John having his hair parted, then one in the forehead and I got one in the hand and the upper lip. A break for lunch of homemade celery soup and various filled baguettes and then on to the rifles.... "I've knocked the head off the pigeon twice" Paul informed us (more than once). Great, a challenge! Unfortunately I couldn't see it from my shooting position. Janet took to the rifles immediately, hitting everything in sight....rabbits, squirrels, rats, rooks (all metal I hasten to add) until the purple patch ended. John Doherty had trouble with his telescopic sight until we swapped rifles. John Kemp was very quiet I think he was concentrating on that b****y pigeon's head Janet managed to "ring the bell" twice with a borrowed "super rifle" a really difficult target made more so by the blustery wind. Shame there weren't any barn doors - I might have done well. A great day as always and many thanks to Paul for organising it.
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