21-Jan-2001 -- The Confluence web site does have a certain appeal to it.
Immediately I thought of "square bashing", a pastime that radio
amateurs get up to whilst their tomato plants mature. They work a station at an arbitrary
location, talk about their tomatoes, and fill in a square on a map. This is
a very sad pastime and is to be despised!
However, people that go visiting confluences are not like this at all! I
had to join in!
Alarmed that my nearest confluence, 52°N 1°W, in Buckingham had been
recently taken, I looked eastward. 52°N 0°E is 17 miles south of Cambridge,
where Jenny and Bernie live.
10:00 am on Sunday 21st January finds us heading towards Barkway, a very
pleasant flint walled village in Hertfordshire. UpMyStreet.com classify the
place as a very affluent commuter village. It looks it too. (We decided we
weren't charging enough contracting and our rates would have to go up this
year!) We take a lane by the church that turns into a track, and after a
mile finally runs out.
We start walking. There's a quarter of a mile to the confluence. It's in
the middle of a large muddy field sown with winter wheat. A strong wind, and
driving sleet add to the fun. The field is regularly rutted with tractor
tyre marks - these form "safe" paths to get access to the middle:
we don't really want to trample the farmer's crops. We get within 30 ft of the
confluence - that's near enough! The Etrex GPS boasted 22ft accuracy, so
we're well within the 100 metre limit.
Our photos, like so many on the Confluence web site, show yet another
We congratulate each other. We should do this more often. The warmth of
thevan beckons, and we return. Walking into the bitter easterly wind is
We see a fox. We wonder what the locals think to fox hunting.
Back in the van we give a call out on the Worked All Britain frequency -
to see if we can give anyone a new square. (What a giveaway!)
We collect Jenny's family and celebrate with a traditional Sunday Roast
Dinner in a Cambridge pub. We tell them of the morning's excitement, but
they didn't really understand.