2009-08-01 -37 145
In a property just off Middleborough Road, Blackburn South.
The Multi Fail:
I'd known about this geohash since the previous night and was fairly tempted by it. Unfortunately I was pretty busy that day so I'd virtually ruled it out. After a morning consumed with my work on a freeway construction site, at 2pm I left to go to the city for a Melbourne International Film Festival film, then off to Keysborough for an Indian classical music concert of my workmate's (to which I travelled by bike-train). The final two activities were my boss's 30th birthday party in Wheeler's Hill and a house party in Brunswick. Now it turns out that the geohash is sort of almost on the way between those two places, but I had assumed that there was no way I could get there before midnight (I was still on my bike). As it happened, I got a message at the party from my friend Sasha telling me that she'd made a go at the hash point, so that gave me a real incentive to try for it myself. At about 11pm several guests started to leave the 30th and I found that it could be socially acceptable for me to do so as well. I jumped on my bike outside the pub at about 20 past 11 and raced north west through the rain towards Blackburn South, checking my printed (and increasingly soggy) Google Maps along the way.
After zigzagging through the streets of the eastern suburbs I finally came to the area where I remembered the geohash was located, with a good three minutes to spare before midnight. I stopped to get out my GPS and turn it on (just enough battery left) - but lo! I could not find the post-it note on which I'd written the coordinates (it turned out they were in my other jeans, typically). "Oh well" I thought, "The point looked like it was in someone's house anyway, at least I have the Google Maps sheet to tell me where it is". But alas! The sheets were no longer in my pocket. My jeans had ejected them, as they had on previous occasions a TravelSmart map of Melbourne and separately an Astor Calendar of upcoming films - curse my paper-shedding pants! I tried to remember the street name but even before I'd scanned my memory I realised that it was already after midnight. That's failure on four points. With great sadness I remounted my bike and rode through the north eastern suburbs to Brunswick where I feigned good cheer in the face of failure.
Here is a map of my route that evening.
Whilst at work I received a message from Felix telling me to check out today's geohash. I was trying to pass time by working out where it was going to be and jumped on the computer as soon as I got home. For some reason I couldn't get google maps working so it took me about 30 minutes just to find the point only to discover it was in Blackburn South... about 3km from where I live. I was headed into the city in the evening so I thought I'd pass by and do a ten minute detour. Dressed up for going out & carrying a head torch, camera and my map, I must have looked quite a sight walking around the quiet streets of Blackburn! I drove to the house & given the geohash seemed to be located on the side of their property. I sort of ran down their driveway a bit & took a couple of happy snaps to prove I was there. As I don't have a GPS I think the exact point was probably located somewhere between me & their car. It was also dark by then so the photos don't really show much of the location. Despite living in Blackburn my whole life I had never actually been down this street before. I guess geohashing allowed me to discover a new spot right in my own neighbourhood! This was my second geohash & my first solo one.
Semi-fail. There should be a new award created for 'fates, nihilism and idiocy combining to prevent achievement of the easiest hash ever.'
I gave up Geohashing, vowing to return when the fates decreed it right, after lamenting for months that all the geohashes in Melbourne were either
(a) miles and miles out of my way, either up in the mountainous regions or, worse still, in the Mordor of Victoria, aka the Western suburbs
(b) just out of range to make it impossible to get there after work without distorting space and time
(c) within range and within achievability but coinciding with or hangovers or essential Playstation time
Two days later, the fates answered, and denied me a semi-Couch Potato Geohash award - I live on Ayr Street, on a property approximately 80 metres from the Geohash point. Ironically, I walked even closer to this house on the way to Bunnings Warehouse late that afternoon. Lack of intent technically doesn't count, but it's nice to get Australia onto the Couch Potato board.
Anyway. I'm not sure which guts me more: that I didn't check the coordinates for the day, or that I failed to take the opportunity to meet and offer coffee and muffins to fellow Melbournian geohashers. Apologies all round.