Walking on and on after Pokemon

Charlie Trimble goes Pokemon hunting in Grangemouth
Charlie Trimble goes Pokemon hunting in Grangemouth

My son was standing in Grangemouth’s Zetland Park only a few feet away from a massive rat.

Later he was running along La Porte Precinct while a giant bat flew above his head.

If you think Grangemouth is home to mutated mammals, or Brad Pitt is back in town to film a new horror flick or I’ve been having sugar induced hallucinations because I’m back on the cinnamon balls again, then you would be wrong on all three counts.

I can explain in one word.

Pokemon.

Well two words – Pokemon Go.

The mobile device game that has been sweeping the nation has now found its way into the Trimble household and, like every other major worldwide craze, we have jumped onto the bandwagon after everyone else has already climbed aboard.

Our Pokemon Go odyssey began on Friday night when I downloaded the app onto my phone as wee Charlie looked over my shoulder.

No sooner had I put in all the necessary details than a Pokemon appeared at the foot of the bed. I was overcome with shock so Charlie had to step up and capture the blighter himself.

He nabbed another one on the living room carpet later that night.

Two caught without leaving the house – this Pokemon hunting was going to be a piece of cake.

Or so I thought.

The next morning we set out into the wilds of Grangemouth armed only with a mobile phone and the knowledge my six-year-old son had caught two Pokemon in our own house without breaking a sweat.

Well an hour later and we had certainly broken a sweat all right – we must have walked about two miles and had nothing to show for it but sore feet and a strong indication there was one of the wee beggers hiding on the running track at Grangemouth Stadium.

Undeterred, we went out again and actually found a couple in Grangemouth town centre.

Then on Sunday we walked all the way into Zetland Park and back – must have been a good two mile trek – and found another couple hiding near the tennis courts.

I was amazed at wee Charlie, who normally moans if he has to walk from the house to the car. Not a peep about sore legs or being knackered came from him the whole time we were out.

So on Saturday and Sunday we walked around four miles and caught seven Pokemon.

My wife took Charlie out on Monday and the two of them caught 27 in about an hour.

In my defence, I’ve never been able to get the hang of Sat Nav.

So the Trimble family have embraced Pokemon along with the rest of the planet and so has Falkirk Community Trust, believing the game to be a great way for people of all ages to get out and get active.

The Trust has a web page devoted to the game, which can be found at www.facebook.com/PokemonGoFalkirk and has compiled a list of local Pokestops people may want to check out.

They include Grangemouth Library, Bo’ness Hippodrome and Recreation Centre, Camelon’s Mariner Centre and Forth Valley Sensory Centre Garden, The Helix, Callendar Park, Falkirk Town Hall and the Wall of Names at Falkirk Stadium.

Pokemon Gyms can be found at The Helix, Falkirk Stadium, The Steeple in Falkirk High Street and many more locations throughout the area.

A Community Trust spokesman said: “We are really pleased to see so many people out walking and cycling because of it. It’s really ticking boxes for us in terms of inactive people getting active and we are keen to encourage it.

“Of course we would warn people to be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times while they play the game.”

The only close call we have had so far is Charlie almost getting his head stuck in some railings at Sacred Heart Primary School.

If nothing else, writing this feature has helped me get to grips with the workings of the game.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Different Pokemon species hang around different areas of the world – water-based Pokemon are generally found near water.

Catching a Pokemon involves throwing a Poke Ball at it – something I managed to do about 50 times trying to catch one elusive Pokemon.

If the Pokemon is successfully caught, it will belong to the player and can be evolved using means which I have yet to comprehend – but Charlie seems to know all about it.

There is also the option to stage battles with the Pokemon you have collected – but not having reached level five yet I would not know anything about that.

The ultimate aim of the game is to complete all the entries in the Pokedex, a comprehensive Pokemon encyclopedia, by capturing and evolving all available Pokemon.