Run No. 562 27th May 2002

The Five Bells, Henlow

Runners:  28
Mutts:  -
Ankle Biters:  -
Knitting Circle:  -
Apres:  -
Newies/Returnees:  -

I'm never sure if it's legit to blather on about the laying of a trail in The Words. You know the sort of thing, 'we woke up nice and early, the sun was shining and we set of to lay the trail...' In the case of yesterday's run, the laying was probably more comment worthy than the running. It was certainly considerable longer. Anyhow, I'm sure you're really keen to know that last Tuesday, I started thinking about laying run 562. First off, could I find the map? I looked everywhere - except where it was of course. Needless to say it turned up and, after a breakfast of toast and marmite, I sat down to plan the run. By Wednesday lunch time, I was pretty certain I knew where I wanted to go and thought I ought to ring the pub. Fortunately I had just taken delivery of the 2002/2003 Bedford & Milton Keynes yellow pages, so it took next to no time to turn to page 1116 and locate the phone number. Having established that we would be welcome at The Five Bells, I decided to forget about the run until nearer the time.

But that wasn't possible. On Saturday morning (fried breakfast: eggs, bacon, mushrooms, beans and toast), Underlay reminded me that we needed to check our stocks of hash flour. A quick check revealed that we only had the dregs left in a 2Kg bag - so something had to be done about that! We decided that the best thing to do was to call at Sainsburys on the way out the following day. Phew! tricky situation averted.

Come Sunday morning (fried breakfast again, but no eggs this time as we had run out) we set off for Henlow much later than was planned. The sun was shining as we left Potton, but by the time Henlow was reached a fair drizzle had set in. Now this is the bit that will have you rolling in the isles, I'd forgotten to bring a coat! As the rain got heavier, I dragged the car seat cover out and draped it around my shoulders, cape-like to try and keep off the increasing down pour. We'd only laid about 4 blobs and a check before I decided that enough-was-enough. No way was I going to traipse around the countryside in the pouring rain dressed in a car seat cover. So back home we went to collect full wax coats and hats and to get rid of Ebony who was going to bring nothing to the trail laying party.

About an hour later, it was back in the same place again, suitably togged up in rainwear. Miserably, dropping flour that was immediately washed away, we plodded around Henlow. Heads down against the torrent of rain we go on with the job. Before long the clouds cleared, the rain stopped and the sun burst forth causing steam to rise from the ground. The full wax jacket and hat now had to be carried along with the map case, flour and mini-rucksack. Sweat ran down my face, shirt stuck to my back and sense of humour departed faster than a cat with a rocket up it's arse. Not to worry, before long the black clouds were back and now the monsoon was accompanied by thunder and lightening. By now the novelty had well and truly worn off and so it was a quite trot back to the pub, which was fortunately still open.

Having divested ourselves of the wet clothing, we were looking forward to a beer or three and getting warm and dry. Who should we see in the pub but Cardiac, Mrs Cardiac, Cardiac Minor and Cardiac Minimus, Cardiac Senior and the Cardiac Matriarch. "Wot you doin' 'ere?" says Cardiac in his best Bedfordshire lilt. "Laying a trail" says I. "Why? it's Screamer's run from Shefford tomorrow" retorts Cardiac. Now I really felt miserable. I was convinced that I had not only spent about five times longer than was needed to lay a run, in the pouring rain and it wasn't my turn!!! Before I slit my wrists, Underlay managed to reassure me that Cardiac was talking out of his hat, and as you know, the run really was from Henlow.

On Monday we ran.

ONON to La belle France
Shagpile & Underlay