11 February 2011
The Albion, Ampthill
Maximum use was made of available light
Taking a beer for Gispert, The Albion
Rapid chose the gay moustache poppadom
RAs get in everywhere, don't they?
Growing Old Disgracefully in anorak
The poppadom hit-and-run incident
Ampthill Trail - A tale of poo, treasure, tectonic plates, poppadums and back passages!
General rule of thumb is that it takes twice as long to set a trail as to run it. I'd spent 2 hours 20 minutes during a warm, sunny, late winter afternoon setting a fairly short run for me, at just over three miles. However, this event was to be a first for me with H5, running you lot at night with torches, and I had missed the previous Sunday run from The Engine and Tender, so I had no preconceptions. With chariot safely parked, Kisses and I entered The Albion just on 7pm to find Bangers and Forking already sampling the fine selection of real ales proffered by our genial host Russell. Then as the evening's hash gallimaufry of participants arrived to celebrate the unfortunate anniversary of Gisbert's untimely demise and my entry into sexagenarian dotage; Kisses, wielding the Ruby Murray menu took the orders - another first for H5!
"Circle Up!" was hollered above the bemused rumblings of the locals, and we all followed Rapid Withdrawal out via the back passage into the alleyway where Ringer (has anyone noticed that he is a 'ringer' for Aleksandr Orlov) opened the proceedings. I explained the marks with great care; as being a 'caring hare', I didn't want to get anybody lost, especially highlighting that after a O, marks would be within 50 paces of each other. A hand grabbed my shoulder! It was Capt. F. "F.C. there is only one problem." "What?" I replied. "Now let's compare legs!" He sidled next to me. "Right, now take a pace." He asked, and I did, then he did. "Look at the difference in my pace and yours? Mine is far greater than yours - therefore the maths might be wrong! (Gangly git!) After this show of arrant 'GM ery' - I shouted "On On!" generally waving towards the main street. The trail going down the narrow lanes opposite was eventually called by PP (more later) we're confident on where the trail was going Count Roadkill shouted: "It's a re-run of Run 1010! We know where it goes!" "Poor deluded fool." I thought as I slunk into the shadows guiding PP, Lady P, DE and Submissive with pooch into the concealed alley. I watched as the pack missed the O, and approached the X down by the allotments. Then, just as the X was found; "Quick, run! Don't let the pack see you." I whispered to Submissive. "I can't! The dog's just done a sh1t, and I need to find a poo bin to put it in." She replied in a fluster. (If in similar circumstance, with the pack on your heels - I think that new hash adage 'A dog turd in the bush is worth none in the hand' should come to mind!)
Leaving her, pooch and poo, I legged it up the alley as torch lights followed at a distance only to find Lady P, DE and PP on a T. "Quick, hide!" I told them, but too late: Underlay caught us out as we scurried for cover.
Past the Church the trail split, and I had laid a rather nasty long T ending on a steaming pile of horsesh1t. Reaching the split, all bar DE and I took to the T, and again confident on where the trail was going Count Roadkill shouted: "It's gonna be once round the graveyard folks!" The 'Coffin Dodger' soon found out how wrong he was when the T was eventually found. Meanwhile, DE and I secreted ourselves up the dark interior of Holly Lane. As before, the pack milled about, checking by the well lit Rectory driveway, but missing the shadow hidden lane entrance where DE and I were chuckling away. Again, FRB Underlay found and passed us, as did the rest on towards the Bedford Rd HOC.
Much to my annoyance, the trail through the park was found quite easily, except for Underlay missing a X ended up on the escarpment, whilst the pack had returned to the O and found the trail heading through shiggy and a fishhook near to a T that led to bit of confusion. Then it was on up to pass Katherine's Cross with marks, as spotted by Bangers, conveniently laid on molehills. "There was a famous treasure hunt that finished near the Cross, some years ago on the tele. And, I think the treasure was a gold rabbit." Bangers panted. I said that I vaguely remembered it, and a few others muttered similarly as we trailed the moonlit grass to the HOC by the car park.
In fact the rabbit was, like me, a 'hare' that was buried near Katherine's Cross during 1979 [a hare that SHOULD have been buried? ... Scribe]. The clues given to its precise location were cracked in 1982 when John Rousseau and Mike Barker - two enormous-brained physics teachers from Manchester - - - - -. Read more: Daily Mail article 25 Aug 2009
With stragglers Lady P and DE safely gathered in, I shouted: "Check it out!" Forking and his acolytes, to my delight, immediately set off on the falsie, Underlay headed (Who said "Head"?) off in the opposite unmarked direction, whilst the rest stood like startled rabbits in the headlights of approaching cars afraid to cross the road to the clearly seen dob of flour on the opposite kerb! Gisbert must have been crying! Round the rugby field went the trail, and all the FRBs missed the carefully placed arrow, found by Bangers, that led down to shiggy and stream to O. All bar Depth Charge took wrong routes. Unsure I cajoled him to keep searching, then he called On On! The torches coming from various directions through undergrowth was fantastic, and reminded me of the 'Moles' on dark nights when they would fondly shout with such venom; "F the hare!" after following some of my devious falsies. Crossing the heath to the Station Rd. O was uneventful. However, whilst heading (someone said "Head" again?) to the War Memorial HOC Forking having realised that the ground was sandy and not chalk started spurting volumes on the folding of tectonic plates. I was amazed at such knowledge! Perhaps it was Bangers and Forking who found the treasure? Anyway, enough supposition, it was time for supping, and On On! was called. The trail led up the avenue to the On Inn, then up Alameda Walk and all were back to the 'battle cruiser' in 1 hour 10 minutes. Perfection!
Two dapper gents from the curry house arrived with the rubies, and we all tucked in to a fantastic feast washed down with a fine selection of real ales, as the envious locals drooled. Then, as everyone was letting their grub go down, Rapid Withdrawal holding up a roughly shaped poppadom piped up; "Who's this?" Everyone looked at him and the odd shaped thing in his hand in astonishment. "Come on! Who is it?" he persisted. Blank stares and furrowed brows - - -. "It's the profile of Bangers! Look, here's his nose!"
Seeing the likeness, everyone fell about laughing, which only incited RW to conjure up a dodgy face mask, and a very 'Village People' poppadum moustache, which he sported with much glee to all.
Conversation at that part of the table then turned to PP and why he had not realised that he had found the trail down Arthur Street. RW then said that the next street was called Saunders Piece, and why couldn't he have 'a piece' named after him?" "You might be able to have 'Dave's Passage'!" quipped PP, and the conversation soon descended into a hilarious passages of wooftery innuendos at RW's anal cost, much to the delight of wifey Sue.
"Circle Up!" was called, and we all traipsed through the back passage (not RW's) to the alleyway, and the Circle began. As I remember, many Down - Downs were awarded, and our attempts at traffic calming with broken glass didn't work, which Submissive got a Down - Down for, and Zebedee got a cider Down - Down for being named without the GM's presence. I got one too.
A toast was raised to the memory of Gisbert, and then it was back inside the pub for more beer, bunting and frolic!
After my 1 pint Down - Down, I did manage, and I hasten to add after that lovely expensive curry, with great resolve, keep it down. However, I did have to leave a half pint unfinished!
ON - ON! Fat Controller (to infirmity and beyond!)
Not too sure if I should curse, thank or apologise for FC.
I suppose we love the old anorak .... Scribe