Monday 1 June 2015
The Chequers, Stotfold
Hares: Knobber and Scooper
HASHERS: 16 ANKLE BITERS: 2 APRES: 3
Underlay braves pen and 7 cygnets
Yet another anniversary for The Count and Lady P
File under "Miscellaneous Down-Downs"
What I had planned as a carefree day with no-where in particular to go, started with taking our watches in for a service. It will take a week for an estimate and six weeks to do any work. Big Ben was refurbished in four weeks! And the place had one of those awkward car parks, even for a bloke. What a wind-up.
Back at home; Hairy reported an influx of wasps in the kitchen, and a loud buzzing from the chamber of the extractor unit over the hob. As it looked as if a swarm had moved in for the summer, I phoned Central Beds Pest Control, who sent someone round within a couple of hours. By which time the wasps had left. Completely. Without any trace. Unbelievable. So I spent the next couple of hours in the wind and rain sourcing and fitting a replacement cover for the external vent, to stop anything else getting in there.
After all of that, it was a welcome change to lay the trail about the finer parts of Stotfold, and return to the Chequers to see the pack shivering away in their chariots.
After exploring a couple of falsies, the pack headed away towards Stotfold Mill, over the River Ivel, and into the nature reserve. Along the route by the riverside, there was a Pen with her clutch huddled up for the night like a beaky duvet with flippers. The pack excused itself from the "4 to the back" that the cygnus had settled on, to avoid provoking any intervention from the Cob, who was on guard close by.
At the end of the loop around the Nature Reserve, Zebedee appeared and caught the pack up as it made its way to a held check along Mill Lane. After a Capn F lead the pack over the new Ford Bridge before finding a T, while the Pack, headed by Zebedee and Underlay found the trail over the common and out at the Chapel, where a check had been mysteriously washed away even though there had been no rain since it had been drawn. By now, the trail was looking as if it was going to run out short of the hour, so the Hares did their best to span it out as much as possible, although the intention had always been to stay close to the pub in case the storm kicked in. So the pack was encouraged along false trails before finding its way up the back passages onto Church Road, then through the churchyard and back to The Chequers, where the beer was excellent and we were kindly treated to chicken and chips.
In the circle, down-downs went to the Hares, Count and Lady P on their anniversary, Gorjoyce on her retirement, and WWW and Willy Warmer on their engagement. Capn F, Edwina and Zebedee also found their way into the middle of the circle, but I can't remember why.
Thanks to the pack for turning up on what could have been a horrible night weather-wise, and also to hosts Doug and his team at the brilliant newly refurbished Chequers, the landmark pub in Stotfold. It was also nice to see Niall, Liam, Harry, Louis and Zayn again - we really must think of hash names for them - even though Zayn was a bit vacant and said he might not be able to make any more runs for some reason.
Gorjoyce: happy to be retired?
The RA congratulates Walnut Whip Willy and Willy Warmer
A random selection of other hashers