On Saturday, with all intent to reccie and lay the trail, Kisses Anytime (my co-hare) and I set off at 12:40pm in her little red hash chariot to The Lilley Arms. On arrival it had turned bitterly cold and chucking it down with sleet and rain. So, I had a quick chat with Peter, the Landlord, and we returned to our cosy home.
A month or so ago, when I was a svelt, athletic hasher, coursing with testosterone, I would have cocked a snook at bad weather, and ventured forth! But now, having recently become an official 'old fart', now in league with Bangers, Blowfelt, Gorjoyce, Pussy's Galore, Ringer, Count Roadkill, Shagpile and Pongo – ano domini seems to have hit my (to date) ageless masculine reputation like hitting a brick wall! Boo - hoo!
Sunday dawned early. Setting off out of the village; laying the trail soon became a steep up hill struggle, (as the pack were soon to moan about). The up hill struggle, the shiggy, and ano domini made us realise that we did not have a cat's chance in hell of getting the trail set to get us back to the pub before 10:30, and so it was decided that Kisses would head back (who said 'head'?) to meet up with you lot who turned up.
With my trail well marked and measured (at 4 miles [6.5km] with my very accurate engineering dividers) on the map and blue flour in hand, I forged on into the un-reccied hinterland of Lilley Hoo, knowing that this had now become a 'live hare' run – and – I was the quarry! My planned diagonal trail through the southern wood on the Hoo was blocked, so I had to re-route, skirting the edge of the wood to pick up the footpath leading to Mazebeard Wood. Shiggy was bountiful, and made for slow progress, especially the decent down the side of Mazebeard Wood, but I forged on to the first 'Hold Check', where disaster stuck with the potential to further diminish my reputation. I joined the 'Flying Club'! The imprint of my face, left arm, and bodyside left in the squelching mud was justification for derision aimed at me in the Circle! Gathering my senses, I quickly trampled the damning imprint out, and laid the 'X'. (Would it work?)
Covered in mud, I now had to get back before being caught!
Entering the wood below Little Offley, again, I found that my planned diagonal trail was blocked, so I took the bridleway onto the north end of the Hoo. To cut a long story short; disaster struck again, this time in the distance walking towards me was the 'knitting circle', comprising two previously named old farts,and Double Entry – led by Kisses.
Were they off trail? OK! They had also spotted me? Yes! My reputation was now potentially in tatters. Meeting them, DE said with a wry smile; "We saw someone in the distance and couldn't make out whether it was you or not, until you turned sideways, when from your profile we decided it WAS you! And I see that you've fallen over!" (And I thought she was a friend!) Now, with my proverbial tail between my legs – I headed for the ON –INN!
It's not often that FC is lost for words, but since he didn't have an 'on-the-run' view of the pack he's a bit clueless and has asked me, Ringer, to fill in the gaps. Firstly we had a visitor, Marie-Ann, sponsored by Frau KR and Shufflecock.
Keeping UP with the FRBs was not the primary problem, simply keeping UPRIGHT was, such was the quality of the shiggy!! However before all that, an overloaded G-String had to negotiate the first gate – #fail!! Daughter Grace (or was it Emily?) was an early faller, although she and her sister both finished the run with 'skidmarks' but without Skidmark.
Capt Fantaaastic (in the warming Dior hashit) had an urgent appointment with Mum and halfway round was seen heading over the horizon in a bid to navigate his way by instinct back to the pub. At least he must have been quicker than me as his chariot had gone when I got back to the pub.
Young Alex laid his own trail – just one dob – by managing to drop his hat on the shiggy without Dad noticing. News came in that it had been found by other hashers and left on a gatepost (or somewhere). Dad prepared to go retrieve said item but further news revealed that it was already enroute courtesy of the knitting circle.
The steep descent down The Baulk proved challenging for most of us, and Zebedee owning up to being a 'premature' old fart! [FC's words, I prefer the title The Worshipful Company of Leisurely Hashers].
Our visitor was reluctant to step into the circle for her down-down, so it went to her sponsor Shuffle. I was pleased to be able to present Felicia with her 50 run award – a very fetching piece of headgear (see pic) – well done her. RA Shagpile was quick to pick up on -isms, both Pongo and FC for forgetfulism – lost property at the Leap Year run in London. Knobber and Underlay were found guilty of grooming – I believe horses were involved! The Dior hashit went to Forking for an inappropriate comment and G-String will carry the bog seat next time around.
Back at the pub, moans about the shiggy and TFL were bandied at me. Underlay, with her modern technology was quick to inform me that the trail was 5.5 miles long. So let's see what is more accurate, an extremely accurate engineering divider or a GPS device?
Remeasured trail due to diversions through the woods = 4.5 miles (7.2km)/Original 4 miles (6.5km) x 100 = +12.5% error. Underlay measure at 5.5 miles (8.8km)/4.5 miles x 100 = +22.2% error.
Methinks, I've won!