Yet another cracking weekend! Saturday was the punting extravaganza, which went off swimmingly well. Despite the awful weather before and after the weekend, it somehow managed to stay dry and warm when it really mattered. The rain on Sunday only started after Tarzan and I had managed to de-camp and commence the drive home (remarkable or what!!).
Sunday afternoon was bloomin' awful. It chucked it down. So I took the decision to lay the run after work on Monday. So I snuck out a little early and raced home, to do precisely that. Laying the trail all went to plan, but being a little squeezed for time it was maybe slightly shorter than the usual Capt F fare.
The usual reprobates gathered, with some slightly rarer outings for Muddy Waters, Walnut Whip Willy and Nipple Lickin Good an American visitor.
After a quick introduction and opening circle, the ON was called and WWW raced off hither and thither at a pace not recently witnessed by H5. After a few early falsies the correct trail was found across Digswell recreation ground. The pack finally exited the recreation ground via Elm Road at the end of which is the first of many numbered checks.
The hare splits the pack alphabetically and sends hashers with hash names beginning A-M away from the town and those starting N-Z towards the town. A cracking strategy as it stops check hovering so please be warned that this is a strategy that I might decide to use again. The only slight problem was that the main FRBs (i.e. WWW, Underlay, Nipple Lickin Good etc) were all inadvertently sent in the right direction - pah!!!.
The trail took us along the river Flit and past a team, brace, bed, flight, flock or raft of ducks (not sure which collective noun applies when they are just sunning themselves on the ground).
A quick traverse around along Stanford Road and Lucas Way to the check located at the base of Cockshoot Hill, which apparently is one of the prime tourist attractions of Shefford.
The FRBs on this occasion were led out by Shuffle Cock who was ascending with aplomb up the hill. A look of utter disgust and a drooping of his shoulders was apparent when the falsie half way up the hill was encountered (it could have been so much worse).
The FRBs trudge back down the hill and the real route takes us along the Shefford bypass. The usual trail back towards Chicksands proves to be a ruse. The only route left appears to be up Shefford's ball breaker hill (it doesn't have a real name as far as I can ascertain) but even this turns out to be a hoax. The actual trail was a double back via a newly opened permissive trail. Unfortunately Underlay knew this all along, as she had helped check out the trail two weeks earlier when the new path was discovered.
The return trail took down Riverside, and the River Flit before passing the ON-INN and emerging into the centre of Shefford. All that remained was a quick jaunty jog back to the Wool Pack for a well earned drinkie.
Count stood in for the absent GM and awarded a double down-down to Capt F for being a superlative hare and also for notching up yet another orbit of the sun and also to our newbie Nipple Lickin' Good. The secret RAs (Knobber and Forking) awarded down-downs for Nik-Nak for nearly being late, Knotch for being All-Wright, Shuffle Cock for his aforementioned gesticulations on Cockshoot hill, Lady P for just being there. Muddy Waters got a down-down for not being married to Walnut Whip Willy. Pecker and Walnut Whip Willy got a specially concocted isotonic down-down as a recovery elixir following their physical exertions (they nearly vomited it was so disgusting).
Many thanks to the landlord and landlady of the Woolpack for opening up especially for us on a Monday evening, for supplying us with some excellent cheese and ham sarnies (yum yum) and also for their array of outstandingly exceptional beers.
On-on to the The Queens Head, Tebworth