To my amazement I discover it's been 5 years since we last ran from this pub. The hare's birthday falls (I use that word advisedly) this year on a Monday evening; it's midsummer, in a fine location, with good beer and live music on offer. What can possibly go wrong? Hmmm, I hadn't taken into account just how cunning a simple stile can be, but I soon found out when laying the trail as one of the type illustrated left tipped yours truly base-over-apex from the top of one, to land hard on my left hip. Ouch! I thought – not the actual words that came to me at the time.
Circling up, we just made double figures; were hashers stuck in traffic on or near the A421, or were they still exhausted after last week's extended sojourn? Whichever, a shorter trail had been planned – 3.3 miles, with a shortcut available. The injured solo hare advised the FRBs that the only time they were likely to see him was on their way back from the number checks – there were 4 of them, each with the number '4', in honour of the date, as Depth Charge, Rapid and Capt Fantaaastic will doubtless attest.
On Out and the pack (all 9 of them) soon picked up the trail round behind the pub and on to a field in which a herd of cattle were enjoying a quiet supper. As we made our way gently down the slope, Forking pointed out a large squishy cowpat to newbee Chris, who promptly put his size 11 straight into it.
Scooby-Doo took on the role of cow whisperer, after which the young calves would follow him anywhere...and did. Soon after, we arrived at the point where the shortcut had been laid, but there were no brexiters here, everybody opting to stay in.
A loop brought us to the road by The Cross Keys pub, but no beer stop yet; there was some climbing to be done first up to the high point of the trail overlooking the glorious Totternhoe countryside, after which it was a gentle downhill stroll back to the pub. Nik-Nak and Forking missed the late turn through the barley field and the recreation ground and so also missed the On-Inn.
There being a small number of hashers present, an over-enthusiastic Assistant RA (having also left his wallet and house keys at home) overspent the subs (to which Scooby had contributed with £1 in 5p and 10p coins!) with the dray [Naughty RA – see The Count later].
Down-downs for Ringer as both birthday boy and hare, who coyly said it was his 0100 0011 (in binary) birthday. Some homework was needed to work this out, one hasher making it 128!!! Newbee Chris, a family relative of Rapid took it all in his strides. Correct homework was rewarded with a glassful of cola and straws. Nik-Nak's "big one that extends" (a zoom lens apparently), together with sex on the hash with Scooby, earned her a down-down. Rabid Daily (aka Double Entry) was also invited into the Circle of reasons which now (and probably then) escape me. Part way through the Circle we were joined by apres Fat Controller.
So there you have it, another birthday over. Fortunately, it won't fall on a Monday again for a good few years, 2022 to be precise (makes note in diary not to book a run that day).
On-On to next week's run at The Yorkshire Grey, Biggleswade
This week's pics courtesy of last minute stand-in Hash Flash Double Entry