It's really great to meet and greet with neighbouring Hash Kennels. Hence, my old mate Mr X and I decided to set a joint run together, when we met up in Kent during the summer.
However, things were not to be. Now that I'm a 'gentleman of leisure' I had time to reccie the trail on Wednesday afternoon, and include imbibing some good ales, some good chats with Kate the barmaid and the locals. A real log fire crackling in the inglenook fireplace - - - - - . How relaxing! Mr X had the 'w' to contend with. Then, whilst I was inconveniently and otherwise engaged from carrying out my trail laying duties, Mr X had to set the trail on Saturday: just before the Rugby.
As we all know - the heavens opened up on Saturday night as Hurricane Angus and tsunamis swept northwards across our respective counties towards Haggisland.
Then at 08:20hrs the phone rang. Kisses Anytime and I ignored it! 50 minutes later, I found it was Mr X who had rung. 'Had something gone horribly wrong?' I thought. I rang him! "Mr X! What the bloody hell do you think you were doing ringing me at 8:20 in the morning? Good job I wasn't on the vinegar strokes! Have you got an itchy arse or something?"
"No, no! It's all right. Just thought I'd let you know, there were no problems with the trail. Rain might have done some damage though. Spermie and I will refresh if we have time." He replied.
My thoughts then turned to considering how many from both packs would turn up. The other bone of contention was the unexpected discovery of a huge underground reserve of natural gas near Ampthill. How would that find affect attendance from our pack? News coverage indicated that a lot of the local residents wanted a share in the bonus find - bit like the Gold rushes of old. In fact 'Blowfeld' in his role of 'local do goodie activist' made an appearance on local TV - cheekily asking the contractors to get on with connecting the gas to all the surrounding towns and villages for free! No wonder he's our Hash Cash.
I was not disappointed? No! The turnout was a real surprise; about 15 from H4, about 15 from H5, and 2 from MKH3. Sloppy Seconds and Forkin' were the RAs, or 'Curates' as H4 call them. (Seeing the pair of them together reminded me of the proverb of the Curate's Egg)
Circle Up was called. The rain held off, and soon we were off.
Now dear reader, please refer to the excellent hand drawn trail overlaid onto an enlarged map of the trail. The length of the trail has been carefully measured with Engineers' dividers. And, the spaces between the contour lines give an accurate indication to the steepness of the rise and falls en-route! None of these namby-pamby, highly expensive technical GPS gizmos that you lot so slavishly worship - for me!
The on out was soon found, with many of the young, super-fit H4 FRBs being caught out by the false trails by Abbotshay and the remains of the romantic old village church. It's now shattered tower echoing the the plaintive cries of "On – On!" from a nubile H4 harriette carried on the early winter breeze to - -. (Er?)
To my surprise the MKH3 faction of Bell End, and his young daughter Princess Theakston's were constantly up with the FRBs! (Not our Bell End)
Then; Knobber showed up. "Sorry I was late F.C. but my satnav couldn't find the pub. I've been to the pub many times in the past, but the satnav kept sending round in circles!" He grovellingly apologized. (see what I mean? How about using road signs pointing the way to the pub?) 'I'll get him for being late!' I thought.
On to skirt Harepark Spring. Here, My Lil Spermie and a few others (the older, and fartier faction of H4) were seen sneaking up the short cut off to the left.
The stretch across to Lamer Wood was flat but very shiggy. Strolling whistfully through the woodland beside Astridge Farm was truly beautiful. The breathtaking colours of the autumn leaves, with all her natural beauty, hair coloured from a bottle, Lady P clad in hash haberdashery became a denizen of my des (Bloody Hell! What am I doing? I'm supposed to be writing a load of trash, not a romantic play! Get a grip man!)
Turning left at the road Check, the Hold Check at the junction of the short cut by Lamer House, was soon reached. It was here that Kisses and Double Entry asked if anyone had seen Gorjoyce and Clap Trap? "They had a map, and I told them where to go", retorted Mr X, thinking that he was being fingered by Kisses and DE.
All assembled, the pack crossed the old golf course to Bride Hall, exiting by the 'Tradesman's Entrance' onto the final Check.
"Now, it gets a bit dodgy from here, the lane is very narrow, so we have to keep together. We need volunteers preferably wearing a yellow HV vest to run in front and to the rear of the pack to warn approaching traffic that we on the road." I announced in my officious Safety Officer's voice. The pack looked stunned! Blatant Health & Safety on a run? All milled around - sheepishly. But, Knobber stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in his yellow HiVi.
"Why me?" he cried, when the pack told him that he was the sacrificial hasher, so to get running! Got him!
Act 4: Back at the Brocket Arms
F.C. Well we've all got back to the pub safely, Mr X old chap. A jolly good run – to boot!
Mr X. I should say so! Glad the rain held off. A bit chilly for some though.
F.C. Right. Right! Can you see those far off shores?
Mr X: What shores?
F.C. Mine's a pint!
Catch It: Has anybody seen my wife? (Now what the f*** am I doing?)