It may not be the easiest pub in Hashland to find, but in terms of the surrounding countryside and scenery it has to offer, it more than earns its keep. The opening weekend of British Summer Time was glorious and laying the run on Saturday was a real pleasure. In the wee small hours of Sunday morning the clocks went forward an hour but none of our hashers was caught out, Subby, Peachers and Oscar even arrived before the circle rather than just after.
With the GM away and the HM on haring duties, fresh from his triumph a couple of weeks earlier as stand-in HM, the Count took charge and tried (ineffectually) to gather Gorjoyce and her two succeeding generations into the circle. To fill the gap, Lady P had a joke to tell: "A blue man lives in a blue house. A green man lives in the green house. A yellow man lives in a yellow house. An orange man lives in ...? No not an orange house but a White House". No barfdays or similar were admitted to so it was over to the hares who told the pack only of possible horses and that the On-Out was down one of two footpaths, one on each side of the road past the pub.
Underlay led the chase along the less-popular choice – less-popular for good reason – it was the wrong one. The remainder of the pack headed westward towards the 'centre' of Ley Green – note I use the term 'centre' loosely. After checking out some false trails the inconspicuous footpath out of the village towards the farm was picked up. By the held check Gorjoyce and co had peeled off to do their own thing, rejoining us later as apres. Forking checked out one false trail but came back complaining the 'T' was too early – *makes note for future reference*.
The first of two steepish climbs brought us up to the hamlet of Austage End where one or two 'nice houses' were to be seen. Underlay was by now way ahead of the pack and could be heard in the distance calling 'OnOn' even as she returned from a number check. Heading in the general direction of Preston, the pack came to a held check at a bridleway where the hares had planned on confusing the pack by laying good long false trails in both directions, the correct trail being a backcheck inside the hedge, but Underlay spoiled the hares' fun by virtue of her local knowledge – never mind, not all plans go to...err, plan.
The trail now followed a long downhill section before a second steepish climb led us almost to the edge of Kings Walden, then veering sharp right back towards the On-Inn and the pub.
Some fine beers were on offer, including a very quaffable Wolf in Sheep's Clothing from the Wolf Brewery in Suffolk – recommended. The Count again took charge of the circle but after seeing to the down-downs for the hares, was soon having trouble with his worms, so quickly passed it over to RA Rapid, whose sermon this week was all about numbers.
First into the confessional was Subby, accused of having a 1-track mind – that's to say, a music track she could quite remember. Number 2 called in was Bell End II for claiming that the 5-to-the-back number check was a two. Next up, number 3, was Forking for offering to be 'third man' for Subby (and Peachers?). And lastly the number 30: Knobber for admitting he could only manage about 30 seconds.
Forking had something to say, but as is often the case it was in Forking-speak and I didn't have a Babel fish1 to hand.
So there it is, another run done and dusted. Next week it's OnOn to The Moon and Stars in Rushden, where Gorjoyce and Blowfelt will entertain us.
Ringer and Bangers
1See The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy