Hash hares have had a pretty grim time of things over the last couple of months as far as the weather is concerned. Snow, icy winds, torrential rain, all have played their part. Roger had managed to draw a cold, wet and foggy Tuesday for this evening’s excursion, a combination which would usually mean ankle deep ‘shiggy’ or worse along the cunningly devious country trails.
So I was very pleasantly surprised when he declared, before we set off, that there was virtually no mud on said route. And do you know, the most annoying thing was that I actually believed him! New hashers take heed, never believe a word the hare says, part of the job spec is to lie through your teeth.
Off we set across Hyde Heath common, with the lights from the Plough Pub quickly disappearing in the murky gloom. It was here that the G.M had shown remarkably poor ‘form’, for despite being perfectly attired for the run had chosen to stay in the pub supping ale and swapping golfing tales. Shame!
A few twists and turns and a couple of stiles brought us onto a concrete track which was never ending. At the end of the track was Hawthorne Farm.
Now, the owners of Hawthorne Farm are customers of mine, and I’ve been there many times in the past to fit satellite dishes, repair aerials, etc. The farm house is a large four storey manor house with many stables, barns and outhouses, but I never recognised any of it in the fog, only realising our whereabouts when we hit the B485 Chesham road.
A left then a right led us down Little Hundridge Lane (thanks for the map Roger) where I recognised part of Herberts Hole. Sunday morning eventers will know Herberts hole well. If this at all sounds slightly rude, rest assured, the only rude thing about Herberts hole is the sight of bedraggled runners returning from this mud bath of a run.
A check left into a field was missed by many (me included), who were hauled back with much muttering and protesting. We slithered and slid out way across the field then over a stile and down into swamp No 1, which was easily large enough to accommodate an extended alligator family. Here several front runners were picking their way back across the swamp, having encountered a cruelly placed 6 back, their comments about the hare cannot be printed in this family edition of Hash Trash.
Once through this traumatic section, we came to the long/short split. Here, Helen declared a bleeding nose, then downgraded it to a snotty nose. Relieved, she sprinted off at the head of the longs.
Yours truly wimped out and went short, though with some concern. On more than one occasion, the shorts have arrived back at the pub much later than the longs, having mis-read the Hare’s ‘short trail map’, getting themselves hopelessly lost.
Next came the ‘crocuses or were they snowdrops? Anyway, there was a huge patch of them, which we tried to avoid. If there are any horticulturists out there, please stay out there.
We now emerged back onto the Chesham road, not much more than a spit from where we had previously crossed it, then down Browns Lane (love that map), where Gerry and Dick missed a check that I then spotted taking us back into the woods.
We soon emerged to a check on a small, private road, but was it left or right? No flour could be found, so Mick and Barney consulted the Hares map and after much consideration, declared that it was definitely left. Only Gerry who had been checking way out saved us from ‘chipless oblivion’, finding flour. “On right” was called.
The final leg was down a hugely muddy path, running parallel with Hyde Heath road and curiously labelled LM37 on the splendid map, but I shall always remember it as Swamp No 2. It was boggy!
On Inn and back across the common to the very welcoming Plough Pub. A good hash Roger, set in difficult weather and it’s reassuring to know that you can lie with the best of them.