It was a true British summer's evening. Nobody could quite work out if it was going to rain, snow, hail or be sunny. In the event, apart from a trickle of rain or two, the weather was uniformly dull.
This was unlike the Hash, which started off with Helen talking loudly and Ade talking even louder. As a result of the ensuing badinage all I learned was that the run was to be flat, beautiful and 6.1 Miles. However, as the person next to me whispered “But hares always lie,” I was in the normal state of ignorance when we set out.
A left and a right took us onto the path that doesn't quite go to Great Kingshill, so we turned right off that and went to Great Kingshill anyway. The back checks came thick and fast – a bit like the Hash – with Sam and his turbo-charged friend providing the fast part, and the rest of us making up the other bit.
As the rain from earlier in the day had conveniently washed away the first “F,” the first false trail of the evening caused great joy and confusion. Returning from some few hundreds yards further than he needed to go one hasher in particular was overheard explaining exactly how joyous he felt about it. Now, although death by hanging is a perfectly fine punishment for hares, I wonder if the boiling in oil was strictly necessary?
At the next check we had the entertainment of Helles Belles stoutly maintaining that she was no longer talking to Mike due to a remark he had made about her derriere – however, as the comment seems to have been that it was close to perfect, this may have been just flirting. Perhaps hashers should assess the matter thoroughly on the next run.
Sixteen miles out, (which only measured a mile and a bit on the map), we said goodbye to the short cutters who turned to the right. Us long cutters soon found ourselves (Ed's aside: having presumably lost ourselves?) at the back end of Heath End and heading towards Little Kingshill.
Now Little Kingshill dates back to around 900 AD with the founding of a monastery at Ashwell Farm. Depending on which version you believe, William the Conqueror gave the Manor either to a Saxon nobleman, the Earl of Aufrics or to his own half brother Robert Count of Mortain. (Bare with me, as Mike would have said, I do have a point to make.) According to the “British History” website, Robert died between 1088 and 1097. And here we get to my point. This means he took 9 years to die – and the way I was running when we got to this point I knew exactly how he felt.
Heading north-west we met, if Helen's map is to be believed, a large arrow going the wrong way and I overheard Jo talking to Dick about Beefcake, or it might have been cheesecake as I wasn't listening properly. I think they both said that they enjoyed it, but that doesn't help much in deciding which it was.
A short while after a left turn onto the Prestwood Road, Roger announced that there were two ways to the left. Sadly I followed his directions and started checking, which was a shame considering it wasn't actually a check.
Half a mile later Pipers School hove into view. I learned later that the short cutters had entertainingly taken the wrong path here – going all the way down the enormous great hill, then back up it again. I won't say whose fault this was – so Jane needn't worry that her secret will be exposed.
A long drag and an on-inn took us back to the pub where Helles Belles had laid on a truly superb spread, which was much admired as an excellent reward after a long, flat and rather beautiful hash.
Well done also to Dave for 150 Hashes!