By a strange twist of fate and scribe-swapping, it turns out that I have to write up Graham's run – and he has to write-up mine next week. Hmm, I might have the glimmerings of an idea. If I give him a glowing write up will he returned the favour….?
But rest assured noble hashers, in the true spirit of hashing the truth will out and no single lie shall pass my lips (or at least keyboard) during this report …
It was a gorgeous and balmy evening as, in incredibly high spirits, we set off on what was clearly going to be a stunning run in the very finest traditions of a great hash.
We set of precisely on time, err, well actually some four or five minutes earlier than normal – which entertainingly threw the hash into chaos as nearly a third of the hashers (seven came later) hadn't yet arrived.
The GM set of at a gallop and naturally went the wrong way – which he kept insisting was the right way, but due to the high regard the hash holds him in, he was ignored as usual (Perhaps people avoided following him for fear he might make a speech at them?). With the benefit of local knowledge he continued on his solitary (and to be truthful somewhat shorter and more pleasant) path and was discovered waiting for us at the next check with his cheery curses.
About a quarter of the way around the hash was the one and only hellish hill - which many of us had to run up twice due to multiple back checks. Five partially exhausted late comers caught us up, I remember Ken was particularly pleased with the hill – having run hard to catch up he puffed somewhat as he climbed towards the summit with a jolly "Ho Ho, I am glad the hare set-off early and we had to race like deamons to catch up". As for the other late-comers, Des had no breath so couldn't speak, Helen tore up the hill with her usual disregard for gravity, but the only bit of Jo that seemed to be running was her nose, due to a particularly vicious dose of something nasty.
Just before Strawberry Wood, Helen gave a sur risingly knowledgeable discourse on the type of horse-fencing the farmer was using. It was obviously a much-studied subject and she spoke from the hart on detailed technical matters to do with the strength of the linkages, with many pros, cons and comparisons to other, lesser, fences. Naturally such a riveting subject brought the attention it deserved and everyone edged away from her. But, lost in her own world, she didn't seem to notice.
We reached Black Park where the short cutters peeled off by Pinewood Studios, and we saw the famous corner that James Bond tore round in his Aston Martin more years ago than I care to remember.
The long cut was memorable - partly due to the high speed of the pack, but mainly because of Hare Graham's cheerful comment that it would be "jolly entertaining" if we missed a specific check as we may find it a tad difficult to find our way. Only he didn't quite use those words – his version was somewhat pithier and more along the lines "Well be completly **!!**ed." Sadly his prediction was right, though the extra half mile was entertaining and my knowledge of the English language was considerably broadened.
But don't worry about it Graham – not only was the specific suggestion of what they wanted to do to a hare who had lost the way illegal in most countries, but where exactly would they get a stuffed porcupine at that time of night ?
The lake came and went with Matt & Roz joining us, having managed their own version of the run so far. Soon we were heading north along Queen's Drive, before a quick canter across Fulmer Common and Penn Wood took us back to within striking distance of the pub and the ON-INN.
The pub was warm, friendly and as jolly as it always is after such a thoroughly plesant hash.