So we were asked to meet at The Hampden Arms in Great Hampden, a picturesque pub situated in the beautiful Chiltern Hills. All sounds quite lovely doesn't it? Mmm well . .
My tale starts at the pub where you can find most of the sensible hashers huddled around the kitchen door at the back of the pub, (mmm the aroma of beer and chips oops I digress) There was an uncanny resemblance to a colony of emperor penguins with no-one wanting to be the sacrificial wind break on the outer part of the huddle.
The wind was blowing, the temperature had dropped and still us mad fools were ready to face a fun packed evening of running round in the dark. (Hey it can't be as bad a last week…… can it?)
Roger whistles and shouts and a few of us penguins look up to see what is going on, I must say that I could see a lot of the Christmas hash Buff presents were being used to their utmost at this point.
No Virgins tonight which is somewhat unusual a of late, so Matt dropped the flag and we were off, I'd like to say like race horses out of the starting gates but I think we were more like a bunch of weary miners after a hard day downt pit! The trail was found on the opposite side of the pub to which I had set out and the calls of On-On could be heard by the 280 people that populate the villages of Great and Little Hampden. On down the road we strode, this was great as I had gleamingly clean trainers on and the rain was giving them a lovely sheen. Then the inevitable happened, we turn left over a stile and across the fields we go, trainers clean no more.
The rabble must be warming up about now as they were all starting to chat and the Christmas Buffs are being removed. A little chorus of "Happy Birthday" was intermittently erupting around Kerry, but I'm not sure what that was all about?
An early Long / Short Split was called and we were asked to check out which route was which? Longs went left and shorts went right Matt informed the longs that it was a quick mile and a half and we would catch the shorts up before all the chips were gone (that old dangling carrot always spurs us on). The fields were mildly moist and the wind was gathering speed but this didn't matter as we had the promise of chips in our sails and nothing would slow us down. Oh yeah unless we see a floured 6 on the ground then we just turnaround like a bad Bonnie Tyler song and go the back of the pack. Question: How many of you have Bonnie Tyler running through you head while reading this trash now?? On-on to Honor Farm and then turn back towards the Old rectory, the race was on.
Well this hash was like a game of football in that it was broken into two halves, the first being a bit chilly and semi soggy underfoot. And the second half. . well what can I call it? Um ?
Muddy? No that's not it.
Shiggy? Nope that's not good enough either.
Quagmire, trenchfoot, trainer sucking, stinky, upt'yer ankles in it, unavoidable, MUD! Well That's right, that's right, that's right, that's right I really love your tiger light. (oops here we go again with the singing in the head)
Monkton Woods is possibly one of the soggiest places in the world at present so well done Matt and Roz for finding them. Perfect place to remove a shoe to shake out a stone hey Andy?
My only regret of the evening was betting Andy a Pint that forthcoming flour we could see at the top of the hill wasn't the ON-IN, me and my big mouth hey.
Thanks to Matt and Roz for a great run, nice pub and an abundance of chips.
Lovely birthday cake too Kerry.