You may wonder why this scribe is a little shorter than usual. Well it is my fault.
Andy was going to write it but a few hours before he flew out for a holiday nothing had materialised – so I volunteered to do it for him. Sadly I had forgotten that not only I had gone short, but I was going away as well. So, here I sit in the wild highlands of Scotland, in a desolate and remote valley with snow covered peaks but, sadly, no internet connection or even phone signal. I don't know where we went with any great certainty and I have no great memories of what happened either.
On the other hand, the scenery here is spectacular, there are wild deer in the glen, a tame (ish) pine marten often sits outside the window and eagles sometimes soar overhead. And what am I doing – am I outside enjoying the majesty of the mountains and the grandeur of the glens? No I am sitting inside trying to remember a run in the dark with a load of sweaty hashers.
Ah well. Here goes.
A smaller group than normal arrived at the pub – presumably due to the remoteness of the location and the coldness of the evening. Eventually we were called to order by the GM and ritually ignored the hare's briefing – except for trying to listen in to the claimed lengths of the runs. But as the hare admitted a total cod's up on the distance front, nobody put much faith in the distances he claimed.
As we set off to I overheard a none-too-bright hasher (which doesn't limit it over much) claim he nearly went into dairy farming when he was younger as he wanted to join the SAS (he had heard that “He who dairies wins”).
A left and another left took us off the roads and onto a long footpath along the edge of a field – but after that my sense of direction failed me and the route is a bit of a blur. Normally I would have just looked up the route on my GPS or Sooper's Hashalator – but with no internet I am left with describing how dark the night was (not very – in fact we started in daylight for the first time this year).
I do remember, however, that Paul, our hare for the evening, moosed straight in front of me, landing nicely in a soft muddy bit and cunningly missing the barbed wire fence just besides him. A while later we arrived at the long-short split and 100 yards down the long path I decided to go short due to a knee injury, so went back to see if I could find out where the shorts had gone.
Fortunately their slower pace (OK walking) worked in my favour and I soon caught up. As the shorts walk a lot I checked a lot – but at a gently pace much more suited to my knee.
Time and flour passed until we found ourselves at a three way check, but couldn't find any flour – even after checking all the way to the next potential check in two of the directions. (Yes, you guessed it, we should have gone the third way.) After much discussion and no little checking of the map it was announced that maps were far more useful if you had the vaguest idea where you were to start with.
However, a road was spotted at the end of the next field and as there was a road on the map it was felt that the two roads must be one and the same thing. The evidence for this was both scanty and wrong, but fortunately Des recognised it as he had driven along it some little while before. It was less encouraging that he had gone the wrong way, but at least it was something.
Fortunately some half a mile later the pub hove cheerfully into view so we changed and headed bar-wards.
The beer was astoundingly good and the chips were abundant, partially owing to the smaller than usual turnout. Roger made what I am sure was an interesting and well planned speech – which was followed with all of the usual rapt attention to the detail, content and subtle nuance sthat usually attends such formalities.
Still it was a very pleasant run, the company was good, the beer and chips were good, and the beer was good. I know that, technically I have listed the beer twice but it was so good that I feel it deserved it