As is traditional on a hash, the hare's speech passed in a blur of heckling, though I learned we had been set a 5.5 mile task for the evening. Also as traditional, I started out by checking in the wrong direction - and had to run back straight into the glare of the sun so couldn't see that the hash had disappeared from view and had no idea where to go.
Blindly dashing off in all directions at once I eventually found the walkers who, helpfully made gesticulations at me. I took these to mean that either Nelson still couldn't see the signal or that I should go straight on and then left. I eventually found the hash, which was hiding underneath a bridge at the time, basking in the unseasonal (for Britain anyway) sunshine. I started checking as nobody told me they were actually regrouping and I was the very last person to arrive anyway. Finding the right way through the next few checks I was caught by an on-back and, once again, lost the hash as they had decided to run the wrong way down a false trail instead of where I had last seen them.
After a brief trek around the edge of the Chess Valley Recreation Centre, we headed south and slowly up the long hill towards Chesham Bois, where Helen explained the reasons behind her visits to the nail salon. She has obviously pondered deeply about this as her strategy was both entertaining and highly polished. At points the excitement was nail biting.
A long short split, shortly followed by a short regroup for the longs (which was honoured by everyone except the hare - who pressed on to North Road). He called straight on, then left and right along Long Park (which was obviously missed by the shorts, though they may have longed to be there – but they had to get along by themselves). I was thinking of making a joke about the shorts at this point but decided not to stoop to that level.
The longs shortly re-joined the shorts and turned back towards Bois Wood, which I would like to think was named that way because Bois would be Bois in those days. Irrelevant but vaguely interesting aside: In 1306 this wood, and indeed parish, was owned by a three year old boy called du Bois. Not long after this we looped around St Leonards Church which was actually built soon after this time and remained largely unchanged until it was largely changed by the Victorians.
Surprisingly the wooded Chesham Bois isn't named after the French word for wood (bois) but is named Bois after a French family – the du Bois – though they are probably just named after a wood in France anyway.
The second long-short split was, sadly, not surrounded by any puns so the longs continued through Stubs Wood for another two thirds of a mile or so before turning towards Latimer Road and the beautiful River Chess. As we crossed the river our eyes naturally turned west towards the gently setting sun where the evening's delicate hues cast its magical spell over the sewage works.
Left towards Chesham when another, surprising, left took us away from the town and back in the wrong direction along Latimer Road. A merciful right, however, turned us back pub-ward through Lower Bois, between the ponds and onto the weir where the on-in was called and we headed gratefully home through the still beaming sunlight.
A delightful and even warm evening and a picture perfect hash (except perhaps for the sewage works).
Back in a surprisingly packed pub we were deeply sadden to learn that there was no place for Roger to make his traditional speech and so a pleasant run, a pleasant evening and a pleasant Pheasant pub before we, presently, all went home. Gran jugada Viva Mexico!