Date : 06/06/17
Hare : Spy
Scribe : General Menace
Hounds : 22     Dogs : 0
Recorded distance : 9.37 km
Recorded time : 106.83 min
Uphillness : 181.67 ft

I am somewhat surprised that I haven’t had the honorary rank of Meerkat (2nd class) bestowed upon me, given my antics these last three weeks.

Come Tuesday morning, I went through the same motions. I would kick start my computer, idly look at some insurance quotes whilst really looking at the weather forecast. Always the same thing. Two drops of rain up until 7pm, then clear.

Come Tuesday afternoon, I adopt the Meerkat pose, standing on my rear (and only) legs, and stare with my big (kinda cute) eyes, straight into the prevailing wind, trying to encourage blue sky onwards, and black cloud away.

Last Tuesday, I wasn’t having much success. My suspicion was that the other hash Meerkats, doing the same thing, would come to the summary thought, “sod this for a game of soldiers”, and stay put. Excepting Sooper, who laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of his daughter. And poor Helen, who was trying, unsuccessfully, to keep her innards where they belong.

There was nothing for it. Me and dog set off for Merlins Cave. Arriving early, we sat and counted clouds, and estimated precipitation rates.

Come 7:40pm, a miracle. Our hare whispered into his hi-tech spy widget, and the sky cleared. So off we set, numbers somewhat diminished (as suspected), but determination not.

Confusion reigned for a short while, until the hare directed towards the A413. I have never thought of that as being uphill, but sufficiently so to require deep breaths.

At the vets (was a pub, but I can’t remember its name now), we crossed over, and carried on up, through the estates (such as they are), until we reached a fine drive way leading to The Vache. A sign said no dogs, but as dogs can’t read, we ignored it and ran through the grounds. At this point, we drop off the edge of the map I was given. This seems rather fitting as we hacked our way along uncharted and overgrown hedgerows to discover the Captain Cook memorial. And here it is.

Jo is sporting her Captain Cook baseball cap, and Andy is laughing in the face of danger.

It seems that Captain Cook was a shining example of meritocracy at its best, working his way up from illegal immigrant to national treasure. He was even a frequent visitor to The Vache, which, in 1946, was the site of a squatters camp. Who’d have believed it?

Then it was back along the uncharted hedgerows, and back onto the map.

A short bit of road running brought us into green stuff, in the form of Philpshill Wood.

Time to head for home and go south, skirting Newland Park. I didn’t know this, but it seems it is part of Bucks Uni. Almost derelict in 2013, but thanks to generous government donations (I am lying), it has now been restored to its former glory.

The trail circled Brawlings Farm. By this time, our numbers were rather depleted as the shorts had gone their merry way some while back. On the plus side, Andy did a lot of on-backs.

The tracks across the fields now started to look well worn. The hare explained why. We were now on the Costa track. This is the route that the hare takes daily to get his Mocha and clock up 10k paces. Before you could say “skinny latte”, we had re-crossed the A413 and entered the church cemetery. There being no one at death’s door, we circled cw, or ccw, depending upon one’s leanings, to the church nave, and on-inn.

Excellent chips. Crisp on the outside. Soft and creamy on the inside. Am I not a smooth talking bar steward? Thank you Paul. All’s well that ends well, and dry.