Unlike last week, we arrived in Turville confident that we would stay dry on this, a lovely sunny evening. Budgie announced that there was not one hare but three. Jess (Crab) and Paul (Oompa Loompa) had been co-opted. The chief among hares was a little vague about the length of trail but we understood it would be 3.5 and 6.7. On such a nice evening that did not put off many from going long. I don’t recall hills being mentioned but you don’t need a weatherman ...
Leaving the pub we headed south, leaving the windmill behind us. At the top of the first hill was a regroup where Jess mentioned the long/short split. It turns out that Keyboard Ken is even deafer than me (probably due to sustained exposure to drum kits and bass guitars) and did not pick up this useful piece of information. Later noticing that he was still with us, I thought he’d changed his mind. But no. Anyway, he was to demonstrate yet again that you can walk a hash in the same time you can run it (without on-backs).
As we headed towards Dolesden, Crazy Alan went left as the trail went straight on. Not so crazy after all as the trail took the road back to where he had been heading, i.e. into Great Wood - another not-insignificant hill. At this point I remembered that I was doing the Trash and tried to get Sooper to reveal how they are made. I was hoping for insight into new-fangled techniques for automatic PDF creation but no. I do them in Word, says Sooper, and impose no limits so you can waffle all you like. The trash just might come out in 4-point font.
Over the hill we came into Skirmett on the Hambleden road. A two-way check suggested that we might want to head for Hambleden. Yeah right - but Andy did anyway.
It seemed like a good idea to head towards Frieth so off we went up the next hill. The trail had mostly been rubbed out but that didn’t stop us. We arrived on a straight track where Ken almost caught up - he had not broken step. Helles Bells, on a routine visit to the back of the pack, made an ambiguous offer of a piggy-back. It’s not clear why Ken didn’t accept but as usual, he knew the way and didn’t mind being left behind.
Shortly before Frieth the rest of us went left, skirted Hatchet Wood and went right, passing a place called Shogmoor (any relation to Shag-more?). Ken caught us up again. From there to my favourite bench and then left though Mousells Wood to my favourite view over Fingest. Here the hares had installed a temporary viewpoint and photos were duly taken (upload evidence here).
From there it was down to the village and, on the path parallel to the road, back to the bottom of the windmill hill where, instead of the possible check, we were happy to find the On-Inn.
Back at the pub, despite the chequered Brakspear history, the beer was good. A truly monster food table was arrayed with chips, onion rings, sausage rolls and nice bread. Wow! And we ate it all!
General Menace’s speech began by thanking “all five” hares. We had thought he was amongst the most numerate hashers. As usual, we tuned out and admired the sunset and wonderful valley setting.
Many thanks to Budgie and co. for the trail, the weather and the excellent spread of food.
A 90-year-old Scottish harriette completed the 26-mile London Marathon last year. She credits the feat to her strong will, a healthy lifestyle of haggis, neeps and single malt whisky, not to mention leaving the starting line when she was 72.