Two weeks ago, I caved in. I bought a mobile phone. It means that film and TV companies can get immediate replies when they ask - normally a week ahead - about availability.
Until the call came through on the day of the Skirmett Hash to appear in X-men the day after, Wednesday was reserved for conservation work. What to do? Get soaked doing conservation work, unpaid, or get soaked doing X-men, paid? After mis-sending a message to a close friend in Kuwait that “iwdb avlbl 4 2mrrws flimmig”, I did manage a “Yis” to the casting company who promised fuller details (and an efficient spell checker) later.
Why do you need to know this, dear reader?
As we struggled up the north face of the Eiger that marked the beginning of Our Kev’s trail, Gerry volunteered me for the run report. I agreed providing the X-men engagement came about. Gerry rightly ignored the X-men bit (for which a later text message told me that I was not needed anyway). Compensation was at hand. Our GM saw to it that Wednesday shone warm the whole livelong day for the unpaid conservation work.
Oxygen starvation at the summit of the Eiger (aka Hatchet Wood) removed vision, hearing and memory until Sonia, our Hash Virgin, brought me round with a promise to shower me with female delights if I could make myself available for half an hour on Thursday. Thursday came and went. Had Sonia promised Turkish Delight (a yes) or female delights (unproven)? Neither appeared in the morning’s post.
Things took a nosedive at the Long/Medium/Short split in/near/far from Frieth. As Our Kev loped off into darkness, there came clear on the night air his instruction to “keep to your left for the Short at the Short/Medium split”. An echo of his earlier trail brief – “it’s well marked and if it isn’t, that’s Kerry’s fault” (such chivalry in an age of malcontents) - raised doubts, not shared by Barney, Judy, Double-Millenium-Des plus guest as they veered off to do the Medium. Your scribe, smarting still at Matt’s earlier use of a Chinese burn technique to remove an out of reach itch (plus surrounding skin, subcutaneous fat layer and half a shoulder blade), cantered gently ahead of the Shorts, to wait for them by the finger post to Lane End. Meanwhile, the GM (family motto venite mecum: cognosco viam = come with me, I know the way) had led the Shorts off trail only to join up with the Mediums who had by then joined up with the Longs, all now crashing about the undergrowth beneath the dorm windows of the startled occupants of St Katherine’s Convent – a bevy of virgins offering support to Sonia.
Alone and abandoned under that night’s vast canopy, your scribe set off at a jog down the gentle road to Skirmett (1¼ miles on the ancient finger post): nor bat, nor sound, nor winged thing was heard as he plodded ever downwards through Shogmoor, past Upper then Lower Goddard Farms. But then, glory be to the occupants of St Katherine’s, there came from somewhere beyond Turville, the distant cry “venite mecum: cognosco viam”. All would be well!
Thanks to Our Kev, the chips were indeed well: not so the ramblings of our GM, clearly jet lagged from his encounter with grizzlies in Alaska (can’t change our families, can we sir?). Endless nominations for Tosca when even a Pakistani bookie would have been on a certainty by betting on Helen as the winner.Great run, Our Kev: keep shedding the grammes, our Kerry.