We arrived early to find the parking attendant on duty, minus mexican hat and blanket, but still recognizable as Dez, our hare for the evening. Miraculously everyone managed to park whilst commuters hurried past from the adjacent train station.
Most hashers were surprised that a pub actually existed at this location but Gerry was adamant that the hash had been here before. (Obviously before we all had become members except perhaps Barney who later was to receive a t-shirt for about 2000 runs or was it 1050? )
"Come 'ere, I've got something to show you.." Roger's summons to Hawkeye for ….......what? Answers on a postcard to the GM. Some found this comment amusing!
Dez carefully demonstrated the flour symbols to the assembled hashers who were expecting some additional markings to be explained but we knew them all, no quirky initials for on backs or engagement rings then. The long was to be 5.75 and the short 3.75. But congrats to Dez for a very well marked run which must have been set at 6pm that evening?
Just wondering if Dez is left handed as much of the flour was on the left, unless it was on the right!
The route took us along the main road and under the railway bridge, downhill and uphill and away into the beautiful Chiltern countryside. It is so nice hashing on these light evenings with a chance to appreciate how lucky we are to live in an A. O. B. We miss so much in Winter but then we do have the delights of darkness, torches, shiggy and even snow in moonlight (thanks Dick and Natasha) and more shiggy.
It seems we went through Stony Walk Wood, aptly named, and were cunningly lured onto a false trail, only to return to find the hare idly waiting at the last check!
Along a road with several 'petrol' alerts, across the crossroads then off into the fields with a delightful stream much appreciated by our panting four-legged hashers.
The more athletic hashers leapt across, whilst the more sensible chose the stepping stones. Several regroups were dutifully obeyed by obedient hashers, (that must be a first) thus the pack kept well together.
Away up the hill into the woods with several on backs and a regroup in Flaunden Grove. A nice down hill along the road into Latimer ( I was reliably informed by Mick we were not in Chenies!)
What a pretty village with a pump on the triangular village green – then the long /short split was called at about 2.75 miles. I'm never sure if the cheers are from the shorts relieved that the pace may now slow down or the longs are relieved to be shot of the shorts and speed up the pace. No matter, we are all having fun aren't we?
The longs then did a 2 mile loop round Parkfield Wood and Tooley's Cross to return in front of Latimer House, a red brick Tudor style mansion, which was designed by Edward Blore and completed in 1838. The original Elizabethan house, where Charles I was imprisoned in 1647 and Charles II took refuge before fleeing abroad, burned down. During WWII it was used to hold prisoners en route to POW camps and in 1974 the IRA tried to blow it up when it was a National Defence College.
Now it is a De Vere Hotel/Conference Centre/ Wedding venue, but I digress.....
The longs picked up the shorties trail down to The River Chess and up through the woods back to the village and the pub. The shorties had time to pause at the Chess (I hope to attach a photo) and to muse on the beauty. The walkers had also reached this earlier where Dave and 'co' saw the tiniest wren and some fish in the stream. Dave took them on auto -pilot back through the woods, much to Simon's 'chagrin' (what does that mean?Ed's note: a burnt smile) and to their amazement (including Dave's) they found their way back to the pub, picking up the flour from the out route.
Meanwhile the shorties ambled up the field from the river valley passing a 'courting couple', who must have thought they were in an idyllic secluded spot until and band of walkers passed in one direction. Then a group of six shorties ambled passed in the other direction, soon to be followed by the fast-running bunch of hashers and dogs.... oh the peace of the countryside.
Well I think you've got the drift of where we went. Why do we write it down when you were there? Is it for absent friends to read or for those who haven't a clue where we went and are actually interested?
Well it helps to fill the page when you have nothing witty to say and you have run out of ideas of an original format.
Back at the pub there was a feast laid on by a very generous landlord (and Dez) who maintained there were plenty more chips, as many as we could eat.
We even managed to stay in the garden even though there were threatening clouds overhead. The GM stood aloft to address the crowd and present Barney with his 21st t-shirt and Alex + hound with his first at 50 runs. We all sang Carsten a happy 40th birthday for last Friday – what no cake!
I think Roger omitted the fact that along with the wedding news last week came the most delicious fruit cake on the planet thanks to Sarah Mary Berry. I just hoped that Sarah had made another one!
Talking of planets what was that comment "Horizon has just passed Pluto". Wow!
Thanks Dez - well organised hash and grub. ****