Date : 09/02/16
Hare : Klingon
Scribe : BigFoot
Venue : The Chequers
Hounds : dunno     Dogs : 0
Recorded distance : 9.69 km
Recorded time : 97.42 min
Uphillness : 726.20 ft

Last week marked a bit of a milestone for me – it’s the first time I’ve driven to a hash in over 6 months (doctors having suspended my license apparently both for my own good, and for the good of those I share the roads with). Of course by the time I’d turned up the car park was full and I was reduced to hunting for a place to park on the narrow lanes of Fingest, which was a great opportunity to dust the cobwebs off my 5 point turn skills (while wishing my car was as small as Jo’s, so that I could do it in 3). I very quickly concluded that being able to drive to a hash is overrated (but more on that later).

So, finally parked it was time to listen to this week’s lies, I mean, instructions from the hare. “Short 3.6, long 5.5” – so far, so credible. “Fairly flat”… what, in the Hambleden valley? Something fishy going on here… “Watch out for the steep downhill, it’s very slippery”… Yup, definitely not buying this now – the old hash adage being what goes down, must come back up again…

We set off towards Turville, which is never a good start when you’re suspecting the hare is lying about some pretty serious hills, and by the time we got to the check at the bottom of the windmill hill (it’s the one from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, fact fans) those who knew the area were looking decidedly nervous. Our relief at heading into the village itself was short lived as we turned back up the hill to Ibstone.

Just shy of Ibstone, the shorts split off from us, and I somehow wound up holding the map. This is never a good idea, as the one with the map generally gets the blame, so I offloaded it onto Roger on a well timed on-back (well, he usually gets blamed for things anyway, so I figured it didn’t matter too much). We ran through Ibstone churchyard, over the main road, and off down the hill on the other side of the ridge (so far, so flat, right?). At this point we came across some great shiggy, which I tackled in my usual, apparently “stampy”, way (Jess, I’d like to see you manage not to stamp if you weighed 100kg and had size 13 feet!) and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness Phil losing his shoe. After that we were treated to a detour up to the outskirts of Cadmore End, before running back to the pub through Hanger Wood, and down the steep, slippery hill we were warned about.

Back in the pub were treated to bowls of delicious French fries, birthday cake courtesy of Mrs D, and some beer that was far more reasonably priced than you usually expect in these parts. There was then an insistence that I should tackle a half yard of ale (apparently the down down at the hash bash wasn’t enough for these hardy souls), which I would have happily obliged with, if I didn’t have to drive home. Matt, you had 6 months to ply me with as much beer as you wanted to, it’s hard not to feel a little aggrieved that you waited until I got my license back! As I mentioned, the novelty of driving to hashes has quickly worn off…

Thanks Rob for a calf-achingly flat hash, and some great chips!