The atmosphere was very genteel as a less than normal (33) summertime gaggle of hashers congregated at the Squirrel. There was no shouting, and none of the usual pre-hash nerves from the dogs, because there weren't any, apart from Cassie who never barks out of turn.
Our hare for the evening was Maggie, who had drawn up a long medium and short, but thought the Muntjaks might have scoffed the flour, so nobody should be surprised if the trail was hard to find. Also there were an awful lot of on backs
Of we went down past the Hit or Miss pub, through the woods and crossed the road at Penn Bottom, then into Common Wood Lane for a few yards, where we re-grouped for the Long/Short split. The longs headed south, while the Shorts/Mediums started up the chalk track in Common Wood. After a couple of minutes, Maggie announced that She was going medium to make sure the longs didn't get lost. All the shorts apart from Mike also decided to join her, at which point I saw an excellent opportunity to cut my run short, in order to chaperone Mike, lest he got lost on his own again!
The longs trotted off doing what they do, and in this case a lot more with all the on backs. There was a sign about cows in a field, which started to make Jo sweat, however, the cows were nowhere to be found, which meant that Matt "The Cow Whisperer" was not required on this occasion. At one point the map, in the hands of Paul, was consulted on the orders of the GM, but all were jogging along nicely.
At some point on the run, just as everyone was still enjoying the evening sunshine, Jo suddenly suffered a major trauma to one of her orifices. It appeared that a flying insect had successfully entered one nostril, and managed to circumnavigate its way internally, before finally emerging in Jo's throat. I am not sure what happened after that, but I guess it was swallowed as additional protein. (Ed's Aside - click for more information.)
The shorts arrived about 15 mins before the longs, and were still ordering their drinks as the longs entered the pub to form a queue that almost went out of the door. Why did the shorts take so long? The answer is Mike decided to order a ginger wine, which could not be found after initial searching. The manager was called to sort it out. He went through the same process as the barmaid, then decided he would have to get a bottle from the cellar. After this finally came, the barmaid couldn't find the price, and 15 mins later Mike was finally enjoying his ginger wine, while 20 or so thirsty hashers gazed on in disbelief.
Many thanks Maggie (and David) for a great hash and welcome chips.