Run No. 1311 22nd November 2009
Venue: The Round Bush
Beer: Black Sheep, Courage Directors,
Hares: Mr. X
Après Hashers: 0
Membership: Really Drowned Rats!
The Hare decided that instead of braving the elements on Saturday afternoon he would set the Tail on that fine morning that began Sunday the 22nd. It wasn’t’ until three quarters of the way around setting it that the bright blue skies started to be overcome with grey & darker clouds, the crisp morning air was replaced by gust of cold wind.
The Hare returned in time to see the Landlord setting off out, he explained what the Hash wanted to do that morning & he did try & get over to see him the day before & explain it properly, the Landlord wasn’t bothered by his car park being used if the pack were coming in for a drink & some for food!
The Pack size wasn’t the best of the year, the stay at homes could have been joined by Party Animal but her mum decided that as it was such a fine day to start with that she should go to the Hash! By the time Psycho had finished the Trail she would have wished that she too had stayed in bed!
The GM carried out the honours & a head count of only 14 were out on parade, the Hare was a little disappointed as he had put the effort in to setting the Trail that morning & this included the short cut. He told the Pack of things to watch out for along the way, though with the stormy weather approaching from the south-west there was little chance of them seeing the wild parakeets, or much other wildlife.
Before letting the Pack set off the Hare did warn that part of the Trail as flooded & the smaller Horrors like Molly would have to go on the Short Cut, Sparky had to feel the Hare’s trainers & he soon found out how wet they were! There were a few who looked on with a hang-dog faces to try & persuade the Hare to send them on the short cut as well.
Without further ado the Pack were told to start checking it out, which didn’t take long as a few had sent he CHK out on the Aldenham road, to northward out of the hamlet to the main road. The Hash safely crossed over to the CHK, there were two main footpaths from there & Sparky, Skip, Part Animal & Psycho were among those who choose the wrong option out across the field with Pylons, ‘those pillars like nude, giant girls that have no secret’ running through it, the could hear the buzz of the wires the naked ladies held aloft*, then they heard calls of “On!” emanating from the cricket ground! *from the poem ‘Pylons’ by Stephen Spender
The RA saw a lot of short cutting as those who were out on the Falsie cut across to the driveway & on to the Cricket ground, the Footpath the Trail was on was concealed by a gate in the wooden fence running along the Aldenham road. By now the rain had started to come down as the Pack left the cricket ground by the nets in the opposite corner. By the time they had crossed the crop field to the large hedgerow the precipitation was falling harder.
The Pack reached the CHK on the other side of the tree-line, there the RA was shocked once again as he saw Fartin Martin doing some checking out on the bridleway to the north! Farts wasn’t at it for long as he hear calls of “On!” coming from the GM, who was running down through the remains of the straw that covers the sloping field down to the west, this also brought Sparky back from the bridleway to Aldenham in the south.
The Trail crossed the stubble as it led down to a CHK on the access road for the new housing estate on what were once the student residencies for what was Wall Hall College. The GM was on form as again he found the right trail straight away as he led T-B-T, Sparky & Flip Top in to the very exclusive estate. By this time the rain was too much for Sis to take molly any further & they turned back on the bridleway to Aldenham.
There were plenty of up-market & expensive homes top look at as the Trail led on to a CHK on the small roundabout, there Skip, Sludge & Sparky found the Trail leading off down through Wall Hall drive, around here Skip disappeared to scare the squirrels behind an electricity box in the line of pine trees along the route.
The Dust led on to the first Held CHK, between two of the line of bollards, by a bridleway crossing the path on the edge of the estate. Here the Keenies huddled beneath the shelter of the trees as they waited for the SCBs to arrive.
The Hare was informed of Sis abandoning the Trail, so he let the others start searching once again. Flip Top, T-B-T & Skip all took to the Falsie along the driveway that had signs warning of security cameras! With the Falsie found the Keenies started off down the wide track beside the golf course. As they Pack made their way down this, the Hare hinted to My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead, 2-1-2 Maureen, Party Animal & Sparky that at the next CHK they should take the left hand path to pick up the short cut.
Many others were waiting for the Hare to put in the Short Cut, but he wasn’t going to show everyone by now as the Rain was getting harder & no one would complete the whole Trail & the Pack would all be back in under 40 minutes!
The Hare encouraged Fartin Martin & Psycho to run along behind Skip, T-B-T, Paxo, Flip Top & Six Pack, if the latter was going around with no complaints then the Adults should do it, & anyhow it wasn’t that a long a loop out toward Brickett wood! Once they the Keenies had carried on with the Trail, the SCBs were sent off up Crab lane to the west.
The Trail ran through a formally dry ditch of a tributary to the Ver, which was rapidly filling with puddles, this had a tall, narrow footbridge spanning it, the going was hard as the footpath ran over a seeded field to the main part of the Ver, Psycho & T-B-T stopped to explain to a couple of walkers, why these made group of Hashers were out in such conditions wearing just running gear. The conditions were now that of a tempest, visibility was down to a few yards as the lashing rain drove in to the faces of the Hash.
Having crossed the bridge over the Ver, where a solitary fisherman was just giving up on his day’s angling, the Pack found a CHK. T-B-T found the Falsie up the grassy hillside to the right, the GM & the recently arrived Kylie both feebly attempted to take shelter under a tree! Meanwhile, the rest braved it to find the proper Trail was found on the left fork to lead up through the sheep field & on to the driveway that is part of the Ver-Colne valley walk.
An arrow turned the Hash to the west, on what in normal conditions is a very scenic run through the park land as it heads toward the M, only the two tower blocks in Watford could be seen to really spoil the distant view. The driveway dropped down from the high ground & the Trail followed it down in to the dip, this provided a little shelter from the wind, if not the rain!
The Trail crossed over the cattle grid & led further up the drive as it began to rise again on a parallel route by the M1, now this led up to a Bar CHK which normally wouldn’t be such a problem but in these conditions was more than an inconvenience! The real Trail was found by Sludge as he took to the footpath back by the cattle grid that branched off through long strip of pine trees & on a snaking path following the course of the Ver as it meanders through the flood plains near Otterspool, not that any otters were seen!
Now, being on flood plains the meant that eventually they would live up to their name as having crossed an old bridge & the a concrete water pipe, the Trail weaved its way toward a narrow footbridge back over the Ver, & not far across from the Pumping station the river had broken its bank in two places & a large lake had formed on the land to the west.
The footpath’s route was now under water & the full Trail Hashers had to wade several yards up to their knees in the cold river water, it would have been good practise for anyone wanting to know what tough guy is like.
The Hare arrived at the Held CHK on the opposite side of the bridge, he had gone back to make sure if there was any later comers than Kylie (that sounds a bit dodgy!) they would follow the Short Cut with lots of fresh flour as by now the Trail markings had taken a hammering from the rain.
Mr. X was a bit disappointed when he saw that there were no SCBs at the CHK & they had moved on! The Hare waded through the overflowing water of the Ver again, he had wet feet from setting the Trail & now with his Jedwards being soaked it really didn’t matter.
The Hare ran a short way around to call out & be a visible beacon in his Red InterHash (not so) waterproof, this was to make sure that none of the others on the full Trail would miss the correct route back Inn. Sludge was first to the water covered end of the footpath, his reward for wading through was a couple of fruit pastels from the Hare, he was then told the way back Inn & sent on his way!
Slowly the rest of the Hash arrived & were given their pastels & told the same information about the In Trail, Skip was happy to have a couple of sweets to help him endure the return to the Roundbush. Some told the Hare that Psycho was none too happy at being lured around the Full Trail as she wasn’t feeling ‘so chipper’ that morning, Mr. X said that she would feel a lot better when she gets back to the Pub & sat in front of the fire!
Kylie & the Grand Monkey were some what further behind than the rest, the RA wondered what they wee up to but wasn’t going to hang around at the Held CHK waiting of them. The Trail was well marked as it continued down the lane to rise up by Park cottage & a large steel barrier to block access. A CHK was found under the limbs of the barriers. Those who had been informed of the way back didn’t need to search as they took the narrow lane to the Aldenham Golf Club, now it was at this point that the SCBs would go astray as they weren’t at the Held CHK to be advised by the Hare as to the final stages of the Trail.
Sludge had been told vital info by the Hare, but after the second instruction he could remember the bit about going off to the right, halfway along the drive & to take the tree lined footpath across the golf course, instead he caught up with the SCBs & they all went on by the footpath, remarkable the arrows directing the Hash on to that route were still visible, they just weren’t seen.
The Trail was now sheltered from the wind, & the rain was beginning to ease up too as the footpath ran the width of the course, passing several cut-throughs for the golfers to pass from one hole to another, not that there were many out on the course by now! The Hash’s spirits picked up as they now knew they were heading home & the worst was behind them, though Psycho was still a little miffed at being conned into running the whole Trail.
The Trail came out to a CHK on the track to the from Aldenham, the Hare was surprised to see Skip coming back from the north as he had been instructed on where to go to complete the Trail, at least Skip can go one more instruction than Sludge before he forgot where to run! At least Psycho was now up with her hubby, little did they know that their daughter was going to be off Trail with the SCBs & out a bit longer on the Trail!
The Trail headed southward & came out to Aldenham, by now Paxo & Kylie had caught up with Farts, Psycho, Skip, Flip Top & Six Pack, the pace had dropped to a walk as the dust took to a footpath running behind the bushes & trees lining the lane & then out to the green.
The final stretch was simply to come down off of the raised green & across the lane, where Fartin Martin wished a “Good morning Ladies!” to a trio of WI looking locals as they followed the Hare in to the back of the graveyard of St John the Baptist church. Some had certainly been baptised in this weather!
Fartin & Kylie’s conversation then turned to the correct pronunciation of Plebeian & the RA was asked his opinion ‘Pleb-bee-an’ was his answer! As for the pronunciation of Halfords, well forget it as he doesn’t shop there!
The Trail passed through the churchyard as the footpath ran on out to become an alleyway between some of the larger properties, the ‘On Inn’ was still just in one piece as the Trail finished on the junction with the Aldenham road. There was a little bit of fun as very large puddle had formed at the side of the road & every so often a speeding vehicle would cut through it sending a large wave of water out, now it wasn’t a case of just avoiding the traffic but also a drenching with dirty water after ebbing washed so clean by the driving rain earlier!
The hare was surprised to find the SCBs weren’t already imbibing at the Pub as it was 5 past the hour when he returned & he had hung around for the long FRBs! Although the rain had ceased, the Hashers of the Pack somehow decided to take shelter form the wind & unintentionally play sardines in the gents & get changed!
The Pack enjoyed a couple of pints before the Down-Downs, Kylie, Flip Top, Sis, Molly & Six Pack enjoyed a very substantial roast dinner, “Imagine getting a Down-Down after scoffing that lot?” said the RA, there were a few grumbling tones from the other side of the low partition!
When it came to the Down-Downs the Curate presented Mr. X with his hit, everyone agreed it was a good Trail as they were all around within an hour & ten at the latest, there was some consolation for Psycho as she was back before Party Animal! As the Hare began to neck his Down-Down there were shocked calls from the Circle as the RA had to stop downing his hit, twice, which is very unlike him!
The RA took over to award the next few Hits, with My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead was out for coming to the 25th Anniversary meeting with Roman gladiator style wrist protectors on! Flip Top being out for taking two dogs out in weather the RA wouldn’t take a dog out in! Finally Six Pack was awarded his hit for braving the elements & get around the whole Trail.
2-1-2 Maureen was pretty vocal when it came to confirming what time the following week’s Trail began, as the RA said that it was starting at Noon & in the Trash it stated that it was 11:00Hrs! The RA said that he would be there for 11:00Hrs & a drink before the Trail starts at Noon. Some then wondered why the Trail was set on Saturday & not on Sunday, the RA wondered why bother putting it was a joint run in the Hare-line if no one reads it?