Date = 25th January 2015
Run Number = 1599
Venue = The Silver Fox
Location= Hertford Heath
Beer = Greedy King IPA, Old Speckled Hen
Hares = Ketchup
Runners = 26
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 27
Membership = More ketchup with the haggis pls!
The circle gathered in front of the pub at some few minutes to the hour of 11.00am. Grand Master Tent packer announced the run; number 1599 said something else which I can’t remember and introduced the hare. Being local to his abode, Ketchup had been called out of semi-retirement to mark the trail. This he had done this same morning, though he warned the pack that the ice he had encountered was probably by now once again Shiggy. Oh for an inner city run – maybe next week on virgin Foxy’s hash!
There was a fair bit of tartan on show for Burn’s Supper Run, from My Lil’s C U Jimmy Tam O’ Shanter, Mr X’s Glengarry [Both of which seemingly had Porky Pie’s Hair attached! – Ed] to Foxy’s Tartan leggings. So, well done to most for that effort.
From the pub, the trail headed south on London Road towards Hoddesdon. The first check was found not far from the pub. Grease Lightening set off up an alleyway in a westerly direction whilst others continued on up the road. Only No-idea initially decided to cross the road (petrol!) where she found the trail proper heading east towards Hertford Heath Nature Reserve. Here the path which was more or less Shiggy all the way, wound in and out of the pine trees eventually arriving at the next check in a clearing and a further three way option.
Ewok, Sloppy and Skip set off west whilst Sludge, Foxy and others east. Pepé, however, had it right and followed the trail towards Haileybury and Imperial College where a further check was found beside a semi-circular seating bench that could have sat 15 persons.
With not a wee dram in sight, the check was only used for a gathering of the clans before setting out to find the trail. This was eventually discovered by Mathew, Tent Packer and others, taking them through the college’s outbuildings in a southerly direction before looping east towards Hailey Wood.
More trees and more Shiggy followed, as the trail passed through Hailey Wood and on into Goldings Wood. Here an especially saturated trail headed down a steep hill towards the stream but with Sludge, Foxy and the other FRB’s struggling to stay upright, Sloppy seconds wound his way through the woods beside the path like a fell runner at great speed (without falling of course). Having said that I’m not so sure that fells have trees –must look it up. On reaching the stream, all had to negotiate an even steeper and muddier embankment on both sides.
Having crossed the stream the pack found themselves in Much Wood, which did in fact look much like the other woods, of which we had been through quite a few. Once again the trail wound its way through the trees to a held check. It was en route to this check that in talking with Helen, the Curate discovered that she and Mathew had become his close neighbours having moved just south of the Hertfordshire border into Essex. It was also along this path that Jaron intimated to Helen and Sloppy that TBT had assaulted him (the jury are still out on who actually started it), but a ferocious fight followed involving weapons of mass destruction – flour, mud and sticks, right up until the two of them reached the Whisky Stop held check near to the old Scout Hut.
Here a dubious peace was maintained whilst those gathered had their wee dram (18 year old Glenmorangie) and some Scottish cheese [Mull of Kintyre Cheddar no less! – Ed] and/or Haggis on Scottish Oatmeal Biscuits, followed by Tunnocks wafers & Highland Shortbread, there was Highland Spring or Irnbru for the non-drinkers. All of which Mr X, who is suffering a bit from his fractured ribs, had transported overland (i.e. followed part of the trail in reverse) to this wooded glen.
To make it even more authentically Scottish there was even a cloud of midges floating around above this picnic area. The RA would have preferred if the hare had chosen a better place for this stop as there was no bench to set up the drinks & food on, so Mr X had to find the best area on the grassy & muddy triangle, using a Scottie Dog biscuit tin & the cardboard of the oatmeal biscuits to keep the food safe.
Mr X also had to find a spot where there were no dog’s eggs littering the area, which wasn’t that easy but he didn’t want to tell the Pack! Before the Pack arrived, He also had to defend the food from dogs out being walked!
Leaving the glen, a further check was found, here Ewok, Sloppy and Milf set off on the false trail before turning back towards the football field where a game was taking place. Such was the sight, that spectators ignored the game of football to watch this band of marauding Scots, ably led by My Lil’ Spermhead in his flaming red wig and tartan attire (and hashsh*t of course) cross the field of Bannockburn, well Hertford Heath Sports ground to confront the English housing estate on the far side of the field. Here an On Inn was found. It was also here that the Curate was tied to the street road sign on the corner of London Road and Woodlands Road, but thankfully not hung, drawn and quartered.
Back at the pub, lunch was taken as the Hash were treated to a sight & sound spectacle from McLaurel & McHardy......There was a traditional Selkirk toast, following the Haggis being piped in by Mr X in full Scottish attire complete with kilt and sporran (did anybody check this time like Foxy did at the Xmas away w/end?).
Tentpacker ably recited the ‘Address to the Haggis’ and during his words he attacked the ‘Chieftain of the Pudding Race’ with a Bowie knife like something out of a Crocodile Dundee film! "Aw, that's not a knife..... This is a knife!" [Bet you didn't know they had it in them! -Ed] before it was taken away to be cooked.
Fine food, merriment and some Scottish dancing followed. The latter correctly identified by Psycho as the ‘Gay Gordon’, Sloppy was trying to teach it to Skip (Who was adorned in a tartan travel rug!) having remembered it from his country dancing days with Jacqui Lockyer (we were both aged 10) at Hollydale Primary School, Peckham, Sarf London.
Ketchup – for a good run of just past/passed/more than the hour (scholars please cross out the wrong ones).
No idea – for informing the Curate on his asking her to kindly look after his car keys (in her bum bag) that ‘it was like being married without the benefits’ – what can I say!
Milf and Grease lightening – for tying the Curate to a street sign with his ‘Bay city rollers’ scarf towards the end of the race, sorry that should be trail, for believing him to be running competitively.
TBT and Jaron - for fighting on the trail. TBT came off worse.
And finally the hash sh*t to Pepé Le Pew, not as many thought as did he himself by stripping off before the Curate had finished; for being the major heckler in both last and this week’s circle, but for falling off his motorbike the previous week when instructing his trainees. He claimed there was some sort of chain reaction of which Diana Ross would be proud (everybody sing – “we’re in the middle of” !).
Robert Burns 1759 -1796
A Ploughman poet, not mentioned so much was he was also an Exciseman at one point.
As for his romantic affairs, he must have used his poetic talents to good use as his first child was born to his mother's servant, Elizabeth Paton, while he was in a relationship with Jean Armour, who was pregnant with twins! He eventually married Amour & she bore him nine more children, only three of whom survived infancy.
With financial difficulties, he went to work in the West Indies as a book keeper on a Slave Plantation, an experience which led him to write ‘The Slaves lament’.
He then fell in love with Mary Campbell but she later died of typhoid. He returned home but soon found his farming venture was losing money but things improved for Burns when he became a gauger (excise man) collecting taxes, then he had his first poems published, which brought him £400
He began to preserve Scottish folk songs, revising, expanding & adapting them. He also wrote in the standard ‘King’s English’
His sympathy toward the French Revolution led to some if his friends to disown him. His political also came to the attention of his employers, in an attempt to prove his loyalty to the Crown, he joined the Royal Dumfries Volunteers.
His health began to give way, he began to age & fell in to bouts of despondency, intemperance (drinking) was claimed to have been a major factor.
He died aged 37 after a dental extraction. His son Maxwell was born in the day of his funeral.
His widow, Jean Armour later arranged for all of his 12 Children should benefit from the publication of the four volumes of his complete works. She is buried beside him in the Mausoleum in Dumfries.
In 2012, Rabbie Burns had 600 living descendants!
Ironically Scotland's National Poet was a lowlander and his colloquial language would not have been understandable to many from the Highlands, who still would have predominantly Gaelic speakers, so it would have sounded like gibberish to half the country!