Date = 11th September 2017
Run Number = 1754
Venues = The Chequers
Beer = Tribute; Black & White IPA
Hares = Paxo (& Ewok with a map!)
Runners = 15
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 1
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 19
Membership = Slip sliding away!
It was surprise that anyone turned out this evening if they had looked at the weather forecast beforehand. Chances were that those who did make an effort didn’t take a peek at any TV, or listen to any radio, to catch an update. With the Senior Hare’s worries about the lack of parking in the village, emails & Farcebook posts being sent around, most managed to car-share & squeeze in to the Pub’s small rear car park, in fact there was enough room for Tent Packer to get his large white barge moored up! Before long it was time to venture out in to the overcast evening to form a circle, which didn’t last very long as the heavens opened in monsoon proportions.
Unsurprisingly it wasn’t long before the circle disbanded & most took shelter by standing against the wall of the of the Homes who’s eaves offered a little shelter from the deluge, however this wouldn’t last as the torrents of rain soon flooded the guttering & this began to pour over the edge. Mr X & My Lil’ had already sough the shelter of the RA’s transport for the night, as they sat there watching the rest, they witness a sudden dash of the Pack over to the Pub’s lean-to smoking shelter.
The Rain finally eased after around 10 minutes, so the reluctant Pack needed some coaxing to get the out of the dry, Ewok wasn’t going to hang around & rapidly welcomed everyone to the correct run number, so quickly that there wasn’t time to introduce this week’s visitor of Captain Hook (Roo-Ted’s old mate from Hamersley Hash)
By now Ewok’s bright Orange UK Nash Hash Hare’s Shirt was soaked & Mr X commented on her look of being in a ‘Wet T-shirt competition’! To keep things going the circle was immediately thrown over to the Hare, who in contrast took his time in explaining that the Trail was probably bits of dough, if any remained!
The already damp Hash were ushered away up the rising lane behind the Pub, needless to say that their enthusiasm wasn’t on show as the river like rain water flowed down on either side of the lane. It was compounded as in the distance a lightning strike could be seen, before a low rumble of thunder was heard.
Remnants of flour were found under the denser foliage of the hedgerow as the Pack made their way up Scholar’s Hill lane, Sludge notice the old houses of Gravel Pits Hall, which was probably extracted down in the dip behind these quaint homes. Once up on the plateau the FRBs found a bridle way-farm drive that heads nor-nor-eastward in a direction toward Cook’s Farm from off of the northeastward lane.
Mark E Mark & Ketchup headed off along the uncapped rive, but as My Lil’ & Mr X followed on Paxo called these errant FRBs back to the lane, where he sent them along the tarmac route with Ewok in their company. The FRBs were put at ease as they could see that Ewok had a map in her hand & she was trying to read this by the failing light, she made sure that no one went off down the footpath that descends the steep hillside of Helham Green in the east.
The Trail led up to another drive way off of the lane, here Ewok had to get out a torch to see if there should be a CHK at this junction? Indeed there should have bene one there & it was correctly assumed that the drive way would head back & meet up other the track that the SCBs were being led along by Paxo.
By the time the Keenies made it to this point Paxo was worrying that Sludge had led some to the SCBs astray down the tree-lined footpath of Hogsthrough Lane, Sludge would not been seen for some time after this point as they would be off Trail. Meanwhile My Lil’, Ketchup, Mark E Mark, Mr X & No Eye Deer all headed northeastward up by Cook’ Farm, a long trot to the doughy remains of a CHK were a footpath headed off of the due north path.
No Eye Deer & Mr X ventured off in along the rough edge of the crop field to the west, while My Lil’, Mark E Mark, Tent Packer & Ketchup continued searching further toward the north, No Eye Deer & the RA picked up the Trail on the harrowed field, the going wasn’t easy & soil cluing to Hash boots for the short way until the grassy footpath was no longer ploughed up.
The Trail turned a few degrees to head due west as it left the route that now ran behind the maize left for foraging birds, a blue pheasant feeder gave away the purpose for this untouched crop as a sanctuary for the local gamebirds, well until the next shoot or Mr Fox get there! The path didn’t appear to be one of Hertfordshire’s most walked as Mr X headed in to the darkness of the wooded glade with clumps of nettles at the start.
The going was slippery underfoot, so Mr X hung back to warn those approaching this treacherous section, the RA was quick to point out that Nettles don’t sting in the wet, as My Lil’ passed by he added “Nor do they sting in the dark!” All of which was taken with a large pinch of salt by everyone else.
Mr X was more worried about Captain Hook getting down the wet steps cut in to the embankment. Ewok was with Hooky, but could do nothing to prevent the inevitable as Hamersley’s version of TBT OBE went down like a sack of spuds! Fortunately for Hooky there was a nice clump of nettles that were just in the right place to break his fall, well most of it as he did end up with a large muddy skid-mark down the back of his Hamersley T-shirt, which led Mr X to add that Herts were not in need of a new Hashit just yet (Traditionally the Herts Hashit has bene a Hamersley Shirt for quite a few years now.)
It was on the wooden bridge that spans the Nimney Bourne that there was a respite from the drizzle as the Pack regrouped at the Held CHK under the Tree canopy, after helping Hooky to his feet, Ewok brought out a packet of sour wine-gums, which were made to be sour & not any of Sparky’s out of date sweets!
Tent Packer & My Lil’ were keen to get on with things, for they had climbed up the opposite set of steps in the wooded river vale to look out on the tarmac of the lane to Baker’s End. Once Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead were gingerly coming down the Steps with Paxo, the senior Hare allowed the Trail to resume. Mr X was concerned that Hooky may have hurt himself & suggested it would be a good idea for him to accompany Lobby Lobster, Mumblehead with Paxo back to the Pub using the lane.
The Trail resumed by heading northward up the rustic lane, which runs parallel to the Nimney Bourne in the long finger of the Nimney Wood. There were plenty of puddles along the way to avoid as Mark E Mark, Ketchup, Tent packer & My Lil’ led the way, Mr X would follow on as he made sure the SCBs were going back in the company of Paxo, who seemed keen on abandoning them to start with, in preference of going around the rest of the Trail! Finally Paxo conceded & allowed Ewok to take the rest of the Hash around the Trail.
Mark E Mark & Ketchup went slightly wrong at the next junction with a track off to the right, just before Tudor Cottage, they would soon be back as Ewok got out her map again & in the gloom indicated that the Pack must progress further in to Baker’s End, the search for the Dust was now pretty hard as it had been decimated by the torrential rain.
A footpath off to the west was ignored by most as the map reader (correctly) deduced that the Trail would continue northward up to the centre of Baker’s End, here a CHK was found in the corner of a junction with a westbound driveway out to Castlebury Farm, the Keenies also stumbled across Sludge & his merry band of Spotted Dick & Custard with Poppy. The arrival of the main body of the Pack & their calling had a few of the locals peering out of their windows to see what was going on.
The SCBs claimed that they had searched the options available earlier but nothing was to be found! Mr X asked if they had been in to the southern field, this was confirmed, so he took to the westerly driveway to Castlebury Farm. Sludge joined him, adding that he had been this way before with Spotted Dick, but going a little further than these two had gone before, doughy blobs of Dust were found & this would lead on to a pink chalk CHK marked on a Footpath Marker Post at the start of a long tract of a tree line dividing the farm fields.
Mr X chose to take the obvious, & far drier options of the footpath running through the wood, ignoring the other choices. Having picked up the Trail the RA embarked on what would be a long section as the track ran southwestward until it joined the wooded elbow of Buckney Wood.
Another CHK was found drawn on a Footpath Marker Post, again Mr X ignored the westerly option, to pick up Dust & a little way on to this main woodland track that double arrows were discovered to point the way off of the main hard capped track & on to a desire line in between the trees. It was now time for torches to be deployed all the time as the dark clouds continued rolling over head.
After all of his earlier successes, the RA would now fall foul of the lack of Trail, for as he crossed a wooden bridge to emerge on to the edge of a ploughed field, the Bar CHK that should have stopped him & send him back was no gone, washed away like his hopes of picking up the Trail.
As the RA floundered about over the ploughed earth, which was clinging to his Hash Boots, he noticed that there was a definable lack of calling! Finally Mr X spotted the bobbing & swaying of little beams of light that were making their way along the hard capped footpath he was on earlier, these were like little lighthouses saving an errant sailor so he changed his course to get over to the tree-lined track.
Over by the tree-line was fine, except he couldn’t get through the bushes & flora that sat in between the trees. Here Ewok & No Eye Deer were found making their way along the Trail. Ewok asked if Mr X he had seen Custard, but slogging over the ploughed earth he didn’t even see Worzel Gummage out there, it was too foul even for scarecrows!
The Trail was still intact as the Hash reached Legges Cottages, even though there wasn’t much calling, the passing Pack’s presence was enough to alert the local residents, as one came out in his white car & drove out on to the drive the Pack had come down from the woods on, then he turned around to go the other way & take to the southeast bound drive the FRBs had already ran along, this would lead him out on to the lane toward Babbs Green.
Mr X ran down to the triangle at the end of the drive, where it joins the lane, here Mark E Mark was making his way back up Trail to let the last few know that just opposite this was a gate in the hedgerow, that would allow access to the footpath in the enclosed pastures, the path ran between two hedgerows & would eventually take to one on an open area that would take the Pack over the lush green grass in to Babbs Green. It was here that the RA caught up with Spotted Dick, Custard, Sludge & Ketchup.
Having been washed out, the end of the Trail was a bit of a lucky dip as to which way the FRBs chose to go? Tent Packer, My Lil’ & Sludge all took a different route to Mr X, Ketchup, Mark E Mark, Spotted Dick & Custard, yet once they had made their way around through Babbs Green, running on through the small Hamlet & by Appleton Farm they would almost meet up, except the two groups decided they would take a different route to come out of the Field near to the Church, which had been mentioned to Mark E Mark & Ketchup as the way the Trail would go, though in the darkness there was no way to see the Church until the Trail dropped down in front of it.
Once out on the narrow rustic lane these three made their way down the puddle strewn route, while in the field above the others could no longer be heard, nor could any torches be seen, so using Mark E Mark’s local knowledge, the trio made their way southward until reaching a junction which saw then turn in to the bottom of Wareside & the On Inn.
Once in the Chequers, the RA was surprised to see that Lobby Lobster, Mumblehead, Captain Hook were the only ones in the Bar, Tent Packer, My Lil’ & Co were not to be seen & were in fact still out there looking for their way home!
The rest of the Pack finally all got back, looking windswept, wet & bedraggled. Strangely the early arrivals back at the Pub had migrated around to the corner of the Bar where there was an open fire going, though it was looking slight forlorn until Mr X placed another log on to it. A place where Captain Hook could warm up, though his arms & legs were fairly warm as they had nettle rash, which must be a savage reaction due to his Australian background
Some of the Pack may have change their tops, but it seems that their undergarments may have been slightly damp, for our erstwhile GM now looked as if she was lactating, with two damp patches on her front which made it look as if her T-shirt now had two areola. With the weather being foul, the JM wanted to put off the Down-Downs to the next week, but then this wouldn’t include Captain Hook!
While the Down-Downs were sorted out, the rest of the Pack settled on becoming a Gourmet Hash as they ordered & sat down to eat. Tent Packer was the first to try the ‘Hot Pork Scratchings’ & the smell of these wasn’t exactly to the likings of Mumblehead & Lobby Lobster as the aroma wafted by as they were brought out. As if to compound their misery, Mark E Mark & Ketchup each order a bowl each! Mumblehead bought up a dozen eggs from the home-made produce in a box on the Bar, she also had the jar of pickle eggs that Ketchup, amongst others, would have bought & shared around.
The conversation soon came around to TBT OBE’s bandaged finger, as well as the plasters on the others on his opposite hand, seems that his DIY with a power plane. Ketchup was soon online looking for the Kenny Everett character that Mr X had just mentioned, he found a classic sketch up Kenny’s DIY character of Reg Prescott, luckily this was viewed while people weren’t eating, as they may have choked & Kylie’s skills may have been called upon.
Paxo had elected to go for a Ploughman’s, which by law should be Cheddar Cheese, Pickle & bread but the mountain of veggies, breads & cheese was quite surprising. Now some people can’t wait for their own food top come out, TBT OBE couldn’t resist picking at Paxo’s mountain of grub, he even added that the large green gherkin on the top of this looked like his wife’s sex toy! In order to try & put Paxo off!
The Down-Downs finally came around, with the Hares being awarded for a good Trail. TBT OBE for his DIY skills, or lack of! Captain Hook for his falling down in the nettles & short cutting back, he was joined by Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead when they admitted they too had to take the short cut option. No Anniversaries & no Hashit, which was handy for the RA who decked his hit for the weather, or how bad it was!
Reg Prescott, sorry, TBT OBE was called out again,
this time for the reference to the Dill-Do Pickle on Paxo’s food, & the chance
his wife may read this!