Date =                            30th June 2019

Run Number =             1860

Venue =                         Chez Sloppy Seconds

Location =                    Sheering

Hare/s =                        TBT OBE

Beer =                            BYO

Runners =                     8                                                

Virgins =                        0

Visitors =                       0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          2

Hounds =                      0

Total =                          10

Membership =             Paying our respects to Sloppy Seconds

 

            For the second Run in consecutive days the turnout was going to be low.  Which left the few, who made the effort in getting over to Sheering, wondering where they were?  Perhaps Whatever She Says was practising his golf swing?  Who knows?  Two of the Pack had even survived the World’s End Pub Crawl & had managed to get in & out of London to Sawbridgeworth, then walked all the way from the Sawbridgeworth Station to the start of today’s Trail.

            There was no sign of the Hare when they arrived at the village hall car park, in fact there was anyone else there either!  But, crept off to the local village shop in Sheering to get some deserved refreshing aqua on what was becoming a warm day, though not as hot as the previous Trail, a bit of Trail was seen when they crossed over to the north to walk back.

            Returning to the car park they now found Paxo, Flanders & Sludge were waiting, but still no Hare!  The back of the Sludge Mobile had what looked like a furniture shop, with wooden chairs nestling in the rear.  Just as Mr X began to slap on some sun-block, his phone rang.  It was TBT OBE calling to say that he was out setting the Trail, but not being able to answer the phone, Mr X had to listen to this on a Voicemail a little later.  TBT OBE also added to his voice recording that he Hash should leave the car park & turn left, then stay left!

The portents were not looking good, No Hare, instructions that were far from clear, a Trail that had been abandoned from yesterday & just a hand full of Hashers.  Tent Packer & Mrs Mallett were late arriving, but they needn’t have feared about getting left behind, for once Paxo had completed the honours with the introductions, the Pack moved out of the car park & turned left as instructed, they headed away to the northeast up the Street, keeping to the left as ordered by the Hare until they reached the first CHK by drive that had a northbound Footpath out over the wheat field behind the village.

But Mr X & My Lil failed to find any Trail there, so it was on up the High Street to find a T, Tent Packer had now caught up & was with Sludge, neither had fared much better across the road in the horse paddock to the south of the Street, which was on the right after leaving the car park!  So, it was another search in to the northern crop fields, but only a deceptive white stone was found after running further in to the valley.  No Dust at all.

After wasting 20 minutes & not getting anywhere, the decision was made to go to the Churchyard, but Paxo had called the Hare & discovered that the Trail was at the end of the horse paddock & on the footpath that leads in to the Churchyard of St Mary’s. 

Out of the Equine enclosure, home to two nosy nags, & over a small two plank bridge spanning a dried up course of a stream, the Pack made their way through to Churchyard, there everyone went over & paid their respects to Sloppy Seconds.  No doubt he’d be amused at the start of this Trail?

 Time to move on & Sludge was soon out on to the footpath running along the eastern edge of the St Mary’s grounds, ignoring the path off in to the wheat, he stuck with the outer edge of the field as it head southward, there he found the Dust & there was suddenly a lot of Flour making up the markings compared with the sparse wisps of powder at the start.

A the Trail descended into the valley, Mr X made an ouch sound, Sludge responded “They don’t sting this time of year!” but it wasn’t a nettle, it was a nip on his lower back, just at the top of one of his gluteus maximi!  Yes he’d been bitten on his backside, which got worse when he got home for a shower & discovered he had another on the top of the other Cheek!

Best to keep moving to keep away from the bity things, so back on the path as it came up to a CHK by what looked like it could be a footpath heading over to Church Lane, Sludge was soon down here then uttering the prophetic words of “We’re On to the Trail far too quickly!” & so he was proved correct when he found the T almost on the edge of the lane.  Mr X & Tent Packer also had to turn around after following him along this route.

            My Lil’, on the other hand, had continued down to the south & found the Trail as it headed to the bottom of the crop field & on to a wide strip of fallow ‘set-aside’ along by the Pincey Brook.  Here Mr X went off over Church Lane to search the area of pale blue thistles, while Sludge crossed over the narrow, small pack-bridge over the brook.  Sludge found the Trail.  Meanwhile My Lil’ was far away to the east, since he had seen the SC, for Short Cut, & had followed this through the set-aside strip along beside the serpentine course of the water.

            Tent Packer followed on behind Sludge, however Mr X was still feeling the effects of the World’s End Pub Crawl & having had the Short Cut pointed out to him by Tent Packer, he elected to take that option, leaving Tent Packer & Sludge to run further southward in to Deepest Essex. 

Sludge & Tent Packer were going to take to a large loop out , having crossed Sheering Bridge to head down to Newman’s End, before turning south-easterly for a short while on a footpath, then on to a north-eastern path that leads over to & through The Gorse, a wooded area below Down Hall, which is now a hotel.

            A footbridge above the water course flowing down toward Matching Pond to the south, kept the FRBs moving away from Matching on a right of way which moved over to the Matching Road, where they would cross Downhall Bridge to pass over the Pincey Brook.  Once over the water course the Keenies turned off to the left to find the Footpath the SCBs were on earlier further back.

The Short Cut swung back around to the south before meeting the main trail as it came back over the Pincey Brook - here the Held CHK was found, but with no sign of the others, & the fact that the other SCBs of Flanders & Mrs Mallett had turned back with Paxo to head on along by the Church again.

Mr X & My Lil’ were resigned to begin the long climb back up the hillside to the north.  The dry farm track between the crops of wheat on the western side & broad beans to the west, finally reaching the plateau half of the Pack would pass by a large amount of hay all stacked up in huge bales in a massive rectangle.  Beyond this the track was now covered in broken bricks, concrete & tiles to make the firmer surface in wet weather, not that it needed to be a bit more solid in this dry weather.  Ahead of them lay the large Farm House of Shrubbs Farm, which has a majestic view back over the unspoilt valley.

The Trail led along by the back of the Farm House grounds, or it could be the front of the house, where a bright orange shirt could be seen cycling toward them, it was the Hare & he stopped, waiting at the opposite end of the track of hardcore. 

TBT OBE was found sitting by his bike, he was sorting out various sweets for the weary Hashers, but as he noticed Sludge & Tent Packer weren’t with these Mr X & My Lil’ he was quick to get in “So, you took the short cut then?”  Which Mr X thought was a bit rich from a Hare who had arrived at this point on a pushbike!

My Lil’ now reminded Mr X that he had done the Running Trail for the World’s End Pub Crawl, twice the day before, & not got a cab!  [Kick a man when he’s down!  – Ed]  Anyhow, with a couple of sweets were rather nice to relieve the dryness of the previous days frivolities, then these two headed off along where the Trail continued westward along the top of the ridge, some 75 feet above the brook in the valley floor. 

A CHK was found by the corner of the sport’s field, with a falsie leading northward, beside the grounds, leading to the Street.  Back to the other path as it led along the top of the broad-bean crop until it reached the end of a short track in to the top of the crops, no CHK here, just an arrow pointing the way northward through a shaded area to come out to the On Inn just before the Street.

Time was now 10 past the hour, but with the FRBs being a long way back, & just to make sure that they had some deserved refreshments, My Lil’ & Mr X popped in to the local corner shop for the second time this day, they purchased an Abbott each & sat imbibing outside on the adjacent café bench waiting for the rest arrive.

20 minutes passed by, then they gave up, continuing by the Cock & over to make their way around to Carole’s, where the distinctive aroma of the barbecue hung in the air, with the smoke wafting over the back garden fence gave away the position of the house.  Arriving at the front they met up with Manu, as well as the new addition to the family, lulu, who is a spanner-poo [I think that’s what it was described as?  A Spaniel Poodle mix! – Ed].

In the back garden & what a change, a transformation that Carole & Manu had made, clearing out all the undergrowth to open it up, with a small area of garden furniture at the far end.  Paxo, Flanders & Mrs Mallett were already sat down enjoying the delicious samosas.  The others finally came around, Sludge was laden-down with chairs!  When it was time to sign the book, again Milf & Kylie were missing & suitable comments were put in their spot by Flanders.

When it came to the food, well, again it was great.  A barbeque with great chicken, burgers & sausages, especially the chilli sausages that Mr X loved, all cooked to such perfection that even a Faketarian couldn’t resist eating them.  Down-Downs were put off until the following week, mainly because the Pack had gorged themselves.  So, coming up next time will be TBT OBE for setting two Trails, Paxo for completing 900 Herts Trails!

Many Thanks to Carole for inviting us around for the Barbecue.

 

BTW Mr X Went around the Newton haven Running section of the World’s End Pub Crawl on Monday, to finally try & put to bed the fact that he hadn’t done so on the Saturday morning!