You know that speech (from Henry V ?) where the king says that in years to come those that were not there will regret not being there. Well this was one of those runs. Only a small pack assembled up the road from the Fish and Chip shop (Mmmmmm Chips) probably because some of the regulars were trying to run the Great South Sewage in Portsmouth, or cycling or something. Paul was last to arrive, on his mounting bike, completely knackered having got lost in Leigh Park en route, bringing the total to around ten in all. There was a relatively long and boring pre-amble from the hares that included apologies for an initial skimpyness in markings and warnings to beware of roots and branches, what are we, kids!? The on-out was a poorly disguised clockwise spiral loop round the Recreation Ground and east in the direction of the Fish and Chip shop (Mmmmmm Chips) but turning north just within sniffing distance. This took us into Marrelsmoor Coppice to a series of harder checks, and the promised roots, branches, nettles and brambles. It's surprising how much of a gentleman Steve can be, for example, on entering the tripiest,prickliest part he was heard to exclaim "after you Miriam", such manners. Meanwhile somewhere in the deep undergrowth we could hear Robin snipping a way through with a pair of secateurs, nothing is going to get between him and those Alu Cans. North west out of the coppice and into Newlands Row was where the real fun began, for here the hares had laid a big anti clockwise loop from a check at the north end of the row which had falsies out to the A3 and Plant Farm. By the time the pack had found its way round and back to the check, the flour had been relaid and needed to be checked out again. During the confusion Paul thought that no one had noticed that he had not actualy bothered to run the loop .... but he was mistaken. The on-on was found out to the north west and we had a bit of a sprint across open fields to a regroup before heading south and back to a check at the southern end of the coppice. What we did not know when we first arrived at this check was that ALL the trails out of it were false. ("Thats illegal !" I hear you cry). One of the falsies from here was the Muvver of all falsies, all the way out to Newlands Farm, which the pack assumed was the on-on until we read the words "ON BACK CH3" written in chalk on the road. Yes, you have probably already guessed that by the time we all returned to the check the flour had been relaid and now there was a way out. The remaider of the run was due south towards the chariots and was completed without further incident except to mention that only one of the pack actualy ran the whole of the trail to the on-in, modesty prevents me from naming him. Ceremonials were "A Le Parking" with just about everyone getting a mention using the Venerable Master's new grading system for misdemeanors. There appears to be three grades of misdemeanor, 1, 2 and 3 with 1 being the worst. So, from memory, in reverse order, Grade 3: Steve for politeness, Robin for secateurs and Miriam for whingeing. No Grade 2. Grade 3: Derek for asking directions, and Paul (the winner) for missing that first loop. A few of us went to pub by the roundabout near the Chip shop (Mmmmmm Chips), where we bumped into that famous local Angela Davies and family.
ON-ON Jan H.