A light drizzle of both rain and hashers was in evidence as we gathered at the side of a narrow lane on the edge of our normal stamping ground. Welcome visitors Malibog and his gang, Red Horse, Bugs Bunny, Spike and Cat Woman from Stockholm reduced the average age of the pack somewhat and Flash's grandson Thomas reduced it further. Unfortunately the average age was returned to normal by Hairbrush who had decided on an outing. Called to order, and missing Old (Un)Faithful we were fed no lies by the hares before sauntering out into the lush green damp mossy forest.
It's no good for me to try and describe the route that we took, this area has little in the way of landmarks and is heavily forested, perfect for hashing of course. Hardly had we reached the first check when a better late than never team of Bika, Hash Angel and Kermit caught up but then Kermit turned back because he had developed a stitch. Then after about the fourth check, better even later than never, Mussolini caught us up .. but I dont think he was carrying the Hash-It ... I might be wrong. Dr Blood was behaving more strangely than usual, at first I though that he was waving at someone, he had his hand in the air rather like a child in class asking to be excused. It turns out that this was the only way he could get his GPS thingy to receive the satellite signals.
By the sixth check or thereabouts it was clear that we were heading in a anticlockwise loop as we reached a part of the park bounded by the A272 and traffic which could be heard before heading west and back into the gentler sounds of birdsong, raindrops, and hash natter. Spiderman's hip was beginning to feel the pace so much so that by about the ninth check he had fashioned a walking stick from nature's bounty and was using it both for support and to part the tall ferns, rather like a Hash Moses parting the Green Sea. At the other end of the scale, the younger hounds were realy bounding along, especialy Bugs Bunny who lead the pack on several occasions.
We had about three impromptu regroups, and a difficult time finding the true trail at the third from last check (which was a sneaky back check) before finding the On-In and suddenly realising where we were, after having been out for 72 minutes. After thanking Doc and The Chamois for what was a great outing on unfamiliar ground, the JM could not come up with cases of misbehaviour, so resorted to nepotism by mentioning that his grandson Thomas had just come second the British swimming championships, before awarding the Hash-It to Bugs Bunny because it will be her sixteenth birthday next week.
We then retired to The Well Diggers where the only dry place we could find to sit was along the top of a wall in the garden.