The sardine packers' union would have been proud of the way that we fitted all our chariots into the small car park under a bright sky and a chilly north easterly gusting through the willows. It was nice to see The Chamois and Doc back from their antipodean cruise and still leaning rhythmically left then right on their sea dog legs.
Flash reminded us to bring raffle tat and a bit of grub to the summer BBQ bash in a months time before handing over to the arachnids to introduce their tangled web. We learned that the exotic ?fish hook? mark had been deployed which we normally associate with a Bika trail and also that there was to be a lady's check which prompted someone to mutter the usual about there not being any ladies.
With a general wave of their spinnerets the hares ushered us out and we found flour south east along the deep end of the pond. Then it was north up the really shiggy pooled path heading for Shopham, oh how I wish that I could skip over the mud like Tom and Matt.
We were in a long line as we descended to the bridge over the non railway with Sinbad way out front and Mussolini with the Hash-It bringing up the rear. While most others were busy looking for flour from the check at Shopham Bridge Bika seemed to be mesmerised by his grotesquely distorted image in the big convex traffic mirror at the farm gate, whose an ugly boy then?
East just over the bridge and then south through lush green long grass brought us to a great check that tempted most of the pack towards Coates Castle, it would have worked better had not yours truly run off trail for a bit and stumbled on to the true trail which went south west down to a regroup at the Ravesland Copse cross roads.
Many people sometimes struggle to find the right word for something, to avoid silence a non specific word like whatsit or thingy is uttered instead of the intended word. It just so happened that Snake Charmer had an orange shirt tied around her waist and as we continued on the trail through a big muddy patch a large blob of shiggy got kicked up on to the nice clean yellow. Dr Blood tried to tell her about this, however the best he could do was to make the innocently intended remark ?hey Snake Charmer you have a big blob on your doo dah!? which he regretted as soon as the last syllable left his lips.
Heading south now into Burton Pond Woodlands we were running on one of the local sandy surfaces down to the footbridge over one of the pond's feeder springs where Max did the usual doggy thing of spraying everyone with gritty water after launching into the spring rather than crossing the bridge, meanwhile Splasher tried not to draw attention as we approached the pond from the south.
Then we reached the fish hook, or rather Bika, Sinbad and Mussolini reached the fish hook and its associated number 3. Bika and Sinbad dutifully ran back to the back of the pack, the other adopted the familiar folded arms pose and waited for the back of the pack to reach him.
Next it was south west into The Moor and to a ladies check with Snake Charmer and Olive Oyl heading right and left respectively and Olive Oyl being right to go left and to reach a regroup at the deep end of Chingford Pond first.
More natter and a few snaps before we hit Spiderman's piece de resistance, a big figure of eight loop in Burton Park which worked well before reaching the On-In through New Piece after one hour and twenty minutes of brilliant hashing.
At the circle there were too many nominations to list here, even if they could be remembered, the upshot being the presentation of the Hash-It to Pink Flamingo and Dr Blood for being caught canoodeling when they should have been looking for flour.
The Cricketer's in Duncton benefited from the pack's custom.