It was bright but chilly with the odd little speck of moisture being carried by the blustery breeze, hopefully remnants of the wettest June since records began. Not poor enough to put off The Ref who was to be found in the forestry car park admiring his reflection in the polished paintwork of a new (to him) chariot a good half hour before the off.
The venue had changed from Eartham at short notice due to a belated realisation that the traffic jams from the ironically titled Festival Of Speed would best be avoided. So the mismanagement must apologise if you were able to get to the original start, to not find a hash.
A good sized pack did gather, including Flash Woolly Socks (which he was wearing) and E Licks Her who had found their way from The Land Down Under. There were just two words from the hares before we sallied forth, these were “fish” and “hooks”, we are having quite a rash of these recently, what have you done Bika?
After messing about with a few false trails that had been laid straight up Lambdown Hill we found the right flour north east and inexorably up in a clockwise loop towards the top. Sinbad found himself way ahead on this climb and got so excited that he overran a falsie from a check near the top resulting in a lot of unnecessary exercise. A sneaky back check here had us flummoxed for a while until Old Faithful got a helping nod and we were soon charging down the slope towards Greatdean Bottom, straight on to a fish hook with the magic number four. Thus it was that OF, yours truly, Sinbad and Olive Oyl found themselves returning up the slope more than a little out of breath.
It did not matter to us because it took ages for the rest of the pack to find the trail on the lower path back towards the chariots and then north west on the narrow unmarked path just inside the tree line into Wildhams Wood with The Ref leading the way.
From here Hash Flash came back from the north east path reporting a no trail found situation which seemed to surprise the hares, so we headed that way and soon spotted the invisible blobs. At his age Flash can get a free eye test.
Several simple checks saw us work our way north west into Coldcroft Copse with Dr Blood making the right choices until a charge down the slope towards the road where the second fish hook caught yours truly, Flash, Olive Oyl and The Ref at the front. Only two of us had the energy to go back up.
Those of us who are more than familiar with this area soon found their way south east down the road and then north west round the metal barrier and up the long climb on that gravel road into Inholmes Wood. There were no prizes for guessing that all the trails at the top were all false except for the one that Sinbad chose, you know, the one that follows the contours south to the top of the slope just above Wildham Barn. There was little enthusiasm for checking up hill from here, only Flash Woolly Socks made any real effort to no avail of course because the On-In was at the bottom just before the slog back up the road to the chariots.
At the circle there was a round of applause for the Hares for an almost perfect outing which took us fifty eight minutes and thirty four seconds, by our JM's watch. Then there was a mention of Old Faithful for nearly talking our JM into taking a short cut and of The Ref for ignoring the last fish hook (no mention of Olive Oyl) and of Tom and Matt for being too lazy to carry the Hash-It before it was awarded to Flash by Panda for barging runners off the trail when they have the temerity to try and pass him. The pack adjourned to The Barley Mow as usual.
P.S. Tigger says that there is a salad bowl left over from the BBQ hash, is it yours?
Oh yes, Can Man says that he still has a blue top with a sum of money in a pocket that was left at his house in Nyton Spinney about two years ago, will the owner please form a queue ?