Gazing up, one could imagine the jet setters tucking in to their airline breakfasts as their planes criss crossed the clear blue sky with brilliant white vapour trails. On the ground Can Man was promising lots of brilliant white flour hoping to forever staunch any talk of the old frugal McDougalism.
Our JMs were on yet another cruise, so Old Faithful had the pleasure of welcoming Karina from Latvia on her first hash, and letting us know that the Barn Dance (last Saturday) raised over £200 for charity.
A bunch of late arrivers were still busy donning their gear as the pack sauntered out along the road towards Upperton, swiftly turned right and entered the park through a wooden door at the bottom of a flight of slippery steps. At first everything was a bit confused with hashers milling about in the little boggy wet valley, not wanting to climb either side, which proved a wise move as no trail was found above. At least it gave those that did make a climb, such as Bika, the opportunity to add liquid fertiliser to the parkland in private.
Soon enough a trail was found taking us north making a gentle climb up the wooded ridge in the north west quarter of the park with Sinbad out front at first. Here the hares had laid a sneaky trail back south east just below the ridge line, but not sneaky enough to prevent Snake Charmer from finding it on the way up thus taking us all to a dead end at the turning point. Stationary and with nowhere to go we took the time to admire the breathtaking view until the hares turned up to shove someone in the right direction which was back the way we had come and then east and down from the heights on to the plain.
Unusually the only sign of any deer was the prevalence of their fresh droppings, either they were very well camouflaged or more likely they had smelled us coming and decided to make themselves scarce.
A series of checks then took us clockwise around the top of the park close to the shore of the northern pond and then south right in the centre of the wide open grass area, still no deer. Now we reached the climax of the outing as Mussolini, Pancsi, Splasher and Kermit lead us to the top of Arbour Hill from where Can Man treated us to a bit of history as our eyes feasted on the richly coloured autumnal landscape. In the early sixteenth century Henry the eighth hunted deer here and made a big impression on the local ladies.
Physically and mentally refreshed we headed north west for the chariots with The House behind us and the blazing sun low in the sky on our left. First Spiderman and then Bika found the flour until we could just see the roof of the sports pavilion on the other side of the high flint and brick park wall. Then just as we reached the On-In and were stumbling our way back to the boggy glade and wooden park door we disturbed a small herd of deer after one hour and ten minutes of looking for them.
At the circle we thanked the Hares for a great hash and joked about Splasher keeping clear of the ponds and Mussolini complaining about the ratio of chatter to running from some of the pack. The Hash-It was presented to Spider Woman, three times she received directions from the hares and still managed to get lost. Refreshment was taken at The Halfway Bridge.