For a short time the East Meon village car park resembled a farmer's market as Spiderman shared out the surplus from his crop of courgettes and runner beans. When the veg-ing frenzy had subsided we were able to welcome newbie Joanne and re-visitors Hiskneesarebuggered and Chastitybelt from Haslemere.
The weather was living up to the usual vague Met Office forecast, that is, cloudy with sunny spells and the chance of the odd shower which might be heavy and prolonged, in other words your guess is as good as mine. We were lucky and chanced upon a sunny spell which was heavy and prolonged.
There was the usual verbiage from the hares, the only fly in the ointment being that the trail from a recent hash over the same ground was still evident despite heavy overnight rain. [I later carried out a search of diaries for the identity of the recent harriers to no avail].
A seemingly somewhat disinterested pack sauntered out from the car park to look for flour, and while the majority were either engaged in nattering or finding a falsie, Popeye got the run under way alongside the tennis courts and then into the houses on the south side of the green. Next, straight through the small estate and out and east on Coombe Road noticing the squished frogs that had not looked right, left, and right again.
A check at the school was quickly sorted as Pancsi and Hiskneesarebuggered led up Hill View and round on to Temple Lane, however the FRBs where reigned in here by one of Old Faithful's devious little trail re-laying exercises which I still don't fully understand. The bottom line is that we were all back together again as we headed east to Anvil Close and then picked our way through the sheep shitty fields of Belmont Farm to Temple Brow.
Most of the pack took the falsie south here and then returned north and onward to the cricket ground at East Meon Forge. There were lots of ways to go here, many of them false, so it was a while before Oliveoil found the rear access to the playing fields and nearly everyone else took a short cut over the cricket pitch to catch her up leaving Popeye and Tom playing on the See-Saw.
Now we were out in the countryside proper, taking in the path past the mill and then south and east on the path to Lower House Farm with its hazardous stile and rocky rooty slimey descent to the road.
Dr Blood was definitely with us at this stage (I have a photo), a short while later he was not with us but no one seemed too bothered.
Next we headed back north west to the quaint thatched cottages and the Meon bridge at Frogmore where Flash, Sinbad and Popeye were lured a long way north on an uphill falsie. The previous hash had taken a route into the river and downstream for a short distance but we kept our feet dry by using the iron footbridge to take the short path north up under the lime trees to The Hyde and then down the hill to All Saints church.
Pancsi remembered the last time we were here, many years ago, and was soon on the path up behind the church taking Oliveoil with him, the rest waited for them to return, but they did not. Accordingly the rest took the same path to a check beneath Park Hill where Hiskneesarebuggered and Chastitybelt were the only brave souls to try the falsie that went up the hill where they spent a few moment to admire the fine views the rest of us missed.
All that remained was the quick flit to Chalk Dell Cottages where no one was lured into taking the path to Drayton Mill, all preferring to go down hill and find the On-In after fifty seven minutes of national park hashing.
Happy surprise!, Dr Blood coming to meet us, apparently following the previous hash route, but backwards, so all's well that ends well.
At the circle we mentioned, the hares for not taking us into the river, Popeye for showing off with chin ups and Panda for asking locals for direction. Unfortunately Soapbox had not been able to return with our regular embarrassing neck ornament, so the JMs fashioned a temporary token from a piece of old blood stained string and a Chuggington shield which they presented to Dogwhistle who claims to "have a life" outside of hashing.
We then jogged round to Ye Olde George Inn [sic] to drink ale and jump around to avoid wasps in the garden