Well I am glad it was, according to hare Rob, a "flat" run – 'cos at just under a third of a mile vertical ascent (1631 ft) I would have hated to go on a hilly one.
We started the Hash with the call On-On left, passed the two nearby roads and reached the sad but predictable footpath on the left which points down the hill. Actually it points a VERY Long, Long Way down the hill. Our hearts, spirits and bodies dropped as the hill tumbled downwards continuously for over a mile and we realised that we would have at least a mile long climb to get back up to the top again. There are just two paths off the track on the way down, so naturally we got one wrong and wondered why the hare had called it left down a trail with no flour, especially after Ken had just called on-on to the right where there was flour. Ahh well, another mystery from the enigma that is of hashing. Perhaps the altitude or the power had gone to the Hare's head.
Fortunately we ended up in the right place anyway as the paths re-joined at the bottom of the hill.
Someone, who will remain nameless (OK, I don't know who it was), started singing "The Grand Old Duke of York" so naturally we crossed the road and went straight back up the steepest, nastiest bit of sheer hillside for miles around. In doing so we passed the strange long triangle carved into the ground. It has always been rumoured that somebody wanted to build a spire on the church to improve the view from their house – but the vicar wouldn't let them so they carved one out on the hillside – so that it lined up with the church when viewed from their bedroom. Indeed if you follow the line of the carved "Spire" it nearly lines up with St Leonards church , and then goes on to nearly pass exactly one house – Glebe Farm. To make it align properly all you would have to do is move the church some 83 metres to the North West and move Glebe farm about 120 metres in the same direction.
So half way up the hill we went, before turning right back down again. The shorts cut back half way down and weren't spotted again until we reached the pub, the longs foolishly went right back to down to the bottom. By the time we reached the flat plain of Oxford (for the second time!), we felt like we needed a plane to get us on-back to the top.
Over towards West Lodge then a nice (!), long (!) hill back via Watlington Park to Christmas Common. With the pub nestling just 200 yards to the left, we naturally went right, except a group of over weary runners who sensibly called it a day for the night.
200 yards right and, having not found any flour the rest turned eagerly back pubwards, with visions of warm fires and friendly ale - only to find the beastly path hidden in the undergrowth – followed by another 1.71 miles of fields, wood and weariness! Kev fell into a nasty argument with some barbed wire which he indisputably lost and became the second or third hasher of the evening to leave a goodly trail of blood to mark our passing (I, for one, have two four-inch scars across my calf from an entanglement with a particularly mean, unfriendly and vicious trailing bramble).
But, for all that, the hills and the misery of the climb soon faded into memory once we settled back into the pub - aided (it must be said) by a small quantity (or two) of the local amneisical fluid, along with the chips and curry so excellently provided by our hare and host.
So, yet again, we brave intrepid few lived to hash another day. On-On.