In Genesis (the pre Collins version) Yahweh decides to flood the earth because of the depths of the sins of man. Now I don't know what Jo has been up to but the windows of heaven had been open pretty solidly for weeks before Matthew set this birthday run for her.
Righteous Noah was given instructions to build a mighty ark to save his family and representatives of all the animals of the earth. Of course, there being some 16 millions species of animal, one can only assume that he would have needed to build a many-floored vessel to house them all. In fact just for the fish alone he surely would have needed a multi-storey carp ark.
The carp ark of the Beech Tree is not multi-storey, though I'm pretty sure it could have supported plenty of piscine life this evening. Mud skippers would certainly have felt right at home. Matthew explained the instructions - the numbers in the on-backs would give a clue as to the age of the birthday girl.
Off we squelched over the A404 and up a ridiculously muddy path. In fact from here on in you should just take it as read that it was always ridiculously muddy. If there were any mud-free sections then I'll mention them... although there weren't, so I won't.
Across the field, a left down the path to Kingshill Road and over into another field. I'm getting all this information from my gps of course - I don't actually remember any of this. If pressed I would say I have some recollection of brown. Cold, wet, brown.
My gps tracks us up through Millfield Wood (dark, wet, brown) and then looping round to take us over Kingshill Road and up towards Four Ashes. I see from my map that at this point we skirted round Cockshooters Wood. Now I think this is most unfair. I'm struggling post hash bash to come up with anything even vaguely amusing and surely if there's such an obvious double entendre then it would be nice to give me one.
Anyway - across some more fields (brown, wet, high wind chill factor) to bring us back round to the Hazlemere rec (sure I could do a Hazlemere wreck joke here, but no time). We skipped the obstacle course and headed on down to the always welcome site of The Crown.
Sadly of course we didn't set off from The Crown, but it meant that a gentle, dry, trot down the road would take us back to the Beech Tree. Sadly of course we headed over the road and down the footpath into King's Wood instead. Now Kings Wood is normally muddy even at the height of Summer. It was not the height of Summer.
Which King lived in Hazlemere anyway? Elvis?
There were a couple of nice mooses in the wood; but since it's my write up I don't have to mention them. Then a nice long on-in across the grass which at least washed some of the mud off my shoes and back into the carp ark.
The chips in the pub were warm, dry and golden brown. The T-shirts were red if not read. Oh, and all the back arrows on the run were numbered 4 - so a very happy 44th birthday to Jo.