We gathered in front of the Hour Glass to watch late-running hounds dodge one of the more dangerous double roundabouts in the Chilterns. It did not bode well as your scribe has a phobia of road-running but I hoped our hares would have found a way to tunnel us out of there. It was also rumoured that the pub had redeeming features (see below). The pack appeared smaller than usual, especially considering the relatively fine weather. Gerry announced the run's vital statistics with surprising veracity and we were off only about 10 minutes behind schedule.
Very soon we were climbing Jacob's ladder without the help of crampons, rocket packs and other essentials. As we paused at the half-way-up regroup an orange flash was seen behind us. It was only late-arriving Ant doing a self-imposed on-back so as not to leave Sarah in the dust. A few others (you know who you are) subsequently caught us up by the time we'd reach the woods. In my usual spot at the back of the pack I heard from Andy that there would be several viewpoints on the run.
We soon came upon one and I think it was here that we saw the temple above West Wycombe. Attempts to record such moments on my phone completely failed. Attempts to record them in my head failed even more miserably "Where's my memory gone …" (See Bonzo lyrics). The map says that there was a Druid hut here. If we'd known that we could have asked Gerry for the full story - he would know.
Into another wood we went and shortly came to the long-short split. Around this point we noticed that an improvised Native American head-dress was sported by Simon. This eventually got mangled by the overhead vegetation. Attempts to find discover Simon's motivation failed.
The next section of the run tooks us through more woods to a lane near Bollocks (sorry Bullocks) Farm. This helped overcome the pain of the aforementioned hill as I had been listening to the Bonzos' "Jollity Farm" on the way to the run.
"There's a farm called Misery but of that I'll have none
Because I know of one that's always lots of fun
This farm's name is "Jollity". Believe me folks it's great
As everything shouts out to us as we go in the gate. …"
Sadly no animals shouted out to us. A little further one we entered Great Wood and "Helles Bottom" wood. This is on a slope which makes it quite difficult to stay vertical when running. I gave a quick moosing demonstration without adverse effect.
Then a fallen tree jumped up out of the gloom and attacked Ant. He bravely attempted to head-butt this tree out of the way but, alas, the tree won the bout. Ant's forehead streamed blood and everyone said "oh poor you" which really made him feel better. Not.
We then wondered: "Is there a doctor on the hash?" Dan admitted that he was not equipped to administer to Ant's wound. It turns out he's moved on with his studies and is now becoming an expert in disorders of the mind. This, we thought, is a very good thing. After all, our physical problems are manageable. Outsiders seem to agree, however, that we all have to be certifiable to run off-road in the dark. Anyone dispute that?
Emerging from the next wood we saw "Gerry's least favourite hill" looming ahead. Aaron threatened to short cut to the pub but the rest of us (apart from the hares) had become disorientated so had little option but to struggle on up the last of the 5 advertised hills.
On emerging back into the built-up area it was not long before we found ourselves chez Andy and Sara plus Rose in their garage to be precise. There we were greeted with sweet nibbles and excellent nectars of coconut and banana. A perfect prelude to the more serious fare to follow.
The pub did live up to its promise. Gerry thanked himself and his co-hare and we thanked him and thanked him for thanking himself etc. He took advantage of the GM's not showing to rename the recently named Jo as "chicken fillets" but without all the carpets and handwaving. How will Roger react to this?
The beer was great. The food appeared in great quantity and variety. We thanked the landlord and listened to his tales of neighbour-induced woe. I suspect we'll be back. As a finale, Phil, who'd been skiving off, came in with his band but, alas, no music was performed. You can't have it all.