One always experiences a certain frisson in expectation of a Maggie run. Or may be it is just me and the frisson is really a symptom of a weak bladder brought on by excessive hashing, or old age.
Whatever, the prospect of Maggie working her magic, and David being the ever present enigmatic wild card was enough to get me out of bed and on the road to Amersham. My intelligence was sorely tested by the fact that the car park would not be adjacent to the pub, but with an able co-driver I was able to cope with this divergence.
Once at the Dovecote car park, we discovered that the most important bag had been left on the kitchen table, namely the one containing dog treats and poo bags (Aside. As a dog owner, one must be careful not to mix these two items up). Fortunately Tesco was only a short jog away, so off I went. I apologise profusely for delaying the Hash start, as was pointed out to me (vociferously) by Whipping Boy.
Three virgins were singled out as we waited for the off. Nice to see some fresh blood in the hood. Bram (from Texas) had flown over specially to be humbled on a hash (again) (it makes him appreciated wheeled transport so much more). I had hoped Jill (currently resident in Maidenhead) who is also an American would be there, so that I could ask if they knew each other. But she wasn't, so I couldn't.
Maggie efficiently went through the Hash prospectus, then lead us off west. This came as a surprise, as Maggie is the patron saint of the Tesco coffee shop, which bears to the east.
For the rest of the run, I am indebted to the Hashalator, which gives an interesting insight into Sooper's nocternal habits. Through the park and south past the pub. No one was there, testament to the accuracy of the website instructions. We also passed the second pub in Amersham to succumb to the Italian disease. First was the Griffin, which morphed into Ask. Then the Nag's Head went into the spaghetti press and became Prezzo. Perhaps this is why the Italian GDP is flatlining.
Rounding the back of the hospital gave a couple of the dogs a chance to exercise their vocal chords at each other. I don't know what they were saying, but they certainly put their heart and soul into it.
Crossing the Amersham bypass was tricky. Just imagine what it will be like for us when we have HS2 to contend with as well. Pity poor Sooper, who actually crossed it three times (twice on a check. Or was it a pit stop?). But it was worth it. The view as we ran through the fecund wheat (?) field prompted a number of hashers to whip out their cameras. Or was it the sight of the long/short split that generated the excitement?
We shorts scuttled off to the cricket pitch, while the longs took the opportunity to spread their legs and enjoy the canter up to Mop End and back down to the valley, clocking up many miles in the process. The shorts had their own twist in the tail, thanks to co-hare Dave. Mike C had this burning desire to tell us about the Amersham martyrs, but we avoided the subject by diverting towards the station.
Shame about the damp weather as it meant the hash had to huddle inside, cheek-by-jowl, and be considerate to the longs by sending chips back to the kitchen, to stop them being cons(den)umed.
News of the day was the unexpected wedding at the weekend of Carsten und Sarah (who made the transition from madchen to frau with great aplomb). A cloud of matrimonial bliss now hangs heavy over Downley Hill.
The other news, whispered in my ear, gives credence to the theory that having a parent who hashes improves your chances of getting a first at Bucks Uni.
Many thanks to Maggie and Dave. I know you put a lot of thought into getting the balance just right.