Due to eagerness we seem to have a double write up this week. Twice the 'fun'!
First up, Scribbler.
For the engineers amongst us, this was THE run to be on. With Fibonacci (*) on-backs (would those just be FIBs for short?) and HS2 cuttings (Martin - Conehead - had thoughtfully provided detailed plans, just in case anybody was interested...they weren't) this was as close to a nerd's paradise as you're ever going to get with HWH3. For the majority of us though, it was just the chance to sample some beautiful views on a very clement evening. Bucolic even, some might say. Unless they happened to be in earshot of Helles Belles at the time: "What on EARTH are you banging on about?!"
At the briefing - "on the whole, it's flat" - we were promised a cracking viewpoint (something to do with Conehead not carrying anybody's tripod?), and some frisky cows. At this point, Jo 'Chicken Lickin' was in the midst of doing her Edvard Munch impression (presume it was more to do with the cows rather than Conehead's tripod?) but Martin promised her he had some special 'Cow Away' spray, tucked into the side of his (volumous) rucksack. A few quips followed about his spray looking decidedly yellow, but before we could plumb the depths on that one, 'On On' was called and we were off across a field and up a rather large hill (note - not at all flat). By now the Fibonacci sequence (*) had started to kick in, resulting in the usual 'confusion' of hashers going up, down, and sideways. Or diagonally downwards in my case.
"Pick your legs up!" [encouragement shouted by Dick as I ran past him up the aforementioned hill]
"You might want to open them a bit as well!" [Dick a couple of minutes later as I gently moosed right behind him on a flat, unassuming piece of ground]
Then, cowgate. Or heifers. Or bull calfs. Or bullocks. You decide. Unfortunately our resident expert, Nice Butt, was absent - there again, he's not particularly keen on large farm animals...much prefers castrating geckos does our Tim. Anyway, per the internet, a heifer is "a young female before she has had a calf of her own and is under three years of age." Not being great on ageing cows, we settled for our own hash terminology: "Lively. Spirited. Curious. Jumpy. I'm not going through that f**king field!"...etc. So, we sent the CPS (Cow Protection Squad) vanguard upfront to clear a path - Crazy and Doormat. Then a couple of us ran across the field to lure the rest of herd away from the more phobic ones...I make that sound like a selfless act...it was actually just a tad stupid as we didn't realise we were being closely followed by about 30 heifers (or bull calfs, bullocks...etc) until we looked around and did a double take. Cheaper than Pamplona though.
Still, we all got through OK. Chicken Lickin' even raised a round of applause for vaulting the gate at the other end in one go, rather than queueing for the stile surrounded by the aforementioned 4-legged frisky creatures. At this point, Conehead tried to claim that his 'Cow Away' (urine) spray had actually worked because he'd been unmolested by cows. However, Chicken Lickin shot him a look that cut him off in mid-sentence. As a result, he was still 'well behind' when we came to a very deep well (look, I only write what's in front of me, OK?) and didn't even bother with his gag about it being this week's Sip Stop.
At the HS2 field, we had a good old mooch about and tried out a few Brummie accents before we were told to be quiet as we were scaring the nearby equine fraternity. Sorry, just horsin' around! And that was just about all that was of note, part from a wood where even Helles Belles had to call 'Heads!' on account of the neck-breaking branches which Conehead had kindly marked with flour to safeguard against certain hashers running into them. Such as myself. Oh, and Calamity Chris who was back with us, running with his very own little backpack...or emergency first aid kit as I'd like to think.
Back at the pub, just to round off the Brummie theme, once the running watches were paused and the route was recorded, it was noted that the run looked just like a picture of Andy Capp. Roger then said a few words...followed by a few more...and then a couple extra for good measure. There were some worthy words though, such as thanking everybody who turned up to last Saturday's Quiz & Chips and raised £500 for Parkinson's UK. I then had the honour of presenting the Wyc-Ombe Has-Hers cycling tops to the participants on the upcoming Bike Bash Away Weekend, and managed to confirm 2 crews for the DragonBoats at the Cookham Regatta (Sat 7th Sep, Hash Summer Picnic).
What with all that, and a splendid buffet (nachos, chips, onion rings) laid on by our very own Isambard Kingdom Brunel, there was more than enough excitement for one evening, as we all fibonacci'd off into the night.
• Fibonacci numbers: form a sequence such that each number is the sum of the two preceding ones; i.e. 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13...etc [blah blah...followed by lots of mathematical stuff + equations]. Fibonoacci sequences also appear in biological settings, such as branching in trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the flowering of an artichoke, an uncurling fern, and the arrangement of a pine cone's bracts.
Write up number two from Waldorf...
The fact that there are balloon flights from The Black Horse brought back memories of two by yours truly.
The first from a park near Oxford did indeed take us over the dreaming spires which was superb. However, having found ourselves drifting over Farmoor Reservoir, the pilot decided to show us his skills by dropping the balloon to within inches of the surface which probably prompted an addition to the water level by at least one passenger.
Floating towards Brize Norton, the pilot was told over the radio to get out of restricted airspace to which he relied “it’s a ****ing balloon and it goes where it wants mate”.
When it was deemed time to land, we somewhat swiftly descended, skimming over a herd of cows to crash down and turn on our side, much to the discomfort of a rather round lady who fell out.
Worse followed as the farmer and two burly sons arrived toting shotguns and threatening to shoot the pilot for terrifying their prize cattle. With the recovery vehicle arriving and the changing hands of either cash, vouchers or both, all was finally smoothed over.
A great opportunity arose in Luxor. Fly in a balloon over the Valley of the Kings and that of the Queens as the sun rises over the Nile, and yes, it weren’t cheap!
Arising in pitch blackness, we were ferried across the Nile. Thoughts of a nice welcoming jetty disappeared as we were put ashore on a pile of rubble to scramble up the bank to the waiting ancient and asthmatic Land Cruiser.
A rag tag ground crew got the balloon inflated and the “pilot” got us up and away.
We drifted over dark valleys whilst, in the distance, the Nile was finally illuminated by the rising sun.
The “pilot” duly decided it was time to land and down we came. Now most people think of the desert as being made of sand but where this idiot put us down, with a considerable crash, was strewn with rocks ensuring bumps and scrapes for all.
The ground crew were waiting, singing some mindless song and waving poor quality T shirts at us which they actually expected us to buy!
What’s more, they were after a bung – backsheesh. They got bog all from me and we piled back into the Land Cruiser which, in the daylight, looked even worse. Back to the cruise boat for a stiff one!
The run. Having run across fields alongside the non-existent Misbourne, we crossed under the A.413 going upwards, ever upwards, to Park Farm at Potter Row. Interesting features on the way were a promise of “Cow Off”, a deterrent provided for the benefit of anybody nervous of these beasts, an on back for 34 (not observed) and the GM muttering about 158 and whether this number, presumably in flour somewhere, was date orientated.
We split long/short here with us shorts going right and then right again down through Jenkin’s Wood. Shortly after the first cock up – this having been arranged was duly executed and took place with Klingon motoring ever onwards on a flourless trail whilst the rest of us milled about and eventually picked up the right path.
Going down past Stockings Wood all was well and we arrived at the edge of town, at a check where right would have taken us across Buryfield Rec. and On Inn. However, with no flour spotted, much hand wringing and route pontification, guess what ..... Yes we went completely wrong again going up Frith Hill to a path well known to the GM which took us well away from the boozer and across the still non-existent Misbourne.
Woe, thrice woe, the Abbey was where it should be but not where it should have been on our 3.2 mile perambulation which necessitated a long pull through the village and eventually back to The Black Horse only to be beaten home by the longs. According to Barney’s GPS we clocked 4.61 definately earning a drink or two.
Back at the pub, decent beer, great cider and a wonderful spread to restore mind and body. Thanks to Conehead for an incident packed cracker.