Arrived at the pub early with my big dog Merlin; checked Facebook messages to find that Pink Panter had warned me about bringing a big dog because of the many stiles to enjoy tonight. Asked Merlin, who said, "No problem, I can easily clear those." [A talking dog! Or is 'big dog Merlin' a parrot? Ed.] Not so sure about Keyboard Ken and his bike who had also been warned. Apart from that I was collared to write the Trash as IGSH was absent.
The evening turned out to be sunny and warm, although it had rained a little between Sunday, when Pink Panter set the run with Steady and Crazy, and tonight, but the flour should still be there. With the General Menace absent Sarah called the pack together outside the pub to be told by Pink Panter that the runs would be very flat (where have I heard that before?) with the long run about 5 miles and the shorts 3 miles, although there was an extra loop for anyone who was keen.
So, after a bit of checking we set off through the children’s playground and down the Kimblewick road to the long/short split. The longs ran off to visit Kimblewick and Meadle whilst Pink Panter led the shorts on a short cut eventually crossing the Lower Icknield Way road into a cornfield with no trail. After some searching the trail was found and we crossed the railway line and went sharp right to Askett.
Sarah kept back-checking, breaking all the shorts rules, and then ran the extra loop at the end; is she getting fit or something? Down around the Three Crowns in Askett and back past the Old Grange house and up to Great Kimble, passing some Alpacas and loose yappy dogs. The field was full of earthworks including what appeared to be lynchets. But with no Gerry there was no one to explain the history. The whole area seems to be full of old earthworks as we had seen on the previous run from The Swan.
The name Kimble derives from the old English words cyne, belle, and means “Royal bell-shaped hill; not sure which hill that refers to [My money's on Cymbeline's Castle - Ed.] , anyway we avoided the hills tonight.
Along the Aylesbury road and right past the church, just short of the now-derelict Bernard Arms. This pub had an interesting history. It is close to Chequers, the Prime Minister's official home in the Chilterns, and a number of high profile figures have stayed in the rooms upstairs including Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin. No sign of Donald Trump tonight, although he was in the UK.
Turned right alongside the school and back across the railway line and fields to the Swan. The run had indeed been pretty flat, unusual for a hare to tell the truth.
Back in the pub the shorts waited a long time for the longs to appear, not that they were complaining. Good beer, great cider, and plenty of space, and good company. When the longs arrived, there were tasty chips and sausage with dips to enjoy. In Roger's absence Sarah quickly reminded us about the Dragonboat racing and that volunteers were needed to help out at the Cirencester weekend. Then back to the chatting and drinking.
Thank you Pink Panter, if you missed it you missed a lovely evening.