Wheeler End on a Tuesday night and parking is at a premium - so I ditch the whip (FGI) 100 yards (remember them?) from the Chequers and wander up just as our hare for the evening, Cockers, is finishing his diatribe. I'm told he promised us no hills, and a run under 5 miles... we'll see how that pans out.
On-on, but not in the direction that most people thought; instead I'm told by Cockers to "follow Helen - she knows where she's going." I did so, but apparently it was Poppy who knew where she was going, as she stopped and went in the middle of the Common, leaving Hell's Belles to scoop up the consequences before the Peloton came through.
Across some undulations, and we find ourselves on Piddington Lane - which I mis-identify as Bullocks Farm Lane, easy mistake - and heading down a presumably non-existent hill towards Piddington, scene of the recent triumph of my better half, Louise, who the previous Saturday had been awarded First Prize for her quince gin by the Piddington Horticultural Society judges, scooping (but not in the Poppy poopy sense) the Christine Barry Cup as a consequence. Miss Barry is of course well-known to many of us as the benign, welcoming landlady of The Swan Inn in West Wycombe, worth a visit if you've not had the experience of her hospitality and bonhomie...
Past the Dashwood Arms and out across the fields with the roar of the nearby A40 ever-present, I reflect that in not many months this will be a quagmire of mud, muck, and slurry-filled puddles. Meanwhile night, as it is wont to do at this time of the year, is drawing in, and the fierce glare of megawatt head torches illuminates the gloaming.
At some point we reached the long/short split, but if I'm honest I can't remember exactly where that was; I remember being told at one stage that we were hard by Klingon's manor (see what I did there?), and the last bit of the trail was along a horrible stretch of path - what I believe is a dried-up stream bed, with stumps, low-hanging branches, trailing brambles and stingers galore - before we popped out once again onto the Common, and headed On-Inn.
Back at the Chequers, where a welcoming pint and copious chips eased the pain of having to listen to the GM's screed in praise of the lucky winner of this month's Magneto (or is it Neutrino these days?) Though I was trying hard to blank this out with a lesser pain by deliberately aggravating my lateral epicondylitis (ooer missus) I nonetheless managed to hear something about the award being - topical reference ahoy! - prorogued for 30 days. Now, I wonder if there's a way to "proRoge" the GM's speeches...?