“The most memorable days usually end with dirty clothes”. No truer word …. The heavy rain that had been falling since before anyone got up decided to ease off in time for the briefing and only came back with a vengeance when we were getting changed to go into the pub. Those who had ventured out were rewarded with a great run and lots, and lots, and lots of mud!
The conversation in the car park took a turn downwards as Zorro bemoaned the fact that he had missed a double ender at Christmas! Must have been all the travelling. Will the tone descend ever further with Eric and Pressganger leaving us for pastures new? The hares were worried that the flour would have been washed away, or eaten by horses. But the trial was quite easy to find. There did seem to be an abundance of tissues by the side of the path though, which caused some confusion.
We set off through the hedge and up the road before heading off road. Everyone went through the gate, well Zorro shut it on Hotlips but everyone else managed OK. Then Uranus said “two ways” and Mudder immediately went back through the gate, and on through the quagmire. Lemony followed but didn’t go too far, standing on a tuft of ground to take the high ground. Not morally as she followed no further. Mudder was called back and they continued through the field, looking for any flour that the horses had not eaten. Through more fields and up towards Boars Hill. Then a cruel back check down the first hill and off right on what looked like a garden path that was actually a footpath. The going was a bit slow as it was rather slippy and at a bit of a gradient. At the memorial to Matthew Arnold Zorro reminded us that Arnold was the author of the Scholar Gypsy. A breather while we waited for everyone to re-group before following the trail straight across the field and down to the gate into the woods. Mudder took the slope a little too aggressively and only just avoided headbutting the crossbar. We passed a fallen tree and Gnome Alone wondered out loud how much noise it had made if no-one was there to hear it. He then mentioned Schrödinger's cat. At the next check he asked Uranus to tell the story. “If you shut a cat in a box with some cyanide you don’t know if the cat is dead or alive without opening the box.” Wimpey arrived a minute later to hear the end of the conversation “And that’s how quantum mechanics works”. “If it only takes a minute to explain the degree must be easy!!”
From here we took a run out past Foxcombe Hall (Zorro says the gardens are open to the public in the summer and are lovely – possible location for a hash walk?) We looked over the Oxford Preservation Trust land – the place where the poem describing Oxford’s dreaming spires was penned – and then re-traced our steps and turned off left. We wiggled our way along the footpaths all the way to Jarn Mound. Most had visited here before (except Wimpey who complained vociferously when he realised there was only one way up and down) and Hutch chose to stay at the bottom while the rest climbed the rather tricky steps. Tiger Feet was the only one agile enough (or maybe brave enough) to bounce onto the top of the observation table. Back down we came and along the footpaths to the road which we followed back to the pub – although the hares sent the hounds on a number of false trails.
In the words of our GM, it was a stylish trail (he counted 14). He then passed the baton over to Hutch. He was holding a yellow vest which surprised the assembled group as no-one had seen it during the run. This was because it had spent the whole time in a silver Ford Focus in the car park! Zorro was awarded it for a second week. Who should have the honour of carrying the make-up/sponge bag next week? Obviously the hasher who stole chips, told lousy jokes and ran 1.5k more than everyone else because he knew the way – Zorro!
Hares: Comet and Uranus
Hounds: Rubber Sole, Hutch, Zorro, Big Stiffy, Hotlips, Gatecrasher, Tiger Feet, A Cruel Joke, Mudder, Swallow, Gnome Alone, Lemony and Wimpey
Date: 14 January 2017
Distance: c5 miles