|6 April 2014||Paul||Mike|
There is nothing quite like the prospect of a hash from a new pub in a new part of England by a new hare to quicken the pulse and warm the gangloids of the dedicated hasher and so driving west along the M4 towards Kington St Michael one’s spirits were high. Parking is difficult in this picturesque village we were told, but our hare Paul (not strictly ‘new’ of course as he laid an excellent maiden trail in Castle Coombe recently) met everyone and got us safely parked and gathered in the middle of the high street. At this point a group from the South West Devon Hash (in KSM for the wedding of a couple from their hash) walked past and instantly recognising that we were part of the hashing brotherhood (and sisterhood), came over and shook us warmly by the hand and chatted for a while. It was a nice moment.
Paul told us that we would see a variety of animals on the trail – geese and ducks and little lambs and a lion who got really hungry at about 11 – and that we might have a problem with a few cows in the last field before the pub (see below for the truth about ‘cows’ ). Feeling inspired, a dozen runners and five walkers set off up the high street under a brightening sky and almost immediately out into open countryside. The runner’s trail then led for 6 and a bit miles over fields and through woodland in a completely new and delightful part of the country bursting with spring colour. And the flour arrows and circles were so reassuringly large that you could (probably) see them from space. We saw the sheep and then the ducks and geese and then as we came into a rather grand farmhouse courtyard – we saw the lion. It was big and fierce looking but not all that dangerous as it was carved out of stone. We took a picture of GOM sitting on it just to reassure everyone.
And, towards the end we ran through the local farmer’s farm and saw the newborn lambs in his lambing shed. This local farmer really deserves a mention because when Paul asked him if we could run over parts his land he had said we were welcome and gone out of his way to suggest the animals we might like to see. What a change from the more usual ’Get orf my land’ type.
The trail was full of interest and beauty and there were some very well planned false trails so that even I was able to keep the front runners in sight and approaching the last field before the pub, back markers Margaret and John and Brian and I saw a stationary huddle of worried-looking front runners by the stile . Seeing our chance to get back to the pub first for a change we accelerated into and through said field. There were a few cows charging about but we didn’t take much notice and arrived at the pub feeling pleased that we had caught up the others and all got back more or less together. It was only later that we heard that there was a huge bad tempered bull in the field who didn’t appear to like runners. Just as well we didn’t know I suppose.
We said goodbye to Sam with lots of hugs as she is about to take a year out to travel the world – after running the London Marathon. We all wished her the best of luck and she promised to come hashing with us again when she gets back.
The après was as good as the trail. The Jolly Huntsman is an old-fashioned village pub with a genuinely warm atmosphere and excellent beer and we were able to sit all together as Paul had booked a big table under the window for us. Brian thanked Paul and Di for their excellent trail and they got an enthusiastic round of applause. Thank you both for setting such an interesting and well planned trail.