|4 Feb 2018||Simon & Ainslie||Maurice|
Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me, follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud.
What a day! Clear blue skies threatened by grey around the horizon like a heavenly old monk.
Most of us were well dressed for the cold, wearing long trousers, hats and gloves. Then along came the oldies wearing shorts that would send a shiver down the hardiest of spines. Navy Mike and Chain-Saw John don’t have great knees. They looked like wobbly tree stumps after the branches had been cut back, but not very well. Then Annie wobbled in looking like Michelin Man and saying “tee-hee” but at least she was well covered for the cold. I notice Margaret does a lot of “tee-hee” as well these days. Must be an age thing.
And what about the rest of the gang. Jeremy had muddy shoes from his last run which were shown up badly by mine which I had washed before coming out. David had shoes that had seen better days on his great-grandfather. Kay gave a little splutter and said she had problems with her chest though it always looks just fine to me. I did pull David away as he said: “I’m a doctor and I’ve a tattered doctor’s bag and . . . “
Simon gave us an honest briefing on the mud. He told us a dog-owner crossed his path and said his dog had been eating the flour and what was it anyway. Simon confirmed it was flour. He told us he was going to tell him it was rat poison, but demurred. Fair craic to him and the lovely Ainslie, as they then went back around the course and topped it up.
It was a brilliantly marked course. Probably the best marked course, ever. Ever, I repeat. Not just dots but parallel blobs, not arrows but hillocks, and not circles but roundabouts. Nobody could get lost on that trail.
A few of the walkers got lost.
The three elite runners, Sue, Jeremy and I, headed out first at a fast pace. There is nothing like experience, of course, so we took the muddy paths at a pace where we could skim the depths, correct on the slides and wrap hands around trees like ballet dancers as we swept along through the woods. Magical really.
The slower runners dug deep at the slower pace and fared badly. Chain-Saw John tried the elite technique but he’s no ballet dancer and simply splattered face down into the mud. Navy Mike was with him and instead of taking a picture for the Hash Mag tried to help him when he re-surfaced.
We missed all this unfortunately as we, the elite runners, tripped through the lovely woods and the open countryside and then along a sward of grass that we said would be brilliant for sprinting. We have to come back here in the summer and I bet the flour will still be there.
The only little criticism we had was one of spelling. I have high standards on the hash (especially as I am chair of the Society for the Avoidance of Harassment of the Apostrophe S) and we found two howlers. The first was O’T which Ainslie confessed to standing for OUT which was just downright lazy. The second was the last IN, firstly without the ON, and secondly INN has two Ns as in ON INN. Simon was very helpful about the whole thing by confessing it was Ainslie’s fault. We’ll be keeping an eye on that girl.
We got back to the car park and there was Navy Mike having run the short route, though we did let him think he had come first on the long route. Ah Bless! We did have a good chat about the time he was 75 and decided he wouldn’t run again. We had side bets at the time that after a few hashes walking with Kathy and the others he would be back and he was within weeks. He is the runner’s mascot and I hope he is still at it when he is 100 and running as well.
We had a bit of a to-do in the pub afterwards. Arkells didn’t have Guinness and tried to pawn us off with some watered-down mud called Mustang. Well, we know a thing or two about stout, and a thing or two about mud for that matter and told the landlady so in no uncertain terms until she broke down and said she was on our side and if we’d be so kind as to write to Arkells there would be free pints on the house when Guinness was restored and I can tell you now that the letter went this morning in curt terms that demonstrations of the Black Watch would ensue if we did not have satisfaction. I’ll keep you posted.
Our esteemed and revered GOM gave a great speech as usual. Kathy passed on the shorts to a newcomer so we won’t see her or the shorts again. Lynn got the bugle though I’m not sure what she’s supposed to do with it. Blow bubbles, maybe, to the tune of:
Suds, suds, glorious suds
Nothing quite like it for warming the blood
So follow me, follow, down to the hollow . . .
Ok. Enough already.