|22 Jul 2018||David||Keith|
Another scorching day lay ahead of us as we gathered at David and Sue’s home for our summer garden party hash. What an amazing summer this has been, with almost no rain and blazing sunshine day after day – though too much for some!
Tin-foil glinted brightly on covered dishes as hashers delivered food to Sue’s kitchen for our lunch. The ‘small’ garden by the cottage looked a quintessential English country cottage garden, totally unfussy, relaxed and natural. With tables and chairs under a gazebo for shade, it looked very inviting.
We were around 20 in number, I would say, but only three of us ran – Viv, John and I. Mostly injuries and bad knees are responsible for depleting our running numbers.
Some might say we were crazy running in the heat, and maybe they are right, but I do not regret running David’s scenic trail around Wanborough, many parts of it familiar from our runches, and from having laid a trail there myself.
In the fields above the village, sunshine illuminated parched fields of wheat bringing to mind a Van Gogh painting – vivid colours of yellow ochre, green, and blue. Who needs Provence?
As I laboured in searing heat up the side of a wheat field above Wanborough, I suddenly thought of Sean Connery in ‘The Hill’, being ‘beasted’ by having to repeatedly run up and down a steep sandhill in desert heat with a satchel of rocks on his back. Ok, this wasn’t that hard, but it was testing enough!
At one point, I emerged onto Wanborough High Street and saw David sat by The Plough enjoying an American Pale Ale – I stopped and, invited, took a welcome sip of the fruity ale, before continuing on in an attempt to catch up with John. Viv had broken off from running the trail to grab a necessary glass of water from her kitchen as our route took us that way, but she soon reappeared.
There was a long-short divide in Wanborough that took the runners towards Bishopstone, and we thought this trail must be somewhat longer than the 4.5 miles declared by David. But in time we circled back towards Wanborough at Home Farm, and were soon back on the High Street. As I ran past The Harrow pub I heard a chorus of yells from a table of patrons of the pub. Imagine my surprise to find Di, Paul, Kevin and Julie cooling off with a cold beer – a proper ‘ beer stop’ for once. Hard to blame them in the heat!
Viv and I got back to Marsh Cottage just before 12.30, and joined those already seated enjoying the drinks and crudités in this lovely spot. After cooling down, I wandered across the track to the remainder of David and Sue’s garden. Very long, this garden was a pleasure to wander through, full of interest and variety and so completely different to my own (ordered, trimmed, suburban) yet I doubt I could let things go this far – to let nature be in charge quite this much. I spotted Borage, one of my favourites to have in the garden, and tall full-bloomed Agapanthus in the greenhouse – I wish mine would grow like that!
Lunch in the garden was a pleasure as we all sat in the shade of the gazebo; quiches, couscous salads, scotch eggs, chicken drumsticks, wines, beers, ciders, and followed by a selection of desserts.
We thanked David and Sue for organising such a thoroughly enjoyable hash and lunch in their delightful garden.
Our garden party finally drew to a close around 3.30pm, the sun still blazing.