|21 Sep 2014||John & Viv||Kathy|
What woke me today was the persistent bright light from a clear blue sky (not seen for several days) which permeated not only my thick lined curtains, but my blackout blind as well…. and I just knew straight away that this would be perfect hash weather – still, sunny, but not too hot. Already in a good mood, I reflected on Robert Browning’s words “the lark’s on the wing, God’s in his heaven, and all’s right with the world” as I cheerfully set off to collect Brian nice and early, so that we could both enjoy the hash avant (equally as important as the après, but seldom enjoyed by, er, Margaret and John!).
We pootled over the hill to Aldbourne and descended into the village to the sound of clamouring bells, and the happy sight of flags, bunting and a growing throng of smiling faces. Modestly, we lowered our windows to wave to the crowds, and patiently posed for several selfies – only to be brought to down to earth with a bump when we realized that the fanfare was not for us, but the village market! But what a welcome sight it was too, with a dozen or so pretty stalls selling local produce and crafts.
It was still thriving when we returned from the hash, and it really added to the happy atmosphere of the après.
There were only four runners today – Mike, Maurice, Paul and Jeremy – as Brian decided to join the walkers instead (which reminded him just what he’s been missing, of course). Whilst unable to eavesdrop on (or witness) the run, Paul vociferously filled me in later with two anecdotes involving Jeremy. Firstly, he was dismayed to find that whilst he was ‘going for broke’ with his run, frequently breaking into a sweat and getting out of breath, he was overtaken by Jeremy who appeared to be merely striding out with not a hair out of place… Secondly, however, to assure us that he’d given it his all, Paul said it was he – and he alone – who pursued all the false trails at the circles, implying that he’d covered a greater distance than most. Jeremy was quick to point out, however, that – lucky Paul – all the routes he chose were, in fact, the correct ones…
The walkers’ trail was very pleasant AND INCREDIBLY CLEARLY MARKED, THANK YOU VIV – just gentle slopes, no stiles, and some lovely, typically Wiltshire, green vistas in the distance under a “Constable” sky. We travelled down a bridleway part of the route, sharing the track with some tame horses (with riders thankfully). When we emerged, we stopped to stare as the clouds created pretty ripples of shadows across the harvested fields down below. James coveted a tiny thatched cottage in the valley, but scribe reminded him that such homes are usually a money pit, not to mention dark and damp (well, I usually find if I can’t afford it, it’s best to look for fault!).
The rest of the walkers comprised Annie, Di (and dog), Hillary and the afore-mentioned Brian, plus scribe…. and here, I have to confess that, as Annie and I chatted non-stop, we reached the pub before we knew it, so the rest was just a blur! This was a charming and very relaxing hash (thank you Viv and John) and a delightful atmosphere outside the pub afterwards. Editor’s note: Why does Annie know SO much about Burlesque dancing?