Run Report 1522: The Bluebell Run, Polesden Lacey

What’s the definition of madness?
Scribed by Hawkeye

Okay it’s time to admit that I’ve been living a lie. All these years you’d thought I’d written all these run reports out of some sort of crazed imagination, and an endless font of quirkiness when in fact since the 2008 credit crunch I’ve sub-contracted this task to a young man living in the Sichuan Province of Southeast China. I say a man but I’ve never met thim/her. But by and large Wo King does a first wate job, not too many spelling mistakes (or rather just enough to keep Billy Graham off the scent), a few cultural references and I imagine a searchable database of common situations, double entendres and clichés to scatter around. Throw in the odd mention of chips and ales and job done. This week however, I’ve hit rock bottom and Wo it seems has hit pay dirt. Such that rather than proffering forward my usual weekly RR he tried to sell me a 1,000 word article on the reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquake of 2008. It further transpires that the entrepreneurial Mr King has invested the paltry sum I pay him every week to study night classes in journalism and is now on the payroll of the Sichuan & District Gazette. And he calls that progress. So in addition to the tower blocks and cultural paucity – I have another reason to loathe Wo…King.

So, that being said, it looks like I’m forced to resort to my own imagination from here on in. Yeah, sorry about that. Anyway it was Bluebell weekend last week and due to circumstances totally beyond my control, such as hare availability and the prevailing climate and fauna conditions we stunningly succeeded to turn up at the right place at the right time. With the exception of Deathwish who was a few minutes late on account of lycra-rage. But the bluebells would wait. Champing at the bit to sample the untrammelled delights of the aforementioned bluebells like horticultural junkies awaiting their next fix were Tea Cosy, Secret Squirrel, Dash, Scooby Doo, Moondance, Wally, Sparkly, El Caudello, Pis’t’man Pat, Heavenly Blonde plus ‘Patrick’ to be named Syco, Nat the Hat, TIFM, Virgil, Venus and Uphill Gill.

V&V had cycled from Dorking way but everyone else had used horsepower of the fossil-fuelled variety to access the hidden valley beyond Polesden where the road runs out………and yes we ran out of the farm yard and into the hills and valleys beyond.

Having been a supportive father I am now acutely aware that my days are numbered as Dash’s speed and stamina increase and mine, well….don’t. So I‘ll take what I can – in this case throwing him a falsie from the first circle that Sparkly and I were the only ones to get right or left actually. But after that it was every man, woman and child for themselves. SJ leads us in many and varied routes around ‘his estate’, but you can guarantee that we’ll sample the one woodland section of bluebells without compare (in my opinion) at some stage. It’s just a question of whether it’s on the way out or the way in. Cunningly this time we did it on the way out……but in the direction we usually do it on the way in. Clever. Sparkly dutifully recorded the panoramic blueness and you can see these and other photos on the website.

Tea Cosy clearly has no time for such niceties as whilst SD and I were marvelling at our surroundings TC had slipped off the front. I say that in hindsight as in reality I spent the middle section of the run jogging along at what I thought was the front but with all the circles kicked? Only then did Virgil opine that TC was MIA presumed to be leading. Emerging from the woods for something of a minor regrouping we were faced with a field of cows of the slip, pat and steak variety. The steaks looked perplexed at us, we looked perplexed at so many cowslips and we both tried to avoid treading in the s****.

The moment of the day occurred as we arrived at a familiar juxtaposition of woodland ramblers and city slackers (the edge of the formal gardens) and lost our way. Some rather too enterprising folk saw the opportunity to hop over the five-bar gate and espied a blob or two of the old sawdust. I held firm convinced that an outrageous misdemeanour was being perpetrated and recalled Dash back to the pack. A to B was not what they thought, we might need to go via C or other nefarious locations. That being said PP cast iron in his decision-making was not for turning.

In the end C turned out to involve a steep climb, and a D-tour to see more bluebells, an option overlooked by some of the pack, myself included. So the run splintered into at least three variations occasioned by some minor vandalism, wanton shortcutting or a desire to lay out in the sunshine on the hill and soak it all up. A usual week then.

The on-in was predictable, to a point and involved yet more bluebells, diligently captured by Sparkly. I commented that I’d bet my mortgage on the direction from a certain circle, only to get it wrong. But as SD pointed out, why would anyone want my mortgage? Why indeed. As is so often the case TC was our front running Charlie and the remainder trailed in, helped in part by Virgil who retraced his steps in search of Venus….for which I am sure there is some literary of poetic reference, but that only Wo King would know. In the end Venus and Wally emerged from another direction altogether…

VERDICT: There’s clearly been some considerable whittling going on in the SJ woodshed this winter. But while the trail may have been set with more shavings than dust, as usual our hare put his medium to great use. They say that the definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting the different results. And whilst I do think that the majority of hashers are mad on some level or another, you could never accuse them of expecting the same outcome every week. Even from a venue such as this which we’ve used on so many delightful occasions. We’d be mad not to come back again though. Thanks Sorry John.

ON THE PATIO: The sun was out and Angela was supporting SJ in the kitchen department so we camped on the patio and sampled the copious chips, sausage rolls and condiments with a pace intended to stay ahead of the dogs. Paul Newman joined us following one of his many ‘proper runs’. For some reason Sparkly tried to remove Scooby’s trousers succeeding only in tearing them from ankle to crotch and all this before she’d had a proper drink. An hour after our return and just as the majority were thinking of departing Nat in the Hat returned. Nat with a map might be a more suitable moniker as having lost the trail somewhere along the way – she seemed to have tried most roads and routes in the vicinity, including Bookham. Suitably impressed/dismayed – we set off home, driving the first mile or so down the lanes and back through…..Bookham. On on


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