Run Report 1941: Shalford Cricket Ground, Shalford

Soggy Sunday no problem for dusty hare……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Setting a hash in Shalford is very much like making a pizza. You have a good firm base on which to start, honed after years of practice. But like a pizza, this can become very so-so and the challenge then becomes, how to liven it up – what new toppings or twists to add to make it stand out in the memory. Such was the challenge facing Dusty last weekend. And no doubt having done his homework in preparation, he was then somewhat perturbed to wake up to a raging storm and torrential rain.

The origins of his hash name, Dusty are lost to my memory, but it is safe to say that following the morning’s downpour he was anything but. Having watched the storm pass and the glimmerings of a sunny morning emerge – a brave pack set forth. These included Virgil, Venus, Secret Squirrel, Easily Overlooked, TIFM, Wally, ITB, Cynthia, Factor 30, Hawkeye, George Michael and Timothy Taylor.

What of these last two, I hear you ask – well Timothy Taylor waited for us patiently in the pub, whereas George Michael was ever present. To tackle this hash you needed a little Faith. The hare offered a briefing that informed us that his plans had been changed due to the weather and that we could expect a regroup and wet feet, though not necessarily at the same time.

TIFM had stolen an early start, which was to our advantage not his as we merely watched him struggle to leave the green before heading over to join him. To be fair, it was a struggle as rain doused sawdust melted into the background. After a few false starts we made it past the ex-Parrot (it has ceased to be) and across the canal. I headed back towards Guildford and was rewarded but my faith was challenged as we looped along the ridge line (and pillbox) towards Artington and eventually Peasmarsh. I adopted a fingers crossed approach and with a lack of crosses (fingers excepted), at least until I hit Peasmarsh, I was repaid.

By the time we re-crossed the road back towards the navigations, the small pack was regrouped. Plenty of fallen leaves and branches had dotted our route but now a full tree blocked the canal, but not the towpath. A cunning double back towards Shalford then saw us re-meet the hare as we re-crossed the canal and headed towards Tannery Lane. As exotic toppings go this was more pineapple than pepperoni…I’d been expecting to head towards Godalming!

A regroup on the new community boardwalk was not initially spotted by front running SS, but he heard my hollering and this allowed TIFM to shuffle in at the back. What happened next was the subject of some discussion akin to whether it is acceptable to put anchovies on your pizza or not. But in the end we determined that Virgil led us most of the way home, taking the rise by Chinthurst hill then taking the p*** as he picked up the main trail on the main road. To be fair the section he missed, was something we’d rather have avoided too, taking us further away from home as it did. Therefore as we returned along the main road on the far side from where we’d approached it – Virgil’s oversight/shortcut was understandable. With the added Brucie bonus that he kept doing the falsies for us all the way home!

VERDICT:  A great run. Given the weather conditions an excellent run. To stretch the metaphor beyond its limit……a pizza with a few interesting toppings but a soggy bottom. All that said, this run once again confirmed that there’s nothing common about Shalford.

IN THE PUB: We sat outside the Queen Vic in the weak sun, thereby ensuring it was not just the pizza that had a soggy bottom. The front garden was the only option as the gazebos in the back garden were flapping like a kaftan after a night on the curry. The very patient Timothy Taylor was very worth the wait and SS even claimed his Otter tasted nice. Chips arrived to a great welcome and offered a pleasant distraction from SS who had become overly consumed with trainspotting?  Whereas Virgil needed his beer to drown his sorrows about the latest failings of his beloved Tottenham. By those standards, with my football allegiances, I should be permanently lashed. We departed for warmer climes and in EO’s case so that a man could check out her flaunches…….On On!

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