Run Report 1963: Yew Tree Farm, Polseden Lacey

May day, may day……….bluebells ahead!

Scribed by Hawkeye

When Wisden and Nostradamus connived to plan the 2022 annual bluebell run important factors like long-term climate evolution, rainfall cycles and species decline had to be considered. Then SJ also worked out when he was available, and the date was set. May Day on the BH weekend turned out to be less sunny that some days, but a fine day for running if not marching.

Apparently if you saw Sorry John in half, you can track the date of annual bluebell runs back through millennia, in much the same way that you date trees. It’s something to do with chip-fat accumulation.  I’ve never been that tempted, not whilst he keeps setting runs and serving those chips! Assembling at Yew Tree Farm were Call Girl, Venus, Factor 30, Uphill Gill, TIFM, Secret Squirrel, Sparkly, Wally and Hawkeye. TIFM was a man with a plan and headed off early to fathom the hare’s route from paper rather than sawdust. The rest set off in pursuit.

We love traditional marking involving our own version of noughts and crosses and having cycled to the venue, passing the jogging Venus and UG – we should have had a good start on that puzzle. So, the fact that only Venus correctly solved the first circles said much about my ineptitude and UG’s inattention. Our briefing had foretold of a regroup at a popular spot and the possible ‘sighting’ by ear(?) of a cuckoo. Therefore, after being enveloped in a blue blanket of bluebells early on, we then approached Tanners Hatch and began the ascent towards the Ranmore Common Road and the NDW. This we achieved indirectly and without the assistance of bottled oxygen, just.

As foretold, the Downs were a busier spot and having escaped the leash, I waited awhile on a bench overlooking Westcott and gave a nodding acquaintance to passing runner and dog. Fully regrouped (sans TIFM), the onward trail beckoned and for me nature. Emerging from behind a freshly watered tree I was accosted with “Hello Andy!” and a former neighbour from Merrow. Just as well shaking hands has fallen out of fashion!

Regaining the pack, I was also overtaken by a fast jogging ‘checking chicken’ whose task was to remove the numerous arrow markers denoting an ongoing organized run on the North Downs Way. Meanwhile on the disorganized run SJ had taken us vertical to admire some more Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Emerging breathless we were now accosted by the aforementioned runner and dog who seemingly had been following the aforementioned run markers when in fact she wanted the aforementioned NDW. Keeping up…, neither was she. Anyway, Wally went out of his way to put her on it and harmony was restored.

Our route recrossed Ranmore Common Road as the drizzle intensified and TIFM was overhauled. Across Hogden Lane and we smelt the on in – or more bluebells to be precise as SS led the charge. Some attempted cuckoo impressionism on his part did little for his credibility or lead and we entered the final decompression zone to emerge fully relaxed as the blue bells chimed at YT Farm with 59min45sec and with 6 miles on the clock.

VERDICT: The bluebells keep popping up and SJ keeps knocking them down, well the runs do anyway. So many thanks SJ, another fine run and notch on the PH3 timeline.

IN THE KITCHEN: Zero rain during April (wot no showers!) meant that for the much-anticipated relaxation on the ‘patio with a view’ on the first day of May, we were confined to the ‘kitchen with a few’. But all the cosier for it. We were joined by the current Mrs Hawkeye who got wind of the chips and fired up the e-bike to pedal out to Polesden. In fine and canine company, we occupied all the chairs at the hare’s disposal to enjoy, tea, beer and chips in various combinations and quantities. Inevitably our conversation turned to the ‘invasive’ Hyacinthoides hispanica – Spanish bluebells, that are colonizing England, no doubt after landing in southern England in small boats. Pretty but another thing that Priti Vacant (aka Patel), is powerless to stop. And with that I departed ‘a velo’ to battle with runners still plodding along the NDW, on on.

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