Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Titanic Struggle

GUINNESS and Twiglets were offered at the pit stop this time, and it would have been churlish to refuse.
We were out hashing again with the Haldon H3, who don't seem to mind who shows up as long as everyone chips in for the grub and everyone eventually takes a turn at setting the run.
There was a good turn out from SDAC because the chosen starting point was the Smokey House at Marldon, which is nearby for us. People called Scoop, Bigfoot, Fixit, Teararse and Whoopsy-Daisy made us feel very welcome.
Coach Alan has been given the nickname Sicknote because he was dragged out of his sick-bed to set the last run, and Lynda is called Florence because she nursed him and did the dragging.
There was a nautical theme to this hash, although we never found out why. People were wearing life jackets and nautical hats. One runner turned up wearing a full captain's uniform.
We went through Marldon and out through the lanes and paths towards Berry Pomeroy for a bit. Sun God followed a false trail all the way across a ploughed field before he had to turn back.
Mrs H with Reg(2), DIY Dave with Baxter, JP with Half-Shaved Honey and Dodgeball joined the walkers.
At the halfway point, where the walkers turned for home and the runners ploughed on for another couple of miles up over the hill with the TV mast on it, there was a parked car with a pasting table set out in front of it and a little cardboard model of the Titanic alongside.
From it you could have Dom Perignon or Guinness, Twiglets and canapes. This is truly my kind of running.
Nanna and I pressed on in the gathering gloom as the sun dipped behind the masts, careering down narrow lanes with high hedges. We were only a mile as the crow flies from the centre of town but a world apart on a night like this. One day they will try again to build a bypass through this valley and we will have to fight to stop them.
The hedges are so high that you are insulated from the sound of traffic just a few yards away on the ring road up on the ridge above. You can hear blackbirds and pheasants, and occasionally crows giving a poor, keening buzzard a hard time.
Bonfire smoke hung in the hollow just before the big climb back up to the village.
Back in the pub as darkness fell we reunited for pints of Bombardier and handfuls of chips.
Half-Shaved Honey, with whom Reg is profoundly in love, was so tired she rolled right off the seat and hit the floor with a bang.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Slash has left the building

TO Marldon Village Hall for Mr Fangio's send-off.
In his capacity as a medical man serving Queen and country he is heading out to somewhere hot and dangerous for a few months, so the village primary school's fundraising night served a dual purpose.
A band called Eventine played songs old and new, from The Cult to Sister Sledge and all points in between.
On the way we dropped in on Mr Morrison's four-real-ales-for-£5.50 offer and equipped ourselves with various Brains SAs, Edens, Doom Bars and Spitfires.
The only epic fail on the beer front was a bottle of Cocker Hoop that smelled as if a dog had farted in it.
Dancers getting all unnecessary on the parquet floor included Mr and Mrs Skoda, Nanna, DIY Dave, Sun God, Redwine and, of course, the Fangios. Jamie the Legs is way too cool to dance, Elmer and the Caerphilly Kid are nursing injuries and Rachel was in the zone ahead of the Taunton Half the next morning. She went on to run a personal best, so the decision was clearly the right one.
I had on my shiny dancing shoes, and was in a zone of my own. Redwine was rocking out like a heavy metal chick, whatever one of those is, and the Fangios showed as usual that they are far too good at this kind of thing.
Sun God and I got our timing all wrong and were on a visit to the gentlemen's convenience to rid ourselves of some of Mr Morrison's ales when the band launched into 'Sweet Child o' Mine', as played by Mr Axl Rose and his Guns n' Roses (their abbreviations, not mine).
Fortunately we made it back out on to the dance floor in time to see Mr Fangio pick up one of Eventine's spare guitars (they didn't seem to mind) and leap up on stage to give it everything he had.
It was, we thought, a defining moment in rock music history.
I nearly celebrated by drinking the dog-fart beer, but it wasn't that defining.
Later we said our goodbyes to Mr Fangio and advised him to keep his head down and work on his sprinting.
We'll just have to do it all again when he comes back.