To Hickstead, and beyond……!
So when Hugh, brilliantly organised, put up on this blog the route along with the OS map, did my heart sing with joy? Did I endure a night sleepless with excitement to awake in fevered expectation as I raced out of the door early? Er, no, all I could see were the words “17 miles”. I’m a half-marathon lad, balanced you know, my cup is both half-empty and half full, I am…..in equilibrium! I did not need my cup to overfloweth with miles in this way. Yet here I was, in the Leisure Centre reception at 8am with the gathering ‘massive’ and thinking, in a strange way, that maybe I WAS quite looking forward to it. I was also thinking about Valentines ‘fun’ run on Sunday, which I [and Mrs Spiers] were committed [should have been too!] to do. Would my short fat hairy legs make it? This week we were joined by Natasha, who with Sue introduced us mild, shy retiring males to wild revelations of a life to which we could only gasp in astonishment. I now know, for example, about the saucy world of v-jazzles and postulated the existence of p-jazzles. (Editors note: If you do not know what either of these terms is, you may consider that a blessing. I will explain no further here). Should anyone require their horses, um, long dangly thing ( we are talking male horses here!) washed on a weekly basis, I now know to whom to direct you. Next week we must surely turn to the theory of relativity, DNA, and the eternal question of life itself. Next week. Yes. Sights on the way included a brand spanking new vineyard, all planted up but waiting the necessary number of years [we think three?] before wine can actually be produced. Hugh planned the route to cover the best wildlife areas so we could commune with nature. Therefore as we trotted along the M23 we waved merrily at the traffic and admired the whisper-quiet modern engines as we simply whispered to each other in hushed tones, barely wanting to raise our voices for fear of disturbing the silence. As a relative newcomer I’d been attracted by the mention of a refreshment stop, but was getting a trifle concerned as there appeared to be no obvious place to tarry. Fear not, suddenly Mark darted into the hedge – I averted my eyes to allow him
privacy and hoped that nasty looking bramble wouldn’t interrupt his pleasure – and emerged clutching a box – what planning! What forethought! It was cold drinks and chocolate oatcakes, secreted away the night before. Brilliant – though sadly it was bl**dy freezing and damp so lingering wasn’t really on the cards.
On the return we gasped in amazement as Dereks eyes misted up at the site of his famous swimming incident….”Its only up to your knees, perfectly saf…………….splosh!”. Lucky to be surrounded by so many friends who were able to have a good laugh before wondering if he might need rescuing as his head broke surface. The most sensible people on the run? Probably has to be the three dogs – the pitying way they looked at us, and the way Max tries his hardest to corral Hugh and keep him on the straight and narrow just has to be seen. Nest week – Over to Hugh for the blog as I’ll be Brighton Half-ing!