Archive for the ‘G-Had HHH’ Category

Red Lion, Long Compton, Warwickshire   1 comment

Red Lion Long Compton sign

The long run today (I barely consider anything under 20 miles long any more but this was the peak of the week) took me to the Red Lion in Long Compton, a rare dip — albeit barely — into Warwickshire.  I don’t know enough about the area to really judge but the village, middle class though it is, probably doesn’t support the pub as much as it needs to stay afloat.  The house is quite unapologetically posh and I just don’t see the crowds flooding in, despite it being the only game for miles.

Red Lion Long Compton beer

But, it’s not just posh, it is very nice; however, it seems built more for the comfort of folks that can tell you how long Stilton has been aged and whether the cave was chalk or karst.  This is a very Frasier Crane vision of an English country pub (first day of the footie season? dart board? the Ashes coming home?  fuck all, but I bet the Scotch eggs are quail).

Red Lion Long Compton lounge

And yet, I want to like the place.  No one acknowledged that I brought my glass back and I got a blank stare when I set it on the bar and said, “thank you.”  If they are out of business in 6 months that will be why.  If not, it’s because tourists will take whatever you shove up their asses (but it will be the tourists that keep it afloat…endless…fucking…tourists).

Here’s a map link.

Red Lion Long Compton

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Seven Stars, Marsh Baldon, Oxfordshire   2 comments

Seven Stars Marsh Baldon sign

I’ve been to pubs called The Plough with the Big Dipper in the sign and others called the Seven Stars without a constellation referenced but this one is the first Seven Stars that invoked Ursa Major. Fair enough, I was thirsty and the sign of the label beckoned.

Inside it is a fantastic, 17th century coaching inn saved from gentrification by a cooperative formed in the village. There was a fine selection of ales on the five taps and I think there were even more listed on the chalkboard (perhaps gravity feed). I got a Loddon Ferryman, a golden ale without the now-favoured overly floral American hops (or, at least, a light hand was used to dose the batch).

My timing was great, today, and I was wringing the last drop of beer from the glass just as some other runners came in, looking very much like hashers. I pushed past and one of them yelled after me, “R U?” [ or, “Are you?] but I didn’t react and moved on to finish correcting the trail markings I had started on back before the stop at the Mole.

 

Map linked here.

 

 

Seven Stars Marsh Baldon

Posted July 22, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in G-Had HHH, Pubs

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Mole Inn, Toot Baldon, Oxfordshire   3 comments

Mole Inn Toot Baldon sign

Yet another gastropub, I ran up on the Mole Inn for a break halfway between Oxford and Didcot.  I have to admit the house is gorgeous and the garden is filled with cabanas secluded one from another like snugs but I didn’t really get that ‘pub’ feeling out of the place.  Beer appears to be well-kept (I had a Hook Norton Hooky) then headed back out to continue the G-Had started on the approach to the pub.

Map linked here.

Mole Inn Toot Baldon

Posted July 22, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in G-Had HHH, Pubs

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Running Week in Review 12 July 2015   8 comments

Last week here, and

Next week here

More about the runs in this week’s update than anything else, but there is some entertainment available if you patiently read through.

2015-07-12 week run chart

After the previous week’s strong efforts I recovered rather quickly for this week’s ‘training’ (the term sticks in my craw after ploughing through two-thirds of Richard Askwith’s Running Free) ending the week on 65.9 miles and hitting five new pubs.  In Oxford, alone, I got in 4 decent runs either looping from or commuting to work, their 31+ miles shown combined here:

2015-07-10 Oxford run traces

 

It was a busy work week and I didn’t do my Tuesday run until late in the afternoon looping through Marston and the areas north of the University Parks, clocking a leisurely 7.1 miles in 58 minutes (although I went out for an hour but there you have it).  Sticking close to the lab so I could pop in and change clothes before the commute home, I also tried signing off on this run, on a whim, when I spotted an empty field in the University Parks but “Bunny” looks a lot like more like “Binru” upon zooming in:

2015-07-07 Bunny sign-off

Wednesday was another busy one and, having skipped lunch to get some things done around the lab, I decided to take my lunch break eating up a few miles late afternoon.  Heading toward Islip to hunt for pre-laid trails of the Oxford Hash House Harriers, I had a fine run although I got off the permissive paths a bit (by accident) and ran through tits-high wheat, stinging nettles and canola for a mile or so leaving my shorts-clad legs bright red and tingly.  But, the day was too gorgeous to let this spoil the trot.

Thursday was just a bog standard commuting run, hopping off the bus between Appleton and Besselsleigh, as usual.  Legs still tingling from the day before, I was happy to sense that the previous evening’s stretches loosened up a tight left IT-band and alleviated an onset of plantar fascitis in both feet.  This is not the time to suffer injuries…the weather is too glorious.

The weather continued to hold and three instruments I have been repairing for weeks (one for months) came back on line Friday so I called it early and left at 4 for a quick trot to South Hinksey where a pub that has also been shut down for ages likewise has been recently resurrected.  The General Elliot was a welcome mid-run break for a cider…3.3 miles to get there and 2.3 to get to a bus stop.

Romans

Saturday morning I caught an early bus to Burbage and did 21.5 miles first along the Kennett and Avon Canal, then a long segment of the Roman Road toward Andover where the John Russell Fox and The Bar 34 provided liquid refreshments, and, upon leaving Andover I sprinted to get to one more pub in Weyhill before the last bus that would get me home by 2pm.

Running on one of the oppressively straight Roman roads in this country makes you wonder how it was the day the road work was started.  My vision is something like this: the Top Sergeant or Centurion breaks into the huts at the crack of dawn banging cooking pots together all Full Metal Toga style:

“Rise and shine, ladies. Today we head northwest.”
“What? Around the mountains?”
Great Caesar’s concubines! Did I SAY around the mountains?”
All at once, “NO, CENTURION!”
Through gritted teeth: “That’s right, I said north…fucking…west. So, drop your ‘handles’ and grab your sandals, We march at zero-DCXXX hours ”

As mentioned, it is oppressively straight unlike the Pink Olive (the third pub of the run).  To break the monotony, I veered off to make a pass through the Chutes (villages named Upper Chute, Chute Standen, Lower Chute, etc).  I think the guy at the Pink Olive might make occasional visits to the Lower Chute, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

2015-07-11 Roman Road to Andover mostly

Sunday: It was supposed to rain all day but the weather was kind enough to hold off until I reached the middle of the run and then continue steadily until I got home.  I stopped for about five minutes on either side of my beer break at the dreadful Harvester but by then I had a minimum of 4 miles to traverse to get home so just stuck it out, enjoying the mostly pedestrian-free pavements on the trip back to Old Town.

2017-07-12 route

 

 

Running Week in Review: 5 July 2015   5 comments

Last week here, and

Next week here

2015-07-05 week run chart

 

After the refreshingly short mileage the previous week, this week ended on 72.8 miles (and 4 new pubs).  Additionally, I ended June on 236 miles for the month and a modest 1233 for the first half of the year…2000 miles looks easy this year, for a change especially with the Thanksgiving to New Year run streak at the end.

Late for the bus Tuesday, I GPS recorded the dash downhill (0.8 miles) then another 7.9 on regular commute into work from Appleton/Besselsleigh.  In between, I suffered from stinking fuckers (they have body odour like rancid chip fat and it lingers, as well) which is frustrating because they seem to be well-groomed and, although I shower before bed, my hair on morning run-days looks like I slept in the park so when these foul folk take a seat and B.O. up the place (funking out everything for three or four rows fore and aft) it looks like I’m the one who has never heard of soap.  Filthy assholes (both figuratively and literally).

keep-calm-and-wash-your-ass-3

Wednesday was the hottest day on record for July in Britain so I had to go out for a run in the furnace.  Worried that I had become soft over the years in this cold, damp land (I don’t even wear a jacket unless it is single digits ºC any more), I stripped to the essentials of running kit: actual running shorts instead of the usual sweats, a tank top to show the pale and flabby arms, and the shoes I can’t seem to wear down…nowt else.  Then, I loaded a backpack with flour (but no water) and headed out toward Beckley to wreak G-Had on a hash.

 

2015-07-01 NoGo G-Had vs OH3 at Beckley

 

But, the G-Had was not to be.  Harder men than me were setting the Oxford HHH trail as the temperatures soared later in the afternoon so my efforts were relegated to just enjoying the hills, woodland, and fields I traversed.  I soaked in the warmth and revelled in the humidity and fell over and twisted my ankle in a furrow and fell off a bridge into some overgrowth covering the edge of the bridge and the cow shite runoff below.  An awesome run, I think.

Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

Thursday brought a little rain and a cooler day and a desire to run by the waters so I left work, crossed Port Meadow and headed up the Thames to Wolvercote, across to the Oxford Canal and down to Summertown then out Marston Ferry Road to do the River Cherwell down to the University Parks, again.  Coming in at just over 8.5 miles mapped manually, I reckon the GPS would have given me a few extra feet on this run but the battery was flat.

 

2015-07-02 Thames-Canal-Cherwell loop

 

A few months ago, a friend at work (not many of those, mind) and I got into a discussion of Bloomsday, one of my bucket list holiday events (although I have participated in an event in Athens, Georgia, the one in Dublin, Ireland would be extra special).  He post-doc’ed in Dublin and knew of most of the sites although he never actually did the day itself; on his way to Berlin he stopped off in Dublin for a visit just before this years events.  When he returned to the lab Friday and dropped me off this little treat, some lemon soap from Sweny’s (one of the stops on the Bloomsday circuit):

Bloomsday gift sm

Saturday’s long run was longer than planned but other than the last few miles it went off without a hitch. My plan was to swing past a few pubs not yet ticked off the list then back to Marlborough by 1:30 to catch the bus and maybe pick up a few things in the market but the colour cartridge on my printer is fading and the spotty ink that made it to paper got wet in the high grass and nettles along the way so when I reached a cross-road about a mile from Ramsbury (and only about 5 from Marlborough) that kids had rearranged the signage for I made a command decision to go the wrong way entirely and wound up in Chilton Foliat.

2015-07-04 Lambourn and Ramsbury run map

Not a big deal, this detour, but instead of 24 planned miles I wound up with a little over 28.  If you follow the path on the map, point A is the M4 Double Helix pedestrian and bike flyover (below), point B the now closed Malt Shovel, point C the Hare just before I trudged off-road through briars then up the M4 soft verge, and point D the Crown and Wanker where I sat with a pint of cider awaiting the bus home.

2015-07-04 Lambourn and Ramsbury run double helix

As mentioned, 14.1 miles into the run I finally reached the first pub of the day, the Malt Shovel which was not only closed but one step away from shuttered.  This was awful as I timed the trip to arrive when this once early-licensed tap house should have been unlocking its doors.  Not for nothing, though, the villages that are the Lambourns are full of racehorses and dozens were out and more paddocked all along the mile or so into and couple or so out-of-town.

Malt Shovel (closed) Upper Lambourn

The Hare, in Lambourn Woodlands, was the next stop on this journey and it was as unremarkable as I expected (and then some).  My misfortune/miscalculation that landed me in Chilton Foliat wasn’t a great loss nor at all a great surprise (this shit happens all the time);  I continued on to Ramsbury just because the bus connections were better there and then stretched out along the River Kennet  before cooling my aching feet in the waters.

By the time the bus came, my muscle spasms had subsided so that by Sunday morning I was ready to head out again.  My original plan for the week was to tick off two pubs on Saturday and two more on Sunday with a run from Devizes to Chippenham via Melksham but with one in the hole, I decided to try to make a Devizes/Melksham loop work with a couple of quick noon pints to round out the numbers.  Turns out, there was also a hash to crash and the day was better than hoped for.

The run out of Devizes was pretty bog standard: down the Caen Hill Locks and out past Sells Green to a permissive path, into Melksham and over to the West End Inn (which I contacted ahead to make sure they were serving at 11).  I lingered there with the Pig and Whistle in mind, only a mile away and even considered walking there but thought it might be fun to explore the town.  That’s how I found the King’s Arms open and accommodating, just trotting by.

Then, upon leaving the Pig and Whistle, I spotted a crowd of fatties out in the middle of nowhere waddling along.  Could it be?  I mean, I had flour in the backpack, but this was just too much a coincidence to hope for.  And, yet, as I saw them turn off the path onto another I also spied the trail markings of the North Wilts Hash House Harriers…ka-ching!  The G-Had was on as I got out my map and determined where I thought they might go then ran through the trail markings they had to follow to get where they were when I spotted them.  A little maneuvering and I was between these wankers and the faster walkers ahead of them and could start to redirect this straggling bunch.  It almost made me late for the bus back home but that would have been totally worth it.  As I dashed back toward Devizes, 4½ miles away, I ran right through another pack of these half-wits. . . golden.

2015-07-05 Devizes Melksham run route

 

 

Running Week In Review 8 March 2015   3 comments

Last week here, and

Next week here

2015-03-08 running week chart

 

I generally don’t like to run with others because the fast person always has to consider the pace of the slow one and also because I am easily distracted and often use the jog as a form of tourism (not sticking to planned routes).  Sunday was an exception but my running partner and I split as she moved on to exact G-Had on the North Wilts voting hash and I continued on to Pets At Home to get the cat a new scratching post.  It was the only day I didn’t exceed my target mileage but I am loathe to blame the social run (although I don’t expect it to happen again):

Sunday’s route

Earlier in the week I had circled, buzzard-like, the putative location of the Oxford HHH trail for the week but didn’t see any markings until the run into work the day after it occurred.

Tuesday, wistfully scouting a trail not to trash

Tuesday, wistfully scouting a trail not to trash

On the day of the Oxford hash, I did some mile repeats in the University Parks…the weather has been spectacular (warmer this winter than any of the last several months of May):

2015-03-04 mile repeats in University Parks

Saturday, I got the planned 8 mile run in early then went with Jackie to hit thrift stores returning with a bunch of vinyl and CD’s.  Record night ensued (here were some of the selections):

Formby cd Little Richard Roy Orbison album Shadows box set

 

Posted March 9, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in G-Had HHH, Running

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Antelope, Tooting, London   Leave a comment

Antelope Tooting London

The Antelope is a cavernous bar with an even bigger dining area and it seems a bit yuppie for the buurt, but it was the site of the Tutu run start and therefore the reason I found myself in the neighbourhood so I gave it a go.

There were two ciders on and I opted for the house which was strong and very dry yet sweet enough to bring out the malic acid and other apple-y flavours that a really dry cider might mask.  Still warm from the run so far despite a five minute al fresco dining walk, I retired to the beer garden where I found the chalk marks of the hash that had just left.

Deciding to continue to Streatham to see a bit of the Tooting Bec Common, I finished beverage and donned backpack then headed through the bar only to run into a late arrival for the hash trail who, it was obvious, thought I was part of his party but couldn’t be sure since I was also dressed like a normal runner and had obviously already been exercising for quite awhile…hiding in plain sight.

Write-up at http://ghadhhh.wordpress.com

The Tutu run started here

 

jj-moons-and-antelope-map

Posted February 24, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in G-Had HHH, Pubs

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